Friday, August 06, 2004


I was going to write a summary and response on What I'm Reading, but, frankly, I need to read and process them again. My only response right now is, “Dang.”

I have no doubts that holes can be poked in their thesis, but at this time, I think it’s more important that I hear what they said the respond in my soul. That being the case, my primary task for my retreat this weekend is to read the storyline of the OT/NT, memorize some creeds, and learn to story. Probably no blogging until Wednesday.

For now, I leave you with a couple quotes:

“…the challenge facing today’s Christians is not the necessity to translate Christian convictions into a modern idiom, but rather to form a community, a colony of resident aliens which is so shaped by our convictions that no one even has to ask what we mean by confessing belief in god as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” Hauerwas and Willimon, Resident Aliens, pg. 171.

[From The Door interview with Willimon and Hauerwas, quoted in Where Resident Aliens Live]

“[Being a resident alien in this culture}…means that the Gospel is weird and, if you believe the Gospel, then you will be weird. If you believe the Gospel, you feel yourself in collision with the most widely held and deeply affirmed values of this society…If you call on God, God will be there, and it will frighten the hell out of you” Hauerwas and Willimon, Where Resident Aliens Live, pg. 113, 118.

Any thoughts?

Couple new pictures on the fotolog . There would be more, but Windows Explorer just sent the "picture" folder on my jump drive into the sock place... thankfully, the originals are on my laptop

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Beautiful cherry tomato found on my walk to campus. See it and more at the Fotolog.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Finally added pictures to the fotolog

Monday, August 02, 2004


Once in a while I get stuck, trapped on a topic that has impacted me. Unfortunately, my obsession with the topic creeps into my teaching and I camp on the topic past the point of impact—you know, the dead horse thing. This just happened.

The concept of holy worldliness captured me in the spring, so I began a teaching series. Sunday, July 25, I finally realized that the horse was dead and I stop beating it. Ugh. On the way home from church—before the realization of my obsession-caused boringness—I began to wonder once again if I’m any good at this teaching thing. By the time the bus ride was over, I realized I had slipped once again into obsession—a realization brought on by the glazed-over look in the eyes of my students. Tuesday night, in a discussion after bible study, the Tuesday students—many of whom are also Sunday students—confirmed my fear: Sunday was boring. They had a solution: move Tuesday to Sunday. Didn’t think of that. Apparently, I’m not boring on Tuesday. Hmmm. As we spoke, a light went on. You know, that little bulb that suddenly appears over your head, comic strip style—well, one appeared. I realized Sunday stressed me out because I was trying to be entertaining, trying to capture their attention, but in ways that had little or nothing to do with who I really am. When I try to be entertaining, I’m boring. When I try to be entertaining, my attempt at clever learning experiences results in a lack of engagement and thus little impact. So, we’re moving Tuesday to Sunday, sort of.

Tuesday bible study basically consists of reading a passage, investigating the important cultural/historical details, and trying to get a handle on the big idea of the story. It’s discussion oriented and rambles on a bit, but good stuff almost always comes up, usually as a result of random student questions. We fill the 90 minutes. There’s the issue of moving Tuesday to Sunday: time. At the Sunday gathering we have about 40-50 minutes. So, there are some logistics to work out.

Next Sunday, August 8, we’re gonna give it a whirl—or rather the students are. Talk about being dumped into the pool. I’m on vacation next weekend and the other teacher has not experienced the Tuesday study method, so the students are going to lead. At the very least it will be a learning experience. The students will get the opportunity to dip into pool for real. I get the opportunity to release control—a bit of an issue for me. And most of all, the whole class will get closer to basics and hopefully be, not only a lot less boring, but maybe even impacting.

I’ll end with a quote from Resident Aliens (info at What I'm Reading)

“If the laity are not serious about their own ministry, not continually raising the questions which faithful living in the world demands, then they will get pastors who seem to have forgotten God’s story. Church will be a source of conventional, socially acceptable answers, even without the church. We shall die not from crucifixion, but from sheer boredom” (p. 122).

God stir us/me up and preserve me/us from boredom!