"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom?" –Marvin Martian

Jaredd was right

Read the book. More frustrated.

I have no bone to pick with any generation but I think the point of the tweet I shared was along the lines of “nothing has changed”. Same circus, different performers.

this and that

So as a stats teacher, I was thrilled to see that this list shows that stats continues to be one of the best jobs in America. I also found that an MDiv is one of the 10 worst degrees to get. Given how these 2 topics are juxtaposed in my life, I really chuckled.

I’ve recently discovered James K. A. Smith and am really enjoying Desiring Kingdom. Although if you’re at an evangelical church and are kind of frustrated with your lack of liturgy/attention to the church calendar, avoid this book unless you want to be more frustrated. I’m finding Smith’s thoughts to be an extended version of The Medium is the Message, as applied to the Christian walk. You are what you do. You can’t just dump 45 minutes in your head on Sunday and expect that to overwhelm all your actions the rest of the week. Refreshing ideas (for me to hear).

I’m noting an odd incongruity “out there”. Many of us came to BHT because we agreed with Michael’s critique of the current state of the evangelical church/circus. We think that many parts of evangelical church culture are broken/poorly done. But now there’s this backlash against millennials when they pick/start different churches based on their problems with evangelicals. I think it was Matthew who yesterday retweeted a criticism that millennials are just enacting consumerism when they pick a church that is has Y instead of X. And when I posted here about their desire for true community, I was quickly told that they don’t really want that.

It seems we’ve put millennials in a lose-lose situation. We’ve got a broken church culture and yet when they go try and make their own new church, we tell them they’re full of it.

Personally, I recently left evangelicalism and am super happy at a new church. We follow a 9-step liturgy every Sunday that includes Confession, Passing of the Peace and communion. And to beat it all, all 3 of my kids eagerly discuss the service every Sunday and learning and growing in bounds. The church is probably 60% to 70% millennials, so I’m thinking there are mentoring opportunities in my future. Plus the body is delightfully mixed in ethnicities, which for my neck of southern California is just awesome.

Ever watch the tv show, “Hoarders”?

Some examples include, “the trauma of dealing with Joanne’s hoarding was so bad for her daughter that she has developed post-traumatic stress disorder. After two divorces and experiencing the horror of assault, Kristy began shopping to escape her pain, but her hoarding drove her daughter out of the house and forced Child Protective Services to remove her son.”

And, “Anna tried to hide her hoarding from her family, but when her suspicious daughter snuck into the house to take pictures, Anna’s secret was finally exposed. Claire and Vance love to collect books, but they’ve overdone it–their house contains an astounding half-million books, and they even sleep in little burrows carved out of towers of their books.”

Another is, “Terry’s fridge is packed with dead cats, and she has another 50 live ones. Her son thinks her problems stem from the time her father died of a heart attack right in front of her she was just a small child.”

We are all hoarders. Every one of us. We may not hoard dead cats in our freezer, or bottles of human waste in our living rooms. I’ll tell you what we do hoard, we hoard pride in our lives, lust and greed in our hearts, wicked and perverse thoughts in our minds. As gross and morbid as hoarding dead cats in our freezer would be, our hoarding of sins in our hearts and minds even more so.

In every episode of hoarders, there is someone on the episode who is a specialist in junk removal. This persons or persons assists the hoarder in bagging up all the “HOARD” and provides dumpsters and a multiple person crew to clear the HOARD.

There is also on each episode, a psychologist or sociologist to analysis the “hoarder” with the family’s help to determine what factors or live events caused the “Hoarder” to begin his or her “HOARDING”. This person works with the “hoarder” and the family to counsel and encourage, with follow-up, etc. to make sure the “hoarder” can move on and be free from that which prompted the “hoarding” in the first place.

There has been provided for us someone who specializes in SPIRITUAL junk removal. There is also been provided for us someone who has not only analyzed our source of hoarding, but is there to provide constant follow-up (and continual) cleansing of our tendency to hoard “our SINS”.

Rev. 1:5-6 To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Romans 5:6-10 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Chaplain Mike put up a good conversation starter on the church and our place in it today, especially for those who are wandering. It’s odd to be in a place where I’m serving out of a sense of calling/giftedness/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, but where I choose to keep the institutionalization of it as far from me as possible. I want and need to be connected in faith to real people in my area, but at the same time, I reject everything about the culture of so-called leadership, growth, success, etc. that permeates so much of the American church experience.

The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Its ministers belong to Him. All things pertaining to following Jesus, from greatest to least, is to be built upon the truth that Jesus Christ is LORD over His church, as well as the entire world. It is by His Holy Spirit that He calls, equips, guides, rebukes, warns, encourages and strengthens His people (including ministers, elders, deacons, pastors, evangelists, teachers, etc.). The church is His. (I am paraphrasing NT Wright here).

A Note To Women

In a total change of pace, I thought I’d give a little relationship advice to our women readers. I know, I know, in the modern day and age, we’re supposed to recognize that no woman can ever be at fault for any misfortune in her own life, nor can she be expected to act in such a way as to avoid misfortune (modern feminism is the belief that women have zero agency whatsoever). It’s all the fault of the whitecisheteropatriarchy. But bear with me. Let’s just imagine that women have the ability to make choices that influence their own lives.

If you’re a normal woman, you probably like to give your man a little crap to see how he’ll respond or maybe get what you want. You know, you sort of act disinterested in him in order to see what he’ll do or maybe so he’ll do something nice for you in order to win your affection again. Or maybe you go a little more active and say something a little nasty, or denigrate the value of your relationship, or something along those lines. Or maybe you just like to act like you’ve always got something better to do than give any attention to your relationship. Whatever. This is normal. You like to give us crap, we like boobs. It’s give-and-take.

But ladies, I’m here to tell you that you can take it too far. The man in your life may actually become truly, deep in his soul, 100% convinced that you really don’t love him and in fact are completely incapable of love. If you push it to that point, it will be nearly impossible to win him back. When you treat someone who loves you like he’s an afterthought, it doesn’t make you funny, cute, or clever. It makes you stupid and cruel.

I’ve seen more than one marriage collapse in part because the wife took a strange satisfaction in making her husband grovel, and in every case, she was absolutely shocked and wept her eyes out when she pushed it too far and he left.

If you don’t want your husband to think you hate him, don’t treat him like you hate him.

You’re missing my point. I’m not talking about normal usage. I’m talking about people who leave their loaded, chambered gun in their purse within reach of their toddler.

Leaving aside the fact that many handguns can’t be “unchambered,” what *I* am talking about is the fact that such people are a statistically marginal minority, proportionately much smaller than people who don’t pay attention when they drive or leave unsecured household chemicals within reach of children.

And because this minority is so tiny, I really can’t be bothered to get exercised about it at all.

You’re missing my point. I’m not talking about normal usage. I’m talking about people who leave their loaded, chambered gun in their purse within reach of their toddler. (that was the context of my car analogy) I’m not anti-handgun. I’m not advocating banning handguns. Let me repeat myself since that’s what we’re doing. I’m anti-people who are so fearful (or stupid) they don’t take reasonable precautions and end up creating a hazard with the thing they think is keeping them safe. That includes people who keep a loaded rifle or shotgun in their house that are not behind lock and key. I’ve heard a woman talk about getting a gun for her nature walks because she’s worried about coyotes. I think fine, go take a hunter safety course, shoot about 200 rounds, and then go get a gun. And learn to recognize what a coyote looks like.

I think a closer analogy, would be for someone to leave a child in a car with the engine running and the transmission in drive.

No, that’s a terrible analogy. In normal usage, a carried firearm is safely tucked away and not doing anything. In normal usage, an automobile is hurtling down the road with enough kinetic energy to kill a large animal outright.

In physical terms, an automobile driver driving down the road is more analogous to someone walking down the road and firing a weapon every 30 seconds or so than to someone merely carrying a firearm.

Let’s repeat it once more:

150 million households with guns. 600 accidental gun deaths a year.
196 million drivers’ licenses in the USA. 33,000 accidental car deaths a year.

It’s pretty obvious from the facts that guns are not a big danger to Americans. By the way, about a hundred of those accidental gun deaths are hunting accidents. Perhaps it would make more sense to ban sport hunting than to take away people’s CCW permits. It’s pretty clear sport hunters are a safety menace, and besides, you can get your meat at the deli.