Are you dead or are you sleeping?

So much has happened. Becky and Adam's plane came in from CHI at about 11:15 pm so we left PHX then and didn't get back until 3:45 am Sunday morning. That made me tired. I have a new XBOX game called BurnOut 3 that I like a lot. That's nice.

Class is kind of boring. We are talking about predestination and human freedom. In the words of Kurt Cobain, "Who knows? Not me."

I am wondering if I should slow down my pursuit of God. Luther says that if you are stressed out in regards to your spirituality, it's because you are doing too much and not letting God doing enough. Or he said something like that. Maybe I should slow down with my thinking and just exist in God. I think that's always been my problem, though. I shouldn't be surprised. Mother would say something like this: "You just ask so many things. Why can't you just let things be?" And I would dislike her for saying so, but she'd have her truth.

Time for more web surfing. Maybe we'll get another dog.


Ice age heat wave can't complain

I'm in PHX right now. And still sick with something. Today I went through the Black Friday ads looking for something worth buying. I couldn't find anything. I wonder how much money advertisers have spent trying to convince me that I needed to buy something tomorrow. $12? $20? I wish they would have just sent it to me directly instead of trying to persuade me.

Speaking of which, the school gave every employee $500 as a bonus for this year. I'm grateful for that. Some old ladies in the meeting where they announced it were crying. As though it would save their life or something. I didn't cry.

Apparently I'm a little Holden Caufield right now.

I finished Stephen Prothero's American Jesus today. It made me think a lot about Christianity today and what it means to me. I started questioning my faith and how I knew I was right.

I assumed that since we don't know what's going to happen after we die, we can't use that as compelling evidence to me. I just won't be convinced by that. I need proof that any religion I select will be the best life here and now and that its precepts, if accepted by anyone, will make that person's life better too.

Any religion that has reincarnation built into it doesn't work for me, because it allows for a hierarchy of people. If I do bad things in this life, I will be reincarnated as something lesser, therefore in my next life I should be treated as something lesser. Therefore, because this life is someone's next life, they should be treated as something lesser. I think this is why the caste system works so well in a Hindu context: "those people deserve their treatment." That sucks if you're one of those people, so that religious system is out.

(Now I know that all of these arguments are far too simplistic and I'm pretty sure I started the inner monologue with my end outcome predetermined, but this is just the beginning of my rationale.)

(Also, this discussion is irrelevant to anyone who is postmodern. I, as I learned by the end of the conversation with myself, am a very modern thinker.)

Atheism (or humanism) doesn't work for me because it says that everything is left chance. Which is fine for some things (the scientific realm), but it doesn't do a lot for the non-scientific things (love, beauty, community, etc.) If those things are random, then all I'm left to pursue are my animalistic impulses. If I follow that rationale, I should only search out those things which further my cause and that sucks if you're not me because I'm a fairly selfish person. That religious system doesn't allow for equal treatment of everyone. I think that equal treatment is better than inequitable treatment, so atheism doesn't work for me.

I don't know enough about Islam's tenets to say if that would or wouldn't work for me. I have rhetoric I could repeat, but since it's only been gleaned from magazines, I can't say that I know enough about it.

That's all the further I got on my walk, so my thoughts tapered off. I hope it doesn't sound to argumentative, it's just how I processed things. I want to do what's right, and so far, it seems that following Christ is the way to do that. I'd like to learn more about other religions though, because I don't think God is offended when we look for Him.

Bye for now.


You can't always make it alone

I'm going to AZ for Thanksgiving. That's neat. And I'm sick. My head feels like it might just explode. That would be something I'd like to videotape. So long stinktown.


Tennessee, Tennesee

I talked with my friend Joy today about teaching English in a special education context. Very interesting. I'm not sure if it's something I could do, but I am kind of excited about the possibility. I've ordered several Nouwen books about his time in the L'Arche community in Canada and I think I'll see what he says about his experiences there. I'm no Nouwen, but I very much appreciate his humility and I envy it, too.

God is love.


Give me a kiss to build a dream on

We're talking about ministry in class tonight. Of course we are.

I talked with a guy named Tim today about teaching. He said that he's dropping out of the MACE program in December to start the credential program somewhere. I got excited talking to him about that, I guess because he was someone who was doing it. I don't know if it's what I want to do, but part of me thinks that because I'm young, I could try something like this and go for it. He seemed shocked that I had passed the CSET on the first try, and something inside of me thinks that I know the content well enough to teach high schoolers. Maybe we'll see.

Becky and Adam moved this weekend. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I actually had fun helping them, and now I'm really excited to have them so close. It should be fun. Maybe we'll see.

I've been fasting on Mondays still and I'm starting to enjoy it, kind of. Today's theme was learning to control my body, not the other way around. I'm starting to view my physical body as a tool for God, and that's cool for me. Maybe someday I can work that out some more.

Today in the cohort we listened to Rob Bell on some videoconference thing that was taped about four months ago. It was interesting and though I haven't been completely swept into the Rob Bell cult, I did think he had some good things to say. He talked a lot about the contextualization of the Bible and how it was a living book. Anyway, it made me think that I should incorporate true study into my Bible reading. I should look into the historical context and geographical context and other things. I think I'm going to make it official someday soon.

That's all. More later.


Wise men say, only fools rush in

This just in:

Finally, my worth can be seen.