Authordeviantmonk

Worship is a Duty

One of my favorite Advent songs is also one of the most ancient: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Its composition and use dates from at least AD 275, although the most commonly used melodic setting is the well-known Picardy. Be sure to listen to one of the following renditions: As I was pondering the lyrics, I noticed that they seemed to form a conjunction with other thoughts I had been having...

Design Trends for 2017

As an opening caveat I will note that I have no Magic 8-Ball into the future of design trends, although if I did it would probably always say “Don’t Count on It.” Nor am I by any means a trendsetter, as my inimitable fashion sense would no doubt make clear to any one. To be fair, through, I don’t wear socks with sandals. I mean, my sandals are way too tight for that…...

Against Being Nice

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:15-16) “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?Therefore I am sending...

When Worship Gives You Pneumonia

A metaphor that is often used of the church is that of a hospital. The idea as I understand it (and as it’s usually presented) basically comes down to this: the church is meant to be a place where broken people come to find healing, which means of course that the church is going to be full of broken people. As a metaphor there is certainly nothing objectionable about any of that, as such a...

Count to Infinity

Perhaps the most famous of the many variegated proofs for God’s existence is St. Anselm’s so-called Ontological Argument. The gist of it is as follows: God is “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”. In other words, if in one’s mind one attempted to contemplate something greater than God, the very definition of what the word “God” entails means that one has not yet come to an...

Church Marketing Doesn’t Suck (And That’s Probably a Bad Thing)

Having worked in church marketing for much of my career, it can be without a doubt a very mixed bag as far as the quality of the marketing is concerned. From complete misunderstandings of one’s market to the downright cringe-worthy, it’s effortless to multiply examples of just how bad church marketing can be. (The actual reality is that secular marketing is just as prone to being awful, but when...

How To Have A Useless Career

I was recently involved in an interesting discussion regarding some of the most “useless” majors one can study in college. Of note is that this discussion took place in a community devoted to all things visual media, and of course visual media related majors (art, fine art, studio art, photography, video production, etc.) perennially make top ten lists of most useless majors. For those of us in...

Pharisaic Sexual Iconoclasm

This past week I saw this opinion piece making its rounds on social media, with a fine click-baity headline: Sex and the single Christian: Why celibacy isn’t the only option. I found some of the premises interesting, albeit not in the slightest bit convincing, with the argument ultimately logically ending in the reduction of human beings and their sexual relationships to that of bodily pleasure...

After Effects Wishlist

Ever since I first jumped headfirst into After Effects back in 2010, the application has gotten better and better. However, as with any piece of software that one works with on a day-to-day basis, there are always those “I really wish I could do this!” moments or “Wouldn’t it be great if Ae had this!” functionality privations. What follows is an entirely-subjective-and-likely-applicable-only-to...

Telling the Truth

In today’s Old Testament reading, we read about Jeremiah being thrown into the cistern after prophesying the doom of Jerusalem. Most of the times I have read this story my focus has been on Jeremiah. But in the reading I took note of the other characters: a Cushite named Ebed-Melek, who saved Jeremiah’s life, and Zedekiah, a cowardly king who came to a bitter end. The situation was this:...

How To Be An Art Thief

If one is involved in any sort of artistic or design related endeavor, it won’t be long before one is met with this perennial justification for lifting someone else’s work: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Ostensibly dripping forth from the lips of Picasso, the essence of the idea is that sometimes great art or great design (depending on which one is engaged in) will at times involve...

The No

There is a scene in the fine movie Becket where the newly ascended archbishop is made aware of how one of the barons has taken one of his priests into custody, the latter accused of debauching a girl in his parish. As the scene progresses, messengers arrive to inform Becket that the priest had tried to escape but was captured and put to death, when the law of the land was that ecclesial crimes...

A Civil Lack of Discourse

Civil discourse, I would argue, is largely dead. One could of course point to the bombast, blustering, bromides, baloney and ballyhoo that accompany any political cycle, or the chicanery, duplicity, equivocation, folderol, grandiloquence, humbuggery, inanity and jabberwocky which encrust the space like barnacles on the hull of a sunken galleon. However, that is all low-hanging fruit, and while...

The Biscuits and Gravy Review: Urban Table

If you haven’t been to Urban Table, it’s a really cool spot in Prairie Village that is great for brunch. Megan and I have been there quite a few times, usually with friends and family, and it’s always a good time. Urban Table provides gourmet takes on more traditional items; their breakfast tacos are sublime. If you ever go there, get that! They also have an interesting approach to biscuits and...

Follow Your Dreams! (Over a Cliff)

I came across this thought-provoking video from Mike Rowe about following one’s passions. The gist of the video can be summed up in a great takeaway line: Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it. Be sure to watch the whole thing before going any further. The idea that Mr. Rowe is trying to convey is that oftentimes our passions (in the colloquial sense of...

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