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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

St Stephen Colbert interview on faith, joy and church

  Great reflection by Patrol Magazine:

Affirmation, Joy, Hope: On Stephen Colbert’s Faith

the real Colbert takes the Myers Briggs...he's my type (:

During last night’s Late Show, Stephen Colbert debuted the first installment of a brand new segment called “Stephen Colbert’s Who Am Me?”, where the late night character-turned-“real” Colbert sets out to find out who he really is. Stephen decides to start his journey of personal discovery by taking the Myers–Briggs personality {Type} test, and it leads to one big realization: “So I have to be myself for people to love me?” -link 

“America, get ready for me to be all INFP in your face!"
" I have tested positive for Myers Briggs.”


Myers Briggs: The Late Night Show With Stephen Colbert Does 15 Minute Segment on Personality Types: INFP..or E?

10 Signs You’re An ENFP, Not An INFP, Colbert

Monday, September 21, 2015

What saint mastered the ukelele at age 3, and almost became the new Donny Osmond?

Sooo ...

many moons ago, there was an underground, never fully officially launched  web series created by the late genius  Keltic Ken Adams for KRDU:

'"Before They Were Saints."

Most of the episodes feature one of the least of all saints--me--telling the conversion story of a well-known person in the style of Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" (not revealing who the story is about until late in the narration, to keep you guessing).

You can find a few episodes easily (like this one: "From Sex Addict to Saint"--video here), but one of the saintliest saints of KRDU,  St.Vincent J. Vera, found some vintage episodes from the vaults.
Some were not used because they were originally filmed in mirror image.

Like this one below.
(Yes, I part my hair on my left!)

Please note that the first thing you hear on the video is St Vincent himself winsomely singing the brilliant theme song of the series (not added until season 2.1)!

Spoiler alert: If you want to try the guessing game, play the video below (maybe in the mirror!)
before scrolling down to the intro the the video beneath it.

Enjoy, saints:

Spoiler below

Stop scrolling or be spoiled...and soiled..

Wow, here is some of the backstory on Keith Green, so you can see I wasn't just blowing smoke.
Talk about a vintage reel:

PS Keith helped lead me to Jesus.  The rest of that story here

Fill in the blank "Restore unto me the joy of __ salvation"

Ok, before you read on, fill in the blank.
 Just one word completes this Scripture.

"Restore unto me the joy of __ salvation"

Now, a drum roll as you scroll down..

OK, unless you answered "Your" (or "Thy"),  play this:


Why do so many (American evangelical types anyway) answer not just the wring answer..

               but an answer that is the exact opposite to the right answer?
(Excursus : "In England, they drive on the ______ side of the road).

The right answer has been there all along; no debate.  Check the Book.
It's "Thy salvation" or "Your (as in God's) salvation."

It's not "my salvation."
                        Never has been mine; it's Thine.

A quick Googling betrays how widespread this error is:

You can find hundreds...oops, thousands..of devotionals and sermons online which get it wrong!
Often from great, well-meaning folks (who fell into the same trap I once did).
Just one example:
  • 'the words of Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation"... link
What gives?
I think there are at least three reasons why this happens.

1)As you have noticed, "Thy" rhymes with 'my.'  That may account for some of this phenomenon.
And this might account in part for  the phenomenon of #2.
And of #3, actually..

Of course, this only happens in English.
(and Elizabethan English, at that)..

2)In the West...and in evangelicalism...we are vulnerable to an individualistic "me and Jesus" worldview. So it's easy to assume it says "my salvation," as that phrase is already embedded in our Christianese.  I doubt that anyone ever talked about Jesus as a "personal Savior" until we created the language for it.  So we talk about "my salvation," or "my salvation story."

When the Bible uses the phrase "my salvation," it is almost exclusively in the context of "The God of my salvation" or "God is my salvation".... Godward-focused.
  2  Sam 2:36,
                        Ps  27:1. 51:14,  62:2, 62:6,  88:1,
                                                     Is 12:2,
                                                                          Hab 3:18,
                                                                                                   Mic 7:7

I was thrilled to see that one of the folks online who got it right, not only was a student at Asbury Seminary the same time I was...

....but one of the few I found (only!!) who offered some good insights about the "Thy" vs "My" trap:
-- the KJV, verse 12 reads, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation.” “Thy” means “Your” in modern English. At times, I still prefer the King James Version, but in this verse, it causes me to stumble in two ways. One,
nobody speaks in the 17th Century King’s English anymore.
And two, I often misquote the verse as, “Restore unto me the joy of mysalvation.” The Joy is the Lord’s. As I have Jesus in my heart and life, Ihave joy. His Joy not mine. - Randy Bain, Oakland UMC, link
3) There is a well-known song that gets it wrong; and encourages our "adventures in missing the point" and  accidental eisegesis.  Come on, a show of hands for anyone who ever SANG the line:
"Restore unto me the joy of my salvation"?

Sing along..or not..starting at the 1:11 mark:

I'm glad to note that Keith Green, who was no theological slouch, got his song right!:


There you have it.
I must say I was delighted that so many of my Facebook friends got this right!
See this.

You will remember that this Scripture was David, crying out to God after being busted over the
affair with Bathsheba, not asking God to restore the joy of his salvation; for he knew better than anyone that had no salvation, and no joy,  without God.

Now read, pray, or sing it below, and see how it feels.
You may note, in the NIV version below, shows up a fourth reason:
all along David prays "my"s:
"my iniquity," my sin"...
But that is not to set us up to predict he'll say "my salvation."
In fact the only want out of my problems is Thy salvation..
"My way is not Yahweh,\" as a wise saint (Brian Dodd) once said...

Psalm 51New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Psalm 51King James Version (KJV)

51 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.