Hello! We Hope to Be Very Useful! (The Citation Error Parody Post)

Hello.*

My name is John Mark Reynolds. My wife’s name is Hope.

Our desire is that the Astros win the World Series, but we will also be happy if we could be useful to the folk who read our little piece of blog heaven. That is the reason for being, the Cartesian “I am” for  this blog. Our hope is that as you go, when you go, you will boldy return so that we can develop a bit of a fiduciary relationship as long lasting as Parmount and Star Trek. 

We don’t take comments, because most are lame. As I once said to Hope: “Happy blogs are all alike, but unhappy commenters troll in their own ways.”

What issues make you want to take a knee just now in the NFL we call life? What were you thinking when backing over the neighbor’s cat and what is the raisin in your oatmeal each morning? Who is your Obi Wan? Who would you sit with on a swing, cradling him like the brother from Red Dawn? 

Here’s some TMI that can create some false intimacy in an otherwise cold medium:.

(A) We are Christians, one of us is named Hope and she is hopeful. Who would have thought?  I (John Mark) have spent nearly my entire life, almost 50 years, as a guy who will never be the next CS Lewis. Hope’s father-in-law was a pastor, and that man turned out to be my dad. What this means is that one guy we love has two roles: father and father in law. Puerto Rico is an island.

We love helping, because hurting hurts. We like the Bible, because it is the only book where you can get an affordable leather cover. It also is chill, groovy, and way awesome, just rad as a kid once said near me, though I am not sure since it was a bit ago by crikey {as the kids say), but back to the Bible.

As my youth group pastor said in the 1970’s: God can be cool!  The goal of reading the Bible is theosis, but that takes time, personal relationships, and this is just a blog. We will be skipping all the ancient wisdom and applying what popped into our heads when we read the text to our lives! How cool is that?  We all have goofs, garbage, and some of us have ghosts, memories of past mistakes or writers who do our work for us.

The Bible is what happens when chocolate meets peanut butter. I first truly read the Bible as the grandson of a West Virginia factory worker, a hunter, and a man whose hands were never gnarled, though they should have been for the sake of this image, but you get the idea. When I was sixteen, Hope checked the “no” box on a note I sent her asking if she would go out with me and quoted some Bible verses in the response. That was like love meeting disappointment, but leaving Hope. We like to share with others how the Bible can fit into your life using such hopeful, but raw and authentic, examples.

We do not swear, but we are not upset if you do.

(B) We are what mattress commercials call “bed partners.”

I have known Hope (wink, nudge) for over 30 years, since we met in high school. During that time, we have never finished a single novel by James Fenimoore Cooper. We entered our marriage with a copy of his book The Spy and a good number of his other tales, baggage from an early literary life with too much Asimov and Bronte and too little  Nattie Bumpoo. We have had to work through the realization we are never finishing that blasted book, forgive one another, and work toward at least grasping why Jane Eyre cannot be told with emogees. Hope edits this blog. We are not afraid of the tough issues like the best Star Wars film, consubstantiation, the taste of butter beer in Harry Potter, and the germs that must exist on extended use contact lenses.

(C) We are parents who hope our kids still like us. Hope and I have four kids (2 boys and 2 girls) ages 20-27. They all prefer the David Tenant Doctor Who and none ever write “Dr. Who.”  The Packers, hating mimes, and music about circus fires keep our kids close, but not too close. Sometimes it feels like Uber owns us, and we know that telling them “don’t do drugs” every day when they leave is tedious. Somehow it worked for us, but don’t try it. In fact, we will share many useless anecdotes that would risk your emulating us if we were not so eccentric.
(D) We are relatively unimportant and our life is like the Disney Haunted House ride: not really scary, but sort of thrilling while being fun. Like the ride, it all ends in death.

We have ridden the ride over and over, because we are not really important enough to generalize from our experience. We know what it’s like to stand in line, ride the ride, and then realize this is analogous of nothing. We would ask you to join us, but we no longer live next to Disneyland.
(E) We are teachers who mostly question answers. Like most people, we have questions, but they are ill formed. Like everyone else, we have discovered that short answers on the Net are rarely worth reading and that if a post promises a listicle where the third insight will shock us, it will not.

Good questions and Socratic discussions are great, but you will have to find a community to have them. Long rants under the name “JesusFollower2532” is not Socratic and we don’t.

Hard questions remain hard and easy answers are worthless. Liking controversy is weird, though everyone says this to be edgy. We are just going to say it: we love peace. Controversy is easy, “hot button” issues drive traffic, but we are calm, almost dull, and carrying on.

Muchos Gracias Patheos!

We are not really promising anything, but here are some things we will do if our research assistants have the time:

Blog – John Mark natters daily. I don’t really have research assistants or ghost writers, how weird that would be on a blog, almost none of this is from Hope who has a better life. Rachel Motte helps fix things around here too. She is smart. We are working on serializing John Mark’s new novel: Brothers Karamazov, a story of a family in crisis and how God helped.

Leader Equipping – every so often I go off on an intellectual tangent, the Romanovs, the Titanic, Trollope, or similar kind of fluff, and I will write about these things here. These are topics that few write on, so if leaders are into a survey of every animated film Walt made: I did it. Good luck with using it.

Ebooks – I have to write the books that carry my name. As a result, though I would like to give them away, I shan’t. You should read the Bible and Plato in any case.

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*This is a parody of a piece done by neighborhood blogger Mark Driscoll in good fun. I was inspired to demonstrate how easy it is to fall into TCE (The Citation Error.) I am told it happens.  For my students, I hope it is obvious that this little parody would not be ok if passed off as my work with no disclaimers. It changes the content of the (ghost written?) Driscoll blog, but changing words is not enough. If posted without disclaimer, this would be an example of The Citation Error that a great many folk call plagiarism.


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