Friday, September 14, 2007

. . . , mmm and the wink guy, the fruit I am owed, wee ones

It has been a small time gap since my last post, but I just put a post ranting about my boring class. It needed its own space. So I this is the second, and I am still in love with putting several short ideas in a post so,
on we march.

. . .,
I love the dot thingy. It implies so much with so little. anger . . .I am so mad I can't even complete the sentence! artsy-ness . . . introspectivity. . . awe. . . it can also mean, for real? . . . the face. . .all sorts of awesome; just watch
Prime Rib. . .
Oprah. . .
crap. . .
Steelers . . .
then watch what happens when it comes before
. . . gas
. . . (this would be the perfect space to throw an 'A double money sign', although that may not be the most appropriate, so I will simply hint at it. )
especially if you could add a head motion or angry fist. it also enables the reader to input their own feelings. It is like a choose your own adventure novel every time!

mmm and the wink guy,
I am taking four classes this semester so I get to have interaction with lots of different people which is good for me, because people tell me I sometimes am "not very nice" or I "Intimidate" people or "make little girls cry" whatever, I enjoy getting to see how people interact and pick up on things that make me laugh. Here are two from last week. The first is the wink guy. He is in my human and family development. Everything he says is somewhat playful in an older guy, likes to use puns, cheesy way. The wink I guess is there to mean, "its OK I am just kidding, you are a good enough friend that we can joke like this, Isn't it great that we are close in this way?" Whatever! Yeah, I see how close we are. You just winked at the dude in front of me as if I wasn't even here . . . cold ( note the dot thingy) Wink guys, don't take offense I enjoy the relate- ability you bring.

The other one is the mmm person. You know when something profound is said in church or some other sort of lecture setting or in a prayer circle, the "mmm" that comes from somewhere. This can be very encouraging for the person speaking. The first time the person did this in my class I was taken back to summers at camp and my friend Jamie. It took me a minute to remember what she used to say. . . "That's right" She was very good ( and more than likely still is) at finding the right place for it. Very encouraging. You know you had the green light to continue when you heard that, and everyone else was there to, "Jamie's on board, so are we lets go!" Props for the encouragement. Now, mmm person is a wholly different beast. I realized this by five minute into the class. Every other sentence was profound enough for an 'mmm'. "Small groups are the life blood of the church" . . . (mmm!) "Acts 2 shows a church built on true koinonia (fellowship)" . . . (mmm!) "I think we are going to take a break for some coffee" . . .(mmm!) "Attendance is important " . . .( mmm!) After a while it is definitely not encouraging, but annoying. Oh well, I am sure mmm people will learn to master it much like the force. It also, when used improperly can start to come across as pointing at ones self as opposed to the person speaking. I have definitely know a dude who does it to make himself seem more spiritual. This is the dark side of the force . . . so mmm people beware!

The Fruit I am Owed -this will be an abrupt change of tone

I have been on a kick about the garden of eden, and how the story surrounding the fall of man gets repeated over and over and how it speaks so much about our depravity and the illusion that sin (Satan) creates to cloud, tempt and deceive people.

One of the things I have begun to notice about myself is how easily I get caught in thinking I am owed something and then to make matters worse I feel what I am owed is sin. For starters, when we get tired we all have a propensity to make bad decisions. I have been working a ton this summer and basically dove right into school again and had a short vacation which was nice but not long enough to really recover. So stupid thoughts start creeping into my head, more than just I need to get away for while, or I need to rest.

You get tired, especially after doing some intense ministry and say, I am drained, I need to just chill. Then you start to think, that was awesome I deserve some me-time and it becomes something that gets in the way. Other people are not as important, someone else can take care of them, my margin is too small for anything or anyone else. I look back on my early days as a Christian and doing small amounts of ministry while still struggling through some of the sins that had their hold on me that I knew about. I can remeber the same feeling then. I just need some me-time, a chance to 'chill' I deserve it and this would soon lead to something sinful ( I leave the description there because it does not matter who your are, or what you do, or what sin you struggle with . . . insert it here.

I sin and wrestle about whether or not I should with my self and fall on the rationale that because of the crazy, draining ministry I just did, God won't care what I'm about to do. . . . HE OWES ME . . . this is not only crazy to think about, it is also dangerous. This is the beginning of thinking that I am as important as God. Return to Eden. God just wants to keep you from knowing the truth. You owe it to yourself to be a God. This is what the devil sneaks into our hearts with ease! When I stop and think about how easy this starts to creep in my mind, it is scary and I am challenged to build plenty of margin in my life and to be sure to balance my work and ministry properly with my family and most of all, my active relationship with God. How crazy is it to think that I am owed something by the creator of the universe, and the savior of my soul. I guess the cross just doesn't cut it. . .

Wee ones
- this blog is all over the place, but if you have made it to this point, you get yet another major change in tone. You all will be happy to note, though many of you already know, that Julie and I are going to have a baby. Well, she is doing the having. . .(this is the sort of addition to deter wink guy from a well timed quip)

We are super excited about it and a little freaked out at times about how we will be able to make it. I start to wonder if I am ready for a child, but I know that it is part of continued growth. I also think about the fact that my dad was a few months away from having his fifth child when he was my age. So, whatever that means. We are happy.

One more, I want to personally thank Tim for putting a curse on me. He said about 6 years ago, "Wait until you get older and your metabolism slows down." He was saying this in response to some amazing show of eatability, like when I ate 85 chicken wings, or a whole pizza of whatever. I woke up this morning fat, slow and with back problems. I used to athletically dominate all who questioned my short, large boned stature. Until this morning. I did get in its place, some man-strength and can now wear a moustache with pride. Anyways, until next time. . .

Friday, September 07, 2007

"My best friend was killed on one of those"

Can I just vent a bit about the class I am taking. The professor is a very . . . we'll say . . . different. The above quote was said in reference to motorcycles, but said while laughing and telling a motorcycle joke. This is the equivalent of saying , "Speaking of naked, Babs' mom . . . " (I use Babs for obvious reason . . .kidding, cause I know his patience knows no bounds) That sort of oddity is just a bonus for the crappiness that is this class.

The professor, in his defense, is 70 and this is his first time as an adjunct. I am also a bit spoiled, addicted to stimuli and have a rough time paying attention most of the time, but this dude couldn't be more boring. He makes Bob Ross and or James Lipton (take your pick of the one you recognize) look like a hoe -down. ( You cannot, not party when a banjo is being played) I could also say rock concert, but whatever . . . Boring.

To complicate matters, the class is on "contemporary dynamics of Biblical church growth" or how to grow a church today based on the Bible. The problem is, I don't agree with half of the stuff he is shoveling. In fact, there are no limits to my level of disagreement with the basic model of church he describes. This is a classic case of having to work through my own differences in order to glean the wisdom from someone who is obviously experienced in ministry. It is hard, when methodology is so diametrically opposed, to stay quiet and attempt to stifle my instinctual urge to provide correction and wisdom for the person.

I cannot begin to explain all that is being said. There is nothing necessarily un-Biblical being said, simply 'agree-to-disagree' interpretations and such. I guess it raises similar questions that I have had for some time. Much of the class (oh yeah it has been 12 hours over 2 days intensive) has dealt with corporate worship. At what point does an older person lose touch with changing culture and cling to (while defending with scripture) what they did in their prime? The best example is that he said that the church maximizes its musical worship and best guards against a 'performance' mentality through the use of a choir. Soak that in. Let it marinate. You have to understand I grew up singing in choirs, church choirs at that. Through that time I completely missed the point of 'worship' and never once felt it anything less than a performance. Oh, by the way, I paid for my undergrad by singing in a church that paid me to come on Sunday to sing in their choir. So, this could be me being led astray by my own unfortunate experience of the smallest percentage of churches doing the right thing the wrong way . . . The bigger problem is not whether this mode would or will work, but rather that he said that the example we have from scripture shows a choir. Yeah, Acts 30:21, right there.

So, all that to say . . . how easy is it for anyone, old guy . . .me . . . anyone to look at scripture and subtly twist it, and unintentionally interpret it through our own 'goggles' to make it say whatever we want? This obviously happens all the time, but who is right? And specifically when it comes to the our style or method of doing "church".

As the blog goes, We hold the keys . . .