Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh Saul.

I hope, by the end of this week to be a lot more like Jonathan. God, please help me conquer my Saul complex.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

The Word. I've been thinking about that alot lately. The....Word. Him, not it. So often when we refer to "the word" we're just talking about printed words on a page. I think we miss it....a lot. I read something this morning that got me thinking more.

"Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him."

Dude. This kid was in the temple every day "ministering before the Lord". In fact, he wasn't a kid anymore by this time. You'd think the word of the Lord would have already been revealed to him, let alone that he would have KNOWN the Lord. I mean what did he do every day, all those years? My guess is that he studied the scriptures a good portion of that time. Maybe I'm wrong...any other ideas?

So, he was ministering to the Lord but "the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him." Is it possible to study the words of the scripture without ever encountering or knowing THE WORD? I pray that as we read the words we will know the living, creator WORD.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pumpkin Spice.

Today was a good day. I lived. Nothing extraordinary happened. I did the dishes. I drank some tea. I read a little Sherlock Holmes by A. Conan Doyle (which, by the way folks, is a great read). But now I arrive at the inspiration of this post and the highlight of my day: the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Ta-Dah! (Please observe the quality phone camera photo on the right.) Mmmm....deliciousness...the taste of autumn in a cup. I don't know if any of you noticed but the weather was threatening "Fall" today which left me no choice but to venture out for a little festive treat. I'm one of those people that tends to be very aware of "seasonal" things. At Christmas time you eat cookies and drink hot chocolate, in the Summer you eat ice cream....all the time, in the fall you eat lots of apple, cinammon, cloves and pumpkin flavored things including Pumpkin Spice Lattes. This is especially true if it is cloudy and a little rainy out. Now don't get me wrong-when I say "seasonal" I'm not talking about calendar dates of seasons. I'm referring to the general time frame/feeling. I do know it isn't technically Autumn yet, but today sure felt like it. So there was no avoiding it. I thoroughly enjoyed my beverage and I strongly encourage all of you to try one on the next autumnish day. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hedonics and the unwelcome Jailer

Hello again. It's been a while. But do not fear! I am still very much alive and kicking. So much so that I haven't taken the time to sit down and give my little blog the time and love it needs to survive. Be assured, it is by no lack of interesting thoughts, experiences, etc. that has kept me away.

I want to share with you some of the brilliance I have been reading lately. This is an exerpt from an essay by C.S. Lewis. If I could express my thoughts a tenth as well as he can his I would be a very happy writer indeed.

"There are some pleasures which are almost impossible to account for and very difficult to describe. I have just experienced one of them while travelling by tube from Paddington to Harrow.....It was early evening when my journey began. The train was full, but not yet uncomfortably full, of people going home. It is important to insist-you will see why in a moment-that I was under no illusion about them. If any one had asked me whether I supposed them to be specially good people or specially happy or specially clever, I should have replied with a perfectly truthful No. I knew quite well that perhaps not ten per cent of the homes they were returning to would be free, even for that one night, from ill temper, jealousy, weariness, sorrow or anxiety, and yet-I could not help it-the clicking of all those garden gates, the opening of all those front doors, the unanalysable home smell in all those little halls, the hanging up of all those hats, came over my imagination with all the caress of a half-remembered bit of music. There is an extraordinary charm in other people's domesticities. Every lighted house, seen from the road, is magical: every pram or lawn-mower in someone else's garden: all smells or stirs of cookery from the windows of alien kitchens. I intend no cheap sneer at one's own domesticities. The pleasure is, once more, the mirror pleasure-the pleasure of seeing as an outside what is to others an inside, and realizing that you are doing so. Sometimes one plays the game the other way round.

Then other things come in. There was the charm, as we went on, of running out into evening sunlight, but still in a deep gulley-as if the train were swimming in earth instead of either sailing on it like a real train or worming beneath it like a real tube. There was the the charm of sudden silence at stations I had never heard of, and where we seemed to stop for a long time. There was the novelty of being in that kind of carriage without a crowd and without artificial light. But I need not try to enumerate all the ingredients. The point is that all these things between them built up for me a degree of happiness which I must not try to assess because, if I did, you would think I was exaggerating.

But wait. "Built up" is the wrong expression. They did not actually impose this happiness; they offered it. I was free to take it or not as I chose-like distant music which you need not listen to unless you wish, like a delicious faint wind on your face which you can easily ignore. One was invited to surrender to it. And the odd thing is that something inside me suggested that it would be "sensible" to refuse the invitation; almost that I would be better employed in remembering that I was going to do a job I do not greatly enjoy and that I should have a very tiresome journey back to Oxford. Then I silenced this inward wiseacre. I accepted the invitation-threw myself open to this feathery, impalpable, tingling invitation. The rest of the journey I passed in a state which can be described only as joy.

I record all this not because I suppose that my adventure, simply as mine, is of any general interest, but because I fancy that something of the same sort will have happened to most people. Is it not the fact that the actual quality of life as we live it-the weather of the consciousness from moment to moment-is either much more loosely or else very much more subtly connected than we commonly suppose with what is often called our "real" life? There are, in fact, two lives? In the one come all the things which (if we were eminent people) our biographers would write about, all that we commonly call good and bad fortune and on which we receive congratulations or condolences. But side by side with this, accompanying it all the way like that ghost compartment which we see through the windows of a train at night, there runs something else. We can ignore it if we choose; but it constantly offers to come in. Huge pleasures, never quite expressible in words, sometimes (if we are careless) not even acknowledged or remembered, invade us from that quarter.

Hence the unreasonable happiness which sometimes surprises a man at those very hours which ought, according to all objective rules, to have been most miserable. You will ask me whether it does not cut both ways. Are there not also grim and hideous visitors from that secondary life-inexplicable cloudings when all is going what we call "well"? I think there are; but, to be frank, I have found them far less numerous. One is more often happy than wretched without apparent cause.

If I am right in thinking that others beside myself experience this occasional and unpredicted offer, this invitation into Eden, I expect to be right also in believing that others know the inner wiseacre, the Jailer, who forbids acceptance. This Jailer has all sorts of tricks. When he finds you not worrying in a situation where worry was possible, he tries to convince you that by beginning to worry you can "do something" to avert the danger. Nine times out of ten this turns out on inspection to be bosh. On other days he becomes very moral: he says it is "selfish" or "complacent" of you to be feeling like that-although, at the very moment of his accusation, you may be setting out to render the only service in your power. If he has discovered a certain weak point in you, he will say you are being "adolescent"; to which I always reply that he's getting terribly middle-aged.

But his favourite line, in these days, is to confuse the issue. He will pretend, if you let him, that the pleasure, say, in other people's domesticities is based on illusion. He will point out to you at great length (evidence never bothers him) that if you went into any one of those houses you would find every sort of skeleton in every cupboard. But he is only trying to muddle you. The pleasure involves, or need involve, no illusion at all. Distant hills look blue. They still look blue even after you have discovered that this particular beauty disappears when you approach them. The fact that they look blue fifteen miles away is just as much a fact as anything else. If we are to be realists, let us have realism all round. It is a mere brute fact that patches of that boyhood, remembered in one's forties at the bidding of some sudden smell or sound, give one (in the forties) an almost unbearable pleasure. The one is as good a fact as the other. Nothing would induce me to return to the age of fourteen: but neither would anything induce me to forgo the exquisite Proustian or Wordsworthian moments in which that part of the past sometimes returns to me.

We have had enough, once and for all, of Hedonism-the gloomy philosophy which says that Pleasure is the only good. But we have hardly yet begun what may be called Hedonics, the science or philosophy of Pleasure. And I submit that the first step in Hedonics is to knock the jailer down and keep the keys henceforward in our own possession. He has dominated our minds for thirty years or so, and specially in the field of literature and literary criticism. He is a sham realist. He accuses all myth and fantasy and romance of wishful thinking: the way to silence him is to be more realist that he-to lay our ears closer to the murmur of life as it actually flows through us at every moment and to discover there all that quivering and wonder and (in a sense) infinity which the literature that he calls realistic omits. For the story which gives us the experience most like the experiences of living is not necessarily the story whose events are most like those in a biography or a newspaper."

This is super long and I kinda doubt anybody will read it....but I thought it was great. Peace out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hello. and WELCOME. Or should I say...thanks for the welcome. I'm happy to be here.

This being my first post I'm sure you all have high hopes that it will be most profound and insightful....all two of you that are reading this. Ha. Let me just say, if that is your hope you will probably be disappointed. But I guess we'll see. Writing seems to be one of those things in which you can't fully know all that will emerge until you are actually typing the keys. So I have faith you won't give up on me too quickly. On that note, I'd like to share with you an exerpt written by Henri Nouwen from Reflections on Theological Education. This sentiment was the final little nudge I needed to start this blog.

"Most students think that writing means writing down ideas, insights, visions. They feel that they must first have something to say before they can put it down on paper. For them writing is little more than recording a pre-existent thought. But with this approach true writing is impossible. Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals what is alive...The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know."

While I was in Switzerland, soaking up the beauty of the Alps, I decided I was going to start writing. Not just an ocassional poem or thought here and there, as I had been doing, but really taking the time to sit down and see what comes out. That was four months ago. I have hardly written a thing since. BAD. But now, kind reader, all that is going to change. The purpose of this blog is not for me to have an outlet to pour out every secret of my heart and all of the baggage that comes with that to every pour soul that happens to stumble upon it. LAME. This blog is a cute little place where I can post writings, thoughts, musings, etc. as I feel inclined and you can read said things as you feel inclined. wrap this up, a summary: I look forward (fo-ward for some of you) to writing more. To follow in Mr. Nouwen's line of thought, writing for me is a process. Not just a process to get something written, but a process to discover what I'm really writing about. Through writing I am able to sort through thoughts and scattered ideas, come to conclusions and get some where that makes sense.

Thanks for reading....and have a jolly day.