The Geektastics » There is a First Time for Everything A safe space to geek out! Wed, 26 Mar 2014 02:57:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 T.A.R.D.I.S. of Holding: Farewell My Doctor /2013/11/05/t-a-r-d-i-s-of-holding-farewell-my-doctor/ /2013/11/05/t-a-r-d-i-s-of-holding-farewell-my-doctor/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 14:00:17 +0000 /?p=4906 Tardis of Holding


(c) Capital Tees

Today I am allowing myself to mourn the lost of MY doctor.  Even though I had friends telling me for years to check out Doctor Who it wasn’t until Matt Smith that I actually checked out an episode and was hooked within the hour.  He will always be MY doctor, and I am sad to see him go.  I love his personality, his screw driver, his mannerisms, and his adventures. I most certainly adore his wife. I thought Matt Smith was brilliant in the roll, and I am glad the market for bow ties and Fez’s has picked up due to the show.   The 11th Doctor is what made me get sucked into the show and go backwards to watch the 10th and 9th. Although this isn’t the first regeneration I have seen, it’s the first where the next Doctor is an unknown for me.  Before, when I watched a regeneration there was always the “known” that Matt Smith was the end result. Now there is a blank slate which is filled with hope and anxiety.  So, until December, I will say my goodbyes to my 11th Doctor.

(c) Unknown :(

(c) Doctor Who

(c) Doctor Who


PS: I hate Clara.

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T.A.R.D.I.S. of Holding: Denver Comic Con Recap /2013/10/25/t-a-r-d-i-s-of-holding-denver-comic-con-recap/ /2013/10/25/t-a-r-d-i-s-of-holding-denver-comic-con-recap/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:30:36 +0000 /?p=4884 Tardis of Holding

Dever Comic Con was my second “con” event – the first being RomCon a few weeks earlier.  They were both very different, and both awesome in their own way.

My whole family went to Denver Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday, so I had my husband and 2 year old in tow. Although we all had a GREAT time, it was exhausting as well. My husband says next year he only wants to go one day, but I want to go for all three if I can. They had a gaming room we didn’t find until the end and it would have been neat to play Settlers of Catan with others.  Artists Alley was AWESOME and I wish I would have spent my cash there (and had more wall space in my home to display it!).   The face painting for the kiddos was a nice addition for our family, and I really liked seeing all the costumes. Some were SO amazing!  And it was neat to see the attention my daughter got for being dressed as baby chell.


Event Ratings:

Fun scale (out of five): five

Family-friendly scale (out of five) : four

Would I go again: Hell yes!  I already have cosplay ideas…

Things to remember next time: 

  • There will be LOTS of people
  • Meeting celebrities costs money, boo!
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Bookshelf of Holding: RomCon 2013 Recap /2013/10/22/bookshelf-of-holding-romcon-2013-recap/ /2013/10/22/bookshelf-of-holding-romcon-2013-recap/#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:30:09 +0000 /?p=4883 Bookshelf of Holding

So, I guess it turns out I never actually recapped RomCon 2013! What madness is this?!


RomCon was AMAZING, and my first official convention for anything.  It was a great introduction into this “con” thing, and I am so glad I went.  My con started with breakfast and meeting two authors: Elizabeth Essex and Marsha West. Both were amazing, and Marsha and I became fast friends.  We con was filled with events, and I don’t think I spent any ‘dead’ time because there was so much to do.  My fan girl moment was meeting Gena Showalter.  But I also caught up with Darynda Jones, a friend of mine, and met Heather Graham and Shyla Colt.  There were many MANY other authors there – so many that it was impossible to meet them all!  There were so many intimate chats, talks, and presentations that I couldn’t make them all since some overlapped. I was able to attend the paranormal chat, the intimate chat with Darynda Jones, and a few of the game activities (Clue with all the paranormal authors, how to survive the apocalypse (I sat with Heather Graham!), and that’s not including the meals.  There was a bingo lunch (which satisfied my inner Bea Arthur), a comedy show and dinner, and Vegas night.  My absolute favorite event was the night the erotica romance writers put on their faux bachelorette party. Let me tell you, those girls know how to party! All of the events had authors meeting and greeting their fans and participating! It was neat to meet them all on a personal level. There were also a few vendors, but my favorite was Poly’s Pleasures Chainmail. Their chokers are amazing!!

20130621_102239.jpeg  20130622_205527.jpeg  20130621_140748.jpeg

Want to see my photos? I wish I had taken more, but I was busy having FUN!  Check out the photos here: /galleries/romcon-2013/


Event Ratings:

Fun scale (out of five): five

Family-friendly scale (out of five) : 0 – this is not a kid friendly event

Would I go again: YES! I am already signed up for RomCon 20141!

Things to remember next time: 

  • A corset is an any-time acceptable piece of clothing at RomCon
  • Bring an extra bag for the free swag!
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Palette of Holding: I Get My Mod Podge On: SHOES /2013/06/25/palette-of-holding-shoes/ /2013/06/25/palette-of-holding-shoes/#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2013 15:00:18 +0000 /?p=2820 Palette of Holding

This is the second part of my “I Got My Mod Podge On” set.  The previous set featured information on how to make the CLUTCH.


I have no idea how I was sparked by inspiration to begin decoupaging stuff, but somehow I was. Over the course of a few months I had created three clutches and two pairs of shoes. So, how did I make the shoes? Let’s find out…

1) Research. RESEARCH. Really. I did research. What else could/should I have done when trying something I never had before? So, I researched. How does one decoupage? What are the materials? Is there some techniques I should know? Let me share my results with you:

  • How to decoupage, in general.
  • Find the materials - general. The paper you want to use, mod podge, clear furniture lacquer, fine grain sand paper, and paint brushes.
  • Find the materials – shoes. A pair of shoes made from leather, faux leather, patent leather, etc.  Pretty much anything smooth, and nothing made from fabric or suede. You want a smooth surface. I noticed that every example pair of shoes I found on the internet were covered completely, and then showed wear and tear like crazy due to shoes flexing and bending during walking. I didn’t want wear and tear to show. I didn’t want my shoes to look worn within a few times of wearing them. To combat that, I went with a wedge because the wedge part of a high heel doesn’t bend, fold, or crinkle. It stays sturdy and I would never have to worry about rips or tears due to creases forming as I walked.
  • Research techniques. Here are some web pages that I used specifically for these projects: Creative You! – Craft a Pair of Decoupage Shoes and Anomaly Blog – Geek Crafting: Comic Book Shoes
  • Ask questions. If I had a question, I asked it in the blog tutorials I had found. Sometimes I received answers and sometimes I didn’t. But when I did, the advice was invaluable!
  • Find examples of what I wanted the end result to me. Examples like: Star Trek Shoes, Poison Ivy Shoes, and Music Shoes.
  • Strive for better. See this set here: Batman Clutch and Shoes Set. Notice the paint strokes showing in the glare? And the crinkles in the clutch?  I decided I could do better. And I did. Knowing how shoes work (the bend and fold as you walk) and taking where the bends occur into account, doing a good finish, and taking the time to complete the number of coats needed for a great finish, fixes this problem and made my project look like a million bucks (in my opinion)!
  • Be Prepared for a Learning Curve. If this is the very first time you are doing decoupage, prepare for the possibility that it wont turn out exactly as you want it to.  Trial and error is a life skill and definitely applies here.
  • Take Your Time.

View the Prezi below to follow along and make your own shoes!

These comic shoes were made for walkin’!

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Palette of Holding: Forest Friends Nursery /2013/06/05/palette-of-holding-forest-friends-nursery/ /2013/06/05/palette-of-holding-forest-friends-nursery/#comments Wed, 05 Jun 2013 13:45:32 +0000 /?p=3983 Palette of Holding

I recently did a mural for a best friend for her first baby! It was exciting, fun, exhausting, and anxiety ridden!

Here is what I did…

1. I made a drawing on the computer and got it approved by the mom-to-be.

2. I bought paint, brushes, etc.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

3. I set up my space.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

4. I used a projector to place and size the image on the wall.

5. I used a pencil to trace the image directly onto the wall.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

6. I started painting. I began with the background, the tree.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

7. I used bits of blue painters tape to indicate where pencil marks needed to be erased after it dried.

8. Every once in awhile I would step back and check how I was doing.

9. I moved onto the animals.

10. For the animals, I did them in sections by color: The lightest color first then moving to to darker colors.

11. Sometimes I had to go back and fix mistakes where I deviated from the artwork.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

12. Sometimes I had to move in real close to get better detail.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

13. Usually, though, I was just ‘in the zone.’

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

14. I decided to add some detail that wasn’t in the original drawing. This meant I had to mix my own color…

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

15. I saved the leaves for last. Believe it or not, I had never sponge painted before, so I did a bit of experimenting first.

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

16. Then I just went for it!

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013


17. Ta-da!

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2013

(c) Rhianna Ulrich

(c) Rhianna Ulrich

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Grab Bag of Holding: Rhianna Answers 100 Quesitons /2013/05/10/3832/ /2013/05/10/3832/#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 13:15:57 +0000 /?p=3832 Grab Bag of Holding

I am super busy. My job has me enslaved. It is awful. I didn’t have time to make a cool post, so here are 100 crap questions with 100 crap answers provided by me…


1. What type of music do you listen to? Classic rock, mostly. But there is a time and a place for every type of music.
2. What cheers you up? Sometimes my daughter. Sometimes dinner out. Sometimes my husband. Sometimes a good book being released
3. What do you constantly think about that, either makes you sad or just anything? Being a good parent and wife.  Survival scenarios.
4. Is there something you constantly lose at your house or anywhere? My sanity…
5. Do you have a favourite book or read much? I read A LOT. My favorite books are the Varayan Memoirs by Rick Shelley. I also like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.
6. What is the longest you have gone without sleep? 18 hours-ish
7. Do you have anyone you go to for advice? In person or online? My mom
8. What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? I broke the habit of biting my nails while in college. Yay me!
9. Is there anything I should know? GNU’s not unix.
10. What do you order or not order at a restaurant you have been? I am a picky eater. No pickles, no mustard. No salsa.
11. What is your favorite word? Least favorite?  I have no favorite word or least favorite word. Sorry to disappoint.
12. Are you a religious person or not? No. I was raised Catholic, but am agnostic now.
13. Why? Please see this post: Bookshelf of Holding: You Lost Me Book Review (Part 1)
14. What did you do for your latest birthday? Went out to dinner, probably. It is difficult to remember that far back.
15. What holidays do you celebrate? Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July. The usual ones, I guess.
16. If you had to be named after a city, state, or country (etc), which would you want it to be? London
17. Who is your hero? My parents.
18. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? Thesaurus
19. Have you ever been stung by a bee? Yes. It hurt.
20. Have you ever tipped a cow? No.
21. What’s the sickest you have ever been? Recovering from giving birth is the most PAIN I have ever been in. I don’t think I can pick one time where I have been the most sick right now.
22. Are you still learning who you are? Of course. We are always changing.
23. Are you afraid of heights? Or what are you afraid of? No, not heights. Aliens and being left alone.
24. Have you ever taken dance lessons? Who would you want to dance with? Yes.  My husband.
25. What is the most memorable class you have ever taken? Figure Drawing with Wingo at Woodbury University.

26. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke? I can’t say that I have one.
27. What is your favorite commercial? The gerbal commercial.
28. If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be? Penn Jillete
29. What is your favorite breakfast food? Doughnuts, I guess.
30. Do you like guacamole? Have you ever been in a food fight? No and yes. I was in a whipped cream fight.
31. What is your favorite thing to spend money on? Books, my husband, and my daughter.
32. What is the weirdest thing about you? Are you proud of it? I like to plan things. A LOT. Sometimes I am proud of it since I usually know everything that is going on and will go on.
33. Ever been in love with 2 people at the same time? Do you think that’s wrong? No, and I haven’t thought about if it is wrong or not.
34. Ever had any relatives in jail? Yes.
35. Glass half full or half empty? Or is the glass just malformed? Today it is half empty. Ask me tomorrow.
36. Mountains or the beach? View, or the tv? Mountains. I don’t like sand or salt water. The view.
37. Plain, train, or car? Boat, subway, or teleportation device? Tardis.
38. If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do? Move to Florida and buy a Disneyworld season pass. Then, after I got tired of that, travel the world.
39. Ever sold/donated your blood? If you haven’t do you want to? No. Yes, I would like to donate my blood.
40. Crowds, small groups, or “Go away, I’m a loner”? Small Groups.
41. Name the most terrifying moment of your life so far. Have you recovered from it? Getting in a car accident while 8 months pregnant. No, I haven’t gotten over it.
42. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? That girl who sings the 1990′s song with “some say…” she wears glasses.
43. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten? alligator
44. If you could bring any person back to life, who would it be? My maternal grandmother
45. Do you believe honesty is the best policy? Yes
46. What is the worst part of humanity? Our reliance on religion for answers and as a source animosity between ourselves
47. Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with? Who would you least like to be …? My husband – most like to be stuck. My daughter – least like to be stuck.
48. What do you think Victoria’s secret is? Profit.
49. Which cartoon character do you resemble the most? I LOOK the most like Daria
50. Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes? Or a week without changing your clothes but be able to bathe. A week without changing my clothes, but able to bathe

51. Which of the four seasons do you most love? Or Hate? Autumn – most love.
52. If you could choose your method of dying or where, what would they be? In my sleep, quietly unaware
53. If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose? Some home improvement show where they do the work for you and pay for it
54. List someone you know, and describe them in 5 words.  My daughter: funny, excited, stubborn, explorer, snuggler
55. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question, who would you select and what is the question? Jesus. Dude, can you just be honest about everything? We have too many groups who are arguing over what you said and killing each other. Can you just be honest so we stop doing that. Thanks!
56. If you join the circus, what would you perform? Ticket taker
57. Ugly and live forever, or attractive and die in a year? be the middle in both.
58. You discover that your wonderful one year old child is because of a mix up at the hospital and not yours. Would you want to exchange the child to correct the mistake? no.
59. Would you be willing to lie to a court for a close friend if it meant saving your friend from going to jail for life? no. if they did something to warrant going to jail for life, they deserve going to jail for life.
60. Would you be willing to eat a bowl of crickets for $40,000? yes.
61. If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose ad how would you torment them? my nemesis from high school. she would be tormented by being in a room with a moose. and a walnut.
62. Do you feel that children should be sheltered from unhappiness? no
63. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen? the big bang
64. If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you pick and what would you do? (Live in the body temporarily or permanently?) temporarily would live a day as kate middleton. it would be interesting to see how she lives
65. If you could be any age for a week, what age would that be? 25
66. What question do you hate to answer? are you going to have more children
67. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? burger (plain, only cheddar cheese) and a loaded baked potato with a cherry coke
68. Where do you go to get on a computer? home and work
69. How do you start a conversation? hello
70. What keys on a keyboard do you not use? all of the F keys
71. If you had a brainwashing machine, who would you use it on? my toddler to stop the tantrums and sass backs
72. You are walking home in the dark, you see something move. What/Who is it(guess)? What do you do? E.T. and I stab it to death
73. What is the strangest name someone has introduced themselves as to you? What is their real name? Tangaree. Tangaree
74. Where were you 3 hours ago? Do you think someone was stalking you? Work, and no. It has been a conversation free day.
75. Have you ever eating a crayon, or glue? Or what strange thing have you eaten? I would have to ask my mom…

76. Is there anything purple within 10 feet of you? What is it? A card my daughter gave me.
77. When was the last time you bought something? What was it? Yesterday I bought my husband a Mother’s Day Gift since he has been playing Dad and Mom at home due to my crap work schedule.
78. Are you wearing socks right now? Yes
79. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? No, but I am going tomorrow to see Iron Man 3
80. When was the last time you ran/went for a jog? A LOOOOOONG time, but Saturday I am walking a marathon
81. Your dream vacation? Worst vacation? Best vacation? DisneyWorld – dream.  Disneyworld with a 1 year old – worst. Disneyworld honeymoon – best.
82. Worst injury you have had? I have back disc issues. a cracked rib while having bronchitis. and recovering from an episiotomy
83. What do you want to know about the future? what year do we finally destroy ourselves?
84. What was the last picture took of you? a picture taken by my 2.5 year old last weekend.
85. Do you know any big gossipers? yes
86. Have you been pulled over by a cop? yes
87. Do you know your heritage? most of it
88. What have you always wanted? Did you ever get it? the ability to travel the world. not yet.
89. What you have faked being sick so you wouldn’t have to go to? having a cold
90. What was the last lie you have said? i told my daughter she could play with her umbrella when we get home today and I have no intention of letting her play with it
91. Have you ever danced in the rain? yes
92. What is your blood type? O+
93. Have you ever been in a car accident? yes
94. What was your weirdest prank call that you have made? I haven’t made any that great
95. Best compliment you have received? That I looked happy and content
96. Do you trust anyone with your life? yes
97. What is your greatest strength or weakness? I am a super planner. It is a strength and weakness. I have issues being spontaneous
98. What is your perfect pizza? Cheese only
99. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? Work today, ugh!
100. Do you get along with your family? Usually, yes.

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Palette of Holding: Vintage Housewife Baby Showers /2013/04/20/palette-of-holding-vintage-housewife-baby-showers/ /2013/04/20/palette-of-holding-vintage-housewife-baby-showers/#comments Sat, 20 Apr 2013 14:30:34 +0000 /?p=2636 Palette of Holding

In January I set myself a huge task: host two baby showers, both on the same weekend.  It was pretty epic and had serious potential to be completely overwhelming.  Handling it as best like a pro that I could, though, both parties went extremely smoothly and well. (I should note, this was my first time hosting a baby shower, and only the second and third baby showers I have ever been to – the first being my own. So, I hardly have any baby shower experience.)

First, I had to decide one major thing: host both baby showers back to back, or on separate weekends?  Since I have a very active and fulfilling family life, I like to keep my weekends (or at least one weekend day) free for my family.  But, the showers also needed to be in January, which was right after the insanity that was December (my daughter’s second birthday, my brother’s doctorate graduation, Christmas in California, and my wedding anniversary) which has left NO weekend day free for an entire month.  January is also my husband’s birthday, and add in New Years festivities in there. January was filling in quick.  Ultimately, I decided to get them done in one swoop: one on Saturday and one on Sunday of the same weekend in January.  This meant I only had to clean my house once and I could keep the same decorations up with ease.

‘What’s that you say about decorations, Rhianna?’ – yep, you read right. I had the same decor for both parties.  If you are doing two parties why not make the theme exactly the same?  A very smart decision, if you ask me! I went with a vintage housewife/mom theme with a red, white, and teal color scheme.  I came across a great Etsy shop called Xreations which did two great vintage themed invitations. Check them out:

Sometimes it is worth a few extra bucks to use a pre-made invitation template/design than make one yourself. Besides, for the cost of stock illustrations of vintage housewives, this option made complete economical sense!

Next was to build upon the theme with decor, decorations and food.  I decided I wanted to do *something* that would be memorable and keep-able for the parents, so I found another Etsy shop, MTipsy, which sells baby shower specific paper goods.  I went with the “Wishes for Baby” option, which is a card that let’s guests fill out their wishes for the baby.  Things like “I hope you learn _____________” and “I hope you never forget ______________.”  I found it sweet, and a great thing to keep and give to their babies when they are older to see what friends and family wished for them.  Another card I got was a Baby Mad-Libs type game. This was used for only one of the baby showers since it dealt specifically with first time parents (and the other baby shower were welcoming their second baby).  The Mad-Libs was a small fun addition, something guests could fill out as they arrived, and something the mom was able to keep.

baby madlibs
I have used the Etsy store Paper Patterns for two years now and have always had stunning results.  This time around I needed a vintage-inspired centerpiece and banner.  Both needed to be generic enough to use in both showers, and this time I decided to be super generic so I could maintain the possibility of using it for other stuff as well. I decided on a “Congratulations” banner and a simple centerpiece with one interchangeable item to make it more custom for each party: a rolling pin with the mom’s name on it.  I stuck the centerpiece picks in a glass coke size pack container for style.

Food was a bit tougher, as I had a small budget and wanted the items to seem somewhat vintage/retro. After weeks of debating with others on what the food should be, it was finally decided: popcorn (used only at one shower due to the number of participants), glass bottled cokes, IBC glass bottled root beers, gelatin salad, cheese ball and crackers, garlic chive dip and pretzels, veggie tray and dip, strawberries (used only at one shower due to the number of participants), punch, cookies, and cake. Everything was easy to make, and could be made in advanced so they were ready for plating the day of the event.

I had my husband leave up the white and red light up paper stars we have as Christmas decorations in our home. They fit with the colors and added some sparkle. Other decor included a crystal champagne bucket I have that I used to collect cards and a clothesline with my daughter’s red, white, and teal clothing hanging from it. It was a cheap and cute idea, I got many compliments on it.  I am also a big promoter of ribbon. I find it is another cheap decorating item that is reusable. I tied the ribbon onto my cookie stand, punch bowl stem, individual punch cups, cake server handle, candy bowl handles, and more.  When the party was over, all the ribbon was saved for use later in another party, hair ribbon for my daughter, or other craft projects.  I also had a slide show going on my TV showcasing some 1950′s adds for all sorts of things.  A quick internet search came up with some great ad options to choose from!  The favors for the party were wooden spoons with a simple ribbon tied around them.



Besides the “Wishes” and Mad-Libs cards I did 3.5 shower games: Do You Know Your TV Moms, The Price is Right, Name that Smell, and Trivia (either baby trivia or Australia trivia depending on which shower it was).  The Do You Know Your TV Moms was a game involving 10 vintage TV moms from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Guests received one point each for knowing the name of the character, the actress name, and the TV show name (for a total possible score of three points per mom).  I used a simple PowerPoint slide deck to show the photos of each mom. The laptop the deck was on was hooked up to my TV, thanks to my awesome husband’s mad skillz. Here are the 11 (we had a bonus mom) moms we went with:

1. Wilma Flintstone (voiced by Jean Vender Pyl)on The Flintstones
2. June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) on Leave It to Beaver
3. Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) on I Love Lucy
4. Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) on The Brady Bunch
5. Jane Jetson (voiced by Penny Singleton) on The Jetsons
6. Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones) on The Partridge Family
7. Morticia Addams (Carolyn Jones) on The Addams Family
8. Samantha Stevens (Elizabeth Montgomery) on Bewitched
9. Lily Munster (Yvonne DeCarlo) on The Munsters
10. Olivia Walton (Michael Learned) on The Waltons
Bonus:  Maureen Robinson (June Lockhart) on Lost in Space

The next game we did was a mini-Price is Right where guests were asked to guess the 1950′s price on the grocery item (closest price without going over won the point, guests who guessed the exact price received two points). The prices came from the website The People History (except for the postage stamp price, which came from I gave guests the price I paid for the item when I bought it (the 2013 price) and then they had to write down their guess what it was in the 50′s on an index card and hold it up.  The items were:

1. Postage Stamp – 3 cents
2. Campbells Tomato Soup – 10 cents
3. Carnation Milk Can – 14 cents
4. Gerbers Baby Foods – 10 cents
5. Jiffy Cake Mix – 10 cents
6. Kelloggs Shreaded Wheat – 18 cents
7. Maxwell House Instant Coffee – $1.19
8. Miracle Whip – 55 cents
9. Palmolive – 7 cents
10. Ritz Crackers – 32 cents

The next game is a baby shower classic: Name that Smell. The game involved melting different chocolate bars into a diaper and having guests guess what candy bar it is.  Guests are passed each diaper and are allowed to smell, touch, and even taste the melted basin of the diaper to help them with their guess. We had six candies we used:

1. Hershey Bar
2. Mr. Goodbar
3. Krackel/Crunch Bar
4. York Peppermint Patty
5. M&Ms
6. 3 Musketeer Bar

The last game we played was used as a tie breaker for one shower, and as a separate game for the other.   It consisted of basic trivia questions themed to either baby history or Australia (since one of our shower’s pregnant mum is Australian).  Want to know the questions (and answers)? Then check them out below!

Baby Trivia

Australian Trivia

The first disposable diaper was invented and patented in:

a. 1948 *

b. 1958

c. 1968

d. 1978

Who is this?

a. Dame Edna*

b. Amy Pond

c. Benny Hill

d. Russell Crowe

The first US patent of a nursing bra was granted in:

a. 1913*

b. 1916

c. 1931

d. 1961

The following are all Australian bands EXCEPT:

a. AC/DC


c. Jet

d. Muse *

Gerber was founded in:

a. 1917

b. 1927*

c. 1937

d. 1947

Cricket is played on a field with a center rectangular 22 yard long

a. Zone

b. Grass

c. Line Out

d. Pitch *

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was introduced in:

a. 1907

b. 1917

c. 1927

d. 1937 *

Who is the current Queen of Australia?

a. None

b. Elizabeth II*

c. Julia Gillard

d. Cate Blanchett

Johnson & Johnson was founded in:

a. 1886*

b. 1906

c. 1926

d. 1946

Vegemite is made from

a. Yeast Extract*

b. Hazelnuts

c. Bush Tucker

d. Billy Tea

The original pacifier was actually a corn cob, used in England,
during the:

a. 1660′s

b. 1680′s*

c. 1860′s

d. 1880′s

In Rugby, a _______ is a means of restarting play after a minor

a. Ruck

b. Maul

c. Scrum*

d. Wicket

The earliest use of the word “playpen” cited in the
Dictionary in:

a. 1902*

b. 1922

c. 1942

d. 1962

William Kent developed the pram, or stroller, in:

a. 1703

b. 1733*

c. 1903

d. 1933


I’d like to think both showers were great! What do you think?

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Palette of Holding: Baby Chell /2013/03/15/palette-of-holding-baby-chell/ /2013/03/15/palette-of-holding-baby-chell/#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:45:44 +0000 /?p=757

Portal is an amazing video game developed by Valve. It is a puzzle game that involves two things: an in-portal and an out-portal; you shoot two different portals and can go in and out them.  It’s a bit difficult to explain, even though I found playing it and picking up the concept easy upon actually doing it.

The game primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player’s character and simple objects using “the handheld portal device”, a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The player-character, Chell, is challenged by an artificial intelligence named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) to complete each puzzle in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using the portal gun with the promise of receiving cake when all the puzzles are completed. The game’s unique physics allows momentum to be retained through portals, requiring creative use of portals to maneuver through the test chambers. (Wikipedia)

…I agree, that still sounds confusing. Really, I swear, it was easy to understand when actually being played. Maybe a video will help:

Totally looks like fun, right? Well it is! They came out with Portal 2, too! And it is two player, which was even more fun!

Our annual Halloween party last year was Science Fiction theme, and although my husband waffled about what he wanted to be, I had my costume and my daughter’s costume set!  I went as a female version of the 10th Doctor Who Doctor and Sierra went as Chell, the main character you play as in Portal! Baby Chell!

This was my first time tackling a costume like this.

Regular Chell looks like this:

Image came from

I started off scouring the interwebs for a good base.  Orange is not an easy color to find.  Originally I was going to go with this NASA costume and modify it, but it turns out the patches aren’t the kind that are sewn on, so it was impossible to get them off…and that collar was weird and something I didn’t think I could modify.

NOT a good option for me – plus they are $35-$40!!
Image came from:

I kind of sat around on what plan B would be. Meanwhile, my husband started working on a mini-portal gun! The big one looks like this:

Image and Replica by:

As I did internet searches for “orange” “jumpsuit” and “toddler” I accidentally came across an eBay listing for the following item:

Image posted on the ebay listing by nevhuntre (

I couldn’t beat the price ($1.99) and I thought that I could make it work. I cut off the sleeves and the hood, added black tape detail, and got specially sized Aperture Science patches from Etsy store Patch Makter to cover up both “T”s (one on the jacket and one on the pants) and the “VOLUNTEER” that was on the jacket. I decided NOT to cut the pants short for two reasons: 1) I live in Colorado 2) It’s for a costume being worn in OCTOBER…in Colorado. Burrrr!

My husband finished the mini portal gun just in time!

We accessorized with our stuffed weighted companion cube we got from Thing Geek back when Sierra was born!

So, you tell me, was it successful??!

(c) Rhianna Ulrich 2012


We are hoping to squeeze one more event out of this costume: Denver Comic Con 2013! Perhaps I will cut the pant legs short for that?

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Giveaway: Giveaway: February 2013 Bag of Holding Daily Grind Book Giveaway WINNER! /2013/03/01/giveaway-giveaway-february-2013-bag-of-holding-daily-grind-book-giveaway-winner/ /2013/03/01/giveaway-giveaway-february-2013-bag-of-holding-daily-grind-book-giveaway-winner/#comments Fri, 01 Mar 2013 15:30:15 +0000 /?p=3354 Are you looking for my You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman book review? Please check in later this month. I needed a few more days to put it together.
Instead of the review, though, I do have a special announcement!

Congratulations Josette!

You are the winner of the Bag of Holding Daily Grind Giveaway!

Please email me at with your mailing address (no P.O. Boxes) so we can send you your copies of First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, and Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet!

/2013/03/01/giveaway-giveaway-february-2013-bag-of-holding-daily-grind-book-giveaway-winner/feed/ 0
Bookshelf of Holding: You Lost Me Chat Discussion /2013/02/25/bookshelf-of-holding-you-lost-me-chat-discussion/ /2013/02/25/bookshelf-of-holding-you-lost-me-chat-discussion/#comments Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:00:09 +0000 /?p=2017 Bookshelf of Holding

Welcome to the first community chat*! This chat was specifically related to the book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman. The chat deals with difficult issues of religion and faith. The group present had read the book and were prepared to discuss the topics covered by the author.  Please read the chat log below, I feel it reveals some interesting points of view, and helps verify the gap/disconnect within the book.  I also would encourage you to participate in the survey below to express your point of view, and to comment as well.
Would you like to participate? If so, please fill out this survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

About the book:

You Lost Me_bookClose to 60 percent of young people who went to church as teens drop out after high school. Now the bestselling author of “unChristian” trains his researcher’s eye on these young believers. Where Kinnaman’s first book “unChristian” showed the world what outsiders aged 16-29 think of Christianity, “You Lost Me” shows why younger Christians aged 16-29 are leaving the church and rethinking their faith.
Based on new research, “You Lost Me” shows pastors, church leaders, and parents how we have failed to equip young people to live “in but not of” the world and how this has serious long-term consequences. More importantly, Kinnaman offers ideas on how to help young people develop and maintain a vibrant faith that they embrace over a lifetime.

The Chat:

[20:21] <Rhianna> can everyone say their first name, and one sentence about themselves as a whole, and one sentence about their faith life.

[20:21] <RossBlocher> Would be nice to have more of a balance, but I’m fine.

[20:21] <Rhianna> no  bio-epics, please.

[20:21] <Rhianna> Yeah, i agree, Ross. i would prefer more balanced, but I did my best.

[20:21] <Megan> More balance would have been nice. :/

[20:22] <Megan> but you can only try.

[20:22] <TJP1> Let’s go in alpha order

[20:22] <Rhianna> MattC, you are up first for introductions.

[20:23] <MattC> OK. I’m Matt.

[20:23] <Rhianna> can everyone say their first name, and one sentence about themselves as a whole, and one sentence about their faith life.

[20:23] <MattC> I make my living as a Software Engineer working in Web Applications and Machine Learning.

[20:24] <MattC> Publically, I was a Christian until about 2.5 years ago; privately, I’d been on a journey away from faith for 10 years.

[20:24] <MattC> My only degree is in Religious Education from a conservative Evangelical university.

[20:24] <MattC> Done.

[20:25] <MattC> no worries. It happens in IRC.

[20:25] <Megan> I’m Megan. I’m a registered vet tech with ‘sucker’ written across my forehead for animal sob-stories. I was raised Christian but lost my faith in it when I was 13 after reading the bible the first time and have self-admitted my atheism for a year.

[20:26] <MattC> Megan, how old are you now?

[20:26] <Megan> 30.

[20:26] <Megan> Went to school with Rhi.

[20:26] <MattC> cool, me too.

[20:27] <MattC> 30 years, I mean.

[20:27] <Rhianna> RossBlocher, your go.

[20:27] <RossBlocher> Ross. I was raised as an evangelical Christian, but lost faith when I was 21 (I’m also 30 now). I am what the book would refer to as a head-driven prodigal. Other than my wife of 12 years and my 11-year-old son, my main loves are Animation (my job) and science (my hobby). I co-host a podcast in which a friend and I investigate religions, alternative health claims and the like.

[20:28] <Rhianna> TJP1?

[20:28] <TJP1> I’m Todd – I’m a Librarian at a Medical School…

[20:28] <TJP1> Born and bred in FLa

[20:29] <TJP1> I have been a participant in Roman Catholic Youth Ministry, College Campus Ministry, and Young adult Ministry since I was 13

[20:30] <TJP1> I participated and was a leader -  not much active for the past few years – but still have a heart for it.

[20:30] <TJP1> basically this book was written for me

[20:30] <TJP1> end of line

[20:30] <RossBlocher> Nice. Would you consider yourself a nomad by the book’s reckoning?

[20:30] <Rhianna> I’m Rhianna. imp 31. I live in Colorado and love it. I’d prefer to wait to give my stance until the chat is over. It really is my hope I can remain neutral.

[20:31] <TJP1> No – I would consider myself the intended audience – as a Youth & Young adult, and Campus minister.

[20:32] <RossBlocher> Gotcha.

[20:32] <Rhianna> ready for a starter?

[20:32] <Rhianna> just for reference, I pulled these directly out of the official discussion guide for the book.

[20:32] <TJP1> go

[20:33] <Rhianna> I’ll be giving a series of statements

[20:33] <Rhianna> for the sake of this NOT being the discussion part yet, please reply ONLY with:

[20:33] <Rhianna> strongly agree, agree somewhat, not sure, disagree somewhat, strongly disagree

[20:33] <Rhianna> incoming statements…


[20:33] <Rhianna> The Bible has a straightforward answer for every issue.

[20:34] <Megan> strongly disagree

[20:34] <MattC> strongly disagree

[20:34] <RossBlocher> strongly disagree

[20:34] <Rhianna> (doesn’t mean you have to agree with the answer, just that is HAS an answer)

[20:34] <TJP1> disagree somewhat


[20:34] <Rhianna> Being “in but not of this world” means separating ourselves from non-Christian influence.

[20:34] <TJP1> strongly disagree

[20:34] <RossBlocher> disagree somewhat

[20:35] <MattC> disagree somewhat

[20:35] <Megan> disagree somewhat


[20:35] <Rhianna> I want to use my gifts and skills to participate in and influence culture.

[20:35] <MattC> agree somewhat

[20:35] <RossBlocher> strongly agree

[20:35] <TJP1> Strongly agree

[20:35] <Megan> strongly agree


[20:35] <Rhianna> I have a strong friendship with one or two church people from a different generation.

[20:35] <TJP1> Strongly agree

[20:36] <Megan> somewhat disagree

[20:36] <MattC> somewhat agree

[20:36] <RossBlocher> strongly agree


[20:36] <Rhianna> I connect with church friends on Sunday, and that’s enough.

[20:36] <MattC> n/a ? not sure

[20:36] <TJP1> Strongly disagree

[20:36] <Megan> N/a…

[20:37] <RossBlocher> disagree somewhat

[20:37] <RossBlocher> (I still go to church(es))


[20:37] <Rhianna> The claims of science threaten Christianity.

[20:37] <TJP1> Strongly Disagree

[20:37] <MattC> strongly agree

[20:37] <Megan> strongly agree

[20:37] <RossBlocher> strongly agree


[20:37] <Rhianna> There can be harmony between matters of science and matters of faith.

[20:37] <TJP1> Strongly agree

[20:38] <Megan> not sure

[20:38] <RossBlocher> agree somewhat

[20:38] <MattC> somewhat disagree


[20:38] <Rhianna> When scientific evidence contradicts a faith claim, we should reevaluate our beliefs.

[20:38] <Megan> strongly agree

[20:38] <MattC> strongly agree

[20:38] <TJP1> Agree somewhat

[20:39] <RossBlocher> strongly agree


[20:39] <Rhianna> The Bible’s teaching about sex and sexuality is clear and unambiguous.

[20:39] <RossBlocher> strongly disagree

[20:39] <TJP1> Somewhat agree

[20:39] <MattC> somewhat disagree

[20:39] <Megan> agree (if we’re again not agreeing with what it says, just that it says it)


[20:40] <Rhianna> My choices about sex are nobody’s business but mine (and my partners).

[20:40] <Megan> strongly agree.

[20:40] <TJP1> Somewhat disagree

[20:40] <RossBlocher> agree somewhat

[20:41] <MattC> somewhat agree


[20:41] <Rhianna> Procreation is the main purpose of sex.

[20:41] <Megan> somewhat disagree

[20:41] <MattC> strongly disagree

[20:42] <TJP1> somewhat agree/disagree whatever is in the middle

[20:42] <RossBlocher> somewhat disagree (depends on the viewpoint)


[20:42] <Rhianna> Other people’s beliefs are as valid as mine.

[20:42] <MattC> somewhat disagree

[20:42] <TJP1> Somewhat disagree

[20:42] <Megan> somewhat disagree

[20:43] <RossBlocher> somewhat disagree

[20:43] <RossBlocher> Glad we all agree on that. ;0)

[20:43] <TJP1> wow we have a winner

[20:43] <MattC> (note thats the first question where we all believe the same)


[20:43] <Rhianna> Faith should not get in the way of friendships.

[20:43] <RossBlocher> strongly agree

[20:43] <MattC> somewhat agree

[20:43] <TJP1> somewhat agree

[20:43] <Megan> somewhat agree


[20:43] <Rhianna> Being fair is more important than being right.

[20:44] <TJP1> somewhat agree

[20:44] <MattC> note sure (depends entirely on context)

[20:44] <Megan> not sure

[20:44] <RossBlocher> somewhat agree


[20:44] <Rhianna> Having doubts is a symptom of weak faith.

[20:44] <Megan> disagree

[20:44] <TJP1> disagree

[20:45] <RossBlocher> disagree

[20:45] <MattC> somewhat agree


[20:45] <Rhianna> The church is a place where people can ask their most pressing questions without fear of being judged.

[20:45] <MattC> strongly disagree

[20:45] <Megan> strongly disagree

[20:46] <RossBlocher> disagree somewhat

[20:46] <TJP1> agree somewhat


[20:46] <Rhianna> It’s okay to disagree with pastors and other leaders on matters of faith or theology.

[20:46] <MattC> strongly agree

[20:46] <TJP1> agree somewhat

[20:46] <Megan> strongly agree

[20:47] <RossBlocher> strongly agree


[20:47] <Rhianna> Pastors and leaders should never express doubt.

[20:47] <Megan> disagree

[20:47] <TJP1> strongly disagree

[20:47] <RossBlocher> strongly disagree

[20:48] <MattC> somewhat disagree


[20:48] <Rhianna> thanks everyone

[20:48] <Rhianna> so, I have a set of quotes with questions. If we branch from those, that’s fine. But, I may bring us back to a central point.

[20:49] <Rhianna> I have them in no particular order of importance, just by kinda-category.


[20:50] <Rhianna> “The book’s title[not this book, a different book the author is discussing that i wasn't smart enough to write down] is inspired by their voice and mindset, and reflects their disdain for one-sided communication, disconnect from formulaic faith, and discomfort with apologetics that seem disconnected from the real world.”

[20:50] <Rhianna> “Millions of young Christians were also describing Christianity as hypocritical, judgmental, too political, and out of touch with reality.”

[20:50] <Rhianna> “A generation of young Christians believes that the churches in which they were raised are not safe and hospitable places to express doubts. Many feel that they have been offered slick or half-baked answers to their thorny, honest questions, and they are rejecting the “talking heads” and “talking points” they see among the older generations.”

[20:50] <Rhianna> discussion question: Why do you feel churches have a reputation for being not safe and hospitable places to express doubts?

[20:51] <MattC> Because they have a history of being inhospitable to even rumors of someone having doubts.

[20:51] <Megan> I see part of it as the exclusivity “We’re completely right, everyone else is going to hell”, fear of being condemned as a non-believer, fear that maybe one isn’t ‘saved’ if one has doubts…

[20:51] <TJP1> Depends on the Church and their style of Catechesis.  And the style of Preaching.

[20:52] <MattC> “A little leaven leveaneth the whole lump” -> Doubters must be “fixed” or thrown out.

[20:52] <TJP1> Generally, people go only to the Sunday service which has a mode that favors one way communication – not much Socratic method or relational dynamic

[20:53] <RossBlocher> Yeah, it does vary based on the church community, but I find that the sense of shunning doubters is pretty common.

[20:53] <TJP1> Often Youth ministries at large churches tend to be “show message” oriented.  And if they are too large not enough individual face time.

[20:53] <TJP1> Sunday School and Catechism class are also in the instruction mode.

[20:54] <RossBlocher> “Slick answers” also resonated with me – I think there’s a lot of quick, catchy-phrase answers to questions that need to be explored more deeply.

[20:54] <TJP1> Furthermore – Youth ministry tend to favor “peer” leadership of strong Christian kids – and “peer” pressure tends to squash the kid that is questioner.

[20:55] <RossBlocher> Or admission that the question is tough, and then a dodge.

[20:55] <Rhianna> I have a tie in…

[20:56] <Megan> I got the dodge a lot, especially in high school.

[20:56] <RossBlocher> That being said, my regular church pastor regularly encourages doubt and says it is healthy, but he never really models it or talks specifically about any doubts.


[20:56] <Rhianna> “Overall, knowledge of Scripture, doctrine, and church history is poor among most Christians, not just young adult believers.”

[20:56] <Rhianna> “Technological access allows them to experience and examine content originating from nonbiblical worldviews, giving them ample reasons to question the nature of truth. It generates extraordinary distractions and invites them to be less linear and logical in their thought processes. It empowers them to think as participants, not just as consumers, of media.”

[20:56] <Rhianna> “we[the church] must teach through experience, reason, and authority”

[20:56] <Rhianna> Question: How can the church work to fix the education/knowledge gap?  Will the greater education in the Bible hurt or help numbers?

[20:57] <TJP1> Yep and no – poor catechesis is the problem – Familiarity with scripture is only part of it

[20:57] <Megan> I think a greater education will hurt it a great deal.

[20:57] <MattC> Probably hurt.

[20:57] <Megan> It was reading the bible that killed my faith.

[20:57] <MattC> I had a degree from a bible college before I left.

[20:57] <TJP1> Oh – yes I reread the question – the answer is yes.

[20:58] <Rhianna> Why is education hurtful?

[20:58] <Megan> Church glosses over a lot.

[20:58] <Megan> You get the nice message with a bit of hellfire depending on the church.

[20:58] <Megan> You don’t get Lot offering his daughters for gang rape.

[20:58] <MattC> Re-reading the gospels was a big part of my finally discarding belief permanently.

[20:58] <Megan> That Job’s trials started as a bet with the devil.

[20:59] <RossBlocher> Yeah, I studied the Bible extensively, and that fueled my abandonment of religion. I also think the Internet is the tool that will continue that trend, because as your quote suggests, it’s very difficult to shut out the ideas of others anymore.

[20:59] <TJP1> Greater knowledge of Scripture can’t hurt – if it is coupled with good exegesis and a strong catechesis.

[20:59] <Megan> They don’t really go over the fact that God took away Pharaoh’s free will in order to visit plagues upon Egypt.


[20:59] <Rhianna> “Ryan says, “I want to build loving friendships with those in the church, but my main focus will be anyone who cares about the things I believe Jesus calls us to care about, whether they label themselves Christian or not. I’ve had too many negative experiences in church”

[21:00] <Rhianna> “One-third of young Christians (32 percent) identified with the statement, “I want to find a way to follow Jesus that connects with the world I live in.””

[21:00] <Rhianna> Question: Why do some feel there is a difference between that their church teaches, what the bible says, and what they feel Jesus’ message is?

[21:00] <MattC> cf. the quote, exposure to secular content doesn’t challenge the “nature of truth;” it challenges the *content* of truth.

[21:] <TJP1> They don’t see enough positive role models.  Some great people are secret Christians.  Some popular Christians are great sinners

[21:] <TJP1> Heck all of us are great sinners

[21:] <MattC> There IS a difference between what churches say, and what the bible says, and Jesus’ message.

[21:02] <MattC> Jesus’ message isn’t even consistent between the 4 gospels.

[21:02] <TJP1> Jesus had many messages

[21:02] <RossBlocher> “Some great people are secret Christians.” – Interesting! I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that before.

[21:03] <TJP1> Sure – we often feel cull and discourage from showing our faith in public and at work.

[21:03] <RossBlocher> As to the question, I agree with Matt. There is a conflict between Jesus’ message as presented by the church, and the text of the Bible, and what’s expected by society.

[21:03] <Rhianna> What is the difference?

[21:03] <MattC> I don’t want to nit-pick, but The question isn’t about people’s behavior, it’s about conflicting messages.

[21:03] <TJP1> I have often spent year with people I thought were really great people and later found out they were faithful Christians

[21:04] <Megan> I see a major disconnect with how the religious right treats the very people the Jesus of the bible would have been amongst.

[21:04] <MattC> Churches tend to pick-and-choose the parts of the Bible that support their cultural vision.

[21:04] <TJP1> No nit-pick – we find that it is this behavior of people that that are sending the conflicting messages.

[21:05] <MattC> The religious left also glosses over a lot of problems in the bible.

[21:05] <RossBlocher> I believe Jesus’ message has such longevity BECAUSE it is vague and ambiguous. Many denominations and churches and eras have been able to find support for their varying beliefs within Jesus’ teachings.

[21:05] <Megan> True. But what we see most of in society is the right’s disconnect from the bible’s teachings about wealth, health, and how to treat others.

[21:06] <Megan> There is that, Ross. It’s amazing what people can find to support completely opposite positions in the same text.

[21:06] <TJP1> And – people often confuse the churches and mix them up.  They hear a Christian preacher on TV and think that all Christian have the point of view.  – Of course it sounds conflicting.

[21:06] <RossBlocher> TJP – I’d call that the “No True Scottsman” problem. It’s hard when Christians are claiming that other Christians who disagree with them aren’t Christian at all.


[21:06] <Rhianna> Do you feel, that for Christians, it is better to be a blatantly sinning Christian or a non-Christian?

[21:06] <TJP1> What do you mean by blatantly sinning?

[21:06] <MattC> better for who?

[21:07] <Megan> But they’re all Christian TJ at the core of it.

[21:08] <Rhianna> either having the viewpoint that ‘I can sin as long as I go to church and am forgiven later’ or sin because they already hold onto the viewpoint that ‘i accept Jesus, therefore I am saved’

[21:08] <TJP1> The general definition for Christian is only a few core doctrinal things… not usually the messages you hear on TV or from the pulpit.

[21:08] <RossBlocher> I don’t think any Christian would ever consider those to be two options to choose from. They want to avoid sin as an expression of their Christian journey.

[21:09] <TJP1> Blatant sinning – No that is not helpful to anyone – it is flaunting and presumptuous.

[21:09] <RossBlocher> They feel Christianity is the only way to truly overcome a sinful nature.

[21:09] <TJP1> Admittedly a sinner – who is trying to do better – now that is helpful

[21:09] <Megan> I think that some Christians do think that way. Namely people who claim to be Christian, but commit crimes.

[21:10] <RossBlocher> Ah, but they think, “At least I’m a Christian.”? Interesting. That makes sense, though how sad.

[21:10] <Megan> And I’ve met some who feel that ‘sinning’ against a non-believer isn’t a sin at all.

[21:10] <TJP1> They would be of the once saved always saved group – not Catholics


[21:10] <Rhianna> “One of the recurring themes in our research with young exiles is the idea that Christianity does not have much, if anything, to say about their chosen profession or field.”

[21:10] <Rhianna> “What has God called you to do, in partnership with the community of Christ-followers? How can you be on mission for Christ in the world, based on what you’re gifted to do?”

[21:10] <Rhianna> Question: Does faith belong at/in work?  Giving examples of film makers and musicians are easy to draw a connection into promotion the Christian faith, but what about those who work in finance, IT, sales, and customer service? How are they to make ties to faith?

[21:11] <Megan> I don’t think you *can* make ties to faith in all job fields except for “doing a job well done” as expression of faith… or something.

[21:11] <TJP1> Faith is at the core of the person… it belongs in everything they do – or they would be denying their very selves.

[21:12] <Rhianna> How does one integrate faith at work?

[21:12] <MattC> Faith is a bad thing. If you make decision at your job based on faith, you’re bad employee.

[21:12] <TJP1> If one cannot find a faithful tie-in with their work – then they should find other work – or they should look harder for the tie in

[21:12] <MattC> *a bad employee.

[21:12] <RossBlocher> I have co-workers who are openly Christian (and at least one Mormon), and they know I’m openly Atheist, and we have very interesting, polite and productive discussions. I think its okay as long as it’s done graciously and lovingly.

[21:13] <Rhianna> Giving examples of film makers and musicians are easy to draw a connection into promotion the Christian faith, but what about those who work in finance, IT, sales, and customer service? How are they to make ties to faith?

[21:13] <TJP1> Why would anyone “have to” have a discussion about that at work?  That has nothing to do with tying your faith with your work.

[21:14] <MattC> If the question means, “expressing religious devotion at work,” then I think it should be treated like any other hobby. If it doesnt impact your performance, have at it.

[21:14] <Megan> I don’t want faith to be a part of certain jobs, like doctors or nurses.

[21:14] <RossBlocher> It may be different for other professions, but I work in the creative field. As a very good example, we were talking about how the Life of Pi resonates with believers and non-believers as a story. My Mormon friend and I had a half hour conversation in the hall.

[21:14] <TJP1> Easy – I organize records that give access to medical books that educate doctors that heal people.

[21:14] <Megan> I don’t want a nurse, who is religious, to decided that his faith means I can’t have a blood transfusion, or pain meds.

[21:15] <Megan> I’ve had wanna-be technician interns go “Oh, I couldn’t euthanize an animal, it’s against my faith to kill anything.”

[21:15] <RossBlocher> Agreeing with much of what’s been said above… As long as faith is not adversely affecting job performance.

[21:15] <MattC> to follow Megan, it can be far less “obvious.”

[21:16] <MattC> e.g., how many times has patient confidentiality been broken by a nurses prayer request?

[21:16] <MattC> It may not be life threatening, but it can have serious consequences.

[21:16] <RossBlocher> My sister is a strong believer and a doctor. She refused a Viagra prescription for a man because he wasn’t married. If I were that man, I would find another doctor pronto.

[21:16] <TJP1> Your faith should increase your job performance.  Every endeavor is a vocation within your faith.

[21:16] <Megan> Or being asked what religion and when I said “atheist” getting “Oh, I’ll pray for you.”

[21:17] <Megan> I didn’t want my nurse praying for me, I wanted her to check me in so I could get checked for appendicitis.

[21:17] <TJP1> Why not pray for you and get checked they are not mutually exclusive.

[21:18] <Megan> Because I’m an atheist.

[21:18] <Megan> And praying for me in that situation, with that knowledge, is passive aggressive and unwanted.

[21:18] <TJP1> The real question is whether it is “wise” and helpful to talk much about faith while at work ?

[21:18] <RossBlocher> Good point, Megan. I had a technician tell me she was going to pray for my wife when my wife had cancer. I know she meant well, but it felt very unprofessional.

[21:18] <MattC> Because holding beliefs based on evidence and beliefs based on pious feelings are mutually exclusive.

[21:19] <TJP1> Working with people is about building relationships.  A brief exchange that includes a promise for prayer is a friendly gesture that builds relationship.  As long as it doesn’t get outta hand.

[21:19] <Megan> She was checking me in at the ER.

[21:19] <Megan> I was in pain, and cranky and said I was an atheist.

[21:20] <RossBlocher> Yeah, that was insensitive of her to tell you she was going to pray for you with the knowledge that you were an atheist. I’d say that’s bad form.


[21:20] <Rhianna> “…think about which model the church most resembles—the established monolith or the grassroots network—and what that might mean for its relevance in the lives of a collaborative, can-do generation that feels alienated from hierarchical institutions.”

[21:20] <Rhianna> Question: Which is the correct answer? Which do you feel the church is?

[21:20] <Megan> Depends on the church. a little of both.

[21:21] <Megan> Once they start going the “our morality for EVERYONE” they get extremely monolithic in feel.

[21:22] <RossBlocher> To the question, I think the contemporary church sees that its monolithic parts are dying quickly, and so it’s struggling to become more adaptable and networked.

[21:22] <TJP1> As for the Catholic Church is obviously the monolith.  I don’t answer for other churches – I’ve seen little grass roots ones, too.  The question is contextual.

[21:22] <RossBlocher> But I think that as it makes that shift, it loses its identity and becomes more of a social club.


[21:23] <Rhianna> The church is: Overprotective, Shallow, Antiscience, Repressive, Exclusive, and Doubtless

[21:23] <Rhianna> Question: Do you agree? Disagree? Why? What is your level of agree/disagree with each of the major topics in the book (listed above)

[21:23] <Megan> All of the above?

[21:23] <TJP1> None – of the above – depending on “the church”

[21:24] <Rhianna> Question: which is the largest that you feel needs to be addressed

[21:24] <Megan> Ooh… that one’s tough.

[21:24] <Megan> A lot of those tie into each other.

[21:24] <MattC> All except Exclusive and doubtless. There are denominations that will accept anybody. The Quakers and some Episcopalians are pretty good about making room for doubt.

[21:24] <RossBlocher> To varying degrees within each church, but I’d say as a whole I agree with those characterizations. You can only be so flexible as a church before you lose your identity.

[21:24] <Rhianna> TJP1 – these are, indeed, generalizations, as the book says. But it also says these generalizations are appearing and need addressing. So, we are addressing them.  What is your take on the problems the church has that the book covered?

[21:25] <TJP1> As for the Mosaics that the author is trying to reach I would say the “repressive” and “doubtless” are the toughest.

[21:25] <TJP1> Although he does identify all of them as areas that need addressing for each of the identified lost one.

[21:25] <RossBlocher> To Matt’s point, Unitarians as well are incredibly open and accepting. So yeah, it depends.

[21:25] <MattC> “Antiscience” is the most important to address, for the good of society in general.

[21:25] <Megan> The antiscience is probably biggest for me.

[21:26] <MattC> Unitarians aren’t’ real Scotsmen. ;-)

[21:26] <TJP1> If “anti-science” is addressed well – would you consider returning?

[21:26] <Megan> I mean, I work with animals but I still get owners coming in who want to pray their dog’s cancer away rather than do surgery.

[21:26] <Megan> Absolutely NOT.

[21:26] <RossBlocher> Antiscience > Doubtless > Shallow – those would probably be my top three in descending order.

[21:27] <RossBlocher> Ha ha, touché. You’re right; Unitarians don’t really fall in the fold.

[21:27] <Megan> In this country at least, we have people in gov’t on education boards and science councils that think the earth is 6k years old.

[21:28] <RossBlocher> No, I wouldn’t return to belief, but I’d be happy that the church is not actively combating progress for the rest of the world.

[21:28] <MattC> TJP1: No. I still think its a bad idea to claim extraordinary beliefs that aren’t based on good evidence, which is essential for the church.

[21:28] <TJP1> The author tries to identify the reasons we are losing the Mosaics – when he identifies the issue – he is trying to assert that if we address he issue – then they would return.


[21:28] <Rhianna> “From this generation, so intent on reimagining faith and practice, I believe the established church can learn new patterns of faithfulness.”

[21:29] <Rhianna> “Many people I talk to think it’s impossible to embrace both mainstream science (especially evolutionary biology) and traditional Christian faith. Scientists tend to scoff at faith as being anti-intellectual, while Christians tend to reject scientific conclusions out of hand if they don’t fit with their view of the world. This should not be! Christians, of all people, should pursue truth with a spirit of confidence, and the church should take a more active role in encouraging that pursuit.””

[21:29] <Rhianna> Question: Later in the book, the author discusses the incorporation of science into the church more. What is your opinion on this idea? Is it something that could work in actual practice?

[21:29] <Megan> No.

[21:30] <Megan> Too much of the main premise of the bible falls apart in the face of science.

[21:30] <Megan> Original sin goes *poof*

[21:30] <MattC> Maybe. The Catholics and Anglicans are pretty far along in this process, but I dont think it will bring anyone back.

[21:30] <Megan> If that goes poof, no need for Jesus’ sacrifice.

[21:30] <RossBlocher> I’m all for incorporating science and encouraging believers to embrace science.

[21:30] <RossBlocher> I agree that it will lead many people away from belief, but I’d never discourage incorporating science. ;0)

[21:31] <TJP1> The incorporation can be done.  A subtly of perspective needs to be done about the relationship between the too – but the book doesn’t go into the how.  It merely addresses the need – not exactly the method.

[21:31] <Megan> This is true. I think that if they *don’t* try to keep up, they’ll lose just as many.

[21:32] <MattC> Scientific literacy is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being a satisfied non-believer.

[21:33] <RossBlocher> I agree with TJP that the book doesn’t go into the how (until the very end with some contributions from other authors). That was one of the frustrating things about the book for me. The bold, broad statements that weren’t accompanied by specifics.

[21:33] <TJP1> Not true – many an ignorant hedonist non-believer is very happy.

[21:33] <MattC> So, I think churches could strike a “safe” balance for keeping their flock, but it will probably won’t make much difference if they do.

[21:33] <Megan>  The bible gives us a ‘how’ for creation of the world and mankind, for example.

[21:34] <RossBlocher> I agree with TJP on that as well – many non-believers simply don’t give the issue much thought, and aren’t particularly literate when it comes to science.

[21:34] <MattC> TJP1: True. let me revise that to “being deconverted and intellectually honest”

[21:34] <Megan> scientific literacy is a big problem. “It’s just a theory!”

[21:35] <TJP1> The book assumes that the reader is already familiar with youth and young adult ministry and studies and training – he mostly spend time trying to explain the current generational challenges.  I was trained in similar ideas for the GenX’ers – not this book is helping me with the Mosaics/Millennials

[21:35] <TJP1> I mean “now this book”

[21:35] <MattC> i.e., I acknowledge some may deconvert for solely “carnal” reasons, and claim their intellectual doubts, but they aren’t being honest. But it’s very hard for a committed Christian to leave the faith behind without gaining some scientific literacy to answer some of the questions that the church used to answer.


[21:35] <Rhianna> “Young people are skeptical about the reliability of the original biblical manuscripts; they tend to read the Bible through a lens of pluralism; their changing media behaviors and vanishing attention spans make a physical medium of Scripture less viable; and they seem less likely than previous generations to believe the Scriptures have a claim on human obedience.”

[21:35] <Rhianna> “Finally, young adults’ location in a post-Christian culture encourages them to reject the authority of the Bible and of spiritual leaders and even to question the existence of truth. Many prodigals and nomads seek and find sources of authority outside of conventional Christian forms.”

[21:35] <Rhianna> Question: What has the church done to propagate this stance of authenticity and authority issues?

[21:37] <TJP1> Authority is a big issue for Mosaics – and previous generations to a bit lesser extent.

[21:38] <MattC> That questions doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see that the church has encouraged the questioning of authority, except maybe in the anti-government fringe.

[21:38] <Megan> I think part of it is exposure to other faiths… that believe their holy books and beliefs are just as authoritative and authentic.

[21:38] <TJP1> Nowadays the church needs to address some many more of the main issues presented before they can address authority.  It needs to be built up – rather than assumed that any authority can be true.

[21:38] <RossBlocher> I think the culture has swung over to being very skeptical of any authority, and the church is just suffering from that perspective shift. Authority is one of the main pillars supporting faith.

[21:39] <Megan> “Believe us because we says so. We are the Authority on this.”

[21:39] <TJP1> Most Mosaics and GenXers were raised with a very weak sense of authority.  I agree this is tough to overcome since so much of the church rest upon the idea.


[21:39] <Rhianna> “God looks at how we shape our children’s hearts and minds to be responsive and obedient to him.”

[21:39] <Rhianna> Question: What roll does obedience play in the church? The book used the example of the story of Daniel, many would consider him to have been NOT obedient to God since he made faith compromises. Where is the balance between obedience and adaptation? Who decides the “line” between obedience, adaptation, and failure?

[21:41] <TJP1> The Family is the first church.  How the family is modeled for a chld will have a strong influence on how the child grows to understand the church (and authority).

[21:41] <Megan> I think there’s too much emphasis on obedience, and it’s biting them in the butt.

[21:41] <RossBlocher> Agreed. Our culture frowns on obedience as well.

[21:42] <RossBlocher> Everyone is encouraged to think for themselves and not be submissive to anyone.

[21:42] <Megan> We’re teaching our children now to think about things. They’re growing up in a time where questioning things has led  progress towards ending racism, sexism, ableism, etc.

[21:42] <TJP1> Obedience can only fow from acceptance of authority.

[21:42] <Megan> Before, people were blindly obedient to what they were told, because it was right… because they were told it was right.

[21:42] <Megan> Our kids are growing up with a wider world view and seeing “what I was always told… doesn’t seem to be true.”

[21:43] <Megan> And they’re *thinking* and obedience doesn’t do well with independent though.

[21:43] <Megan> My *dog* is obedient.

[21:44] <TJP1> Obedience is part of trust in the authority.  Certainly not many armies would survive without that.

[21:44] <RossBlocher> And again, I think the Internet is playing a strong role in this. Kids are exposed to many different ideas and influences, and it’s hard to single just one perspective out as an authority worthy of obeying.

[21:44] <Megan> Many armies commit atrocities because they ‘obeyed’.

[21:44] <TJP1> Your dog has a dimmed reason compared to you – you know what is better fo ryour dog – so he does not over eat.

[21:45] <Megan> Yes. But my future children have minds that are like mine.

[21:45] <Megan> Or *will have minds

[21:45] <Megan> Blind obedience is bad.

[21:46] <Megan> And, to bring up your armies analogy, it’s not ‘trust’, it’s conditioning.

[21:46] <RossBlocher> I think the armies of the world will dwindle for the same reasons the church is dwindling. Which is fine, because the total amount of violence in the world is also dwindling (per the book I’m currently reading, “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker.

[21:46] <Megan> They are conditioned to obey, to not think.

[21:46] <TJP1> Your children, when they are young, have dimmed minds they most first obey not to cross the street before they understand why.

[21:46] <Megan> My parents explained. I understood that rule as early as 3.

[21:46] <Megan> And I knew *why*.

[21:46] <TJP1> And for a retarded child ?

[21:47] <Megan> TJ, don’t *even* go there. You will not like the result.


[21:47] <Rhianna> “The problem is not that this generation has been less churched than children and teens before them; the problem is that much spiritual energy fades away during a crucial decade of life—the twenties.”

[21:47] <Rhianna> “Adults identify as Christians typically because they had formative experiences as a child or as a teenager that connected them to Christianity. But that connection is often shallow and on the surface, having more to do with cultural identification than it does with deep faith.”

[21:47] <Rhianna> “Too many are incapable of reasoning clearly about their faith and unwilling to take real risks for Christ’s sake”

[21:47] <Rhianna> Question:  How does this concept, of twenty year olds leaving the church, coordinate with the concept that adults (18+) are able to critically think on their own? s that actually make you a “member”? Can a child actually be “Christian” before they can analyze and agree with the lessons taught? This is more than factual school learning (math, English, etc.) – this is reasoning and theology which is considered beyond the mental capacity of children and taught in college or as a starter high school course.

[21:48] <Megan> I think children can “be” Christian without understanding all the implications simply because they were raised in that faith and absorbed it.

[21:48] <Megan> Just like I’m American because I was born here, and grew up here.

[21:48] <TJP1> Catholics in the early 20th century developed the Baltimore Catechism – it was for children to try to address things at thier level.

[21:49] <RossBlocher> I would like to see an emphasis on letting a child choose his or her own beliefs and not feel beholden to tow the party line. In my perfect world.

[21:49] <Megan> But I do not think they should be ‘confirmed’ or ‘baptized’ until they do fully understand, and demonstrate that understanding.

[21:49] <TJP1> It can be a very helpful thing to address things at the level of understanding.  The problem came in when the kids left and the last theological text they read was that child’s book

[21:50] <TJP1> They went around for the rest of their lives as practicing – and non-practicing Catholics with the faith development of a 10 year old.

[21:50] <RossBlocher> I agree with Megan. Those official pronouncements of belief (confirmation, baptism, even dedication) should be saved for older children at least.

[21:51] <TJP1> I have seen this time and again – people in ministry and practicing their faith – with now more understanding than what they were told in CCD class at age 13.  And they didn’t even get good grades at it.

[21:52] <Megan> TJ, how do you define depth of understanding of the faith?

[21:52] <TJP1> If they are pious – then this is not a problem.  But, when they have doubts and are challenged by life – this childish understanding is simply not enough.

[21:52] <MattC> As for training children, I think if your concern is helping children to know truth, then you’re better off teaching them how to ask good questions, not giving the pre-constructed answers.

[21:53] <Megan> Definitely agreed, Matt.

[21:53] <MattC> And I have yet to see any catechism that I would classify as *good* questions.

[21:54] <RossBlocher> Great point. Teaching a child how to learn is far more important than teaching specific facts/beliefs.

[21:54] <TJP1> The church has a large deposit of 2000 yrs of traditional teachings – why should I not share it?  If I believe it to be true should I not teach it to my children and the children presented to me?

[21:54] <TJP1> Asking questions is good — and presenting good answers is also good.

[21:54] <MattC> but presenting reliable methods for confirming truth for oneself is better,

[21:55] <Megan> TJ, what do you consider proper “depth” of faith?

[21:55] <Megan> or ‘maturity’

[21:56] <TJP1> Good – question – depth of faith would differ for various people.  As we see in this book – various personalities need to have different aspects addressed.  -  Yet – I would say a better understanding of the catechism teachings.  First the catechism of a child and then as an adult.  This is at least a starting point.

[21:57] <TJP1> But – most to the point – the author states the “relationship” is where this all starts.

[21:57] <Megan> So why do you say that some people have a “childish” faith?

[21:57] <TJP1> Without a caring trusting relationship no minister has a chance at reaching out and reclaiming the lost.

[21:58] <TJP1> Yes – I know many people that have a childish understanding of the faith.

[21:59] <Megan> How is that not just a different depth? What if that’s all they need?

[21:59] <Megan> How exactly do you define “childish”?

[21:59] <MattC> So you want adult understanding but child-like submission to authority? Let them have cake and you’ll eat it too. :-)

[21:59] <TJP1> I know this because I have my conversations about the faith with people that claim to be good catholic that went to CCD – and they don’t get the answers right – or they present a childish answer that is clearly unsuited for an adult reality.

[22:00] <Megan> Why were they taught things unsuitable for reality then?

[22:00] <MattC> ..and why is adult reality about religious claims different from childhood reality about the same?

[22:00] <TJP1> They were taught what was suitable at that age.

[22:] <Megan> That’s just silly then, and probably part of the problem.

[22:] <MattC> example?

[22:] <TJP1> Often we use metaphor to explain various things . A metaphor is useless without a frame of reference.

[22:02] <TJP1> A child’s frame of reference demands an apt metaphor.

[22:02] <MattC> like what? Give us a metaphor that expresses something that is true for a child, but not an adult.

[22:03] <TJP1> Birds and the bees – “when two people love each other they get very close and then a baby if formed in the mommy’s tummy”

[22:03] <Megan> I knew about reproduction when I was 4.

[22:04] <Megan> I didn’t need a metaphor. The science worked.

[22:04] <TJP1> This is a “true” explanation and suitable for a 6 year old

[22:04] <Megan> Why is the mechanics of mating not suitable for a 6 year old?

[22:04] <TJP1> A 10 year old needs a bit more.

[22:04] <Megan> Why was I not traumatized at age 4 to learn what sex was?

[22:04] <MattC> It’s also true for an adult; just incomplete. Also, that’s a not a claim unique to Christianity.

[22:04] <TJP1> Its an example please don’t ager about the age that I placed there.

[22:05] <Megan> After all, discovery channel has plenty of shows that go on about mating, pregnancy, parturition and whatnot.

[22:05] <Megan> No, I’m arguing the *necessity* of a metaphor at all for that.

[22:06] <TJP1> Not all children, or people have the same learning style – and understanding style.  For many people metaphor works better.

[22:06] <Megan> TJ: won’t know unless you try the truth.


[22:05] <Rhianna> Thoughts on the book?

[22:05] <RossBlocher> Just to state my main gripe… I get that the book was written for believers who are trying to preserve and strengthen the church, but I was frustrated with the premise that the church’s flaws are only a matter of presentation. There’s a big possibility the book is overlooking: perhaps the teachings are simply incorrect, and that’s why people are leaving. I wish that possibility was at least acknowledged for a split second

[22:06] <Megan> The author was painfully condescending to non-believers and those who are wandering.

[22:07] <Megan> I can normally read a book that length in a sitting. It took me the entire time as I had to keep putting it down in outrage.

[22:07] <RossBlocher> I definitely didn’t appreciate the “prodigal” title. The word “prodigal” has a meaning that is very pejorative, and the biblical allusion just makes it sound like those former believers have wandered away and are now wallowing with the pigs.

[22:07] <TJP1> Ross – you are correct.  This book was written for the young adult minister who is a believer and wants to reclaim the lost.  That is the major premise of the book.  It is not a book about addressing the reasons.

[22:08] <Megan> Except that the author specifically mentioned us ‘prodigals’ and that he hoped he could bring *us* back.

[22:08] <Megan> And then writes a book that is condescending in the extreme.

[22:08] <MattC> I agree with Ross. The author could not even consider the possibility that the deconverted might have legitimate, logical reasons for leaving. It is assumed that when someone leaves, it’s because their reasoning or the churches communication was deficient.

[22:09] <TJP1> Yes – he mentioned it, I suppose, he know some might read it.  And perhaps get a better understanding of the information he was presenting.

[22:09] <MattC> I didn’t find the tone to be especially condescending, personally.

[22:09] <Megan> There were some sexist passages, and there was one comment near the end… let me find it.

[22:09] <RossBlocher> I was interviewed at length for the video companion series to “You Lost Me”, and made a lot of those points in the video that the book was lacking. I think the video series is a lot more broad-based in its treatment of the topic.

[22:10] <Megan> Here’s one:  “If you’re a nomad or a prodigal, I urge you to search your heart with the help of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it’s time to return home.”

[22:11] <TJP1> What’s wrong with that – sound like a genuine plea for a concerned Christian.

[22:11] <RossBlocher> Ta da. So… he was at least in part writing to “prodigals”. I’d call it more tone-deaf than condescending.

[22:11] <TJP1> It was, at least a challenge.

[22:12] <Megan> A challenge? To what, ask the invisible pink unicorn to help me?

[22:13] <TJP1> Again the author hopes that all of “the lost” had their reasons.  His premise is that if we (the ministers) build a strong relationship and address the real reason the people left – then they would come home.

[22:13] <Megan> Gah, can’t find the quote, but he at one point says some problem isn’t *just* the fact that the younger generation is shallow, inattentive and exhibitionist.

[22:13] <Megan> I’m not lost.

[22:13] <Megan> It’s condescending to assume I am.

[22:13] <Rhianna> I think the disconnect is who the intended audience is

[22:13] <RossBlocher> I think the disconnect here is that those of us who have left the church already know about the Holy Spirit and all the arguments for belief. He’s acting as though we just haven’t tried hard enough.

[22:14] <TJP1> From his perspective these people are lost They left the church.  He wrote the book from his perspective and genuine concern for these people.

[22:14] <MattC> The real reason (some) people leave is that Christianity makes false claims. It really is that simple.

[22:14] <Megan> You wouldn’t find it condescending to have a stranger come up to you and say “Oh honey, if you would just get rid of that silly faith thing you’ve got, you’d be such a better person.”?

[22:15] <TJP1> I think the disconnect is that often the stated reason for leaving is not the “real” reason for leaving.  And he is grappling with both of those realities.

[22:15] <Megan> I left Christianity because I found the god described in the bible to be *evil*.

[22:15] <MattC> Someone who believes in the Holy Spirit is not really a prodigal, are they?

[22:15] <RossBlocher> I agree that we (non-believers) aren’t the prime target for the book, but I still see the efforts as futile. Even if all the ministers out there took his (vague) advice, I don’t think it would help the church one bit in stemming the tide of people leaving.

[22:16] <TJP1> Someone who believes in the Hold Spirit but does not belong to a church would fit another definition – not the prodigal – perhaps the “Wanderer”

[22:16] <Megan> Agreed.  The efforts are mostly futile in the end.

[22:17] <TJP1> I would hope that if the concerns of those that left are properly addressed that a sincere person would return.


[22:17] <Rhianna> I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight, i know it was very late for some of you.

[22:17] <Rhianna> And thank you for keeping it as civil as possible. Matters of religion usually bring out a lot of passion on every side.

[22:17] <Rhianna> It’s almost like the end of a little league game where everyone has to shake hands with the opposite teams.

[22:17] <RossBlocher> Congrats to TJP for holding up under the uneven representation. I’m used to being in the reverse position. I hope everyone felt it was civil.

[22:17] <TJP1> Except we all won !


[22:18] <Rhianna> To finish the evening: a statement and a question…

[22:19] <Rhianna> I’m Rhianna. I’m 31 years old and have a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and Instructional Design.  I’m a happy agnostic who emotionally left the church when I was 17, and officially when I was 26. I was raised Catholic.

[22:19] <Rhianna> Question: What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

[22:19] <TJP1> Asian of African?

[22:19] <MattC> African or European?

[22:19] <Megan> An African or a European swallow?

[22:19] <Rhianna> MattC for the win.

[22:20] <Rhianna> Here’s a juice box and a rice crispy treat.

[22:20] <RossBlocher> 42.

[22:20] <Megan> D:

[22:20] <TJP1> Dang – my answer for a laden elephant !

[22:20] <MattC> lol


[22:20] <Rhianna> Again, thank you everyone! This will be up on my blog on the 25th. I will link it. My own review of the book (and my agnostic story) are out March 1st. I hope you all read it and didn’t’ find this venture too torturous.

[22:21] <TJP1> Thanks – everyone – and thanks to our hostess – the lovely Rhianna.  Good Night and (I hope I do not offend) God Bless.

[22:21] <MattC> Thanks for hosting the discussion, Rhianna

[22:21] <Megan> It was quite interesting.

[22:21] <Rhianna> Thank you for joining.

[22:21] <MattC> Good night all, Luck of the Leprechauns to you all.

[22:21] <RossBlocher> Thanks, Rhianna, Todd, Matt and Megan!

[22:22] <MattC> ;-)

[22:22] <Megan> May you be touched by the noodly appendage of the FSM.

*chat has been edited for spelling and grammar, as approved by all those present.
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