Archive for February, 2006|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2006 at 4:14 am

monday morning time waster

check out overheard in new york. i, um, overheard a conversation about the site on npr and i find it pretty funny. this evening i’ve been researching the site for new conversational material. kellie claims that my old standby, stock conversations just aren’t cutting it anymore.

here’s an overheard post i found funny:

Hipster guy: That’s a cool coat, it’s pimp.
Ghetto guy: Thanks…Did you say “pimp”? I’m not a pimp.
Hipster guy: No, I meant pimp like cool.
Ghetto guy: Oh, okay…It’s not real. I’m a vegan.

–A train


In Uncategorized on February 26, 2006 at 11:56 pm

loving the ecclesiolae, longing for the ecclesia

for the past month or so i have been wondering about my role in the ecclesia (or church universal). i am incredibly at home in and thankful for our little ecclesiolae (s & s), but am interested in interacting and partnering with Christians throughout the boston area as together we seek to participate in the mission of God.

fortunately, throughout this inquisitive phase i have connected with a number of like-minded believers in the area and throughout the world. since i’m a fairly gregarious guy – at least at first – i often make connections with a wide-range of people. however, as of late, i have been struck by how many intriguing believers i have touched base with. so, in ‘an attempt to deepen these conversations and find innovative ways to partner with other believers i have decided to start a boston-area emergent cohort.

although i’ve never participated in an emergent cohort meeting, i’ve heard from a friend that the purpose of these groups is to: connect with other progressive/emerging/innovative/insertyourattributiveadjective christians, drink a fair amount of coffee and/or beer and pad the sales of brian mclaren’s books. if any or all of the above activities sounds interesting to you, and you’re willing to hear me tell the same jokes and run the same stories into the ground time and again, then i’d love for you to help me get this group rolling. if you’re interested, please shoot me an e-mail at

in the body of the email please provide your name, email address and web address if you have one. moreover, please include concise answers to the following questions.

1. Assuming that our cohort would meet monthly, what would be the best night of the week for you to meet?

2. Are there any particular topics that you would like to discuss?

3. What books would you be interested in reading together (i think we should branch out beyond the emergent canon from time to time by reading books like jean vanier’s community and growth, the collected works of saint francis and saint clare and perhaps even relevant works of fiction such as philip caputo’s superb acts of faith).

4. Would you be willing to facilitate the group on an occasional basis? I have no interest – and trust that none of you would either – in spinning this co-hort into an episode of “The Jeff Gentry Show?”

5. Would you rather meet in a pub or a coffeehouse setting? Any suggestions concerning a location?

Thanks in advance for your interest. I hope that this cohort incites conversation, provides healthy connections and serves as a source of encouragement for those of us who follow Christ.


In Uncategorized on February 24, 2006 at 3:50 pm

on my induction into the SS

1 dramatic fall from chintzy office chair


1 stack of urgent memos shredded


1 completely plugged toilet

= one hell of a first week

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2006 at 3:04 pm

insert witty title here:

okay, so i’m beginning to realize that i was foolish to accept the first job offer that came my way. instead of risking financial stability to find a job that appropriates my skills, i greedily drank a stop-gap measure and am now spending my days serving the SS. e.o.e. me.

at this point i could plead for tea and sympathy or i could resume the “everyday, up-at-dawn, pride swallowing event” that is the job search. but i’m going to do neither. instead, i’m going to fulfill my three year tour with the SS, set my sights upon and study my arse off to achieve an MSW and, ultimately, hope that i can spend my days doing something worthwhile.

if you know and love me i have one small request: neither put up with my bitching about my job nor allow me to settle into a morass of mediocrity. instead, cajole, provoke and encourage me to persevere through this season of life and hope for better days to come.

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2006 at 2:28 pm

mid-morning time waster

is your boss sequestered in her office? struggling through the hours between coffee and a high-calorie lunch? then you need a break!

why don’t you seize this opportunity to go hunting with dick cheney?

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2006 at 2:19 pm

out of context

while playing hurry-up-and-wait before an interview this week, i read marilyn chandler mcentyre’s intriguing article let us proclaim the mystery of our faith in weavings journal.* in this article she explores the mysterious beauty of revelation in a most intriguing way. here are a few quotes.

“one of the most troubling bumper stickers i’ve seen among the many i pass in my travels about town bears this message: “the bible said it. i believe it. that settles it. i am troubled by this blunt little message in part because of its belligerent, non-invitational tone – something like the sound of a door slamming. more importantly, i’m troubled by the simplistic, literalistic understanding of scripture it seems to advocate. i’ve been tempted a number of times to print a couple of bumper stickers of my own (similarly belligerent, i fear) – ‘if you can’t handle paradox, get out of the pulpit.’ or perhaps, ‘if you can’t handle metaphor, get out of the ministry” (volume XXI:I, pg. 6).

“it may be that the difficulties the Bible presents to the rational, literal, law-making mind – the part of us that is fearful and craves certainty and control – serves to protect the truth it offers from being finally co-opted and abused” (ibid, 9).

“any linguist who has pondered languages that have no tenses as we know them, or forty-seven words for snow, or single words with several radically different meanings, will testify to the insistently playful, contingent, slippery character of language itself – useful and usable, but never completely manageable, and never an adequate vehicle of ‘whole truth'” (ibid, 11).

in this passage, she is suggesting that our hermeneutic should not be characterized by a demand for certainty, but by the “wild freedom of trust.”
“trust liberates us to let things be, to take our questions one at a time, to ponder them peacefully, knowing ourselves all the time to be held in a loving and secure embrace of one who, despite not providing all the answers we want, supplies all our needs. trust liberates us to live joyfully in the midst of mystery, delighting in the play of the mind, the poetic dimensions of mind and tongue, the rich possibilities of meaning available in a single story, and the safety we can experience against all rational odds in the presence of the God who is both the unimaginable Lord of the Universe and closer to us than our very breath” (ibid).

wow. that’s the best musing on revelation that i’ve read since i picked up tom harrison’s senior seminar paper on inspiration in the spring of 2000. i think tom is one of the most insightful sojourners that i’ve ever met. i wish he would endow us with his insights by picking up a pen. hell, i simply wish i could connect with him once again. do any of you lcc folk know what became of him?

*weavings is a fantastic monthly journal which explores the Christian spiritual life. uncle Neal gave kellie and i a gift subscription when we got married. although i don’t read it as often as i would like, i always find the topics (i.e., mystery, perseverance, compassion) intriguing and the writing spot-on.

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2006 at 8:40 pm


i was reading ryan bolger’s why emerging churches are non-violent on next-wave when it hit me. adherents to the stone-campbell tradition (for the uninitiated that’s the Christian Churches, Churches of Christ/Church of Christ Acappella/Disciples of Christ crew that i am a part of), who readily claim a primitivist desire to re-create the first century church, should be pacifists by definition. from my perspective, if campbellites choose to embrace the “just war” (has a more tragic oxymoron ever been coined?) tradition – that did not develop until the fifth or sixth century – they are willfullly ignoring the original impetus of our rich tradition.

of course, by this logic southern baptists should be the last folks who are interested in breaching the wall of separation between church and state, but still…

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2006 at 10:41 pm

memorandum from captain random

sorry that my attendance has been so spotty as of late. i’m in the process of crawling out of my narcissistic, anxious daze and back into reality. i don’t have anything of substance to say, so i’d like to offer the following memorandum.

reason #142 that i love vagabond records: watching a bald, middle-aged customer bounce his head to paul simon’s diamonds on the soles of her shoes while gaping at a spice girls poster.

cue the hallelujah chorus: only two weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

lyle lovett and john hiatt are playing an acoustic show in concord on the sixteenth. if you’re looking for an early birthday present for me, search no further.

church marquee of the month: this week’s sermon, “what kind of bible are you?”

while on a rare foray into the big city today, i realized how provincial my life has become. in the last month, i’ve only left the city limits of beverly on three occasions…and i’m completely fine with that.

i’ve almost finished philip caputo’s acts of faith. his narrative foray into the ideals, conflicts and compromises that snare western relief efforts in africa is absolutely fascinating. if you’re intrigued by the plight of the sudan, interested in missionary work or have a bleeding heart for africa, where there often seems to be “no difference between God and the devil,” you have to get your hands on this book.

i could tell you a thousand things about the last two weeks of my life, but i’ll settle for two. these past two and a half weeks have been the most difficult i’ve endured in new england. i have been carried through this process by my beautifully tenacious wife, overwhelmingly supportive family and limitless generosity of my church and friends.

i want to keep on, keepin’ on, but the four interviews i had today as well as the aforementioned foray into the big city has rendered me exhausted. know that you are loved.

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