Showing posts from September, 2008

Open-Ended Questions

Beth has been reflecting on her first year at a new appointment, and how her sense of call has changed over the past few years: I find myself, in many ways, back at square one when it comes to discerning God's call on my life. Obviously, I still feel called to the ministry of ordained elder! But for so many years, including most of my time in Oneida, going through the candidacy process and seeking ordination was the way I was answering God's call. Now, I'm ordained, and that part of answering my call is thankfully completed. But now what? I believe God is always calling us - and I'm struggling to discern God's purpose now, and how I respond to that. I'm struggling to balance what I want to do with what I think God might want me to do. What does ministry look like for me in the next 5 years, 10 years, 1 or 2 years? I feel like these are open-ended questions right now. I'm used to having a plan and answers, and I don't have many right now, and it is a posi…

Programming Notes

1. Actual content coming soon.  There's been an inordinate amount of pictures, videos, quotes, and memes on here lately.  But there are some real entries coming.  Coming up: thoughts on the evolution of one's sense of call.
2. I now have a MacBook.It has GarageBand on it.  If I acquired a microphone and an online host, I could do a podcast.  Hmmmmm....

Aw yeah


Pop Culture Roundup

I continue to read Hearing God's Call, although I think I have what I need for my workshop.  Johnson has plenty of helpful things to say about what's involved with the struggle, the role of others in confirming one's call, and so on.  What has remained the most helpful for me is his analysis of the "anatomy of call," which I'll go through the day of my presentation while using my own call story to illustrate each point.  That sounds like a good blog post...

We watched Enchanted the other day.  Coffeewife has a major thing for Disney movies, and if you need to be reminded what this is about, a cartoon fairytale couple from an archetype of the old school Disney feature films become trapped in real life New York.  Hijinks ensue, including the princess rallying the city animals (pigeons, rats, cockroaches) to clean an apartment with a song.  Actually, that part was pretty funny.

For some reason, we got sucked into watching VH1 Top 100 Songs of the '90s.  I gues…

"Sabotage" is Awesome!

Just something to lighten the mood around here...


"In all our praying and searching and setting forth guidelines for discernment, let us never forget that discernment is not certitude; it is understanding according to the best of our ability. True discernment always leaves room for faith. Certitude doesn't require faith, and God is always desirous of faith. Our discernment points the way, suggesting how we should decide and act, but we act in faith, not certitude. God gives no guarantees about the outcome of our discernment, but he will be with us on our journeys and will teach us through our mistaken turns. And his divine fingerprints will mark our lives." - Ben Campbell Johnson, Hearing God's Call

Relient K - "Forward Motion"

whoa-o...for so long it seems i knocked it down, yeah it got knocked down
whoa-o...and the heating bill went through the roof
whoa-o...and the wall i knocked down was the proof
that my landlord needed to kick me out

i got evicted now i'm living on the street
my spirits lifted...oh wait, that wasn't me
too many turns have turned out to be wrong
this time i learned that, i knew it all along

when car crashes occur
then i'll be what you were
when i see what i should
when i see that it's good (that it's good)

to experience the bittersweet
to taste defeat
then brush my teeth
experience the bittersweet
to taste defeat
then brush my teeth

cause i struggle with forward motion
i struggle with forward motion
we all struggle with forward motion
cause forward motion is harder than it sounds
well everytime i gain some ground
i gotta turn myself around again
it's harder than it sounds
well everytime i gain some ground
i gotta turn myself around again

whoa-o...i've been ba…

A Fall Meme

Playing the Friday Five a day late. Five things you like about fall...

1) A fragrance - fallen leaves after a rain.

2) A color - There'd be something irritating, even to me, about answering maize and blue. So my answer is maroon and gold, mainly because they're fallish, but also because I particularly think of my college days when fall comes around and these are my frat's colors.

3) An item of clothing - I love me some hooded sweatshirts, and the chance to break them out again, particularly if there's some kind of open flame involved with things being roasted, is a chance that I treasure.

4) An activity - walking around the church cemetery, hearing my feet crunch through the fallen leaves, and taking in the view of the multi-colored forest at the end of the driveway.

5) A special day - the first day of the baseball playoffs, Halloween, the anniversary of a friend's death, every Saturday that Michigan is playing, Thanksgiving, the anniversary of my first day at my chur…

Pop Culture Roundup

I've started reading Hearing God's Call, which is about exactly what you would think it's about. The main reason that I picked it up is I'm actually leading a workshop on call discernment in a few weeks, and it was recommended as background. It has been very helpful, particularly when Johnson describes the "anatomy of call," which includes such things as the role of emotions, the dialogue that happens with oneself and others, finally embracing it, and so on. I could easily pinpoint each of these elements in my own call story.

We keep watching True Blood, although I missed a big chunk of this past week's episode due to Coffeeson beginning "sleep training." From what I can best gather, the main character, Sookie, is developing a friendship with the local vampire, to the alarm of pretty much everyone else. She brings him home to meet her grandmother, who is equally excited about their town having such a being in their midst. Sookie's broth…

Watch Your Language

Scott is never one to mince words...
to my emergent, missional, incarnational friends
enough already.

the labels have become redundant. once upon a time we tried to start something that was free from such labelling, only to succumb ourselves. no one outside the cultic bubble even understands what you are talking about anymore. they care even less.

missional? what church believes it isn't missional? from baptists to buddhists, everyone on the religious bus believes they are touching their community. the term is meaningless and vague.

incarnational? know any english? i can just imagine you telling your neighbours your church is trying to be incarnational... imagine the blank stares. and again, what church is going to admit they are not trying to live christlike in their environs. isn't that kind of the point?

emegent? are you emergent or emerging? does it really matter? i thought you didn't like labels? i am floored the amount of time that is wasted defining and redefining the lab…

Music Meme

1. Of all the bands/artists in your record collection, which one do you own the most albums by? If we're just counting studio albums, it's a tie between Dave Matthews Band and Five Iron Frenzy at six apiece.

2. What was the last song you listened to?
"Unite" by The Supertones...I was feeling nostalgic, and I forgot how much I loved this album

3. What’s in your record/CD player right now?
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

4. What song would you say sums you up?
At this moment I might say "Who Needs Sleep?" by Barenaked Ladies

5. What’s your favorite local band?
The Black Keys are from Akron, so I'll say them.

6. What was the last show you attended?
Dave Matthews Band, July 30

7. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to?
It's still SkaMania, fall of 1998. The Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, and The Insyderz. My theology has diverged from some of these guys, and two of them aren't even ska anymore. But I can't remember a concert when I was m…

Open Forum: A Question for OSU Fans (And Other CFB Fans, If You Care)

Open Forum posts especially ask for feedback from readers...

Okay, first off, both our teams sucked this weekend. And as much schadenfreude as I enjoyed Saturday night, it was still after an ugly, rainy craptastic UM loss where the Wolverines spotted the Irish 21 points in the first four minutes. So this isn't to gloat, because if one factors in Michigan's performance, there's nothing to gloat about.

Second, my apologies that the blog seems college football-heavy right now. It's that time of year. I do have other stuff on my mind that I'll write about soon.

Now, to my question. You might think it's kind of weird. And I'm honestly looking for opinions and not asking it to be a jerk.

Do you think that Jim Tressel's days as head coach are numbered?

Not, like, just another year or two necessarily. He has a near-spotless record against UM, he's led OSU to three NC games.

He's also lost two of those NC games, badly. And it's interesting to read

Michigan/Notre Dame Pre-Game Analysis

Courtesy of The Onion (click to enlarge):

Pop Culture Roundup

I've finished the second Sandman. I'm not sure what to really say about the last few chapters. He tracks down all the escaped dreams, and there's a bit of a complicated resolution that requires knowing things from the first book that I'm just not up for explaining.

At this point, I have two books that I basically need to read for Association-related things. The first is Hearing God's Call, a book on discerning call that a colleague recommended as background for an event I'm leading next month. The second is Recreating the Church, a copy of which is being sent to every Association church to prepare for the program and discussion at our fall gathering. The author, Dick Hamm, is going to be there to run us through some of the basic concepts in the book. I really need to start these.

This past Sunday, we watched the premiere of a new show on HBO called True Blood. If you haven't heard of it, it takes place in a small southern town and in a universe where v…


Scene: the Coffeehousehold. Coffeewife is talking to her sister on the phone about the Twilight book series, of which she is a huge fan.

Coffeewife: ...[Author] Stephenie Meyer said that the reason she builds up to the fight scene in Breaking Dawn and then breaks it up before it happens is because she didn't want it to end like MacBeth, where everybody dies at the end.

Coffeepastor: And that's why MacBeth is a classic, and the Twilight books are stupid.

For one night only...

There are some who argue that this Saturday night, I should root for Ohio State when they play USC.

The argument goes that an Ohio State win makes the entire Big Ten look good, as the conference has taken a lot of flack due to its teams regularly losing to Pac-10 and SEC opponents (see: the last two Rose Bowls, OSU's tanking of the last two NC games).

So the Buckeyes beating the Trojans makes the Big Ten look stronger. Thus, even though I am a Michigan fan and thus am obligated to hate all things OSU, I should put aside the rivalry for a few hours for the sake of the conference.

Here's the thing. As a UM fan, I have not had a good decade. The Wolverines have only beaten the Buckeyes once, in 2003. Since moving back to Ohio, I have never enjoyed a UM win over OSU. And I've heard about it. A lot.

It's been quite a while since the John Cooper era, and Ohio State fans have forgotten what that sort of misery feels like. In fact, aside from choking the past two …

Nip It In the Bud

Before you get the e-mail forward with the shorter version, here's Obama talking about people trying to paint him as a Muslim in its true context.

HT to Street Prophets.

Related entry: Knock It Off, You Morons

Wait...Opinions Change Based on Politics?

Who knew?

HT to Bob.

Pop Culture Roundup

I haven't had a whole lot of time to keep reading Sandman. Yeah, not enough time to read part of a comic book. Dude...seriously. Actually, it just hasn't been the medium of relaxation to which I've turned lately. Nevertheless, I have managed to read another chapter or two: most notably one where Morpheus and his sister Death (he has six siblings including Desire, Despair, Destiny, Death, etc...Morpheus' D-scheme name is Dream) overhear a guy in a pub talking about death being a sham: no one has to die if they don't want to. So Morpheus asks Death to let him go and he makes a standing appointment with the guy every hundred years to see what he really thinks about this not-dying thing. It's actually one of my favorite stories from these books.

I recently watched I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which I hadn't had a strong interest in seeing. But it was on HBO and I was home with Coffeeson, so I figured why not. Kevin James plays Larry, a widowed fi…

Community Organizers and Actual Responsibilities

I have a bone to pick with Hockey Mom Regular Jane Sarah Palin. That bone has to do with the fact that she really doesn't sound like that much of a Regular Jane to me. At least, not with this nifty quote from her ROUSING EXCITING DOWN HOME SPEECH~! from the other night:

Palin, 44, contrasted her experience as a self-described “small-town mayor” with that of the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

“Since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves,” Palin said. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”Really, Ms. Palin? Is that your opinion of community organizers? That they don't really do anything; have no real responsibilities? I mean, I get that it's a 7th grade-level attack at Obama, and bravo for whomever was reminiscing about climbing the rope in gym class when they came up with th…

Notable Notes

~Coffeeson's baptism went very well. It was a little strange to be standing on the opposite side of the font making the promises rather than prompting others. We had a full house all weekend long, with over 40 friends and family milling around at one point or another. A seminary buddy came down to do it (and I still feel bad about not giving really any other seminary buddies enough notice...your invites were seriously addressed, just not stamped...I suck). It was good to see him besides. If it hadn't been for said over 40 friends and family, worship would have been low attendance-wise.

~Michigan's offense looked at times like they were still running practice drills against Utah. The defense made adjustments and looked a lot better in the second half, but the offense was every bit as shaky as people figured it'd be. I have more faith in Threet than Sheridan at QB...just open up the field for him and let him rip (Exhibit A: the bomb pass to Hemingway for the TD). …

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