Sky Links, 2-10-14

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
-Isaiah 43:8

Are you curious about the history of communion?  Read The Snack We Call Supper, by David Servant.

Judeo-Christian Hope Is Rooted in God (Optimism isn't)  The Prodigal Kiwi(s) posted this quote from Henri Nouwen on, "Living With Hope":
“…Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things-the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on-will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfill God's promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom...."

Meet Donald Miller  This is a talk he gave two years ago.  Here is the link. I like what he's saying:

This past week, Donald wrote about how he personally does not connect with God through singing in church.
I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all.
I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s true. I was finally able to admit this recently when I attended a church service that had, perhaps, the most talented worship team I’ve ever heard. I loved the music. But I loved it more for the music than the worship. As far as connecting with God goes, I wasn’t feeling much of anything.
I used to feel guilty about this but to be honest, I experience an intimacy with God I consider strong and healthy.
It’s just that I don’t experience that intimacy in a traditional worship service. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of sermons I actually remember. So to be brutally honest, I don’t learn much about God hearing a sermon and I don’t connect with him by singing songs to him. So, like most men, a traditional church service can be somewhat long and difficult to get through.
Remember the movie where the man said, "you can't handle the truth"?  Maybe that is true, sometimes; or maybe that means some things are better left unsaid, like if you are conversing with someone who has massively bad breath.  It is usually better to back away for fresh air than to tell them.

Many or most people seemed to like the post.  Some people were confused or dismayed.  A few were put off or indignant, including one who wrote on his blog that it is "spiritual suicide" to not attend "services".

Miller wrote a follow-up piece that was much longer than the first one, explaining himself; that was full of grace, humility, and wisdom.

Chaplain Mike at the internet monk website, had a thoughtful piece about Miller's two posts about not attending services.  This is Mike's take, from a Lutheran's perspective:
Evangelicalism is designed to work best at attracting people, not engaging them in a lifelong journey of spiritual formation, vocation, contemplation and community. It is, by and large, about breadth rather than depth and activity rather than reflection. In the more scholastic parts of the tradition, it is about learning and proper doctrine. In the more charismatic parts, the emphasis falls on experiencing God through the Spirit...
...It’s not Miller we should be criticizing. He’s expressing post-evangelical thinking well. He’s been on a journey, and one day he looked up and found that the church as he knew it wasn’t there at his side.
Chaplain Mike and others, see evangelicalism, in it's various forms as 'a mile wide and an inch deep', in many places.  It's not that way everywhere though.  Mike calls it (what people like Miller are doing), leaving evangelicalism.

Young Adults Leave Church Because...  Some people think that a large group of "church leavers" are the Millenials (teens to low 30's).  That's what Addie Zierman thinks:
The statistics are in. The millennials are leaving the church, and nobody seems quite sure what to do about it.
Her post is about cliche's that turn off her generation.
Here is what I can tell you about millennials: We grew up on easy answers, catchphrases and cliché, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that things are almost always more complicated than that.
One cliche' that she mentions is:
“God will never give you more than you can handle”
Her take on this cliche' is:
We millennials may be a bit narcissistic, but we also know the weight of too much. We understand that we need help. Connections. Friendship. Sometimes therapy.
We know that life so often feels like entirely too much to handle. And we want to know that this is okay with you and with God.
Another cliche' that she wrote about is:
“God is in control . . . has a plan . . . works in mysterious ways”
Chances are we believe this is true. But it’s the last thing we want to hear when something goes horribly wrong in our life. We are drawn to the Jesus who sits down with the down-and-out woman at the well. Who touches the leper, the sick, the hurting. Who cries when Lazarus is found dead… even though he is in control and has a plan to bring Lazarus back to life.

You’ve heard us say that we like Jesus but not the church, and it’s not because we’re trying to be difficult. It’s because the Jesus we read about enters into the pain of humanity where so often the church people seem to want to float above it.
This reminds me of Job and his friends, "Job's comforters". I looked it up:
A person who unwittingly or maliciously depresses or discourages someone while attempting to be consoling.
Sometimes Life is Overwhelming  Mike Bell wrote a post, What About Job's Kids?  He raises the questions about when our lives are turned upside down.
Sometimes life is tougher than we can manage. When I see others in that place I need to learn to sit and listen, and not be so quick with the clichés. I also have to be willing to take off my own mask and admit to others when I am having a miserable day, or week, or month, or year. For some “life is tough, and then you die.” I find it really hard to call that “good.”
Have you read Psalm 102 lately?
"A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord." (NLT)

Life Is About Love and Being.  Children need to know they are loved, so they can rest in that love and become.  A child's foundation is to rest in your love.  Hat tip to Wayne Jacobsen who quoted Dr. Gordon Neufeld, on this topic of rest:
"All growth emanates from a place of rest.  "We now know that our 'work' as humans is the work of closeness, of contact, of attachment.  That's our work.  So, the default setting is for us to try to make relationships work- to try to hold on to mommy and daddy, to try to preserve the connection with peers, and so on.  For that to be released, for a child to be released to move on, to become their own person, for that to be there; someone has to take responsibility.  Children must never work for our love.  They must rest in it."
Dr. Gordon Neufeld on Why Children Need Rest & How To Provide It:

“If you do not change your direction, you will end up where you are headed.”  Rick Joyner wrote an insightful piece called Restoring The Republic, about the state of the USA:
First we need to understand that where our government is headed may not be where the people are headed or want their government headed. There is a growing disconnect between the will of the people and the Federal Government.
Prophetic Messages In The Super Bowl  Gene Redlin found or wrote down Johnny Enlow's  insights about the Super Bowl:
1) SEE Hawks dominate.
2)Isaiah 43:8
3) Russell Wilson- Why not You?
4) Richard Sherman gets a Limp
5) Seattle- Promise City for the 4400's
6) The 12th Man: Apostolic Encouragement
The Super Bowl was full of prophetic messages and I will comment on the highlights of what I saw. The Denver Broncos 43-8 thrashing at the hand of the Seattle Seahawks was extremely unexpected and there are important messages for us to absorb.

1) SEE Hawks dominate In my prophetic word for the year of 2014, The Year of the Catapult, I shared about this being a year with a focus on how to see. This year is Ayin Dalet in the Hebrew calendar and the Ayin is all about learning to see...
Read the rest, here.

The Apostolic Prophetic Elders (Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, and friends) released their communal word for 2014, which you can read here.