Monday, June 25, 2007

My Rating

So what did you expect?

Online Dating




HT: Rebecca Writes

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wedding Picture

My wife and I after our daughter's wedding. Carolyn Pruitt is the photographer. (c)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Toastmasters


Since the advise from Nigel telling me to improve my stage craft when preaching, I have been thinking about joining a Toastmasters chapter. I visited today as a guest. I enjoyed myself quite a bit though I was a little scared to make many sudden introductions to people. There was a speech given by one of the Toast Masters (TM) on her banana boat adventure in Jamaica. She did a great job of speaking but the folks were very forgiving on her weaknesses. That made me think this is a place safe to improve my stage craft.

Talking about improving my preaching, I noticed a preaching blog cited by Transforming Sermon called Biblical Preaching. I have placed it in my bookmarks. You might consider doing the same.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Terry Pruitt Interviews with Joe Friday, Nigel, and Mr. Miyagi.

I have not been up to much blogging lately. It has sort of been a journey that could not go public. Depression regarding my mid-life re-evaluation of my life messy and I need to rebuild. Depression is a good sort of pain, it make you focus on what is important, what is meaningful and what you ultimately value. Depression is the impetus for the triage of life. It is sad, even down right depressing, that people want to treat it as a disease instead of work off the pain as energy for change. It is sort of like an athlete who refuse to train because it is a bother. I had been working through some issues in my head and not getting anywhere with it. I was sort of isolated, spiraling down and just loaded down in burden. Then God gave me a nudge that broke up my downward momentum. For three days I met with three different men, one each per day, who gave me very divergent and helpful types of counsel. The first guy I met was Joe Friday, you know the guy who just wanted to know the facts from Dragnet. We talked for about 45 minutes and I just told him what was going on with me. It was sort of releasing just to state my problem. The second guy I met was Simon Cowel of Idol, well this guy was tons more nice than Simon, so perhaps more of a Nigel Lythgoe of So You Think You Can Dance, who usually gives nice but candid advise. He let me know where some of my weaknesses are and some practical ways to improve. The third and last guy I met with, in keeping with my entertainment personalities theme, was Mr. Kesuke Miyagi. This guy sympathized with problems and gave me a couple of practical tasks to express confidence in me. The three together were a godsend. So I think I'm back, back for my blog, back for my church and most important back for my family. I have done the triage now I'm working my issues.

Talking about regrouping and rebuilding my life, I was also rebuilding my bookmarks since my hard drive failed on my Linux box and Messy Christian is back as Messy Christian 2.0. Sort of nice to hear again from this sweet Asian sister in the Lord. There are some folks who I used to visit their blog but I'm not remembering how to get there. I'm sure a Google search in a few days will get me up to speed.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hypocrisy and Power


Parableman has an excellent discussion about Civil Libertarians and Hypocrisy. Parableman, being the great teacher philosopher that he is, takes on the question of how Larry Flynt and other pornographers are philosophical about the morals of their free speech. I will not repeat his excellent post here but let you follow the link.

Recent discussions I had with some friends of mine help me see how the ideology of modernism only sees moral issues as issues of human will and desire. In this sense we are discussion morals as one would discuss a movie, a gourmet dish of food or a painting, it is merely likes and dislikes. However, if we see morality as actually have more substance to it, then we must apply that criteria to the issue of hypocrisy too. Parableman goes on to ask why Larry Flynt is so against hypocracy given how and what he thinks is moral. My guess is that accusations of hypocracy is sort of a trump card in many debates of morality. It is easy to play and easy to reuse. In the end, my guess is that it is a power issue, not an issue of truly evaluating someone's moral system that Mr. Flynt is concerned about. The reason Jesus attacked hypocrisy so harshly was not to throw the Pharisees out of power, but to bring them to repentance.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Respectable


I had a lot of respect for Jimmy Carter back in the 70s. I voted for Jimmy Carter when he lost to Ronald Reagan. It was my first election to vote. I get the sense that Jimmy Carter is a smart man, a nice man, a Christian man and a dedicated man. However, these things were not the things that people were looking for at the time. We were in the midst of a stand-off with Iran regarding our hostages and we were looking bad in the eyes of the world. While I'm sure some good things were happening during the Carter administration, what people remember is the shame we felt as a nation when we could not get the American hostages back from Tehran. When we sent in Special Force troops, the mission failed. When we tried to negotiate, it was for naught. We just looked bad. We had pragmatic problems like a fuel crisis, but that is not as important as regaining our prestige.

I used to have a fellow soldier in the Army who was a fantastic runner. He had a realistic hope and chance of competing in the Olympic games that were to be held in Moscow. That was the year that Carter boycotted the Olympics for Soviet human rights violations. This soldier was totally against Carter because the president took a little of this runner's glory and achievement and sacrificed it on the altar of being "Mr. Nice Guy".

For my fellow soldier, his concern was his own reputation and that of his nation. Our nation might have benefited from winning a few Gold Medals at the Olympics. (I'm sure we would have won at least a few.) We needed our dignity as a nation restored.

During about this same period of time, Evangelical Christians were in the midst of creating their own celebrity culture: the world had Johnny Carson but we had Jim Bakker, the world had American Top 40 but we had Amy Grant, the world had Richard Pryor but we had Mike Warnke, and so on. I think there Christians wanted dignity and parity. Then for a while in the late 80's and early 90's you could not sling a dead cat without hitting someone who was talking about the Christian ghetto. What they were referring to was the fact that the Christian alternatives to mainstream media and celebrity culture just did not come up to par with the style, artistry, sophistication or quality of the mainstream media. But another issue addressed in this call for leaving the Christian ghetto was the fact that it was not based on Christian ideas but on Christian's mimicking the world. I actually appreciate Sandy Patti and the Imperials; but I also appreciate the likes of Francis Schaeffer who was a prophetic voice saying that the Christian ghetto was not a good way to go. In the end, I sense that at least partially, both those producing the Christian alternatives to mainstream pop culture and those who later called it the Christian ghetto were concerned about the issue of dignity and respect of the Christian church.


While I do not know for sure and perhaps not in all cases, I believe a lot of the debates in Christian circles are at least partially about dignity, status and reputation.

Those who are a part of the emerging church do not want to be a part of the stodgy crowd.

Those who are a part of fundamentalist church do not want to have lax standards.

Those who are a part of the mainline traditional church do not want to be unsophisticated.

Those who are a part of the Pentecostal church do not want to be unconnected to the Spirit.

Those who are a part of the Reformed tradition do not want to be shallow.

In each of these, there is a point of dignity and pride. If we want true unity and love in the broader body, we must show respect for one another's strengths. Nobody wants to be considered a loser.


It sort of makes me think of David Crowder's song: We Win

We’re gonna
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
loud until the walls come down

We’re gonna
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
loud until the walls come down

Yeah yeah yeah

Because we’ve already won
And You don’t have a chance
Yeah we’ve already won
No you don’t have a chance
It’s already done
And you don’t have a chance
Because we’ve already won!
We have already won!

We’re gonna
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
loud until the walls come down

We’re gonna
shout loud,
loud until the final sound
shout loud,
loud until the final sound
loud until the final sound

Because we’ve already won
And You don’t have a chance
Yeah we’ve already won
No you don’t have a chance
It’s already done
And you don’t have a chance
Because we’ve already won!
And You don’t have a chance
Yeah we’ve already won
No you don’t have a chance
It’s already done
And you don’t have a chance
Because we’ve already won!
We have already won!

We’re gonna
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud until the walls come down
shout loud,
loud Because we’ve already won
And You don’t have a chance
Yeah we’ve already won
No you don’t have a chance
It’s already done
And you don’t have a chance
Because we’ve already won!
We have already won!
We have already won!