"She was honest. Painfully so. It was still early in the summer and she could have chosen to give all the good little Christian answers and left her walls intact. But she didn't. She shared what was really going on with her and God and where she was struggling." (>>)
"I NEED FRIENDS. i don't need a prayer partner or an accountability group or a rocking worship time. I NEED YOU TO TALK TO ME. you have a kick ass pastor? great! will he know my name and be there for me when i have a problem? no? well then, his sermons won't mean a hill of beans to me if i think he's insincere. stop inviting me to a small group and take me out for coffee. quit telling me that you'll pray for me and freaking TALK TO ME. don't get me wrong. i appreciate your prayers and the invites and good teaching, but IT'S NOT ENOUGH." (>>)
"They were as full of doubts as to who they were and what they believed in as the rest of humankind. They were vulnerable on as many fronts. They felt in as many ways lost and bewildered. They were as hungry for something to enrich their lives with meaning and purpose, for something to worship even, as the very passion with which they rebelled against everything that claimed but failed to fill that hunger bore witness. …religious or unreligious, in one form or another we all of us share the same dark doubts, the same wild hopes, and what little by little I learned from those years at Exeter was that unless those who proclaim the Gospel acknowledge honestly that darkness and speak bravely to the wildness of those hopes, they might as well save their breath for all the lasting difference their proclaiming will make to anybody." (>>)
"God had dangled a bright dream of fertility before a barren couple and then sat on his hands and watched as they advanced toward tottery old age. What kind of game was he playing? Whatever did he want? God wanted faith, the Bible says, and that is the lesson Abraham finally learned. He learned to believe when there was no reason left to believe." (>>)
"so let's say you're a fireman. you're a fireman with the last name of 'timan.' so you, fireman timan, get the joy of receiving a new uniform in which you will fight fires and save lives and rescue kittens. and since you work for a super cool department, you get your last name on your brand new, hella snazzy, 'i save people with this on' fireman's coat. so you proudly write your last name down and anxiously await the arrival of your coat." (>>)
Update: Tab preferences in Firefox 1.0
"…a gent who gives every appearance of being the type of smug, self-congratulatory, elitist urban lefty who needs to get his ass kicked by some Skynyrd fans pronto." (>>)
Years ago someone told me that Every Breath You Take by The Police is actually a political song about the Cold War, instead of the you-left-me-but-I-still-love-you-so-I'm-going-to-stalk-you love song that most people take it for. Last week I ordered a Police singles collection and when I listened to it today I remembered what I'd been told about the song. After listening to it a few times, I wasn't really sure if the interpretation fit or not.
Geek that I am, I turned to Google for answers. Internet what it is, I found a plethora of completely contradictory statements side-by-side. Some claim that it is, indeed, a song about spies during the Cold War. Others, however, claim that Sting wrote it about his first wife leaving him.
So, which one is right? The Cold War interpretation has some lines that fit:
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you
You can easily imagine this refering to the U.S. and U.S.S.R. spying on each other, but once you get past the chorus the Cold War interpretation breaks down.
Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying, "baby, baby please"
The song was written before the war ended, so "since you've gone" can't be in reference to that, and therefore "I look around but it's you I can't replace" can't be seen as a comment on the military-industrial complex. "I feel so cold and I long for your embrace / I keep crying, 'baby, baby please.' " doesn't fit the war interpretation either; and judging from personal experience, isn't that exactly how you feel when someone you love leaves you?
So, I'm siding with the traditional interpretation, even if that does hurt my music-snob image. But, I could be wrong. I did read that Sting confirmed the Cold War Interpretation in an interview, but I haven't been able to authenticate that. Anyone care to set me straight?
"I love books and I wouldn't want to be without them, but we don't learn so much about God from books as we do from day-to-day life. I have a friend who reads two books per day. He is brilliant. But he spends so much of his time in study that he has forgotten what the sun looks like. I have another friend that reads romance novels end to end and yet is scared of boys. She fulfills her fantasies in the stories of others. So it is with the Bible. We read about God's propititation with the sacrifice given on the cross, yet we do not really accept the forgiveness for ourselves. We really don't believe we've been forgiven, do we? And then there is all this about being altruistic and caring about others. We read that we are supposed to visit orphans and widows, but we don't. It's nice to read about these things, but living them out is another issue. We are no better than the woman who escapes through reading romance novels. We read about our religion, but it is all just theory." (>>)
"Kristin is Kristin. A beautiful girl. My first girlfriend and I miss her. But she and I were never meant to be. She was in between boyfriends and was too pretty to go without. I was there like a number in a bakery. She pulled the ticket, glanced at it, and waited to exchange me for some loaf of bread or cake or pie or feeling that she was beautiful. I'm just a sap who adored her and wanted to hold her hand or sit close or look into her eyes. But I gave her the slip. Came right out of her hands before she could claim her prize and I bet you, I bet you a million dollars she doesn't even remember that number. She'll just pull another ticket, glance at it, and wait for them to call her out. She won't remember the things I said and won't realize I had never said them to another girl. She'd heard them before and it all ran together like bad poetry. You could see it in her eyes when I talked to her. You could hear it in the way she said thank you when I complimented her dress or the color of her eyes. And I suppose if I'm honest with myself, if I'm truly honest, I'd have to say I loved her." (>>)
"So we were essentially dilettantes, I and the other students who worked part-time in the East Harlem Protestant Parish, up and coming dabblers in the down-and-out. We came, and we left, and in the end we left for good and were glad to. But there were others, the regular parish staff, who gave their lives to it. They didn't just work with the poor. They lived with them. They made their homes in the same kind of tenements. They ate the same kind of food. They raised their children there and sent them to the same schools. Their backgrounds were more or less what mine had been. They were educated, resourcesful, attractive people, who, you felt, if success had been what they were after, could have been successful virtually anywhere. But they had put this all behind them for a life whose rewards seemed to me as inward and obscure as its penalties seemed blatant and grim. I am sure that their motives were as mixed as everbody else's and that they were as full of shadows as the rest of us. There were times when you couldn't escape the feeling that, no matter how hard they fought against it, they thought of themselves as a kind of spiritual elite and of all other types of Christian service as comparatively irrelevant. There were times when their lightness of heart seemed forced and artificial and when their total immersion in the life of the ghetto seemed to border on the perverse. There were occasional glimpses of bitterness, envy, dissemblance among them, and some of them obviously rang truer than others. But be that all as it may, they neverlessess seemsed, at their best, closer to being saints than any other people I had ever come across; and the quality of their saintness, the face it wore, the effect it produced, struck me as revealing something not only about themselves but about Christ, whose saints they were." (>>)
"What I began to see was that the Bible is not essentially, as I had always more or less supposed, a book of ethical principles, of moral exhortations, of cautionary tales about exemplary people, of uplighting thoughts–in fact, not really a religious book at all in the sense that most of the books you would be apt to find in a minister's study or reviewed in a special religion issue of the New York Times book section are religious. I saw it instead as a great, tattered compendium of writings, the underlying and unifying purpose of all of which is to show how God works through the Jacobs and Jabboks of history to make himself known to the world and to draw the world back to himself." (>>)
The best way I've found to avoid studying all month.
"When I hear suburban churches talk about city ministry (if they talk about it at all, since usually next year’s trip to Guatamala is more glamorous) it’s about raising money so they can spend a week handing out Popsicle sticks with verses on them in Central Park, or so that they can volunteer for one week at a soup kitchen in a 'rough part of the city' and come back, triumphant, with the stories of giving hope to the despairing homeless for a big fat seven days." (>>)
It's little nuggets of wisdom like this that make Clymer manuals so invaluable:
Do not use an open flame to check for fuel in the tank. A serious explosion is certain to result.