Stuff That Makes Sense To Me.

I ended my last entry saying I’d start off with “Stuff that Makes Sense to Me.” I’ve been keeping an Outline, but I’m finding it a slow process. I wanted to be somewhat systematic about it–sort of an intentional “Affinities” list. And in the ever-difficult (for me) pursuit of optimistic thinking, to deliberately NOT make a “dislikes” list or collection of things that DON’T make sense to me. But the list form isn’t as rich or varied as I thought it would be by now, so let me just “prose it out” right here:The past few months have yielded pockets of time where I put the blinders on and focused on a subject indefinitely, trying to figure out why it resonated with me at some level. Most of these subjects are ones that have left me whispering out loud in the car or at my desk, “Yeah! THIS makes sense to me!” So, I guess the qualifier I’ve tried to use has been: “if I have enough reaction to something to move from thinking the common and not too noteworthy ‘Hmm! THAT’S cool!’ to ‘THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME!’ THEN it’s worth further examination. Or so I’d like to think.Let’s just take these three examples for today: PHILOSOPHY/VALUES, CHURCH, and INDVIDUALSLet’s start with…Church.Surprised? I’ve had a few experiences (very few) that have caught my attention so. Denominationally speaking, since it in the publics of evangelical participants, THIS is how we relate, there is ONE CHURCH in particular that I have YET to be able to jab at. And it’s the Vineyard Church. I do NOT know them very well, but have figured out that as a relatively young organization (20 or so years) they don’t have the baggage of other denominations that are quagmired in ridiculously obsolete and culturally irrelevant belief systems.Granted, my experience with the Vineyard Churches has been limited–there is no local branch–but I feel as much of an affinity to them currently as I do anything else out there. In fact, I’ve only visited TWO of them, and have immensely enjoyed both the Cincy Vineyard (who stream their services here) as well as the Greenwood Vineyard.What makes them work? I have no idea. It certainly goes beyond their “core values”. I’ve learned this past week that MOST churches are IDENTICAL when you ONLY read their core values. But when I continue to read through the website(s) of the Vineyard Church and think about how WHO THEY SAY THEY are matches up with my experiences there, I think, YEAH THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME!Individuals.One Person currently on my Individuals list that makes sense to me is Bono, lead singer of U2. I’m hesitant to expound on it much, for I fear sounding pretentious about it. Of course, I’m a fan of U2 & Bono, but I don’t LAUD him. I just dig his process. And those of you closest to me know I’m a PROCESS junkie. What about Bono’s Process? Well, other than the fact that he’s quite the family man (despite his on stage persona) with a decades old marriage and many kids, I love the fact that he puts his money where his mouth is with his activism. If you’re like me, it’s easy to pan celebrities with causes–face it, they’re usually just a pretty face to raise the value of the stock of these otherwise humble humanitarian efforts. But with Bono, if you pay attention to his involvement with DATA, Amnesty International, and Jubilee, you realize a shaming truth that is nothing short of a servant’s heart: HE LOVES PEOPLE AND HE LOVES GOD. And this Irishman cares more about the United State’s government and it’s role in the global community MORE THAN ANY high-profile American Evangelical of influence.Last year, his efforts were documented in Christianity Today. Shortly after this profile was published, I was in a conversation with a mixed group of believers discussing the validity of this article (and of course, the validity of such a man as Bono). In the midst of it, I proclaimed something to the effect of, “The Post-Modern church needs a bishop, and Bono is that man!” I smile a bit thinking back on that somewhat-silly-somewhat-prophetic comment. But I made the statement because HE makes sense to me. While writing about Bono, I tell you honestly that in my mind, I keep thinking to U2’s most recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. In the closing chords of one of their songs (Was it Vertigo? All Because of You?) Bono ad-libs, “He LOVES you! He LOVES you! He LOVES you!” Just thought he’d slide that truth in at the last second! THAT makes sense to me.Philosophy / Values.Okay. I’ll confess that this “category” on my outline currently only contains ONE quotable. Perhaps I’m not reading enough. Certainly I could fill it with all sorts of credos that I obviously subscribe to, but there’s those that have been fully internalized, and those that are still at that magic moment of sperm-meets-ovum. The one that’s on my mind of late is this: >There is nothing more important to humanity’s physical, psychic, social, and political survival and well-being than the conversion to hydrogen fuel.–Walter Murch (from Behind the Seen by Charles Koppelman)What’s so inspiring about that quote I should use CONCEPTION as a metaphor, let alone rank it as a “THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME” item? I’ll tell you. It lands SO CLOSE to the intersection of all things relevant right now. Not just to me, but to the world. And to me that’s worth not just putting it on my “list”, but also putting it up there for discussion’s sake.Walter Murch is a heralded film editor. I lifted that quote, (which was merely an incidental journal entry of Murch’s) from a book about the editing of the film “Cold Mountain.” The book, I purchased and read, as a professional-development exercise, simply put. It is NOT a political manifesto about our role in the middle-east war and our quest for foreign oil. No, far from it. but this little quote buried in the midst of the technical discussion about putting together this film, caught me.It said to me not just that idealism and breakthroughs need to come to pass, but that our angst in many levels culturally can be changed. Perhaps not alleviated, but shifted. And it MAY happen within our lifetimes! THIS is relevant to me, to the church, and to our legacy.And, Oh, Weblogs Make Sense to Me…Through happenstance in the “blogosphere,” I came upon THIS phenomenal weblog entry written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach. I stumbled across it this morning while preparing to write. He’s a TV writer/producer, I’m going to let it speak for itself, and in fact, speak for MYself as well. It’s a very well-written and worthwhile, yet lengthy read, regardless of your spiritual or political affiliation. Oh, and it’s a TWO-PARTER, so when you finish the first part, scroll up and click the green right-facing triangle to take you to part TWO.THIS artical made MUCHO sense to me. I don’t necessarily expect it to for you, but please return here and tell me what you think–if it does NOT make sense to you, TELL ME WHAT DOES.That said, I’m going to wrap it up here. I know my first two entries in this new “direction” of my weblog have been VERY lengthy. And judging by the comments and offline conversations I’m having with all of you kind readers, I think smaller, more frequent posts maybe a better approach. So. I have a “tack” for the next post already a
nd will be putting it up sooner than later. In the meanwhile, enjoy the article I linked to above, consider “WHAT MAKES SENSE TO YOU?” and give me a shout back in the COMMENTS area below.Coming Soon…”The Hooker, The Healer, & Open Source Church”


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