Category Archives: theology

dissonance

I enjoy music and something about a quality song in a minor key makes me smile.  

I sing harmony. I long for the notes of dissonance where one sings strongly, moving against what seems as it should be; clawing at the melody so as not to lose the note and see the entire song unravel.  I like the way my mind can hear the resolve, running against the grain of what I sing.  I hear it, but I do not sing it too early.

When I listen, my ears tune in naturally to dissonance.  I  like way that the anticipation of “is it possible, can good come?” makes me want to hold my breath. To hope against all odds. To know that the dissonance in it’s chilling beauty will be resolved. When a composer writes in the perfect amount of musical trouble, the piece is all the more for it.

Tolkien writes of something similar in the Silmarillion. He tells of music – a glorious harmony, the union of many voices. An all encompassing song written before the start of time.  In this song, one of discord creeps in. Attempting to go his own way, the voice of dissonance tries to sow in sour notes – to ruin the masterpiece. It cannot be done. The composer takes those notes of disdain and weaves a strain of music around them producing something of even more beauty than before.

So why then, I ask, in the middle of life when discord arises, when dissonance is the note on my tongue, do I not actively seek out in my mind’s eye, the glorious resolve that is but a breath away?

1 Comment

Filed under good vs. evil, hope, music

wordless

Ironically, that’s about how I feel today. Yet I blog.

Too much going on; not much happening.

Not enough time to do anything; Too much time to waste.

Too many things to say; not enough words accessible to say them.

So many emotions to express; not enough tears left to spill.

That’s just how it is sometimes. That’s just how it is today.

Mostly, I think I’m doing alright. I think I’m just plain human.

3 Comments

Filed under hope, words

Moving

I’m moving again. This time, I mean physically, not virtually.

Not sure where I am moving (though I am talking locally!) and I don’t know who I will be living with, but I turned in my written notice yesterday.

I need to be closer to work and to church. The commute (with its extended time and cost for gas) is killing me. While I have loved living by myself this last year and I found it very refreshing and renewing, I am coming to the conclusion that as many have said, it is not good to live alone. Humanity is created for community.

With roommates, I can save money – and move closer to my financial goals. With roommates, I can be pressed and challenged to be less consumed with ‘me’, to see the world in a different perspective from my own, and to seek Christ more whole heartily. With roommates, I trust God will grow my already expanding community, as well as give me more opportunities to build into the lives of those around me.

What a difference a week or two makes, from being adamant that I would sign a new lease here, to hearing several voices of wise counsel, reason, outside perspective, and love, I must admit to my being wrong. I often say “oh yes, I want what God wants, I am seeking his best in this situation.” Sometimes it’s tough to actually let go of my self-centered ideas to actual hear what he is in-fact telling me through other people. So in a quest and heart felt desire to seek God’s best- the adventure continues and as it goes, it changes course, sometimes quite unexpectedly.  Well, unexpectedly to me, that is.

Any prayers are greatly appreciated. And in two months, any helping hands – also much appreciated.

1 Comment

Filed under housing, moving, prayer, roomies, theology

He Is Risen!

I’m about to start making a salad, and then head up north for Easter lunch with the family.

For the last few minutes, I have been watching on search.twitter.com all of the times people are saying “He Is Risen” and it’s really cool, kind of like seeing a multitude of believers, the body of Christ made up of millions I don’t know all celebrating together. Granted, this is a voice of the technology driven West, (so many poorer Christian’ voices are not able to participate in this manner) but it is really astounding and joyful to see all of the people celebrating together.

And even some recognizable names out there too. for example – someone just replied to @MilieyCyrus “He is Risen indeed” So I checked out what she “tweeted” : HE HAS RISEN!!! praise the LORD! / 1 peter 1:3.

(which is: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead)
Amen.

2 Comments

Filed under theology, twitter

Yikes

It has almost been two week since I last blogged…that kind of makes me sad.

What have I been up to? Well, still cruising through the Wheel of Time series. I started book 4 last night.

I also had a chance to read Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton and am slowly meandering through Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love by Augustine.

I also put together a five hundred piece puzzle and now am on the down slope of completing a 1000 piece one.

Oh yes. And I finished watching Baseball (a documentary put together by Ken Burns). All 9 innings, 18 hours worth. It ended right at 1994, so I figure I know the rest of the story as I became a baseball fan in 1995.

Thanksgiving was great. I spent a couple of nights up at my brother & sister-in-law’s house. I made the stuffing. I think this is the first time I ever made something like that from a recipe and not out of a box. It was good. The entire dinner was amazing (and boy did we have a lot of food!).

I had some company over a couple weeks back to play settlers. It was a lot of fun, in spite of the fact that I put in one last frozen pizza before we started playing. Then I forgot about it. oops. One of my guests remembered it, but by that time, it was pretty black.

3 Comments

Filed under blog, literature, theology

Ike

I guess Hurricane Ike is on its way toward Texas. It is a Cat 4 and may even be a tropical storm still when it gets to DFW. I was thinking about Ike today. I was thinking about how people talk about prayer and storms in the same sentence. I understand praying for safety and not too much destruction, but can you pray for it not to hit? Isn’t that the same as praying for it to destroy somewhere else, hurt other people? It’s kind of like praying for you team to win; inherently, you are praying for the other team to lose. Praying for Ike not to hit your home town means praying that Ike hits the town down the way. I was just thinking about this today…

2 Comments

Filed under prayer, weather

Dancing

Ok, yes, there is a swear in the title of this video. If you can disregard that, watch this 4 minute video. I LOVE it. Why? It’s beautiful and it makes me think of Heaven (ironically).

Enjoy.

Leave a comment

Filed under theology

Good, Evil, and In between?

I was spending some time thinking about the types of stories and tales I like. If you have known me for any length of time (or don’t know me buy regularly read this blog) its pretty obvious. I like stories with epic history. Stories of fantasy. Stories of the unbelievable. Stories of mystery.

Here is a short list of the stories I have been into:

LOST
Alias
The Chronicles of Narnia
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Lord of the Rings

I have also been known to enjoy StarTrek (specifically TNG) and a little Stargate SG-9 (come on! It has “Macgyver”)

Anyway, I digress. Something I have been thinking about it how good and evil is portrayed in these stories. Some have very distinct Good and Evil. Characters are on one side or the other. The “moral compass” of the story is very defined and unmovable. Others lean towards clear definition, but make use of the gray. Others have characters running around making “in between” decisions based on what ever seems right in that moment. There is some type of vague moral compass, but it is extremely hard to define. And still others are almost purposely completely undefined (or perhaps upside down) with all characters moving to the center, none completely good or innocent, none completely evil.

Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia fall into the first category. Good/Evil exist and each character is on one side or the other.

I think Harry Potter falls into the second group. There is a clear defined evil, but the “clear defined good” is less evident. Good characters are allowed to make sketchy moral choices for the “greater good.”

I would put LOST and Alias in the third category. We want to believe that there is definite good and evil, but when good characters make evil choices or evil characters make choices to help others, it is hard to hold firm to the idea that there is definition. In the end, there may be good and evil in these stories, but both sides are making decisions that not in line with the side each character is “committed” to.

Finally, I would put Pirates of the Caribbean in the last category. The premise of the story (Pirates – come on PIRATES – are “good”?) wants us to believe that questionable characters are the heroes. Throughout the three movies good characters become bad, bad characters become good, and then they don’t stay there, they switch again. This is done so often, all characters have moved to the same grey moral center where there is no longer definition. Can Davy Jones even be “evil?” He is simply a heartbroken man…and the excuses roll on.

So yeah, Its interesting that the two mythic stories by Christian authors are the two in the above example where good and evil are clearly defined. And in addition to that, in myth, if there is clear good and clear evil, is it not typical that the good will prevail? Arguably, they are two opposites, but not equal in strength. Good verses Evil, but in stories Good wins. Good is stronger. Yet, as clearly seen in LotR & CoN humanity is NOT the source of Good.

Anyway, I was just thinking about the similarities and differences in the stories I like. I am greatly encouraged that of all the stories, it is the clearly defined good that defeats the clearly defined and weaker evil that I like the best.
Don’t we all?

Leave a comment

Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, literature, lord of the rings, lost, movie, narnia, tv

still thinking & dreaming

While I continue to do that (in reference to the previous post), here is a video my brother pointed out to me. Its from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this last fall.

What will be the “next chapter” for the church?

Social Justice Issues?

(the AIDS Epidemic, Race relations, Poverty, Hunger, Human Trafficking, Stewardship of the Earth, Darfur, The “invisible children” of Uganda…)

Part of me thinks…Why is this the “next” chapter? Why are we, more importantly, why am I, behind the bandwagon? Just what I have been thinking and dreaming… Nothing wrong with thinking and dreaming, but after that…its all for nothing if its not put to action.

1 Comment

Filed under theology

Maybe

Since I moved to Texas, I have been attending First Baptist Church of McKinney. FBC is currently emphasizing the idea of the missional church, moving outside the walls of a building, being Jesus to the community locally and on a broader geographical scope.

My brother was nudging me for a bit about a missions trip to uhm..Crete…I think…thats in maybe August. Well, I had it in the back of my mind, but thats about it.

In the last week and a half, a man by the name of Andy Flannagan has been at First Baptist talking about injustice. He’s an Irish guy who writes music, leads worship and works at a church in London. Anyway, we went to church this evening and while Andy was singing about Jesus being the Price of Peace within and around the situaiton of Northern Ireland (conflict between protestants and catholics) I kind of had a realization. Crete was like “meh” to me not because it would not be amazing, but because if I were able to go anywhere in the world for ministry, it would be to the UK. Why? I don’t know, I love the culture, I love the landscape, I love the history, everything I know and everything I learn of it, I love.

The people are incredible and hurting very much. In part to post modernity and secular culture. Beyond the hands-on humanity of it, I find it philosophically and historically fascinating. What once was christendom is no more. Beyond the Macro-picture of history, I find it tragic that individuals are so broken and hurting. Ultimately, they are in need of the love of Christ. Not that the people of Crete are not. Hardly, its just that my heart lies in the misty fog of Londontown. So as I was sitting there, I thought, if FBC had a trip going to the UK (or to nearby Ireland) then I would be interested.

WELL…turns out they do. I got a brochure and thus the “maybe” tag to this post. There are so many hurdles to go, its practically impossible. Here’s the list:
1. Its very soon. June 8-18th
2. Its big $$$ (close to 2K)
2.b. I have very little money. Beyond that fact, is it prudent to even consider or dream such an idea at this phase of life?
3. I am new here, I don’t know how the process works. I am not even a member of FBC
4. I start a new job on Monday. which points back to item one. Its soon and its 10 days
5. I am still looking for additional work. (My new job is part time and will not be enough $$$. So I continuing to look for an additional part time job OR a “career job” where I can continue the current job on the side.)

SO, Practically speaking, its a no go (or perhaps wait until next time). That does not mean I am not still considering it. It would be incredible.

And I was also thinking tonight that in 5-10 years time if I haven’t done much besides work and pay off loans, I am going to the UK for missions work. why not? If I haven’t got anything better to do?

Feel free to post comments telling me I am crazy for even considering the trip. Or (though I suppose this may be a little much to ask), post comments saying you are praying for me and my up coming trip. Or for the very few of you out there who wish to join the “Impossible – no problem” bandwagon, feel free to drop a line that your praying and sending money support me. 🙂 Dream big I figure.

night all.

4 Comments

Filed under theology