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The obligatory Rob Bell post

I’m pretty opinionated here. Which is why I’m always a little surprised I don’t get negative comments. I mean almost never. In fact, the only truly angry comment I’ve ever received was for this post way back in May of 2008:

image courtesy of

Is it just me, or does watching a Rob Bell video remind anyone else of “The Chris Farley Show” of SNL fame? Here’s what I mean:

Do you remember the story,

when Jesus walks up to those dudes,

and says,

“Follow me,

and I will make you fishers of men?”

and then,

the dudes, like

drop their nets,

and follow Him?…

That was awesome!

Now before anyone shoots me a comment about how Rob Bell is just the coolest, most relevant dude of the 21st century, and shame on me for making fun of him, I’m not dissing the message, just the delivery. I only say this because I once shared this observation with a youth pastor friend of mine and he looked at me like I had just said, “Jesus sucks!” And let’s be honest…he does kinda talk like that! Thoughts?

image courtesy of

Even though I made a disclaimer that I was not dissing Rob Bell’s message, I still got the following comment from your friend and mine, Anonymous:

How can you crack a joke on Rob’s excellent video series if you’ve never even met him or even watched any of them? Maybe you were just having a little fun, but it defies all logic and makes you look like a ignorant babbling fool! I need to get back to my Nooma videos, you know, something that will actually add value in my life!

The ironic thing is, I expected a comment like that. Because some fans of Rob Bell are so completely, rabidly devoted to him that they go around looking to defend him from any and all detractors. At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who believe Rob Bell is the anti-Christ and a heretic leading countless followers to the fiery pits of hell.

And speaking of hell… (Excellent segue, katdish)

Rob Bell has a book coming out on March 29 entitled Love Wins which is causing quite a firestorm. Here’s a video trailer for said book:

“Millions and millions of people were taught that the primary message, the center of the gospel of Jesus is that God is going to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus. So what gets subtly taught sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God. But what kind of God is that? That we would be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good? How can that God ever be trusted? And how could that ever be good news?” – Rob Bell

Predictably, many in the Christian community were quick to challenge Bell’s (presumed) declaration that a loving God would not send people to hell. Justin Taylor penned a blog post entitled Rob Bell: Universalist?, which John Piper tweeted prefaced by the words: “Farewell, Rob Bell”. It pretty much snowballed on twitter and Christian blogs after that point.

I’m not going to defend either side of the argument here. Do I believe there’s an actual, physical hell? Yes, I do. Do I think the entirety of Rob Bell’s teachings should be dismissed because I happen to disagree with him about certain interpretations of scripture? No, I don’t believe that either. Because this is what I know to be true:

Rob Bell is not

Justin Taylor is not

John Piper is not

Francis Chan, Erwin McManus, Pete Wilson, Vince Antonucci, Alan Hirsch, Matt Chandler, Matt Smay, Neil Cole,Tim Keller, Mark Batterson, Brennan Manning, Donald Miller, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Lee Strobel, Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes, John Calvin, Oswald Chambers, Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis…

are NOT

Jesus Christ

And their books and writings may inspire you or enrage you. They may cause you to question your faith or confirm what you’ve always believed to be the Truth, but they

are NOT

The Word of God

The Bible is.

And you have the same access to it as anyone else.

Equip yourselves to defend

The Gospel of Christ


“The only thing worse than the joke you don’t get is the explanation that is bound to follow: an explanation that, while it may help you see why you should have seen the humor that you so lamely missed, is little likely to make you laugh. It may provoke you to muster a sympathy snicker so as to avoid more of an already tedious and misdirected lecture. It may inspire a mild giggle of recognition, but it will hardly ever raise a real belly-laugh, which was the original desired effect. And so, here I go — me and a dozen thousand other people — trying to explain a joke that we would do better to learn to better tell. I am setting out to explain again why Jesus is the only true hope for the world, why we should put faith in Him, and what all of that won’t mean. I am collecting the information, selecting from what I hope will be usable as evidence, arranging my findings into arguments, framing it for presentation and recognizing that, while it may be fine as far as it goes, it doesn’t go far enough…

So, here I offer what is possibly the worst thing that can be offered: an explanation of a joke. And, what makes this more inexcusable than the fact that this is that, is the added fact that this is an explanation of a joke you’ve already gotten. I offer it anyway. I offer it in the hope that it might somehow encourage you to live out your lives and, by your living, tell the joke that I, in my writing, so feebly attempt to explain.

Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.”
~ Rich Mullins

Editor’s Note: In case anyone’s interested, I thought I would let you know that I belong to an independent, non-denominational Christian Church. If you’d like to know what we believe, you can find out at our website. I figured if this turned into a theology debate, you may as well know where I’m coming from. Not that I necessarily want this to turn into a theology debate, mind you. Just didn’t want y’all assuming I was a Baptist. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

Playtus Rainbow Revisited

Back on September 22, I posted a short series of haikus entitled Platypus Rainbow in honor of having outpatient surgery that day. (Just smile and nod like you understand.) I also invited everyone to post their own haikus.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the HLAC Comments Section:

Dory said:

May I start by submitting an old one I did on my blog when I was bragging that I knew so much about wrestling that I could write a haiku about a half nelson?

Hand under the arm
free arm under the other
lock together wrists

Helen said:

The supermarket
is the perfect place to dance
for those named Helen

Nick the Geek said:

This week is busy
Oh boy I am very tired
Please pass the Monster

Marni said:

Here’s a haiku about my experience in the elementary school drop off line this morning…

Can’t take turns in line.
Why be mean fourth grade parents?
God saw that, white jeep!

Steph at the Red Clay Diaries said:

Oh Katdish wake up
Your audience awaits you.
Tweet some crazy sh*t

Steph at the Red Clay Diaries said:

I almost forgot
About the haiku challenge.
Thank you for the Tweet

Annie K said:

Steph said a bad word
But Katdish won’t give a rip
She’s looped on pain meds

BridgetChumbley said:

Katdish is my twitter idol
Her tweets make everyone smile
Fried pie is amazing

BridgetChumbley said:

I had an inspiration for another so here goes:

The twitter is lonely today
It just doesn’t feel the same
That’s what she said

David said…

My nose is dripping.
Katdish advice, Why’d I listen?
Silly Neti Pot.

Hope you feel better soon.

Jason said:

Once upon a time
Little fairies drove steamboats
Don’t shake a baby

Marni said:

Email from Sherri
What kind of meat do you like?

Glynn said:

Katdish surgerized;
Asleep, cracking herself up.
Time for a rant soon.

Helen said:

Twitter ho’s unite
to comfort our wounded friend
surround her with love

Beth said:

Dude! Jason, I’m not even on pain killers and that CRACKED ME UP. Why? I have no idea…

Strange sense of humor
I embrace you like the night
Lemming tortilla

Sarah Salter said:

I like to call this one “Frog”:

It is still raining
I have mud between my toes
Oh no! A Truck! Splat.

Shark Bait said:

Once I had a life.
It was full and rewarding.
Now I have a blog.

Annie K said:

Oh our dear Katdish
We are having so much fun
At your expense. Dang.

Sarah Salter said:

And now, “Cricket”:

Shiny black cricket
A tasty treat for the cat
Chirp! Crunch. Then, silence.

(I think Haiku brings out my dark side…)

Vanities of Vanities said:

Must obey Father
Despite your persecution
Here, still not a Twit

Doug Spurling said:

What is a haiku
a poem of some kind
or Chuck Norris

Why I hate "The Giving Tree" and why I love this blog

Okay – I’m going to fess up here. I’ve been super busy lately, and I was simply going to do a repost for today. So I was looking through some of my old posts and found one of my favorites: The Creative Process: A Step by Step Guide. If you’re new here and haven’t read it, I would highly recommend doing so. It’s me at my raging ADD best.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes! So I search my blog and find the post. Now, don’t get me wrong, I crack myself up. But what cracks me up even more is the fact that my friends who comment on this blog don’t feel burdened with the weight of staying on topic. It’s pretty much a free for all.

For those of you who don’t check the original post, here’s a brief summary:

My laundry needed to be done, I had some mismatched socks, I made some sock art and posted the process here. The end.

I also briefly mentioned that I hate the book, “The Giving Tree” here:

“You notice a metal sign that you bought at Ross on the clearance aisle a couple of months ago. It says “Children are the anchors that hold a mother’s heart.” Which you hate, because it reminds you of that children’s book “The Giving Tree”, which makes you want to leg drop that selfish little kid/man in that book. But, it was 2 bucks, and there’s no law saying you have to keep that dumb saying on there once you own it free and clear, now is there?”

There were a total of 37 comments related to this post. The comments (as often is the case) were WAY funnier and/or insightful than the original post. If you get some time, you really should go back and read them. But here’s the ones related to that wretched book.

Without further adieu, I give you, The Peanut Gallery:

January 2, 2009 5:32 PM
vanityofvanities said…
Kathy, you are hilarious! I love your sign.

WARNING: I am going off on a tangent and it will be story-length.

I hate The Giving Tree, too. You see, I was sitting in “the wives’ section” at a church softball game talking to one of my dearest friends, Erin. She is forever talking about little kids because she is a kindergarten teacher. That day was no different. We were discussing our favorite books as a child. (Incidentally, mine was Pokey the Little Puppy, but I digress.)

Hers was The Giving Tree. To her utter shock and dismay, I had never heard of the story. She began retelling the story and started crying as she spoke of the beautiful generosity the book teaches. (Oh yes, I was laughing at her the whole time.) She vowed to bring the book to the next game so I could appreciate the beauty and cry with her.

She read it to me (in true kindergarten teacher fashion). It did not make me cry. It made me furious. I then gave this impassioned speech about how the book teaches children two very awful things: 1. To take and take and take to the point that you actually kill (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) your victim, and 2. To enter into lopsided relationships whereby you completely lose your identity in that other person and only feel fulfillment as that person uses and abuses you.

It should either be called The Selfish Child or The Enabling Tree.

katdish said…
Angela – You’re such a bad*ss. I’m glad you’re my friend. I had the exact same reaction to that book. My daughter read it to me and I was like – “Well, I hope you don’t think it’s okay to treat people like that!” That tree needs some serious therapy!

January 2, 2009 9:32 PM
helen said…
I taught primary grades in a Catholic School for twelve years. Let me tell you something about The Giving Tree……I never read it to my students even once. It was read to me when I was a child by my teachers. Didn’t like the boy at all. Felt physical pain when the tree was being cut. Felt mental anguish that even as an old man, all he did was sit on the stump. No big revelation of what his selfishness cost Tree. If the tree represents God, and the boy/0ld man us, shouldn’t there at least be some sort of epiphany boy/Old man/we go through in order for the story to have a point. When other teachers would tell me how much they like the book, I would reply. “That’s nice……Have you ever read Bunnicula? Now that was a good story..” Think about it. At least Bunnicula had a point.

No, I am not just kissing up to Katdish because she is going to be the next SCL guest blogger or anything. Although if I were, I would be scoring higher on the SCL commentor score sheet. Dang. I’m not kissing up. I never liked that book. It made me cry, but not in a good way.

wv. debuti-when your first guest post on SCL is a short one, it is a debuti, rather than a debut

January 3, 2009 9:04 AM
Jeff said…
These comments are hilarious! One of the things that I love about your blog is that people can find so many awesome tangents in a post to comment on- you know I’m a tangent person.

I give a hearty “right on!” to the anti Giving Tree-ers out there; as a child, I was always thought the tree was shafted and the kid was an idiot. And I agree with Helen- this is nothing like what God has done for us- Christ’s sacrifice does NOT give us license to sit around on our butts.

w.v.- cramsto: How the car gets packed on the way home from camping.

January 3, 2009 11:23 AM
Mare said…
I had an incredible ethics class my junior year of college. We spent a good three hours one day ripping apart the giving tree. I think in the process we ripped apart a few of the students entire world perspective. That book…its not pretty. Don’t feel too bad for the tree though, she’s just as guilty. Very passive…possibly codependent

January 4, 2009 10:35 PM
Helen said…
Twitter? Where is it on your blog? Why haven’t you twittered today? Twitter.

(Did you notice that last comment? Ironic, no?)