Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Need to Fix the Java

No, it's not that I need to learn how to be a barista. No, the Java on Google Chrome seems to be broken. I could not add color to my previous entry with the blog up in Chrome. I added it right snappy when I went to IE8, which I find slow and annoying much of the time. So I guess for some applications, until I figure out how to fix Java in Google Chrome, I'll be annoying myself in IE8 when I blog.

You Would Never Know That I Actually Like Being Around People

This really sums it up rather well. Usually I don't copy other people's work wholesale, but this pretty much nails it.

You would never know that I actually like being around people

This here is a blog. It's where I say shit that's on my mind, or link to videos of people popping zits, or tell jokes/stories, or whatever. Blogs have been around longer than the term "Social Media" which is very en vogue right now. I have to say tho, that for me blogging is all about the social, and very little about the media. Media in this case meaning using the technology to reach an audience for a professional reason like marketing or customer support.

I mean I KNOW some of you all do this shit for a living, but it started fro me as a way to keep in touch with people. I am not very good at writing letters/e-mails on impulse, or making calls just to catch up. [Important to say here that The Observer started the first blog became The Observer became sick of hollering at the radio in the car.] And you can see for yourself the long periods where I haven't done jack or shit on here. But STILL I maintain the blog is about me, it's a social exercise and more than a tad narcissistic. [The Observer is not as transparent at all times as this writer as The Observer is conscious of the fact that the internet is so very open, so sometimes the Observer is opaque about some things. Which can make The Observer a little crazy someti

If you tune in here, are my Facebook friend, or follow me on Twitter [it must be noted that The Observer does not Tweet at this point] you would be forgiven for thinking that I blow these social outfits off. The truth is that sometimes I just get chatty, but most of the time I just watch whats goin on with everybody else. I don't like being the center of attention, it makes me jittery. I love when people reach out to talk to me or to do something in the non-virtual world. When somebody says "let's get together" I am always excited, right up till it's about to happen. Then I start getting bummed out about being fat, or broke, or a gimp. I come up with a million reasons I'll have a bad time and try to talk myself out of it. When I go tho, I almost always enjoy myself.

Talking to people, online or in person, doesn't just forge connections and relationships it positively affects my self image. I am still uncomfortable when I am the center of attention (for example a rambling blog, or telling a story to a table of people). I tend to struggle to sound brighter/funnier than I am because I like the positive reinforcement. At the same time I am aware of that struggle and how I might come off as a blabbermouth or just really weird.

I just wanted all of you all to know that I appreciate the connections I have made with you, I just don't always express it. If I don't say anything to you in a while, rest assured it's NOT because I want to ignore anybody. I just suck at this social stuff sometimes. And as for the media, well I hate to be marketed at (tho I cut my SocMed practicing friends some slack).

OK kids, that's it I'm out!

Here is the link to the entry, which is in a journal type blog, some of the rest of which is kind of interesting also. I have interjected a few notes where our situations are different, but they really don't make a big difference in the impact of this entry.

Which brings me to one important thing: I really connected with a blogger called Ann T Hathaway and she hasn't blogged in at least three weeks. Not just that, she hasn't moderated her comments or responded to an email. First, selfishly, I really miss her writing! I miss her comments! She made me feel good, like the blogger above posted. She is very educated with a lot of different experiences and writes very well. But second, as the time has passed, I am getting really worried about her. Did she get injured riding her bike around Washington DC? Is she ill? The longer it goes without even a moderated comment on the blog, the more I worry. I probably shouldn't, since she's grown (around my age), but I do! Come back Ann T, even if it just to say "Good bye!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Full to Overflowing

So much has been going on in my spiritual life that I don't even know where to begin. The fact that I am typing at 2303 in the McD's tells you this is not the entry that is going to sum it all up.

Here's something:
The thing I miss most about being financially stable: Being able to give freely. I miss it terribly.

OK that's all for now. Step Study is taking a week off (probably) and possible two weeks off (tell me it isn't so!) so maybe I'll have a chance to breathe.

Not that church hasn't given me plenty to think about...and the blogs too. And even Adam Hamilton's FB page...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2 Corinthians 5

My first hermeneutic efforts were with this passage, more or less. I read it as a benediction tonight after we talked about what happens when you repent and turn to Jesus, the change that happens and how you are released from sin and guilt, filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered and in general, made new. It's such a charge from Paul, first to the church in Corinth, and then to us. You have been made new--now you are an ambassador from the Kingdom of God to the world--you bring the King's regards and wishes.

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Mighty to Save" and "Ready Now"

Two songs with two different points of view of the process of transformation. One concentrates on God and his ability to save. The other is from the point of view of the yielded person--a song of consecration.

Here are the lyrics to the second:
Come like You promised You would
I want to surrender for good
I know that I need You and I don't
want to keep living life alone

So take this heart and make it new
Make it true make it like You
Take my hands I lift them high
Theyr'e Yours not mine to do

Do what You will
Do what You will
Do what You will

Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
I feel like a blind man in Your sight
I know that I'm wicked in Your eyes
So wash me and make me shine like Your
Son, I want to tell everyone that Your the only one

so take my heart and make it new

I'm ready now, I'm ready now
I'm ready now, do what You will

I'm ready now
I'm ready now
I'm ready now

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's All Facebook's Fault!

Well, I joined Facebook, and a bunch of Grandview

Nazarene people found me there. That's good. And then I got an email from Dolores about Grandview Naz's 24 hour prayer day for their finances. Do I feel a little guilty? I do. For no good reason.
I think since I started at COR last August I have maybe given $100 total. And that might be generous. $75 is probably more like it. So my little piddly donations would not have helped a bit on the financial front. However it just highlights what is getting more and more ridiculous every week, at least to this sensitive and fastidious soul. You see, I just really believe that you don't change churches lightly.
On top of that, COR is celebrating 20 years, and considering the next 20 years in light of how the world changes and what can be done to continue to fulfill the mission and purpose of the church.
Now, I am not going to review all that stuff relative to changing churches right now. To me in fact the issue of where to go to church boils down to two issues of equal import when the rubber meets the road. Here they are:
1. Is that Body of Christ helping you grow in your faith? Helping you take up your cross and follow Him? Are you getting something out of worship? Does the preaching speak to your heart? Are you learning stuff? Are you fitting in with the Body? Is there true fellowship there?
2. Is there a place in that Body where you can serve? A place to help Christians in the body? A place to serve those outside the Body? Are you able to discover and more importantly, use the gifts, talents and graces that God has given you?
So the right church is a combination of you getting something from it, and them or it (meaning the other members of the body and those outside the body) getting something from you. It is not all about you.
In considering this there are two changes that make the thinking most challenging:
1. Size. Small church verses big church
2. Denomination. Conservative evangelical verse mainline Protestant. (Thankfully, both in the same theological tradition--that Armenian/Calvinist stuff gives me a headache!)
I really think I am done at Grandview. I am just not sure if there is a place for me there in ministry. I'm not sure if it's just because I am not bold enough to make up a place, or to make myself useful or make enough commitment or not humble enough to take on the more humble tasks or what. I just don't feel as if I ever made the transition from seminarian to regular person--it just felt like I ended up in this awful grey zone where I was nowhere and no one trusted me with anything.
Beyond that, I really don't have a clue. And even the proceeding is up for grabs.
Meantime, I am praying for the finances of the Grandview Church of the Nazarene. It is discouraging to minister and have to worry about money. Lord, you are the God with the cattle on a thousand hills. Provide for the church. Prick and convict hearts about giving. Show the Church Board the proper priorities. Help this church continue to minister in Grandview and the area as they have for over 50 years. Amen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Reflections

No I will never forget. Nope, not here. Not that event, taking down those towers I thought would be there until Jesus came back. Of all that happened in the great SUCK that was the year 2001, this was the worst, even though it had the least affect on me personally (although that could be questioned...)

First it's the visuals. Check that picture on the front page of the New York Times Wednesday edition. That's what many saw live when the second plane hit. I was spared all the worst live, but the image of the dust of the buildings, and the knowledge that many people died, the buildings were gone, and things would never be the same.

I have not always permitted myself to feel 9/11 fully. Sometimes, I have just shoved it to the back of my mind. Other times, I dressed it up in rah-rah. I know I did that sometimes while I was working at the VA. If I really think about it, I can tear up fast.

I still remember that day at work, and that night after work. We stayed steady busy in that suburban ER, never completely insane, but busy enough to keep us moving. I remember the groups of people gathered around every TV in the place. I remember the tension of rumors of further attack and the way it felt like we were on war footing right then that day. I remember stopping for gas at the Philips 66 on Grandview Road and Blue Ridge, grateful that they had not screwed around with their prices. I remember the uncertainty about the price of gas--and everything else.

I remember how we tended to treat each other gently that day, and for several that followed. (Now that I consider it, that may have made the later actions of my employer at the time seem even more heartless and calculated, but that's a matter for another post...) How could we give each other crap when we were being attacked out of (literally) the clear blue sky?

This is our Pearl Harbor. When it looks like we are starting to fade on our memories, we need to poke each other and say, "Never forget."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fifty...Fifty. Fifty! WTF?!?

Soon to be fifty--5 0
Good jumpin' God.

I got history. I mean I got personal history. I got history in the world. I have seen some shit.

MLK, RFK killed
Riots in the streets.
Vietnam moratorium. Controversy over wearing arm bands at Heaven Rest Day School. Remember that?
Prez Ford to NYC: Drop Dead
Odd and even gas rationing
Computers the size of rooms that didn't have half the computing power of this 2 year old laptop.
Cable TV because you didn't get any reception with rabbit ears. First invented for places like New York City.
Otherwise three channels and a prayer.
77 WABC in New York played music.
A prize to anyone who remembers who John Anderson was.
John Lennon killed
Prez Reagan assassination attempt.

I was just looking over J's friends after I sent her a FB friend request. OMG. Pastor B's boy--all grown up. That's number 2. Gerhard without any hair. All my friends keep getting older. OMG. Wow.

More history
Challenger exploding
9/11 attacks
Black Hawk Down
Columbia lost over Texas
In my life time, presidents--Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHWBush, Clinton, GWBush, Obama.
Chrysler bailed out and recovered, and then needing bailing out again.

From LP vinyl to 8 tracks to cassettes to CDs to downloads and YouTube...
Betamax--still have some.
Film to video tape to DVD to Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray's replacement is already on the horizon...

I have been very conscious of there being probably more life behind me than in front of me. I've been acutely aware of my mortality. I pray I live longer than mom, who got a full dose of long lived genes--both her dad and her mom's family live a long time. I only got the long lived genes from her--I don't trust my dad's genome at all.

If she lives to be 92, I'll be 70 that year. That would be 2030.

For now, let's leave it there. Only 48 days until my 50th birthday.

Get Back Up

I've been digging this song by Toby Mac about what we should do when we make mistakes and when we sin (even). We must persist and also instead of wanting to draw away from the God who loves us without condition, we need to go towards Him. His love is calling...