Monday, May 23, 2011


from John 3

The footnotes in my ESV Bible tell me that the "same Greek word means both wind and spirit" and that the word commonly rendered "again" can also mean "from above." So here's a slightly different translation of the first part of John chapter 3:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to him by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the wind, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the wind is wind. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it come from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the wind."
Of course that's a bit of a misrepresentation, too. We could substitute wind/spirit at every occurrence to get more of what the Greek feel is. But when I looked at this, it felt new and powerful, so I wanted to capture it.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Purple Tears

Living where I do, I have many friends and acquaintances who are Vikings fans of one degree or another. To all of them, I offer my sincere sympathy for a tough, tough loss in a huge game.

For what it's worth, you can take comfort in knowing that yesterday you had the best defense in the NFL. Forget the Jets. Forget everybody. Only the Saints and the Colts had any chance of beating you yesterday. Sadly, one of them just barely managed to do it.

That you were even still in the game, let alone on the verge of winning it, after all those turnovers is a testimony to the amazing game your defense gave. Time after time they got a stop you desperately needed. They put your offense back on the field and gave you another chance.

And if any of you are hounding number 4 for that last pick, stop for at least a minute and ask how your team managed to get 12 men in the huddle on the play before. Without that 5-yard penalty, maybe they don't pass, or maybe he's more willing to just scamper for a few yards instead of feeling like he has to get a bunch back.

If after yesterday nobody snatches away your defensive coordinator with a head coaching job, they're fools, but that would set you up well for another try next year.

Finally, just this: don't be crushed. Don't be Vikings fans who believe that it is fated never to happen. Don't wallow in this for 12 years. Say, "We had a great team, and on a day when only half our team played with consistency we were right there with the best of them." Take it from a Chiefs fan: that's something worth having.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Time Keeps on Slippin', Slippin', Slippin'

My sermon got pushed back to the 15th, which is definitely a good thing. Seems like I have a lot to catch up on at present. It's partially just a busy time of the semester, but also I've been trying to be a little more engaged this semester--which means more conversations with folks, more emails, more things I've agreed to be involved in.

So that's really all to the good. It just means I feel like I need about a week to pause the world and catch up. Fortunately, some smaller pauses are coming up, so I just need to take advantage of those.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Again with the talking

Cornerstone 's pastors seem to have forgotten what they know about me once again, since they're threatening to let me preach on Nov. 8. I'm still convinced that having multiple voices in a church, and some of them layfolk, is a good thing. As I get older, I get less convinced that anybody should let me be one of those voices.

However, I have been dying to talk about unity with this group, so I'm looking forward to that opportunity.

Monday, August 31, 2009


True Tales from the Classroom

Today in my Comics as Literature class, I successfully said the name of every student. I then did some little celebratory fist-pump or something. This exchange followed:

Student: That was kind of geeky, there.
Me: What class do you think this is? I get paid to read Watchmen.

Nobody makes me defensive with calling me a geek. I get defensive easy, trust me, but not about that. I fully admitted my geekness a long, long time ago.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Two quick thoughts after an afternoon at the movies

One: District 9 is awesome. That's science fiction, baby!

Two: I don't want to draw attention to the particularly ridiculous and offensive movie we saw a preview for. Let's just say this:
"God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all."

It is God who always, unfailingly, works for good, to redeem, to love the unloveable, and to bring good out of plans for evil.

That's all I wanted to say.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Restorative Justice

Realizing that upwards of three people read this blog each year, it's time to use my celebrity to push an important cause: Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is an approach to wrongdoing that focuses on repairing the harm done and rebuilding broken relationships. I think if we were wise, we'd move away from our "lock 'em up" model of criminal justice and put restorative justice approaches in its place. (Granted, a few extreme cases might need to be removed completely from others. But the vast majority or our ridiculously enormous prison population don't require that. And no one is really benefitting from the current system.)

I'm still in the process of learning about this, but sports fans should check out this proposal for restorative approaches to the steroids issue, and everybody can learn more at .

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