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Tulsa Worshop Podcasts August 31, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, Podcasts, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

Wade Hodges just announced that the Tulsa Workshop sessions will be released one at a time on itunes in the form of podcasts.

He also gives us a looky-loo into the 2007 Tulsa Workshop.


Bastard Nation August 31, 2006

Posted by fajita in Adoption, Grad School Life.

So, as part of my life in doctoral studies I have to learn about the research projects I am joining. One of the projects I am joining studies adoption.

So, in order to become familiar with the project I am reading all kinds of scholarly journal articles. These articles are by nature informative and somewhat dry, full of stats, research methods and discussion of the results. I do not look to these articles for humor – WHATSOEVER.

Also, when I think of adoption advocates and researchers, I think of nice people with good attitudes – sophisticated and educated. So, imagine my surprise as I was reading an adoption journal article as I rode the 465u into town and found the words, “BASTARD NATION,” in the article. I laughed out loud. The picture in my head – geez.

I pictured this ripped jeans band of ruffians with baseball bats in hands with their leader, face full of scars, looking you dead in the eye and saying, “We’re Bastard Nation, got a problem with that?”

I apologize for my imagination, there is no excuse for it.

Bastard Nation (found appropriately at http://www.bastards.org/) is an actual advocacy group fighting for the rights of adoptees to open the adoption records. Their cause is legit.

Demoting Pluto is like… August 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in General, Pluto.

…cutting off your little toe

…having basic cable

…driving a 3 cylinder car

…writing a 25 page research paper and leaving off the bibliography

…jogging in slippers

…deep sea fishing with a zebco special

…gangsta rap with no f-words

…having a blog with stupids posts (uh-oh!)

…holding together 75 pieces of paper with one staple

…wordprocessing with Microsoft Works

Come on, give me a little help here!!!

I Want My Money Back August 28, 2006

Posted by fajita in General, John Mark Karr, JonBenet Ramsey.

John Mark Karr didn’t, as predicted by me, kill Jonbenet Ramsey. I should have blogged this, so you’ll just have to take my word on this. John Mark Karr wanted to get caught. This whole thing was his soul screaming through his dulled and numbed mind and heart and body. He’s been so disconnected from himself that he doesn’t differentiate physical experience from mental or emotional experience – or virtual experience for that matter.

When you’ve polluted yourself in sickening perversion, how do you dig out of it besides getting caught? Yes, God could have made an appearance and told him to stop, but that is not the usual path of God so far as I understand God. What might be more likely is that the spirit placed within this man made a desperate act in order to avoid complete suffocation.

He didn’t kill Jonbenet, but he’s not innocent. I very much hope for this man finds what he needs. I hope he sobers up and gets clean from his addiction. When I get past my disgust for what he does, I feel sorry for the guy.

Day 1 of Public Transit August 28, 2006

Posted by fajita in Grad School Life.

Feeling a little nervous I might miss the bus, I arrived at the Burnsville Public Transit Station early. I triple checked the number of my route to make sure I didn’t get on the wrong bus. 465u express. The route numbers are lit up in yellow on the front of the bus – can’t miss them. If you know your route number, you’re good to go.

Bus drivers don’t make change. It was good to know this in advance, so I came with my $2.75 counted out. Most people had a pass card that fit into a slot, made a beep, and then they were good to go. On my return trip, I will have one of those cards from the university.

The 7:05 am bus actually departed at 7:09 AM. The bus was about half full, which was nice because I didn’t have to sit next to someone. We entered the freeway at rush hour, so the very beginning of the ride was pretty slow going.

Minneapolis campus by 7:41? We’ll see.

The ride is bumpy and sometimes jerky. Never board a bus while needing to go to the bathroom. Too risky. Don’t think you can just hold it unless you have an iron sphincter. I boarded well refreshed – and empty.

The Metro bus system in the Twin Cities has its main metro busses serving Minneapolis and St. paul and maybe a few of the innder ring suburbs, but then the rest of the suburbs have their own busses that integrate into the Metro bus system. I am riding a Minnesota Valley Transit Authority bus. These busses serve the southern suburbs south of theMinnesota River (Burnsvilee, Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville and some others). They all go to the same places so I am not sure why there has to be all these different transit authorities.

The seat is surprisingly comfy. Not like a kid’s yellow school bus with the bouncy seat covered with green vinyl.

We’ve picked up some speed, but we are not in the commuter lane, which busses have a right to use. We just got passed by another MinnesotaValley bus. I wonder why we are not in the “fast” lane. Oh yes, we’re cruising now. Love it. I am typing and not driving. I am being transported, not transporting. This is terrific. I always drive no matter who is in the car with me.

Now we’re passing by my old church where I was a youth minister once upon a time.

The cost for the bus, even at the full rate of $2.75, is a steal. If I drove myself, one way would be at least a gallon of gas (optimistically).

What’s this, we’ve taken an exit and this is an “express” bus. This in an off ramp from the highway and here is a bus stop at the bottom of the ramp. Looks like we will go straight and enter right back on. I guess an express bus can make a stop or two. This explains why we were not in the commuter lane. We stopped and no one got on. Waste.

Anyway, the cost is a wash if gas stays at $2.75 a gallon. Oh, but then there is university parking $3.50 per day if I get lucky and $5.25 if I don’t, and then I’m walking 6 blocks. Not too bad unless it’s 20 below zero with wind. Nope, I’ll save the $3.50 a day, get dropped off right where I want to be by riding the bus. Furthermore, I get this sweet deal through the university for bussing and light rail transit. $62.00 a semester  gets me all the transit I can stand to anywhere in the Twin Cities. So, that’s about $15.00 per month making my daily commute round trip about 80 cents. In my car, 80  cents gets me about 10 miles down the road on gas, and that’s not including wear and tear. What a deal.

Lots of people sleeping on the bus. Lots of mp3 players. Not a single person talking. One guy is reading the newspaper. These are all university people in one way or another.

An automated sounding voice just said, “Lake Street.” I don’t know why besides the fact that the Lake Street exit is coming quickly.

We just passed my new church where I have no status and I like it that way.

We’re moving over to the right lane, which I guess means we’ll be at Lake Street soon.

Well, there goes the Lake Street exit and we didn’t leave the freeway. I guess that was my invitation to get off at Lake Street if I wanted to. We’re near downtown Minneapolis as the skyscrapers have come clearly into view.Minneapolis is a beautiful city. Oh look there is Sean Hannity on a billboard. Sorry, Sean, won’t be listening to your ranting today – or ever.

We’ve got 6 minutes to make it on time. Since there are no weather issues or crashes on the freeway, it’ll be close to see if we make it on time.

Just took the exit that gets us to the bridge that crosses the Mississippi to get us to the East Bank of the U of M. I just heard that same voice again, “Anderson hall.” It is the actual bus driver’s voice, but it sounds a little robotic. Someone pressed a button above her head which triggered a large red bar to light up in the front of the bus. That’s why we didn’t stop at Lake Street, no one pressed a button.

“Coffman Union,” says the robotic bus driver voice again. We all press a button.

7:39 AM. 2 minutes early. I guess skipping Lake Street made a difference.

In short, I am a fan of public transit after day 1.

Unchurched/Postchurched Christians August 27, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion.

It used to be that Christians went to chuch and non-religious people didn’t. Now that clear cut distinction cannot be made. There is a growing group of unchurched, or should I say post-churched, Christians. They haven’t lost their faith in Jesus, but they have lost their faith in church as we know it. Or maybe they have seen so little utility and mission that they no longer find it meaningful.

People are making a difference by exiting the church that they cannot change from within. This is a statistical fact.

What I want to do here in this post is to get some feedback about the postchurched Christian movement. Is this a problem? Is it a statement to the organizaed church? What does the organized church need to learn from this phenomenon?

Your thoughts?

Local Logic August 27, 2006

Posted by fajita in family.
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At the local home improvement store:

“Excuse me, can you tell me where the firewood is?”


Sure enough, it was in plumbing.

Flaming Pine Men’s Retreat August 26, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.

Minnesota Men’s Retreat. For more information, click here.

Christians, Not Consumers II August 25, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion.

I don’t put all of my religious eggs into the restoration movement, emerging church or any other basket. Anyone who does is a consumer or something worse. For any Christian, the eggs go into the Jesus basket. If it is not about following God in the way Jesus did (does), then it isn’t worth it.

Dwiggy was wondering in the comments section of my last post on this topic why changing churches means being a consumer. I thought that the question was really good and helps to deeper approach the topic of Chrisatian consumerism.

The central notion here cannot be the local congregation, but rather a person’s role in the larger story of God. That may or maynot mean sticking with the current local congregation or denomination for that matter.

This is a question of motives, not behavior. A person heading off to a new, relevant, postmodern engaging, hip church might be a consumer while someone sticking with his or her stuck in the mud denominational church might be very much in the center of what God has in mind. Behavior does not determine motive.

Certainly each context is highly influential upon individuals and families. Whatever context a person places himself or herself into also has  a set ot expectations and options that go along with it. So, choose your context and you choose the parameters of your available options. Choose your church and you chose your parameters – for the most part.

My point in all of the is that Christian people must not get infected with consumerism such that we make spiritual  and religious choices with a consumeristic mentality. Breaking free from consumerism as it relates to church, God, faith and so on is crucial. Consumerism must be the servant, not the master.

Shop for a car to get the best deal? Sure. Shop for a church to get the best services that make you feel happy? Better think about it. Buying the car might be about you (although I could argue that the other way as well), but church isn’t.

We must acknowledge the influence of consumerism upon us and how it affects our decision making processes and then we must be diligent to notice when these processes are out of place with the topic of decision making. We must find better reasons for making the decision we make than the base and mere “better mousetrap” mentality that consumerism reduces us to.

Fossen Update August 24, 2006

Posted by fajita in family.

Foseen has not had a seizure since my last post – not any real seizures anyway. You see, Fossen is a 6 year old boy with a sense of humor. He has faked a couple seizures since leaving the hospital. Needless to say when he fakes a seizure it isn’t funny to his parents. My brother figures that it is his way of gaining a sense of control over his situation. Fossen’s mom is not buying it.

He’s taken 4 rounds of meds and thusar, no problemo. Thanks for the prayers.