This is part of our Lent series, “The Weeping Word“, where we look at different moments of crying, lament, and tears in the Scriptures.
To Timothy, my beloved child…
I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.
—2 Timothy 1.2-4
Next week is Holy Week, the high (or low?) point of Lent, leading to the crescendo of Easter. It will be a time of darkness, reflection, lament, and meditation. But we’re not there yet. Before the seriousness of Holy Week arrives, I thought I’d share with you a funny memory that’s connected to our Lent series on tears in the Bible.
I was sitting in the little campus ministry Bible Study my junior year of college. Our style of Bible Study was simply sitting down with an eloquent, wise, and gifted pastor, and then walking verse-by-verse through a given book of the Christian Scriptures.
Having just finished nearly a year in the book of Romans, we were just starting our next book: 2 Timothy. Many scholars believe it was Paul’s last letter he wrote before he died. And he wrote it to the man he mentored more than any other we know about: Timothy, a young elder at the church in Ephesus who was still struggling to get this little church plant off the ground.
We’ve had an intense week on the blog. It was my first week back to blogging each day. We talked about everything from engagements to suffering, from NSA surveillance to harshing everyone’s 4th of July buzz.
So let’s have some fun.
I fully believe that poetry is one of the most powerful forces in our world today. When engaged with fully, it can get around our normal defenses and speak to our souls like few other things can. (It could even convert you to Christianity.) I also try my hand at it time to time.
Anyway, I just wanted to give you all two unexpected places you can find amazing poetry to brighten up your Friday and send you into the weekend right.
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “The Sign Says” (okay, as of today, this technically last week’s theme). Anyway, the prompt was to post pictures of signs that we’ve taken and why we picked them. So here a few signs I’ve taken pictures of over the years. This post is just a fun one. Nothing profound here. Enjoy.
Now, even in spite of my coffee snobbery, I really do love Starbucks coffee and (some of) their espresso drinks. So this isn’t a knock on them–I just thought this sign was hilarious.
“Whisky, I find, helps clarity of thought. And reduces pain. It has the additional virtue of making you drunk or, if taken in sufficient quantity, very drunk.”
–from The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Haha. Love this.
Murse (n.): 1. a purse carried by a man. 2. used to describe a male handbag, or man-purse.
I’ve been a big fan of messenger bags, ever since college (my chiropractor can confirm this). From early on, these bags became known as my man-purses, or “murses”. After starting my new job, I decided to get a more “economical” bag off Ebay that ended up being a little more purse than man (see “before” picture above).
And then I went to Guatemala.
Prepare to have your day made. A friend on Facebook recently posted this link to the original movie website from the 1996 film Space Jam. It’s full of cheesy jokes, dated references, attempted slang “cool” talk, and some of the worst html website design I’ve ever seen. Oh, we’ve come so far in such little time.
In one of the posts in last year’s Advent series, I posed this question:
“Why [did Mary, Joseph, and Jesus] flee to Egypt? If they stayed and Herod killed the child Jesus, would that not still be Jesus, the Son of God–the Incarnate God–dying unjustly at the hands of a Roman provincial governor attempting to cement the reign of the powers and principalities of the world? Why go to all that effort to wait 30 years later for the same thing to happen on a cross?”
The answer we discussed was that Christ’s purpose for coming was much bigger than the cross. He did not come just so he could die. As St. Paul said, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of this Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Jesus couldn’t die when he was so young, because the benefits we receive from his Advent are not limited to his death, but also his life. We receive his life of lived-out righteousness as our own when we come to know him.
I thought about this yesterday when pondering stand-up comedy.
The blogging platform I use, WordPress, has a nifty feature where you can “find your friends” with blogs also on WordPress. I spent the other day doing this, and ended up really enjoying myself. It was like dropping into random time capsules here and there. I ran across blogs that many of my friends had begun, only to never write a single post. Then, some of them would come back months or years laters and express their desire to start back up again and…well…. just look at this example:
The other day, I wrote a pretty serious and in-depth post on the place of the darker things of this world in art, especially profanities. in the middle of the post, I put two rather intense videos as demonstrations of my point. They were both videos from films depicting serious husband/wife fighting. One was from Kirk Cameron’s “Christian” movie Fireproof, and the other was from the film Revolutionary Road, in which Leonardo diCaprio plays the husband. Adding to the irony, both of these movies came out in the same year.
It wasn’t until later that I was reminded by a friend that these two actually worked together early in their careers, on the TV Show Growing Pains. If you want some weird contrasts that can’t help but make you laugh pretty hard, feel free to re-watch the two clips below, as well as this clip of the two of these guys doing a scene from Growing Pains. In hindsight, it’s pretty hilarious.
I’m currently in Indiana for a wedding this weekend. While driving yesterday, I took a couple of pictures I wanted to share.*
There she is sleeping…
And there I am getting caught.
Have a good weekend.
*yes, I posted these on Facebook and Instagram, but I’m trying to use this blog more for short, personal things as well.
Posted from WordPress for Android on my Droid X
Believe it or not, there was a time that I did not have sweet dance moves like this and this.
This is the story about my first slow-dance.
Anyone that grew up in a middle-school setting where the seasons and holidays were marked by school dances knows that to “slow dance” was a rite-of-passage experienced by a precious few. Primarily reserved for nerdy kids that “dated” each other and the “cool kids” that hooked up and “dated” each other, the “slow dance” was a beast that eluded me for most all of my middle school career.
I had spent 6th- and 7th-grades going to most of the dances, but not actually dancing. While reveling in the glory of Third Eye Blind, NSync, Creed, Jewel, Boys II Men and Savage Garden, I’d hang out with my friends, “make fun of” (read: jealously wish I was part of) those that had someone to slow dance with, and join in the chorus of yelling middle-schoolers that would enthusiastically supply the edited-out curse word in “Pretty Fly for a White Guy“.
I was the quintessential “that guy” in those situations: an awkward wallflower, terrified of girls and wearing bad Christian t-shirts, who would (no joke) stand next to and carry on conversations with my slow-dancing friends–while they were slow dancing (once, a teacher had to tell me to give the dancing couple some space).
Yes, like I said, I was that guy.
As of this moment, I’m heading with the lady and some of her friends to the Poconos, which, contrary to what I believed prior to two days ago, are in fact mountains in Pennsylvania, and not beach-laden islands off the coast of Jersey.
I thought this. Seriously.
See you Monday.
This blog’s first-ever post was on December 6, 2004. As of today, seven-and-a-half years later, on May 1st, 2012, I have posted 500 posts. Out of the 86,400 visitors this site has had over those years, 1/3 of them have happened in this year alone, so I’m looking forward to this site’s continued maturation and growth. And it’s all because of you! Thank you all for reading, commenting, challenging, and encouraging me throughout the years. Here’s to 500 more!
Bonus life-changing video:
Update: I’ve written a comment below responding to some questions and clarifying my point a little. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
Am I missing something?
I consider myself a pretty respectful and courteous guy, especially to strangers and their businesses.
In my job, I find myself all over the city, and quite often in the lobbies of various doctors and city governmental agencies. Because I’m on the road, my phone is my main connection to the rest of the world (to varying degrees of success. To those that I’ve never returned your emails, I’m sorry, it’s easy for me to lose sight of things when I only have my phone to email with), so it runs out of battery pretty easily (I am, what the marketers call, a “power user”).
And so I try and plug in my phone wherever I can, whenever I can.