Sunday, August 31, 2003

(from you can't deny what you liked as a child)

Three options:
1. Remove all desires
2. Get everything I want
3. Apathy

I know I'm missing something. Oh yeah...

4. Be content

Disaffection X Zeal + Some Information - Some Accuracy=Prejudice?


Saturday, August 30, 2003


(seen from The Heresy)

In "analog" community we are somewhat insulated from our true nature because most of us hide it. Much of the infighting and politics in our institutions are hidden from view. Sometimes the accountability structures we create actually hide sin in an effort to protect the institution.

(seen from Mark's Blog)

"Remember that your living now not for your future. The future may never come or may not be what you want it to be but at least you lived when you had the chance to live. It's not whats gonna be but what is."

Friday, August 29, 2003

(seen at scratched surface)

Due to the multiplicity of trajectories potentially experienced at any given moment, one could benefit from a philosophy of circles. Circles are made of three hundred and sixty degrees, while being one. consequentially, depending on ones point of view, or vantage point, different vantages spy different things.

The Gift of Tears

(image seen at

(poem seen here)

I've the gift of tears
the cleansing gift
that wastes my fears
Washes my sadness
Keeps my soul new
And free of the tears
Imprisoning you...
The hurt can be huge
But if you are not dead
Stand up to the hurt
Feel your pain
Then bask in the lightness
That follows the rain...

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Recommended by Eric on The [Wittenberg] Door Chat Closet:

The book: go here

A review: go here

(for those Christians who need a good dose of satire, check out The [Wittenberg] Door Magazine)

(seen at LivingRoom in this post)

In stark contrast, here the only interactions we have with local people are with hotel staff and those trying to sell us their wares on the street.

Similarly the places that we are taken here are incredibly 'sanitised'. We only stay in the best part of the city, slums that we pass are explained away and everything about where we visit is 'sold up'. We spend more times in shops than we do anywhere else.

Whilst I understand why this is the case a small part of me is left thirsting for more. I guess I'm realising that the main difference is that in previous trips the focus was largely on 'connection'. Connecting with culture, people, God and even ourselves. In contrast to this the focus of this tour is much more upon 'consumption'. We are here to buy, eat and be served. We even have opportunity to consume the culture and its people.

(seen at LivingRoom in this post)

In stark contrast, here the only interactions we have with local people are with hotel staff and those trying to sell us their wares on the street.

Similarly the places that we are taken here are incredibly 'sanitised'. We only stay in the best part of the city, slums that we pass are explained away and everything about where we visit is 'sold up'. We spend more times in shops than we do anywhere else.

Whilst I understand why this is the case a small part of me is left thirsting for more. I guess I'm realising that the main difference is that in previous trips the focus was largely on 'connection'. Connecting with culture, people, God and even ourselves. In contrast to this the focus of this tour is much more upon 'consumption'. We are here to buy, eat and be served. We even have opportunity to consume the culture and its people

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving in this post)

[T]he difference between critical thinking and cynical thinking came up. I found that intriguing. The line is definitely thin between the two ... and I know that I often cross from being a critical thinker to a cynical thinker. It's hard not to be cynical sometimes ... but when that line is crossed, what is said moves from the realm of "constructive" to "destructive".

(seen at Do you really think she'll pull through?)

I could save THOUSANDS of lives with a billion dollars or I commit it to my own self serving agenda. However, we must admit that even with a hundred dollars (which I sometimes have) I could save a life, maybe even two. Do I dedicate my resources to that? No. And once again, I am haunted by the scene in Schindler's List-- "I could have saved one more." So, the game "if I had a billion dollars" ends up being about dreams-- because the reality is, we have money and we play games with it as well. The guilt for some is therapy, for some it's religion, for others it's nausea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

John Carney mentioned in The [Wittenberg] Door Magazine Chat Closet another book about hospitality that wasn't the one I linked to in this post. Check it out!

If it seems that society is going from God[s] (premodern) to Self (modern) to Environment (post-modern), what's going to happen once Environment is displaced?

How to lose (in order):

1. things
2. places
3. people

How to gain (in order):

1. people
3. things

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Real Polarization

(from The Globe And Mail article Same-sex solitudes by MATTHEW MENDELSOHN last Saturday)

To many older Canadians, the idea of same-sex marriage, which was not a public issue until the past two or three years, comes from out of left field. For most older Canadians, the issue doesn't fit into their mental frameworks. To most younger Canadians, it is perfectly natural. Both groups can become emotional with those who disagree because each side takes its own position for granted and neither has bothered to question its own assumptions.

Why is opinion on the issue so intense? Canada is becoming simultaneously more secular (far more people don't attend religious services), and more religious (more people who do attend services self-identify as evangelical or fundamentalist). The issue of same-sex marriage symbolizes all the differences between them.


To supporters of same-sex marriage, the issue is simply about respect for gays and lesbians as full and equal participants in society (an idea supported by the vast majority of Canadians). But many other Canadians oppose same-sex marriage not because they're offended by the fact that this is a secular country, but by sexual liberalism, hedonism, the decline of the family, and their granddaughter wearing jeans that are cut way too low.

(seen at Been There...Still There)

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."

--Mark Twain

Monday, August 25, 2003

(seen at The Heresy)

We are now seeing the fruit of armed conflict. War doesn't always make things better.

Regardless of your stance about gay marriage, don't forget the virture of hospitality!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Foolishness is so easy to confuse with conviction! It can make you feel special when you're not!

Friday, August 22, 2003

For those who might obsess about gay marriage in Canada, let's not forget about polygamy. At least monogamy of any type is better than that.

(seen originally at LivingRoom)

Many people steeped in religion would rather be "right" than in relationship with anyone they think is in the wrong.

-Stephen Artburn

Thursday, August 21, 2003

(seen at Jordon Cooper)

Poverty is one of the biggest killers of humanity. When one-third of the earth's population is imprisoned in poverty, it is easy for the two-thirds not in poverty to be seen as the jailers. A world in which 10% of the people are enormously wealthy and 50% are exceedingly poor is a very volatile place. Jesus put it like this, Care for the poor, or go to hell. The withness of harmony is living a life that brings relationships back into harmony, that helps others get "with it" in lives of range and resonance without fusing faith and any social ethics options. One study makes that case that $27 billion could save 8 million lives a year. If every citizen in a rich country gave $25 per year extra, 8 million lives a year could be saved. That all it takes to ease tremendous suffering and anguish-less the 50 cents a week. Billions of people are crying for my help. Instead of hearing their cries, I close my ears and go merrily on my shopping sprees for stocking stuffers, purchasing Martha's latest ladle or Eddie Bauer's best buckskin jacket. Is something wrong here?

-- Leonard Sweet in Jesus Drives Me Crazy

(Discuss with Jordon at his discussion board)

(seen at

"The amount of a man's wealth consists in the number of things he can do without." —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It's not whether something's life or death that's troubling. It's the fact that they're connected.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

(referred via They Blinked)

There is a deep vent on the ocean floor of humanity, a place of creation between belief and unbelief. On this living ridge is the sacred spot where faith takes its first deep breath. This is the womb of grace.

(seen here)

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving)

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring.
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

--"Bilbo Baggins" in J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings, 1956


There is a limit to forgiveness. How can you forgive the unforgivable? This, unfortunately, may be what true forgiveness is -- and it may well be unattainable in cases like Idi Amin's genocide...The families, relatives and friends of the dead men and women will never get any proper closure.

(from Why I will not weep for Amin by GEORGE SEREMBA in the Globe and Mail)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.

And yet I realize this a ridiculous request, in light of the fact that I'm so terrible at loving my God.

I shared a bunk in camp with a brilliant and sarcastic man who until his own death recited the kaddish [the prayer addressed to God on behalf of the dead] nightly- for God! He often laughted at himself bitterly, sardonically: here I am chanting the prayer for the dead [addressed to God] to the very One whose death I've pronounced. Does my dead God hear the prayers I'm reciting over His grave?


top- quote by Hal Davis at Observations of a Misfit
middle- seen at This Beautiful Mess
bottom- quote from here seen in Wounds Not Healed by Time by Solomon Schimmel, p.136-7

Monday, August 18, 2003

(seen from Margaret Wente's article Unplugged and Unprepared in the Aug. 16th Globe and Mail)

As they do not see, behind the benefits of civilization, marvels of invention and construction, which can only be maintained by great effort and foresight, they imagine that their role is limited to demanding these benefits peremptorily, as if they were natural rights.
--Jose Ortega y Gusset

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Every day a bit of resurrection is found and lost.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

(from the article Where's the harm in gay marriage? by Andrew Coyne in the National Post)

The vast, vast majority of marriages will continue to be between a man and a woman. It is difficult to see how the commitments they make to one another on their wedding day could be one bit weakened merely because, somewhere in Canada, a homosexual couple was repeating the same vows.

But then, as we are often reminded, this is about so much more than whether homosexuals should be allowed to wed. The issue has embroiled a number of society's basic institutions: family, Church, Parliament, the courts. It engages some of our most deeply felt needs and profound beliefs: sexuality and spirituality, minority rights and majority rule. No wonder it's such a big deal.

(from an article in the Leader-Post)

This historical search for compromise is inescapable in the Liberals' approach to same-sex marriage. It has been bubbling away for some years; it was forced by a number of judicial decisions that said there was no legal reason to prevent it. "Legal" was in italics because the laws that govern us as citizens should not, must not, be confused with the moral rules that religions set for their members.

If churches disagree with the effects of our laws, they are free to offer their views and advice to citizens, including politicians. The Catholic hierarchy certainly did so on this issue. But it's up to legislators whether they take it, or reject it.

In that context, the federal government's proposal to handle this thorny issue is a sincere attempt at compromise. Had it appealed the decisions permitting gay marriage, it is not impossible the Supreme Court of Canada would have upheld these decisions, holding that the Charter of Rights forbids governments from treating gay and straight couples in different manners.

And then what? Would churches opposed to gay marriages thus have been legally compelled to perform them?

The beauty of the government's approach is that it may legally shelter churches from any potential requirement of this sort. We might well be nearing the point where there will be two "types" of marriages: a legal one and religious one, quite separate and apart.

If an ideal can be pragmatic, do you need the ideal?

Fragilely Valuable

Absolutely Valuable= idol
Absolutely Fragile= useless

Fragilely Valuable= Genuine

Friday, August 15, 2003

Kudos to wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving for posting something from here.

To see what he found inspiring, go here

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The whole conflict about gay marriage really boils down to one simple question:

What is real?

How can someone be distinctive without being divisive? Can it be done without losing diversity?

(seen at Seth's Blog)

The Master in the art of living
makes little distinction between
work and play,
labor and leisure,
mind and body,
education and recreation,
love and religion.
You hardly know which is which.
You simply pursue your vision of
excellence in whatever you do,
leaving others to decide whether
you are working or playing.
To you, it is always both.

(seen at They Blinked)

It's easy to persuade people to be negative, easy to get them to pay attention to gossip, easy to defend yourself as a crusading {whatever}....

Do you know what's hard? It's hard to be inspirational. It's hard to really understand the lessons (positive and negative) in a story and present them in a way that actually persuades, not just titillates.

- Seth

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving)

"Life does not consist in piety, but in striving to become devout; not in health, but in becoming healthy -- as a whole, not in being, but in becoming. Not passivity, but practice. We have still not arrived, but we shall. It is still not done; it has not happened; yet it has been conceived. It has not yet shone upon all, but it has stirred all. We are not yet home, but we are on the way."
Martin Luther

It's easier to be around comforting ugliness than disturbing beauty.

(seen at John I. Carney's Front Page)

Too many Christians in our society are either passionless, believing that religion is meaningful not because it is true but because it is a source of ethics or perhaps an expression of the human subconscious; or intolerant, confusing their own understanding of truth with the truth itself.

The Middle Way
top- from Barrier by Greg X Volz, middle- mine, bottom: from Wonder by Earthsuit

Break the barrier
A wall of doubt, mistrust and confusion- a barrier
Together we could turn it into a door- a barrier
I think I know you well enough to say
Together we can find a way to step across that line

May you be rigorous without rigidity and imaginative without illusion.

Let me journey to the unveiled place
Where my selfish wills and ways become untraced
Suddenly my vision's getting clear
When I see the answers reasons disappear

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

In gratitude

Kudos to been there...still there for being the first (that I know of) to quote directly from my blog. To check out what she found inspiring, go here.

When does the good become the perfect or the (near) impossible? When is it good and when is it bad?

Monday, August 11, 2003

Majoring on the Minors

But often enough, as we have seen, men have sought to demonstrate their love for God by loving nothing at all and their love for humanity by loving nobody whatsoever. These are the men to be feared above all others- the Robespierres who 'love humanity', the Inquisitors who 'love God'. The loves which determine the quality of a society are not such pseudo-loves as these but what, relatively speaking, might be called the 'little loves'- the love of one's work, of one's friends, of works of art, of scientific and technological achievements, of justice, of political freedom, of one's community, one's wife, one's children.

--from The Perfectibility of Man by John Passmore, p.324

Saturday, August 09, 2003

(seen at the article Faith and Politics: Uneasy Mix by MARGARET SOMERVILLE, in the Globe and Mail yesterday...)

There are errors of confusion on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate.

Those advocating same-sex marriage are wrong in arguing that religion should have no public voice in relation to whether the fundamental nature of marriage should be changed. Those opposing same-sex marriage are wrong to do so in the public square (as compared with inside their religions) on the grounds of the immorality of homosexuality, or to lump in objections to the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, as the Vatican has done.

Friday, August 08, 2003

(seen at The Searching)

So can the reflection of truth--it's "form"--ever be anything but a derivative?

Thursday, August 07, 2003

(from scratched surface)


plenteous odes to thee have
sworn of loves almighty truth
resting, comfort genesis in thy
great powers proof
creation, aye, and all between
which fails to meet the eye
will, albeit silently, sing thy
praise the sky.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

(Originally at Prodigal, but seen at The Corner)

If we do have faith that death is not the end, can we face the possibility of organisational death, and in that very encounter discover renewed life in ways that we might never have dreamed? Such an encounter will require less activism and more quietness, fewer solutions and greater preparedness to live with powerlessness and impotence. It will require us to remain at our posts and continue in our callings, and finally, perhaps, even cling to the wreckage…”

---from Hope for the Denarrated Self: Revisiting a Decade of Douglas Coupland. by Jim Barr

(seen at The Invisible Sun)

Cryptic Light

That which I see by
I see not
Making mountain mirages
Into mighty molehills
Illuminating the past
Only to give me more

The path is as dark as
My feet
Running from darkness to darkness

Oh, to see, sigh
Rest, repair
To run into the light of Light

Anal-retentive Christian? Relax...

(seen at The Invisible Sun)

"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."

-- Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

Why do some Christians cling to the Bible like it's a security blanket when they're negative, contemptuous or complacent?

("Man, it's been tough. I almost had to be slightly positive/humble/aware. Don't others realize that's just wrong?!? At least I'm safe with you, Bible...")

Orientation to Life

The Vatican's stance against gay marriage reveals two disturbing truths:

1. life is, at best, a mixed blessing;

2. sometimes losses can be liberating

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

(seen at Mark's Blog)

"As many scholars in the United States have noticed, postmodernism has moved young people from the alienation of the 1960s to the schizophrenia or multiphrenia (a legion of selves with no constant core of character) of the 1990s and 2000s. Having no point of reference, no overarching story, no master narrative, people don't know who they are. Constantly shifting their image of themselves to fit in with the fads and fashions of the times, young folks especially lack a nucleus of identity, a personality that has been formed by moral authority and mentoring models. Furthermore, since they have no sense of themselves, they are unable to make commitments to another person in marriage or friendship or to a job, a vision, a vocation, a religion. their subconscious cry often becomes, "Keep entertaining me, so that I don't have to face the absence of my self." Religion, in the form of pop spiritualites, is merely another technique for entertainment. Thus the postmodern condition has moved people from both the premodern confidence in authorities and the modern confidence in self (autonomy) to the decentering of both self (incoherence) and society (fragmentation) in contemporary culture."

Marva Dawn in A Royal "Waste" of Time: The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World

When does healthy skepticism become unhealthy ignorance? What if you confuse one with the other?

If one uses something impractically, when is it creative and when is it destructive?

Monday, August 04, 2003

Is something a choice if there's only one viable option?

Why do some Christians use the "sword of the Lord" (the Bible) like a switchblade against someone's throat? ("Believe what I believe, buddy! Don't make me quote Scripture!")

Saturday, August 02, 2003

(top quote seen at Waving or Drowning?; bottom quote seen at conjectural navel gazers; jesus in lint form)

"This moment contains all moments."

--The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Friday, August 01, 2003

(quote seen at scratched surface)

"Don't aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. for success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effects of ones personal dedication to a cause greater than ones self or as the by product of ones surrender to a person other than ones self..."

(quote originally from Man's Search For Meaning, by Vicktor Frankl)

(seen at They Blinked)

it is time to embrace the process without thought for the foolish pandering that too often fills the moments of an unrecoverable life.