Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
-By Marge Piercy
Thursday, August 25, 2005
The words of wise men are like goads and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. –Ecclesiastes 12:11
How different it is with the man who devotes himself to studying the law of the Most High, who investigates all the wisdom of the past and spends his time studying the prophecies! He preserves the sayings of famous men and penetrates the intricacies of parables. He investigates the hidden meaning of proverbs and knows his way among riddles. –Ecclesiasticus 39:1-3
I scored big on my recent book hunt at my new favorite bookstore in Coeur D Alene. Its a great bookstore filled with old books, classical music playing softly in the background and decorated with tons of old art pieces, artifacts and old sculptures. Simply a delightful Bag-End like experience that is tucked away on a side street that beckoning the explorer of wisdom to discover her.
My finds includes:
- Every Man A King by Orison Sweet Marden (1906)
- A hard copy of two books in the Martian chronicles by Edgar Rice Burroughs with illustrations by my favorite artist Frank Frazetta.
- Lust for Life, a book on Vincent van Gogh published in 1934 and packed full of his art.
- The Mad King by E. R. Burroughs
- A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony (It is not a classic but another book I am reclaiming from the host of books I erroneously dispelled from my bookshelf after being converted to Jesus. At that time I didn't understand that truth was truth no matter where it was found or experienced. The joy of returning to old friends has been exhilarating!)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Here is Derek one of our long time campers catching some speed on the tube. We only had one ski boat this year but me made the most of it. There is nothing like catching some air on one of these things and getting it on video too. LeeElla got some great crashes this year for the camp video. Memories that will last a lifetime.
Each year we split the campers up into movie making teams and they have to film a short movie in connection with the camp theme. We gather around the last night of camp and watch them all. It's a way to encourage creativity and team work and guarantees a good laugh. This is the winning team this year, LeeElla made trophies for everyone. I try to incorporate many different elements into camp to catch the interests of the different kinds of kids that always come...sports, competitions, art, video, music, crazy games, etc. Something for everyone for sure.
Michael, Christian and Ashley during worship. It is amazing to see how God can break out in a room in the midst of praise and worship during camp. There were some powerful moments this last week that resulted in young people throwing open the doors of their hearts for the King of Glory to come in for the first time...it was awesome.
Here is Destiny after striking a winning blow during the Jousting competition, she is wearing a custom made watermelon helmet, we spare no expense for the safety of our students. The jousting sticks were made of nerf balls mounted on bamboo sticks, covered with three socks and duct tape. I felt like Magiver after making them, all the items were found in my youth office, it is amazing what you can collect in 8 years of youth ministry!
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Each year at our summer camp we have an end of camp punishment called The 10 Bags of Doom. Each bag is filled with horrible ingredients that are not supposed to be applied on your head. We put the names of students in a drawing that do stuff they shouldnt during camp and then draw 3 names on the last day. This year I rigged the event so students would get to pick 3 adult leaders as well. I got picked of course as well as my two other long-standing leaders...Jax & Deb. Hopefully they will forgive me...
Saturday, August 13, 2005
"I'm afraid your analogy is a faulty one. It is not like buying one record, it is like buying one instrument and learning how to play it. If you are committed, boredom is not a danger." -a conversation between two people in Doug Wilson's book, Persuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Here is my latest drawing that I am working on to embody my recent spirtual ponderings. I read an awesome chapter in Robert Blys book IRON JOHN called To Bring The Interior Warriors Back to Life. In it were a few short poems that resonated with me...Every man has two battles which he fights; he fights with god in his dreams, and he fights with the sea when awake. I would be curious what anyones thoughts were about this quote. In another part it says...The ape, alone in his bamboo cage, smells the python, and cries, but no one hears him call. The grave moves forward from its ambush, curling slowly, with sidways motion, passing under bushes and through leaf tunnels, leaving dogs and sheep murdered where it slept. Some shining thing in us, that has served us well, shakes its bamboo bars. It may be gone before we wake.
I have been collecting some Todd Mcfarlane sculptures of Conan lately. Its kind of hard to see the awesome detail from this shot but trust me, they are amazing. He catches action and intensity in a way that I love. I have always found the war hammer to be a powerful image for some reason and had to get this one when I saw it. Does not my word burn like fire? asks the LORD. Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes rock to pieces? -Jeremiah 23:29
Monday, August 08, 2005
Rob is the pastor of a church called Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Mich. I will have read the book in two days and it took me from my present reading of The Lord of the Rings which is quite an accomplishment. I really enjoyed the book and to use an overly cliche phrase but still true it was..."fresh". Possibly a bit controversial for some but refreshingly honest and real. He shares his thoughts about certain teachings in the bible and the church and provides some alternative ways of looking at them. Two thumbs up!
Friday, August 05, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
"Good sermons require some art, some virtue, some knowledge. Real sermons require some special grace which does not transcend art but arrives at it by instinct or 'inspiration'; indeed the Holy Spirit seems sometimes to speak through a human mouth providing art, virtue and insight he does not himself possess; but the occasions are rare." -J.R.R. Tolkien
I definitely view sermons as a piece of art. They are born almost the same way in me and through me, as other art projects are. Some are filled with more celestial electricity than others and leap out like currents from another world...like the startling of lightening.
I often find myself stunned by the suddenness of their coming.
Others slowly brew inside my belly, like a soupy broth at first but through the additions of prayer, the word and flashes of life they soon begin to chunkily solidify into a hopefully tasty meal.
However they are born, arrive or cook, all are subject to the painfully handicapped process of reflection, judgment and response. The sermon boomerang can hit hard! It is extremely difficult for me to separate the art from the artist; even though it's supposed to be a work of grace, an offering, and a service to be given in humility and void of ego's greedy fingers. How can one bake something and not find your hands in it and it on you? A work of hospitality it is and to not be interested in how it benefits the one who experiences it is hard indeed.
I read this quote in a book I am reading called: Tolkien, A celebration, collected writings on a literary legacy. I felt it captured a part of the whole sermon experience.
"There is the very ominous and ever-present danger that ones creation will fail and be repudiated, that the beautiful child of one's artistic devotion will fall flat on its chubby little face. There is potential discouragement, rejection, loss. Artistic sensibilities are tender, creative egos fragile. They bruise more easily than bananas." -Stephen R. Lawhead