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Ordinary Time VIII

Postmodern Superpowers: If I were going to order up a postmodern superhero persona I would want the following: a really cool costume – one that smoothed out bumps and blemishes, of course. A way to fly – because of course I love that, so I’d put that on the list. And I’d want a really good set of superhero friends who had nicely matching powers and of course coordinating but not matchy-pooh costumes. And what other powers would I want? Well . . .

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Ordinary Time VII

The last four days I spent my time in Charlotte, North Carolina with a couple thousand friends who are part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Of course I don’t know all of them, but I do know quite a few. And my most favorite part of the meeting is seeing (in person not just on facebook) friends that I only see every two or three years. Although the crowd was large, it felt – as it usually does – like some combination of family reunion, summer camp, and street festival. And for me anyway, it has a feeling of connection and belonging that skips over the angst of high school reunions, the pressure of tent revival altar calls, and the tension of denominational politics.

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Ordinary Time VI

Today I went to hear Alan Roxburgh at the Leadership Institute, a pre-meeting of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m constantly bumping into the ideas in the “missional church” movement. I find the ideas somewhat interesting, but rarely do I experience them as dramatically innovative. Usually I walk away from such engagements feeling mostly skeptical. So I decided to take another opportunity to listen in on a presentation and see where it led me.

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Ordinary Time VI

I’ve been contemplating the many “parents” that have shaped and formed me this weekend. I’m grateful for the parents who gave me birth and brought me up in the world. I’m especially grateful for my dad who sticks with me and always tells me he’s proud. He’s recently retired from more than 40 years of teaching. For a long time I resisted that family inheritance. Lots of of my great aunts and their children were also teachers and school administrators. But eventually I saw that it was my calling, too. And in the last 10 years I’ve embraced the role with joy.

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Ordinary Time V

On Sunday night I had one of those privileges of a life time. I heard Dave Brubeck play live at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. He was my second jazz crush (after Louis Armstrong) about a dozen years ago. Brubeck, who turns 90 this year, sounded amazing, and was charming as he told a few stories. As I watched his hands move over the keys I was amazed at how he creates a kind of sound from the piano that for me pretty much defies description. Each note is clear, yet together a sound rises up that goes beyond the individual notes.

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Ordinary Time IV

“When we see the world as an end in itself, everything becomes itself a value and consequently loses all value, because only in God is found the meaning (value) of everything, and the world is meaningful only when it is the ‘sacrament’ of God’s presence.” – Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

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