Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Hi Lloyd,

I got your two questions while I was away on my study leave. You ask about women preachers and kneeling in church. It is good to take these two questions together.

In the Bible, the most common posture for prayer is prostrate. They would lay flat on the ground, face down, in the dirt. In fact, getting dirt all over their bodies was a part of the prayer. They would not do this on a finished floor, but on the bare dirt, in order to get more dirt on them. Getting dirt on them symbolized their humility before God and they felt dirt gave their prayers extra power. So, the more dirt the better. Sometimes they would also pour ashes or dust and ashes on top of their heads in addition to laying on the dirt, as a part of the prayer. There are only two places in the whole Bible where someone kneels for prayer. Kneeling was extremely rare. There is certainly much less dirt involved when one only kneels.

Gradually over time, civilization changed. Cultures changed. It became less socially acceptable to be walking around covered in ashes and dirt. So, the style of prayer changed to fit the times. That is how we changed to kneeling. For many years, kneeling was the normal posture for prayer. Usually it was kneeling on a finished floor or on a finished piece of furniture, so there really was no dirt involved at all. This was quite a change, but religion always evolves. There is no other option.

Kneeling was a better option when most of the humans only lived to be about 50 years old. The typical human was active, working, and mostly healthy, until he broke a hip, then developed pneumonia and died at around fifty. So, basically, everyone in the church was pretty physically fit. There were very very few old people with infirmities. So kneeling made sense.

Nowadays, most of the people in church are over 60 years old. Most of them struggle to get into a difficult posture such as kneeling. Many of them simply could not do it. It is humiliating to such seniors to sit around people who are kneeling when they themselves are unable to kneel. Thus, as more and more people in churches fit this description (seniors with health struggles), kneeling became less common. We do not kneel during worship because we do not want prayer to become a time of causing people to feel inadequate or guilty because of their health problems.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with kneeling. Those who want to kneel at home are perfectly encouraged to do that. I kneel in prayer quite often. I also lay out prostrate with my face down—though rarely do I do that in the bare dirt. There are many postures for prayer in the Bible (standing, sitting, laying, etc.), so all postures are acceptable. But, what we do in the church is what works best for most people.

This is based on Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 8-10, especially 8:13. In this argument, Paul says that we should adapt our behavior to the needs of those around us, and especially be sensitive to the weakest members of society. That is what the church has been doing since the beginning of time. Nothing ever stays the same, though we always keep to this principle.

The question about women preachers is related. In ancient Hebrew society, women were not permitted in the temple at all during worship. They also sacrificed animals and spread the blood of those animals upon everyone gathered. There are many things that were done in ancient times that we no longer do. Times change. The idea that it is possible to worship in the same way that King David worshipped is silly. (David danced around with almost no clothes on when he worshipped in order to get more dirt onto his body.) The idea that our worship should simply be a duplication of the ancient style of worship is a ridiculous notion. Not only is it contrary to Paul’s principle of adapting to the weakest members of the society, but it is also, quite literally, impossible. If anyone were to try to worship in such a manner, they would be arrested and thrown in jail.

The question is not, where in the Bible were women ordained as preachers, because that question presumes that we ought to be worshipping like what was done in the Bible. That’s just silly. The question is, how has our society changed so that we can only obey Paul’s instructions if we allow women preachers. That’s a good question. I would say this notion of the superiority of men and the inferiority of women is not something that came from God, but that it came from ancient human culture. Every human culture taught that women were inferior. That is not a message from God, although it did establish the way that people worshipped—all people, even the Hebrews. Although the Hebrews were influenced to believe a lie taught by all of their neighbors, this does not mean that we are required to continue to believe this lie.

Jesus was very much more open to women than what his culture expected. He respected them, listened to them, cared about them, respected their minds and their spirituality, much more than anyone else in his culture did. He often surprised all his disciples. We too are called to follow the example of Jesus. We too must give women much more respect and care than what is expected in our culture. If we were to respect women less than what the common culture expects, we would not be following Jesus. If we were to forbid women from preaching, we would not be following Jesus.

I’d be glad to talk with you more about these things if you like, but that’s all the time I have right now. I’m way backed up from being away for a week.




From: Lloyd Bradbury []

Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 8:55 AM

To: 'scott'

Subject: prayer

Why do we not kneel in our church for prayer?

When was the first Bible reference to prayer?

To keep you updated about the Scottish home our concentration in the service at the Scottish home will be the power of prayer.

Lloyd in the Dragon

the Dragon told me I should pray for big green slimy frogs for him to eat. I told him I will try but frogs like Monarch butterflies are on the endangered species list. At least around Riverside I haven't seen too many.

Jewish Religious Questions

Priests-The Biblical definition of a priest is:

"A chosen officer or prince with the capacity to draw near to God and minister. He alone is responsible for offering the divinely appointed sacrifices to God, for executing the different procedures and ceremonies relating to the worship of God, and for being a representative between God and man."

As we have seen, the Levites were chosen as those who would specially serve God, and it was from the Levites that the priests were chosen. They originated in one family, that of Aaron and his four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. But due to the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, the priestly succession came through Eleazar and Ithamar whose descendants provided the hereditary priests in Israel.

Their duties fell under three main headings. (Service, Teaching, and Prayer)

1. The first was to minister in the sanctuary, which at this time was the tabernacle, but when Israel became a settled nation it would be the temple.

2. Secondly, priests were responsible for teaching the people the law of God, and

3. Thirdly, when God's will was sought for the nation, it was the priests who prayed for guidance.

Something of the importance of the priest in Old Testament worship may be judged from the fact that the Hebrew word for priest 'kohen' occurs almost 800 times.

Jews-position for praying

"The Torah forbids prostrating yourself flat out on a stone floor, as

was the way of the ancient idol worshippers. Our Sages extended this

prohibition to include kneeling.

The Shulchan Aruch says that if you put an intervening substance

between your knees and the stone floor, then it's permitted to kneel."

Orthodox Jews - A brief overview on everything about their unique lifestyle

Read more:

Generally, Jews stand when reciting prescribed prayers. Optional prayers are recited seated. On Passover, we are permitted to recline on pillows as in olden days; as the Seder is a prayer service.

Required form of Hebrew or Jewish Prayer

Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or thanking. Standardized Prayer such as is done today is non-existent, though beginning in Deuteronomy, the Bible lays the groundwork for organized prayer, including basic liturgical guidelines, and by the Bible's later books, prayer has evolved to a more standardized form, although still radically different than the form practiced by modern Jews.

Individual prayer is described by the Tanakh two ways. The first of these is when prayer is described as occurring, and a result is achieved, but no further information regarding a person's prayer is given. In these instances, such as with Isaac,[1] Moses,[2] Samuel,[3] and Job,[4] the act of praying is a method of changing a situation for the better. The second way in which prayer is depicted is through fully fleshed out episodes of prayer, where a person's prayer is related in full. Many famous biblical personalities have such a prayer, including every major character fromHannah to Hezekiah.[5]

Required daily prayers

In traditional Jewish practice, the daily tefillot or prayers are divided into three separate services, Shaharit (the morning service), Minhah (the afternoon service), and Maariv (the evening service).

Origins of the Daily Prayer Services

By the Talmudic period, the institution of praying three times day was an assumed part of Jewish life.

The Mishnah records that there are three daily services, each connected to a particular time of day (Mishnah Berakhot 4:1).

The Babylonian Talmud also declares that one should pray three times a day, and a famous dispute emerges about the origins of this practice. Rabbi Yose bar Rabbi Hanina says that the weekday prayers were instituted by the patriarchs: Shaharit by Abraham, Minhah by Isaac, and Maariv by Jacob.

In opposition, Rabbi Joshua ben Levi cites Rabbi Hanina, who says that the three daily prayer services were instituted in accordance with the daily sacrifices of the Temple period (Berakhot 26b). Shaharit corresponds to the morning offering, Minhah corresponds to the afternoon offering, Maariv corresponds to an offering made on the evening, and Musaf corresponds to an offering brought on certain special occasions. Though a consensus was never reached, rabbinic authorities agreed that three daily services are the basic requirement of Jewish daily prayer.

*Most prayers are recited (in synagogue) facing the ark which holds the Torah(s).

There are also special prayers to begin the Sabbath (Shabbat) commencing with the lighting of candles at sundown on Friday night. This is one of the few instances where the prayer is said or led by the mother or a woman in the household. At the end of Shabbat on Saturday evening, we have a Havdalah service which is a series of prayers snuffing out a candle with several wicks. There are also fragrant herbs to be sniffed.


Cantata nursing home rough draft series to stemwils

Is is is is is is is is is him and him and him Cantata nursing home high-class new session using stencils April 1 year 2013

nursing home wheelchair group was started last year. We had about 20 participants in the painting class. After six sessions the class was down to seven. There was also about five spectators. The first few sessions we covered the basics of using paint and brush and colors. When we started to create a free will painting it became more difficult for them. The first painting was flowers. That went well but it took at least two painting sessions. Then we started to paint a candle on a dark surface. This did not go well for the group had dwindled down and we had some newcomers that were not up to doing this project. There were but a few that could and did but it required a lot of volunteers. So we had some complaints about not finishing a project to the management. They usually have a session that could tease the project and how they liked it. It seemed like they want longer sessions to complete their project.

I evaluated the problem what was needed was a little change of approach I noted that their creativity was very low. They seem to need a paint by numbers approach so I thought maybe we could inject stencils into the class. I bought some stencils and by using tape on the back of them pasted them on a canvas. My is to give them the stencils so that they can create objects and their canvas then fill in the detail.

The nursing home called me after Easter and said they were short of personnel staff. But I would have to start giving him the lecture in two weeks. In the meantime I will prepare the stencil idea and complete three paintings using stencils a very simple basic one using a white background and three flower stencils and a butterfly one.

Then I will create a canvas with a colored washed and surface using three-star stencils and a butterfly. Then we will fill in the detail.

Than the third will be a frog stencil sitting on a lily pad with insects like butterflies flying around him with the bright sun and read about him. The stencil will be the frog and of course a butterfly the sun of course will be a round circle and clouds added and the Lily pad nothing more than a sort of oval with a slit in it. The weeds or reads will be punks that are nothing more than straight lines with elongated ovals on the ends the colors will be reading Brown multicolored butterflies and a big orange sun.. This will give them a choice of three objectives those that have more skill can try the frog does it have lesser skill can try one of the others. Maybe it is best to try the first one and finish it then the second one and then the third one in the series so the series of stencils will be;

1.0 the flower three and one butterfly with plain background

2.0 the next in the series will be a dark background of green a butterfly and a bouquet of star flowers and round flowers with leaves. This will add more of a dimension to the painting

3.0 the frog stencil a waterlily, a pond of water three read punks and a butterfly with a bright orange sun all shown with a dark blue background or green

this will complete the series showing basic stencils. Now my next step will be as series of Christmas paintings using stencils. The stencils needed for this project will be a Santa and his reindeer sled. A snowman drawn in freehand, a home stencil clouds and the moon added freehand on a dark blue background. One could also add a Merry Christmas stencil in the sky. Each craft painting would be individualized by the colors. What could be done is a numbering system on the original painting showing the colors to be added almost a paint by number system but the choices would be up to the student. If painting was not the result achieved. We could provide pencils and a 10 white paper to make a poster.

A choice of painting or poster would be at the discretion of what was wanted and could be achieved.

We must decide whether a poster or a painting canvas would be best for the project. We could also use stars in the sky or whatever could be added to make it more of a project.

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