Monday, May 30, 2005

Book Meme

I got tagged by Heather on this book meme. Here are my answers

How many books do you own:

Have not counted. My guess is over a thousand. One wall of bookshelves in the office and three bookshelves at home. I am a book addict.

What is the last book you bought:

Searching for God knows what. by Donald Miller. Bought that this evening

**hangs head** I am a book addict

What is the last book you read?:

God in the Alley by Greg Paul

Books read multiple times

The Bible
In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
The Contemplative Pastor by Eugene Peterson
The Veleveteen Rabbit
Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels.
Prayer:Finding the Hearts True Home by Richard Foster


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Also playing today--Poncho and Lefty is one my favorites Posted by Hello
Playing this morning after church Posted by Hello

A Scary Realization

I came to startling realization as I was about to head out the door to backpack is a man-purse.

This scares me. And while liking Daquaris is something I am secure enough in my manood to admit, I am not sure having a man-purse is. I have this fear of being stuck without a book you see and......

nevermind I do not expect you all to understand.

4 movies "Coming Soon" I have no desire to see

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants---Despite having America Ferrera in it (I watched the dreadful Real Women Have Curves just to see her in it, and Amber Tamblyn in it (she does a great job in Joan of Arcadia) this seems like too much of a teeny bopper chic flick to suffer through.

Lords of Dogtown--Not up for a retrospective of skating culture. I might be up for it as a documentary, but not as a feature film. Reminds me of ROCK STAR for skaters.

War of the Worlds--Don't like Tom Cruise, except for his role in Collateral. Like to remember this story the way it was.

The Perfect Man--A Hillary Duff movie. Enough said.

Top 6 "Coming Soon" Movies

Thanks to Becca, I also want to share the movies I want to see that are coming soon.

1. The Longest Yard--Who could stay away from Adam Sandler and Chris Rock back together in a movie. I almost stayed an extra day in Albequrque to audition for this movie.

2. Crash--Cheryl's blog on this movie has me convinced it is a must see.

3. The Cinderella Man--I know this is probably a lot like Rocky set in the depression, but I want to see it anyway.

4. The Lion,the Witch, and the Wardrobe--I love this book, and I mostly liked the trailers (Aslan looks a little goofy), so I want to see what the movie looks like.

5. The Dukes of Hazzard--This was a favorite show of mine as a child, and I want to see it again. I did not think they could improve on Daisy Duke until I saw the preview with Jessica Simpson. This looks fun.

6. The Fastastic Four--One of the few comic book movies coming out this summer that I am interested in seeing.
Another staple of my music collection Posted by Hello
I like to mix this with Can You Hear Us on my Real Player Posted by Hello
My mellow music of late...good reading/thinking music Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Giant Leaps of Logic

I have had an absolutely awful week, other than a few new exciting things happening in blogland.

My friend Jennifer says that I make "Giant Leaps of Logic" when I get upset about something, seeing everything as catastrophic. When, in fact, many of the things that I get upset about are isolated incidents.

For instance.....

Not enough kids show up at youth group for the satisfaction of the powers that be in the church SO I am a failure and not a good youth pastor anymore.

I dont have a romantic relationship that seems to be moving anywhere quickly, SO I must be a difficult person to get along with and will probably never get married.

People are not treating me with the kind of respect I want SO I must have the doormat sign on top of my head.

I am mistreated by a few people at church SO this church hates me and doesnt want me here.

The five year old at KMART came up to me and told me I am ugly so that is the way everyone must see me.

I am getting paid less than most of my friends, SO I am going to be broke for the rest of my life and there is nothing I can do about it.

I think she is right sometimes, especially my ability to make a bad week into a catastrophic statement about who I am. But sometimes my ability to see a mountain from a molehill has its benefits. My friend Jennifer has also told me that I have had insights about situations and people that she might not have had. Sometimes, it is the ability to trust your gut instinct and generalize from a particular situation that saves you! But sometimes it also gets you in trouble.

So how do you know when to trust your intuition and your overly dramatic sense, and when is it saboataging you? And for those of you that know me better, do I only make these giant leaps of logic about negative things or positive ones too.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Also in my Real Player-- Posted by Hello
Is it wrong to listen to "Lets Get Drunk and Screw" while working in the church office? :) Posted by Hello
What about Marguiritaville? Posted by Hello

Quotes on Prayer

True whole prayer is nothing but love--St.Augustine

Pray as you can, not as you can't--Dom John Chapman

To come to the pleasure you have not you must go by a way you enjoy not.--St. John of the Cross

Prayer is the inner bath of love into which we plunge ourself--St John Vianney

Tears are like blood in the wounds of the soul--Gregory of Nyssa

What we need is a desire to know the whole will of God, with the desire to do it--John Wesley

O my divine Master, teach me this mute language which says so many things--Jean-Nocholas Grou

Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous to do ordinary things with the perception of their enourmous value--
Teilhard de Chardin

Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom.--Spurgeon

Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the fellowship must enter every day.--Bonhoeffer

It is the prayer of agony which saves the world--St. Mary of Jesus

God has instituted preayer as to confer upon his creatures the dignity of being causes.--Blaise Pascal

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.--Barth


Doing some study the other day, I started thinking about the relationship between intimacy and naming. We are told that God, "knows us by name". People who brag about their relationships with well known people are known as "name droppers". There is power in names and in naming.

When you look at the people in the Bible, their names reflected who they are. Israelites took on the name of an underdog fighting for respectability, and in many ways that was the identity they took on as a nation. When people's lives changed, they took on new names.

You see many women who refuse to change their names when they get married, because to do so they feel would subordinate them to someone else. (Even though in many cases the name they keep by the same logic is simply their father's instead of their husband's name.)

And, refusing to share your name or giving a false name is a denial of intimacy and openness often times. I heard someone decribe this phenomenon with exotic dancers. Their physical exposure and relationship with you give you the illusion of intimacy, but they give you a false name. And online this is even the case. Whether through instant message screen names, or blogging personas people relate through a false name often times. Friar for me is a nickname. Clint is my name. You can call me either. I had met a person in the blogosphere that felt like a friend, but refused to share his name. He tried to make me feel bad for asking, like it was an attack or something. And then he turned out playing with those of us who got to know him, and then left. I still feel stupid for believing the lie.

The same is true with relationships. That is why the dreaded DTR conversation is important, even if it is a pain in the butt. We don't need to label people and put them in boxes, but there is something very important and very human about naming relationships. So we name them with labels like friend, husband, wife, mom, aunt or uncle (even when they are not blood relations),and even the name pastor is a label of a type of intimacy and relationship.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said, "I now call you friends.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Interesting pic of Jesus with a crown of thorns Posted by Hello
One of many of Don's fine illustrations Posted by Hello

Incredible Shrinking Tuck---Growing Up as the Fat Kid

I have never been small, although I have been thinner. Though, I would not know that from what people have told me.

I broke the 100 pound barrier somewhere between 3rd and 4th grade. The two hundred barrier between 8th and 9th grade. And the.....well that is nont of your business.

I have always been picked on for being fat, even when in retrospect I was not. And as far as I can tell, this criticism has only made me heavier.

Since I was young, I have always been difficult to buy clothes for. My grandma yelled at me that I was just like my mother and impossible to buy clothes for because of my size, nevermind that her, my grandfather, and my father were all bigger than momma ever thought of being. (Aint that right mom!)That was in like second or third grade.

As a child I was hit, and then people ran away from me because they knew I was not fast enough to catch them.

My level of fitness and fatness depended upon my athletic activity. No athletic activity. Soft Friar. Lots of sports. Fit friar. No athletic activity. Depressed Friar. Lots of athletic activity. Happy Friar.

Transitions have never been good for my weight either. Parents divorce--Gain weight. Move schools--Gain weight. Change schools--gain weight. Move from school to work--gain weight. Move jobs--while this job so far I am down from when I started here. I moved once in first grade, once in fourth grade, and twice in ninth grade. All bad, bad years.

Once in middle school, the difficulties got worse. The coach refused to issue me a belt in eighth grade football. So, I tripped and my pants fell down in the middle of a game. The girls played this game with me where they would pretend to like me until I believed them, and then mocked me for believing that anyone would EVER like someone like me. I got de-pantsed at least once a week.

My saving grace in the middle of all this was my senior year in high school. I was easily the fittest I had been in my entire life, running 5 miles and day and lifting weights before wrestling practice. I was Male Athlete of the Year for my school. And socially I was admired because I hadn't played the popularity game to become popular, I had just become a person everyone liked and could get along with. And, where many of my coaches put me down because of my size, I had one coach who believed in me. I ended up third in state in wrestling, and captain of my football and wrestling teams. No girlfriend though. There's not a woman I cannot scare!

As a child, and even as an adult, people have always tried to make me feel like I was less than because I am bigger. I am now in my early 30s, and finally at a point where I dont necessarily like the way I look, but I can live with it and accept it for the most part. Even if others cannot.

Mark Twain quote

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
So funny, from Doug Pagitt's blog. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Another Tuck Picture Posted by Hello
Posted by Hello

There are a lot of trends today that were first started by men named Bubba, but we get no credit.

They are:

This thing the youngsters do nowadays where your pants hang halfway down your rear end. I was doing that with Husky jeans in 6th grade, but I got no credit for being an "early adopter" of this trend.

The thing that girls and some guys are doing now where your shirt does not quite cover your whole belly. Was doin' this long before all those fancy models picked this trend up.

Walmart Jesus Candles. I know this guy in Pueblo, CO who has a latch hook Jesus hanging on his wall that his momma made him. Cheap pictures of Elvis and Jesus have been a part of the Bubba landscape for generations

Trucker hats. I had a collection of these long before they were fashionable. They are just standard Bubbawear where I come from.

Micorbrews. Bubbas in Arkansas and all over were making these all the time and selling them all over the country. Where do you think NASCAR came from? Boys named Bubba soupin' up their cars so that they could sell their "microbrews" and get away from police like Rosco B on the Dukes of Hazzard.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tuck takes a nap

I took a nap today. The first nap I have taken in several months. I think part of it was getting up earlier on my day off, but I fell asleep on the couch watching MSNBC around noon. I love sleep. I love naps. They are so fun and indulgent in a healthy way.

Top Nine Books on Leadership (so far)

In no particular order:

In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen--This is a life changing book that can be read in a little over an hour.

Contrarian Leadership by Sample--From the president of USC. Both creative and brilliant.

FISH--A tie for the best of the narrative management stuff. About creating positive moral in your life and the workplace.

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson--The other good narrative management book. About adapting to change

Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels--An awesome book on leadership by one of America's most influential pastors

Leadership and the One Minute Manager by Blanchard et al.--This encapsulates the brilliance of the One Minute Manager and the Principles of Organizational Leadership by Blanchard in one short book

Primal Leadership Goleman et. al--About using emotional intelligence as a leader. Most of this is based on solid research.

The Heart of Change by John Kotter (this is the only one I have not completed)--The star of leadership of the Harvard Business School. My favorite book by him is the difference between a manager and a leader.

The Rule of St. Benedict
--A classic of a leader bringing order out of chaos in leadership

Honorable Mention: Because I have not read them yet

Good to Great--Collins
Becoming a Leader--Bennis
Spirital Leadership--Sanders

The Incredible Shrinking Tuck--My weight loss journey

This last 7 months have been a challenge.

Through a series of situations, some of them good, and some of them very injust, I decided to embark on a weight loss journey.

It has been a challenge. Have not went out for ice cream since I started. Have rarely eaten candy bars, or drank white chocolate mochas, or had a big gulp. It has been a difficult, difficult challenge. But I have learned a lot.

The first thing I learned was that life is not always fair. I had to get past the fact that others could eat what I cannot, can exercise less with less consequences. One of the biggest sticking points for me was that it just did not seem fair that others were allowed to do what I was not. People are very insensitive to people who have restrictive diets too. They have a snack time at church in between church and Sunday school. I tried to get them to provide fruit, especially since it was my church employer that forced the issue with weight loss. They said it was too expensive (they have 300,000 in the bank as a church). Staff meetings had Danishes that were about half my daily allotment of calories. For a person trying to lose weight, it seems like you are always an alcoholic working at a liquor store trying to be in recovery. Trying to break a thirty year habit of red meat and fried foods is not always an easy thing.

Not to mention when you are a minister there are always the homebody church women that base a significant portion of their self-image on being able to feed others. And they always push you to have more than you want.

It has also been an adventure. Part of my weight loss journey is cooking more. So I have taught myself to cook some damn good fajitas for instance. I have discovered that I love the fruit bars almost as much as Otter Pops. I have discovered that I love salad at the Olive Garden...and I could hardly stomach salad without gagging at the beginning of this journey.

I have discovered that I used my "eating" time as my time out. My play time if you will. My "me" time. I give a lot to others. My time with my oven bake pizza was my time for myself. I am and need to find other ways to do this.

I started the first three months of the diet on an 1800 calorie a day thing. I lost weight rather quickly. In recent months I have maintained. I wish I had done better, but it is a heck of a lot better than gaining! And who knows, with the uptake in exercise I might have lost body fat.

Along with taking on a CPAP machine for sleep apnia, the diet and exercise discipline has brought on a lot more energy for me in some ways. I can get through the afternoon without feeling groggy. I am more my hyper, playful, witty, "lets wrestle" self.

Right now I need to work on late night eating. For me weight gain or lack of weight loss seems to come from working 10-12 hour days and eating dinner late at night. Then eating late becomes a habit.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Boycrazy junior high girls and Jesus

Those of us that work with youth on a regular basis are an odd bunch. We actually like lock-ins. The goofy things that teenagers do tickle us instead of irritate us, at least most of the time. We get excited about fun games and food fights.

In many churches, and especially at First Baptist Church, there is a special variety of human being running around called the middle school girl. You see a fair amount of them around here these days, and even if you don�t see them you hear them. They squeal a lot. They talk really loud on their cell phones. And every other conversation is about some boy, and how hot he is, and on and on. I sit and smile, laugh a little bit, and tease a little bit too.

I have to admit that the late middle school girl phase in youth is one of my favorite stages in all of adolescence. Why? They are just so raw and honest. They are not quite at the phase where they are trying to be sophisticated and cool. They are truly in this in between land between adulthood and childhood at this point. So they start to think and act a little like adults, yet most of them still have their teddy bears and Barbie dolls in their room somewhere that they have had since they were little girls. They are still trying to figure things out and they are not afraid to admit it.

As a church we see the need to love and reach out to teenagers. That is a good thing. Yet, often times we do not open our eyes to see what they have to teach us.

One of the things that teenage girls have to teach us is how to live life and faith with passion. Teenagers are looking for something to give their passion, and their heart to. When the boy that they think is cute asks for their phone number they jump up and down for 20 minutes. And when they fall for Jesus, they give their hearts to him in the most beautiful, authentic way as well. We tend to lean toward restraint and propriety as adults. Middle school girls try this once in a while, but most of the time they just wear their hearts on their sleeves. When they need prayer, they ask for it. When they are angry they give you a dirty look, but it is not unusual for them to give you a hug 20 minutes later. They cry without shame. And they celebrate without shame as well.

As adults we tend to be more controlled and reserved. It may be necessary in some cases, but it is not always a good thing. Maybe sometimes we need to have the courage to live our lives and express our faith with the exuberance, awkwardness, and true beauty of a middle school girl. Passionate love for Christ. Now...THAT'S HOT.
Some more neat art. This is supposed to be Adam I think. Also from Tim Keel's blog Posted by Hello
Some cool Orthodox iconography Posted by Hello
A cool pic from Tim Keel's blog Posted by Hello
One of the books I am reading right now Posted by Hello

In search of the incredible shinking Tuck: Thoughts about being overweight--Part I

Well, among my blog cirles, it seems a fashionable sport to bash on, or have a little sport with those that are overweight. And while it understandable to hear this from people who were my size and lost the weight, it is almost unbearable to hear it from people who have never really struggled with weight.

Let's start by clearing up a few myths that thin people have about overweight people:

1.) Overweight people are lazy. The fact is that most overweight people I know are the opposite of lazy. Imbalanced maybe. But not lazy. Many people that I know with a few extra pounds are that way because they give themselves to work, to others, and to a million different responsibilities. They do this so often they go for easy quick meals and are too exhausted to exercise.

2.) You have total control over your body type. The fact is genetics plays a strong role in body size and type. I have a good friend who eats a lot, never exercises (other than making love to his wife maybe), and he is very very thin. I on the other hand put in 30-40 minutes on the elliptical 3-4 times a week, very carefully keep track of what I eat, and it is taking me forever to lose weight the way that I want to. Yeah, I have my weaknesses for Slurpees and Oatmeal Raisin cookies...but I can count on one hand the fast food meals I have had since Thanksgiving. I have one soda pop on Wednesdays and one on Sundays. I can count on one hand the number of candy bars I have had since thanksgiving. For months I was on a strict 1800 calorie a day diet. I eat wheat bread and wheat tortillas exclusively. I prepare my food with skim milk. Yet when I have that oatmeal cookie with my non-fat sugar free vanilla latte from Starbucks, I get lectured by nosy church lady.
I want to say "F**k you, you self-righteous B**ch, you aren't all that yourself." But I don't. I just laugh and smile and offer her a piece of the cookie. Ok got a little off subject. Sorry.

3.) Socio-economic history plays a large part in obesity. As does race. (See Carcinonomous's Webster) The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be overweight. If you are a minority in America, you are more likely to be overweight.Cheap food is not necessarily healthy food. Every try to buy fat-free cheese. Costs more. Ever try to buy reduced fat peanut butter. Costs more. Ever try to buy lean ground beef. Costs more. Ever try to buy leaner cuts of chicken costs more. Yet, overweight people are, as the news pointed out this week, paid $2 less an hour than more moderately sized persons. Obesity is a social justice issue in many ways, and once you are overweight you are caught in a cycle that is hard to get out of economically.

4.) Depression and being overweight are interrelated. This also becomes a vicious cycle.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Devils and Dust

Took a little listen to the new Springsteen album. For me, this is one of his most powerful, artistic albums.

Take a listen to the lyrics of the chorus of"Devils and Dust"

Fear's a dangerous thing
It can turn your heart so black you can trust
It will take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

Another verse I find just as compelling

"Now every woman and every man
They want to take a righteous stand
Find the love that God wills
And the faith that he commands
Ive got my finger on the trigger
And tonight faith just aint enough
When I look inside my hear
Ther's just devils and dust"

Reno is another ballad with a dark twist...a story about an encounter with a prostitute full of longing for something better.

A song about life change called "Long Time Coming".

"Tonight I am going to get birth naked and bury my old soul. And dance on its grave." he sings and "And down below and pullin on my shirt, I got some kids of my own. Well, if I had one with in this god-forsaken world, kids, it'd be that your mistakes would be you own. Yea your mistakes would be your own."

"Black Cowboys" is another narrative ballad with a compelling storyline.

There are a lot of other songs, almost like a strange mix between Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. A kind old west/folk feel with at least a few songs advocating for Latin American immigrants.

All in all a good album. One of his best in years, if not his best ever artistically

Something to Ponder

"I've been reading my New Testament and I have to ask which bombs would Jesus, our President�s personal Lord and Saviour, have dropped on Iraq?" An interesting quote from Meryl Streep

What is in My Cupboard

To further elaborate on the Friar/Bachelor Life, I thought I would share what is in my cupboard as well

10 packages of Top Ramen

6 small $1 bottles of vodka

3 cans of Campbells Soup

2 cans of cream of chicken

2 cans of spagetti sauce

1.5 bags of Pasta (.5 bag of whole wheat pasta)

Unopened box of instant oatmeal

spices and stuff

I guess more evidence that I need to leave the office before the grocery stores close. And stop picking up dinner at 7-11.

A Friar's Fridge

Here is what is in my fridge at the present moment:

9. 8 slices of cheese

8. 3 bottles of unopened BBQ sauce

7. 3 bottles of opened ketchup (yes all 3 are open)

6. 2 bottles of mustard--southwest and regular

5. 1 bottle of marinade

4. 1 unopened carton of OJ

3. 1 half used carton of milk

2. 1 almost gone bottle of squeezable jelly

1. 1 almost depleted bottle of pepto

Think it is time to go to the store when all of your food is on the fridge door?

Friday, May 20, 2005

I am not sure what to think of a church in Business Week magazine Posted by Hello
Friar Tuck is a brand name for leading clergy apparel Posted by Hello

Appetites Part 3

Here is a question I have for everyone.

When is it healthy to follow your appetites, and when is it destructive, or maybe even not the best.

For instance, reading appetites. Should I be more disciplined as a reader and read those things that are going to help me learn a new thing, or should I just follow my natural hunger for learning where it leads me?

On a related note, I am speaking on a similar subject for our Youth Sunday this Sunday.

The sermon is on Genesis 25:19-34, where Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils.

One of my points is going to be that being undisciplined and following our appetites can leave us unsatisfied, and alienate us from the blessings that God wants to give to us.

In Esau's case he comes in from hunting and wants "the red stuff. that red stuff. Give it to me." Jacob sells it to him for his birthright. Then Esau eats his bowl of soup, which has now been more succinctly described as lentil stew.

There are lots of things that from one end look really good and satisfying, and yet from the other end look unexciting and not worth the cost.

For me it is soda. And candy bars. And fast food. And Tostitos with cheese dip. But right now for the most part I dont have them in my diet. For others it may be drugs, or alcohol. Or a sexual relationship that is unhealthy or sexual promiscuity. Still for others it might be violence. Or building your life around the accumulation of wealth. Or seeking status. Or even being religious for religion's sake can be an empty pursuit.

What makes it harder is that all these people are pitching you all these differnt things aimed at you having unhealthy appetites toward things so that they can benefit. They hook you in. And then you wonder why you are beholden to something so unsatisfying. You believed the lie.

So the point is to share this with recent graduates, is a fairly positive way. So that as they go, they are at once called to stand strong in the world they will soon enter without as many boundaries and rules, and yet at the same time encourage them to open their arms to God who is waiting to bless them.

Any ideas?

Max Lucado quote

God rewards those who seek him. Not those who seek doctrine or religion or systems or creeds. Many settle for these lesser passions, but the reward goes for those who settle for nothing less than Jesus Himself. And what is the reward? What awaits those who seek Jesus? Nothing short of the heart of Jesus.
Saddam was caught with his pants down by papers all over the globe today Posted by Hello
The latest German trend with poo in parks Posted by Hello
Another Friar Tuck Action Figure Posted by Hello
Friar Tuck's Links and Profile at Bottom of the Page Posted by Hello
Friar Tuck Action Figure Posted by Hello

Books I have finished since September

The Life of Pi by Martel

A Month of Sundays by Updike

Elanor Rigby by Coupland

Thoughts in Solitude--Merton

Renovation of the Heart--Willard

God is Closer than You Think--Ortberg

Plan B by Anne Lammott

Whore's Child--Richard Russo

Repenting of Religion--Boyd

What Happy People Know--Baker

Buck Naked Faith--Sandras

Real Sex--Winner

Soul Survivor--Pilvachi

Beyond the Box--Easum and Travis

Summonned to Lead--Sweet

Running on Empty--Anderson

Radical Reformission--Driscoll

Case for Creator--Student Edition--Strobel and Vogel

Volunteer Revolution--Hybels

The Barbarian Way--McManus

The Last Word and the Word After That--McLaren

Singles at the Crossroads (reread)--Hsu

The Cross and the Lotus--Zacharias

Jesus Drives me Crazy--Sweet

Life of the Beloved--Nouwen

Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport--Mouw

Leadership from Unlikely Voices--Fleming

Stumbling Toward Faith--Alston

In the Name of Jesus (reread)--Nouwen

The Living Reminder--Nouwen

Books still working through

Saint Thomas Aquinas--Chesterton

Aquinas for Armchair Theologians

Understanding the Koran

Reading Lolita in Tehran

The Rebel Angels by Roberston Davies

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson

and several more......

Most recent book purchases (the last few months or so)

The World Is Flat--The new Thomas Friedman book on Globalization, and the rise of Indian and China on the world ecomomic market

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist explores the hidden side of Everything-- A fun thought provoking book. Much like a Steven Jay Gould book, only on economics instead of science.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger--My edition is 15 years old, so I needed an update.

Hunger for God--The book on fasting by John Piper

Windows to the Soul--A book on Eastern Othodoxy

Surprised by the Force

I watched the new Star Wars movie last night. Well I went to go along with the crowd, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it much better that Star Wars I and II, it was brilliant in its ability to tie everything together.

Ok, there were a few things that just stunk in the movie. In particular, the romance between Natalie Portman (a brilliant actress, but utterly horrid in this picture. I don't think Lucas should try any more romance stuff without calling in Danielle Steele for assistance) and Anaken Skywalker. And, I thought that a lot of the development of things just started out slow. And I would have liked to have seen more of C3PO.

But there were lots of good things. As usual the score was brilliant. The character and plot development as a bridge to the first Star Wars was tremendous. And the seduction of Anaken to the dark side was wonderfully developed and written, as well as philosophically and theologically thought provoking. I may even use it in my sermon on Sunday.

One thing that was interesting is to compare the influence on culture to the differences between Star Wars IV and Star Wars III. There is a lot more moral ambiguity in Episode III. When Darth Vader is confronted by OBE ONE KENOBI, Kenobi says, "You must be a Sith. Only a Sith talks in absolutes." The war that was being fought at the beginning of the movie makes it also difficult to discern who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

One gets a greater understanding of the depth of relationships in the movie. Especially as Darth Vader and Luke relate to one another in later movies. The later movies take on greater significance.

Another thing that I would like to think about more in the relation between humanity and machines. If the book, "The Spiritual Life of Machines" is correct, the lines between machine and humanity will be blurred in the future. You see this in Star Wars, although Lucas seems to be speaking a message against it in some ways. It is interesting that the more evil Anaken becomes, the more of his humanity he loses, including his human parts.

I am not a Star Wars junkie, and I grudgingly attended this showing. But in my opinion after seeing it, it was well worth the money.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Women in the Church--Part 2--History

Women have played an important role in ministry positions throughout Biblical and church history.

Nearly every Christian movement started with women partnering and leading in ministry, only to be pushed aside by men at later dates.

Roberta Hestenes describes a three stage process:

Charasmatic stage--Women encouraged to plant churches, be evangelists and teachers

Credentialing phase--Women marginalized when it comes to things like advanced degrees, ordination, and such.

Institutional respectability--Further solidifies power and control of men as things become institutionalized.

Let us look at history--

Early Christian Art--depicts women in pastoral roles. Some pictures were later altered to make them men instead of women. Examples are the pieces "Episcopa Theodora" and the fresco in the "Catacombs of Priscilla"

The Marcionites had women in full partnership in ministry

Women were preaching in the Wesleyan Revivals

Women were full partners in the Quaker faith

The Sunday School was founded and led by women, which threatened many men.

At the turn of the 20th century there were many women preachers, especially on the frontier ministries. Especially high numbers were found in Nazerene circles at one point. See the book Petticoats in the Pulpit for the same perspective among Methodists.

Women were encouraged by Moody, Moody Bible Institute and others to go and plant and lead churches on the mission field.

Salvation Army--founded by man and woman in partnership. Catherine Booth was a renowned preacher.

Foursquare Church--founded by a woman preacher--Aimee Simple McPherson.

One of the most renowned evangelists at the turn of the century was a woman named Pheobe Palmer.

Church of the Nazerene--in charter officially recognized woman's right to preach. At one point over 30 percent of pastors were women.

In the 1600s Dorothy Hazzard founded and led one of the most influencial Baptist Chruches in England

The second great awakening, associated with Charles Finney, elevated the role of women into several places, including preaching. The first woman ordained in America was ordained through the college he started, Oberlin College.

The Seventh Day Adventists were founded by a woman minister--and have offically always been open to women as preachers as an institution

Women in Ministry in the New Testament:

Junia (later translated Junias) in Romans 16:7

Priscilla or Prisca in Romans 16, Acts 18:18, 26

the "elect lady" in 2 John 1

Phillip's daughters prophesied--Acts 21:8-9

Eudodia and Synche--Phil. 4

Exciting News

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Coffee sure does help the ole energy level, doesn't it? Posted by Hello


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