Antony suggested this meme and assigned me the letter 'M.' I'm afraid this is way too long, but here goes.
I love receiving this. I love being merciful, also. Goes right along with empathy and encouragement. It's a relational act, this giving of mercy. If you're not pulled closer in relationship as you give mercy then I think it's indifference. If you're not pulled closer in relationship when you receive mercy then I think it's ingratitude. It's a formative element in relationships.
I'm fascinated with memes. Units of cultural information that spread by verbal or physical repetition, is what the Wiktionary says, more or less. The power of a bad meme is scary. I find their viral nature very interesting.
Mars Trilogy – Kim Stanley Robinson –
_Red Mars_, _Green Mars_, _Blue Mars_, _The Martians_ (put out after the trilogy, it's stories that didn't make it into the trilogy, plus other stuff). I love the way this guy writes. I love the characterization. I love his voice, though it is not as evident here as it was on earlier novels like _The Memory of Whiteness_ and _Icehenge_. I love that he's a big fan of prog rockers Yes. I'm a big fan, too.
I love music. I've been playing guitar for over 30 years. I love the layout of the fretboard. I love theory, without knowing a great deal of terminology. I love melody. When I was a sixth grader, we lived in married-student housing, a small apartment. I was taking piano, but had no piano on which to practice at the time. I really wanted my dad to get me a cheap little melodica – basically a song whistle with it's own little one octave piano-like keyboard.
"What would you do with it?" my dad wanted to know.
"Sit around and play melodies," I said. This explains a lot about me.
Mullins, Rich / Mark Heard –
Our sadly departed poets laurate of Christian music. I love the stuff these guys did. Favorites of their catalogs: Mullins – _A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band_ / Heard – _Satellite Sky_. Mmm mmm good. I think we lost a lot when these two departed.
This is my wife of 25 years, and my best friend. That sounds really mushy, but there you go. She's smart, funny, good-looking, and the mother of my three children. She's who I want to talk to most of the time. She's who I want to sit beside quietly when nothing needs to be said.
From C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, this is the fictional cosmic name for Jesus, so I'm using it here as a cheat to mention Jesus, our Emmanuel (I could have put Manny, like in Philip K. Dick's _The Divine Invasion_), so it also functions as code for the Incarnation, or incarnational.
I really love this whole thing. Meta-document: a document about documents. Meta-map: a map about maps. Meta-narrative: a master narrative informing all subsequent narratives.
I think we're headed more and more in this direction in the church, because we're more and more aware of how things change. We don't want to tie up our local church bodies years down the road after we're gone, so rather than write up by-laws of this is what a staff must consist of, we're starting to write down something like meta-by-laws, which would consist of things like "how do we decide to change the staff line-up, and what might some helpful guidelines be?" And even include some stuff like, "and this is why we think that's a good idea," and maybe even "here's our reasoning based on these scriptures," which would be, you see, not proof-texting, but simply the sharing of criteria, so that future generations could see where we were coming from, and decide if that was still the best application of scriptural understanding.
Meta is the thing that helps you think like this.
I'm just learning about this, through blogs and books and sometimes podcasts. But I like the idea. I know it's kind of trendy, but I think there's meat there. I think this is a useful way of looking at stuff, as long as we don't fall for just looking and theorizing and never actually doing the stuff.
Mother Theresa –
What little I know about Mother Theresa is really appealing. Humility. Service. Love for Jesus as he appears in the guise of the poorest and sickest. When I think of how I would like to be, how I would like to pursue becoming more like Jesus, this is one of the major human examples that come to mind.