Friday, September 26, 2008

Too Much for Words

I realized that I was starting to give people a hard time for not writing enough on their blogs while I had failed to post in about a week. Sometimes my lack of writing is due to not having much to say or write about, but that is not the case for me at this season of my life. I am constantly inundated with new and challenging ideas in class and with my classmates that it is hard to instantly put these thoughts to words. I feel like I would be doing these ideas an injustice to quickly resolve them here with words, so I pause for a few days to think but then often fail to come back to write about these triggered thoughts. I'll try to improve in that area in the future.

For now, I'll just report that life has been great. I am loving class (not really loving homework though) and am really growing in knowledge and depth of character. This weekend I am going rock climbing at a place called Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, WA. Vantage is right on the Columbia River and is absolutely gorgeous, so I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and let you know how my sabbath (weekend of climbing) went. Peace.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hourly Work

After 6 years of salary-based work, where when you have nothing to do, you leave work, I find myself struggling through this transition to hourly-based work. As I write I am 15 minutes from the end of my shift with nothing to do but write a blog post. There is no one in the gym (I really should just leave) but yet I know that by staying I mysteriously make more money, which is much appreciated.

I don't particularly like this feeling, but I will persevere over the coming 4 years, keeping in mind that I have a long, salaried career ahead of me. Well, enough of my incoherent rambling when I should be working. Bye for now!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Real Communion

As I was walking to the bus stop from class this evening I passed a man and woman who were holding hands and obviously a couple. The thing I was struck by was the fact that each of them was listening to their own iPod and not communing or conversing with each other in any way.

Tonight in class we discussed the role of the reader of any text (literature, music, art, etc.) as someone who communes with the soul of the author. In this case, I would say that each of these people were communing with the soul of their respective musicians, while failing to commune with the soul of the one they gripped palms with.

I was instantly reminded of a meal I shared with my wife a few years back where we sat in Applebee’s and watched as five consecutive women walked into the restaurant with phones to their ears and proceeded to continue their phone conversations for the next 15 minutes. Why is it that we can’t simply “be with who we’re with”?

In the words of Rob Bell, we need to be “fully present” with who we are with. Both of these occurrences serve to remind me to fully engage the people around me when they are in my presence and I in theirs. Our culture has glorified the “art” of multi-tasking, but I think this “skill” has caused us to poorly handle all the situations and relationships we face. May we be people of intention, not neglecting any situation that God has provided for us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Funny Button

Please don't see this as an attack on Palin. I think she is just fine.
This was just too good not to share.

An Update on Me

I just thought I'd write a few quick words to let you know how I'm doing, what I've been up to, and why I won't be writing on here until next week. Here's my life in bullet points:
  • I'm really, really busy (trying to juggle school and work and family and fun has been exhausting)
  • School is great but really challenging (classes are fantastic, I'm learning a lot, but it is so much reading and writing)
  • I'm already behind in my homework (I've only had 4 classes and I'm already needing to play catch up--not a good sign)
  • I get the privilege of being in Sioux Falls this weekend to usher at my friend Dan's wedding (I fly out tomorrow morning and fly back to Seattle on Monday)
I can't wait to see all of my friends back in Sioux Falls and enjoy a great weekend with some amazing people. If you are one of those people, see you soon! If you aren't, see you back on here next week.

Holy War

Last night in "Introduction to the Hermeneutical Task", we briefly discussed the holy wars found in the Old Testament, primarily in the book of Joshua. This was not the main focus of our class, so very little time was devoted to this subject, but my professor, Dr. Dwight Friesen, cited a controversial quote from Walter Bruggeman that I still can't get out of my head.

Bruggeman, one of the world foremost experts on the Old Testament, with much credibility to lose in making a flippant remark that he really wouldn't support (thus, he must really believe what he said), was quoted as saying, "God is a recovering abuser." I'm really not sure what to make of that comment, and am more excited to look at that quote in context and to wrestle through those horrific passages of Scripture in the future, not as a way of getting the answers, but as a way of better understanding my God.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Interesting Question

In class last night we were discussing the questions of "who is God?", "who is Christ?", and "who the hell are you?" As we continued on in discussion, our professor made a passing comment that took much of the class by surprise, and then proceeded to not unpack the statement any further. So, I ask you the question that was raised to us (I have no idea what the answer is)...

Does God need us?

Let me know what you think. I really don't know what to think about this idea.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Appalling Speeches

It is probably no secret that I plan to vote for Barack Obama in our upcoming election, but at the same time, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a Democrat or a Republican. Thus, I tuned in to the Republican National Convention tonight to hear the other side of the debate.

When I turned on the tv I was alarmed to hear the incredibly negative words coming from the mouths of both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin. I don't mind a small amount of showing why the opposition isn't as qualified as the person you are supporting, but I hate the frequent use of cruelty and anger in an attempt to decimate the character of the opponent. Giuliani was simply mean tonight, attacking Obama unashamedly, and Palin wasn't much better. The following is an excerpt from the Giuliani speech.

Obama, Giuliani said "is the least experienced [presidential nominee] in the last hundred years. He was a community organizer ... What do they do? .. Then he was in the Chicago legislature, no the Illinois legislature, no the Chicago machine ... [The Democrats] have got their experience at the bottom [of the ticket] ... Joe Biden, Joe's got a lot of experience which he'll tell you about ...He's got a lot of experience talking ... talking ... talking," Giuliani said at a luncheon at the New York delegation's hotel. As a state senator, Obama had "an interesting record," Giuliani said, noting that Obama voted "'present' almost 130 times. I don't remember having that vote when I was mayor of New York City ... You're supposed to make a decision."

I would love to simply see a clean fight, a good series of debates where the candidates focus more on the issues than on slamming one another personally. I'm not sure that's too much to ask for.