Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

The Weekend Is Here! 10-21-16

Posted by flyingbk on 10/21/2016

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On Wednesday night, I was ensconced in my sofa, happily enjoying Game 4 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers. After the inning ended, I thought to myself, “Well, I might as well check out the presidential debate.” Big mistake. It’s like when you can’t turn away from a train wreck. I watched for a full hour until I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s an hour of my life that I can’t get back. Alas. On to this weekend’s links:

1. Last month, Andrew Sullivan wrote about his time at a meditation retreat, but the article is more about his addiction to technology. Gulp. Just like with blogging, I always tell myself that I need to practice a tech sabbath and it ends up happening only once. I know I’m addicted when a) I’m looking at my phone for the duration of a prayer walk, and b) I waste an hour on my phone while lying in bed with the intention of reading. So both have been happening regularly of late.

Since I’m taking a temporary break from ministry, my tech sabbath day should really be the same day as the Sabbath. But that’s fantasy football day (BK Flyers current record: 5-1. BK Flyers current place: 1st)! Still, I will try again this Sunday. So no usage of browsing on my smartphone on Sunday, at least until I snap photos and videos at the Red concert in Asbury Park (Countdown: TWO DAYS). And I’ll look for other pockets of time where I can practice this critically important discipline.

2.  A tremendous feature in the Washington Post on Derek Black, former white nationalist. So many layers in this one, but I especially love the part about how a college student’s weekly Shabbat dinner becomes the impetus for change in Black’s life. It’s a presidential election year, and therefore our charged rhetoric reaches supernova status; combine that with how en vogue it is to be outraged on social media, and you have a recipe for more vitriol and contempt than ever. Bu this piece reminds us of the importance of simply listening to others’ viewpoints instead of dismissing them out of hand.

Also while reading this article, I couldn’t help but think of the movie American History X, whose main character is a radicalized white supremacist and shares the first name as Derek Black. AHX is one of my favorite movies, but I freely acknowledge that the manner in which Derek Vinyard (played so well by Edward Norton) changes his views is way too breezy and convenient. And yet, if someone made a fictional movie about the story of Derek Black, we’d think it was too good to be true. Just a reminder that indeed the truth can be stranger than fiction!

3. I truly believe God dropped a life-giving encouragement on me this week. In my last post, I shared my favorite illustration of the gospel: a lemon sour. And although I used a picture of an Asian bag of candy, the main image in my mind was that of a lemon warhead.

I wrote that post on Wednesday morning, and I taught an essay writing class on Wednesday night. Right when class begins, my student in the back of the room asks me if I want a lemon warhead (!). I say yes, she throws one fiercely at me… and I snatch it out of mid-air. My kids were impressed that I caught it, as was I!

I feel like it was God saying that I’m on the right track with my blog. When I first re-launched this blog on September 12, rust pervaded my writing. But in the last week or two, I believe I’ve been regaining my writing voice.

So thanks again to everyone who has supported me by reading this blog and encouraging me to write. And I love how this warhead was an “extreme sour” one. It only drives the point home even more that we need to bitterly repent to receive the sweet grace of God. My students certainly enjoyed the face I made when I initially tasted the warhead.

4. Since I’m seeing my favorite band for the 11th and 12th times in a few days, I wanted to share a ballad that has spoken so deeply to me. “If I Break” fits perfectly with my last post about coming with grips to our dark side. Each of our souls asks the gnawing question posed in the chorus:

If I break
If I fall
Will you still run to me when I call?
If I close my eyes
And I can’t find my way to you
Will you stay?
If I break
If I break

Hallelujah, that in Jesus Christ, the answer is ever an unequivocal Yes.

(It fascinates me how big Red is in Europe).

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

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