Showing posts from July, 2004

Size Matters (Christianity from the Outside, 3.0)

Tuesday Steph and I drive down and head straight to Catalina; I am trying to be in Long Beach the Monday and Tuesday after that (a week from tomorrow) and hopefully hook up with the so cal blog contingent. I have emails and phone numbers. Things are still tentative, unfortunately.

I've had a good week, though my anxiety is creeping in just a bit and I need to get on it. But I've had more freedom this summer from my ocd than maybe ever. Thank God for exposure work.

I had some ideas kicking around in my head over my last vacation: it feels good to sort them out here. Thanks for reading if this grabs you.

Size Matters

Physicist Richard Feynman, in a popular essay on religion and ethics, questions the veracity of human religion due to the size of the universe we find ourselves in. It is a powerful point. Two intelligent complaints can be posed to anyone who believes in the special creation of humans and who claims to have found her creator/God: one, the universe really is very, ver…

Grasshopper (2.0)

Oh, what the heck. I have the time and I'm on a roll. Be sure and read 1.0 which is right below this post first, but here goes. It's really cool that I just was contacted by an old AGO'er and sent him this link. Howdy to the Webhead.

The other great AGO story which involves Paul (and yes, I admit, involves me) was when Paul was notified, after he had been activated, he would be getting a swirlie. Am I sharing some secret stuff here? I don't think so. Swirlies aren't in the book which has all the secret stuff in it. I know this because my pledge class took the hinges off the ritual closet door and memorized the secret stuff we weren't supposed to know. We slipped each other the grip and the password and whistle all the time. If that had been known, we would surely have all been dinged. But back to Paul.

A swirlie is where a bunch of guys pick you up, carry you to the bathroom, and stick your head in the toilet, say about brow level, then flush it. After this the…

Grasshopper (1.0)

ah, how good it feels to blog. I have been blogstipated. Ouch. My wife has been off all week and we've been hanging out; now I have some time to myself this weekend and I hope to post every day!

A couple people, Karen and Scott, brought up Grasshopper/Paul. I'm not in touch with him now, but I knew him well for a decade, and his story deserves to be told. This then, is Grasshopper's story, or what I knew of it. There's so much to tell, I can only get half out in the first post. Blogethics.

I met Paul in high school in a creative writing class. From the beginning he needed to do things to stand out, be different (so do many high schoolers) and my girlfriend and I used to call him the sunshine boy because he always sat next to the window in Pikop's English class and pulled the shade up to feel the sun. Cool enough. Soon we learned Paul was into health food. Really into it. Whole grains, natural peanut butter, salads, fruits and veggies. He ate incredibly well and he …

The Pinkest Eye

many thanks to Dave and Mike for asking to see me (and Steve).  The thing is I'm back home early.  I have pink eye.  I've never had it, and apparently it's no big deal unless you wear contacts, which I do.  The urgent care doc at long beach memorial took technical pleasure, I think, in describing what could happen to my eye if I put a contact on it anytime this week.  Something about corneal lesions and surgery.

And I didn't bring any glasses on the trip!  Meaning my poor wife drove me home in my myopic fog yesterday.  All the way home.  I'll see my eye doctor this week (the medicine they gave me is working very fast) and then we're driving back next week to actually scuba dive and visit some more, on Catalina and 'over town.'

So let's try again.  I don't know if I have a contact number for Dave?  Throw me something via email?  I can't promise, but I will try.  I know we all have families.  It's not like, hey, I'll meet all you guys …

So Cal. Bound (and Christianity from the Outside, 2.1)

I haven't been feeling well the last few days, a sore throat and fatigue, neither of which seem to be getting worse.  Allergies?  Maybe.  Tonight Steph and I are driving to Tahoe to see Long Beach Short Bus, remnants of Sublime; she knows the guitarist from high school and she and I have met Eric the bassist a few times.

And tomorrow, we're off! (if we can get our shit packed!)  Sunny so cal.  Actually, it's pretty sunny where I am, but you get the idea.  First my brother's in Ontario, then Two Harbors, Long Beach, back to Catalina, and then home.  And maybe back again the first week of August!  I have lots to do to get ready as S is working.  I want to try and hook up with the so cal contingent of this blog, maybe even get the guts up to show up at Bethany for one of the hip services, but these trips are very whirlwhind and we have lots of family to see spread all over the place, plus diving with Mikey.  If I get time to catch up with anyone Long Beach way (Mike, Dav…

Things Not Seen (Christianity from the Outside, 2.0)

Two things before I begin:  one, the last week and a half have been great for Steph and I.  Since Tahoe.  I’ve been relaxing, not obsessing!, and I’ve felt close to her and fortunate to be with her.  My gratitude for this is indescribable.  Sincere thanks to all who prayed and may continue to pray.  My disease isn’t over, but it’s moving.  And the other is that I picked up a book by N.T. Wright.  It’s a little one, called What St. Paul Really Said, but I knew in the first 50 pages I was onto something.  This is the kind of scholarship I need to read.  I grew up hearing, and sometimes reading, very irrational discussions of Christian essentials.  What I’m finding in Wright is a new level of specificity, of scholarship, far beyond Chesterton and Lewis and the popular apologists.  I guess it’s like anything else, if you want your car fixed look up a real mechanic.  I’m also finding voices online (mostly via Dave’s website) that are intelligent, humane, and concerned with authentic Christ…

Sweeping with Greg

Following the dream analysis at Karen's site, I thought I'd share a very lucid dream I had last night, just finished really. Steph is taking classes this weekend, so more time to blog (last night, feeling lonely as she worked all day and then took a night class, I reached out to a couple we don't know super well, went to their place and had a great time; I'm grateful and proud of myself).

I really do want to share this dream, though I'm not completely sure what it all represents.

The Dream

Ah yes, what Freud calls manifest content.

I never knew Greg Rhodes well. I think many of you who read my blog know who he is (Dave T. certainly). He was campus director at Crusade when I started there. I remember he and Laura as a young married couple; I do recall feeling teenager-sad when they announced they were leaving Crusade and coming to Bethany to do ministry. In a way, my ex and I followed him there, along with a few others. And then of course Greg was at Bethany th…

Tahoe and Sundries

It has been a while since I've blogged it seems, and now I have several things to cover. I'd like to redo my blog so my margin is a little wider, my font a little smaller, something like incidents and accidents, so I can write more and it won't look as long! But here goes:

First, I did get human contact last weekend, and I needed it. Sat. I went with a buddy (who teaches at Solano but whose parents live up here and are good friends of S and I) and his brother to shop for their dad, then he and I hung out bit together, then we had a(nother) wonderful dinner at his father's. Mint juleps and beef soaked, practically, in lavender and grilled. These people, besides being dear friends, family really, eat and drink in the old school style, and I love it. A couple theological issues came up for me in the day's conversation, but I'll file those for another post.

What I learned was that while the blog is a great place to gather my thoughts, even to release feeling,…

June Film Review

In case you guys are out of netflix ideas, here goes:

The June Film Review:

Baran: B+ /recommended. A human glimpse inside modern Iran.

Behind the Sun: B+ /an honest portrayal of blood feud, and some gorgeous cinematography.

Citizen Ruth: B- /this film centers on abortion debate issues; it's funny, but also dark; certainly will cause discussion/reaction. Dern handles her role well.

In America: A- /recommended for its optimism and poignant familial themes.

Hated: C /a passable documentary, but the most sickening footage I've ever seen. My least favorite movie of all time.

Spun: B+ /an original, and very adult, film about meth sub-culture; should be NC-17 for sexual content; troubling and stark, but well-acted and intense.

Fahrenheit 911: A- /recommended. Okay, this one is at the theatre, and such a controversial film deserves its own post; as a 'lib', I have issues with Moore's method and precision at times, but the film is very moving. One negative review …

Hard Day

I really appreciate Mike's comment on my last post, because for some reason that was the first entry I've regretted after I sent it. At least I felt disquiet. When I looked closer at the uneasiness, I realized a couple strange things: one, I really am not an expert on the nt and feel like I should be one before I talk about it; and two, I don't feel like a very spiritual person. Jeez. One good thing is that blogging forces me to go back and look at what I wrote and learn from it myself! But I started comparing myself to the (imagined) lives of those I know read my blog. Christians all, and all Christians longer than me, more faith than me, blah blah blah. You get the drift. The ceaseless internal critical voice I still fight, and perhaps spiritual war as well. In either case, I think I should write more posts like that in defiance of both!

The fact is, after a few really good days last week, my anxiety has crept back in. Summers are tough. True, I don't hav…

What the Gospel Is (Christianity from the inside 4.0)

After spending so much time talking about what the gospel is NOT (very Cat in the Hat) in terms of mistakes I made on my own journey, I would feel remiss if I didn't address what I think the gospel is, or what it is to me. This is awkward, as I realize I'm not only preaching to the choir, but the choir director, the worship leader, the sunday school teacher.... And this is the first 'sermon' I've preached since my conversion; I'm rather frightened. Still, I would like to do this. I'm no Biblical scholar or theologian, and my plan is to keep things as personal, and brief, as I can.

Humans face two special problems:

First, it has struck me as profound for at least a decade that humans all have consciences and yet violate them. This is the dilemma of the self-reflective animal. Do the Stellar's Jays around my house feel guilty for eating eggs from other nests? For keeping smaller birds from food sources? It doesn't seem so. But humans, all hea…