I love this. I love being here (in church). But it isn’t the same as it once was. Maybe it’s because I’ve changed. I hope that it isn’t just nostalgia or the wishful hope for something that has long past.
This past week I finally got around to look into bible software for my mac called Accordance. It was absolutely amazing the power that these little devices possess. Go to a bible verse, click on a word and up pops the original hebrew or greek. From the verse click a toolbar and up pops a map or timeline or commentary. Amazing. I could never imagine these tools back in the day… Alas, last year I bought a bunch of Windows bible software but never really got around to really using it. Ugh, it looks like another case of “over consuming” which is reminiscent of my book-buying days. Truthfully, the only bible-tech that I’ve really used since last February is the e-bible on my PDA. But even then there’s something about the feel of my old Thompson chain-reference (NIV) on my lap, easily flipping through the pages that I haven’t had sitting at my desk looking at computer screen. I was kind of hoping for that portability and power on my laptop but never quite got there.
I do have to ask myself why I want all of this stuff when I haven’t quite used what I already have on hand. I mean, what’s the purpose behind all of this? No doubt part of it comes from the training that compels me to not just “read” but to interact with the text. On a very basic level it has to do with penchant for endless notetaking (in which case I did just purchase a mac app designed specifically to act as a beefed up media scrapbook…). On the other end of the spectrum I have to wonder because these tools that I’m looking at are not really meant for the casual reader but more for someone pursuing a serious study or planning to teach from the text. That’s kind of funny for me to think about. I know that I’ve been given a gift but I do not feel comfortable going beyond the supportive listener stage. My friend from the jesus music days, J.J., his last words to me when Kim and I split as we went back to Biola for some social function was to not say anything to anyone about my marital status or beliefs or whatever. Anyway, it just makes me wonder sometimes “what am I doing and what is my intention?” I guess that remains to be seen.
Interestingly I’ve very much discovered the importance of “community” through my M.A. program at Pepperdine. Thus, I knew that it was the right step to go back to church was the right thing to do if I was going to rediscover my faith…. JBB
music: Into Temptation – Crowded House – Temple Of Low Men