Thursday, December 25, 2008

"I see dead people."

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." from Everlasting Man by GKC.
The Bible gives many metaphors: "living water," "the Spirit lives within you," "We are dead in our trespasses and sins." If we do not have the Spirit living within us then we are dead. There are a lot of dead people walking around on this earth. They fool us by eating and sleeping and breathing. They fool us in a lot of ways. Their products look attractive to us, but what they produce should be anything but attractive.
I rise from my bed with glassy eyes. I can lift my arms, I can even run, but my heart does not beat faster because I do not have one. No one sees into my soul because it is too small. This is what I picture of myself had I not tasted this "living water" that I was so freely given. I say given, and yet, I chose to drink it. God in His grace chose to save me and yet I chose salvation. The Spirit came to dwell within me. Wake up Spirit, don't sleep. Be ever watchful and ever mindful over my soul which is ever grateful.
Now, instead of floating along with every other dead fish, I've grown legs and walked through the knee-deep, rushing waters. It may seem perilous at times, but we're really only given two options: walk against the stream and thus perpetuate yourself, or lie down and die. I get tired and want to lie down. The world may be spinning faster but the orders have not changed, so when I get tired I must walk. (can anyone tell me where that last allusion came from?:)

Friday, December 12, 2008

My mind sees in color, it's more fun that way.

I have secretly always wondered what it would be like to be colorblind, what "colors" would you see exactly. I hear the usual "shades of gray," but I feel it runs deeper than that. It's like not being able to taste spice. The world is filled with so much beauty that can only be beheld through the eyes of color. Just like food that makes a great presentation but lacks flavor. I took a picture and made it black-and-white. It wasn't until this that I noticed I had removed the reds and yellows of Fall from the background, making it rather unsavory. It took removing the color for me to notice it. I've always liked Cinderella's mantra, "Don't know what ya got 'til it's gone!"
This proves true time and again. Whether it be family that you take for granted or that job you grumble about, think of how insipid life would be without them. The same is similar for things that I have ardently pursued in the past. I didn't realize how vapid my life was until God dramatically changed it, and I was able to see more clearly the object that I pursued and what I was missing. He had given me color, but not the ability to see it, therefore I had neither.
Chili without taste,
a beautiful woman without a face,
elegance without grace.
Tell me, where is one found without the other?
Blindness erased.
Vapidity replaced.

Friday, December 5, 2008

my tired eyes roam the well-worn night

In a study, Romeo y Julieta stare into each other's eyes at my elbow, The Brothers K is finally dry after being saved from a watery fate, the three bouncy beauties I was babysitting are asleep, and coffee is calling me. Hmm, what is this? The Vampire Diaries next to Beowulf and the Bible? I wonder what's in that jug trying to hide under a blue t-shirt. It's not working, I know you're a jug. This is not a "study" per se. It does not have scarlet walls and bookshelves floor to ceiling. It's more unique than that, like an I Spy book. I spy a carbon dioxide tank. I spy pool chemicals. I spy a crate full of empty beer bottles asking for more homemade brew. I hear the humming laptop, and that is all. I'm thinking of all those things I could be doing right now... Chemistry, reading, calling, baking cookies, sleeping, but I am enjoying doing nothing way too much. Wandering around a house that isn't mine, the quiet stillness of it, the smell of coffee, and the offer to watch tv. I could go for a swim, it's only cold enough to freeze my organs. I could lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling or beat myself in checkers, or start writing a recipe book.

Ok, one computer crash and a plenitude of puke later and I am back to finish my post. It's hard being small, but she was brave. I thought I might throw up, but had to suck it up and clean it up. No more throw-up in the hair, bed sheets, blankets, pjs. All clean and back to sleep. Adieu, I'll pray for you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Am I smart? wise? why would that matter?

Nobody cares how smart you are. What matters in this age of industry, and the pursuit of the "American Dream," is money. (Unless you are cunning enough to be the next Bill Gates, and then u can have both.) What job do you have? How much money do you make? Houses, cars, items. That is where our value is placed. This land was founded on good American boys slitting each others throats for the best spot of land. This is the American Dream, and this is what we are still accomplishing today. We are not taught to accept with contentment what we have, we are taught to conquer what we do not. Conquering and subduing the earth is our blessing and duty, but there is a limit. We have put a price where there does not need to be one. We are not taught to love learning, reading, eloquence, writing, thinking. We are taught that whatever makes the most money must be the most important, best option. This is facetious.
I am currently working to make money. I am very thankful for my job and I wouldn't have it any other way for the time being. But to do what I'm talented at or what I love to do, pursue writing, read, talk, cook, I would not make any money. I am not able to fully utilize myself and yet, I feel I am learning many things.
Back to my rant on the American pecuniary attitude. Wisdom is not revered. The elderly are not revered. We go to shrinks, instead, in hopes of oracles. We have left Wisdom in the bedchamber to seek other pleasantries. But as Christians, we should not let ourselves forget the importance of loving Wisdom, we should not stray from her beauty. Our goal is to seek her out. We must find her. Solomon found her.

trains

Trains are our connection to the old world. As I rolled down the road on my way to work, I glanced over my left shoulder to spot what looked like an old red caboose, but it was the little trainworkers' hut by the tracks. The antiquated, rusting, scarred-from-much-use trains that we see daily make an odd fit in such a modern world. I rue the day these become relics of the past. But they will, just like Reagan, and sun dials, and mailmen. I am all for progress, don't get me wrong, but some things should take time. A handwritten letter is more memorable, yet rare. I say all this as I look down at my notebook filled with paper, saying, "Why would I waste a sheet of paper when I can write through my fingertips?" Paper, paper, paper.
Good things take time. Otherwise we end up with toys that break because you actually played with them, or products that come in the guise of food but no flavor. Our sin is forgetfulness and our excuse is time. Makes me glad that God is outside of time and doesn't forget us. He still makes the sun shine every morning, He still gives us grace for our lives, and makes the rain water our crops, He still lets us have jobs, etc. I do believe progression is supposed to fit into this enjoyment of ours, but it's our attitude that doesn't fit. The internet is another fun tool that we have. Shoot, makes it possible for me to write randon stuff in one location and several people read it at the same time, blows my mind.

Friday, November 28, 2008

grace--it's a name for a girl, but also a thought that changed the world.

If you want to know what grace smells like, go outside and take a deep breath. If you want to know what grace tastes like, eat the food that is before you. If you want to know what grace feels like, enjoy the skin you're in. If you want to know what grace sounds like, listen to the rain. If you want to know what grace looks like, look in the mirror.
With that in mind look around you everyday, observe, love, dream, wonder, and enjoy the dirt you walk on, the smell of Fall, the cozy sweater and blue slippers, the____. Fill in the blank.

Sonnet 30 (Fire and Ice)

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
how comes it then that this her cold so great
is not dissolv'd through my so hot desire,
but harder grows, the more I her entreat?

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
is not delayed by her heart frozen cold,
but that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
and feel my flames augmented manifold?

What more miraculous thing may be told
that fire, which all thing melts, should harden ice:
and ice which is congealed with senseless cold,
should kindle fire by wonderful device?

Such is the pow'r of love in gentle mind
that it can alter all the course of kind.

What a pretty sound

I like the rain. It's a lot of cliches like "constant" and "soothing," but I find it friendly on days such as this when I do not have to work and the day is mine in which to do nothing. I find it very important to do nothing sometimes, and nothing must be done. It is an accomplishment when done properly. I also enjoy run-on sentences. I enjoy choice words, and get irritated when I know there is a word that I would like to choose that describes what I feel so perfectly, but it got trapped in a crevice of the ol' brain and the file was lost that contained it, so all that comes out are more over-used, cliche words like "pretty" and "perfect" and "nice" and "cute." I want to say so much more about the flips my stomach is doing because everybody "gets butterflies" and everyone is "thankful." I guess feeling it is the most important part though, which is my comfort, because if we couldn't feel we might as well not breath either.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

One thing we all have in common: Hurt

I was back at Broadmoor Baptist Church. I was thinking that at least 5 years have gone by since I was there last. I looked around, the room seemed smaller, the people older. And as Dr. Chuck started talking it seemed like a train had just come around the bend, noisy, and heading right for me. He talked about his depression and I questioned his motives. The stillness in the room surrounded me as the train railed its course. I decided I had not been given role of critic, but as worshipper, and so I listened to my preacher. And simply put it was a benefit to all there.

Genesis 39:6-10, 20-23

1. Quit asking God “Why?” If you’re asking why, it better be “Why God have you been so good to me?” We can be too busy asking why that we miss out on God’s purposes. My pain is not unique or more than I can handle.
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 If He doesn’t take it away, he is going to give you the grace to endure it. There is no difficulty we’re going to face where God’s grace is not sufficient.
The greatest lessons in my life have been learned through the pain. But that can only happen if we look to God in the pain. If my focus in the pain is God then my attitude towards the pain and towards others will change. Even in prison, Joseph’s thinking “God’s got a plan.” The whole worlds gonna eat thru seven years of famine because of what you did. Man meant it for evil, God meant it for good. (41:46-57) Egypt was still the land of affliction, not where he wanted to be, but he was determined to be fruitful and faithful. We’re too concerned about getting out of the pain that we don’t look to God’s plan. Don’t be in such a hurry to get “back to normal” that we don’t hear Him, because His grace is sufficient.

By Dr. Chuck Pourciau

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

randon thoughts on Ecclesiastes

Enjoying life is not just a scheme contrived by sinful man when he should have found nothing more enjoyable than Calvin’s Institutes. Ecclesiastes tells us that “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God.” Hmm, good enough to repeat a few times. “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage.” Rejoice in his own works? As a Christian who faithfully spanks little Johnny, feeds him when he’s hungry and changes his poopy diapers, pets the puppy, and scrubs the carpet when Johnny’s got “the bug,” should all be a reason for rejoicing. Getting up to go to work, thanking God for giving you yet another monotonous day of it filled with bitter hormonal women, grumpy guys, and bratty kids (other people’s of course ;) This should make you smile and fill your healthy lungs with God-given oxygen. “For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur?” It’s comforting when we think about how we are not expected to know what will occur, we are just supposed to act like whatever will happen happens because of God. That’s when faith wakes us up with a smack on the head. “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.”
I can’t bear the burden of answering all of my own questions and consoling all my own fears. I could easily consume myself with the minute entities that make up my life, or the next decision that will want a handshake and a piece of my soul. I would only be asking for an overwhelming burden that I cannot carry. The weight on my shoulders will only be lifted when I lift it up to God, Who’s yoke is easy and His burden light. That is my privilege. “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” That is our duty.
“I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” After searching the world for answers and pleasantries, the wise man concludes that we should rejoice in this meaningless ramble, not in spite of it. We are to rejoice in the days we have on this earth, though they come to naught when we are dead. Enjoy the work at hand while you have hands to work. The last enemy, death, comes to all. That is a fact. What precedes that is the effect of our lives, the effect we have on other people, and the effect we leave behind. We do not have to master all skills before being the master of this earth. This is our inheritance under Christ, our toil under the sun is nothing new, but it is our duty and gift. Moses was not the master of speech before being called by God.

Because children have abounding vitality...

because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. they always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!! (a rough draft)

What does it mean to have true independence? Yes, we can give the Sunday school answer: "God's blessings which we receive daily." God is our God, but how does this give us independence? God offers to make us free from sin and death, to lift our burdens, and yet calls us to slavery. We cannot be completely free until we are completely bound. But how do we accomplish both?
Rev. 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
We are offered a drink that can not only squelch our thirst but make us live. We will drink and thirst no more, and hunger will be satisfied. Do not bite the hand that feeds you but rather find rest in His arms and abide in His protection where blessings will abound and we will experience true freedom and happiness.
If we bind ourselves to Christ and live in His service, then we will find our burdens being lifted from our shoulders. Through His sacrifice we are able to be free. Walking in His footsteps means being His example, sacrificing ourselves.

John 12:24

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." Speaking of grain, the virtuous wife seeks wool and flax, willingly works with her hands, brings food from afar, plants a vineyard, and still finds time to stretch her hand to the needy. "Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." We would never have had this proverb, if this woman had chosen to remain in her own world instead of actively living in her surrounding world, and sacrificially giving herself to her household. The meaning of sacrifice is death. The grain had to die enabling wheat to grow for the nourishment and provision of someone else. As we die to self we nourish others, and allow them to be fed off of our sacrifice. Hmm sounds like what Christ does for us daily. Live by this. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Gal. 6:2)
This is not to add discouragement to those who are busy caring for their families and cannot reach the poor and needy on a daily basis. They cannot leave their families to council the battered women of the world, encourage the Pro-Lifers, read dozens of books, or even keep up with politics. For you the faces of the needy may not have hollow, sunken, cheeks and gray eyes, but the needs still lie there behind the rosy cheeks and bright eyes.

Are there no other stories in the world except yours; are all men busy with your business?

"But how much happier you would be if you only knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure; if you could see them walking as they are in their sunny selfishness and their vile indifference! You would begin to be interested in them, because they were not interested in you. You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers."

Monday, June 16, 2008

It happened on a midnight dreary...

I could feel the air so eerie.
I spied a watchman working,
and as I stood there lurking,
the icing slid off my cupcake.
I frowned at my feet
but they made no reply.
the sun shone on my bald cake
as I sipped the remains of my coffee
and thus the remains of the day.

(P.S. Some randomness that one day might be revived, or is it revised.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Coffee

Wanting to remain asleep I
Kick off sheets and keep myself from dreams.
Coffee press on counter holds my high.
Joe’s aroma mingles piping steam,
Taking flight to kiss my nosebuds,
Helps remind me angels exist.
Hotness hits my fingertips and floods
Warmth around my tongue. I can’t resist
Licking foam atop the cup as bubbles
Pop. Like sea foam clings to rocks
After storms are calmed and waves double.
Sloshes lips and sends an unhappy shock.
In the instant taste returns I feed.
Verdict: strong, robust, embodied.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

As I stood chatting on the phone this morning, Nate W. walks by the office, points his finger and says, "You better be enjoying this!" Moscow hasn't seen this much snow in 20 years, is what I keep hearing. A couple hours later Pastor W. follows suit by popping his head in to say, "It's not usually like this." I'm beginning to think that I bring inclimate weather conditions wither I go. OR was hotter than usual last summer when I came to visit, ID has the craziest winter when I come to stay. Maybe it runs in the family with Dad's rep. for bringing rain to camping trips, or, as Mom likes to tell of, when they moved to IL and then to T-town, both having blizzardous winters. Although I was looking forward to ending this week with a bang by aceing another Lordship quiz, I am kinda hoping school's closed tomorrow as well, so we can all have a sledding day instead!

OK so I'm actually blogging...

because it's actually something worth telling. Y'all should see this snow!!! It's craziness! Logos is having it's first snow day today in about 16 years, NSA is having its first snow day EVER, U of I and WSU closed, it is amazing! I don't know how many times I will say "wow" today or how many exclamatios I have used in this paragraph, but WOW!!!!!!!
Pictures coming soon...