Tuesday, October 25, 2005

As it lifted...

For days
I wandered
Stripped of sight
Hindered in hearing

Light dim
Hope apart
City of my life
Dim, dark, hopeless, lost

Then, there
Light, Jesus
Hope, bare but there
Him, His light, His hope

Not mine
None of me
But Him, my light
My only hope, cling

Cling still
Unchanged but changed
Oh wondrous Jesus

Your heart
Your applied
Peace, joy, love, hope
Sun burning through mist

Light, yes
There IS light
The light is Him
In Him, In Him, hope.


And now for something COMPLETELY different...

... And I've done something really odd, really different, and exhilerating. I've created a 3 minute video for the Food Network. I'm submitting it to be the Next Food Network Star.

It turned out well. It's something I'd love to do. If chosen, at the worst, I'd be a part of a funky reality show for 3 or so weeks. At best, I'd have a 6 week run on the Food Network.

Well, well, well. It makes me smile just to think of it. I'll research to see if I can post the video.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Whining as an art form...

Are blogs becoming simply whine-fests? Is *MY* blog simply a whine fest?

I ask myself that off and on ... so in that light:

God is GOOD.

My kids are INCREDIBLE.

Fall is an amazing time. The colors are spectacular.

I am employed and money is coming into my bank account regularly!

I have a church I am fed at and people who meet with me to talk about Jesus!

I have people who love me.

Pass this blog on to 35 friends and you will be amazed! My "Number of times profile viewed" will increase by some number between 0 and 35!

Isn't THAT amazing?!?!?!?


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So far that down is up...

Can't say where I first heard that phrase in the title. But I sure get it. ... ...

It's hard to live like this. But it is a good thing to learn that pleasing men isn't the answer to life. That's an important thing for me to learn.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Orleans and New Hampshire...


This site is an oral history of what happened in New Orleans. This particular post talks of one man's efforts to protect his family and the horrific rumors that were flying through the New Orleans Convention Center.

The thing that struck me was this:

“Today I asked my twelve-year daughter if she remembered what happened in New Orleans.” He said she answered “Yes Daddy, I remember all of it.” and they held each other and cried.

OHHhhhhh my.

I had a conversation like that last night with my second, my 14 yo daughter.

Last night was a bad night for me, the worst in a couple of weeks of difficult times. My stomach has moved to a bad place, and last night it was at its worst. ON top of that, I don't have answers for questions which are pressing in on me.

She looked at me and asked if I was ok. "Have you ever felt like there was nothing but questions you couldn't answer?"

"Yeah, Dad, it's worst at night. At night I just can't shut out the problems anymore."

Her problems are expressed in terms of school, but I wonder how many of the OTHER struggles she's not talking about are coming from our mess of a family situation.

I have been at times over the last couple of days to the place where ... I couldn't. I could no longer try to patch, fix, repair. The levees are broke beyond broke. I am beyond that which I am able to bear. I am NOT functioning right. The house is falling apart. WE are starting to come apart as a family.

And I can't pull it together.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Does Trish Yearwood Know a Borderline?

Listening to her new album. I've already mentioned "Georgia Rain".

Maybe the thing is that Country music is about lovin' and losin' which ain't always smart-like. Guess that defines getting into Borderline relationship.

But this song defines loving a Borderline... Only, I promise, the last line is NOT me...

"Trying To Love You"

I blew out all my plans.
The world fell in my hands,
The day that I began,
Tryin' to love you.

The secrets I have kept;
The nights I haven't slept.
I've laughed until I've wept,
Tryin' to love you.

Tryin' to love you...
No one's come as close or gone so far, (Tryin' to love you.)
I've lost and found myself in who you are. (Tryin' to love you.)
So easy and so hard tryin' to love you.

I've watched myself get stuck,
I squandered all my luck.
I've almost given up,
Tryin' to love you.

Tryin' to love you,
Broke my heart; it's chipped away my pride. (Tryin' to love you.)
Every time, I'd see that fault line slide. (Tryin' to love you.)
I've crossed the great divide tryin' to love you.

[Instrumental break]

Tryin' to love you,
I've screamed your name, I've slammed a thousand doors. (Tryin' to love you.)
An' I've worn a million miles across the floor. (Tryin' to love you.)
Still I could not ignore tryin' to love you.

It's pulled the best from me,
For all the world to see.
I guess I'll always be,
Tryin' to love you.
Mm, mmm, mm, mm.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Scattering Thoughts...

Nice evening. Went to a birthday celebration, dinner and a movie. The movie was Wallace and Gromit. What wonderful visual puns tucked away in the corners. The closeups on the claymation were fantastic, you could see the working lines where the characters had been formed.

Had a good time talking about coffee while sitting at Starbucks. Learned about how Equal Exchange makes a difference for local growers, and how mercenary the normal system is.

While I'm a thorough-going capitalist, and am leery of cooperatives and the like, it seems to me that this is the kind of thing that relief-minded evangelical Christians should look into. It comes along the lines of second-order change.

I believe most relief efforts are first order change, and like most "more of the same" change efforts, the end result is generally at best dilution of value, and at worst, negation of value, a moving backwards. I remember when I did business in South Africa hearing talk of the reputation World Vision has for destroying local economies.

Common sense conservative Americans don't think things through, so we throw money at a problem through the church in the same way we criticize the liberal side for throwing money at problems here at home. It strikes me as I write this that we do EXACTLY overseas in many of these relief organizations what we criticize here at home as the welfare state.

Locals in South Africa told me how the abundant influx of free food into an area destroys local market economy. How can a farmer compete with free rice and beans from America? Why would you BUY when you can queue up and get free? Why would you plant if it seems the bloody Americans are going to swoop in next season and give away, hacking your hope at self-sufficiency at its roots?

Then again, those efforts to help the farmers are often just as foolish. Buy seed for the farmers to plant? Why should the farmer be frugal year after year and develop good practices? The Americans will take care of him. Why should he learn how to increase yield? The Americans will come and plow up more land for him to plant.

So interesting that overseas, the liberal community have it so much more right (it seems from this amateurish observer) than we do. Overseas, they work with a crop already plentiful, with high demand. They do not create an artificial market. They do not override the methods or take over a piece of the production cycle.

Instead, they step in as honest brokers. They fill the niche needed to allow the local economy to flourish. If done right, they would be disappearing as well, allowing local individuals to step in and take over that function, moving to their native place, top-level consumers of the product, being simply the importers.

Fascinating thoughts for the Sunday morning wee-hours.



Thursday, October 06, 2005

Strains of the Manger...

Kindof an odd occurrence today at the coffee shop. Usually I hear soft jazz or classical lilting just under the crowd noise.

Today I became aware of a sweet sound ... a little different. I listened. It repeated over and over. It was a sweet whistling of Away In a Manger.

It was insistent. I looked around and saw a fellow whistling halfway across the restaurant. Nobody seemed to really register it, but it was there.

It occurs to me that the presence of Jesus in our world is like that. We know it. We all know it intuitively. It's the sweet tune that our hearts truly long to hear. So much is around it. But it's always there.

I love thee Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
'Til morning is nigh.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Time Passages...

One song got me going... it led to another. It started with the new Trish Yearwood, "Georgia Rain." A heartbreaking ballad.

Then thinking about writing here I moved to "Time Passages." A funny aside. I always that that raspy voice was Rod Stewart. It's AL Stewart.

Time Passages

It was late in December, the sky turned to snow
All 'round the day was going down slow
Night, like a river, beginning to flow
I felt the beat of my mind go drifting into

Time passages
Years go falling in the fading light
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Well, I'm not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are things that don't last
Well it's just now and then my line gets cast into these

Time passages
There's something back there that you left behind
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Hear the echoes and feel yourself starting to turn
Don't know why you should feel that there's something to learn
It's just a game that you play

Well, the picture is changing, now you're part of a crowd
They're laughing at something, the music's loud
A girl comes toward you you once used to know
You reach out your hand, but you're all alone in those

Time passages
I know you're in there, you're just out of sight
Time passages

Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

A divorce after a long marriage is like that. For years I did a mental calculus. The pain of the present, whatever pain it was, was bearable. We had a shared future together. We'd look back on this together and the pain would have been bearable, because we came through together. Because we found happier times.

When divorce is necessary (and I know that sometimes it is), that equation is broken. Suddenly all the balance is left unbalanced. It takes a while, a long while, before a new mental set is built.

I loved her. And sometimes it wells up and hits me. There were good days, or at least better days... I say it that way because now I hardly know what the past was.

But there were better days. Days of hope. Days of shared dreams, shared jokes, shared life.

Her steady barrage of emails about what a cretin I am hurt more than she knows. Or maybe she does know. There's a love "velcro" that makes what she says stick.

In divorce, when love comes unhinged, there's a lot of feelings hidden in there that are prone to sudden appearance. "Georgia Rain" did it to me today.