Tuesday, December 18

Absolutely Rediculous! (Especially if you are, or were ever, homeschooled)

...And yet, so true.


You must see this movie! You really must. Kathryn has done a tremendous job on her blog Shrewsbury's Whimsy in really getting to the heart of the matter. I can not explain how the movie impacted me nearly as well. What I can say though is that it is so powerful and speaks to me in a way that no movie ever has. It portrays the humanness of this world in all of its glorious depravation. When you need to be reminded that human life is sacred, no matter how fallen we are, go see this movie. Hint: it would make a great birthday present for me if it comes out by March.

Friday, December 7

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I highly recommend this book. Especially if you are the least bit interested in where your food comes from, or ever wonder why the American standard of quantity over quality is the de facto rule. Interestingly, when the book was finished it was the back cover that caught my eye for the last finishing touch.

Mark Danner, who is the author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror, praised Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) stating: "...the happy reader could almost miss the profound truth half hidden at the heart of this beautiful book: that the reality of our politics is to be found not in what Americans do in the voting booth every four years but in what we do in the supermarket every day. Embodied in this arrestable, picaresque journey through America's food world is a profound treatise on the hidden politics of our every day life."

This really is a gem of a statement. And yes, it does come from an avowed humanist, but Truth is reflected in many places. Consider as '08 approaches...do you think that the hope of our Nation rests on the voting booth? Or is it what we do every day...at home, at work, at school, in the kitchen, with friends, etc. I am convinced that it is the latter, and yeah, that seems somewhat small and insignificant on a Friday night...But if you think about it, would the Divine, who has wrapped the rest of creation up into a fabulous mystery have it any other way?

Thursday, November 29

Birthday Ball

Who gets a ball for their birthday but the Marines? Reminded every year that their corps spirit was invoked in 1775 raises many an oohrah and grunts of jovial amen. All kinds of devils are stirred with the flowing of new wine and sparkling spirits through the course of the evening. They're called Devil Dogs by more than the Germans; their wives know what they are before they ever hit the war zone.

Like tonight, it's a good time to chat with friends, listen to ceremonial speeches and get a dance in to digest our buffet dinner served by the long suffering waitresses. Semper Fi. Goodnight.

Friday, November 9

movie marathon

We watched another movie based on the books of Elizabeth Gaskell. "North and South" is rather dark and dreary in 19th century England, during the cotton mill expansion, but the story such a production of fine work. The characters are a contrast of soft and strong willed people. The contentious relationship between a clergyman's daughter, Margaret, and the stern tradesman, Mr Thornton provide the firey backbone of the novel, while the social conditions of the factory workers is examined in light of the caring friendships Margaret finds with one family in particular--the leader of the worker's union. Like her other book-become-movie, "Wives and Daughters," I find a happy similarity between Ms Gaskell and Jane Austen, whose characters come readily to life on the screen.

Tuesday, November 6


Watching the movie "True Lies" last night, I'm reminded how much work goes into making one little piece of one film by experiencing how much work it takes to train one pilot to man the machine. In the final stages of the movie, two Harriers fly in to save the day by blowing up a bridge, which takes about 5 minutes of show time. But they didn't hire professional actors for the fly by; these guys were normal Harrier pilots from Cherry Point who probably took out a whole day of tedious preparation to perform one, tiny impressive feat of flying, and are then left behind to gaze in sceptical disbelief as Schwartzenegger hauls off in one of their birds. At any rate, the movie has numerous other good points, highly worth viewing.

Meanwhile, Kermit's down in the no-man's land of the desert dropping 500-pounders before the quiet audience of cacti and tarantulas. He cooks pasta in his room on a counter-top burner and shares space with a fellow who shares his name and they are both wise to the ways of looking after their wives from afar who need daily proof of their love.

Sunday, October 21

People Matter...

Really... they do. You would not believe this statement as you drive down the highway, stand in line at the market, read the news, or toil at work. The human is now a limiting factor in the equation of business, politics, warfare, and even religion.

I am continuously burdened at my work by the way that I am not treated like I matter. And, I am not trying to be selfish, or say that "hey, what about me." But you know what I am talking about. I even have the "privilege" (if you can call it that)of working for an organization that prides itself on caring for its people...and they do, it's just that their idea of caring for people is not based upon the reality of being human. And yes, this bothers me...I have a tough time with it...it makes me tired...all the time.

However, every now and then I get a glimpse of the Glorious eternity that God has in store for us...and that glimpse comes through community. Community comes in many forms, but what is especially meaningful to me is the community that I share with close friends. Electra and I have been blessed with an albeit small, but heavily concentrated community of phenomonal friends. These folks have become family and in doing so have opened themselves up to us in a way that exposes both themselves and us as well in a vulnerable manner. We laugh, cry, drink fine wine, and LIVE together.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his small, but influential book LIFE TOGETHER remarks that "Christ lived in the midst of HIs enemies. So the Christian too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life, but in the thick of foes." How I wish that I could live the cloistered life! But that is not where I am called to be right now...maybe later...But how important it is therefore to gather community around you! Bonhoeffer goes on to say that "Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this. Whether it be a brief, single encounter or the daily fellowship years, Christian community is only this. We belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ." Isn't that freeing!

It is through the Covenant relationships that we have been blessed with that enables the sacrament of Communion becomes most real. The sharing of life through death has become real. As we bear one anothers burdens we die unto ourselves and recieve the life giving reality of freindship. Though we live in a fallen world, and all here is lost. It is the moments with close friends that are shared through good times and bad, great conversation, and babies crying that we are able to glimpse eternity and be reminded that yes...Virginia, people really do matter.

#1 Mistake

With the change of the sun's course this month, our rose bed dominated by an original holly bush has turned into a dungeon. Kermit noticed the new sun pattern last week. I got the first big, very pictoral book on "landscaping with roses" I could find in the library and discovered: yes, #1 priority is a minimum of 6 hours of full sun. So...they survived a hot summer root bound in a pot in teh back yard of the feed store only to be stuck in a damp, dark bed next to a nubian holly bush, waving their spotty leaves at me and crying "we're not (quite) dead yet!" Project Rescue the Ramblers ensues tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my boss at work has been in charge of catering a party of 200 for a well-respected elderly gentleman in the local community. The family hired a friend to do the planning, and because said friend needed to be out of town next week, she had all the plans laid for this Sunday. The dying man went off liquids; they say he'll go any day now. My boss wonders all Saturday: to cook or not to cook? What happens if he's not dead yet by Sunday afternoon? A funereal preception? Well, we might as well invite the dear man to his own funeral. How many of us will enjoy such an opportuity when we dare to importune others by clinging on to our nearly-dead frames?

Tuesday, October 16

Some Images of the History

From Capon's The Fingerprints Of God:

"Only the logic of the imagination can fathom the parables-or the Bible itself, for that matter. Think of it this way. The house of human discourse has many floors; but in our time, we live entirely in the basement of propositional logic. Down there, we're surrounded by TV commercials, talk shows, police procedurals, hospital dramas, situational comedies, newspapers, radio, magazines, and Internet chitchat- every one of which inundates us with cellar talk. To be sure, every now and then a novel or a poem may invite us upstairs to experience the sunlight of imagery. But that's too much brightness for us. Soon enough, we run back down to bask under the fifteen-watt bulb of literalism. Imagery isn't just hard for us to look at; the eyes of our mind are blind to it. And as a result, we're blind to Scripture as well, because, as I've said, it's the images of Scripture that make it whole. The Bible, if you will, lives in the upper rooms of the house of discourse. It has, of course, its propositional moments, its times in the basement of language where it hangs up the socks and underwear of revelation. But its major thread, the grand clothesline on which it displays the principle garments of salvation, lies exclusively in the realm of imagery".

Sunday, October 7


The roses went into the ground yesterday! Our front-entry garden is taking shape and new character, with the addition of lavender, coreopsis, Japanese daisies, and some viney ground covers. One rose is a climber with wide-open, sweet-smelling blooms, Don Juan, and the other is a bushy, purply-leaved Mocking Bird in name and varigated pink in bloom. Thanks and ongoing dedication goes to Mama Linda for the adoption of these beauties into the garden family. I hope Don Juan climbs right on up the front railing next year, to droop a nodding head of welcome to guests of the little castle!

Saturday, September 22

domestic disbelief

Along with charming fall sun-shining through the irridecent leaves weather, we find our not-so-charming inner child selves tossed to and fro on the winds of change. The household becomes a bomb shelter, or perhaps a tiny tower of Babel, where we thought we had it all together and found instead our likemindedness to be a volatile weakness. What sloughs of despond, what crystal peaks of wonder--shake our skeletal frames! Therefore, young children, beware the sunny winds of September.

Wednesday, September 19

In the fall of the year

As the fall equinox steals up on the calendar, our very skin dances gleefully with goose bumps when the days grow dark with cool nights. Our Saturday beach trip will lose its savour when we shiver in the sandy wind. Alas, we must trade our boogey boards for clippers and turn to the bare-leggy garden, where trimming and pruning might provoke a few more bright blooms.

Saturday, September 15

New Blogs!

You will notice that we recently added two new blogs to our links on the right side of the page. The first is our friend Bonnie who is blogging on "Being Transformed". Additionally, our cousin Aaron, who is an accomplished writer and has earned a very well respected name for himself in the Texas Naturalist/Biology circles is blogging on "A Water Wilderness".


Wednesday, September 12

To Fly The Mean Machine

This past Monday marked a big day for Boards...he finally soloed the AV-8B Harrier. Normally, a solo is really not that big of a deal. Of course it is a privilege to take out a jet by yourself without an instructor putting you through your paces, but this was definitely a different story. In most aircraft you solo within a few days of flight training, not so with the Harrier. It is an aircraft that takes months to learn how to fly...and not fly well...but just learn to fly.

This is a great step for me as it means that my time as a fledgling neophyte are nearing an end. The Tactical world is now upon me and so are greater and meaner challenges.

Thursday, September 6

Summer's End

While certain sections of the country have been dealing with a long, hot summer, we in eastern North Carolina have had a rather pleasant run of the season as far as summers go. No, we have not been sitting around in our jackets as some folks would have us believe we did in the days before "global warming"...interesting note, I have always remembered summers as being hot, sometimes really hot....But I digress.
Here we have had rain, a front to cool things off for a few days every few weeks, and the cool sea breezes in the evening to put an end to the humid heat of the day.

This past weekend we had our first taste of cool air for the new season. What a refreshing change a shift in wind direction can bring. With evening lows in the sixties the stars seem to blaze a little happier. The bugs sing louder, fly further; the yards are graced with yellow butterflies, flitting hummingbirds, and the evening woods are prowled by hungry coyotes, letting us know that humans are not the only creatures enjoying the new weather.

This pleasant change in weather brings for me new ideas. There is plenty of work to do on the house as it cools down and new garden plans are being laid that will make for perfect Saturday afternoon chores.

Tuesday, August 14

Christians who oppose drinking on moral grounds believe they have a chance to win, however small

"And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side." -Johnny Cash "The Man In Black

It vexes me greatly when Christians pretend to be religious.

Monday, August 13

thinking on death and evil

Having finished Capon's Genesis, the Movie, I'm left mulling over his principal hypotheses.

"The God who holds good and evil as an ecology not only tolerates evil--he takes full responsibiility for it." (310)

"...for all biblical and practical purposes, Satan is the alter Ego of the great I AM." (310)

"Men and women alike, we're all pregnant with death from the moment we're born....But God turns even our impregnation with death into his promise of life." (321)

"God loves death because he's made it the engine of all life; every new something rises out of the same lovely nothing that's always been his cup of tea." (346)

And finally:

"...the Bible never promises us a half-death in which our mortal body goes to corruption in the ground but our imperishable soul floats up to God on its own steam. Instead, it promises us that when we die, both soul and body will go back into the nothing out of which they were made. and when we rise, the Word who brought us out of nothing to begin with will simply do the same trick again--because while we've lost everything, he's never lost us." (346)

And God, Capon says, can put up with the evil along with the good because "God likes our being no matter what we do with it....Even in our sins, our fondness for our own existence remains a witness to the divine Fondness that holds us extra nihil and extra causas--outside nothing and outside our causes....[he likes]the being of everything more than its behaviour." (331)

Sunday, July 29

sacred grounds

One of the first things that Electra and I seek out when we either move or visit a new town is the local coffee shop..the next is the local pub, but that is a later post. Coffee shops are where we go to meet the locals, discover new music, study, read, journal, and oh yes, drink coffee.

Pictured are our favorite east coast shops. In no particular order we have:
Trent River Coffee Company: New Bern, NC
Ocracoke Coffee Company: Ocracoke, NC
City Dock Coffee: Annapolis, MD

Monday, July 16

Shelf Life

Tuesday, July 10

Current Listening

Tuesday, June 26

Our Newest baby is Home

I know that Sweet Pea is a bit Country and Cliche....but she is...my little Sweet Pea. If it makes you feel any better, I also call her my little P-Dizzle....fo shizzle.

Thursday, June 14

Global Warming= Loss of Global Freedom?

I found this piece while looking through the Financial Times. This article is bar none the best I have read on the current global warming debate. It is not a scientific treatise, nor is it an emotional plea. It is instead an article written by Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, who has risen through the mud and the muck of world politics and has actually been able to call a spade a spade.

At first I was surprised to see an article like this coming from an Eastern European; but as I thought about it, I realised that this man is among the most qualified as he has seen freedom taken away from the masses based on the whims of a few. I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor will I ever be one, but I become disgruntled when the "enlightened" feel that it is their job to govern the rest of us. Mr. Klaus stated that "Instead of speaking about "“the environment”", let us be attentive to it in our personal behaviour." In this I most wholeheartedly agree. For if we are not disciplined with the liberties we have, there are those who always be ever anxious to take them away.

Saturday, June 9


Human Trafficing

The Pursuit of Happyness

Little Children

Watch these movies and consider (not all in one night--one in a week was fast enough for us) these pictures in light what Robert Capon says on the coinherence of God. He likes to open up the real world behind these film-worlds. Starting with the Athansian creed, we are to know that "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three Gods but one God."

Capon expounds upon the mystery of coinherence: "this coinherence...rubs off on the world that the Trinity brings forth. When God creates man in his own image, for instance ('man,' just to remind you, is the 'adham, male and female), he makes us into beings totally in love with mutual indwelling, with walking into, with dancing into relationships at every turn of our lives. For one thing, he's made us positively wild about turning two people into 'one flesh' in marriage. For another, he's made us just as driven to implicate ourselves in friendships, families, towns, cities, and states. He's made a sociable world....The whole natural order--from the nearest grain of sand to the farthest star--is just as much an image of the mutual indwelling of the Persons of the Trinity" (Genesis, the Movie, 30).

I especially like how he puts into words the "positively wild" bit about marriage.

Mere snippets of news

The Greeks have invaded the "conservative party" in the form not of a Trojan horse, but of the Goddess of Democracy. To warn us of the past and present terrors of communism around the world, a Victims of Communism Memorial was made by sculptor T. Marsh, mimicing one already in San Francisco.

It's about time someone set up a memorial to remind us of the "more than 100 million people who died in a terrible ideology's revolutions, wars, and purges" (National Review, 'A Goddess for Victims,' 5.28.07). What I find remarkable in this monument is her name, which belies either the national identity that we consider ourselves an humanistic, urbane, sophisticated people who no longer believe in God or the other identity in being an evangelical, law-abiding, idol-hating people who think we can actually save the world from heretics.

So, now we host in D.C. the little sister of the Statue of Liberty: introducing the Goddess of Democracy, who represents "a universal symbol of freedom, representing in majestic form the rights and aspirations of all women and men" (ibid). It is not my intent to direct your attention to the impending doom of Rome-like characteristics of the USA, or to the fanatisicm of either liberal or conservative parties at the Capitol. Neither do I desire for you draw a sharp intake of breath over the possibility of publically sanctioned belief in gods and goddesses. The explaination for these events lies in the ancient poetry of the venerable Asaph--am I stretching the Psalm here?--that when Athena, goddess of justice and wisdom, is called into our midst, God takes "his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgement...:
"How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
"Give justice to the weak
and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted
and the destitute.
"Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from
the hand of the wicked" (82:1-4).

Wednesday, May 30

quoting and thinking

"I'm not sitting here at my computer, for example, because I was here ten minutes ago--or because once upon a time my parents gave me being. I'm here because right now God is bringing me out of nothing into being. And so it is with you, and your dog, and your shoes, and everything else in the universe." ~Robert F. Capon.

Considering the fact that we are dependant upon no other person nor force for our existence, we are pleased to be found in the present state of accumilating post-ex nihilo stuff for our household. If our furniture exists in the mind of God before it enters our house, then o how full are all those blank walls and corners and kitchen floors! We spent all of Memorial Day discovering the store that boasted on cartoonish banners "CLEARANCE SALE" "MEMORIAL DAY SALE" "END OF SEASON SALE." We entered with the wariness of purchasers who have precious hard earned money to spend and the scepticism of penny pinchers practicing hard to please. A hour later, we left the store with refreshing hope and the happiness of a vision. We saw pub tables around which to host our friends, rugs combining the antiquity of wool fibers with modern abstract colour, and a salesman we could trust (even with all our inexperienced youth). Thus, we experienced into the future the idea of possessions held in existence even now until we should pile them into our truck bed and subject them to the beating of everyday life as we live in growing and changing community with our neighbours.

Saturday, May 26

More Thoughts On Postmodernity

Denis Haack, who along with his wife Margie, are the directors of Ransom Fellowship; a ministry that is committed to developing discernment and deepening discipleship within the Church.

Mr. Haack has written a very good response to a young lady who is struggling with the Church's lack of interaction with our Postmodern culture. He has mixed criticism with grace, and given sound wisdom we all would be wise to heed.

Friday, May 25

Blast From the Past

This should be a fun movie to watch...Jay was one of my upper-classmen at Annapolis. He yelled at me quite a bit during my Plebe year, and then flew with me quite a bit after.

Don't worry, he has has been made fun of amply for the "docudrama" being done on him.

Sunday, May 20

Postmodern Epistemology

We have both been enjoying the band Keane as of late. Keane is an eclectic mix of folk/alternative/new age rock that blends a fun mix of sounds that both cause one to think as well as be bolstered by their upbeat sounds.

One of their recent works, Under The Iron Sea, contains the song "Is it Any Wonder." Have a look at the lyrics:

"I always thought that I knew
I'd always have the right to
Be living in the kingdom of the good and true and so on
But now I think I was wrong
and you were laughing along
and now I look a fool for thinking you were on my side

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?
Is it any wonder that I don't know what's right?

Sometimes it is hard to know where I stand
It's hard to know where I am
Well maybe it's a puzzle I don't understand
Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm
stranded in the wrong time
Where love is just a lyric in a children's rhyme

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?
Is it any wonder that I don't know what's right?

This song is a great example of how post modern thought is so prevalent in the very ideas and lyrics of our culture. And so, it is imperative that we, the Church, understand where our friends are coming from and thus be able to provide the answers to what is right, show a reason to stand, and show that there really is a kingdom of the good and true. Indeed, we should not just have the answers, but live the answers.

Friday, May 18

What I am thinking right now.

Friday, May 11

the unthanked guest

I remember it every time I look at the photo of my groom and me on my dresser. In a frame of Waterford crystal with a wavy heart pattern (as if saying "may waves of love wash over your hearts when worn and weary as on this heart-warming day"), the picture is held secure. The giver is entirely unknown, the casulty of a war with Bed, Bath and Beyond tissue and their complementary, miniscule gift tags. Maybe we'll meet again when in conversation with some old family friend, they mention how they always give crystal frames to newlyweds and surely we have one in our permanent decor?

Thursday, May 10

Joyful Living

Living joyously and expectantly are just two of the ways that we as Christians are called to fulfill our cultural mandate. Unfortunately we really don't do a good job worshipping our Lord joyfully. How to adequately celebrate events such as the Sabbath is a question that is deserving of much contemplation. I found this website on Greg Wilbur's blog. While it does not answer all of my questions, it does give me a good start.

Tuesday, May 8

On The Other Hand...

Do you notice how often folks are asked to apologize for things these days? I mean, there are always news events reported on that are demanding an apology for some offense taken. (Imus anyone?) What good does this apology do for us, or for the offended? The party line would state that confession is good for the soul and that the individual, or peoples, or ethnic group, et al who have been apologized to feel better.

At best, this is a half truth. At worst, a gross lie. If you really think about it true repentance can only mean that the time for the repair of one's life is over and you are in greater need of an embalmer than a physician. Robert Capon mentions in his book Between Noon and Three that it is "simply pointless to confess to anybody unless you are either prepared to stay dead or be sure that the person you are dealing with is capable of, and committed to, raising the dead. Anyone committed to less than that will just insist, glumly or gladly, on shoveling dirt onto your coffin".

However, does this mean that we should not apologize for committing a wrong? No...because of Grace. Grace has died, is dying, and will die for our life. Our omissions kill, and our joy consequently comes from Another. Consequently, unless we accept the forgiveness of the One who is able to raise the dead, our confessions are worthless. They become nothing more than the last desperate gasps of western civilization as she tries to hold on to some false morality.

Sunday, May 6

Look: it's "sweet pinky nose"!

Saturday, April 28

the birth mom

Meet Tinkerbell, the first-time mom of five puppies. We are not only honoured to be on the exclusive family list of adoptees, but happy to find that Tink gave birth to two extra pups for us to choose from. The roly-poly white girl in the middle is the one we plan to introduce as Herbie's new sister in a mere 8 weeks! This baby's going to need designer sweaters and daisy leashes in her wardrobe.

Wednesday, April 25


We live in a cul-de-sac. A space known as a dead end also used as a basketball court. Ours is conducive to the idealised notion of neighbourliness otherwise known as community and often feared as nosiness. Our neighbours are known for their love of gossip, yet are busy enough to keep from knocking down our door for attention.

We meet over yard work. As one of us plants a flower bed or rummages about weeding, the others are looking on and wander over to exclaim over the new salvia bushes and admire with generous envy the colourful fruits of our labours. This very afternoon, Kermit dug out holes for the lavender, sage and thyme in the front beds while I potted English ivies and Gerber dasies for the front porch. Herbie watches and chews up plastic planters as he awaits the true climax of his day: a walk to the Little Beach.

Sunday, April 1

Right Here, Right Now

Electra and I had a great discussion this afternoon regarding the manner in which God has brought us to be in our relationship with Him. I in particular have a very difficult time looking back at the personal failings in my life and accepting God's faithfullness and forgiveness through it all. I know that I was never the good Christian that I was expected to be. But I am okay with that now. I am ok with the fact that I never fit in with the evangelical cool crowd. I am ok with the fact that I was the only one not praying in tongues. I am ok with the fact that I never had praise filled reports of how God was working in my life. I am ok with the fact that I had failed relationships before I got married. I am ok with all of this because I know that when God looks at me, He sees His Son standing in my stead. And I am definitely ok with the fact that God is constantly in the process of redeeming us, restoring us, creating, and forgiving us.

I never will be a part of the evangelical cool crowd...in fact, I never want to be. I want to be, in the words of Joseph Arthur "Redemption's Son." I want to rest in the fact that while I am constantly changing, God is constant.

In light of this I have found a prayer that rings true to my heart in the form of the suscipe of St. Ignacius: "Accept, oh Lord, my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I am and have, you have given me, and I give it all back to you to be governed by your will. Give me only the joy of your love, and the comfort of your grace; With these I am rich enough, and I ask for nothing more."

Thursday, March 29

More of the Song

Redemption Song

Picture Of The Day

Thanks Mom for the picture...more serious pictures...those of our completed work are forthcoming.

Tuesday, March 27

It's a done deal

Hear the angels singing over our Castle in the Garden: the last coat of paint went up in the entryway/stairwell. Kermit did most of it on an enormously tall (60'?) ladder and three coats later we have a milk-chocolate coloured hallway! Lots of pictures were taken along the way, so you'll get the visual tour soon.

Monday, March 19

Hurry up and....Paint!

Painting is our latest skill. Practiced daily, one finds that the walls take on a fresh look and forever alters that way you wake up in the morning. Anyone desiring a visit from us will have to pry us loose from the house like a barnacle from his rock. It's not going to be easy.

The cable guys came over last week at their appointed time and after rummaging around with furrowed brows for an hour, announced that our cable lines--the whole bunck of them--had been cut and they were stumped. Not knowing where the other possible lines could be, we got our real estate agent on the line (yes, ours is kindly accomodating) who got to the former owners who were able to tell us why, look right under the staircase. Why didn't I think of that?

Maybe next week we'll be writing from our own desk. The necessity of internet pushes us not further away from personal contact with our neighbours, but quite the contrary, has brought us into more visiting and testing of friendly boundaries than ever.

Monday, March 5


Today the movers finally came...three weeks after the left...but our internet is still 1.5 weeks away from connected. We hope to be back soon!

Friday, February 2

Genesis, the Movie

Robert Capon's book, a sort of Jacob to his Esau of a prequel entitled The Fingerprints of God is a gem with quotable philosophy:

"...the best theology is always a game of playing with language until it becomes an image of the Word beyond words."

Of Augustine, he quotes:
"[God] made things he already knew; he didn't have to wait till they were made in order to know them."

And this is but the introduction to a book about "watching the Bible as a tissue of images woven together by the Holy Spirit, not reading it as a handbook of theological, moral, or religious information."

I'm out of work for the semester, done with my list of 12 points to complete today before Kermit gets home from fishing down at the South Padre Isle and made the best double choc M&M cookies to date (5 batches later) and have only to enjoy dinner and minor grocery shopping before we crash on the couch for a $1 movie and rejoice that one more grey day in south Tejas draws to a dark moonlight close.

Monday, January 29

How Shall We Then Read?

Reading is not a passive affair. One can not read a romance and not be drawn in by the passion and desire of the two main characters. Likewise, one can not read an adventure and fail to not lose at least a few hours of sleep in finding out what happens next. And surely, when reading an instruction manual, one can not help being actively engaged. Whether the engagement takes on the form of anger and frustration, or the form of an epiphany...being passive is just not an option.

So what are we to make of the Bible. How do we read such a book? Is it a novel, romance, instruction manual, or adventure? I grew up seeing the characters in the Bible as soft little felt figures on a green background. I knew that that the figures had great things to teach me, but I did not see the direct application to my life. As I grew older I knew that I needed to read this Book, it needed to be the centerpiece of my quiet time. But the question remained...how? There are so many questions that the Bible does not answer. Often the what, why, and where is left out. And Jesus...occasionaly the way that He would reply to those who questioned Him would confuse the dickens out of me. It was obvious to me that He did not care what people thought of Him.

Now, I often meet three kinds of people who read the Bible. There are the conservatives who read it literally and consequently make rediculous laws for themselves and pollute the Christian bookstores with their lack of grace. Then there are the liberals. These folks allow for the Bible to be changed. They say..."well, I think what he meant was"... and..."surely Jesus would have just loved them"... Finally, I run into the capitalists. These guys are the smart ones. They know that God wants to bless us. You just have follow seven steps, lead the life you deserve, pray certain prayers...just like Jabez... Read MY book they say and all will be well with you. Right.

How we shall then read? With wisdom, in prayer, and under shepherding. The prayer I leave to you, but as far as wisdom and shepherding goes, I have some suggestions...You have to read more...for you literary geniuses this is the best news coming, for you King of the Hill junkies, this may be a problem.

Robert Farrar Capon's Genesis The Movie is a great place to start. Father Capon is a phenomonal writer, you feel as if you are sitting in his living room drinking wine and following all kinds of wonderful "rabbit trails" to find Truth. His approach is wise and witty. Here is a snippet:"Literalists and anti-literalists alike went forth conquering and to conquer. ""Truth itself is on the line"" they said, and ""and we're willing to die for it!"" But as it turned out, they didn't die for the Truth of Scripture (which went grandly on being whatever kind of truth that it pleased); they died in the trenches of their own narrowness-and they were buried in the commom ditch of literalism. That is what happens when you let your enemy choose the field of battle: even if you think you are winning, you are losing".

Second, buy The Act Of Bible Reading. This multi disciplinary approach to reading the Bible is worth its weight in gold.

Finally, to wrap it up, read C.S. Lewis's Reflections On The Psalms. This particular work is a challenge to modern evangelical Christians. It looks at the Psalms in a very non-traditional manner. Consider this: "The human qualities of the raw material show through. Naivete', error, contradicion, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ""the Word of God"" in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God; and we (under grace, with attention to tradition and to interpreters wiser than ourselves, and with the use of such intelligence and learning as we may have) recieve that word from it not by using it as an encyclopedia or an encyclical but by steeping ourselves in its tone or temper and so learning the overall message"".

This is a work in progress for me. I wish you well in your endeavors. But, as you "steep yourself in its tone and temper", I would ask for any insights you have gained, and of course, your prayers are coveted.

Wednesday, January 24

God In A Box

We Moderns are familiar with Nietzsche stating that "God is Dead", and in this statement we implicitly understand that there is not a "cosmic order" to things. I would venture further into our modern worldview and speculate that we modern Christians have done something far worse than kill God. We have placed God in a box.

The modern Christian Church has done a good job marketing to culture. We generally have good praise bands, excellent overhead projections to follow the words to worship on, practical, entertaining teaching, and well thought out verbage for post modern psycho analytical thought to assist in the teaching (read sarcasm here). However, for all of this the Church is still missing something of great importance. We are missing the culture. When the church doors open on Sunday morning our Theology is left in the pew and lies forgotten until Wednesday evening.

The result is a seperation between the sacred and the secular. No longer is it God's creation, but a fallen world that Christians are not to involve themselves in. And why should we? According to modern evangelical thought, the world is ending soon any way. Accordingly, there is not a clear Theologically driven desire to engage the culture via music, art, politics, business, movies, etc, etc. Sadly, what follows is children raised in Christian homes who are schizophrenic. Not sure of what Truth is, these children, the post-moderns, live in a constant state of confusion trying to decipher what is Truth, reason, or just plain emotion.

Perhaps this is most obvious to many of those who watched the President's State of the Union Address and are following the "already heated" race to 2008. The issues that confront us today, are no different than the issues that confronted us many years ago. What is different is the manner in which we approach these issues. Instead of looking at global warming (thanks, Bryan), Islamofascism, and social issues critically, we view them emotionally.

I ran across the following paragraph while reading Wind, Sand, and Stars, a novel by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. "Every week men sit comfortably in the cinema and look on at the bombardment of some Shanghai or other, some Guernica, and marvel without a trace of horror at the long fringes of ash and soot that twist their slow way into the sky from those man-made volcanoes. Yet we all know together with the grain in the graineries, with the heritage of generations of men, with the treasures of families, it is the burning flesh of children and their elders that, dissipated in smoke, is slowly fertilizing those black cumuli". Written in 1939, Exupery's words are an example of how we can fear losses in combat and argue the "just war theory", yet abort babies and participate in euthenasia. We look at hardened professionals trained to deal in death and destruction as victims and ignore the most helpless among us. Likewise, we cry for every woman to have her equal rights, yet we demean her in every possible way with rampant, ever available pornogrpahy. And we wonder why post-modern children are schizophrenic?

Exupery finishes his thought with a sound answer. One that we sacred/secular bi-polar Christians may wish to heed: "The physical drama itself cannot touch us until some one points out its spiritual sense."

Thursday, January 18

Spiders On Drugs

I found this extremely profound, educational, and interesting. I am sure that you will as well.

Saturday, January 13

On Worship

As a fairly immature Christian I have been struggling with the concept of making our work worship as well as working during worship. I understand that we are called to worship 24/7, but how can we adequately do that in our fallen state with so many distractions that vie for our attention. I recently ran across the following paragraph from C.S. Lewis's "Reflections On The Psalms" which has helped me immensely as I continue to struggle with this important concept. It made particularly good sense to me since I am a former rider and could identify with the riding school anology.

"...It is along these lines that I find it easiest to understand the Christian doctrine that "Heaven" is a state in which angels now, and men hereafter, are perpetually employed in praising God. This does not mean, as it can so dismally suggest, that it is like "being in church." For our "services" both in their conduct and in our power to participate, are merely attempts at worship; never fully successful, often 99.9% failures, sometimes total failures. We are not riders but pupils in the riding school; for most of us the falls and bruises, the aching muscles and the severity of the excercise, far outweigh those few moments in which we were, to our own astonishment, actually galloping without terror and without disaster...The Scotch catechism says that man's chief end is "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him."

Wednesday, January 10

A Little Motivation

To my Leatherneck Bothers and Sisters...Damn the politicians...full speed ahead. Hang tight boys, I'll be there soon.

Semper Fi!!

Thursday, January 4

The Chosen Beer

One of the many benefits of submitting ourselves to the Headship of Christ is enjoying the uniqueness and beauty of His creation. The table as a facet of His creation, is no less significant to us theologically than our gathering together to study His Word. Eating and Drinking are a means to worship our Creator and give thanks for His many blessings. Gathering around the table, no matter the amount of guests, has the potential for a great time of community.

Robert Farrar Capon, one of my favorite cultural and culinary commentators once remarked on the subject of wine; "Nothing appalls me more than to hear people refer to the drinking of wine as if it were a forbidden and fascinating way of sneaking alcohol into ones system. My flesh creeps when I hear the legitimate love of the fruit of the vine treated as if it were a longer winded way of doing what the world does with grain neutral spirits and cheap vermouth. With wine at hand, the good man concerns himself not with getting drunk, but with drinking in all the natural delectabilities of wine: taste, color, bouquet; its manifold graces; the way it complements food and enhances conversation; and its sovereign power to turn evening into occasions, to lift eating beyond nourishment to conviviality, and to bring the race, for a few hours at least , to that happy place where men are wise, women are beautiful, and even one's children begin to look promising".

On that note, Electra and I have discovered a wonderful new beer. Well, new to us anyhow.... It is called He'Brew, the Chosen Beer. Sample the label: "As commanded, we at He'Brew beer have been fruitful and multiplied our offerings. Tradition teaches that the Messiah's name is Shalom-Peace. With your first sip of this rich, dark, and delicious libation, we hope to offer a momentary taste of microbrewed bliss. If you feel the sudden urge to beat your swords into ploughshares (Isaiah 2:4) or to picnic with the lion and the lamb (Is. 11:6). Rejoice"!

Monday, January 1

It's the first day

In 2007, we plan to move once, play as seriously as we work, and find a kayak to paddle around the islands of the Outer Banks all summer. Meanwhile, we'll bask under the shelter of family farmhouse from the cold Tennessee sky for another week. It's such a good thing to have long holidays when the daily life before is busy with work. New Year's Eve parties leave one tired and missing half the next day, so we've got some time to reclaim.