Archive for August, 2004|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2004 at 1:02 am

oooo sweet nectar!

first he blessed us with clerks X. now, he has revealed that he is working on a sequel, the passion of the clerks. all hail kevin smith!

and that other kevin, the one that lives in the sticks of a swing state, better be ready for my visit. i ain’t gonna to see this one without you. snootch to the nootch!


In Uncategorized on August 30, 2004 at 9:24 pm

yet another sign that the wheels are falling off…

if i was pitching like kyle farnsworth, i’d try to injure myself as well. this has been a tough year on the north side, with more bizarre injuries and underperforming aces than you can sneeze at. hell, even wrigley field is falling apart.

i hope that the cardinals get to play the (barely) walking wounded in the playoffs. the cubbies have consistently been an easier mark than the giants and there will be nothing quite as gratifying as seeing nomah implode in october (you might love him now, but you’ll hate him when the games really count…mia can’t hold his hand when he’s hobbling towards a ball in the hole).

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2004 at 7:51 pm

good words on marriage from lauren winner

when i heard that books and culture was producing an issue on marriage, i winced. because of my geographical location as well as my occupation i have heard evangelicals proclaim that ‘the sky is falling’ on good, godly, traditional marriage one too many times. fortunately, books and culture upended my expectations by publishing this excellent article by lauren winner.

i assume that, on occasion, you find ‘excerpt entries’ quite annoying. i know that i do. however, one of the purposes of this blog is to keep a record of insights, excerpts and websites that i find interesting. so, even if you hate excerpt entries, i hope that you’ll bear with me now and again. now, without further qualification, let’s hear what winner, one of evangelicalism’s finest young writers, has to say…

“And, yet, marriage is meant to be communal as well as couple-centered both in its means and its meanings. At the most practical level, it is our friends, our brothers and sisters in the church, our aunts and uncles and colleagues, who can remind us why we got married in the first place. It is this community that, when we lay our marriages bare before them, are able to hold us accountable, and also celebrate with us…If we Christians want to get our divorce rates down below the national average, rendering our marriages visible to our communities—opening ourselves up to our friends’ support, prayers, questions, and rebuke—would be a good place to start.

But recalling the communal dimension of marriage is not merely a strategy for sticking it out and navigating the rough patches. It is rather an assertion of God’s purposes for marriage. Our surrounding society tells us that marriage is a private endeavor, that what happens between husband and wife behind closed doors is no one else’s concern. But in the Christian grammar, marriage is not only for the married couple. Insofar as marriage tells the Christian community a particular story, marriage is for the community. It reminds us of the communion and community that is possible between and among people who have been made new creatures in Christ. And it hints at the eschatological union between Christ and the Church. As Catholic ethicist Julie Hanlon Rubio has put it, “marriage consists not simply or even primarily of a personal relationship. Rather, it crystallizes the love of the larger church community. The couple is not just two-in-one, but two together within the whole, with specific responsibility for the whole. … They must persevere in love, because the community needs to see God’s love actualized among God’s people.

The inflections of community are important because they get at the very meanings of marriage. Marriage is a gift God gives the church. He does not simply give it to the married people of the church, but to the whole church, just as marriage is designed not only for the benefit of the married couple. It is designed to tell a story to the entire church, a story about God’s own love and fidelity to us.”

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2004 at 8:55 pm

blow wind, blow…

Last night I found myself on a park bench on the Beverly common. I was sweating out my upcoming teaching and muttering a few prayers. There was a group of local toughs sitting on the art college steps right behind me, greeting one another with their ‘fuck yous’ and gleefully haranguing each car that drove down the adjacent street. Suprisingly, they said nothing to me. Perhaps they considered a geek sitting alone with buechner in one hand and the bible in the other too easy of a target.

Anyway, as I sat on the bench I was thankful for the relative peace as well as the autumn twinged august breeze that was drifting through the park. As I was putting my holy books into my satchel and preparing to walk to church I saw a lady walking down the brick path towards me. She was thin, middle-aged and, by all appearances, homeless, though she seemed fairly well put together. In that moment, either the wind or the Spirit (even the Apostles had difficulty distinguishing between the two) seemed to suggest that she needed direction. I reflexively suppressed the voice, as I am wont to do, but as the woman shuffled closer I saw her eyes lift expectantly and she prepared herself to speak. ‘I’ll be damned,’ I thought. Maybe there was substance to that voice after all. I gradually made eye contact with her and softly smiled so as to welcome her approach. Perhaps this will be an instance in which God provides an opportunity for me to see the power of the gospel at work, I thought. These moments never happen to me on airplanes, but perhaps it could happen on the common.

After five seconds of real time, but fifteen minutes worth of internal monologue, she asked me if the library was open. I told her that it was and would remain so until nine o’clock. She exhaled quickly and told me that ‘I have to pee like crazy.’ I walked about fifteen yards towards the library with her, told her where the john was and went on my way.

Obviously our conversation defied my expectations and the direction she needed was quite different from that which I was prepared to give. And yet, I am thankful for that brief encounter, for it reminded me yet again of my need to receive people as well as my desire to help guide them along the way. In the end, I can’t help but wonder whether pointing her to the john was just as important as pointing her to Jesus.

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2004 at 5:02 pm

happy haiku friday!

eggs 0800

breakfast 1300

faithful in the midst

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2004 at 2:53 pm


“if you want to go fast, go alone.

if you want to go far, go together.”

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2004 at 5:14 pm


work in a web company,

 on a computer that runs like a 386

without even trying

 i come off like a dick

frustration, what am i going to do with you?

 it’ll take a lot more mercy and a little more grace

 to get me through

it seems the harder i try

 the less i get done

i am dying in this cubicle

 with no access to the sun

frustration, what am i going to do with you?

 it’ll take a lot more mercy and a little more grace

 to get me through

You command us not to be anxious

 to consider flowers in the midst of complication

but it’s hard to hear you from where i stand

 i’d like to comply but doubt that i can

so, steeped in cynicism, i remain exiled in this land

 of frustration.

frustration. what the hell am i going to do with You?

 Who speaks of home and promises to see me through

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2004 at 4:57 pm

sinners and saints gathered to worship last night

our worship gathering took place on the corner of rantoul and federal street. no songs were sung, no overwrought teachings endured and no offering collected. our theme for the evening was returning and the tone of the evening was celebration.

as soon as the u-haul creeped onto rantoul street our gathering began. for the next four hours there were many hugs, excited chatter and not a little laughter. the gathering was characterized by a good deal of work, as we carried hundreds of boxes, odd pieces of furniture and even mr. potato head into the primary colored apartment. however, grounded in the context of celebration, the work was a delight. through the front door, teams of two carried a sleigh bed as well as an animated conversation. through the back door stretched an assembly line of sinners who were eager to pass dishes, share michael jackson jokes and proclaim the good news to one another.

and the people…what a collection of sinners. there was a former hippie, a frat boy impersonating a pastor and two flaming gay pagans among our number. yet our sweaty, practical expressions of love, the dreams shared in the intimate company of good ole sam smith and the easy transition from unrestrained conviviality to fervent prayer suggested that the Spirit is once shaping nothing into something. He seems to be fashioning a community of sinners into saints.

i have stumbled into Your presence many times, but there was something special, dare i say sacred, about last night. though our values are undefined, our network is tattered and the consequences of discipleship are leaving many of us torn, You are working among us. You, O Lord, are indeed in the process of making all things, even this community of sinners, new. gracias.

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2004 at 5:07 pm

yet another disturbing report from the campaign trail

as politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to conflate Christianity with constitutional government I find myself overwhelmingly thankful for, and longing for a healthier expression of, the separation of church and state. Sovereign Lord, please ensure that these two will never become one. Except in a certain county of south carolina. they can run their sanitarium in whatever way they see fit.

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2004 at 12:47 pm

happy haiku friday!

standing on a deck

speaking of proclamation

go get me a beer

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