Showing posts from May, 2013

Lesson: The King Returns to Live with His People

I John 3:1-3.
I.  The Apostolic writers took the second coming, the "consummation," for granted.  The subject pops up everywhere in their writing, even when we wouldn't expect it.  They missed Jesus; they expected him back any minute.
A.  "when he is revealed" - interesting the John also wrote revelation.
1.  this phrase makes us understand that it is as if Jesus was masked in the incarnation and they only were allowed to see so much (except the three during the transfiguration), but in the end, we will have revealed to us the fullness of Jesus' character, of who he is. We get stuck on our  own personal version or vision of Jesus (see other post).
2.  We will "see him as is is, not was or will be, but is. 
B. As children of God, we live in a tension.
1.  in the world, but not known by it, not understood by it
2.  in the world in terms of responsibilities, but ot of it..
3.  already but not yet.
4.  knowing a little but not a whole lot.  We see through…

Liberalism fallen on hard times

Why does it seem that liberalism has become a personality cult around Barack Obama?

I am going to say something here that will be shocking.  Conservativism is the worship of dead liberals.  We like them because they are dead, and because their ideas have stood the test of time--but we wouldn't have liked them at the time.

Liberalism is an important tradition in our country's history.  Now, that kind of is an oxymoron (a liberal tradition), but liberalism in the late 1700s and early 1800s was important and we wouldn't be here without it.  Progressivism, on the other hand, is a different matter for a different post.  See Jonah Goldberg's book on that subject. 

But the liberalism of the early 1960s has fallen on hard times.  It is knee-jerk; it is both about more rights and fewer rights; it's about more government intrusion into our all parts of our lives except our genitals; it is fixated with defending Obama, no matter what he does; it lacks any kind of moral compas…

Post 1002: Something secular: Hunger Games

I finally watched THE HUNGER GAMES last night on Netflix.  I thought it was a pretty good adaptation of the book; all adaptations will leave some fans unhappy.  I'm not that addicted to the books, although I am reading the last one and have about 100 pages.

I had put off watching the movie because of the violence toward children.  It wasn't as bad as I expected; the children who did the killing were mostly adults anyway (and played by them).  The book and movie are not realism, but a type of science fiction, so judging it based on realism, or saying the acting wasn't realistic, seems kind of silly.  What matters to me here are the visual aspects and storytelling, which were satisfying.

I am not as into the third book because I think making Katniss a Terminator soldier is a bit much.  I am also not sure she is changing or developing.  Will Katniss be any different from the one on the first page of the first novel?  Interesting question to debate. 

Post 1001: Visions of Jesus

I'm blogging today, and I just finished my 1000th post.  This is 1001.  I'll do one more and take a break.  My husband is out of town and I have the house to myself, so it's quiet and I can read.  I should clean but reading is so much more appealing.

This post is about the group Red Letter Christians.  Well, not really.  It's about the our conceptions of Jesus.  We all have a mental picture of Jesus, whether we will admit to it or not, that comes most readily, perhaps first, to our minds when we hear the referent "Jesus."  Some see a baby or little boy.  This speaks to Jesus as incarnate, one of us (like a slob on a bus, as the song goes, pretty irreverently, but I imagine Jesus would have ridden a bus before a limousine or before buying a Mercedes or even a Honda Civic).  Some see him as healer and miracle worker.  Some see him as teacher, doing the Socratic thing with the twelve.  Some see him as "angry Jesus," which to me reflects that one views …


Speaker on the radio talking about her raging perfectionism got me thinking.   Are we really perfectionists?  No, we suffer from limited vision.  We are only perfectionists about what we see, can control.  If we were really perfectionists (and I'm not sure I fit that category anyway--my house doesn't reflect it, nor my office, nor my looks), we couldn't live in the world; we would have to be medicated or blindfolded or never be able to listen to the news or hear prayer requests.  The world is so broken, so in disarray (yet still so fascinating and wonderful, I have to add, still marked with the beauty of the original creation) that if we were perfectionists we would explode in an hour or less in trying to set it right.

I think what people call perfectionism is a mixture of control, pride, limited vision, legalism, fear, and lack of faith.  I think calling it perfectionism gives it dignity it doesn't deserve.  In regard to the first sentence in this paragraph, I am guil…

Adult Education and Spiritual Transformation

In the Ed.D. program I am pursuing, it is an interesting, sometimes baffling, mixture of touchy-feely procedures and hard core empiricism.  That is ultimately a good thing, although I have had some trouble fitting into both categories at once.  I can do positivistic social sciences thinking; that's what my first master's was immersed in.  I can do liberal arts, reflective, hermeneutical thinking; that's the second master's.  But doing them at the same time is another matter. 

Our goal is an action research project (dissertation), which I think it is fair to say we are struggling with.  I have sent a draft of the prospectus to my advisor, but I was dissatisfied with it as soon as I hit the SEND button.  How nice it would be to retrieve emails before they are read!  No such luck.

In class last Saturday we had a guest speaker, whom I will not name.  He was interesting, and I hope to read his book one day (it's not exactly a best seller on Amazon, but based on his pre…

Wanting, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" and the tension between wanting more experiences with God and not lacking.  Mark Galli writes in today's CT column:
I believe there is yet another reason we're fascinated with divine encounters: our boredom with the life God has given us. Instead of a life of experience, Christ calls us to a life of love. And a life of love for the most part means attending to the tedious details of others' lives, and serving them in sacrificial ways that most days feels, well, not exciting at all. Rather than sweeping the kitchen, cleaning the toilet, listening to the talkative and boring neighbor, slopping eggs onto a plate at the homeless shelter, or crunching numbers for another eight hours at the office—surely life is meant for more than this. We are tempted to wonder, Is that all there is to the "abundant" Christian life? Shouldn't my life be more adventurous if God is in me and all …

Song lyrics ad infinitum

Why do we remember song lyrics even when we haven't heard them that much and even when we don't want to?  Why can't I remember Hamlet's soliloquies the way I remember the words to "Gilligan's Island" or "Mr. Ed" theme songs?

Yesterday I turned on the local pbs station and heard a raspy voice singing the words to MacArthur Park--which I remembered! (at least the chorus). 
Spring was never waiting for us, girlIt ran one step aheadAs we followed in the dance
Between the parted pagesAnd were pressed in love's hot, fevered ironLike a striped pair of pants
MacArthur's Park is melting in the darkAll the sweet, green icing flowing downSomeone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it'Cause it took so long to bake itAnd I'll never have that recipe again, oh no
I recall the yellow cotton dressFoaming like a waveOn the ground around your kneesThe birds like tender babies in your handsAnd the old men playing checkers, by …


Yesterday I posted an entry about the Shepherd/sheep relationship portrayed in the Bible.  It got me thinking about wanting.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."  Or in Spanish, El Senor es mi pastor; no me faltara (accents missing).  The Spanish makes it clearer--I will not lack.  Nothing will lack to me, literally, although there really isn't an object grammatically.  I shall not want, not "I shall not want for food, for housing, for whatever."  I shall not lack. 

We not only don't lack; ideally, we are happy that we don't lack.

Contentment is something we Americans are, at best, ambivalent about.  The Christian and post-Christian thought in us says be content with the blessing you have, but our economic system says that contentment is a sin, in a sense.  It keeps us from buying, and we need buying to keep up our system--to ensure jobs, to see economic growth.  After 9/11 we were told the most patriotic thing to do was spend money, especially …

Recent Scandals

The Obama administration is (finally) having to answer questions about the IRS targetting conservatives, Benghazi, Justice Department peccadilloes, and other matters.

All I can say it, Keep it coming.

The more scandal prone they are, the less they can get done.

Obviously, not a fan. 

A key issue is the role of government.  We had a gentleman in our writers' group who defended government, since the U.S. government, in his life, had done much good--whipped the Depression, the Nazis, and the Japanese, built a great interstate system, helped the poor, brought (slowly) civil rights to African Americans.  I saw his point.  I am not one to say "Government is the problem."  Good government is a biblical mandate.  But the U.S. government, sometime in the '70s, way overreached, creating a dependent, stupid, sheeplike class.  Our only hope is to suffer and wake up through the suffering.  I have been pretty low-income and can give up a lot.

Armadillos in Catoosa County

A few years ago, a social work professor at my college was telling me that armadillos were coming into our region, a proof of global warming.  At the time I was skeptical about global warming, which is now called climate change, but that skepticism is, I must admit, slowly eroding.  I have lived a long time, in two distinct regions of the country, and in my life I have seen differences in "weather patterns" which I  know, I know, is not the same as climate.  What I see is more extreme weather more than continuously hot or cold weather.

This morning the temperature was 46 degrees.  It is beautiful outside for mid-May anywhere, especially here, because by now the the afternoons can be very hot.  It will be in the 80s today, maybe.  I am enjoying the cool spring, and we've had enough rain to protect against a drought, at least for a while.  I finally put in my garden, four rows of beans, six okra plants, four peppers, and four tomatoes.  My husband is putting in a storm doo…

Random Thoughts

When your friends' children are young and in elementary school, you get asked to buy candles and gifts for fundraisers.
When they get older, you get asked to sponsor them for mission trips.

I am always amazed by the search terms that lead to this blog.  The majority of them are about communication studies or Kallman's syndrome.  But one yesterday was about the execution of Barbara Graham in the gas chamber in California back in the '50s, about which a great movie, I Want to Live, was made with Susan Hayward (always played the tough chick).  My maiden name is Barbara Graham, hence the Barbara Graham Tucker.

When I am home during school breaks, and working at home, my husband turns on ESPN in the morning and I get to hear, at least twice, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bailess argue.  And argue.  And argue.  What is the draw with these two?  Why do they merit a TV show?  Do people just watch them to get angry and aggressive?  Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant........ ad inf…

Silver Linings Playbook

Because of my doctoral work, I have given off movies, but last week on a day of torrential rain, I went to see the above mentioned movie because, well, because it was only three dollars, I had finished a big project, I wanted to see Jennifer Lawrence in a different role from "Winter's Bone" (great movie) and I had heard it was good.

It is.  Mainly for me, it is an honest portrayal of bipolar disorder.  At one point the main character, Pat, says, "all my life I just whiteknuckled it, but now I know what's wrong."  I saw that with my husband.  Pat does so many things in this movie that I have watched and lived through that it was like watching my own life.  The movie walks the line between playing the mental illness for tears and playing it for laughs.  We are allowed to have empathy for the characters but also know we wouldn't want to live with them!  Of course, the characters look too good, but hey, it's Hollywood.  No ugly people allowed.  Yeah, th…

John Adams

A friend gave me the three-CD set of the HBO series, John Adams, a couple of months ago.  I finally was able last week to watch it.  It was phenomenal.  I learned--or relearned--so much, and was very moved by it.  I highly recommend it, but not all at one sitting.  Be prepared for the rawness of life in the late 1700s.

We have sanitized history so much that our first reaction to this story of our second president might cause one to respond with "they got this wrong" but David McCullough was in on the production to make sure all the facts were right.  Jefferson is more revolutionary than people think today (I knew he was), and Adams wants a strong federal government.  Hamilton wants an even stronger one and pushes Washington to get it.  Hamilton and Jefferson "intrigue," as Adams calls it, to get him elected and then unelected in 1800.  Abigail Adams is amazed that Washington serves only two terms "when he could have been president for life," signifying I …

The Shepherd-Sheep Relationship