Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celtic Prayer

Like light dappling through the leaves of a tree
and wind stirring its branches,
like birdsong sounding from the heights of an orchard
and the scent of blossom after rainfall,
so you dapple and sound in the human soul,
so you stir into motion all that lives.
Let your graces of healing flow this night,
for my soul is wounded
and there is brokenness in my life.
Let you graces of healing flow, dear God,
for those whom I love are in need this night
and there are agonies in the life of the world.
There are agonies in the life of the world, O my soul,
and those whom I love are in pain.

h/t to Lisa

Friday, May 27, 2011


Wendy came home from the hospital on Sunday evening and we've spent the week trying to help her feel better. i took some family leave from work and tried to determine ways i could help her without getting in her way.

i'm astounded by Wendy's strength. the night of her surgery she actually was able to take a stroll down the hospital hallway and she's just so independant that i've very literally said "i don't know how to help you" since she just does most things herself. she has graciously said that she'd let me know whenever she needs something.

there were a couple migraines this week, that's troublesome. on occasion she has said that her abdomen feels like she's done situps for hours. i'm concerned with her mood sometimes, so is she.

still it's great to have her at home. i love you Wendy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reasons why the rapture didn't happen

1) Rapture? what Rapture?

pre-trip, pre-mill theology is actually only a little more than a couple hundred years old. we owe it to the dispensationalist types to have brought this brand of theology to the table. so what did Christians believe before that? something else. what if you don't believe in a rapture the way that the pre-trib folks do? what if you would package things up as a mid-trib or a post-trib type?
i personally believe in a kind of pan-trib/pan-mill theology, as in it'll all pan out in the end.

h/t Glocal Christianity

2) Matthew 24:36

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

i have to assume that now that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father he knows the day and the hour but when he said it, even he didn't know when he was coming back. isn't it the height of arrogance to assume that we could figure it out.

3) even bad publicity is publicity

i suspect that Mr. Camping knew that he wasn't going to get the day right but he got lots of people talking about it. that's apparently good because people hear him.


way too many people took him seriously and blindly followed him. people quit their jobs, gave away their stuff and have gone to sit on a hill to wait for Jesus to return for them.
what kind of picture does this present to people who don't believe? what stumbling block is now in people's way because they could not join a faith that believes such things in such ways.

at the end of the day the path for the faithful has become rockier. how do i say to people that i believe when in their mind they think that i believe as this man does? how am i supposed to stand for a Christian faith when so many already think the faith is affiliated with superstition and foolish statements made by people who guarantee it in ways they cannot justify.

Lord have mercy on us all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

surgery update

Wendy had major surgery yesterday. she was supposed to be done by 230 in the afternoon but there were some complications with pain management and then some stuff with her blood pressure so that she finally didn't go back to her room until 6 pm. in the meantime, i had no information at all and i stood around trying to be patient with my own powerlessness.

she's fine. her blood pressure returned to her usual textbook normal and we spent the evening chatting and talking. i was pretty amazed with how lucid she was for most of the evening actually. by the end of the evening she was getting pretty tired although she wasn't admitting it. she would pause mid-sentence and then not remember what she was talking about at all. if you know Wendy at all, that is very much not like her. the pain meds were significant and actually they had to consult with a doctor at the pain clinic to find out why the normal amount of pain meds wasn't touching her pain but that's Wendy, no half measures, pain through the roof and strength through the roof to match it all. i still can't believe how lucid she was with all that meds in her, and she even went for a stroll down the hallway! holy crap on a cracker!

she called me this morning and seemed really chipper. she actually woke me up which says to me that i slept more than she did last night, and i didn't have a huge incision on my abdomen. i had to call into work though, i'm taking family time off for what i expect will be about a week and a half.

my dear one, you are loved. you are loved. you are loved.

**** further update ********

i just came back from spending most of the day at the hospital. it turns out that Wendy didn't sleep at all last night although it's not because of pain. she dozed at periods during the day today and after i left for the day she had just dozed off for what i'm hoping is a lengthy sleep.

Monday, May 16, 2011


you had your 12 year old blessing in our community yesterday and the women among us sat around a circle with you to bless you and give you their wisdom. i wasn't allowed to attend because i have the wrong chromosomes but i still wanted to be sure to bless you and help you where i could.

i've learned a couple things in the 30 years that have gone by since my 12th birthday, only a couple of things mind you. first of all, know that you are loved. your parents adore you and the extended family that is the church community around us not only loves you but we also really like you. you are wonderful and you're going to be even more wonderful as you grow into the beautiful woman that you will be.

i want to mention something that i've been thinking about when i consider how to bless a young one who is starting out on the journey of adult life.

i want you to remember you as you are right now. that may sound a bit lame but trust me you'll thank me in 30 years when you look back at this time. remember the you that you are right now as you become the wonderful woman you are to become.

i think of myself at 12. that kid had everything laid out in front of him and he had mad skillz to do what he wanted to do. he was a dreamer who could and wanted to make his own life what he wanted to make of it. i sometimes lose touch with that kid now that i'm 42, i forget the dreamer that he was and i sometimes don't believe that i can do the sorts of things that i never questioned of myself when i was 12 ... i don't always remember what that kid was like. i get weighed down by responsibilities and fears about how change can affect me.

you at 12 have everything laid out in front of you. everything is possible and whatever you can dream up, you could do. you have the same mad skillz that i did and that woman of 42 will probably have pieces of paper that talk about your mad skillz but she may not remember all the actual mad skillz that are there. that woman may forget who you are right now, so you have to remember who you are now so that you don't get to a place that you forget any of that information.

seriously, remember the you that you are right now. that woman in 30 years will thank you for remembering.

and if i'm still around in 30 years, you're required to thank me for this gem. now you HAVE to remember.

wait, i just realized i'm actually 44. crap, now the whole analogy is shot (oh wait, no it isn't).

i love you Hannah.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

complete lack of invincibility

remember when you were young and invincible? there was a time when i figured i could do anything and come out of it completely unharmed. i took some crazy chances in my own time, tell the truth, so did you. i suppose there still remains a foolish element in me, a guy who inexplicably does or at least considers something stupid just to see if he could get away with it. part of the reason why i'm still involved with competitive sports at my masters category age is because i still want to test myself and to be willing to prove that i'm not a worn out husk of a man. i guess it could be considered stupid to get behind the plate with a pitcher throwing in the 80 kph range with movement that breaks the plain or could break your arm; or it might even be stupider to get between two 300 lb linemen intent on ripping each other's arms off and beating the other guy about the head but i really do get a nice little endorphin rush out of it.

i've been having dizzy spells this week. i had 3 significant ones on Monday so that i went to the clinic about it. the doc there didn't know me but when i mentioned that my mother had a particular inner ear disease then she immediately latched on to the idea that i must have it too (although she never actually said it) and she prescribed a medication for treating that very disease. i'm loathe to take any medication whatsoever and it scares me a little that this is the place that she went to after just having met me. now another thing happened with her too, i mentioned some chest tightness to her when she asked when was the last time i had my blood pressure checked and she immediately put me in for an EKG which turned out to be completely normal so at least i know that my ticker is completely ok. i'm still perplexed about the prescription for a medication given when the only evidence was a little history, some dizziness and a little too much wax in my ears.

i discussed the whole thing with my dear one and she suggested that perhaps i should just go see our chiropractor to check out where my system was presently. i like our chiro a good bunch and he knows me very well so i thought this was a brilliant suggestion. it turns out it had been 2 yrs since i'd gone for an adjustment and he quickly found some serious out of whack parts in my system. my tibia, my pelvis, and several maladjustments in my neck were throwing my whole system out of whack. i had the system start to clean out and then i returned the next day for more cleaning out. i was actually feeling pretty good so that i went to work a baseball exhibition for men who get to throwing pretty hard. it was uneventful.

this morning i woke to more dizzy spells. i've been fine since i first woke up and even managed to bike to work with no problems but its still a bit worrisome. its a stressful time of life. Wendy has surgery next week and that's always in the foreground as we try to figure out what that will mean for the rest of our life together. it's that significant. as this is happening i try to work on my own issues and ambitions and try to get a grip on the sorts of changes i need to make or want to make for me and for us. i'm trying to stay busy, to rely on my community for the help that we're going to need.

and it was suggested in our seed group last night that we go read this post to see how it can affect you. it's a blog of a Vancouver man who has been tracing his battle with cancer and the end of his battle. his final post was pre-written by him and posted by his friends and family detailing the end of his battle.

life is fragile. i am fragile. i have a complete lack of invincibility as i look at life and plans and how things are or should be. the things of life are the things that i need to be pursuing. music, art, love, relationships, helping others along the path of this struggle, pulling people from a continual social sausage grinder, and various other challenges. yes, life is fragile but i can't hide from it. i have to adapt, i have to grow, to do otherwise is a greater sin.

i have loved you. i have loved you. i have loved you.

i'm struck by that.

yes, i'm fragile. i'm getting older and creakier ... but i will not be held back by that. i'm getting up and going after it. i'm not invincible but i'm not cowering either.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Southland of the Heart

When the wild-eyed dogs of day to day
Come snapping at your heels
And there's so much coming at you
That you don't know how to feel
When they've taken all your money
And then come back for your clothes
When your hands are full of thorns
But you can't quit groping for the rose

In the southland of the heart
Where night blooms perfume the breeze
Lie down
Take your rest with me

When thoughts you've tried to leave behind
Keep sniping from the dark
When the fire burns inside you but
You jump from every spark
When your heart's beset by memories
You wish you'd never made
When the sun comes up an enemy
And nothing gives you shade

In the southland of the heart
Where the saints go lazily
Lie down
Take your rest with me

When the preacher lays his insight down
And claims to lead the blind
When those you trust just get you hooked
And trifle with your mind
When the nightmare's creeping closer
And your wheels are in the mud
When everything's ambiguous
Except the taste of blood

In the southland of the heart
There's no question of degree
Lie down
Take your rest with me

In the southland of the heart
Everyone was always free
Lie down
Take your rest with me

no kittens were hurt in the making of this clip

h/t 22 words

living in the lyrics

our church community has been having an ongoing study on prayer and this week we discussed the place of music in a prayer life. many were talking about how music takes them to places of worship but more importantly it helps them express need and is akin to prayer as they agree and talk to God.

music is incredibly important to me. i have tunes all ALL THE TIME at work, although i leave it on my headphones so as not to bother my co-workers in the next cubicles. in truth though, most of my music ... isn't Christian ... in that Jesus' name isn't mentioned all that much as i listen to the lyrics. that doesn't mean that it isn't spiritual or it isn't moral because those elements are key to whether or not i like a tune. i listen to a lot of Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan, Yusef Islam (that would be Cat Stevens), plus a good deal of artists that fall into the Christian genre but who still seldom mention Jesus in their lyrics. most of the time i enjoy a tune because it speaks out on social justice issues, poverty issues, or just the God-sized vacuum that inhabits the soul. i guess you could say that i pray through lyrics many times, that i live in the lyrics.

i'm not sure that everyone gets that concept. the desire to be poetic, heroic, or just to rejoice or mourn in song gets deep into my heart. it's like those occasions when i try to explain the poetry of baseball to someone who just isn't a fan. they just don't get how baseball is a metaphor for life for me ... many of my reactions, my morals and thoughts can be directly linked back to songs that impact my life in some way. i really do live in the lyrics.

do you understand that? do you get just how deep that goes? music is a major source of life for me. i do like to have the radio on, i do like to have my music on shuffle just to see what i'll get.

that's where i live ... and pray ... and move ... and have my being.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

an odd little moan

i've been struck today in my quiet moments that i've been praying about my lack of any real attempt at praying. praying about my inability to pray certainly seems like a paradox to me.

it has felt like a bit of a malaise as i continue on. my writing is a prayer, my work is a prayer, my relationships are a prayer when i take the time to extend myself out and lift my head from my own self-absorption.

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

a lot.

Monday, May 2, 2011

what to do about Osama?

i'm not rejoicing at the death of Osama. we in the West viewed him as our enemy and it seemed at least that he hated the West. i suppose if he had met me he would've hated me but at the same time we are to love our enemies so i couldn't call him my enemy.

i opposed all wars over there. i oppose the ongoing war over there. i do not want my country involved in a war over there and i want them to come home.

friends do not let friends drop bombs on children. i saw that written on a peace sign once and i've always remembered it. i also agree with it.

i don't mean to imply that i agree with the politics of Al Quada, absolutely no. i just oppose war in all of its forms. i suppose its the peacekeeper in me, it's also the conflict avoider in me but i do not want to cause or see caused the harm of anyone in pursuit of any paradigm, even one that fits my own cultural system.

i'm a bit confused about what my reaction is to be. i certainly won't be gloating about the killing of a man, even one on the other side of opinion from me. i can't be thankful for that. a part of me isn't all that upset about it either though. that part of me scares me a lot because i could easily jump the gulf and be militant about things. but i don't want to be that guy.

so i really don't know what to do about Osama. aside from praying for peace i suppose.

aside from praying for peace.