Showing posts from April, 2013

In the Spotlight

Rachel Held Evans has a Q and A up with singer Jennifer Knapp. You may recall that Jennifer was quite popular in Christian music (I fondly remember seeing her open for dc Talk years and years ago), took a hiatus, and then released a new album while also coming out as a lesbian.

The whole interview is fantastic, but I zeroed in on this tidbit that Jennifer shares in response to a question about what she did during that hiatus from music:
Retrospectively, one thing I’d say is that while it is possible to learn from the experience of being ‘in the spotlight’; it is not the most fertile soil for significant growth. The spotlight is where we celebrate and commune with what we’ve learned. The growth, the creation, self-exploration and processing, I just can’t see how we can possibly do that effectively with an audience. It’s too exposed. Being observed inherently shapes the outcome. We usually talk differently when we are being observed. We perform. That’s not bad; it’s just not the entire …

I'm A Sucker

Last year, I was contacted about becoming part of the National Planning Team of the UCC 2030 Clergy Network. This was in the run up to their biennial Shepherding the Shepherd event, at which I was formally inducted, including prayer and laying on of hands. I still recall it being a very affirming and renewing moment.

Responsibility as part of the NPT is not necessarily extensive: there's a monthly conference call, and otherwise we plan the Network's big yearly event--whether Shepherding the Shepherd or a day-long event the day before General Synod--and otherwise facilitate connections and projects as they arise and seem warranted.

When I first told Coffeewife that I'd been invited to be on the Planning Team, she said, "You'll do it. You're a sucker for that kind of thing."

Yes. Yes I am.

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be involved in as many things as time will allow...and then a couple more things on top of that. I kept myself crazy bu…


Moving from one stage of life to another is never a clean break.

We expand our families, we change jobs, we change communities. We may move three states away or from one company to another.

But we're always followed. We're followed by our decisions, our reputations, our identities. Whatever our complete body of work in life has been, including our hangups, our spiritual scabs, our grudges, the times we've hurt others or have been hurt, it all follows us. Our ideas about how life was meant to be or may be someday still follow us.

In some cases, but not always, relationships follow us. Our immediate families, sure. That's a given. Past classmates, acquaintances, co-workers, and friends follow us, too. If not physically, we may keep track of each other through other means. The ones we want, anyway. And that always ends up being a smaller list than we think it'll be.

Not everything that follows us is desirable. There are those instances where we're running from so…

A Song Shall Rise

The tweets started appearing sometime Monday afternoon.

Mondays are Coffeeson and my day to hang out. I take that day off, and we spend it running errands, visiting our favorite donut shop, watching movies, playing with action figures, and whatever else we feel like doing. There isn't a whole lot of time to watch much grown-up TV, but social media addict that I am, I check my phone during down moments.

That's how I heard about bombs going off in Boston.

When one is simultaneously watching his 5-year-old son and wanting to find out more about what's happening in the outside world, there's only so much that one can do. First rule: don't switch the TV over to some news channel that is assuredly replaying video of the blast and its aftermath while interviewing eyewitnesses. No, best to leave it on Rise of the Guardians. Even though our world seems to insist on introducing tragedy to our children at a younger and younger age these days, I wasn't about to do that.


A Bare Stage

A few years ago, two movies came out that at a glance seemed like they had very similar plots. One was called The Prestige, and the other, The Illusionist. Both of them were about magicians and set during similar time periods, but that's pretty much where the similarities ended. Coffeewife and I found this out by watching them very close together after they'd been released on DVD.

Initially, I gave the edge to The Prestige, starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as rival magicians. The way each tried to outdo the other and the way the film kept revealing that things were not as they appeared was captivating, although the final big reveal seemed to be a bit of a cop-out. Meanwhile, The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton and Jessica Biel, was more of a love story, and didn't immediately strike me the way the other movie did.

The more I reflect back on my experience of these two films, however, I find The Illusionist to be the better film. It had just as much intrigue as

Re-imagining Needed

I like writing, and I like blogging.

But I don't like my blog right now.

It's the same old, same old, and when look at it I feel bored.

Eight years of doing basically the same thing will cause that, I suppose.

I need to re-imagine how I do this, because I value what this blog and blogging in general have been for me.

I don't want to stop, but I do need to change.

So I'm gonna figure out what I need to do about that.

Watch this space.

Thanks for reading.

Pop Culture Roundup

I've read Rob Bell's new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God. In fact, I pre-ordered it as soon as I heard about it...I make no secret that I'm a big fan of Bell's work. In this offering, much like what the title says, Bell explores, essentially, his definition of God. But he does so while pulling in quantum theory and particle physics and all sorts of anecdotes about faith and doubt and a whole bunch of other stuff that you wouldn't think go together until he puts them together. Such is his way. And of course his writing style is such that it took me maybe 2-3 days to read it...a 60-page chapter took me maybe a half hour. I won't call this my favorite Bell offering, but it was still very thought-provoking.

The season finale of The Walking Dead was this past Sunday (SPOILERS AHEAD). There was something about it that was a bit anticlimactic. There wasn't truly a big showdown with The Governor so much as the prison group taking advantage of the v…

Small Sips Is Trying Not to Have a Spittle-Flecked Nutty

The end of the reform of the reform? Or a new reform of the previous reform? On Maundy Thursday, Pope Francis visited a prison to wash the feet of some inmates, as has been a custom. But some are unhappy because this year the practice included girls. And a Muslim. A Muslim girl, even. THE HORROR:
Francis' decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls — a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic — during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key priorities of Benedict's papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic Church.One of the most-read traditionalist blogs, "Rorate Caeli," reacted to the foot-washing ceremony by declaring the death of Benedict's eight-year project to correct what he considered the botched interpretations of the Second Vatican Council's modernizing reforms."The official end of the reform of the reform — by example,…

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