October 22, 2020

Saturday Ramblings: Nov 1, 2014

1956-Rambler-Custom-Cross-Country-Station-WagonSATURDAY RAMBLINGS: November 1, 2014

Welcome to our new format for Saturday Ramblings. Bigger pictures, more quotes, fewer editorial comments so that you can respond to words directly from the horses’ mouths, a summary of the week that was and is from Chaplain Mike’s perspective — I hope you’ll find that it’s a veritable potpourri of enjoyment.

For those of you who might be new to Internet Monk, each Saturday we load up the family Rambler and head to the country where we can traipse down cyberspace trails together looking for interesting flora and fauna.

This was Jeff Dunn’s brilliant idea back when he was running the iMonastery. Each Saturday morning, he would sit out in the driveway behind the steering wheel of the Rambler, honking the horn until the rest of us stumbled out of the house and piled in, fighting over who got shotgun and the window seats. Sadly, Jeff has moved on, but we’ve tried our best to keep this family tradition alive week after week.

We’ve never had a contest to see how many folks we could fit in the old family truckster, but there’s always room for more and so we’re glad you’ve joined us. Feel free to play the license plate game or “I Spy” as we travel, but please don’t ask, “Are we there yet?”

If I hear that too many times, I swear I’ll turn this car right around and go home.

World Series - Kansas City Royals v San Francisco Giants - Game Five

I don’t know what it felt like watching [Christy] Mathewson pitch, but watching [Madison] Bumgarner is like feeling an expertly administered epidural nip in between a couple of vertebrae and deliver bliss: it’s a gliding, almost eventless slide through the innings, with accumulating fly-ball outs and low-count K’s marking the passing scenery. It’s twilight sleep; an Ambien catnap; an evening voyage on a Watteau barge. Bumgarner is composed out there, his expression mournful, almost apologetic, even while delivering his wide-wing, slinging stuff.

– Roger Angell in The New Yorker


When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining that God was a magician, with such a magic wand as to be able to do everything. However, it was not like that…And thus creation went forward for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia until it became what we know today, in fact because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who gives being to all entities.

The Big-Bang, that is placed today at the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine intervention but exacts it. The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.

– Pope Francis, quoted by Kara Gordon in The Atlantic


In our modern, Levittown neighborhoods, the houses are close together but the people are far apart. In fact, my neighbor’s home is a mere 18 feet from mine, yet it took three years for me to finally learn his name. And what did it take to bring us together? A couple of kids and some candy.

Halloween is the most welcoming night of the year; a night when the entire neighborhood opens their homes to one another; a night when I am received on my neighbor’s porch, and he on mine. And what is the church’s response?  We lock our doors, turn out the lights and, like Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch, make an annual fool of ourselves.

You want grace? You want salvation? You want some Skittles? You have to come to us and get it. Sadly, the church’s event-based strategy of evangelism has reinterpreted the Great Commission from “Go and Make” to “Come and Get”.  Drawing a crowd is the end that justifies our programmatic means.

– Gary Alan Taylor at Red Letter Christians


Last month two of my very good friends got engaged. It’s so fun to celebrate with them as they see the fulfillment of years of prayers being answered. I started thinking about all of the weddings I’ve attended since college and actually made a list. In the past 13 years, I’ve been to 32 weddings! You know what they say: 32 times a guest of the bride but never the bride … or something like that.

. . . As a wedding guest, we are more than just a friend who will buy the couple a wedding gift in exchange for a meal at the reception. We are a witness to a union that is holy and illustrates God’s relationship with us. We are agreeing, by our presence at the ceremony, that God has done a good work in bringing two people together, and we are offering our support to them in their marriage. And that is an honor. To share in that is a precious thing.

As I prepare to attend weddings No. 33 and No. 34, that’s my prayer. That I would see each wedding as a way to share in someone else’s joy, no matter how it affects me.

– Ashley Boyer at The Boundless Blog

Ballard Campus

Marking its own Reformation Day of sorts, Mars Hill Church will dissolve Mark Driscoll’s multisite network and let each of its remaining 13 churches go their own way.

Founded in 1996, the Seattle-based megachurch planted 15 satellite sites across five states, its passion for creating new churches further evidenced by Driscoll founding the Acts 29 network. By New Year’s Day, the multisite organization and the Mars Hill name will be no more.

“Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities,” Dave Bruskas, primary teaching pastor, announced today to the Mars Hill family. “This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams.”

– Morgan Lee in Christianity Today

• • •

Heard while rambling around this week . . .

almohlerYes, he really did say these things:

“I repent of denying that sexual orientation was legitimate.” 

“The divorce revolution has done far more damage to marriage than same-sex marriage will ever do.”

– Al Mohler, Southern Baptists’ Suprising Tones towards Sexuality

The week that was and is . . .

Looking back, this past week appears as a blur to me. I was on call and have been called out every night at least once to be with families who lost loved ones. My laptop computer hard drive died — I’m now on number four. We saw snow for the first time this fall in central Indiana. I listened to the seventh game of the World Series on the radio and heard Jon Miller call the final out and proclaim the Giants champs. The Cubs, on the other hand, felt it necessary to fire a good and gifted manager because another one became available. I hate “the business of sports” sometimes. I have a tire on my car that keeps slowly leaking air and I keep putting off getting it checked. But at least gas is under $3 a gallon. Despite trying to get in the habit of eating more healthily, when our local MacDonalds had their monthly $1 Big Mac day on Wednesday, I had two of them. I’m back to playing my guitar again, and I’ll be singing a solo in church this Sunday for the first time in a long time. It’s one of my favorite Sundays of the year, when we read the list of saints who’ve died this year, toll the bell, light candles, and sing “For All the Saints.” No matter what anyone tells you, Psalm 145:9 is the bottom line: The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.”

Don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight.


  1. Dan from Georgia says

    First. New format great. Congrats Giants, now a Dynasty. Break ’em up!

    • I remember when the owner broke up the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins. They played in a stadium with a corporate buy-in name, “Pro Player Stadium.” Afterward, with an immediately awful team, the fans in 1998 sarcastically re-named the stadium “Semi-Pro Player Stadium.” 🙂

  2. Big Macs for a buck!?

    There is a God.

  3. “Don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight.”

    As I am writing this it is still Friday night in California. Looking forward to another hour of sleep. Well, maybe not! I usually wake exactly 6 hours after hitting the sheets, so this means I’ll be up at 3:30 in the morning and then getting back in bed at *AM for a brief nap and then “second breakfast”!.

  4. David Cornwell says

    I watched every game of the World Series this year because I thought it had exciting possibilities. It did not disappoint. I rooted for the Royals because they had not been in the series for so many years, and I like the color blue. Nevertheless I had the feeling that in the end the Giants would be the winners. The game was encouraging to me because I have a worry that sometimes the fun and joy has left pro baseball. These guys, especially the Royals, helped alleviate some of that fear. As for Bumgarner: he never seems to tire or run down, and is such a total pro.

    I wish at least some of the games were played earlier. Games that go past 11 pm are awfully late for younger kids. I hope we are not losing them away from what I consider to be still the best of pro sports. But television rules.

  5. Re:Madison Bumgarner….in about the 8th inning of game 7, I texted my congratulations to a Giant-fan friend of mine. He said, “What are you talking about? I’m nervous…”

    I texted back, “You shouldn’t be. Bumgarner’s in there. He’s pitching lights-out. Game’s over.” The guy was remarkable. I liked Angell’s Christy Mathewson reference. I imagine that’s what some of those baseball legends were like.

    • I don’t follow baseball, but I imagine Bumgarner must be like Joe Montana — almost eerily unflappable, focused, and successful. A different species from most of the rest of us.

  6. Vega Magnus says

    Minnesota needs to bring Rick Renteria in for an interview. If any franchise needs new blood, it is the Twins. Paul Molitor probably will get the job instead though.

  7. I like Pope Francis’ take on creation. Think about what kind of process it took to create each of us, to create each of us who is currently reading these Saturday Ramblings. Your beginning started with Adam and Eve, and took generation after generation after generation of seemingly random marriages and relationships and pairings and couplings, some maybe done in love, some maybe in violence, some maybe with no feeling whatsoever. All of us who read this…took 6,000+ years for each of us to be formed exactly as we are today.

    • Yes, true.

      But that first moment of creation, of genesis, however long ago it occurred and whatever events have elapsed since then, did not take a long time: There was only God; then there was God and something else. Time could not have been involved in the creation, because time is part of what was created, so it could not have taken a long time, because it took no time. The same is true of the second creation: No number of events in time added up to the resurrection of Jesus; no natural process or history of human interactions produced the event of Jesus rising in new life from the dead womb of the old creation; it took no time, because it took time up into itself as part of a new genesis, and resurrected time just as it resurrected Jesus. I say it, but of course God did this all, apart from the constraints of time and space, and from within them as well, but not dependent on them.

      • Beautifully phrased, Robert.

        • Beautifully phrased, perhaps, but notice that I necessarily have to use metaphors involving time and space, even when explaining a genesis that I assert occurs outside time and space (there, I did it again). Fish in water can only speak based on their experience, though they may apprehend something more. Our metaphors can point beyond themselves in a meaningful way.

      • I wrote this…well, it looks like six years ago. I’m not saying it’s great poetry, but it might fit what you’re talking about Robert.


        Something from Nothing
        Rick Rosenkranz (2008)

        As I write in stream-of-consciousness about nothing,
        I begin to wonder if something can come out of my many pages
        Of mindless, never-ending run-on sentences.

        It forces me to think about my faith in God and Christ,
        For if something can come from nothing,
        Then perhaps the Big Bang Theory is valid;
        Perhaps a god wasn’t necessary to create life
        Out of the infinite nothingness of space.
        If something can come from nothing,
        Then maybe it’s possible that an enormous bunch of energy
        Somehow came together and exploded
        With such tremendous force that an immeasurable number
        Of stars, planets and galaxies were formed
        Across the universe’s black emptiness;
        Maybe we all did come from the primordial soup,
        And there is no heaven, no hell, no God who loves us,
        No Son who came to die for us.

        So as I write about nothing, something begins to take form
        In the form of a thought: that something can come from nothing,
        And that there is no God.

        As I write this something down,
        I begin to ponder the concept of “nothing,”
        To wonder if writing about nothing is really “nothing,”
        For unlike the vast expanse of pre-formed infinite space,
        In which many argue that a Big Something occurred and created everything,
        My writing about nothing actually contained something to begin with,
        For though it may say nothing and have no content, it does have form,
        As evidenced by ink on the page, and the ink is further evidence
        That someone wrote it, that it didn’t just get there by accident,
        Didn’t just form itself out of the white blankness of notebook paper,
        That there was thought behind the “nothingness,”
        And a hand that wrote it.

        So even as I begin to believe something can come from nothing,
        I’m led to believe that nothingness is never completely void,
        That maybe there is something there, always.
        A tiny spark, a piece of thought, a pen, a drop of ink.

        And if there is something in the nothingness all along,
        It gives me pause to wonder where that something came from.

        As I write in stream-of-consciousness about nothing,
        And wonder how something can exist in absolute nothing,
        Another thought forms in my mind, and it’s this:
        In the beginning was the Word,
        And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

        • Yes. Recently it has dawned on me that there is no such thing as empty space. Even the deepest, loneliest precincts of the cosmos must have at the very least energy, which is something, occupying them. In fact, along with my Buddhist friends, I believe that space can only exist where there is matter/energy to fill it.

          In the words of the Heart sutra:

          Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
          Emptiness is not separate from form, form is not separate from emptiness
          Whatever is form is emptiness, whatever is emptiness is form.

          Back when I was practicing Zen, I never really understood this sutra, though I pretended to. Now that I’m Christian, its truth has hit home, and I can affirm it unhesitatingly, and even joyfully. Thanks be to God.

  8. Re: dying laptop hard drives, get an SSD. No moving parts means MUCH better performance and durability. One of the best decisions I’ve made for the servers I manage, which have gone from losing a drive or two a month to month or having lost a single SSD in like three years!

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      And just schedule their replacement. A hard drive, or SSD, is good for 2, maybe 3, years. Then replace it; do not wait for it to fail. Then you can backup, swap, and restore at a convenient time in a controlled manner. This is hardware, bits of a machine, they wear and fail like any other bit of a machine.

      • Yes. Just do it.

        I have all my clients on a schedule to swap them out. Now that you can get a crucial 250GB refurb drive (with full warranty) for $85 and Samsung EVO 1TB drives are moving south of $400 a times it is really a no brainer. And in consumer priced drives I’d avoid anything but Crucial and Samsung EVO. The rest are not nearly as good.

  9. “Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities,”…

    Um, duh! You could have started that way from the beginning…like scripture and tradition teach…instead of building a house of cards on/around one celebrity individual…and saved the world this whole sorry episode which, at least initially, makes the name of Christ and His Church a laughingstock amongst the unbelievers – again.

    • “Autonomous self-governed entities” — not sure that always works out, either. A system of broader accountability might have prevented the whole Mars Hill fiasco early on.

      • David Cornwell says

        My thoughts exactly. “Autonomous,” to me, is a dangerous word to apply to Church.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        “Autonomous self-governed entities”, yea. Self Governed is an oxymoron. They needed a real org-chart, not a paper shredder.

        The question I pose is: how long will any of the ASGEs survive? Are they independently financially viable? Will they evolve real leadership structures in time, before they flail and in-fight into oblivion? Creating a viable organization is not accomplished at the stroke of a pen. To have all that infrastructure and overhead and just be launched out on your own with no history of self management, audits, or control? Typically that is not how you get to success.

        • If they were built on personality, they’ll die. If they were built on Christ, they’ll do okay. We’ll see rather quickly, I think, what the case turns out to be.

        • This. Also +1 to Rick Ro.

          It is one thing to plant a church. It is another to create a new church that is functioning like a satellite location or a franchise, to the point where you are beaming in a virtual image of parent church’s pastor.

          Then the Pastor leaves amidst scandal, AND the satellite churches are to cut free of the gravitational field of the planet they’ve been circling.

          If they do well, it’ll be a credit to the local leadership, the strength of community already cultivated in the local life of the churches, and the collective adaptability of the congregation. In other words, to the degree to which these churches are not really functioning like mere appendages to a “multi-site church.”

        • Faulty O-Ring says

          We’d have to know more about their cash flow.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      I confess to the sin of schadenfreude watching what is happening at Mars Hill.

    • IndianaMike says

      There have been churches around as “autonomous self-governed entities” for as long as the Church has existed. One can hope and pray that the individual locations of Mars Hill can become such as stable and healthy congregations.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities,”…

      Does this mean they’ll take down their giant Telescreens because Big Brother won’t bet beaming in his speeches every Sunday? Or will their now-automonous mini-Driscolls just use them for their own speeches and build their own empires? The King is no more; let the Game of Thrones begin.

    • Hmm…me-thinks autonomy isn’t the issue. My guess is many denominations function with similar control mechanisms. To me, the issue is that Mars Hill had become a “denomination” of sorts built not upon Christ, but upon the personality of Driscoll. We’ll see whether that’s the case, if any of these churches survive on their own.

  10. “The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” I have no problem with this statement. The Bible doesn’t say how old the earth is and so I typically steer as far clear of that debate as possible. But Pope Francis seems to be saying that a magician can do anything he wants but God cannot. To create the universe and all that exists in a short period of time with only the spoken word would take an omnipotent being – like a magician with a magic wand – and since God is not a magician it must have taken eons. Everyone is freaking out over the pope’s position on evolution, which frankly concerns me very little. It concerns me greatly that his god is too small and also that no one else has noticed.

    If God used evolutionary processes to create our world over a very long geologic timeframe so be it; but if he did so it’s not because he wasn’t powerful enough to do otherwise. That notion very clearly goes against what the Bible has to to say about God.

    • I think Pope Francis is saying that it’s not uncommon to view God as a magician, when a magician is defined as someone who can perform even impossible feats by an exercise of will, and that to view God in this way is in fact to supplant the real God with a fictive image of our own making. That’s not the same as saying that magicians are more powerful than God, because the implication of the Pope’s words is that, just as magicians do not really exist, neither does such a magician-like god.

      But it is hard to imagine a more “impossible” feat than God’s creation out of nothing of something that was not himself. This is exactly the illusion that stage magicians produce when pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In that case, the illusory wonder involved in being audience to such a magic trick is that, for a moment, ordinary cause and effect seem to have been suspended, and we are watching a mere man (or woman) appearing to do what only an omnipotent God can. When we think about magic and magicians in this way, it’s the creator God who forms the background for the concept, not the magician; this is why the Pope’s comment actually puts the cart before the horse.

      • The argument is really about what exactly God is capable of, what is a real possibility for God: Can God create a square circle? Can God create an immovable object that even he cannot move? etc. I accept the truth of biological evolution; I’m with the Pope on that. But if the point of the Pope’s comment is that Christianity is at all points harmonious with the findings of science, or that science always validates all essential Christian beliefs, I disagree. Neither God nor his direct acts can ever be the subject of objective scientific investigation, because neither God nor his direct acts are objects to be investigated, and it’s impossible for any human being, including scientists with whatever tools and methodologies they use, to make objective observations about God. This will always at some point in Christian theology introduce a note that is not commensurate with the objective of science to develop a grand unified field theory that explains everything.

        • Christiane says

          Hi ROBERT,

          I don’t think Francis intended to dichotomize the God Who created ‘ex nihilo’ and the God of the Natural World . . . for Francis they are the same God

          here are some Catholic reflections (‘Gaudium et Spes’)that help explain this relationship:
          “”…methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.
          The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”
          from ‘Gaudium et Spes’, a pastoral letter.

          I’m also fond of this quote:
          “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth”.

          ROBERT, it was the Ken Hams of Christianity who dichotomized the connection between Creation and Evolution, not the popes of our time . . .

          • The history of science shows that scientists override moral laws on a regular basis; then again, history shows that theologians and Christian leaders do the same.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Robert, I think the meaning here is that the discoveriesmof science do not override moral laws, but the application thereof can. Nothing immoral about suclear physics, but using nuclear weapons can be debated. Organic chemisty is amoral, but making certain frugs or poisons for nefarious use is immoral. Etc etc.

          • Klassie, I believe, however, that there are immoral, as well as amoral, forms of scientific research. Then there is the question about whether in analyzing phenomenon in the interest of scientific research a point is ultimately reached at which the integrity of the original phenomenon is destroyed, and what is being investigated actually is merely the phenomenal remains of the thing itself. For instance, as a matter of a theological principle, I reject the reduction of human personality to entirely non-personal components, no matter how methodologically correct and otherwise ethically careful the scientific procedure involved, because to my understanding human personality has been revealed to be axiomatic in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

  11. So good this morning. Look forward to it every week.

    How did you stop at 2?

  12. CM, your strongly worded criticism of those of us who don’t participate in Halloween, even when we have none religious reasons for it, seems harsh to me. Does Halloween, and specifically trick-or-treating, really perform such a feat of community building that non-participation warrants such strong criticism? I don’t see that it does.

    Our stoop light was not on this year, as in the previous few years. We have completely non-religious reasons (having to do with a very negative experience my wife had while offering treats to a group of trick-or-treaters at our door one year) for our non-participation.

    But I doubt that anyone even noticed our non-participation, because I heard no sound of children anywhere in the neighborhood between the hours of 6 and 8 (the only hours our town allows for trick-or-treating); in fact, even when we did participate, we’ve never had more than 10 or 15 trick-or-treaters. Our non-participation is a non-controversial non-event in our neighborhood, where many a porch light stays off at Halloween. Apparently, many people have many different reasons for opting out of Halloween.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      I’m not Mike, but I think you are misreading him. Your personal decision to opt out is just that: personal. When a church opts out on the grounds that they are good Christians, and good Christians don’t do Halloween, they are commenting on those of us who participate. Given that these churches tend not to be of the kumbaya multi-cultural live-and-let-live variety, but rather of the America-is-a-Christian-nation, with “Christian” defined by them, it is not a stretch to interpret their collective opting out as a statement of political intent: a declaration of what the rest of us should and should not be permitted to do.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > many people have many different reasons for opting out of Halloween

      I do not believe his criticism applies to you. Some places just do not have a trick-or-treat tradition [it is possible they never did].

      My neighborhood does not. For whatever reason it has never happened in the 16+ years I have owned this house. But otherwise there are children running all over and riding bikes; they come over to play with my dogs. But no trick-or-treaters.

      My *guess* is that this is just geography plus demographics. I am in the midwest – we have a good percentage of Evangelicals – so they are out [of pretty much everything]. Then you add in that the neighborhood, while in the middle of the city, is isolated – there is not far you can go in either direction without an interstate on one side or a gully/bluff on the other three boxing you in. That makes in a nice place to live but it would be a very short trick-or-treater route. Then people get into the habit of not having lights on because nobody every comes…. there you go.

      The website NextDoor did a nice app this year of providing a map where people could go on any click if they were or were not handing out treats. So trick-or-treater parents could take there kids to a neighborhood with a concentration of participants.

      • I think too many of you guys are just being a Grelber! I had soo much fun last night. Candy, friends, talking with neighbors ver toasting marshmellows,squeals of joy from little kids. Heck, I even met.Jack Skellington! Didn’t see and Satanists. No witches covens were visible. Great night! I will never condem anyone for doing what their heart or conscience tells them to do But, neither should I be condemned for what I do, unless it is a case of sin or blatant disobedience to Scripture Im sure that doing or not doing Halloween will not be one of the questions asked about when I stand before the Lord

        • Yes! And last night I saw middle-schoolers running around with costumes on! Yes, TEENS, still trying to act like kids!!!! (My daughter included!) It was wonderful!!!

          • Hey, Rick! I knew you were simpatico! (a little Spanish lingo). I wonder if anyone will get the “Grelber” reference?

    • If you go and read the whole article, you will see that it is a critique of the current trend to hold “Trunk or Treat” events at the church as an alternative to community trick-or-treating. He is criticizing a “Christian substitute” that takes away from relating to our neighbors in order to provide another church program.

      • I read it, but found it was overly broad. There is a place for Trunk or Treat setups that do serve a neighborly, community need.

        My sister’s family lives on a road that was built as a quiet rural road, two lanes, no sidewalks or shoulders, deep ditches to either side of the asphalt. Nowadays it is still all of those things except quiet! It is a serious connector between two very busy roads, and it is never really free of cars. There are houses all up and down the road, but no one would take their kids walking up and down it except under duress.

        The baptist church that ran a Trunk or Treat a few blocks down from her house is where all the kids and adults of that community that were desirous of participating ended up. It might have been programmatic, but it was the most neighborly thing they could have done.

        Moderation is key, of course. Some places don’t need a church parking lot donated to this cause, but some places do.

        • Agreed.

          But like most things in the evangelical world, once something like “Trunk or Treat” catches on, it becomes the divine plan incumbent on all who love the Lord, akin to God giving Moses the details of the tabernacle.

          • Dan from Georgia says

            I never heard of Trunk or Treat ’til I moved to GA from MN in 2009 (could be the oncoming brutal winter weather in Minny during late October?). Anyways, I have no problem with T or T, but like you said, when it becomes mandatory for Christian living, then it crosses the line. Kind of like when I was a kid, the homes of the Christian families were always dark and deserted Halloween night. I wondered as a kid what they were hiding from. Seriously.

  13. petrushka1611 says

    This is the quote from the article about Mars Hill that absolutely blew my mind:

    “Ultimately, the success of this plan, and the future viability of each of these new local churches,” wrote Bruskas, “rest solely on all of us continuing to be faithful in supporting Jesus’ mission through our attendance and continued giving.”

    That’s as man-centered as you can get. And here I thought Christ was the one that would build his church!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      That’s as man-centered as you can get. And here I thought Christ was the one that would build his church!

      Don’t Ask Political Questions, Comrade Petrushka.

    • That Other Jean says

      Maybe, but without people in attendance and their donations to the church, the Mars Hill spin-offs will fail. If the ministers and their congregations can create Christ-centered churches, maybe they’ll make it; if it all depended on Mark Driscoll, it’s done.

  14. Hey, Hug. Are you a Leninist? Stalinist? Maoist? Conrad Hugist? Hammer and Scickle!

  15. MadBum simply dealt. This was the first Series since 1972 that either team could have won the World Series on the last at-bat. Probably the most nail-biting game of my life.

    We lived in our current house for several years before finding out that a neighbor kid a few doors down was drafted by the Minnesota Twins and is pitching in their minor league system. How is THAT possible? 😉

    I hate setting clocks. I can never remember which ones have Daylight Saving built-in, which ones still have the old dates, which ones need to be re-booted for the new time to take effect (which you can’t do while sleeping). I guess I need to set a timer on my phone. Chaplain Mike, could you call me at 4:15am PST? I have to work tomorrow. 🙂

    • Dan from Georgia says

      Pitching for the Twins in their minor leagues? Huh, sounds like they are prepping him for a future in some other club (if you follow the Twins, you know what I mean…player gets good and the Twins ship him off to some other team and get nothing in return…ahem…Morneau, Santana, Garza, Ortiz, ahem…)

  16. Asinus Spinas Masticans says

    I felt bad about the writer who attended 34 weddings without a suitor on the horizon. She’s made out of pretty stern stuff. I wonder if she’d accept an Orthodox man. There are several in their mid 30s in our parish.

  17. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

    Southern Baptist myopia seems to continue unabated. I don’t suppose it has occurred to Mohler and Moore that they don’t have any moral credibility to make proclamations about sexual sin. As long as they continue to ignore child predation within the SBC (and by active pastors) while coddling men like Mahaney, they will not be taken seriously in their ethical pronouncements. Why they would schedule to ERLC conferences in a row on the topic of homosexuality while ignoring child abuse is open to interpretation, but it does smell of putrefaction.

    • They only care to be taken seriously by their adoring fans. The rest are likely not Christians and don’t matter.


  18. I was already with my cauldron of treats here! And …nothing. In the past we would have had at least a hundred kinder on a Friday night. I guess it was too cold and nasty. It snowed (of all things) and there was a frigid wind coming out of the north. We had maybe 20. Had I known, I would have given each of them their own sack!

  19. I gotta say I love that Rambler Cross Country. ’56 must have been a transition year for the company; some were call “Nash” CC’s, a few were “Hudson” CC’s. As a pre-schooler I remember my grandparents driving a late 40’s Nash like this one…