Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Where Are The People?


I have been asking myself this question since I graduated highschool over 15 years ago. Though I think Ken is being too hard on himself by saying he killed the young adult group at our church (he me also be saying this tongue in cheek. It's hard to tell in blog form) because this is a trend that has pretty obviously been going on for years. I can't tell you all the times I have gone to churches where I am either the only person in my age group or been the only person under the age of 45. I appreciate what Ken has to say on the subject since I am the one he has seen fit to help run our small, but faithful young adult group. It is hard because what the married couples may have different needs than the college student. And the single working stiff may have different needs than them. On top of that I have people asking me what does it mean to be a young adult? Where does it end? I attend and am the oldest one there at 34. Though my role is different than the other people who attend. I am there to be spiritually fed as well as having the added burden of trying to decide how to best serve them.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:45 AM | 6 comments

National Poetry Month: John Berryman


Dream Song 1: Huffy Henry hid the day
John Berryman

Huffy Henry hid the day,
unappeasable Henry sulked.
I see his point,—a trying to put things over.
It was the thought that they thought
they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
But he should have come out and talked.

All the world like a woolen lover
once did seem on Henry's side.
Then came a departure.
Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought.
I don't see how Henry, pried
open for all the world to see, survived.

What he has now to say is a long
wonder the world can bear & be.
Once in a sycamore I was glad
all at the top, and I sang.
Hard on the land wears the strong sea
and empty grows every bed.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:34 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Spoof


I'm sorry. I just don't find it funny.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:27 PM | 1 comments

Big Time Food Poisoning


Did you hear about the one where over a hundred mourners got poisoned by a dish made for mourning at a funeral? Seriously, you can't things like this up.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:29 AM | 1 comments

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake Up At Willow Creek


Dorsey first made me aware of the big changes going on at Willow Creek. This is a huge deal. So many churches these days have pretty much borrowed the formula from them, while others out right stole every little thing they have done, and based their entire church structure on the Willow Creek method by having them be entirely seeker sensitive. Ummm, that's great, but what happens to them after they come in and start attending regularly? How will they grow if their church is meant only to get people in the door? That's the problem Willow found. Sure people were getting in the door and perhaps getting connected, but they weren't maturing. You may have numbers, but that can only do so much if the body stays immature. It makes me respect them all the more for realizing their mistakes. So the next question is will churches learn from these mistakes? I am sure there are a lot who will. As for the others? One can hope they will learn and grow in maturity.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:07 PM | 2 comments

Missing Nature


I remember as a kid waking up early on a saturday morning and riding my bike to the local pond to fish all day. My parents never freaked out because they knew where I was and more than likely I'd be home by dinner time. Or meeting with some friends at the ravine after school to climb around rocks and jump across the little stream. My father would take me to Indian Guide camp to fish and take nature hikes and even shoot air rifles. Or I'd come home from school, drop my books off at home and leave a note for my parents telling them where I'd be and not coming home until dinner time. And my parents never worried. At least, they never let on that they worried. After listenign to Richard Louv on more than one occassion it makes me feel sorry for the kids of this generation for they are spending more time in front of one type of screen or another than they are outside getting fresh air. I work part-time at a video game store (I hate to say this) where a majority of the kids who come in there are seriously overweight. And it doesn't come from the parents, because the parents tended to be of a normal weight. This is why I think I am going to do what I can to support this orginization.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:20 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, April 17, 2008

National Poetry Month: Lucille Clifton


I was very fortunate to have seen her and Mark Doty give a lecture at the Dodge Poetry Festival a number of years ago. And one day while flipping through channels I saw that they were showing the lecture on a pbs station. This was pre-cable so the picture wasn't the greatest. I saw a guy stand up to ask a question, but I wasn't entirely paying attention. Until I realized the person was me.

telling our stories
the fox came every evening to my door
asking for nothing. my fear
trapped me inside, hoping to dismiss her
but she sat till morning, waiting.

at dawn we would, each of us,
rise from our haunches, look through the glass
then walk away.

did she gather her village around her
and sing of the hairless moon face,
the trembling snout, the ignorant eyes?

child, i tell you now it was not
the animal blood i was hiding from,
it was the poet in her, the poet and
the terrible stories she could tell.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:02 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

National Poetry Month: William Carlos Williams


Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus
William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:24 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Presidential Faithful


While I do consider a presidents faith (or lack thereof) to be pretty important, I do appreciate LZ's point on the matter.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:25 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy National Poetry Month


I can't believe I just remembered right now that it's national poetry month. Another thing which I should celebrate, but have no desire to. All kidding aside I do plan on talking about this a little more shortly.

To start off with here is a lecture I went to celebrating the 100th birthday of George Oppen. I really only stayed for about an hour when I realized the event was to go on for about 3 hours.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:47 PM | 1 comments

Saturday, April 12, 2008

lame


Thanks Jenn (with 2 N's) for letting me know about this lame rip-off of a sight that I really don't look at to begin with. Can't we come up with anything that is original anymore?

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:00 PM | 2 comments

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Gospel According To Oprah




Holy cow! I cannot believe how far she has come! She is actually at a point where she is influencing peoples religious beliefs. This is scary. Hat tip to Pulpit-Pimps.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:56 PM | 2 comments

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pentacostals, Emergants, and You


This guy just about covers the gambit of some of the more extreme ideas. I give him credit for being to sight those I've mentioned before and the Anabaptists! As a former pentecostal I found it intriguing. I visited my former church that was heavily pentecostal and have to say I no longer cared for it. If anything I found it to be a tad annoying. I remember thinking how spiritual I looked at that time because my hands were raised, I prayed in the spirit (so I thought), and was up at the alter ever week for prayer. Plus I went on Sunday nights and Wednesdays as well like a good Christian. Fortunately, there are many in the charismatic movement who do get it and are better off than I ever was. And I'll give extra points for the person who first tells me how many times he identifies the emergent movement. We in the emergent movement.... People who consider themselves emergent... etc.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:13 PM | 7 comments

Monday, April 07, 2008

Finding Beauty Among The Thorns


Could you imagine walking through the subway on your way to work only to pass right on by one of the greatest living violinists in the world? I think it's pretty sad that we so quickly pass by the beauty of God's creation like that. How we are so clock and time driven, we have to be on schedule, be here or there at a certain time or else life will end! We pass it by every day. I know in my own jaunts through the city I've missed beautiful gardens, sculpture, Mosaics, and gifted musicians who I may throw in a buck or two as I rush on by. Once I saw an elderly Asian woman play a bamboo flute in the bitter cold. More recently it was a violinist with one person standing to listen to him play. I catch a half-listen. Maybe a quick glance as I walk on by. God gave them these abilities and the desire to share them with us. It is an opportunity to be uplifted, to transcend the mundane of my life, and I miss it. The funny thing is I know my parents taught me better. That's why the drug me off to art exhibits or Japanese tea gardens so that I may be moved by something greater than myself.



SONG.
by John Donne


GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:29 PM | 1 comments

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Just Because I can


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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:38 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jealousy In The Pulpit


Did you hear the one about the lady in the choir who shot the other lady in the choir over getting too much attention from the pastor? Seriously man. What is going on here? Are we all so wordly that we allow these sins to get out of control in our lives? Sadly, this isn't even remotely the tip of the iceberg. I remember when a local Young Life youth pastor was charged with having a relationship with an underage girl. A camp I worked at one summer had the same issue the year before (something they neglected to tell me when I applied for the job). Thankfully, I know that these people are the exception, not the rule. There are more good people out there in the faith than ones like these wacko's. Still, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us pray for them.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:08 PM | 2 comments

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Father Brown




I am a sucker for lists. Whenever someone puts out a top 100 anything I always make it a try to listen to, read, or watch everything that is one the list. Admittedly I tend to skip the ones I already know or just have no interest with. When I came upon the Top 50 Crime Writers To Read Before You Die I was pretty intrigued. I am a total mystery fan. The first novel I read on my own was Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" and have been hooked ever since. I have to admit I was suprised to see the first writer listed was G.K. Chesterton. Not so much for his talent or genious, he was an Inkling after all, but for the fact he is very overtly religious in his writing. He doesn't mince words nor try to hide below ground his ethic. In fact, it wouldn't suprise me if his most well known character, Father Brown, weren't his alter ego like Kilgore Trout is to Kurt Vonnegut. Very often this kindly priest uses faith, wisdom, and an uncanny understanding of the fallen nature of man to solve his crimes. Many times within a few minutes of the crime being committed, but for the sake of narrative they allow the search for the criminal continue. Primarily Chesterton wrote short stories so you won't even begin to get a good idea as to who this character is until after reading several stories. They are written more like a person telling annecdotes of an old friend which at times I found tiresome. I also notice how much like many crime writers they tend to cheat by not revealing information until the end that you'd have no way of ever knowing. Other times he followed a typical formula that made easy for me to figure out who did it. I am curious to read more of his stories to get a bigger picture not only of the little priest and Chesterton as well. A man of wit and intelligience that influenced C.S. Lewis. Also, I noticed that the priest never actually does any real work. He's always on vacation or travelling somewhere.

The Complete Father Brown Stories

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:18 AM | 2 comments