February 2005


Angie’s comments about my post of Irish Blessings got me thinking.

There is a pub in England called The Eagle and Child, or Bird and Baby, where C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and several other members of the “Inklings,” as they were known, would meet once a week for food, ale and great conversation. Contrary to popular belief they would not read their writings here, but I bet they discussed their stuff. I, being a fan of Lewis and Tolkien, can only imagine what a great time this was as they discussed work, family, fantasy, and everyday happenings.

In a way, that’s the way I perceive blogs. There are just a few of us who write down our thoughts and make comments on each other’s sites, and it’s usually the same ones over and over, but that’s ok. This gives us opportunity to sort through our thoughts and beliefs before we dump them on the world at large, or at least with those we come into contact with. Some of the blogs are just nonsense and fun, much like conversation would be at the Bird and Baby, sitting around tables drinking ale, warming by the fire. Some of the blogs are on a more serious note discussing life, family, God, relationships, work, dating and everyday happenings. Nobody is judged or thought less of; we are just interested in what is happening in each others’ lives and minds. And of course, there will always be the occasional visitor who drops by to share in the revelry, or sits back just listening. And that’s ok too.

If we can’t be in the Bird and Baby enjoying the conversations and the warmth of our friendships, this will have to do. It doesn’t replace the personal one-on-one interaction I enjoy, but The Eagle and Child is just too far away to make for frequent visits.

So, here’s to you lads and lasses, my friends. The next one is on me!

Here’s to you and here’s to me
I pray that friends we’ll always be,
But if by chance we disagree,
The heck with you and here’s to me!

Just because I don’t have anything else. Enjoy Ireland Emily!

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May the embers from the open hearth warm your hands,
May the sun’s rays from the Irish sky warm your face,
May the children’s bright smiles warm your heart,
May the everlasting love I give you warm your soul.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

May the friendships you make,
Be those which endure,
And all of your grey clouds
Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him
To Whom we all pray,
May a song fill your heart,
Every step of the way.

May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

May the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.

May your doctor never earn a dollar out of you,
May your heart never give out,
May the ten toes of your feet steer you clear of misfortune.
And before you’re much older,
May you hear much better blessings than this.

May your right hand always
Be stretched out in friendship
And never in want.

Dance as though no one is watching you,
Love as though you have never loved before,
Sing as though no one can hear you,
Live as though heaven is on earth.

May you be buried in a casket made from the wood of a 100 year old oak
That I shall plant tomorrow.

May you live forever
And may the last words you hear be mine!

May the hinges of our friendship
Never grow rusty.

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth;
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

Well, actually it’s been one of those days for over a week now. Ever since my last post. Don’t have a clue what’s wrong, but I have this nagging feeling of something in the cosmos being misplaced, or better yet, out of place. The kind of feeling you get when you leave for a trip and can’t remember if you left the water running somewhere, or the iron on (yeah, like I iron), or forgot something essential like clean socks or underwear. I’ve felt disconnected, but I don’t know what I’m disconnected from. The best description I have for this feeling, and it’s not even a description, is I’m in a funk. Not the kind of funk like a James Brown or Grand Funk Railroad (ask your parents) kind of funk. Just a funk. I’ve felt uninspired to write (hence the week between posts), and uninspiring. I’m not sad, but not happy. I’m not unspiritual, but not spiritual. I’m not discontented, but I’m not contented. It’s like I’m in neutral, sitting at a four-way intersection, reving my engine, and trying to decide which way to go. Do you know what I mean? I see those nods.

Maybe it’s hanging around all those young single adults with their dreams and aspirations and expectations. Maybe I’m finally going through my mid-life crisis! Ooh, a fast, red sports car. Or a motorcycle! Maybe I’ll get a tatoo and an ear piercing. Or gold chains. Get my hair spiked and colored red. What a fool. That’s not it.

But something’s wrong and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like God is trying to get my attention and I’m just too thick-headed to understand what He is saying. “Hello? Anybody in there?”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “God’s will and plan for my life,” and what actually does it mean “God’s will and plan for my life.” Have I already so screwed up what He wanted from me that now God is trying to make do with what I’ve given Him to work with? Oh, that sounded sacrilegious, “God is trying to make do.” But free will and choice on our part has got to effect (or is it affect, I never know which one to use) God’s perfect plan for us. Or does it? Where does His sovereignty come in? Ouch, now I’m getting a headache. I really don’t feel like going there right now.

Enough already. Suffice it to say, something feels wrong and I’m at a loss to describe it, explain it, or get my thoughts around it. I’ve got someplace to be, but don’t know the directions. I’ve got something to learn but don’t know what to study. I’ve got SOMETHING to do, but don’t know what. Maybe you guys have some insights. It’s too bad the comments page only allows you a little room to comment. Nothing else, email me. I may post your comments for my next blog…at least till I start feeling inspired again.

Until next time…or maybe not.

Well, the day itself is ok. It’s all that it represents I don’t like. I’m not even sure how it got started, but it has always been my contention that this is one of the most commercialized “holidays” around. I hear so many complaints and jokes about this day from men and women, both married and single, that I wonder what the point is.

I can’t find the words to express how I really feel about this day. I hate feeling manipulated. I hate feeling guilty. I hate the feeling of not living up to the world’s expections of not making my special someone feel, well, “special.” I hate being told that by buying a bunch of flowers that normally cost $19.95 for $100 is all it takes to make up for the rest of the year when I should have been paying the $19.95 just because.

The biggest problem I have with Valentine’s Day is how it unintentionally emphasizes our lack of connectivity. More so than any other time of year we recognize how disconnected we are from each other, and it doesn’t matter whether you are single or married.

By the vary nature of Valentine’s Day, some singles are made painfully aware of their singleness. Another day that overemphasizes the L word spent hanging with their friends, or worse yet, alone, not having that “special someone” in their life. The emphasis here that if you don’t have a love interest then you can’t be all that special. What a bunch of bull.

And it’s just as troublesome if you are in a committed relationship, whether dating or married. Our disconnectedness comes from the perception (and most of the time rightly so) that the other person just doesn’t understand us, just doesn’t “get” us, just doesn’t know what we need to be happy, or will take the effort to find out. These problems and issues are year round, but Valentine’s Day is the exclamation point on our relationship frustrations. It’s Valentine’s Day that brings me face-to-face with my failures and inadequacies as an unromantic, uncaring boob.

I so love my wife; and it’s my tendency to be self-absorbed that keeps me from telling her, and showing her, year round. I, like all men, take the ones closes to us for granted. I don’t like Valentine’s Day for the commercialization of love, but I suppose there is some redeeming value in a day that will make me aware of where I need improvement.

And so, to Cindy my wife of 27 years: I LOVE YOU!

By the way, what’s for supper?

For an interesting article on connectivity, click here: Love and the Lonely: A Valentine for the Disconnected by Jim Robinson

One of my all-time favorite groups is Jars of Clay. There are not many cds I will just leave in the car cd player and constantly listen to, but for some reason, I do with JoC . Here’s one of their songs for your listening pleasure:

TROUBLE IS

my wings don’t sail me to the sky
on my own these wings won’t fly
Jesus told me so
still, i’m not so sure that i know

can’t find no rest for my soul
can’t find no rest on my own
Jesus told me so
still, i’m not so sure that i know

Chorus:
man, the trouble is
we don’t know who we are instead
man, the trouble is
we don’t know who we are instead

i keep runnin’ the other way
my heart ain’t built to stay
my heart ain’t built to stay
and the world just ain’t that way

[CHORUS]

we don’t know who we are instead

my heart ain’t built to stay
i said, my heart, well, it ain’t built to stay
Jesus told me so

I thought about those words yesterday when I was videotaping a guest speaker at the college I work for. He is a Psychology professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee and considered by some as an outstanding expert on the African-American mind. His thesis is that African-Americans are still being oppressed today because oppression is a state of mind. One of his books is “Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery.” Being a WASP I won’t address that issue. But his comments made a lot of sense to me from a Christian perspective, even though this good doctor wasn’t coming from anywhere near that direction.

He talked about African-Americans remained in slavery for so long, and are in some ways still slaves, because they had no idea who they were (or who they are) as black people. They don’t understand their standings in history and in early cultures. It’s the same for Christians.

We are held in slavery to our human nature and desires because we don’t know who we are as Christ Followers. We have such a hard time understanding our relationship with God, and who we are in God. Being a child of God is so foreign to us. We find it very easy to call Him “Savior” but very difficult to call Him Father, Lord or even God with all that name implies.

Here’s another Jars of Clay snippet:

sitting silent wearing sunday best
the sermon echoes through the walls
a great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can’t feel the chains on their souls

“Chains on their souls.” What’s not to like about those guys? We are slaves. But instead of being slaves (or better yet, bondservants) to God, we have sold ourselves to the world and the post-modern idea that there is no truth. We have become impotent and afraid to rise up in a new revolution, a revolution for freedom! Break the chains on your souls and live free. As Emily (a friend of my friend Angie) said in her blog dated Feb 8th (if you get a chance to read it I encourage you to do so), “knowledge is power, baby. the Truth will set you free.” john 8:32

Yeah, baby!

She finally got her acceptance letter!
‘Nuff said. Posted by Hello
Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties
because it’s COOOLD out there today!
It’s Groundhog Day! Posted by Hello

Next Page »