Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sometimes Summer Sings Sweet Songs

Well, it's Don's turn again to write to you all, and I'm fresh out of guides and tours to share. I guess it's time to share what I've been up to recently. Which is not too much, actually. The spring is a quiet time for us in the BVS office - no orientations, no conferences, and no phone calls to make. From the middle of March until the middle of June, I was a regular 9 to 5 office guy, except it was more like 8 to 4:30.

There were a few things that happened that kept me from going crazy with boredom, though! We updated our website, played softball, prepared for annual conference, hung out, watched some old television, and did a little bible study.

The Internets

I have been lucky enough to help BVS keep our website up-to-date as part of my volunteer position. Recently, all of underwent a transition that I helped out with. That means if you can't find something, blame me! check out to see what's new - it doesn't look very different, but I think browsing our site is a bit more intuitive.

Sporting Events

The softball season is in full swing. And one of these days, we'll win a game, I'm sure of it!

Word Search

I've found Jesus, but I can't find peace. And I don't know if there's room for Europe. Right now you're thinking "this man is speaking gibberish!" To which I reply, "Nonsense! I'm talking about a wordsearch!" As part of the children's activity packet for Annual Conference, I got to design a BVS wordsearch. I would show it to you, but that would spoil the fun! Look for it at Annual Conference! Right now, the words I've left to find say "friends give homeless human peace"!


Our house is without any sort of live television programming - which I have to say I'm proud of us for. I can count on one hand the number of times I wished I was able to watch something on TV, and I didn't feel that way for long. These days we get by watching movies from Carol and Clara's DVD collections, with supplements from the Gail Borden Public Library. This spring, I introduced the house to Twin Peaks, which is just about the weirdest thing I've ever encountered.

The Simpsons did a take on Twin Peaks, which I could only assume
was a fictional show at the time. This is pretty much dead on, though.
Some of our favorite quotes from the show, which make no sense to anyone, even us:
  • I think she's hot to trot for you herself. - Shelly Johnson to Bobby 
  • You are witnessing a front three-quarter view of two adults sharing a tender moment - Gordon Cole to Bobby
  • Waste no time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. - Marcus Aurelius, as quoted by Andrew Packard.
  • "What do you call the lady with the log?" - Dale Cooper. "We call her the 'log lady.'" - Harry
  • There was a fish in the percolator! - Pete
This show is a veritable cultural goldmine. It's blessed
us with not one but two memorable dances that
can be witnessed at random times in our house

Bible Time

Well, I'd better redeem this bumbling post with a little bible reading.In one of those rare, as-you-fall-asleep reflective moments, I was thinking about what the central goal of a Christian should be - I know plenty of people who would claim it is making peace, as many who would say living to serve, and others who say we should focus on becoming perfectly Christ-like. This range of choices has bothered me for a while, and I have been unable to put it into words.

Monday night, in bed, my epiphany was in recalling the parable of the talents - Matthew 25. In my interpretation, Jesus warns us that we ought to be sure to use what we have been given in order to increase God's bounty, and not hide our riches out of fear of our master. It's easy for me to co-opt this as an argument against making one's purpose in life discipline and self-restraint. Aside from the point that becoming truly Christ-like demands one to be selfless and seeking peace, it strikes me as selfish and missing the point that, given Christ's sacrifice, we should spend our days trying to simultaneously prove we are worth it by living up to higher standards and render our salvation unnecessary thanks to our holier lives.

However, in searching my Bible for the parable of the talents, I read Luke chapter 7, which makes for a great chorus in a mewithoutYou song.
 "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'"
" For john the baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say 'he has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'"

I never really got it until I read the footnotes of my Bible (NIV). It says that "People rejected both John and Jesus ... They would not associate with John when he followed the strictest of rules or with Jesus when he freely associated with all kinds of people."

Basically, what the heck do you want, then, people? I gave you rules, and you won't follow them, I can without rules and you scoff at me. What does this have to do with my point, though? Read the next verse

"But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
 This puzzles me, but if you let your guard down and listen to the Bible commentary again (with a grain of salt, it comes from the great land of ZONDERVAN) it makes some sense. "In contrast to the rejection by foolish critics, spiritually wise persons could see that the ministries of both John and Jesus were godly, despite their differences."

Well, crap, there goes my argument against any other Christian in the world. As long as it does not produce evil, who am I to tell another how to worship? If your heart tells you to work day and night to discipline your body, go for it. I don't understand, but I won't stop you. I've read Romans 14,and heaven forbid if I cause a friend to doubt their conviction that meat is murder or the Sabbath is actually Saturday.I hope there is a happy medium between inward and outward Christianity.

Maybe we're all just searching in the dark, all of us everywhere, walking towards the same light.

Good night, and happy summer!