153. five thoughts on a Monday night

1. I have a kind of a head ache. More accurately, it’s the aftermath of having all four wisdom teeth pulled last Wednesday. The upper left hand side of my mouth hurts every time I swallow and the lower right hand side of my mouth hurts when I eat. And even when I’m not eating or swallowing, it still sort of pulses. When I go to sleep I can count my resting heart rate by the throbbing in my mouth. I know that’s not really a headache, but my mouth is in my head and my mouth is aching so it’s still a headache right?

2. I’m on a diet. It’s called the pull-your-wisdom-teeth diet. I love to eat, but I hate pain more. And it sucks the way rice and other little pieces of food get caught in the holes. And then it sucks trying to figure out if there’s really something stuck in there or if it’s just my imagination – hard to tell through the ache. The dentist gave me this odd looking syringe thing that’s supposed to help me wash out the back of my mouth, but gargling seems to work better. And when I’m chewing my food, it feels like everything is getting crammed into those orifices and I get all paranoid and so I don’t want to eat.

It’s a very effective diet.

3. In lieu of a girlfriend, I’ve been buying books (and actually trying to finish them). Two new titles that I’m especially excited about:

_The Rapture Exposed_ by Barbara R. Rossing. It’s about how the view of Revelations and the end times made popular by authors like Tim LaHaye (_Left Behind_ books), Hal Lindsey (_The Late Great Planet Earth_), and others. I’ve always had suspicions about the whole “rapture” idea, and this book seems to be all about dismantling that idea, returning us to a more hopeful, more constructive (and a more accurate) reading of Revelation.

_The Great Giveaway_ by David E. Fitch. The subtitle says it all: Reclaiming the mission of the church from big business, parachurch organizations, psychotherapy, consumer capitalism, and other modern maladies. Personally, I’m not so sure parachurch organizations and the advances of psychotherapy are such bad things but I am very interested to see what Fitch has to say about how the church has sold itself out to the voracious consumeristic culture that’s overtaking the world like so much Kudzu.

4. It’s a long time coming and I think I have a long ways to go still (maybe a lifetime’s worth), but I’m trying to piece together my own belief system when it comes to God and Jesus and the church and culture and community and how all those things are supposed to work. I have lots of disjointed, fragmented ideas, and I’m trying to piece them together into a coherent whole, something I can use to structure my life, something that’s useful, and positive, and culturally subversive. I want to know what the Kingdom of God looks like and I want to know how to get the world under its umbrella.

In short, I want to have a belief/faith system that I can be excited about instead of one that I’m ashamed of, which is kind of what I have right now.

5. As you can see, lots of ideas running through my head. I’m hoping to blog about them individually in more depth soon. And I’m also hoping to get busy writing some new stories (and editing some of my old ones).

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