Sep 14, 2012

The Last Gasp of Xian Zine

the same old zine, only better!
Hello to old friends and new and interested peoples! This site is a part of an ongoing adventure for Xian. Perhaps a little history is in order.

A Little History:
Xian started in @1987 as a regular, garden-variety zine...8 1/2 X 11 paper and a copy machine and away you go. In the beginning I sent it out to my friends and others whose names they'd give me. This was in High School, about Junior year. I was taking a Journalism class, my second year of art class, and beginning to get more serious about my faith. It was inevitable, I suppose that Xian happened.
Seven issues happened of the "hard-copy" Xian. That brought me to Junior year of college. And then Xian went dormant.
Until last fall. In September 1995, Xian came back as XianComLtd, or Christian Communications Limited. This online zine lasted for two issues.
Which brings us to the present.
The Present:
So, with this issue, Xian joins THE CROSSROAD, a network of sites that is sent out from Pilgrim Hall, here at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, in pleasant South Hamilton, Massachusetts. I guess if you're here, you already know something about Crossroad, so I don't need to go into specifics, but suffice to say that whereas XianComLtd. only seemed to be a communications "empire", The Crossroad is one step closer. (Watch out Bill Gates, we're coming for you! And we're Evangelical!)
The four of us who form The Crossroad live together on one side of Pilgrim Hall. These are three of my good friends. (If you like....Try...) I say this so that you get some feel for what happens behind the scenes: these are the guys I eat with, brush my teeth next to in the morning.
But enough about the network-web-site-whatever. What is happening here? At Xian?

Well, here's what's going to happen. Whereas you once used to receive this document as a confusing mess that you had to download/ upload and otherwise finagle, now it will be a site, and you will come to it. Whenever Xian changes, I will send those of you whose E mail address I have a not, telling you that a new issue has arrived.
Really, Xian will still be the same thing it was in issue one; I believe I have some unique things to say, some observations to make about life as a Christian, and I would like to share them. It has been my experience that people like this sharing. (It's not just about me, by the way; I'll be happy to put other people's stuff on here! Send, by all means! My address is available on The Crossroad homepage.)
The contextualization changes. The intent does not.

"Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end"-Psalm 48:13-14.

for Mark, Billy, and Sarah...

The spaciousness of dark golf-course
With two good friends nearby, I think.
The mystery of God on high;
The busy dance of man on Earth.

Why do we waste our time on this?
Our checkbooks and our seminars?
Would it not be time better spent,
To watch and pray beneath these stars?

In music we hear some faint hint,
Of what there is beyond this cage.
Why do we dwell on busy work;
Compress and calm the still, small voice?
It sounds so trite to want escape
to whine, "I want to leave this place".
I know that I must learn to love;
Which I can't do alone, in space.

We need relate to those nearby
Most when we want to be alone.
We cannot dwell on hermit-hill,
Then say we want to change our world.

-9 November, 1995/ 1:02 am
Journal Entry-- 30 October, 1995-- Our heat went out in Pilgrim this morning, which was on account of a broken part in the furnace, which also puts out our hot water. Brrr. It was neat, though. It pulled us together. All the little campers huddled around the dryer trying to warm up. Also, we thought Canada was going to split in half, so we waited for news, since we thought they'd interrupt the talk shows.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."-I Peter 3:15

Coffee. Mmmmm. Wired. That seems to be a buzzword these days. My generation, famous for being slackers, for being lazy and unmotivated, seems from my vantage point to be doing pretty well for itself. Perhaps instead of slackers, we should be portrayed as the wired generation, giddy from caffeine, working constantly. But I'm digressing. It must be the coffee.

That Sixth Commandment

The knock came again, and louder, followed by giggling. Now who could that be?, the old man wondered. No one had visited him in months. It certainly wasn't one of his children. They were all at work now, and why would they come to visit at this time of the year? It wasn't a holiday, was it? His mind panicked for a moment, but then he reassured himself. No, Christmas was over. He was sure of that. And John had invited him over for New Years' Eve. And that was weeks ago. Who was at the door? All his friends were either gone or moved away, either way they wouldn't stopping by to visit.
"I'm coming! Whoever you are." He said, shuffling to the door. His legs were getting weak. And why shouldn't they? They'd served him well, and he'd certainly gotten long use from them.
He opened the door, and was once again disoriented. A clean-cut young man stood before him with a small group of teenagers, some of whom he recognized from the corner market. "Do you have the right house?" He said, slowly.
"Yes, we do, Mr. Chambers. My name's Mark Duncan", said the young man, extending his hand. The older man shook it slowly, still confused.
"We were talking at Youth Group today about loving others, and when I asked the kids to think of some concrete ways we could love others, Anna thought of you". One of the teenage girls giggled. "We were wondering if we could help you out by shoveling your walk and driveway?"
The old man was taken aback inside, but tried to maintain his calm, New England demeanor. "Well, sure. If it's not too much trouble. I was going to get out there myself here pretty soon, but that would save me some time. There's a few shovels in the garage..."
Mark, the young man, smiled. "We brought some, but we'll keep that in mind. I'll knock on the door when we're done.
As he closed the door, the old man's mind was abuzz. Why were these kids out in his driveway? It was a gift from....well, from God. He'd worried all morning how he would get that snow moved. And now, here they were, doing it for him. It was as if God on high had heard his worrying. Maybe he had.
And how could he have been so wrong about those kids? He'd seen some of them, that Anna girl for instance, around town and frowned at them. He'd seen the Inside Edition about "Generation X". He knew what kids today are like. But then he thought; that same girl he had frowned at had thought of him. This was her idea. Her idea. He felt ashamed. If he was wrong, might it not be just about these kids, but about all of "kids today"? The proof was out there shoveling his sidewalk. Perhaps there was hope for the future. He smiled.
Watching as the old man opened the door, and slowly descended the stairs, it seemed to Mark Duncan that he saw ten years leave the weathered face.

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