It’s great to open the paper to the Living section and read an article
- about the postmodern mindset
- about the postmodern Church
- about somebody from my hometown
Check out Geez for yourself.
Many of us have control issues: I can say that, because I am one of those many people (don’t try to hide: I know where you go to organize your DVDs by genre and then by title or organize your sock drawer by thickness and then color). That’s one of my problems with God: I believe I could do God’s job, and better. If God will tell me where to go – what my end destination or goal is -, I’ll just get myself there. And I’ll decide when to do it, how, and who I’ll take with me.
After 28 years, I’m catching onto a glimmer that this *might* not be the way things work.
So since this Superiority Complex does not function well in reality, why not take it to a virtual reality? God bless the American creative spirit:
Imagine if you could create the church you wanted, any way you wanted.
Put together a worship service exactly the way YOU want: hymns, no hymns, drums, no drums. Are you from Wisconsin, start Polka Mass! Start a building campaign, ask for donations.
One of my favorite “options”:
Choose a denomination (Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal plus many more obscure factions and a brand new emergent plug-in)
Oh, the havoc I could wreak: making people do my . . . I mean “God’s” will the way I . . . uh . . . “God” wants them to.
I wonder for cheap therapy’s sake if we should require all pastoral offices to have a set of blocks and a bunch of peoples: I think it could do all of us a world of good for them to do some “role/God playing.”
Then again . . . if things aren’t so “peachy” at your church, maybe not. As a kid, my dad used to bury his plastic soldiers if they were “killed” in battle*; depending on the current church climate, those peoples could disappear right fast! ðŸ™‚ Maybe therapy is cheaper . . .
*My dad buried them because the toys were “dead.” My brother and I have tried to reason with him that they were plastic. To which he responded: “Yes. *Dead* plastic.” It never works to try and reason with a only-child chemical engineer.
In high school and college I went on many a Serve Day, service project – some sort of organized activity where we went and helped out folks in the community. It always seemed kind of trite to me: I was ususally trying to help someone out in ways a) I didn’t understand how it would help or 2) I wasn’t good at doing. I understood the purpose, but it didn’t seem a very real or authentic way for me to give of myself.
Favorville.com is a social networking tool which provides members with the opportunity to help and be helped by others. With Favorville, members can post help requests, offer help and help grow the community. Favorville makes it easy to get in touch and build lasting connections with helpful neighbors, both in your locale or across the global village.
I like how this site encourages the building of community – something that was lacking in my experiences of service as a youth. I wonder if it will truly take off . . .
Isn’t this pretty much what the church is called to do? I wonder what it would look like if it was put on by a church – would strings be attached, or would it be serving for the sake of serving. Would the church be willing to air out areas they need a favor, or would they be a little *too* willing?
Man, technology’s great — if it can truly reach those who need help.
Okay, so the gauntlet has been thrown: the door has been opened, and thereís no going back. Someone *actually* asked me to talk about U2 – I didnít have to hint or subtly bring up topics involving ìIreland,î ìboys born around 1960,î or ìbass players who live in a castle that overlooks the school that they got kicked out of and who I intended to marry since high school because I was going to use his money to save Africa and in turn be a fantastic hostess and back stage manager so as to earn him more money so I could continue to spend it.î But Iím too busy to get into it: plus, the post is simmering – patience, grasshoppah (and the grasshoppah would be me: this is nothing to be rushed).
So instead I will tell you something I enjoyed engaging in most of the day. I was sitting [trapped: send for help! please!] at my computer, working on an editing project. No, that was not necessarily enjoyable, although there is something comforting about taking a formless document and creating bulleted and numbered lists: ah, cathartic.
BUT what I DID enjoy was this: Pandora. I read a fantastic blog called TechCrunch that talks about all the up and coming cool stuff happening on the web. Many times the items that are reviewed are in alpha or beta, so you have to get an invitation to participate. Iím SO an invitation junkie.
Michael Arrington reviewed a music product called Pandora: said itíd rock the way folks listen to music. So I sent for an invite. And I got one. And I was happy. But then Pandora said they were no longer going to be free. And I was sad. And then they recanted. And I was happy once again.
Pandora does this tricky thing: you can input a specific song, it somehow analyzes it, and then finds other songs that contain those same elements. For instance: I entered the song ìFeel Good INCî by Gorillaz. On that station Iíve heard Moody Blues, Jason Mraz, Backstreet Boys (and sorry: thatís not a problem for me), David Bowie, and Depeche Mode – LOTS of Depeche Mode. Itís been great! Iíve heard stuff by folks that I have know clue who they are, but I want to listen to more of their stuff.
You can share your station with others, let the folks know if the songs mesh with what you were looking for, and fast-forward and rewind. But the coolest thing: I have a Bing Crosby station — OUTSTANDING!
So see how cool it is to ask for an invite to something, even if you donít know what it is. I was particularly proud of myself because a friend asked Jason if I knew about it: Jason said no, but I informed him that I had been listening for months. I may be a stay-at-home mom, but Iím an internet-power-exec!
A few years ago I found a great site for celebrating/contemplating/engaging in Advent. I know it’s way late in the season, but perhaps next year you can fully enjoy: Followingthestar.org.
In honor of the tide being Yule-ish, I believe it would be helpful and prudent to post some quick yummy recipes for those “drop-in” situations. Because I like doing things fast, these saving graces will be of a baked-and-small-and-circular in nature.
Here are some recipes that are sure to please:
In my family, the peanut butter is not to be ignored.
Many sites are highlighting some quality cookie recipes for this time of year. Check out:
So, there’s my Christmas present to you. Now, go: make people happy and chubby. If anyone needs to work off the pounds, I have a toddler I’ll gladly donate for you to chase.
Hurrah Hodge: They Might Be Giants is podcasting! My life’s too full of Judahcasts to listen to podcasts, but I’m glad to know that others can enjoy and perhaps maybe just generic cialis 5 mg one day I can, too.
Poopy Podge: Not “have”, but “*why*” did you forsake the baby Jesus? [Scroll over the face for the full effect]. Oh, it makes my stomach curdle a) because of Christ’s pure and wonderful gift being mutilated into yet another weapon of manipulative guilt and 2) frankly, an animated baby Jesus is a little creepy (and *very* anglo – though that’s not very shocking).
My friend Gregg has an excellent post regarding having a gift for preaching/teaching, and yet not having it line up with the typical American pastoral role. I want to comment, but I donít know that itíd be out of place of love (while showering – cause the best thoughts are to be had in the shower – the comparison that came to mind was slavery: the American slave system came about because those in authority weren’t able or willing to do all the work themselves, slaves didnít think much of themselves (or thought too much of themselves simply as their role, not as a person), led to a dependent and not-healthy culture). Once visions of ìFree the Pastors!î buttons and rallies started coming to mind, I realized it was a post I needed to sit with for a while, lest I go off the deep end.
Instead, Iím going to point out an interesting story from Marketing Vox:
Marketers have been looking for more ways to connect with spiritual Americans. Tyson Foods’ effort includes providing a free downloadable prayer booklet for mealtimes on its website, reports AdAge (via MediaBuyerPlanner). But Tyson’s act seems to be more than just marketing. The company’s mission statement, which it calls its core values, says the company “strives to be a faith-friendly company and to honor God,” and the company has placed 128 part-time chaplains in 78 of its plants.
Hmmm: mixed reactions. The jaded, GenX part of me wonders what good that will do – how hokey can we get? But the idealistic side, which occasionally gets to beat down the jaded side, recalls two instances:
I donít know how effective of an evangelism tool this Tyson thing will be. Maybe the Church Marketing Sucks folks will have something to say (I *love* their website! The whole slick marketing thing doesnít always resonate well with my soul, but many of their critiques are right on).
A concern: it doesnít involve relationships – how will the folks who see this know what to do with it? . . . But what if it turns out to be like Philip and the eunuch where because the reader doesn’t understand they seek out a relationship with another who can explain?
A concern: what if itís hokey and just another way of marketing Christianity as part of consumerism America? . . . But what if itís just what someone – maybe even just one person – needs to begin to understand that God loves them and wants to be in a relationship with them?
Sometimes itís hard growing up in a jaded generation: the sun starts to poke through, and instead of rejoicing, I run for my sunglasses.