Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
GZ Summer Camp 2004 is in the can...another awesome camp has entered the history books of our youth church. I will be posting pictures at the New Generation website if you are interested in seeing what took place. If you want to see how plungers, slimfat, for love and employment, disco planet, flying octopi, getting balls, the silver scepter of servitude, it's raining...here at Pinelow, midnight puke, Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, satanic phone calls, messages teaching you to kiss each other, tofu, Spam loving, wet & wild volleyball, Turd Furgeson and a whole lot more, than tune check out the site. Thank God for another amazing camp!
Monday, August 23, 2004
With every morn my life afresh must break
The crust of self, gathered about me fresh;
That Thy wind-spirit may rush in and shake
The darkness out of me, and rend the mesh
The spider-devils spin out of flesh---
Eager to net the soul before it wake,
That it may slumberous lie, and listen to the snake.
My daughter had an encounter with a racist the other day...the young woman was a hard core bigot.
I was so surprised by this girls cold hate. I was troubled that such a backwoods view of humanity could still be vocalized in public. I was ashamed that such a vein of ugliness still runs through our all most completely white community. Her comments were as disgusting, it reminds me of a time when this was common...Thank God such a horror was vanquished by more noble men and women.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Off to summer camp until thursday. pray for us that the sun will come out on Tuesday and Wednesday and that God will bless us all with a great camp filled with memories and His Spirit. This will be the 4th camp we have done for just our group at this church and things are rocking and rolling now, it should be a blast! Keep us in your prayers.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
Rachael and Dave get married this Saturday. Two of my most favorite people in the world. I am honored to be in their wedding. As individuals they are two of the greatest and most loving, smart, creative and funny people I know. As a couple I am sure they will be the envy of most. I pray the Lord's richest blessings will be on their marriage. You deserve the best Dave...and you got it, Rachael is a woman of excellence (Ruth 3:11). Rachael you got one of the few Boaz men out there. You two are a modern day Ruth and Boaz, the kind of couple that kings descend from... I Love you both, very much.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Monday, August 16, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
Here is my favorite photo of J.R.R. Tolkien. He has had a powerful effect on my life. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was the instrument of healing and sustaining hand that helped me through my parents divorce and subsequent trials and personal sufferings. His world became my Eden in the midst of my hell. the themes and the people in that book were light a light in a very dark place. I had my own dark shadow to fight. To know that little people could overcome great darkness, was illuminating to me; in a time when I needed light. I am forever indebted to his genius.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
My Fading Winter-Eric Blauer (poem, photo is LeeElla's)
Endings are better than beginnings.-Ecclesiastes 7:8
Slipping away, like covers being pulled back,
a queen's quilt, a blanket of cotton, had left,
leaving me only a pauper's raiment.
The beauty of your hiding, your merciful painting, was really witchery;
Evidenced by the emerging, crippled earth that lay frozen underneath your weight.
Such violence you had hidden with your cool and gentle winterhood.
You deceived me, falling from the heavens like sugar.
A deceptive crowning, enthroned for less time than my heart dreamed.
Your coming glittered like a thousand stars descending from angel's eyes.
Showering me with transformation and redemption, you blessed me with, forgetfulness.
My feet never touched the ground, you lifted me, carried me
And then you slowly lowered me to a crippled earth.
Like a child abandoned by its mother, you disappeared in my artic euphoria.
Where did you run too, numbing lover?
Whose kisses freeze time and in whose wake lay a million mirrors.
Everywhere you were, I saw me in your reflection.
I was the face on your emerging creation.
Miracles you brought me.
Opening paths across waters that had forbid my passing.
With the advancing power of your whispered breath...I walked on water.
I stood weeping over your seasonal abduction, gazing longingly into the past.
The ground under my feet is moving.
The cool wind is warming.
The sun has moved and is emerging more and more with a prideful accent.
Creation is dressing different and the mood is frightening.
What evil comes?
What death awaits me, as I am assaulted by this awakened activity?
What spell is being cast that has broken our waiting, our sweet slumbering.
I miss you my fading winter...all must be lost by your leaving.
All will be changed, again
Sunday, August 08, 2004
beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss,
and thy right name was given thee thy name, Poetry.
(from: The Phoenix Bird by Hans Christian Andersen, 1850)
The fable tells that every hundred years, the Phoenix burns himself to death in his nest; but each time a new Phoenix, the only one in the world, rises up from the red egg.
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.
(verse on Ellesar and Anduril -JRR Tolkien)
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
From: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke's
"Who is blind but my servant, or deaf like My messenger whom I send." -Isaiah 42:19
The quote above is from a great new book that I have just started to read.
So often we are stumbling around in the dark, looking for a light switch to make this path easier...but sometimes there is none. Sometimes we are given no answer to the situation but are called to just be at peace with His presence.
Are we willing to say...He is here, and that is enough?
Friday, August 06, 2004
Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his rescue and killed the Philistine. (2 samuel 21:15-22)
I've spent so many years longing for more "Abishais" and have learned that often what I was longing for is most often found in the heart of God. We look to man or woman to rescue us. We look for or hide in stuff that will temporarily sustain us or at least keep us above water emotionally. But in the end there is a deeper well for our thirst, a more tasty meat for the hunger, a sweeter drink for the ache that all these merely hint at.
A true source, that all the other remedies are but shadows compared to the One casting it.
They are gifts from the gift giver, fruit from the tree of life; but not meant to eclipse the One who created them.
Eat the fruit, drink the wine...but don't forget the One who planted them.
I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
What are we holding on to Sam?...
That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.
- Sam to Frodo, at Osgiliath (The Two Towers)
I agree dear old Sam....It is worth fighting for...thanks for reminding me, yet again. -Eric
Thursday, August 05, 2004
This is Jed...I don't know his real name but it seems to fit him. He was playing his guitar in a coffee shop downtown for change. He had an awesome hat, great hair and a beard only the Northwest could grow. He was a traveling man. He had a dog & pack waiting outside, a guitar and a good hat. He kind of talked to himself between songs and his head ticked to the side a few times, seemingly uncontrollable. He sounded awesome, I was mesmerized by his sandals, his beard, hat, his voice and his songs. We shared a sandwhich, he played great music and I left feeling more poor than he...
Here's the dog and the stuff...I was captured by the thought of living a life with only this much stuff to care about. It was sureal. The dog just sat there for around an hour and didn't leave. Content is about the only word that sums him up...it really was holy ground. I am jealous.
"I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail." -Aragorn (The Fellowship of the ring).
I thought of this part of the LOTR in my devotions after reading: "Thou wilt arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time is come to pity her. Her very stones are dear to Thy servants, and even her dust moves them with pity." (Psalms 102:13-14). A great love for a city, a people. Even her dust and stones awakens a smoldering love. Here is a true leader, one that loves the crumbling as much as the glory.
The weakness and the strength, the failure with the victory.
(Image © John Howewww.john-howe.comAll rights reserved)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
"Throw out all the rules as we perceive them. If you're not being taken to the next level with what's in front of you, refuse to wait for someone else to model what's going to connect you to the Father. Go to the source. And when you come back from the well, please, share the life-giving water with the rest of us. We're thirsty."
-Adrienne Gray (From article called: Where has all the worship gone? at Relevant magazine
I read this online today and that paragraph shouted at me.
It's both a call and a conviction to me.
Am I living at the well myself or off of someone else's spiritual breast?
Am I willing to "go to the next level" if I am not being 'taken there"?
Am I 'waiting for someone else to model for me"?
I remember a word from the Lord to me, that was given at a time when I was extremely frustrated with the lack of spiritual fathering within churches; the word was: "Stop looking for it and become it".
I think that word speaks now as well...
Monday, August 02, 2004
The article here on evangelism is one of the best I have read or heard on the subject.
I loved it. I think and feel it captures the best 'way' to draw this generation into Christ.
In the past it was: believe-behave-belong...
Today it is more often: belong-believe-behave...
Read the article, it just might liberate you from fear to faith again.