Mountain View from the hotel room. Hello Colorado Springs!

Errant pack from Boundary Supply first impressions

I was Kickstarter backer #2606 on the Boundry Supply Errant backpack, billed as the “ultimate everyday backpack.” The promise was a environmentally responsible, well-designed pack made with the best materials available at an affordable price.

Here are my first impressions of the pack, received today:

  • Presentation was good, I like the eco-conscious packaging.

  • Kodra fabric is fantastic looking/feeling in Hymassa Tan. Better than expected.

  • Materials all around seem super solid, metal and zippers are high quality. That said I’m not sure about durability of Hypalon over time, especially at the attachment point on the bottom of the pack which will be stressed often.

  • Is the fabric on the lid a bit misaligned or does it just kind of seem that way due to how it was folded?

  • There seems to be some evidence of rushed production: the bag that the pack was in had a quality control sticker seal on it that was already broken (did they replace the pack in the bag? Take it out after sealing for one more check?) and there are some loose threads in places.

  • Organization is great. It’ll be easy for everything to have a place. Likely won’t be able to use to use every organizational feature simultaneously (depending on what you pack) as they tend to take space from other compartments.

  • Included waist belt is fairly useless unless you’re planning intense physical activity and must guarantee absolutely no movement on your back. Think running/climbing/cycling.

  • Covert passport/wallet pocket seems useful.

  • Magnets. How do they work??? I like them on the flap and don’t find them annoying. It’s helpful to think of “snapping” them in place, not sliding. I like them in the top compartment too, but find the main latch it a bit tricky to open.

Not sure how necessary or useful they are for the sternum strap.

  • Love the side access pocket.

  • Love the clamshell + top-loading design. Already useful.

Thoughts on the two accessories purchased (HT Keyclip and AUX compartment) forthcoming.

EDIT: THREE accessories; forgot about the lash straps as well

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Jury duty today. Not very convenient, but I’m grateful to contribute what I can for a fair and just process.

Amazing that I could video chat my brother in the DRC today via WhatsApp. So grateful. Family is important.

90 minutes of retreat

I stared at this
Fountain
And hanging flowers
For an hour.

I was glad and grateful
For the hummingbird
That hovered by for a drink.

I saw his shadow first.
When he appeared it was a shock
Of joy

And there was something healing in it.

Then I walked in sunshine
to sit with Our Lady,
Mary, who always comforts me.

There, I spoke to Jesus
and gave thanks
For the breath of
Fresh air.

I do not regret checking out of the 24 hour news cycle.

If you grew up Christian in America there’s a very good chance you do not know the beliefs and practices of the people who followed Jesus in the first three to four hundred years after the resurrection. I’ll say it that starkly because I know many of you have given up on what you think Christians believe and practice, and for good reason, for what you have heard and seen is a distortion and sometimes an outright lie, and I want to tell you that there’s very good news: the God confessed by the first Christians is beautiful and good and the practices and rhythms and beliefs of those early Christ followers have not been lost. Keep seeking. Do not give up. Jesus Christ is worthy of worship and his way will teach you how to truly love the world and everyone and everything in it.

Until Christ comes again, he has left us with his word. And so we, God’s people in the “time in between,” attend to it. We preach it. We proclaim it. We meditate on it. We share it. We do all this because God has put his almighty power in it. In its proclamation souls are saved, hopes are revived, sagging spirits are strengthened.

Saleska, T. E. (2001). Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C. In The lectionary commentary: theological exegesis for Sunday’s texts, volume one (p. 256). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

How we have blemished and scarred that body

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

A tragic misconception of time

I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

…I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I once asked a Lutheran pastor why we needed the sacraments if the grace given by simply believing in Jesus is enough for ultimate salvation. He said, “Because Nathan, God wants to give you more than enough grace—grace upon grace!”

God didn’t just save us and heal us, he pours out his Spirit upon us so we can have life, and life abundant.

I am excited to preach about the extravagant, over-the-top love of God tomorrow morning!

Pray for me.

I have been really loving Spider-Man on the PS4!

Brilliant discussion with renowned New Testament scholar N. T. Wright on the historical Jesus, the destructive potential of ultra-conservative Christianity, and the implausibility of an “epistemological Switzerland.”

I read this week about the miracle at Cana, when Jesus turned water into wine.

His mother Mary didn’t demand a specific solution to the problem at hand.

She simply and humbly told Jesus “they’ve run out of wine” in faith that he would do whatever was best.

If only I had that confidence and humility in prayer.

Got some news today that was—initially—quite disappointing.

But I was reminded that because of Jesus there’s nothing to fear, even if things don’t go the way I thought they would.

God is always present, and always loving.