NOTE – This brief post isn’t from something that happened today. Every now and then I want to post something that relates to a conversation I had during the day but if I post it during the actual day I feel will unintentionally hurt that person’s feelings. Therefore, I randomly pick a date in the future on which it will post. This could be one day or one year. Doesn’t matter. It just isn’t the day on which the post was published.
Every now and then I have to remind myself of the old saying.1
Never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
Today is one of those times where I need this reminder.
I believe George Bernard Shaw first published it but I am not sure ↩
This past Sunday I asked all the “threads” to consider praying the Apostle’s Creed during the day. Just in case you didn’t know where to look for it I thought I would post it here.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the church universal,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
I love media about zombies. I feel like the zombie craze is getting close to its last legs and I am ok with that because I don’t like zombie media because of it having been hot for the past few years. I like media about zombies because it is almost always not about the zombies. Good zombie literature and film is actually about what it means to be human. It looks at how the humans respond to the overwhelming, tide of (usually) thoughtless destruction that the zombies represent. Do our heroes maintain their humanity in the face of such fear or do they sink to subhuman. There are a few books and films that explore the possible humanity of the zombies (the movie “Fido” and the book I finished last night, “The Girl with All the Gifts“, for example), but these are still generally about the humans because the media is exploring how the humans react to the possible humanity of the zombies.
Such deep stuff for supposed horror. Some of the best theological thought comes out of fiction. To quote Alan Moore from his work V for Vendetta “Artists use lies to tell the truth.” Zombie literature is fiction but it address what is really important to us when our existence is on the line. Are we just concerned about existing , or are we concerned about things that are more important than just existing.
I believe that the Christian scripture teaches that to be human is to bear, however poorly, some semblance of the image of God (Imago Dei). I mention the Imago Dei pretty often on my blog and in the messages I deliver during Tapestry gatherings. I also preached about the Imago Dei this past week at the UWSP InterVarsity Large Group Meeting – you can listen to it here if you desire. It is kind of a big deal and I believe that we humans do the worst things when we forget to live out that image and even worse when we forget that others bear that image.. When, I read zombie literature I see discussions of the Imago Dei all over it. Christ has a great deal to offer discussions of what it means to be human. Jesus’s ideas work in the marketplace of ideas and those of us who are Christians should enter into debates concerning those ideas. Of course, we need to be focused first on living out the image and seeing the image in others.
This is why I recommend that everyone go out and read some zombie literature. Enter the discussion of what it means to be human and then consider what the old & New Testaments have to say about the subject that relates to the discussion that is going on all around us. So go out and read some now. May I suggest Robert Matheson’s “I Am Legend” as a starting point? It is a great work on thinking you are the hero only to find out that you are actually the boogeyman.
At the moment I am fighting very hard not to display my EOG (Early Onset Grumpiness – You can watch the video above for a description from Portlandia – please forgiving the cursing at the end).
At the moment I am sitting 20′ away from a youngish man who is listening to his music with what appear to be sealed earbuds (i.e. they should seal in the ear canal and keep him from hearing external noise and thereby also hopefully keep others from hearing his music). His music is so loud that I can hear his music from all the way across Emy J’s, with the Emy J’s background music going on. In fact, when I put my earphones in my ears in order to hear the video above I could still hear parts of the guys music. Seriously!
ARGH!!!!! EOG rant developing. I want to avoid this so I will leave Emy J’s and work on the next thing on my agenda for the day. Next thing on the agenda? Going to the DMV to register Buddy the Mustang. That should help, right?
Just a quick post to say that today I learned a problem of having a convertible that as a previous non-owner of convertibles I didn’t realize was an issue. Apparently it is important to look above where ever you are considering parking to see if there are prime roosting areas above the parking spot you are considering. Why is this important? Well because if you don’t consider any possible roosting locations above the parking spot you choose then there is a good chance that birds will roost above you car and do what birds do. In a normal car this just means a car wash. In a convertible it means that the bird poop goes into you car and needs to be cleaned before you are able to drive anywhere. Thankfully it was only a few birds so it wasn’t a huge clean up job.
I have leaned my lesson and will look up from now on before I choose a parking spot for the Mustang.
I am sitting in our den watching “The Dirty Dozen” (such a good movie) while Pam is doing some work for tomorrow and I am thinking about what a wonderful Sunday it was. A few weeks ago Erc G asked what I thought about one Sunday setting up various percussion instruments for the kids to play during the music at Tapestry. I told him that I thought it was a wonderful idea. So today he made sure there were various percussion instruments setup in the back of the room for our little ones to play as a part of our gathering today.
To quote Pam it wasn’t “‘children’s church’ or a special kids Sunday. Just letting little ones participate fully in the regular service with bongos, maracas, djembe, and cajon.” Yeah the beat was sometimes interesting. Yep it got a little noisy sometimes. There were more smiles during the singing than I have ever seen at a Tapestry gathering and that is saying something because smiles are VERY common at Tapestry gatherings. Our kids did a great job of helping us to declare the worth of our God. They weren’t a distraction. They were joy leaders.
It was a really good Sunday. I am very thankful for Eric and our smallest “threads”.
SIDE NOTE – 7 years ago today Jürgen and I became BFFs.
While Pam and I were watching the West Wing last night I went on a Google search of various subjects tangentially related to what we are watching. Pam and I do this a lot. We see something on the show, search it out, and then end up talking about the subject and have to rewind the show. Makes for a more enjoyable watching experience for us. Last night this involved learning about the role of the Acting President, in the few situation were there is an Acting President, and the many different types of pets our presidents have had with them as companions.
The number of parrots that have been presidential pets is quite surprising. I really would have never expected one presidential parrot, let alone five.
Also, while I like Teddy Roosevelt every now and then I think he had to be compensating for some serious feelings of inadequacy. I mean come on. He own bears, kangaroos, a coyote, a lion, a hyena, and a zebra?!?!?!? Sometimes, it feels like he was just trying to hard.
Anyhow here’s the link to the list that brought me a great deal of entertainment.
Presently I am sitting at Emy J’s trying to work on this Sunday’s message for Tapestry, Monday’s message for InterVarsity’s first Large Group meeting (possibly my favorite name for a meeting ever – just descriptive only way I might like it even more if it was “Monday Meeting at 7 p.m.”), reading the 1st three chapters of the letter of James for the group that Pam and I are a part of that read and discuss each week, and also reading a little of “The Girl With All The Gifts” that Adam recommended I read.1. In between all the people I have seen and had conversations with (and the one person I saw but I was talking with someone else and I have now lost – that’s right I’m talking to you Tegan) I have been thinking about two things I want to blog about but just can’t bring myself to extended time upon right now. They are:
Thing #1 Celebrity – I become a little more convinced every year or so that celebrity may be the most dangerous thing to Western Evangelical church and her leaders. I can’t put it all together but a lot of it for me comes from the belief I have that the bride of Christ is at her best when she is weak2 The desire for power and influence is great and it influences the church way too much. First you have a small stage (a church or a blog) and then someone comes and says you should write a book and reach more people. Then you start talking to wider audiences and the possibility for influence seems to be so much greater. I don’t exactly know what it is I want to write but I am pretty sure that when we are face to face with Christ we will learn that the people who brought the most glory to Christ are going to be people who we never would have wanted autographs from. Maybe that’s what I want to say – if someone ever wants my autograph then I have probably done something wrong. I don’t know. I’m just working on this.
Thing #2 Signalling – I have written about this before here but I am still fascinated with signalling theory. Talk to Pam or the boys and they will say that I talk about this all the time. Why? Well because it is all around us. What we wear, drive, eat. Where we live, visit, avoid. So much of this is about signalling. We are signalling that we are part of or not part of groups. Pam and I just had an interesting conversation concerning some of the health food/supplement thingies and also the minimalist movements probably coming out of an unexpressed desire to signal that you are a part of one group and not another. Face it, some of the minimalist and supplement crap I see can only be done but someone who is pretty well off. Maybe it is just another way of saying “I’m not poor” without thinking you sound like a jerk. Signalling is really all around us and I am convinced that many things that we think are important have more to do with signalling than they do our actual values.
What’s with all the recent book titles that have the word “girl”? ↩
For some reason I have mentioned and briefly discusses Paul’s letter to Philemon. This is probably because I have been leading Tapestry on Sunday’s the Paul’s letters to Timothy and therefore I have been thinking a good bit about Paul. Anyhow, it is a short and great book that is full of social justice. In this case, how the gospel of the kingdom of God was going to lead to the abolition of slavery eventually – they path was set and it was a matter of time and followers of Christ recognizing the direction of God.
Anyhow, today N.T. Wright a writer and thinker that I respect a great deal announced that he is offering an online course on the letter to Philemon for free. Here’s the link. I’ve signed up for it and would love to hear what others who sign up also think about what we learn.
One of the members of the Tapestry Leadership Team has been after me for years to move the Tapestry website from being hosted on Godaddy because of the them and us not really being on the same page values-wise (Hey Adam). I actually agree with him but the problem is that while I am generally a pretty ambitious person there are some things that I am down right lazy on. One of those is moving an already established website from one hosting site to another. It is the equivalent of replacing a water heater in your house – its a lot of work and will make things better but nobody will notice that anything is new. For me infrastructure work is fun when you are starting something but it is a pain after it has been started.
Anyhow something has happened over the past week and the older servers that we are on have gone crazy. The church website and therefore the church message podcast and my personal blog have been up only hours a day for the past week. Godaddy’s support has said they know about the problem and are working on it. I’ve heard that for a week. Other people are saying that it is older server vs newer server problem and Godaddy is encouraging people to start new accounts and thereby move to a new server. According to what these online forums are saying Godaddy will gladly do that for you for $99. I haven’t heard this from Godaddy but if it is true there is no way I am paying someone to enable me to use a server that I have already paid for. So I guess if things are corrected in a day or two I will be doing infrastructure work and starting up a new server. Oh how I dread that.
I’m probably going to go ahead and move my blog over to Nearly Free Speech hosting. It is dirt cheap hosting but not the easiest to use. We’ll see.