Of Rodents, Books, Aretha and Angina

What do these seemingly unrelated things have in common?
They are all things that have caused me to re-evaluate my thinking recently.

This is actually a good thing, in that one must periodically self-assess, and if necessary, course correct. Far too few people do this, and I am sure this is one of the reasons that we are in the place we are as a society today.

First off, the

Rodents.

Even as I type right now, I hear them running on the ‘Silent’ exercise wheel, which is of course supposed to be impossible because if it’s silent you shouldn’t be able to hear it, right?

Anyway, last week one of them, (the docile one) got out of the cage, and spent the night on the outside. Thankfully she didn’t get caught in any of the traps that I had set out for the illegal immigrants (see the 4/29 blog) and my wife was able to catch and recage her the next day. What was poignant about it was my daughter’s reaction. She was depressed all day because she was worried about the thing… It made me realize with all the more clarity just how deep and strong an emotion compassion really is, and how little of it adults seem to have. How little of it there seems to be in our society today. Is compassion tied to innocence? Does it decrease in a measure proportionate with/to the loss of innocence? The adolescent violent crime rate would seem to support this.

Angina

When I starting having gas all the time, I didn’t think much of it. I quit caffeine and red meat in April for my birthday, so I was adjusting anyway, or so I thought.

But it got worse even when I hadn’t eaten. Finally I went to the doctor, and he, after a thorough exam, pronounces that I have angina and possible heart disease. We will see just what and how severe after a nuclear (Nuke-U-ler, as our President says) stress test.

Needless to say I freaked out and since then have been living with a constant, creeping fear. I am fighting it, but it has kept me up at night. I pray, I cry, I wonder and I worry, all in various amounts and at sundry times. I need peace.

I believe that my life is not yet over and that I am supposed to do something significant and lasting, so I am not planning on passing away any time soon.

But what does it say about me right now?

Proverbs 24:10 says ‘If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small’

I am not planning on fainting…

Books

At the moment, I am reading four books, (in various fits and starts, as my whims and time permit)

Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church by Mark DeYmaz,

Calvin for Armchair Theologians by Christopher Elwood,

Christianity on Trial: African-American religious thought before and after black power, by Mark L. Chapman and

Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism by George M. Marsden

and taking an online class (‘Christology’ taught by Dr. David Hocking via the Blue Letter Bible Institute). What I am learning from the books I am reading is that I have been on to something as far as the thoughts I have had. I am not nearly as radical as I may have thought, and it is a welcoming revelation.

The books are helping to consolidate my thoughts about my main positions re: ‘the church’:

The church in America is so profoundly broken that it will take a major overhaul to fix it, and the only that will work is if we cross socio-economic and ethnic lines, and truly embrace the vision of Christ for a unified body. Most surprisingly, I am discovering that at this precise moment,

The church in America is just as it was 100 years ago, only the names have changed.

The class is reaffirming and strengthening my resolve to fight the good fight of faith even against those in ‘the church’ who are preaching an extra-biblical Christ, and a perverted gospel. The truth will prevail, and as I reminded my house church family last week,

WE are the standard that the Lord raises up when the enemy comes in like a flood..

Aretha

Why is the queen of soul on this list? Because I saw a picture of her today, that made stare with the kind of ‘train wreck’ observer’s fascination. A friend who is a big Aretha fan, upon seeing the same amazing photo, remarked

“I don’t know what to say, what to think or how to feel.

I mean, I just don’t know.

It’s so absurd that it’s funny for about 5 seconds

and then you cry,

and then you pray...

and then you give up…”

While I did not, COULD not, laugh at Re-re, I laughed at that

This is the same friend who told me that :

”God will not drop a steak in your lap, If you ain’t got teeth!”

Amen… Well, Here’s my issue. Aretha made me rethink something very critical. Concerning cleavage, can there be too much? Have the sheer enormity of Aretha’s massive mammarian protuberances actually exceeded the bounds of what is attractive, motivating and enticing, to that which is, dare I say it… redundant? Has it gone from resplendent to repugnant?

Has that which has for most men always been pulchritudinous, become, in the instant my eyes hit the page, unsightly,

Or is it just a question of moderation?

Could it all be just a question of moderation???

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