Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You

And in the quiet hear Your voice.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rainy Days and Mondays....

Another morning. Warm and spitting rain. I'm sitting here trying to get something coherent down, and nothing is happening. I think my brain is on strike, taking the break that I won't give it. I can't make logical sense of any of the thoughts swirling around in my head. Probably because they are too many to count. One thought leads to another, and yet another, totally intertwined and I can't sort them out - they refuse definition; they don't fit neatly into a specific category. I can't even figure out what conclusion I am trying to come to. I can't sequence, so forget asking me a question. I have no answers today. And probably not tomorrow. New thoughts? Forget it. I can't read past three paragraphs in a book with out my brain protesting that it is in the possession of too much to think about already and can't take one more idea. And I pass out holding my book and wake up hours later having accomplished nothing. I just want to learn so badly. To soak up new ideas, process them and use them. It's like an addiction, and apparently I'm overdosing on ideas. My natural curiosity won't let me be content with just ideas either. I have to know how they relate to other ideas, how they interact and the ramifications. And this triggers other tangents and possibilities, and I can only go down one path at a time. Running through life doesn't help me experience it or enjoy it, or even truly learn from it.

All that to say, please don't ask me any deep questions or expect me to have any great insights in a discussion today. And if you already have, please forgive my lack of response, it's not because I don't want to respond, it's because, right now, I can't.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Listen to the music.......

"I think worship is the strongest tool we have in fighting those negative messages. You are what you're filled with. The great thing about music is it is always available. If you feel overwhelmed by this life, you can crank up the tunes and let the Lord minister to you and get refocused."

Rick Heil of Sonicflood puts into words the way I have always felt. I have always used music to speak to my heart and refocus myself. Music always got into the cracks of my soul where nothing else could reach. Yet, now, I'm wondering if this has been the wrong approach. Or if I just need a new focus, a new way to think and learn and regroup.

Or if God is just tired of competing with the music.....

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's HARD to be like Jesus.

We used this song in church Sunday as a reflection piece. Wow. The words in red are the ones that really spoke to me.....

Rich Mullins

Well, I am a good Midwestern boy
I give an honest day's work if I can get it
I don't cheat on my taxes, I don't cheat on my girl
I've got values that would make the White House jealous

Well, I do get a little much over-impressed
'Til I think of Peter and Paul and the apostles
I don't stack up too well against them I guess
But by the standards 'round here I ain't doing that awful

Lord, it's hard to turn the other cheek
Hard to bless when others curse you
Oh Lord, it's hard to be a man of peace
Lord, it's hard, oh it's hard,
You know it's hard to be like Jesus
Don't you know it's hard, oh it's hard,
Oh Lord, it's hard to be like Jesus

And it's hard to step out on them waves
Hard to walk beyond your vision
Oh Lord, it's hard to be a man of faith
Lord, it's hard (hard), Lord, it's hard (so hard),
Oh Lord, it's hard to be like Jesus
Don't you know it's hard (hard), oh it's hard (yeah hard),
Oh Lord, it's hard to be like Jesus

Well, His eye's on the sparrow
And the lilies of the field I've heard
And He will watch over you and He will watch over me
So we can dress like flowers and eat like birds

And it's hard when your soul had been stripped bare
Hard to lift your eyes toward Heaven
Oh Lord, it's hard to be a man of prayer
Lord, it's hard, oh it's hard,
You know it's hard to be like Jesus

Lord, it's hard to be a man of peace
But it's hard (so hard), ain't it hard (hard),
You know it's hard to be like Jesus
Don't you know it's hard (hard), and it's hard (yeah hard)
To be a man of peace (hard, so hard)
But it's hard to be like Jesus

And I'm trying, trying, try
Oh Lord, I try so hard
Don't you know it's hard
Oh glory, oh gracious
But ain't it hard to be like Jesus

Well, I am a good Midwestern boy
I give an honest day's work if I can get it
I don't cheat on my taxes, I don't cheat on my girl
I've got values that would make the White House jealous

Being like Jesus is not easy at all. It's the hardest thing I've ever tried to do. Hard to love people that I don't like. Hard to love people that hurt me. Hard to love people that say mean things, or always have it in for you, make things hard for you. It's hard to love people I don't know. Hard to love people that are not like me.
It's hard to step out of the safety of the boat I'm in and on to the unstable water. Drowning is a pretty good bet. Sinking at the very least. Totally overwhelming unless I keep my eyes on Jesus. It's hard. It's hard to trust him for a future I can not see, and that he knows what's best even if it seems like it's the worst thing that could be happening at that moment. Hard to keep the vision when it seems like things just never work out the way you hoped. When all you can see is the glass half empty.
And it's hard when you've reached the very bottom. There's nowhere left to fall. No way up, or out. Total despair, overwhelming sadness and fear. It's hard to keep going. Trusting. Believing.
Don't let any one tell you anything different. It's HARD. But it's what we have been called to do.

The day the music died.......

I'm still struggling with this music thing. It's just so not me. I suppose my lack of interest is saying something important to me if I would just listen. Today, I got in the car and turned on the radio. Determined to take back the music that is such a part of me. As I turned on the radio a song was just starting; and this is what I heard:

When the music fades
and all has slipped away
and I simply come.
Longing just to be
something that's of worth
that will bless Your heart.

I'll bring You more than a song,
for a song in itself
is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
through the way things appear,
Your looking into my heart.

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
and its all about You, its all about You, Jesus.
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
when its all about You, its all about You, Jesus.

King of endless worth,
no one could express
how much you deserve.
Though I'm weak and poor,
all I have is Yours,
every single breath!

I'll bring You more than a song,
for a song in itself
is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
through the way things appear,
Your looking into my heart.

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
and its all about You, its all about You, Jesus.
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
when its all about You, its all about You, Jesus.

Coincidence? I doubt it. Hmmmm......

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Our walls of division do not rise all the way to heaven.

Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Coulda been worse.....

So, my son, Chris, and his friend Brian were in an accident this afternoon. Brian was driving and they got hit while making a left turn. Both of them seem to be ok, but sore, and they will probably be sore-er tomorrow. If they had been hit a little further back Chris could have been hurt a lot more. I don't know what it is with my children and accidents on Tuesdays in November, but I told Carissa, as the only one not having been involved in an accident on a Tuesday in November; she is only allowed to walk from now on on those days. LOL.
Anyway, now I have something else to be thankful for - God protecting Chris this afternoon.

Wii, Wii, Wii.......

Wanna laugh until it hurts? Try the new Wii. My son got one, and believe me, we were about to wee over the wii. Just trying to get the hang of it is hilarious. And everyone looks pretty stupid. But, wow, is it cool!
All I can say is, it's the first thing we've done in a while where everyone in the family was involved and laughing.....
Oh - and another thing, no more couch potato gamers....:) Too fun.

I am thankful for:

my family
my health
my church
my church family
good friends
grace and mercy
past 2 years struggles
all my blog friends, new and old.

Monday, November 20, 2006

another quiz.....

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I like this....

". . . For all that 'I was lost, I am found', it is probably more accurate to say, 'I was really lost, I'm a little less so at the moment.' And then a little less and a little less again. That to me is the spiritual life. The slow reworking and rebooting of a computer at regular intervals, reading the small print of the service manual. It has slowly rebuilt me in a better image. It has taken years, though, and it is not over yet."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Do you deserve your highschool diploma?

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Thank you for scoring highly on this quiz, there is sweet hope for the future. If you did not score high, please join the Volunteer for Human Extinction Movement. Either way, share your results with your friends so they can take this quiz and test their knowledge!

HEY, in addition to looking smart, I learned a new word!! autodidact

I'm a Christ Follower..... ENJOY!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 - LOL LOL LOL

Part 4

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Sounds of Silence

Something's wrong. I'm finding I want to listen to silence more than music.....
Over the past several days I can't find anything that I want to listen to. Even my favorites hold no appeal. I hop from artist to artist, station to station, genre to genre, and I don't resonate with anything. It all bores me. There's no enjoyment. I keep seeking in vain. Nothing. Ok. So be it. I'm gonna listen to the silence. And maybe in that silence hear the voice of God?

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Weekend in New England"

We had a wonderful weekend in New England. Gordon College was awesome, and Carissa and her friend Jess really liked it a lot.They are both wearing Gordon scarves and drinking out of Gordon mugs and they have their keys on Gordon Lanyards.......
The weather was gorgeous. 60 and sunny. What more could you want on the 10th and 11th of November?
The campus was very nice also - as you can see from the pix. The girls attended 2 classes - a Theater class and also Bible Literature/Greek class. We met with the theater prof later in the day, and I must say, we were very impressed. With him, his department and his advice. The girls both had their interviews. We took a tour. Gorgeous athletic center. Shabby Chic dorms. Well, the old ones anyway. Chapel - simple and so New England.
The campus had a well worn, well loved aura about it. Not all polished and perfect and "new". Not pretentious. Intellectual feeling library, old and serious. We were able to attend opening night of a play written and produced by the eleven actors themselves. "Growing Up Christian" - poignant and funny and sadly true. Something for everyone. We stayed for the post-show discussion.

The girls stayed on campus Friday night - ironically with a girl from Wheaton. LOL. Saturday we picked them up and headed to Concord, because the girls would not rest until they revisited The Cheese Shop, which they had visited a couple years ago on their band trip to Boston.
We took pix, and bought yummy sandwiches at their deli to take back to Rockport. Rockport is a town at the tip of Cape Anne. You pass through Gloucester to get there. We honeymooned in Rockport 24 years ago, and then went back 2 years ago with our kids. Carissa was also there with the band. We all love Rockport. So Friday night Kim and I stayed at the Sally Webster Inn in Rockport. And then Friday night the girls joined us there. It's neat because the innkeeper's kids went to Gordon.

So, anyway, Friday, after Concord we went back to Rockport with our lunch, and went out on Bearskin Neck to eat and just watch the harbor and the ocean. The trawlers, small fishing boats, lobster traps, seabirds, gentle ocean swells. Peaceful. Restful.
And while I was taking pictures a seagull ate half my yummy sandwich.... At home it's the dogs, in Rockport it's the seagulls.
Then we walked around and shopped and soaked in the ambiance - for lack of a better word. We people watched. Around 3 we went back to the inn and took naps - we were all sooooooooo tired. That evening we went down to The Fish Shack for $12 lobsters. YUM!! I love this town. I enjoyed Gordon. In a way I selfishly hope my daughter goes here so I have a good excuse to visit often.
So that was basically our weekend. It was a fun, relaxing break. Enjoyable.
Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Please Come to Boston...

So, today we are off to Massachusetts to visit Gordon College. I love Boston. I love history. I wish I were going to Gordon College.....
Thankfully, my daughter inherited my appreciation for New England, Boston, and all things historic. :) And to that she merged her love for art. So what better place to go to school than Gordon? A stones throw from Boston proper in one direction, and a stones throw from Rockport on Cape Ann in the other. The towns of Gloucester, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport comprise Cape Ann. Rockport has a thriving artists colony, good food, quaint Bed and Breakfasts and lost of unique people. I love it. She loves it. In fact, the artists colony has been around since pre-depression days.
Rockport still thrived as an artists colony -- which began years earlier due to its rocky, boulder-strewn ocean beaches, its quaint fishing shacks, a harbor filled with small, colorful fishing boats, and the fact that Cape Ann was made famous by Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous. A red fishing shack on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, known as 'Motif Number 1', has for years been one of the most famous sites on Cape Ann, at first as the subject of hundreds of paintings, then as it became well known, as a site to be photographed and visited by tourists from all over the world in itself.

Here is my picture of "Motif Number 1" Whadya think?

Anyway, all that to say, I won't be around this weekend. We will be at Gordon College and also playing on Cape Ann. Eating seafood. Saltwater Taffy. Fudge. Going to cheese shops. Drooling over artwork. Soaking up charm, and quaintness, breathing salty air, and watching the tide roll in. I'm sure it will be too short.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yaconelli on Passion

Passion is a roller coaster ride that can happen when you follow Jesus Christ. It is the breathtaking, thrill-filled, bone-rattling ride of a lifetime where every moment matters and all you can do is hang on for dear life...When there is no passion, we live our lives in the smoky fog of sameness. Life loses its distinctions and we no longer see the nuances, the tiny differences. We no longer feel our feelings. They become dull and insensitive. Life without passion is life without texture, contrast, and depth....Passion is always risky....People were estranged from their church and rejected by their parents; they became unemployed suddenly, ended up in jail, lost their lives, became personae no gratae...Passion is not something to be treated lightly. The passionate life is a risky life. The question is: Is the passionate life worth the risk?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Changing a Light Bulb the Christian Way

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatic : Only 1 - Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal : 10 - One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians : None - Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic : None - Candles only.

Baptists : At least 15 - One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken .

Episcopalians: 3 - One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons : 5 - One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians : We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem orcompose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service,in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which areequally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists : Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb,
or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

Nazarene: 6 - One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None - Lutherans don't believe in change.

Amish : - What's a light bulb?

Friday, November 03, 2006

My baby....

OK. I am gonna try one more time to post these. I give up on IE for now. Big pictures don't work there, medium pictures don't work there, and these probably won't work there either. Go get Mozilla people, then I won't drive you crazy with a broken blog....
Anyway, here are Carissa's senior pictures:

You can see 'em bigger if you click on them.

Life is good....

There's nothing better in life than taking a cat nap curled up in a comfy chair in the sun with a dog on the floor at your feet and another cuddled up in your lap sleeping. :)
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.

Maya Angelou

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Pirate Queen

Last night my daughter, her two friends, and I went to see The Pirate Queen. It does still have some problems - fixable - and a few rough edges that need polishing; a bit of work here and there and it will be even more awesome than it already is! And I guess I am willing to overlook some of this because I am fascinated by the topic. Intrigued I decided to do some research on the true Pirate Queen: Gráinne Ní Mháille, which was translated by the English as Grace O’Malley. Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of information to be found on line. I would like to find a copy of Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen, 1530-1603, and read it to get the rest of the story, and fill in the details that obviously can't be covered in a show of this length. That and possibly Grania -- She King of the Irish Seas," by Morgan Llywelyn, which was the novel the show was based on.

The story itself, set in the 16th century, is a timeless love story of star crossed lovers and duty to country with English meddling thrown in to complicate matters. The theme of prejudice and oppression towards woman is also a complicating force. Grace learns early on to deal with the complications. Motherless, at a time when women on a boat are considered to bring bad luck, and with the help of Tiernan, her childhood friend she disguises herself as a boy and becomes a hand on her father’s vessel. When disaster strikes she proves her worth and ability and earns a place as one of the ships crew despite the fact that she is a woman.

Grace and Tiernan fall in love on the pirate ship, which in its day destroyed and plundered many English ships.

Grace is seen as a threat to Queen Elizabeth the first, not only as a proud defender of Ireland, but also as a direct rival for Irish loyalty. Elizabeth sees herself as Queen of Ireland and will not stand for another (a woman, no less, how ironic!) to be seen as sovereign of Ireland. She orders Grace destroyed.

Warring clans are forced to unite against England, and Grace, though in love with Tiernan is to be married to Donal O’Flaherty, heir to a powerful neighboring clan. Grace, devastated accepts this as her duty and abides by her fathers wish, leaving behind a heartbroken Tiernan.

OK – that’s all I’m telling you. There is a lot more to cover in this fast paced 2 hour and 40 minute musical. Love, betrayal, sword fights, Irish dancing, battle scenes, great celtic music and an awesome set with wonderful special effects and lighting made this a really enjoyable musical. To say nothing of the fact that it is awesome to see a strong woman depicted and honored. Grace has some great lines in this play!

Because this is the world premiere here in Chicago, and pre-Broadway, the sound track has not been released yet. I will definitely be waiting to purchase it!

Anne Chambers, author of the biography, Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen, 1530-1603 and Consultant to the Show writes the background historical notes both for the Show’s official website and for the performance program. "Believing that what emerges is the story of a unique mould-breaker, a woman far more liberated and empowered than most in this age of perceived equality and woman-power," she has this to say about Grace:
Granuaile was a victim of the male orientation of historical record and analysis. But in her case more than mere male chauvinism ensured her dismissal from the pages of history. By not fitting the mould determined and demanded by later generations of Irish historians, Granuaile committed an additional transgression. Until recent years Irish heroes were required to be suitably adorned in the green cloak of patriotism, their personal lives untainted, their religious beliefs fervently Roman Catholic (with an occasional allowance for rebel Protestants!). But Granuaile was, as one of her detractors wrote of her, 'a woman who overstepped the part of womanhood'. In not allowing religious, social or political convention to deter her during her lifetime, she simply did not fit the required historical mould.

Anyway, I realize I am getting carried away, but I am intrigued, and want to learn more about this. Despite lackluster reviews, the audience responded favorably and enthusiastically. With the exception of the elderly man next to me who kept nodding off, it seemed like most people thoroughly enjoyed it. Probably this is not a show for everyone. Then don’t go, but if you like this kind of story, you WILL like The Pirate Queen.

See video clip here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Asleep In The Light ~ Keith Green

Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Dont you care, dont you care
Are you gonna let them drown

How can you be do numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the jobs done

Oh bless me lord, bless me lord
You know its all I ever hear
No one aches, no one hurts
No one even sheds one tear

But he cries, he weeps, he bleeds
And he cares for you needs
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in
Oh cant you see its such a sin

cause he brings people to you door
And you turn them away
As you smile and say
God bless you, be at peace
And all heaven just weeps
cause jesus came to you door
You've left him out on the streets

Open up open up
And give yourself away
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay

Gods calling and youre the one
But like jonah you run
Hes told you to speak
But you keep holding it in
Of cant you see its such a sin

The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just cant fight
cause its asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When youve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you cant even get out of bed

Oh, jesus rose from the dead
Come on get out of your bed

How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the jobs done
You close your eyes
And pretend the jobs done

Dont close your eyes
Dont pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with me my love
Come away, come away, come away with me my love