Saturday, June 16, 2007

billy graham's talking cow

as steve over at knightopia reports, in the wake of ruth bell graham's death, billy graham announced that he and his wife had decided to be laid to rest at the brand new billy graham memorial "library" in charlotte, nc. this announcement signaled the cessation of a fairly public power struggle between ruth bell graham, who wanted to be buried on the site of the cove training center, and franklin graham, who was the driving force behind the library in charlotte.*

i mean mrs. graham no disrespect. she was by all accounts a strong, amazing woman who shared a ministry with her husband that was quite unlike any the world has ever seen. however i am a little put off by the penchant we as evangelicals have for commodifying everything, including the remarkable lives of the grahams, in the name of "evangelism." i shudder when i wonder what we will think of next. will it be a death defying, drop of the holy spirit ride on the site of the azusa street church? an interactive, laugh-in musical comedy at the toronto vineyard? the purpose-driven plunge at saddleback? when it comes to evange-tainment, the sky is probably the limit.

* which is located near other significant cultural sites such as the forthcoming NASCAR Museum.

Friday, June 15, 2007

short form prayer

rewire the circuit

drop the sauder, step away

pentecost today

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

in appreciation of professional christians

i am relationally exhausted. between my beautiful family, 40 hours of job placement work, 24 of customer service, home church and regular connections with kindred far and near i have precious time to stop, listen, learn and pray.

don't get me wrong, i'm not turning into dante hicks* or anything. this week i've had (personally) unparalleled success at placing clients in jobs, my wife and child are utterly remarkable and just last night alex and aime lavished us with the most amazing steak and wine dinner. however, i am realizing how relationally exhausting full time accompaniment and advocacy can really be.

the latter realization makes me appreciate the work of full-time professional christians all the more. as a child and, okay, occasionally as an adult i have been hyper-critical of the way particular full-time pastors and ministry leaders conduct their daily lives. but the relatively short amount of time i have spent in equipping ministry here at rectangle has taught me to appreciate and respect the incredible choice that pastors make to love, listen and entangle themselves in people's beautiful but confounded lives on a daily basis.

so here's to you professional christians! we often cannot conceive of, and (probably) far too often criticize, the sacramental lives you lead. i appreciate (most) of what you do.

* pop quiz: who's a whinier little b*tch: luke skywalker or dante hicks?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

memorandum from captain random

question: if you walk the dog at different time, in a different place, could you wake up a different person?


"i am a straight up, hard-core facist. facism is perfect, it's perfect. think about it, you enslave people and send them out to build the GDP and if they don't succeed you send them out to fight a war. facism is beautiful. it's perfect."

the preceding political rant was brought to you by:

a) heinrich himmler
b) dwight schrute
c) hooper x, my evening supervisor
d) robert paulsen


for some reason, i really want to see knocked up sooner rather than later. i'm not only interested in this comedy because it provides a humorous perspective on an epic experience in my near past, but also because i think jud apatow is brilliant. one reviewer said that apatow's comedies, which include the forty year old virgin as well as the tv series freaks and geeks and undeclared, are remarkably traditional stories that unfold in a slightly perverse setting. i can only hope that someone will someday say the same about my preaching.

Monday, June 11, 2007


my little man turned 2 months old yesterday. in the past two months there have been many moments when the demands of fatherhood have left me bitching like dante hicks,* but there have also been moments when i've understood that fatherhood is a unique invitation to sacrificial service and opportunity to enter into deeper communion with Christ and His creation.

the longer i live the more i suspect that almost every moment is a key moment insofar as it is an opportunity to serve, connect and create. as both preston and i grow older i hope to improve my response rate.

* i.e., when kellie asked me to change a diaper on sunday, which is currently my only day off, i almost felt like saying "i'm not evening supposed to be here today!" moreover, in the midst of almost every day since his birth i've whined to myself, and far too often to others, "but i'm f*cking tired!".
"the new testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. the judge will be Christ. in other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.

romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ's love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. the worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. the justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one."