Showing posts from December, 2008


I will always find it amazing, maybe I shouldn't but I do, that God heals me. What on earth is He doing? Why would someone as holy and righteous as He is cure me of even the simplest of sickness only to have me continue in my seemingly endless transgression? Why doesn't He just leave me and allow me to be consumed by my symptoms? Or why doesn't He make it so unbearable that all I can think about is the pain rather than how I can pretend He doesn't see my puny fist as I shake it in His face...again? He knows I am formed from the ground, yet He refuses to treat me as such. Why not discard me, Lord, and raise up a man that will be a better husband, father, brother, son, servant...more dependent on you and more inclined to do your will? I can't fathom that He regarded my condition, still not as bad as it should have been, and sought to heal me. Somehow He found it good to heal me. Somehow He finds me usable and still worth molding into the image of His dear Son. Thank y

A community organizer

In a former life I was a community organizer. I ran a small non-profit organization that sought to develop a network of faith communities to serve senior citizens. I loved the job and I think I had the talents to pull it off. The only problem I had was my age and inexperience - but we still managed to pull off some good things with the talented board of directors I worked with. That having been said, I know that one of the criticisms leveled against Senator Obama during the campaign was that his big experience and accomplishments were founded during his days as a community organizer and that he had not done much in the political arena since then. This is a decent criticism for someone looking to be President of the United States, but I am not so sure about community organizing being less than political. It definitely is. Defending Obama's experience is the not the purpose of this post however. What his experience has allowed him to do is to mount and execute two flawless campaigns:


Here is a place where you can write or paint pictures And dream that the troubles will end - Murlough Bay , Iona Dreaming - what escape; what necessity; what a foretaste of how it was created to be and will soon be again. There is no end to the dreams I have for me, my family, and my world. He is a dreamer as well and I, made in His image, even I, prayerfully, act like Him as I dream. At some level all of this is not exactly how He wanted it - yet at some level it is. His justice has not yet been realized here; His love is left to the pen of poets at times so He dreams. Yet, He acts as well and there is a chasm between Him and I here. As my heart beats in my chest I realize that He is the only one with the strength to realize the dreams He has and, made in His image, I need to subject the consummation of mine to Him. Yet the dreams of the ending of this trouble still burst into my consciousness. He dreams of this too and will not let that dream go unfulfilled.


The other day I called my youngest son "Jackson" just trying to be funny and hilarity ensued: "Daddy, I don't want you to call me Jackson." "OK, what would you like me to call you?" "I want you to call me butt rat." Thankfully I kept my composure, but I had to inquire as to why. His response: "You know...'but I want a rat'." That makes no sense. But welcome to my world.

Am I bummed? Surprisingly only slightly.

I have an obsessive personality. If there is something that I want to do I obsess about it and over it until someone (usually my wife) let's me know that I am getting a little too absorbed by it. Well, the other day I found a "too-good-to-be-true" offer on craigslist for a bunch (3 5-gallon buckets full) of Legos for $40. The posting listed that there were Star Wars, pirates, knights, etc. and that they were just kind of all jumbled up. I had heart palpitations (how's that for drama, Heather) and emailed the person with an offer to buy it. I knew the boys would dig them immensely. I told my wife about the deal and waited for the person to contact me...which they did not do. In the course of my waiting I was given some perspective that eludes me almost all of the time: "If God wants you to have the Legos you will have them." I cannot tell you how freeing that was. I know I should be further along than this, but wow - I couldn't believe the calm that broug

A particular struggle of mine

I always have a hard time justifying sitting through the fourth movement of Dvorak's Symphony #9 after the brilliance of the third.

De-decorate - or is it re-decorate?

Well, last week we had one of the more interesting things that ever happened to a Christmas tree happen to us. We have had our tree decorated and lit since the Sunday after Thanksgiving and it is holding up great. All of it except for the lights that is. My wife noticed one of the strands was out about a week and a half ago so she just unplugged it and plugged it back in again. It sprung back to life and all was well. Then our oldest son plugged in the lights one evening and all of the light strands were out save one - the one on the very bottom. No amount of unplugging and plugging back in would save us now and we had to de-decorate the tree last Thursday night. There was a sense of urgency to it all because we had friends coming over Friday night and wanted to enjoy the tree with them. So, we did it. Of course I commented that hanging lights for a second time would be the death of me (less stress this time around), but we got through it all right. It turns out that there were two str

Revelation as a source of knowledge

I guess, fundamentally, it comes down to this for me: my world view allows for revelation as a source of knowledge. There are others who are not inclined to this world view and I can understand that, even though I do not agree with it. It seems kind of odd that someone would turn to a source of knowledge that is inadequate (i.e. their experience or their understanding of other's experiences) or something completely bankrupt (i.e. science) to answer ultimate questions of the reason behind all of this. Or even if there is a reason at all. Or if we should even be asking the question. Or if we are capable of even forming the right questions. Does it come down to this: The world view I hold as a filter by which I separate and compartmentalize my experiences? I think it may; I really do. That having been said I really need to wrap my mind around some Frame and Plantinga pretty soon to help flesh out some of this presuppositional stuff.

Benefit of the doubt

Why is it so hard for me to give people the benefit of the doubt? When I don't know all of the information about the motives of people I automatically go to that place where I know I shouldn't go. The place where I know that someone is deliberately trying to offend me, or at least the place where I can stand in judgment over their insensitivity toward me and my needs. Why do I automatically go there? And where is the grace if where I went in my mind turns out to be entirely accurate? This side of Genesis 3 I can't assume righteous behavior on the part of everyone I am in a relationship with. At the same time, people can't assume that I am acting righteously all the time either - even though I think they should. My track record is not that stellar in this regard so assumptions like that are not too far off base. At the same time I need to think the best of people until I figure out, with certainty, something to the contrary. Of course this will give me less to talk about

Dry skin and close enough

For probably the first time in my life I am struggling with dry skin on my hands. I have no idea why. My wife has chronically dry skin through the winter and, on occasion, during the summer, but mine has been fine until this year. I used some goofy lotion that we have here at work in the restroom and that didn't seem to help too much. I used come Curel last night before going to bed and that seemed to help a lot more. I think I will have to be diligent about using the lotion from now until this little condition clears up. Maybe this is a change my body is going through now that I am hurtling headlong out of my 30's? I am not an accurate person. My motto, at least internally, is "close enough". Close enough is sometimes good enough, but there are times when it just doesn't cut it. My wife is not a "close enough" kind of person. She is precise, so precise that it drives me crazy at times. I am often bewildered that my close enough does not, necessarily, me

The houses I build

I see myself building houses to live in all the time. These places are habitations where I am the most eloquent, best looking, most desired man I could possibly be. Every action and reaction revolves around me and, in no small measure, has at least a portion of its genesis in me. These are places where I am used mightily by God and where His words are not only present, but they are, in ever-increasing measure, expressed in ways that no one else ever has and in a way that no one else ever could. In these houses the only thing people could possibly want is to be around me for they are so enamored with who I am. These are the places where I am never wrong, always misunderstood (isn't that the lot of genius?), and free from burden.  These dwellings line the street that I have built and have perfect lawns and fountains in the middle of gardens full of flowers that no one else can grow. Why should I seek understanding from anyone when I am the one who should be understood? Why love when

The big exhale

It is funny to me that there is a big something or other, I'll call it an exhale, that happens on Sunday night when the boys are in bed. My wife and I have a tendency to look at each other and wonder how we made it through another week/weekend without going stark raving mad. The energy that being a husband/wife/father/mother demands is so overwhelming at times. Add to this work, ministry, friendships, and other sundry items and I wonder if life was ever meant to be like this. I do love it though - when we all sit together in the evening service and watch the baptisms, listen to the testimonies, and sing together. There is so much of my life where I know, I mean really know, that this is as good as it can be. The mounting challenges only let me drink, ever deeper, the time He has graced me with. I will exhale next Sunday night. I just pray that as I do, He will be increasingly pleased with all that I have chosen to devote my time to.

Making sure

"Everybody knows a little bit of something Just a little bit" - Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something, King's X There are so many things that I want to take at face value. There are so many people's opinions that I just want to accept and move on with. It just makes sense to me that there are trustworthy people that know quite a bit more than I and that I can implicitly trust their take on things. Without reservation. All the time. But that just isn't the case. Ever. But I want it to be. It takes a lot off energy to scrutinize everything. And then there is always the question of motives which muddies the water of the standard fact-checking that needs to be done. Often times it isn't even a matter of laziness, but a matter of time that "forces" me to rely on others to think for me. I guess the net of this is that I need to hold more loosely to opinions that I have on subjects that I may not know a whole lot about. That also means that I need to pl

Her love

Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love. -- Charlie Brown Could it be that more of my life than I know is wrapped up in her? Her expressions of love to me make the sun shine brighter and more than halve my burdens - it relinquishes them. Her love brings me and my self-centeredness to ruin and releasing me to Him for it is who He is to me and reflects who I want to be to Him. Steadfast she stands wrapping her arms around me as the storm comes with the look in her eyes that wordlessly whispers, "As long as we're together, nothing else matters." Her love, her requited love, sinks its singing deeper into my soul than anything has ever gone. Her touch is my assurance; her gaze is my only desire.

Quite a transformation

Well, we did a lot of celebrating and preparation over the week/weekend I was absent from the "rest of the world". Obviously the big thing was Thanksgiving and we had a great celebration all day on Thursday. Then Friday hit and we thought that we only had a small window of opportunity to get a boatload of stuff done we went. We got the rest of the leaves up in the front yard. Our oldest son also had fun using the "sucker" (basically a shop-vac) to get rid of the leaves in the front garden. Then, armed with the promise of fairly nasty weather in the coming days, I went up on the roof to string the Christmas lights. I didn't get it all done on Friday (it was getting dark, cold, and I had to get to the leaf dump) so I planned on hanging the wreath over the garage and doing the rest of lights (mainly plugging stuff in) on Saturday. Saturday rolled around and, again with the promise of nasty weather next weekend, we went to Stoke's Tree Farm to get our C