May 2002 Archives

These are the last three days for Time Travelers, a great local record shop in Kent. The big, unfeeling, greedy corporate giants are taking over (well, maybe not quite that big). It's a shame they have to close the store - they were going to be forced into another much smaller store with a substantial rent increase. Dave, the proprietor, is an honest-to-goodness music aficionado. He will be moving to their lone other store in Cuyahoga Falls.

So, I bought two CD's today.
Listening: Harold Budd - she is a phantom and Marc Anthony

I was reading a book review in Christianity Today yesterday. The book deals with post-modernism and the Evangelical/Fundamentalist side of ChristianityÂ’s inability or difficulty in dealing with the fundamental worldview change. The review talks about the authorÂ’s contention that the E/F ChurchesÂ’ are stuck in a modernist understanding of Christ, Christianity, the Bible, etc., and a good portion of those beliefs need to change because they are incorrect. Here is a long quote:

"In a conversation with Christianity Today, McLearn (the author) said our current approach to the age reminded him of a friend who worked in Washington as a spy. 'He saw everything through the lenses of the Cold War – who was good, who was bad, and what his mission was,' McLaren said. 'When the Cold War ended, he was lost. His worldview no longer served him well in a new climate, and he didn’t know how to adjust. We evangelicals tend to be that way at the death of modernism.'

"At the same time, contemporary evangelicalism is deeply steeped in and shaped by the modernist mindset – Christ molded by modernity. We are far more acculturated to modernity and shaped by its values than we appreciate. We run our churches with the efficiency of the industrial age. We market our messages and conduct our services in the spirit of capitalist consumerism. In the modernist exaltation of knowledge, we teeter on a biblicism that sees the Christian faith as a religion of a book rather than a relationship with the Triune God and our neighbors. We often make the Bible the foundation and center of our faith. But, as Neo tells Dan, 'the Bible never Speaks of itself this way.' It speaks of Christ as the foundation of the Church; thus we are historically know as Christ-ones."

I think this will be rather groundbreaking for many evangelicals and almost impossible to consider for fundamentalists. The enculturation of the Church is so evident, but we Americans just donÂ’t understand that. Especially for evangelicals and fundamentals who must believe that their view of things is God's view of things.

I think I want to buy this one. The book is entitled - "A New Kind of Christian: A Take of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey." By: Brian D. McLaren. Jossey-Bass publishers.

The weather is absolutely beautiful, cars are lined up and down the street, and students and parents are loading up cars, vans, trucks, and just about anything as Kent students finish-up final exams and move out. I love days like this! There is such a sense of anticipation and excitement as students move in during the fall and out during the spring. It is so much fun to watch!

There is nothing like a college town during summer terms. The pace is slow and easy, well except for summer students because the courses are compacted from the normal 15 weeks to 6. Or is that eight weeks - I don't remember.

Well, this morning as I was writing in my paper journal, I finally realized that most of my current angst revolves around loneliness. Yes, I hate to say, I think that is the base problem. Not that I have no friends, because I have more then I can deal with, but what I don't have right now is a buddy living close enough so that we could just hang-out, so that I could just drop by and hang-out or visa-versa. Yes, loneliness. Of course, a boyfriend would be nice, too.

I've also realized that writing in a weblog or even in my honest-to-goodness online journal just isn't the same as writing on paper. It may have to do with the fact that my paper journal will not be read by anyone, so I feel freer to write anything. But, it just isn't an issue of how vulnerable or honest I'm going to be. It just feels different. I just write better. I'm able to work through issues on paper and that just doesn't seem to happen online. Besides, I now have three different "places" I'm writing - blogger, my hand created online journal, and my quiet-time entries. That doesn't count my paper journal. Why?

So, I was sitting at my table eating Cinnamon Life reading a magazine article this morning, when I looked up and out the window in my dinning room. Something looked strange across the street. Too much open space, I thought. Then it hit me, “Oh my gosh, the house is gone.” Gone! No more house! Just a big hole in the ground where they basement and drive way used to be. Of course, I quickly noticed the big yellow back-end loader sitting there.

The house had been slated to be torn down for a long time, but there were all kinds of problems due to a few people campaigning to save the “grand old homes of Highland Square.” This house, of course, was anything but grand. It is really a sad story that lead up to this house being torn down. An Old woman who was not quite all there lived in the house with her son (I think). He was in a wheelchair and mentally not right. They had lived there for years and years, back when the whole family was together and the kids were being raised. From my neighbors, I guess there were problems with the family and neighbors for years. Anyway, they obviously didn’t have money to keep up the house, and one son I talked to said the other children would not help at all. “All they want is the stuff inside when Mom dies,” he said. Okay.

The woman had a stroke about a year or so ago and eventually died. The house has been empty all this time with some third parties trying to get their hands on it to sell. The house was in horrible shape; even the staircase was warped because of water streaming into the house from the leaky roof.

It is sad that it had to come to this, but I am glad the house was torn down rather then a land-lord buying the place, throwing a couple thousands dollars of cosmetic repaired into the house, and then renting it to students or as section–8 housing. We have a lot of experience with those types of things in this neighborhood, and it has not turned out well. Not that it can’t, but it just hasn’t.

They’ve started up again. 7:30 am –early! They are trying to break up a large piece of concrete that used to be a retaining wall that kept the ground back from the driveway. The back-end loader raises the huge piece of concrete as far up as they can get it (nearly as high as the telephone poles) and then drop it. My windows shake. It is a very stubborn piece of concrete. If I ever have a retaining wall for whatever reason, I want that kind!

"In the club, which was in a basement on the West Side, there were girls in bell-bottoms and belly shirts. Jamie said he was appalled by the retro-craze. 'It's regressive,' he explained. 'It means you are out of ideas, have surrendered to the past, have convinced yourself time has stopped.' Wearing such cloths, he explained, requires an industrial-strength irony, a joke so finely tuned it forgets it's joke. 'So you see, these people are not actually living in the world but in a muddy reflection of the world.' That led him to the subject of multitasking, wherein people, in one moment, perform two tasks: talk to the bank, fold the laundry. 'The age of the multitask is a bankrupt age,' said Jamie. 'It's an age in which , by trying to have two experiences simultaneously, you ruin both and so have no experience at all.'" - Lake Effect by Rich Cohen

This book has pushed my emotions all over the map. Something rarely done. I don't know whether I really like it or not. But, for the good, it caused me to remember those grand times growing up in a small town on Lake Erie.

This morning is too odd. I've had a strange weekend, spurred on by reading and remembering and contemplating and grieving. I've been in this strange place of rushing memories of days in Vermilion, reliving experiences of a boy growing up in a small town on Lake Erie. More conflicts between what life at 40 is supposed to be according to societal convention and how I really feel. Feelings of "it's over," like this is how someone at my age is supposed to feel, yet I don't. In many ways I think about the thrill of adventure and discover in much the same way I did when I was 20. I don't want to lose that, yet at times I feel the battle to remain in that element is about to be lost. I don't really know who to describe it, but a "youthful disposition" (without imaturity) is the best way I know how to live.

I walked into work this morning, after an odd morning and with breakfast at Dodies, feeling as if everything is so surreal - like walking in the heat of a very hot and hazy August afternoon, slow motion, nothing fit, everything about ready to be lost. I am melancholy today.

I'm having second thoughts about the "co-op" living arrangement. It could be okay, depending on the size of the place. Five bedrooms, maybe, but what are the sizes of the bedrooms? If a bedroom has enough space for a twin bed, a dresser, and a night stand, that just isn't going to cut it! If it will be 5 guys CRAMED into a small space, it is doomed to fail from the get-go.

Welp, I got word today concerning my living arrangements at General come this fall - General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, which I will be attending for the next three years. Anyway, two options were given to me. The first: a three room dorm suite in the basement of one of the seminary buildings with separate and common laundry and bathroom facilities. No kitchen - which is bad because the seminary only provides meals during the week and only 5 lunches and 4 dinners. The second: a new co-op arrangement they are trying this year. There would be 5 guys living in a 5 bedroom apartment. There would be a common kitchen, laundry, living area. It used to be an apartment for one of the faculty with a big family. The apartment is a fifth-floor walk-up. That's a lot of stairs - good exercise, I think.

So, I chose the apartment. It could be fun. It could be a seminary Real World experience.

I'm planning on having the webcam actually working on a regular bases, and I'm sure that people would find the lives of 5 people much more interesting then watching me fall asleep as I attempt to study. Well, if the other guys go for it, that is.

The whole experience could be a lot of fun and a good experience, or I'm just stupid.

I go through these periods where I'm more conscious of my family. Ever since I went to college my parents and siblings have not been very entwined with my life. It isn't that I don't love them or enjoy myself when I'm around them, it's just that I went to college and never looked back. I get down on myself from time-to-time because I don't call as often as I should nor visit enough. My parents would do anything for "us kids."

This morning, I realized a role my parents do play in my life. They are always there whenever I have something exciting to tell someone, or when I'm confused or angry and need to talk. This is selfish, I know, but right now there is a definite void in my life when it comes to close friends who have known me for a long time. If I'm excited about something, who could I tell -- someone who would honestly be interested? I could call a couple friends, but my parents are always there -- and they are interested. For how long, I don't know. I thought of people who truly have no one.

I'm in this really odd position right now. Well, odd for me. I feel a great need to write to get all these thoughts down on paper. All these thoughts swirling around in my head and I need to get them out to sort through them. Yet, I'm not. I don't know where to begin. I've got to just start and make the time, force myself to take the time, to simply write.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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