Archives For Beards

No Shave November

Jason Micheli —  November 12, 2013 — 2 Comments

This month is ‘No Shave November.’

Or, as I like to call it: November.

In honor of this high, holy month…

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And, I suppose, he must’ve shaved after the Red Sea or else they wouldn’t have wandered for so long:

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Beards

Jason Micheli —  August 28, 2013 — 3 Comments

Small children at church routinely think I’m Jesus (robe, sandals, beard). Those same children usually infer then that Dennis Perry, my associate pastor, is God (old, white hair, periods of vengeance and apparent contradictions).

While children think Jesus when they think Jason, their parents usually just think ‘beard.’

At least that’s what one parent offered when sending me this:

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Ask yourself: Do I communicate primarily through inside jokes and pop culture references? What percentage of my speech is meaningful? How much hyperbolic language do I use? Do I feign indifference? Look at your clothes. What parts of your wardrobe could be described as costume-like, derivative or reminiscent of some specific style archetype? In other words, is your style an anti-style?

I like beards.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, I home-brewed before it was trendy to do so.

That’s about where I part ways with the hipster movement- that, and being a tail-end Gen Xer, I’m too old for the movement.

Take a look at seminary campuses, however, and you will see the hipster’s intentionally cultivated look of antiquation everywhere. It might lead you to conclude the trend is but a form of Christian subterfuge.

And yet….and yet…perhaps at root there’s something about hipsterism that’s deeply at odds with the Christian faith.

Consider the argument made in the NY Times by Christy Wampole:

The irony of the Hipster is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.

One of the points I like to make to couples preparing for their wedding is that marriage is a means of grace precisely because it forces us into a relationship of mutual vulnerability. Physical nakedness isn’t the only kind of nakedness required by marriage. There’s an emotional nakedness too.

And, in this way, I think marriage points out a deeper, more fundamental truth about what it means to be a Christian; namely, just as Jesus makes himself completely vulnerable to the Father and follows his path in faithfulness, we demonstrate our faith by our willingness to be vulnerable, genuine, real and authentic to others.

If this so then there’s something incongruent between following Jesus and following an intentionally defensive posture. 

Of course, maybe this speculation hits home for me because, while fashion may not be my thing, I am ironic to the core. What Wampole says about herself could easily be my own confession:

I find it difficult to give sincere gifts. Instead, I often give what in the past would have been accepted only at a White Elephant gift exchange: a kitschy painting from a thrift store, a coffee mug with flashy images of “Texas, the Lone Star State,” plastic Mexican wrestler figures. Good for a chuckle in the moment, but worth little in the long term. Something about the responsibility of choosing a personal, meaningful gift for a friend feels too intimate, too momentous. I somehow cannot bear the thought of a friend disliking a gift I’d chosen with sincerity. The simple act of noticing my self-defensive behavior has made me think deeply about how potentially toxic ironic posturing could be.

Realizing I’m guilty as charged, I wonder if it’s not, after all, a bad thing that, as my 6 year old son likes to point out with glee, it only takes a 20 second trailer of The Blind Side (‘You threaten my son, you threaten me’) to get me to weeping like a baby. Seriously. 

I’ve always been embarrassed by falling prey to such a saccharine movie but now I wonder if it might not be good news.

Here’s the full article by Wampole.

 

Ok, so many of you participated in yesterday’s beard poll for DP and results were mixed. Some of you said options just didn’t capture DP’s likeness now that he’s into Day #57 of his feeble beard-growing effort. Listening to your feedback, I thought maybe giving you other options would be best.

 

Poll:

Who does bearded Dennis most resemble?

 

 

 

 

Ok, so many of you participated in yesterday’s beard poll for DP and results were mixed. Some of you said options just didn’t capture DP’s likeness now that he’s into Day #57 of his feeble beard-growing effort. Listening to your feedback, I thought maybe giving you other options would be best.

 

Poll:

Who does bearded Dennis most resemble?

 

 

 

 

Now, that I’ve grown my beard back many of you have said ‘You look just like Brad Pitt from that Jesse James movie.’

Which got me thinking…now that Dennis Wayne Perry is in day #36 of his feeble beard-growing attempt, who do you think he looks like? Take the poll below…


It’s Day #18 of the DP Beard-Growing Experience though by all appearances it may as well be Day #4. Having just spent the night with DP at a staff retreat I can attest that he does not man-scape, thereby intentionally keeping it shorn. I thought the following poster might be a good way to encourage DP to keep strong: