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Wednesday, November 29, 2006 

Fare Thee Well
Topic: Blogging

Reading: cramming for finals
Enjoying: having Molly visit!
Listening: Damien Rice 9 Crimes

Between finals, term papers, my slight fever, and visiting company from the home land, hopefully we'll resurface in mid-December, probably just in time to start thinking about Christmas. Happy Advent in advance.

In the mean time, here's a few final things to keep you company.

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We've updated a few things to the sidebar. We'll give you three guesses, and We'll tell you that two of the three are correct. We want to know: can you guess which one is incorrect?
1. Our copyright on the royal use of the first person pronoun in the plural. In other words, to be able to refer to the singular person writing this as "we." We don't think you should pick this one.

2. We've updated our poll towards the bottom of the sidebar. Will you be celebrating Advent this year (it starts this Sunday for most churches), and if so, does your church practice following the liturgical calendar? Many churches celebrate a form of Advent (candles, wreaths, etc.), but don't follow any of the rest of Advent, while others view it as spoken to in the Regulative Principle.

3. We (yes both of us!) fixed the blund web comments tab to the right. Now you can peruse the discussions and comments we partake in that aren't blund blogs or Thunder sites. Check 'em out, and try to contain the excitement.
So, we want to know which one you think was incorrect. Remember, we are waiting to hear!

::: :::

Struggling to maintain that Thanksgiving thankful spirit? Welcome to America. Nevertheless, we have a great deal to be thankful for, and often more of the "basics" than we realize. In doing some reading on the mission zeal of Geneva, I came across this letter by Calvin to some of the pastors he had personally trained and sent out.

To five such missionaries who had been arrested at Lyons and were facing death by martyrdom, Calvin wrote on May 15, 1553:
Since it pleases him [i.e. God] to employ you to the death in maintaining his quarrel [with the world], he will strengthen your hands in the fight, and will not suffer a single drop of your blood to be spent in vain. And though the fruit may not all at once appear, yet in time it shall spring up more abundantly than we can express. But as he hath vouchsafed you this privilege, that your bonds have been renowned, and that the noise of them has been everywhere spread abroad, it must needs be, in despite of Satan, that your death should resound far more powerfully, so that the name of our Lord be magnified thereby. For my part, I have no doubt, if it please this kind Father to take you unto himself, that he has preserved you hitherto, in order that your long-continued imprisonment might serve as a preparation for the better awakening of those whom be has determined to edify by your end. For let enemies do their utmost, they never shall be able to bury out of sight that light which God has made to shine in you, in order to be contemplated from afar.
Letter 318 [in Jules Bonnet, ed., Letters of John Calvin, tr. Mr. Constable (1858 ed.; repr. New York: Lenox Hill Pub. & Dist. Co., 1972), II, 406].

Let the noise of their bonds be heard even now, and let us give thanks that they did not shrink back from what God had set before them, and let us follow them and our Elder Brother in the example laid before us.

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Speaking of Thanksgiving, we had a delightful time with pictures of Samantha's top-notch cooking forthcoming, and trust you all enjoyed your time as much as we did ours. We spent it with other seminary families exiled from loved ones; the Lems graciously hosted us, and we enjoyed their company as well as the Kuperuses and ACisMe 2. While you're waiting for our pix, head over and watch Owen - the Lem's middle son of three boys - in rare form.

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Recently we noted the MN Twins had added some hardware to the trophy case, but we would be amiss not to remind everyone that the MN Wild are comfortably in first place in the Western Northwest conference. While the Edmonton Oilers are giving them a run for their money, the Wild are playing halfway decent, considering Marion Gaborik and Wes Walz are both out with injuries. Also, two weeks ago the Wild - in a "wild" come from behind - took the Predators in a Rolston-winning shootout. Until Gaborik can find a way to stay healthy, no doubt the Wild are going to become more and more comfortable leaning on Rolston, which to my mind is a good thing. He is becoming increasingly more of a threat in shoot outs, and his overall play is outstanding. (And yes, Matt and Claus, MN is real and it is awesome...)

::: :::

Here's a confession of a guilty pleasure. Though to be honest, it turned into more of a guilty distaste, er... something.

Upon moving to SoCal, on a few of my longer drives I would flip through the radio stations. We are kind of in a valley, and sort of midway between San Diego and LA. We couldn't pick up that many stations. (Also, our cellphone service is atrocious.) But one station that came in loud and clear caught my attention. I think I first tuned in because I recognized a Metallica riff, but it was only a segway for this mostly talk show radio program. I had just tuned in to The Tom Leykis (like-us) Show.

So apparently, Mr. Leykis is paying his bill by having call in sessions with people concerning relationships. Mr. Leykis is himself a divorcee from a marriage he entered into when quite young. Feeling himself ill prepared and realizing that women were out for something other than what he had surmised, he now devotes his show to educating young men and women (entitled Leykis 101) on the subtler nuances of relationships.

But here's the thing. You don't have to listen long to catch the main thesis of Leykis 101: all women are out for your money, your time, and your self-respect, and men must stop at nothing to keep these women at bay while the men go for the one thing women have that men want... sex. With main theories like, "If women think you are a jerk or an asshole, then you are doing something right," or "Make sure the woman knows that if she does not 'put out,'" then you will get it somewhere else," you can see that discussions of chastity, faithfulness, and marriage aren't exactly "close to the heart" of "Blow Me Up Tom." Don't even get started on issues of childrearing, self-sacrifice, or power vs. submission. Everything for Tom Leykis is about "how to get mine," and in this connotation, "mine" is my pleasure, my sex, my way.

While I'd like to write more about this later, briefly, it is easy to see that there is something wrong with this theory, but what exactly is wrong is a bit harder to pinpoint. I mentioned that I stumbled upon the station, but what kept me coming back and tuning in later was the fascination I had with Mr. Leykis. Few people take their world and life view to such extremes, and so consistently, as he does. There is not one category - as far as I could tell - that Mr. Leykis is not completely hedonistic or selfish in.

Of course, there are very important things wrong with Leykis 101, but much of it lies beneath the surface. Beliefs and worldviews matter, and here is a terrific example. Despite the fact that this philosophy reduces every individual to the genitals, Mr. Leykis has no concept of anything beyond his (or each individual's) own sensory universe. Listening to callers who would call in furious with the propaganda spout, and then listening to Leykis systematically and sarcastically dismember their arguments, I wondered a lot about the benefit of spending time and energy interacting with his worldview. Would Paul have spent time on him at the Areopagus, or would he let him by with a simple denunciation of cultic prostitution? How would you interact with this radio presence? Call in? Picket line? Smug intellectual/ethical superiority? Its difficult to know. Look for a further post on the topic in the future.

::: :::

Pope Benedict XVI is safely back in the Vatican after his visit to Turkey subsequent to his infamous speech he made two months ago in Regensburg, Germany. You remember the speech - the pope calls Muslims violent and they go on a murderous rioting spree for a week. How unfair of that pope. Regardless, some had thought it unwise to continue the visit after the raw relations between the Vatican and Constantinople, but it all went off without a hitch. The pope plugged Turkey joining the European Union (despite some reservations), visited the Blue Mosque, and generally was quite pleasant. Some noted, however,
In all, the pope has seemed to toe a careful line of not backing down in substance — with the exception of cautiously blessing the progress of Turkey toward membership in the European Union — while presenting a more open, warmer face to an Islamic world that now deeply distrusts him.
I'm just glad he didn't call anyone 'violent'!

Would a reunion of the 250 million Orthodox with the near 1 billion Roman Catholic Church be a good thing?

::: :::

Finally, as a parting gift, which I hope you truly enjoy, here is Martin Luther on facing temptation. May it strengthen you to trust Christ as you fight in The Long War as we await for what is inaugurated to reach fruition.


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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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