Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Blog for Blogging's Sake!

My prayer journal and my blog are sitting untouched for several days. What have I been so busy doing? Well, for one, I've been building a fence in my backyard for our new puppy, Zack...

...and I've been fighting a sinus infection, which I think is finally clearing up. No pictures of that, sorry.

This Saturday is my daughter's first ballet recital. Tonight she has dress rehearsal and she is so excited. My wife has volunteered as a backstage mom, so I'm taking a "sit-in wife" with me to the performance. She's a good friend of ours from nearby Cairo (Georgia, not Egypt, though I consider South Georgia BFE).

I won't post any pictures of my daughters here, to protect their privacy, but any of my friends are welcome to e-mail me for copies. Well, except the one in my profile and it is really old. The girl in my arms is the future ballerina.

So that's my blog for this week, for blogging's sake!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Click to Fight Hunger Every Day

I recently discovered The Hunger Site, where you can click daily to fight hunger. Really, it's that simple. You can click from any computer once a day to provide food for hungry people around the globe. Sponsors of the site donate food in accordance with the number of individual clicks daily. So what are you waiting for?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Haircut Tuesday!

Well, it's not quite here, yet, but in less than 12 hours I get my hair cut! This week overdue appointment has me excited not just because I will shed close to one pound of hair, but because I get to see my good friend Katie who owns the salon. (Okay, I might have exaggerated on the amount of hair to be lost, but I digress).

Katie is a preacher's kid (PK) with a rapid-fire wit and a charming personality. I love talking to her about life. In fact, our most recent conversations have revolved around churches and why neither of us hangs out in them regularly.

You see, this PK grew tired of the overly sensitive, super spiritual, hypocritical church-goer at an early age. I share her lack of tolerance for such people, but I only came to my conclusions about them in my 30's.

Anyway, I've been gushing about all this emergent-type deconstructionist thinking I've been doing lately and she totally gets it. I guess co-owning and working in the city's trendiest and fastest growing salon helps one to remain more culturally aware and relevant. She has such a tender heart full of compassion for people who would never darken the door of a church.

Does she use her chair as a pulpit or soapbox? No. But she does have a keen ability to listen to and to sense when things are out of kilter with her clients. She doesn't always confront or even inquire, but she always listens and silently prays.

Katie is cool. And I can't wait to continue our discussion at the salon tomorrow. I'll get a chance to verbalize some of this rethinking of my faith and in the process get a really great haircut.

Oh, and by the way, one of Katie's stylists is featured on the upcoming season of MTV's Real World, filmed in Austin, Texas. Just watch for the skinny, shy girl from Tallahassee. She's one of this summer's house mates. Should be a hoot.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Living Water

This topic came up this week in one of the books I’m reading, Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton, and on a website I was perusing, Follow the Rabbi. The Jews believed “living water” came down from God in the form of rain or out of the ground as a flowing stream, so they would capture this watershed in pools near the Temple. The immersion pools, or milqvaoth, were meant to cleanse those who would enter the Temple. Bruce Chilton explains:

Everyone entering the Temple needed to bathe by immersion.
entire southern slope up to the Temple entrance was
developed with a system of canals, channels, and cisterns
(visible today as a result of excavation), so that all Temple-
goers might make themselves clean during this final ascent
into the presence of the Holy One of Israel (Rabbi Jesus, p. 27).

Against the backdrop of the Temple, the Good Shepherd promises to give living water to anyone who is thirsty and believes in him (John 7:37-38). The Jews around the Temple mount at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) would have understood this to symbolize ritual cleansing.

An article, titled “Joy of Living Water” at Follow the Rabbi, makes this point:

There was another special element to the celebration of Sukkot,
and it involved living water. Sukkot took place at the end of the
dry season. The rains needed to begin immediately to ensure a
harvest the following year. Thus the celebration of God's
harvest was coupled with fervent prayer for next year's rains.
It would seem from this perspective that Jesus was not only promising to cleanse, but that he was also promising water for regeneration, as in the rebirth of the crops. The online article goes on to say, “The importance of the Jewish background to Jesus' work cannot be exaggerated. It gave him the context he needed to make his teachings relevant, powerful, and practical.”

Relevant, powerful and practical both then and now.

Thank you Lord for the streams of living water making me grow like a tree and helping to produce fruit in season (Psalm 1:3).