Archive for August, 2007

Gabe wrote a Modest Mouse review, way back in the days when WWDBtSES first came out, where he mentioned not being familiar enough with Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr’s previous work to pick out his impact on the Mouse. (Hey. lay off Gabe! This man teaches other people to write. Also, he is an internationally renowned published author. You pretty much better shut your mouth.)

Anyway, so this got me interested in whether I’d be able to pick Marr out of the pack, and on my early listens I really couldn’t. Ever since, I’ve been meaning to go back to the Smiths for a refresher course, and just this week I was able to make the comparison. Of course, it all comes flooding back, like riding a bicycle. Into a swimming pool. Marr’s mark is all over WWDBtSES, that high, effortless, trancy current, that taut, crunchy siren wail, those sweet afterthoughtul rhythms. Of course, it could just be other people who play like Marr did. There’s no telling. I’m a fanatic, but no connoisseur. (more…)


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A moment of joy for those of you who are more behind than I am: Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Teen Bless Her Sweet Heart. [Youtube]

Oh, to have rehearsed and rehearsed, and then it just doesn’t quite come out like you’d hoped. I know just how she feels. Except for the part about having just been seen in your swimsuit by millions of people. HT to MW, who posted this to facebook, and another to Mark Elrod’s Lame-O Weblog, a little corner of the S-C web that makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. He’s got a priceless line about Gonzales’ resignation.

One more thing (HT with a deep bow Wes): Zotero is totally changing my life. (more…)

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Of course, from the perspective of many (and maybe Time), Mother Theresa’s “crisis of faith” puts into great question the legitimacy of her confession of belief. It doesn’t seem to be knocking her out of the running for canonization (at least as far as I know), and that is due to her participation in a tradition full of the desperate prayers of lonely saints, that has deeply internalized the cry of Christ from the cross.

What strikes me about this story is how I am so comfortable with my own dark night of the will, of the body; times when I am confident of God’s presence, but immobile in acting on God’s behalf. Few but the prophets are willing to say that such a state might indicate a crisis of faith.

(I guess I could have just tacked the previous post onto the end of this one – there is something to this like dance music for people who don’t intend to dance.)

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This was a great line in the iTunes review for John Vanderslice’s Emerald City:

His arrangements are artier and difficult, suggesting dance music for people who have no intention of dancing.

That’s pretty much me.

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I was listening to an excerpt from Watchman Nee’s Release of the Spirit, from Christianaudio’s Devotional Classics podcast, and Nee said something like, “God will not deliver us from the dishes. He will only deliver us from our response to the dishes.”

And the disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

. . .

I don’t have time to write a Things I Don’t Have Time to Write About, but let me highly recommend to you: Over the Rhine’s The Trumpet Child (“the trumpet child will blow his horn/ Will blast the sky till its reborn”); Galactic’s From the Corner to the Block; and The Bible Podcast. No commentary, no mish mash, lollygagging or white noise, just a chapter a day with a fantastic intro & outro theme.

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Read the truth in the words of eternal life. Pray, watch, and be detached from yourself. Love God with a generous love; let that which was created only for him belong only to him. Expect all things from him without neglecting yourself, that you may be faithful to his gifts.

Fenelon, Talking with God, trans. Hal M. Helms (1997).

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PreacherMike quoted Shane Claiborne (no, I haven’t read it yet) recently, “I once heard a pastor say, ‘The church is like Noah’s ark. It stinks, but if you get out of it, you’ll drown.'” It’s a nicer way of expressing one of my favorite ecclesiological maxims, which may or may not be Augustine, “She’s a whore, but she’s your mother.”

I’ve been absorbing Claiborne through the ether for so long that I don’t feel as pressed to get reading. But I was interested to hear about his high view of belonging to church – to a church, not just the church. Makes him even more truly “new monastic” than I thought.

I’ve been thinking about this issue a bit preparing for a new role ministering in a Christian university setting. I see the value of the role clearly, but also see that a chaplaincy is more triage than caravan travel. I know that the institution I work for is not the ark, and as much good as it does, no one can be immersed into new life in its name. The good work done in this setting in the name of God’s love must also welcome people into belonging, growing, and giving to the (a) body of Christ.

Any discernment on this is welcome. 🙂

(HT PreacherMike)

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