Showing posts from August, 2006

Brief and Sundry

I pick my wife up from the airport tomorrow night, and I'm glad. Sure, Mikey and I watched five action movies in five days (two Bruce Lee films, to boot) one football movie (Invincible) ate pizza one night, taqueria another, burritos tonight. I had a good time with my wonderful son, and only got angry once or twice over his extended vision of housework timing. He's 14, so much an individual and almost a man, but he still needs me in young and unexpected ways from time to time. Our pest guy sprayed inside a few days ago and later that night he came out to tell me he thought spiders were crawling in his bed. I was able to comfort him in a way which is rare for us now.

He's a good son, a friend who is closer than friend, and I love him.

But still. Stephanie provides a central point around which housework, grocery shopping, and cooking get done (even if we share those jobs). It's easier to sleep with her next to me. And I'm curious to find out what happens to Fiv…

The New Look

I knew if I lazed around long enough, the good folks at blogspot would upgrade the templates, widen that reader's digest narrow column I've hated for so long. Voila. I didn't even have to write a tag. This design is called stretched denim, which kinda feels appropriate past 40.


My wife is out of town all week, and when she leaves I have a hard time sleeping the first couple nights. Hard as in maybe four hours last night. I may complain (though less these days) about reading her to sleep each night (still on Watership Down) but I miss her presence, her voice and scent and body-warmth, even on the other side of our cal king futon. Even dropping off exhausted, we know the other is there. When I go away, say to sail, I sleep fine (besides snoring shipmates). But when I'm here and she's gone, even with my son still with me, I feel it.


I was up late last night, or early depending on perspective, reading posts at Debunking Christianity, one of Sandalstraps&#…

Wright, One Down

I know there are a lot of good blogs online, and I should limit my posting. But as I read the final pages of Wright's People of God last night I find myself needing to reflect. Call it inblog, blog for me, but here it is:

The Great Strength of Wright's entire approach (at least how I read him) is what I'm calling his non-presuppositional historic method. Or, since I don't want to sound like a pedantic goof, Wright's great strength is his desire to uncover as fully as possible the historic-cultural connotations of the language, metaphor, and genre of the NT documents apart from two millenia of Christian tradition. Does he always stick to this? I've seen essays outside this book where he may not. But in POG he appears to build from the ground up. (Is any human able to build purely within such clearly radical texts, especially a human who has already placed faith in God in reaction to the NT? No. And Wright says as much).

Now plenty of scholars will tell …

Slouching Towards Bethelehem 2.0

Thanks in part to Sandalstraps' positive comments regarding my first post in this series (way back when) I'm plodding ahead. Besides, the alternative is real work. I admit that this series feels a bit solipsistic, but then again, going back and writing about my past always changes my present.


It is unnverving when I think back to my college years how well I could parrot the gospel message yet still not know or experience the author of the gospel in any significant way. Along with Sandalstraps, I too remember "testimonies" and I admit mine may make a good story in its entirety, but for that very reason I try hard not to embellish or tint. When I was 20, my childhood perceptions of God were still dominant beneath my intellectual faith-veneer; as when I was a child, half-drawn and half running away like hell. If I knew Jesus, I surely didn't experience him or only did so rarely, like an unexpected faint breeze. I knew the evangelical distillation of the gosp…

The Late Night

First day of school: no parking at all, I park, in desperation, more than a mile from campus and walk in dress shoes. Too many students trying to get into all of my classes; those that didn't make it into online tonight...for some of them, the pain on their faces is fresh in my mind. I felt underprepared, have lots of work tomorrow to get ready for the semester (which of course started today). In short, an exhausting and dramatic ten hours on campus.

And other things: a continued uncertainty about what, if anything, God wants me to do. A stronger sense of faith these last few days or weeks, but a feeling that, at 41, tenured, I'm already on a distinct, and secular, path. My 'gifts' belong to a middle-aged man. Theological questions I would have liked to wrestle with in my twenties only now present themselves; life is so bloody short.

Perhaps by God's grace, I stumble on this. Yes NTW is one of the most famous theologians in the world and I'm sorry I writ…

I Have Been Tagged (And It Feels Pretty Good)

I've never been memed, or tagged, or whatever the term is (at least not when I knew it). But stumbling on my name in Chris's blog I am too honored not to respond.

Here I go.

1. One book that changed your life: One? Forget one. I can't do just one though for any of these categories though I've tried; I apologize in advance.

Tom Sawyer, third grade; Becky Thatcher was the first girl I kissed (in the cave, natch). The Silver Chair, sixth grade; I met an imagination oddly like my own and was introduced to Christian mythos. Lord of the Rings, eighth grade; I thought I was Aragorn for three years; this may be part of the reason I live in the mountains now. Of Mice and Men, eleventh grade; my first exposure to real literature (outside Twain); I stayed up till three to finish and and cried my eyes out, and this was the beginning of what is now my career. Drama of the Gifted Child, Healing the Child Within, The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant, early to mid-twentie…

Good News

The test today went well; the tech said she saw nothing unusual, and the doctors now get their chance to look at the ultrasound. Still, it's a huge and very emotional relief for Steph and I. I don't have time to say much more than that.

Something Different on the Body; More on Wright's Jewish Backgrounds

I had meant to post something about Wright's book and my issues with Providence in ancient Jewish history as it's reflected in the Hebrew Bible. I still may, but something else has come up I want to share. This blog, for better or worse, started by 'going there,' wherever 'there' might be, and I see no reason not to do so again. Learning to share my feelings saved my life at one time and I figure I owe it to myself to continue the process.

I turn 42 next month. On 9/11 to be exact. My stepson (whom I call my son, though he still calls me Troy after nearly ten years) is entering high school in about a week. Steph and I have no other children, no biological children. I am afraid of most things, and I am surely afraid of having a baby, of raising an infant, of the 24/7 responsibility and work. Still, after the original 9/11, mostly because we were sick of birth control in one form or another but also because we felt we might like to try for a child, we quit…

Reflections on Saturday

This is one of those times I feel I don't have much to say but want to write anyway.

Steph is away at Reggae on the River until Monday; Mikey is at a friend's. I've been home alone (just me and the dogs) since Thursday night. I feel it. I really feel it. I was left home alone a lot as a child, or with one parent at work and one sleeping (they worked opposite shifts, day and graveyard or swing, all the years they were married). I'm not a helpless child now, but I feel the absence of my family.

I am fortunate to have them, as much as I wrestle with feeling close to them. Mikey and I are doing better (he's now 14) as his hormones dump-truck through his veins; I am learning not to see his individuation and anger as personal attacks on my authority (they're surely not). Steph and I continue to grow, and as always, I must continue my exposure work to depress the force of my ocd. It works, but it's hard to do. Surviving can be comfortable; thriving takes wo…

Jesus-Karate and Humility of the Body


As I wrote earlier, Steph and I joined a martial arts school about 25 minutes down the hill. The sensei became a Christian three years ago, converted from drinking brawler to Jesus-lover (based on his account and others), and his sincerity does impress:

Students getting ready before class, stretching on the mats...

Sensei: Hey Troy

Troy: Hi Sensei

Sensei: How was your week?

Troy: Oh, good

Sensei: How were services Sunday?

Troy: Oh, yeah, good, we went

Sensei: What was the message on?

Like that. Of course, I never remember what the message was on, or rarely, but he's only asked me once so far. He did approach me a couple weeks ago and ask me a very sincere question I wished I had answered differently:

Sitting on chairs before class begins

Sensei: So, what's the Lord working on in your life right now?

Troy: Uh, well, I don't know. I think the nature of the Bible.

Sensei: What do you mean?

Troy: You know, I see the a mix of the divine and the human when I read it; …