Monday, October 30, 2006

Just Nasty...

Dysentery sample analysis?

Semen washer?

I ran across this bizarre article on AOL that detailed the ten worst/nastiest jobs in science. Check it out!

10 Dirtiest Jobs in Science

Review: Last Man STanding - Jerry Lee Lewis

This is a great album by the Killer himself! Check it out for some good stuff!

Last Man Standing - Jerry Lee Lewis

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Six-Word Stories

I ran across this interesting article which shares a number of six-word stories. Yes, you read that correctly. It's really the ultimate in short stories and they've culled such stories from people in several realms of creative life. It's an interesting read at the very least. The question I'm left with is what my own six-word short story would be?

I don't know what to write. - Andrew Greenhalgh

Monday, October 23, 2006

Through A Glass Darkly

I was talking to a friend the other day and he was remarking to me about what he feels is a rise in the Christian community, particularly among those of an artistic bent, that seems to be focusing more and more on the idea of our depravity, or the idea that without God we are nothing. This makes him particularly happy due to his Calvinistic leanings and on this point I do agree with him. There is a growing sense that we are insignificant without God and that God is utterly beyond all that we can imagine. Yet, our conversation continued and he spoke of the idea that many have tossed aside the ideas of doctrine and theology as things which serve no purpose because we can "never really figure God out". I countered with the idea that there are many of us, some of which would coin ourselves "emerging" or "emergent" depending upon your bent and buzzword of choice, others who just don't care what they're called, that are very much about theology and the concept of doctrine, yet we tend to hold these things in our hands lightly, delicately. We realize the danger of proverbially boxing God in or making some definitive declaration about Him that is only trumped by some new revelation later. My own journey has seen numerous shifts in thinking in those areas and perhaps we ought to not hold to such a dogmatic stance of those things?

My friend then offered up an interesting comment regarding his conversion and story. He shared that his life didn't really change until he really started getting into and understanding the doctrines of Scripture. He asserts that it wasn't until He studied the Scripture and the doctrines therein that he truly developed a healthy understanding of reality. I see where he's coming from. Yet, as always, I have a slightly alternative view on this issue. I instead wonder if it's possible to view the Scriptures accurately without having first tasted of and experienced what some may view as reality. The Scriptures themselves remind us that creation itself reveals the glory of God. Reality itself offers up a compelling portrait of God.

Now, I'm sort of rambling here so please allow me to flesh out my thoughts. First, I realize that we view all of reality through some sort of lens. Our philosophical views are critical elements in how we look at the world. My friend, I believe, would contend that a Scriptural view is the only lens by which we can truly know reality. Yet, my question is how we can be confident in our lens of viewing Scripture? I'm not holding to a relativistic viewpoint or abolishing the idea of concrete statements as we approach the Bible. Yet, I do realize that there are theologies that have been developed and utilized by people, well meaning, intelligent, and God fearing people, who come down on opposite ends of theological spectrums. Where is the dividing line? Where is the truth?

The truth, I think, comes in that ubiquitous relationship with Christ that we all toss around. In comes in loving one another, in loving our brothers and sisters, in loving our neighbor and our enemies. It comes in not being so obsessed with being right, with having all of our t's crossed and our i's dotted but rather in living right, in living in peace, harmony, and love with one another. This cannot occur without Jesus, without the grace and indwelling of Him, and this is the one thing we can all agree upon.

In Lieu of Substance...

In lieu of having the time to write anything right now of substance, here are a few more pics o' the young 'uns!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Review: Body Piercing Saved My Life - Andrew Beaujon

This is a great book written by a senior writer for Spin which looks at the Christian music industry, good and bad. It's really, really good!

Body Piercing Saved My Life - Andrew Beaujon

You can pick the book up here!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Review: So Far So Good - Paul Thorn

Here's a review I did for one of my favorite artists, Paul Thorn! Check out this album!

So Far So Good - Paul Thorn

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Random Question

Just yesterday as I was exiting the bathroom of the company that I work for I was struck with a bit of an odd thought. There's really no good reason for this thought and no real reason I want to know the answer other than to possess said knowledge. Yet, I really do want to know. Here's the question:

Why did we start wearing underwear?

Okay, I know it's a weird question and, no, I'm not anti-underwear but, well, I'm curious. Before you (all three of you who maybe read this every now and then!) start hitting me with your takes on the whole concept and development of boxers, briefs, and brassieres, let me offer some of my ideas and thoughts on this critical topic.

1.) I'm not talking about women's undergarments here, particularly brassieres. There is an obvious reason here for the advent of these items that falls under the heading, "support".

2.) A practical view of underwear may find it's birth in stylistic changes. Fashion changes and the need for something to guard against such evil forces as painful zippers and relentless buttons may be part of the reason.

3.) The Puritans. These were not people very keen on the idea of my skin showing, let alone getting a quick peek due to a strong breeze. Therefore, maybe underwear were their idea of preserving sexual purity and moral integrity?

4.) Warmth. We're all familiar with those Scottish fellas and what they don't wear beneath the kilt, but, doesn't it get a bit chilly there in merry old Scotland? Maybe they're just trying to keep their proverbial goods warm and toasty?

5.) Sin. Okay, admittedly this sounds a little deep for such a "trite" topic but I think there is some legitimacy to it. Consider the whole story of Creation and Adam and Eve. They sinned, realized that they were naked. Covering themselves with leaves, God eventually makes them some nice lambskin fashions. Perhaps underwear were another aspect of covering ourselves, of hiding our shame. And, we've got to admit, as a people, humans are pretty ashamed, with exception of some, of our cash and prizes.

Those are just some theories. While friends may think me a bit off, I'm actually going to have to Google this mess up and see the real story.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Beautiful Prayer

Here's a prayer that resounds with my heart that was in my reading this morning in Shorter Christian Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ,
true light of the world,
you guide all mankind to salvation.
Give us the courage, strength and grace
to build a world of justice and peace,
ready for the coming of that kingdom,
where you live and reign with the FAther and the
Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Review: Good Monsters - Jars of Clay

Another review for your, um, enjoyment! It really is a good album, by the way!

Good Monsters - Jars of Clay

Monday, October 02, 2006

Moving Forward

I've been rereading Brian McLaren's, A New Kind of Christian, with a good friend of mine and it's reawakened some thoughts within me. Actually, it's reminded me of where I've been and where I may be going. One particular thing has struck me thus far, and we're only a dash back into the book really. Early on, Brian, in offering up a reason and understanding of the book, presents a chart drawn up for him by, Andrew Jones. The chart essentially outlines a progression from 1 - 4, with portions 2 and 3 finding themselves sqeezing through a small area. Basically, 1 is when all is well, 2 is when we begin to question, doubt, and whatever else and begin to see the fuzzy lines around. It is here that we are most critical and deconstructive in our thinking. Part 3, however, presents a place of healing, a place where we progress constructively, seeking out answers for our questions rather than simply being critical. This leads us to part 4, wherein we rest in the new world we've found.

I'm finally finding myself in part 3. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure that I thought it would ever come. But it has. A renewed fervor for ministry is building underneath me, although a different view of ministry than I might have had before. A new view of God, of the world, of the sacred and the secular all lay before me and, rather than full-on cynicism and skepticism, I now view these things as opportunities and challenges. This is a huge change and is pretty important to me.

This renewal does not imply any desire to stop thinking, however. There will still be moments of wrestling with doubt, times of pain and suffering, and certain heartbreak. Some would accuse that statement of being pessimistic but I see it only as realistic. Life is that series of ups and downs on the proverbial roller coaster and we must acknowledge it as such. But, perhaps the real key is how we respond and in whom we place our trust? May I be encouraged in reflecting back upon my past and looking forward to the exciting place that is the future while always living in the present.