Friday, December 12, 2008

There is not a laughing emoticon big enough for this one

First follow this link, THEN follow the link he links to. You will understand, trust me.

random thought of the day

Feeling responsible for things you can't change or control, and which only get worse through your words or actions, can be a sign of being a control freak or having a rescuer complex. In some Christian circles this habit of mind and heart is euphemistically referred to as "headship" and considered a virtue all Christian men should aspire to.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I laughed quite a bit reading it. Phase 5 option 1 pretty much encapsulate the house church movement and the cycle starts over again. If you're lucky the people running the house church movement aren't people who are liable to jump at a bank debenture scam known as Omega the way some people I know did during the Clinton administration. That way some housewife doesn't make off with a bunch of money after saying things like that "Daddy" (God the Father) told you this or that. Or if you're lucky the house church you end up at doesn't have the husband and wife team hosting it at their home divorcing.

I ended up at the church I attended for the better part of thest decade because I thought that as pathetic as denominations and organized churches tend to be the crap piled up higher and faster with less real accountability in the house church movement. People are as facile and two-faced in that tradition, too, precisely because they think they're being real. And they are being real, real sinners. Doesn't mean that there aren't amazing problems everywhere else, just that this five-phase sequence illustrates beautifully how the person in quest of a tradition that defines them gets progressively disillusioned.

Even after i decided I leaned heavily Reformed that Reformed people were so giddy at the prospect of saying Arminians didn't really embrace the Gospel got on my nerves. I was led to believe that the popes were the ones who said other people weren't part of the true faith and then saw Calvinists do the same thing. Of course it's also possible for people to not like Protestants ripping on Catholics and then join a church that considers both Catholics and Protestants to be heretics ... but my Christianity is minimalist enough that I can consider people in the Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic spheres to all be believers without necessarily agreeing on a lot of mundane details.

One of the ironies of this cycle is that in leaving a tradition you tend to display yourself the worst excesses of the tradition you're trying to leave behind. This is particularly the case with what I'd have to describe as a spiritual superiority copmlex. More colloquially known as plank and speck.

Poem: duet of leaf blowers

A duet of leaf blowers

Death can be strangely beautiful
when it is something or someone else.
The dying of the day's light
is one of the great beauties of life.
We reflect on sunsets as
anchors of beauty
in the violent sea of the world.

The death of an animal
whose muscles feed us
is beautiful, something to savor
unless the animal was a friend to us
or our child.

And as leaves wither and fall from branches
their glowing red and yellow deaths
are beautiful to us
unless the rotting mulch on the streets
should cause us to slip
or lose our footing
or skid into an accident.

So we delegate the task
of cleaning the evidence of death
from our lives.
We assign men and women to blow away
the red and yellow leaves from the streets.
Hear them start the engines of their leaf blowers
as cars roll by, engines that would drive the saws that
cut down trees but now instead blow away their droppings.

I listen to two leaf blowers grind and roar
an improvised chorale on the subject of death in the city
and the rhythms of gathering and burning.
They roar like street preachers regaling a crowd
gathering the dying leaves to warn them of the hellfire to come
and the cars that roll by mumble each indifferent whoosh of "amen".

Free verse, first draft, weekend. Do not consider this a serious poem.