Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Out on my front porch tonight this spider is building the Taj Mahal. It easily covers 35-40 square feet. It goes from roof to roof across the entry way and stretches almost to the ground. You could catch a bear in this thing. This spider is rolling back and forth across it with no real idea of how impressive the night's work is to those of us who admired it tonight.
Why is he doing it? Why expend so much energy on something that will be destroyed tomorrow by the wind or a bird or (probably) my wife? This marvel exists only because its creator knows somehow that the larger the web spreads, the better chance of catching what it needs to survive.
So I'm thinking about living like that tonight, that's what I want to do. I want to spread my arms and my life to the point that I can't help but catch all that living has. Catch all of life and love and God that I possibly can. I want to swing from precarious places. I want to participate in creating beauty and never sweat that it might all be gone with a sudden gust of wind. I want to do all that I can to increase my chances of catching what I need to go beyond surviving and into life.
I can't muster up cynical tonight. I'm sure it will find it's way back, but this feels good for now.
Off to watch more of the show.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'm going to get back in the habit of posting.
Thoughts on our trek to China.
Thoughts from the China book list.
Thoughts on turning 35

Until then.

walmart -- bastion of philanthropy

OK let me get this straight.
WalMart is going to donate one million dollars each to the salvation army and red cross for hurricane relief. Or about fifty cents per victim. Or all of their earnings for one five minute stretch. At the same time they are going to "accept customer donations" at all of their stores. So they are going to donate a million dollars and then allow people to come in, spend millionS of dollars in their stores on items to donate and then take those items back in order to get them to the people who need them. I guarantee you at the end of this there will be some statement about the millions of dollars in donations given "through" WalMart.
From the WalMart site.
More than 80 Wal-Mart stores are currently closed in the Gulf Coast states, but the company's Emergency Operations Center is working 24/7 with its southeast distribution centers - all standing by as the storm passes to send truckloads of product to communities as stores re-open.
Translation - we're closed right now, but we'll be ready to take your money as soon as you are allowed back in to give it to us.
Everyone stop lobbying for my humanitarian of the year vote. It's all wrapped up in blue.

You can click here to give to help out the Red Cross (without WalMart's help)

Not quite speechless

Friday, August 26, 2005

why i'm not a good parent

I haven't bought Rebekah one of these.
Although I must say, it wins the award for best-named baby thing of the year.
My favorite part of the explanation/guilt trip --
The damage to a falling toddler's hands and knees can be an acceptable form of pain for learning but a head injury can be traumatic for both infant and parent.


dear pat robertson

On behalf of every person on earth who is trying to follow Jesus and engage their world with the love and life and story of God, would you please shut up? I and others are sick of having to answer for your insanity. You have said we deserved 9/11, you have called "activist" judges "worse than terrorists", you have claimed God spoke to you about the "landslide" victory of 'W' (guess God has a different definition of landslide), you said we should nuke our own intelligence service. I have no idea what book you are reading from or what voices you are listening to. Perhaps it is time to step down (too late for gracefully) and let the last 10 or 20 people who still hang on your every word move on with their lives. It is definitely time for you to come on a show that people actually watch and apologize with a measure of sincerity and humility (you can look those words up in your concordance). I won't go so far as to pray for your "removal" (as you have done and encouraged others to do for the removal of certain Supreme Court Justices that you don't like), but I will be glad to donate a dollar or two to your retirement fund. I bet there are a whole lot of people just like me who would be ready to do the same.
Thanks and Bon Voyage.
PS - Having a lackey type a clarification for your web site while you're napping simply doesn't count as an apology. Words mean things and once they're out you can't get them back. People who think following Christ is a joke because of you and your ilk won't be passing by your site to check out the latest on "Operation Supreme Court Freedom".

For all of you who aren't Pat Robertson, if you haven't seem Jon Stewart's take from the Daily Show, you must. You can find it here or here.

OK, I feel better now. On to happier things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

the fog of reentry

You know this scene from the Matrix? Where Neo takes the pill and is released. That's how I feel right now. Not like I've received some revelation that will shatter my image of reality, but more like I'm covered in goo and gasping for air. The last few days have been a blur of catching up on bills, emails, business stuff, and life punctuated by screams of pain and/or fear at three in the morning from our desperately trying to adjust one-year old daughter.
There's much I want to say about China, our new life, church, and the world, but right now it is all coming out jumbled and goo-covered.
Just a couple more days to catch my breath and then I'll make sense. At least as much as I ever have.
Grace and peace to other goo-saturated gaspers.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

happy birthday hannah!

I cannot believe you are seven years old! In my mind you are still the little girl riding on my shoulders in Colorado in that picture by my desk. Even with that picture in my mind, when I watch you, I can see the amazing person you are and are becoming. From princess to tomboy and back again so fast it makes my head spin.
I'm so proud of how creative you are and how giving you are and how much you work to take care of people. I love every card and present you make for me and for everyone else. I love every kiss and hug and joke and conversation. I love the signs all over the house for shows and parties and celebrations that you throw. I love what a great big sister you are. I love your passion and the way you work so hard at everything you do. I love to hear you sing and watch you dance and be around while you are creating. Of everyone I know, you are the most constant expression of our being made in the image of a Creator.
I love you baby girl. Happy birthday.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

too many things to keep up with

Between rebekah's blog and posting our pictures on Flickr, there's not much time to psot anything here. At least for now.
I'll try to put some thoughts here after we get to Nanchang and get Rebekah, but for now follow the journey on the other spaces.

Monday, August 01, 2005

and away we go

Ten hours from now we'll be in the air on our way to Minneapolis and Tokyo and Beijing. The next 36 hours will be a blur of airports, planes, airline food, skipped days, and moving closer. I'm hoping to at least be able to fire off a note from each of our stops (the blog doesn't get out much, so it's very excited).
For today, everything was packed up so early in the day we took off for a last "american" meal (at a mexican place) and caught a movie. Early to bed and then away we go.
A friend who got her daughter about 5 months ago emailed K today and said, "Right about now you are focusing on getting to China and have pushed being a new mom to the back of your mind." She nailed it. In the midst of all of the getting ready, I haven't stopped a lot to think through being a dad again. That feels good. A dad. Again. In six days I will have my arms around the little girl who has been my daughter in my heart for longer than she has graced the planet.
sounds good to me.

speaking of old friends

I got to have breakfast with John from Kansas City Saturday. It is so good to spend time with people with whom you have history. In this midst of talking about all kinds of things, we moved through a conversation about when we took part in leading worship together for different things at chbc. Some of those nights it didn't matter if there was another soul in the room (some of those nights there weren't many other souls in the room), there was just something about going after Jesus with everything we could have and offering what we could to that pursuit. To that, though, there was the addition of playing and singing with people who lived in community together. Those strong connections to each other caused us to be more vulnerable and open in our expression and I think we also challenged each other to run faster after God. There is something about the community of friends that heightens those moments. Playing and singing and going after Jesus with that group of friends is really the only part of my life before Jacob's Well that I miss. That's not to lessen anything from JW. We have that same connectedness when we come together and I wouldn't trade what we have for anything. But there are some days when I think about how great it would be to get "the band" back together for just a night or two.

Lots of old friends in my world this weekend. Just great stuff.
while strains of "Memory" lift in the background