wheat logo thing
Thursday, October 30, 2003
I am deeply saddened by the death of Mike Yaconelli.
He was a wonderful man and somewhere in me I feel that good people like Mike deserve a better fate than this kind of death.
I will miss Mike and I believe in someway the world will miss him.

Please extend your prayer and support to Mike’s family, friends and organization.
More can be found at www.youthspecialties.com
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
So, I have a couple of developing thoughts and one well developed thought to share.

The developed one first. Is it not the case that we all know how to use voicemail now? When we call someone, we are no longer surprised by an answering machine or voicemail are we?
Of course not. Then why do so many people leave such explicit instructions on their outgoing message? The amount of time we spend waiting for people to tell us what to do after the tone is only rivaled by the instruction of how to put on a seatbelt in an airplane.
Just this morning I called someone who must use Sprint for their wireless service (because Sprint has this irritating “Press one to leave a message" command), the person began by assuring me that they were not dead or something, only unable to answer the phone at the time – which I already knew because it was their recording I was hearing and not them. That was followed by an expression of disappointment at having missed my call – I am not sure why the person is sorry to have missed a call they didn’t know was coming and had no idea what it was in reference to. Then I was told to leave my name, number and message and a promise to return my call. Which I didn't even want them to do, I was leaving information they had asked for on my voicemail. I yelped out-loud in my car – “I know how to do this!”. This was followed by the annoying Sprint lady telling me the routine again inlcuding pressing one - which nearly cause a car accident in my case.

My phone registered 1:14 of airtime used. All that time just being told how to leave a message. It is a good thing we don't do this same thing with that new fangled microwave gadget.

So, could we all try something like this:
“This is Doug, leave message”
Or for those of us with Sprint or others companies who make the caller press special buttons to leave a message (because heaven knows there are a lot of people who use the page function) “Press one to leave a message for Doug”

Now for Developing thought one.
I have been thinking about why it is so hard to talk within Christianity about life with Jesus that extends beyond belief in Jesus. I have a few thought on that, but one that struck me last week at the Emergent Gathering is the effect of the Christian Calendar. The Christian Calendar, for most people’s experience, is centered around the two big holidays – Christmas and Easter. The birth and death/resurrection of Jesus.
We end up putting church and cultural energy into celebrating and retelling the events of the birth and the end of life often skipping the life Jesus lived and called us to.
And on the birth of Jesus, we treat Jesus differently than other people by putting so much energy on the event of the birth, rather than the life lived. For our family and friends we rarely talk about the events of the birth of the person when we honor them on "their day". We talk about them and their life. Cripes, I am not even sure what hospital I was born in or who was around for my own birth let alone most of the people I know. Sure there are people who had special or traumatic births, but the mentioning of that is only a small part of the celebration in most cases.
But for Jesus it is a whole nother deal (minneasotan phrase there). we act as if the birth was the big thing. The birth had meaning in light of the life. But we have pageants and songs about the birth itself. I know the stuff about the Incarnation, but that is part of the problem - we think the birth stroy in is three of the Gopels (by the way John skipped it all together) to teach the incarnation. That is not why it was there. TheIncarnation was not even an issue at the time of the telling and writing of the story.
Any outsider to Christianity could hit the two big Christian holidays at a local church and end up believing in the virgin birth and the resurrection and have no contact with a call to a kingdom life. Maybe that is what has happened to so many of us – we are people who believe things about Jesus but have no idea how to live the life of the one we celebrate.
I do not say this only because I am a curmudgeon about Christmas, which I am, but I think the structure of the Church year being set around those events, and leaving most of the year as “regular time”, which really means waiting for the big holidays to come, has not and does not serve us well.

Now I can’t remember my third thought. Well it may come to me in the minute or two I will spend with each phone call being told how to leave a message.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
I have decided to go with a new format for my reinvigorated bogging effort. This was the best of the free ones on blogger, so it someone has a good template they would share I would appreciate it.

So, the Pagitt family has Lice!
I swear our life is sometimes like a never broadcast episode of the Brady Bunch.
Instead of Peter being allergic to Tiger, we all have lice.
Here we are in our unfinished kitchen searching Michon for lice, with our treatment caps on.