Thursday, June 24, 2004

do this

i just finished a very different experience. i attended the vespers service at the church of fools. it's an internet church out of england that has twice daily services and a more extended time of worship on sundays. it's almost like the sims go to church.

the service lasted about 15 minutes and included prayers, responses, readings from the old testament, and the passing of the peace. i wasn't sure how it would all work, but it really was a time of worship. the most amazing moment was praying the lord's prayer together "in whatever version we were comfortable with". i watched the prayer prayed in english, spanish and dutch -- pretty cool.

it's a pretty impressive environment they have created. you can walk around and interact with the environment (icons, other sites to look at, etc) and with the people around you. i had a couple of good conversations with people from holland and wales and nyc. there are also the obligatory atheist / agnostic types who want to fight (and who find plenty of dogmatic folks to go with them) - apparently at one point a week or so ago a guy climbed into the pulpit and claimed to be satan and started preaching -- that's a little different than what goes on at fbc whereever (i think).

anyway. the vespers service happens at 5pm oklahoma time. i think the morning one is at 1:30am our time. if you go i'd love to know what you think about the experience.

wild days we live in

i don't know if anyone cares about this stuff but

there are some new pictures of saturn's moon pheobe from the cassini probe that is approaching saturn. beautiful is probably not the appropriate word, but amazing works.

lot more pics at the nasa site

don't know if it's worth it or not, but it's cool.

adjusting my pocket protector

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

rolling through my head

To know life in every breath - Last Samurai
Get busy living or get busy dying - Shawshank Redemption
Every man dies, not every man really lives - Braveheart

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. - Ferris Bueller's Day Off

They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse." That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Dead Poet's Society

"Because", Morrie continued, "most of us all walk around as if we're sleepwalking. We really don't experience the world fully, because we're half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do." - Tuesdays with Morrie

Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre

Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. - Mark Twain

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essentials facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I want to live deep and suck the marrow out of life!
- Henry David Thoreau

but I have come that they might have life. More and better life than they ever dreamed of - Jesus (john 10:10 from the message)

Still rolling around the whole living v. breathing thing. Man I want to live.

Monday, June 21, 2004

here is an amazing thought

right now somewhere in china a woman is pregnant. she is carrying a baby girl. she doesn't know it, but i do. that little girl is going to be born, abandoned, found, placed in an orphanage, and some day in the not too distant future matched with my family. we'll get on a plane, fly half-way around the world, and pick up our new baby girl. none of us knows the other yet, but that girl will be (is?) my daughter. wow.

God, take care of her until we can get there.

happy father's day to all to whom it applies

Friday, June 18, 2004

how's this for a quote

Though it may not seem like it at face value, pastors are persecuted in North America, and I don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that it is far worse than in seemingly more hostile countries. Our culture doesn't lock us up; it simply and nicely castrates us, neuters us, and replaces our vital parts with a nice and smiling face. And then we are imprisoned in a mesh of "necessities" that keep us from being pastors.

This is from eugene peterson's (the Message Bible guy) book The Unnecessary Pastor.

i can testify to what he's saying. what he doesn't say that i would go ahead and add is that in a lot (most?) situations, the people doing the persecuting are the happy (?) smiling faces in the pews. i think by and large the general culture doesn't give much thought to pastors unless they run off with the church lock box (or secretary) or when they go goofy and start screaming from the steps of a courthouse in alabama. the church culture, however, has created a lovely little purpose-driven box for its leaders and woe be unto them if they try to step out of it (trust me on this one).
i have spent a lot of time thinking about what my role is as pastor of Jacob's Well and i'm still not sure i have it right. i do know that i am to be a part of the community, not hovering over it, and that i am also to take on a role of responsibility for the direction and growth of our community. but i'm not supposed to do it alone and i'm not supposed to be afraid of or intimidated by or pushed around by the people who make up my community. we are developing a mutual consent that i don't get a box - they don't give me one and i don't create my own. sometimes that provides frustration but most of the time it allows for a degree of fluidity for me and also makes it possible for others in the community to take on some of the roles of "pastor" as well. face it -- some people do things better than i do and they should be the ones doing them. could they "mess it up"? yep. is God big enough to sustain us messing some things up? boy i hope so.

anyway. i thought the quote was pretty much right on.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

time well wasted

if you have way too much time on your hands (or even if you don't and just want another convenient way to waste it), you need to check out reasonably clever. especially worth checking out are the lego creators. some samples

i'm willing to bet you can't guess which one kenda did.

anyway. i apologize in advance for work not completed due to your lego creating.

have fun.

Monday, June 07, 2004

an almost scary random thought

did you know that the pledge of allegiance to the christian flag does not include the words "under God"? whoa.

don't ask me how i got there

Saturday, June 05, 2004

i had to share

i was reading dwight friesen's journal and came across this post. it's too good to try and just describe, so here it is.

Yesterday in a session with a spiritual directee our conversation led us to explore Divine punctuation. Gracie Allen once said, "Never put a period where God puts a comma." We seem to endlessly edit God’s text. Maybe God’s story is meant to be the ultimate run-on-sentence punctuated with commas, semicolons and the occasional underscoring.

Make a fist and look at it... really study it. Your fist probably looks like a point, a dot, or a period, open your hand and it’s a comma; the former is closed the latter is receptive. God seems to turn periods into commas. Oswald Chambers once said, "Sometimes it looks like God is missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see what He's aiming for." Think of the book of Acts in the Second Testament, Jesus ascends to the Father – period? no comma. Christ’s followers are afraid cloistered in a room in corner of Jerusalem – period? no, comma. The fledgling community mourns the death of Stephen – period? no, another comma. Peter is imprisoned, Paul is shipwrecked, the book of Acts itself comes to an end – period? no, comma and comma and comma; conjunction, conjunction, conjunction; and, and, and, and,

So how do to reconcile Divine grammar of the never-ending comma with our need or desire for closure? Might redemption ultimately look like re-opening the things in our lives we closed with a period? Maybe closure involves living into and owning our pain, hurts and disappoints? Maybe grace is living into God’s comma; and in so doing our story finds its rightful place and hopeful meaning.

In this way we may be correct is saying that life is pointless, it is without a point, without a period, without a fist. Life becomes open commas of relationality, conjunctive and connective in Godlove.

here's to commas

Friday, June 04, 2004

the things we do for love

ok. i went to my daughter's dance recital tonight. i don't know what you think of when you think dance recital (do you ever think dance recital?), but this was like my worst dance recital nightmare on steroids and acid at the same time. first, let me say that hannah was beautiful and wonderful and her dances were cute and sweet and perfect for 5 year old girls. not to mention that she was the best one and will probably be receiving a phone call from...i suddenly realized i don't know who it would be good for dancers to receive a call from, probably a good thing for me.

anyway. in spite of my daughter's wonderfulness - which should be a given - i was looking around before the event began (and event it was) and thinking about how this might be the place on earth where i am the most out-of-place. that got me wondering where else might be in contention for that honor so i am calling on you, my friends who know me well and who don't know me at all to help me think of out-of-place places for me. use the comments below to put me out-of-place. enjoy.

she really was great.

great article on brennan manning

check out this article from christianity today. if you aren;t in love with him by the end of it, you may not be paying attention.

one quote
He's been there—or, to put it more accurately—he is there, traveling this road daily, never too far from a character he calls the Imposter. Everyone's got one. It's "the slick, sick, and subtle impersonator of my true self." The persona craves to be liked, loved, approved, accepted, to fit in. "It's the self that refuses to accept that my true self, centered in Christ, is really more likeable, more attractive, and more real than the fallen self."

go read the article and then buy his book ragamuffin gospel.

trust me on this one

Thursday, June 03, 2004

only the yankees

would try to take cracker jack out of their stadium and replace it with crunch and munch. further proof that george steinbrenner is the devil.

thankfully the fans went nuts (as only yankees fans can) and order has been restored.

"buy me some peanuts and crunch and munch" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

spend some time here

take a minute or ten to check out afterlife. it is not a "christian" site. this guy photographed a cemetary in england for two years and these are some of the results. the visuals and other sensory elements are great. be sure to mouse over the images to interact with them.