Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our Nature?

Just type in your name in the white space by "username" and you get your true nature. Or so it says ... How easy can that be?

Here is the link:

Tim's results:

Username: Thundercatt99

The quality that most appeals to you: Strength
In a survival situation, you: Run like hell
Your hidden talent is: Spiritual wisdom
Your gift is: Sexual prowess
In groups, you: Are the entertainment
Your best quality is: Your kindness
Your weakness is: Being predictable

Predictable?? Me??? Oh no!

Now Thats A Vacation!!!

This is one of those things I found looking for something else ...

BUT ... Imagine taking a year off from your job! It sounds really cool to me! Then to extend it further ... imagine the entire country putting work on the shelf for twelve months.

An interesting thought, but one God told Israel to do in Exodus 23:10-11.

"And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:

But the seventh [year] thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, [and] with thy oliveyard."

All work on the land was to be suspended on the seventh, sabbatical year, which in an agricultural society means the people were to rest from their ordinary work. Servants were set free, debts suspended ... Imagine what a person could do with a year of time on their hands. God promised to bless the harvest during the 6th year, enough to last until the harvest of the 8th year. However ... there was one condition to this gift ... that Israel faithfully follow the seventh year sabbatical regulations. And there is no indication they ever did though ...

But hey ... Now thats a vacation!

Friday, February 27, 2009

François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon

Came across this awesome quote to share with you all ...

"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you to conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself as to others.
If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration, just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God."

~François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Going to the Outback ...

.... The Oregon Outback that is. On my recent vacation there was a brief bit of time between storms so I thought a trip to the Oregon desert in Lake County Oregon was in order!

Fort Rock was once an island in a giant inland sea that covered the area, and the erosion you see in the photo below was from waves lapping the shore. This area was the site of a major archaeological discovery in Oregon — 9,000 year-old sage brush sandals. They were discovered in a nearby cave. The ancient volcanic formation is the shape of a crescent and a trail runs along the inside of the rim. I had the entire park to myself!

Even cooler is Crack in the Ground, which is about 8 miles north of Christmas Valley (another place I’d never been). Crack in the Ground is a sheer, deep, narrow, half-mile-long fissure in the surrounding volcanic rock. At its deepest points, it’s maybe 60 feet deep, and it ranges from a few feet to about eight feet in width. You can hike through it if you’re willing to do some rock clambering ... and I will be back!

The pictures can't bring the full essence of the area, but Abert Rim was majestic and huge... almost overwhelming.

Lake Abert is located in Lake County Oregon, and lies at the foot of a beautiful stretch of rock known as Abert Rim, along Highway 395. It is just northeast of the small town of Valley Falls in the south central part of the state, covering a decent amount of space as seen on a state map. Lake Abert is a saltwater lake with the smell of sulphur fairly present in the air. Lake Abert was an interesting location, different from what I imagined I might discover ... a more surreal experience with grey skies, heavy winds and maybe even gentle electric currents in the air. It was a fabulous day. Hope you enjoyed the trip!
A few more pictures are on my "other" blog:

something as simple

It often surprises me and amazes me the places where a person can find love and the many different kinds of love. God's love is what makes the other kinds possible. I do not believe in my heart that He hides His love from anyone. I just think it's a matter of finding it. It can be found in so many things and in so many places. Love can be found in something as simple as a complimate from a stranger ... something as simple as a butterfly hovering in front of you ... something as simple as the joy in a child's laughter ... something as simple as the smile on an elderly persons face ... something as simple a hug from a friend or a kiss on the cheek from a suitor ... something as simple as telling someone you love them or hearing it said to you ... something as simple as the determination of a devoted man in love ... something as simple as the beauty in the eyes of a woman in love ... something as simple as snuggling a family pet ... all these things are gifts of love that God gives to each of us daily at some point. If you had to choose between something as simple as getting your face licked by a goofy dog as opposed to nothing at all...which would you choose? Me? I'd take the lickin'. ~Hehehe~ The point is ... love is all around us. We just have to open our eyes and see it.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God Loves You More Than Flowers

God Loves You More Than Flowers

Matthew 6:25-26 "If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29 "Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33 "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
~The Message

This translation of this passage is so awesome isn't it!


Sometimes a person can get some of the most beautiful things from the most off the wall places and here is one of them by Roxy Music!


Try on your love

Like a new dress

The fit and the cut

Your friends to impress

Try on your smile -

Square on your face

Showing affection

Should be no disgrace

Try out your god

Hope he will send

Kindness from strangers

On whom you depend

Try on his coat

A mantle most fine

Myriad colours

His harmony-thine

Believe in me

Once seemed a good line

Now belief in Jesus

Is faith more sublime

Head in the clouds

But I can´t see the lord

Short of perfection

I´ll try to be good

I´ll stand at his gate

I´ll wait for his sign

Then i´ll walk in his garden

When it´s my time

Drink from his cup

Hush now don´t you cry

His quiet waters

Will never, never run dry

Nearing death´s vale

He´s here by my side

He leads me to paradise

A mountain so high
Don´t be afraid

Just treasure his word

Singing his praises

I know that i´ll be heard

He´s gonna take you by the hand

He´s gonna make you feel so good

Open up your eyes

And then you´ll see all that you should

Forget all your troubles

You will feel no pain

He´s all that you need

He´s your everything

When i´m feeling all at sea

Deliverance is that distant shore

I will not be worried

Someday his house will be my home

For ever more,

For ever more …

I just love this song!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tush Prints in the Sand

I thought the original "Foot Prints" kind of sappy, although I know many people found it spiritually helpful. I do like the "Dancing in the Sand" rewrite however. Anyways I came across this one ... "Butt Prints in the Sand."

Butt Prints In The Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,

One set of footprints there was seen,

The footprints of my precious Lord,

But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,

And I asked the Lord,

"What have we here?"

Those prints are large and round and neat,

"But Lord they are too big for feet."

"My child,"

He said in somber tones,

"For miles I carried you alone.

I challenged you to walk in faith,

But you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow,

The walk of faith,

you would not know.

So I got tired,

I got fed up,

and there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life,

there comes a time,

when one must fight,

and one must climb.

When one must rise and take a stand,

or leave their butt prints in the sand."

author unknown

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its about transformation!

“Beneath the surface of everyone’s life, especially the more mature, is an ache that will not go away. It can be ignored, disguised, mislabeled, or submerged by a torrent of activity, but it will not disappear. We were designed to enjoy a better world than this. And until that better world comes along, we will groan for what we do not have. An aching soul is evidence not of neurosis or spiritual immaturity, but of realism.”

~Larry Crabb

Our Christian journey must be rooted in reality not escapism. There is a strong appeal to provide our own relief, to provide our own happiness, but it is only God himself that can bring us rest for the soul. Its not even about relief! The Christian journey must be rooted in reality not escapism. The appeal is strong to provide our own relief, but it is only God himself that can bring us rest for the soul. Its not even about relief! It is about transformation!

Men and Women Sin Differently?

An interesting little article I came across … Just in time for Lent!

Two sexes ’sin in different ways’

Women are prouder than men, but men are more lustful, according to a Vatican report which states that the two sexes sin differently. ‘

A Catholic survey found that the most common sin for women was pride, while for men, the urge for food was only surpassed by the urge for sex. The report was based on a study of confessions carried out by Fr Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar.

The Pope’s personal theologian backed up the report in the Vatican newspaper. “Men and women sin in different ways,” Msgr Wojciech Giertych, theologian to the papal household, wrote in L’Osservatore Romano. “When you look at vices from the point of view of the difficulties they create you find that men experiment in a different way from women.”

Msgr Giertych said the most difficult sin for men to face was lust, followed by gluttony, sloth, anger, pride, envy and greed. For women, the most dangerous sins were pride, envy, anger, lust, and sloth, he added.

“The report was based on a study of confessions carried out by Fr Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar..” Hmmmmm … Are you kidding me?

What do you think? I would say in a general way that there probably is some truth to it …

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Virtual Church

An acquaintance of mine is getting involved in this ... What do you think?

I like the idea of having a place to go for those who are without a church home, but I really wonder about getting all of our "Church" online! There are other sites that propose to be a "Church" online as well, but what about relationships, accountability, and handshake, a hug, the list goes on ... Of course the Church is technically "us" as Christians and not a building ....I guess my question is ... Do we need to go to a local Church? Any thoughts?

All I can say is that it’s a good thing we don’t have a virtual Savior with a virtual humanity who virtually sympathizes with us and virtually intercedes for us ...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cave House 4 Sale! Be like Batman ....

Here is a once in a lifetime opportunity!!!! If you ever wanted to be like Batman ... In Missouri?

How cool is this!! Now if only I had $300,000 ...

"believing is seeing"

A different kind of question but its going to take me a bit to develop it I guess. There is this common saying that "seeing is believing." But I wonder really how true this is and maybe its more accurate to say "believing is seeing." Isn't it true, at least in part that how we see the world is filtered through our experiences and/or what we believe?

For example I've found that when you believe in Christ, and act on it, even in the smallest of ways, you get confirmation of those beliefs. With a person who don't act on it at all, the belief just sits there. The more of Jesus you experience, the more you act on that trust, the more clearly you see Him in everything. Hebrews 4:9-11 calls it entering Gods rest. Its a trust thing, acting on belief (the mustard seed kind of thing) that enables a person to see what they believe.

Faith really is not a matter of being sure of all the facts, all logic, footnoted, notarized evidence that the senses can confirm. (Although one can make a case for God based on that to the nth degree, I haven't myself seen anyone come to faith that way.) Faith is a matter of being sure of what we cannot see. ("Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1) Faith is a matter of acting on our belief, and we grow in our experience of Gods reality in our lives. It makes things really real. Our experience gets to align with the Holy Sprit within and the truth of gods word. Faith is not agreeing with a statement or something like that. Faith must venture out, take risks and change our lives...

Some thoughts on a Saturday morning ...

Friday, February 20, 2009

end of the beginning ...

Here's an excerpt from the Letter to the Ephesians:

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.

Just a thought ... But I think it's maybe the eyes of the heart, enlightened by the grace of God, that can see, no matter how life has been, the sorrows we have, the hurt is not the end, but merely the end of the beginning ...

Have a blessed day everyone!

From Water to Wine

Most of us know this story right? It was a spectacular miracle: he changed water into wine, so he must have the power of God. This miracle becomes like "proof" that Jesus is God's representative, and that He is as He said He was.

Here's the story:

John 2

From Water to Wine
1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus' mother told him, "They're just about out of wine."

4Jesus said, "Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn't my time. Don't push me."

5She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, "Whatever he tells you, do it."

6-7Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, "Fill the pots with water." And they filled them to the brim.

8"Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host," Jesus said, and they did.

9-10When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn't know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, "Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you've saved the best till now!"

11This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

~The Message

I guess what I've wondered is why did John basically start off his book with this story? This is pretty much what I've come up with. There is the marriage metaphore which comes up in many different places in the Bible. God as lover, and us as betrothed. Marriage of heaven and earth for example. A marriage back then was a way festive Jewish ritual. It a festival that lasted for days (!), and had lots of good things that in the average peasant life were not filled with! A flat out celebration!!

Its also the Gospel story in a nutshell really. The story of Jesus is the story of a wedding and a resurrection. It is a story about a wedding where the wine never runs out, and God's love never fails, even after death! It is a story about a wedding where the best is saved for last, and where the last are chosen before the first. It is a story about the man Jesus ... and us!

I've skimmed over this story really for years but now have come to the conclusion ... it really is a great way for John to kick off his book.

Just thought I would share that ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Indian Paintbrush

I love shooting photos, and I sell greeting cards here in Southern Oregon/ Northern California area. Anyways ... Here are some Red Indian Paintbrush that was shot on a trip nearby to Edisons Camp, Chiloquin, Oregon. The story is that the Paintbrush evoked the Native American legend of a young brave who tried to paint the sunset with his warpaints. Frustrated that he could not match the brilliance of nature, he ask for guidance from the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit gave him paintbrushes laden with the colors he so desired. With these, he painted his masterpiece and left the spent brushes in fields across the landscape. And here is a bunch!

Am I just out of date?

I've rarely done things like talk on the phone while writing a report, read with the tv on, chat on a IM while cooking, etc. My multiple tasks don't often occupy the exact same moment in time. When faxing, emailing, and call waiting became the norm, I noticed that there seemed to be a new sense of urgency in the world. People could no longer wait (even a few minutes) for things they had waited for previously. People seemed to have lost the ability to walk to the end of the hall to deliver a document. Getting a busy signal became a great irritation.

And yet, somehow, I don't get the impression that all this time saved has amounted to free time. It seems to have led to a greater need to save time and to more stress, more work. I read an article about research into the multitasking habits of modern society. It seems we now consider it pretty normal to do two things at once.

Leaving mothers aside (for certainly mothers have multi-tasked since the beginning of time!), What I'd like to ask you all is when did they find that it became necessary for us to multi-task and why. Does the technical ability to multi-task create the need to multi-task? Does the need to multi-task lead to the invention of the technical means to do so? .... Or is something else involved here?

I guess I'm just starting to feel a bit old-fashioned in my habits of wanting to do one thing at a time.

Am I just out of date? And if so, when did everything change? And Why?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Do you like Dr. Seuss? "Oh The Places You'll Go", was the last book written by Dr Seuss and I think one of his best!! ! It's about challenges and change. Oh The Places You'll Go describes up times and down times, waiting times and stressful times ... Here let it speak for itself!

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets.

Look’em over with care.

About some you will say,

“I don’t choose to go there.”

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.

In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do

to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,

don’t worry.

Don’t stew.

Just go right along.

You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind,

because you’ll have the speed.

You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but,

sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are,

then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,

you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted.

But mostly they’re darked.

A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out?

Do you dare to go in?

How much can you lose?

How much can you win?
And if you go in,

should you turn left or right…

or right-and-three-quarters?

Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it’s not,

I’m afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear,

toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…

for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,

or a plane to go or the mail to come,

or the rain to go or the phone to ring,

or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting,


for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil,

or a Better Break or a string of pearls,

or a pair of pants or a wig with curls,

or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.


That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.

You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,

once more you’ll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.

Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go!

There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored.

There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.


You’ll be famous as famous can be,

with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t.

Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too.

Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone,

there’s a very good chance

you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some,

down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul.

On you will go though your enemies prowl.

On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.

Onward up many a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike.

And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems

whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up,

of course,

as you already know.

You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?


You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!


be your name Buxbaum

or Bixby

or Bray

or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

One pill makes you smaller makes you tall ...

I found this article interesting on a number of levels ...

Pill to erase bad memories: Ethical furore over drugs 'that threaten human identity'

By David Derbyshire

A drug which appears to erase painful memories has been developed by scientists.

The astonishing treatment could help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder and those whose lives are plagued by hurtful recurrent memories. But British experts said the breakthrough raises disturbing ethical questions about what makes us human.

Experiments on animals had already shown that the drugs - beta-adrenergic receptor blockers - can interfere with how the brain makes and remakes memories of frightening events. Beta blockers appear to work because each time someone recalls a powerful emotional memory the memory is 'remade' by the brain.The drug interferes with this re-creation of the stressful memory - and prevents the brain renewing it. In theory, it could eradicate memories of traumatic events that happened years ago. It might also help patients overcome phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and even sexual hang-ups.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental-health charity Mind, said he was concerned about the 'fundamentally pharmacological' approach to problems such as phobias and anxiety. He told Channel 4 News that the unintended consequences 'could include the eradication of positive memories'.

Professor Neil Burgess of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience told the programme that wide-scale use of the drug was a long way off.

'All they've shown so far is that the increased ability to startle someone if they are feeling a bit anxious is reduced,' he said.

The ability to remove memories has been the stuff of science fiction for decades.

In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which starred Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, a couple used a technique to erase memories of each other when their relationship turned sour.

The full article here:

Geee .... Would you take such a pill? I can see it may work for a distressed victim of a rape for example, but what of all the other "side effects"? Even of you leave criminals aside - who could use it on themselves to avoid punishment or on their victims to erase their memories - bad and good memories make us the persons we are today. How comes the answer to everything nowdays is 'here, have a pill'. I think there are already so many other, healthier ways around bad memories. I also think many would agree that though some memories aren't sweet, they shape the person you are, by erasing these would be like losing part of yourself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


An interesting quote I like to share ...

All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night,in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

‘When the mother of a prodigal prays’

There is nothing hurts quite like the heartache of a prodigal child. I have had one myself. I have seen God's grace, faithfulness, and comfort through these difficult years and I trust Him implicitly but that doesn't mean that it is not heart wrenching. Let me share this poem with you which describes much better than I could the pain .... and hope ...

‘When the mother of a prodigal prays’

Somewhere the poor mother of a prodigal son cries,
Her eyes reddened and not taking in much at all,
For she’s seeing her son through the eyes of love
Not how the world sees him at all…
For every thief is some poor mother’s child,
He has captured her heart in love’s ransom-
Yet to her she still sees the son of her youth;
But he’s stolen all of her dreams…
Desperately and frantically the murderer flees
Yet from this one thing he can’t ever flee-
The love of his mother bowing in sorrow,
Bemoaning a love he can’t kill…
For every trembling junkie finally taking a fix
There’s a hurting mother just wondering why
The life that she gave him just isn’t enough;
And she bows her head slowly and cries…
The gavel thumps and the sentence is passed
She is ushered out as her son’s led away.
As tears flow down each side of her face
She still finds the strength to pray…
So for every news article that you ever read
Of sons that have gone their own way,
Remember that he has a mother who cares
And lift her to God when you pray…
For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…
O how this poor mother prays.

Glenys Robyn Hicks 2005

“Bear one another burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2

Monday, February 16, 2009

End of Days

Here's a quiz for you ... What is your eschatology?

A definition of eschatology is: 1 : a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind ...

Alrighty then ... the link:

Click here: Quiz Farm - What's your eschatology?

My result:

You scored as Premillenialist.

Premillenialism believes that there will be a rapture and tribulation before Jesus returns and overthrows the antichrist and establishes his Kingdom. Current events are spoken of in scripture.

Left Behind
Moltmannian Eschatology

OK ... Sure ...

"The Gift of Doubt"

Here is a quote I found a few days ago which I found interesting ...

"If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naive faith that has never known the firing line of doubt, I will choose the former every time."

~Gary Parker, from the book "The Gift of Doubt"

I think that doubt is important to a growing faith. Strength seems to come from struggle. I go through this where I know that I wrestle with certain "pet" sins for example, and I wonder why I don't make more dramatic progress over them. I also struggle with the horrible things going on in Indonesia and parts of Africa, and here at home ... with a lot of it done in the name of religion. Why doesn't God deal with this stuff! I guess what I'm saying is that I don't always have the complete and final answer to every question. [Which is not a surprise to those that know me! ] I think that with doubting, when we focus on one obstacle, we end up missing the big, overarching picture. Let me relate to you a story that was told to me that has helped me with this ...

Suppose a person saw his wife of 20 years holding hands with a man at the mall or wherever. Doesn't it look reasonable to assume she is cheating on her husband? If we just look at this bit of evidence one could possibly say 'Yes, she is. There is nothing to indicate she isn't cheating.' But that leaves out a lot of stuff doesn't it ...?

It leaves out the history of 20 years of marriage. Where the man knows her well enough, day in day out, to know she would not cheat this way. So although it may look like something fishy is going on, there has got to be another explanation!

Now lets say you found out she got a phone call from a man she helped lead to the Lord 20 years ago or something like that. He happened to be in town and she hasn't seen him in 2 decades! So they got together and were reminiscing, showing family pictures ect. He was getting ready to leave town for a foreign country lets say and she might never see him again. Sooo, like a brother and sister they were holding hands and talking in the mall ...

What I'm trying to show with this story is that there is usually a lot of other evidence that should be considered before making a final decision. Some of it we don't see. This goes for our friendships, relationship to God as well as our doubting. There is the history of the relationship. There is all the evidence there is a God, that He created you, the New Testament is historically trustworthy, that Jesus performed miracles, rose from the dead, that God wants to spend eternity with YOU. So even if everything is the pits right now and God seems absent ... you can factor all this other stuff in. Then its a bit easier to say for me, 'Even though I might not have an explanation of what is going on right now, I know there has got to be one because there is way to much evidence that Jesus is the Son of God, I can trust Him and His love for us as demonstrated by scripture and the Cross. With that I can have confidence that this situation or mess I'm in will eventually make sense and I'll see its fairness and see it from His point of view later on.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Heavenly Haiku

light pierces sunshine

hope becomes reality

snuggling at His feet

~Joanne Tolles

Short and straight to the point isn't it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Robot Advisor

From Ship of .... If you're facing one of those tough ethical decisions and don't know where to turn, why not whip along to the Christian Robot-Adviser for some timely words of advice?

From the site:

"Everyone is faced with many choices throughout the course of their lifetime. Many times, decisions are made on the basis of feelings experienced at the moment. Frequently, regrets later emerge as we face the consequences of unwise choices we made, and we wish we would have taken more time to think through all the options and implications of the various choices before us.

The Bible has many principles from God about decision-making. The application of these principles helps us to make wise decisions based on sound advice, and to avoid the error of making choices merely based on our feelings or moods at the moment.
Please, fill in the blank the problem you are facing and click the button for an advice."

Alrighty then ... I asked the robot "Should I go to Church in my briefs or not? It pretty much left the decision to me but it was rather interesting! It asked me if it would be a "glory to God", and "make worship easier" among others. I had to vote against the idea as it would be a "stumbling block to my brothers and sisters."

This thing is kinda fun in a strange way ... Give it a try ... What do you think?

love wounded and bound

A medieval poem I came across translated from old english...

In the valley of this restless mind I sought in mountain and in meadow

Trusting a true love to find

Upon a hill I took heed

A huge sadness complying then

"See, dear Soul, how My Heart bleeds?

Quia amore langueo!"

(Because I am sick for love!)

Upon this hill I found a Tree

Under a Tree a Man sitting

From Head to Foot wounded was He.

His Hearts blood I saw bleeding

He was handsome enough to be a King

A gracious Face to look upon.

I asked Him why He had pining

He said, "Quia amore langueo!"

"I am True Love Who fails never

My sister, Mannis (Man's) Soul, I loved her thus

Because I in no way part company

I left My Kingdom glorious

She flees; I follow, I sought her so

I suffered this pain piteous

Quia amore langueo

Friday, February 13, 2009


How about this quote ....

"If you can say: 'it's good to be alive,' then you know you are in the midst of joy."

~The Ever Amazing Author Unknown ....

unconditional agape

Its come up in the past about the concept of unconditional love, and its something I keep coming back to. Agape is a really amazing thing to really think about. Can we REALLY say that we can love another (mates, children, friends ect.) without wanting something back in return?

Another thing touched on was the subject of forgiveness in relation to unconditional love. Although often we may have to deal with the consequences of stepping away from God, He still forgives us and loves us agape style. And really, when it gets down to it, how often can we say that we do not hold a grudge and forgive others wholly?

So what comes to mind is what really is unconditional? Of course it means without condition. Like Gods forgiveness of us there are no conditions to be in a place to accept it, but the depths of it requires us to come out of every "unclean thing" (for lack of words) to experience it in greater and greater measure. This is not putting conditions on it, rather its a call to come!

An example from somewhere in the past... If I told you to get to the airport and fly to me because I got 10 million dollars to lay on you. What would be the point of taking baggage with you? You could if you want to, but you surely wouldn't need to. You can have whatever you need right? If you did you would not enjoy what is on offer so much if you are taking heavy baggage around. Sooner or later it will hinder your enjoyment of what has been given to you.

Or - Try going through a narrow staircase holding 4 suitcases, no conditions are laid down for you to get through but a little wisdom will enable you to do it! Some wandering thoughts from a wandering mind...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Between Barbies and Bratz Dolls!

Newsflash! I have been informed by my 10 year old daughter Hannah that Barbies are like sooooo yesterday. Bratz dolls are way cooler and even have their own TV show.

Thanks Hannah! Now I'm up to date!

God Would Kneel Down


I think God might be a little prejudiced.
For once He asked me to join Him on a walk
through this world,

and we gazed into every heart on this earth,
and I noticed He lingered a bit longer
before any face that was

and before any eyes that were

And sometimes when we passed
a soul in worship

God too would kneel

I have come to learn: God
adores His

~ St. Francis of Assisi
(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inflatable Church

An idea who's time has come! lol The inflatable church!

From the site:

"... The attention to detail is heavenly complete with plastic "stained glass" windows and airbrush artwork which replicates the traditional church. Inside it has an inflatable organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and a gold cross. Even the doors are flanked by air-filled angels."


The judging thing ... Its all about grace

Just some more thoughts or maybe reflections on this.

It is hard for some people to get their head around Christianity and the God of the Bible. Its hard for a lot of them to understand the sin thing, or how one man dying on the cross means all are forgiven, or of a man physically rising from the dead and disappearing into thin air! And there are things like "Christian terms": blood, righteousness ect. How a God of love condemns most to hell. It can sound kinda strange right? The Bible says that its only by Gods revelation that we can see this. I wonder at times whether Christians really realize that He uses US as that revelation at times. Non Christians DO look at Christians and how they treat one another and others in the world.

It seems at times that Christianity does much to gain converts then does a lot to ostracize and kick people out. You got to wonder about the person who goes to church for help. Lets say they are in a marriage that is an abusive unloving sham and the Pastor delivers a message about adultery and only through adultery they can divorce. The poor woman now must feel even God is against her! What a dilemma..

Ever notice how one Christian gets delivered from a certain thing then in short order pronounces judgment on others who are deemed to be captive of the same thing? Methinks that mankind loves to judge and in their hands the gospels are used for all sorts of mind games, abuse, manipulation and control. Then there comes the predestination issue were some say God chooses therefore the pressure is off them. Sheeeeeesh!

The Bible teaches us that God reveals Himself to all that search Him and He wants nobody to perish. God loves us with a head over heels and beyond love and we are all precious in His sight. I think at times that we forget how precious it is that we know Jesus, the treasure in the field the lost coin, ect. Its all about grace and what He has done for us and we really have no right to treat others as they "deserve." Its this surrender of self that we gain something of eternal value. Joy, peace, no fear of death and more He died to give us. We need to demonstrate our faith in Him in this surrender of self, demonstrate that we can "risk" for others as He will meet our needs. When we live our faith, that we can show this gift of grace to others as its been extended to us on a more complete and higher level that the world around us will notice for sure. The world I think is starving for this kind of grace. I think that there are going to be multitudes in heaven (who I thought were going elsewhere) as only God knows the heart. Its not up to us its about Him. Our "job" is to allow ourselves to be more and more open to Him, drawing ever closer, and allowing the outpouring of that to the world around us.

Just some thoughts on a Wednesday morning .......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gandhi: "I like your Christ ..."

What do you think of this Gandhi quote ...."I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are not like your Christ."

I've seen this quote in a lot of places and maybe you have too. On one level its convicting of course. But on the other hand that statement is true of every practitioner of every moral and ethical belief system in the known world. I mean, he's right and it upsets me sometimes too, but'll have to reject Gandhi's followers right along with Christians (he probably wouldn't disagree!) and ...well, everybody's. We're all guilty as charged there. Its like a co-worker of mine who used to say, "I don't go to church because it's full of hypocrites." But is this a reason not to accept Jesus though?

Just thought I would throw that out there ...

Stay Busy!

I came across these verses a couple of days ago during my lunchbreak at work ...

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow - perhaps they all will." Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6.

There are a lot of references in the Bible to sowing, planting and reaping. I think that sometimes as Christians we mistake the "waiting on God" thing to mean not to do anything unless there is a clear sign. However there is a clear sign that we should be sowing ... and often! To find a job, partner, end to conflict, ministry takes a lot of sowing into. Even things like reconciliation needs to be planted, watered ect. I like what it says in that verse, "Stay busy." Something thats hard to do when our heart is involved or things are looking impossible.

Just felt like sharing that verse with you all. Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

John the Baptist's .... Hand?

This is just bizarre ... What is it with these Russian newspapers??

Ancient Hand Inspires Talk of Miracles

By Anastasiya Lebedev

Thousands of people, many of them old women wearing long skirts and head scarves, shaded themselves with umbrellas as they waited for hours Wednesday to see and kiss a chest containing the purported right hand of John the Baptist.
"It's not every day that they bring something so holy to Moscow," Svetlana Chausova said, standing near the head of the line at 1 p.m. Chausova, 31, and most of her family had been waiting to get into Christ the Savior Cathedral since 6 a.m. Her husband had to give up earlier to go to work ..."

The relic was on display from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. when it first arrived. But the church authorized around-the-clock viewing this week due to the long line.

Several groups of women in line huddled under umbrellas to sing prayers. Nuns in long black habits and priests surrounded by their parishioners waited patiently and spoke of a holy apparition. Father Alexander from Zvenigorod, near Moscow, said that people waiting in line Friday had seen a rainbow halo around the sun and that attempts to photograph it resulted in images of an oil lamp with a blood-red cross over it. Marina, 75, who did not want to give her last name, said she had seen the rainbow and the photographs. She said she had seen another holy apparition in her hometown of Ramenskoye, near Moscow, last month, when a cross appeared in the sky over her church after a religious service.

Alexei Zagalsky, 13, and Timofei Zholninsky, 14, said they had come with their families but had managed to wiggle ahead in line. Zholninsky said praying to the relic would help their future.

"Yeah, when we're dead," Zagalsky quipped, causing his friend to argue that the prayers might help them with their university entrance exams. "All right, it could help us earlier than that," Zagalsky conceded.

The metro station exit leading to the cathedral was lined with panhandlers, apparently counting on the generosity of those going to see the relic. An ice cream vendor frantically handed out cones to perspiring customers.

Fotina, a 45-year-old nun, walked along the line of waiting believers to collect donations for the restoration of the 16th-century Poshekhonsky Convent, 500 kilometers northeast of Moscow in the Yaroslavl region. She said the convent, where she lives, had sent her to Moscow to collect money while the relic was in town.

Raisa, 65, who had been waiting since 6:30 a.m., said she had seen many relics and had been healed by praying to them. She refused to elaborate.

Nikolai, 50, came from the town of Chekhov, near Moscow, to pray for his wife, who was recovering after surgery.

Standing next to him with a violin case, Alla Kharitonova, 27, said she was running between the line and concerts scheduled for the day. She wore jeans but said she had a skirt in her bag to put on once she got inside the church.

Rimma Golubeva, 70, said she had heard that the hand had healed a man this week. She herself planned to pray for God to send a tsar to rule Russia. "Until there is a tsar, Russia won't lift its head," she said.

Sergei Kislitsyn, 27, who got up at 4:30 a.m. to catch a train from the Tver region, emerged from the church with a bewildered smile at 2:30 p.m. "It was like being hit over the head, only spiritually," Kislitsyn said.

He said he had seen other relics but had never had such a powerful experience. Asked what he had prayed for, he said, "To stop smoking. And to be saved, of course."

To be a Christian you have to be a little bit well crazy ...

"If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do." 2 Corinthians 5: 13-14 The Message

Author John Updike observes that the entire Gospel narratives about Jesus are where "Two worlds collide and Jesus overthrows common sense."

I think Updike really nailed it. In the Gospel, common sense is overthrown. Jesus said the last comes first, the meek and lowly overthrow the rich and powerful. Everything about the Christian faith goes against the grain. In this world, most things that seems right are probably wrong, and most everything that is attested to by social wisdom really misses the point. It is all craziness. It is all foolishness from beginning to end I'd say! From Genesis to Revelation ... But that's what makes it so special. That's why I love being a Christian! This stuff isn't the stuff of ordinary craziness. All these people they were not just any old lunatics. These people were crazy for God and in return God was crazy for them. Sure enough it is all foolishness, but as Paul says it is all God's foolishness. To be a Christian you have to be a little bit well crazy ...

John 3:8, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Thoughts on a Monday ....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

'Dem Bones/Sedlec Ossuary Chapel of All Saints

Ezekiel - Chapter 37:4 Then he said to me, "Speak to these bones and say, `Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to breathe into you and make you live again! 6 I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.' "

Now for something different I came across ...

Until it was bombed out in World War II, a Christian sanctuary called the Sacra Infirmary Chapel on Malta was decorated entirely with human bones. The three photos below show detail in the Sedlec Ossuary Chapel of All Saints, located in the Czech Republic. It is decorated with the bones of 40,000 saints!

Now this raises a theological question. If it is believed that those who are "resurrected with Christ" in the last day will rise up with their bodies, then what would one see if one was in one of these chapels at the moment of the Last Trump? Just had to ask ...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bible Fight

This link has been sitting on my desktop for a few days while I have tried ... and failed ... to come up with some sort of appropriate commentary for it. But words continue to fail me, so I will just let you see for yourself:

Click here: [adult swim] Games Bible Fight

Is this offensive? Funny? Blasphemous? Just plain goofy? Which way does it strike you, and why? Whichever it is, somebody sure spent a lot of time and energy designing it. (And my vote for coolest special move goes to Noah's "Ark Stampede"attack.)

Psalm 61

The writers of the Psalms lived in a world that took the existence of God utterly for granted. The Psalm writers may often lament the absence of this God from their lives, but they never doubt that there is a God who could be present. In our Post Modern world, even those who have taken that leap of faith know that that is what we have done, and many people stand on the brink, wondering how to get across at all.

My workplace in this troubled economic time is a “battlefield” which is teaching me more than I ever could imagine. In trying to keep things in perspective, I continuously tell myself that the negativity and stress there is refining my character. Some days however, my character refuses to be refined! Working in a chaotic environment brings out the worst in everyone, including me.

There are times I realize how deep my resentment runs. I’ve distanced myself from some and have been remote to overworked managers who are trying the best they can. Rancor? I feel it running deeply in my soul; shattering the image I have of myself as a kind, loving Christian. My reluctant prayer is one of thanks to God, for once again reminding me that my place of trial holds the potential for my greatest growth. And, the key to survival is placing my hope in Him alone. He promises He will carry my burdens, today I purpose (again!) that I will let Him.

I share this Psalm with the prayer that it might speak to other people of faith--and doubt-- and enrich their lives and experience of the divine in the day to day.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Psalm 61

A David Psalm 1-2

God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer.

When I'm far from anywhere,

down to my last gasp,

I call out, "Guide me

up High Rock Mountain!"

3-5 You've always given me breathing room,

a place to get away from it all,

A lifetime pass to your safe-house,

an open invitation as your guest.

You've always taken me seriously, God,

made me welcome among those who know and love you.

6-8 Let the days of the king add up

to years and years of good rule.

Set his throne in the full light of God;

post Steady Love and Good Faith as lookouts,

And I'll be the poet who sings your glory—

and live what I sing every day.

(The Message)

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Mary Magdalene Story

Although we are not anywhere close to the Easter season, here is an interesting story I came across ...

"Easter eggs are not just a tradition of the western church; they are found in Orthodox traditions as well. While eggs can be dyed any color, red is by far the most common, and the reason has to do with a legend told about Saint Mary Magdalene.

To the Orthodox, Mary Magdalene was not the "reformed prostitute" portrayed in the west. Rather, she was an educated noblewoman who helped finance the ministry of Jesus and who, after the resurrection, used her social standing to teach the gospel to upper class people who would never have listened to a mere fisherman. She has the title "Equal of the Apostles" because of her importance to the early church.

The egg story tells of her travelling to Rome after the Ascension and being admitted to the court of Tiberius Caesar. At a dinner party, she told the emperor of the miscarriage of justice done by Pilate, and then about how Jesus rose from the dead. Mary picked up an egg from the dinner table to illustrate the idea of resurrection. Tiberius scoffed at the story, saying that a man could no more rise from the dead than the egg in her hand turn red. The egg immediately turned a bright scarlet."

What a cool story!

Original Street Preachers

"I am sending you out as sheep among wolves ... For I am with you." (Tim paraphrase)

This story in Luke is a flat out exciting one! Jesus made it clear that He was sending the disciples out on their own under His authority. He gave them amazing and immense power and ability to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits ... He enabled them to teach and preach with effectiveness. Without any financial support they went ... God provided support. There was no planned itinerary, no blueprints or action plans ... The Holy Spirit was to be their guide. No extra clothing or provision was to be brought along either ... The hospitality of others, prepared minds and hearts took care of that too.

Mind you, this was no far out adventure. But what a fantastic assignment this would be for these guys! But, we have to remind ourselves that these men haven't known Jesus all that well yet. And the disciples that went out had huge imperfections and failures. James and john, the 'Sons of Thunder' for a reason. And Peter, totally unpredictable and could probably cuss a whale of a blue streak for sure. And for Matthew, who probably enjoyed at least some luxury and comfort, this had to be some kind of demanding ordeal to look forward to. And of course Judas ... But Jesus didn't discard them but instead sent them out to do a job as He found them. It was Jesus Himself, by His Spirit which healed, Jesus who taught ...

It seems to me nowadays that many Christians want to operate in only one gift ... I'm an evangelist, I'm a teacher, doctor or prayer warrior, whatever. But here are people entrusted by Christ to fulfill the entire responsibilities of ministering completely to the body, soul and spirit! You know, upon thinking about it, this must rank as one of Jesus' greatest miracles! It essentially excites and captivates me as it shows what Jesus can do with anyone who is available to Him!

Just wanted to share ...

Tim, inspired by the writings of "apostlederrik"

Luke 10

Jesus Sends Out His Disciples

The Lord now chose seventy-two* other disciples and sent them on ahead in pairs to all the towns and villages he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask him to send out more workers for his fields. 3 Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don't take along any money, or a traveler's bag, or even an extra pair of sandals. And don't stop to greet anyone on the road.
5 "Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing. 6 If those who live there are worthy, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7 When you enter a town, don't move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide you. Don't hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.
8 "If a town welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you 9 and heal the sick. As you heal them, say, `The Kingdom of God is near you now.' 10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 `We wipe the dust of your town from our feet as a public announcement of your doom. And don't forget the Kingdom of God is near!'

16 Then he said to the disciples, "Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God who sent me."
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, "Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!"
18 "Yes," he told them, "I saw Satan falling from heaven as a flash of lightning!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Holy Sonnet 10

This may be a little different to leave you all on this evening but I wanted to share this with you. Every now and again I need to post something of "culture" right? Any way ... Most of us has read at least a part of this before and many have read the whole thing. But as the last lines state, death is just a passage, a doorway if you will to our next life, a glorious life with God! Something to remind myself when the day to day seems unending as it were. Have a blessed evening everyone!

Holy Sonnet: 10

By John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Jesus Pan

Put the image of Jesus ...RIGHT ON food!!!

This is truly strange ...

Would anyone really want Jesus on their pancakes? What would the informercial for this thing be like? Can you imagine waking up early on a Saturday morning and seeing some over-caffeinated man hawking these things, for ONLY $19.95 (plus shipping and handling). "And, guess what? If you order in the next five minutes, we'll double your order! That's right--you get TWO pans so that you can make twice as many pancakes with the image of Jesus on them..."

Tim, on to other bigger and better things ...