March 16, 2013

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

There's this weird story in the book of Mark about Jesus healing a blind man. No not the one where he spits in his eyes, and not the one where he makes mud and tells him to wash it off, and not even the one where he just says he's healed. No Im talking about the one where the guy gets "healed" but everybody looks like trees walking around, a la Treebeard from the second Lord of the Rings movie. And then Jesus has to heal him again. Then everybody looks like people. The second time he gets healed. No joke. Treepeople. Not the weirdest story in the bible, but its up there on the list.

'They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man's eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up. "I see men. They look like walking trees." So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, "Don't enter the village." (Mark 8:22-26 MSG)'

Why do I bring this story up? Its goofy, its not in the other synoptics, and the story seems like Jesus didn't heal him right the first time and he's not as all-powerful as we might like.

But keep reading.

As we keep going in Mark 8 we see a conversation take place between Jesus and Peter.
"Who do the people say that I am?" Jesus asks, and they tell him, but then he says,
"Who do YOU say that I am?"

No one answers at first, then Peter speaks up. "You are the Christ, the Messiah"

In Matthew's Gospel Jesus then says this of Peter - "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn't get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I'm going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. (Matthew 16:17, 18 MSG)

Peter, 1 - Other disciples, 0

But wait. Then he goes on to start teaching them about what is still to come

"Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. He then began explaining things to them: "It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive." He said this simply and clearly so they couldn't miss it." (Mark 8:30-32 MSG)

And then Peter opens his mouth. His big fat mouth.

But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. "Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works." (Mark 8:33 MSG)

Peter sees something clearly (that Jesus is the Messiah) but doesn't see other things (like that the Messiah is going to die) - this is much like our blind man who sees partially at first, and only later sees the whole truth.

I wonder how many trees I see walking around.

My pastor was preaching on an entirely different passage in Mark tonight where he asks- "What do you want me to do for you" first of James and John and later of a blind man. He straight-up heals the bind man, but it's a little more complicated for James and John - he doesn't give them their heavenly assigned seats they wanted but when they pressed him and he asked if they could "drink from the same cup" he was going to and then said they would suffer for it (and history tells us they did). I'm just going to say... Im not sure that's exactly what they meant when they came to Jesus with their question.

"What do you want me to do for you" Asks Jesus.

I don't know.
I mean at one point I thought I knew, and I thought this would be an easy question to answer.

But it's not, not really. I have these vague sort of internal things I'd like him to do. Struggle less with anger and lust and perfectionism and shame and depression and feeling like I have to have all the answers all the time. Be a better friend. Be a better dad. Be a better husband.

I also have all these self-centric external things too. I want to have time to write a book, I want to have a fulfilling job, I want to be able to take care of my family. I want to be in ministry. I want to be a part of healthy community

But then after all of that these other things come in. I just want to help people. I want them to know Jesus like I know Him. I want their trust in Him not to be fleeting and based on emotions, but comes from being built up in knowledge and truth. I want my life to count for something.

I dont feel like any of these things are "bad" things. Im not asking God to give me the winning lotto tickets or put brimstone on my neighbor. But neither does it seem bad for Peter to stand up and say "No!" when Jesus says he has to die.

Which of the things I might ask Jesus for are my "trees" - things I see that I want, that seem good, and yet are not the clear seeing that Jesus has. No body asks for suffering, not even James and John, but that is where good things and growth come out of.

And I have some ideas of what these trees are - my mental extrapolations of how I think I should use my natural gifts and talents as well as the spiritual gifts I have been growing up into. And I know that God will use them! But I also know from the biblical example that he uses those things I try so hard to keep hidden: weakness, imperfection, unknowing, insecurity.

So what's my answer to the question? I want to see clearly and be of some use to Him.
But in my insecurity I'd just like some glimpse of that future and present use so that I can stop chasing after the trees.

June 15, 2011


Summer is here. As a teacher its like hitting a brick wall of unbusyness- I go from 14 hour days with 100 or so students to almost nothing. Some of that time will be spent working but there are no immediate demands on my time

I turned thirty recently.
Its been a good decade, different than what I set out to achieve as I graduated high school.
I graduated college, got married, had my first kid. Im not sure what the next decade will bring, but it will probably be something unexpected. I keep reading over the story of Joseph. He was always in places where I can only assume he didn't want to be (like the bottom of a pit or in jail) and yet he was faithful and eventually was used in mighty ways for the protection of an entire country as well as his own family. The lesson for me is to be faithful where I am at and hopeful for the future.

March 12, 2011


Our pastor at church has been talking about this word "Legacy", those things that we pass on to the next generation. Last week he talked about a the people of Israel demanding a king, which God reluctantly gave them (He tells Samuel, "They arn't rejecting you, they are rejecting Me") which got me thinking about a few things. 

First, why did they reject God- what was the legacy from past generations that caused them to want a man king instead of a God king? The legacy of the Judges? Samuel? In the first two chapters of Judges, you can see the pattern already. God does something great, the people rejoice, God gives a command, the people dont follow through, God punishes them ("they will become thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare for you") This is a pattern that seems to repeat over and over through the book of Judges, but looking past that, it is how the people behaved under Joshua's command, in the wilderness, all the way back to the beginning of the bible. God is great, yet his people still reject him. (Think Adam and Eve) Rebellion is that sin that we reserve for teenagers - "hes just going through that rebellious stage" - but it seems to me that most, if not all of our sin, is linked to some sort of rebellion. If our hearts were tape, we've stuck it to so many other things that it doesn't stick to God very well. 

Second, how many times do we reject what God is doing and wants for us because of a person's of group of people's legacies in out own life? We justify our own rebellion based on the rebellion of others. Samuel was getting old, his sons were corrupt. The people felt justified (and I think I would have too) in saying give us something better than your sons Samuel. And yet God saw it as a rejection of him. CS Lewis argues this as one of the hardest things for us to get in our heads, that all sin, even when directed at other people is really about rebellion against God. We justify our actions with other peoples actions, but its all rebellion against God. 

Third, what are we doing that's causing people to reject God? Samuel put his sons in charge. It never says God told him to do this. It doesn't seem that there is a rule that the priesthood has to get passed from father to son -think of Samuel himself- he got the post from Eli. Samuel saw Eli's family get rejected by God for having corrupt sons but yet did nothing about his own sons. What rebellions have we cultivated in our own lives, justifying our actions (or inactions as the case may be) with the actions of others. People are waiting to see something worth following- as my pastor asked "would you recommend your life as a model for others to follow?" And I dont believe hes asking if I'm following a particular set of rules set forth by my particular sect of Christianity. Rule following only is its own socially acceptable form of rebellion from God. Just give me the rules, tell me how to act, so I can live out my life inside of those boundaries, looking godly, but never really connecting to God himself. Legalism is an act of resignation, and not of active pursuit of God.

Its time for us to lay down the arms of our rebellion, and seek the one true God. I pray that God would help us in this. That he would make our tape sticky once again as He has been faithful to do so many times in the past.

January 20, 2011

A season of grace

"...the darkness of the soul mentioned here...puts the sensory and spiritual appetites to sleep... It binds the imagination and impedes it from doing any good discursive work. It makes the memory cease, the intellect become dark and unable to understand anything , and hence it cause the will also to become arid and constrained, and all the faculties empty and useless. And over all this hangs a dense and burdensome cloud which afflicts the soul and keeps it withdrawn from God."

"...Oh then, spiritual soul, when you see your appetites darkened, your inclinations dry and constrained, your faculties incapacitated for any interior exercise, do not be afflicted; think of this as a grace, since God is freeing your from yourself and taking you from your own activity."

November 10, 2010


I wish was more convinced. Hard to see current realities in the light past triumphs, either personally or corporately. Its a myopic veiw that doesnt serve me well, but I dont know how to change.

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one."

"None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."
Romans 8:31-39, The Message

I wish was more convinced

October 1, 2010


I have not, like Stella, gotten my groove back. I moved to a new school this year, and so far, I'm just not getting the hang of it. The schedule is funky (the title alone should scare you- "a rotating modified drop block schedule") and I just feel always off balance. Theres so much to do and not enough time to do it in. But thats not all of it. Theres something else... something I can't put my finger on so its hard to talk to anybody about it. 

Desafinado- I'm out of tune. It's probably because I don't read my bible much or pray much any more. I remember feeling like the bible was alive, now when I read its like dust in my mouth. I cant just read it for relationship and edification. All my education, my studying, my time spent in the word comes back and smacks me in the face. Sometimes I wish I could go back to a simpler time in my faith, where I wasn't thinking about systematic theology or the Caledonian definitions, and I could enjoy a reading of Jesus feeding the 5000 or to stand in awe at the parables Jesus used instead of thinking about the most prevalent views interpreting those parables.

And prayer scares me even more. I know, its relationship and communication and fellowship and all those other things we call it, but in some sense, I don't want to know what God thinks right now because I'm afraid he might actually want to speak. I'm weary and leaderless. I'm afraid he might actually want me to be leading others. And I don't have the time or the energy. I fall asleep on my lunch break so I cant even imagine running something. Its not that its not something I want to do. But you have to eat, right? So I spend my time and my energy on a job that's paying my bills even if its not what I want to do forever. People keep telling me its a ministry. So I try to wrap my head around that and serve those in front of me, but its wearing thin. 

After all this goes through my head I think to all the books and encouragement I've received through the words of those that I will probably never meet in this life, and I have some spark of hope that this isn't for nothing, that struggles are producing something. To paraphrase Jack Lewis, who I am is no mystery to God, and someday it will no longer be a mystery to me. But hope deferred makes the heart grow weak. 

July 22, 2010


I have been remiss as of late to blog as much has been going on! Its summer and as a friend of mine says "The top three things about being a teacher are June, July, and August!" Lots has been going on. I got a new job! I am officially the new science teacher at Linfield in Temecula.  I'll have 3 Chemistry classes, an AP Chemistry class, and one Physics class. 

I taught both chemistry and physics last year but this will be my first year teaching AP which I guess is a step in the right direction for my eventual goal of teaching on a university level at some point though I probably wont be teaching in the sciences. Linfield is sending me to an AP conference for 5 days in August before school starts in San Diego. It will be a sort of mini vacation, working in the day then having fun in San Diego in the evening- going to the Organ Concert, the Zoo and maybe even a Padres game if they are home that week.

I have been working around the house a lot, some personal stuff, some stuff for our friends next door, to keep busy.Its good honest work that leaves me tired but feeling accomplished at the end of the day. There's some thing honest about working with your hands and the good night sleep that accompanies a weary body. I've always told Wifey I'd like to own a farm some day, and working around here only reinforces that. We started a patio garden earlier this year when I gave my wife a small tomato plant. That garden has grown to two tomato plants, a pepper plant and some cucumbers. The strawberries gave us 5 or six juicy red fruits before it was attacked by the crow. It never really recovered after that. An expansion plan is already swirling in my head.

The messages at church have been good, though I've been feeling disconnected from the people there. It probably has something to do with the fact that we now live a lot farther away so connecting with people from church becomes more of an effort and the fact that I used to be a lot more involved than I am now. Two memorable messages were from Dave Snow and Buzzy Enniss. Dave spoke on July 4 about how we were made to be connected to God and people- Happy Dependence Day. Buzzy spoke on father's day, and had a choose your own adventure story about Moses being asked to do great things for which he was either unprepared or just thought he was unprepared. But he gave a great point that I keep thinking about - Success is not found in the outcome but rather in the obedience. 

Lastly (though these points are not in any sort of chronological order) Wifey, B, and I went to Pasadena for a weekend. Wifey went to a womens conference and B and I wandered around the city. We went and checked out Fuller Theological Seminary and I really liked it! I'm hoping at some point to be able to go back to school. I have this dream, and some day it might work out of working part time as an associate pastor at a church, teaching one or two adjunct classes and writing books about theology and church history. Oh and having a farm too. Someday. But for now, I work to eat and support my family, which is ministry number one. 

June 17, 2010

Nothing But Blue Skys

Three Paintings I am working on for Bennett's room!

Most of my projects for the summer are sorta mundane, necessary but not really interesting either in writing or in pictures (like shortening the blinds) but thought the process of making these is cool. Got a few hours (or days) left to go on them :)

June 9, 2010

10 Pins

Ten Pins

Where did it come from?
Maybe from primitive man,
Throwing rocks at food?

June 8, 2010



Red pens, stacks of tests
The part of teaching I hate
But soon summer comes

June 7, 2010

The Future

 The Future

On the horizon,
A boat! Can't quite make it out...
What change will it bring?

May 7, 2010

I can smell it... can you?

Summer is Coming

Soon, school will be out
Then projects, family and fun
Almost can smell it...

April 21, 2010

Earth Day!

So tomorrow is Earth day. We have no plans as of yet, but I'm sure we will come up with something because it seems an important day of remembrance. God created the earth- and it was good. God had us name the animals and care for the garden and I think some of the principles derived from thinking about those things have become woven into our lives. This isn't a brag list, just some things that we've been able to do to as a family. There's always more we could do, some of them take an initial investment of money or time or an ongoing commitment that necessitate gradual implementation.

Cloth Diapers- I have nothing but good things to say (probably because my wife mostly is involved in this process, but truly she only has good things to say too!) I think we became convinced of the rightness of this decision after hearing Rob Bell's "God is Green" series and learned that 300 years from now that diaper (and its contents) will be unchanged as it sits in a land fill. So we decided (before we even started trying to have kids) to at least try to use cloth diapers. Ultimately they save us money, and if you have the time to do a couple extra loads of laundry a week we totally recommend them.

A clothes line- Our neighbor read this little book called "Serve God, Save the Planet" that contained some tips for being more "green" - #1 keep the sabbath - #2 ditch the dryer. So okay we haven't gotten rid of the dryer (though its old and seems to not be working as well so...) but we have a clothes line, and time of day permitting we hang stuff on it (mostly our diapers, see above). UV light from the sun is a great natural biotic killer so its great for diapers. Actually keeps them whiter and helps remove stains. (as a plus his organization is putting on a webcast this afternoon for Earth day- check it out here!)

Our Eating Habits- So trying to eat better as we become more informed about where our food comes from and how it is treated has led us to eat less and less processed food, and more and more food we have cooked ourselves. Our neighbor has a huge garden operation. He has a trailer with lights and watering system where he sprouts seed, a green house to accelerate early growth and an extensive raised bed area. He grows all year round with seasonal plant harvest with a canning operation for the vegetables that can be canned. We often get large bags of squash with the admonishment to simply "do our part." Some day I hope to follow in their foot steps, growing my own food and storing it for latter use, but for now, we are happy eating the excess, going to farmers markets and generally trying to make our food from scratch as much as possible.

Perhaps we will go and purchase some herb plants for our patio garden we have talked about. So far we have one plant, a tomato plant that my wife has been diligently keeping alive and now has 5 tomatoes growing on it!

Some interesting web sites i found today...
The blogs on - serving God, saving the planet

A blog on homesteading and the impact of our plastic waste

March 26, 2010

What's that gotta do with Easter?

So I am sitting here at school with spring break so close I can taste it. Im still here because I am letting some students finish a test that, due to a time overage in a schoolwide event, they ran out of time durring class to finish.

The event was attended by all physically, but mentally most were glad to spend an hour or so out of class and wistful for 2:45 and cessation of school work for the next two weeks. Students were handed a palm frond at the begining of a walk were to spend time moving from station to station remembering what Christ had suffered through. Most students walked by the stations while talking to their friends. The crucifixion is hardly given a second thought. During first period they were to write a prayer, a picture, a confession, anything really on a stone to place at the foot of the cross. Most had nothing to say. I suggested thank yous. I gave them historical quotes from the patristic tradition "that which He was He remained, that which He wasn't He became" or "That which is not assumed is not healed"

The saddest for me however was when I suggested one of my favorite verses that sums up a huge part of my beliefs about who God is, what He is like and what He has done for us, a student looked at me and said, "What does that have to do with Easter?"

The verse? From John 1- "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us"

How my heart sometimes aches for people to see and love the truth of God...

March 20, 2010

Sabbath Manifesto.

Apparently Rabbis are encouraging a "National Day of Unplugging" today, March 20th, in an attempt to reclaim the purpose and meaning behind a day of rest. Their list of 10 principles for the sabbath.

1- Avoid Technology- A little hard socially with cell phones and email, but personally hard because I am usually getting stuff ready for school.

2- Connect with Loved Ones- A little easier. Sarah and I have set a goal to share our table with others at least once a month

3- Nurture Your Health- Probably good. Take a walk, do some yoga. Exercise helps stress and lowers blood pressure.

4- Get Outside- Get your vitamin D happy drugs.

5- Avoid Commerce- How come you get a sabbath but the people serving your lunch don't?

6- Light Candles- I'm not sure of this one but I would be willing to try it. Maybe its a way of connecting the past with the present?

7- Drink wine- Blessed be the Lord, creator of the fruit of the vine...

8- Eat Bread- Yum, gluten here we come

9- Find Silence-- Hard to do with a one year old. But I do usually wake up first so I do get some silence in the morning before the house gets moving.

10-Give Back- Interesting. All the other ones focus on self but this one is outward focused. I think you could do this especially in the exercising of biblical hospitality which we are learning needs to be geared towards those who are in need of hospitality and broadened to include the meeting of emotional and spiritual needs in addition to meeting physical needs.

February 25, 2010

Sackcloths and Ashes

(I'm trying to post at least once a week and one larger post a month to work as part of my Epiphany day goals so I will be posting more often though maybe in a wider variety of genres)
These are pretty much the best chips ever. They are intensely spicy but not that Mexican sorta spicy that you cant get out of your mouth but that addictive sorta instant burn that goes away in a wash of warmth and goodness. They are slightly sweet with a bit of nutty goodness thrown in for good measure. I could eat the entire bag in one sitting with out a problem. I think I might even lick the bag if I could. And you would think something that yummy has MSG or food preservatives or something bad like that in it but there isn't a single weird ingredient.

Even as I searched today on the Internet, for pictures I discovered a whole new world wide community of my fellow "spicy Thai lovers". (or here, or here, or here)

And yet I was very disappointed today when my wife sent me the following picture in a text message.

DISCONTINUED!?!?!?! Now its true that we have seen no bags of Spicy Thai chips in the last few weeks but discontinued? No more, ever! I tried to get Sarah to go round to all the stores and buy up a reserve, but she just laughed at our dilemma. Apparently she is not a true believer. But there is hope! It seems that Spicy Thai has not made the official list of "retired flavors" on the web site yet. So we need to get the petitions going! Stop emailing your congressmen (and women) and start emailing Kettle Foods. Don't let them retire Spicy Thai and thus group it in with other failed flavors like Island Jerk, Red Peppers & Goat Cheese, and my personal favorite, Cheddar Beer. Get your picket signs ready and your walking shoes on! SAVE SPICY THAI! SAVE SPICY THAI!

February 24, 2010

The Prophet of Convenience

One of my (many) heroes of the faith is a Saint by the name of John who lived in Damascus. Now he was the last saint that was accepted by both the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox before the Great Schism (which properly refers to the split between east and west and not the protestant reformation). His writings leaned towards the east defending the use and veneration of icons, but he actually lived in a Muslim controlled area. There's a great story about how he gets accused of trying to convince the church to send troops to oust the Muslims, they cut off his hand, he grabs it, prays for it be reattached and goes right on writing.

He writes a book called Heresy in which he outlines bad and outdated theology of various groups but the one that I think is relevant for today is about what he calls the Ishmaelites which if you are interested you can read here. The real point being that voracity of the Koran is much to doubted.

It seems that Mohamed was into what ever was convenient.

He wrote an "edict from Allah" that allowed him to marry another man's wife.

He wrote an "edict from Allah" that allowed for the inclusion of a pagan site of worship to be included in Islam so as to help transition those already accustomed to worshiping there.

At points in the Koran he has "edicts from Allah" some times extolling Jews and Christians as "people of the book" when he needed to find refuge among them from his enemies and other times calls them infidels that need to be converted or killed.

Most of what he knew of Christianity came from heretical exiles of the church - Arians mostly - who believed that Jesus was a created being and therefore separate from God. (If you want an historical treatment of why this is important to Christianity you can check out my post called "Only God Can Save Us"

All this to say that St John of Damascus considered Islam not to be its own religion but a heresy of Christianity, seeped in basic ignorance of key Christian beliefs (he thought the Trinity consisted of God, Jesus and Mary and that Mary and Moses were brother and sister) and in the idea of his own convenience.

But this post isn't about Muslims, the Koran or Islam. Its about the fact that all to often, we as Christians become our own prophets, seeped in ignorance, giving preference to our own convenience.

We ignore doctrines and practices that seem hard. We become satisfied with easy answers (the Trinity is like an Egg...) and turn away from God himself to the things of God because they seem more tangible. Church is easy - we can ignore the hard things sometimes spoken from the pulpit as meant for another and avoid those certain people that stir up wild emotions in us. We can suit our study of the word to avoid those difficult passages like Matthew 25 where it seems that we will be judged not for right beliefs but for right action, or for passages that call out our particular pet sins like Anger, Lust, and Covetousness. Even Christian service can be manipulated into making us feel good, or keeping us so busy that there is no time for true reflection.

Convenience is the opposite of change.

And prayer is the agent of change. By sitting down, stopping, and embracing who God is, what he has done for us and seeking him for guidance and direction we are really looking for change. We don't like when we are confronted with our need to change things about ourselves.

At some level we all like ourselves or at least our habits. That's why we still do them. We feed what ever wisp of desire and appetite comes our way because we are not sure that any one else will. And we fill that desire with junk, what ever happens to be lying around because it may not be there if we wait to fill it. CS Lewis says its "not that our appetites are too strong, but rather that they are too easily pleased" and that "if it seems that nothing in this world can satisfy us, perhaps we were not meant for this world".

Even as I write this, I feel convicted of my own relationship with Him. It has fallen off as of late. I'm afraid of change. I want a plan, I want to see the end of the road before I start something, and seeking Him about what He wants and not about what I want seems a little beyond my faith right now. I see the hungry people and cant figure out how these few scraps of food are supposed to feed so many. I'm afraid of Him asking me to do something crazy, to step out onto the sea. I'm afraid to even seek sometimes because I know he can and does speak.

So in the old testament if a prophet was not of God, the people would throw stones at him till he died. So I'm picking up a stone for my own prophet of convenience. And it may take time, and there might be times when we shrink back, feel overwhelmed and are alone. But take heart for He is with us.

"The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it! - John 14:12-14

February 7, 2010

Subsistance Farming.

I was listening to NPR and they were doing a report on the economy of some third world country, how there were rich foreigners there, and a few rich people but most lived below the poverty level and were subsidence farmers.

And I thought to myself, being a subsistence farmer doesn't seem that bad. If you cant make it or grow it then its you don't have to worry about it. Sounds almost Amish. I wouldn't be doing it for religious reasons, worrying that I might get corrupted by the world. But rather for the simplicity it offers. I wouldn't worry about a job, I would be directly providing for my family instead of indirectly providing money to buy our needs. I wouldn't be worrying about a car or a new computer. But I also wouldn't be writing this blog or have access to modern medicine, nor a supply of food if there was some sort of weird accident. But I think that I would exercise my faith more. Cause I don't usually worry about what I will eat or what I will wear. I worry about dumb things that don't matter much. I almost wish that was all I had worry about.

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds." - Matthew 6:25-26

February 3, 2010

City Life

I am feeling sort of wistful for the city.

I like where I live, I like the space
and the neighbors
But I wish people lived closer...
and people just sorta "stopped by"...
and our church was closer
and I could ride to the store...

Our "Walk Score" right now is a 3

This place has a walk score of 96. Someday...

January 26, 2010

Intentionality Forstalls Contempt

When my wife and I were dating, one of the things we though about was getting old. Not getting old like wrinkles and walkers and grey hairs. But getting old in the same way we say “This job is getting old” meaning I am through putting my energy into it and am ready to discard it. She worried that she or I would at some point decide that each other was “getting old”. “Familiarity breeds contempt” she would tell me. This went on for a while. She wouldn’t tell me she loved me because she had “been there, done that” with her feelings and emotions. She was guarding herself from hurt, and rightly so.
So after thinking and praying about it, I realized she was right! The possibility was there that we would get old to each other and want out. There had to be some solution. Just like everything else in life you are either going forward or going back but how could we make sure to go forward only?
Choices. And not big choices, but little choices. How we chose to treat each other every day. Spending time together. How we speak to each other. How we speak of each other in and out of their presence. Even how we think of each other.
And sometimes we do better than others. But we arn't going to give up.
Because it’s worth it. To us. To god. To those around us who need to see that there are some things in life that you shouldn’t give up on. There are some things in life where failure isn’t an option.
Because only in choosing to succeed can we hope to get there.
Because only intentionality forestalls contempt.