Monday, May 29, 2006

Without Proving It First

I can learn to ignore the cracks in my own internal makeup for quite a while. I can adjust to not having my life fit together right for a while, but over time if I don’t do the work to get life back into plumb and restored, the wall will fall down and the cracks will take over.

I have to remember that. And I sometimes wish people would be able to understand that as well, but to do that I have to become a walking illness and that doesn’t fit well with the idea of working toward recovery. There is a fine line between being open and honest about my illness, and obsessing about it to the point of becoming identified as the illness.
[via A Labyrinthine Journey]

Wouldn't Be Me

Do I have regrets? Hell yes. If you don't, congrats. You're a better person than I. Can I do anything about those regrets? Probably not unless Doc Brown shows up with his DeLorean. And even then, as I think about it, I don't think I'd change anything.

Why? Because of the stuff I don't regret. My wife. My kids. My jobs. My experiences. My faith. My journey. It wouldn't be the same if I had to go back and "fix" what went wrong. I wouldn't be me anymore. I'd be an idealized version that would, in my mind, be a flat, two-dimensional, Stepford Me.

I bought into what was sold me as the "Victorious Life". Hah. I'm a big, fat sinner who struggles through life like the rest of you.
[via Blog of the Lost Dog]


When you consider the violence in the Congo or Darfur, the plague of AIDS in Africa, or the fact that millions of people are dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases you realize that we have learned nothing from the holocaust. We in the western world have the potential to do so much good, and we don’t.

The Bible tells us that Abraham, the patriarch of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, was blessed so that he could be a blessing. In the west we are living in a period of unparalleled prosperity, yet we sit idly by as these tragedies occur. Could it be that we have been blessed to be a blessing? And could it also be that the key to prolonging and deepening this blessing is not to turn our gaze inward in a neurotic attempt to protect ourselves?
[via The Bush League Theologian]

Monday, May 22, 2006

[a poem I wrote today]

Mourn Fully

These empty tables
Those empty chairs
Where we used to sup
As unmerited as favor

Afterimages of our sharp objects

For we see you in the mourning
Since it began to dawn on us
To what we've been subjected

Orphaned without order
Karaoke without crowds
With ever stranger clamour
To jettison the blase joy

For it seemed odd to say goodbye
Since we digested your release
From craving meager intimacy

Delicious though it was

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Itch One Can't Scratch

[via Think Christian, HT: What The Dirty...]

I think a lot of people have read the book, not just as a popular page-turner but also as an experience in shared frustration with status-quo, male-dominated, power-oriented, cover-up-prone organized Christian religion. We need to ask ourselves why the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown’s book is more interesting, attractive, and intriguing to these people than the standard vision of Jesus they hear about in church. Why would so many people be disappointed to find that Brown’s version of Jesus has been largely discredited as fanciful and inaccurate, leaving only the church’s conventional version? Is it possible that, even though Brown’s fictional version misleads in many ways, it at least serves to open up the possibility that the church’s conventional version of Jesus may not do him justice?

-- Brian McClaren

What Proclamation?


100 years from now (heck, 2 years from now), The Da Vinci Code will be forgotten, but Christianity will stand strong. Christianity has thrived for 2000 years, not because it defended itself against false claims, but because it proclaims a message of life and salvation.

Christian histrionics against this book and movie only serve to prove the point the book is making, that we are an authoritarian church bent on protecting ourselves rather than serving the world.
[via Kevin G Powell, emphasis mine]

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Daunted Daughters

Like I said to a friend yesterday: "Mother's Day: the one day a year where your family apologizes for treating you like an ass the rest of the year."

That's about how I feel about Mother's Day. Ever since I've become a mother, I've not liked the holiday. Partially because I want my husband and kids to realize how much I do for them -- and not just show me this by taking me out for an overpriced Sunday brunch. And partially because I feel like a crappy mother and generally a selfish individual who does not even deserve a pithy (and, once again, overpriced) card.

This year especially I'm feeling like I'm not only a bad mother but a bad daughter.
[via Vandermeander]

This Mother's Day, remember adult orphans.

[via The Peculiar Grief of the Adult Orphan]
“Parents are like repositories of memory. They’re the only ones who hold certain memories of you as a child. It’s like a mirror — we define ourselves in terms of our relationships so our parents’ deaths challenge us to define who we are.”
-- Chris Hall
[via Adult Orphans: SPEAKING OF " NORMAL"]
Yes, it is a natural part of life for parents to die, but that time of living between their death and our own has some interesting and unique characteristics. Perhaps it has more meaning to those of us who are childless, since our sense of continuity of the generations is different. Do we feel more of a need to honour our parents - both for the miseries and for the joys in our legacy from them. We are their legacy, what do we leave when there are no children?

...Have you ever noticed that we comfort ourselves in obituaries by talking about being reconnected with the lost loved one in the future. It is not the sense of the past that we mourn, it is the loss of the shared future that we mourn. People don't really get stuck in the past, they get stuck in an empty future. They are not in the past when they don't change the table setting, they are trying to change the present and the future.{emphasis mine}

From Library Journal's review:

As the baby-boom generation moves into middle age, their own aging parents are dying in record numbers. What does it mean to become an "adult orphan"? Strangely, this momentous event in adulthood has been given scant attention in the popular psychological literature except in terms of bereavement. Yet, argues author Secunda (When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends), coping with parental death is not a question of grief but of identity: "In one respect, adult children who outlive their parents are all the same: they relinquish the single role they have played longer than any other--that of being a son or daughter to a living mother or father." Drawing on her survey of 94 people, Secunda explores how adult orphans gradually give up their old childish identity and discover their true adult selves in terms of their relationships with siblings, children, and friends. Although a bit repetitious--Alexander Levy's The Orphaned Adult (LJ 9/15/99) covered the same territory more concisely and more elegantly--Secunda's book will be in demand.

-Wilda Williams

Saturday, May 06, 2006

From a comment on GetReligion to this post:

I think it is interesting that so many Christians are wringing their hands and debating tactics over the mangled history and theology of DVC, but that another very popular series of books with similar sins, Left Behind, garnered very little criticism (by comparison).

So is twisted theology, bad history, and conspiracy theories (not to mention a Jesus that bears little resemblance to the biblical figure) only bad if a liberal “outsider” writes it? I want to know. If the “Left Behind” films had made mega-money would Christian pundits on the right start taking it apart? Publishing tons of books debunking it?
-- Jason Pitzl-Waters

Protocols of Conspiracy

Klinghoffer has written an excellent column for The Jewish Week about how The Da Vinci Code could lead to the sort of bigotry that another book (initially written as a novel) spawned many decades ago. He asks the question: "But why should a Jew care" about Dan Brown's novel? Answer: {read more}
[via The Da Vinci Code Hoax Blog]

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Interviews: Eugene Peterson (author of The Message and such), Eric Metaxas and William Hendricks

Not only that: East/West Social Justice Turf War!, The Biblical Roots of Handism, The Dogs Playing Poker Code, Oprah or Osteen?, MegaChurches Mull Making the Sabbath Holy Again...

Mona Mia!: the back cover by Tim Nyberg:

The Last Word: Can't help myself by Ole Anthony