Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sarah didn't tag me but I decided to answer this one anyway.

1. One book that changed your life: Wendy Shalit's A Return to Modesty

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: C.S. Lewis' Till We have Faces - I'm on my 20+ reading.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Till We have Faces and George McDonald's Phantastes

4. One book that made you laugh: Recently, Dave Barry Hits below the Beltway

5. One book that made you cry: Bernard Cornwell's Enemy of God. I couldn't sleep one night and bawled my way through the account of the murder of the main character's child. I think the Bailey's was somewhat to blame as well.

6. One book that you wish had been written: 'Everything you've been led to believe about sex is a lie'

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Anything by Brian McLaren and his hereticall cohorts

8. One book you’re currently reading: McDonald's Evenor (out of print)

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Herman Melville's Moby Dick (I really should read what my husband is going to write his dissertation on.)


Monday, February 20, 2006

In honor of Sarah's Crunchy Con Manifesto, I present...

The Coffee Con Manifesto

1. We are coffee conservatives who stand outside the coffee drinking mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
2. Modern coffee drinking has become too focused on money, power, and the consumption of caffeine, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social drinking experience.
3. Mega coffee chains deserve as much skepticism as mega retail chains.
4. Real atmosphere is more important than slick marketing and brand recognition.
5. Coffee houses that do not include good company, good glassware, and good taste—especially in the choice of beans — do not fundamentally appreciate coffee.
6. Small, Local, Fresh Roasted, and Unique are almost always better than Big, Global, Pre-Packaged, and Ubiquitous.
7. Flavor is more important than convenience.
8. The relentlessness of franchise-driven consumer coffee-ism deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that "the institution most essential to conserve is the family [coffee hour.]"


Monday, January 23, 2006

Well, I did it. Of my own free-will (hah-hah), I stepped foot back into an Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The last time I visited one, it was at my father's behest (he was visiting) and within 5 minutes of the service ending, an ill-mannered young man somehow managed to sniff us out as 'not entirely Reformed' and proceeded to try and drag my husband into a doctrinal sparring match. Too many of their young men are that way. Apparently, diplomacy is not necessary when you're sure you're right. It's funny to me that such a fastidious and reserved group of people should entirely abandon good manners when it comes to doctrinal disagreements.

And they were surprised when I married the son of a Baptist minister.

This time, however, the minister, with whom I have a passing aquaintence from my past life as a Presbyterian girl, was quite polite. He knew already about our 'not entirely Reformed' state (I must be on some special prayer list somewhere) and managed to get through quite a bit of small talk without mentioning it at all really. My father wasn't kidding when he said this guy was decent fellow. We're even invited over for lunch next week. Could this minister have been raised Baptist?

I'll guess we'll go back, even though it was a bit of a drive. It's a small church, eager for new members and maybe even willing to put up with a couple of NER types like ourselves. Who knows, I might even give them a chance to win me back.


Monday, December 05, 2005

I'll confess, sometimes I just don't get Sarah. She is forever complaining about how ugly the modern world is. I must not be as refined in my tastes, because most of the time, I just don't see it. I remember in college when she tried to introduce to me the evils of aluminum siding. Until she pointed it out, I never noticed a difference between the aluminum and regular wood siding. Now, all I notice is that the aluminum siding is cleaner and has less paint peeling off it.

Is our modern life really so devoid of beauty?

Maybe, I just learned to be visually entertained in different ways. Sure, strip malls are gaudy, but, when the sun is setting, I can't help but admire the erie glow of all the different colored signs. Highways are monstrous, except when the archs of concrete curve above you a bisect the blue sky. My apartment building was obviously thrown together in a matter of weeks and I have a cabinet and bookshelf that are so off-level that you can see it with your bare eyes from a great distance. It's awful, but not without its charm. There's a character to it in a world of sameness that is so entertaining.

If the whole world was beautiful all the time, would be appreciate it as much? Growing up in the city, I guess I learned to see beauty where I could. Morning glories growing out of a crack in a cement sidewalk was breathtaking. They repainted in 'El' and I have to say, I miss the rusted shades of brown that flaked off the old faded green paint. It was far more interesting than their attempt at 'beautification.'

Maybe it's the blue collar streak in me but I really resent some government snob helping me out because I apparently have not taste.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Anica's boyfriend called me a ludite. I have never been called a ludite before. Am I a ludite? My admant refusal to acquire a cell phone is what prompted the label, but I don't eschew cell phones because I abhor technology. I eschew cell phones because I think they are annoying, intrusive and (largely) unnecessary. Oh, and did I mention costly? Why would I pay money for people to interrupt whatever I'm doing with an obnoxious "dee dee do de, dee dee do de, deedy do de do?" If I want someone to talk to me, I'll plant myself near a phone and engage in activites I don't mind being interrupted.

My response to the ludite comment was that cell phones have no adventure in them. Arranging a rendevous in the mall back in bad old days was so much more exciting. "Okay, I'll meet you by the fountain at 2 o'clock sharp. Let's synchronize our watches." Now, you just call the person every twenty minutes and ask, "Where are you now?" It's like they're homing beacons or something.


BTW I would officially like to say that I found the boyfriend (in spite of the luddite comment) to be a decent fellow.


For those of you who don't think I post enough (if there are such people - all, I hear is crickets), I thought I would let you in on my other blog-like projects. One is a conversation about art between Sarah and I called Arrivals. This is serious blogging, not for the faint of heart.


Friday, July 15, 2005

You Are 79% American
You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

How American Are You?

Yeahaw! At least I did better on this one that that political quiz that said I was (gasp!) a moderate.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Ecclesiastical breadcrumbs

I've been away for some time, off on a detective hunt of sorts. It all started with a weird feeling that came over me at church when something was mentioned about the reunification of all denominations and borrowing worship elements from these other churches. It was followed a few weeks later by some even stranger talk about "postmodernism," "postcolonialism," "interactive experience," and a book called The Church on the Other Side by Brian McLaren. Determined to find out where all this was coming from, I immediately went home and looked up the book on Amazon.com.

This is when I started to follow the breadcrumbs in earnest. According to Amazon, customers who purchased
The Church on the Other Side, also bought these books:

- The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball
A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Brian D. McLaren
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN by Brian D. McLaren

The phrase "emerging" or "emergent" appeared a couple of times on the page. I then searched for "emergent church" on Metacrawler. This led to a wealth of web pages on the subject, not the least of which are Emergent Village and EmergingChurch.org. Apparently, there are a whole slew of churches out there getting in on this postmodern, tradition borrowing "conversation" (as they call themselves.)

The "conversation" is not without its critics, notable among them is Chuck Colson founder of Prison Fellowship. It appears it started with this article in Christianity Today in which Colson speculates whether postmodernism is "on life support." The apparently rubbed Brian McLaren the wrong way, so he wrote a response on his website A New Kind of Christian.com. Colson obligingly replied.

Ironically, my church is now recommending a book for all to read entitled The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal which begins with "The current church culture in North America is on life support."

I'm still investigating (The Church in the Other Side sits next to me half read) but mostly I wonder why everyone is so concerned about the death of these passing movements rather that the Death that really matters.


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