Friday, December 31, 2004

Nothing profound...

Hummm...can't find much of anything to say that seems to be worth saying at the end of 2004. I'm going to bed.

United States could be destroyed in a similar manner.

During Friday's prayers in a Baghdad mosque, Sheik Ahmed Abdul-Ghafour Al-Samarie of the Association of Muslim Scholars - an influential Sunni group- demanded that the U.S. troops pull out of Iraq...We have to realize that God is mightier than America and more powerful than the occupation forces, he said. America, which conducted crimes everywhere and supported Israel against Muslims, should take the lesson of the torrent and surge of the ocean in Asia, Al-Samarie said, adding that the United States could be destroyed in a similar manner.

I was waiting for something like this to be said, I was surprised it came from a Muslim, since the majority of people killed in that region are Muslim. I am not sure how he is interpreting this natural disaster, it seems like he is insinuating that God sent the disaster on his own people...strange.

Instead of seeing the aid, the money, the care, the compassion...he sees it as a hammer to use in furthering his relgious/political agenda. He is using the cataclysmic death of innocent people to stir anti-American fervor and inspire people to dream of such destruction hitting the shores of America. I wonder if the Islamic regimes he loves so much would be sending such aid, man power and compassion to our shores. I doubt it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

What you can do now...

Here is a website that has information on humanitarian organizations that you can give to.
It also has fiscal information and historical stuff on each company, good for those who are concerned about how groups utilize the donations.

You are a mist that appears for a little while...

If we then claim that, well, after all, these poor folks are in heaven now so this makes ultimate sense of it all, we are still left wondering that if 30,000 people can be swept away in an instant, how really relevant or important are any of our lives anyway?
I read this today and it really struck home the point I was feeling.
It all seems so random, pointless and chaotic, this disaster.
It reminded me of James 4:13-14
Now listen you who say today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money, Why you, do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
That scripture really punches a hole in so much of our ego based, self-focused preaching that places the almighty ME at the center of all Gods work on earth. We are so damn important in our own eyes. I find I am humbled in the face of such acts of God...God's plan for mankind doesn't hinge on my life...
I am not trying to be nihilistic or too melancholy on you, I am just feeling really small in the face of a really big world with massive need.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

May the Lord answer you in the hour of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion. -Psalms 20:1-2.

So often I long to be able to pray the above prayer for those who are in such desperate need but it seems so hollow in the face of such tragic loss and deep pain. It appears as meaningless as a band-aid on a severed limb.

More often I find myself praying this prayer...

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are You so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer, by night, and am not silent. -Psalms 22:1-2.

In the face of such chaos...I feel so small, so vulnerable and helpless.
We can and should pray and give help and support and I will.
But above all, I long to live a life that brings light into darkness because there seems to be so much darkness that is suffocating us, these days... Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 26, 2004

I watched The Return of the King Extended Version and it was fantastic! So satisfying, the added 50 minutes were awesome and helped tie together many parts that were left hanging or a bit hollow in the original theatrical release. If you are a Tolkien fan, or a fan of the movies, the extended versions are a must. The creepy witch king scene (what teeth!) at the black gate was worth the whole price of the movie! Brilliant film making.
 Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas 2004...done and gone, whew! Posted by Hello

Friday, December 24, 2004

Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me,
because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing.
I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy
Job 29:11- 16

Here are some facts that you might not be aware of:
51% of the people on earth are children.
1 billion of these live in abject poverty their families live on less than one dollar a day.
More than 17 million children will starve to death this year.
Every 14 seconds, a child loses her parents to AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is producing orphans on a scale unrivaled in world history. AIDS orphans are expected to number 44 million by 2010.
150 million children live on the streets because of poverty neglect and abuse.
Over 250 million children under the age of 14, work to support their families, they are often sold for only a few dollars and force into slavery or bonded labor.
10 million children are being sexually exploited.

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can
do something. -Helen Keller Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Destiny, my ten year old daughter took this picture this evening, is that a cool picture or what? Posted by Hello

The conservative Starbucks...

The mermaid without breasts. Posted by Hello

The liberal Starbucks...

The Mermaid with breasts... Posted by Hello

A goverment report on Walmart

Here is a House of Representative report on Walmart, it has some amazing and disturbing information.
Link from Jordon Cooper

Here is a shot of one of Christians more recent pictures. I asked him to draw this for me from The Hobbit. It took him four hours to draw and ink, he is 12 years old. All he does for free time is draw, write and read and a little video gaming too, oh yah, he eats a lot as well and takes a shower once in a while. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ok, I have been preaching a series of messages on marriage, sex and Song of Songs, in one message I said that I like full figured women. I mentioned that I was more attracted to the body of a Marilyn Monroe than these host of gerbil diet girls that are on most shows these days. So of course one of my youth leaders goes out and gets me this poster for Christmas! Beware what you preach they might be listening... Posted by Hello

Christians bedroom floor...Comic books, Animals of North America, books on Dinosaurs, a Bible and his drawings... Posted by Hello

Christians room...Lord of the rings, Dinosaurs, Dragons...the evolution of child to young man unfolding. Posted by Hello

This painting made me cry the first time I saw it in a gallery in town. For me, it pictured that moment in time when the boy begins to put away the toys of his younger days. Christian loves dinosaurs, not as much now as then...oh, it is so heart wrenching this parenting thing. See more of Greg Olsens art at Posted by Hello

Monday, December 20, 2004

Here is Destiny with her friends Stephanie and Ashley.  Posted by Hello

Austin in last nights program, he is in the middle. Angela (LeeEllas sister) did an amazing job putting together the little program. She is too stinking talented for one human being. Posted by Hello

Micah and buddy Spencer last night at our church childrens Christmas program. Posted by Hello


Oh so brilliant...go here to read. Posted by Hello

Rev. Billy...

Here is another reason I hate being a slave to Walmart...

"Citizens are forced to be consumers at sweatshop outlets, because it's all they can afford. And they live in a duet of doom with sweatshop workers who are also broke. The two powerless groups keep each other poor, watched and controlled from above".

Read more if you dare, here
Thanks matt for another red pill.
Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 19, 2004

new and old wine...

As I have mentioned fermented wine, it will be well to touch briefly upon the difference between it, when it is old, and new wine; the difference between old wine and new wine is the same, and will furnish a little instruction for spiritual men.

New wine has not settled on the lees, and is therefore fermenting; we cannot ascertain its quality or worth before it has settled, and the fermentation has ceased, for until then there is great risk of its corruption. The taste of it is rough and sharp, and an immoderate draught of it intoxicates.

Old wine has settled on the lees, and ferments no more like new wine; the quality of it is easily ascertained and it is now very safe from corruption, for all fermentation which might have proved pernicious has entirely ceased. Well-fermented wine is very rarely spoiled, the taste of it is pleasant, and its strength is in its own substance, not in the taste, and drinking it produces health and a sound constitution.
-(from a website talking about some of the writings of St. John of the cross).

When I read this portion, I thought a lot about the last year. In October of last year, the Lord visited me for a about a two month season in a rush of spiritual refreshment, revelation and vision. It was a season of immense outpouring, it seemed like it wouldn't stop, it just kept pouring and pouring and pouring. Much of the words, scriptures and revelation came from the book of Joel and various portions of scripture that spoke about new wine, oil and bread. It was a powerful time that ended about as abruptly as it started.

So much of what I thought was too take place didn' fact just the opposite, really, at least in the spirituals. Not that there hasn't been some amazing things this year but nothing near the potency of last years visitation and subsequent sense of being at the epicenter of something that was unfolding.

The punch of the present seemed to be speaking so much about being on the verge of something or that I was in a spiritual undertow of the Spirit and I had no idea what He was doing. I was just being pulled with such a glorious force that I was sure I was going to drown in it's heavenly waters. I experienced a season of joy that is so not my melancholy self, if you know me. It was deeply moving, words can not express how energizing it was to be in such a portent.

But that powerful wave that ripped me from all that I was fiddling around with...Just left me floating out in the sea. Feeling very, very, very empty by the sense of abandonment and unfulfilled desire.

This little paragraph above has spoken to me about this season and I am still chewing on it.

Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I give up...this dog is out of control. Here is the door to my shed that Kona has decided to use as a chewing toy. I am at my wits end with this demon dog from the underworld, fashioned as tool for my mental demise. All I can say is...SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!
 Posted by Hello

More Kona mess...Austin and Christian are cleaning up the stuffing form a pillow Kona stole from my Man Hole. She tore it up and when there was snow you could not tell; but now the snow has melted and the white stuffing is all over the back yard!  Posted by Hello

Micah got a really cool gift from Uncle Val, LeeEllas oldest brother. Here he is ripping it up out in the already ripped up back yard. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 17, 2004

The house of wine...

Here is a prayer poem that emerged out of a combination of Song of Solomon and John 2.
They wove together like two sticks of incense rising heavenward, mixed with the weeping of my weary soul.
Most of my prayer life takes this, like a caged dove, I release it and pray it will find its next His ear.

House of Wine


I have no more wine.

Take me to the house of wine.

Strengthen me...refresh me...for I am faint with love.

My soul is weary from the journey.

The winds and rains of the night lie heavy on me.

Cold and damp are the locks of my hair.

I see the warmth of your chamber; smell the fragrances of your bed.

My soul longs for the companionship of other moments.

I reach out and knock at the door.

I have drunk the last drops of the good wine.

The drink of the moment is a poor reflection of what was.

I long for the drink that you poured for me so freely, so graciously, so unexpectedly.

Drink that spoke to me.

Drink that mesmerized me and mystified me in its potency.

Oh the glorious taste that swept over my soul.

Such delight, such promise, such a dream was born in its delights.

The dark red hues, the swirling fragrances of your coming.

These enraptured my dry and listless soul.

The warmth of your love burned within my chest.

Like a fire that seemed to have no end.

A heat that turned my blue blood hot.

Where are you my beloved?

I opened the door.

I rose from my bed.

I threw out all sense of discretion.

I wildly embraced the call, the knocking.

I came to you.

I crawled from my slumbering palace.

Our luxuriant couch.

I threw open the door

With all the passion I could spill upon you,

I opened to embrace you but you were gone.

You faded into the night...

Only your voice lingered with the spices and oils on the handle.

I stand here searching the blackness again.

My cup lies splintered and empty on the ground,

Where my heartsick soul left it.

My hungry eyes peer hopelessly into the future...wondering, dreaming, and hoping again.

Am I up to the journey?

Can I endure the path again?

Love's madness overcomes me like a thief,

Stealing my apprehensions, my aspirations, and my present for an unknown path.

I long to venture from my chamber into the darkened city after you.

I have no more wine.

I dream, and hope against hope that...

You have saved the best till now.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hands and feet...last night our youth church went to Walmart and everyone bought items to fill 40 stockings for a ministry downtown that works with homeless teens in Spokane. We have two of our youth leaders that work with this ministry also, it's been a good link for putting flesh on the passion. We had a great time and ended the night with cookies, hot chocolate and prayer. Friday night one of our other leaders that owns a small restaurant is holding a free dinner for the workers and street youth, where they will pass out the stockings. Good stuff, I pray those young people will feel the love.
 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This is a cute one of Micah smooching the pooch Posted by Hello

Here is Micah in June, 2001. Oh my can he get any more cute...truly the calm before the storm... Posted by Hello

Micah playing hacky sack when he was little... Posted by Hello