Thursday, September 20, 2007


Jefe: We have many beautiful pinatas for your birthday celebration, each one filled with little surprises!

El Guapo: How many pinatas?

Jefe: Many pinatas, many!

El Guapo: Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?

Jefe: A what?

El Guapo: A *plethora*.

Jefe: Oh yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.

El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?

Jefe: Why, El Guapo?

El Guapo: Well, you just told me that I had a plethora, and I would just like to know if you know what it means to have a plethora. I would not like to think that someone would tell someone else he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.

Jefe: El Guapo, I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education, but could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? (from The Three Amigos)
I have a plethora of thoughts. And here they are:
  • Survivor: China starts tonight... and I'm excited. I've grown to love the "game" part of it - and it amazes me how lost some people get when playing, doing stuff that doesn't help them & in fact completely sabotages their chances of winning and/or being able to respect themselves when they get back to "real life." (Of course, this happens during your average board game as well, so I don't know why I'm surprised.)
  • Braeden & I are playing 2 player Starfarers of Catan again - he smacked me 15-9 (with a combination of alien friends & fame rings) in our first game. We've upped the winning point total to 18 for our 2nd game & it's already affecting how we are chasing down points.
  • Money's really tight at NewLife Community Church right now - so I struggle with the balance between wisely cutting expenses & devolving into "survival" mode. At the same time, I have to fight the temptation to try & preach the $ out of people's pockets... while at the same time, acknowledging our need & the responsibility of folks in our church family to give generously.
  • My gall bladder (or where it used to be) seems to be healing just fine... I still hurt, but not enough to use the pain pills. Which, btw, is a good thing - they have some side effects I didn't complete realize that involve stuff I don't really want to talk about. Suffice it to say that Mr. Blue is seeing some serious action right now (that's for those of you who've met me at various gaming events.)
  • Thanks to Steve Case (ironcates on the Geek), I'm getting to read a lot of comic book series that I've missed over the past few years. DC's Infinite Crisis stuff is, well, OK... I know the universe/mythology so well that's it is kind of fun to play catch-up, but the writing is only so-so. OTOH, there's a Marvel series he lended me that was fantastic but I can't remember the name of it. (The Avengers broke up - again - so that doesn't help much in identifying it.)
  • Also in comic book world, I want to highly recommend DC: The New Frontier... it explores the transistion from the J.S.A. to the J.L.A. and sets it in the historical context of the 50's & 60's. Very cool.
  • Other recent reading: Alamo in the Ardennes (the story of the first four days of the Battle of the Bulge), Son of a Preacher Man (Jay Bakker's autobiography - he's the son of Jim & Tammy Faye). I'd recommend Alamo to anyone interested in WW2... while I'm not sure what I feel about Jay's book. His basic message (the need to preach & live the gospel of grace) I'm totally on board with, but I think his view of what happened with PTL is clouded by his proximity to it all.
  • Speaking of WW2, I'm really looking forward to seeing Ken Burns' documentary, The War, which starts airing on PBS on Sunday night. Thanks to the magic of DVD, I'll probably wait for it to come out in that format.
  • More WW2 news: Days of Wonder has given a solid shipping date for the Memoir '44 Air Pack, which (finally!) adds all sorts of nifty stuff to my favorite "lite" wargame.
  • Finally, a quote from the most recent book I've been reading, Kevin Graham Ford's Transforming Church:

That's when it hit us: The problem side of each indicator (of church health) correlates directly to a dysfunction in modern Western culture. Our culture is all too often characterized as a collection of individuals disconnected from one another, drifting without an overarching story or unifying values, expecting someone else to solve our problems, largely self-serving, and resistant to change. The parallels between these symptoms and the problem sides of unhealthy churches were too striking to ignore.

The church desires to change the surrounding culture. The truth, however, is that the church has been infected by the very culture it seeks to transform.

And this reality begs a question or three. How can we engage the culture without being co-opted? What would it look like to actually transform our culture rather than to simply talk about it? And what exactly constitutes meaningful change anyway?

So, Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of thoughts?

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