A conversation with my wife, Sarah, and sister, Shannon, about the celebration of Christmas and our intentionality to cease our consumerism produced a dialogue between my four-year-old nephew and me:
Travis: Bryson, are you going to give anything to anybody this year for Christmas?
Bryson: No, Santa Claus is.
Travis: Santa Clause is? You’re not going to give any gift?
Bryson: No, Santa Claus is.
Travis: Haven’t other people given you gifts for Christmas?
Bryson: No, Santa Claus does that.
Travis: You mean your grammy has never gotton you a gift?
Bryson: No, just Santa.
Shannon: Bryson, grammy and papaw have given you gifts for Christmas.
Travis: So, don’t you think it would be good for you to give to someone?
Bryson: No, Santa Claus is.
What has our culture taught our children?
I am working on my Master of Arts of Religion in Missional Leadership from Northwest Nazarene University. I am thoroughly enjoying the program at this point. It is all online and I am discovering the consumption of time that occurs with active engagement in my courses. I am also finding that my mind is provoked to think continually about our discussion/post topics. I wonder why it is that relationships and conversation online seem more intentional toward authenticity and committment. Maybe it’s that there are sweet people in my class who value shared experience and time with each other? Maybe it’s that we don’t have on masks in an attempt to try to prove ourselves as ones who we are not? Maybe it’s because we are required to spend time in virual dialogue so that we are not distracted by all the distractions in real conversation?
A thorough conversation dealing with the question in my previous post leads to dialogue about the unchanging/changing nature of God. Does God change?
Is there ever an original thought that has never been thought before? From this question, another is proposed: Has this question been asked before? I’m sure it has. Does that answer my question?
Just for fun I completed an online survey to see with which 2008 presidential candidate’s views my opinions most closely match. Though I didn’t like the ambiguity and overly-general questions here are my results:
Dennis Kucinich (D) – Ohio Representative: 78.33% match
Ron Paul (R) – Texas Representative: 68.33%
Mike Gravel (D) – Former Alaska Senator : 66.67%
Joseph Biden (D) – Delaware Senator : 49.17%
Hillary Clinton (D) – New York Senator: 48.33%
John Cox (R) – Businessman: 48.33%
Christopher Dodd (D) – Connecticut Senator: 48.33%
Barack Obama (D) – Illinois Senator: 48.33%
John Edwards (D) – Former North Carolina Senator: 47.50%
Bill Richardson (D) – New Mexico Governor: 46.67%
Mike Huckabee (R) – Former Arkansas Governor: 44.17%
Sam Brownback (R) – Kansas Senator: 40.00%
John McCain (R) – Arizona Senator: 40.00%
Governor Mitt Romney (R) – Former Massachusetts: 40.00%
Tom Tancredo (R) – Colorado Representative: 31.67%
Rudy Giuliani (R) – Former New York City Mayor: 28.33%
Duncan Hunter (R) – California Representative 23.33%
Fred Thompson (R) – Former Tennessee Senator: 23.33%
I am ecstatic that 15 of my 18 matches rank below 50% with only 3 between 60% and 80%. I am for the abolishment of the two-party system and my results may reveal why. It is impossible to find a candidate with whom I highly agree due their stances being formulated not on a per issue basis but on a “party-line.”
Take to survey for yourself: http://www.vajoe.com/candidate_calculator.html
I have been exploring the interplay and/or dichotomy between that which may be considered to be of a spiritual nature and that which may be considered to be of an earthly reality. How do the “spiritual” and the “natural” co-exist? Which (if there is separation/distinction) is reality?
Lyrics from Caedmon’s Call: This World
There’s tarnish on the golden rule
And I want to jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who are not afraid to love
This world has nothing for me
And this world has everything
All that I could want
And nothing that I need
This world is making me drunk
On the spirits of fear
So when he says who will go
I am nowhere near
And the least of these
Look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street
This world has held my hand
And has led me into intolerance
But now I’m waking up
And now I’m breaking up
But now I’m making up
For lost time
Now listening to: Dashboard Confessional, Dusk and Summer album.
Does anyone have any thoughts on “divine vengeance?” A friend of mine sent an e-mail to me discussing “imprecation psalms” to defend the position that violence is not always wrong because it may be being carried out by God. You may read the except that he copied into the email at http://theologica.blogspot.com/2007/09/crying-for-justice.html. My response was as follows:
“So… maybe there were people in other countries praying hard enough for divine vengeance against the United States, thereby we could call Hurricane Katrina imprecation. God bless the U.S.A.”
Please note: The preceding sentence is laced with a double-dose of sarcasm. I am not of a reformed mindset nor do I claim that any natural disasters are caused by or initiated by God.
Here is a pretty inconsequential and unthoughtful post to rest my mind.
Top 5 Best Athletic Movies (in no particular order):
- We Are Marshall
- Remember the Titans
I am reading Matthew Sleeth’s Serve God, Save the Planet. After quickly reading through chapter (1) I found myself broken, guilty, and in need of repentance. The book is not intended to be “guilt-trip” inducing (at least I didn’t read it that way). The author confessed his previous sin of consumption and is passionate about his cause and calling and has demonstrated his commitment to a different way of living. It is, indeed, challenging (for lack of a more powerful word).
While the book is likely to continue specifically with creation care and love as the central theme, it provoked me to dig even deeper into myself to ask, “What really controls me?” I am broken right now – disgusted at myself. I have allowed materialism, status, and acceptance to reign in me and my attempts to be otherwise have been futile at best. I would try to explain my existing methods and praxis for being a steward of creation and wealth but I would merely be attempting to justify my lack of true commitment to giving and ultimately to worship of YHWH. May grace cover me and change me and my family and community.