Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Easter Ever After

Well, newsie bits first before all the wisdom...

thanks to Keith for the reminder that I needed to get my blogging going postEaster again.

Dawnie is in Louisville seeing mom and assorted sisters and retrieving Mom's 94 Tercel, since Mom won't be driving any more. Hard to see for a woman who when I first met her was famous for very fast, marathon drives in a 76 Bonneville they called the DragonWagon.

Prom is Friday. Good on TAG for making it an all-school deal, not just seniors or juniors-seniors; also good on 'em for being mostly a friends thing, not a date thing. Soooo much healthier than the nonsense I went through.

We got a porch swing from friends for happy-sad reasons. After hanging some 4 x 4s in the attic and getting some boss hardware, it's ready for you, dear reader, to come and swing out with us.

Holy Week was great. The most people ever for Walkabout--a mob of 30 (!) wandering around Lower Greenville at 5am. That was awesome. And Marleigh Essler totally rocks: what a trooper, getting baptized at 6:30am on Easter morning in a White Rock Lake conveniently turned frigid by two days of fresh rain and 45 degree temperatures, with wind. Wow.

Plus apparently a great effort on the third annual Peep Jousting Tournament (is establishing traditions a hoot or what?). First, there was a huge turnout and Maggie, the Queen of Peeps, beat out Vince, Le Peep Noir, the Black Peep of Death, for the first time. Second, there were a few personalized peeps this year for the first time. Peep customizing is in its infancy, and surprisingly few people got on board for my suggestion that we have a Pimp My Peep competition. Still, I expect great things from people who this year gave us Kirby, the Cerberus Peep, with three heads. Lastly, we finally got PeepCam up and functional. It was closed circuit this year, but highly successful; can live streaming to the web be far behind? I think not.

Okay that's the news. Here's what will have to do for wisdom this time around. Easter is a great time to be in contact with all the people I lose track of but still care about in the alternative culture here who are not on board with Jesus. And what I find from this overall is that loving people who radically disagree with you is like lying on the gurney and choosing to have the docs leave the wound open a little longer, on the chance that if you do, something besides you might heal...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Must Do Less with More!

Meet Mark the Poor Scheduler...
Wedding this evening. Will try to avoid that sort of conflict a bit better in the future.

Some people have a midlife crisis. Some have a midlife take-a-deep-breath: I've noted that our friend V is taking off from her missionary career in a closed country to figure out what's next. Makes me think maybe we're not stumbling along, we're just part of the "self-reevaluation movement." Woo-hoo!

How much time do I spend explaining what we're doing to people who aren't doing it? Enough to where I'm no longer doing what we're doing? Had a pretty good time explaining pomo / emerging / nontraditional / innovative / blah blah blah yesterday to some established church people. And looks like it may actually be followed up on in some degree. But the Emperor Aurelius said you only can lose the present: what do I with my presents to not lose them?

I was bummed that the theoblogian Millers were not going to move here after all. And I was a ratfink and couldn't ever get by to see them while they were here, about which I carry a suitable amount of self-recrimination. But now it seems they are moving here, and in a few weeks. So excellent after all--there are roller coasters I no longer prefer to ride, but fortunately this one, the twentysomething what-are-we-going-to-do-I-know-let's-do-this one, I still like just fine.

Curran the Carpenter is rocking along on house and shed for us. The shed revisions will have room for about 200 more books, about a 50% capacity increase, and will complete making the place sturdy, weathertight, and accessible. The house work is finishing out an attic space Dawn "discovered" with a reciprocating saw one afternoon. It'll be storage for records and other items which shouldn't be consigned to temperature extremes, have a small work desk for tax and other such deep record work; but also has a built-into-the-wall drop-down ironing board and a clothes rack. This will help with several things (including, ultimately, resalability), but especially with providing more functional space for people staying with us.

A company is doing an awesome job with a house restoration in the next block up. I hope to check with them at some point this spring about installing a third dormer, on the east side, opening up the commons room upstairs (both a good thing in itself and also hugely resellable). But Curran's so good...

Big kudos to Mandy the Magnificent. I must decrease that the Spirit in the Community might increase, and she's going to be a huge help to me doing that responsibly.

Those of you who pray please enlist spiritual aid for me that I won't scum off or fritter away my time or fail to prioritize well, since I have a book review, a training concept, a culture analysis, two (local) job applications, a philosophy article, a theology article, a training curriculum, and a series of pomo ministry articles to write over the next seven weeks. Besides the Lower Greenville and El Centro stuff. Not complaining: it's a good life, but I do have to actually do it.

Also prayerwise: Jonathan is in Boston, with good friends seeing good schools. But the odds against vibrant spiritual life are great in these places. The "best schools" indeed.

temporally yours


Sunday, March 06, 2005

Random Acts of Mindness

Had a wonderful evening stroll with our monst--er, our German Shepherd--at White Rock Lake, the best public amenity Dallas has.

I've written drafts of three articles--on postmodern worship, on whether "youth" or "student" are still meaningful categories for churches, and on a biography of Martin Luther apropos of whether we are really now going into a new reformation. Free blogger seems not to let me post articles for people to read. Waah. If anyone knows different, show me how, please.

I also have not found a way to put links on. My apologies to Andrew, Lauren, Joshua and Kristen, and the many others I would link to right now if I knew how. Being a blog virgin--well, newbie, now--has its embarassments.

I'm reading the Slovenian philosopher (!?) Slavoj Zizek's new book "On Belief," Stuart Sim's "Irony and Crisis: A Critical History of Postmodern Culture," and Lord Norwich's "A Short History of Byzantium." Fun stuff, all that. Although I have to say it does mystify me why Continental Europeans would continue to find Freud intellectually interesting and psychoanalytic theory philosophically respectable. I'm not sure Nietsche doesn't preview most of Freud in one way or another--the suspicious approach, the assumption of subterranean and not very nice agendas hidden from the holders of them by rationalizations and denials of various kinds, etc.

When your kids are traveling more than you are, some threshold has been crossed. Jonathan was in San Antonio for a school convention this weekend, and he goes to Boston this upcoming weekend to look at schools. Wow. Maybe I can make it out to Flower Mound or Forney or something.

Dawn and I are using some Jan Johnson stuff as Lenten couples meditation. It was so hard to carve out the time and get going, but it's well worth it, not least because the material is good.

I always look too many steps ahead. I'm already envisioning landscaping the (not-as-of-yet-finished when it's finished) shed with flower boxes and an English cottage bed with hollyhocks and foxglove and delphinia and...

peace to you


Friday, March 04, 2005


I just read a great biography of Martin Luther, because I'm thinking about how if emerging / postmodern / whatever Christianity / culture is a new (the next, Carl) reformation, what can we learn from the last one? So Bainton's bio is a classic (ergo readily available at cheapo used book stores). Among the nicer asides: a description of an early political opponent of Luther's, the duke of Saxony, known as George the Bearded. Bainton notes in passing that in fact all the Saxon nobility were bearded, but that this George apparently felt it his duty to leave it to others to be known as The Wise, the Generous, and The Brave...

I'm compiling a list of rejected titles for Mark's articles. That list would probably be more marketable than any actual articles of mine.

But and yet I'm doing a series for Texas Baptists. If you're the praying sort, pray that I'll figure out how to cram in writing them while doing everything else. Of course, Luther produced something--anything from a pamphlet to a book--every 2 weeks for thirty years. But then, for the first ten of those he was a monk, and for the next twenty he was famous and had scribes and editors and writing teams and so on. Still, energy should be something we well-fed, well-scrubbed Americans should have in spades compared with previous generations. So no excuses, Marko.