Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm

words of wisdom, quotable quotes*

“Be regular and ordinary in your habits, like a petit bourgeois, so you may be violent and original in your work.”
-gustave flaubert

“I’m not saying I’m like Jesus, but I do follow him. Maybe when your master is a polarizing figure, you end up that way yourself.”
joe boyd

“Es is aus. This culture, in my opinion is over. But that’s ok, because God doesn’t redeem cultures, but he does redeem individuals all the time.”
-prof. n, as spoken in old testament exegesis on 2.1.08

* tip-of-the-cap to the young robert de niro who recently brought this quote to my attention.


In Uncategorized on January 29, 2008 at 5:36 pm

stuff that has been making me laugh

for one, the picture above. if the caption beneath read “sounding forth from the center of the real economy,” i’d laugh even harder.

i’ve also been laughing at reggie white’s exposition of the crucifixion as recorded by the saint pete times. money quote below:

“Reggie White turned interviews into sermons, questions into homilies and the Super Bowl into a pulpit. He was a good man with a good heart. That said, it was suggested that, sometimes, Reggie’s Bible had chapters the rest of us didn’t have. White would give you an impassioned speech about how it was God, not money, who led him to Green Bay. The defensive end once said that he came back for one last season because of divine intervention. He said he was healed by faith, not by the trainer.


it’s hard to forget media day, when White suggested that Jesus Christ was crucified ‘because he was affecting the economy.” Huh? “He was healing the sick, and the doctors got mad,’ White said. ‘He was raising the dead, and all the funeral home directors got mad.'”

finally, i’ve been laughing for three weeks at the following joke: “what’s the hardest thing about rollerblading?”

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2008 at 3:27 am

could i have been anyone other than me?

recently i’ve been complaining to my nerdy neighbors* at television without pity about the complete catastrophe that is friday night lights season II. my specific gripe about the current season is that it lacks a compelling, overarching metanarrative** such as the “win state” theme that dominated the first season. on account of the missing meta, the stories of the players, families and townies that once converged so beautifully have devolved into trite stories that add little if anything to the Story of the town and its team.

i mention this because i’ve been musing about my personal meta lately.

for the first quarter century of my life baseball was not merely a my consuming passion, but it provided the narrative framework by which i understood, evaluated and envisioned my life. although i rarely, if ever, mention it here as a kid i played a lot of baseball and played most of it poorly. i think that if i had not understood the fundamentals of hitting or been able to break off a nasty curve, the story of baseball wouldn’t have held much sway. but, alas, at twelve years of age i could explain the fundamentals of rod carew’s swing, was learning to i set up the heat with the circle change and yet had still found a way to fail my way through almost every level of little league and competitive ball. i had a beautiful swing, but couldn’t stay in the box for fear of the ball. likewise, my fastball had plenty of heat and not a little hop, but i could never control my mechanics or my raging temper, long enough to pitch with anything approaching consistency. i loved baseball more than any of my peers, but by the age of thirteen i realized i was a van poppelesque pitcher whose stuff would never pan out. for this reason, i internalized the story of the failed prospect, found myself umpiring games while friends starred on varsity and doubted that i would ever excel at something that i loved.

fortunately, over the past five years, i’ve finally started to accept a new meta for my life. now, instead of considering myself a failed prospect who will never be able to turn tools*** into results, i’ve received a new meta, that of a servant, and have begun to suspect that i have the ability to successfully live this story out.

don’t get me wrong, far more often than i would like to admit i still fixate on the few moments when my deuce was dropping for strikes, i had enough emotional control to sustain my mechanics and standing on a twelve inch mound felt like straddling olympus. in those moments, i grieve for my inability to succeed at the game i love so much and still feel like the prospect who will always find a way to fuck things up.

but, thanks be to the God, most days i am focused on the new meta that stretches before me and i somehow find the strength to scribble my way forward.

* and pretty much anyone else who will listen.
** or, as the cool kids at twop call it, a “meta.”
*** be they of a baseball, academic or pastoral nature.

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2008 at 3:03 am


welcome to the fatosphere where, presumably, the biggest losers have far less to talk about.

wal-mart chief offers a social manifesto. wouldn’t it be amazing if wal-mart is able to utilize their market share, dominion over suppliers and international influence in order to provoke positive environmental practices and serve its customers in a more holistic manner? if wal-mart continues to achieve some level of success in these initiatives they might just win over one more customer.

nick hornby, one of the contemporary kings of the common reader, interviews david simon, a television producer who is a little less enamored with the average reader. one poo dollar will be awarded to the first person to identify both of the television shows simon has created.

finally, i’m really excited about this hbo miniseries. i really enjoyed the book* the series is based on and think that hbo last military miniseries was pretty damn good.

* tip-o-the-hat to josh brown.

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2008 at 10:29 pm

nine month vitals

height: 30″
weight: 19 lbs., 10 oz.
mobility: crawlking
super power: liberating laptop keys
keywords: hi!,* mama and da
watching: the wire, season 3
singing: “milkshake”** by kelis
forbidden fruit: duracell batteries

* a greeting he only offers himself, while glancing in a mirror.
** as seen here.

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2008 at 3:37 am


in the midst of the forgotten ways alan hirsch argues that the church would be more effective at developing committed disciples and transformational leaders if christians encouraged one another to “act our way into a new way of thinking” rather than trying to “think our way into a new way of acting.”*

as one who has long tried, and often failed, to think my way into a new way of acting, i found hirsch’s suggestion intriguing. i have long thought that i learned more about pastoral ministry by serving the core members of l’arche and have connected with God much more naturally when i have intentionally entered into silence and set aside the prefabricated, a.c.t.s.** model of prayer.

if christian leaders were to follow hirsch’s suggestion by seeking to shape Christ followers more in the context of action than a context of abstraction,*** we would need to constantly encourage experiences, practices and settings that would empower young believers who are seeking to effectively love God, love people and contribute to their communities.

so i’m wondering, what experiences, practices and/or settings have helped you learn how to love God and/or other people more passionately and proficiently?****

please take a moment to help this brother out. if i’m ever going to exchange a ministry of abstraction for one of applied wisdom, i’m going to need your help!

* emphasis his. pg. 122.
** for the (fortunately) uninitiated, a.c.t.s. is an acrostic that reminds young prayer warriors to adore God, confess sin, thank God before inserting one’s supplications into God’s sanctified in-bow.
*** read: classroom.
**** please note: i do not for one moment think that Christ followers have cornered the market on love. people of all, and no, religions are more than welcome to contribute to the conversation.

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2008 at 3:36 am

too funny

on a more cereal note, in today’s edition of the nyt online, sarah vowell pens a beautiful op-ed about the legacy of MLK, her own evangelical history and her hope that our next president follows in at least a few of MLK’s steps. if you have a moment, please take the time to read radical love gets a holiday. i think it is one of the best short pieces i’ve read in years.

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2008 at 3:09 am

four seasons of the wire in four minutes*

* obviously, spoilers are included.

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm!

words fail me.*

* well, at least words that i’m willing to post in this space.

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2008 at 3:28 am

overheard: edgy church breaks old rules, insists on new ones

ROCHESTER, Minn. — At The Circle, a young, innovative church which meets in a renovated bus depot, there is no pulpit, platform or pastor, as such. The congregation rejects the labels “Christian” and “congregation,” preferring “followers of Jesus” and “friendship community.”
There are no ushers, but rather “helpers.”
There is no worship team, but rather “God artists.”
And woe to anyone who affixes traditional church labels to any of it.
“God’s doing a new thing here,” says Mitch Townsend, the leader of the church. He shuns the “pastor” label and insists people call him, “Hey, man,” or simply “Dude.” If someone slips and calls him “pastor,” he bristles and gently rebukes them.
“We got rid of all those old labels,” he says. “There’s no going back.”

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