Sunday, December 14, 2008


It's snowing here in Washington. As I left for work the flakes had started coming down. The kids caught a glimpse of the shallow white ground cover as I was headed out the door and yelled "It's Christmas!!!, can we open our presents?!?" I told them their education had been neglected and that it wasn't christmas every time it snowed, and Brandy explained that Josiah had asked before "when is christmas?" and she had told him that it was christmas when it snowed, as she hadn't expected to see snow anytime soon. So I smilingly told her she's been miseducating our children and we laughed about it as she had the kids come look out the door at the snow falling as I headed for the car.
We'd watched the first half of "Amelie" before I left, as that was all I had time for. It's very funny so far, and like all french films I've seen it's also very existential.
The definition of existentialism (according to that wonderful cauldron of common knowledge which is wikipedia) is "the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject – not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual. In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude," or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world."
At first I would think that existentialism would be totally Christian thinking, but it's really not. There's a huge existential element in christianity, on the personal level: we're addressed by God and Jesus as feeling, acting humans, and God Himself seems to be the same. Overall something very hard to put in a graph or a diagram. But at the same time we're given a stability that pure existentialists don't have, since we have things that never change (The promises of God), and we know some basic answers for basic questions like "Who am I, where did I come from, where am I going" but between all that there's still a huge realm of unknowns that to us seem absurd/meaningless except in the light that they're part of the divine plan somehow.
Speaking of absurdity, I've been feeling somewhat out of touch with reality lately. I think in part because I'm working nights, and haven't gotten out of the house in fully conscious mode in a while. Also I think it's the isolation; as I have no believing friends (the kind of friends I can hang out with I mean, I acquaintances galore, but I miss having friends, and I miss my friends back in MN.) - Except, of course, Brandy, who I am grateful for, but without babysitters our times together have been between the hours of 10pm-3am, not the best time for hanging out. Lord willing we've got some potential babysitters lined up for the near future (some girls from church). Then again, all my ethereal-ness could just be brain chemistry gone awry, in which case this too shall pass soon enough.
Meeting w/ a faculty member from SPU Monday morning, he read my letters to the editor and has a group of people he meets with who want to change the course of SPU in a somewhat more scriptural direction. I pray that goes well, and I pray it's not political.
My role in youth group is interesting... I haven't seen or talked to any of the guys for about three weeks for more than a few seconds, because Sun. grp has been cancelled for the past three weeks (well, one of the weeks there was a guest speaker) and with my kids running underfoot it's impossible to have any real conversation after service. We end up going to the church coffeeshop and sitting down to watch them for half an hour or so til we go home. So my plan of getting to know the guys @ Youth Group has thus far flopped.
On the upside I'm going to be off work for over a week during Christmas Break, that's going to be very nice. We're planning on going down to Centralia to visit w/ the relatives down there. We'll also most likely go up to Nate and Marielle's at some point then too.
Read "The Spiritual Brain"-a book on non-materialistic view of the brain/mind connection which confirmed my earlier theories, but it was written by a neurosurgeon of the Teilhard De Chardin variety. (kinda cosmically new agey). Also read "Napoleon of Notting Hill", which although it has its moments isn't as good as the other Chesterton I've read. Finished Isaiah and am on Jeremiah 11, listened to "Hood" by Stephen Lawhead and am now listening to CH Spurgeon's autobiography on MP3. And reading through A.E. Wilder-Smith's Autobiography as well. Plus, if anyone feels like passing it along to Paul back in St. Cloud, the puritan devotional he gave me had been a constant encouragement.
Well, I think that's it for now.