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Showing posts from 2004

i love to fly

Now planes are nice, but what I really like is to fly through the air with my own body, all by myself, under my own power. I have recurring flying dreams - have had them since I was a child. I believe all of us are born with this same kind of inner urge, some soul-cry for freedom, a deep longing that we cannot adequately express in our everyday, mundane lives. And if you look closely, I believe all of us will find evidence of it seeping through in our subconscious, our uncensored words, our day and/or night dreams, our playtime activities, in fact, any time we let our guard down and allow our childlike ability to unabashedly desire great things take hold for a just a moment.

You know how kids are…they will just outright ask you for what they want, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to the rational adult mind. Like chocolate cake for breakfast, or staying up all night to watch the stars, or sending their favorite toy to a poor child in Africa, or learning to fly by donning a blanke…

Oh, Look!

Every Christmas, I ask God for a focus point, a theme...something that makes the season and the story of Jesus come alive for me once more. The problem with traditions, at least for me, is that I get bored with them. I have heard the story before, the songs are oh so familiar, I know what happens in the end, and though the truth can be amazingly profound, I loose my sense of wonder all too easily when there is repitition involved. So I ask the One who is never short on fresh ideas to show me a new angle, another dimension of truth, a divine revelation of the neverending depth of Love personified.

And this year, I was struck with the necessity of looking. Those shepherds would never have found the One who changed the course of their lives if they had not abandoned their work and went on a midnight treasure hunt. Wise men spent years poring over writings and watching the skies, and when all the signs lined up, they packed their bags and started on a lengthy journey to another part…

NO? YES!!!

I can be a very negative person sometimes. And I don't particularly like that character trait. Why does the first word out of my mouth so often turn out to be "No?" So today I decided to engage in an exercise of thankfulness and affection. An uncensored stream of words reflecting delight instead of disappointment. It goes something like this...
I like being able to run.
I like to jump.
I like the sun.
I like my car.
I like my cats.
I like eating.
I like to sleep.
I like breathing.
I like Dean.
I like talking to my cool friends far and near.
I like laughing without knowing why.
I like good stories.
I like learning new things.
I like a whole day in front of me with endless possibilities.
I like pretty skies.
I like loud thunder.
I like being warm.
I like being liked.
I like surprises.
I like to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste my world.
I like me.
I like you.
I like God who thought of something like "liking" in the first place.

Parlez vous...?

I am learning a new language. It is an exciting, challenging, frustrating, neverending process that leaves me ecstatic one moment when I understand a new phrase and feeling totally stupid the next when someone addresses me and I realize that I have no idea what came out of their mouth. What were those people of Babel thinking? Ever since that catastrophic building project we have had to live with miscommunication, misunderstanding, ignorance, lack of interaction, unresponsiveness, and alienation.

Children often ask, "What language does God speak?" I have heard it said that he speaks to each of us in our own language. How comforting, how convenient, how little effort required on my part. I don't need the universal translator of Star Trek fame to understand and communicate with God. The universal mediator, Jesus, is hard at work making me acceptable to God. The universal Spirit is hard at work making our prayers heard. The universal creator is hard at working commu…

This is just a test...

If you could say just one word and the whole world would listen, what would it be?

Okay, I know I ask some pretty insanely ridiculous heavy-type questions in my head sometimes, and more than that, I actually think about them for hours and attempt to answer them as well. It seems to be a particular quirk of mine. Go ahead, try it, it doesn't hurt, and it may actually lead you to discover some cool things.

Soooo...let's see. That one word, can I have two? Please? Okay, since I am asking permission from myself, I will allow it because I am quite lenient and after all, not trying to take advantage of myself in any way. My first thought was "Fear not!" That's a cool one because angels say it a lot and so does God. So it must be important. But if all the fear were wiped out in the world, what would that really accomplish? We'd feel better and get more stuff done. Hmmm. Nice, but I want more. So, let's try something more positive, like "Love o…

One Hour...

"Do not exchange one bondage for another and mistake it for freedom." That was a phrase that rang through my head at the end of my hour-long walk home from school today.

I like walking, especially when the sun is shining, the breeze gently blowing across my path, and I know there is an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper waiting for me in the refrigerator when I get home. But mostly I like to walk because it is when I dialogue with God. I start things off with a question or comment, and away we go...we discuss issues, we argue about why things are not as they should be, or rather, not as I want them to be, I ask a lot of questions and wonder about a lot of situations, and sometimes I just listen. Often I talk out loud. I have even been known to weep, wail, and groan on occasion when words just did not seem adequate. So today I was asking why something I did that seemed like a good idea at the time with the most noble motivation, turned into an unhealthy obsession. And this phrase came …

Things I want to learn from my cats...

1. Sometimes I get waaaay too serious about things. Enjoy the moment, be it the bug in the window or the ray of sunshine on the chair.
2. If you are hungry or in need, meow, and meow again, and don't stop meowing until the person who has the power to do something about it actually does something about it.
3. Cuddle, get close, lean against, sit on top of, lie stretched out on, and purr for the one you love.
4. Sitting next to someone for an hour just listening is a good way to spend an afternoon.
5. The dark is not a scary place. All you need is a tiny bit of light to see ahead of you.
6. Some things are worth getting up from a nap from, some are not. The secret is to be able to tell the difference.
7. Even though the dish is empty now, there will be food in it at supper time. There always is.
8. Don't get too comfortable in one position, change your perspective often.
9. There is a definite advantage to seeing things from above, get as high as you can.
10. You are responsible for your…

playing with fire...

I started a small fire in my toaster oven this afternoon. It was no big deal. The flames soon subsided when they ran out of breadcrumbs and the only harm done was that my toast had that outdoorsy flame-broiled smoky taste which I didn't mind at all. It was a contained fire and caused no panic or fear in my life whatsoever.

How can the sight of such a powerful force only squeeze a bemused smirk from my face? Because it has not been unleashed. It is safely restricted to a small box and turned on and off at my convenience. It is tame. But fire, real raging fire! Now that's different! When I see that, I grab all my valuables, the two cats, and run!

Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12), yet I find myself too often not impressed by his presence. Perhaps this is because I have relegated him to a nice safe distance. He serves a certain purpose, but I do not fall on my face in awe and fear everytime I sense him. Perhaps that is because his nearness is in reality, rather…

S*FFERING

Yes. It is a bit of a b*d word in our politically correct but spiritually stupid world. A sure conversation-staller or worse yet, due to a lack of understanding, a topic that can sometimes bring alienatation between good friends or cause even the most hopeful of us to succumb to the sigh and slump of a defeatist attitude. Even in religious circles where we all claim to adhere to the undeniable value inherent in that very thing, I find that we do our best to avoid it at every turn. We want to be successful, comfortable, happy, a wonderful and shining example of how Jesus can make your life so much better, so much fuller. Full of what??!?

I will venture to say that anything you have in your life right now that is of any real value came with some measure of s*ffering attached ot it. Think about it for a minute. I am. Marriage. Friendship. Children. Contentment. Healing. Joy. Love. Patience. Progress. Long Hair. Playing music. Writing a book. Peace. Winning a medal. Building a home. Aboli…

I'M HUNGRY!!!

The cats woke me up at 5 am to remind me that breakfast was a mere 4 hours away and I must be sure not to miss this important event. There is something to be said for hunger...it is a persistent master.

Imagine your life without any pangs of emptiness to remind you to eat and no parched throat to make you reach for that glass of water. Come to think of it, what if there were no yawns and droopy eyelids to urge you to sleep, no bloated bladder to rush you to the bathroom for relief, no shivers and chills to ensure you put on a jacket and boots in winter, and no sharp pain to make you pull your hand away from the fire. All these sensations, some of them not the most pleasant, serve their purpose...to keep the body whole, healthy, functioning, growing, and alive.

I am forgetful. I forget to pray, I forget to make an effort to be kind, I forget to be thankful, I forget to repent, I forget to ask for miracles, and most often, I forget that God is really, really, truly in control and…

Coping vs. Overcoming

I have been dealing with a frozen shoulder over the last year. It is not a pleasant condition, for your body just refuses to move in perfectly normal ways for its own undisclosed reasons. After much prayer, six months of treatment, determination, and continuing exercise, it started to move again. Thankfully, the only problem I have had in the past few months has been occasional stiffness which is relatively easy to work out.

The word I heard often in my discussions with my osteopath was ‘compensating.’ My body had been through some injury and overuse (which we were never able to pinpoint) and legitimately compensated for the inflammation by limiting movement in the affected joint. However, it got stuck in that coping mode, mistaking it for the new ‘normal’, and by its stubborn refusal to move, spread its atrophy and twisted way of doing things down into my ribcage. The chain reaction of coping and compensating became an immobilizing disability that tried to redefine how my body …

Hope

It is more than a wish.
It is stronger than a desire or longing.
It draws my soul to things greater than myself and my small existence and dares to dream bigger than life.
Hope does not get tired of the wait or disappointed at the current state of things.
Hope makes you turn your eyes from the ground where you are plodding to the sky where you want to be flying.
Where do you go to get hope? I can't pull it up from within me, I must ask God for it.
But it is a gift that requires discipline to maintain.
So what kind of day is today?
Is it a day where I partake of the gift of hope as I sense it in abundance around me, or is it a day when I must fight to keep it alive?
Whether is it easy or hard is not the point. Is it right, is it true, is it honorable, is it loving, is it worth it?
Then just do it. Don't give up!

PURPOSE

This has been an interesting season for me. In the last four months my identity has shifted somewhat as I have endeavoured to get back to the person God had in mind when he created me. Somewhere along the way I managed to deviate from that true and simple path – it happens to the best of us. We encounter people who reject us, situations that disappoint us, and dreams that seem inappropriate and unattainable when we look at our present state or surroundings. So we adjust, and add, and subtract, and tweak and finally come up with a way of living that will allow us to function reasonably well with minimum discomfort and only the occasional twinge of guilt. But, thank God, he was not willing to let me stay in my carefully constructed lifestyle adapted to fit the demands of the world. Instead, he challenged me to cultivate the high calling of being a child made in the image of God and to live by the principles of the kingdom of heaven instead of earth.

One of the side effects of this…