Follow by Email

Sunday, November 20, 2011


My latest read is SURPRISED BY HOPE by N.T. Wright.  The cover sleeve gives a good synopsis: "Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation—and if this has already begun in Jesus's resurrection—the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life."

I've not "bought into" Bishop Wright's theology yet. I may or may not.  Nor have I read the whole book, but the first two chapters raise some very interesting thoughts for me.  I'm a social progressive at heart, and this quote from the book intrigued me. "The classic Christian doctrine, therefore, is actually far more powerful and revolutionary then the Platonic one.  It was people who believed robustly in the resurrection, not people who compromised and went in for a mere spiritualized survival, who stood up against Caesar in the first centuries of the Christian era.  A piety that sees death as the moment of "going home at last," the time when we are "called to God's eternal peace," has no quarrel with power-mongers who want to carve up the world to suit their own ends.  Resurrection, by contrast, has always gone with a strong view of God's justice and of God as the good creator.  Those twin beliefs give rise not to a meek acquiescence to injustice in the world, but to a robust determination to oppose it."

I'm a social progressive, but this is not to be viewed as political, however my politics are derived from my beliefs.  As I read I'll post some things from time to time, so you'll have a better idea of what I derive as I'm reading.  Stay tuned!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Take Time To SMILE

Brian Wilson's "Teenage Symphony To God" has been a long time coming.  Over forty years actually, and I for one have been SMILEing most of the day. The album is both touching and whimsical, and in this day of unrest (much like the time it was recorded in the late 1960s), Brian and The Beach Boys have given us all a reason to SMILE.  SMILE was supposed to be the album that surpassed "Pet Sounds", but no one ever knew if it really would have or not. In my humble expert Beach Boys/Brian Wilson opinion, they made Pet Sounds sound almost amateurish.  (If you really know me then you realize what I'm saying.  I love Pet Sounds so much I took all the original backing tracks and did all the vocal overdubs on my own.  That's loving an album folks!) Rolling Stone calls this album, "the most most famous unreleased album in history", and now that it is finally released I can see the monicker was earned.

You can read all the reviews on the net to find out what it's all about, but the only way to SMILE is to experience it for yourself.   Yes experience it.  Everything from the sweetness of the acapella Our Prayer to the vibrations you get from the last song (gee I wonder what that is?).  In between you will feel "Wonderful", on "Fire" from  Mrs. O'Leary's cow, you'll discover your favorite "Vega-table", and you might even head out to the "Barnyard".

Do yourself a favor.  Even if you have no clue what I'm taking about, go buy the least expensive version out there, listen, experience, and SMILE!!


Somewhere In The Middle

One of my favorite television shows, is ABC's The Middle.  Does the show have ANYTHING to do with what I'm blogging about today?  I could break it all down and say yes, but it's really THE MIDDLE, that has my attention today.  Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."  In my life experience, extremism  has been necessary to accomplish the goal or task at hand, but the goal at hand is usually something in THE MIDDLE.  Whether we're dealing with a form of government (democracy although we are really a federalist system) or an economic system (yes we are a capitalist system) something in the middle seems to work best.

So how does THE MIDDLE exist?  It only exists because there are extremes.  Viva la extremes!!!   I love information I get from both sides.  Do I have a bias? Of course I do, but what kind of thinking doesn't take into account information from all quarters before coming to a conclusion?  Hey! Wow! THE MIDDLE appears again.  

Since I'm not the worlds greatest writer let me just spell it out for you in case my writing hasn't gotten you there.  We need people on the extreme end of things to push us in different directions.  We also need THE MIDDLE to bring stability to both ends.  Neither can function without THE MIDDLE to balance things.

Just some food for thought.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


There is something comforting about a bunch of small, furry, purry critters running through the house. Not your thing you say? I get that, but your missing out on all the fun. Seriously! Wouldn't it be wonderful to see a German (Jurgen), a Cuban (Desi), and your typical red headed American girl (Lucy) running through your home?

A very typical evening at our house now!!



The freedom to think is a great gift, and little appreciated by some.  I was listening to Tom Brokaw this morning and he was quoting someone (I wish I could remember who) while discussing this topic. "Do not become hostage to other people's orthodoxy."  That really struck a note with me.  Whether it was a b flat or an g sharp is not germane to this discussion.  It did give me a key (I'm so sorry but I had to.) to some of my thoughts lately.  It is so easy to think like those to whom we are exposed every day.  I'm not saying that  it is wrong, but it is like the flow of water.  It just happens.  It isn't inevitable that we think that way.  Dams, dikes, spillways, and canals are built for a reason.  They change the flow of the water.

I like to view our ability to "see through the lens of history" or maybe our ability to "see through rose colored glasses" as the flow changer.  When two people witness the same event, they don't always agree on the details when they view it through their mind's eye, nor can two people read the same information and always come up with the same conclusions.  Seeing this "cartoon" the other day really put my mind in gear.  "What would my friends think if I post this?"  "Will people think I'm mocking how they perceive God?"  "Am I willing to deal with the 'comments' people will make?"  My conclusion is this.  I allow others to perceive God in the way they do, so why can't I share my perceptions?  Now, does one cartoon share my perception of God.  Absolutely not!  This cartoon, through my lens, just shows how differently, and how honestly we perceive Him.  It isn't mean to belittle or "put down" anyone's view, but it does show that I have a different view than many people with whom I flow.  
Let the discussion begin.  I mean, so many people read my blog!!