Showing posts from April, 2015

Just remember

Arguing that something is right or just because it is defended in a Supreme Court decision is specious logic.  The Supreme Court gets it wrong sometimes.  The same one that upheld the Affordable Care Act also decided for Citizens United.

Of course, being pro-life, I also firmly believe they got Roe v. Wade and some others wrong on that issue.  Dred Scott is the most famous "mistake," where slavery was more or less upheld.

They do not seem to be immune to the polarization in the country right now, either.

Also remember this is solely my opinion and not that of any group with which I am affiliated.  I have to cover my trail.  

Mindfulness, Thoughtfulness, and Spirit-fulness

Here is an excellent blog post on Christianity Today on the subject of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is, as she points out, a desirable thing in this insane, frenetic society, but I don't think Christians need to follow Buddhist teachings to get it.  The Christian tradition has much to say about awareness, meditation, etc., but it has a whole different meaning in Christian tradition than Eastern.  So it is unwise, and perhaps dangerous, in my thinking, to accept the mindfulness craze wholesale. 

But this morning I thought of how mindfulness, for a Christian, can be an exercise of the flesh, as opposed to using it in service of being open to the Holy Spirit and being a conduit of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, it seems that what people are looking for in mindfulness are the fruits of the Spirit, which do not come from the works of the flesh.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

One of my primarily thinking methods is to connect two seemingly disparate occurrences.  That happened in the last week.

The theatre students at my college produced Romeo and Juliet.  Although that is considered a standard play, the production of it is a mighty undertaking, considering our budget and limited theatrical space.  It was extremely well done.  Of course, there are many quoted lines from that play, but one of the most famous is the one in the title of this post.  "What's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  Since I don't always take Shakespeare at face value and believe there are deeper meanings (especially considering the debates that someone else wrote the plays--don't hate on me, it's just a fact that there is a disagreement--and that language and its power is what Shakespeare is all about), I question if we are supposed to take this line as what it appears to be saying.  If we called a rose a cabbage, would that change t…

Something That Resonates With Me

I like to listen to David Brooks, the columnist, on NPR, and he has written a new book on morality.  He said this on the radio tonight:

I'm a believer. I don't talk about my religious life in public in part because it's so shifting and green and vulnerable. And so I've spent a lot of time in this book — and if you care about morality and inner life and character, you spend your time reading a lot of theology because over the last hundreds of years it was theologians who were writing about this. Whether you're a believer or not, I think these books are very helpful. It's amazing to read [The Confessions of St. Augustine, about] a guy who got successful as a rhetorician but felt hollow inside; a guy who had a mom, Monica, who was the helicopter mom to beat all helicopter moms, and how he dealt with the conflict with such a demanding mother. And so I read a lot of theology — whether it's C.S. Lewis or Joseph Soloveitchik, a rabbi — and it's prod…

Hebrews 8

Have you ever heard the term trust markets?It was new to me.It’s like insurance, doctors, and college textbooks.
I was thinking this week how much our world is based on trust.At the same time our trust is eroding, as well as our common values and mutual respect, so we are afraid of lawsuits.We have a new employee at the college who is the OSHA director, which means every time we have any kind of function we have to fill out forms about where the food is coming from, who is cooking it, what’s in it, etc.What it shows to me is that in a way our society’s trust has eroded.
We can’t have trust without faithfulness.
What other types of agreements in our world require trust and faithfulness.
In chapter 8 the book of Hebrews is moving from a discussion of Jesus superiority in terms of the past legal system to his superiority in terms of our present relationship with him.The Old Covenant with Israel was perfect in terms of God’s part in it, but imperfect in terms of the Israelites (or anyo…

Angels and Campaigns

Apparently the mass, commercial media is trying to convince us that the social media is ablaze with talk about the I'm No Angel campaign by Lane Bryant.  Plus-size models are showing they are as sexy and beautiful as Victoria Secret's "angel" models. 

These are attractive models, and anything that diminishes the power of Victoria's Secret unrealism is ok with me.  But I can't say I am entirely comfortable with this "my plus sizeness is good."

Obesity is epidemic and I work at a college where a large proportion of the students are, well, large.  I myself am overweight but many of my female students are much heavier than me, who is 40 years older.  They can't walk up stairs and take the elevator.  They eat very unhealthily.  So what will happen in the future to them?  Does a campaign that affirms overweight beauty help anyone, really? 

I had a student give a speech on why she respected Marilyn Monroe, and it boiled down to the fact she was "f…

New Cartoon Idea

Due to a misunderstanding between a student and the BCM campus minister today, I came up with a new cartoon idea.

"Hipster Hamster:  Private I."

Just visualize.  He could wear big glasses that he doesn't need.  He could have gages in his ears, standing up rather than hanging down.  He could wear skinny jeans, although that would be hard on a hamster because they have such short legs.

He wouldn't be a detective.  He would just be really narcissistic and aloof.


Speaking of narcissism, two other professors and I were talking about how our students expect to have their "needs" met immediately, whether it is advising, a paper graded, or waited on.  Is this impatience or total self-centeredness?  On the other hand, it's not an age thing.  I know middle-aged people not much better. 

What is an EXPERT?

In a discussion group with our teaching and learning center, a faculty member asked this.  I may have brought up the subject using "air quotes" in reference to a speaker the campus had hosted.  But he asked, what makes a person an expert in teaching and learning?

Well, the same question occurred to me this morning when on the Christian radio station one of the hosts was touted as an "expert in marriage and family."  Who died and made this person an expert?

I was told one time that if you read three books on a subject, you are an expert.  That seems like a pretty low standard.  Can I just put out a shingle and say I am an expert in higher education, etc, now that I have a doctorate?  I don't feel like an expert.  I feel more aware of what I don't know.

We have an epidemic of experts, and I would like to see proof of it.  Education would be one, but outcomes might be another. 

Mr. Pip

Watched this last two nights on NetFlix.  (I rarely can watch a whole movie at once.)  Excellent, and highly recommended. A well-acted, beautifully photographed, thoughtful film about teaching, the power of literature (especially Dickens), crossing racial and cultural divides, courage, and friendship. The young actors are remarkable, and you will laugh and cry, be horrified and inspired.

My favorite scene is where Matilda's mother says, "I am God's witness" and pays with her life for standing up for truth, her community, and her child.  But there are many other heartbreaking ones.

Don't miss this one. 


Yesterday I posted on Facebook the title of the S.M. Lockridge sermon, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming."  Portions of it can be found on YouTube. Stirring.

Today is Saturday.  I have been a neglectful this Lenten season, having sacrificed the seasons of life to advancing my education.  That is coming to a close soon, and I look forward to a return, or really a moving forward to a reasonable pace of life.  It is hard to stop the frenzy, though. 

Saturday is that valley between tragedy and triumph. Alliteration can be cheesy and preachy, but it fits here.  It is the time of expecting and hope forus, but for the followers of Jesus it was the time of grief, too early to think of the future.  Too early to process, to reassess--and those are modern words forpeople who think we havethe future all wrapped up and in our control. In the world of his followers, where Rome ruled and held their fates politcally and economically, they could only sit in silence, go about the Pass…