Monthly Archives: November 2006

Christ, Ring-Giver Eternal

I took a Brit Lit class in the Fall of ’05 and actually, I immensely enjoyed it. In fact, I kid you not, the literature anthology from that class is the “textbook” I read the most among the ones that I kept after graduation. It’s taken up residence in/on my nightstand.

I really loved my professor’s treatment of the Beowulf epic; it really engaged me. I’ve read it again a couple times in the past year, just because the way he taught the poem just made it ‘click.’

So in my youth ministry job here Durango, I’ve recently begun to use Eugene Peterson‘s Bible paraphrase, The Message, more and more in trying to get my students to engage the Bible that King James may have made sound boring to them.

I read the Gospel of John this evening. Peterson’s take on the first chapter reads just like Beowulf! Mainly in its kennings and this dynamic between Christ and us that mirrors kings and their thanes. A couple Beowulf elements that weren’t present were alliteration, and heavy understatement, but oh well. Anyway, being stretched to see Christ as a ring-giver of sorts,seeing us as his loyal thanes… it was stirring.

1:5- “The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.”

1:16- “We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.”

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I redid my business card.

On the new layout, there’s space for a short, concise tagline that sums up my job. I feel like there are tons of cool ways to express what I do, and so I’m looking for feedback on which one you like:

  • not all the answers, but a lot of questions
  • exploring ancient faith in a postmodern way
  • seeking out grace, beauty, and love
  • acting in faith, hope, and love
  • “a new command i give to you: love.” -Jesus
  • reach. connect. grow. discover. worship.
  • hang out. talk. discover. believe. love.
  • seeking the truth that builds and frees.
  • be with students. show them God.

Or feel free to use this as springboards and suggest changes.

For any random readers that happen upon this post, I work for a church, in youth ministry.

Feedback, anyone? Thanks.


Hey everyone sorry to disappoint as far as not been blogging much… but I’m sure we’ve all got plenty of good reading to keep us busy.

Speaking of copious amounts of reading, I so can’t wait for seminary, if nothing else for the reading lists. Methinks I’ll emerge from seminary with a pretty cool beginning of a library. Actually having to write about it for a grade, well that’s another story. I don’t want to leave my job in Durango to complete my degree (I know… I just want the best of both the educational and career worlds…), so I think I’ll be shopping for well-respected distance learning programs.
In family matters, Nina’s grandma on her mom’s side, really the only one she was close to, died Monday. She’s back in Monterey right now. Everyone seems to be handling it pretty well and taking the celebration over mourning approach, but prayers for the family would be appreciated.

Meanwhile, it’s bachelor pad time again here in Durango. A lot of hanging out with my pets and knocking out to-do lists around the apartment, etc.


This week I finally voted on something of significance since putting the Governator in office back in 03 (just for poops and giggles).

I didn’t know a whole lot about candidates, because we didn’t get much print info, and the local TV station ran 90% New Mexico campaign ads. But I researched the Colorado Amendments and Referenda and cast my 2 cents on those: Continue reading


This is a sermon I had the privilege of sharing with my congregation today. The backwardness of Jesus, dare I say his unattractiveness, really intrigues me. Almost bugs me at times. So what do we do about it? Well, here are some thoughts to chew on…

Normally, I’m a pretty egalitarian person. I can’t stand arrogance. Nobody has the right to see themselves as more than a human. A sinful – although fearfully and wonderfully made – human. I find myself observing others and saying “Hey! Just who do you think you are?!?” People that have 17 items in the 10-or-less checkout lane at City Market. “Who do you think you are?!?” People going 45 or 50 miles an hour down North Main that recklessly cut me off, only to wind up right next to me at the great equalizer, the next red light. “Who do you think you are?!?” But I’m not completely consistent in this view. I defy my own norm when it comes to how I view leaders. I tend to put them on pedestals. I just started reading a biography on Thomas Jefferson. Oh my gosh! Let me tell you some of the cool stuff I’ve already picked up. We all know about his talents as architect, politician, farmer, etc. But in reading the biography, I learned about the rich tradition of surveying in the Jefferson family. His father, Peter, pretty much was responsible for drawing up the first accurate map of Virginia. Tom was so proud of Dad that he took up this skill-set at a young age. Later on in life, he ended up passing that knowledge on to his nephew, Meriwether Lewis… so we have Thomas Jefferson to thank for the Lewis & Clark expedition… how cool is Thomas Jefferson!

But see, there I go. I’ve put him on a pedestal. In reality, even Tom was a sinful – although fearfully and wonderfully made – human being. But he was a leader, so I end up concentrating on this, his insatiable thirst for knowledge, his political wisdom, his jack-of-all-trades arsenal of talents. I need my leaders to be these flawless, larger-than-life figures.

Can anybody here relate to that? Why do we do this? No doubt Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting fame helped them attain office. Ted Kennedy, like him or not, will stay in the Senate as long as he wants, because he’s a Kennedy; he hails from Camelot. Why was the “war hero” status of President Bush and Senator Kerry such a hot topic in the last election? Even Mother Teresa, as much as she probably wanted to, couldn’t stay out of the spotlight. Celebrity. Leaders. The words are inseparably linked. Why do we need our leaders to be strong, and on top of things? Continue reading