Friday, October 29, 2010

Can a new birth grow old
if it steps too far from the draught
of the old-growth tree
-from the fountain,
from it's knees?

the skin is tough
the heart's gone sour
an ulcered tomato
in a bitter stew

Bring me back,
give me a Word,
re-cord me to the New.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I feel like I'm being given a raw deal at work,
as if my failings are magnified and others' overlooked
but what can I do?
compare myself to other men?
and expect justice on the earth?
If I have wronged, however small,
let me bare my back for beating
as my earthly masters see fit
and God help me to know
from the blood in my bones
that even this
is not to my credit.

If there is injustice
in unequal measures
of bureaucratic wrath
then let it be
for my True Master
to search out.

Let your blows inside the blows of men
and purge my inmost heart
to serve you in all things
with a clean conscience
and a pure will.

God, I entrust myself to your judgement
and I trust fully in your mercy
if there is vindication
to be had
from the scars and twistings
received from little kings,
then let it be
for you to raise up
and cast down.
Until then,
I'll wait.

Why this urge to justify?
An unrighteous thread in a tapestry of rebellion
what is it in me
that cries out for a verdict
that my fibers are not as soiled
as the surrounding warp and weft?
The only outside eye can see
more clearly than I
and if I call for a premature
appearance of the Judge of all the earth
who can endure the day of his coming?
Who can stand when he appears?
For he will be like a refiner's fire!
But I will call out for cleansing of
what is unclean in me
and let him be to me not a judge of others,
but for me, a launderer's soap.

Monday, October 18, 2010

We have the van back!

Its Babylonian captivity is over. I went to write a review of "Premier Transmission" and found quite a few scathing reviews from the past month or so written by other customers/victims. After having read some of the reviews I became much more certain that our situation wasn't a fluke, and felt a lot better about writing a "never go here" review.

Thankfully, TJ & Destiny (friends from work) have been kind enough to lend us their Toyota 4runner (nice car by the way) for the past two weeks, so we've at least been able to get around.

Still trying to get a home fellowship off the ground. The meeting time for HF 'leader training' is Sundays, (2 in a row) 12-4pm. If I were to go, I'd be going to work Sat. night at 9pm, getting off at 7:30am, going to church, staying til 4pm, and going back to work for another 10hr grave shift at 9pm Sun, and starting classes as soon as I got out of work at 7:30am Monday morning. Sooooooo, I don't think I'll be doing that. Lord willing it'll work out so I don't have to, I spoke to Pastor Jack down here at the Wallingford campus and he sympathized with my situation. If they end up not letting us do the HF for that reason, I figure I'll just start a bible study out of the house and start inviting ppl from school/work/apartment.

Pastor Wayne spoke out of Luke today, where Jesus says "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" and goes on to tell the parable about the rich man who wanted to build bigger barns. I felt convicted about that, as I've been developing a buyer's impulse with my student account. It gives me free two-day shipping, and that's been such an incentive that I've found myself searching Amazon for "needs" that qualify for the aforementioned free shipping.

So, instead of being given to Gospel for Asia or needy acquaintances to 'make friends that will welcome me into eternal dwellings', my filthy lucre's been poured out in sacrifice to the inflamed lust aroused by free shipping. Lord forgive me.

I almost went down to the front for prayer after service, but there was only one guy praying and a man who looked even needier than I was in the process of voicing his requests, so I went out and helped Brandy herd the monkeys instead.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just watched "The Fountain" with Brandy, and am struck
1.) With Eve's name "Chavvah" meaning "Life", "Living"
2.) With Oswald Chambers' definition of Love: "We have defined love, in its highest sense, as being the sovereign preference of my person for another person."

He develops this saying:
"The surest sign that God has done a work of grace in my heart is that I love Jesus Christ best, not weakly and faintly, not intellectually, but passionately, personally and devotedly, overwhelming every other love of my life."

Love is the sovereign preference of my person for another person, and we may be astonished to realise that love springs from a voluntary choice. Love for God does not spring naturally out of the human heart; but it is open to us to choose whether we will have the love of God imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. “. . . the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5; see also Luke 11:13). We are emphasising just now the need of voluntary choice. It is of no use to pray, “O Lord, for more love! give me love like Thine; I do want to love Thee better,” if we have not begun at the first place, and that is to choose to receive the Holy Spirit Who will shed abroad the love of God in our hearts.
Beware of the tendency of trying to do what God alone can do, and of blaming God for not doing what we alone can do. We try to save ourselves, but God only can do that; and we try to sanctify ourselves, but God only can do that. After God has done these sovereign works of grace in our hearts, we have to work them out in our lives. “. . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
The love of God is the great mainspring, and by our voluntary choice we can have that love shed abroad in our hearts, then unless hindered by disobedience, it will go on to develop into the perfect love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
We have, then, to make the voluntary choice of receiving the Holy Spirit Who will shed abroad in our hearts the love of God, and when we have that wonderful love in our hearts, the sovereign preference for Jesus Christ, our love for others will be relative to this central love. “We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

What's up with customer service in this country? I bought a copy of N.T. Wright's "New Testament and the People of God" and it took them three weeks to send me the wrong book. Then there's our van which has been in the shop for a month and a half, the half is because they put a bad transmission in it to begin with, and I had to take it back after it crapped out on me during the drive home. Ever since they've been stringing me along with promises that it'll be ready "In two days, maybe tomorrow" for the last couple of weeks. Their "call center" consists of one guy that treats you like a pest whenever you call in, and it seems like his job description is to keep you from learning anything about the status of your repair and to deter you from ever calling again. When I did pick it up after the initial (faulty) 'repair' I noticed a chip in the windshield that wasn't there before. I asked about it and they suggested that I go to a glass repair place that would fix it for free with most insurance.
The booksellers let me keep the book, and are issuing a refund. I'm more than satisfied with that. I've tried multiple times to get in contact with the manager at the Auto place and have yet to receive a reply.

I keep thinking of proverbs 24:29: Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

But man, "the man" sure has been ripping us off! I think I at least need to leave them some reviews letting other customers know what they did so that they won't be screwed over in the same way. Is it possible to do that out of concern for their potential customers without it being mixed with a desire to hurt their business in retribution for how badly they've treated us?

I guess that's what I'll need to aim for, but it'll take the Holy Spirit & conscious effort.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Conversations in the Car.

Josiah: (as we pass a Burger King) "Oh, Burger King, I love Burger King!"

Me: He loves Burger King hon.

Brandy: Yes, he loved it. (Burger King disappears in the rearview mirror.)

Me: "Josiah, it's better to have loved and lost that to have never loved at all!"

Josiah: "What does that mean?"

Me: "It's a saying, people say it 'cause they believe it's better to love something or someone, even if you end up losing them."

Jaelle: (incredulous) "That's NOT true!"

Josiah: "WHOA! That car could've killed us!"

Jaelle: "Mom, we should go to McDonalds, 'cause there's so many delicious things there."

Enoch: "I'm hungry and thursty, I'm hungry thursty too!"

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

T.J.: "You have children, I have animals."

Me: "What about "animals are people too"?"

T.J. "That's debatable."

I think if you've been up for 23 hours you should qualify as a "vulnerable adult", at least until you've had a solid six hours of sleep.

The spiders have had a population explosion this year. I can't walk across campus at night without getting outfitted with a web-beard form all the little spider shanties that've been strewn thickly across every path.

There have always been spiders on campus but this year It's begun to feel more like an invasion, like Starship Troopers or something.

The spiders are thick and juicy, obviously the result of some spider-vitamin a robber-baron chemical factory has dumped into the canal on the north side of campus. They crawl around everywhere like a festering mess of mini-Shelobs from Lord of the Rings, as I hold out my flashlight like the star-glass light to fend them off, or at least to warn me before I walk face-first into another web and am forced to spend the next five minutes brushing myself off in paranoia and peeling the remnants of spider silly-string off my arms and eyebrows. They've only gotten larger as the year's progressed, right now the average one could pose a danger to small dogs and children. If the raccoons around here weren't so low to the ground I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them sucked dry and left hanging in some grand specimen's web.

But it's finally getting Autumn chilly, and I think that's killing them off.
The brain. Feels like it's frozen, fuzzy-frozen like something left too long in the freezer, so long that it's responded by a winter coat of frost.
Not sleeping, staying up all night walking around in the dark through empty buildings and driving through empty streets. Sometimes my job feels like a post-apocalyptic novel. All I need is the zombies.
Sometimes I think I see one in the theater building but then realize it's only a mirror, one of those full-length ones that the resident thespians use to check their outfits before entering stage left.
That zombie stares dully back at me with his tired brown eyes before using his expandable baton to poke at the enormous spiders infesting the corner of the stairwell.

The moon is spectacular tonight. Or, this morning. It's 5:54 and the moon just rose an hour or so ago. It's a waning crescent that has the subdued light to the rest of it, just enough so you can still see that it's a round thing, not just a hanging scythe. It looks like a black-brown velvet against the blue-black sky.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Tis the season when the blogs lose posts like trees gone autumn streaking, when the cold demands of academia force expression back into hiding.

But I'm gonna try to go for evergreen.

After approaching a friend with an old grievance, which no matter how hard I'd tried I couldn't just remit as a better man might, we got reconciliation. Insert something about Olive oil dribbling on a Hight Priest's facial hair here. I've felt so freed, the skies have opened up, and thoughts for the future have been making their way up through the crust like crocuses.

Emailed our pastor re. Pastoring, planting a church, being sent, and was told to serve or go to CCBC. CCBC I believe would be super-duperfluous, but we're already in the works for hosting a HF.

Along those lines, began reading a book "Love Acceptance and Forgiveness". VERY good book thus far, but I first tried to read it in the tired times after getting off grave shift and after the subsequent church service. I'd been up for 24 hours and the opening story about a pastor who had an affair and was then welcomed back into fellowship and "restored to ministry" proved too much for me and I threw it over to the nightstand and rolled over into sleep.
The rest of the book thus far is all clean water, fast flowing. But the first part really got my noggin & soul in a twist.

I need to figure out for myself for sure what God says about remarriage after divorce. I've for a long time believed from my reading of scripture that there's nothing but celibacy, lifelong celibacy for anyone divorced. But since I've yet to meet anyone in the nowadays church who agrees with me, I suppose I need to go over it again. Considering the condition of christianity in America, if I do eventually become a pastor that particular issue will likely be a common one, and I'll need to have some sort of solid answer.

Taking Latin, Ancient Civ, and Christian Theology this quarter. As of now I tend to agree in general with the author of "Love Acceptance & Forgiveness" that ppl who've grown up in the church should go to secular colleges, in part 'cause these theology classes don't really teach me much. We're reading through Augustine's "Confessions" (which I've read twice already on my own). Not that I don't like the Confessions, it's actually a very edifying and well-written book, but it seems silly to take a class to read it again. (Okay, that's not the only book we're reading but I'm just saying.)
Yet I go to a Christian College. But I think I have a specific mission here, and it's not just to enjoy the nice "christian" environment, so I think my presence here is legit.
Plus, the guy who wrote "Love Acceptance and Forgiveness" graduated from Seattle Pacific University too, so I think I'm OK.