Friday, May 1, 2009
Wow, it's the first of May already!
I started two new books this morning: Deuteronomy and A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story. The first book is from the Old Testament and the second from the local public library. Here is what I got just from the introduction.
After talking with a friend who asked why she could still be a Christian, author Diana Butler Bass replied, "I just can't get away from Jesus. I actually love Jesus and his teachings." Her friend agreed that she had no problems with Jesus, but "'[i]t's all the stuff that happened after Jesus that makes me mad." (pg. 1)
"She had concluded, as many people do, that if God is in the Christian story, then God must be indifferent or evil. If God is not in the story, then why bother?" (pg. 2)
The author mentions "militant Christianity," which is the "usual story ... of 'Big-C' Christianity -- Christ, Constantine, Christendom, Calvin, and Christian America" and then contrasts her goal of sharing "Great Command Christianity." She claims this exists in Christian history: "a different story - one that people want to hear - of folks like themselves who struggled to live as Jesus told them to, loving God and doing right. It is not a militant story. Rather, it is a story of generative Christianity, a kind of faith that births new possibilities of God's love into the world. Whereas militant Christianity triumphs over all, generative Christianity transforms the world through humble service to all. It is not about victory; it is about following Christ in order to seed human community with grace." (pg. 11)
Sounds like a book that will challenge me a lot!
Andrew passed the written test for his scuba class last night. Earlier this week he was bummed because he burst blood vessels behind his ears and thought he'd have to quit the class. Well, he cannot do the water part presently, but his teacher said he could make that up at another time. In fact she said she had done the same thing when she was first learning to dive. And Andrew met someone qualifying as a master diver last night and he told Andrew he'd done the same thing. So Andrew was cheered some.
I went out with three high school friends last night for our Girls' Night Out. It was great seeing them again. I'm glad we still get together periodically.
Had a nice lunch out with my dad, Michael and Stephanie. Then we visited my brother at his work place briefly. I came home and had a small package from Damascus waiting. Samer sent a "God bless our home" wall hanging along with notes from himself, Amer, Jake, Basheer and his sister, Dania. That certainly was a sweet surprise.
Got lots of birthday wishes on Facebook ... ha. It's nice that they remind you of your friends' birthdays. :-)
Andrew gave me a UNC 2009 Championship t-shirt as part of my birthday present. I thanked him and put it aside. About a half hour later, he said, "Ya know, Carolina won that basketball championship THIS year. You can't stash your shirt away for a long time and then wear it in a few years or it will be out of date."
:-P***** He knows me well.
Interesting discussions this week about "swine" flu and Senator Arlen Specter switching parties. I heard Egypt ordered the slaughter of all the pigs in its country. It's a Muslim country so I doubt there were lots and lots of them, but still. I heard the pork industry doesn't want the media to call it "swine" flu because it has hurt their industry. Also VP Biden said something about not traveling in airplanes ... well, enclosed spaces ... and the airlines were upset about that. He later amended it saying he meant traveling to Mexico. I see today that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is wanting to retire. I wonder who Obama will nominate to take his position. As for Specter, I just saw the story breaking on CNN while I was at McDonald's. One thing they kept running along the bottom of the screen was that he faced a tough primary because he angered PA conservatives by siding with the Democrats in passing the stimulus package. So maybe he decided to become a Democrat to avoid a tough fight among the GOP. Who knows? It's amazing what these professional politicians will do in order to keep their positions of power. Definitely most of them are not up there to serve their constituents.
In a bit of good news, I am glad the 8-year-old Saudi girl was allowed to divorce the 50-year-old "man" she was forced to marry when her father accepted $13,000 in exchange for her marrying this creep. I do not understand the mentality of people who do such things. Maybe they justify it because the Muslims' revered prophet did such a thing. Well, he married a young child. I don't know that he paid her father $13,000 for her. Sick people.