Saturday, September 09, 2006

Here's an open scenario and question:

You're out on a hike, and you're getting thirsty. It's getting to the point that you're ready to take your empty water bottle and fill up at the closest source of water.

The first one you come across is a small pond. It's not terribly large, but the water looks okay, provided you can avoid some of the floating twigs and algae. You can see the bottom of the pond in the more shallow areas, and it's mostly sand covered but has an embedded beer can or two. It's likely stream-fed, but you'd have to look hard to find the trickle that's been feeding the pond. Still, it's probably safe to drink.

The other option is a nearby river. It's moving along, albeit not terribly fast. You can see a few rocks jettisoning out of the moving current, but little else due to the somewhat muddy nature of the water. You've seen fisherman up the trail in the past. The river goes for miles and has come for miles. Through farmland and towns, it is fed by both fresh spring and drainage runoff. It also is probably safe to drink.

Which one would you choose?
4 Recommendations:

I went to the Columbia Grounds on Central near the Columbia Heights/Minneapolis border tonight to read and escape the house last night. I've driven by this place numerous times, and finally decided to stop in and it was worth it. Make a point to walk through the garden in the back yard while there's still a little bit of summer left.

While there, a local folk group called Saddle Rock which was there doing an acoustic set. More than a nice set of folk music, the guys were quite nice fellows who seemed to love what they considered their first love and second jobs. While using the time-honored tradition of leaving the guitar case open, they kept the small number of people in the room entertained with some great music and great sense of humor. Their CD release party is in a month.

After they finished, they started talking with a few girls who had wandered in. I continued to read, but then one of the girls mentioned she was a guitar player in a local band. One of the band members gave her a guitar and she started playing one of the songs she just wrote the other day. As he mic'd her up, I stopped reading at this point -- there's a rule somewhere that says you have to pay attention to a girl playing a guitar (beyond the usual three chords) who has a really nice voice and good songwriting to boot.

Anyway, I talked to her afterwords and found out she and her band got their start at Northwestern, my alma mater, and her band was called Furlough. I recommend the song "Bitter Cold Wall" out of the songs on their Myspace site right now.

All of this was while I was reading "Simply Christian" by NT Wright. This book is getting buzz among frustrated Evangelicals across the 'net, and is also getting a lot of comparisons to "Mere Christianity." However, it can stand alone and deserves more than comparisons to another classic -- and it certainly has the potential to be a classic about the faith. Wright is a bishop in the Anglican Church and writes about Christianity in a way that seems separated, but not divorced, from the western cultural mindset of the faith.

Interesting quote:

"One of central elements of the Christian story is the claim that the paradox of laughter and tears, woven as it is deep into the heart of all human experience, is woven also deep into the heart of God."