The Language of Redemption & Grace

20 12 2010

I was watching this video over at Andy Cenci’s tumblr:

Something Makoto Fujimura says near the end…

“We have a language to celebrate waywardness…but we do not have a cultural language to bring people back home…”

And it’s haunting me.

As Christians, we need to engage culture.  And I think personally, that often, we need to engage culture where it lives, using its language and its structures as a way to breed familiarity, a feeling of safety, and to let people know that we’re all in the same boat, and that we all need the same forgiveness.

So I find it intriguing that what Fujimura says is that perhaps, at least in the arts, we need to search for the other voice;  that other language that is so shocking, so amazing, and so different than the current culture’s voice-so we may begin a transformation, rather than a simple engagement.

I don’t know what I think about it, but I present it to you so I can sleep. 🙂

P.S. – Andy is the newest staff member at Parkview.  He is one of the Student Ministries Directors.  He’s awesome.  (So is Alison too!)  🙂

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UPDATE: Yeah, no time to write for NaNoWriMo…

23 11 2009

Failure DeMotivational Poster

 

I’ll shelve the ideas and start fresh next year, but thanks for the encouragement.

For the meantime, brand me a failure, and I’ll hopefully have some bloggy goodness up later in the week!





Going Nowhere, Going Somewhere…*

12 10 2009

Between the craziness of life and the hectic schedule of a modern-day family, there comes a time when you need to get away.  To do something abnormal.  To break the cycle.  But in the economy of today, and with no ability to leave, what does one do?  Well, I will avoid the one word.  The word everyone uses now, when you’re going on vacation by staying?  😉

So that’s what my family is doing for the next couple days.  We’ve been planning a trip to Disney World for this week.  It was going to be awesome.  Due to the generosity and fortune of a friend, we were going to have a round-trip airfare, hotel, and Disney park vacation for this week, all for free.  The only thing we’d be paying for was food, souvenirs, and transportation in-town.  But then that fell through.  Just a couple weeks ago, to be exact.

So the wife and I were off work, we had taken the kids out of daycare/school…  We were still going out of our minds with stress and demands from life.  We needed to get away; to still vacate our lives for a bit.

“Why did God do this to us?”  I thought at first.  I mean, sure we couldn’t have asked for a better possibility (before it crumbled) but then again, we DIDN’T ask for it.  It was dropped in our laps.  It was an opportunity that simply doesn’t seem to happen to a guy like me.  We’re the ones left holding the check a lot.  And we’re okay with that most of the time.  We’re the ones that watch the other people’s kids while they do things that are fun and refreshing.  We’re the ones that work the extra shift to cover the vacationer.  We use our vacation time to go on missions trips and other service-oriented, non-restful things.  It was FINALLY going to be our turn!  And we were very excited.

And then it fell apart.  So yeah, I was a little bitter.  Not necessarily towards God, but with no direct person, who else was I mad at?  Just because I hadn’t named Him, doesn’t mean that I didn’t mean him.

I realized in a couple days (I’m not a saint) that God allowed us an opportunity.  An opportunity to not only overcome, but to unite as a family.  So no, we’re not going to Disney.  Frankly, the kids are too young to appreciate it much anyway.  It would be another vacation to them, not the special thing that my wife and I recognized it for…  So in that way it’s good.  We still have that ONE VACATION that will someday happen (or not) that can be held aloft as a family-owned dream.

Secondly, it gave my wife and I the opportunity to work together towards figuring out what to do with the week.  It gave us the chance to mourn our lost opportunity together, and to gain happiness as a couple, in finding the joy in this new opportunity.

So altogether, we’re not really going anywhere.  Sure, we’re getting a hotel for a couple nights, because we want to swim with our kids.  But we’re not going far.  In fact, we’re only about 20 minutes from home.  And we’ll still be taking our oldest to school tomorrow, and trying to get back in time for her school pictures on Thursday.  It’s not the grand journey we planned.  But sometimes, it’s not about where you go, but how you get there.   And for not going very far, we’ve come a long way.  I know for certain that I have.  And I’m looking forward to going nowhere, yet going somewhere.

*If you caught it, it was a Jesus Jones reference, from the song “Blissed”, off of the 1990 album “Doubt”.  The entire lyric of the song is appropriate, beautiful, and as follows:

if the sun shines today

i think i’ll stay here anyway
and if the world makes demands of me
then i’ll wait and see

it’s at times like these
i do what i please (do what i please)
and i’m pleased to say
it’s like i’ve always wanted to feel this way

blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere

no-one ever else could feel like this
i couldn’t settle for less than this

let the feel of the air wash over me
let the ground sink beneath my feet
and I expect so much more from today
than just a time between tomorrow and yesterday

blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere

there’ll be a time when all my dreams come to and end
when i’ll run out of postcards for you all to send
but i’ll keep with me
all the things i feel and see

blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere

(Get Jesus Jones’ “Doubt” on Amazon here for under $3.00, shipped!)





Randomness (+1)

7 10 2009

DorkMasters Logo beta 1

So yeah.  I’m willing to bet no one is checking this anymore, so any audience I had, I’ve lost.   Then again, if anyone’s RSS-feeding, then this will definitely surprise you.  So if you’re that person:  Hey there.  Gotcha.

But…It’s been a while.  Let me explain what’s been stopping me from writing:

I’m LAZY.  Sure, it’s not just that, because I’ve got SO MANY ideas, that honestly, I don’t know where to begin.  But more than that, I’m just too indecisive and unmotivated to choose one and just plunge into the topic, and damn the rest.  But I’m here, so I’m trying to get that started again.

Let me tell you what’s on my mind lately, in no particular order, and with no agenda whatsoever.  But with the idea that if I purge my brain a bit, perhaps something will dislodge and allow my brain to think in a logical, (semi)concise manner and allow something noteworthy to come out next time on this blog:

So first off, I’m shopping for a new podcast.  As I like to listen to podcasts while working, driving, doing dishes (man, it’s tough without a podcast), laundry, or just to wind down before bed, I prefer something in audio-only form.  Video podcasts are awesome, but I’m finding about 20 minutes to be my cut-off.  I rarely have 20 minutes to sit and watch something (meaning ZERO multitasking) so audio fits the niche well, by being something I can focus on, while still doing something other than holding the iPod, or generally not distracting me while driving. 🙂  So any suggestions would be great.  I think I’ve listed podcasts I listened to previously, but just to avoid suggestions of the heavy hitters, I already do:

This American Life, Radio Lab, 1UP’s Listen Up, Rebel FM, Out Of The Game, and A Life Well Wasted (The last being very rare, but AWESOME…check it out, if you haven’t yet.  It’s Geek culture with This American Life/Radio Lab treatment.  Amazing stuff.).

So, yeah, suggestions welcome there.

Next on the non-agenda: I’m thinking of retrogaming.  I want to play something I haven’t yet (or never finished), but have no idea.  Preferably something from the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo era, although I’m not against going 8-bit either.  Again, suggestions welcome.  My typical genres are RPGs (fave on Genesis: Shadowrun, and SNES: Final Fantasy III), but I’m up for anything if it’s considered certified gold by you fine folk. 🙂

Combining the previous two, I’m considering (without much detail yet) creating a podcast that would be bi-weekly or even monthly (let’s be realistic, right?) talking all thinks dork, (video games, retro games, movies, webcomics, Geek television, etc.) and getting some fun people to talk.  The point being that while there’d be a topic or semi-structure intended with each podcast, that the people would be the focus, and that the personalities would be the most important thing.  So if we got off topic, but it was fun and interesting, then by all means, that’s where it goes.  (I’ve found those to be my favorite types, next to the super-slickly-produced works of art like ALWW, TAL and RadioLab.)  So yeah, I’m considering calling it “Dorkmasters” which to me is funny because 1) the nom de cyberspace “dorkmaster” is one I’ve used for years, and 2) it makes me think of “Bassmasters” which was a hugely popular and terribly boring (if you’re me) fishing show.  So, Dorkmasters would be similar.  Only interesting if you’re into our particular brand of geekery, but if the shoe fits, put LEDs on it and make it transform into a cool gun or something.  I don’t know if that last analogy fits, but you get the point.  (Or you don’t, in which case, Dorkmasters probably isn’t for you.)

Finally,  since OtakuMom won a LCD TV for our living room last year, I’ve dreamed of a linux box that would allow me to stream hulu and other online video to my TV, so I wouldn’t have to drag my wife to the computer for our weekly Office watching, or to watch Netflix streaming (which is amazing).

Eventually, I hope to remove the need to have cable, with all the internet content.  Saving, hopefully, some money.  (Although I’d still be paying Comcast for the internet, so yeah…)

I’ve got two old (OOOOOOoooold) crappy eMachines Pentium machines that I’m hoping to hybrid into that machine, and I’ve even gotten an Ubuntu install disc, but I can’t get the darn thing to install correctly.  But then again, time being what it is for an OtakuDad these days, I’ve not spent more than a couple hours on the project yet.  But I’ll definitely update once that’s something more than a half-cooked idea.

Soooooo…  Yeah, wasn’t that worth reading?  No.  Well, you did anyway.  And I told you I’d probably say “gotcha” to you.  So once more, Gotcha.  Ideas and comments welcome, and I’ll hope to write more.  This was fun.  Although I want a little more structure next time (I’m sure you do as well).

See you soon (hopefully), intertubes.

-OD





Book Review: "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan

10 06 2009

So, I’ve been reading Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” for quite some time now.  I’ll be honest, I read the first 80% of it within a week or so, and then the last 20% took me forever to finish.  Part of that was life getting hectic, and I don’t know what the rest was.

But, it is now finished, and I have much to say about it.  However, I will first remind everyone what I mean when I say the word “review”.  It’s not meant to be objective in any way.  This is entirely subjective (which, I believe, is the point of reviews…you find someone you tend to agree with, and then trust their opinions on various media suggestions) and moreso, is definitely very much about where my head and heart are right now.  So, as with everything I say, take this with a grain of salt, a swig of your favorite beverage, and hopefully a munch of something tasty.  That said, here we go:

“Crazy Love” is definitely the most interesting book I’ve read in the last five years.  No, it’s not the most “gripping”.  It’s not very exciting at all, actually.  Mostly, I have a hard time reading non-fiction.  So, if it doesn’t have a story and characters and twists, and whatever…it doesn’t get read (all the way, at least).  But, Crazy Love called to me in the bookstore.  No joke, I believe God placed this book in my hands.

Francis Chan has a simple premise here-that we’re not living as we should.  That we’re not living the lives we profess.  That we are sapping our own vitality here, and potentially endangering our very souls by doing so.

See, Pastor Chan (of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California) believes that we need to be sold out for Jesus.  And we, as Christians nod in agreement, and say “Of course, man!  Amen!”  But Francis doesn’t let us off the hook there.  He says, “Well?  How about it then?  Where is your faith?  Where are you walking where only God can catch you if you fall?” Read the rest of this entry »





Book Review: “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

10 06 2009

So, I’ve been reading Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” for quite some time now.  I’ll be honest, I read the first 80% of it within a week or so, and then the last 20% took me forever to finish.  Part of that was life getting hectic, and I don’t know what the rest was.

But, it is now finished, and I have much to say about it.  However, I will first remind everyone what I mean when I say the word “review”.  It’s not meant to be objective in any way.  This is entirely subjective (which, I believe, is the point of reviews…you find someone you tend to agree with, and then trust their opinions on various media suggestions) and moreso, is definitely very much about where my head and heart are right now.  So, as with everything I say, take this with a grain of salt, a swig of your favorite beverage, and hopefully a munch of something tasty.  That said, here we go:

“Crazy Love” is definitely the most interesting book I’ve read in the last five years.  No, it’s not the most “gripping”.  It’s not very exciting at all, actually.  Mostly, I have a hard time reading non-fiction.  So, if it doesn’t have a story and characters and twists, and whatever…it doesn’t get read (all the way, at least).  But, Crazy Love called to me in the bookstore.  No joke, I believe God placed this book in my hands.

Francis Chan has a simple premise here-that we’re not living as we should.  That we’re not living the lives we profess.  That we are sapping our own vitality here, and potentially endangering our very souls by doing so.

See, Pastor Chan (of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California) believes that we need to be sold out for Jesus.  And we, as Christians nod in agreement, and say “Of course, man!  Amen!”  But Francis doesn’t let us off the hook there.  He says, “Well?  How about it then?  Where is your faith?  Where are you walking where only God can catch you if you fall?” Read the rest of this entry »





Quick Health Update

29 05 2009

Sorry, I forgot to do this, because I was on a trip two weekends ago (yeah, I’ve known for this long…sorry) and since then have been busy.

But, the short version is that my heart is good (we knew this from the first tests), and my lungs appear to be good too.  The chest X-ray apparently showed things that didn’t exist when under the better scrutiny of the CT-scan.  However, the scan did seem to show that I have an enlarged spleen and liver.  The kind of thing you’d expect to see in someone who drank a lot (which I do not do…in fact, I probably haven’t had more than two drinks in one day in nearly 10 years.  And in that same timespan, I probably haven’t had a two week period where I had those two drinks more than once.  Perhaps even longer of a time.  I drink very rarely, and when I do it’s quite small amounts, for taste rather than “effect”.)

Anyway, I’m going to do an ultrasound of those organs to see what’s up there.  The doc doesn’t sound too scared, so I’m not doing so either.  I mean, it’s odd, but it also could be a matter like the lungs, where things look bad, but the reason is because the thing that red-flagged it, is not the proper test for those things… (if that made any sense).

Point is, I’ll know more later.  But I’m also being lazy in scheduling the tests.

However, I have found out that I have high cholesterol levels.  So I’m doing the cheerios thing, reducing saturated fats, etc… I’m not going crazy, but I think a little moderation and conscious effort will go a lot further than I think.  My body is hardly in great shape, but responds well to changes (at least in the past).  So, more to come, when more comes.  I’ll let ya know.  Thanks for all the prayers and the words of encouragement and support.  It’s greatly appreciated, and obviously, the prayers have been answered by my so-far very clean bill of health.  Thanks to God and to you all!