Saturday, January 31, 2004

What is redeeming is not always justified, while what is justified is not always redeeming. The problem is we don't care either way.

Friday, January 30, 2004

(seen at Jen Lemen)

i believe that if we deny our power or our desire for those positions of influence, those desires begin to drive us through unconscious ways outside of our immediate personal control. (we have a textbook case of this with our issue of white privilege, but that's another chapter in the same story.) by denying these forces working in us, we give up the opportunity to reflect on those desires, to consider how they impact our world positively or negatively and to be broken by the ways we abuse each other with that power. instead, we set ourselves up to say silly things that everyone around us knows aren't completely true but no one has the ability to address because real honesty has gone underground. things like..."anyone can do whatever they want around here; we have no barriers." or this one, "women can do whatever they want; they just choose to take quiet less vocal roles in our particular community.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Only think in black and white if it helps you appreciate the shades of grey without eliminating them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Image seen at Paradoxology

Saying that Mel's adaptation of the canonical gospels does not take into account the voluminous research that points to the centrality of the Roman political authorities in the death of Jesus would be a more accurate critique, but would elicit less media fanfare as it would shift the claim of hurtful religious interpretation and possible anti-semitism to certain texts of canonical Christian scripture and the communities that produced and historically carried them: a far more boring target when a quirky Catholic, filthy rich, Hollywood superstar is in the cross-hairs of a media savvy special interest. [from TheyBlinked in this context]
You know what, people aren't stupid. They can smell a pitch a mile away. And worst of all, they know how Christians like to operate.

Mel Gibson made this movie because it's something he cares about. He didn't make this as a promotional tool, or as a way to bring people into the fold. Yes, some people will be effected deeply and spiritually by this movie. I think the Holy Spirit will move some people beyond words. But either it will or it won't. And me bringing out glossy full color promotional materials to "evangelize" someone who's just seen this might be cool. If I was selling a car.
[from The Jeb Runquist Emporium in this context]

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity
- Bill Vaughan [noticed from here]

Yancey, in the book Soul Survivor tells a story out of the life of Gandhi that intrigues me.

The story is also told in the movie Gandhi and concerns Gandhi and a Presbyterian missionary Charlie Andrews. Gandhi and Andrews were spending some time together walking in a South African city.

Two bullies tried to block their path and after considering his options Andrews decides to run and get out of Dodge. Gandhi stops him and says, "Doesn't the New Testament say if an enemy strikes you on the right cheek you should offer him the left.?

Andrews justifies (and I would have done the same thing) his position by explaining that he had taken those words to be used metaphorically. Gandhi counters by saying, "I suspect he meant you must show courage-be willing to take a blow, several blows, to show you will not strike back nor will you be turned aside."

Even though Gandhi was not a Christian, he took his beliefs in the theology of the New Testament seriously. Seriously enough that he was willing to suffer dire consequences to make sure he practiced what he preached.

[text seen here]

Monday, January 26, 2004

(a FWD I got that seems worth posting-- thanks Crystal!)

To realize the value of a sister:

Ask someone who doesn't have one.

To realize the value of ten years:

Ask a newly divorced couple.

To realize the value of four years:

Ask a graduate.

To realize the value of one year:

Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of nine months:

Ask a mother who gave birth to a still born.

To realize the value of one month:

Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:

Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:

Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute:

Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one-second:

Ask a person who has survived an accident..

To realize the value of one millisecond:

Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend:
Lose one.

(seen at

How can one survive when hope is lost
no feelings or thoughts
only dismal images live
Scraping past battered bones

How can one live when the heart fails to try
no happiness or joy
only fear and torment lives
Grinding through withered veins

[see the rest here]

(seen at Been There...Still There)

is it okay if i stay in this space
and cry for a while...

is it okay if i don't put on my
happy face for a day...

is it okay if i don't laugh,
don't speak...

is it okay for me just to pray?

is it okay if i've lost my sense of humor,
of direction, of why i'm here at all...

is it okay if i decline the mad pursuit
of getting all that back...

[see the rest here]

Saturday, January 24, 2004

(seen from Wendy Cooper)

Some people prefer one on one communication but I prefer the one to many medium. I think it presents a truer version of my life then one to one. It leaves behind some baggage and allows me to tell the story and not worry about how the person who reads it will hear it. In the end, you see a more accurate version over time here than you might via regular correspondance. It is because of a couple of reason from abandoning assumptions but also just the number of posts. Unless I am sending you around 300 e-mail a year, you aren't going to discover what you know about me from reading my blog and on a much wider range of topics.

In other words, welcome to my dinner party. Take off your shoes. Get comfortable and feel free to strike up a conversation.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


(from The Cathy J Weblog in this context)

I went to see the person. I told them I had come to ask their forgiveness - that I had been holding a grudge against them and hating them for a long time, and I wanted to say I was wrong and I was sorry. They were pretty stunned (!), to say the least, and said yes, they would forgive me.

And now comes the strange part. As soon as I said that to them, all my feelings of dislike for them went away. I mean completely away. It was the most unusual thing, and to this day, several years later, I pray for them and wish the best for them. Now that's a completely divine experience, certainly not just from this human heart.

If there is a moral to this story it might be this: when its time to do the right thing, it may very well feel like the craziest thing on earth. It might have good results, or strange results, or even more possibly difficult results. Not every instance of yielding in my life since then has been a happy time. Some of them have been very difficult!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Hindsight is best viewed with foresight.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Devotion is only as strong as the tough questions we can ask (and not the easy ones).

Friday, January 16, 2004

(my first poem this year, written early this morning)

For Getting, For Giving

Every desire of the heart
Pumps the labors of lust
The paroxysms from laughter
The wails and screams of jealous rage

Fury courses through the veins
Nursing the guilty pleasures
The moans and groans of ecstasy
The allure of eerie awe

Awash in torrential reverie
As our common vital element
Our shared frail reality
Our immodest sense of liberty

Submitted for never getting
Until explosions from the memories
Lodge within so many others
Like the aftermath of suicide

...or the loss of a loved one

Too close for almost any comfort
As caution seeths a natural glow
A curious soft brilliance
An imbroglio safely temperate

Not for getting warm and snug
While the tender touches recede
Unveiling a cruel burden-
The betrayal of cozy confidence

Endeared to every subtle moment
Hoarded for many rescues
Rendered for more healings
Suffered by bitter experience

The urgency of pressing needs
Relax and massage the stoic ego
To coax the caustic helplessness
To surrender with much abandon

...or offer without care

Not for giving fragile succor,
Promising closure to raw devotion
To fond compromises
To blackmail from utter dependence

Greedy now for all connection
Grieved in fear and trembling,
Attached to every given tension
As if only to be near.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

(seen at in this post)

Progress involves doing what is better. In that sense, we have not made much, if any, progress in a long time. When we use the word progress, we are using it in a very narrow sense of the word. We call the next thing better because it is more efficient. If it was made into a mathematical equation, it would look like this:


We (as Modern, North Americans) call cost money, but money is not the only cost involved with progress. A good example is factory farming. The result is cheaper pork (higher efficiency when cost=money). The problem is that there are other costs involved: unsustainable farming due to pollution, brutality to animals, displacement of sustainable family farms with high labor low-wage jobs, not to mention strains of superviruses due to antibiotics that affect people and animals with unimaginable pain. What is the cost of that? I think it's too high. So even if the efficiency of something is higher when cost=monetary, if you take the other costs into account, the efficiency is actually worse than when you made "progress".

Text: top- slipping by by That Broken Girl, bottom- I'm hearing the Charlie Brown teacher voice...

i'm not sure if words
mean anything or what it is
that makes me sure
of anything, anything
til then i am walking in shadows of
big trees with deep roots, roots that are
breaking up the ground under me
but i am walking, i am slipping by
not sure where i am but not sure it matters

I want to go up
and I want to soar
higher than anyone
has gone before.

Higher than up
and lighter than air.
Floating around
somewhere up there.

To close my eyes
as I silently fly
thru the star-studded
velvety sky.

To let go of my worries
and all that I hate
and all of my thoughts
of my past, future, fate.

I want to go up
but the problem I fear
is all of the gravity
keeping me here.

Monday, January 12, 2004

(seen at either Jordon or Wendy Cooper from here)

One of the most pervasive emotions in the atmosphere around us is fear. People are afraid—afraid of inner feelings, afraid of other people, and also afraid of the future. Fearful people have a hard time waiting, because when we are afraid we want to get away from where we are. But if we cannot flee, we may fight instead. Many of our destructive acts come from the fear that something harmful will be done to us. And if we take a broader perspective—that not only individuals but whole communities and nations might be afraid of being harmed—we can understand how hard it is to wait and how tempting it is to act. Here are the roots of a “first strike” approach to others. People who live in a world of fear are more likely to make aggressive, hostile, destructive responses than people who are not so frightened. The more afraid we are, the harder waiting becomes. That is why waiting is such an unpopular attitude for many people.

"It's easier to hide immodesty than reveal modesty."

(following seen at Gnome-girl)


If I posed nude would that enable you to truly see me?
If I write the words that plague my heart in blood
would that convince you of my sincerity?
If I speak the things in my heart and my head
with tears, screams and heart ripping pain
would that warrent your understanding?
exposed am I
cut to the rawness that only I can feel
destroying layers of a past that I did not create
only maintained
slowly peeling away things that aren't me
revealing even more of things that don't make sense
I'll speak truth
I'll speak passion
I'll speak things that contradict but somehow seem to fit
I'll share fears, hopes, dreams, tears, happiness and love
few will get even a fraction of it
most will stare with confused glazed eyes and over
tea or coffee or even a drink they'll whisper how I'm
a mess and will always be a train wreck
they'll sigh with relief that their lives aren't as trashed
as mine and they'll smile with that smugness that
says they deserve the good life and how sad it is to be me
i'll pretend to not notice the whispers
but underneath i smile to myself
because as this train goes speeding down the track
at speeds faster than my thoughts
i'm living it for once
i'm letting this train ride the track and i'm looking through
a window that lets me see the world as a place to
experience for all that it is
scars and bruises mar my soul
from this speeding locomotion
but they only mark the progress
the lessons and the experiences
that have taught me to feel and grow
my soul hurts more than it heals right now
but the tunnel doesn't last forever
the sun will be there on the other side
to greet me with it's warmth
exposed in nudity is the easy part
exposing my soul is much harder

Saturday, January 10, 2004


(from The Door Magazine (formerly The Wittenburg Door)

Questions about Benny Hinn? See this article or this video!

Friday, January 09, 2004

(seen at the beyond magazine's blog)

Everything the Power of the World
does is done in a circle.
The sky is round, and I have heard
that the Earth is round like a ball,
and so are all the stars. The wind,
in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles,
for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again
in a circle. The moon does the same,
and both are round. Even the seasons
form a great circle in their changing,
and always come back again to where
they were. The life of a man is a circle
from childhood to childhood, and so it is
in everything where power moves.
Our teepees were round
like the nests of birds,
and these were always set in a circle,
the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests,
where the Great Spirit meant for us
to hatch our children.

Black Elk, "Black Elk Speaks"

Thursday, January 08, 2004


Text: top- from The Heresy, bottom- from Gnome-girl

As long as we see the primary evil in this world as a label whether it be neo-conservative, neo-liberal, fundamentalist or libertarian we will have conveniently ignored our own role in the world’s problems. I wonder how many people are wearing themselves out continually getting stirred up over every single issue of injustice or declining moral trend that appears in society.

I gave up the resolution gig a long time ago because it only would add to my frustration at never getting accomplished what I had planned but today I sat there and thought I'm ok without planning the next 20 years of my life. I want this life to be exciting, challenging and completely knock me off my feet with random surprises and if I calculate every day for the next gazillion years where does that leave any room for anything new?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Text: Trewlife in this post

Dreams are sometimes crushed for our best interest.

The process of healing can indeed be a much longer path than the few simple words"I forgive them". Indeed, if we have no reason to forgive we might find no reason to do so(even with the residue and hurt that is left behind which is so obvious to those who speak to you on such subjects of the things you refused to forgive). We are a people who can choose to forgive or not and it unfortunately can take some thorough thought before we may choose to do so.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Turn the Page

Resolved: To begin again when life is a wilderness

(image from Mars Exploration Rover Mission, referred by The Invisible Sun)

"Adversity is the best book on my bookshelf." -- Martin Luther

(text seen at Been There...Still There)

Monday, January 05, 2004

In Hindsight...

(seen at bloggedy blog from Our Daily Blog)

The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance.
from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Saturday, January 03, 2004

The future feels cold, but necessary.

Image: from listening after dark

Friday, January 02, 2004

Why must things fade from view?

Image: from Cathy Johnson's fotopage

Our past should only ground us, not blind us...

Text: Far Away from

Long far away
in a land with skies of grey
is a place that calls my name
this call must I answer

Eerily calm
and in my heart is a song
words to fill my life
this land must I run to

Hope for tomorrow
no room for lost sorrow
with faith to fill my heart
this test must I take

Adventure to come
a high risk may think some
a journey into the unknown
this path must I walk through