Page Tabs

Friday, October 29, 2010

Needs & Reminders

I have experienced the biggest case of procrastination and writer's block this past week. I am writing a paper on Paul's letter to the Philippian Church (modern day map), specifically on chapter 3, verses 12-16. It is actually a very difficult passage grammatically, and I am having a hard time getting all of my jumbled thoughts into any resemblance of written coherence.

Paul ties his main purpose, which is a call towards unity in the church, with themes of suffering, resurrection, and imitation, bound together in union with Christ. You see, the Philippian church in general, and a couple of the individual members in particular were experiencing some sort of discord and/or rivalry. And what Paul does in his letter, among other things, is call them back to their identity in Christ Jesus. Corporate and relational unity is rooted in the example we have in Christ's life, death, and resurrection (certainly Christ's life and work is much more than an example as He is our propitiation, but He also serves as an example to be imitated). We share those things with him; therefore, let us walk according to our identity...let us walk in unity having the same mind as Christ.

Now jumping back to my writer's block. My head is full of input but not much output, which is why my paper is actually late. It was due this afternoon. I am okay with it being lat. My prof is okay with it being late (and I'm okay with a potential mark down due to its lateness). However, I have not been okay the past several days with my anxious block. I am running to everything else to placate my anxiety: 1) my google reader because there is always some blog or article to read; 2) youtube videos because there are millions of videos to watch (because who doesn't need to spend time watching planes landing in horrific crosswinds?); 3) and compounding my anxiety, I think about everything else I need to get done before Thanksgiving.

Now I say all of this for my benefit and for transitioning to the video below. As I drove to campus this afternoon, this song was played on the radio. I have heard Need To Breathe before. I have even seen them live at the Handle Bar in Greenville, but I have never heard this song. It is called Lay 'Em Down.

It was refreshing to hear this reminder...that the Lord calls to every person...that He meets our every need. This is just what I needed be reminded. So, let's bring all our troubles and lay 'em down. Christ Jesus calls through His Word and by His Spirit; do we have ears to hear?

Today is like...

I took my wife to work this morning.  We were running a bit behind schedule so we decided to buy two biscuits from McDonald's.  Although they don't have the best breakfast stuff, it is okay. 

This morning I ordered a combo meal: black coffee, potato cake and a bacon/egg/cheese biscuit.  It is my usual.  Well, I didn't get my usual.  I randomly received an egg/sausage McGriddle (basically the biscuit replaced with two pancakes that have warm pockets of syrup inside).  I've never had one before because I've never wanted one before.  Sure the concept sounds appealing but throwing down 400+ calories and 1000+ mg of sodium in one sitting is not my idea of a balanced breakfast. 

However.  This morning I didn't even care that they got my order wrong.  I opened the wrapper, and without thinking, sunk my teeth into it.  Of course it was good; nevertheless, I still stand by my assessment that the concept is appealing......but it is always a bad idea.

So, if you ask me how my day is going, I would have to say that today is like that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Malcolm Gladwell's most recent essay "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted" is a social critique of social media.  He pulls no punches...well, he doesn't so much sucker punch social media with his bare-knuckles as he sharply wins the argument like a skilled fencer.

When you read his essay.....and you should read his essay.....then humor yourself (and me) by inserting the words found in the title as you read it (think 1960's Batman, the television show).

I find his running illustration of the Civil Rights movement (contrasted with the recent events in Iran) as a wonderful example of what he calls "strong ties" (versus "weak ties," which social media generally fosters).  He also has interesting observations regarding structures (hierarchy vs. networks) as they relate to activism.

I wonder if his essay is a timely piece to showcase the mystery of inertia, movements, fads, trends?  I wonder if there are books available to teach a person "how to" foster social media for their business or online persona (or people like me who are blogging about it), then is it likely the bus has moved on?  I wonder if there comes a point when the bus keeps moving and never slowing down or when there are too many bus stops and way too many people needing rides that it becomes an ineffective form of transportation?

Personally, I want to connect/build/cultivate/nurture relationships that are strong-ties––relationships that will inspire me to fight injustice and stand beside me when others want to spit in my face because I am sitting at their counter and are equally scared as me,  but their presence is enough encouragement to stay the course.  I want "strong-ties" to encourage me and stand beside me saying, "Play the man!" Likewise, I want to be like one who does that for those standing beside me.

On a related note:
Gladwell's essay reminds me of something else he has written: "The Power of Context: The Magic Number of 150" found in his book The Tipping Point.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Incomplete Thoughts.....or Thoughts Begun

I want to write more.  I really do.  However, I find myself thinking too much and scribbling notes (either in my Moleskine notebook or in Evernote).  I even have a category in my Evernote application called "incomplete thoughts" and my pocket notebook is full of them.

I wonder if my desire to write essays instead of blogs, articles instead of comments drives the gap between my will to write and what I accomplish to write.  What do I mean by that?  Writing an essay requires a well-defined, purposed and unpacked, completed thought.  I rarely have any of those.  Thus, my desire to write only grows....longings to contribute in the discourse of humanity; however, rarely do I pen anything.  For contribution to be weighed, something must be put on the scale.

Perhaps it is my incomplete thought vs. a thought only begun.  For now I am content with blogs and scribbles.