Throughout the history of email there have always been people who think every funny thing they read should immediately be forwarded on to their friends. While this habit can quickly become annoying, there is a wealth of knowledge that we all now hold in common because of them. For example, there are a number of oxymorons in our vernacular, such as Jumbo shrimp. Also, someone, somewhere compiled a number bulletin bloopers, misspellings or unintentional double-entendres, such as "We have a young Mothers club that meets on Tuesday mornings. Anyone wishing to become a young mother should me
Christmas comes soon, doesn't it? I took a picture of my advent calendar yesterday with 8 windows open. There aren't that many days left until Christmas. Perhaps it's a part of growing up, but Christmas has less magic than it did 10 or 15 years ago. I still receive gifts, I still enjoy the family time immensely, but it's not the same.
I have to admit I feel little bad about my comments on Paul's most recent post below. He offered a light hearted reflection on how we can complain about 'problems' most people would like to have. The post triggered a history of comments I have heard (and made) over time. I responded critically. I do not feel bad about responding critically but I do feel bad that my reason for blogging and responding may not be clear. I read blogs only when I feel I can learn substantially <i>or</i> when I feel there is the opportunity for a rigorous exchange of views and approaches. Blogs
Romans 13 has long been a thorn in my Anabaptist side. John Howard Yoder of course went a long way in clarifying the distinction between being subject to those in authority and actually obeying those in authority. That reading however still left me with many unanswered questions as to what Paul is calling the church towards. In preparation for the Romans readings of this season of Advent I reread Giorgio Agamben's The Time
I love snow - always have. When Jeanette and I purchased our house last May, we knew it had a large driveway. But it wasn't so much the size as it was the layout. It is directly along a fence, on the other side of which is our neighbor's drive - meaning we can't shovel off to that side. For another thirty feet, it follows the side of our house, meaning that all the snow in that section needs to be shoveled down the driveway before it can be shoveled off the driveway.
In 9th grade I took an art class, mostly to fulfill my Arts requirement. It turns out I could have waited until the 11th grade when I took Drama, which would have given me the same required credit. I had to do all sorts of weird stuff in that class, like a pencil shade drawing of a running shoe and draw my hand without looking at the paper. I also took home a pretty lousy painting of a red fox, but there was one project I particularly enjoyed. We had to come up with a business concept and then draw the logo for that company.
My wife and I recently purchased our first home. The house is located in a neighbourhood of Winnipeg in which I have spent the vast majority of my adult Manitoba life. Moving back from Ontario it was like coming back home. I am referring to the Spence Neighbourhood in the West End of Winnipeg. I have lived on Spence St, Young St and I now reside on Langside. What is clear to me is that everyone, everyone from Winnipeg somehow knows this is a 'bad' neighbourhood. This is so implicitly ingrained in my psyche that when I tell people where our house was I began to rationalize or
I'm usually not one for a ton of sentimentality, but bear with me a little. Many people like to complain about where they live, whether it be because of rain, cold, snow, heat, or taxes. I find this very strange. I love Winnipeg. It's not that I don't like being in the mountains (mountains are awesome), but I just enjoy this city. I also love the depth and range of our four seasons - going from mushy and green in the spring to too hot in the summer, to crisp and clear in the fall, to snow in the winter.
It is probably clear from my last post that I don't have a tonne of respect for the theology of Franklin Graham. While I probably agree with him on most points of Christianity, I worry that his own anger and vengefulness impact the "gospel" that he spreads, especially in non-American countries. I know that Samaritan's Purse channels a lot of great Christian generosity, but with Franklin Graham as the figurehead, I'm not convinced those donations will be lovingly distributed.
It seems that Money is an interesting topic. Perhaps we could go on forever on this subject. David mentioned in his previous post about a Money Mart moving into his neighborhood. He drew the conclusion that the most powerful tenets of our society are debt and money, in that order. I am fully in the camp of utter disgust when it comes to how money is treated in our society. My previous post was argued from the point of money-wise individuals.
I have been reading a very illuminating work by Franco Berardi entitled The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. The title will be somewhat misleading for a Christian audience as it is not a theological or spiritual book but an analysis of the shift from an economy that captured the bodies of its citizens (typified in the factory setting) to an economy that now captures the minds of its citizens (caught up in the endless corridors of the technology). One section reflected some of my thoughts that I articulated in my previous post.
Should a church parking lot be full of $50,000 cars? Someone once said that it was wrong for Christians to own vehicles of that value. On the one hand, I don't own a $50,000 car. I probably never will. For me a car is a device that gets you from A to B. It doesn't need to be fancy or spectacular. On the other hand, I certainly own some things (an Apple computer, for one) that other people might find excessive. A cheaper Windows machine can (more or less) do all the same things. It would get me from point A to B (to use the driving analogy).
Leaf blowers are everything that is wrong with this world.
Let me back that statement up. Jeanette and I are spending our first Fall in a house. When we lived in our apartment, we didn't mind the fact that we didn't have to mow a lawn, shovel a driveway, or rake leaves. But we also looked forward to those things, mostly because they symbolized the fact that we would have a yard, a parking space (or a garage), and trees. Now we have those things. And we're enjoying the yard work.
The first time I ever visited the Sky Dome, I mean Rogers Centre, it was for a Billy Graham crusade. I walked right onto the field, ran onto the bases, and then took a seat for the concert and sermon. Billy got sick that week, so while he still came and spoke for a bit, his son Franklin also took the stage. Franklin's message was good, but his father's was better. Billy got a standing ovation. The man was a powerful speaker, an influential leader and a well-respected figure. It's quite a legacy for Franklin to live up to.
I'm trying to be less critical.
Lately, I've noticed my tendency to critique everything. From the beginning. Often before I even have enough information to properly critique. I come in to a situation looking for things I disagree with, things that I want to argue. Overall, it leaves me feeling kind of blah and less than optimistic about things in general.
It's not just affecting me.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming issue of the Canadian Mennonite where some attention will be given to the life and work of former Conrad Grebel University College professor A. James Reimer. Though I never worked closely with Jim, I was a student in more than one of his theology classes and I was a big fan of his bluegrass gospel performances.
Do we care too much about creation? To continue what I said last week, there are all kinds of good things that can separate us from God. It still is strange to me that Paul would list many of these instead of purely negative things, but at the same time it's an important message to keep in mind.
I first heard of Nel Noddings in a class on "Social and Ethical Issues in Education." Her comments on the ethics of care, that is, putting caring first in ethical decision-making as essential for education, caught my attention.
She came to EMU last spring to speak on caring and attachment theory. As her ideas provided foundations for EMU's education department, people were excited to say the least.
Life is a good thing. I don't think there's anyone who would argue that. In the beginning, God created life. In fact, given that there are plenty of potential times I probably could have already died, God sustains life in an active and involved way. There are many times where He gets involved in the nitty-gritty. It's not always obvious in the moment, but usually looking back you can see His fingerprints like they're glowing in the dark.