Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are we ready to believe again?

Show us the wisdom, show us truth. Cut the bullshit from our lives, and show us what it means to be Sons and Daughters of a living God.

Too often I think we dress ourselves up like our brother Jacob in a hope that we'll receive a blessing that will never really come. We've (I've) fallen prey to this idea that humility means to think less of ourselves than what God sees of us. No I'm not talking about an inflated sense of self. But nurturing this idea that we're 'worthless', 'powerless to affect change', that we can do nothing. Yes, Yes, we are all these things IF NOT FOR GOD.

Are we ready to believe again? Are we ready to believe that we are sons and daughters of a living God - to cut out the BS, or whatever it is you want to call it - of the world. Let's believe again - shall we? Let's trust again.

Are we satisfied with this blessing?

"Blessed are those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness, for THEY shall be satisfied. It's in the satisfaction (I think) of the sons and daughters that are the blessing. There are so many ways to misread this, I don't even wanna start.

It's not the world that justifies us - WISDOM is justified by her children. We are able to enter a whole NEW set of ideals, rules - the whole playbook has changed. We're being called to his heart - to be satisfied by HIM... Anything less than do I articulate it - Anything less than that is ____.

Show us wisdom. Show us truth. Show us what it means to be satisfied by the "draw of God"

... a lot of these ideas are inspired by Mr.Upton, So blame him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

building a mystery..

To be a witness
 does not consist 
in engaging in propaganda,
 nor even in stirring people up,
 but in being a living mystery.
It means to live 
in such a way 
that one’s life 
would not make sense if God did not exist.

Emmanuel Célestin Cardinal Suhard

The need for peace

Begging, pleading and the like are more closely related to the false prophets who did such at Elijah’s challenge to them on Mount Carmel. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Peace. His presence in you will always produce peace – yes, in the midst of down town traffic. Even Elijah found that the small voice is where God spends most of His time.

This is why so many hear from God when they relax, or they are driving, working, or doing anything but pleading. If God answers us by our pleading, then he has just said we can earn His love. Peace before Him says we “trust” or have “faith” in Him.

John Paul Jackson

Sunday, February 24, 2008

but a second hand emotion...

Love stings: it's messy and complicated. God's love seems to be a bit different. I really can't talk on this topic. It's late, my stomach hurts - and there are other things I want to do before the "day is done." Nothing really in my world seems to be black and white- I don't know how God's love works - I can't tell you its nuances - I can't tell you in situation A it will feel like Y. However, it's the one thing that I think oddly is the most clean, cutting, pure, element of life I can think of. It is very much an emotion, and yet, unlike our emotions, God's love seems to atleast be more consistent, solid, determined in it's motive, and direction. It hurts, it slaps people in the face - and then offers the hug. I'm not trying to be poetic, and not trying to conceptualize what people have done far more eloquently in times before. I'm trying to understand the situations around me. I'm trying to figure out why a CD has affected me so much. Why I've responded the way I have tonight to certain people and why I believe more than right and wrong, more than good or bad, more than anything else - we just need God's love.

"right now I'm so afraid and I don't think I've ever heard you, say my name. and I need to hear your voice, I need to hear you say my name. because these people want to kill my wife, my kids, and all for what? for a God who can't even mouth my name."
And he just began to cry.
And out of the silence he heard the voice of his father for the first time: "Never alone Martin, Never alone Martin. I never leave you" over and over - the song built and built - just that phrase. The first time Martin Luther King heard the voice of God.

The song now runs for 11:47 seconds. It's nothin more than this phrase over and over - some variation, some piano fills. And yet I've found it to be one of the most challenging songs I've heard.
I don't think you would like it. Baby grand, funky drum kit that's kinda poorly (read: cheaply) miked, a bass player and an odd flute. Songs are either 2 minutes long or 10. There's the canned prayer/talking - not stuff that makes for a good listen. But it's real, it's basic and it's true. It conveys something of God's Love.
And I know I'm bitting more off than I can write about - when I say that we don't know what God's love is like - we don't know how true a phrase like 'never leave you' can mean - because it's been splayed out like bullets of a .22 in the shotgun hollywood movies that surround us. 'Do you know your a child of God' to me - to take a rubbing alchohal analogy - stings, is clean and ultimately what we need to know more and more. But itseems like moreover we're content with hearing the opposite. Of having our wounds - our very real wounds - no matter how 'important' or 'minute' - but our wounds covered by a bandaid of sorrow.
There's that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams says to Matt Damon : "It's not your fault" and Matt responds with a laugh and a "I know", Robin repeats "it's not your faut" and Matt laughs "I know" , again "its not your fault" Matt, getting angry responds "don't fuck with me" and Robin grabs on, holds while Matt cries - "it's not your fault, it's not your fault, it's not your fault" - and I again as I'm listening to Upton repeat "do you know your a child of God, in the midst of anger, your the child of God, sons and daughters of a living God" over and over and over - and it's not an easy song to hear.
This is the kind of Love that I am in awe of - this repeating, free form, improvisitory - Love that is ultimately unachievable by me. And I mean that. Not "It's only achievable with God's grace, kind of Love" - Flat out - it's just not in me. At best I want to convey it. It's not mine, but maybe I can show people whose it is.
It's what more than I know, we need to hear over and over and over. Something about this Love doesn't allow me to stay where I am in my sorrow. Something about this Love can't allow me to listen for too long to lies. It's an uncomfortable love.
it's more than I should be writing here, now, on this topic that so many have written so much about.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

mr.walking man if you can

Earl Partridge: I loved her so. And she knew what I did. She knew all the fucking stupid things I'd done. But the love... was stronger than anything you can think of. The goddamn regret. The goddamn regret! Oh, and I'll die. Now I'll die, and I'll tell you what... the biggest regret of my life... I let my love go. What did I do? I'm sixty-five years old. And I'm ashamed. A million years ago... the fucking regret and guilt, these things, don't ever let anyone ever say to you you shouldn't regret anything. Don't do that. Don't! You regret what you fucking want! Use that. Use that. Use that regret for anything, any way you want. You can use it, OK? Oh, God. This is a long way to go with no punch. A little moral story, I say... Love. Love. Love. This fucking life... oh, it's so fucking hard. So long. Life ain't short, it's long. It's long, goddamn it. Goddamn. What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? Phil. Phil, help me. What did I do?

God: You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers' sins they will waste away. But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me"

Jim Kurring: Let me tell you something, this is not an easy job. I get a call on the radio, dispatch, it's bad news. And it stinks. But this is my job and I love it. Because I want to do well - in this life and in this world, I want to do well. And I want to help people. And I might get twenty bad calls a day. But one time I can help someone and make a save - correct a wrong or right a situation - then I'm a happy cop. And as we move through this life we should try and do good. Do good... And if we can do that, and not hurt anyone else, well... then...

The Lord: "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins."

Moses (and The Lord) Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.

Linda Partridge: Fuck you, too. Don't call me "lady". I come in here, I give these things to you, you check, you make your phone calls, look suspicious, ask questions. I'm sick. I have sickness all around me and you fucking ask me about my life? "What's wrong?" Have you seen death in your bed? In your house? Where's your fucking decency? And then I'm asked fucking questions. What's... wrong? You suck my dick. That's what's wrong. And you, you fucking call me "lady"? Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on both of you.

Dave: How about you take a ride with me, we could kill some time, shoot the breeze; He said "every whispering wind and second counts" Oh, maybe if you walk, but you should drive around.

Danny The Whiz Kid: As the book goes, you may be through with the past, but the past is never through with you.

Dave: I don't need you to stall for some time, no I don't need you to turn water into wine, no I don't need you to, to fly I'm just asking you to save me

Another Dave: As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Limit your potential.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me."

Many sound systems of all types, from pro to garage sale, have a graphic equalizer. I'm sure it's not called that, but it's a graphic representation of the various frequencies comming from the music. When you look at an equalizer you see the different lines all at different levels - this is what makes music sound good (yes,I'm a hack, it's besides the point right now). Certain frequencies are meant to only be at a minimal level and others stronger, so it creates a nice, balanced tone.

Paul talks about Christ's power made perfect in our weakness. The contemporary church it seems has translated that into something more like Christ making up for our weaknesses, rather than (how I now read it) him revealing his power in OUR weakness - ie. in the present state, as the present state. An example that comes to min is worship. When we talk about 'developing' worship, 'creating a climate for...' we put almost this mythical "if only we had X then God would reveal himself" ie. we feel we need to be at a certain level for Christ's power to be revealed. I can't help but think that maybe we're just not going to get at level X, and that we need to expect Christ's power to be revealed right in this very present state.

I use a culturally christian/church example here, because I think unfortunately the Christian message has been presented too often in a perverse twist on Darwinism's Survival of the Fittest. I think we've almost come to believe in this theory, but feel smug that it's more a "survival of the fittest and most Godly." Ie. we're given a one up on those heathens. Or in whom "God is most powerful as displayed by his/her ability to do X."

This christianized Darwinism continually pushes the starting line back, continually limits God's potential and in general creates a climate of Christian "shouting" (to take back the metaphor). In that we all want and think God should allow us to do everything. We sit in Church all wanting to give the best 'advice' the best comment, or the most appropriate scripture - and I have to think that our equalization is just way off.

Or maybe I'm way off here (as I right this I'm wondering...where am I going with this). To read into this that I'm calling us to expect less of God is wrong. In fact I think I'm calling us to expect more. Expect that in our limitations, we can still glorify, honour and reveal Christ. Yes, maybe Christ will make us an amazing guitar player even tho we 'naturally' suck; but maybe efforts would be better spent elsewhere (like on our knees).

The church certainly isn't the only one guilty of promoting this, business, school, life - all teach the same mantra of compensating for your weaknesses, and being all you can be. But the church is called to be radically different. So, maybe celebrate and expect God to work with the equalizer, rather than push to make all frequencies maxed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Give Up pt. 3 - the final or first installment?

"I know many Christians who are living a less than vibrant spiritual life on the wrong mountain. They work hard, doing all the right things, but nothing seems to go right. The wrong mountain will not provide deep, true spirituality - because it does not have the deep soil to produce true spiritual fruit."

"We are being Transformed into His likeness. His likeness contains nine proof points of Spirituality that are costly to obtain. Re-procreation is free, but true, deep spirituality is costly. I do not mean costly in the sense of justification by works. This cost is far more expensive than that, and far more difficult to recognize. The cost is - you must “give up your right to be right.” "

John Paul Jackson @

This year for lent, I'm giving up.

Give up pt. 2

I knelt and put my head on the bed and wished I could believe. I can't believe. Make me. I said,
I'm a bitch and a fake and I hate myself. I can't do anything of myself. Make me believe. I shut
my eyes tight, and I pressed my nails into the palms of my hand until I could feel nothing but the
pain, and I said, I will believe. Let him be alive, and I will believe. Give him a chance. Let him
have his happiness. Do this, and I'll believe. But that wasn't enough. It doesn't hurt to believe. So
I said, I love him and I'll do anything if You'll make him alive. I said very slowly, I'll give him up
forever, only let him be alive with a chance, and I pressed and pressed and I could feel the skin
break, and I said, people can love without seeing each other, can't they, they love You all their lives
without seeing You, and then he came in at the door, and he was alive, and I thought now the agony
of being without him starts, and I wished he was safely back dead again under the door.

This year for lent, I'm giving up


This year for lent, I'm giving up.
I'm giving up the arguing, I'm giving up the dancing
I'm giving up trying, I'm giving up with being right
I'm giving up lying, and I'm giving up on the fronts

You give up chocolate, give up coffee, give up church, give up God
You give up laughter, give up life, give up trying to make a difference.
Bite your nose to spite the face, but it will always disappoint in the end

This year for lent I'm going to give up black and white
This year for lent I'm going to give up right and wrong, moral, immoral.

This year for lent, I'm giving up.

It's not
What you thought
When you first began it
You got
What you want
Now you can hardly stand it though,
By now you know
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up

You're sure
There's a cure
And you have finally found it
You think
One drink
Will shrink you 'til you're underground
And living down
But it's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up

Prepare a list of what you need
Before you sign away the deed
'Cause it's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up
No, it's not going to stop
'Til you wise up
No, it's not going to stop
So just...give up