Rational Theism Service Assists

Suggestions for inclusion here are solicited
They may be included in our blog,
http://rationaltheism-kenwear.blogspot.com,
until editing this page to include them.

Music

for suggested songs, click here

Prayer

As a daily practice, pause upon awakening and perhaps again at 11 a.m., for a simple prayer reminding yourself of your desire to Walk With God and petitioning Him to continue His walk with you.

for shards of possible prayers, click here

Topics for discussion

for shards of topics for discussion, click here

Presentations for Rational Theism Services

for presentation to Atlanta Theosophical Society November 2009, click here

Songs I have adapted for use by non-sectarian religious gatherings and a further list of songs that may be readily adapted with modest editing are shown below. Why non-sectarian? Because we don't wish to infringe on specific teachings of the various religious groups where they may conflict with each other to the detriment of recognition of the larger duty of fealty to God. The primary thrust of Theism must always be directed to subordination to deity unhindered by disagreements over details of form.

Songs I have suggested for non-sectarian use (There are available recordings of music suitable for use in a worship service where there are no musicians to perform or lead.)
Title in my hymnal -- Title -- Title
God bless America Faith of our fathers Another year is dawning
Oh, they tell me of a home Forward thru the ages Shall we gather at the river
Lead on, oh King eternal All things are thine America the Beautiful
My country tis of Thee We gather together Come, ye thankful people, come
Land that is fairer than day Bringing in the sheaves Work for the night is coming
Open my eyes that I may see Teach me to pray Joyful, joyful, we adore thee
Sweet hour of prayer Day is dying in the west Safely through another week
The Lord is my shepherd I would be true Child's morning hymn
Blest be the tie God be with you Another year is dawning
change "Jesus" to "our God": Love lifted me Take time to be holy
His eye is on the sparrow
Thanksgiving hymn -- change 'Oh, Jesus' to 'Jehovah'
The Master hath come -- using 'Jehovah'
Mine eyes have seen the glory -- eliminate last verse (my book)
Rise up oh men of God -- reference to Jesus seems innocuous

Rephrasing, here is another song:

To God be the glory
To God be the glory, great things He has done
The stars in the heavens, the clouds overhead
The fish in the oceans, the fruit of the land
His crowning creation, the living clay, man.
Chorus
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice
Oh, worship the Maker, sing praise to His name
And thank Him for loving and leading us on.
Here are shards of additional verses:
To God raise your voices, let hosannas ring
Lift up your voices in praise to our God
In grateful submission give thanks for His aid
By using our wisdom show-we treasure His gifts
And thank Him for making this place we call home.

Somewhere in my notes are songs taken from a Baptist hymnal with only two- or three-word substitutions that render the songs non-sectarian. When I run across them I will add them here.


Shards of PRAYERS

"These things we ask in the name of your servants who have worked to spread your message of love and charity, especially Jesus. Amen"


Dear God, we approach You as obedient children seeking to know and carry out Your wish for us. We thank You for the many blessings we enjoy -- for a new day, for a place to come together to express our gratitude, for such a world of wonders we can experience, for each other and those who have gone before and helped bring us to today, for the graciousness of others who may serve You in different ways, for our freedoms bought for us by others seeking their path of service. We come with grateful hearts to this moment and pledge anew to seek to know Your wish in the situations that arise and with others of Your servants. We ask that You continue to make us aware of your presence and that You continue to provide guidance as we go about our daily tasks and confront others. We wish for confidence that we remain within Your will.


Dear Lord, ruler of all and master over these humble servants, we seek Your face to help us make sense of it all and know what each of us must do. You know that behind our sometimes foolish actions is the desire to serve You, to do Your bidding, to advance Your purposes. And You know that what we seek now is the assurance that what we do is pleasing to You.
Help us set aside our own pettiness and see the beauty and glory of Your designs for us. You know how each heart is torn. You know what balm is needful to set our hearts aright. And You know what steps we must take to remain within Your will. Help us to see the larger picture You desire for our little corner of Your creation. It is, after all, Your will that must prevail, and we, as Your servants, are Your hands.
Help us find the resolve to set our feet upon the path that leads us in Your perfect will. We have no desire but to serve You and rest in the peace that only Your assurance can give. With grateful hearts we thank You for life and for allowing us to share in Your world. Continue to lead and we will seek to follow.


Shards of TOPICS

A number of pages at this web site lend themselves to discussion of the hand of God. Searches of the World Wide Web can readily unearth data appropriate to a host of topics that lend to understanding of elements of our local environment or the larger picture of the Universe or the smaller picture of reproduction or constituents of molecules.

Here is a more complete description of worship in natural settings:

Uplift your soul through admiration of the beautiful complexity of creation.

Whatever your attitude toward deity you can appreciate the delicately marvelous intricacies of the natural world in which you are immersed. Should you worship an intelligence that designed and put into operation all things, what more fitting expression for your appreciation of the accomplishments of that deity than learning more fully how it all fits together. Should your intellectual prowess dictate that all of nature resulted from happenchance operation of physical law, that same intellectual prowess should hunger for knowledge and appreciation of the resulting systems and how they all fit together.

For myself I accept the idea of design and oversight by an active intelligence. And I understand how many people became locked into one of myriad systems of belief through an accident of personal history rather than the exercise of their powers of reason. However that may be, I can cherish the individuals who accept a different philosophy as we proceed into the future with a mutual admiration of each other and the seamless operation of the system of which we are all a part. You have brought to our joint efforts the best your intelligence and efforts allow; so do I as we march together in appreciation of and stewardship of this domain we are privileged to inhabit.

Let us journey together to observe the majesty of a waterfall or a mountain vista or a coastal plain. Let us observe the workings of the forces that have created and maintained all that our eyes behold. Let us examine a leaf and wonder at the intricacies of its veins, the roots and channels that bring water and nutrients, the reception of sunlight and the chemistry that both sustains the plant and purifies the air for us by releasing oxygen. Let us reflect on the earthworm, how its bodily functions are designed, and how it participates in the workings of the larger nature of which it is a part. Let us look at the heavens and be overwhelmed at the enormity of a reality to which we contribute as such an infinitesimally small part. And let us learn of the past that has allowed creatures and landscapes to evolve and bring to our senses the panorama we enjoy. All, large and small, are integrally a part of what deity, or natural forces, have presented to us for our wonder, enjoyment and appreciation.

Let us journey together in exploring, understanding and appreciating these marvels. Let us continue to work to apply what intelligence we have to the mutual advantage of ourselves and what lies beyond these temples we call our bodies. And at the least let us undertake periodic excursions to unfamiliar surroundings so we can study and contemplate and give thanks and sing praises to the deity -- or nature -- that has allowed us the opportunities to thus challenge our minds and our senses.

At various locales across the surface of Earth, let us seek out individuals of like mind to reinforce our own enjoyments, appreciation and understanding. Such a mutual effort and journey should be fascinating beyond measure.


Science and the Christian Bible: Explorations of astronomy and many other scientific endeavors make it obvious that many portions of the Bible are not recitations of physical fact but reflect the state of scientific knowledge at the time of their composition and should be regarded as allegorical. Rather, the hand of God is evident in the enormous complexity of life on Earth. Intelligent Design was on the track of truth until it became sidetracked by proponents of Creationism. /evolcrea.htm compares Intelligent Design with Evolutionism and Creationism and insists God intervened at times and ways of His choosing.

The Red Sea incident -- Israelite escape from the Egyptians
(Review of rationallink.org/redseain.htm may provide helpful discussion.)
God told Moses where and He told him how. This form of guidance, a stirring in the mind of the worshiper, has been the essence of my own experiences in prayer. Surely the same channels of communication are open to us that were open to Abraham, Moses and Paul. God's response to a petition is as available, as useful, as easily understood today as it was this morning, a week ago, a year or thousands of years ago.


Should the surgeon prescribe surgery?
It falls to each of us to prescribe for himself the treatment he will receive for whatever ills afflict him. Should an ear ache be treated at home or should we go to a specialist? Should a backache be taken to a chiropractor, to an osteopath, to an internist or to a surgeon? The course of treatment is determined by our assessment. Now, surgeons undertook that specialty, not only from a dedication to improve the lives of others, but also with a conviction that the best remedy for disease is to remove the offending part. There is a moral issue in those marginal situations where surgery is not the only answer, and perhaps not the most evident answer.


The Bald Eagle
The Southern bald eagle, which ranges from south of New Jersey from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts but has its largest population in Florida, is our national bird. The Northern bald eagle is somewhat larger and ranges north of New Jersey, with its largest population in Alaska. It is a meat and fish eater and is not known to eat seeds or plants, but it cannot carry large mammals to its nest since it can carry only about half of its own weight of 10 pounds. It is a poor hunter and a poorer fisher, so it may walk along a beach clearing it of dead fish and litter, or it may soar over the highway to eat dead and dying animals hit by cars. Like most predators, the bald eagle cannot catch healthy animal prey, but the sick or injured who are not alert or quick enough; thus it strengthens the animal kingdom by destroying the weak so the strong live and reproduce.


Our Sun and source of (nearly) all energy available to us
The sun provides our light and promotes the growth of plant life and the animal life that feeds upon it. It is also responsible for our fossil fuels, which come from plant and animal life that proliferated millions of years ago and became submerged to become our coal, petroleum and methane. And it drives the various weather engines. Because of the inclination of Earth's axis of rotation to the orbital plane, our orbit around the Sun creates our seasons by varying the angle of incidence of sunlight on Earth's surface. The layers of ionized gases in our atmosphere's ionosphere are controlled by the Sun and assist or degrade radio and television signals. The radiation (Van Allen) belts farther above our Earth are generated by the interplay between the sun's solar wind and Earth's magnetic field, which also produce the auroras.


The leaf of a tree offers an opportunity to discuss myriad examples of the intricacies of Nature: Veins, photosynthesis, nutrients from roots, growth of trunk, respiration, . . .

Spirit and Physical Realms: A starting point in delineation and understanding of the Spirit Realm is offered in other pages at this web site, notably My Reality and its addendum.

Description of the basic concepts of calculus: derivaties, integrals (mathematics)

Properties of water that make it suitable as the universal solvent and the basis for life forms.

Digestive system in humans with its intricacies of feed-back and feed-forward

Immune system in humans (including the lymphatic circulatory system)

Many pages at this web site offer suggestions for discussion: ("http://www.rationallink.org" precedes all URLs)

  • /genesis1.htm: Science and the opening chapter of Genesis are in remarkable accord.
  • /noahflud.htm: The story of Noah contains many contradictions with natural science.
  • /beginend.htm: asks if civilization is characterized by cycles or origin-to-destruction.
  • /diluttal.htm: asks if the effect of modern medicine is to undermine the bodily strengths evolution has wrought.
  • /glotemp.htm: is a review of global temperature and man's effect on it. Further data will be found at /energy.htm#environ.
  • /churchstate.htm: is a verbatim exchange between me and a Muslim regarding the necessity for religions to evolve and his insistence all must bow to Islam.
  • /hapines.htm: reminds us that we create our own happiness.
  • /physiol.htm: raises the question if intelligence and memory are distributed throughout the body.
  • /evolved.htm: contains many topics regarding origins of the Universe/Earth/Life.
    (a) origin of universe (also, an alternate to Big Bang theory, including origin of deity, at /bigbang.htm)
    (b) formation of Earth from the nebula and its progression to becoming habitable
    (c) geologic time: eons, eras, periods, epochs, fossils
  • /soccontr.htm: contains many topics that would be useful in assisting arrival at personal convictions regarding societal organization, attitudes, politics, . . .