Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’

   Most people that know me, KNOW me. I’m not shy about sharing my past and who I’ve been. Although, it’s hard to squeeze 36 years into a few casual conversations. So, for the first time I’m going to attempt to come clean for any and all who may care. We all have stories… this one’s mine.

  My life began and there was confusion… immediately. To this very day I have no idea who my real father is/was or how many siblings I have/had. The story is ever-changing. But once upon a time, there was me…

   I was born in Mtn. View, Missouri to a mother who had intended to have a daughter. Strike one.Five months later my older brother died tragically in a house fire began by lightning. Immediately I became the second rate replacement child, Strike two. I spent most of my young life being raised my my grandparents and my aunt and uncle because my mom couldn’t cope. At age eight, the sister I was supposed to be was born. My services were no longer required. Strike three. I’m out!

   Though my childhood was far from ideal, the Lord graciously equipped me to be a loner… and I was. My dad (not birth father) was a truck driver and would be gone for a week or more at a time. During that time, I could walk to my friend’s house a mile and a half away and stay there for a  couple of days without ever really being noticed. Although from time to time I would be almost indifferently asked, “Where were you?”

   Somehow during this time, I managed to attend church almost every week. Sometimes it was the Assemblies of God church that my aunt and uncle attended (or that he preached at for a time), but most often it was the little white Southern Baptist church near the train tracks. In either case, I genuinely enjoyed it.

   By age thirteen I found myself convicted under the preaching of the first Reformed pastor I ever know, Brother Larry. In true Baptist fashion I walked the aisle after feeling my knees kicked-out from under me and knelt at the alter. Immediately I felt the loving arm of my grandma around my shoulder, holding me, praying, and crying. It was all very surreal.

   Not long afterward we made the convoy-like trip down to the stream for me to be baptized. The event began with a potluck and one of my clearest memories thereafter was sitting in the backseat of my friend’s parents’ car and reading wrestling magazines on the way to our destination. All said it was a pretty good day.

   Two years later my parents, or most likely, my mother had a falling-out with one of the families in the church and we moved to the Christian church down the road. While there I was an active member of the youth group, but like the rest of them I was a teenager attempting to find myself. I cannot even begin to guess how many teen conferences and such would end with members of the youth group confessing who they had sex with just before the event. On a really interesting day it was with someone else in the group! And thus were the ’90s…

   During this time, I attended church more as a social gathering than as a place for worship and spiritual growth. Though most of the blame fell firmly on me, I can’t help but think that church is due a bit. Our existence was consumed with teen conferences, lock-ins, concerts, canoeing, camping, and everything but the discipleship we all needed.

   Eventually I began doing the things I was best at. Beating people up. Petty crimes. Attempting to charm pretty girls to think I was way cooler than I was. This was my life six days a week and church happened on the the other one. Even when my name would show-up in the newspaper, no one ever said a word. Of course, nothing was ever said about the “hanky-panky” in the church van or on youth trips either… We were all relatively left to our own devices.

   At age 18 I was kicked-out of the youth group and essentially kicked-out of the house. The day after I graduated, I found a job at a local grocery store and an apartment complex with a manager that didn’t do background or credit checks… thankfully. I lived in an apartment with two other guys and a cousin that never went home. We survived on a strict diet of professional wrestling, late-night adventures, and primarily stolen groceries. Oh, the times…

   Amongst our favorite activities were polluting the Mormon (LDS) missionaries that lives adjacent to us. At final count we got six of them in enough trouble that they were sent home.

   It was also at this time that I began convincing myself that my destiny was to be a pro wrestler myself. I was 6’3″, 215lbs, and had a 335lbs bench press. By all accounts I was impressive as a grocery clerk… not so much as a wrestler.

   It was here also that I met my friend’s sister… and was annoyed to do so. Years later, we’re quite happily married. But when we met we were both seeing other people and were very, very messed-up. She was a very attractive drunk and I was a very unpleasant (and very violent) jerk. Almost twenty years later she’s very attractive and sober, and I’m still an unpleasant jerk, albeit less violent.

   We were married in and attended the same aforementioned Christian church until 2008. It was around this time that the Lord began to open our eyes to some things that we could no longer ignore. False teachings had began to creep-in and eventually it simply came time to leave.

   I had continued to do battle with myself for the first several years of our marriage in a losing cause. Every time I would think I had finally changed, I proved myself wrong. Fortunately, the Lord blessed me with a wife who didn’t give-up on me, although she had every reason to. She carried the burden of our marriage for both of us when the easy thing would have been to just give me the finger and send me packing. I’ve always been very, very good at hurting people, and sadly I know I hurt my wife far more than I’ll ever know during the early years of our marriage.

   Then came the night… In early 2011 while sitting at my drawing table late one night, the Lord drove me to my knees and quite literally crushed my spirit. Over the span of a few hours, what seemed to be every horrible, thoughtless, vile thing I had ever done came back to visit me. It was as though I could feel the pain of what I’d caused so many others, but most of all my wife and children. I stayed curled into a ball on that cold floor, sobbing uncontrollably until nearly 5am. I had believed all along that even though I did some bad things, I was still a good guy. That night I learned that I was the dregs of humanity!

   Then, at once it all stopped… A calm fell over me and I felt peace for the first time in my life. All I wanted to do was to wake-up my family and hug them, but I didn’t. I vividly remember just saying “Thank you.” and passing-out from exhaustion.

   After years of living a lie, I awoke feeling like I’d been given a second chance. Shortly afterward the Lord made clear that even though it was impossible, He wanted me to go to seminary. My wife and I sat in amazement of the reality of the acceptance letter that should have never came…

   In January of 2012, with no place to live, no money, and no sensible plans to speak of, our family set-out on faith and made the move to Kansas City and to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Shortly before we arrived I received a call saying that our apartment was ready and just that quick we went from being homeless to… home.

   God has clearly had his hand in this entire adventure as time and time again we have been taken care of when situations appeared bleak. Above all else, the Lord has shown Himself through taking a marriage that should rightly have been long-over to creating a marriage that that is rock solid!

   Today I have a wonderful home, with amazing kids, and a wife who means more to me than I can even begin to articulate, great friends, a terrific church, and a bright future in the ministry. All that I lack is the guilt and self-loathing that was taken from me that night on the floor in my drawing room. God is so good… and so very patient.

   As the Doctor says, “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” This is my story and it’s only begun. What’s yours?

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   I’m bored far too easily. I really am. It’s something I’ve tried diligently to repair within myself, but have thus far found no success. It causes my concentration to easily wane and unfortunately it either leaves many projects I start unfinished or it finds me begging for death’s icy embrace the longer it takes to see said projects through to completion.

   For as much as I hate it, boredom does at the very least have one redemptive quality. It ranks one easily bored with some of the world’s greatest minds. Bearing in mind of course, that they too hated being bored.

“Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore.” -Jean Beaudrillard

“I fell asleep reading a dull book and dreamed I kept on reading, so I awoke from sheer boredom.” -Heinrich Heine

“Sooner barbarity than boredom.” -Theophile Gautier

“I am terrified of being bored.” -Marie Antoinette

   One could even make a case that boredom itself killed the great Winston Churchill:

“I’m bored with it all. (Last words)” -Winston Churchill

 

   … just kidding. Churchill actually died shortly following a severe stroke. Also, he was old.

   All that to say this: Seminary is a hard place to be when one gets bored easily. People tend to think that the boredom comes from the subject matter of Scripture and that by being bored with it one is most likely on a slimy snot-soaked slippery slope straight to Hell. Well, let me be clear… Scripture doesn’t bore me. Evangelism doesn’t bore me. Practical application doesn’t bore me. It’s actually all quite enjoyable.

   So, what bores me? Subject matter I will rarely, if ever put into practical application. The mathematics and sciences of the world. Also, research papers. Especially research papers with extensive citations and bibliographies and blah, blah, blah…

   Okay, so sure, if I were to pursue a doctorate (which I shan’t) then I would indeed need all of the knowledge of rigorous research for my impending dissertation. But what about the rest of us..? I feel much the same way about this as I feel about calculus and the Periodic Table of Elements. In my nearly 36 years there has yet to come a day when I was in a real pickle, needing to know the elemental symbol for Potassium (it’s “K” by the way, which makes no sense). 

   As a result of the fact that I guess the school needs to remain accredited or something and therefore require that I take (and pay for) courses that really have no lifelong impact, I’m forced to make the best of it. Unfortunately, some things are just beyond help. Calculus? Yeah. I could be doing it in a sequined leotard while yodeling and waving pinwheels all around as Parliament Funkadelic blasts from the speakers of a mint green 1976 Ford LTD and you know what? It’s still boring.

   Research papers though… If you’re fortunate enough to have an instructor willing to step outside the box with you, then there’s hope! I lucked (I don’t actually believe in luck, just go with me here.) into such an instructor this semester. So, I will not be doing “Jerome’s View of Baptism” or “The Typology of Jonah”. No, no no… I will be contrasting Doctor Who and Jesus! The working title is, “Physician, heal thy self. – How the Savior From Galilee Is Superior To the Savior From Gallifrey”.

   I know, I know… it sounds irreverent, but I assure you, it’s not. There are characters all throughout the history of fictional literature that are in some small way a Christian allegory, even if unintentionally. Some are obvious like Aslan and Superman, while others you really have to think about. I happen to think that’s the case with The Doctor. Clearly he’s a type of messiah. He defeats his own death. He preaches a radical message of peace. His hand is present in all of history. He has willingly sacrificed himself on a number of occasions. The possibilities are vast and plentiful! The best part? I can forgo the drudgery of boring library research for additional study of the Gospels (which I genuinely enjoy) and the watching of copious amounts of Doctor Who episodes (which I’d watch anyway!)

At least just this once, boredom is thwarted! Also… I bet I get an “A”.

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   As an aside, yes I will be acknowledging that Christ is indeed real and that The Doctor is indeed a fictitious character, although if that were my only argument for why Jesus is better, this paper too would be boring!

   Anyway, apart from those mentioned in this blog, where have you found a case for Christian allegory of types of Christ in fiction? Let me know in the comments!

   Let’s be careful out there!

 

 

   Seminary, while not inherently necessary, is in many ways beneficial. Moreover, seminary is egregiously expensive. So, so, so very expensive. As such, one would perceive that it would be in one’s best interest to get one’s money’s worth and pay vigilant attention to class lectures and content.

   However, what happens when your brain doesn’t work quite like that of most people? Amazing things, that’s what! Mind you, amazing does not necessarily mean beneficial.

   In most cases I find matters of theology interesting enough that they retain my attention. Although it may be presumed that because I’m doodling or typing or some other such thing, I’m not paying attention. I am. I assure you. These things actually helps me focus. But I digress…

   Non-theological classes don’t tend to hold my attention nearly as well. I try. I really do. Problematically though, my brain allows me about 3 minutes of undivided attention per hour. Once that threshold is crossed my brain floods with imagery of food I desire to consume in mass quantities, episodes of Doctor Who, or random song lyrics from the 1980’s. I find myself pondering issues such as why the thumbs always snapped off of my G.I. Joe action figures, why occasionally you can still find people sporting a mullet, and other such random tomfoolery. I’m gone. Lost in the woods. It’s as though my brain has fled my body for more adequate stimuli.

   What makes matters worse is that the harder I try to pay attention, the more vivid and preposterous my thoughts and daydreams become. Is it that I should be heavily medicated? Is it that I am actually just that disinterested in non-theological classes? Is it that I was exposed to water with trace amounts of radiation and/or lead? I just don’t know.

   How do you focus? What’s your best tool against mind-numbing boredom when confronted with matters of syntax, algebra, or the daily monotony? What do you do to help absorb and retain information? Let me know. In the meantime, I see something shiny over there…

   Good night and good luck.

 

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   Being that I’ve only recently returned to the world of self-promotional blogging, I feel that it’s only fitting to introduce myself in a way that other forms of social media tend to fail in. However, to make it fun, here’s what I’m going to do: I will list eleven things about myself. One of these things will be a lie. I repeat, ONLY one. It is up to you, the reader, to discern which one. Shall we begin?

  1. From an early age I had a burning desire to become a member of the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). It was not until 3rd grade that I was told that in order to do so I would have to become a Canadian citizen and learn to ride a horse (the latter of which I can do to some feeble degree).
  2. I was once sitting on a sofa that was lit ablaze without my knowing. It was upholstered in what appeared to be green polyester and became nothing short of a roaring inferno in mere seconds. No, this was not indoors. I’m from the Ozarks where outdoor furnishing is not uncommon.
  3. I met my wife as a direct result of professional wrestling and frankly, I was annoyed that she kept showing-up with her brother on “Man Night”. Nearly 15 years of marriage later I have learned to forgive her.
  4. Several friends and I used to play a game where we would lay across the hood of a 1985 Plymouth Reliant and hang-on for dear life as it was driven by another irresponsible teen down a stretch of poorly maintained dirt road. The objective of the driver was to shake the person off of the hood. Many times we ended-up lying bloody and battered in the ditch. Mercifully, none of us were ever ran over. Again, this was the Ozarks.
  5. I have tinkered and toyed with the idea of becoming a professional comic book illustrator for much of my life. For various reasons I’ve never really given it my full effort, but if ever I do (which I won’t), I have over 40 original characters in my arsenal to choose from.
  6. I have an unnatural fear of amputation and amputees.
  7. In high school, some classmates and I engaged in a project wherein we fabricated a band in the vein of Spinal Tap and created a “Rockumentary” to introduce them as well as post fliers and such to promote a concert that would take place free, for all students on a particular date. Ultimately, students did not realize that the whole thing was a sham, done strictly for a grade, and showed-up for the aforementioned concert, which was not to be. That, coupled with some of our song titles and lyrical content made for an unhappy administration.
  8. In keeping with my would-be careers that never quite panned-out. After high school I had every intention to pursue a career as a professional wrestler. I got as far as finding-out how “fake” it actually was before heading home to lick my wounds and formulate a new career directive.
  9. In the late 1980’s I was imprisoned in an abandoned mine shaft by members of the lackluster Hair Metal band White Lion. I only survived because I was able to use my enchanted harp to summon a team of Pegasi (more than one Pegasus) to lift me to safety.
  10. I have more useless knowledge in the matters of pro wrestling, Doctor Who, and Rock N’ Roll than any ten nerds rightly should.
  11. In the year 2000 I worked for a local grocery establishment as a stock person. On a certain Tuesday afternoon with the store teeming with elderly women, I squatted to pick-up a flat of canned beans and my cheaply-made belt snapped. Startled, I stood-up quickly, however my pants chose not to come along for the ride. I garnered far more attention that day than I ever desired from the geriatric community.

   There you have it. Which is the lie? Comment below!

   Good night and remember…Tell the world. Tell this to everybody, wherever they are. Watch the skies everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.