Best poem I’ve read this year

This is the best poem I have read this year.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I can’t post it all so click on the link to read the whole thing. It is wonderful. [link]
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bad guides

I was reading a big serious book tonight and I found a great little quote. It is from Ludwig Wittgenstein – who has a lot of interesting things to say (but that is for another day)

In teaching you philosophy I’m like a guide showing you how to find your way round London. I have to take you through the city from north to south from East to West, More

the C.S. Lewis Bible

I referenced C.S. Lewis earlier this week. I am always surprised by how much people like C.S. Lewis.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that I own and have read almost every book that is out. When I was an evangelical youth pastor, he was my go-to voice for apologetics and devotional material.

I bought the “Year with C.S. Lewis” the week it came out (ironically, at the Borders bookstore that had just opened in my town). I took a year off reading the Bible for morning devotions (I needed a break) and spent my quite times with his thought of the day. I have bought a dozen copies over the years as gifts for friends that I thought might like it.

So I just found out that they have released a C.S. Lewis annotated version of the Bible. More

the Tao of C.S. Lewis

I was sitting in Comparative Theology class listening to a presentation on Taoism and something really struck me. It was a quote.

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.  (Tao Te Ching, chapter 1)

Now, I am not under the impression that all religions teach the same thing and I am not interested in downplaying real and substantial differences.  But there is an aspect to our Christian tradition called the apophatic tradition that is important if often neglected – and it ties in here.
I had never heard of the apophatic way (Via Negativa) before seminary. I was raised with and trained for ministry in the cataphatic tradition. It was all positive, presence, blessing. In fact, if those ‘good‘ things are absent, I was taught to ask “what is wrong”. More

From Men to Boys

Masculinity is a fascinating topic. I really am quite intrigued by what it means to ‘be a man’ and how that has changed over the last 200 years. There is a biological component (no doubt) but there is also a really prevalent social component. Masculinity is a construct in flux.

I was in College training for ministry during the Promise Keepers years. As a minister interacting with different families, I realized that the PK model didn’t work for every guy (and fewer gals). I loved the subject though and I read everything from “Wild at Heart” to Lads Mags. There was little doubt for me that masculinity was changing even in my lifetime. This was obvious at every level from my Family Reunions to the Church’s men’s retriets and Pastor Conferences to the missions trips we went on to other countries.

The best resource that I ever found was a book called “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: the archetypes of a man“. It is written from a Jungian perspective and it is powerful powerful stuff.

I have been saying for a long time that something is in the air. Part of it is the divorce culture, part of it is the feminist revolution, part of it is the medium of media (video games and internet) and part of it is the economy-work force.  But something is up. More

Glee’s greatest gift

I know that some people are excited about watching a football game today.  I, alas, am not. My beloved Chicago Bears were eliminated by their dastardly rivals and I have been left with no team to cheer for.

But don’t cry for me – I have something to look forward to on TV tonight that warms me deep down in southern California when I am chilled thinking about my friends who are freezing in the NorthEast and on the Canadian Prairies:  The return of Glee!

I love Glee.   I will freely admit it in the face of scorn and disdain More

Churchlandia (portland)

I am fascinated by the culture clash that seems to be generated mostly out of BIG churches.

I was born in Ohio, raised in Chicago, spent 6 years on the Canadian prairies, married a girl from Montana before moving to NY  and then training for ministry in California.

It was in California that I encountered a kind of church I had not really seen before. Some call them mega-churches but I have developed a different name for them, since not all of the churches I am talking about qualify simply based on attendance figures.

After college I lived on the NY-Vermont border for over a decade before moving out to the Pacific NW. Arriving in Portland that first week was a reintroduction to these types of churches.

I call them Castle Churches. They can usually be identified them by three primary factors: More

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