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(no subject) [Feb. 8th, 2005|12:05 pm]

I'm not clever enough to write a sassy, cutting-edge, smartly humerous introduction so I'm just going to say that I like this place...
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why don't we rethink everything [Jan. 23rd, 2005|12:14 am]

[mood |quixoticquixotic]

i get tired of the status quo sometimes as i use my computer. i run my web browser; it takes five seconds to show up on my superfast computer. i look at my disk usage, seeing that i have over five hundred megabytes of software. For what? Might not all the functions of the software we use be done so much more simply, quicker, smaller by orders of magnitude? Indeed, some have rethought computer software and even hardware; but most of their efforts have been either discarded outright, or integrated into the status quo instead of replacing it, thus making everything even bigger and slower. Interesting pictures from a different angle, added to a whole album of bad photography instead of placed in a new album. I wish I could be part of that rethinking, do something truly new in the world of computing. That I could again run an operating system that no one has ever heard of.

But every time I walk along that path to that clearing of thought, I think of all the time I've spent in the current "revolution," running a slightly different system that's actually older than the most popular one, and not so different. I wonder how important the crusade for something really new in computers is. I wonder about a similar metanoia regarding my life: i can show love and bring help in a few small ways others cannot. Is it worth all the time I've spent, all the knowledge I've piled up? Isn't there a more direct, simpler way to get the truly important things done? Couldn't my life be simpler, smaller by orders of magnitude? Not many people I care about care much about the bleeding edge of computing. Indeed, at least one of them knows the simple, small computing I speak of, by running old, "obsolete" software. So if I managed to bring something new to computer science, do all the things you could use that thing for make an even trade with all the ways I could have made people's lives better so much more directly using the same time?

I've spent my whole life learning, and learning to love learning, only to learn that loving God and loving people are the only things that really matter. a minority of the things i've spent so much time learning have proved helpful in loving people. and it's a small minority of people who think that that time is worth anything when it's happening.

i guess it's been too long since i've felt the incredible joy of knowing that the Kingdom is rumbling straight down the little paths i've worn wandering through the forest of life.
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I liked this article about a church in Seattle... [Jan. 21st, 2005|03:45 pm]

[mood |complacentcomplacent]

We believe a church can be innovative reaching the culture, but we don't get innovative with the message of Jesus.


ETA: I also recommend looking at this entry in christiangoth and this exchange that sparked it.
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Truth, Being, etc. [Jan. 19th, 2005|12:30 am]

As an organized-religion renegade and one who does far too much thinking to let herself rest easily in God, as one who cannot get seeking and grace to go together most of the time, as one who loves staying up late and comic books and going to diners and writing subversive literature but feels like she would be so much better off finding a nice monastic life somewhere (something like Taize or Plum Village), as one who doesn't know what to make of the fact that she seems to be really good at something (academia) she finds she has no claim to make a spiritual stake in (no broad gender assertions, but personally would be happiest staying home and cooking and nurturing) ... I find the idea that I think is behind this community to be extremely appealing.

I hope this isn't offtopic - I don't have much to go on, nor do I know of any other forums where one can discuss (with the hope for intelligent feedback) esoteric and potentially heretical ideas. (Though if any of you know of any such places, I will go there with great glee.)

I have been contemplating lately the nature and structure of humans.

It seems to me that God is perhaps that which is the infinite and therefore inherently unknowable. And it occurs to me that people, in God's image, are like that too - in some small way. We can know biology, and we can learn a person's habits and the ideas they claim, but we cannot know their essence - we do not know what it is like to BE them. And yet, in some ways we do. We are all human. We are them, and we are at the same time not-them.

There is an absolute truth; that is God. Infinite and unknowable, and yet the stuff of which we are made - the divine spark within us.

And I don't know what to make of this - as I seek to know people better, and to know God better. I can feel that I'm starting to fight again - and I know I realized in the past that fighting was what got me in trouble. But I don't know what to do but to struggle short-of-breath after the divine.
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it was too long as a comment [Dec. 31st, 2004|05:31 am]

> Can Christianity be postmodern? Or is the highest goal of Christianity really reason and rationality?



Read more...Collapse )
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my friend erin from mission year said this: [Dec. 25th, 2004|11:50 pm]

"Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease."
(O Holy Night)

December 24, 2004

I sang these words in the shower today--a feeble attempt to place myself into the spiritual and reverent--to remember "what this season is all about." I sang the words above and heard them again for the first time. I don't feel joy when I sing or hear those words. I don't feel awe or wonder or quiet peace. I feel sadness and regret. I feel a burden. I feel fear that I will never sing them without those feelings; never with confidence and a good conscience. I sang as my little brothers played downstairs: Kyle banging on his drums (a Christmas gift from the year before), Joey staring at the computer with TV noise beside him. Mom and Dad are hurrying around town to get the last of their gifts.
I know what should come next. Anyone could guess. That typical spill about how commercialized Christmas has become; how no one gets what it's supposed to be about; about all of the unfortunate little orphan children and poor families who don't get a Christmas--maybe one present--and how we should be grateful for what we have and give a little to them. And God bless those with their radio station-sponsored angel--carrying the name of a child who won't get much of a Christmas this year. God bless those who serve in a soup kitchen over the holiday season. Truly...God bless them. Because even a flicker of light is beautiful in this overwhelming darkness. But shame on them.
Shame on all of us for our stupid, miniscule attempts at being what Christ came to Earth for, who He died for, who He longs, without fail or tire, for us to be. Shame on us for singing those words of "O Holy Night." Shame on us for thinking we're doing something great if we get goosebumps while humming Christmas carols and hymns; if we look at the nativity scene with peace and wonder and truly love the God-child lying there but then wake the next morning and every morning after only to forget what He went on to do every day following the day He first opened his eyes.
People talk of how material we've become; of how the true meaning is history. Christians shake their heads at the world and engage in pious rituals to gain back a piece of all that has been lost. I wonder what I should do with this. I, too, will enjoy opening my expensive gifts tomorrow morning. I will stand outside of my grandmas tonight, look up at the black sky and thank God for coming down to the dirt for me. I may even share some of these thoughts with my family tomorrow morning--as my dad continues the tradition of telling the blessed story, straight out of Luke. And I will probably be listened to with tolerance. They will all nod their heads with sympathy, one or two may roll their eyes. I am some sort of liberal, hippy crusader in this family so these rants are expected. I can't change them. (I'm having a hard enough time changing myself, or should I say-allowing myself to be changed) I can't make them take back their Christmas gifts and buy food for the poor.
I probably won't be doing that, and I"m not so sure I should.
I don't want a one-day holiday conviction. I want to be one who stands out.
"Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother." I want to sing these words standing beside my brother, broken chains at our feet. Mostly, I get scared (here in the "after Mission Year") that I'll have to stand alone. I get even more scared that that will keep me from standing at all. But I know I never want to have another Christmas with all the "Christmas Spirit" bullshit that arouses our conscience for two months or less every year. I don't want to sing those hymns and carols like they were written for only one season, one period of time. Christ came in that moment, on that "holy night" as the song says, with the same agenda-shattering, butt-kicking, painfully humbling message that He tries so desperately to get to us every day since and still. And what would Christmas look like if we all truly believed and lived this on that day and every other day of our lives?

**Friends, I hope this little piece of my mind isn't ruining your Christmas. It might not even make any sense. I wrote it with a charged, quick hand and just got around to typing it now: 12:40 AM, Christmas morning. I almost didn't send it so as not to seem a whiny politician--standing up on my soapbox and telling the world how horrible and awful they are for not giving all their Christmas gifts to the poor, or how sad it is that they bought superficial things to begin with. But I hope that you know that is not my intention. If it were, you would have to hang me for hipocrisy...I've spent more money this Christmas (and much of it on myself) than ever before. I didn't even think about picking an angel off the WHAS angel tree. And I'll be pretty disappointed if I don't get what I asked for tomorrow morning.
This little note came from a heart..weary from searching and seeking and questioning..lonely..missing the community she shared all of these struggles with. It came from a frustrated heart...about to be even more frustrated because there seemed to be no purpose. It seemed that it would all have to be bottled up inside until she thought it might help to share it with others- whether they understood or agreed- just to get it out, into somewhere else.
Please have a wonderful Christmas. Stuff your face and be in love with your family, even if they're as redneck and ignorant as they are here in Southern Indiana. Enjoy your presents. Be thankful for them. Sing hymns and Christmas carols and get goosebumps when you light a candle to pray, or watch the snow fall over a fake, plastic manger.

Simply pray that He makes us weaker, meeker, lesser, more like He was born to be--so that we might grow into the radiant Kings and Queens He died for us to be.

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run don't walk to this blog [Dec. 19th, 2004|12:14 am]

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hello errant saints world! [Dec. 18th, 2004|10:12 am]

[mood |awake]
[music |Car Talk on NPR]

i'm new, but not really to anyone who's already here. :) since mission year, it's been really strange trying to figure out how life, and even the "Christian" life, fits in with the things i learned on mission year. and i'm trying to figure out how to live out those principles in a world where i have to cover bills and things aren't already set out for me. it's a lot harder to live them out when you actually have bills to cover, and you have to pick a church when none of the ones you've gone to have the things you're REALLY looking for...yeah. living is not easy. but Jesus never did say it would be, did he? yay. ;)
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intro [Nov. 30th, 2004|11:03 am]

hi, i'm a member! er, more later.
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