Archive for March, 2005|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2005 at 4:07 pm

“just easin’ the tension, baby. just easin’ the tension!

is there a particular piece of jesus junk that you find especially reprehensible? if so, feel free to share!

please note: the purpose of this piece is not to disrespect Jesus Christ, but to ridicule a piece of jesus junk that i find particularly reprehensible and irreverent.


In Uncategorized on March 31, 2005 at 12:47 pm


i think i’m growing prematurely sentimental. recently i have awoken from a dream only to find myself sitting in a wicker backed roller chair in my grandparents living room, the vestry at bishop kelley or, more disturbingly, on the quad at the citadel during hell night. anyway, these unexpected travels made the following passage from uncle freddy all the more potent.

“the words time and tide trace their ancestry back to a common indo-european root, and part of what they still have in common after going their separate ways all these years is the sense of ebbing and flowing. time, like the receding waters of the ocean, bears all of us who are time’s children farther and farther away from the near shore and closer and closer to the mysterious depths where we will finally come to our time’s end…but the tide that carries us farther and farther away from our beginning in time is also the tide that turns and carries us back again. in other words, it is true what they say: the older we grow, the more we find ourselves returning to the days when we were young. more vividly than ever before, i think, we find ourselves remembering the particular house that was our childhood home. we remember the books we read there. we remember the people we love there.” ~a longing for home, pgs. 1-2.

john irving wrote the the prayer for owen meany in the late eighties. yet this passage, which wryly comments on the gary hart scandal that took place during the 1988 democratic primaries, could have been written about many politicians before and since. read this passage and tell me that you couldn’t hear dr. james saying something like this.

“what do americans know about morality? they don’t want their presidents to have penises but they don’t mind if their presidents covertly arrange to support the nicaraguan rebel forces after congress restricted such aid; they don’t want their presidents to deceive their wives but they don’t mind if their presidents deceive congress–lie to the people and violate the people’s constitution! what mr. hart should have said was that nothing unusually immoral had occurred, or that what happened was only typically immoral; or that he was testing his abilities to deceive the american people by deceiving his wife first–and that he hoped the people would see by his example that he was immoral enough to be good presidential material!” pg. 269.

i’ve also heard a few encouraging words from a lurker known as becky. she’s probably been reading your blog for a good while so be sure to stop by hers and say hello. i would also like to encourage the aforementioned lurker to join the conversation by commenting here and there.

finally, for all of you emergenty types, i stumbled across a blog that you might like. anthony smith is an african-american disciple who has blessed us by adding his voice to the conversation. you can find him at

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2005 at 3:46 pm

on a wednesday morning

the light appears earlier
the days are getting longer

the whispers more frequent
the prayers a bit stronger

often i ignored you
whenever i heard your sound

but now there’s no denyin’
what was lost has been found

“what’s lost is nothing compared to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.” ~uncle freddy

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2005 at 2:49 pm

lump in the throat, yet loathing

my research started with a lump in the throat. i thought that was a good sign. as i meandered through the basement of the goddard library, i was overwhelmed with the smell of decomposing journals, the generative hum of florescent lights and the sight of my old study carrel. it was in this basement that i spent so many hours learning to parse hebrew verbs, exploring the antinomy of divine sovereignty and human responsibility and deconstructing the seeker church. as i walked through the stacks i remembered the encouraging solidarity of working beside april during my second year and the conversations i had with jen about her stalker during my third. then, when i stumbled upon the imaginative yet kitschy carrel of dawn richardson, i almost lost it. i don’t know why. perhaps i was overwhelmed with a sense of longing for those who have moved on or, wonder of wonders, God really did bring some good out of those years spent in the library basement.

anyway, after i collected myself, i made my way over to the copier, where i planned to copy two commentator’s thoughts on philemon. i began by pulling out my wallet, putting a $5 in the slot and was greeted with an immediate response on the LED: “Exact Change Needed.”

no problem, i thought, i will go to the other end of the basement and use the second copier. once i got there i put the five spot in the slot and received another immediate response: “Maximum Credit $4.”

i took a deep breath. okay, i don’t have any singles since i needed $4.60 worth of copies, but i can go upstairs to the front counter and get change. “can i get five singles,” i asked the j crew model at the desk. “uh, i don’t know if we have change,” she said to the floor and made her way to the drawer. once we were over there, she rustled through a drawer while i looked at the snowy screen that displayed the security camera feed. “that’s a nice view,” i quipped. “uh-huh,” she responded. at that moment i realized she reminded me of the freshman year ice-queen that neither i nor anyone else was ever able to thaw. so i shut my mouth and extended my hand as she gave me five singles.

i then made my way down to the photocopier in the basement and slid a single into the slot. there was no response from the slot and no message on the screen. no problem, i thought, george is just wrinkly. i took out another crisp single and put it into the slot. absolutely nothing. “damnit!” i thought to myself, but didn’t say it, since there was a studious and probably sanctimonious student sitting behind me. besides, i am trying to curb my cussing.

once again, i made my way up to the desk. can i get five dollars in change, i asked. “uh, i don’t know if we have it,” the ice queen replied. “can you look?” i asked with a little (christian) edge in my voice. she made her way over to the drawer and slowly, methodically, carefully counted out five dollars in change. “thanks, i said,” and went back to the copier.

once i arrived i plugged my quarters into the machine and began to make copies. the first one was washed out, but i was fairly non-plussed. i simply darkened the image and continued my copies. “page eleven, twelve, thirteen” i counted to myself. “page sixteen, page….what? tray 2 needs paper. what the…” but of course, i kept such thoughts to myself. i opened tray 1 to find paper, and was sorely disappointed.

so, once again, i made my laborious way up to the first floor where i stole copy paper out of another printer and stomped my way back downstairs. “page seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty.” once done, i exhaled and exchanged the word biblical commentary volume for the new international greek new testament commentary.

page one didn’t capture both pages of the commentary so i adjusted the setting. after adjusting the setting i pushed start and another botched copy came out. finally, while adjusting the setting again, i accidentally hit start and the machine made a copy of nothing. “shit!” i finally said, kicking the copy machine for good measure. in response i heard the student sitting at the desk turn towards me, undoubtedly in an attempt to shoot a little conviction my way. if he had only known what was going on inside, i thought, as one of dennis leary’s lines crept into my mind: “fuck! i know fuck is a bad word, but you’re fucking making me say it!”

so it was, with only half my research done, i stormed out of the library.

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2005 at 9:01 pm

Proper Apparel for the Pimp-Driven Life

Additional apparel can be found at

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2005 at 5:44 pm

a (wretch-free) book recommendation: real sex: the naked truth about chastity, by lauren f. winner

Finally, a Christian consideration of sex that is (almost) as delightful as the act itself! With exegetical acumen, historical awareness, pastoral sensibility and surprising wit Lauren Winner exposes the half-truths the church and the world have told us about sex. She then proceeds to help us develop a Christian understanding of sex that is biblical, communal and God-honoring. Real Sex is an invaluable resource for college students whose queries cannot be answered by “True Love Waits,” Christian communities that desperately long for a return to sexual fidelity and pastors who want to speak a good word about sex into this postmodern context. A remarkable resource!

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2005 at 2:16 pm

happy haiku friday!

on the day you died

you forgave their ignorance

will you forgive mine?

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2005 at 1:53 pm

maundy thursday

“could you not wait with me for one hour?” the Lord asks, after the t.v. transformed me into a drone and i have drifted off to sleep. “watch and pray, so that you will not fall prey to temptation” of the american dream, apathy and your own small, self-centered expectations, i quickly add. “for the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” weak in what way, i wonder, for it seems perfectly capable cultivating the lusts of my heart and maintaining the wall of pride that surrounds it. maybe Jesus isn’t talking to me, i surmise, for it is the Spirit not the flesh that feels weak within me. if, indeed, He is within me at all.

so, rent with contradiction i remain in the garden, for it is to this place of darkness, suffering and self-doubt that the one i hesitantly call Lord has called me to go. i sit in the silence, i try to pray, i wonder whether i am the betrayer, and i fall asleep.

welcome to the garden. though i cover my face on account of failure, i am glad you are with me. please pinch me when i am tempted to slumber. please help me to watch and pray.

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2005 at 7:37 pm


“there is no downside to winning. it feels forever fabulous. but there is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss. the great secret of athletics is that you can learn more from losing than winning. no coach can afford to preach such a doctrine, but our losing season served as both a model and template of how a life of how a life can go wrong and fall apart in even the most inconceivable places. losing prepares you for the heartbreak, setback and tragedy that you will encounter in the world more than winning ever can. by licking your wounds, you learn how to avoid getting wounded the next time.”
~pat conroy, my losing season

“one secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness.”
~anne lamott, in plan b: further reflections on faith

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2005 at 3:22 pm

mid-morning time wasters

in honor of dr. james’ post and my own digust at having lived the pimp-driven life, i am proud to present the first annual purpose driven makeover contest! the purpose of this game is to find parking, er, i mean, to carefully examine the photos below and clearly identify the five components of pastor rick’s purpose-driven makeover. the winner of the contest will receive a sparkling, slightly damaged, copy of pastor warren’s aptly named what on earth am i here for? good luck!

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