Sunday, June 29, 2008

new hobby

Just got a new Nikon D40 digital SLR (w/kit lens & 50-200mm telephoto lens). Tried to keep up taking pics for Southside Youth Baseball with my little Nikon Coolpix L6 and finally wanted to upgrade. (I don't get a birthday or Xmas gift from the fam for the next 2 years...)

Just shot the City Tourney final game Friday & LOVED the camera. Really looking fwd to learning more about this art.

Sermons have become...

"Sermons have become Christian entertainment. We go to church to hear a well-developed sermon and a convicting thought. We've trained ourselves to believe that if we're convicted, our job is done..."

Just finished this thought-provoking, action-provoking book. This little idea at the end of the book gave me pause...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008

I appreciate how he tried to make social commentary in ways that seemed like healthy questions or observations--things that people more lofty than comedians should perhaps wrestle with.

I appreciate how he use to do it in a way that wasn't angry--I think that's what made it art. Anyone can be angry and callout problems--he did it in a way that had more layers to it, hence the art of it.

I also appreciate his wrestling with and questioning our use of words. As he said, "On the plane? %$#@ you I'm getting in the plane!"

It was hard for me to watch his routine the last few years. The levity in the midst of tough subjects that he used to have, seemed vacant. In some ways it felt sad to see him come off so angrily. But who knows--by the time I get that age, perhaps I will have lost the will to sugar coat it myself. God's speed...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Christian fiction (and other Night Ranger songs)

A while back I read The Shack. Honestly, not because I wanted to, but out of respect for the sweet older woman who gave it to me. It turned out to be the most profound and thought-provoking book I’ve read this year. And it’s Christian fiction.

Since then a small enclave of my friends have vehemently stated, “I will never read Christian fiction!”

Now I’m reading Crazy Love by Frances Chan. And as I read it I realize that it is chalked full of his views on life and his bias on how to interpret theology. And as a writer I realize we all take a little literary or poetic license when telling true stories. As I try to now look at Christian non-fiction objectively, I realize that between God’s Words, actual events and interpretation, there is lots of conjecture, bias, spin, personal worldview and intent to get the reader to some emotional, mental and or spiritual place.

So maybe outside the Bible, the books I love by D. Miller, Eldredge, Sweet, and this sure-to-be controversial book by Chan, are closer to Christian fiction than we might like to believe.

And here’s another thought: my friends and I are probably very cool with fiction. We’re probably ok with authors like Steinbeck, Salinger, Hemingway, Thoreau etc. So why marginalize a book or genre because the author is a Christian? Or hey—isn’t C.S. Lewis ’ The Screwtape Letters (a Christian classic) also Christian fiction? Hmm, I think it is.

Maybe Christian fiction isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s the people who read the Left Behind series and there’s a stigma there. But if that’s the case, why be a Christian at all---there’s a boatload of goofy stigma attached with that ;-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


OPinions, God in them? Yes or No?

It's my choice. On and in everything. It's the greatest American right that I exercise. My opinions. My very strong opinions. I can hold my strong opinions like a torch or like some banner. And that's fine. Until I think that people who feel differently aren't fine, or that their choice sucks.

I can have strong opinions on music, or worship, or talk shows, or Christian fiction and God knows what else--who am I kidding? Everything else. But my personal conviction of late is the pride in thinking that God would take to or show up mightily in the things that I like. And I don't say it or consciously think it, but I am smelling an air of, "And that other thing is lame...and...and God wouldn't use that."

But me thinks I am too proud sometimes. Perhaps my opinions are just my preferences. And as much as I might think they're the Grey Poupon of tasty opinions---others probably consider them, just...poop.

The danger in my opinions is in subconsciously thinking they're better, more noble, express more taste or sophistication, than...yours...his...or hers. Or in a church context, that what I resonate with is what God is really working in. I keep forgetting that He formed us all, and that means that your opinion isn't necessarily a defection; it's just an extension of a different person made to dig things that I don't.

To be crass I think sometimes I think God is in my opinions more than other people. I hate to admit it--it sounds idiotic. But maybe if I admit it, I'll be able to passionately like what I like---and passionately appreciate that you dig what you dig--and then in my mind neither of us will get a higher grade for our opinion.