< May 31, 1998 >

Sermon Sunday

Uhm... no. I've never done a sermon before in my life. It was quite an experience. As I'm used to the deacon's sharings that are about two to five minutes tops and here I was supposed to do five to ten minutes. Double the material and time and I felt like I was trying to do too much. There were three of us, and it was pretty easy with them, as our materials all meshed, magically. Though it was understandable in that we were all supposed to write about what Discipleship meant to us.

It was Pentecost Sunday, which is the Sunday that is the celebration of the birth of the Christian Church, the time when they first started calling it something other than an odd offshoot of Judism.

So the sermon was three of the deacons telling about their paths in Christian Discipleship. One was a lesbian talking about how she went from childhood faith, a faith that was based on liking that Jesus the Carpenter guy, to Bibilically based faith, which included a very solid passage that pointed out solidly to her that those that saw and responded to needs would go to Heaven and those that neglected to help would be permanently exiled from God, rather than Christians and not-Christians. Her whole thing affirmed a lot for me.

My path is more bizarre, in that I've always come from the knee-jerk reaction that all Christians are jerks. For me anyone that belonged to the Christian Organization was automatically The Enemy, and, for me, the hard part of the application of Jesus's teachings has always been applying the same rules to Church Folk as to, what for me, are real folks. Most real folks don't say that they're doing God's Work and then fuck it up. Church folk say that they're doing God's Work, and it's been rare that I've seen them apologize when they fuck it up. The U.C.C. as a Denomination, apologized to Hawaii for fucking them up. They're the only organization I've seen that acknowledges that they're human, fallible tools of their Deity.

Gradually, I see more of that, as I get deeper into the Christian organization and reach more real people within it. More Christians who aren't so self-aggrandizing, nor so judgemental, but I'm still working on getting it proved to me, I guess. So that's what I talked about, walking from the Other Side of the street.

I think that I did it because some part of me thought it'd be the last time I was up for deacon for a while. The crazy thing was that the response from everyone there was overwhelmingly positive. That they were glad that I was among them and learning and trying to see. It didn't terribly surprise me, as I've seen, for nearly a decade now that these are pretty keen folks. So. I signed up for another two years as deacon.

We'll see if I regret that later.

John showed up for the second service, looking better, but still sounding exhausted. He had his meeting and so I just went home while he met. James and I waited for him, but by the time he got home, he was so tired, he just wanted to sleep. So James and I went out.

The sushi place wasn't open for lunch, so, instead, we went to Kirkland and visited the Bernard C. Chocolate place. Callebaut chocolates had keep the right to Bernard's name, so the companies that he started in Canada were all called Bernard C., instead. Some of the best chocolate in the world. For lunch, we just stopped at a small Italian bistro and sat out on the sidewalk in the full-out sunshine and just ate, basked and talked. That was really good.

The chocolates were marvelous.

And when we got back home, James drove back to Portland, and I just sat out on the porch with Fezzik, reading the last of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. It was good that it was warm out and I had a pot of green tea to drink from as the account in the book is so cold. It kept making me stop and wonder why anyone would put themselves through so much. But some part of me understood, too, as I read it all the way through.

It's interesting to note that there are a number of other accounts of the same season of climbing Mt. Everest, and I'm likely to get a few others for other views, as it was really, really evident that everyone's faculties were impaired badly by the lack of oxygen. It reminded me of a PBS special on the big mountain where they were giving really simple word tests to the folks that were up there, and they were failing them drastically.

After finishing the book, I was simply very glad to hug Fezzik, drink my tea and walk into a nice, warm house surrounded by green forest with all the amenities of civilization.

And a PlayStation.

Heh. John and I had dropped by the Game Store at the Redmond Town Center the previous Monday, and bought a bunch of pre-owned games, i.e. the same games as on the shelves, but like twenty five percent off the price. So I bought Bushido Blade and John got the second bandicoot game as we were having so much fun with the first. We've actually been playing nearly every evening, and have started collecting gems. I do the boulder dash bits really well, and John works nearly all the other bits as he doesn't have hands that hurt after a period on the controllers. Yeah, giving someone on the edge of Carpel Tunnel a Playstation isn't an extremely good thing, but I know my limits and it's been a good thing to teach me to just stop when I'm tired.

But I sat down and played some Bushido Blade, going into Slash Mode after being completely frustrated by going up against the Guy with the Gun in Story Mode and still being expected to be Honorable. Yeesh. Honorable against a Gun. That sucks. Anyway... after just cutting through 100 folks, some of whom first tried running away from me... well, I got tired of that, too. And the Training Mode got a lot more fun as I really do learn a bit faster than they up the capability of my opponents. I love the control setup for Bushido Blade as it's really intuitive for my fencer's instincts. John just watched and winced a lot as either I sliced into people or they sliced into me. I tried the POV Mode for a bit, but it was just too darned spooky actually facing my opponents. Zow.

Got to sleep a bit later than I wanted because of playing for a while, but that was okay.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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