Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Good idea, but I'm pooping right now" (Jaelle to Josiah as he's explaining his play plans to her through the bathroom door)
We are what we see
I want to look carefully
turn my head
and raise my eyes
fill my fingers
and I'll use these keys
to free some captive praise.
A provider of food and reasons
protector of peace
with sharp sword and strong hands
You take death like an old stuffed toy,
and shake it 'til I'm not afraid.
where has sin gone?
was it ever there?
Love stronger than
the pulse-stealing thing
Stand again in me
bold as a robot
I come for what I need
walking on my knees
the machine of me will be contrite
though without warmth in doing right.

There are black eels in my liver
ugly moths inside my brain
and pale worms all around
that make it hard to feel the pain

I come in front of this, your throne,
where feelings fail there's what I know
Dig out the awful things inside
there's nothing left I can deny

I would like to feel again
Warmth, and light, and even pain
So here I sit
I will submit
You're perfect, make me the same.

It's like a strong tide from an anti-moon
that leaves a dark stripe on the face of the sea
while the tentacled waves wrap around our feet
the cold grip numbs and we don't do what we should.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It has been the fifth conversation with a ministry leader who's asked you to lead a home fellowship and said they would call the people who would come - and they don't. After that happens three times, you ask if you can call them. By this time the list you're given has shrunk to 3, one of whom is the HF coordinator. Your name is finally on the HF list, but your wife's name's misspelled as a man's name. You talk to the families, and they say there must've been a mistake because 1. they were told they were in another HF, and 2. Your HF isn't on a day they signed up for. This is all very embarrassing. You ask the Ministry leader what's going on, they say they'll take care of it and call you. 2 weeks later, they ask you how the home fellowship's coming along (they never called). You say it's not. They ask if you will come to theirs. You say yes, with relief that it's over and with restrained annoyance that it's taken so long to come to this.

"You" is me. I am trying not to be annoyed. The only thing of comfort that came to mind is Joseph to his brothers: “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good"

So if Joseph can say that to his brothers, who sold him & meant it for evil, then I how can I be angry @ a brother who didn't mean his unreliability and cluelessness for evil at all?

May God help me have an attitude like Joseph.

Josiah's sense of fashion has failed him.
(Those are camo pants.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a beautiful autumn day out. The morning's at a perfect crisp, there are just enough clouds, the leaves are all in process, so much so that they look vibrant to me. And I'm partially colorblind. I mentioned to Brandy it's the kind of autumn day they write about in children's books. It made me remember the first autumn that I can recall. We were living in a house (my mom & dad don't even know which one it was when I ask them) in WA, and there were deciduous woods all around. There was an enormous sheep pen right next to the house full of enormous and very loud sheep. We played out in the leaves for a while, and when it was time to go inside, we kids spread out sleeping bags on the bedroom floor and started jumping on them. It was all fun and games until my little brother jumped bottom-first onto the head of a nail that was protruding from one of the floorboards under the sleeping bag.
When you're little, I think you're so empathetic that whenever someone you care about gets hurt you feel like you got hurt too. There are plenty of memories where my brother and sister and I are unsure what happened to who because we all think the tragedy happened to us - we all remember the pain and horror so vividly. The only reason I know it was my brother and not me was because my mom told me so.
But tragedies aside, that was the archetypal autumn day to me.
And it's funny how memories work, because there's a children's book that I faintly remember, the illustrations of which blend in with all my autumn memories. It had almost impressionist illustrations, and the final picture was of a mother and her little son walking hand in hand down a trail on a fall day with trees full of brightly colored leaves on either side.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evil is a parasite
a crawling thing
that shuns the light
it finds the folds
in good's clean skin,
hooked claws take hold
long mouth goes in -
the dark and sickly feast begins.

Is there a bath
that burns the lice
heals the sores
and purifies?

Is it the blood
of blinding light
too sharp and hot
for the insect's bite?

Is it the blaze
of undying life
that flays that louse
like a burning knife?

Is it Christ, the Man
from who's face flees
earth and sky
and biting fleas?

Yes, and yes,
and yes. It is.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Got to listen to Richard Dawkins speak at U-Dub tonight. I admire him for his accent, humor, clarity, and what John Wesley would call "Plain Dealing".
Other than that, the crowd overall was somewhat scary. Between the guys behind me screaming and the guy in the pink t-shirt with the words "Get your laws off my reproductive freedom" standing up and clapping enthusiastically at the anti-creationists comments it was like being a black man at a klan rally. after the pre-game show of mocking creationists & christians in general and Kirk Cameron in particular (Kirk's coming to the UW soon) Richard Dawkins got to speak, reading from his new book "The Greatest Show On Earth" and answering questions afterward.
Some of the most interesting things he said were:
"Bishops and vicars who claim to believe in evolution yet who quote scriptures about adam and eve as if they existed without clarifying that they did not should let their yea be yea and their nay nay, lest they fall into condemnation"

The biggest puzzles of evolution are Sex, the sense of Consciousness, and

The best evidence for evolution is the phylogenetic tree and the distribution of species

He would prefer that Britain remain a christian nation, rather than the invasion [read Islamic] being completed as it has been in France.

He still celebrates Christmas, since he is a "cultural christian" in the same sense that his Jewish atheist friends still celebrate Hannukah etc.

I couldn't clap in good conscience at his readings, as I don't agree with his statements (Though I almost clapped for his exortation to the evolutionist Vicars) I did clap a little at the end for his clarity, honesty, and british accent.

And no, I was not convinced.
The last couple days have been packed with good.
Monday I outed myself as a theological conservative in class. We were reading through "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok and the class discussion had gone to why the really orthodox people were scared of "scientific" study of the Talmudic texts, and the conversation was headed towards why those crazy fundamentalists are scared of science. I pointed out that even Theologically conservative people like myself who believe in scriptural inerrancy don't have a problem with textual criticism, since all statements on inerrancy have to do with the autographs, not the manuscripts or translations, and text criticism is the attempt to get the reading most faithful to the autographs. The prof then said, Oh, so you would call yourself theologically conservative?

The next day I went to school (& got there on time, always a plus) where I started classes as normal. Had an easy time of it after christian formation in the Collegium, where I studied for the Bio lab that afternoon and went over greek conjugations and declensions to make sure I had them memorized. Listening to Supertones on my new Ipod with the earphones Brands got for me, and read up on my Miller Urey abiogenesis objections. Then came bio, where after a particularly dogmatic remark by the professor, (who is, by the way, a great teacher, and I can tell she loves biology, she reminds me of characters from the Madeleine L'engle books) regarding the origin of living cells and proteins via chemical evolution. So I raised my hand and asked how she reconciles a certain issue that even the rabid evolutionist author of our textbook admits is a challenge. We went back and forth for a bit, and then I said I didn't want to use any more of her lecture time up (which is true, she's nice and everyone needs to hear the lectures to get the info for exams). She thanked me and admitted that these are the sort of questions that keep her up at night. Then I heard someone behind me laughing, and thought, Oh, great, I'm "that" guy again. Just like in high school. But seriously, in this christian evangelical school no one once has said anything about the repeated dogmatic statements about chemical and biological evolution that have been made since the start of class. I'd say it makes up from one fifth to one third of each lecture. And no one's said anything! So I ask oblique questions to show that it's not cut and clean and to question their assumptions, just to keep my sanity and 'cause I can't stand to just let that sort of thing go. But I limit myself to one such question per class, and make sure I ask other relevant questions about non-evolutionary subject matter. But to my surprise, when we were doing an exercise sheet, the prof. came up and said that I ask such interesting questions and wanted to know if I could stop by her office after class (I couldn't, I have Greek right after). But I said I'd try in the next week.

Then after Bio lab later in the day, one guy from the Ukraine who was in my Lab group said, So, you seem really interested in those origin of life questions...
And I said, yes, I really am, but as you might have been able to tell, I'm not the biggest fan of chemical evolution.
He said, "neither am I, or Biological evolution either."
So then we got into it and I had a hard time getting back to the lab with all the talk about Ravi Zacharias and G.K. Chesterton and why evolution's (chemical evolution and common descent) is bunk. So we decided to be friends, and he said he was glad I'd asked questions in class since otherwise it would be as if the class was giving unanimous assent. Then after the lab we hung out waiting for our rides and he showed me all his quotes from various authors that he's got categorized in folders for research papers. I was impressed. He reminded me of a younger me, since I had to sit there for a while listening to him because he was just waiting for someone to come along that he could recite all his thoughts, quotes, favorite authors and apologetics to. It was a lot of fun and I thanked God for it.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Polycarbonate windows to twenty-twenty
even with insurance, they cost me plenty
Medical magic for my myopea
the key to a mole-eye's eye utopia
A tribute to my new spectacle pair-
now I can see, and my eyes can get air
I cannot live by contacts alone-
but glasses too - til I get Lasik done.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thank God for school, but Mondays, oh Mondays, they are days of very little sleep.

A really nice side effect of being busy with school stuff is I don't have enough time to stare blankly at a computer screen or keep refreshing facebook hoping some interesting updates will appear.

I love my Greek class. My Christian Formation class is all right, and Bio's fun, until the professor starts telling us reductionist fairy-tales about chemical and biological evolution and how we don't really need God, but to her, that just makes God seem all the greater. *Barf* She & the textbook were going on about the Miller-Urey experiment and when I asked why that was the only example they used if there were others that hadn't been refuted as well as it was and she threw out a long name and said we could talk about it later. But I don't have a later. I have another class right after Bio. Sigh.

There's a study area for commuter students called the collegium that I've been spending a couple hours in between classes, it's heavenly. Big comfy chairs and it's all laid out like a faculty club like one might see at Oxford or something. Very relaxing when you're in between classes on no sleep listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight" which makes you feel academic and heavenly even when you're daydreaming.

And now, I must go and sleep-dream.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I was just forced to shoot a squirrel with a blowgun in self defense.
Even though I hate squirrels, I wouldn't normally think to plug a dart in one, but this squirrel was threatening my wife and children.
At first it was trying to get to the bird feeder that's directly outside of the sliding glass door, which is when Brandy started making shooing motions at it. It moved in closer. Then Brandy opened the door & threw some pebbles at it, and it moved away just far enough to dodge the rocks, then came back and kept lunging at her through the glass.
So I pulled down the dart gun, opened the sliding door, and the squirrel charged. It was about three feet from my face when I hit it in the arm. It ran off into the wild where it belongs shaking it's arm with the four inch dart hanging out of it.
And I don't feel guilty, not one bit.
Take that, nut rat.