Friday, December 31, 2004
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
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...
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.
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
Thursday, December 23, 2004
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.
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...
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 www.gregolsengallery.com
Monday, December 20, 2004
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.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
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't...in 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.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Friday, December 17, 2004
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.