Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
My journey through Romans has reinforced this so much over this past week:
So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" (8:12-15, MSG).It is so easy to get caught up in a grave-tending kind of life - a life of woe, a life of the flesh, a life of fear, a life of anxiety. Yet, in the midst of all of this God's Spirit beckons us to new adventures.
What's next, Papa?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
However, have you ever heard anyone talking about an Arby's Experience?
I mean, have you ever been in Arby's and heard:
Hey, man, that was the best roast beef sandwich.
Dude, isn't this radio station awesome?
Aren't these hard plastic chairs comfortable?
Well, last Monday, I pulled up to the Arby's drive-thru window in Lafayette while en route to class.
While I was rummaging for some change, I heard this voice, "Hey, how's it going? Isn't it beautiful out today?"
I was kind of taken aback and turned toward the window kind of dumbfounded. This was the most friendly fast food worker ever. He proceeded to carry on a quick conversation of which my responses were "Yeah," "Sure," "Yep" because I was still kind of shocked. After all this is not what fast food is about, is it? Don't you normally just pull up to a drive-thru window, pay, and get on your way? Yet, this brief exchange was so unusual, so different from all previous fast food experiences. This guy single-handedly created an Arby's Experience.
The reason this is particularly interesting to me is that this Arby's employee stepped out of the factory-like mentality of the typical fast food establishment. All of the sudden it wasn't just about producing sandwiches in the fastest way possible. So tomorrow night, I'm planning on conducting an experiment by going back to see if this place really is different. If so, I think it is safe to say that this particular Arby's is onto something different for the fast food industry. Sure, McDonald's can renovate all they want, but a conversation can go a long way, too.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jenn says, "Oh, I need you to pick up some leeks and chives after work."
I'm thinking, "Leeks, what the heck are leeks? Isn't leek something you have to take when the bladder is about to burst?"
"Oh, sure," I reply. "Just one problem, though, I'm not sure what a leek is."
We proceeded to look up leek on Wikipedia and I felt confident that I could find them in the produce section at Target.
So today after work, I set off on the mission for leeks and chives. At the produce section, I see these things labeled leeks. They are HUGE - much larger than I expected to see based on the picture.
I grab the leeks and chives and head up to the cash register.
The cashier asks, "What are these?"
I reply, "Don't worry, I had no idea either. They are leeks. My fiancee is making an Irish dinner for St. Patrick's Day."
The lady behind me comments, "Oh, we just go to the Irish pub."
I said, "My fiancee really enjoys cooking. I'm extremely thankful for that.."
They said that they would be, too!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Jenn is an artist in several areas. For obvious reasons, one of my favorite forms of her art is her cooking. When it comes to cooking and baking, she is a true artist.
How does she approach cooking?
Jenn peruses magazines and tunes into the food network. She even gleaned inspiration from Cook or Be Cooked for Wii. Jenn does the work necessary to learn different techniques and gain new ideas.
Most anyone can follow a recipe if they really try. (Okay, some people really cannot follow a recipe, and they should probably stay away from the kitchen. ) Jenn, however, makes nearly every recipe her own. Tonight, for example, she is making Shepherd's Pie. She was not pleased by the quantity of butter in the recipe and is going to try lowering it with some strategies. She is frequently modifying recipes to reduce calories and fat. (Of course, this is difficult with cookies!) Among other areas, she also experiments with color, texture, and seasoning.
Probably the most delightful thing about Jenn and her art is that she gives. Just this morning, she asked me to invite Troy over for dinner on Wednesday night. She invited her brother as well. When I went to Bremen a few weeks ago for work, she sent cookies for Mom and Dad.
So for my part, I do the dishes and step in on an as-needed basis to chop vegetables and help with cookies. Okay, she used my idea for pears in the salad this week, too! :)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
You see, on that particular run, I look up and saw a cross created by the two road signs, Mt. Cavalry and Winding. This intersection kind of summarizes life. Life is this kind of winding road with detours, country roads, potholes, and freeways. Eventually, though, the winding path comes to a place call Mt. Cavalry. And at this intersection is a cross. The key, though, is what happens after this encounter. A couple of options exist.
Turn around and go back.
Keep traveling along that Cavalry road.
Stay at the Cross.
Move on down a New Winding road with the confidence and freedom of new life.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Okay, the real reason for this post is to set up the next post. A few weeks ago, I was out running and came to an intersection. I have encountered this intersection several times but something struck me about it on that particular run. I looked at the road names and couldn't get a thought out my head. It was a thought for a picture. Last Friday, Jenn and I went on a walk and took the picture. The picture didn't end up being anything too special but it captured the point. More to follow.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Now, I'm not specifically talking about our current systems of laws. However, they probably in some ways help to understand the concepts shared by Andrew Farley in The Naked Gospel.
Instead, I'm talking about The Law of the Old Testament.
More specifically, as Farley writes, "performance hoops to jump through in order to impress God."
I can relate on a very personal level to what it is like living under The Law.
Sure, it is not a law written down in any ancient text. Rather, it is a self-imposed sort of law that was most prevalent in my early college years. It had to do with grades and performance. I still remember spending hours in the basement of the library (the dungeon as I thought of it) studying for tests, studying quizzes, studying, studying... Why? I was afraid of failure, afraid of losing scholarship money. And my sense of self-value was confined to academic performance. So after coming out of the dungeon, I would then wonder around campus knowing that something was not right but not able to understand what was wrong.
Only now, are the pieces starting to come together.
However, what is clear is that these types of laws - whether self-imposed or rooted in churches or other institutions - don't make much sense. What are some other vestiges of "law-mindedness?" Some things that come to mind are concerns over church attendance and belief that in order to get closer to God we need to do all kinds of activities.
None of this sounds like freedom.
It sounds like prison.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
He wrote, "I love entering a book store without a single plan or idea of what I am going to buy."
Several words came to mind when I read this statement.
I have often considered the different images of God... God in others, God in nature, God as teacher...
However, the different voices of God have never even been on the radar. Yet, why wouldn't God use a book to share something with us? Why wouldn't God use a gurgling stream or a buzzing wind mill turbine to offer some insights? I have always assumed that the voice of God had to sound like someone talking. Now, this narrow view sounds kind of confining, perhaps absurd.
Monday, March 1, 2010
As strange as it sounds, going to a bookstore has almost become a spiritual experience. Somehow, more often than not, a book just kind of jumps off the shelf. This day was no different. As I looked over titles, a book stood out from all of the rest:
The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley.
I mean who wouldn't be a least a little curious about a title that includes Naked and Gospel?
So I started reading and before long am already at page 55. Why? This is a book that makes so much sense to me. Because it makes so much sense, it is almost like speed reading. Pieces from my ongoing spiritual journey start to make more sense. Questions about what is going on in our world become a tiny bit more clear.
It even applied to a recent decision as related in a previous post.
It has to do with laws.
More specifically, The Law.
Well, time for work, but more to come.