Friday, October 27, 2006


In my HIS 131B class, we have been talking about 15th and 16th century Europe, particularly the events that led up to and transpired during the period that we learned about in 9th grade history called The Renaissance. As we've been getting our study on, one idea in particular stuck out - the idea of the "Renaissance Man."

In my mind, I had never connected the idea of The Renaissance with the idea of the Renaissance Man, but now I understand how they intersect. A "Renaissance Man" was someone who was the perfectly well-rounded person - excellent in phyical prowess, intellectual accomplishment, and anything else you could think of. For the humanist thinkers of the time, the "Renaissance Man" was the goal to which all men should seek to aspire.

This struck me profoundly because I realized that this is the way I think about becoming "perfect in Christ." I have a picture in my mind's eye of a me who is multilingual, healthy and athletic, a good juggler, well-read, universally trivia-knowledgeable, and an excellent cook. And I think that I could become that someone if only I would try harder. Often, soak in my own frustrations over why I make mistakes, or agonize over why I continue to do things that I know are wrong. What struck me so deeply was the realization that I often confuse the things that I do with the person that I'm becoming in Jesus. It is at those times that I base my worth on how much I'm improving, and it's then that my back breaks under the burden of trying to perform well.

But this is not so - I've been thinking on what it means to be perfect in Jesus, and I think that that means being conformed to his image - a perfect servant. Perfectly selfless. Perfectly loving. Perfectly wise. Perfectly compassionate. Perfectly just.

It is after this perfection that I desire to strive. I am far from perfect, though my prideful heart often would like to think otherwise - sometimes I move forward in great strides, sometimes I strain against the heavy winds, and sometimes there is nowhere I can go but down to my knees. But I have begun this walk with Jesus - I've come far from where I've started, but I have a ways yet to go. With the sun on my face, I will not turn to the left or to the right - there is no place I would rather be. Jesus, I am not perfect, but You are - make me more like you, one piece at a time. See you soon.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)
Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadillacs

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
ways wanted me one that was long and black.
One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now, I never considered myself a thief
GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now, up to now my plan went all right
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.
(One Piece At A Time, Johnny Cash)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I took this picture on my bike ride yesterday - I thought this picture of the sun shining on all these sunflowers was gorgeous.

School has begun - I'm super stoked about the awesome stuff that GOD has placed me in the midst of this quarter, but part of me knows that I need to be honest about myself about where I end and where GOD begins. I'm just a little tiny piece of the body - my desire is to shine for GOD's glory without burning up and burning out.

I'm stoked about my classes: courses in the Black Christian Church, the Hebrew Bible, and the historical period of the Renaissance and Reformation. I'm up to my neck in books, but the truth is that I'm up to my neck in books all the time anyway. One thing that don't envy about no longer being a lower classman is that I don't have to take any more "general education" classes - all of my reading is really interesting, and I'm stoked about seeing the GOD's glory in all history, among all peoples, and in places that I hadn't thought about before.

That's all for now - so it begins. See you soon.