Wednesday, April 26, 2006

From Eugene Peterson's EAT THIS BOOK
























Quotes from others in the book

"To know much and to taste nothing--of what use is that?"--Bonaventure

"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?"--Kafka


Some starter quotes from Peterson

when we open the Bible --we enter the totally unfamiliar world of God, a world of creation and salvation stretching endlessly above and beyond us. (7)

I want to counter this widespread preactive of taking perosnal experience instead of the Bible as the authority for living...I want to confront and expose this replacement of the authoritative Bible for the authoritative self. (17)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Another poem

The room
its spinning
I know I was supposed to say
something
but I open my mouth
and hear
foriegn words
on my tongue

My feet
try to stand
strong
like roots
of a strong oak tree
but
my hands shake
my toes taop
my vocal chords
fail me
like a violin
being played as strings break

Inside
of me
waves crest
winds swirl
like I am in the eye
of a great storm
I try to keep
my eyes focused
so they do not swim
all over the room

She's smart
she's kind
she's beautiful
I'm sunk

Monday, April 24, 2006

Endorsement opportunity?


Michael Vick made the news after settling a lawsuit today. I think he might be able to make back the money he lost with product endorsements

A poem I wrote

A baby cries,
and a mother smiles.
Completely unalarmed,
counting the opportunity
to soothe
a blessing in itself

The angry woman
laughs out loud
and her angry gaze
lets in a glimmer
of vulnerability

The newest members
of the mile high club
sneak out together
and find out
they are very near
to the ground

Each person
a storyy
each moment
a chapter
able to be read
in a revealing gaze

From Bush in the OC on immigration


"I know this is an emotional debate," Bush told the Orange County Business Council. "But one thing we can't lose site of is that we are talking about human beings, decent human beings."


"Massive deportation of the people here is not going to work," Bush said as a Congress divided over immigration returned from a two-week recess. "It's just not going to work."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Quotes from THE LAST WORD



The church will not thrive by performing in a bumbling amateur fashion and hoping that piety and goodwill will make up for incompetence. (139)

Sermons are supposed to be "audible sacraments"

Scripture is there to be a means of God's action in and through us--which will include, but go far beyond the mere conveying of information. (30)

the God Christians worship is characterized not least as a God who SPEAKS, who communicates with human creatures in words. (34)

Close to the heart of Christianity...was the sense of the church as the community that lives with and under Scripture (60)

Once you make Scripture stand on its hind legs and dance a jig it becomes a tame pet rather than a roaring lion. (70) It is no longer authoritative in any strict sense; that is, it may be cited as though in "proof" of some point or other but not leading the way, energizing the church the the fresh breathe of God himself.

The Oscars Got it Right






















My mother, her friend, and I watched this movie Tuesday night. We watched the end and we just looked at one another and said "WOW!" Over and over again we just thought and said "WOW!"

Strangely, as I watched this, the movie Collateral came to mind.

There is a lot to think about after watching the movie. Racism is shown to be rampant at every turn. There is this sense that even the best people in the story have a bit of evil in them, and even the most distasteful characters are not too far away from doing some of the most virtuous things. There is also this sense of disconnection and lonliness that pervades this movie, which is becoming more and more prevalent of a theme in movies, especially movies set in Los Angeles.

I am still thinking about and mulling over this movie, and think it may be something that is well worth buying instead of just renting a few times.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Minister's Challenge

Every time I am at church I am challenged to really worship...even if I am not leading it. Actually, especially if I am not leading it.

When i am leading worship I am more easily able to focus on connecting with others and with God. I feel things. I connect. I encounter the presence of God in a unique way.

But weeks like last Sunday, it is hard not going to church and being an observer and an analyst instead of a worshipper. I think...what are they doing here? Should we try that? Did he just say that? What publisher wrote that song? Look how they integrated their powerpoint with special music...I wonder how we could pull that together? It is hard to let go. It is hard to move from nitpicker to worshipper. From student to disciple.

Part of how I have come to deal with this is to bring my thoughts into a worshipful conversation. I think...I would have dealt with that passage different...and it moves me to think on and meditate about what the Scripture teaches.

The pastor last sunday used the phrases "jism" (referring to leftover liquid in a hollow egg) and "pull your head out". These were hard to ignore because such slang and words with double meanings would be cause for my firing...but it helped me thank God that my uncle can attend church with someone who can speak to him in everyday language since he has just been going back to church after about a 30+ year hiatus.

But it is still difficult. And I am not sure what all the answers are in overcoming this.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Urgency

Today was a good day. I had a wonderful time with my mother, my uncle and my neice at church.

Getting ready to go to church I felt a little strange this morning. Why did I want to get all dressed up? And what is this with me dressing up all the time lately. I am worried that I have been conditioned by my environment toward preppiness. It kinda scares me. I went to church in a town where half the people are wearing levis and hoodies to church and I did not feel right going out without dressing up in my suitpants and sportcoat. Is that weird? I am not sure if it is or isnt?

I thought the service was ok. Not great but ok. The sermon was a little scattered but I got something very meaningful out of it. In particular, it made me think about the urgency of Matthew 28. The resurrection account.

The angel commands them to hurry and to get where they need to be next. They run. At the end they are told to "go into all the world and make disciples". Then I watched Sahara. Again...the emphasis on urgency of moments and situations.

Now there are people I know who make everything a crisis and every situation an urgent one. They are passionate and dramatic about something needing to be done right now. And, most of the time those people are using their emergency to provoke your urgent response for their benefit.

But there are some things that we would claim as priorities in our life that need more time in our "urgent" box, but we push them down the road and we push them away because...well...because we think we can.

Christ's message of the kingdom of God is an urgent one. It was urgent to Jesus. It should be urgent to those who choose to follow and obey him. Not necessarily urgent in the sense that we pressure and coerce people into believing and living like we do out of fear and manipulation. But urgent in the sense that it is todays news and todays traffic report. The message of Jesus is something people need to hear right now. The kingdom life is something people need to see right now.

Furthermore, the resurrection is something we need to live in light of right now. Right now we have hope. Right now we can live with purpose.

Ok...now I am sounding like a Van Halen song so I will stop...
Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Henry Lee Carter

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My other blog

I have MY SPACE. If you do too send me a friend request!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Role Reversal

It has been different doing the whole role reversal thing lately. Especially today.

I have been nagging mom on what she can and cannot do. She feels a little sore still, but sees herself as fully capable of doing lots of things she should not. So, I have become the nag that chases her around and tells her to sit down and keeps an eye on her.

If I am not careful, mom will beat me to the dishwasher, load the laundry machine, take things in and out of the oven etc. She is a 1-2 grade teacher, a mother of two, and the oldest of 5 siblings whose mother was widowed. Mom's whole mode of operation is caring for others. She is not only my mother, she is the type of person who mothers everyone, and mothers for a living as well. Now she can't really do much of that at all after neck surgery with bone fusion and disc removal.

Today we went into the doctor. I asked mom if she wanted me to come in with her. Nah, she said, I will just have her report to you when she is done with me. I kept telling her the things she cannot do. But mom has a hard time believing me.

Friar--"Mother if you cannot vacuum you cannot push the grocey cart"

Mom--"Damn it! I am not that bad off."

Friar--"Mom if you dont settle down we are going to have you get one of those hovercraft carts you can drive around in"

Mom--"F*** you" (she said this in a loving way with a smile on her face)

Friar--Love you

Mom--Love you too baby. (Squeezes my hand and moves to side of the cart and holds on to it and guides its direction)

OR

I was out talking to Tera in the greenhouse while she was smoking a few cigs after work.

Clint--I need to check on the pizza. I think it is about done.

Tera and Clint go inside. Mom has already taken the chicago style pizza out of the oven.

Friar--"Damn it mom. That pizza is 6 pounds and you are not supposed to be lifting more than 5. And you should not be picking things up and putting stress on your neck.

Mom--"It would have burnt if you were not in here. Dont worry I am fine. I am not helpless.

Friar--"Sorry I am not doing a good enough job as a cook and a housecleaner. I will try and do a better job next time"

Mom--"Now you are making me feel guilty Clint, that is mean."

Tera--laughs and smiles, because I just told her I have been giving mom guilt trips every time she cannot do something because I cannot win an argument with her.

So anyway she is in the doctors office. And the doctor came out, and started describing what she could and could not do. Long story short, the doctor was clearly telling her what I had been saying for a week.

Doctor--no jerking motions. No up and back motions. No bending over. She can do dishes if she is standing upright.

Friar--So she can rinse dishes and do dishes by hand but not take dishes in and out of the dishwasher.

Doctor--Correct.

Mom--Brat!

Friar--What about pushing shopping carts

Doctor--That is to much back and forth jerking motions. Not good.

Mom--gives me a look like "OK, you win"

Friar--She is wanting to go into work.

Doctor--You have just had major surgery. You need to take care of yourself or you are going to have to go through this all over again.

I did not say I told you so. I guess because it was written all over my face. So we got home and I told my mother.

Friar--You know what mom, I think you could have the cleanest house in the world from the chest up.

Mom--Shut up. (Gives me a little punch on the arm. We both giggle. She sits down to watch more of the first season of Six Feet Under.)

Life Update

Well, I have been here in Alaska for a week.

Not an awful lot exciting going on...at least not yet. We have had lots of visitors--especially from like 3 to 7pm or so.

Let me give you the rundown on who they are. That way you can match pictures with descriptions is forthcoming posts:

Darcy--my cousin. A sweetheart. Almost 21. Was 2 when we moved here when I was a freshman, and now she can almost go drinking with me. Her boyfriend is 19. She has her PCA certification as of last month, and is slowly working from getting her GED to nursing. Has been dropping by for 6 hours at a time or so.

Sonny-fullback for Kenai high school when they won 4 championships in a row. Part white and part Alaska native. My cousins live in boyfriend. Working toward being a welder.

Janice--middle aged recent divorcee and teaches with mom at school. A sweet lady, but frustrates me that she comes in and unloads all her drama on mom within two hours after we get home from Anchorage. Which gets me kinda defensive of my mother.....but mom is too nice to say anything so I go into the next room

Steve--My uncle. Recovering from cancer treatment. Director of Public Works for the City of Soldotna. Has lost 50-70 pounds with the radiation treatments. Still his same old ornery tenderhearted self. Wears a white tshirt under a flannel shirt and levis jeans most of the time. Says the words "God damn" on a frequent basis, although he has been cutting back with that since he started going to church lately after a break of 30-40 years. After being fishing buddies with a local pastor for 15 years or so he decided to join his daughter in attending the church. Avid fisherman and hunter. Thinks of my sister and I almost like his own kids. My moms only brother.

Anna--Steve's daughter, darcys sister. Was born when I moved here. Graduating from high school this year. Had prom last weekend. Have not seen much of Anna, which is normal.

Tammy--Darcy and Annas mom. Fun woman. Also can be abrasive and difficult for people to deal with at times. But she has a soft spot for the Friar. She is, after all, the one who gave the good friar his nickname at a party where I had o...about 5-6 drinks and danced a lot with my neices who were in grade school at the time. We did not get a long for a while...she called me a braindead pubert at one point, and I told her "better a braindead pubert than a feminazi bitch like you". For some reason we have been better friends ever since.

Judy--Mom's good buddy and next door neighbor. A short chubby woman with a heart of gold. Voice reminds me of Marge's sisters on the Simpsons. Never married. In her 40s or so...but now has a pretty serious boyfriend. She teaches with mom at the school as well. She is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. And she is pretty funny sometimes too.

Lynn--Another one of moms co-workers as a primary grade teacher. The one who has organized most of the meals that people have brought over while I have been here for our family. Her hubby is the HS principal.

Tara--Single gal in her early thirties. She has dropped by twice. Very chatty and down to earth. Brought us stew monday night. Dropped by last night. Probably going to get out of the house and hang out with her a little this weekend.

Dalton and Carter--second cousins that came over and wrestled the whole time they were here.
Dalton got knocked out getting hit over the head by a table while helping put them away. He likes riding his motorcycle a lot. He is 9.

I guess I told you about these folks to tell you more about me.

A lot of people I think get the impression that because I am "Friar Tuck" I come from a churchgoing family with more proper Christian friends. Or that because I am more intellectual that I come from a family that is a lot like that. Neither is true.

My mom loves to read, but generally reads romance novels. My dad is a groundskeeping supervisor who does not read as much any more because he does not like wearing glasses. They are divorced. Both are smart, and would test well above average on an IQ test. Neither one of them care too much about intellectual pursuit though. I was watching Charlie Rose interview someone one night....and mom patted me on the head and said "Its ok to be smart baby"...shook her head...and then patted me on mine and went to bed.

My mom went to church when we were growing up, but most of my influences in my life were not dedicated churchgoers. I wonder at times if this is part of my struggle with churches....I am not from that church world...nor do I want to be. I love Jesus...and I serve the church. I love church people, but dont really groove on churchiness or church culture. Love bible studies that are good discussions. Hate potlucks.

I am an odd duck.

Well I am rambling...but hopefully you are getting to know me better, even if I am not doing my normal thinking and writing stuff.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ten Things I love about Kenai Penninsula, Alaska

1. $4 flannel shirts off of the big and tall clearance rack at Fred Meyer in the spring

2. That it is still light at 9:30pm

3. That I am usually the best dressed person in town around here

4. One word: Family

5. This time of year: nobody around here washes their car

6. Rush hour means busy traffic, not standstill traffic

7. Men on a power lunch to learn how to make King Salmon lures

8. My mother's friends and their QVC cult

9. PTI and Around the Horn can be seen over a late lunch---instead of the middle of the afternoon.

10. Infomercials on cable start two hours later.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Progress

Somebody wanted to get past me while I was sitting here. And, for some reason I decided to sit "indian style". It is not something I have done with any level of comfort in about 7 years. Maybe even if I dont look that much thinner, there is at least a little bit of progress being made with regular exercise.

Then this reminded me of something else. Three times in the last three months I got in a hurry and started jogging. I had also not jogged voluntarily in years. I thought hmmmm.....maybe there is a little growth happening here.

Fat Man Flying

Ok....some thoughts on travelling as a "person of girth". Maybe it will even make Brotha Buck's Blog.

First of all, I had to fly over here on a small 40 passenger plane with very small seats. Not fun. The lady beside me cozied up to the window and slept, but planes always make me tense.
I just sit and am jealous of the 120 stick figure gal two rows back who has nobody beside her. O well.

I told my mom I am not flying on the puddlejumper down to where she lives. I am going to need a ride back to Anchorage on the way back. Having to report your weight to the stewardess so she can balance the plane correctly, that is too small of a plane for me!

One might think as a big guy that I feel somewhat different than everyone else on the plane. But...I am much the same. Each time a large person comes down the aisle....I am praying. Please lord, dont let the big person sit by me! Let the seat next to me be empty! Let some beautiful woman who is a chubby chaser sit here, and let her fall in love (0r lust) with me.

Speaking of which...there is something about flying and travelling that makes me feel a little bit....hmmmm.....lets just say my attention is peaked toward other people while I travel.

I think this is true overall. I sit and observe people. I observe the range of humanity in the airport, and my heart goes out to them. I wonder what peoples lives are like. I feel a connection with them without speaking. I dont know why travel does that. And, I dont know if I am the only one that feels this way. But I do.

Smiles and Swaggers in a Las Vegas Airport

This bliss of the wireless age is upon us folks, and I am reaping the temptations and rewards.

This week, I clicked on my computer and discovered that there were several wireless networks were available to me. Some of them are secured, but I have been told that the Springs is a test site for city wide wireless systems like we have with cell phones. Nevertheless, I am not having to buy a coffee at Panera everytime I want a wireless fix anymore.

Also, I have discovered that nearly every airport has free wireless internet as well. So...I am sitting next to my gate puttering away on my computer listening to tracy chapman and dfavid allen coe.

I am surprised how friendly people are here. After flirting with the change gal while I dropped $7 dollars on video poker, I decided to quit while I was behind. As I walked down the hall in the airport I noticed a strange phenomenon. At every plug in were people also sitting on the floor with their computers. Some working hard, some playing around, and I suppose some might even blogging. Got in some good conversations about how many bars were available with the connection, and found my own place behind the desk for my gate.

I am thinking i could handle vegas again.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Update



























My mother came out of surgery and the doctor said that she is doing well.

Praise God!

A new blog


One of the kids I used to work with in Montana sent me this and told me "welcome to the addiction" when I began a my space site.

Even more interesting is that I am accessing free floating wireless internet technology from home now. And I am enjoying that a lot.

I have my fiinger in these two books right now.

















I bought one song off of each of these albums a couple of weeks ago. From Marc Broussard I bought "Home" and from David Allen Coe I bought "You dont even call me by my name". Not a bad investment for under $2

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I can't help it



I LOVE this album. Ordinary People is a great song. And although I totally disagree with the premise of what Legend communicates in NUMBER ONE, I love that song to. Especially when Kanye West raps about how the heart and other parts of his anatomy have different minds. Probably my favorite song on the album, however is "I CAN CHANGE". It is just smooth. For those of you who are unfamiliar with John Legend, I would say he has a "new soul" music type of a feel, with a little hip hop feel blended in for good measure. Vocally, at times Legend reminds me of Smokey Robinson. Although, Legend is a little more sensual (and at times poetic) than a lot of Robinson's stuff.

The whole album, to use church terms, has a liturgical flow to it. Not only does each song on the album stand alone, the album flows to tell an overarching story of loves lost, found, lost, and found again.

Combine this with Leela James and a glass of your favorite adult beverage and a good book (if you are uninvolved) or a candlelight dinner (if you have a special someone). You wont be disappointed.

The Ultimate Blockbuster Movie

Say it aint so










Your Political Profile



Overall: 30% Conservative, 70% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Sunday, April 02, 2006

When Its Springtime in Alaska its 40 below


I am going home to be with my mamma for a couple weeks on Friday.

Mom is having a disk removed from her neck. She will be having surgery on Wednesday, and then I am arriving on Friday. My uncle Steve, my mom, and I will be driving home to Soldotna, AK from Anchorage on Friday night. My uncle is trying to get a check up for the doctor up there to look at the cancer he has in his face and his ear while he is there.

I am heading home to basically help take care of things for Mom. She is flying me "back home". She wont be able to drive for at least two weeks. And, most likely she will not be able to do much more than sit with a neck brace on for a couple of weeks. (So Carrie if you wanna drive down for a visit I would love to see ya!)

So I am going up to play chauffer and housekeeper (though I think she will have a hard time letting me do a lot of the housekeeper stuff, and I am not sure she will want to eat my cooking!). It wont begin to make up for all the love my momma has given me over the years, but it is a little start. And, it is a good excuse to get away from work as well.

On some other personal notes:

Many of you may not know I have a thing for candles--especially in my office. The function in my office is twofold. One is I try to set up certain places in my office that are worshipful, spiritual places. Having candles in my office is one way I do this. Especially if I throw on some gospel (black gospel or country gospel) or some more aetherial Catholic worship music (like sacred opera arias or taize chants). It helps me get centered when things seem out of control. I dont say this very often. It seems so not keeping with my blue-collar roots (Get Er Done).

Do most of you know that no matter how little I have slept the night before I find it nearly impossible to go to sleep early. When I go back home to Alaska you better bet I will be online until the we hours of the morning while mom is trying to sleep in the other room with her neck brace and sleep machine.

For those of you who are more of the churchgoing sort, dont you hate it when you get part of the bread stuff stuck in your throat while you are taking communion. This is especially difficult when you are helping to lead communion in church like I was today. I had to wait until the organ started playing and people started passing the plates of wine (while actually grape juice for us Baptists of course). Then I hacked it up and reswallowed. Don't ya hate it when that happens?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Disappointment and Disallusionment


This poster epitomizes how I feel today. There seems to be nothing I can do right.

It has been like that the last two weeks. Had my identity stolen because I was a stupid moron. Had my car break down with over 300 dollars in repairs that were necessary. (uhhhm...put it on the card sir!) Last weekend's attendance at youth group and EDGE were both miserable. Led a meeting that can be described as nothing more than a total disaster on Tuesday. Bored people to tears in Bible Study on Wednesday (thank goodness hardly anybody attended that either).

Then I signed on with a spot on "my space" to have another point of connection with the kids. This has not been all that encouraging either. One person talked about how she was being forced to church, another person has lots of foul language liberally sprayed all over his sight, and the third person I know with a spot from our youth refuses to allow me to see her space. Then a couple of 14 year olds decided to sneak out and take their parent's car joyriding all over the city, and one of the key kids in youth group said he can't make it for a major event this weekend because he has to be at soccer practice. At least the first person clarified that she felt that way her first Sunday, and feels much better about things now. So even with the small group of students I have, I am getting nowhere.

Nevermind that I am single, (another failure in my mind), I am in debt (with the IRS needing its stuff by April 15), I don't have any friends here in Colorado Springs, and other than liking the way I rearranged the furniture in the house, there is not much happy going on with me.

That, along with increased work responsibilities, has made it hard to show up here and write interesting stuff as often.

Sorry for whining.