Showing posts from September, 2011

Perverse Sense of Humor

I hate to admit it, but these comments on the People of Walmart website are just hilarious.

If I were to add one, it would be, "In Walmart, nobody knows you're a dog."

Trailer for Novel

 My first attempt at using MovieMaker!

What Fundamentalism didn't teach me

This an addendum to an earlier post.

It didn't teach me to love.

It didn't teach me humanity, and to deal with my humanity.  It didn't teach me to look for the humanity of Christ.  It didn't teach me to accept other people's humanity. 

It didn't teach me flexibility.

It didn't teach me to feel and be honest about what I feel.

It didn't teach me to relax.  Or have fun.

It didn't teach me that human beings matter even if they aren't of my faith, and that I can't define a person just by whether they are of my faith or not.


I have several copies of my novel that I will sell for $10.00 a piece, signed.  That is my cost.  I will mail them or deliver them. 

What do we call it? Words for Becoming a Christian

This is post 661.  Hummmmm. 

Recently in class a student said in a speech, "I got saved."  The student sitting in front of me whispered to another one, in my hearing, "What does that mean?

My point exactly. Let's talk about the ins and outs of what we call the experience.

Getting saved sounds country and doesn't really communicate. 

Accepting Christ as your savior is a little better, although some groups would say He already is the savior in a general sense, and they accept that, so what's the big deal.  Oh, change it to "accept Him as your personal Savior."  Then there is the problem of accepting.  Who is doing the accepting?  Isn't Jesus accepting us?  Who are we to accept Him?  The "he stands at the door and knocks" idea is from Revelation 3:20 and is in the context of the church as a whole, so does it apply to this experience?

Then there is "conversion."  If I say "I converted" it's very me-centered, and p…

What Fundamentalism Taught Me

I used to be a fundamentalist, or at least I belonged to a fundamentalist group.  I really don't know how much I was one.  In some ways I still am one, but I eschew such labels.  I am not fond of evangelical either, as it means something different here than it does in Europe, etc. 

And there are different types of fundamentalists, and I am not talking about Muslim or Hindu fundamentalists.  "Fundamentalists" was coined when two Los Angeles businessmen at the turn of the 19th century (or 20th, depending on one's perspective, I guess) financed the writing and production of tracts called "The Fundamentals" to battle the German-based liberalism floating into mainline churches.  The Fundamentals at that time were doctrinal, and nothing that any conservative Protestant would have trouble with:  inerrancy of Scripture, original sin, atonement by Christ on the cross, second coming, and a few others.  Then it all got mixed up with the dispensationalists and then wit…

Higher Education by Hacker and Dreifuss

Reading on a Beautiful Day

I am reading today.  What a blessing.  I am one of those people who believes, if Heaven is not a library itself, it has a really, really big one. 

But it's a beautiful day, and as Martin Buber wrote, we can al ways open the door and talk to people no matter how much we get involved in books.  So later I will enjoy it, but not to do yard work.  I did that all summer. 

I have posted about what I am reading on my other blog,

Life has been very busy.  Last week I spent the weekend with my Baptist Collegiate Ministries students at a conference in McDonough, Georgia, at a very large church.  It was an excellent conference.  Michael Kelley, whom I would recommend, was the speaker and DownHere was the band.  I give both 5 stars out of 5.  The theme was "where being human and being Christian meet."  That "collision" has plagued me for many years.  Sometimes the two just don't seem to fit.  But whose fault is that?  …

Traveling through: Reading Recommendation

I have been reluctant to push my writing.   But I have come to the conclusion I am a good writer.  A family member, bless her heart, said she liked my book better than The Help.   I don't put it in that category, but it's still a good read.  You can get it on Kindle for 7.89.

Dumb comment on art

A friend and I visited the Cheekwood Museum in Nashville last week.  Walking through, I heard a patron say,

"This can't be art because I don't understand it."

That is about the dumbest comment I have ever heard about art.  It is the same as saying, "This can't be art because I don't like it." 

Gumby robs store!

 SAN DIEGO (AP) — A person dressed as Gumby walked into a Southern California convenience store, claiming to have a gun and demanding money, but costume trouble and a skeptical clerk thwarted the would-be robber.

The caption to the picture for this story from the Associated Press said that police were looking for a suspect in a Gumby suit.  Seems like he would have taken it off pretty quickly.

Zookeeper and a Rainy Labor Day

After five weeks or more of intensely dry weather, we are getting torrential rains due to Hurricane Lee.  That means floods.  It also means Labor Day is a fizzle for many people.

Yesterday I spent a Sunday in an entirely different way.  My son and I were going to go to Atlanta, but I was not feeling up to it.  Something with my head, my stomach, and great fatigue.  Today I feel great, so it's done.  However, I gathered the strength for us to spend some time together in Chattanooga.  We went to the Chattanooga Market, which was crowded but I got some good bread from a bakery in Marietta, Bernhard's Bread Bakery LC, some lettuce from a local grower, and some cards from New Canaan Publishers (trying to support local businesses here).  Then we went to the Hunter, largely because it is free on the first Sunday of the month and because I expected to see some of my students there; I saw two.  Then we went to Mall and I bought rugs and we went to separate movies.

I saw Zookeeper.  Gre…

Click, by Ori and Rom Brafman

Just finished a book I picked up at the local library.  Ironically, the book made an instant connection with me and I picked it up, and the book is about instant connections between people!  It's called Click; these two brothers wrote another one, called Sway, which I will look for.  The book reminded me of Making it Stick, in the way it took complicated research and interpreted it.  Since I will be teaching a human communication course soon, I will consider the book for my reading list.  It's easy reading (I read it in one day and am not a fast reader) but thought-provoking.  I have long struggled personally and academically with the difference between propositional truth and experiential truth, and that is sort of the subject of this book.

Also on my reading list right now:
Academically Adrift by Arum and Roska (for a faculty learning community)
Developing Learner Centered Teaching by Blumberg (also for a faculty learning community)
Diary of a Country Priest
Higher Education by …


I visited an old colleague's blog today.  What I noted was that his was more whimsical.  By that I don't mean silly.  It was serious.  But it wasn't so opinionated as mine, not so dead-handed.

We could all use some whimsy.  I'm going to get off the computer and make fried okra and fried green tomatoes and brownies to go with the pinto beans and cornbread.  That's not so much whimsical as desirable. 

As my colleague, Jerry Drye, a humor scholar says, Laughter is a necessity, not a luxury.


A lot of advertisers talk about bundling nowadays; for example, cable packages.  I'd like to address a different type.

The gospel is a bundle.  It's not the cafeteria plan.  We don't get to take out pieces we don't like.  Now, that doesn't mean we all agree on everything in the gospel, or give everything equal emphasis.  But we don't get to discard parts.

Specifically, my friend and I were talking about another acquaintance who dismissed the second coming, rather offhandedly, but would still call himself/herself a Christian.  If Jesus came once, he's coming back.  Now, I would be the first to say I'm not tied to the rapture as it is currently taught, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in the second coming.  And it really doesn't matter if I believe it or not.  It's going to happen, and even more, it's part of the whole package. 

Restaurant Recommendation: O'Charley's

We don't go out to eat much.  We usually limit it to Cracker Barrel (excellent quality control--you always know what you are going to get), Ryans Buffet, or Fast Food (Arby's Market Fresh sandwiches, Chick-Fil-A--great company, Wendy's maybe).  I recently discovered Panda Express--good Chinese meal for a good price, looks clean and tastes fresh.  Portofino's in Chattanooga also gets a nod.  Chef Lin's in East Ridge also.

But the other day when my friend and I went to Nashville to visit the Cheekwood, we ate at an O'Charley's.  It had been a while since I'd been to one.  We both had the Calypso Spinach Salad.

It was excellent.  I am still tasting it, and I mean that in a good way.  The salad was a generous portion of fresh spinach, with sliced tart apples, craisins, bleu cheese, bacon, slices of chicken, and pecans.  Then what they called a honey-apple dressing, sort of a vinaigrette.  I totally recommend it. 

Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter by Lisa Patton

I met the author of this novel in April and found her to be a charming woman, even prettier than the picture on the back flap.  I would recommend this for a light and entertaining read.  She would be the first to say it's not great literature, but I did like the heroine and applauded her for her growing strength.  If anyone wants to borrow my book, they can.  The story is basically that a well-off, somewhat pampered and sometimes naive girl from Memphis agrees to follow her husband when he wants to buy and run a B & B with a four-star restaurant in Vermont.  She meets lots of interesting characters and has to learn how to stand on her own. 

Excellent Biblical Resources