Thursday, April 28, 2005

standing up to live...

How vain it is to sit down to write, when you have not stood up to live.
-Henry David Thoreau.

This quote puts flesh on the skeleton that has been goading me lately.
It applies to a lot of areas but one of them deals with regaining dominion in my home sphere, particularly outside the house.

God first made a garden and then created two people to inhabit, enjoy and tend it. I think place, is very important to God. How we care for gardens in our lives says a lot about us, whether it be in the garden of our marriages, our spiritual life, homes, children or work.

The tendency is to talk about how important these areas are, but not really do the work of cultivating them. There is a passage in the apocrypha book of Ecclesiasticus 37:19 that says: "A man may be clever enough to teach others and yet be useless to himself."

I think this speaks to the danger of falling into the sticky black ink of words and not really doing the work needed to live out the truth we so often quote. I determined to work this out in my yard this spring.
Beautifying one area at a time, step by step.
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A river is running through it...

“The hyper-evangelistic mode as practiced in American circles is quote different from that of Jesus who never shared the gospel the same way twice, was very attentive to individuals and contextualized his conversations accordingly.” -A quote from I can’t remember whom?

This quote reminds me of the movie “A River Runs Through It”.

In one scene in the movie the two brothers Norman and Paul MacLean have been roped into taking the obnoxious, rude and completely self worshipping brother in law fishing at the request of Jesse Norman’s fiancĂ©. Before Paul meets the guy, he makes a comment about the coming novice would probably bring a can of worms in an old coffee can and sure enough he does show up with just that. Both the brothers are fly-fishing lovers and good ones at that. Having to lug along a drunk, pole-fishing greenhorn is excruciatingly laborious to both of them but love makes us endure many things.

As I was thinking about the imagery of how often fishing for souls is hammered into our minds in Christian circles, I thought about fly-fishing and how in the movie the act of it was visually captured as pure art. In the film Redford filmed the unique beauty of casting and tying the flies and the thrill of landing a trout from out of a secluded nook in the river rapids.

In the movie Paul is shown developing his own style and rhythm for fishing and Norman talks about the first time Paul broke away from his father’s style. Learning and daring to explore new rhythms in fishing for souls is essential if we are going to see a harvest come in. It takes those who are willing to stand on the knowledge of the past and apply it in ways that fit who they are and who God has created them to be.

I think such are the ways of the Spirit in bringing about new birth through the fishing lives of his followers. Each catch is unique and should originate out of a love for fishing not merely landing a catch. The best fishing is about the process not just the result. I think much of today’s evangelism is pole fishing, too rushed and far to focused on the result instead of the rhythm of how to fish. Instead of learning about the currents, the light, the instincts and habits of the fish, we produce stream stomping, unoriginal, results oriented fisherman.

We need to dare to discover our own style of casting and allow the love of fishing for souls to become a more central part of the motivation of our time in the waters.

Enjoy fishing as well as the fish and learn to tie a fly, I am going too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Leads me beside the waters of peace

Here is another shot of the fountain, I am creating.
I will be looking for some plants to accentuate and help soften it and a small Japanese statue too.
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Here is a close up of the water fountain that I created in my back yard.  Posted by Hello

Here is my recent creation in my backyard...a water fountain.
It took me two days to create and cost me around $80. LeeElla and I stopped by a garden store the other day and saw a lot of great fountains but they were expensive. The one I wanted was around 150-200 bucks for a stone that had one whole drilled and water came out the top. I thought for a while and came up with the idea of trying to make my own with the rock around my yard. So here it is, I am pleased, very Zen with my Japanese maple next to it.
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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Micah and I, taking a spin on the carousel. He was afraid to go on the up and down horses but if I went with him, he would do the seat.  Posted by Hello

We spent the afternoon in downtown Spokane at Riverfront park today. This carousel is awesome, if you are ever here, you must take a spin. Posted by Hello

This is the only tiger left on a carousel in the USA, it was recently appraised as priceless. Of course I think this picture is priceless too.
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Friday, April 22, 2005

Kona and the ongoing saga. My poor lawn is suffering bad from a constantly running dog and from the fact that dog piss doesn't make for good lawn fertilizer. I have her doing her main business in a certain area of the yard but when it comes to taking a pee, she feels she can squat anywhere she feels like it.
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Austin and Micah under one of my favorite trees in our backyard. Posted by Hello

David is dancing again...

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them.
-Henry David Thoreau

I hear the song that has been sung into the cathedral of my soul, growing louder.
With fearless anticipation, I throw open the windows of this temple.
Like a hundred white doves fleeing captivity, the music will be heard.

There is a new song arising out of the depths of this curtained tabernacle.
From behind the suffocating veil, its melodies can be heard again.
Like the dawns awakening kiss, the dead are quickened and quiet mouths are filling with laughter.

David is dancing again...

A gentle spring has started to flow out of hard ground.
Celestial streams, forced up out of the holy of holies,
Are pooling in the sanctuary and being stirred by mischievous angel's wings.

The deaf are coming to the waters, lured by a heavenly score.
Upon the wet sands of hope's rippling shores, they dance again.
In the mist of Your waterfalls, they are reunited with the part of them that died.
You give them new feet for dancing.
They will ascend the heights and scale the mountains,
prancing along the precipice with rescued confidence.

Yes, You stand over premature graves and sing over us.
The claws of death try in vain to grapple with the winds of resurrection.
Abbadon's clutching fingers are pried from the throats of reviving destiny.
The hearts that have died before their time, rise up out of opened graves.
Yielding to the song of the Caller, the One whose voice is the sound of a thousand waters.

You sing over us, Great Song... and we dance at the sound of Your voice.

Prayer/poem/prophesy Written 4.22.05.
Picture taken by LeeElla. Posted by Hello

This is Jesse. He has been by my side in this youth ministry for years. If you can have sons in the faith, than he is one of mine. He has been through a lot of mountains and valleys but through it all, he has stuck by my side. I think he really is a true armor bearer. I am thankful that when life has fired a host of fiery darts at him, he has kept the shield of faith held up by Gods grace. He has taken a lot of hard knocks in this spiritual boot camp, but he has always kept coming back for more. He is becoming a real soldier for Christ, not perfect but becoming perfected, day by day. I am proud of you Jesse and glad to call you friend. Thanks for being there through it all.

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My desires are crucified, the warmth of my body is gone, A stream flows whispering inside me; Deep within me it says: Come to the Father. 35-107 AD Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop of Syria, Taken to Rome for execution, from Prayers of the Martyrs.
A while back my dad asked me about phrases that sum up Christianity to me. This quote does that in my opinion. It expresses the tension and reality of the inner life and that resulting outward flow. All captured in a beautiful confession in the midst of a brutal dusk.

 Posted by Hello

Ouch! OK, Neue sent this to me and said it was for all those difficult people...what are you saying Scott? :) Actually I think I might be able to install that at...
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

One of my favorite pictures of my dad and Raleigh, one of his grandkids. I am blessed to have a dad who is one of my closest friends.  Posted by Hello

This is my brother Marc and his son Raleigh at Crater Lake, Oregon. I am the oldest of three brothers, who are separated by too much distance. My youngest brother Matt, lives in Thailand. It makes me sad that we don't get to spend much of anytime together. But I am thankful we at least share a host of good memories from growing up. We are working on a camping trip with my dad and our familles this July, I am really looking forward to it.
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I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town’s garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek…At the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where he died. And that is what he died for; that is what he died about. That is where Christians ought to be and what Christians ought to be about.
-George McLeod, founder of the Iona Fellowship
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

satellite picture of our home

Go here to see a satellite picture of our home.
This is a very cool new feature at Google maps, try your house too!
Makes you think twice about sunbathing nude..huh.

This is a painting by Maria Preston, one of the artists that we will be incorporating into the BLAZE youth conference design and staging. If you know of anyone else that would like to add their work to the conference, let me know. We are looking for art that reflects the DREAM or DREAMING imagery and theme.

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I've been working on my front yard this week. Fertilizing, fixing sprinklers, repainting the mailbox, spraying weeds, removing four shrubs, pruning and laying down bark nuggets today. My back is killing me, this owning a house business is hard work!
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I think I am going to burst a blood vessel...I spend all day working on getting my sprinkler system up and working, replacing damaged sprinkler heads etc...I get a lot done and let the stupid dog out of her pen. After working on the front yard I come back into the backyard and there is this new sprinkler head....all chewed up! Arghhhhhhhhhhh!  Posted by Hello

Are we mothering men?

The safe route isn't always the best route that leads to God's will.

I have had to learn that the hard way and also learn to not steal such a lesson from those I lead. We can easily seek to push our path on others out of fear instead of allowing them to learn and discover their own path with all its own challenges.

Fear isn't a great motivator and people often wither under the heavy light of constant practicalities. I think God has wired especially the young, to be those who dare and leap and are the innovators for a reason. Life can sap ones idealism and turn us into safe, predictable, domesticated and civilized robots. And to be honest, I am not sure how much we want them to really choose our path.
Are we really proud of the men we have become?

Emerson said:
"Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.
He who would gather immortal palms must not be
hindered by the name of goodness,
but must explore if it be goodness."

I think this quote nails on the head, what I have been feeling and thinking. Each of us has to determine what "goodness" is for us. Not that everything is relative but everything is not easily pigeonholed into a neat little formula. God's will isn't predictable and interpreting His will through circumstances is sure to lead one to frustration.

Circumstantial guidance seems very immature to me, or at least the lowest form of guidance. It seems to rely on outward things instead of personal convictions, solid truth and the gut. If we are always making our decisions on whether this goes this way or that goes that way; we seem like the double minded man, described as being tossed by the winds and the waves, always unstable and never receiving anything from the Lord.
I think the Lord honors and rewards the attitude of faith more than timidity masked as wisdom.

I am reminded of the parable of the talents. The one who sat on his talents and didn't risk, did not please the master and what he had was taken away. Such timid, miserly, fearful living, breeds contempt, not admiration. People want the security found in realizing dreams but the reality is, those who most often arrived there, got there through uncertainty, risk and faith not safety.

Do we want to leave a path of insecurity and Islamic-like servitude to ALLAHS WILL in everything or live out a living, dynamic and daring thing called freedom, that Jesus modeled and unleashed. You don't walk on water with cold, measured and predictable reductionism. But if we know Jesus, like Peter did, we would know that he was the kind of leader that would call us out of the boat into a wild, unsafe and potentially dangerous path...on the waves.

Can we sink? Yes, and we often do, but I would rather see young people aim at living on the edge of the unknown and learning from such attempts than always hiding in the skirts of the known. We don't need anymore breast suckers; it's time to stop coddling the young and breeding weenies instead of apostolic men. We've become a bunch of old balding birds, who instead of chasing eagles out of the nest, try to lure them into living a mundane life, a boring slavery to the nesting instinct.

We are emasculating manhood by trying to protect every young man from failing. We've become "mothering men" instead of those who lead by example in character, vision, victory and failure.

We have no stories to share because we spend lives reading other peoples stories.
We have nothing to pass on because we passed it up.
Instead of leaping we were our own womb of excuses.

We can't allow such a mindset to hamstring our sons or us...I won't allow it. Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005


How to impress a woman: compliment her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her hold her, spend money on her, care for her, stand by her, support her, go to the ends of the earth for her. How to impress a man: show up naked. From Scott Williams

Opening gates...

Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart...(she) came out to meet him and said "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"...David said "I will celebrate before the Lord, I will become even more undignified than this and I will be humiliated in my own eyes, But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor".
And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
-2 Samuel 6:12-23

Last night during Saturday night service, I felt led to have no plan for the service but worship and whatever might arise from that. It was a dare to let loose and just see if what has been happening in the youth church might spill over into the Saturday congregation.

It did, but not without a lot of resistance in the spirituals.

Afterwards I felt so drained from the push and weighed down by the religious yoke and this morning I had a heavy heart. During the meeting, a word came out of spontaneous prayer about "opening the gates" and that word was confirmed this morning. As I came to the Lord this morning with this heavy heart, I opened the scriptures to Psalms 107 and this portion of the psalm spoke to me:

Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, miserable prisoners in chains.
They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one helped them rise again.
"LORD, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them.
For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.

I truly believe that the Lord desires to visit us with seasons of refreshing from His Presence. I know that there are those who see that with the eyes of their heart not just the knowledge of their minds. They yearn for Him and long to see His glory unleashed on the hearts of a thirsty generation. They also know that it will require sacrifice, the sacrifice of pride. A throng of dancers will prepare the way with an offering of undignified praise, a passionate display of devotion. They are a company of prophets that understand that the Lord establishes kingdoms on the footstool of worship born out of humility and unrelenting desire.

Are we willing to throw aside the critical and constipated religious attitudes of the Michal spirit? Are we done with the tired and tepid offerings of a domesticated and civilized crowd? Can we throw off the unbiblical religious garments that have strangled pure and wild joy? Are we willing to follow leaders like King David that are unafraid to publicly lead the way in undignified devotion to the Lord? Can we match his passion, his abandonment and public praise? Notice these verses and ask yourself if such outbursts of joy are able to find expression within your public worship life?

Now David was whirling with all (his) might in the presence of YHWH.
Now David danced without restraint before the Lord (NEV).
David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. (TNIV)
Then David danced and spun around with abandon before ADONAI (Complete Jewish bible).

I know there will always be Michals that cast a judgmental curse over innocent joy and sadly they will imprison themselves in a life of fruitless intimacy too. It is a shame to see such disdain in the face of such unfettered joy.

I choose to dance like David danced.

Picture by James Tissot, 1896-1900.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Power to the cookie!

Go here and save Cookie Monster from the veggie eating demigods. Posted by Hello

I finished this book yesterday. I wept reading parts of it. A good little book filled with much wisdom. Posted by Hello

erotic bike parts? know we are becoming a culture that is hormonally out of control, when we start getting aroused by bike parts...come on, do we really need a sex issue in a bike magazine? Give me a break....pun intended.

This reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote:

" You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act---that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theater by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?"
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Micah being goofy for grandma at the church Posted by Hello