Blog Entries Reviews

A Year With Gathering In Light 2007

Re_ skitched-7-1

Last year I did a year in review of this site, and I remember enjoying the time I took to go through my old posts and think about what happened in 2006, so I’ve decided to do the same thing again. And here’s what I’ve dug up.

2007 has been the best year of my life, plain and simple. Not only were there some pretty silly experiences on this blog but there were some far more serious and amazing. This was the year that I, along with a few others, was invited to lead workshops on changing trends within the Friends Church. These experiences were incredible not just because I got to travel and do what I love (talk about theology, Quakers and culture) but I got to meet tons of fantastic people. Anytime I can make new friends you can rest assured I am having a good time!

Blog Entries

Five New Skills In Just One Week


I was thinking the other day how my resume is drastically changing with the birth of our daughter, here are some new skills I’ve picked up in the last nine days of her life.

I can:

  1. Turn my chest into a warm and toasty mattress.

  2. Change diapers while sleeping.

  3. Catch urine in mid-air, protecting upholstery, pillows and other objects close to the changing table.

  4. Explain what baby wearing is and how to do it.

  5. Read a baby’s body language to know the difference between “rooting” and pooing.

Blog Entries Reviews

My Favorite Albums and Artists Of 2007

Since it’s almost the end of 2007 it’s time to post some of my favorite albums of the year. I will post my five most favorite in order then the rest is kind of a free-for-all. I will also offer a few new finds, musicians who don’t (necessarily) have albums in 2007, but nonetheless I’ve come to love this year.

My Favorite Five Albums of the Year

Andrew Bird - Armchair ApocryphaNumber Five: Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha. Andrew Bird’s album Armchair Apocrypha is one of those albums that gets better over time. I listened to it only a little when I first got it, but I found that over time it grew on me. I couldn’t seem to help putting this album on. Every song on this album is worth spending your time on, listening to it over and over again. Bird’s an accomplished musician, not just because he plays a mean violin and can whistle, but because he’s making some really great rock music right now.

Elvis Perkins Ash WednesdayNumber Four: Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday. The first time I heard Elvis Perkins’ Ash Wednesday I knew there was something different, something special about his music. Perkins crackly voice, and dylanesque songs drew me in, and it would be difficult to look back. There is a hidden power in this music, something almost transcendent, yet Perkins is able to maintain a humanness that pierces the heart. I’ve raved enough about him before, so I’ll stop. However, I do stand-bye my excitement over this album, even if other toplists don’t even mention this guy.

Arcade Fire's Neon BibleNumber Three: Arcade Fire – Neon Bible. This was a no-brainer choice for me when I first started thinking about my favorite five albums from this year. Neon Bible is crafted as well as a rock album can be; the songwriting is powerful, haunting and beautiful. As far as songwriting goes, this album has real teeth. But more than the songwriting, the music is like nothing else around. Arcade Fire is refreshingly original, in a way that transcends other flash-in-the-pan acts as seen by this sophomore work.

Wilco's Sky Blue SkyNumber Two: Wilco – Sky Blue Sky. I love the warmth of this album, just about as much as I love the fact that it is a complete deviation from their previous two albums (something I know a lot of people have no been happy with). For me, Wilco is best when their alt. country roots show; Sky Blue Sky is as much about changing up their repertoire as it is about having an album full of alt country rock songs, blues-inspired licks and the emotion of a Wurlitzer. And beyond all this, it has some sentimentality for me as it was the record I listened to the most while I was on my own in Birmingham (UK) this past summer.

Blog Entries

Dress Down Friday | December 19, 2007


For this Dress Down Friday I did a little research to see what happened on the day baby L. was born. I found a number of lists for “This Day in History.” Here’s a few things:

  • 1835 — The first issue of The Blade newspaper is published in Toledo, Ohio (Where her grandparents now live).
  • 1843 — Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is published in England.
  • 1963 — Zanzibar receives its independence from the United Kingdom, to become a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah of Zanzibar.
  • 1972 — The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.
  • 1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwards articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.
  • 2001 — The fire at the World Trade Center, as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks, is finally extinguished after three months.
  • 2003 – Nepal financial crisis leads hundreds to protest outside of presidential palace.
  • 2007 — Baby Daniels is born!

News headlines from this past Wednesday

It was an eventful day!

Blog Entries

Our Baby Daughter Arrives! 12.19.2007

Mom and Baby

On Wednesday December 19th, 2007 at 4:21am our baby daughter was born. She’s 6.1 lbs, 19 inches long, wonderfully healthy and ridiculously beautiful! The whole thing was such a holy experience, I am still buzzing from it! This baby is soooo awesome! Mom did a fantastic job and remembered the dutch as well! We made it to the hospital at 1:15am and had the baby just a little more than 3 hours later. At about 4am the nurses realized that Emily was complete, and the baby was ready to come, in fact they told her to stop pushing, we waited 16 min. for the doctor to arrive, and about 5 min later she was born!

We should be home tomorrow (Friday) afternoon sometime and I will post more sometime after that, there is no internet available at the hospital. Thank you all for your support and prayers.

You can see the whole set of photos here.

Blog Entries

Poem: Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child

Glenn Jordan, from Crooked Shore, sent me this poem the other day, I thought it was worth sharing with all you. While we are past this point of first discovery, it’s still pretty cool.

Oh, on another note, I read a blogger recently who wrote that they promised to not turn their site into some kind of child-focused blog (they were getting ready to have a baby as well), while I am committed to keep this site interesting on theological and cultural grounds (as best I can), I make no such promises about what I will and won’t write about when it comes to our daughter. That said, here’s a poem:

Tadpole, it’s not time yet to nag you
about college (though I have some thoughts
on that), baseball (ditto), or abstract
principles. Enjoy your delicious,
soupy womb-warmth, do some rolls and saults
(it’ll be too crowded soon), delight in your early
dreams — which no one will attempt to analyze.
For now: may your toes blossom, your fingers
lengthen, your sexual organs grow (too soon
to tell which yet) sensitive, your teeth
form their buds in their forming jawbone, your already
booming heart expand (literally
now, metaphorically later); O your spine,
eyebrows, nape, knees, fibulae,
lungs, lips… But your soul,
dear child: I don’t see it here, when
does that come in, whence? Perhaps God,
and your mother, and even I — we’ll all contribute
and you’ll learn yourself to coax it
from wherever: your soul, which holds your bones
together and lets you live
on earth. — Fingerling, sidecar, nubbin,
I’m waiting, it’s me, Dad,
I’m out here. You already know
where Mom is. I’ll see you more directly
upon arrival. You’ll recognize
me — I’ll be the tall-seeming, delighted
blond guy, and I’ll have
your nose.

By Thomas Lux

Blog Entries

Dress Down Friday | Skribit, Good, and David Bazan

Another installment of your weekly dress down friday jibber.

  • I just got my account activated at Skribit, a new social networking tool for bloggers. You can see it on my front-page sidebar. Basically it allows readers to suggest topics to be written on, and vote on ideas already submitted. If you read my site, go ahead and make some suggestions. If you’re a blogger, sign up for a private beta account. Read more here.

  • If you are interested in learning more about mindmapping check out Brett’s article here. He also posted some great software to use as well.

  • My buddy Josh just showed me Good Magazine, which looks, well, pretty good. Here’s a great article on carbon offsets, which points out some of the issues in using them.

  • Anyone into spending $73,000 on this?

  • Fuller professor Craig Detweiler, has just finished his documentary, “Purple State of Mind,” which looks at some of the big issues that the red and blue states run into, and hopes to meet somewhere in the middle with a purple state of mind.

  • A light that last for 12 years, or is it 12 hours? Either way, it’s pretty cool/weird.

  • You will definitely want to download every track of the free David Bazan concert found here. There are a lot of new songs, his classic Q and A’s and just some good old fashion David Bazan. Also look around the site a bit, there all kinds treasures.

  • When you have a couple minutes check out this video I found on Rocketboom, it’s a graffiti art project put on by a school that I found to be super cool.

  • For all you designers, be sure to check out color hunter, and the color palette generator. I used color hunter to make my header today. And here are 10 sites for those of you in love with color.

  • OK – This video freaked me out.

  • And this is supposedly the first ever McDonald’s commercial. I guess McDonald’s hamburgers have always looked really flat.

Blog Entries

Some Thoughts On This Past Quarter

We’ve reached the end of the quarter, which turned out to be pretty good albeit pretty busy preparing for baby Daniels. The Church In Mission class I TA’d for was a great learning experience, and it’s always good to work with Ryan because he welcomes input and lets me enter into what he is learning about as a professor as well. I’ve been working on my third tutorial, which means after I finish this one, I will have two methods courses (in culture theory areas) and three more tutorials, then comprehensive exams, then that big paper (dissertation). With this current tutorial I’ve been reading loosely in the area of missiology, and more specifically with authors who have considered the church and its role in culture. I’ve obviously been reading Yoder, but have also been looking at some of Stanley Hauerwas, James K Smith, John Milbank, Craig Carter, Wilbert Shenk, Stephan Bevans, and probably one of my new favorite theologians James McClendon. I’ve plowed through 2500-3000 pages so far and am aiming for a little more than 4,000. Through it all I’ve been able to map the various approaches to church in culture, both from a theological standpoint, as well as from a cultural one, and find some areas in which to build on.

Church in Mission Featured

Church in Mission: Post-Christendom, Effectiveness and Reshaping Ethics Pt4

Series contents | Introduction | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

According to John Howard Yoder, one aspect that distinguishes this bi-cultural faith community we call the Christian church from the world is it’s insistence upon being non-coercive. This point of view has major implications not only for the mission of the church in our culture as well as in others, but it also brings up some important points about how we read our history.

A Quick History of Christendom

Since the start of Christendom, when the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian and Christianity became the state (re:enforced) religion, the church has struggled to take the teachings of Christ seriously on matters of violence. This is why we call the marriage between Christianity and the state is called Constantinianism. This theological, and political shift for the church, which was a move from the margins of society to the center of power, had profound effects upon the way it understood itself.

Yoder says:

The deeper shift behind it all was the loss of the identity of the Christianity community, as visible over against the world, replaced by the effort to “Christianize?? (thinly) the entire society. Once the premise that Europe is “Christendom?? has been granted, the rest follows. The church-state tie and even the Crusades can make sense (as they still do in our day, in modern forms, to a host of Americans) once the first assumption, namely, that everyone is “in,?? is made?? (104).

Blog Entries

Dress Down Friday | Top 2007 Apps, Canidate Match and CAR BIKE!