31 May 2007

Moved. Dammit.

That was the most grueling 5-day "weekend" EVAH. :-) Unpacking at the new house; minor renovations, yard work, and LOTS of cleaning at the old house in what will probably prove to be a vain effort to get much of our security deposit back; a heap of move-related errands; and some small amount of sleep. But we're DONE, for some definition of done. Done with round one of unpacking, where almost everything is out of boxes and roughly where it belongs. (Round 2, where everything is more precisely where it belongs and everything is clean, needed to wait until our cleaning supplies made it over from the old place, anyway.) Done, done, and done with the falling-apart rental house in Vienna. Done with the oven where the knobs have no labels and are falling off. Done with the fridge with pieces peeling off it. Done with the doors that won't close. Done with mowing the big, unused lawn. Done with the landlord and property manager doing nothing with the place, ever, ever, ever, no matter how many times we call, even if the roof leaks whenever it rains or it's impossible to lock the deadbolt in the front door. Done. Tired, sore, and contented. And done.

BTW, I tried to email everybody I could think of with our new address, but if I missed you, please chalk it up to fatigue and email me for the scoop. Also, note that our home phone number won't work for a while as we're transferring over the old landline number to Tina's new cell phone. So the best way to reach us by voice is to call my cell. (Email me if you need the number.) Finally...we won't get internet hooked up at the new place until next Thursday (the 7th), so apologies if I'm a little less responsive than usual.


14 May 2007


This may seem odd, following as it does my big insight ;-) about guilt, but think of it as something I'm holding in tension. I was listening to Chumbawamba's seminal album Tubthumper over the weekend. Their song "The Big Issue" begins like this:

There are those
Spend the night under bridges
Over by the river
Down in the park through the winter
But there's a house that I know
Safe and warm
And no-one ever goes there
Down where the priests bless the wine

It made me think: we (by which I mean the Church) suck.

That's not the whole story, of course. Sometimes we manage to not completely suck.

13 May 2007

Something I wrote during this morning's service

(By the way, the image at left is of a painting by my unbelievably talented artist friend Becky. If you like it, check out her online gallery.)

I'm not sure this (below) counts as a poem. It was sort of meant as a response to Ken's excellent homily in today's service within our Easter Season series. (Series word/image: "blooms".) We did a kind of extemporaneous poetry slam in response to Ken's content this morning. I'm hoping some of the other folks will send their stuff in to be posted on the church services blog that doesn't quite exist yet, but will soon. I'm not that impressed with my own effort, but some of my homeys' words were so sharp and fresh as to elicit gasps, as well as finger snaps. (That's a beat poet thing, or so I understand from my friends Mark and Mike, not to mention So I Married an Ax Murderer.) Anyway, here's my...whatever it is:


Open, fragile, full of potential - ?


God helps those who help themselves
I am the master of my destiny
The future I see - the future I WANT
For myself, my family, my community, my world
Will only happen if I MAKE it happen
It's on me to takethe bull by the horns
And steer my future toward
Well, toward something better
Fuller, richer...

We know this...right?
It's just common sense.




That's just crazy...right?

10 May 2007

Guilt and calling

OK, so I sort of feel like the combination of a conversation I had last night, and a magazine article I read this morning, crystallized something I've been hearing buzzing in conversations for a little while now. It's a matter of opinion, not some prophetic insight, but here it is:

I'm not saying that a genuine calling to some kind of service might not be peppered with a dose of healthily convicted motivation - I can certainly predict with confidence that nothing I do will ever be free of that sort of thing. And certainly it's sometimes appropriate to enter into some relatively short-term service role that we don't relish but feel obligated to do, if it's a real need and there's nobody else to do it. (I would advise entering into these with a defined limited time-frame and only after much prayer.) And I'm certainly not saying that, in a life of following Jesus, we won't find ourselves in situations that suck mightily, and that we should follow our natural impulse to run away from situations like that - sorry to say, but I'm learning that extreme suckitude is part and parcel of following Jesus. Probably could have intuited that from a careful reading of the Gospels or Acts, but some things you need to learn for yourself, I guess.

But I am saying this: if you're in some kind of ongoing role that you might call ministry - service to God and/or your fellow talking monkeys (that is, beloved children of God made in God's image and likeness) - and you're doing it primarily out of a sense of guilt or obligation, then I humbly submit that now might be a good time to start being on the lookout for something else to do. That goes double if you're considering a new ministry, and have reason to suspect that this may be your chief motivation. Again, just my opinion, FWIW.

Note to CT folks: don't read too much into this. ;-)