Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rooms I painted

Proverbs from CT magazine

If you can talk, you can sing
if you can walk , you can dance.
African Proverb

Worry often gives a small thing
a big shadow
Swedish Proverb

Man plans; God laughs
Yiddish Saying

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book
Irish proverb

When elephants fight, the grass is always the one that suffers
Swahili saying

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today
Chinese proverb

From Friday in OCC with Jen

From right to left:
Kayleigh, Paris, Emily, and Ben...
the C-Springs kids from FBC of Colorado Springs and Emmanuel Baptist Church Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Am I painting the wall

I spilled pain in my pocket twice. How embarassing! Here is the picture of me finishing up the room. Here is more of the story of our week including a reflection by me HERE

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Friar fails linguistics

Most of the day today on our work trip I have been running errands in the van. I am the driver on the trip so it meant lots of errands and such while everyone else does home renovation for victims of Katrina. However, I did get to the owners of one house. He was describing how being handicapped and being in a FEMA trailer is not the most healthy thing when trying to get healthier. And then he pointed to his son, and in a deep Southern African-American accent pointed to his son and said what I thought was "That is Harry, and he is our autistic child"

So I went to talk to Harry, and after one minute of carrying on a conversation with him (or trying) he said a bunch of things that did not really make sense, and said something I did not quite understand. Then I realized that I need to get a better ear for the accents in these parts, because he identified his son not as ARTISTIC but AUTISTIC.

I am a moron.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Starting tomorrow I will be on a mission trip to Mississippi to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Posted by Picasa

A good reminder

 Posted by Picasa

Actually it is Matthew 3:1

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Standing Bold, Standing Strong

I just turned down a job today. I took Monday and Tuesday off of work to interview for the job, and on the drive home decided that it was not for me.

There were several things that were interesting about the whole process. First, I never imagined I would spend so much time in an interview process talking about the content of my blog. In your blog you said this about your current position.... and In your blog you seem to deal with was surreal. I almost felt like a rockstar facing the poparazzi.

In particular they focused in on two things. One was my personal journey of ministry, especially as it pertains to being here in Colorado Springs. I have made no bones inside and outside of this church community that this has been a difficult road for me here in Colorado Springs. I have went from feeling accomplished and successful to feeling trapped and destined to fail in many ways. In many of those posts I was raw, and straight forward about what I felt and how I felt. And it was out there for all the world to see. And, to this day, I dont regret talking about those things at all. Not only is my openness and authenticity one of my key strengths in my blog, it is one of the key strengths in my life and in my ministry. And it is a key step in my journey toward health and wholeness, even if it hurts me a little in professional circles.

The other, strangely enough, was my occasional mention of moderate use of alcohol (I have never been drunk). One person on the hiring committee was concerned that this would affect the youth ministry adversely. An somewhat understandable concern. The committee wanted to be unanimous, so they decided to enter a two week discernment process on what they should do. And that they should review my blog for concerns in the meantime.

In the process I was told that I was too open and too self-disclosing in this forum by other members of the hiring team. I honestly think that this was more about them than me. I think that these people wanted me to come work with them and were frustrated that what I shared was hurting that process. And since I like these people and respect them, I wanted to see if they had a word of wisdom for me. So, I went back to December 2004. I re-read my entire blog over the last year and a half. And I asked myself....should I be sharing what I am sharing? Am I too open--enough so that I dont have proper boundaries?

And I discovered about 3 things that I wondered if they should have been shared. One was about struggles with dating, and included discovering someone was married in the middle of the first date. (I did admit to also having a drink she made on that date, I did not mention that she was African-American). But being as I did not do anything wrong on that date...and the story was pretty dang funny, I kept it on my blog.

Another was the purchase of a calandar called "Prarie Girls" this spring. I was a fairly modest calandar of women looking pretty and appearing to work on a farm. It was $4. This probably was not the wisest decision to blog about or to purchase. I was feeling ornery. Which, for anyone who knows me, tends to happen a little bit. So, I regretted posting it, but I left it anyway.

Finally, I posted a joke about a pretend forthcoming film with Halle Berry and Jessica Alba called--"Brokeback 2: America's Next Blockbuster". It was a fake movie poster. A little wrong I admit. But several months later I still looked at the pic and thought....dang that is pretty dang funny. So I left it up there as well.

In the process, I got to look back at my journey since that day in December 2004 when I started this blog. And that was a very enlightening experience.

I started blogging to somehow, someway begin devleoping my writing skills and demonstrating them to a broader audience. I do that still, but less often than before. Then it also became a social endeavor, getting to meet and know people throughout the world. That continues to go well. Also, my blogging experience has allowed me to network with leaders in ministry and youth ministry. I am grateful for that, and even got a few books out of the deal. And, my bloggging experience has become a learning experience, getting to read about lots of different things and different perspectives.

But most of all, as I reviewed, it was interesting to look at the journey of my life over the last two years. It has been fun to see the highs and the lows. To relive the joys and to try and skim over the failures. To see how I have learned and grown in the process of what has become in many ways a spiritual discipline.

And, most of all, to see through all of the waves that I have riden through in the last two years, that I am still standing bold and standing strong.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Makes me miss being up north

I saw this picture of Senator Murkowski online today. She won the fishing tournament designed as a fundraiser to support fishing habitat preservation and development on the Kenai River. My first guess is that this was either taken at the college fishing hole or one of the two off the main drag in town. Surprisingly no democratic senators participated in this environmental fundraiser. The fundraiser collected $800,000 for protecting fish habitat on the Kenai.

I think this pic from the looks of things was taken somewhere in Soldotna...whcere my mom teaches school and my uncle is the city engineer. Actually, my uncle has done some stuff for habitat protection while supporting sportfishing acessability. In recognition of this they named his favorite fishing hole "Bonebrake Boardwalk" after him. or maybe he named it himself, but I dont think so.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Racism and ol' Sigmund

When I lived in Montana my final year I had a small group of freshman boys. Some of them were popular. One of them I had to drive home from church everytime he came to youth group. His name was Jim. His parents lived in a trailer. His dad was a trucker. Many would have considered them rednecks.

Thus, when I was driving Jim home one night I almost had to pull over due to uncontrolled laughter when Jim and I had this conversation:

"Clint," Jim said

"What are you thinking?" I answered

"You know after we had this conversation about racism and how it was wrong and all that," Jim relplied (Our teaching for that week corresponded with MLK Jr. day)

"Yes," I answered trying to focus on the winter road in the dark and look out for deer.

"Well...I have this theory....I think racism is stupid...and I think all racism is penis envy." Jim said animatedly.

I didn't really have an answer for him. I was laughing to hard to say a word

Birthday list--Part 1

1. Casual Male Big and Tall Gift Cert

2. A tent (that sleeps at least four...none of these tinie tiny ones)

3. Tires for the car

4. Battery for the car (still working but doesnt pack the punch it used to)

5. Itunes Gift Certificate

6. Tennis Shoes (size 15)

7. a plug in thing for my laptop

8. a year long subscription to t-mobile hot spot.

My birthday is August 13

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Quote no more

Most of my quote collections will also be on the Nanook blog from now on.

I was wrong

I have read further through The Secret Message of Jesus, and now it seems to be to be more utterly brilliant and original that it was upon my first observation. Instead of NT Wright for dummies, think NT Wright meets Henri Nouwen meets Eugene Peterson. Or, if you are more comforable with a blue-collar title for a book, think Christian mysticism for anal retentives.

There is a lot to say about the book, but it is interesting how far McLaren takes the "secrecy" metaphor of living as a disciple of Christ. And in doing so, in typical humble and self-effacing fashion, McLaren slowly deconstructs American Christianity's love affair with wealth, fame, and success as measures of faithfulness.

He talks about how Jesus was born in an out of the way place. How he speaks in parables that people have to work to understand. How Jesus carries out signs and wonders that inspire more questions and answers then and now than they do answer questions.

Don't think for a minute that with this metaphor for secrecy McLaren is trying to convince us to be secretive and unopen about our faith. He talks about faith being an open secret...and our responsibility to share our faith with others. Although he does point out how Jesus teaches spiritual disciplines of secrecy, such as giving to the poor, prayer and fasting, etc.

But all in all, the secrecy metaphor is all about how the gospel of Christ defies our attempts to try and define it and control it. Faith is something that needs to be lived. And to live by faith in the God of the Bible, we will always be subversive secret agents, misunderstood mystics, countercultural advocates for love, compassion and non-violence. And that this will be true especially for disciples that are embedded in a Christian culture. When we are faithful to Jesus we will always be on the verge of failure, always being surprising people, always being revolutionaries against the status quo of the world. And the church.

Other Blogs

I have several other little blogs hanging around for different reasons:

Nanook's notes and theories--this is something encouraged by a friend who laughs at me when I say, "I have a theory about that"..which I have learned I say quite often. This is an online log of my theories as the come to me. Very brief posts.

My Space Poetry--This is a collection of poetry, all of which is also shared on this site

Scripture Snippets--This is a devotional blog I have not paid much attention to lately.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Secret Message of Jesus

Much like John Ortberg called a lot of his books "Dallas Willard for dummies" this most recent book from McLaren could best be called "NT Wright for dummies" at a lot of points.

Which isnt a bad thing. Not at all...that is in part what I think he was trying to accomplish.

But it is what it is.

Sad News

I have become the "goldilocks " of the thermometer in the office. 78 degrees is to hot for a darn office in the middle of the summer dang it.
Check out Scot McKnight on Zealotry and American Conservative Christianity (an ongoing series)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quotes from a fellow friar: the movie nacho libre

Nacho: I was wondering if you would like to join me in my quarters this night... for some toast.

Nacho: Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room... It's for fun.

Nacho: Don't you want a taste of the glory? Don't you want to know what it tastes like? Just one time!

Esqueleto: I don't believe in God, I believe in science.

Nacho: They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!

Nacho: And... they don't think I know a buttload of crap about the gospel, but I DO, ok?

Sister Encarnación: Well, my favorite color is light tan. My favourite animal is puppies. I like serving the lord. Hiking, play volleyball...
Nacho: You gotta be kidding me. Everything you just said, is MY favourite thing to do, every day!

Sister Encarnación: Wrestling is ungodly Ignacio. People cheer for him... and he is a false idol.
Nacho: Whatever.

Señor Ramon: What is this?
Nacho: Leftovers. Enjoy.
Señor Ramon: There is no flavor. There are no spices. Where are the chips?
Nacho: Somebody stole them.
Señor Ramon: Did you not tell them that they were the Lord's chips?
Nacho: I was trying to!
Señor Ramon: You are useless Ignacio!
Elderly Monk: Silence brothers! This is the worst lunch I ever had.
Señor Ramon: Your only job is to cook. Do you not realize I have had diarrhea since Easters?
Nacho: Ok... Maybe I am not meant for these duties. Cooking duty. Dead guy duty. Maybe it's time for me to get a better duty!

Nacho: I'm a little concerned right now. About... your salvation and stuff. How come you have not been baptized?
Esqueleto: Because I never got around to it ok? I dunno why you always have to be judging me because I only believe in science.

Nacho: Ok. Orphans! Listen to Ignacio. I know it is fun to wrestle. A nice piledrive to the face, or a punch to the face, but you cannot do it. Because, it is in the Bible not to wrestle your neighbour.
Chancho: So you've never wrestled?
Nacho: Me? No. Come on. Don't be crazy. I know the wrestlers get all the fancy ladies, and the clothes, and the free creams and lotions. But my life is good! Really good. I get to wake up every morning, at 5AM, and make some soup! It's the best. I love it. I get to lay in a bed, all by myself, all of my life! That's fantastic! Go. Go away! Read some books!

Esqueleto: Summon your eagle powers.
Nacho: What do you think I'm doing?
Nacho: [Losing badly, about to take a big hit] Eagle powers... come to me! Please!

Esqueleto: Summon your eagle powers.

Sister EncarnaciÛn: I brought you something.
[holding corn in both hands]
Nacho: Get that corn out of my face!

Nacho: Get that corn outta my face!

Nacho: I'm not listening to you. you're crazy.

Esqueleto: For reals?

Nacho: Those eggs were a lie, Esteban. A LIE! They give you no eagle powers. The give you no nutrients!
Esqueleto: Sorry.
Nacho: I dont want to get paid to lose. I wanna win!

Nacho: I am a-singing at the party
Nacho: I am singing it's my turn to sing at this party
Nacho: Everyone is dancing, happy party
Nacho: But Ramses is not dancing he does not dance at the parties
Nacho: Ramses' number one he knows the secret of desire
Nacho: Ramses is the one, he puts the people all on fire

Nacho: It sucks to be me right now!
Esqueleto: How come?
Nacho: How come you think? I used to really like Ramses. I wanted to become him! But it turns out, he's a real douche.

Nacho: I'm not listening to you! You only believe in Science. That's probably why we never win!
Esqueleto: We never win because you are fat!

Chancho: Nacho! Where are you going?
Nacho: There is no place for me in this world. I don't belong out there, and I don't belong in here. So I'm going out into the Wilderness. Probably, to die.
Chancho: Well, you might need this
[Gives Nacho the sword]
Chancho: My mother gave it to me before she died. It was her lucky machete. You can have it.
Nacho: I hope to see you again little Chancho. Maybe in the next life.

Nacho: Precious Father, why have you given me this desire to wrestle and then made me such a stinky warrior?

Esqueleto: I believe in science!

Nacho: Beneath the clothes, we find a man, and beneath the man, we find... a nucleus

Nacho: Thank you I mean yes, they might have the appearance of riches, but beneath the clothes, you find a man, and beneath the man you find, his... nucleus.

Chancho: Here, take this, my mother gave it to me. It was her lucky machete.

Nacho: Those eggs were a lie, Steven!

Nacho: It *sucks* to be me right now.

Nacho: I know it is fun to wrestle... a nice pile drive to the face... or a punch to the face...

Nacho: ...but my life is good. Really good! I get to wake up every morning at 5am and make some soup. Its the best! I love it! I get to lay in a bed by myself all of my life. Its fantastic!

Nacho: See that guy over there? We need to show him that we mean business. That we are ready for the 'big leagues'.

Nacho: Do you remember when everyone was shouting my name, and I used my strength to rip my blouse.

Nacho: These are my recreation clothes.
Sister Encarnación: They look expensive.
Nacho: Thank you.

Juan Pablo: How come we can never eat a normal salad?
Nacho: Be grateful Juan Pablo today's meal is especially delicious
[eats the beans and quickly spits it out]

Nacho: [singing] I ate some bugs, I ate some grass, I used my hand, to wipe my tears.

Nacho: Don't touch my blouse.

Esqueleto: I hate all the orphans in the world.

Nacho: Have you ever have you ever had feelings for a nun?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Postmodern Armour

I was sitting at home getting things ready to go to the laundromat and do 7 loads of laundry, and I got sucked into the show on the STYLE network called "How do I look?"

The whole show is about people getting a makeover of their appearance and getting a whole new set of clothes to change their image a little bit. This week there was this junior high goth home schooler that was on. And she was talking about her clothes as if they were her armour. They made her tough and protected her from bullies. The coat she made had been with her as she escaped life threatening danger.

And it got me to thinking....I think for some of us, using clothing as armour is more common than one might think. My boss likes to wear robes on Sunday. I am convinced that this in part is a protection device...a way of putting a distance between him and the rest of the congegation. Some folks dress sloppy so they wont be judges. And then, a lot of us wear clothes a certain way to hide faults in our appearance. And some wear a noticeable lack of clothes, sometimes, in part to protect themselves from people getting to really know them as a person.

There are a lot of ways I am convinced we use clothes as armour. Even wearing the "power" suit.


Saying What Needs to be Said, But Should Go Without Saying           Racism is wrong. Violence based on racial prejudice is wrong. Christi...