Monthly Archives: February 2007

I Know This Has Happened to You

I was standing in line yesterday at my favorite place in the whole wide world waiting to order my drink. A crowd of roughly six people stood before and behind, a fairly informal line for a very relaxed place.

A stressed and hurried woman walks up next to me–right next to me, invasion of personal space next to me–and barks out in a French accent, “There are two lines here? I see two registers. There are two lines.”

“Sometimes there are two, but there’s only one right now,” I said, noting that only one register was occupied by a staff member. She was still way too close to my left arm.

“No, there are two lines,” she said, shoving herself basically in front of me, apparently assuming that I would go to the the register on the right that did not have a staff member attending it.

In the midst of this power struggle some old dude in a strange hat shot in front of me from the right! I was all well and good with letting one pushy, obnoxious person go because, hey, she’s obviously stressed and in a hurry. Anyone who gets that worked up over the number of lines should either have some allowances given or be institutionalized. But this new wrinkle began to test the patience.

My mind began to race. I thought of speaking up. I thought of saying, “Look, I can’t let everybody run in front of me!” But then magic happened.

The man who ran in front of myself and the pushy woman was indecisive. He dropped the ball at the crucial moment and fumbled his order. He occupied the register on the left, the one chosen by the woman who bumped in front of me. At just this moment an employee opened up the register on the right, made eye contact with me, and took my order.

I had my drink and was on my way before the line jumping guy could say “Large caramel latte.”  

I take a few lessons from this. 1. Keep your mouth shut in these situations. Things will work out, and if they don’t work out, see point two. 2. It’s amazing what upsets people in day to day life. Petty, petty, petty.

We’ll see if my friends will stop by the cafe today for a rematch.

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Let’s Get Seriosity Over E-Mail?

I know that entrepreneurs will try just about anything, but this latest plan to combat “E-Mail Attention Deficit Disorder” just has “Dilbert Cartoon” written all over it. Scott Adams is probably licking his chops right now.

Maybe it’s a good idea. I just don’t see how any manager or executive can pitch it to the rank and file with a straight face. Maybe it would help if they gave employees new job titles to match: serf, elf, dwarf, wizard, etc. That will at least create the right mood.

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McKnight on Women in Ministry

It’s curious that the vast majority of the discussions regarding women in ministry do not spend more time on the Old Testament passages with women leaders. Scott McKnight listed these passages on his blog a few days ago: here.

233+ comments suggests that he’s struck on a very important topic . . .

Movie Night: The Illusionist

 The other night we watched The Illusionist. I have never heard of it, but was quickly drawn into the story and dazzled by the camera work.

Set in Austria in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, an illusionist wins a tremendous following because of his seemingly supernatural powers. When his childhood love is engaged to the crown price, he turns his powers toward reuniting with her and attacking the prince.

This movie truly has all that I could have asked. The filming is so good that we actually rewound some scenes just to appreciate how well they were done. The characters are developed and believable, the dialogue and action flow, and the ending was perfect. I’d say more, but then I’d be guilty of spoiling the whole thing.

I recommend renting it because it’s so much more than a movie. It’s a good story that is artfully crafted.

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Love the Idiots

Loving one’s enemies is a radical idea advocated by Jesus. There’s a sense to it though. You can’t very well make things better by hating them. If they intend to do you harm, there is nothing to be gained by fighting fire with fire.

Ghandi also said, “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind.”

So let’s lower the stakes a little here. What are we to do with idiots, jerks, fools, annoying people, the guy who cut you off in traffic, the lady who jumped in front of you in line, a vindictive co-worker, the landlord who ignores your maintenance requests, and so on? Since they’re not trying to kill us or ruin us, these people are freed up to receive mild hatred or plain old disdain. No harm done right?

I was snow shoeing this morning just stewing and stewing about someone who has done more than irk me lately. He wasn’t at enemy status, so I just had a little pity party for myself and vented angry thoughts in his direction. And–dang it–I felt very convicted. Hardly what should be coming from a follower of Jesus.

God wants his followers to be characterized by their love. I had to stop, turn from my sinful anger, and ask for his refreshing and renewal; the very thing promised by Peter in Acts 3.

3:19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out,
3:20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you – that is, Jesus.

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A Theology Worth Killing For

It’s been done before. It’s still done today. And still it seems odd to say that a theology is worth killing for.

I don’t hold this view, but the Sadducees and Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day thought in these terms. Jesus challenged their theology and their positions of religious authority, and so they had him executed. Then Peter and John healed a man and delivered a controversial sermon.

“While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, angry because they were teaching the people and announcing in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” Acts 4:1-2

Throughout history the church has notoriously slain theological dissidents, reformers, and traditionalists. And while Christianity is perhaps in a more docile period, some elements of Islam have picked up where the church left off.

All of this hints at a simple truth: theology is more important and dangerous than we usually think.

Some kill for it. Some die because of it. And so we know that a theology is not something to merely meddle with. Theology is life-changing and destiny-determining.

Of course we also need to lighten up. There is no ideology or system of thought that is worth killing for. In the case of theology I would say we shouldn’t even let it necessarily determine with whom we socialize. Nevertheless, theological beliefs are vitally important. They need to be taken seriously, evaluated, and modified with the greatest of care.

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My Solution to Tracking Theology Resources

I’ve been concentrating on finding good resources on theology, the emerging church, and mission. I even read some of them. But the my one frustration has been finding a good way to share them here on this blog.

I have been using del.icio.us to keep track of these articles and web sites in the form of bookmarks. My del.icio.us page has everything listed and categorized.

Perhaps the ideal would be if these bookmarks could appear on inamirrordimly as posts, but I have found a suitable compromise for now. I have added a new page called “Theology Resources.” On this page is my latest listing of theology resources.

One disclaimer, nay two. First of all, I was using del.icio.us for all of my bookmarks in the past. That is no longer the case. Secondly, I don’t always read everything from top to bottom, and simply “bookmarking” an article does not equal endorsement.

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