Now I know in part...

Picking daisies

November 17th, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Posted in General blah, Things that make me me | No Comments

If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives
prophylactically and sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments,one after another.
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
I’d travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades
except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.
I’d pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair, age 85

Clouds – Zach Sobiech

October 31st, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Things that make me me | No Comments

I always liked this song but it’d been on my playlist for months before I stumbled across the back story.

Diagnosed with terminal bone cancer he recorded it a few months before he died. He was 18.

It changes how I listen to it.

Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

When I get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
Maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
We’ll go up, up, up and everything will be just fine

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher

We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear

It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you

We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
And sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

Zach Sobiech – Clouds

Virginia Woolf apparently once said “someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more”.

Certainly true for me.

Søren Kierkegaard – The King and the Maiden

October 26th, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Thinking biblical | No Comments

Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. The king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents.

And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden who lived in a poor village in his kingdom. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist-no one dared resist him. But would she love him?

She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know for sure? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them. For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.

The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend to her. Clothed as a beggar, he approached her cottage with a worn cloak fluttering loose about him. This was not just a disguise – the king took on a totally new identity – He had renounced his throne to declare his love and to win hers.

Søren Kierkegaard – The King and the Maiden

Written as a modern day parable of the coming of Jesus.

Love can’t be forced. It’s given freely, or it ceases to exist; always leaving a choice to be received or rejected. But it must be that way.

God descended and appeared, to tell me and show me he loved me.

How will I respond?

Xander turned 30

October 14th, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Posted in General blah | No Comments

Fighting God

September 12th, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Things that make me me, Thinking biblical | No Comments

Evan Almighty’s a pretty forgettable film but there was a poignant moment at the end.

Without explanation God appears to Evan and is told to build an ark, in essence becoming Noah incarnate. He resists, runs away, denies it, fights the command and generally makes it incredibly hard for himself, but he’s eventually worn down and goes along with it.

It’s only right at the end, in hindsight that the explanation becomes clear, and had he known what he knew at the end, I can’t help but think he would have chosen to make the journey far smoother for himself.

Evan: You knew along, didn’t you? You knew the dam was unstable. If it hadn’t been for the ark, my family, my neighbours… [would have died]. I fought you every step of the way…
God: Yes, but you did it.
Evan: So, you had nothing to do with the flood? Like where the ark landed exactly?
God: I gave you a little shove at the end. Sue me…

I’m exactly the same. I fight God. I fight the circumstances he beckons me to walk through that I don’t understand. I throw regular tantrums along with the hand he’s dealt me back in his face. I tell Him he’s wrong; that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I tell him I know best.

Deep down though I know I don’t. He knows best and I know it. He knows everything. The whole lot. Every detail. Nothing’s a mystery to God. He’s never surprised… and with hindsight, anything He calls us to do or asks of us will be justified and shown to be good, or at least to carry some sort of purpose or redemption.

Rarely does he oppress his will upon us harshly. Often he coaxes us gently. We kick and scream but He never loses patience. He knows how slow we are to learn and that our learning to trust him will be messy. I think we expect ourselves to cope far better than he ever does; when we struggle to accept what he’s doing in our lives he just loves us.

A game with a view

August 5th, 2014 at 9:55 am | Posted in Things that make me me, Thinking biblical | No Comments

Was clearing out a box of old games a while ago. Settlers 3 was a classic. You basically assume the role of God, create tiny people (called settlers), assign them various roles, and then watch them gather, mine, fish, grow, and carry a colony into existence.

It gave me a faint glimpse into how God might possibly see us within the context of creation.

Despite my settlers being nothing but combinations of coloured pixels, I found myself getting weirdly attached to these little guys. I wanted their good and to see them flourish. Pathetic I know, but, if that’s how I can feel about pixels, imagine how much more God must delight in me. My settlers have no life. They don’t feel. They’ve no personalities. No ability to chose or reason or think for themselves. They can’t speak or relate to me personally, they simply follow a set of pre-determined behaviours developed by a programmer.

We can do all those things though and are infinitely more complex, so how much more must God think of and feel for us?

Matthew 10:29-31

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


July 19th, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Books | No Comments

Sometimes a human life can seem no more meaningful than a fish flopping on a shore. Writhing. Out of its element. And I would love to tell you that the real problem in life is we believe we are writhing when we aren’t, but that’s not true. My spirituality, that is Christian spirituality, doesn’t tell me to close my eyes and pretend life is beautiful and there are no problems to confront. I’m told, instead, I am out of water, and if I want to find water again, I must go in search of a different kind of water. All of us have been washed on the shore. We all have issues, we are all broken. The brokenness we experience, the brokenness that mingles in our DNA, is a kind of fallout from the fall of man. Men and women were made to be in relationship with God, but because of the fall of man, we aren’t.

The Scripture that states if an earthly father knows how provide for his children, how much more God knows how to provide for his speaks volumes in its antithesis, too: if an earthly father abandons his children and wrecks their lives. how much more would an abandonment from God destroy a human? As I look at humanity, I can only describe the human personality as designed for a relationship with something from which it has been separated. I hear it in conversations, read it in books, listen to it in music, interpret it through psychology, and so on and so on. The idea of this separation has come to feel obvious to me.

God did not leave because he wanted to; he left because he had to. His nature defines good, and people wanted something he didn’t want. He separated himself from us but he didn’t abandon us.

Donald Miller – Father Fiction

Dreaming better

May 2nd, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Books | No Comments

“Shattered dreams open the door to better dreams, dreams that we do not properly value until the dreams that we improperly value are destroyed. Shattered dreams destroy false expectations, such as the “victorious” Christian life with no real struggle or failure. They help us to discover true hope. We need the help of shattered dreams to put us in touch with what we long for, to create a felt appetite for better dreams. And living for the better dreams generates a new, unfamiliar feeling that we eventually recognise as joy.”

Larry Crabb – Shattered Dreams (p32)