"I took Eugene Peterson's class on Ministry and Spirituality about four times. Once as a student, the other times as a teaching assistant. But it took me that many times to get what he was doing. He was trying to teach us budding pastors not to mess up the churches we serve. The novels he had us read all had they lame pastor figures in them. And we kept trying to turn them into heroes, kept on trying to find the redeeming qualities they had (and they all had them). But that wasn't his point. His point was: Look at all of these new opportunities to sin. Pastors have a wider range of sins to work with than anyone else, because we've got all of these spiritual sins that others don't have (well, I guess parents have them, too). So, he had us read Graham Green's The Power and the Glory, Walter Wangerin's The Book of the Dun Cow, George Eliot's Middlemarch, Aldous Huxley's Grey Eminence, and so on. When the penny finally dropped for me, I thought, "Oh, crap! What am I getting into?"
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
My friend Pete is a pastor and he sent me this today. I liked it a lot and asked if I could post it and he said sure.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Simone and Gregg had this extremely entertaining conversation about the episode where Fonzie jumped the shark. The guy who coined the phrase wrote this article and Gregg said "Funny! He's sort of clueless. His only defense is that the show continued on for several more seasons. But I remember watching that episode the NIGHT IT AIRED, and it definitely SUCKED!" Simone said "Yeah, that's exactly what I thought. The whole point of jumping the shark isn't to do with the subsequent run from that point but the decline in quality. I love that you saw it the night it aired and thought it sucked then. Not me. I was in the womb!" Gregg said "I remember it really well. There was just something really wrong with seeing Fonzie in such bright sunlight, in shorts. And that whole storyline was so BORING. I think sitcoms work best when the action is relegated to a handful of claustrophobic sets. I think the womb was the better place to be."
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I was walking to my bus after work yesterday and saw a cd lying on the sidewalk, next to the grass. I walked a few more steps and saw another cd on the sidewalk. It said "56478" on it. I thought "Maybe someone is trying to get people to listen to their band so they're just putting cds strategically on the sidewalk" and I walked a few more steps and saw another cd that said "56479" and a few steps later another one that said "56480." I thought "they're going up in numbers. They're really trying to work some kind of gimmick here. I bet it's hiphop" (because I was kinda near the ghetto. Just being honest). I saw a dozen more and then I realized that they were metal discs drilled into the sidewalk and were some kind of city electrical or plumbing markers.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
When I worked at a clinic in Texas so many people who came in there were just like this. There were a lot of doctors at that clinic but most of the patients were suspicious of Dr. Yap when they heard his last name. True story. And they griped exactly like Betty Butterfield does. "My complaint is that y'all take too long and you cost too damn much. That's my complaint. And yall's secretary is ig'nrnt." This is so dead on!
My friend Scott in Ohio sent out this message today to people who are part of his poverty advocacy group. It broke my heart for the family and kind of broke it again for the fact that Scott and his group help these strangers and put so much work into them, it just seems like for as horrible as the world is something beautiful is coming out of the brokenness. Here's what Scott said:
Thanks to all of you who gave towards the needs of another. We reached our goal this morning and we were able to work out taking care of the security deposit for our most recent ARM client. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It was a hard "move" to do today. A single mom with four girls from 3 different fathers. Not one of the fathers is present. There's a tremendous amount of brokenness in this family and just such a lack of support for them.
So a lot of fighting between the sisters took place all day and the mom just hung her head from being worn down. We had to break up the fighting several times and try to speak words of life into this household. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I want to just cave in but I can't help but look at the little 7 year old blond haired girl and think who will fend for this little one? Who will give her some worth?
I wish I could have a happy ending kind of thing to write to you all, but the fact is that there is just so much pain out there. But whether things go well or not we are still there and still willing to continue to respond to our neighbors in need.
I know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Sacrifice.
Peace be with you all,
I just listened to this interview with Peter Rollins at a megachurch. I love so much what he had to say (and the Irish accent doesn't hurt either) I was writing it down. One bit that I especially like: "If you want to start engaging in this life of faith, the very first thing you're going to have to give up is the idea that there's some answer you can grab. This is a journey into transformation, into a life of belonging and shared belief and ritual and transformation, and if you're looking for 'what is the right answer?' you're kind of missing the point." And also "When we hold onto the notion of God [while suffering] without going through the mourning process we treat God like an idol, just an object, an idea we have to hold onto in order to cope with life. Let us have a community of broken people suffering together, and in that space God is manifest."