Monday, May 29, 2006


I have begun brainstorming for a book that I plan to write this summer, at least the bulk of it. I am informing my readership. Heaven knows, I will likely need editors and proof-readers eventually.

Needless to say I have virtually no chance to be published. But that cannot quench my thirst for literary greatness. I have kept too much in me for too long, and now it must be let out. Or, as The Band says

I see your light, come shining
from the West down to the East
any day now
any day now
I shall be

Ozymandias, greatest of all poems


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

But why do we do it?

One answer that I have yet to hear well spelled out for me is the following: Why do we wish for people to become Christians? Moreover, why does God want people to become Christians.

See I think the fundis have a real leg up here. After all, it's easy - there's a hell, you're all going to it, but luckily (light bulb flash) there is a way out! That way is to say you believe in JEsus, and by extension to join us. Not bad eh?

Early Christians also seem to have had a defined purpose. It wasn't the same though. As best I can tell the message was a little more earthly, and I mean that in a good way. You were 'saved', but not as such. Rather, you were saved from the worship of false gods and the practical life consequences that resulted from these delusions.

I really must find a good push-button reason for people to be Christians. I know it myself, but I cannot place it... cannot name it for what it is.

Perhaps the best solution is simply Kingdom-based. I tend to like the old answers more than the new ones at most times in any case. There is God's Kingdom, and everyone else's Kingdom. But we're so watered down, so infiltrated. So few in Israel are Israel, and can I even count myself among its' citizens?


The Road Warrior

Forget Max. Get rid of Indiana Jones, the true Road Warrior arrived last Tuesday in Fort Smith having completed a 23 hour trip in 25. Yeah you heard it here first - 23 in 25. In other words: gas + coffee stops ~ every 4 hours, 1 hour'ish rest area stop for a power nap, and otherwise it was start to finish baby. I got in town so wired on 7 large coffees and endless music that I couldn't get unwound enough to go to sleep for a good 8 hours. Now i'm still sleeping off the drive, not to mention all of last semester.

Road Tunes of choice:

Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits
all-time Doo Wap Collection vol. II

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Burying our Genius

Today we held the preliminary burial service for famous Christian Historian Jaroslav Pelikan. His accomplishments don't need to be listed here since he's arguably the most important Christian historian in... well... history. Although it broke up finals week, I was more than happy to set aside some time to go sing for his family and let them know how much his faith community loved him.

Today we have sung the songs and given him the last kiss, tonight and all throught the morning hours we will continue to keep the vigil by singing psalms over his open coffin that is in the chapel, tommorrow we will celbrate liturgy with his family and friends, and then the world will move again.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Worthy Opponent

I have the utmost respect for a worthy opponent. One who is single-mindedly dedicated without remorse to their cause. One who is willing to give their life for their version of ultimate benefit.

Such an opponent was the gnat who flew into my cup of Chai tea tonight. I saw him coming from afar like a Kamikazi honing in on the aft of a destroyer-class warship. The hum of the engine pushed to its max in an attempt to avoid being destroyed before impact. Like the destroyer I opened a saturating salvo to shoot him out of the air, but the skill was simply too great. His manuverability and quick reflexes showed him to be an ace of such dogfights.

I knew when he plunged into my cup that it was all over. He disappeared beneath the plumes of steam, not suffering, knowing that I'd have to dump that cup.

After pouring out the cup into the sink his lifeless body refused to go down the drain without an extra water douse. At this point I was overcome with respect for the bravery and self-denying duty of this little gnat. I went to my room, grabbed the kazoo, and played the bugle dirge for a fallen warrior.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

the dangers of being alone

Before Lent the Metropolitan gave a speech about how difficult it is to be alone; how the worst sins of our life are committed when we're by ourselves in silence. I couldn't agree more. People are, in some ways, a great elixir for my state of mind.

For my own part I've spent a great deal of my life alone. I was raised as an only child until 13, and even then I was basically alone. Half of my college career was spent with even fewer people around, and I still require a certain amout of solo time to maintain sanity.

On the other hand I've noticed that being alone perverts my perceptions of reality. I tend to draw in on myself rather than channeling it for production, except in the case of having a paper to write. It is in silence that I begin to dwell on my moments of failure and misbeing, yearning for times that have existed, but not as I wished, or haven't and shouldn't. It's as if I'm becoming more acutely aware of how lonely my world can be, even with other people in it. Something's off... not quite on track, and I can identify it, but I don't think that I can cure it. You forget the world outside and become egocentric. "I" becomes the ultimate concern, and that's the root of all evil.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Official all-nighter

After my first official all nighter since early in my undergraduate career finishing a paper for today along with a smaller reflection... following on the heels of yet another massive (20+pg) paper last Thursday, I'm effectively wiped clean of any life signs.

However, and tell me this isn't cool, last night at 12:01 precisely I struck up an mp3 of ABBA's "Man After Midnight", aka: That song Madonna just ripped off for her dance number.

bedtime... seriously

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fresh into hell weeks

I have to apologize to my regular readers for the lack of recent content. I've been completely swamped by papers, and unfortunatly I fully expect this to continue for another couple of weeks. Hard to believe though it is... I am a graduate student.

I have been quite busy with non-school things, but if I tell you what they are then I have to kill you, so :(

I choose to bear this burden alone...

Although normally intense school weeks pass by without much registering in my brain, I must say for my own part that my 20 pager on the interpretation of Romans 3.21-28 was top notch, at least for Master's level vis-a-vis my normal work. I've been getting requests to read it and I've sent it out. I think my take on the three major issues of the passage (Justification by faith, faith/works, the atoning sacrifice)is worth the read and well-enough reserached. Hope so anyhow!