Safe in the Arms of Jesus? Monday, Jul 31 2006 

Safe in the Arms of JesusI’m still having fun playing around with the possibilities of this Blog. This romantic painting Safe in the Arms of Jesus–well, I just don’t know what to make of it. I’ll not make light of being “safe in the arms of Jesus”–that being the most secure bosom and my eternal desire–but that particular painting just doesn’t work. But why? Is it because the guy looks snivveling and weak? I believe that’s why.

But you know what? THat poor guy’s got it right. The quality to keeps most “real” men from appreciating that portrait of the Saviour and man’s relation to Him is pride. Why, I would never fancy myself so weak and cowering as that dude! I’m much more manly and sufficient than that guy.

But theologically and relationally, what’s the truth? Maybe that artist has some real insight for “real” men. Maybe that’s the right posture for all of us. Me, too. No, not maybe–definitely. Lord, teach me humility, to regard my need of You the same as that poor fellow in the painting . . . because I’m a pretty poor fellow, too, when it comes down to my ability to do anything of eternal significance on my own.

Crossroads? Sunday, Jul 30 2006 

How far is far enough with loyalty to the institutional church? In my early years I was trained to believe there’s virtue in holding the line, standing fast, sticking with it–when it comes to the local church. Through thick and thin, damn the torpedoes, it’s our church and we must remain loyal at all costs! In that doctrine, all of the above applied to the local church as well as to the denomination.

In recent months, we’ve really come to doubt that around here–Sarah and I anyway. We’re starting to wonder if others share the same struggle–We had a visit with “Cousin” Karen today and had our first candid conversation with a church member about how we feel, finding out in the process (as we suspected) that others feel the same!

Here’s my point: If we have to “fight” for our church to deal with or overcome factions, what’s the use? I don’t go to church to fight! Or to win out. Now if our local church were THE body, that would be one thing–but it’s not THE body! It’s just one puny little ingrown toe nail, I’m afraid. Shucks, maybe that’s too harsh, but since a little while before Mike D. left, we’ve just had this gloom cloud hanging over us, and I believe it’s because we’re being forced to realize and accept that this FBC ingrown toe nail is not going to grow and blossom into some helpful body part. It’s going to remain painfully insignificant and insignificantly painful, (to extend Christ’s analogy of the church as the body).

Anyway, Zach started exploring–He and Autumn are free as birds and so excited–I envy their freedom a little. He found the Crossroads Church in Lafayette on the web–non-denominational, I presume. I listened to the guy’s sermon from last week, and I admit he sounds solid. Looks intersting.

In the present circumstance, what an interesting name for a church: “Crossroads.” Something to pray about.

No place like home! Saturday, Jul 29 2006 

The hospital is a great place to be if you’ve got to have surgery, but I’ll take home any day.

Along those lines, we got to bring Sarah home Thursday after the operation Wednesday.  Just one night in the hospital–not bad for post-hysterectomy norms, according to all we’ve heard.  Not that we’d want to go through this every few weeks or so, but truly, for all the hype and stressing out before the operation, this one has gone pretty smooth.  She met all the doctor’s criteria Thursday afternoon–appetite, mobility (relatively speaking), potty–so we came home!  At first I wasn’t sure it was such a bright idea, but once we got settled in, the virtue of it became immediately apparent.

One full day in the books, and all is well on the home front.  Definitely better than commuting across town and hanging out with five or six people in a room.    Beside, Sarah’s a good patient, and she needs less and less attention every hour, it seems.

Home, sweet home–Where I’ll never roam!

SHARP! Thursday, Jul 27 2006 

Sharp

LSUE Honors SHARP Participants
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 – LSUE Pubic Relations

Ann is the first kid on the left, first row.

Good Advice for Birthday Eve Wednesday, Jul 26 2006 

Ecclesiastes 5:2   Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth,  so let your words be few.

That verse provides a cogent reminder about who I am and where I stand in relation to greater matters than my own trivial preoccupations. 

 How

     much

          better

              to listen

                    than

                          to speak!

The Pedagogue’s Lament Tuesday, Jul 25 2006 

Tony BTony BTony B
Everything I’m doing with this blog tends to be experimental. I’m not even sure this will be “the” blog for the long term, but for the time being, it’s a place to play, and that’s what I need to do. So tonight, another experiment:

I’ll cut and paste in a poem I wrote years ago lamenting the stratification and codification of educationalism. I thought of this poem last week as I walked down those cold, long hallways of the English building, peering on either side into classrooms, one the same as the other, all with rows of desks and boards on the front for teachers to write and podiums in the front for teachers to pontificate. It’s the same at LSUE where I work.

When are we going to start this revolution, anyway?

So along these ines, for what it’s worth, from the early nineties (how little things have changed?), I present for an audience of whomever “The Pedagogue’s Lament.”

“The Pedagogue’s Lament”
By David L. Pulling
December 1994

Oh, Socrates! Can you teach the torch to burn bright?
I gasp for sustenance in pestilent air.

Hour to hour the prison bell sounds as regular as Granny-on-ex-lax.
Disaffection files out,
Disaffection files in–
the ebb and flow of meaninglessness.

Before me stretch imposing rows of glossy acrylic crisply arrayed in linear rank,
molded in the accommodating shape of human posteriors
(one size fits all);
I am stripped of sovereignty, yoked with stratified, codified, deified curricular guide
passed down from high bureaucratic places, putting objects to learn in proper places
(one behavioral objective fits all).

Save me, ere I perish,
choking on this foul blight!

Home, Sweet Home Monday, Jul 24 2006 

SVWhat an interesting transition in the space of 24 hours–Starting off before sunup driving 80 miles through the Sacramento Valley to catch an early-bird flight, then at the end of the day driving 80 miles across South Louisiana and the Atchafalaya Basin to eat a hotdog for supper with the church youth group at Karen and Todd Basin MapPullin’s farmhouse on the Cajun Prairie in Branch.Everybody was glad to see me. And I was glad to see everybody, too.

A nice nap

on tap

tonight!

The Starting Line Saturday, Jul 22 2006 

SIerra Nevada SunsetGreetings from the shadows of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Chico, California, where the 2006 National Writing Project Tech Matters Institute is winding down. This will be my blog–a respository for notes, reflections, observations, witticisms and aphorisms, and anything else that seems appropriate.