Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On My Coffee Table

With the smallness of my apartment I am not sure the term "coffee table" applies, it more likely qualifies as an end table. And on that end table is a bowl of fruit and the books I am currently reading:

1) Run With The Horses by Eugene Peterson. I am about half way through the book and it’s been well worth reading. Peterson is refreshing, challenging, and provoking change in me. Every word and sentence has been fine-tuned making each paragraph have meaning and value. There has been no fluff or end to skim.

2) The Street Lawyer by John Grisham. Also about half way through. Its been enjoyable and hard to put down. Covers issues of the homeless and greed.

3) Captivating by Stasi and John Eldrgedge. This is my second through, this time I am going much slower. I am reading it with two friends and we’re sharing our thoughts and such on it. Our plan is to do go through a chapter a month. Should be done in December.

4) The Silmarilion by JRR Tolkin. I’ve started it three different time. I am determined to actually finish it this time. We’ll see how it goes.

I predict that The Street Lawyer will be finished first.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Days gone by

History matters. Christianity has a foundation that goes back the early church. The lives, actions, and words of those that came before can not be ignored. The past gives meaning to the present. There is history, a context that I live in now and I can not be separated from it. The more I understand this the more I have guilt for sleeping through most of Church History. My excuse at the time was it was at 8 am. Truth is I just didn’t care. How foolish I was.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Painted House

Finished John Grisham’s "A Painted House" last week, good book. I do recommend it, to those who read fiction at least. It’s the type of book that I will be pondering for a while. Issues of poverty, purpose, and position were touched on, as well as gossip and judging others. In the quiet before sleep, I find my self thinking over the events of the book trying to sort them out and connect them to my own experiences. I seem to do this with most Grisham books I read.

This particular story is written for the perspective of a seven-year old boy, Luke Chandler, living in the summer of 52. The things that made me smile-laugh-and shake my head all at the same time were Luke’s comments on the Baptist church his family attended and "Christian" love in the community. I miss seeing the world through a child’s eyes. It was refreshing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lack of Links

There are times I have guilt for not having a link list. For a long time it was due to my ignorance web-stuff and such. Now its part laziness part not sure who add. I read a lot of blogs really the best link lists are Robin or Matthew’s and I don’t want to steal from them…so just go visit their blogs.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Show and Tell


The preschool class got new blocks this week. I've been having fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

To the Process

Inspiration comes to different people from different sources. Something as simple as a tree leaf has been known to encourage me. Other time it’s a "secular song" that was never intended to be spiritual but the words speak to me of something else. Often movies play a large role in my growth. I had one of these moments yesterday. I had rented the film The Replacements. It came out in 2000 and is based on the 1987 football strike. The story is about group of failures that get a second chance to play. Keanu Reeves is the nobody quarterback and Gene Hackman plays the head coach. The movie isn’t amazing but I enjoyed it.

What stood out is a scene right before the replacements first game. Reeves asks Hackman why he was picked to be teams quarterback. This is a paraphrase of Hackman’s response:

"When I look at you I see two men. The man you are now and the man you could be. Some day those two men will met, should make for one hell of a football player."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Successful?

A recent acquaintance invited me over for lunch today. Yoko-san picked me up at 11 am and we walked to her apartment. The meal was great and we had a good time. Yoko lived in America for a year so her English is good. I had a wonderful time and believe that a good foundation for a friendship was formed.

After two hours I was ready to go home. It was 1:30 pm when I began to feel antsy. I had a strong sense that lunch should be over and I must to go "do things". Only the normal cues of closure never came, she actually brought out more green tea. So there was more food and talking. I relaxed and enjoyed Yoko’s company. The strong restless feeling returned at 3 pm yet again there was no ending. Again she brought out more green tea. It was not till after meeting her children, playing a weird non-violent video game, two more cups of tea the lunch was over…I arrived back at my place at 5 pm.

As I walked into my room a small voice asked, "was it a productive day"? The task-driven "to do list" part of me replied "No". I could only check off one item, how could that be considered productive? Reality reminds me that I was with a real person, listening, learning, being a part of her world, and forming a friendship. It was a successful day! People matter more than my to do list.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Messy Holiness

During our morning staff meeting at Grace we’re slowly reading through the Bible, one chapter a day. We’re into Leviticus, with all the details on sacrifices, ordination, and the requirements for being set apart. The reading has got me thinking about holiness.

On hearing the word “holiness” what do you see/think of? For me it’s a white cloth or a robe. A very clean and very bright white robe. Years of Sunday school flannel-graphs have influenced the image, making my finial picture a stylised priest wearing the white robe in the very clean “temple setting” with everything looking very one-dimensional. My mental image is colliding with what Leviticus says. The OT methods of how to be cleansed and redeemed are messy -very messy. Nothing of what we’re reading is neat, clean or tidy. There’s blood being poured, sprinkled, and strewn. Blood thrown on the four sides of the altar and blood placed on Aaron and his sons. It’s a lot blood. The details of killing each animal with explanations on how to handle each section on the animal seems more like butcher training then my ideas of what a priest does. There is no way the priest clothes could have stayed clean, let alone Tide-with-bleach-white.

Each morning as we read it hits me: the cost of holiness is messy

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At First Light

I am not a morning person. I enjoy late nights and sleeping in. If I could I wouldn’t stir from under the blankets till well after 10 am. Yet last month I decided that I would try the whole “early bird” thing and get that “worm”. For about two weeks I started trying to go to bed before midnight and getting up before seven. Oyi, its hard!!! Some days were better then other. (Actually gave up completely during Jen’s ten-day visit.)

This week I was determined to resume the sleeping pattern transformation. Following Benjamin Franklin’s advice of “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” I went to bed the past two nights before 11pm. Franklin lied, or it’s only gender specific, or maybe it has be more of a life-style-thing not just a one-time-deal. Whatever the case my morning experiences did not consisted of me jumping out of bed “bright eyed and bushy tailed”

I think I hit snooze four times before I finally got up, did my morning routine, started my rice maker (a wonderful invention) and went back to bed for another hour and half of shut eye. So much for being productive first thing in the morning. I realise that sleep patterns don’t change over night (Matthew’s sleep charts are proof of that) so I am going to keep going with the current method. Without the use of coffee, does anyone have any tried and true methods on how to function before 8 am? I am open for suggestions.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Grandmothers Club

Yesterday I was over at Tiffany and Steve’s teaching Tiffany how to knit. She picked it up very quickly. She’s making a scarf and I am working on a blanket. So there we sat on her couch knitting away and watching a movie, like two little grandmothers. Just ignore the fact that neither of us has grandkids yet, we’re getting practice for when that day comes.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Murder Mysteries

There is something about police shows, “who –done-its”, and murder mysteries that is fascinating or maybe intriguing is a better word. A large part of my TV time is spent watching CSI and Law and Order (the rest is spent on Sci-fi cause I am a geek, with a little left over for girlie shows). I enjoy that challenge of guessing the real murderer. The frustration I have with those shows is that most of the time the real murder isn’t introduced till the very end.

My interest in trying to solve the mystery and put all the clues together has created a love for mystery stories that introduces all the main character within the first few chapters because you just know that one of them is guilty. I like Agatha Christie for this (author of And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express). I especially love her Miss Marple series. I’ve read about a half dozen and watched a few of A&E’s Marple Mysteries.

I always make my predictions of who the villain is, the sad thing is I am never right! There are a few times I’ve been close. Often there is a few different sub-plots interwoven and I am right about one element. But never a hundred percent accurate…that is till last night. Last night I finished A Caribbean Mystery, and my first guess of the murderer was right. I even figured out how. I a strong sense of accomplishment. And for once the butler didn’t do it. Now I am looking for a new mystery to solve, anyone got a suggestion?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

You Are Cherry Pie

You're the perfect combo of innocent and sexy
Those who like you enjoy a contradiction