Sunday, March 28, 2004

Out of the Silent Planet

I just finished reading Out of the Silent Planet. It is the first book in CS Lewis's Space Trilogy. It was riveting. In a work of fiction he deals with questions about why humans are the way they are, what could the spiritual life look like on other worlds, and what is God's relationship with this planet.

One major theme however, is, what is the nature of sin. What would happen if sin was never allowed to take hold in a society? A place where God was in charge. What if people did not hate each other? What if people did not kill one another?

One other interesting thought revolved around the nature of Oyarsa. Oyarsa is the ruler of Malacandra (Mars) Oyarsa has no carbon based body instead the body is light. In addition Oyarsa has many Eldil which seem to be angel like beings. Oyarsa however has a counterpart on earth how has gone bad or bent. This Bent One has perverted the minds of humans. Brought hate and war. Yet Oyarsa has heard that Maleldil is at war with the Bent One. I am not sure what Oyarsa is. But why should I try. I am wondering what CS Lewis thought their relationship was. In any event I am looking forward to discovering more of the war between Maleldil and the Bent One


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On Community

Last night my wife asked me a very interesting question. Why do you go Praiseworks? Praiseworks is a SA church that meets on Saturday in Orange, CA. So I did some thinking and as I sit waiting for Sunday school and church to begin I am thinking about these thoughts again. It is a question of community. I thought about it. Never in my life have I been apart of only one faith community. Sometimes it has been 2 or 3 or even 4. Church school another church these are have been important to me in the past. So much so that to be part of only one community is something I do not understand. I imagine that if I was not an officer then I would have more faith communities. Right now I have praiseworks, the college, my corps in Redondo and an internet community. If any one of these communities ceased to exist I would find another community to fill that void. I wonder whether this is a Pomo thing or if it’s just me. It seems that many people have talked about multiplicity of communities yet has a pomo ever touched on this. I don't even know if I can describe this in language that people can understand. They will inevitably ask: Why is multiplicity of communities so important? I don't know. It feels like that which is natural. It’s the water in which I swim, the air I breathe. Just as mass once a day is for the monks multiplicity of communities is a necessity for me. I hope I am not alone. Moderns have observed it but have pomo's really talked about it?


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Friday, March 26, 2004

A look back

I've noticed lately that I have not been blogging about theological topics. This is not something I like. The problem is that my ministry profession is overshadowing my theological calling. I am an intellectual. I think about, analyze, solve, discuss and BS about any and all problems. So here is the problem. Over the last couple months most of my energy has been taken up by $100,000 dollars of debt our corps (Salvation Army unit) is in. The tide is turning but the tyranny of the urgent has taken my time and energy. I am learning why the stereotype of TSA officers is “we eat too much and think to little." I may eat too much at times but I never want to think too little. I am still thinking but only about how to raise money, better provide the services we provide, how to manage employees better, and solving problems. These are good and needed I just feel numb. Maybe the last month has just been too much I don't know. The month of March sucked shit. The only highlight was seeing Dwight and Rebecca. Maybe I still have not dealt with all the shit I don't know. I want to start thinking theological but I am not right now.

I have two sermons coming on Easter and the week after. Maybe that will help. I will blog about what I'm thinking about with Easter a little bit latter.


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Monday, March 22, 2004


I have been thinking about my priorities. I think about everything I am involved with now and I have reached some conclusions. I was taught growing up that my first priority should be to God. First God, second family, third job, forth whatever. I see a few problems.

If my family suffers because of my relationship with God do I have a relationship with God? Many pastors have confused relationship with God and their ministry. As a result their families took a back seat to their ministries.

Shouldn't our relationship with God be lived in everything? Can we segment God? No wonder pastors have had horrible families. We live our fellowship with God. We ought to do everything in fellowship with God.

So here is where I stand. My wife is first. Nothing can get in the way of our relationship. The demands of ministry should never supersede the needs of my family. It will take a very conscious effort on my part to see this through but it is my promise. My family will always come first.


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Friday, March 19, 2004

Good week

Well I just got back from officers councils in San Marcos. OC is where all the SA officers get together every six months. To top it off my wife is in Roswell NM for the week. She gets back on Monday. Oddly enough I find myself unable to do much thinking over the past week. It seems that all I can think about is Tolani. It still seems like a dream sometimes. It was relaxing though. I saw the passion on Wednesday. I need to see it again. I did not find myself analyzing the movie. I walked away, numb. I don't know if it was the violence or if it was the real fact that Christ laid down his own life. I did not see the anisemitism though I see how some could.

At OC there were a few sessions I hardly stayed awake for one. I did however get a jump start on my Easter message. I think I am leaning towards talking about recognizing Life. There were many different ways people recognized the risen Life. Verbal, visual, touch, eating together. I wonder if people still have different ways of recognizing the Life.



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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

On suffering part 2

My thoughts on suffering continue. I preached on these ideas on Sunday. It seemed to impact people because it was real. My question now is "who do I/you respond to suffering."

For me I think. Being that I think out loud anyway my thinking comes in the form of writing or talking to friends or God. On Saturday after the miscarriage I did shed a few tears which is not normal for me but over the course of a couple hours I wrote about a page of thoughts.

I contrast that thought process with my wife's. She would not talk to myself or anyone else for about 5 days. Incomprehensible to me. It was frustrating. She was dealing with her anger internally. I do not know what went on in her head. She sat there. I engaged with people my wife withdrew.

neither way is right. I do think though that each of us should understand how we respond to suffering. Also we should understand how our spouse or friends respond so we know when it is normal or when there is something for worse going on. So my question to you is how do you respond when shit happens?


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Friday, March 12, 2004

In suffering

Lately I have been thinking quite a bit about suffering and our response to it.
I will look at three areas. Right now I only want to examine our response to the suffering of others.

When people suffer what do we do? What do we say. I have heard many things in the last week. Some good others bad. Its funny though how the same sentence can either be good or bad. For example "if you need anything call me." I heard this from those who I knew were serious and those who may have been. Those who our relationship means that I will call them and those who I would not call unless all my friends had died. Its the relationship I have with people that dictates what level of openness and honesty that I have with a person. My closest friends simply said I'm here if you need to talk. They offered no bull shit answers about how God has a plan or that there was a reason medically speaking. They just listened.

Is it supposed to bring me comfort that God has a plan and everything happens for a reason. If so then I am blaming God for it. If its God's fault I would flip him off tell him to kiss my ass and go my way. Yet I will not can not believe that it is God's fault. God did not intervene, but he did not cause the miscarriage. Could I be mad at God for not intervening? Yes. Can I blame God? NO! Yet many Christians do.

I just wish more people could have said I'm sorry and left it at that. When you share my misery it only makes it worse. Just sit there and shut the hell up. I'll tell you when I want to talk.

Just some thoughts on what say when people are suffering.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Recent Events

I met with Dwight and Rebecca down in San Diego last night. Good time was had by all. We shared our vision and our bitchin. Life slowly getting better.

One thought of all the things I've heard in last week the one thing I hate is "God has a plan" or "God has a reason"

Anyway a class is about to start so I will say farewell.

More thoughts on suffering to come.


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Monday, March 08, 2004


This weekend has sucked big piles of s^%$. Last week we thought T was pregnant. The tests said yes and I was getting excited. Friday night she miscarried. She is not doing well physically or emotionally. She really wants to be a mom. I was excited at being a father. Right now I am just sort of numb. I guess its just exhaustion and emotionally spent. I go on. I came into the office today I have no desire to be here but I have I have to be at, at 12 and a computer class I'm teaching at 3. So here I sit in the quiet of the computer lab unsure of what to say or do. I just don't know.

Then on Sunday I have to deliver a sermon. The only thought has been on Lazarus. Out of our despair and pain God speaks. But what does God speak? He speaks words of life but I have trouble hearing. Life can never be the same. Yet there it is in the deepest valley God speaks. Lazarus come out come and live because I am in too much pain to have you stay dead. Can we hear God without the pain? I wonder.

I meet with Dwight and Rebecca tomorrow. It will be good. I wish I could be in San Diego the whole time but timing being what it is. Maybe the core of life is family and friends.

Blessings on you all


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Friday, March 05, 2004


It's been a few days since I posted.

I have not been feeling very well as I have this inner ear thing going on making me dizzy. Also, my wife and I may have some good news I'll write about it a bit latter.

Anyway, all is going well here at the beach. I am discovering things I hate yet I am capable in them, management, finances, and the like. I am also learning that I am not really a pastor in the traditional sense. I am a teacher someone who will challenge thoughts and actions. Most people want a pastor to console them and shepherd them. That aint me, nor do I want that. Thus there are joys to the abolishment of paid professional pastors. Undoubtedly many churches will still have staff but I will be the pastor to my sister or brother, and my brother or sister will be my pastor. I've been working on this computer for a hour or so doing powerpoint for Sunday. Anyway, blessings to you all.


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Monday, March 01, 2004

The way I think

An event happened last night that has lead me to look at the way I think. My wife was struggling with something and I pretty insensitive in the way I handled it. I analyzed the issue (I thought of it as a problem) and the proceeded to attempt to find a solution. I can not be more specific about the situation at this point.
But my wife was pretty pissed off at me. I have a tendency to attempt to solve everything. It got me thinking about how I look at life and how I think about life. I came up the thought that in general I look at life as a series of problems. I analyze events, people, situations, my self, and pretty much everything else as a problem. I then proceed to figure out how to solve the problem. I realize that every solution is temporary and can be changed. I also realize that every solution brings about more problems. Sometimes I analyze and solve very quickly other times very slow. But regardless I analyze and solve. I made some observations about this but they are at home. I will think about this some more latter.

My question though is that what other ways do people look at life. Is life just a series of problems waiting to be solved or can we exist thinking about life and acting in life under different terms.


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