Saturday, July 31, 2004

I Drive A Dodge Stratus....and a Mini-van.
They are not off road vehicles, unless you are stupid like I am. On our camping trip we decided to take a short cut on the map. it said only 8 miles and the road looked normal at first, until it turned into an off road trail over the mountains. We went too far to turn back and after ruts the size of the grand canyon, washed out gullies, fallen logs, a wrenched bumper and frightened children...we made it out alive after about an hour and half of white knuckle driving. It ranks up there with the most dumbest thing I have ever done. I was sure we were going to be stuck up on this God forsaken forest service road and have to fight off the grizzly's with my leatherman tool while making smoke signals in hope that we would be rescued before we were eaten.
Posted by Hello

Ok, here is a shot of the back bumper on the mini-van, as you can see it was nearly tore off by one of the countless rocks that I ran over. There is almost no clearance on this van, it's a miracle it made it out of the mountains. Posted by Hello

The Blauer family (minus Alicia because she has been sick) went camping for 4 days at Priest Lake ID. We had a great time except for our attempt to cross a forest service road to save some time...big mistake, I'll write more on that later. Here are the kids at the bottom of Granite falls, a really beautiful place to hike. Some of the best sights are worth hunting for. Posted by Hello

Playing on the Priest lake beach is great fun, even if it means eating some occasional sand... Posted by Hello

This is Granite Falls, you have to hike up the trial to the upper falls lookout to get this view but it is worth it!  Posted by Hello

Huff lake ID, a peetmoss bog with very rare plants and an ecosystem similar to a rain forest but in the high desert. Posted by Hello

Destiny, Christian and Austin hanging out around the fire roasting marshmellows.  Posted by Hello

Here is Micah taking a bath in a rubbermaid container which makes a perfect bath for camping...if you can fit. Posted by Hello

The shoe tree...a strange sight out in the boonies North of Priest lake ID. There were all kinds of shoes, boots, ski boots and sandals with messages written on them; even one that said they were engaged there in 1945! Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004

Old School youth ministry shot here...early 90's lip synch, that is Dan Williams on the left, Eric Stocking in the middle and Dave Hunt on the right. I think they were doing a Bloodgood song.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Does going to church matter?

...and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom.
-Luke 4:16 

Jesus felt the need to regularly gather with the spiritual community He was living around.
He sat somewhere, with someone else. It matters if you go somewhere...because someone is weaker if you are not present. Size isn't the issue, place isn't either...being together is the issue. Jesus promised to manifest Himself in some unique way when 2 or 3 are gathered together in His name. That is worth going...


"This Grace in the heart puts our minds on spiritual duties and motivates the soul to wait on God and to act for God. And the sense of the excellency and sweetness of communion with God, and the choice and precious discoveries that the soul remembers of the beauty and glory of God.
-Thomas Brooks (From: Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices)
Desire is like a's always moving.

I'm quoting that extreme vanity or what? 

56 Deceits in Fahrenheit 911

"Every single fact I state in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' is the absolute and irrefutable truth...Do not let anyone say this or that isn't true. If they say that, they are lying." -Michael Moore

Humm...According to the above link, Michael has got some explaining to do.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Here is a public bathroom in Switzerland with one way can see them, but they can't see you. Would you use it? I would. Posted by Hello

Pondering the nature of postmodernism or...shall it be cookies or chips? Posted by Hello

I thought this was a great shot of the brutha's hanging out at the lake. Leeella took them fishing while I took the older kids with me to Silverwood Theme Park with the youth ministry. Wednesday was a good day to be alive... Posted by Hello

Boys gone fishing...Here's a shot of Micah and Austin fishing on West Medical Lake. They didn't catch anything but hopefully a love for the outdoors and a few great memories... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Global evangelism strategies, Jesus style...
I have been reading a lot of great articles on the above subject: here
I am so interested in many of the topics discussed on this site.
Great stuff to read and even better to walk out in our own local churches.

Capitalism: friend or foe?
Here is a good discussion on economics, capitalism, socialism and the power or corruption of making money.
I am very interested in this subject especially as it related to issues of justice, mercy, poverty and finding the best ways to rebuild crumbling communities.

Feel free to chime in...anytime, the more conversation the better...I know you are out there.
Words that burn... 
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Washington
to show the same leadership in fighting AIDS as it has in fighting terrorism:

"We hear a lot about weapons of mass destruction, we hear a lot about terrorism. And we are worried about weapons of mass destruction because of the potential to kill thousands. here we have an epidemic that is killing millions. What is the response?"
That's a barbed comment if I have ever heard one...makes me squirm in the light of truth.
An estimated 38 million people are infected with HIV, mostly in poor countries: 25 million in sub-Sharhra Africa and 7.2 million in Asia. 
Click Here to dig deeper into what you can do.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Austin reached his two summer goals as of this week: He learned to ride a bike and to swim freely at any end of the pool. He has been jumping off the diving board with joy that only a young kid can have... Posted by Hello

Micah is learning to jump off the edge of the pool...he loves it! we hope to have him swimming without his lifevest by the end of summer. Posted by Hello

A day at the pool...we go to the little public pool in the park near our house about 3 times a week. Here is my daughter Destiny going off the diving board.  Posted by Hello

Dan & Tina Williams & Scott Neue's new home here is Spokane. It's just down the road form our house too! They move here from Oregon at the end of the month. It's been a long battle but it's been worth it. Ask and you will receive if you believe the you have the things you pray for...
 Posted by Hello

Another shot of the Spokane downtown river area. It may or may not interest you but hey, this is where I live... Posted by Hello

Downtown Spokane River. A shot from one of the small pedestrian bridges that give a great view of the various falls.
 Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Two Towers Extended Version...
Aragorn: Your duty is with your people.
Eowyn: Too often have I heard of duty. But am I not of the House of Eorl, a shieldmaiden and not a dry-nurse? I have waited on faltering feet long enough. Since they falter no longer, it seems, may I not now spend my life as I will?
The kids and I watched the Two Towers extended version the other night.
It totally rocked! It's far better in the extended version and much more satisfying than the Fellowship's extended version.  I can't wait for the Return of the King extended version where we will finally see Gandalf face the Nazgul on the heights of Gondor. A clip that we see in every advertisement and preview but have not seen in any of the movies yet.

Lightning strikes the earth 50-100 times every second around the globe.
"The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightning isn't distributed right."
-Mark Twain 
"I am an anti-imperialist...
I am opposed to having the eagle, put its talons on any other land."
-Mark Twain
So what do you think?
Is the local church a place to discuss political issues?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Woman Wisdom

"I am absolutely wretched today on account of your state of mind...your state of intellect...why don't you let the better side of you work?...Where is the mind that wrote the prince and the p., Jeanne d' Arc, the Yankee, etc. ect. ect. Bring it back! you can if you will...if you wish to. Think of the side that I know; the sweet, dear, tender side...that I love so...Does it help the world to always rail at it? there is great and noble work, being done. Why not sometimes recognize that? You always dwell on the evil until those who live beside you are crushed to the earth and you seem almost like a monomaniac. Oh I love you so and wish you would listen and take heed." -Livy Clemens, Mark Twain's wife.

I stand doubly charged...pray for me still.
I am a Monomaniac...

Voltaire called the Frenchman La Harpe:
"An oven which was always heating, but which never cooked anything."

I think a lot of my monomania comes from such an oxymoron like inner life. That life between dream and reality, vision and sight, prophesy and experience can be a trying desert that can make men mad...

Oscar Wilde said that "the problem with being a dreamer is that you see the dawn while everyone else is still sleeping..." that's a frustrating thing. It often breeds disillusionment or at least an agitated temperament sometimes.

I stand guilty as charged...

Pray for me.
Are we weenies or men?

Maybe I am alone in my thoughts and feelings on this one but I do think "pussification" is happening.

I don't think the issue can be localized into a "Let's punch each other" generalization though. I don't think that is the issue. I think it is fairly deeper than that.

I write, sing, play guitar, cry, watch chick flicks, can't work on a car, shave, don't watch sports, drink a little beer as long as it is Micro, don't wear flannel, don't hunt, don't like putting hooks on fish and never cleaned one...I can share, empathize, listen, express, counsel and go out for coffee and talk too. I do all those things and still I am confident as a "man" but....

...I do think I have been short changed in some ways as a man. I wish that as a young man I would have had more fathering, better role models, more wisdom from elders on life, manhood, work, power, loving, spirituality.

I think there is a desperate need for fathering. I am not saying you can't become a man without a father but the absence of one is critical.

I work with juvenile offenders and most have no relationship with or have a had a destructive relationship with men.

The results are a host of noxious patterns of survival, self deification from a lack of healthy socialization within a loving home,often without a dad.

Young people are plagued with insecurity, hungry longing, gaping emotional holes that bleed neediness. There is explosive anger that burns hotter than Hades. We have many in this generation that are completely clueless of what it means to be a man and they are leaving a wake of dysfunction, abuse and confusion and they are having children too.

We need men more than ever...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Exploring the Roots of the city

Below are some of my recent photos of native peoples art in Spokane. Spokane has a very interesting First Nation history and an equally troubling story of our relationships with them. I don't think one can fully pray for a city or region without exploring its history.

The top dog on the totem pole...He is in the mouth of an Orca but seems to have no fear... Posted by Hello

Here is the top of the totem pole pictured below. It's a man in the mouth of an Orca, I think. What an awesome totem pole...I love it! I want to see it restored to it's origional colors!  Posted by Hello

This is the foundation carving on another totem pole on Canada Island on the Spokane river. It frustrates me that the city allows these great works of art to be so neglected. I am looking into this problem. This piece is amazing! Posted by Hello

This is another great totem pole on Canada Island, a small island in the middle of the downtown Spokane river. It a great piece of historical and cultural art but is in need of repair. The top bird seems to have lost it's head somehow; but it is still a great piece of art. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 12, 2004

The War Prayer
By Mark Twain

In 1905, Twain wrote a piece called “The War Prayer” an attack on enthusiasm for war so scathing that it would not be published until after his death.

In it, young troops about to march off to battle gather in a church, where the minister prays for their victory. But then a stranger enters, wearing a white robe, and tells the congregation he has been sent from God to say he has heard their prayer and is willing to grant it…but only after the messenger explains what it really means.

God has actually received two prayers from the group, the stranger says: the one that the preacher spoke, but also a second, silent one that was in their hearts when they asked for victory. Then the messenger puts the unspoken prayer into words:

“O Lord our father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle—be Thou near them! With them—in spirit—we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells;
help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;
help us to drown the thunder of their guns with the wounded, writing in pain;
help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;
help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief;
help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended through wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sport of the sun-flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it, for our sakes, who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask of one who is the Spirit of love & who is the ever-faithful refuge & friend of all that are sore beset, and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Grant our prayer, O, Lord and Thine shall be the praise and honor and glory now and ever, Amen.” (After a pause, “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

-From Mark Twain, An Illustrated Biography, G. Ward, D. Duncan & K. Burns

Sunday, July 11, 2004

"We are a generation of men raised by women." - Tyler Durden

To Lydia & Tammy and other wild women...

My wife and I were discussing Fight Club the other night...

She was sharing how she was frustrated because she felt the image of a man that "TYLER" represented was not anything like the man she felt was a healthy man. I was sharing how the issues represented in Tyler are often stuff men are wrestling with within themselves. How to be a man with both characters fighting to be the dominant male. How to live responsibly and wildly at the same time. How to be free to let go of the wheel and wear a seat belt at the same time as in the movie. How to love passionately and yet, know committed, faithful love.

How to tap into that masculine inner fire that in our culture is often harnessed and explored in extreme sports, the military, cut throat business, competition sports, exercise, and a host of other channels for male fire but rarely felt in the church. Being a part of the church often leaves men with few places to connect with thunder and lightening but a host of places to talk and listen and be tame...qualities that do not often come natural to the male species!

I think woman are frightened and secretly mesmerized by the wild man and yet want him wrapped up in a suit. They often want a tough dog, a guard dog but want him on a leash.

So as a man...I would hope for freedom to be and explore and really reconnect with masculinity. The opportunity to roar instead of whisper, hear drums instead of piano's, wear sweat instead of a tie. Love us in our unfolding and struggle to be who God desires us to be as a man. Empower us by becoming all that God wants you to be as a woman. I long for women to be fully women and men to be fully men. Let men grow hair...stop requiring us to's symbolism is degrading. Stop dressing us...mommy isn't needed any more. Make love to us passionately again and wake us up to what it means to be loved by a real woman.

Be Eve again and birth men in the wild...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

My son Micah is a water dog and he's getting a sweet tan too! I'm so thankful we didn't stop at 3 kids...Children really are a blessing from the Lord and our quiver is full of them with 5. Posted by Hello