Some code is better than others
Some days I look at past code and am pretty disgusted. Today I’m pretty happy considering the base is 3 years old. :)
Frameworks are addicting
I’ve been using SailsJs for the past month now. Day 3, I made my first commit - which got merged into core (yeah!). Here I am forking the Utils so that I can add a few niceties to the cli side. I also have a list of other changes I’d like to add.
Nested resources for routes anyone? Built in relationships and associations?
Yep, I’m pretty much addicted to making this a success. And that’s awesome. Did I mention I’m still writing a framework for erlang as well?
I love the open source community. I love being able to cast in my lot on various other people in the real battle of ideas. Most of all, I love building libraries and frameworks.
I know a few others out there understand. For those who don’t, find a framework, use it, gripe about it, then fork it, change it, and wait for that first pull request to get merged. It’s hard to think of a better feeling than using something you didn’t write, with bits you did write that make it easier, and knowing that everyone is enjoying it a little bit more because of you.
Of Priests and a Door Nailed Open
I’ve been reading Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation, and, although I’ve been reading it for at least a week now, Amazon says I’m only 33% through. It covers some really deep material. I can’t even begin to presume what the true meaning of it is right now. There are some key portions that stick out to me though.
For example, in the beginning he conveys how we are to live in joy. He backs that up in various biblical proofs, but then goes on to point out how Jesus is constantly renewing joy; rebirthing joy; making joy relevant with each culture, decade, pain. This is the good news! And it’s open to all. Pope Francis has stated that it is part of evangelizing, this joy.
Literally, it is open to all. He condemns the fact that our system of economy, our mode of relationship with others that we live with, denies that joy for the billions, while a privileged few get to enjoy it stingily, greedily, without remorse.
He states that we are to go out daily, hourly, minute by minute, and give away this joy: to share it with all; to evangelize without stinting a single morsel.
He points to the social and secular sciences, stating that we have plenty to learn from them - that we should take advantage of all these tools to provide for people, and to understand our theology and ourselves more.
Then comes my reading over the last couple days. Here he turns around and exhorts the priests. Priests, he states, are too attached to their personal time; they head their personal freedoms too much; they forget that they volunteered to give everything they had to serve those who had nothing.
He then goes on to call for all the priests to truly serve wholeheartedly, starting by opening church doors 24/7. The purpose? To allow all in want to come and receive.
Pope Francis is moving forward a reform that has been needed for a very long time. While he’s asked that we take everything in context - that we not look at these words with our own prejudices - I can’t help but look forward to seeing this world turned upside down. We need more heroes for the social good in this world, and christians need to wake up and acknowledge the responsibilities they’ve left sitting on the floor whilst they’ve been growing fat on diets of prosperity, individualism, and self worth.
It’s time, brothers and sisters, to take arms, both the left and the right, and thrust ourselves into service for the people; maybe we should grab a couple legs as well.
On Divine Fellowship
"I’m Not Going to Church Anymore"
That is the title of an article from Brandon Chase. If you haven’t read it, you should read it. To summarize, it speaks towards the need of being the church deliberately, that we are the church, and that where we fellowship with other Christians, there Christ is as well. Who can argue with that. We all need to do that constantly.
To me the real questions raised are matters of blessings, of safety, and of need.
Like Brandon, I spent a ton of time in church growing up. To miss church meant I was sick or something big happened to keep our family away; like being gone on a vacation, or having an emergency breakdown or repair. This is common among those raised as Christians.
Growing up through moving out of the house follows a certain life cycle.
First, as a child, you go because you believe everything wholeheartedly; you are enthralled with the music, the stories, the little felt figures and heroes! If you are lucky they’ll sing “Father Abraham” and you’ll get to play a bit of musical chairs before the teachers start. When it’s sermon time on Sunday Evenings’ you get as close to the front as possible! Going to church is a social event; the highlight of your week!
Then you get to the bored phase. It starts to be cool to look bored, to work your way from the front toward the back pews. Pretty soon you need to follow that up by ditching church. You still go, but only when ‘you want to.’ This is right around the teen years.
This is also the phase where you often start questioning your beliefs.
The next stage is growing up and abandonment. You really are tired of going to church. You mainly went the last couple of years because it was expected of you, you had friends you only met there, or there was a cute girl (preferrably the pastors kid).
Sometimes you stay through the first several years of your marriage. Finally, you start drifting away. You have many fine arguments about why this tradition or that repetitious phrase is wrong. You go maybe every other week, then three weeks, eventually it’s months.
Your doubt and suspicions grow. Perhaps you even go as far as trying to tear it all apart - to prove that you know longer need church.
And why not. Perhaps you’ve been deeply abused and scarred by members you trusted. Perhaps you’ve grown up in a Baptist home, you can claim they are too strict. Or maybe you were raised in a Episcopalian home, and you claim that their traditions are invalid, void, legalistic. Or in a Pentecostal home - well you know they aren’t really being slain in the spirit, after all, you’ve never really experienced these things personally.
You might even say that these various traditions encourage arguing for proof that they are needed; that’s how they were born after all.
So you are now unchurched. You are free to start a new relationship with Jesus. You explore the connections through the Bible, prayer, spiritual exercises, and copious amounts of books, blogs, retreats, and tweets! You are no longer tied down to a schedule, people, routine!
You are the Church!
I want to halt this exercise here for a moment and focus on what that means. What does it mean when you proclaim yourself as the Church?
To me it used to mean an individualistic freedom. I could find a place to serve people with other Christians, in Jesus’ name, or just in the spirit of service, and that was the Church. Or maybe I would help a church with whatever ability I had as I had free time, and that was the Church. Or even putting my life and livelihood on the line to help lift others up to my level, and that was the Church.
The truth is, I over looked the fellowship of my brethren. I was with them often, but my goal was not to experience Christ with them: My goal was to do the work of Christ with them.
Where was Christ? Surely he was in every face of the homeless person I served a meal too. He must have been in the voices of every oppressed person I organized for. I even saw Him in those who opposed the idea that He existed.
By proclaiming that where I go the Church is I only proclaimed a portion of the story; and I lost people along the way.
That view is very individualistic. It is about you as a person; you’re personal experience and relationship.
But fellowship, fellowship is so much more. Fellowship is deeply rooted in community; It is rooted in care for each other; It is rooted in sacrifice of self for others - of service to the highest standard; and lastly, fellowship grows from common practices - traditions, ideals, special times and places and songs and prayers …
Fellowship is all of that, geared towards sharing the experience of being the Kingdom with Jesus.
"When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
We proclaim your death or Lord,
And profess your Resurrection,
Until you come again.”
And then we partake of the body and blood of Christ, celebrating His good news while He celebrates with us. We give glory to God through Psalms. We fellowship with each other through wishing peace and joy to each other; through asking forgiveness for the sins and the struggles we inflict on the church as a whole; through praying and caring for each others’ needs and mistakes.
That is divine fellowship.
I have seen a following phase go in three possible directions.
You lose touch with God; you despair of your relationship, and you wonder … does He even care about you? Why doesn’t He listen to you? Why has does He bless those around you, while you sit in true mourning at your loss.
Or, you don’t lose faith in God, but instead build one based on only an individualistic approach. Those who knew you once in church, are now estranged from you by your own choice; they no longer enjoy that fellowship with you that they once had - if even only superficially. They reach out for you and you pull back.
And lastly, you could end back in the folds, your faith stronger because you now choose to partake fully in service and in fellowship.
In all cases, it is often like the story of the prodigal son. We in the church miss you, worry about you, and long for your return. We see you as a brother, a sister, a cousin, family. Every hurt of yours is ours.
We cannot force your hand, nor turn your heart. But we are ready to run and greet you when you chose to come home. And if you never make that choice, we still long for your fellowship in whatever form we can have it - though we wish it were with us in unity once again.