snubnosed in alpha

Christian reflections on the way the world is and ways the world might be

Saturday, November 04, 2006

on papers, pipe-smoking, and the price of sparrows these days

I suppose I haven't written much in the way of updating y'all on what I've been up to lately. Part of the reason for that is that there is just so little going on in my life that wouldn't bore most folks to tears. So instead I have usually opted for posting on far more engrossing subjects like Jonathan Edwards' view of the will, Goldbach's conjecture, the Jeremiah scrolls from Qumran and the like. Hasn't it been thrilling? But, just to try to balance things out a little bit, here's a little update on what I'm up to.
It's paper season here at Westminster and so for the past few weeks I've been ransacking mine and the school's libraries for information relevant to my paper topics. I'm writing two exegesis papers: one on Jesus weeping over Jerusalem in Luke 19 and one on the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 33 (a passage I preached this past summer). I'm also writing a church history paper for which I haven't quite settled on a subject. It'll almost certainly have something to do with evangelical, Reformed and/or Fundamentalist biblical scholarship in America in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Is everybody asleep yet?
On top of research for my essays, I'm having to do a lot of translating and reading and I'm helping out with the youth group at church. So things are a little hectic.
In youth group we've been reading through Don Miller's book, Blue Like Jazz. Well, correction: I've been reading through Don Miller's book, Blue Like Jazz. The high school guys that I'm discipling are just like I was at their age and so, since there are no Cliff's Notes for the book, none of them have really read it. But no worries. It's still a good time to hang out with them, if a little unstructured, and I'm really enjoying the book even if nobody else in my group is.
To help soothe my mind in this most chaotic of seasons, I've taken up pipe smoking. Pipe smoking has a certain ritualism to it. You have to pack the pipe just so and then light it just so. Every now and again you have to move the tobacco to the middle of the bowl with your tamper and sometimes you have to relight it. It's a bit like fiddling with a campfire on a backpacking trip, except on a much smaller scale...and it smells better...and I'm not in the woods somewhere...and I've showered recently. Ok, so it's not like that at all. But anyways, the smell is great! The aroma of the tobacco simultaneously restores and stimulates the mind haggard from being overworked. Even if the intellectual caliber of our conversations doesn't actually improve while we smoke, it sure feels like it does. The pipe goes well with Scotch, but a pitcher of lager and some good friends are probably the best complement for the pipe.
With paper and translation deadlines coming up and finals just on the horizon, I'm trying not to worry much. I just try to keep reminding myself that the going rate for sparrows is two for a penny and yet not one of them falls to the ground without my Father's say so. And I'm worth a lot more than a sparrow...
aren't I?


Blogger Mark Traphagen said...

Your pipe smoke covered up the cheery aroma of my Phillie Titan!

Seriously, I treasure those times together with some tobacco and a pitcher...and your great company.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

It's funny, Tim's been raving about that book 'Blue Like Jazz'... gotta say I'm surprised to hear you're reading it!
Anyway, glad to hear things seem to be going well.............. I just can't believe what I'm seeing with that pipe though David! have I missed 40 years of your life somewhere along the line?......

5:33 AM  
Blogger snubnosed in alpha said...

Thanks, Mark. It's always a joy to hang out with you too. I always look forward to it.

Lisa, sometimes I do feel like 40 years have gone by since I last saw you. As for 'Blue Like Jazz', the book is very funny and it can be brutally honest about things. I dunno. I just kind of like it. miss you

1:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Well David it looks like the 40 years have been kind to you, but if you're gonna start smoking a pipe I will be worrying about you!
Like you say, you are worth more than a sparrow.

4:15 PM  
Blogger A Sojourner said...

I like to think I played an instrumental part in your introduction to the pipe and am proud to have a fellow piper to feel distinguished with. But what's the clanking noise? Oh, it's just the ice in your glass...

10:21 PM  
Blogger MrB said...

I have always been relieved that the Bible only bothers with addiction to wine ;-)
West's dad

1:28 PM  
Blogger snubnosed in alpha said...

I agree. Were the Bible to denounce addiction to coffee, I'd be a goner.

4:46 PM  
Blogger ScottB said...

Great thoughts on the pipe. I've found that few things go better together than good friends, good pipes, and theology. Come to think of it, Don Miller is a pipe guy too, which probably explains why his writing is fantastic.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Lew said...

Brother! What can I say! First Guiness...and now a PIPE?!?! David, get in contact with me if you have time! God bless you my so much to talk about. lew

5:35 PM  
Blogger snubnosed in alpha said...

Will do Lew. We'll have to arrange a telephone visit once final exams are over. Can't wait to hear what you've been up to.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Lew said...

Excellent...I can't wait brother. Lew

5:24 AM  
Blogger Phillip Edward said...

Wow just for your information, there has been introduced a latest technology of electronic Pipes which is remarkably a healthy one, i highly recommend you tried those...

Electronic Cigarettes

8:26 AM  

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