Archive for January 2009
Over on one of my other journals I have posted a new story inspired by a few lines from the Atrahasis epic, if anyone’s interested.
Earlier this month, I ordered a sofa for the Old Shed. It was going to be a beautiful, comfortable two-seater in a fabric called Fabulous Hot Pink. I was very, very excited about this sofa.
Yesterday, Sofa Workshop called in the administrators. The official statement says that they’re hopeful about finding a buyer and fulfilling all customer orders. I haven’t heard anything to say differently. But I am still a bit anxious. The sofa’s not due to be delivered until early March.
Anyone have any advice? I paid for the sofa on the credit card, vaguely thinking that might offer some protection if this situation were to arise. Does it?
I watched the inauguration yesterday with interest. I find it fascinating that in a country which is determinedly secular in its government, there is so much prayer in its political ceremony. At times I didn’t quite know if I was watching a service, a concert, or a political rally. The most jarring moments for me came during the two musical interludes. Aretha Franklin (looking fabulous in that hat) sang something called ‘Let Freedom Ring’ to the tune of the British National Anthem. So that was weird. And then the quartet played ‘Air and Variations’ based around the tune of Lord of the Dance. I honestly did not know that this was a US folk song with wholly different words until I saw it on the internet much later. So for me, especially given some of the criticisms of Obama appearing to be setting himself up as a Messiah-figure, it sounded a very odd note indeed.
Surely not an unintended connotation, but nonetheless one which I am still puzzled about, were the links Obama seemed to be drawing between himself and Fred Astaire. In the speech there was the ‘Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again’ from the Rogers/Astaire film, ‘Swing Time’ and then later, speaking about his wife, he said that she had done everything he did, only backwards and in heels, echoing Ginger Rogers somewhat scathing words about Astaire. Maybe someone can explain to me why Obama wants to be thought of as twinkle toes?
- In: american politics
- Comments Off
Some thoughts from one who is no expert on American (or any other) politics:
- He is a black man. It is, I think unquestionably, a great thing for America to have come far enough out of the days of slavery and the civil rights movement to have elected a black man to be their leader. Regardless of any policy that he has, the brute fact of his colour and origins will change attitudes and behaviours within the US and, to some extent, around the world. He is already an aspirational role model to millions. If this helps to move the US towards becoming a more just society, then that is kingdom building of a high order.
- He is not a dispensationalist. This gives me great reason to hope that his foreign policy, especially with regards to the Middle East, will be significantly fairer and more effective than his predecessor.
- He is an orator. When he speaks, he sounds like a President. He has an extraordinary gift for making followers. This gives him exceptional potential to influence people both in the US and around the world. It remains to be seen how he will use this gift when the realities of government sink in.
- He is a statesman. Usually this accolade is attributed to politicians and leaders of long-standing reputation. But I think it may fairly be applied to Obama already, simply because of the extraordinary international reputation he has already achieved. In electing President Obama, America has repositioned itself on the international stage and looks poised to take leadership in a way that Bush never quite managed. He may (and almost certainly will) fail to live up to all the hype and yet, there is that quality about him which engenders trust. From the start he will be beset by global crises of all kinds in which he will be expected to take the lead. It remains to be seen if he is the right man for this moment, but the trust which he has already gained will go a long way towards helping him in this.
- Certainly there are those who are wrongly putting their trust in Obama to be their saviour, who are making him an idol. It will surely not be long before their bubbles are burst.
- Certainly he will, like any politician, have to make compromises which will disappoint some and please others.
- Certainly he is a fallible, sinful man, like the rest of us. He will make mistakes. Some he will recognise and some he will be blind to.
- Very certainly, he will need the prayers of his people as he takes on the great burdens of state.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
I have only just noticed that Brevard Childs did not have a PhD. This is extraordinary. It’s hard to think of a single figure who has had a stronger influence on biblical studies in the past 30 years or so. His work demonstrates absolute mastery of the historical-critical scholarship of the previous era and yet what he is best known and remembered for is his innovation. The canonical approach and with it the return to theological exegesis has not exactly become dominant in biblical studies but it is certainly a well-recognised and important part of contemporary biblical scholarship. And Childs is a towering figure within that movement.
It’s interesting to wonder whether, if Childs had been born 30 years later, he’d have been able to achieve what he did without the badge of the PhD behind him.
Want to employ me? Know someone else who might want to employ me? I’m looking for some part-time work to supplement the PhD funds from September.
What I think I can do:
• teach the bible
• teach Hebrew and Greek
• teach biblical studies
• administration type stuff
What I need:
• access to a good theological library nearby
• ideally also access to a community of biblical scholars
• around £6000 (either in salary or accommodation/bills)
• experience in women’s ministry OR
• experience in teaching Hebrew or biblical studies
What I’m not interested in doing:
• youth and/or children’s work
What I’d really like:
• to be living near(ish) to my family and friends
Please get in touch (email or leave a comment) if you have any ideas.
At the moment, my dissertation work is stored on the hard drive of the laptop and at Mozy. Completed sections are also held by my supervisor (and will be sent to the second supervisor as well). Notes and bibliographical information are at present only on my computer and at Mozy. I like Mozy a lot. It’s free and automatic and has worked excellently when I’ve needed to retrieve things. If you don’t currently do any backing up, I would definitely recommend it. But I’m not sure I want to put all my eggs into its basket, especially as the dissertation progresses.
Also, my laptop only has 50GB of space on the hard drive. Which is basically okay. I don’t store lots of images, music or other large files on it. But it would be nice to clean it up a bit and move some of the things I really don’t need easy access to out of the way.
So, I’m looking for a cheap, reliable, not necessarily vast in terms of space, external hard drive. And also for some good, reliable, cheap software which will do the automatic backing up of files.
I am quite excited by this because, you know, pink and shiny, but I don’t know if it will do the backing up as well as the extra storage. Do I need to get one like this which only comes in boy colours?
I read a novel by this title a few years ago. I really enjoyed it and then was slightly disappointed to find out it was a Richard and Judy recommendation. Oh, well.
Keeping secrets is hard. Sometimes it’s hard because the secret is so exciting and you just want everyone to be able to celebrate it with you. Sometimes it’s hard because you feel that your status would somehow be enhanced if you could show off this insider knowledge. It’s hard to bite your lip and refrain from stepping in and settling an argument or correcting an error.
But sometimes it’s just hard because the secret is painful and burdensome and you really want the comfort of sharing it with people you love and trust. I don’t know that I am exactly keeping secrets at the moment, but there are a lot of things on my mind that I don’t talk about with most people for a variety of reasons. And I’m finding that increasingly hard. All of them are things that I can talk about with some people, though I can’t think of anyone I would talk to about all of them. Except the Lord. And even then it’s hard to find the right words.
So, if you know a secret, please don’t tell me. Not right now, anyway.