December 5, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 5.19.12

What a week it has been here at the iMonastery. We’ve had some very good conversations about some very difficult topics, which, I think, have left us all worn out. I think it might be nice if we all get a glass of iced tea, find a spot under the shade tree, and smile a bit. Shall we, my fellow ramblers?

Ok, you can make your beverage a cup of coffee. After all, it’s good for you. Again. Until the next study tells us it’s bad for us. Again.

Oops. Seems the body of a murdered mobster found its way into the crypts in the Vatican. Police want to question the corpse regarding the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl who has been missing since 1983. This brought up the question of why this figure of organized crime was buried with bishops and cardinals in the first place. And why were there many other bones in the tomb of the criminal? So many questions. You may need a second cup of coffee as you solve this riddle.

You may need some Pepto-Bismol as you read this. Seems “Pastor Fashion” is not a joke. Seriously. Ed Young, Jr. is the self-proclaimed Mr. Blackwell of Christian fashion. Oh, but it’s for a good reason. “It’s not just about fashion,” said Young, prescient of his naysayers, ”it’s about looking presentable as we present the timeless message of Christ. It’s about having a healthy self-esteem, which starts with God. That’s why we’re doing this.”  Ok …

So, there’s this church in Portland, Oregon that some former members consider to be spiritually abusive. One woman who left that church started a blog about her experiences there. The church was not amused and is suing for half a million green rectangles. All in Christian love, of course.

Columnist E.J. Dionne tells why he, a liberal Catholic, has no interest in leaving the Catholic church. A very good article indeed.

It seems not many Filipinos know how to play football, nor who Tim Tebow is. But there are many orphans who have learned kindness through the works of Tebow’s father, who has operated an orphanage in the Philippines for twenty years now. Oh, and the kids are getting some tips on throwing a football. From Tim Tebow. Cool story.

Chuck Colson was memorialized this week at the National Cathedral in D.C. “Hugger of lepers, friend of sinners.” How can you beat that?

Chaplain Mike finally found a way his beloved Cubs can stop being lovable losers. And no, it doesn’t involve them becoming unlovable losers. It seems just a wee bit on the radical side, but we are talking about a team that hasn’t been to the World Series since before World War I. Not II, but I. Tell us, Mike: will you be among those lining up to swing the wrecking ball?

Jesus Popsicles. No, really. Jesus Popsicles. Made with consecrated wine and everything.

That’s not enough for you? Ok then. To go along with the release of the demon-hunting computer game Diablo III this week comes the news that Jesus is now ready to become a videogame character in … ready? … Journey of Jesus: The Calling. How can I make this up? Why would I make this up?

Finally, the Synonymous Rambler showed me a card this week found on the SR’s windshield at a local mall. It advertises for a new church in Tulsa (they pop up like mushrooms after a steady rain here in my fair city) called Revolve Church. Their motto? “Revolve Church…Because We Like To Party.” No, really. Here is their attempt to draw new members: “We are not your typical church. We go where the party is at.” Now, what offends you the most: a church pretending to be an ongoing party, or the fact that they have horrible grammar?

Happy clappy birthdays were sung this last week for George Carlin; George Karl; Kix Brooks; Emilio Estevez; Joe “The Champ” Louis; Jim Jones; Ritchie Valens; Dennis Rodman; Darius Rucker; David Byrne; George Lucas; and Mike Oldfield.

When Mike Oldfield originally released Tubular Bells in 1973, he practically invented a whole new musical genre. Always an enjoyable listen. So listen … and enjoy.

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  1. Jeff, whatever it takes. The Cubs need a Reformation, and if it takes tearing down shrines, let’s get to it!

    • No, no, no! Would you tear down Westminister Cathedral in the hope that Britain would gain the political and military power they once held back in the days of the British Empire?

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    It advertises for a new church in Tulsa (they pop up like mushrooms after a steady rain here in my fair city) called Revolve Church. Their motto? “Revolve Church…Because We Like To Party.” No, really.

    First Church of Pinkie Pie?

    Well, from what I’ve heard on this blog, Tulsa has more churches than DC has lawyers, so why not?

    • Joseph (the original) says

      re: Revolve Church. ouch. another misapplication of the minor prophet Malachi used in their The Revolve Seeds Start-up Campaign…

      oh Lordy…not another Malachi spewing manipulation strategy to get people to give $$$ to the new vision of the cutting edge, hip, relevant leadership using old school tactics to bring in the moolah…

      Lord…have mercy… 🙁

      what is it about Tulsa that churns out churches resorting to such repackaged religious BS to justify their existence???

      no NT church has any right to refer to Malachi in their religious hype to guilt people into giving. right there they have failed in understanding the entire message of Malachi & how it is rightly understood in its OT context…

      there are a few key perspectives that for me indicate a proper understanding of what a free-will offering is for the NT saint vs. the obligation of the OT Jew under the Mosaic Law. anybody, or any church/organization that cannot make this distinction correctly has no reason asking anybody to financially support their brand of a hip church…

      why is this one area of giving for the work of the ministry such a messed up issue today by cherry picking OT verses to make NT saints feel obligated to give money to their church/vision/ministry, etc.???

      what a bunch of hooey…

  3. Jesus video games? reminds me of my elementary school days. alot kids i knew weren’t allowed to watch pokemon or read harry potter because it was “satanic”. But strange Jesus video games & the violent nonsense of Hal Lindsay & Tim Lahaye is a-okay.

  4. That piano solo at the beginning still creeps me out. Never should have watched the Exorcist that night all alone.

  5. Thanks for pointing out the article by E.J. Dionne. I agree with him!

    Have a great weekend, fellow iMonkers. It’s a beautiful weekend here in the Great State O’ Maine!

  6. The “popsicle” story worried me for a moment, but as usuall CNN got its facts wrong about something Christian.

    There is NOT anything holy or consecrated about the product used. Seems this so-called “artist” is also moronic enough to think that his smuggled-into-church cooler of wine becomes part of the sacrament during consecration.

    *BZZZZZZ* Wrong-0, buddy.

    His wine remains… It is no more part of the Real Presence or Eucharist than the juice-box being held by the cranky three year old in the back row.

    As to the rest of it…..not worthy of discussion. 🙁

    • You have to admit, Pattie—wine-flavored popsicles sound pretty tasty…almost as good as cherry-flavored!

    • Thank you, Pattie, for getting to that before I could. This is not consecrated wine or the blood of Christ. And really, hip and cutting-edge artists, isn’t it about time you moved on to something really new and shocking rather than the same old ‘let’s use Christian religious symbols to show how daring we are’? What with society becoming more and more secular, the only people you are going to shock are those who you don’t care about impressing in the first place.

      Now – on to the fashion tips!

      “It’s not just about fashion,” said Young, prescient of his naysayers, ”it’s about looking presentable as we present the timeless message of Christ.”

      Why is why vestments, Reverend Young! They are timeless, immune to the vagaries of fashion (er, except if you get into an argument about fiddleback/Roman versus Gothic chasubles) and pretty much one-size-fits-all. Colours are set according to the liturgical season so you don’t get stuck wearing last year’s must-have fashionable shade which is now out of style (although, alas, there will always be those who want to be ‘creative’. Orange is not a liturgical colour, even if some misguided souls persist in using it). And it is generally conceded that the Italians know a bit about fashion, so Gammarelli’s – if it’s good enough for the Pope, it’s good enough for you!

      • Good comment. Business suits place the focus on the pastor; vestments place the focus on Jesus, the Good Shepherd. (Who are we kidding? What does pastoring have to do with shepherding anymore? In America, farms have been transformed into feedlots, and the church has followed suit.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And really, hip and cutting-edge artists, isn’t it about time you moved on to something really new and shocking rather than the same old ‘let’s use Christian religious symbols to show how daring we are’?

        I’ll believe in these “hip and cutting-edge artists” much-bragged-about COURAGE and DARING when they start crapping on Islam as well. Especially Wahabi, Khomeinist, and Talibani Islam. Come on, show your COURAGE and DARING by doing the same thing to a Koran! Especially right in front of the Taliban on THEIR turf! You do your “Cutting-Edge Art” in Churches to show your COURAGE and DARING, do it in a Mosque in Tehran or Qom or even Mecca itself!

        No? Lesson learned: FEAR BREEDS RESPECT.

  7. Martin Romero says

    I know it wasn’t specifically mentioned in Jeff’s post, but it seems to me an appropriate topic for a “Saturday-rambling-kind-of-thing” and it came back to my mind after I read the part about the “Pastor fashion”… Has anyone come across “Sleeping for the glory of God”? I’ve heard one of my house mates saying something about it and asked him. He said that it is something about the theology of sleeping and what God thinks about it 😛 Still not clear to me though. At all. I guess that pastor in Texas had to come with a “theology of fashion”? Just saying…

  8. Emperor Ed Young Jr. has no clothes.

  9. Margaret Catherine says

    “We are not your typical church. We go where the party is at. ” Now, what offends you the most: a church pretending to be an ongoing party, or the fact that that have horrible grammar?

    New England has long since embraced the equal rights and dignity of dangling prepositions, and increasing numbers of Americans even in our heartland are joining with our northernmost Colonial states in their tradition of linguistic inclusivity. A preposition may be placed wherever it wishes to be placed at.

    • As an “evolving” linguist I am now ready to go public in embracing this trend.

    • My father is rolling over in his grave. He was raised in Mississippi, and still had spectacular grammar, and made sure his children did as well. I cannot and will not embrace this new trend, but will continue to look at those who do as though they have a wart on the end of their noses.
      Another grammar evolution is people who say, “We have got to get this together.” Really? Have got to?

      • Margaret Catherine says

        The English of today is not that of the Founding Fathers, or Shakespeare, or Chaucer; and nobody now speaks Indo-European. I’m a stick-in-the-mud conservative type on most things, but the closest I ever came to openly fighting with a professor in college was on the subject of “traditional grammar.” As long as we can still manage “high” English for formal purposes, the changes in lcolloquial language are what make linguistics fun. 🙂

    • Curiously, I find that dangling a preposition while dangling a proposition is rather inventive. 🙂

    • “A preposition may be placed wherever it wishes to be placed at.”

      I love it, Margaret Catherine!

      I also like to begin sentences with “And” and “But” even though I know it is “unacceptable.” I have two degrees and one of them is in English, but I still do not write well at times. I like to write sometimes the way I talk, with three dots to indicate I am thinking.

      Winston Churchill had a great quotation about using words “properly.” Let’s see if I can find it…..

      OK, here is some info about Churchill:

      “The alt.english.usage FAQ states that the story originated with an anecdote in Sir Ernest Gowers’ Plain Words (1948). Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, and the Prime Minister, very proud of his style, scribbled this note in reply: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” The American Heritage Book of English Usage agrees.

      The FAQ goes on to say that the Oxford Companion to the English Language (no edition cited) states that the original was “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.” To me this sounds more likely, and eagerness to avoid the offensive word “bloody” would help to explain the proliferation of variations.”

  10. petrushka1611 says

    Kix Brooks. Heck, yes. I think it’s a good morning to crank up their Greatest Hits album. Neon Moon is one of the most atmospheric country songs ever recorded.

    The Revolve Church reminded me of a story my dad told. He was saved in 1968, and not long after that became the assistant pastor at a local Southern Baptist Church (not very big at all. Jeff, you might know where this is…it’s on Dayton-Xenia headed west from N. Fairfield, not far after you pass Busy Beaver). He and one of the other guys would go out on Friday night and find kids who were hanging around and say, “Hey, you wanna go to a party?” If the kids were bored enough, they’d all hop in their cars and follow them, and they’d lead them to the church, open up the basement, and preach at them for a while. O.o

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Betcha the kids didn’t fall for that twice.

    • One of my teachers used to say, “Don’t go to church to get something you can get with better quality elsewhere. If you’re going to go to church, go for what you can only get in a church.”

  11. Note to churches: Don’t try to make your church sound like an LMFAO song.

    (That said, I listened to a short part of a sermon. Not phenomenal, but I’ve heard far, far worse from the Osteen/Noble world. If bad gimmicks are their worst problem, it’s at least an easily correctable problem.)

  12. I actually like fashion. It’s a hobby of mine. But I don’t pretend that it really matters in the context of church, or that it’s something we should use to draw people into church.

    It’s perfectly fine for a pastor to like fashion, I don’t think it’s inherently worse than being a fan of fishing, golf, football, or whatever else pastors do. I just think Ed Young is a self-serving quack and don’t trust his motivations about anything.

  13. It seems that a day such as this in ramblin’s is a great time to ask a non spiritual question. It’s risky, but I ask in all sincerity (sp?): how do you Cub fans stay energetic year after year with the eternal hope of getting into the big one? You see, I am a Seattle Mariner fan and have the need how to stay attached to the hope of someday seeing something more than we we experience yearly. Maybe perhaps we can be the west coast version of Cubbie hope. Any insights – I know – what is this doing here????

    • If the Red Sox can do it, the Cubs can too, I suppose.

      (In 2004 I was hoping for a Red Sox – Cubs World Series.)

  14. Radagast says

    Being a big progressive rock fan (Tubular Bells kind of fell into this genre), I still associate this song more with the movie that scared the heck out of me at age 11 (my folks had no idea I watched it over a friend’s house)… The Excorcist…(Yes… its hard to believe that the Catholic Church was portrayed as a representative of good)….

  15. Richard McNeeley says

    Oh the horror forgetting Dwanyne Hickman’s, Rick Wakeman’s and George Strait’s birthdays.

  16. Happy birthday yesterday to Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. They played an amazing solo of his on the radio yesterday.

  17. I sense a Dan Brown novel hidden somewhere in that “murdered mobster” story. Can’t wait for the movie.

    And the Jesus popsicle doesn’t bother me …wondering if it’s made from old vine SIN-fandel??? Seems like it’d be a nice addition to the party menu down at the Revolve Church (which has nothing at all to do with whirling dervishes.)

  18. I was wondering when the ‘CHristian’ video games were going to start coming out.
    Maybe Mel Gibson can collaborate with Blizzard

  19. From the “Revolve” website under “Values”:
    “Numbers, numbers, and numbers – We will unapologetically be about the numbers. We believe that part of being a healthy organization is knowing when we are winning and when we are losing. We will use tracking metrics to measure effectiveness.”

    Well, nothing like truth in advertising.

    “We like to rock out – We place a disproportionate amount of time, energy and money on the weekend experience because we believe that it matters. It will be fun, it will be relevant, and it will be exciting!”

    …just like any other average day in the life of somebody following truly Jesus, right?

    Jeff, whenever you’re ready to throw in the towel with the Tulsa fundagelical scene, there’s always:
    check them out at:

    • Oh, I quit that scene a long time ago. I have no idea how to classify my church. Evangelical-leaning, yes, but not too many nut jobs running around. Oh, with the exception of yours truly, of course…

  20. “We are talking about a team that hasn’t been to the World Series since before World War I.”

    My wife (a baseball fanatic) insisted that I correct you on this. The Cubs *did* make it to a World Series in 1945. (They lost, of course…)