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Showing posts from September, 2009

National Coffee Day

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I would be remiss if this blog didn't acknowledge National Coffee Day:
Did you know that coffee dates as far back as the 9th century? It was first discovered in Ethiopia by a goat herder named Kaldi. He noticed the stimulating effects that the coffee berries had on his goats and began to experiment with them.

A century later, coffee began being roasted and traded by Arabs. From there, the beans entered Indian and European markets and the first coffee shop opened in Constantinople in 1475. From there, coffee's popularity grew at an exponential rate.

Today, over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year. It is a world commodity that is second only to oil. To celebrate this historical and important beverage, head to your favorite coffee shop. On National Coffee Day some of your favorite coffee shops will give out free cups of coffee!I did in fact trek to my favorite coffeehouse today, but they didn't seem to acknowledge this date. So I had to go ahead and pay for my jav…

Staycation

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Today begins two weeks of vacation time for me. The natural question that people have asked me has been, "So where are you going?" The natural assumption is that, when one goes on vacation, one is actually going somewhere.

That's hard to accomplish with a wife who is not on vacation and is in the middle of a semester of her nurse practitioner program, and a son who is...you know...in need of appropriate toddler-like care. Thus the result is the increasingly popular "staycation," where one doesn't actually go anywhere but just enjoys some time off.

I've taken staycations before, and they've generally been relaxing, save for the couple of times I was called back for a funeral (and we can discuss my boundary issues some other time, thanks). This particular time, I'll have just a little bit of "work" to do. I'll meet with one of Coffeewife's nursing school buddies for whom I'm officiating the wedding later this month, and I&…

Fall Equinox Meme

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Courtesy of the RevGals:

1. Share a Fall memory. I live about 10 minutes away from the community where I regularly trick-or-treated as a kid. My family lived out in the country at that point, but we'd travel with our neighbors to their grandparents' house and spend Halloween there. I remember always loving going to the houses that went above and beyond in their decorating; that even hosted mini-"haunted houses" in their backyards. I was thinking about this yesterday, and find it interesting how close I live to where those memories happened.

2. Your favorite Fall clothes--(past or present)? Hooded sweatshirts, hands down. I have at least a half dozen.

3. Share a campfire story, song, experience...etc. This past Sunday night, I had confirmed youth and sponsors over to the parsonage for a firepit. We roasted hot dogs and s'mores, and played volleyball and cornhole. I remember that right at 6:00, it started to rain very lightly, and I was about to have a connip…

Driving Past

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Before my sophomore year of college, I bought my first car. It was a gold 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse. It had standard transmission, which I hadn't yet really learned, but I was willing to do so for the sake of driving this car...during breaks for a summer college course I was taking, I'd go out and just make loops around the parking lot. It had a sun roof, CD player, and the stick shift had an orange light on the top of it that lit up when you'd turn on the headlights. This may not sound all that exciting, but it was to a 19-year-old kid with his first ride.

The next summer, I drove down to Cincinnati to see my first Dave Matthews Band concert with She-Who-Would-Eventually-Be-Coffeewife. As I was looking for the street to her house, I lingered too long on a sign that I'd passed, and when I turned back to the front I realized that I was about to be in the next car's trunk. The front of my car folded like an accordian, and I spent my summer earnings getting it fixe…

First Day of Fall

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"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." ~George Eliot

Pop Culture Roundup

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I'm still reading The First Paul. I've been distracted by other matters lately and haven't been reading too much of it. It doesn't help that the authors have launched into some familiar points and themes, and it's not holding my interest simply because I've heard this stuff from them before. I have been intrigued by their discussion of Paul's declaration that death is the final enemy to overcome. They discuss this in the context of Christ's death, which was violent, vs. death in our society being something that we can put further and further off thanks to modern technology. The suggestion is that, in that time and place, death was more of a "constant companion" due not only to Roman oppression, but the threat of disease and a shorter life span in general. They conclude that Paul may have had violent, oppressive death in mind more than death in general when he wrote about the final enemy to be overcome. It's an interesting point rega…

Jesus Weeps

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I've been giving thanks for changing leaves, for the chill in the air, for the gradual disappearance of all traces of summer. I relish the ideas of long sleeves and Halloween decorations. I wish that October was looming larger on the chronological horizon than it currently is, but I take some solace in the signs of its arrival.

I come home from the church to reheat some leftover pizza. My mom watches Coffeeson on Wednesdays, and the two of them were preparing for lunch of their own when I walked in the door. As I wait for the oven to heat up, I sit to check e-mail and read a few pieces on Michigan's expectations for the rest of the season. Tate Forcier appears in the corner of the newest Sports Illustrated. He's clearly established himself. I smile to myself, thankful that that particular aspect of fall is shaping up pretty well this time around.

I'm pulled away by something my mom says. She mentions that the pastor of my former/home church has a funeral tomorrow…

The College Football Weekend That Was

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On Saturday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., my family and I began the drive home from my in-laws' house in Cincinnati. We had breezed in to town for 24 hours or so for my sister-in-law's wedding shower. It's about a 3 1/2-hour drive, and given that Michigan and Notre Dame began playing at 3:30, I knew that I would miss the entire thing.

My brother and I call each other a couple times every fall Saturday afternoon to issue quick thoughts on Michigan's performance. Last Saturday during the first half of the Western Michigan game, it mostly consisted of comments like, "Hey, isn't it nice to watch a football team really play football again?" This past Saturday, I would need to rely on him for every update, every score and, hopefully, eventual news of a Wolverine win.

Leading up to the game, that last part was not a sure thing by any means. Even though Michigan had begun the season in strong fashion, they're still young with questionable depth at some spots. On …

Recharging

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Sometimes, a blogger needs a little bit of time to recharge his or her creative batteries. I believe that I have hit one of those points once again.

Check back in a week or so.

The TEAM, the TEAM, the TEAM

Bo has spoken:

Pop Culture Roundup

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I've been reading The First Paul, the latest joint work by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. The title plays off their previous books, The Last Week and The First Christmas...perhaps eventually people will be able to buy them as a boxed set. I almost expect a treatment of Revelation next. Anyway, Borg and Crossan set out to analyze the 13 letters attributed to Paul in an effort to reclaim Paul's context and theology. They divide these letters into three categories, and provide a comparison of the views contained therein. So we end up with the radical Paul, who was anti-slavery and anti-patriarchy, the conservative "Paul" who began to acquiesce to dominant cultural views of such things, and the reactionary "Paul" who completely contradicted the radical (read: authentic) Paul. Paul is presented as one who went against the cultural norms and helped spread a message of an alternative community and an alternative Lord, at which point we get Borg and Cr…

All in.

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Note: I wrote this before the Detroit Free Press published its curiously-timed report about alleged violations committed by the program.  Since then, the more I've been reading about the activities possibly cited as "violations" and the shoddy work that the two "journalists" responsible put into it, the less concerned I've been about it.  So while I personally am feeling more at ease than when I initially heard about it, I still worry about how this will affect the season.  And mostly, it pisses me off that some people seem to be working so hard to sabotage Coach Rodriguez.

"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing." - Bo Schembechler

This Saturday, college football begins a new season.

For the Michigan Wolverines, it will begin at 3:30 against Western Michigan University, a team that many say shouldn't be taken lightly.

Nowadays, …

Vintage POC: Sometimes I Get Tired, Too

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I wrote this entry nearly two years ago. These are feelings that recur from time to time, most recently perhaps when John Piper shared his tornado theology. But it was an entry at Internet Monk that really brought this entry back into my consciousness. I get what he's saying, even if I need to keep sitting with the material for a while. For some, the feelings in this entry naturally lead to what iMonk describes. For others, like me, I find ways to keep going because I find the truths that Jesus shares to transcend all the stupid crap that Christians do.

Greg doesn't have a lot of energy right now. He's gone through a "faith detox" sort of thing lately, where he now declares that he's not a Christian if being a Christian means adhering to what he sees as a ridiculous series of statements. From what I read from him, he's been a longtime critic of most church practices that take away from the essence of discipleship; that needlessly pile on or cater to t…

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