Thursday, March 22, 2007

What if 7

What if we got rid of the word "they" and always used the word "we".

What if 6

What if the word "trust" didn't mean an expectation of superhuman proportion and meant "lack of fear of losing what I can't keep on my own".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Marriage

I realized this morning, in a "lightbulb-over-my-head" way, why my marriage is so great. We both set our expectations very small and often live up to them.

What if 5

What if we didn't laugh about eating too much? Would more people have enough to eat?

What if 4

What if it were considered fashionable to live in mobile home parks and inner cities so we could live efficiently with low-impact on our open spaces that we use to grow food?

What if 3

The world considered 'giving away' rather than 'collecting' a hobby? What if there were television shows, periodicals, and books written about it?

What if 2

What if people that built houses larger than 2000 sq. ft. were not praised for being successful but ostracized for being selfish?

What if 1

What if it was considered swinish to own more than two pair of shoes? Couldn't we all own two pair of shoes?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mainstream Press

I thought I'd check the time and date of Shane Claiborne's visit to Mars Hill, Grandville, MI and found an an article in "In These Times" giving press to the Christian revolution or "insurgency" as Rob Bell of Mars Hill refers to it. I'm looking forward to dinner with an old friend and then catching Shane's talk entitled "Finding Your Own Calcutta".

I teamed up with about a half-dozen other guys and cooked and served over 800 meals this past weekend. It was good.

I've met about twenty other people this past week that are adjusting their lives toward a more "costly" discipleship. It is encouraging to witness the awakening through the body to a leaner, more effective gospel. Their work and message is condensed while the sparkle in their eyes speak volumes. Wow.

I drove past two red cows.

They found a different path than the other thirty

in a field with no paths, no streams, no rocks

nothing to guide them but each other

away from the thirty.

just two.

How significant those two

as the small Hyacinth in the seat next to me

stood out among the roses

in their red rosiness and green vases in the flower display

dwarfing the mundane white Hyacinth in their richness.

But the Hyacinth, on a different path,

always smells more beautiful than the rest

away from the thirty.

I'll never forget those two cows nor the smell of the Hyacinth.

Whatever Happened to the Human Race? - Google Book Search

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NAK: 9.75 -0.32 (-3.18%) - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (USA)

I was in the area of the Pebble Mine Deposit last summer (for the month of June) and spoke to several natives about it. Very few I spoke to want the mine to happen and I don't believe it should either. Not one ounce of gold has been mined yet the stock has doubled over the past six months purely on speculation. Establishment of the mine means using an existing Alpine lake as the tailings settlement pond-effectively destroying any fishery in the lake and threatening the delicate salmon fishery that has been a lifeline for many Alaskan Native peoples for 10,000 years. It also means building a road through a significant portion of Lake Clark National Park (anyone see the "Alone in the Wilderness" films or read Dick Proenneke's book?)
To get an idea of the shear scale of this project, Lake Iliamna is about 22 miles across and 60 miles long.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God's Glory in the Strangest Places

I was listening to a vodcast from UCTV called "Atomic and Astrophysics: The Synthesis of Molecules in the Universe" and found something nothing short of poetic. In the first 200 seconds of Genesis that scientists refer to as the "big bang", in an environment of extreme heat(something in the billions of degrees celcius) stray protons and neurons were hurled through, uh, space (still not sure about whether space is something or nothing) and in their collision combined to create what astrophysicists call deuterons. Two deuterons also moving erratically through space were combined to create an alpha particle, He2+.

So He was the alpha particle, there in the beginning, from which all matter formed. Close, real close.

I know I'm taking it all out of context, I said it was POETIC, nothing more. I'd have called it irony but thats Fe not He. MMmmm Hmmm, its late.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This Day in History


On March 12, 1930, Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi begins adefiant march to the sea in protest of the British monopoly on salt,his boldest act of civil disobedience yet against British rule inIndia.Britain's Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or sellingsalt, a staple in the Indian diet. Citizens were forced to buy thevital mineral from the British, who, in addition to exercising amonopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also exerted a heavysalt tax. Although India's poor suffered most under the tax, Indiansrequired salt. Defying the Salt Acts, Gandhi reasoned, would be aningeniously simple way for many Indians to break a British lawnonviolently. He declared resistance to British salt policies to bethe unifying theme for his new campaign of satyagraha, or mass civildisobedience.On March 12, Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There,Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making saltfrom seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, andwith each passing day an increasing number of people joined the saltsatyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was atthe head of a crowd of tens of thousands. Gandhi spoke and led prayersand early the next morning walked down to the sea to make salt.He had planned to work the salt flats on the beach, encrusted withcrystallized sea salt at every high tide, but the police hadforestalled him by crushing the salt deposits into the mud.Nevertheless, Gandhi reached down and picked up a small lump ofnatural salt out of the mud--and British law had been defied. AtDandi, thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities ofBombay and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens inmaking salt. Civil disobedience broke out all across India, sooninvolving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested morethan 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5, but thesatyagraha continued without him.On May 21, the poet Sarojini Naidu led 2,500 marchers on the DharasanaSalt Works, some 150 miles north of Bombay. Several hundredBritish-led Indian policemen met them and viciously beat the peacefuldemonstrators. The incident, recorded by American journalist WebbMiller, prompted an international outcry against British policy inIndia.In January 1931, Gandhi was released from prison. He later met withLord Irwin, the viceroy of India, and agreed to call off thesatyagraha in exchange for an equal negotiating role at a London conference on India's future. In August, Gandhi traveled to theconference as the sole representative of the nationalist IndianNational Congress. The meeting was a disappointment, but Britishleaders had acknowledged him as a force they could not suppress orignore.India's independence was finally granted in August 1947. Gandhi wasassassinated by a Hindu extremist less than six months later.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Good Message

I never tire of listening to Rick McKinley of Imago Dei. He talked on Luke 15 this past Sunday and referred to the painting above by Rembrandt titled "The Prodigal".

This is kind of cool.


Dad look at my new imvenshun
hmm, okayyy (wondering if its going to hurt)
no dad, its d' TINKINATOR
really? how does it work?
I push this button right here and point d' tinkinator at you and it tells me what you are tinking
cool, so see if it works
(pushes button on light-up light saber-type sword with a kinex sticking out of the handle)
It says you tink I'm really smart
it works!
Hey mom, look at my new imvenshun!


Dads eat some weird stuff if made by their 5 yr. old daughter.
The gazillionth tear

She sat on the step with her face in her hands
Barely audible were her sobs
Just a low moan between hisses of air sucking in
Through the snot and spit
Her dark sunken eyes pouring out the last of her heart
A drop of saliva hanging from her lip pulling her to the ground
Until the wall
The wall came up as if pushed from the opposite side of the world
Sharp-edged and cold
Rough new bricks
Cutting and scraping through her soul
Alone she let the wall come up
She raked her arm across her face
Wiping her nose and smearing dirty tear-soaked cheeks
She threw her head up and vowed
Never to feel again

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Another Good Idea Brought to You By the God of Abraham

Male circumcision reduced HIV incidence in men without behavioural disinhibition. Circumcision can be recommended for HIV prevention in men.

Read the article.

Reminiscent this morning

Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
by Suzanne Rancourt

I can remember my father bringing home spruce gum.
He worked in the woods and filled his pockets
with golden chunks of pitch.
For his children
he provided this special sacrament
and we'd gather at this feet, around his legs,
bumping his lunchbox, and his empty thermos rattled inside.
Our skin would stick to Daddy's gluey clothing
and we'd smell like Mumma's Pine Sol.
We had no money for store bought gum
but that's all right.
The spruce gum
was so close to chewing amber
as though in our mouths we held the eyes of Coyote
and how many other children had fathers
that placed on their innocent, anxious tongue
the blood of tree?

The winter brings me memories of cutting fence posts in the cedar swamps with my dad and my papa. Dad was always cheeriest when at hard labor in difficult conditions. I think he felt that his suffering somehow added meaning to his life. My papa was almost always cheery and the days went fast and I grew wild in imagination and reverence for the holiness of a cedar swamp. I did not put a name to it then but it was a holy place. Deer would come to feed on the tops almost as soon as they were cut. We bought the cedar posts from a landowner but they were still in the woods, living quietly as monks (glorifying God by just being cedar trees), so we spent our weekends and holidays cutting down cedar trees, just the right size, and trimming them of their branches, cutting them to length, hauling them on our shoulders through the knee-deep snow to a tractor and trailer parked nearby. The final step in making posts of them was to strip their bark from them leaving them naked against the elements. If they are stripped they last about 25-30 years in the Michigan soil but if not they'll rot in about 5 years. This poem and the snow piling deeper in my yard gifted me with that memory.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Supporting Mailboxes

Into the bright sunshine
NPR blaring above the engine noise
heater blower set to defrost-high
I roll out the world with a blue explorer
Garrison Keillor whispering at 80 decibels
Pulling my brain off the particulars
Road, cold, blinding bright
Heaven, Jesus, starving AIDS refugees
In a world away
And I wonder
If they don’t have mailboxes
What keeps their world from sucking itself into
Leaving only the desert sun?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bono Preaches

short one

"Irresistible Revolution". Easy read. Killed me.

in short, quit bitching, quit talking, if you are reading this you are wealthy beyond most of the world. Do something. Go out and do something for your neighbors, stay in and do something for your family, or send money or spend time or whatever just quit using your air and time to be mean, complacent, or selfish and just do something. If you are doing it or have done it or even if you think this is stupid, enjoy Jesus-and I mean that.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cross Removal Costs College $12 Million Donation

"Advocates of keeping the cross in Wren Chapel pointed to the school's founding 300 years ago as an institution of the Anglican Church. The cross, they argued, should be displayed not only as a symbol of faith but as an acknowledgment of history and tradition.
Nichol's supporters say the school, which has been public since 1906, is obligated to make people of different faiths feel comfortable."

The tension: money vs. principle, humanism vs. Christ - The groaning continues.

And the Psalms Continue

I don't have any angst to bring today. I was called melancholy last night and thats okay, its out of the edge of my own personal comfort blanky to get up in our church sanctuary and lead a discussion - much easier to do in a small setting. Thats the closest I could get to angst. It is joy (oh no the j word, for lack of a better term or shallow vocab or something) to have the kind of evening I did yesterday. We had some good discussion on the Psalms, Longfellow, revelation (the word, not the book), and response. I was able to share the story I told in yesterday's post, which some liked and I'm sure some felt uneasy about.

Men's group was full of lively discussion and I'd like to share it here but can't. My own personal agenda lately has been marriage, family, and life and the preservation of those but in spite of my own agenda and my compelling arguments I was humbled and took my seat again as a student of Jesus who never has anything figured out.

The pinnacle of the evening was spent with my wife as she shared with me her day with the children (I barely get to see them on Wednesdays).

My daughter (5) loves to sing as many little ones that age do. I've never heard her make up a song but apparently last night she did. She made up some song about a little fish and Jesus and swim, swim, swiming against the stream -thats all my wife could remember. Anyway, her teacher asked Leslie if she had a tape or CD or something so the rest of the class could learn it because she'd never heard it and it fit right in to her lesson, etc. Leslie had no idea where the song came from so she just said she'd check with my daughter and see if she could help out. When asked about the song my daughter said she didn't remember it and ask her again tomorrow because she might then. I asked her to sing it this morning and it wasn't there. Like a butterfly it had spent its beauty in its short life and now was nothing more than a half-memory for my wife and a few words on a screen for me.