Friday, March 30, 2007

SEX GOD...Chapter 2

In the second chapter Rob focuses his energies in redefining relationships and what it means to be connected to others, whether as friends, intimate lovers, or simply other people we come into contact with. Rob reminds that the original way of being connected to one another, earth and God was disturbed through the entrance of sin into the world, thus there is a desire for reconnection. The ideas Rob is stressing here are good ones of our connection to each other [anybody] and our connection to earth and to ourselves...

Rob goes on to say that:

"Scholars believe that the word sex is related to the Latin word secare, which means: to sever, to amputate, or to disconnect from the whole. This is where we get words like sect, section, dissect, bisect. Our sexuality, then, has two dimensions. First, our sexuality is our awareness of how profoundly we're severed and cut off and disconnected. Second, our sexuality is all the ways we go about trying to reconnect."

Rob focuses here on rethinking out definitions for sexuality:

"For many, sexuality is simply what happens between two people involving physical pleasure. But that's only a small percentage of what sexuality is. Our sexuality is all of the ways we strive to reconnect with our world, with each other, and with God."

Most of this chapter Rob is trying to focus on the disconnect that we feel from the fall and sin, and sexuality being our desire to reconnect with people. He stresses that sexuality is not about sex as we often understand it. It's about being connected in a healthy way to people, a life of LOVE and joy with others, there is a communal dimension. Which reminded me of Lauren Winners writings in her book Real Sex, where she covers a chapter on sex and the community. I really like this idea of connectedness to who we are to our neighbors, all people, for we are all divine images of God, and our connection to creation it self which God has given us the privilege of being good stewards of... I am also reminded of N.T. Wright's writings in Simply Christian on the echoes of God instilled in us all, and the echo of relationship that is in each person, a desire to be loved, to be in love to be connected in one way or another. Personally I think Rob could have expanded much more on this in this chapter, but I think the ideas of long chapters are just not Rob's style, which is fine.

[note, I am only including parts in the review that I find interesting, I may be leaving out some parts that others may have found significant...which only means, if you are interested you should buy the book.]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

SEX GOD...Chapter 1

Some thoughts on chapter one, I have been very impressed by Rob's style of writing, it's a fresh way of brining his idea's through stories shaping them with scriptures and experiences, like a clear refreshing drink of water that is not too much or too little. This is how I have felt about the first chapter of SEX GOD entitled: God wears lipstick, in this chapter Rob talks about moments of Hell on earth, he shares story of concentration camps as found in the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mercin Willet Gonin of the British Army, he talks about loss of humanity where people were no longer humans, they were dying lumps of flesh with numbers to identify them. Rob from there takes it to the subject of bearing the image of God, and the value and the divine spark that resides in every single human being: "Everybody, everywhere. Bearers of the divine image."

Rob speaks of todays situations of making people - that, instead of him or her, the loss of humanity in how we treat others, the words we assign people, the moments of hell that we perpetuate or look the other way on here on earth... Rob's asserts that the loss of humanity is not only in those that are abused, forgotten, avoided, there is a loss in those that cause this pain as well, that both parties are effected and something is lost...Rob talks about the "gouge out your eye" parable, pointing out that " His [Jesus'] point is that something serious - something hellish- happens when people are treated as objects, and we should resist at all costs." Rob continues to say that "if we don't love our neighbor, something happens to us..." There is something human lost in us when we forget to love others, when we forget about the divine image in others.

I really liked where Rob went in this chapter, about moments/glimpses of hell on earth there are also moments/glimpses of heaven as well, in fact to be Christian is to work for the new humanity, to love the fellow image-bearers...

"A church exists to be a display of the new humanity. A community of people who honor and respect the poor and rich educated and uneducated and Jew and Gentile and black and white and old and young and powerful and helpless as fully human, created in the image of God."

Monday, March 26, 2007

A weekend of much...

So this weekend I had a great friend fly out from Calgary, to hang out, and be part of huge street hockey charity tournament for new pediatric hospital wing, there were 35+ teams and we went undefeated to the A finals, where we lost in a SHOOTOUT...grrr...and how do you do a street hockey shoot out, well don't ask me I had the worst attempt of them all...but over all the weekend was unreal and lots of fun, we played 50 minute games, in a tournament that went all day all night and the following day which means I can't walk today!






But it was awesome seeing old friends and making new ones.

Also this weekend Rob Bell's book SEXGOD, exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality came in and I am so pumped to read it, here is a quote from the introduction:

"You can't talk about sexuality without talking about how we were made. And that will inevitably lead you to who made us. At some point you have to talk about God."

So looking forward to resting my broken body and relaxing by reading this book...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

War...

I am not much of a politician, but TIME magazine has reminded me of the anniversary of the Iraqi war, and has posted an article on Four year's in Iraq, I won't get on a rant about my feelings about this conflict, but it really reminds me of growing up in USSR through the Afghanistan conflict. Now mind you I was very young but I was born on the year that Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, the conflict lasted 10 years, but there were news of USSR bringing socialism and freedom to war torn mess of tribal feuds and chaos that the British had left in Afghanistan and now USSR was going to bring peace, unity, freedom and sovereignty to the region. I wonder if that sounds familiar? But there are a lot of differences between the conflicts as well, USSR and USA were deep in cold war, there were many billions of dollars spent by Americans to fund the taliban and partisan fighters in Afghanistan, and the Soviet, Afghan war is probably more comparable to the USA, Vietnam war.

I clearly remember students who came to our school, whose dads were professional soldiers and talking to classmates whose dads been killed, another's lost a leg another classmate actually lived in Afghanistan on a base and had been exposed to seeing limbs and pieces of soldiers and insurgents blown up, there were always stories of some ones relative who was injured, killed and fear that gripped us with each story. There was an immature sense of patriotism and desire to fight for your nation. I was only a kid but remember not being able to wait to be 18 to go to military (service was mandatory) and joining Desantniki (Soviet version of Marines). But that conflict like so many of conflicts around the world ended. The troops left and many mothers and fathers were left to mourn their children, families broken, many returned handicapped in one way or another, many returned drug addicts and alcoholics just to be able to bear each day as they remembered what they have seen or have been a part of. I grew older, my childish thoughts on the war changed. The war was forgotten by many; all that was left of its memories was in the hearts and minds of those that have lost someone or their humanity, in the ugly war.

War is ugly, it affects everyone, or maybe a better way to say that is it should effect everyone, I am not naive to think that I have all the answers, its not that simple. I have been watching some of the movies and clips about both wars and documentaries lately and I'm just gripped with sadness, for lack of value for human life that war has, its so easy to hate some one, no matter what side of the issue one is on.

People are broken in war, I have always talked to my grandparents about World War II, they lived through the German invasion in Ukraine, my grandpa drafted at 16 years old to fight on the front with the Red Army, my grandma just a child at the time carrying messages to partisans, they talk about seeing people killed, they talk about horrible horrible moments in humanity, death, torture, chaos, and there is this deep, deep sadness in their eyes that no words will ever describe when they speak of those times. Their childhood lost, but in my grandparents I see redemption. The war ended people began to mourn, began to rebuild, life went on for those left behind, the scars of childhood lost scabbed, healed, left marks but life continued, people married, had kids, new families began, moments of heaven returned, moments of hell started to become distant, but scars are left, there is no winners in war, those who won also lost...

Seeing my boys in my minds eye I pray that they won't see war...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fine...

Moments of intrigue in the Morgun house:
me: Sasha it's time to clean up your toys
Sasha: No, I'm pretending
me: Well let's pretend we are cleaning up
Sasha: I don't want to pretend that
me: Well it's time
Sasha: Your not the best!
me: ohhh?
Sasha: Mommy is the best!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

No Yoke...

Had a great day visiting one of our seniors today, with three crazy youth girls, they were a hoot! It has been awesome seeing these three come such a long way from Jr. High...where flags and laughing the only thing that mattered...maybe that's a bit inside...and maybe laughing is still a huge part, but we had a great time visiting hanging out and just enjoying their spares...

I have been slowly plugging away on sermon prep now that I had finished speaking on Wednesday at youth, and have been battling at how to share and teach on 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, because this text has been abused and misused so much previously to mean a lot of things that I don't believe Paul is saying here...what's neat about this text is Paul's frustration here, there is something very real going on, with the guy who has been in close touch with Corinthians loving them, teaching them, deciding amongst their quarrels with them, and yet they are pulled back in to their old practices in to their old ways yoking them selves both in physical practice of going to temples of false god's and spiritually disengaging with the Holy spirit and as Paul argues the 'right' way of living, his heated tone is coming through in the words that he is choosing here...and Paul's realness comes through in this...I like that...

I would probably rename it: " life HAS pain "

Another Update...

Another update, Noah is now home and he's wheezing is gone, he still has a cough and ear infection but is slowly getting better, Jessica is feeling better as well and Sasha is doing good. Thank you all for your emails and prayers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Noah Update...

Hello everyone, Noah is feeling a little bit better, his fever is gone but he still has a bad cough although they did take him of oxygen so he is improving, they are going to keep him one more night at RUH, so I will be in the city again in the morning, I am looking for a baby sitter for youth night tomorrow for Sasha, he has no symptoms and is not sick so that is good. Ok I will post more updates as they come…

Monday, March 12, 2007

Prayer Request!

Seems that Noah has bronchitis, and it was getting a bit worse, so Jessica took him and now it seems he also has a small case of pneumonia, please keep him in your prayers!

Nebula's of Emotions...

Have you ever been filled with array of emotions in the same day, same hour that turn and twist in most unpredictable ways? And I am not talking about emotions that you have in sporting events or cheering something or someone on...not superficial stuff that really has no bearing... but stuff that just twists you and takes you for a ride, and you are not even sure why or where you are going. I have felt that way recently, I have been feeling it lots. I can't explain it, its like your a passenger on a ride that horrifies you and at the same time bring absolute joy, one moment it is discouraging then next you feel on top of the world? Where does that come from, what is this nebula's of emotions?

Tomorrow I might be going to a silent retreat in the city with my laptop and bury my self in sermon prep, on 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1 that Jeff has given me: entangling alliances...perhaps i will call it, or maybe: stop yoking...

Just this and that...

Well, I am back from Redberry, it was a good time, and the speaker Dan King, did a great job speaking. It was very refreshing, and nice to hang out with the youth...Jessica and Noah are still very much sick, so I ask that you pray for them. Other then that its going to be a fun week, of youth, sermon prep and family time, so looking forward to that...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gone again...

Well I am off to another weekend of Sr. Youth retreat at Redberry, should be good, although our group is much smaller due to basketball regionals (great work boys) we still have a great group going, and should be a great weekend...I will be back with some stories on Monday, but maybe the smaller group will give me a chance to work on my sermon for next Sunday...

On another note Jessica is still sick and I am away again so you can pray for her, for health and sanity...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Velvet Elvis...

So today I stayed home, and finished reading Velvet Elvis, Repainting the Christian Faith, it was a wonderful read, and many things that I personally connect with what Rob talks about in our daily walk our faith and our outlook and involvement in the world around us. But I also found an incredible critique of the book by Dr. Ben Witherington, who affirms Rob and his ministry, affirms Rob's thoughts but also corrects certain areas of translation and thinking. I would recommend reading both the book and the critique, which you can find here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Jr. Youth retreat and the broom...

So Jr. Retreat was good, we went through some good learning curves and had to figure out how to exist on no sleep...Ashton's relentless questions till 4am did not stop...and now I know there are bad question's and bad answers...What I also learned is that the broom has no chance of surviving in Jr. Youth cabin. What I mean is this, as we all got into the cabin and I went over the rules, the sanctity of the broom was stressed over and over that this was not a toy, it is not to be used for hitting (something that it is naturally used for by Jr. Highers) it is not used for dancing with, jumping with etc, etc, etc but still it was no surprise to find it in two pieces, two very broken pieces, here is the discussion that followed:

Me: WHAT HAPPENED!
Jr.Youth 1: it broke
Me:Clearly! How did it break?
Jr. Youth 1: It Fell!
Me: What do you mean it fell?
Jr. Youth 1: I don't no it just did.
Me (getting frustrated): Didn't I say not to fool around with the broom?
Jr. Youth 1: I wasn't, its not my fault it fell.
Me: How did it fall?
Jr. Youth 1: well it fell and broke.
Me (seeing this is not going anywhere): did anyone else see how it fell?
Jr. Youth 2: well Jr. Youth 1 threw it up in the air and it busted
Me: So you did break it (talking to Jr. Youth 1)
Jr Youth 1: well i threw it up but it was the fall that broke it
Me: Are you serious?
Jr.Youth 1: well you didn't ask if i threw it.
Me: I asked how it broke.
Jr.Youth 1: and I told you it fell...
Me: You are in charge of clean up at the end of the retreat.
Jr. Youth 1: I was being honest I don't know why I am in trouble.
Me: (only speaking hypothetically for parents that maybe reading) What if I threw you up in the air and you fell and broke, would it be the falling that is at fault or me for throwing you???
Jr. Youth 1: It's just a broom Paul.
THE END