Thursday, June 19, 2008

Interesting Article

Below is a link to a very interesting, and as I see it, fare article on George W's and McCain's calls to open up the US to offshore drilling and, in Bush's case, ANWR. It is worth reading.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1815884,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-biztech

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who we are

This guy wrote in a poem that God is eager to disclose all the secrets of His heart to us. Wow. What kind of secrets do you suppose are in God’s heart? Do you ever have moments where you get a glimpse of how neat you are. Sometimes I lay in bed with my wife and after she’s fallen asleep I think about things I want to do. Like one night I pictured making this big tree out of clay. It could sit in a big room or a bedroom or something, and it would be really neat, and it would be kind of like two different images of who God says we are, that we are clay in His hands, and we should let Him mold us, but also that we are trees, Big oak trees planted by good clean waters. I think one of the reasons God made trees were for people to sit under. My aunt and uncle sent me a birthday card and on the back of the card, its maker had written a poem about these oak trees that are dying in California, and that the one in her yard had a big secret space for her to hide in when she needed to, since the time she was a girl…the tree had been there for 400 years. So I sit at night and think of things like this clay tree, and sometimes God lets me see that I’m actually pretty neat. And then I think about how God has all these secrets in His heart…really good secrets, creative secrets. At one time God had a secret in His heart about the world. One day He would create time, and in that time He would place a beautiful earth with incredible colors and creatures and plants. And He would make the earth work so well. It would be dependent on the sun, and the plants that the sun would help make would be food for the animals, especially His greatest secret, people made in His image. By His image I think He means that we have secrets, like my clay tree, in our hearts because He has secrets in His heart. And we are in His image because we can fall in love with each other the way God falls in love. And we can get really excited about things because God is really excited about things. So He made us. Before that we were just secrets in God’s heart, and He probably thought about us a lot, and He can see the things that are secrets to us, and He really likes them, because they are proof that we are His children, that he made us in His image. I wonder why God is so eager to disclose the secrets of His heart to us. I also have an idea why. I think if we could see how good His heart is we would much better understand how much forgiveness he actually has, and how wonderful His plans for us are. And we could see that, if He made such a sacrifice as He did when He gave us Jesus, we would understand that Jesus’ sacrifice would be infinitely able to free us of sin, and let us live only with good secrets in our hearts…and we really are the image of Him.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family!

video

This is my sister (in law) Natalie, and my new brother (in law) Dan, getting married about three weeks ago. They are two of my biggest heroes, both of them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dyalike dags?

"Oh DOGS...sure...I like dags,"
So a few weeks ago I wrote about cycles. The title of the post was Are we what we eat?
You can read it if you want to catch yourself up. I am, for the remainder of this post, developing similar ideas.
In the bible it says that followers of Christ are to be "in the world but not of the world" which is to say, we are here, and a part of every thing around us, and should be, but we should not be identifiable to ourselves, God, or the world around us as being the same as things which are primarily of this world, such as materialism, pessimism, hopelessness, strife, wrath,unforgiveness, unhealthy conflict, any kind of abuse...the list is as long as our experiences, in a sense.
Well, I was thinking about the difference between being "of the world" in the sense just mentioned, and "of the world" in the sense that Adam and Eve were originally of the world. In this case I am referring largely to the aforementioned post Are we what we eat? Let me better explain...
We are made from the dust of the earth. Whether you are a creationist, evolutionist, grocery bagger, or whatever, this point is more or less indisputable, and in many cases should settle some disputes between the creationist and evolutionist, in fact. But I digress.
So, we are made from the dust of the earth, which is to say, matter, such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, etc. This was a fact before the "fall of man" had ever occurred; which is to say, God thought this fact about us was/is "very good". From here on I will refer to this sense of "of the world" as "of the earth" because "earth" is perhaps more physical than "world".
Also before the fall of man, God intended for us to do two things (among many others not mentioned here). The two I am thinking of are work (we were intended to not strife, but work work for our food), and we were intended to be a sort of leader of the rest of creation. I have not done a word study on this, but I believe it infers a stewardship of the rest of creation. It is often said that we were given "dominion over the animals".
Without explaining a whole lot of what I mean, I will just say that I think we have really failed at this, all of us. It is important to remember that the original plan was for all of us, which is the reason that almost all of culture misinterprets "dominion over nature" or "stewardship". When Adam and Eve were cast from the garden because of sin, two curses came, hard toil with the land, and pain in childbirth. Since that day people in general have been fighting against these two things. What we have ended up doing is trying harder and harder to escape from hard labor. Labor saving is the largest theme of not onlycorporations, but all of industry and domesticity.
What we have done is try to isolate ourselves more and more from nature. We have tried our very hardest to set ourselves apart from creation, and to act not only apart from it, but in spite of it. Retirement was never the plan. The original plan for us was to be "of the earth". Being "of the world" today includes attempting toseparate ourselves from "nature". In our attempts at labor saving, and division of people and the earth, we have, in the words of Wendell Berry "ended up occupying more and more land to the East of Eden". The results areridiculous uses of fossil fuel energy, rampant discontentedness, and the invention of the idea of "waste" or "away". As in, we throw our "waste" "away".
I think the best place to start, in trying to fulfill the original plan of our being stewards of the rest of creation, is to realize that, as much as we fight it, we will always be made from the dust of the earth, and to the dust of the earth we will return. We have to realize that if we are not to be of the world, we must consider ourselves a part of the earth, that it was God's original plan that we would be
intimately acquainted with his creation. We need to get our hands dirty.
What originally started me developing these ideas, which I'm sure are not very clear here because they are not completely clear in my head yet, was Jon and Amanda's dog. Ally, the dog, will sit in the backyard for hours, and wait for squirrels. When a breeze comes, you can tell she enjoys it. She looks around. She is not preoccupied. I
know this may sound naive, but we can't be stewards of creation if we are not intimate with it, if we do not consider ourselves literally a part of it. We cannot just visit nature, or enjoy nature, we must always be in it.
Another quote from Wendell Berry:
"Let's say you were from somewhere else, seeing this Earth from space for the first time. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be satisfied with that view; I'd want to get closer, walk around on it, even get down on my hands and knees. That's how I prefer to see the Earth."

It is important for me to mention that I don't think this is possible without having a restored relationship to the one that created all of this. My previous words assume that there is such thing as truth, and I believe that this is absolute. This implies that there is someone, somewhere, that can perfectly perceive reality, the way it actually is. Since I believe this to be the case, and that this person is God, I believe the only way to pursue fixing the problem I've described is to first fix our misperceptions of God, and not only that, but let His be our perception of reality, which is only possible by knowing Him as He is.

Lung Transplant

Here's a neat story.
About a year ago my mom was visiting a friend in the hospital. As she was waling on one of the floors, she felt like God wanted her to go in a certain room and pray with a woman that was inside. She went in, and ended up praying with a lady and then leaving shortly afterward.
About a month ago my mom was invited by a friend to go to a fund raiser for a woman who needs two new lungs. My mom went, even though she did not know the woman that the fund raiser was for. Well, the woman is the same one that my mom prayed for a year ago in the hospital. They have become friends! Her name is Rachel.
Well, she is finally on the list to get new lungs, but needs a lot of financial help, as it is a very expensive process. Her website is www.rachelnates.com. She is selling t-shirts, bags, and stamps that she designed, and if you use the google search bar on her website, she gets money every time you search with it.
She has a very moving story. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A sestina for the family

He wears blue jeans to work
He wears blue jeans to work.
They become black with grease, like the lines on in his hands.
He comes home in the afternoon
we hear his car in the drive
and when he hugs our heads we smell his arms
sweat, tools, the inside of a crane, here at home.

She is always at home
broken laundry baskets, loud ironing board, they are her work
and so are we, our place on her hip and arms.
The oven and two burners are on; and there are cramps in her hands.
She hears his car in the drive
and her day is almost over, in the afternoon.

We are playing in the afternoon
pretending to run away from home.
We’ll go to Iowa, the oldest will drive.
We’ll find jobs, and work.
Red Bandanas on sticks, with apples in our little hands,
We march through the house, arm in arm.

He’s at the hose with the gritty soap, washing his arms
the day is over and there is a breeze on him in the afternoon.
She uses a piece of metal to get the smell of onions off of her hands,
she takes a break, since everyone is home.
She thinks about what’s left of work.
He thinks of how the slave drivers drive.

We tell him what we did today, and where we drove.
And she waits patiently for his arms,
relief from a morning of work
being in the kitchen all afternoon.
When she hugs him, he smells the smell of home,
and he presses her in with his hands.

We carry forks, knives and spoons to the table in our hands,
while he tells her about the traffic on his drive,
or how he stopped by the bank, or the pharmacy on his way home.
And we carry plates to the table in our arms
and tell him about our trip to Iowa this afternoon,
and everything else we did while he was at work.

We hold hands, a family by our arms
his car in the drive brings evening from afternoon.
He and she are our home, they are faithful to their work.

The Perfect Swing


Just in case Ken Griffey Jr. ever happens upon this...
Mr. Griffey jr., I am so proud of you. You are my favorite hitter. You would have the all time record if it weren't for those injuries. The story they ran on ESPN on your 600th home run made me get all choked up. Thanks for entertaining us, and staying clean.
Ethan