Archive for September, 2005

Talk the talk, but can you fly?

One of the clearest depictions I’ve ever read of my Christian liberal arts college, ca. 1980, is Joseph Bayly’s story “Ceiling Zero.” It’s the sequel to “I Saw Gooley Fly,” which can be found in a compilation called A Voice in the Wilderness. In these stories, Herb Gooley can’t do much of anything right – but he’s the only one on campus who flies. (more…)

To my beloved on our wedding day

You are my jackpot.
You are my wildflower.
You are my yokefellow.
You are my candle.
You are my match.

Interview with the bluegrass rabbi

Question: You lead Congregation Shomer Negiah, but you’re also an accomplished banjo and harmonica player. How did you get involved in music?

“From my parents. When she was a teenager, instead of a picture of Elvis, my mother had a photograph of Shlomo Carlebach on her wall. (more…)

Love will never come to nothing

Love will never come to nothing. Everything has an end but love. Love alone shall stand… Love clothes us for the wedding feast because God is love and love is God. He helps us out of all distress, and who shall take us far from him? Knowledge swells but love builds up. Everything done without love comes to ruin. Oh love! Oh love! Lead us with your hand and bind us together. False love is that which deceives us. Amen.

— Ludwig Haetzer, based on I Corinthians 13, Ausbund, 57:6-7

The world is guilty until proven innocent.

I’m skeptical about society. Most people in churches assume that the world is innocent until proven guilty. I believe it’s guilty until proven innocent. So most people consume most mass media, perhaps being cautious about some content, but asking few questions. But I assume that most television, film, advertising, and popular music were not created to glorify God, and I’m cautious about taking it into myself unless I feel good about a specific product. One reason I like international music is that it can get my feet moving without triggering sinful responses from my own culture.

Beautifully adorned and clear

That which Adam lost, we find again in Christ, beautifully adorned and clear.

Ausbund, 51:6

The ornamental Christian

As a gardener, I’m notorious for only planting what can be eaten. My family, however, is fond of pear-less pear trees. They are called “ornamental pears.” They have nice white blossoms, but they have been carefully bred not to produce any fruit. Ornamental fruit trees have become quite popular. So have ornamental Christians.