Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I just read this article at New York Magazine about a new cultural trend: grups. (HT: marko ). Basically, these are adults (30 and 40-somethings) who are still following the same cultural trends as teenagers and 20-somethings. (music, dress, activities, etc.) This article raises at least two questions for me:

1) What role does the diminishing generational gap play in the way one ministers to one's context? Particularly a rural context. (Like mine soon to be in rural northern virginia).

2) What does this 'trend' say about what people are looking for in a community of faith or in the way they live out their faith as followers of Jesus (if they are followers of Jesus)?

Granted this is just one article talking about a trend they see in New York City, but I do see some of that in the people in my current congregation and its surrounding context in suburban Richmond, VA. Not to mention I can sort of relate to this cultural trend (with the exception to paying $400 for a pair of jeans!) in terms of the music I choose, the clothes I want to wear, the freedom from "the man", etc. How do you relate? What do you think of grups?

Monday, May 15, 2006

The ultimate drug - movies

My name is Chris. I am 32. I am addicted to...movies. I find that for me, movies are a mood altering drug. That's right movies. I could abuse alcohol, nicotine, drugs, sex, etc. But no, I choose to abuse my DVD player.

I come from a long line of film-o-holics. (It must be genetic.) I remember as a kid when my brother and I would go to spend the weekend with my dad. We would watch at least three movies (one on Friday night and two on Saturday night!) a weekend. (Now I can do that in one day! I have a problem.) Surely during the day we would do other things, but after dinner we would break out the VHS tapes and go into a fictional land of bliss...

In high school and college, it was not unusual for me to spend a Friday evening with a couple of films, a pint of ice cream, and my favorite two-liter carbonated beverage of choice and live vicariously through the actors on the screen. (Yes, I was a very exciting date in high-school.)

Somehow I always felt better after watching a movie. Before watching a film I could feel uptight, anxious, or sad, but something would happen as the tape played (something other than consuming way too much caffeine and sugar). As the credits rolled, I would feel...well, better.

Escaping into a story other than my own was liberating. I could experience adventures/emotions/actions vicariously through the characters in the movie
without the expense (physical, emotional or otherwise) of really living them.

But, the point I have come to is the amount of time spent watching movies. Let's say that movies are about two hours long, give or take. If I watch a bad movie, then I just wasted two hours of my life on a bad movie. And if I watch 12 bad movies, I have just wasted one day of my life. I am ready to stop wasting time on fiction and start living reality (well, almost ready). So I am trying to be more discerning about what I watch. I am also trying to be more reflective in why I feel the strong urge to watch a film. Am I looking for escape? If so what am I trying to escape and how might I deal with it in less time than it takes to watch a bad movie?

Friday, May 12, 2006

20 Minutes

What could you do in 20 minutes? Is it enough time to shower? To get dressed? Pay bills? What could you do in 20 minutes?

What would do I do with 20 minutes (besides almost completing an episode of the Simpsons on DVD)? I have started writing. Just sitting down and writing on whatever comes to mind. 20 minutes full of randomness, venting, therapy, philosophy, theology and oftentimes, poor grammar. You see, I seem to have misplaced (if I ever had) my voice. I can't tell you the number of times that I have started to write a post and then erased because I felt as though I had nothing to say. Well, in an effort to recover (or discover) my voice, I am attempting to sit down several times a week and just write for 20 minutes. My hope is that regardless of what I write, I will do some minor edits and then post it here, as I think out loud...

What will you do with your 20 minutes?