1. I haven’t ridden my bike much in the past week or so. Of course, it’s been raining a lot here in Central Oklahoma. But the real issue is the rear derailer is plum wore out. For you fans of bike hardware, it’s an Acera, just a grade or two above junk. I’ve had this bike now just over two years. In the past couple of months that rear derailer has gotten progressively sloppy and floppy in the joints, so that it balks shifting in both directions.
I’ve ordered a replacement, an upgrade to Deore (RD-M531). I got a matching part for the front derailer (FD-M531). These are older products still new in the box. I’m told using a pair of 3×9 derailers will work fine with 3×8 shifters, since the indexing is in the shifters, and range of movement is the same for both. A 3×9 is simply one extra gear in the same space, requiring a tighter index on just the rear.
Should I decide the shifters aren’t good enough later on, it’s easy to switch the whole thing over to 3×9 by changing the chain and cassette along with the shifters. Those older Deore parts are still available as obsolete inventory from lots of dealers.
2. This is not the Covenant of Ed. Yes, I have very strong views on most things I write, but one of those strong views is that what’s right for me may not work for you. What makes me your elder is your voluntary association, not some imaginary status as a great man of God. Your membership in our virtual parish is your choice to tolerate my blather.
I’ll be 62 years old next month; I won’t live forever. Somewhere down the line, if this thing continues on its own, somebody else is going to have to write something under the name Radix Fidem. This is to serve notice you can start any time now. Whatever you write need not meet my personal approval; it does have to pass the smell test of those you seek to inform and guide. That’s what it means to have a heart-led audience.
3. One of things that still makes me shake my head is how mainstream churches act as if their leaders aren’t supposed to be human. This crazy notion that leadership somehow has to be superhuman is what’s killing organized religion.
It’s very hard to disentangle the mess Westerners have made of Christian religion. It’s not enough that all the fundamentals are ignored — feudal covenant community of faith with a split leadership of elders and priests — but this thing of how they treat pastors is just damned nutty.
On the one hand, leadership is supposed to be person oriented in the sense of following the man as a mere human. On the other hand, what holds you all together as a community is the ineffable faith. Most Western churches are held together by the leader who is presumed to be especially holy, and his adoration still rests on legalistic application of what was meant to be a mystical faith.
They’ve lost sight of what this whole thing is about: The church is first and foremost an outpost of the Heavenly Kingdom. Our focus is supposed to be otherworldly, so we can afford some wobble and approximation in application. What we must do is hold together in love and grace, not build barbedwire fences around ideas. The heart of conviction is what measures whether fellowship is possible, not the intellect.