Monday, February 27, 2006

eavesdropping on Alex and David

While sipping on a latte at Starbuck’s in the Atlanta airport, David, among many others, was waiting for his connecting flight. After a few minutes he noticed a young man sitting next to him reading a book with a green apple on the front. Alex saw David looking at his book and introduced himself.

Alex was born in the late seventies in the south part of Michigan. Alex’s mother was a nurse at St. John’s Hospital and his father was a professor of Philosophy at Calvin College. David was born in New Orleans in the late sixties; his mother was a choral teacher at Andrew Bell High School and his father was a territorial sales rep for Sysco Foods, a dry foods company serving the tri-state area.

They talked about all kinds of topics, school, family, work. Eventually David asked what Alex was reading. It was called Freakonomics. David wasn’t a big reader, but even if he was that title would probably not be on the top of the list.

Interrupting their conversation, there was an announcement… Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

got any batteries for that thing?

“You don’t buy a flashlight to stare at the bulb. The purpose of a lamp is not to illuminate itself but other things. Similarly, apart from its revelation of God, God’s Word is meant to be a light on creation, helping us to see properly the World that God has made.

If we walk at night we do not stare at our flashlight, nor do we point it at the sky or at our feet. Rather we point it forward and down, hitting the ground about six feet ahead.

We need to study not only God’s Word but also God’s world; we study the world in light of the Word. We need to study not only Isaiah but also Industry. Not only Philemon but also Politics, Not only Acts but the arts. It is not for us to choose between knowing the Bible or the world; we need to know the world biblically.

As we study the Scriptures, we need to shine them on the questions that lie before us on our pilgrimage. This includes not only questions about our personal life and the church, but also the farmer’s question of how and what to plant, or how to make our daily bread, and for us, how to deal with fields, factories, studies, and politics.” Quote from Paul Marshall – Heaven is not my Home

Some how this illustration connects with my blog on Monday Feb. 13thPosted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

where does one begin?

What happens when two forms of living energy connect? Is it merely physical? Is there a deeper impact that generates life on the internal that manifests itself to the external world? What is connected that may have once been broken?

“You've captured my heart, dear friend.You looked at me, and I fell in love.One look my way and I was hopelessly in love!

Your beauty is too much for me--I'm in over my head.I'm not used to this! I can't take it in.

Your eyes are wells of light, deep with mystery.

Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing--it sweeps everything before it.” Quotes from the Songs of Solomon

And the two shall become one…

Can the world contain the power from Oneness? What can stand against One? If given to my surface man I would not share my One with another. Should I give into that temptation my One would be reduced to only what I can contain. But should I release my One to another, then my One would become larger than it was within me. The multiplication would confound the mathematicians and realist. The power of One is visible to the eyes of those who hope to see what is not visible but that can be known. Once you see it you’ll never be the same again. All of your desires, all of your thoughts, will be of one thing…becoming one.

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one.” Jesus praying to the One Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

on earth as it is in Heaven

"Our calling is not only to know the Bible, though we certainy need to know it verse by verse. It is also to know the world where God has placed us to learn from that world" Paul Marshall

"what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them... God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."
St.Paul [Rom. 1:19-20]

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaim his handiwork,
day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, an their words to the end of the world."
Psalm 19:1-4

This weekend we are in Panama City visiting family. It has been a nice weekend. I came across these words in "Heaven is not my home" by Paul Marshall. The book is a fresh reading coming out of the funk I have been in these last few days.

Darla and I had a great time last night visiting with Rob (a.k.a. soulsurfer) and his wife at the Corner which is a Friday night open mic coffee house on the beach in PC. I love both of them, they are just the real deal. I love what God is doing in their community at Eastgate. May God continue to guide them as they navigate the path of faith and community.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

jealousy is as old as the earth itself

"Coming out of my cage And I've been doing just fine...
Gotta gotta be down Because I want it all...
And my stomach is sick And it's all in my head...

And I just can't look.... It's k i l l i n g me... And taking control
Jealousy... Turning saints into the sea Turning through sick lullabys....But it's just the price I pay....

Destiny is calling me... Open up my eager eyes
cause I'm Mr. Brightside" The Killers

I can barely write about this, it is so now. All I can say is that Darla and I are talking it out every day. Yesterday, I realized how powerful this wicked little secret can be. My source of contempt revolves around my career path. For weeks, I have been wrestling with this heaviness. I really couldn't put my finger on it. But through sharing my fears and pains, we discovered that I was full of jealousy, like a poison. Once I accepted my condition, it helped me to explore how deep it runs. I found that the spirit of jealousy is as old as the earth.

"But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. " Genesis 4:5

That word "wroth" means to burn with jealousy and anger. Notice Cain's demeanor: his countenace had fallen. You could imagine a man walking around with his face pulled to the ground like an invisible magnetic force field. When I read that verse I saw myself and that is when it all clicked. It's killing me on the inside.

"Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?" Proverbs 27:4

The crazy thing about jealousy is that it starts in a very subtle way. You start out thinking how cool it is that so-and-so got a great promotion. The next thing is you start coooking up stuff in your head, and the next thing you know is BANG, you want what they have.

For me it is really sad because I really like my co-workers and wish them the best, but on another level, I thought I was missing out on something.

I came across an idea that the spirit of contentment is the anti-dote for jealousy. Being ok with what I have or where I am is the beginning of release. Not to mention prayer for myself but also for the people to whom my thoughts burn. This is better said than done. I am just taking it one day at a time.

Has anyone ever gone through something like this? How did it go? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

love take the wheel

What a glorious day today. There’s nothing like walking out to a frigid 27 degree morning to find a warm and beautiful note from my beloved placed on the steering wheel of my car. As I read the card, the words “sharer of my dreams” and “best friend” find there way home to an unexpected place in my heart.

Funny enough Darla and I have been talking recently of opening the doors to a community house, where people may come and enjoy a cup of java for loose change while embraced by a welcome and creative atmosphere. Dreamers we are, that one day we will find ourselves serving our community while enjoying the intimate fellowship of one another.

My hope today, it that the spirit of love, my best friend, will steer the direction of my thoughts and deeds for endless days to come. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 13, 2006

emrging from the text

Growing up in the christian faith I have often said to myself how I really need to get into the Word. What I meant by that was a feeling of disconnect from God. I thought by reading the Bible I would re-establish my relationship with him. I am realizing the limited scope of that kind of thinking. Something is emerging.

As I think about the first three verses of Genesis 1, affirms God's presence in three forms, "In the begining was God, the Spirit of God hovers over the water, and the spoken words of God." This is the atmosphere of creation. As a created being, I am made up of a component of each of those manifestations of God.

In the Gospels, I find several references to the Father, Son, and the Spirit. Once again God is a community of One. So where ever I find this oneness, I will find the reflection of the way creation was intended to be. For instance, a husband and a wife shall come together and be one. In the Gospels we hear the same "In the Begining" language, God's spoken word takes on human form expressed in Jesus. As Jesus walked this earth, he was a complete example of human oneness with God. Then scriptures go on to say things like, "in Jesus Christ (God's spoken word) we are made right (the way we were intended to be) with God."

I am begining to see layers to this Word of God. It is no longer black and white Times Roman font on parchment paper. Rather, it is a community of images, a lion, a family, a mountain, a song, a neverending story, coming together to shape a reflection of God's WORD. A reflection that has always been there, I was just looking at the surface.

May you find yourself engulfed in the vast expanse of God's Word. Speaking. Realizing. Living. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

the creative spirit breaks through

Thank you to those of you who have kept me in your thoughts and prayers this week. I have been going through a difficult time. I haven't really been able to put my finger on it until I spoke with my mom tonight. Her comments and insight was spot on. This week at work I have been engaged in the implementation process of a client relations program. This was training week. I guess on one level for me it was somewhat mundane because I have been training on this for months. There is very little room for creativity during this stage. My mom explained that implementation can be the opposite of creativity in certain aspects.

When she said it that way I remembered reading this week in Heaven is not my Home by Paul Marshall. He said something along the lines of when we as created beings are being creative we are reflecting the "Imago Dei." So if that is true then the opposite of that has implications. If I am not being creative it strikes against the core of who I am. Darla continues to encourage me to make the most of the relationships as I go through these training exercises. She is right, I find myself all business when it comes to training. Ughh! I hate that part of corporate world. I pray these next few days I will be able to take each individual conversation as a opportunity of divine intervention and to seek to be creative at any chance I get.

This weekend I brought an old version of Photoshop 5.5 home and installed it on our PC. It has been a real outlet for creativity. I made a "winn people" collage as well as some graphic links for theRealZoo site under the "others on the journey" page. It was very therapeutic.

Thanks again for my brothers and sisters who are helping my family along this journey of faith. May we one day come face to face and greet each other in true fellowship. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heaven is not my Home

Living in Tallahassee Florida (the large buckle of the Bible belt), I have known a very limited scope of the gospel. Over the last few years, I have been exposed to a larger picture of the gospel. It is not that this new version is “postmodern” or “emergent”; rather it is a view of what I think is a larger slice of the global Christian pie. The following is an excerpt from Heaven is not my Home by Paul Marshall.

“It is an unbiblical idea that the earth doesn’t matter because we are going to go to heaven when we die. The Bible teaches that there will be a “new heaven and a new earth.” Our destiny is an earthly one: a new earth, an earth redeemed and transfigured. An earth reunited with heaven, but an earth, nevertheless.

If we think that the earth and everything on it is simply going to disappear, why labor long and hard to write something, perform something, build something, create something that will only be consumed by fire?”

For most of my Christian life, my thought had been that one day when I get out of here life is going to really be great. I was so focused on my “final destination” that I completely glazed over where I am today and what impact it has on eternity. Now as I read the scriptures, I am confronted with a truth that Jesus told his disciples to pray “Your (Yahweh) will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” There it is right there in front of me and I didn’t get it! So where does that leave me today? Once again another quote from Mr. Marshall.

“We the human beings, we ourselves, are part of creation. Our stewardship includes human life as well as the rest of nature. It includes Mozart as well as mountains: parliaments as well as porpoises: friendships as well as fields and forests. What began in the Garden of Eden culminates in a city- the New Jerusalem.”

God is reclaiming, restoring, and redeeming all of creation. I am called into this re-creation story. It is an amazing narrative of making all things new. God is the central character and I am honored to be in the supporting cast. I guess the part in the story that I missed was the created order, the birds, the trees, the streams and how they are integral to the story.

Maybe the creators of LOST wanting to make the island a character in the story have stumbled across a truth that is bigger than they can imagine.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

kindled life

Something is changing…moving…lifting. I feel the tide is shifting in the deepest part of my soul. Purpose is beginning to emerge from the goo. I have been in such a state of blah. Boredom and restlessness have been my companions these last weeks. Ha! But no longer will I play their silly little games. I think this morning I realized that I have not been alone. God was not taken by surprise of the events of late. Hmmmm, God was in this place and I, i did not know. It is the Jacob journey, traveling from one place to the next, being fully present in the moment I am in and finding fulfillment there. Sometimes the promise of what is to come can be so distracting from what is right here in front of me. Oh that I might remain still long enough to hear the whispers of life. There is still a fire shut up in my belly. I am alive.