Friday, December 30, 2005

Going Getty

It's always overwhelming, looking at all the collection. It's like entering a new city, when you realize once again, as you're confronted with all the mass of people and their objects; this world is huge.
Maybe that's why some lose faith. It's too big for any God. All the history and all the thoughts and the millions of choices. Which then leads you to all the questions.
I don't think there is anything in Christ's teachings that shies away from all the enormous stories. He says there are many mansions and eternal life. And He says I Am. Which, to all who hear, is a very large statement.
It's all or nothing with Him. The art, the thoughts. And in my waking hours, my God who receives all of mine.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Visitor

I had a very special visitor on Christmas. Somehow, the author of Christ the Lord Out of Egypt, Anne Rice found my blog on Christmas Eve.

I have seen that Ms. Rice has commented on other blogs as she peruses thoughts on her book. But my entry had been back in November, way past easy Technorati searches.

It was a gift. A special "mailing" this year, her comment. As I finished the book today, so beautiful in it's love for Christ as well as it's portrayal of what could have been, I found the story to be familiar. In the way of mystery, His story is always familiar. And even though I have not met Anne Rice, she is familiar to me in the way she relates to the Lord and relates that to her reader. We are all drawn to the beautiful man, the Beautiful God who really does tell us the story of our Faith; what we know we most need to hear.

Please, if you have any interest in the testimony of a changed life, find the time to watch the video feed in it's entirety. I have here linked to the video of an interview that continues to encourage me as when I watched it this morning.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's Always Advent

Can one blog their own blog? One entry for two blogs? Why not? Here's what I wrote today somewhere else....

I could not get warm today. Now don't think I'm going to write a depressing entry, but today was about Winter.
I have experienced real-time winter weather while living in New Jersey. Nothing in the world can compare with wind chill 40 below. Or two feet of snow on the ground from December to April. That kind of condition can effect the soul. Empty trees all around for six months.
You start wanting to lay green lettuce from the grocers out just for a change of sorts.

A book I'm reading lately tells of snowy Israel. Could Christ really have been born in winter? Well, whatever. It seems the right time for a Son of Man with no esteem. It seems the right time for a Savior of Sufferers. A pagan day, winter solstice for the marked life of a man cut short. And He changed everything. At least for me.

I know everything about Him from my mother. I cannot ever remember not knowing Jesus. She would tell me stories every night at bedtime about her childhood or mine. But often, she would tell me about Jesus. And there in the dark, usually as she rubbed my back, she would tell me wondreous miracles and mysteries. We would listen to choirs and classic recordings and I would wait for her as she sang for mass in the mission.
Later, I would go with her to choir. We attended at a large old church with a winding staircase to the choir loft and it's spindled railing. Every Sunday for six years we sang the latin words that repeated the Gospel. Up and above the people, out of sight, we stood over the organ and player as it pumped the broad sound to the pipes twenty yards at the ceiling of the alter. And Christ was there. He was in our words and in our grace. He was in our worship and in our questions as we viewed the creche every advent. He was born in the cold and the dark and we were just beginning to wonder. Where is He now? When will He come back? What is He saying to us?
We asked those things of Him together, my Mom and me. She went ahead of me, I miss her and I am still asking Him the questions while she is in the answer.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Me and Condie in Ukraine

Here is a bit from her remarks during her recent trip to Kiev:

"I was here in 1994. And Ukraine was about to have elections, but nobody was quite sure whether those elections would be real elections. I mean, it was not that long after independence. And I remember that the atmosphere was just kind of wild, I guess, chaotic a little bit. And I remember one sign for a candidate who was from a very reactionary party, maybe even -- I don't think he called himself from the Fascist Party, but from a very reactionary party. And the poster said: "Vote for me and you will never have to vote again." (Laughter.) And I thought, okay, that's quite a campaign slogan. (Laughter.)

Fortunately, I don't think there are any of those campaign posters around anymore in Ukraine. And it shows what can happen in 11 years".

She and I are on the same timetable, which I thought was interesting.


It's time to bring out the language tutor and begin the trip to Ukraine. This time Tim will be going too. I promised that if I came back next year, I would know more language. I am so thankful and excited, that if I start now, a little every day, I will speak better Russian. This future plan is a huge gift to me and keeps me focused. It's something to do. Not just something to think about, or something to theorize about.

This week I will finish tasks that distract me big around Christmas. Today I will mail things to people who can, for some reason, only receive a package from me. I will mail cards that only speak a whisper of my love for others. I am feeling very small today and looking for Christ. I'll know when I see Him.

This Christmas I will study Russian and bake. I will knit and hear a choir. But in it all, I will carve out a empty place for Christ to fill.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fresh Emerging

My friend just wrote me about the day he spent hearing a speaker forecasting the emerging church. He had avoided some meetings of Up and Comers because the tone of the conversation had the quality of grumbling. Who wants to hear that? I don't. So, wisely, as I also commend my own aversion, he stayed clear. Like me, he wants to hear about Jesus, and he wants to hear about how His people are moving against a stagnant society.
Bless his heart, he gave a good report. He told me it's exciting really. The news is that the way of the UK will soon hit our town too. The New church is coming. And all the men and woman behind the scenes are admitting it.
What will the church look like years or even weeks from now? We can all speculate. But I am thankful that there are those who are pursuing an authentic action and a heartfelt worship. Thanks to my friend, I am encouraged.
God is a the center of those who love him and I need a good report.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


my prayer to Christ
Is tangible and
shaped around your face

my spirit of Christ
is breathing and
holding even when you let go

my rest in Christ
is sleeping and
loving still while you don't feel it