A couple new links for a new year

Over in the blogroll I’ve added a couple links to blogs I’ve been quite enjoying.  It’s a pretty cool thing about the internet– the diversity of world views, locations, and ages that can come together.

Obsessed with reality, over in the blog roll, is written by a college student who lives in Israel.  He often blogs about that nation, his atheistic world view, and the experience in Deaf Culture as a sign language interpreter and child of deaf adults.   Somehow, these differences are interesting and not barriers to communication as he is both articulate and observes respectful practices in debate.

I would have thought that this blog and mine exist on a 1 dismentional spectrum, that they are basically opposites.  But the other new link on my blogroll, the cost of discipleship, indicates that in fact there’s more of a triangle, because my blog, obsessed with reality, and this one are all quite opposite each other.

The cost of discipleship is written by a gentleman who lives in the far corner of the U.S. from me, and more importantly, who worships Jesus from within the Orthodox tradition.  His own insights are quite thought provoking, but his blog is also chock-full (chalk-full?) of really compelling quotes from Christian figures that are easy to overlook, forget about, or underestimate.

So go check those two links out on the blog roll.  If you read a couple entries on each of these blogs, then read something on mine, and if you’re head doesn’t explode after reading, you deserve a brownie button or something.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

One thought on “A couple new links for a new year”

  1. Thanks for adding my blog to your blog roll. I just checked your blog and haven’t had a moment to look at the other new blog your enrolling, but it sounds interesting. Describing one blogal viewpoint as “atheistic” and the other as “from within the Orthodox tradition” is, I am sure, unavoidable in trying to describe them in brief, but I would guess that neither blog or blogger is as definable as that. I wouldn’t be surprised to often find even points of convergence among your blog and these other two, because all three concern themselves with “the world of the real,” and hence must occasionally be “guilty” of true objectivity. I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.

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