What a Guy!

Ok, so I feel a little bad after giving D.G. a hard time in yesterday's post because today D.G. came by to drop off my notes from the class. I remind you that that is definitely not the reason it took so long for me to post. Life just got busy.

But not only did D.G. drop off my notes, he also helped me out in a big way today. When I arrived in Newport for our weekly meeting in Newport at Starbucks, my car started started overheating. Luckily I was already parking when it happened.

No big deal though. A hose popped off and all I needed was a screwdriver so I could reattach it. When I met Benji and D.G. at Starbucks I asked if either of them had a flathead screwdriver and, of course, D.G. said he did. So as we were getting ready to go, D.G. came over with me to fix my car. We got it fixed, put in the rest of the coolant I had in my trunk, and we were off. But first D.G. told me that if I had any problems to call him and he'd come help.

I had problems. As soon as I was getting onto the 471, I realized I was overheating again. I pulled over and called D.G. As soon as I'd told him, he was picking up some more coolant for me. A few minutes later he showed up behind me with the coolant.

What a guy!! Thanks, D.G.!

Ok. I feel a little less guilty now about giving D.G. a hard time yesterday....

Back with an Announcement!

Yeah, yeah... I know it's been over two weeks since my last post. But I have a really good excuse. I blame it on D.G. I lent him my notes from class and I haven't gotten them back yet! Yeah, that's it! It's all D.G.'s fault! That's why I haven't posted in over two weeks!

Ok, so it's not really D.G.'s fault. Actually, it just got really busy around here, but I promise I'll give you a few more thoughts on that class I took.

For now, I just want to announce that my wife, Robin, is pregnant again! Woo-hoo!! We are both super-excited and can't wait to be Mommy and Daddy again! And I can't believe that Micah is going to be old enough to be a big brother!

And that's it for now... Over and out.


Star Trek Theology

Ok, so here are my thoughts on my first day of class.

First of all, I feel like I'm more in touch with postmodernism and the emerging church than anyone else in the class (besides, maybe, the professor, Gary Zustiak)! I was really hoping for some good, in depth discussion on how to do ministry in the emerging culture, but so far it's been more or less helping those in the class to understand postmodernism.

Second, I get the feeling that everyone in the class is much more conservative than I am. This is weird to me because in the Presbytery of Cincinnati I feel like I'm way more conservative/evangelical than almost everyone else. But here, I feel like they'd think I was a flaming liberal!

Third, I'm realizing that I really do have a postmodern/emerging culture mindset. Half the time, other students would be trying to figure out what the professor was talking about when he'd talk about something of the postmodern worldview, while I'd be thinking (regarding the postmodern idea that had just been mentioned), "Well, yeah. That's exactly how I feel." For instance, Zustiak said that postmoderns believe that in order to know absolute truth (or to at least get closer to it) you have to involve as many worldviews as possible. So, to best understand a passage of scripture, you'd want a Caucasian, an African American, someone from India, someone from Kenya, and someone from Japan. Then they all discuss it and then you might be closer to understanding the truth of the passage. I think that's true. I think that everyone sees something of the truth in Scripture, but no one person sees all the truth of Scripture. So when we bring our thoughts together, God uses that to reveal himself more to us.

My favorite part of the class today, however, involved a discussion of Star Trek vs. Star Trek: The Next Generation as an illustration between the difference between modernism and postmodernism. Here are the differences:

1) The Mission
Star Trek: "To boldly go where no man has gone before," representing the rugged man going out to conquer.
TNG: "To boldly go where no one has gone before," signifying a much more inclusive worldview.

2) The Purpose
Star Trek: When a new race or civilization was discovered, the expectation was that they would join the Federation, just as the modern mindset was one of imperialism.
TNG: When a new civilization was discovered, the Enterprise's goal was simply to learn from them.

3) The Crew
Star Trek: The original crew was primarily human, except for Spock.
TNG: The crew was made up of races from many worlds, including an android.

4) The Hero
Star Trek: Always Captain Kirk, the tough-guy leader.
TNG: Anyone could be the hero--whoever that particular episode focused on.

5) The Ideal Man
Star Trek: Mr. Spock, the half-human who had divested himself of all emotion, which was ultimately the highest form of humanity.
TNG: Data, the android who had no emotions, but longed for emotion because it is emotions that make us truly human.

6) The New Crew Member
TNG: The new crew member was the ship's counselor, Deanna Troi, who used her intuition and ability to sense emotions to bring peace to the Enterprise and the quadrant.

7) God
Star Trek: There was no God.
TNG: Q was the God-figure--a god who is all-powerful, only shows up when he feels like it, does what he wants without concern for others, is capricious, unpredictable, fickle, and just sort of annoying.

I'm no Trekkie (sorry... Trekker), but it was me and another guy who were primarily involved in this discussion. Pretty fun!

So, tomorrow I'm back at 8:00 a.m. I'll let you know how it goes.


Back to Class!

I'm sitting in on a class this week called Understanding and Reaching Emerging Culture which is being offered at Cincinnati Christian University. (The syllabus is here in case anyone cares.)

I think it should be an interesting class. Kinda cool that I've already read three of the books on the reading list, and I'm working on a fourth right now (see below if you want to know which one!).

In any case, I'm hoping to at least get some good discussion in this class. I don't know if I'll have time to post my thoughts every night, but I'll do my best.


Oh, no!! I've been Tagged!!

Russell Smith over at The Eagle and Child tagged me with a "meme". I have to admit that I have no idea what that word means.... Oh, wait--here's what it means on Wikipedia. Anyway, here are my responses to this meme about books that have had an impact on me:

1. One book that changed your life: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (I see a pattern developing....)

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: I guess How to Win Friends and Influence People wouldn't do me much good. And I suppose the Bible doesn't count. And while I like Russell's answer a lot better, I'll say The Lord of the Rings (Yes, I know that's technically three books). It might not help me survive, but at least I'd be entertained.

4. One book that made you laugh: All of the Garfield comic collections when I was a kid.

5. One book that made you cry: Finding God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: A Spiritual Exploration of the Star Wars Saga by Timothy Paul Jones (No, I didn't cry because it was about Star Wars; I cried because he had a touching story about his daughter!)

6. One book you wish had been written: A Guide to Understanding Everything About God in 30 Days or Less

7. One book you wish had never been written: Experiential Storytelling by Mark Miller (you can read my brief review of his book here on Amazon)

8. One book you’re currently reading: More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance in the Postmodern Matrix by Brian McLaren

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus

10. Tag 5 others: Well, since I'm still pretty new to blogging, I'm not sure I've got five people I know well enough to tag. So, here are four:
There you go! A brief view into the mind of Markus "StretchyChurch" Watson. Ooooh... so exciting... ;-)


The Markus Touch

Dude!! Did you notice the new picture at the top of the page?! Pretty freakin' sweet, eh?!

Heh... I've been wanting to customize the look of this page for a long time now, and I'm finally figuring out how to do that!! Woo-hoo!!

I know it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the page's design; I'll work on that. But for now, at least the page has a little more of the Markus touch. Beautiful....


Just curious...

So, I write this blog with the assumption that not a lot of people read it--at least not yet. But I'm kind of curious if there's actually anybody out there. If you're reading this, would you drop me a comment? That would awesome!! Heh heh... Thanks, guys.

A million--I mean ten--years ago...

Remember back when we didn't have cell phones? That was only ten years ago.

Remember when we didn't have e-mail? That was about fifteen years ago.

How did we live? How did we make it through life?

What would we do when we ran out of gas five miles from home? Oh, yeah... I remember. We'd go to someone's house and ask if we could use the phone.


Without being too sentimental, I have to admit that it was kinda nice in those good ol' days. No e-mail. No cell phones. It was nice to not always be connected.

Sometimes I wish I could not be connected now. Sure cell phones are convenient. But sometimes it bugs the crap out of me that anyone can reach me anytime.

I've become so dependent on my technology. I don't want to give up my cell phone, or my e-mail, or my internet, or my Palm TX... And while these things are technically my servant, I often feel like I'm the one who is enslaved to the technology.

Maybe I should just stop using these things altogether. Maybe I should just take a break from my cell phone, my e-mail, my internet....

Nope. I don't think I could do it.

But a friend of mine did do it. Aaron Klinefelter, a pastor at Vineyard Central in Cincinnati, took a "digital sabbatical" during the month of July. We had lunch together a week and a half ago and I asked him all about. To read the reflections of one who is much stronger than I am, check out Aaron's latest blog post talking about his time of non-connectedness.