Hodge Podge

Hodge Podge
Besides being a term for a random collection of stuff, Hodge Podge is a word game. I love word games. In this one, the players sit in a circle rhythmically slapping their knees and clapping their hands. After the intro, “hodge podge, hodge podge, hodge podge, go!” the first player says a word at the hand clap. Each subsequent player says another word at the next hand clap, but the words have to make a grammatical sentence. It doesn’t have to make semantic sense, but it has to have correct syntax: “I love when monkeys throw microwaves onto the floor period” would be acceptable. Oh yeah, a player can end a sentence by saying “period.” Generally what happens is that certain words keep recurring and everyone eventually dissolves in giggles.

The wrath of God
Thinking about the wrath of God again, yesterday I made a poem:

I don’t like the taste of cod.
I don’t like the wrath of God.
Not that one is like the other —
Except to me they both seem odd.

About cod… I stopped eating this fish in high school. Our family went out to this restaurant in town and found tiny coiled worms between the flakes of our cod — yuck! The manager informed us that such parasites are “normal.” Mmmm… normal.

Unwritten musicians’ code
I’ve gotten this impression that musicians are expected to support one another. This is fine, to an extent, like if I happen to be at the Farmers Market or on the Commons and see another musician, I’ll add a tip to the case. And I try to keep my rates both reasonable for folks hiring me and high enough to not seriously undercut other musicians. Where I feel I get in trouble is my apparent lack of support for other folks’ gigs and CDs. I rarely go out to hear other musicians perform. On the other hand, I rarely go out at all. I also rarely buy anything, CDs included. So it’s not like I’m deliberately snubbing other musicians and going out and buying all kinds of other stuff. But sometimes I feel that I’m a hypocrite — or perceived as one — because I do my own performances and sell my own CDs, and I don’t go to other performances or buy other CDs.

Bible studies
Is it terrible that I’m sick of Bible studies? And I have been for some time. Years. It’s not that I’m tired of the Bible (well, I’m not always as fascinated or moved or committed to it as I might like), but the way it’s approached in most of the small groups I’ve been in since college. There’s a leader, who has been trained in inductive study and who has a commentary book or a study guide. This person asks questions in such a way as to lead the group to discuss particular themes or ideas, guiding them towards a particular conclusion. Tangents are sometimes tolerated to an extent, but there’s always a definite goal and path to get there. I think there’s definitely a place for this sort of inductive study; the inductive method is a useful tool for good interpretation. But I’m just tired of it.

I miss the kind of discussion we had in my second high school youth group. There, we teens and our pastor got together in his home. We’d take turns reading the passage (not just random passages, but we’d read a whole book one bit each week), then whoever had anything to say about it — comments or questions — would say it, and we’d discuss. When we felt we’d discussed all we had to say about that bit, we’d read another section. Our pastor was there as a resource and occasional nudger, but not a guide or leader. I’d love to do this kind of unstructured thing again.

There’s two other reasons I’m tired of this current kind of Bible study. One is that I’d like to see Christians do more real fellowship, just living in each other’s lives, and not always have to include formal teaching in all our getting together. (Same thing with prayer and social time… the division between small talk and prayer requests doesn’t leave much room for really getting to know and understand the important things in each other’s lives. Not every non-small-talk item can be phrased as a prayer request.) The other is that I’ve done so much passage-by-passage study, but very little “big picture” study. I am feeling the need for help and guidance in piecing together my understanding of the whole of Scripture. Christians talk about how marvelously unified the Bible is, and I want to see that for myself, without just ignoring the weird parts. I think this kind of thing would be best done with one partner, preferably someone older in the faith than myself. Maybe someone like that will come along someday.

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