8.29.2005

The Images and Words of God

Christy over at dry bones dance posted a beautiful reflection on creation, God’s word, and our place in the world. You have to check it out! I’ve tossed a few excerpts on here, but you should really read the whole thing. It is one of the best "devotions" I have read in a long time.

Christy Said:

God spoke light and sky, land and sea into existence, so we walk and breathe and live and swim surrounded by the word of God, and we should read the planet like the Bible, hear the ocean like a voice from heaven, and look at trees like angelic visitations. The word of God is eagle and lion and chipmunk and octopus and cocker spaniel. God spoke strong and weak, beautiful and odd, huge and tiny. Every creature belongs somewhere – rivers or mountains or plains or sky – and is a syllable in the language of God.

The story of God asking Adam and Eve some hard questions is an archetype of all the ways we hide in the trees and blame each other for the sad sate of the world. Look at Adam – Eve sure went from “bone of my bone” to “this woman you gave me” in a hurry.

It didn’t get any better from there: Cain killed Abel, and we’ve been killing each other ever since. Sometimes we use guns; sometimes we use words. Either way, we aim for the heart. We all bear the mark of Cain somewhere on our skin. But there is this – the mark of Cain was a mark of protection, not a curse and not vengeance. It kept Cain alive. Cain’s punishment was to be driven from the land, to be a restless wanderer. He would no longer belong. We’ve been trying to find our way back home ever since. In a post-modern world, home lasts as long as a lease and is just the place you sleep between commutes. With globalization, everywhere starts to look a bit like everywhere else, so we feel like we’re always in the same place, but it’s never home. We know more about the personal lives of celebrities than we do about ourselves or our neighbors who live next door. Real people are a bit more challenging and tend not to have a publicist.

So we may not belong, but we are still alive. What would happen if we called each other “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh” instead of all the other names we use? I think the practice of trying to see the fingerprint of God in the people we meet would change us. In spite of all our differences, we are all made of dirt and the breath of God. The breath of God in us makes us sacred; the dirt makes us mortals instead of angels.

The questioin you have to ask your self is this: Am I going to approach the world and everything in it as FALLEN, but created by God as good, or as CREATED BY GOD AS GOOD, but fallen?

8.26.2005

Fishing Trip

Last weekend I went on a fishing trip to Mamouth, which was my first time fishing in a long time. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, mainly because of the people as much as because of the fishing, actually in spite of the fishing. It was good fishing I’m told, though what I really liked was just being outside, and away from the city. It was a good way to simply relax in the presence of our awesome creator, and a few friends. I caught a few fish, five in two days to be exact, which pails in comparison to the 20 or 30+ that some of the guys caught, but it was fun just the same. Below are some pictures from the trip, click here to see a few more.

Beauty

A deer ten feet away.

David in the watter

8.25.2005

Rudy Carrasco

Last night was my first time meeting someone from blogdom in the real world, and I was not disappointed!

As many of you know I’m doing this internship right now in which I’m creating opportunities for our church to “reach out” or as I would prefer to say “be missional”. Before I can do that effectively, I need to get to know my context, asking questions like “what does it mean to be poor in Pasadena”, "what needs to be done", and "what is being done". This is where Rudy Carrasco comes in. (who blogs at Urban Onramps) He has been here in the LA area his whole life, and has spent the past 15 years at the same ministry, Harambee, which is a Christian school in the heart of the worst part of Pasadena. Which is to say, I think he knows a little bit about the context. I was hoping to interview him for 30 minutes or so, but Rudy takes it to a whole other level, inviting me to help chaperone some kids at a Dodger game. We had more than enough time, not just to talk about serving the poor, but about blogging, and growing up, and any number of other things.

Praise be to God, and a shout out to you Rudy.



Rudy and the kids

8.24.2005

We Need More Critiques

Bryan McLaren is a Christian that engages postmodernity missionally . He has been very influential on many, including myself. One of my profs, Ryan Bolger, recently offered a review of some of his accomplishments in a post entitled Bryan McLaren is the Real Thing, which I hope you will read. However it was missing one crucial element, a critique, so I commented to that effect on Ryan’s blog. I said:

That was really good...but.

Some thinking out loud: I wonder, would it be fitting to voice some critiques, even if you don't share them? Or to put it another way, where does McLaren have room for improvement? That was afterall a pretty one sided review.

On the other hand, if one did have critiques, is it fitting to offer them in public? I mean, pastorally, we don't typically critique people in public. Although what McLaren says is public, so I suppose it could be critiqued publically.

It seems that the issues surrounding the modernity vs postmodernity, and evangelism vs being missional battles are entirely too polarized. Maybee that is why there is no critique here?

Those that do have negative things to say are entirely too unforgiving about what they typically say, labeling people like McLaren as potential heretics, and those that tend to agree with him, which includes me, have nothing negative to say. Shame on me and all of us, we need more critiques of a helpful nature.

8.23.2005

Robertson

On the comments by Pat Robertson…grrr…grrr…grrr…

O’ how I wish he and I were not both considered Evangelical Christians.

I'm not going to say anything else, it's not worth my time.

Fishing

I went on a fishing trip this past weekend, hence the lack of posting. I’ll have more to say about that and other stuff latter this week.

8.15.2005

Spamed

I got my first bit of spam in the comments section.

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This and an additional 700+ words appeared this mourning. I changed the name of the company so they don't get advertisement from this post.

Does anyone know of a way to block spam on blogger with out preventing all comments?

8.13.2005

A Painful Reminder

Chaos, pain of 9/11 revealed in recordings, documents

I’m starting to forget...the scabs are coming off but the calluses remain…I don’t even realize it…then a story like this comes along and breathes life into my little bit of pain…it’s a good pain…the type that reminds you that you are emotionally alive.

8.12.2005

Privacy and Garbage

I recently ran across some stories which I found quite interesting. They concern your right to privacy vs the desire of the police to protect us. The stories make for both entertaining and thought provoking reads.

The first story I ran across was on boingboing, which led me to a story from Portland that is three years old, but very interesting. It is entitled...

RUBBISH!
Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage--so we grabbed theirs.

BY CHRIS LYDGATE & NICK BUDNICK

My own reaction is one of concern. I’m concerned about privacy and I’m concerned about terrorism and justice for criminals. This underscores for me, the need to elect moral officials that will demand moral excellence from their subordinates. However that desire may fall short of actually preventing abuses to the system, consequently I believe that we do need to reform the Patriot Act, and other laws that infringe on our privacy, but not to the point of leading ourselves wide open to terrorism. There is a very very fine balance to be struck on this matter, and it certainly isn’t easy.

In regards to the story, If I was the police chief, I would have authorized the dumpster diving, and on the other hand, if I was the reporter, I would have definitely taken the garbage…and reported it for all the world to know about.

8.10.2005

Two Stories to Every Side

Mike Todd at Waving or Drowning posted the following today. My coment on his blog follows his post.

Two Stories To Every Side

WARNING: Quasi-political post ahead.

I don't really want to get into the whole Bush is doing well / Bush isn't doing well thing, although I saw some numbers yesterday that seem to indicate more people are swinging over to the "not so much" side, at least when it comes to the war.

This paragraph from an op-ed piece from the New York Times this morning summed it up for me.

"Even many Americans who do not share her views about the president - she arrived in a bus bearing the slogan "Impeachment Tour" - share her concerns about his war leadership. President Bush has refused to ask the nation to sacrifice in any way, so the sacrifice gap has never been greater. A few families, like Ms. Sheehan's, have paid the ultimate price. Many more, including National Guard families, are bearing enormous burdens, struggling to get by while a parent, a child or a spouse serves in Iraq. But the rest of the nation is spending its tax cuts and guzzling gas as if there were no war."

It seems to me that this sense of "dualism" in America right now is unprecedented. Sitting up here north of the border I am horribly troubled by it, yet I'd have a hard time telling you exactly why. It seems that for many (most?) in the US, the war has been reduced to an answer to the question "What's on TV?"

Read that paragraph again. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.

I responded with:

As a former participant in the war, i can't begin to describe my mixed emotions on this, so here are a few random thoughts.

Most soldiers do not feel supported by the "I support the troops but not the war" line.

taking or aiding in the taking of life is absolutely horrible.

Allowing the taking of life (i.e. by Saddam) is also horrible.

As to the lack of solidarity and rationing of goods, what could we do differently? Arguably the cutting of taxes puts more in the coffers of the government to pay for this thing. But that said, I'm with you, where is the sacrifice.

A part of me wants to see a draft on both men and women that can't be avoided by the rich. But the Military wants no part of this, and I can understand why. The quality you get from forced laber stinks.

By most standards this war "isn’t worth it". And that’s how I feel...now. But what if weapons had been found? And the fact that they weren't, dose that mean that when the sanctions lifted, and they would have, he would not have gotten them?

maybe the war is worth it based solely on grounds of justice, freedom and liberation...but I doubt it, and I'm not even a person, American or Iraqi, who has paid with the loss of a limb or loved one...then again, maybe it is, many who have lost loved ones or limbs seem to think so.

You can read more of my musings under An Airman’s Perspective on Just War, listed under Posts of Note.

8.09.2005

Cool Temp Job

I got a cool temporary job. I’m “alpha testing” software at a company called Get A Head Math. I simply use the software as it is intended to be used and make notes and screen shots of technical problems, or things I don’t think make sense. The people I work with are cool, and it seems that they have a pretty good product. I certainly learned some things while doing 6th grade math all day. : )

VOIP

I'm thinking about getting setting up a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone account. Any recommendations? SunRocket looks like the best deal at this point.

8.04.2005

Bolger on Shenk and Modernity

A quote from one of my profs, Ryan Bolger, who blogs at the BolgBlog, describing one of the men who shaped his life.

"Wilbert Shenk, himself a devoted student of Lesslie Newbigin, went about deconstructing my notions of mission, Christendom, church, evangelism, and the list went on. He demonstrated how my understanding of Christian life was derived more from a culture called modernity than it was from the biblical narratives."

Read the rest here.

8.02.2005

The Unpretentious Dead

I think I found another aspect of Islam that I appreciate, though I would like to know more about the thoughts behind it.

Some Muslims, namely those of the Wahhabi sect, find it appropriate to bury the dead, no matter how great and powerful in this life, in an unmarked grave, as was the case for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. (Read story here). You have to hand it to any King willing to be buried in an unmarked grave. There certainly haven't been many of those throughout history.

I like the unassuming manner of this, though I would be concerned if it led to a disregard for history. Fortunately, I think most would agree that by and large the Muslim has no problem remembering her history.