Tuesday, April 27, 2010


When I hear new ideas, it helps to have pegs in my brain to hang them on. Reflecting on the horizon-broadening ideas I heard this month at the Festival of Faith and Writing, I can think of a few pegs. Here's an example:

From Scott Russell Sanders and Kathleen Dean Moore ~ Art described as "regional" is usually from someplace other than the big cities the media normally highlights as the norm. If the New York Times calls writers of the stature of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder "regional," there's something wrong with the term.

I associate this with other discernment lessons about the propagandizing power of media biases, especially in the areas of politics and religion. I didn't realize this ethnocentric tunnel vision happened with media presentation of the arts, too. Another peg to hang this on is questioning established definitions, such as how we define success or freedom.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


In three days at The Festival of Faith and Writing, I have sat in numerous lecture halls for classes, and I have planted myself on numerous benches in tulip gardens between classes. Here are some miscellaneous snippets I heard and overheard:

in the beginning was the Word
how far up do you want to be?
the litmus test of vocation: i can't NOT do it
an essay is mosaic art, a stained glass window light can come through
archeology professor
someone has to write web content
monster truck rally of writers conferences
i mean that in a good way
it would feel more like a job
he wasn't that creative in the bedroom
poet laureate of Lake Wobegon
divisiveness puts democracy at risk
i forgive you; will you forgive me?
once you think you have the answer, you stop asking questions
oprah called just to say thanks
anyone know where i can find coffee?
eavesdropping complicates everything

Saturday, April 3, 2010

False Idols

The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people and they gave them what they asked for. Exodus 12:35, 36

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods ..." Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. he took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." Exodus 32:1-4

Let's see ... I bet some of the gold jewelry that went into that calf was provided by God through the Egyptians. Provided by the real God who brought the Israelites up out of slavery in Egypt ~ with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and many miracles. How could they use His very gift, provided to bless them, to give credit to a golden calf for His mighty liberation?

Let's see ... How could I take the marriage God has given to bless me and bow to its imperfect promise instead of bowing to the Giver's perfect promise? How could I find my security in a house that could blow away in an instant instead of finding my security in the palm of God's hand? How could I stand proudly at the altar of people's approval instead of kneeling humbly before my holy God?

Lord, may I worship at Your feet, none other. Keep my feet from running back into slavery. May I walk in the freedom that Jesus paid so dearly for, for Your glory.