Monday, March 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

This one probably deserves some additional commentary, and I will have to see about coming back to it.

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.
- Augusten Burroughs

To give you an idea of where my head is today - the tweet of the morning read:

I keep contemplating life, the universe and everything. I keep coming up w/ 42. What does it mean?


Friday, March 19, 2010


This day I am giving thanks for:

1) Drs and Nurses who give quality care
2) Friends far and wide who share their lives openly
3) My wife and child
4) Sun
5) A church at work

Monday, March 15, 2010

Still More On Being Here

Because I joined the blogosphere to be part of a conversation, and wrote my own thoughts out, I struggle with the ego that goes along with that kind of mentality.

I want to hear your voices, and have sometimes asked for your opinions, and if I knew how I would shout for them from time to time.

The reality is I need to hear them, not so much for affirmation, or dissent, but simply as a way of engaging my own thoughts. I am a dialectic learner, and crave the discourse to comprehend my own thoughts. Most people would even say that I need other people just so I can take the time to clarify my thoughts through refining the dialogue matrix.

Funny, how that came to be this morning's understanding, as I wrote on a fellow blogger's post about what kind of reading I seek most.

The flip side of this is that because of Facebook and Twitter, and the more frequent response value I gain there, I am finding myself drawn with my time and my posts, of questions, comments, and insights to those media, and leaving this for those things that need the larger space of working out my thoughts (and some might say my salvation) with fear and trembling.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why I Got Involved

When I started blogging, it was most notably for myself. I wanted to be able to document my journey, for myself, and for others. I knew I had things I wanted to remember, and scribble down, but found I never returned to my notes for much more than once every 10 years. But with type, I could have it easily accessible, and searchable, and I would remember it better, because it came from me, rather than my rambling scribbles of someone else's monologue from a class.

But, that alone could have been achieved through a random missive email, or keeping some sort of journal, to be published later (even if I kept it as a Word Document, or series thereof). There was something else. I had people I watched, and listened to through their blogs. I wanted to have a touchpad of my own to share and springboard ideas.

You see, I had this breakthrough the other night watching House. My wife had commented that I always seem to ask for more than one opinion on topics. I was sitting there watching House, and remembered a comment Cuddy had made to House some episodes before. She remarked that he needed the other people on his team to help filter his own thinking, and bounce ideas off. I need the same thing. Since I am a borderline introvert/extrovert I tend to do this in two ways, through conversations in person, and conversations online.

I have to say, it is one of the reasons I engage in Facebook, Twitter, Email, Blogs, Buzz, MySpace and more. I use it to develop, create and discern ideas, as well as offer what little wisdom or hope I might have to another. A confounding thought, especially when paired with the reality that at this moment "Theology after Google" is currently happening at Claremont School of Theology, and I am not there. Seems like that would have been the right place, looking to the future of community, and theology.

Then again I am also missing my Lectionary Study Group, at Aldersgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades, where I gain much of the same, but with a greater emphasis on the traditions and past of theology, to speak to the present moment. (And by the way, the Hospitali-TEA is awesome!!!)

I miss them both. Maybe that's why I am stuck here banging these thoughts out on the computer keyboard, rather than bouncing them around with those wonderful folks. Thank goodness for those who have engaged me from this vantage point this week.

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Chinese Proverbs

There seems to be something so simple and direct about Chinese Proverbs. As such, I know I have gained from listening. I think this may be the core of interfaith dialogue: to listen to the other, and find that you know yourself and your beliefs more deeply.

For instance:

Chinese Prov.: When someone shares something of value with you, and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.

Christian Learning: A reminder that this is the basic premise of Evangelism. We have had something so valuable shared with us, and we have a moral obligation to share it with others.

Chinese Proverb: Take everything with a grain of salt.

Christian Learning:

Matthew 5.13:

‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

We must as the salt of the earth be in everything, following the admonition to "be in the world, not of it". As such we can change the entire complexion of the world, as a mustard seed grows into a giant bush, where the birds take refuge, or yeast adds leaven to entire barrels of flour. (Mt 13)


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The worst bankrupt in the world is the person who has lost his

enthusiasm." H. W. Arnold


Friday, March 05, 2010


As if it isn't hard enough to be a dad, there are simple conundrums like this one that just cannot be overcome easily.

Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.
William Feather

And I though half the fun of being a father was getting to act like a kid with some level of impunity.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

OK Go - "This Too Shall Pass"

A common phrase for our covenant group of late is the wisdom of Solomon's Ring "This too shall pass". We are then contemplating what we might get for the end of the year to commemorate such things. For now, we shall have to do with the video from OK Go as a reminder.

Update: Apparently I am not the only one to take note of this video. cf. Dan Dick "Church Mess-a-phor"


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Change the World webinar

What is “Change the World”? Why is it so important to The United Methodist connection? Why would your conference want to participate?

We invite you to join a time of online presentation and discussion centered on these questions. There are two dates to choose from: Wednesday, March 3 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, March 4 at 10 a.m. and each session will last no more than one hour. You will hear from United Methodist Communication staff persons Jennifer Rodia, Rob Naylor and Nancy Neelley.

There are many things that call for our time. This is one you will not want to miss. Join something larger than any of us – connecting the body of Christ globally so that one heartbeat is felt across the world.

Build community locally. Fight malaria globally. Change the World.

Please RSVP to [rjames (at) umcom (dot) org] for Wednesday, March 3 at 2 p.m. (central time) or Thursday, March 4 at 10 a.m. (central time).


Monday, March 01, 2010

God's Inspired Bible