Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Choose Engagement

Although there have been a number of days full of great reflection while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, after a couple of months I find myself sinking into mental routines just like I have done when I am not hiking....How is it that I have hiked for almost six months, with every step of the trail different from the previous and the next, and still suffer from mental boredom?....

Unfortunatly, I am happy to let the world's external stimuli provide me pleasure and contentment instead of taking a creative thought and meditating on it....

I believe as I walk through life God routinely puts me in situations to reveal ideas for me to ponder....As i take God-inspired thoughts and meditate on them, I will see that God shares with me his purposes in situations. During this lifelong process I will understand God better as he reveals insights on how I can change the world around me.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Wendell Berry. THE REAL WORK.

Do things that don't compute

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it....

Practice resurrection.


Always in the (wilderness) when you leave familiar ground
and step off alone into a new place,
there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement,
a little nagging of dread.
It is the ancient fear of the Unknown,
and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.
What you are doing is exploring.
You are undertaking the first experience,
not of the place, but of yourself in that place.
It is an experience of our essential loneliness;
for nobody can discover the world for anybody else.
It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves
that it becomes a common ground and a common bond,
and we cease to be alone.
Wendell Berry. EXPLORING.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Drinking and Driving

We just got an email from a friend who was given a most robust introduction to what it means to be wined and dined in rural France. For the context, read the following excerpt from his email:
With my travel-friend Hernan, we got quickly bored of small Geneva (although it's a beautiful city) and took a night train to the south east of france, the paix basque. We rented a car, stayed at a gite de france (bed and breakfast). Hernan was a most intimate friend of the gite hosting family and they took us in as long lost friends... I love it. But man, DO THEY DRINK. Whisky as an appetizer, a bottle of wine (great bujeolais or bordeaux) with the chicken stew, another bottle of wine with the cheese and then a small finishing whatever (homemade something, so who knows what proof it was) with a yoghurt to top it off.

They really push it down your throat and feel offended if you say "no." Luckily the roads in france are all curvy, because I could never go straight after a meal of theirs!

Recipe or Relationship

...perhaps our lists and formulas and bullet points are nice in the sense that they help us memorize different truths, but harmful in the sense that they blind us to the necessary relationship that must begin between ourselves and God for us to become His followers. And worse, perhaps our formulas and bullet points and steps steal the sincerity with which we might engage God.

Becoming a Christian might look more like falling in love than baking cookies. Now don't get me wrong... [it does entail knowing certain ideas] but ideas entangled in a kind of relational dynamic.
Donald Miller. SEARCHING FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT. The Gospel of Jesus.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Missing Out

Rather than looking ahead to how He may surprise us, how He might show up, we look around and find bits and pieces of other people's dramas to keep us entertained. We start finding life in other people's stories....
The problems is, when we start living on other people's stories, we start to lose our own. And our own story, in that tender place of longing, day to day, is what carries God's message for us.
Jan Meyers. THE ALLURE OF HOPE. Daily Desire.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Smelly Church

The joy of salvation binds us as a community. We accept each other like brothers and sisters. The church is like Noah’s ark: you won’t be able to stand the smell inside, but there is a judgment outside!
from a seminar by Sri Lankan, Ajith Fernando (click here for more)