Showing posts from December, 2008

Defining Community

Following last night's celebration of the last night of Hanukkah, I am struck afresh with my ongoing struggle to define community.

Here's the issue; our congregation is rare. Does that sound arrogant? I certainly don't mean it to, but it is a fact that we have had many visitors tell us this very thing upon spending time with us. We have people contact us from around the country, and the world even, wanting to know about us and desiring to visit. It never fails to amaze me. But, what is that special element that makes us different from other congregations?

As I was interacting with everyone last night, I tried to step aside and just observe. I know how I feel, personally, when I walk through our congregation...this is my family, my people. I know them all and they know me. I know their loves and fears, weaknesses and talents, just as much as they know mine. Their expressions and body movements are so familiar and comfortable...I feel safe. We have vehemently agr…

Jedi Philosophy: Serenity

"Above all things, a Jedi Master was serene - never overruled by strong emotion."

Serene, (adj) - marked by or suggestive of utter calm or unruffled repose or quietude, clear and free of storms or unpleasant change; shining bright and steady.

A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones. (Proverbs 14:29-31)

I awoke this morning pondering the idea of serenity. What does it mean to be serene…can I possibly achieve that?

In my desire to live by Scripture, I am driven to challenge Jedi philosophy with the tenets of my faith. In thinking about strong emotions, I am reminded of the character of our Master.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8)

We are told to have self-control of our emotions, and to think before acting.

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

I strive to be one who is self-controlled and I want great understanding;…

Book Review: Clone Wars - Wild Space

I just finished reading The Clone Wars: Wild Space by Karen Miller - absolutely awesome, inspiring, hard to put down, insists on being pondered further...I've never wanted to finish a book then immediately start it again, but that is what I'm gonna do.

This story is, obviously, set just after the onset of the Clone Wars, and gives an INCREDIBLE insight into the thoughts and dialogue of our favorite characters. Obi-Wan is my all-time hero, and this is the most material I have read about him in any volume. All the characters (Anakin, Padme, Ashoka, Yoda, Mace, Palpatine) all are very true to their characters - no deviation here. All the dialogue is spot-on, entertaining and engaging. I especially enjoyed reading about Bail Organa; such a surprising character. I wasn't sure whether I liked him or not! (I'm not particularly fond of politicians, to be honest.)

The opening chapter is definitely worth the price of admission (which was $15 at Borders, paperback.)

If you ar…

Maybe I just need a fresh perspective...

Whenever I get irritated, I always think, "maybe it's just me." Do you ever think that? Perhaps I just need a fresh, different perspective to get my mind in the proper place. At this time of year, it would seem that there a lot of reasons to be irritated...that's not a good thing. Isn't there something I can do to look at things a new way??

Perhaps someone really does like the hokey Christmas music they play in EVERY business establishment.

Maybe it's just my imagination that store employees should know what they carry and maybe even where it might be located in the store.

Possibly some truly do not know what it means to keep their word.

Maybe some people don't know what it means to create and keep a good reputation; maybe respect should not be earned, but just given no matter how anyone acts.

It's a possibility that some truly don't mean to habitually duck out of their responsibilities...they just don't think about it.

Maybe manners jus…

MySpace v. Facebook

Why all the hype all of a sudden with Facebook? Why is everyone trying to choose Facebook over MySpace?

Surprisingly, I now have 62-ish friends over on the 'other' social utility. I really didn't actively seek friends there, or here for that matter. However, it would seem that there is some motivation on quite a few minds to choose one or the other. I'm not quite sure why.

MySpace is a creative space for me; I loved building my own profile, adding videos, pictures, slideshows, favorite quotes, music, etc. I have enjoyed speaking with far-away friends and making new ones that have found me through the search features here. I'm not sure that could have happened on Facebook.

I like Facebook, as well, as there are a good many people that like that site better just due to the lack of obnoxious ads (although I have seen plenty of irritating ads on Facebook, as well.) I'm fully aware that those with a religious bent feel that Facebook is 'cleaner' and mo…