November 12, 2018

Mike Bell – Random Stream of Consciousness Edition

My mind has been all over the place this week. Rather than focus on any one thing that I have been thinking about, I thought I would briefly recount a number of ideas that have been percolating in my brain. Feel free to pick on whichever ones catch your fancy.

1. Hey, a new picture of me from two weeks ago (for those who have no idea what I look like). As to why that is relevant, well I have lost 25 pounds over the last three months, which has made hikes like this a little easier to do. The best part is, I can walk here from home in about an hour. For further relevance, see points 5 & 7 below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. This coming March 10th will mark the 10th Anniversary of Michael Spencer publishing these words in the Christian Science Monitor.

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity.

I think next January/February/March I will be taking a statistical look at his predictions. For those who don’t know how I got started writing at Internet Monk, it was as a result of responding to and supporting Michael’s posts. So my ten year anniversary is coming up soon too!

3. My mother, the computer whiz, at age 77 organized a digital scrapbooking conference this past weekend. It was a small conference but attendees came from across Canada and the United States. One lady had to leave early. Her synagogue had just been attacked in Pittsburgh. Our family is no stranger to terrorism, have felt the effect of it in Africa on a number of occasions. What was normal for us in Africa, now seems to be becoming the new normal in North America.

4. I never really “grokked” Eugene Peterson. There, I said it. Maybe because I was always more of a Martha than a Mary. Before throwing the daggers though, read the next point.

5. Eugene Peterson did not like “big church”. One of the things that I have appreciated about the megachurch that I attend is it finally allows me to “be” rather than “do”. I have one small responsibility once every three weeks, and for the first time in a long time I come home from church refreshed rather than drained. It may be time to revisit his “Contemplative Pastor”. This may make its way into a future post.

6. Being having some fun with genealogical research for the last while. I have been helping others find their families too. Ten years ago I realized that my great-grandmother was black. She was described as mulatto in a ship’s passenger list. Two weeks ago I had DNA results come in. Nope. I was wrong. A little more research and I found out that my Great-great-great-great grandfather was Italian and that was where the black hair and dark skin came from in the family. Having made that connection, I have found all kinds of new relatives.

7. Not coaching sports this year for the first time in nearly 20 years. Again, like number 5, really nice to have the break. I think that my daughter, who has won 16 national or provincial cycling titles, is also really appreciating not competing this year.

8. Leafs and Raptors baby! If you have to ask what that means we can’t be friends.

9. Dropped off of Facebook for a while. I hate what it has become. Can’t we just filter out posts mentioning Trump, whether from the left or the right?

10. The Toronto Blue Jays got a new manager this week. Charlie “Innings” Montoya. How long before someone writes:

My name is “Innings” Montoya. You killed that foul ball. Prepare to RBI.

There I just did. And if you need to ask about the quote? We can’t be friends.

There you have it. Go at it.

Comments

  1. senecagriggs says:

    Your daughter is a cyclist? Mike, with the loss of 25 superflous pounds; you might be able to draft her on a slow day.
    Me and my friends rode for years. We were F.O.M.Bi.C. [ Fat old men’s bicycling club ]. I’ve circled the globe about 3 times in mileage. It was all good.

  2. “Grok”

    I just finished re-reading Stranger In a Strange Land. Been more than several decades since I first read it.

    • I was just thinking about re-reading that book myself! I was telling acquaintances that the first time I read it was for the sex stuff…LOL.

      So it holds up, eh?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I was telling acquaintances that the first time I read it was for the sex stuff…LOL.

        1) That’s how Game of Thrones on HBO got such a following. They tuned in for “the sex stuff” and got hooked on the characters and story.

        2) Some years ago in SF litfandom, there was a sex cult called “Live the Dream” that used Stranger in the Strange Land as their Bible. It’s not just Furries that have pervs.

        3) Heinlien was One Weird Dude, especially in his later works. I think he had a conflict with Doc Smith (inventor of cosmic-level space opera and Navy CICs, who had a long-standing conventional marriage) over each other’s use (or non-use) of sexual themes.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        Somehow I made it out of youth without reading the book. It would have only been 20 – 25 years old then.

        I tried later in life, when the book would have been in its late 30s. It seemed very dated and a bit polemic; I did not make it all that far.

        I prefer by Sci-Fi and my Fantasy as discreet categories, while SinaSL is more of a mash-up. If mash-ups are more the person’s thing it might fare better for them at this stage.

      • Rick, holds up well enough for something first published in the early 60’s.

  3. Looks like maples on the Escarpment are in full color.

  4. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    > 3. What was normal for us in Africa, now seems to be becoming the new
    > normal in North America.

    Sad. We’ve had nothing violent here *yet*; but schools getting shutdown due to bomb threats has become a regular thing.

    > 4. I never really “grokked” Eugene Peterson.

    Ditto. I’ve always assumed it was because I was never a “pastor”. And I sorta transited through Evangelicalism, it never truly became My-Culture, which appears to have been a very different experience than many others who put down more roots there.

    > 5. Eugene Peterson did not like “big church”. One of the things that I
    > have appreciated about the megachurch that I attend is it

    I appreciate what it offered me when I was younger, where in gray haired Middle America it was difficult for anyone under 35 to feel at home in a smaller church where you’d always be the odd/token youngin. And if there was another youngin of the opposite gender it would be very wierd as all the olders observed you with the intensity of The Silent Wathcers of Minas Morgul.

    > 8. Leafs and Raptors baby!

    Hockey RULEZ!

    > 9. Dropped off of Facebook for a while. I hate what it has become.
    > Can’t we just filter out posts mentioning Trump, whether from the left
    > or the right?

    You can, I snooze those people. My feed is very friendly.

  5. Richard Hershberger says:

    “One of the things that I have appreciated about the megachurch that I attend is it finally allows me to “be” rather than “do”. ”

    I understand this, but if a small church has everyone working constantly, they are doing it wrong. They might be trying too hard to do everything a megachurch does. They might be trying to do everything they did thirty years ago. Either way, they need to assess what they can do, then do that well.

  6. 1. Congrats on the weight loss!

    2. I think I’ve been here a bit longer. I wonder if there’s a way to find someone’s first post for the date? By the way, this place has been a fresh oasis even for those who, like me, haven’t been damaged or in the wilderness.

    3. Nice that your mom organized an event like that.

    4. I’ve always liked Peterson and his “paraphrase” of the Bible. But it’s funny…now I’m finding parts where I think his Message translation misses the some subtle nuances.

    5. “Big church” does let you hide a bit, while “Small church” runs the danger of burn-out, but the latter tends to be more intimate and personal, helping it easier to develop those “relationship” things that seem to be important to Jesus.

    6. A friend at my church in his 70s got a genealogical test as a Christmas present almost two years ago. He discovered he had a full sibling in Hawaii (an accomplished artist, to boot) and a half-sister in California. He said, “So here I am in my 70s, thinking I’ve seen everything in life, then BOOM…NEW ADVENTURE!” His story is truly astounding, as he’s now met both these people several times. (He grew up in an orphanage.)

    7. Speaking of burn-out… coaching and sports. Yep, done a little of both.

    8. Leafs and Raptors. Here in Seattle we had our basketball team stolen away by Ok City and its scoundrel owners, but NHL expansion will soon be coming!!!

    9. FB is ugly for that, and some of my Christian friends are the worst. I just ignore reading/posting.

    10. Bravo! That’s a prime line right there, Michael!!

  7. Randy Thompson says:

    Michael’s “Christian Science Monitor” post was my introduction to the Internet Monk too, and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since.

  8. Sorry about what my Stars did to your Leafs last night but they were just returning the favor. You’re missing some significant fire power at the moment.

  9. #9 – Use Fluff busting Purity. You can filter on text and a whole lot more.

  10. Christiane says:

    ” 3. My mother, the computer whiz, at age 77 organized a digital scrapbooking conference this past weekend. It was a small conference but attendees came from across Canada and the United States. One lady had to leave early. Her synagogue had just been attacked in Pittsburgh.”

    how strangely our humanity is integrated . . . . . we are not so far from one another or from the difficulties of those brothers and sisters we shall never meet in this world

    older I get, the less I see ‘coincidental chance’ and the more I see of ‘Providence’ . . . . that people and events are not so unconnected after all

  11. I didn’t remember Spencer predicting the demise of Evangelicalism, but it has happened. It is on life support, but not even that. There’s no more life. It is Zombie support, a pretense of what Christianity stood for. An empty shell, a whitewashed tomb. The sad thing (as I just had a long conversation with an Evangelical) is that they don’t know it. They think the made-up world they are living in is real. But it is divorced from all curiosity about real truth. It is a world of oughts and predigested reality. Donald was only the usher, flashlight in hand, to help them find their way to the last show in the movie house. Mike was right.