Saturday, 23 April 2011

Think of the internet as a sacred space…

I prefer to think of the internet as a sacred space, a place where everything we do is under the watchful gaze of God.

It is already “religious”. Our business, therefore, is to use this space in a way that is consistent with our beliefs about God.

Doing so immediately shifts the focus from preaching about God (whether to believers or non-believers) to worshipping God (something we share with those who do not subscribe to our particular beliefs).

It enables us to be both supremely free and yet sensitive to others. Religious dialogue is often presented as an attempt to minimise difference, whereas true dialogue, of any kind, means clarity about one’s own position and respect for that of the other.

Sister Catherine Wybourne, “The internet as a sacred space

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A poem for my wife on her birthday

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a poem for [Jen]( that I delivered as a spoken word piece at a party we threw for her birthday. She turned 36. Imagine the delivery described [here]( applied to the words below the picture and you will get the idea…

Jen at the Whistle Stop in Renton

— For Jen on her 72nd Birthday —

We are gathered here for
Jen on her 72nd birthday
We are looking back, less from the middle
and more from the end

We are pushing back, we are going back, way back
We are pushing back, we are going back, way back

Back to the afternoon when the blond girl
Killed that first spider on behalf of her mother
Both of them dancing the sacred spider death dance
Oh no it’s gonna get me
Oh no it’s gonna get me
We are saved, we are saved
It’s OK, it’s OK

Back to the boy and his sword
Who commanded Monsters, Monsters, Oh no, it’s a Monster
Who commanded Monsters out from
That beanpole teepee
His dirt face high pitch grin
Wound a light through the darkness that summer

Those were the days of that old car of ours
With the dent in the fender
That we always intended to fix
(but secretly never wanted to)
The one with that swaggering headlight
That became a sort of family compass
Reminding us of what it meant to wrestle angels
(Do you remember when we wrestled angels?)

That was the afternoon she took the scissors to the coasters
The one when she took shears to her blond locks
It was about 3pm when she stared us straight in the eye
And dared us to forgive as ones who have been forgiven much
That afternoon where midnight began

It was the evening he took the markers and the crayons
To everything in sight
The walls, the chairs, the windows, and the television
The walls, the chairs, the windows, and the television
He colored away all doubters that the rhythm of Adam
Had skipped skipped skipped a beat beat beat

It was the morning that that computer crashed
Like Moses smashing those tablets in his anger
He reduced them to sand and used it to cover all sorts of bodies
Hoping no one no one no one would ever find them
(and while no one ever did, he always thought of them
when he paced that beach, desert, beach, desert, beach, desert…)

Yes, yes — that’s it, I can tell you remember those middle days
As we look back and we recognize now
What was less than clear at the time

That those “I have a great idea” moments
All boiled down to a few constant things

That this life is always a wrestling of angels, angels, angels
That this walk always comes with a limp, a limp, a limp
That this gait always establishes a rhythm, a rhythm, a rhythm

Of loving as ones who have been loved much
Of grace doled out to both the kissers and the betrayers
That is the day we began to recognize
The rhythm of an Imagination not our own

So raise a glass to Jen on her
Seventy seventy seventy second birthday
And toast with me to the beauty of a life well lived
To the beauty of a wife well loved

Friday, 27 July 2007

Tonight is the 6th wedding anniversary for Jen and I. I pulled out a copy of my wedding vows to her to read. A small reminder of where we’ve been and how God has been framing our journey since the early days.

When she misted up as I finished, I turned and said, “Did my poetry to you make you cry?”

To which she said, sniff, sniff, “I have allergies.”

In the immortal words of the 77’s, this is the way love is.

Jennifer —

Before God, our community, our family, I covenant with you — to be your husband. As Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, I vow to love you as my wife and give myself up for you.

I covenant to love you with the deep, wide, sustaining, mysterious, knowable love of Christ —

A love that is bold and broken
A love that is graceful and firm
A love that encourages and challenges
A love that listens and speaks and listens and speaks and listens and speaks and listens…

I vow to trust in God for our provision while being diligent to provide for you and our family with the resources God has trusted me with. I welcome the responsibility of leading and pastoring our family in the truth of Christ — His Word, His Promises, His Practicalities.

I covenant —

To repent when I sin against you.
To be slow to anger when you sin against me
To teach the truth I have known
To be teachable where I have a lot to learn

I covenant —

To ask your forgiveness when my pride wounds you
And to be quick to forgive you when you need to be forgiven
To be obedient to God — even when it is not convenient, even when it is not expedient

I vow to never leave you, nor forsake you. To care for, protect, honor, and love you for the rest of my life. I thank God, you, our community, our family, for the blessing you are to my life.

I have impatiently grumbled to God for many seasons as to what my provision would look like. On this, our wedding night, I thank God for you, my provision, and I must say before this gathering that, you look good.

I look forward, as husband and wife, to being nourished by God’s Joy through famine into laughter.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Martin Luther King’s impromptu dream…

Watching CNN one morning this week, I heard Soledad O’Brien talk about how Martin Luther King Jr. had not planned to talk about his dream the day he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

As the story goes, Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!” — From the U.S. Department of State web site

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!” Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America — a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy.

That something so amzing was impromtu — ad-libbed — amazing…

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Body sketches on zooomr

For the last few months I’ve been exercising the creative side of my brain during the time our spiritual community gathers each Sunday.

For years I’ve been an avid notetaker –– multi-bullet outlines –– lots of structure to chew on the content before me.

It’s been my ongoing effort to digest, remember, and wrestle with talks/music/etcetera that make up the gatherings of the various spiritual communities I’ve been a part of over the years.

Since buying a tablet PC for the main workstation for my new job, I’ve been trying to exercise the creative part of my brain a bit more.

One thing I’ve been doing is using a natural paint program called ArtRage to do sketches during church. ArtRage is one of the coolest programs I’ve ever come across –– it’s free for the base version and $20 for a version that supports layers and photoshop export.

Here’s a link to the smart set I’ve created on Zooomr with all these images.

[One thing to note, I use because Flickr does not allow sketches like this to be publicly viewable. Ergo, I’ve ditched Flickr. I should be able to store my images and collaborate around them online no matter what their subject matter. Filckr penalizing me for working with illustrations or screenshots is horrendous usability (and bad business).]


Friday, 1 September 2006

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Hello Zooomr

Am trying out Zoomr (for a free pro account of course — thanks Roland) to see if they will allow more flexible use of uploading my illustrations and screenshots — stuff I do all the time. Here’s a test photo of my girl Ruthie —

ruthie_peanut_butterruthie_peanut_butter Hosted on Zooomr