What I've Been Doing – 11.9.09

What I’ve Been Enjoying:

1. Our new baby Dylan. Susan is recovering well, her parents have been extremely helpful, and our one year old Nathan is enjoying being a big brother most of the time.  I won’t get into anything deep like the previous post (thansk for the loving words by the way) but I’m still pretty high on life right now.  My observations on Dylan so far are: 1. Light brown/reddish hair?  Holy recessive genes Batman, didn’t see that coming.  2. He doesn’t cry as much as the first one did (we still love you, just pointing out observations).  Seriously, though it’s only been 2 weeks (and too early to tell), Dylan seems to be a fairly peaceful kid.  3. He likes me.  Of course he loves Susan but everyone does.  And he has to love her, she feeds him.  The dad on the other hand, has always been optional.  If it weren’t for my athleticism (Nathan is mesmerized by how far I can throw those toy balls) and baby-bathing skills, I’m not sure if my relationship with Nathan would be as close as it is.  Dylan seems to be calmed by my voice and my charm.  So far, so good.

2. Yankees win the World Series!  What can I say – it’s a good year when your favorite baseball team wins the world series the week after a son is born.  Because I’m a good youth pastor, I cancelled sr. high youth group so that we could watch Game 6 together.  I’m so glad I did that.  Community is gained by going through storms together, studying Scripture, interceding for one another, serving on mission trips and cleaning up food pantries.  Community is also created in watching the Yanks bring home their 27th championship.

Got to enjoy the World Series parade too.  I went with my favorite student Jake ;-) and favorite church member, Dave. We made it to about 2-3 blocks from city hall and stopped to watch on this screen with a couple thousand people.  It was great to be out in the sunny, cool fall day with my fellow brothers and sisters in the Yankees.

What I’ve Been Reading –

For school –

– Religious No More by Mark Baker.  While I wasn’t crazy about the beginning of it, I loved the middle and conclusion.  We have book debates set up for class and my group has to defend the major themes of it.  It’s a good book to defend, I’m looking forward to it.

– A couple of commentaries on Galatians. One by Richard Hays (New Interpreters) and another by Martin Luther.  Hays isfantastic and I find it to be very helpful in seeing new things in Paul’s work and thought.  I am not enjoying Luther’s as much because for one, be raised an evangelical, I find it to be very familiar and two, he doesn’t really engage the text from a commentator’s perspective; he preaches it.  I don’t want sound trite in that and I regard Luther as an extremely important figure in the history of the church but his commentary isn’t as incredible ;-)

– The Justice Project edited by Brian McLaren.  It’s a book about condensing God’s goodness into a few basic sound bytes with Scripture verses, easy to memorize that sit on a train … and if you get stuck, you can consult your bracelet … oh wait, that’s how we have diluted the gospel and the ruined idea of evangelism.  I just started this book but I am among the many who see justice as an ignored or marginalized aspect in the mission of the church.  The Scriptures are very emphatic on the role that justice needs to play in the life of the believer.  Looking forward to reading and using the ideas of the book.  Lastly, I think our “evangelism” would make a bit more sense if the church was interested in pursuing justice.  More to say on that one day.

What I’ve Been Listening to:

– Homebrewed Christianity podcast with Harvey Cox and Phillip Clayton.  I need to listen to it again but what I heard I really liked.  Unfortunately I was listening at the gym and I found myself hating how fatigued I was started tuning out the stimulating conversation.  Soon after I started playing Coldplay (because it  just makes you feel better).

– Relevant Magazine Podcast – always excellent, always funny, and probably the best thing about Orlando.

– Mars Hill Audio Journal – Before there were podcasts, this was an audio journal hosted by Ken Myers (who used to work for NPR).  He interviews academics. It’s nerdy, it’s good, and it’s the closest I plan on getting to Stanley Fish and Scott Moore (not that there’s anything wrong with them). I listened to issue 97 and particularly enjoyed the interview with Scott Moore who talked about how our patriotism may conflict with our faith and with artist-writer Makoto Fujimura whose name comes up in countless conversations.

– New Sufjan Stevens – BQE.  Still need to see the documentary.  It’s a soundtrack (think symphony not Garden State) about a road (think the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, not the Parkway) by one of the most talented people of our era (think Sufjan, not Zach Braff ;-)

What I’ve Been Watching on Television – Now that the baseball season is over, it’s just football on Sundays and Mondays and Office and Community on Thursdays.  Don’t recommend any new shows for me, this will be a welcomed time until Lost begins.

What I’m Looking Forward to:

1. David Crowder Band concert at the Bowery Ballroom this week

2. Second Mile service.  It will be our second.  It will focus on the topic and holiday of Thanksgiving, suffering, community, and how does a Christian reconcile all of this. Can a Christian be thankful when so many are suffering?  How does a Christian be thankful if they are void of community?  And would Jesus have eaten turkey on the last Thursday of November?  If so, with who, where, and with or without gravy?These are important matters for an important time.

3. Seminary Retreat with Brian McLaren.  Reason no. 167 why you should consider attending Biblical Seminary

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