The Speckled Mind

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Go Go Gadget Flute!

Q: What's the difference between a flute and a lawn mower?
A: You can tune a lawn mower.

Q: What is the range of a flute?
A: About twenty yards if you have a good arm.

Q: How do you get two flute players to play in tune?
A: Shoot one.

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I can say some positive things about flute playing. Though I have a natural disdain for the instrument, this video is pretty darn cool. What doesn't youtube have?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Need to Take a Shirt...

...from this website.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's two posts in one day.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Poet or Heretic: You Decide

This Friday, there will be an event at Hope Community Church called 'Soulwell'. This once a month event aims to be a different worship experience than a typical Sunday morning. A lot of music and reflection time, no preaching, flexible schedule, soft ambiance, etc. The original vision of this ministry is that those who have a difficult time connecting to the format of a typical Sunday morning would (perhaps) feel more at home in this kind of setting.

This semester (yes, we still operate on a college student calendar due to our primary demographic) we are exploring 'Reclaiming Whole-Life Faith: tasting freedom from compartmentalized Christianity'. Hopefully the event lives up to the ambitiousness of its title.

Oh, and the irony of trying to eliminate compartmentalization AT AN EVENT is not lost on me.

Anyway, this Friday we will be exploring the idea of prayer. Without delving into it too much, we want to be honest about how difficult this spiritual discipline is for many people and perhaps chart a course forward.

We will be using the Lord's prayer as part of our liturgy for the event. But in exploring its meaning, we found that much of the intended story-world of Jesus' instructions about communication with the Father were lost in a sea of over-familiarity. So...I did a new translation. I'd be interested to get some feedback on it.

Our Father--the One who will ultimately bring justice and renew all of creation--
Set apart Your unique and holy name from amongst the myriad of worthless idols
Bring Your kingdom crashing into our earthly reality
Actualize Your dreams for Your creation in our midst just as they happen in Your heaven
Feed us from the bread of life that you graciously give to sustain both body and soul
Extend Your perfect grace to us, that we may know how to respond gracefully toward others
Be mindful of how much temptation we can bear and do not press us beyond it
For You are the world's true King, the only One who can wield power justly,
Deserving the recognition, adoration and worship of those who bear Your image
Until the end of time and thereafter.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Justice, Mercy and Customer Service

Anyone who has worked in a customer service position understands: the customer is always right...unless they're wrong. Unfortunately, they are often wrong. And when they are, it takes every ounce of restraint I have not to use the business end of my size 12's.

January and February at the bookstore always have a way of bringing about vindictiveness in me. I mean, there are plenty of good reasons to be angry, right? I was unjustly accused. I was yelled at. I was called a liar. I was stolen from. The Christian kids at Bethel should know better. They should know better.

And then it happens. I do something reprehensible...and I should have known better. And at that point, it's unthinkable to me that the offended party wouldn't immediately forgive me. Because, apparently, I deserve it...

And there is my double standard, my two-facedness, my hypocrisy. My natural reaction is to lobby for swift, definitive justice when others have done wrong and yet to invoke mercy when the error is mine. Certainly this is the opposite of Christ-like character and love. After all, Christ did not tell us to take up our cross so that we could impale others at will. Rather, we carry the cross so that we can die to ourselves--to our self-perceived rights and entitlement--that we might always view conflict through the lens of grace and mercy. I have so far to go.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Life is Getting Easier by the Day

Do you ever wish that you could think EVEN LESS than you currently do?

Yeah, me too.

A couple of things made that possible yesterday. First was the disco very of a program called iConcertCal. Basically, it's a plug-in that you download to iTunes. Once it's installed, it surveys your music library and creates a concert calendar based on when your favorite artists are coming to your city. The calendar gives information about time, venue, etc. It's absolutely beautiful and, though there are probably some concerts it won't detect (smaller venues, smaller bands), it seems to work great. I HIGHLY recommend taking 1 minute to download this plug-in.

Oh, and the other thing that made my life easier is that I didn't even have to find out about this myself. Thanks, Zalm.

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