Monday, December 18, 2006

But I Can Still Beat You Up

This cracked me up! In a byline on a story about men dying their hair....
"Rodney Cutler is the owner of the Cutler salons in New York City and an Ironman triathlete." Is that like, "I design a women's clothing line, and (but) I smoke a cigar and can bench press 5000 Lbs."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"...O Come Immanuel, And Ransom Captive Israel..."

More sad news coming from Israel in the midst of this season. In my heart I have a pull to go there this coming year.....all things considered, I'll have to think heavily and pray about it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Weather Girl

It’s storming outside,
With predictions of snow for tonight.
I look to the weather girl for company.
Soup or spaghetti for dinner,
Followed by beer or a Gatorade chaser.
Perhaps read, or watch a video.
Down the hill to work in the morning,
Do it all again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pine Wood-Reflections for the Season: Blessing Misunderstood

Judy Benjamin: I think they sent me to the wrong place.
Capt. Lewis: Uh-huh.
Judy Benjamin: See, I did join the army, but I joined a *different* army. I joined the one with the condos and the private rooms.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

At times in my life, I feel like I joined a *different* Christianity. I signed up for the one with the easy life, the easy answers, and the absence of trials. I look at Mary’s life and I’m pretty certain that I’ve missed the point.

For starters, you’re not married and you’re pregnant! And you are a virgin. First there’s the worry about your betrothed. And then there’s that small issue of the community you live in. People talk. How do you explain this one?

Get married, raise a family, make some money, and enjoy the neighborhood. Live out a long and happy life with your husband. That’s the usual plan, isn’t it? Not go up to Bethlehem, and have the baby in a manger. Then, on to Egypt, to escape Herod’s wrath. Finally, on to Nazareth. And for the rest of your life, many will say to your Son, “Where is your father? And whisper and say things behind your back. Virgin, yeah, right.

Finally, the natural order of things is for the children to bury the parents. The children shouldn’t go first. That’s appalling. To see your Son go before you; pierced through, crushed, chastened, scourged and slaughtered. Unbearable.

So how is blessing to be understood? There are a million things to say here. Perhaps blessing is first of all, knowing and experiencing Jesus. To grow to know Him in all His fullness and all of his glory. Secondly, on a much smaller scale, to count those obvious blessings. And give rich thanks to the Father who provides them all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pine Wood-Reflections for the Season: Leah's Eyes and God's Sovereignty

“And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face…” I always took that to mean that Leah lacked fire in her eyes. And if the old saying is true, then fire in her soul was lacking as well. But Rachel was a fiery shepherdess who stole Jacob’s heart. Through Laban’s trickery, Jacob ends up marrying them both. But he always loved Rachel more.

But God, whose eyes are perfect, sees the whole story differently. And that’s what blows me away. He closes Rachel’s womb. Leah has the first four children. And kids three and four are Levi and Judah. So, from the least loved wife’s womb comes the head of the priesthood and the first of the tribe that Messiah will come from.

What struck me most was this: that God used Laban’s trickery to hook up Jacob with Leah. And from their union ultimately comes the Lion of Judah, the Messiah. May God give us eyes to see that:

It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Both Of Them Wild: The Heart and the Call

Just push it to the edge. Ever feel like that? Like there’s more to life, that you are wired for intensity; wired to go deeper? I had a flicker of that feeling again today while out running in the cold wind. That feeling that I want to push with everything I am-for something. That something that I’m meant for.

I think it’s my manhood calling. At times past I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Perhaps it even scared me a little. Yet I am pretty sure it’s meant to be there. For a long time, I suppressed it. Dillo is not supposed to be wild, or unpredictable, or intense. I’m not exactly sure where the wrong message came from, but I’m certain that I understood it correctly. So I suppressed it. Tried to bury the thing. But it kept coming back. And the life stealing messages kept coming too. From the wife who made fun of me when I would succumb to zeal, when I would share my heart at its deepest level. And from the old tapes inside my head.

A dear friend and fellow adventurer often reminds me of the words of Robert Service;

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching-
But can’t you hear the Wild?-it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling…let us go.

And John Eldredge writes, “Like it or not, there is something fierce in the heart of every man.” It is good to be reminded of these things. And this day, this month, this coming year-I WILL allow myself to be wild, and to heed The Call of the Wild.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Day That Will Live Forever in Infamy

There was no warning that it was coming. Those in the know were surprised, but not shocked, at the attack. Should of known, though. There were the clandestine meetings with the enemy. Coded calls throughout the days and nights. The kisses and promises of no wrong doing. Then it came. On the heels of another big skirmish. The phone call that started (finished?) the whole thing.

“I made an appointment with a ‘crisis center’. You have to move out or I’m filing a Temporary Restraining Order.” Basically, she said you can either come get your stuff out of the house (you’ve got an hour) or I’m filing. Quick calls to the allied forces. They advised moving out.

Hind-sight. Shoulda seen it coming. Found out later, that one week later she was celebrating with the boyfriend at an expensive restaurant in the area. Three weeks after that spending a couple of thousand in Vegas.

I guess the attack was effective. I’m out of the way. Out of the house. He’s in it.

This day, too, will live forever in infamy.