Monday, October 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
And this fall just seems, well, significant. Can I explain it? Not really. But I just feel as though something is in the air. It's sort of like that admiral guy in Mary Poppins warning Mr. Banks that the wind is shifting, I feel as though my life is finally beginnig to shift as well. Where that may lead, who knows? I may end up having a tea party on the ceiling. Either way, I feel confident that the anticipation is for something good, for something positive.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Interview - Soular
This last pic was on the trip home...Good stuff..Kept it on his head sleeping for a while, too!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Me: Tyler! Want to go to the store with me to buy some ice cream?
Tyler: Sure! Let me put my shoes on!
In the car on the way:
Me: So Tyler...We're going to go someplace special tomorrow.
Tyler: You mean today?
Me: No, tomorrow. We're gonna go someplace special tomorrow.
Tyler: Tomorrow is today.
Me: No. Listen. What's the sun doing right now? Going down?
Me: Well, when the sun comes back up again it's tomorrow.
Tyler: And then we're going to the special place?
Me: Yes! After school.
Tyler: I want my Mommy...
Me: Mommy's going to go too, Tyler!
Tyler: What special place?
Me: It's a place called Orlando. We're going to visit one of Daddy's good friends.
Me: No! Tomorrow...
Tyler: So we're going to Orlando now?
Me: No! We're going to get ice cream!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, September 24, 2007
I'm not really sure of the answer but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's a hybrid of both. It's true that some of our dreams fall prey to others and that the golden age of adulthood often finds us more disillusioned than inspired. Yet, I also believe that we do wrestle against things that are unseen, and that this particular enemy is not thrilled with us pursuing our dreams. He'd rather us lie listless, unimaginative, and virtually dead. I also think that many times we're our own worse enemy, allowing negative thoughts and those ideas of "I'm too old" or "I'm past that stage of my life" to derail us from some things that we truly crave.
As I've pondered this, I've sat back and tried to recapture some of those dreams of my youth and to really ask myself what dreams I have now, if any. In places that I haven't found any, I'm trying to reignite my imagination, bringing dreams to bear. Yet, there are a few older dreams that still linger from the past and those I'm silently working to plot a course to fulfill. We are not our age. And, for those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers, we are not necessarily held to the confines of this world either. The sky is the limit where God is concerned. I'm just excited to see what the sky really looks like.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
1.) "Battling Kings" - VeggieTales, from the album, The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree
2.) "Something's Got a Hold on Me" - Etta James, from the album, Etta James: Her Best
3.) "O Holy Night" - Celene Dion, from the album, Now That's What I Call Christmas Vol. 2
4.) "There is Healing in His Hands" - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, from the album, Live...With Friends
5.) "You Thought Wrong" - Kelly Clarkson, from the album, Thankful
6.) "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks" - Andrew Peterson, from the album, Behold the Lamb of God
7.) "The Christmas Spirit" - Johnny Cash, from the album, Christmas With Johnny Cash
8.) "Boy Tell the World" - Apologetix, from the album, Adam Up
9.) "Wonderful Christmastime" - Jars of Clay, from the album, Christmas Songs
10.) "Maranatha" - Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy, from the album, Immortal Memory
11.) "Will You Marry Me?" - Lauren Talley, from the album, Lauren Talley
12.) "Love Moves in Mysterious Ways" - Michael English, from the album, Hope
13.) "My Christmas" - Brett Williams and In Reach, from the album, Christmas on the Rock
14.) "If God Didn't Care" - Jake Hess, from the album, Jus' Jake
15.) "Summertime is Past and Gone" - Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, from the album, The Complete Million Dollar Quartet Recordings
Weird how the Christmas stuff keeps popping up even though it's clearly the minority in there...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Don't Be a "Christian": Exchanging Religion for the Mission of God
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
On the other side of that coin is my struggle with the Church. Some may question how this plays a part in the discussion but it's truly integrated, especially given that at one time my desire was to work from within the Church, serving in that capacity. Now, I'm not so sure that I fit there anymore and that leaves things in a bit of a lurch. The thing that I honestly had to unpack to Erin was simply the uncertainty I have regarding the future right now and that "I really don't know what to do."
So, with this dialogue as fuel last week, I've been doing a lot of thinking, praying, and contemplating on our past, present, and future. And the conclusion that I've come to as of late is that I need to honestly ask myself what my dreams are, what my goals are, where my desires lie. This sounds like a simple thing, and for many it is, but for me, it's a dangerous question. I desperately want to be in the will of God and also want to be fulfilled in the career path I choose. And while I understand that the two will go hand in hand, the road down the path is a slippery and scary one for me. I'm afraid that I'll find myself trudging down a predictable path of financial security, which is not necessarily a bad thing, yet laying aside my heart and life. I am petrified of working for work's sake, of slaving over something that I don't believe in. That's part of my current frustration, particularly as over the years I've come to resent much of the Christian retail market.
And through all of that, I'm asking myself questions. What are my dreams now? What are my goals? What are my talents? And, perhaps most importantly, how can I utilize them to truly achieve those things I dream about? I don't know the answers to these questions yet but, somewhere deep down inside, I feel like I'm starting out on the right path for the first time in a long time.
Anyway, I'm going to shift things a little bit here, just because I can, and share a bit of a guilty pleasure that I've partaken of ever since I was a wee little lad. For the unaware, although I'm pretty sure that those who may stumble upon this are already aware, I grew up in the South. On top of that, I grew up in a family that was really proud it was from the South. My folks were and are die-hard civil war buffs who can expound upon just about every battle, every general, and every nook and cranny that holds the remotest possible interest from that hallowed time. We were southern cooking folk, indulging in bacon, fried chicken, and the like as a holy ritual. We were Hee Haw and Dukes of Hazzard folk, and to tell the truth, I still long to take a ride in the General Lee. And to top it all off, we fell, really as a family, for the charms of one bumbling yet lovable Ernest P. Worrell.
If the name doesn't strike an immediate chord in your mind, you've apparently grown up somewhere else. For us, Ernest was the best of slapstick low-brow comedy, with hilarity ensuing in films like Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Goes to Jail, and the holiday favorite, Ernest Saves Christmas. Jim Varney's "Aw shucks" hilarity and pratfalls made this ole' southern boy laugh many a time and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Now, having grown and matured and developed a taste for cinematic features that are perhaps a bit more avant garde, perhaps a bit more respected, I realize that I really shouldn't like Ernest. But I can't help it. I'm only broken hearted that there'll be no more from Ernest since the untimely passing of Jim Varney in 2000.
But, Ernest will forever live on in my thoughts and memories as a great character. So, I present to you yet another one of my guilty pleasures, Mr. Ernest P. Worrell:
Friday, September 07, 2007
"I've lost the sense of experience that should accompany worship. As I write, I listen to one gentleman behind me praising spontaneously; beside me one of the pastors falls to his knees, arms raised in abject worship, tears flowing freely. I don't have that. I know what You've done, I know that You've shown us the Way, The Way of peace and love. But, I don't know. I guess maybe I'm bitter...But I don't really think it's that. I truly think that maybe it's just...Well, I was going to say afraid, and that's part of it, afraid of being hurt, of being so deeply wounded by that which I truly love so dearly. But it's even more than that. Some days I even question You! Your grace once fit into a system; it made sense. But as I grow, as I get older and reflect more, I'm confused. I mean, and You know I've been thinking about this lately, but my greatest sins have come after my so-called "salvation". My iniquity has been in full view of You and, truthfully, I've known better. And, here's the kicker, I know I'm forgiven. I even, to some degree, know You love me. But God, as fucking childlike as it sounds, I want to feel it! And as I sit here now, with my wife I know wanting peace for me, I long for You! But, I'm just not sure this is even me anymore."
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
So Can a Pacifist Like The Departed?
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Fast forward to the present. Recently, my family and I joined a church after about three years or so of floating. Our floating came at the difficult end of four years of youth ministry, a story that I believe I've documented at an earlier time. In those years, I continued to pray, to think, and to deconstruct and I can honestly say that my thoughts and views have changed quite a bit from the past. Which makes our current situation a bit unique.
Our new home at Bayside Community Church is one that, five years ago, would have been a dream come true. It's a growing, thriving, young church with passionate leaders and rousing worship times. The pastor is a dynamic personality, speaking generally on topics that are readily applicable. My son loves his church time and is just jazzed every time he sees the hyperactive children's pastor. They pray for other churches in the area, which to me is a beautiful thing. Relationships are touted and encouraged left and right and the small group ministry is pitched as the hub of the church. A legitimate evening of prayer even frames the week for the church, allowing members and church leaders to come together in intercession for personal requests and the local community. These are all great things.
Yet, as I've said, a lot has occurred in the last couple of years. Truthfully, I've lost a lot of faith in the current state of church and particularly in churches as large as Bayside. It's an unfair assessment as people seem to generally be getting a lot out of things but I can't help feeling frustrated. My training from college as well as reading and thinking I've done about the state of both Christianity and the Church has me wrestling with so many elements within. I've even found myself questioning the use of disposable plastic cups for the Saturday evening pizza they serve after service as a reflection of how we view environmental concerns. Sometimes I think I've just flipped my lid and others I generally wonder if I've lost my faith. I don't possess the same fervor as I once did but I'm not sure that I want to feel that way again. I want genuine, authentic, passionate community that oozes depth and the glory of the goodness of God.
So, I continue to struggle, both with myself, with the church, and even with my wife. Yet, I can't seem to turn off my mind when it comes to these topics. I'm not intentionally trying to do this. I just can't get away from my thoughts of how things could be and wondering if perhaps they should be. I don't know if I'm missing God's blessing of answered prayer or am in a place where I'm called to be a catalyst for change...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."--Drew Carey
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Well, as a short glance down the page will show, my son and I have taken up fishing. I'd forgotten how much I really enjoyed the experience of being outside, of watching my bobber (yes, we're fishing old-school!) float across the surface of that water, and especially of having my son beside me learning. Now Tyler's not necessarily clued in all that well, and he tends to have more fun casting, then handing the pole to me to do the actual fishing so he can down a popsicle or rummage through the tackle box. Either way, I love the time I get to spend with him.
And, tonight, my son caught his first legitimate fish. While we're referring to the pic below as Tyler's actual catch, tonight was the real deal. Granted, it happened sort of by accident, as Tyler was holding the pole for a rare second while I baited our other pole's hook but when the bobber dove under the surface of the water and I hollered for him to reel, Tyler drew in our whopper of the evening. I'm going to say it. I'm a proud papa. I love my son. He's an amazing kid who continues to teach me each and every day. This morning he reminded me that he loves me. I hope he remembers that when he's sixteen...
Monday, August 27, 2007
I really don't know why. I don't. I guess that I just fell for the gimmick. Plus, I'm not gonna lie, in spite of myself I kind of liked Troy's guest spots on Big & Rich's first album. Sue me. Either way, you've gotta admit that this is catchy, even if you don't know what the heck it means.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Today's guilty pleasure is: Michael Bolton's My Secret Passion! Please be gentle...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Theology - Sinead O'Connor
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Life in the Slow Lane
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The article itself goes on to discuss something else, namely the push of technology and the endangerment of albums as a whole. With the digital age and the ability to pick and choose songs, we're in serious danger of loosing classic art pieces like The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. So, I ask you another question: What is that life changing album or two that you've had? What was that album that you heard and you knew that the world was going to be all right because this music existed within it? I really am curious to hear some responses. Wonder if anyone will?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Tyler: "Daddy, are you going to go to work today?"
Me: "Yeah, Daddy's going to go get ready in just a minute."
Tyler: "Are you be hating it?"
Me (a little taken aback but honest): "Yeah, some days Daddy does."
Tyler, walking out the door w/Mee-Maw: "Daddy be hating his work..."
It's a dark thing, a painful thing, and a weird thing to acknowledge that this is true. I've hit the place in my "professional career" where I really hate my job. Now, I don't hate the people and I don't even hate the work all the time but I hate the fact that it's just not, well, me. I don't feel complete in what I'm doing. As I spoke with a distant friend recently about this, he put it succinctly: "You're not buying what you're selling." Yup, kids, thats about the size of it.
While acknowledging a place for Christian retail, I realize that I personally am fed up with it. I'm tired of Jesus fish, Jesus shirts, Jesus lamps, and all other assorted and sundry Jesus junk. I believe that we are feeding into the already materialistic and consumer-crazed monolith that is already wreaking havoc on our society and I am tired of being a part of it. At least thats the big ideaological side of it. The other side of the picture is that I don't feel, and I hate to use this word but, called, or perhaps a better word is fulfilled, in what I'm doing there. I feel as though I'm sitting on both knowledge and talent without the forum to use them there and it's driving me crazy. So, yes, I guess, at least some days, I "be hating it."
Monday, August 13, 2007
What I've been working at, I suppose, is a bit of good 'ole deconstruction. It hasn't been a conscious decision, at least initially, but now I've sort of acknowledged it and have run with it. Let me give an example of what I'm talking about. Many, if not most of us, deal with things in the short term. We get up, shower, do whatever else it takes to get ready, head to work, slave in the office, fight our way home to play with our kids and eat dinner and rest up so we can do it all again. The trick comes when we begin to fine tune the lens a bit, to magnify things to point out certain details. One such detail that's really stood out to me as of late surrounds the concepts of ecology and sustainability.
For the better part of my life, I've used plastic, styrofoam, and whatever other materials I've needed because they served my needs. They eliminated the need for doing dishes, saved me time, and just simplified my life. Good stuff, right? However, as I've pondered systems, I've come to think of things a bit differently. Yes, these conveniences might aid me in the short term, but what am I becoming complicit in? Is my use of such materials having any sort of negative effect on the world? And, to take it a step further, is my engagement of such things honoring or neglecting the faith I claim to hold?
Now, this seems a simple issue. Life is busy, hectic, and maddening at times. These products are cheap and provide a handy service. But, I have to deconstruct things and say that while, sure, they provide a service, they also promote many negatives. What negatives? Well, let's begin with the ecological expense, from the simple decomposition rates as well as the environmental footprint left to simply dispose of it. Then back up even further and consider the fact that if we keep on this way, we're gonna need more which is going to necessitate the production of more and more which will release how many more harmful toxins into our air and ecosystem, leaving a less-than-wonderful world for my children to inherit. Again, taking it that step further, what does it say about me that I'm more apt to be a consumer than one who is taking God's creation seriously, honoring it and seeking to beautify and add to it as opposed to poison it?
This is just one system that I've been mentally deconstructing, "in my free time." There are clearly more that my mind has touched on, political, religious, theological, and more. But this is a healthy process, I believe, one that will open me up to more possibilities as to what the world may hold.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Church Decision Outrages Family
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
1.) "Love is the Last Thing to Go" - Kris Kristofferson, from The Pilgrim
2.) "Perfectly Fitted" - Lori Chaffer, from Songs from the Voice, Vol. 2
3.) "Born in Bethlehem" - Blind Boys of Alabama, from Go Tell it On the Mountain
4.) "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends - Joan Osborne, from Pretty Little Stranger
5.) "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" - Elvis Presley, from Tiger Man
6.) "The Rock Song" - Sigor Ros
7.) "Old Dollar Mamie" - from the album, Negro Prison Blues and Songs
8.) "This is Now" - 33Miles, from 33Miles
9.) "Not Ready to Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks, from Taking the Long Way
10.) "The Difference (In the Garden of Saint-Anne's-On-the-Hill)" - Kings X, from Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
11.) "It's Beginning to Get to Me" - Snow Patrol, from Eyes Open
12.) "When Tomorrow Comes" - Pillar, from The Reckoning
13.) "Pretty Polly" - Ralph Stanley and Patty Loveless, from All-Star Bluegrass Celebration
14.) "Promised Land" - Elvis Presley, from 2nd to None
15.) "Mary Goes to Jesus" - John Debney, from The Passion of the Christ Soundtrack
Okay, the eclecticism continues. I'd love to see some of yours! Send them along!
One friend has encouraged me to learn my place as a permanent exile/stranger in this land. Still another has exhorted me to rejoice within my pilgrim journey. I've found these to be fitting analogies to where I feel myself going. I do feel exiled from that past I once knew. Parts of me, at times, long for the simplicity of a dogmatic youth, an existence that found peace and contentment within the colors of a black and white world. Yet, the rainbows of the prism have been unleashed within my mind and this is simply not something to be forgotten or cast aside. Yet the longing persists and I hang my head wondering.
It's ironic, really. I haven't, as some may surmise, lost my faith in Christ. Rather, I've lost my faith in Christianity and in many of those who would consider themselves to be it's adherents. The faith I once held dear, that faith of my youth, has been found wanting. The problem comes with the fact that we've stolen the name of Jesus and replaced it with rules, laws, and dogma. We've painted Jesus into a picture of Republican politics, consumer-minded materialism, and bumper sticker religion. I long for a faith that once again plumbs the depths, that touches the hem of the garment of the Divine, and again allows me that sense of peace and fulfillment.
That same friend who referred to me as an exile also exhorted me to stay close to the Sermon on the Mount. Let me leave you with the Beatitudes:
Matthew 5:1-11(NIV) Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Ulysses Everett McGill: I am the only daddy you got! I'm the damn paterfamilias!
Wharvey Gal: But you ain't bona fide!
Well, unlike Mr. McGill, I've become bona fide. Genuine-like. I am now, officially, a professional freelance writer. Sure, sure, I've made a few dollars via my work on Associated Content but the majority of my work has been done with the sole purpose of getting my name out there, getting some free stuff, and garnering some good practice. But now, ladies and gentlemen, I've actually received a check! Woo hoo!
"From who?" you ask. Well let me tell you. My good friend and Mr. Miyagi-styled editor and writing mentor Matt is taking on a new venture with Stereo Subversion. We're launching the site on August 13th and I can't be more excited. The site is geared around the pursuit and exposure of what we're simply calling meaningful music. Check us out at Stereo Subversion on the 13th! Tell your friends!
Alas, this was a bittersweet read for me. Ever since my dear friend Celena turned me on to reading about Harry and his pals at Hogwarts, I've made short work of the books, devouring my secondhand copies like they were peanut butter sandwiches. I splurged for this latest and last release, largely because I didn't want to have the ending spoiled for me. I wasn't disappointed. Rowling saves some of the best for last and continues the magic. The only bad part is that this is the end.
I finally got back into the groove and started reading something a little more heady than my previous selections. An Emergent Manifesto of Hope is a solid collection of essays from a number of practitioners and thinkers from the collective fellowship and conversation that is Emergent Village. Ultimately a challenging and thought-provoking read, this book not only highlights the unifying points of Emergent, but also it's vast diversity. While there are a few chapters that make for slow reading, the majority of the text is well worth your time.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Libertad - Velvet Revolver
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Mark Scandrette, from his chapter, "Growing Pains":
"You should not think that the "real" emergence is happening elsewhere. You are invited to embrace your own celebrity - recognizing the importance of your own journey over simply being a fan of others' - and cultivate a local culture of faith-seeking. To address spectator tendencies, I give this unsolicited advice: no one can emerge for you. Make your own life. Host your own emergence. Stop reading so many books and blogs. Start your own conversations, and be a caring friend. The most important conversations happen between people who have the potential to live out their story together."
Carla Barnhill, from her chapter, "The Postmodern Parent":
"Indeed, parenting is about more than raising children. It is about investing in our hopes for the world. It is about joining in with our Creator in the ultimate act of re-creation. It is about pointing our children toward the work God has for them and giving them the resources to do it. It is about celebrating the goodness of life with God, a life that looks more like the kingdom with every generation."
Thomas Malcolm Olson, from his chapter, "Jailhouse Faith":
"I want them to imagine how their life will look when it's fully connected to God and connected to others, but they're not able to see it yet. But I can. It's the lens I look through when I teach them about recovery. I don't judge them based on the worst thing they've ever done. My reading of the prodigal son story convinces me there are many more verses in their life to be lived out."
Ryan Bolger, from his chapter, "Following Jesus into Culture":
"Jesus did not reject culture; it is where he started with people. He engaged them and spoke their language. Jesus was not countercultural as much as he was nonconformed within culture. As a cultural insider, he embodied a message of life in those places where the culture advocated death. Jesus lived in two realms simultaneously - both within human culture and submitted to the reign of God."
Friday, July 27, 2007
Well, I've been going through some stuff, more or less internally, and am finding myself in one of those spiritually dry spots. St. John of the Cross refers to it as a "dark night of the soul"; others as just a funk. Either way, I'm fighting those thoughts that, instead of making their way to the Pearly Gates, my prayers and instead being ping-ponged back to me courtesy of our ceiling. Bible reading proves dry and even some spiritual reading that I like to do has seemed just, well, dry. As such, I've tried to follow that biblical mandate of "remembering", of looking back to the signposts and landmarks left along the path of my journey. The problem is, I don't think I'm seeing what I'm supposed to be seeing.
Instead of looking and seeing the small structures erected that declare, "God did this", or "Remember when He stepped in and did this", I'm instead seeing a littered pile of stones along the way back that instead call out, "Remember when you screwed this up?!" Sure, I have those few landmarks that all good Christ-followers are supposed to have, marks of conversion and such, and I do realize that there are more that I'm simply blind to in these moments, but I'm finding that those good things are shadowed over so heavily by my failures. Now, a good thinking Christian will take the tact that, well, I'm saved and am therefore forgiven of all wrongdoing. The righteousness of Christ has been imputed to me and that when God the Father looks down upon me, He does not see my faults but rather the glory and beauty that His Son has placed upon me. And I agree with this theology.
The problem is that, well, existentialist that I am, I don't feel very forgiven right now. I feel more like a failure than a success. This place is not where I'm supposed to be. Of course, it can again be argued that I'm right where I'm supposed to be; that God has placed me in this place for reasons that only He knows. And again, I acknowledge and agree with the theological truth inherent. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. I just need some piece of grace to fall my way, to remind me that it all really does make sense in the end.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Cobalt Season Interview
Review: In Search of a Unified Theory - The Cobalt Season
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Coyote Blue was probably my least favorite of Christopher Moore's works but it was still an entertaining read. Again Moore brings the surreal into the everyday and makes us think, laugh, and shake our heads.
I read Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas some time ago and remembered it being quite an interesting read. So, when I happened upon this sequel at my local secondhand store, I picked it up. Koontz's key character, Odd, is intriguing and will worm his way into your heart. Give him a shot.
I started listening to Garrison Keillor's tales from Lake Wobegon a long time ago before I even realized how truly great they were. Keillor is a masterful storyteller with a sensitive finger on the pulse of midtown life and here he weaves tales of love, loss, and a touch of midlife crisis into a fun and heartwarming read.
This book made me sad. Not because of it's dark thematic elements (it deals with death, as in the big "D") but more so because this concludes the Christopher Moore books that I haven't read. Yet, as one of his latest, Moore continues to improve and excel, continuing to mine the town of San Francisco for material and integrating characters familiar in some of his other works. Strangely poignant and laugh out loud funny, this is good stuff.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I'm so glad I did. It's a great issue but two things in particular just kind of caught me right this time and I thought I'd share them here. The first was ironically the editor's letter, called the "First Word", from founder Cameron Strang. Cameron writes:
"How many of us have felt that optimistic determination that we're going to change the world? And how many - be honest - have had difficulty sustaining it? Inevitably, things don't turn out the way we hope, and "real world" things - school loans, marriage, kids, mortgages - pull us away from huge passions that once steered our lives. So what do we do? Do we succumb to the reality of settling? Or do we find ways to stay true to the passions God instilled deep within us?"
Okay, read my blogpost before this and I think we have that answer. But Cameron continues with some good advice:
"Distractions and responsibilities are inevitable. Things will not happen the way we think they will. But if we still believe in the things we once did, it's up to us to still go out and fight for our convictions.
And we need to start now. We don't have to wait until things are perfect. You may be working some sucky 9-to-5 to pay the bills, but that doesn't need to define your future...Don't let your circumstances dictate your future. Don't lose sight of what God has put inside of you...The future will be determined by people who will chase their dreams and stand up for what they believe in, come what may. If we're unwavering in our convictions, keep our focus on God and do whatever it takes, well, that's how revolutions are started. And sustained."
Good words, Cam. Good words. And I need to hear them so, thank you.
In the same issue, RELEVANT featured an interview with one of my favorite authors of all time, Anne Lamott. Lamott's writing has left quite an impression upon my life and has enabled me to see through an entirely new lens so this was very cool to read. I just want to share one quick quote that she offers up in the interview:
"You don't deepen your relationship with Christ with books; you do it by showing up with other people who are taking care of the poorest, hungriest and most marginalized. If you want to find where Jesus is, you'll find Him close to the poorest of the poor, the suffering, the terrorized people."
Just good stuff. Thanks, RELEVANT.
And as a side note, if you're not a reader/subscriber, you should be. Head over to their site and check it out. And for bonus fun, log onto itunes and subscribe to their podcast too. Features some good interviews, music, and well, all around hilarity.