Friday, June 30, 2006

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holy light by gilad

absence makes the heart grow fonder

It is no mystery that God's thoughts to us are a mystery. And no secret that we are constantly trying to divulge the understanding of those mysteries. Have you ever wondered if God allowed something, let a person choose a path because it avoided a choice of worst disaster?

Of course you have. Everyone has. Even the biggest pessimist has a spot of optimist pondering, even if it is only a momentary flicker.
What I wonder right now is if we can consent to that idea, even for a flicker, can we consider that God may let us walk on paths that are likely to destroy us. Maybe He lets us because He wants us to choose, maybe He guides us to it because he has a plan we don't understand. But in either case the strange thought that occurs to me is that optimism can be the worst attitude in those situations.

There is a wonderous paradox about humanity that I wonder gets lost in our optimism. It is the challenges that create beauty and depth. It is the things that should break us that are what make us alive. We want life to be beautiful, we want everything to be good and peaceful, so we try to find it at every moment. Are we trying too hard? Are we just tiring ourselves out?

Many who study the Bible debate exactly how it is that man is created in God's image. A thought that wanders in and out of my head is that perhaps it is in paradox that we are like God. God who is the Three and One, who is the epitome of the beauty we seek and also the so fearsome that we cannot bear to behold all of His glory. But then again we can see this touch of paradox throughout all of God's creation, throughout all of nature. We idealize it, take pictures, paint it, admire it for the beauty and wonder that it contains. A mountainscape, a forest, a dessert, any sea, lake or river. We focus on the beauty and forget the disaster and periliousness that those things so easily contain. Get lost in a forest, or try to climb a mountain unprepared, you risk death; those who know what they are doing in a forest or on a mountain know that they are putting themselves on the line.

Whether we choose our own disaster or are bound to a path may be a mystery we never completely understand, but wherever we may walk, like a phoenix from the ashes, God raises beauty from disaster. Whether we fail miserably now, or succeed by whoevers' terms, we're told the story ends the same. God conquers all. Enjoy disaster, let satan have his destruction, because as Jesus us showed us there is something significantly more triumphant from admitting circumstances aren't ideal and surviving it than having been spared from or finding the bright side of circumstance.

Monday, June 26, 2006

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dead fruit by coxi

"You don't make Christianity look good, you make rock look worse"
Hank Hill

Something can be labelled "Christian" and not be true or good...

It is possible for music to be labelled Christian and be terrible music. It could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled cliches. That "Christian" band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name because they aren't a great band. It is possible for a movie to be a "Christian" movie and to be a terrible movie. It may actually descrate the art form in its quality and storytelling and craft. Just because it is Christian book by a Christian author and it was purchased in a Christian bookstore doesn't mean it is all true or good or beautiful. A Christian political group puts me in an awkward position: What if I disagree with them? Am I less of a Christian? What if I am convinced the "Christian" thing to do is to vote the exact opposite?

Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective

Thank you Rob Bell.
(From his book Velvet Elvis)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

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from the book of wisdom by gilad

Bandaid solutions

We keep writing to solve our problems. We write to share the burden. To talk about problems. We keep writing to better life. We write to fill the gaps. To better our minds. We keep writing as a path to guide our souls. We write to evangelize. To deepen spiritual our spiritual lives.

Writing, writing, writing. We keep reading books searching to identify, searching for solutions. We expand our crusade into other medias, maybe for those of us who are too busy, or too lazy to read. We search for in tv programs, help-groups, and even in church do we provide a format for easy steps to following God and overcoming problems. We create programs, make videos, if you have a problem there's some one out there that you've never met who knows exactly what you've been through. Except they don't know you. As much as you may feel like the people around you don't understand you, or what you're going through, some person writing a book who's never seen your face can't hold a candle to knowing you.

For all the gloriousness of the North American lifestyle there are gaps in our lives. There are things that we're just not doing right and we're filling it with newer shinier things, we're filling it with a brand new program, a book, video series. We create things to create community, we create things to fix broken families, we create things to tell others about God, we create things to fill the inadequacies that we don't like. But for all of our honest efforts we're not doing much good, while we keep ploughing foward we don't realize what we leave behind. While we are creating to try and control our downfalls, to make life as bright and shiny as we dream it to be, to reach utopia, we loose the beauty of disaster.

You may find it ironic that I write to say this. I have no problem with books and inspiration writing. I love C.S. Lewis I do not have a vengence against media... I use msn and email to talk to friends that I can't see. I do have a problem with trying to create community, but I'll admit that I for some reason hang out with a group of people get together to read a 'motivational' book so that we can be a 'community'. The problem is that we rely on these methods, we rely on these modes of connecting, we rely on our own institutions, instead of the institutions that have already been created. We don't want to hear wisdom from our parents, we don't want community with the annoying little kids who aren't as mature as we are. We want to hang out with people who know what we're going through, so we create youth groups and college and career, we create small groups and kids clubs. There we can identify and choose to be held accountable with others. Heaven forbid that we be forced to identify with the senile old man or our little brother.

Friday, June 09, 2006

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hide n seek by gilad
you can stop holding your breath...
well I can't say that I've had a desperate longing to have the internet at my fingertips, I've actually enjoyed the break from having a computer constantly on in my bedroom. But since the internet is cheap in the jaw and checking my email once a day for a few minutes at home sure beats spending 2 hours at Joe's trying to blog and reply to emails every week I am back in action with the internet at home. Really you've only had to bear with my absence for 2 months.
that's all I really have to say. just hello and it's good to be back after a lil' vacation.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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time shift by ssilence

it's just a piece of glass

well, I started working the grave shift at Smitty's. This work out very well...or it could be very bad. We'll find out after a week or two.

But as promised I have something more substantive for you.

Have you ever noticed how dependant we are on mirrors?
We mount them in every bathroom, most usually find them in hallways or entryways.
We spend countless hours staring at ourselves in them.
And when we come acrossa bathroom that doesn't have a mirror or find ourselves without a bedroom mirror, we find it odd, even annoying.

I like mirrors. I like how they can make my little living room look larger by it's wide reflection. (We have a hot full length mirror in our living/dining room that we fixed up from Joe's Place) I love the crazy things that we can do with them. Place two mirrors across from each other and the world between becomes endless within their frames.

But I do wish I'd spend less time in front of the mirror looking at myself.

This is in no way intended to be a revolutionary thought, but:
people for thousands of years (no exaggeration) have lived out their daily lives without having to look in a mirror. Let alone needing to look into one every time they go to the bathroom.

How did we develop this bizarre dependency on a peice of glass?

If I was perhaps more over-zealous I might go take down the mirrors out of my bathroom and bedroom. Actually I wouldn't put it past myself, except that it might bug Juliana, and really it is I that is the problem, us that is the problem, not the glass.