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11.10.2005

Jump to Hyperspace...

... or something like that. I'm changing sites - "Mmmm, That's Good Coffee" will be the new & improved repository for my prose and meanderings. Please take note and change any links or reader feeds - I hope everyone find this as "worth it" as I do right now.

Thanks for your continued support.

11.07.2005

Hmmm... Bewilderment

Plunge In - Martin Luther

Discipleship is not limited to what you can understand – it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own understanding, and I will help you to comprehend.

Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. In this way Abraham went forth from his father, not knowing where he was going. That is the way of the cross. You cannot find it in yourself, so you must let me lead you as though you were a blind man.

Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire – that is the road you must take. It is to this path that I call you, and in this sense that you must be my disciple.


Source: Martin Luther (1483-1546), quoted in Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The Cost of Discipleship." (this morning's Daily Dig, 11/07/2005 - and you've got to do the post title in your best Homer Simpson voice: "Hmmm, bewilderment")

Review Review

I posted a review of Anne Rice's Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt last week, and then crossposted it at BlogCritics.
Rick speaks well of Anne Rice's departure from the vampire genre, but points out the discomfort some will have with her venture into the off-Scripture life of Christ. This novel is sure to provoke plenty of off-topic discussion, so it's good that the first review here is focused on Rice's actual work.
- BlogCritics Editorss Picks - Oct 29 to Nov 4
Aw, shucks.

11.06.2005

Success

I don't know why this verse popped into my mind this morning. I was trying to think of another passage, and I looked this one up in my Bible before church to see if it was what I was thinking of. It wasn't, but it sparked something else.

A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here. (There is also mushrooming opposition.)
- 1 Corinthians 16:9 (msg)

... for there is a wide-open door for a great work here, and many people are responding. But there are many who oppose me.
- 1 Corinthians 16:9 (nlt)

Paul was sharing with the Corinthian church that he really wanted to come for an extended, productive visit, but that now wasn't the time. On top of that, there was a good thing happening in Ephesus, so he was going to make the most of his stay there. Lots of good things happening, great opportunities, and some opposition. I don't know that my definition of "success" would include "with some opposition", but it seems that this is exactly what Paul is writing. Makes me go, "Hmmmmm..."

Avoiding confrontation probably leaves something important out of the mix. Sticking to the tried and true without running at least a little risk might really be more detrimental than we can know. Making sure everyone is happy becomes the goal, not the by-product, when we focus more on that than the actual task at hand. If there's no one pointing fingers, no one bringing some kind of opposition - then maybe you're not doing it right.

Perhaps the stress of having some opposition has a straigthening effect. More than actual competition, maybe it brings with it a resolve to be right, or even a consideration that maybe that opposing force has something to add to the mix. Whatever the case, if you're not going against the flow even a little, then you're just playing the same game, singing the same song, going the same way you've always gone. More "healthy competition" should work to make us better, make our plans and outcomes more meaningful and secure.

Healthy Competition

Panthers versus Buccaneers. Chargers versus Jets. Steelers versus Packers. Yahoo!Mail versus Gmail. Yahoo! versus Google. It just doesn't get any bigger than this.

  • Slashdot.com article
  • Flickr photo

  • 11.05.2005

    Saturday Nights

    It's been a nice day, but a long one, too. Soccer this morning, watching USC become bowl-eligible for the afternoon, going to see Chicken Little for a nice family evening out, and now watching a little more football before heading to bed to read before sleep.


    "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." - Romans 14:17-19


    Chicken Little was better than I thought it would be. Reviews have been mixed, but I think it's because most adults don't know how to laugh at kid-oriented storylines. Something happens to some as they get older, losing the ability to remember that cartoons used to actually be funny. There's a nice plot device of parents not understanding and not believing the outlandish dreams and ideas of their kids - I think some of the reviewers need to listen up and pay attention. Our kids will one day choose our retirement communities - play it right now while you can.


    I'm looking forward to tomorrow, to the end of our church's 40 Days of Community. Some groups still have to finish the videos because of scheduling conflicts, but by and large it's been an adventure in growing together, getting to know one another. I'm still a bit overwhelmed about the "what next" part of directing the small groups now, but we're part of a group that wants to grab onto this vision and move forward. It's encouraging, and I pray I'm up to the challenge.


    G'night.

    Aarrgghh

    Blogger bites.

    I enjoy piddling with my blog - adding things, tweaking things, cleaning things on the sidebar. the only time I have is the weekend, and now this: server down, page not found. Unacceptable. Major internet companies like Google, who owns Blogger, do not have down times like this in the middle of the day.

    So if this post ever gets posted - if their servers ever come up to allow me to vent a little - please take a favorable moment to look at what might be the future of GottaBuzz here at TypePad.

    This has happened before, and I've been tempted to try other avenues. Might even buy my own domain one of these days, so that's not even out of the question. But then I see how much I'd have to move or reformat to be happy, and I decide to stay, and it gets better and everyone looks happy and all is well with the world again. But not this time. Maybe not this time. I'll cross post to both sites for the next week, see how I feel at the end of the week.

    Aarrgghh. Bites.

    Weekend Update

    Feeling ugh with some kind of cold and cough thingy, so I'm hanging out and surfing this morning. Here are a few of the articles and blogposts that I've found while waiting for the ballgames to start this afternoon:

  • TheState.com - Watson puts lessons into practice - really glad to see former Gamecock turning things around.
  • CNN.com - Cruise liner fends off pirate attack - that's so cool, and you just know this is coming soon to a theater near you
  • Pausing to Ponder - Dead Blog Walking - Donna's blog is riding off into the sunset :(
  • Next-Wave - When God Won't Dance - impact of a sermon on Luke 7
  • Slashdot.com - Yahoo Map Engineers Prank Google - those funny funny geeks and nerds just need an outlet... don't they? don't we?
  • PunkMonkey - what are we not doing? - just asking the questions, rethinking and living out the answers and the ensuing conversation
  • Blogcritics.org - Review - posted my earlier review of 's new book, causing a bit more conversation there than here
  • Slate.com - The Word We Love To Hate. Literally. - okay, now for the literary geeks, finally something of substance, literally
  • Autoblog.com - Dodge Ram MegaCab rolls at SEMA - now that's a pickup

    And these pieces on the message and death of :
  • Vintage Faith - Kyle Lake's Last Sermon - after hearing about this young pastor's death last weekend, we found that he'd also submitted an article to the latest Relevant Magazine on prayer; what will my "last stuff" say about my life?
  • RelevantMag - Trusting God for the Wrong Things - viewing life and what's next after Kyle Lake's death

  • 11.04.2005

    Warmth

    Photo Friday - Warmth



    This is a wonderful time of year, getting ready for Thanksgiving and the hoopla leading to Christmas. I'm generally warm-natured, meaning that I'm finally comfortable when the temperatures reach into the 50s and 60s, mornings starting out in the 20s and 30s. I'll wear sweaters, sweatshirts, long sleeves - sometimes shortsleeves and sweatervests to feel the chill against my skin. I'll drink more afternoon coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea, and most evenings I'll make sure there's a fire to warm up the house, having my own chair beside the hearth to feel the warmth on my toes on the footstool. I'll read in the evenings, or we'll play games in the floor with the kids. We'll watch movies on TV, snuggle under the throws on the couch, and enjoy being together.

    Sure, that happens all year round, to a greater or lesser extent. But there's something that's just nice about the fall - everything else is changing color and dying for winter, and life becomes more alive somehow, too. Grateful for the many blessings handed down from the Lord; looking for just the right gift to express love and appreciation; the very real chill in the air and fresh warm smells, waking us up physically and spiritually even as the rest of the hemisphere gets ready for a nap.

    11.03.2005

    Needy

    I think I've done this before, but got some really good "answers" this time (thanks, April). Go to Google, type your name and the word "needs" into the search. What do you get?

  • Rick needs bail money
  • Rick Needs A Kidney
  • Rick needs you
  • Rowdy Rick needs to go
  • Rick needs a reality check
  • Rick needs our help
  • Rick needs to be aware at all times
  • Rick needs to be cloned ...
  • Rick needs to try multi grain breads
  • Rick needs to see Kiefer take down the terrorists!
  • Rick needs to go out and do some 'business'
  • I think Rick needs to lay off the roids

  • Mail Call

    Just got a new book in the mail from Baker Books - , by Chuck Smith, Jr. and Matt Whitlock. Verrrrrrry interesting. Might take awhile to read it with any real thoughts, but it looks like a conversation that would be fun to have with them at Starbucks over a couple of latte's. Maybe I can hold this one for a small group discussion...?

    TT5: Movies That Move

    Today's Thursday Top Five is sparked by a chapter in Practitioners (p. 99), where I was given a doodle page to write down a few movies that have been used by God to stir things up inside me.

  • THE BIG KAHUNA - evangelism & marketing
  • THE STORY OF US - marriage is the ultimate relationship
  • CRASH - stereotypes suck
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - integrity & honor still mean something
  • GLADIATOR - there's more to being a leader than being the one in charge

    The chapter goes on to say that one way for the Christian to engage film is to realize that movies tell a story, and that they're worth seeing because of what we can learn of life and God. That's why I think I've always enjoyed a good movie, and why I probably have never really had time for escapism themes, campy teen horror flicks and the rest. Good chapter, made me think, and something I want to pass on to my kids and to the friends around me.

  • 11.02.2005

    Important Announcement

    Just to let everyone know: after 24 Hours, all halloween candy is considered to be in the public domain. Meaning there are no dibs on "that's mine" or "hey, I got that!!" after 24 hours. If it is in the big candy/popcorn bowl in the kitchen, it's officially the property of the homeowners, namely my wife and I, and we will disburse of the candies at our discretion. The candy is now officially ours, not mine and not yours.

    Except for the Twizzlers. Those are still most definitely mine.

    11.01.2005

    Journal



    Yes, Scott, I keep a journal, too. Something more private than my blog, where doodles pass for profound any day of the week.

    Zzzzzzzzzzz

    My wife and I were both asleep by 11pm last night. I think she was snoozing before 10:30pm, or at least pretending well enough for me to get up and let the dawg out. But I was back in, turned off the ballgame, and both of us were snoring before the evening news.

    Made for a wonderfully pleasant and unhurried morning. I highly recommend it.

    Review: CHRIST THE LORD - OUT OF EGYPT

    [reposted on my new blog - http://gottabuzz.typepad.com/coffee]

    The latest cultural and literary news is that Anne Rice has found Jesus, that she's become a Christian, and that she now wants her writing to reflect her newfound faith and how it's impacted her life. I don't think it's a marketing scheme - she doesn't need the help, quite frankly, and it's not really the demographic her Lestat novels have traditionally been drawing. What has happened, instead, is that a storyteller has found a new story to share, and a new story in which to participate.

    Her first novel of a new series is Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt (copyright 2005, Alfred A. Knopf, Random House Inc.), and as a reviewer, I was pleasantly surprised. In the past, I've tried to read the opening chapters of a few of her other novels, but found it a chore to try to become involved emotionally with characters I ultimately had no love for. This was different, because this book tells a story with which we're already very intimately involved.

    The basic premise is this: Jesus and His family have been in Egypt for seven years, sent there to escape Herod's bloody pride (Matthew 2:13-18). The story opens first person, the young Messiah telling His own story of His family's return to Galilee. The Christian reader will most probably have to get over the notion that there's nothing worthwhile to a story like this since it's not in and of itself "scriptural". Rather, because of her writing style and attention to storytelling and detail, the reader can catch a glimpse of something beyond the text - there was some untold story, some unwritten adventure, that Jesus lived out during His formative years.

    As I was reading and being introduced to Jesus' extended family - all the cousins and aunts and uncles traveling with Mary and Joseph to Egypt and then back to the Promised Land - I got the distinct impression that Jesus was a Judean John Boy Walton, sharing the adventures and insights that come from having a big family, everyone having a voice and a role to play in the story. The years of relationship, the secrets of the adults kept from the innocence of the children, the interaction of the different generations, the realities of evil and good and everything that comes with sleeping and eating and living in tight quarters - those are the things that become vivid and real for the reader.

    I was especially drawn into the first person narration of Jesus - where there's no gospel, nothing else written of Christ's life except His own quotes and parables as recalled by others, I felt like this liberty taken was justified. Did Jesus get sick? Did He have ultimate knowledge from the first, or did He have to learn some things like the rest of us? Did He feel revenge or fear or confusion? What kinds of questions did Jesus ask the teachers that prepared Him for His own questions and stories later on? There might be some issues to be taken doctrinally, but I think it misses the point to make this a theological exercise more than an artistic one. Rice has written her story, sharing her vision perhaps of what Jesus' story was like, even as she's now entered into it with her own talents and weaknesses, all of which probably pour out of this text in an entertaining and enlightening way.