Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Archive for May 2006

On my anniversary

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Happy 3rd anniversary, sweetie.   

Something That We Do

C. Black, S. Ewing – © 1997

I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
I still believe the words we said forever will ring true
Love is certain, love is kind, love is yours and love is mine
but it isn't something that we find, it's something that we  do...
It's holding tight and letting go
it's flying high and laying low
let your strongest feelings show and your weakness too
it's a little and a lot to ask an endless and a welcome task
love isn't something that we have, it's something that we  do...
We helped to make each other all we can be
though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
the way we work together is what sets our love apart
so closely that we can't tell where I end and where you start
It gives me heart remembering how
we started with a simple vow
there's so much to look back on now, still it feels brand new
we're on a road that has no end and each day we begin again
loves not just something that we're in, it's something that we do...
Love is wide, love is long,
love is deep and love is strong
love is why I love this song and I hope you love it  too
I remember well the day we wed I can see that picture in my head
Love isn't just those words we said, it's something that we do...
There's no request too big or small
we give ourselves we give our all
Love isn't someplace that we fall, it's something that we do...

Written by taj

May 31, 2006 at 8:49 pm

Posted in General

The power of words

with 2 comments

Of the reading I’ve done concerning The Da Vinci Code, the Christian response usually falls into one of three categories:

Boycott it

Ignore it

Respond to it

The first choice is just silly.  You don’t boycott to make a statement, you boycott to initiate change. 

The second choice is one that I’ve leaned toward for a while.  I read the book last fall, and I agree with general critical analysis—the book suffers from endless cliché, flat characters, prose that cannot help but spell everything out for you, and a host of other problems without a single regard to the fact that it’s a fine example of the poorest academic research.  It is, however, fiction, and I can forgive the writer for manipulating history for the sake of his tale. 

What’s harder to ignore is the large number of people who’ve locked elbows and taken the plunge off the top of Mount Da Vinci, swallowing every half-truth armed with the conviction of a single search through Google. 

Again, I am usually apt to ignore this.  But 40 million copies leave an impact.  Even if the movie does flop in the wake of X3 this weekend, questions will be asked by the incalculable number of lemmings who’ve read the book, searched Google, and therefore believe. 

Thanks to this post from the Maven, I’m trying to get a handle on fiction that has affected significant cultural change…

"So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war."

That's what Abraham Lincoln said to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, upon meeting her. Her novel made Americans more vividly aware of the horrors of slavery than any other media outlet had done before. People were moved by the book, inspired by it, in ways that all the politics, all the printed diatribes, could not do.

But Uncle Tom's Cabin was "only fiction."

D.W. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation premiered in 1915 with its technologically ground-breaking but socially horrifying positive depiction of the Ku Klux Klan and the lynching of a black man. It sparked massive race riots across the country, and led to the rebirth of the Klan, which had been dormant since soon after the Civil War.

But Birth of a Nation was "only a movie."

I don’t know if I’m inclined to shelve Dan Brown’s tome with the likes of these—Uncle Tom’s Cabin at least highlighted real horrors.  Brown’s horrors are all imaginary, and anyone who cares to look will find a great many articles detailing the facts he ignores.   

Should we find anyone who has, unfortunately, fallen for the pseudo-historic claims of the novel, we shouldn’t blame the novel.  At least not entirely.  The book only whets the appetites of those who were already leaning that direction.  Therefore, choice three leaps to a point of greater necessity. 

How best should we respond to this?  There’s talks, sermons, articles, etc.  The lay person can even write letters to the editors of various publications in the hopes of spreading the message.  But I think that a far better response from the Christian community would be to do some thing quite…novel.  Are you ready?  Here it is:

Write better books. 

Written by taj

May 26, 2006 at 2:07 am

Posted in Books, Movies, Writing

A question about evangelism

with 2 comments

I was doing some reading and writing down a few thoughts today when I stumbled upon this memory…

A church I had visited one morning was starting up a faith promise initiative in the effort of raising money for an addition to their building.  I sat in the back and listened patiently to cliché after cliché about how giving equals reward.  I heard the storehouse passage, and even an extended illustration about a man who goes to heaven and meets all the people that would not have been there were it not for his gift.  And I kid you not, the speaker actually ended with the words, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone approached you in heaven and told you ‘Thank you for giving to the Lord.’”

I tried my best not to laugh.  And I thought that it’d be a real shame if they played that old familiar Ray Boltz song as they passed the plate. 

They did.

And I left that afternoon feeling insulted—the victim of a poorly disguised ploy that prompted more laughter than good will.  So…is this how those whom we commonly refer to as “unbelievers” feel when we “evangelize?”

Written by taj

May 24, 2006 at 3:04 am

Posted in Evangelism

Pardon our mess…

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Still trying to find a template I like.  I was going to go with a template that had this great big red pen in the upper right corner.  Figured it was more relevant.  But I like the look of this.  Just so long as I can figure out how to get the font to stay in Times New Roman…

Written by taj

May 19, 2006 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The early word on The Da Vinci Code…

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isn’t very promising.  Words such as “overblown,” “overlong,” and “lifeless” have crept into the early reviews

Funny.  I seem to recall similar sentiments expressed concerning the source material earlier this week.   


H/T: Libertas

Written by taj

May 17, 2006 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Movies

I’ve kept out of this so far…

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Taylor Hicks…you rock, dude.

Written by taj

May 17, 2006 at 2:08 am

Posted in General

The Negative Side of Internet Freelancing

with one comment

Interesting piece I’ve come across.  The freelance print market is definitely the more lucrative when set beside internet opportunities.  The reasons for this vary, but one aspect highlighted by PoeWar.com that caught my eye was the difference in quality. 

The current web freelancing model produces several unfortunate results. The first is that the quality of writing on the web is low, especially freelance writing. The second is that the quality of writing assignments on the web is low so there is little incentive for writers to improve. The third is that legitimate publishers view web assignments with less respect and offer less money to people working in that market segment.

Which is why the blog will likely remain a hobby.  I know that haven’t written my best here.  The first sentence of this post, for instance, would likely serve as a danger sign to any potential publisher.  The poor quality assertion doesn’t run across the board, however.  When Bill Wallo was still blogging, he produced immaculate material consistently.  And there’s a gaggle of others. 

At any rate, I was already feeling less inclined to look for internet assignments, despite some recent attempts.  I’m still waiting for a response on one, however, so we’ll what happens. 

Written by taj

May 16, 2006 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Writing

It’s still not easy being green

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But I make it work.  The blue was a little predictable.  I had wanted to change the header of the old site for a while, and most of my experiments with HTML proved to be resounding failures.  I prefer something that’ll do the tough stuff for me.  I don’t like to struggle with computers.  They should struggle for me.

Written by taj

May 16, 2006 at 1:17 pm

Posted in General

Beginning Again

with 2 comments

Reevaluating.  Over the last couple of weeks, I've stepped away from blogging to concentrate on some other assignments having to do with some freelance work.  The writing and the research has rekindled some elements of this trade that I had neglected.  In looking for things to blog about, I've neglected looking for things to write about. 

In an attempt to…move forward with this, I took a little jaunt on over to Word Press earlier today and set up this place.  I suppose it is a tad banal to go with the default template, but it's the least frustrating.  

Anyway, more time spent blogging needs to be more time spent writing.  In the meantime, I'll be busy.  See you soon. 

Written by taj

May 12, 2006 at 7:46 pm

Posted in General, Writing