Showing posts from September, 2013

National Coffee Day

As always, Philosophy Over Coffee wishes you a happy National Coffee Day!

September Pop Culture Roundup

Five items enjoyed this past month...

1. I pre-ordered Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I've long been an admirer of Nadia for her irreverence and her insightful commentary on church, culture, and theology. To say that I was greatly anticipating this book's release date so that I could get my copy was probably an understatement, and I read the whole thing in two days. Nadia interweaves some of her personal story into her experiences of being a pastor of such a unique congregation, all with the humor and...ahem...vocabulary that anyone familiar with her would expect. This book is personal, insightful, at times convicting, at other times inspiring. This was definitely worth the wait.

2. I really enjoyed the second season of The Newsroom, which centered on the news crew pursuing a story about the U.S. military using chemical weapons during a conflict that turns ou…

Music Review: The Mantis and the Moon by Son of Laughter

How in the history of this blog have I never had a standalone "Music Review" feature before now? No better time to correct it, I suppose.

It is not a new thing for regular readers of this blog for me to share that I, for the most part, have given up on what constitutes Contemporary Christian Music. I listened to it almost exclusively in late high school and most of college, but at some point I caught onto the fact that a lot of it seemed to be the same six cliched spiritual phrases over the same three acoustic guitar chords, with hardly any artistic depth to speak of. I held onto a few favorites who seemed to buck that trend and let the rest go for quite a long time.

As the years went on, I started to discover that there seemed to be a new kind of Christian musician transcending this saccharine wasteland of hackery, boasting both musical originality and lyrics that truly explore, question, and celebrate the vast spectrum of faith and discipleship. They actually sing about so…

Ministry and Ego Death, Part 2

When sitting down to start writing the follow-up to what I posted the other day, I tried to choose between several possible illustrations or stories with which to open. These things had all happened within the past month or more, all of which seemed so timely and perfect. Choosing just one seemed futile, so you get them all via bullet points:
During a conversation with a colleague who like me went from serving a "pastor-sized" church to a "program-sized" church (i.e., a slightly larger church more centered around the work of committees and/or specialized staff rather than the pastor as hub of everything), he said, "You have to redefine your role, which includes letting go of certain things that you're used to doing."The second week of my paternity leave this time around, I sent an email to the church secretary asking some church-y question, the response to which was, "I've been keeping you out of the loop on purpose, because paternity leave i…

Ministry and Ego Death, Part 1

I need to start this post with a disclaimer that what I'm about to write is about me: what I've learned, what I'm still learning, mistakes I've made and hope to not make in the future. This post isn't about other people. Inasmuch as I do mention people and events, it is in the context of what I myself have learned. Okay? Good? Okay.

I love being a pastor. I love planning events and activities. I love preaching and sermon preparation. I love teaching and lesson planning. I even love meetings sometimes. I live by my UCC desk calendar. The flip side of all of that is that I get anxious when things don't seem to come together the way I want them to, or on the timeline that I had planned for. I sometimes joke that I'm an INFJ with a capital J: I'm a planner, scheduler, list-maker, and I start freaking out when someone or something messes with said plans, schedules, and lists.

That's the first thing. The second thing is that I suck at asking for help.


Small Sips Is Just a Bunch of Michigan .gifs, Basically

WAIT WAIT WHAT ARE YOU DOING oh okay. Michigan played Notre Dame for the last time at the Big House for an undetermined amount of time, as the rivalry is going on hiatus after next year due to ND deciding they'd rather play a bunch of ACC teams, Michigan State, and Purdue instead.

At any rate, Michigan won in another classic, although this was a little more comfortable to watch than the past few years. One of the big stories was how well QB Devin Gardner played, including one scoring play in the first half where the play clock almost expired before the ball was hiked and Gardner ran it in himself.

Before that, head coach Brady Hoke tried to call a timeout to keep from getting a penalty, which obviously didn't happen. ESPN caught his attempt to do this and his subsequent reaction to the TD, which is now available in .gif form:

Bonus. After the game, Gardner was being interviewed, and it was a perfect time to be photobombed by WR Jeremy Gallon:

So yeah, the game was fun. I was wo…

Gas Bubble Smiles

If you attend more than one wedding that I officiate, you'll likely notice that my homily is some variation on the same theme: today is not the most important thing. Today you are awestruck, and everything is beautiful, and everyone is smiling, and the future is as pure and pristine as it possibly could look through the lenses of this big overly expensive celebration. Tomorrow, of course, it will all be different: everyone will have gone home, and there will be bills to pay and careers to juggle and inevitable hard situations to manage.

It's the classic "wedding vs. marriage" schtick that many pastors talk about in many weddings on any given weekend. No matter how much time and money and energy you've spent planning for this time featuring fancy dresses and carefully prepared food, this will not be how it always is. Eventually, you actually have to start figuring out how to live with each other, quirks, warts, bad habits and all, preferably for a lifetime.

The w…

Vintage CC: Green

This post from February 2008 has come to mind again with Coffeedaughter's birth this week. I wrote this just a few months before Coffeeson was born and re-posted it for his birthday the following year. And while I get how this works a little better nowadays, it's still very much relevant.

Let’s start from the beginning.

This is one of the many thoughts that I have as I sit at the edge of the double bed in what will eventually become the nursery. The transformational process has been a very gradual one: the walls had been painted a light green color even before we knew we were pregnant. A completed changing table stands along one wall, the deep brown of the wood adding a certain refinement that will be completely contradicted by its use. Against that same wall leans a tall flat box containing the pieces of a crib. It will match the table once it is assembled, but that task will not be tackled until the very bed on which I sit is removed from the room. We’ve really just been put…

Fatherhood's Many Discoveries

It wasn't very long after we found out that our second child would be a girl that Coffeewife started scouring clothing racks for whatever deals that she could find. I wasn't against this, really, as we had planned ahead with Coffeeson pretty well, and now especially that in some ways we'd need to start over, it made sense to do so again.

Coffeewife began showing me what she bought, and I wondered what all this pink frilly stuff was. There are, like, skirts and bows and lace and things laying around here. I mean, I know they serve some kind of purpose, but what? It is a great mystery to me. Perhaps it is for this baby to wear? I mean, that's why she bought them, right? I only had a brother growing up and heretofore have only been raising a son, but that has to be it, I think. So I guess I'll dress her up in them. What else am I going to do with them, right?

True enough, this is new territory. I've written about that already. But as of late Sunday night, that te…

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