Monday, November 26, 2007

Today's Word for Life from the Brick Testament

I was reading an article in Catholic Biblical Quarterly on the issue of the historical Jesus and the Law. The article was addressing the complexity of tracing the influences on Christ's teachings from a historical perspective. Traditionally, Jesus' prohibition (or at least commentary) on the issue of divorce in Matthew has traditionally thought to be a commentary on the debate between the rabbinic schools of Hillel and Shammai as well as some consideration to teachings of Essenes on the subject (if indeed they had any). The point of the article was that its tough to track Jesus' comments back to even those "sources". Interesting read to say the least, particularly given some of my own research on the subject.

Anyway, to all you Christian divorcees out there, here's a playful fundy cartoon from the Brick Testament. Let's hope they're wrong

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

ps - I will still comment back on the church conversation. I've had too much going on at work to give it the time it deserves

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Schrute Farms Bed and Breakfast

Here's a great little bit from Trip Advisor on the Schrute Beet Farm, "the number one beet-related agrotourism destination in Northeastern Pennsylvania". This is a great example of the recent trend to blur the line between reality and fantasy... of which I am a big fan. Plus, the office rocks.

Thanks to John Kleinschmidt for this link.

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

First, to my dear friends who have commented on the post from last week, I will be commenting back and continuing the conversation in the coming week. With guests in town this weekend (George F/S, my mother and brother tonight and tomorrow) I haven't had time to write. I will over the upcoming holiday weekend.

Sidenote: My Dad (cc'd on the email) commented back what wonderful friends I have. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for being a part of my/our life. Truly

In the meantime, cheers to parades and taking kids to parades. In celebration of George's visit and Kyle and Dawn's buying a house in Dillsburg, we all hung out this weekend. It was a weekend of too much food (Joel needs to get to his post-Thanksgiving diet soon) and good times with friends.

Here's Kyle, George, and I with the kids at the Harrisburg Holiday Parade on Saturday.

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In other news you can use...

Now this is a great piece of technology and the perfect gift for me in case you're wondering.

It's a new WiFi-enabled SD card for digital cameras. If you're in a public WiFi spot, it will automagically upload photos to your Flickr, Picasa, or other some such account while storing the pictures on the 2Gb SD card.

I repeat: we are approaching the age of flying cars!

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Going to church"

  1. This post addresses spiritual issues. If you don't care to address issues of spirituality, please don't keep reading
  2. To be clear and level, I am a Christian, meaning I do believe God is real and that Jesus is who He said He is. I believe freely accepting God's gift of salvation is what Jesus taught as the way to make things right between us and God; salvation is something God did and freely offers us. I believe the Bible was written by people but inspired by God. There are many ways to know God, but I believe the Bible is one of the best and most clear expressions of His thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and ways. As such, I'm a big fan of it as a primary tool for living life - though my reading of it is often too infrequent.
  3. I am not and do not claim to be in a good place spiritually. In some ways, I'm better than I ever have been - in that I'm trying to be honest with myself and God. In other ways, I'm much worse - distracted and lazy at times. Overall, I'd describe myself as seeking.
  4. I've been accurately described as any and all of the following: liar, loyal, unloyal, dear friend and brother, unloving bastard, generous, selfish, lost, leader, pastoral, sinner, fallen. Paradoxes are a bite, huh? All that to say I'm not sharing from a position of authority. I'm a shmuck who happens to be loved by God, his family, and his wife - all undeservedly.
  5. I'm hoping to provoke some conversation by this post and find some answers for myself and others that might be seeking as well
Jesus said in Matthew 7:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
On that basis, I'm hoping that pursuing this line of questioning will lead to some much-needed answers.

More Background... feel free to skip this

Since the circumstances of my life took a major turn in late 2004, I've essentially been disconnected from the organized group of people we like to call "a church". Cre and I have attended a handful of places and are currently occasionally attending a church in Grantham where we very much like the pastor and his wife; they've been very kind and generous to us and I feel like - as people - we have a lot to learn from them.

As for the overall church in Grantham, I think the people are nice. Yet, I continue to be hesitant about getting more invested - in part my own doing and in part our lack of real personal connection to the people. It's just not happening for me, and I tend to think its more than just my own skittish nature (though I'm not sure and have considered getting more involved to spur me on to magically "connecting").

In general, I'm questioning the whole notion of a modern church and whether seeking to find a place to attend regularly is a worthwhile pursuit. I've never really felt comfortable with the church, though I've worked hard to be a part of it my entire life. Just prior to 2004, I thought I had found a church experience that worked - where I was deeply invested in real relationship and living life together. That fell apart, and I can't imagine how the organized, communal experience can work if that couldn't.

As any American Christian knows these days, finding a church is a tough thing. Compile on that my own church issues and a factor Trevor and I like to call the "Icon Hangover" (i.e. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For meets brief dynamic church community anomaly) and you have the basis for a conundrum.

Anyway, after reading
Divine Nobodies, I felt compelled to write Jim Palmer a thank you email (those of you who know me are not surprised). I thanked him for the book and decided to field this issue of feeling disconnected / not wanting to be connected / thinking I should want to be connected / not knowing what the heck I think / not caring sometimes. Jim was generous enough to send me a lengthy and personal response, but also directed me to examples of alternative expressions of fellowship including the following:

Get to the point already!

My purpose in posting is simply to evoke conversation. Please read the article above and feedback, either in email or preferably through the comments section on this blog post. So what do you think about the article and what the author has to say? Is the argument legit? Maybe you think the issue (and article) is bunk. Maybe you have some insight I'm not privy to. Whatever your response, share. This is a conversation and I'd love to have the benefit of multiple people's thoughtful feedback and consideration. What do you think?

Cheers - cause I'm so British,