Thinking Out Loud

August 28, 2016

Just Another Day

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:17 am

Sunday SabbathLast night we slept with the windows open, and at various intervals this morning (6:30, 6:50, 7:00, 7:20) I was aware of car doors closing, engines starting and people driving away, many of whom I believe were heading to work.

Sunday has become, in many respects, just another day. I remember the first time I walked into a grocery store on a Sunday, and the first time in a department store. It was a strange feeling; like I shouldn’t be here, and neither should anyone else. The stores were not particularly busy and the argument was made that they wouldn’t do any more business than they might have in six days.

Growing up in Canada, I often heard older people speak of The Lord’s Day Alliance Act. Wikipedia explains:

In 1888, the Lord’s Day Alliance came into existence as the result mainly of Presbyterian and Methodist interests. Leading up to 1906, the Lord’s Day Alliance advocated the national Lord’s Day Bill. They were opposed by Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

The Lord’s Day Act, which since 1906 had prohibited business transactions from taking place on Sundays, was struck down as unconstitutional in the 1985 case R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. Calgary police officers witnessed several transactions at the Big M Drug Mart, all of which occurred on a Sunday. Big M was charged with a violation of the Lord’s Day Act. A provincial court ruled that the Lord’s Day Act was unconstitutional, but the Crown proceeded to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a unanimous 6-0 decision, the Lord’s Day Act was ruled an infringement of the freedom of conscience and religion defined in section 2(a) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I remember hearing stories of the major stores in downtown Toronto actually covering up their window displays from Saturday night until Monday morning in what might have been strict adherence to the act or personal convictions.

But today it’s hard to tell the difference between Sunday and any other day. In Canada, I think that’s due to a mixture of religious pluralism (partly because of immigration and partly owing to general secularization) and business owners who lack conviction on the matter. I wonder what they’d think of Chick-fil-A in this country?

Here’s a classic from Evie about “walkin’ to church on a Sunday morning…”

…and from the a classic gospel music-themed song from Neil Diamond

November 12, 2014

Wednesday Link List


We continue our scintillating series of celebrity photos with this dinnerware shot by Matthew Paul Turner

We continue our scintillating series of Christian author photos with this dinnerware shot by Matthew Paul Turner

Welcome back to classic format Wednesday Link List…

Here’s a cartoon left over from our weekend look at Beetle Bailey:


September 10, 2014

Wednesday Link List

From -- "...It is a camp for displaced Christian refugees in Iraq (Click to enlarge). Note the English on the center tent proclaiming in a very dark place, 'Jesus Is The Light Of The World'."

From — “…It is a camp for displaced Christian refugees in Iraq (Click to enlarge). Note the English writing on the center tent proclaiming in a very dark place, ‘Jesus Is The Light Of The World’.”

This week we celebrate the ellipsis, its utility as connective device, and its overuse. In other words, many of this week’s links were related.

Each week we scour the web for stories of interest to Leadership Journal readers, however several of our “usual suspects” have put up pay-walls or added pop-ups that can only be described as obnoxious. The goal is to deliver news and opinion pieces with a minimum of interruption and solicitation. Suggestions are always welcomed, you can contact me on Twitter, or at Thinking Out Loud before 6 PM EST Mondays.

Paul Wilkinson is considered Canada’s foremost authority on writing a Wednesday Link List, and he doesn’t just say that because he writes his own footer for this weekly piece.

From, a site I suspect we'll be visiting many times in the future

From, a site I suspect we’ll be visiting many times in the future

October 12, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Here in the frozen north, Thanksgiving has already come and gone, but that didn’t stop temperatures from reaching 30 degrees Celsius on the weekend (mid 80s Fahrenheit) for three straight days which made link-catching less appealing than suntanning.

  • For you worship-leader types, here’s one of the most comprehensive articles you’ll see on the “worship wars” discussed entirely in terms of church architecture.
  • Just nine more days to another Harold Camping end-of-life-as-we-know-it date.
  • If you don’t know what I mean when I say, “Stethoscope Video” then you haven’t seen it.  Take 2 1/2 minutes and enjoy.
  • It’s official: Mitt Romney tells Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress that he thinks that Baptists are a cult.  …Okay, not really, but maybe he should have.  Here’s the original story,  a response from Robert Mouw, and a sample of comments; all from CNN.
  • You’ll want to read the comments to find more links to get the full 411 on this story, but the blogger Tulip Girl has a blog post implying that another child death may be linked to the controversial book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.
  • No, what follows is not a typo: Is it possible to hate Jesus but love Christianity?  David Paul Dorr looks at that here and here [part two link to follow!]
  • Are you “crazy busy” all the time?  Pete Wilson hints you may need to invest in the concept of sabbath.
  • This isn’t new, but… here’s one of those church video clips from Igniter media that uses a Facebook theme; naturally, this one’s titled Follow.
  • Canadian Anglican Pastor Leonard Griffith is now 90 and just keeps on going.
  • More from James MacDonald on the decision to invite T. D. Jakes to a forthcoming seminar, aka The Elephant Room controversy.
  • Hey kids!  Wanna learn Biblical Hebrew in just three easy lessons?  Well, you can’t.  But maybe 40 moderately challenging lessons from Charles Grebe at Briercrest College and Seminary. Learn more about Charles at starting with the Hebrew alphabet. Shalom!
  • The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) celebrated a 50-year anniversary earlier this month.
  • In a culture focused on the excitement of church planting, we never think about the sadness of church closings that are constantly taking place at the same time.
  • Natalie Grant adds “actor” to her list of accomplishments with a feature role in the movie Decision.
  • From Internet Monk writer Jeff Dunn

There is a story told of an old woman who claimed she and God talked on a regular basis. Her bishop was doubtful of her claims to hear from God. After all, he prayed on a regular basis, but the Lord never spoke back to him. So he decided to put this woman to the test in order to reveal her for either a misguided soul or a fraud. He went to her and said, “The next time you are talking with God, ask him to tell you what my most grievous sin was.” The woman agreed to do so.

A week later the bishop returned and asked, “Did you ask God to reveal to you my worst sin?”

“Yes,” said the woman. “I did ask him.”

“Well,” said the bishop, “what did he say?”

The woman said simply, “He says he forgets.”

September 18, 2011

Sunday Isn’t Another Saturday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:29 am

If we would stop treating Sunday as a second Saturday, one more day to run to Home Depot, one more day for the kids’ soccer games, another day for getting ready for Monday, if we would rediscover Sunday as The Lord’s Day, focusing on him for just one day each week, what would be the immediate impact between today and one year from today?

By one year from today, we will have spent 52 whole days given over to Jesus.  Seven and a half weeks of paid vacation with Jesus.

He’s a good King.  Maybe we should put him first in our weekly schedules.  Not fit him into the margins of our busy weekends, but build our whole weekly routine around him.

Just a thought.

~Ray Ortlund

October 17, 2010

Toiling on the Sabbath

Filed under: Religion, theology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:45 pm

We have a washing machine but not a dryer.   We’ve never owned one.  My parents never owned one.

So on days like this where it’s too warm to turn on the radiators — we don’t have a furnace, either — but too cool and overcast most days to hang laundry outside, wash days have to be chosen carefully.

So one load got done yesterday, but two loads needed to be done today.  We hung one out before leaving for church, and did the other one after lunch.

However, my youngest decided that the dust in his room is what’s bothering his allergies and embarked on an all day cleanup that involved removing great amounts of fabric-bearing furniture to the outdoors, and then hauling out the central vacuum, which I thought we were done with yesterday.   But since it was out already, I figured I might as well touch up a few things that got missed the day before.

My oldest decided to do some cleaning in his room as well.   My wife’s transgression of the sabbath was limited to working on her newest cross-stitch.

I did observe my computer sabbath until around 5:00 PM, when the first e-mail that greeted me was work-related.    And then, because we’re flat broke, we spent about a half-hour rolling coins;  quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies that were accumulating around the house, which is strange because we pay for everything using plastic.

At one earlier point I did manage to take 30 minutes to crash out in a garden chair, and stripped to nothing but shorts, soak in the last of the sun’s warm rays before the snow starts flying in a few weeks.   I tilted my head to the sun, closed my eyes, and prayed:  “Okay, God; what exactly did you have in mind for this day to be set apart for you?”

I’m sure he meant more than the 90 minute church service we attended.   Last week at this time I had some books to review, but today my reading consisted of catching up on a week’s worth of newspapers.    Other than the phone not ringing so much, this day isn’t much different than all the others.

I believe strongly that a day set apart for the worship of God should consist of more than simply not working. There ought to be a positive that balances out the negative; a commission that balances out the omission.

Any thoughts?

# # #

Prayer request:  Pray for J. and B.   J. is on her way to the hospital to deliver the baby who apparently no longer is showing vital signs.   I can’t imagine the emotions that would go with that.

October 19, 2008

Trying to Keep Sundays Set Apart

Filed under: Christianity, Church, Faith, family — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:35 pm

I grew up with a friend who wasn’t allowed to listen to the radio on Sunday.   Of all things I wasn’t allowed — or didn’t have time to do on the Lord’s Day — radio restrictions were not one of them.    Being part of a family means you often find strange what is done by those not part of your tribe.

But as a parent, I decided there should be something that we could do to make Sundays special.  To show to ourselves and to God that we were willing to somehow sanctify — or set apart — this day.   Television isn’t fair, because some programs don’t repeat if you miss them.   The computer seemed an easy target, and except on days when the boys have some school assignment due, we’ve managed to invoke a ‘computer sabbath’ for about 13 years now.

The problem is this blog.   I vowed early on that I wasn’t going to be one of those bloggers who starts one and then abandons it; and I also promised myself I would post something fresh every day, even it was a reprint or a remix of a previous post.    As someone who has worked as a paid writer, this means working on the sabbath.   As someone who has been a paid church staff member, I know that the heaviest workday is Sunday.   So I am capable of seeing this both ways.

So, I thought I would ramble about that for three paragraphs and fulfill my duty to an ever-growing readership, and the promises I made to myself.   The biggest problem came when I went to add a picture.   As any good journalist knows, the story isn’t complete until the photo editor has added something illustrative.   Many of the most successful bloggers insert a picture or graphic with each post to draw readers in and make the entire blog look visually appealing.

So I tried Googling (and All-The-Webbing) the phrase, “Closed Sundays.”   I had great luck a few months ago when I needed a graphic for work that said “Terrific Tuesday;” so I figured if I could find something that obscure, this one ought to be a cakewalk.   But the internet would not yield such a graphic; at least not today.

The reason is obvious.   In Western culture, nothing is closed on Sundays anymore.   Sad, in some respects.   It also makes me more determined that we hold on to our computer sabbath as long as possible.  (He said while staring at the monitor and typing…)

So what about at your house?   Anything you do to make Sunday special?   Any stories you want to tell about growing up in stricter times?

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