Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2008 at 1:16 pm

happy haiku friday

sweep aside the snow
click on your sony hd
pigeons with clay feet


In Uncategorized on February 28, 2008 at 5:56 pm

corraborating evidence

in regards to the preacher who pisseth standing up: earlier today a friend forwarded this pic of a warning sign that he encountered in the bathroom of an acquaintance’s home in germany. consider this yet another piece of evidence that one of the most ridiculous sermons of all-time was inspired by a real-life experience.

i also discussed the pros and cons of pissing upright with the pixie this morning* and am still convinced that men should never surrender their birthright on account of a little extra cleaning. as for me and my son, we shall pisseth standing up!

*whoa, that sentence could be misconstrued. get your mind out of the gutter!

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2008 at 2:26 am

tell me your deep dark secret and i will tell you mine

thus far this lenten season has not been so much about my minimal expressions of discipline, but rather about how God is disciplining and discipling me.

to wit, last week my friend dave forwarded me a link of a recent sermon by mark driscoll in which driscoll briefly discusses his early connections with the conversation and then offers a lengthy discussion of how he thinks many in the conversation, especially mclaren, pagitt and bell,* have gone astray from the conversation’s initial focus on speaking a contextualized gospel into a rapidly changing culture.

as soon as the link appeared in my inbox, i knew that i would take issue with a number of driscoll’s accusations** and i was hesitant to listen to the sermon at all. but after the remnants of our thursday night bible study clustered around my laptop and listened to the sermon later in the week, i must admit that i was convicted by a couple of things that driscoll said.

specifically, driscoll said that when God inspired scripture he did not intend for it to be an object of conversation but a call for obedience. moreover, later in the sermon, driscoll declared that the dirty little secret of the “revisionists”*** is that while they do indeed have conversations they don’t have many conversions.

if the first assertion is meant as an absolute statement, i have to take umbrage with it for i think that in its primal, oral form the scriptures were intended to be spread, mused upon, applied, debated, praised and questioned in the midst of conversations. however, in a more personal sense, i cannot deny that when i read Jesus’ command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” i realize that the Jesus is not asking me for a learned discourse on the ancient perspectives on love so much as he is compelling me to embrace his way of life by being good news in this busted up world. i don’t think that God is offended or afraid of with our conversations about the meaning of biblical texts or the proper way to apply these texts in our contemporary settings. however, i suspect that Christ is more fully revealed in my obedience to the clear theological, ethical and moral teachings of scripture than he is by my rambling discourse. for this reason, and in this rather limited sense, i think that driscoll’s assertion is worth heeding and, if followed, will benefit my community, family and soul.

however, it is driscoll’s revelation of emergent’s dirty little secret**** that has really gotten under my skin where it first festered like a ring-worm but now is spidering like vein that is threatening new life. i am so hesitant to say anything about the “e-word” in this space, since, like so many angsty evangelicals i have serious issues with the way evangelism has been taught, practiced, imposed and idolized in my tradition. however, i also realize that, as buechner has often said, “the only writing worth reading is that which is written in blood,” so i guess i’ll get out with it. i realize that the liberating, revolutionary message of Christ is meant to be shared and irecognize that illustrating, incarnating and, yes, ultimately inviting others to model the life of Jesus is at the heart of Christian mission and message. yet, in the past five or so years i have so often been afraid of being labeled a proselytizer or of sacrificing friendships in the pursuit of evangelism that i have too often failed to desire, pray for and invite people to more fully participate in the remarkable beauty, truth and goodness of life in Christ.

as a follower of Jesus i realize that it is an irreducible part of my community’s mission to participate in the task of evangelism.***** yet, though i have talked about this component of the community’s mission ad nauseam, i have not fully invested myself in this task in far too long..

so that’s my confession for tonight. i hope you can take it as it comes and, especially if you are a friend who has chosen not to follow Christ, still find a way to trust that i am not going to violate our friendship by trying to actively impose my beliefs upon you or, hopefully, doing great violence to our friendship in any other way.

i swore this post was going to be a paragraph long and realize that i’ve probably said too much.

* the latter of whom has never openly identified himself with the discussion, rendering the charge rather specious.
** and, unsurprisingly, i did. i would find it hard to denounce mclaren simply on account of the theological diversity of his literary recommendations and his reticence to take part in evangelicalism’s new single issue game by publicly explaining his perspectives on homosexuality and christianity, but apparently driscoll does not. does not.
*** in an oft referenced article ed stetzer attempted to define the emergent conversation by identifying three distinct streams within the conversation. according to stetzer the conversants includ the relevants (think dan kimball here), revisionists (think mclaren there) and reconstructionists (think david garrison, church planting movement leaders here). in the talk, driscoll openly utilizes stetzer’s categorizations but exchanges a “relevant reformed” group, of which he counts himself a part, for the “reconstructionists.” i think such an exchange makes sense when one is discussing the emerging conversation in america, but it probably would not make as much sense if one were including the worldwide church in the conversation.
**** which does not apply to emergent communities such as jacob’s well in kc, mars hill in grand rapids and cedar ridge in maryland but clearly does apply to many, many more emergent communities than we would like to admit.
***** there, i said it.

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2008 at 4:09 am

in defense of bible college, seminary and reading the kjv

* props to rod dreher for the fantastic link.

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2008 at 8:35 pm

daddy day care

this live blog is brought to you by a demanding mother. i’m not saying exactly which mother that is, but rest assured it is one who holds certain keys to the kingdom of the writer.

anyway, people in massachsetts, as noted previously, people in massachusetts are remarkably delusional about snow. for this reason, i am home with little p and he is in the process of destroying the house. those of you who know him need little proof of the latter assertion, those who don’t can look at the picture below.

while preston is in the process of destroying the kitchen, daddy takes a moment to tackle another task. namely, cleaning diapers. daddy returns to find baby playing amidst the cleaning chemicals, but instead of redirecting baby, he resets the family wireless router so that he can post this violently compelled piece.

daddy can’t find a way to post to the left of the two latter pictures. that pisses daddy off.

in the brief moments that daddy has not been working, spending time with family, studying for his final seminary class and serving up the scraps to the church, he’s been celebrating lent. in the midst of this important season of preparation for the resurrection, daddy has been repenting of his recent passion for speaking like rickey henderson and practicing little spiritual disciplines such as reading a devotional and participating in abbreviated prayer and fasting. daddy hopes that the Father is as pleased with these tiny offerings of devotion as the Son was with the widows mite.

while reading the bread and wine devotional during lent, he ran across the following quote:

“…Jesus was not brought down by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware of those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware of those who cannot tell God’s will from their own.” ~ Barbara Brown Taylor in Truth to Tell

daddy thinks about how the previous quote throws bright light on so many christians from martin luther on, but baby is pissed about being ignored and daddy cannot finish his reflection.

daddy and preston make their way out to the library where daddy plans to renew his lease on the book of buechner – which is fantastic – and hopes to pick up season one, disc one of battlestar gallactica. daddy knows that the later series sounds like a geek’s wet dream,* but he can’t watch FNL anymore, does not have ready access to the fifth season of the wire and needs something new to watch while he irons.

when daddy and preston get to the library it is, quite predictably, closed. daddy thinks most librarians are weak sauce,** quick to skip and eager to bitch. on account of the proceeding factors, daddy shakes his fist in anger. since he can’t pick up battlestar daddy calls uncle cade to see if he will loan out his netflix copy of michael clayton. uncle cade agrees and little p and daddy head down pond street.

on the way we check in on the pigeon man’s “rollers.” daddy is relieved that at least one local species adapts to snow quite easily.

little p and daddy arrive at uncle cade’s only to find him in standard repose. note to aunt becky: uncle cade and bella are fairing quite well.*** daddy tells uncle cade that there will be spaghetti at the gentry house tonight, picks up the dvd and leaves.

on the way home little p decides to play in the street. he seems to enjoy himself…

until the plow pushes by.

after shaking off the snow and removing gear daddy plies preston with juice, a relatively rare treat, because daddy might feel guilty about kicking snow in preston’s face and is eager to end this narcissistic picture post.

meanwhile, as daddy is exchanging quality time with his son in hopes of completing the post, preston crawls into the bathroom and has a little too much fun with the shit sprayer.

FINALLY daddy snaps this last shot,**** wonders whether he will ever slap up a post that is wholly devoid of sexual humor and we eagerly await mommy’s impending return.

thank you for putting up with us.

* and by wet he means snow. get your head out of the gutter and get with this post’s overarching theme.
** excepting librarians who are related to, friends with or attend church alongside of daddy. librarians who tee it up like that are probably pretty ok too.
*** though rumor has it that there is no longer ice cream in aunt becky’s freezer.
**** note the rally cap. something tells me we’re going sporting that look more often than not this season.

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

overheard: a plea for the revitalization of evangelical ethics*

reporter: andy, anyone who follows you and knows you realizes that you are a man of faith. can you talk about how your faith influenced your decision to use HGH and maybe how your faith has sustained you during this hard time?

pettitte: i felt like it was the right thing to do in my heart. that might be hard for some to understand…as far as my faith, i felt good about it when i started. but then i felt bad once i started it…as far as how my faith has sustained me through all this, i know in my heart why i did things. i’ve tried to live my life in a certain way and i know i’ll have to stand before God some day.

reporter: andy, can you tell us how you felt using it a second time? you’ve explained how bad it made you feel the first time, so why did you take it a second?

pettitte: i felt stupid, and desperate.

* please note: the text above is a summary and should not be read as an exact quote. i tried to correctly record the question and response while the press conference was taking place. i apologize for any errors.

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2008 at 11:54 pm

overheard: welcome to heritage u.s.a. II!

i just clicked over to to check in on the happenings in jupiter and was blessed to see that brother jim bakker is celebrating the dedication of heritage u.s.a. II! brother bakker has long since repented of his embrace of the prosperity gospel, but fortunately god has still seen fit to provide him with another sprawling ministry center which not only features affordable, god-breathed real estate, a beautiful enclosed shopping center that features “italianate store facades and condo balconies” and a magnificent chapel from which the word of god will be gloriously transmitted six times a week!

anybody interested in splitting a heritage u.s.a. II lifetime partnership with me? i’ve heard that for only $1,000.00 we can stay at one of the new italian style condos for up to four weeks a year!

seriously, i hope if/when the sulfur o’ sodom falls, heritage u.s.a. II is ground zero. this wonderful new work of god makes me sick to my stomach and ashamed to be an evangelical christian. read some of the testimonies in stltoday’s article of the former “lifetime partners” who lost $1,000.00 in forfeited “lifetime partnership” dues when heritage I collapsed, yet are all fired up and eager to invest in bakker’s new work. i suppose one will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of bible belt christians. grrr…

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm

on writer’s block

blood from a stone
needle on bone
accessible yet so damn allusive

advocate, proclaim and preach
of things only abstractions can reach
mistake scribbles for substance

envy engineers, architects and tailors
who rely not upon words as savior
trading substance for sustenance

words, words, words
flimsy constructions
pointing to hope, promising destruction

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm


throughout the lenten season i have not been able to escape images of the desert. throughout the past week, on inumerable occasions, my mind’s eye has fixed upon mental pictures of the sand swept desert, Jesus wrestling with temptations, the ravaged red rock of sinai.

but, for all my musing, when the time came to enter into my own desert, i almost missed it.

on monday i was jostled out of my normal routine by a scheduled, yet completely forgotten, job coaching session at a you haul storage facility. the assignment was to simply to observe a client’s work and report on her activities to the supervising manager.

yet, as i stumbled around in that unheated storage facility, interupted only by the scratch of a broom and the need to take an occasional note, my anxious breathing slowed, my feet froze and i was confronted by the silence i often take great pains to eschew.

in that silence, in the midst of my lenten fast, one of my temptations was revealed. namely, i am constantly tempted to ignore the service opportunities that constantly present themselves in order to fixate on the ideal context and perfect position wherein i can properly perform the accompanying, teaching and preaching that is at the heart of my calling. God forgive me for the times when my idolatrous dreams of being a resident theologian and preacher-teacher in a church obscures both the work and the people you have placed in my path.

if you are participating in a lenten fast and have wrestled with your own temptations in the midst, feel free to share your reflections below. for those of us who are fasting during this season, my prayer is that we can sustain the fast so that we can more fully keep the feast.

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2008 at 3:32 am

in celebration of pitchers and catchers…

i’d like to confess that i am currently sitting on a brick of 23 bleacher seats for the cardinals/cubs tilt on sunday, may 4th at 7:05 p.m.

so…if you have recently received a st. louis oriented “save the date,” will solmenly swear to respect the game by refusing to bat beachballs/participate in the wave/display poor cell phone etiquette and you’re willing to forward me $25 cash, submit your name for consideration..

%d bloggers like this: