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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

the right link.

here is a link that actually works for the new blog:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

new blog location!

If you subscribe to this blog through an rss reader, you will no longer be receiving updates here. I know it's bad form to switch like this-- but I was ready to make a huge switch before the move. will work as a redirect to the new blog.

If you "follow" me through blogger, you might want to subscribe a new way-- like using google reader or something like that.

Thanks so much and sorry for the inconvenience.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A little bit of Thanksgiving.

Good Evening and Happy Thanksgiving Eve...

I am thankful for....

I am thankful that I have this little laptop that I can pound out these little writings, even if the "u" key is having some problems all of a sudden. Even if the "m" is not mashing as it should. I am thankful for people who support Globalscope. People who say that they believe in this work, or they, at least, believe in me. I'm thankful for my mother, who I don't see enough, but who loves me and told me that she was making sure my room was nice and clean for me to come home to sleep in tonight.

I'm thankful for my friends. The new friends. The faithful friends. The friends that know me well and won't stop loving me in spite of myself.

I'm thankful for the power of a kind a word. Speaking of words, I'm thankful for them in general, because without them, there would be nothing. Language is the foundation of all creation. What a powerful device they are. I'm thankful that God let's us use them, though we're reckless with them so much of the time.

I'm thankful for the consulate official in Chicago who was kind enough to email me today and let me know that my visa application had been received and that it would probably be processed within the next 5-15 working days.

I'm thankful for food. As a big guy that is trying to lose weight, I can see how this might seem a little, I don't know, un-self aware, but food is a wonderful thing. Isn't it great that the thing that gives our body energy is something that we get to enjoy? And isn't it fantastic that is most enjoyed when taken in the company of people whom you love?

I'm thankful for my grandmother. I'm glad that I still have time to enjoy her vitality, her wit, and her wisdom. I don't know if there is anyone else on this earth that I'm more proud of than her. She got married at 16 and dropped out of high school. She went on to raise a great family and to be the chief breadwinner through Delta.

I'm thankful for the people in my life that have believed in me thus far. Some of them are not as present in my life as they once were, but their presence is still there. I'm thankful for the hard work that everyone has put into getting me to the brink of leaving for England. They say that it takes a village, and boy am I aware of that.

I'm thankful for traditions. I'm thankful that Abraham Lincoln set this time aside as a mandate for us all to stop for a second and remember why it is that we are getting out of bed everyday. To remember how fortunate we are, to appreciate the fact that just by the sheer chance of us breathing air, that we are about as blessed as blessed can get.

I'm thankful for the holiday season, even if has been bastardized by advertisements, consumption, and Amy Grant. I appreciate the traditions that people carve into this time of year. Maybe you go to pick out a tree. Maybe you hunt for Christmas lights. Maybe you go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, maybe you volunteer. Whatever it is that you do, don't you love the feeling you get when its time to get in the car and head off through the neighborhoods, to the tree farm, to the kitchen? Isn't it it the right way to finish off the year?

Speaking of that, regardless of authenticity and calendars and all of that- making the Holiday season at the end of the year was brilliant. No matter how bad of a year you may have had, the holidays, with the family and the pumpkin pie, give you a chance to finish this turn around the sun with a smile on your face.

I'm thankful for beginnings. For the moment when this little idea was conceived two years ago. And, I'm thankful that one day it will end, though I'm not sure exactly when that will be.

I'm thankful for my friends in England who ask when I'll be there. Who respond to all on this email sometimes. Who have countdowns on their g-chat statuses. Thank you for constantly affirming my uprooting of life to come be over there. You guys make that choice a lot easier than it would be for a lot of folks.

And honestly, I'm thankful for hope. I'm thankful that we get to live forever. I'm thankful that God loves us so much that he would show up to the party just so he could die. I think that's a beautiful story. A story that I'm thankful to believe in.

Finally, I'm thankful for conflict and change and the beautiful stories that those elements produce. I hope that my next year is not necessarily easier than the past one, but that it will be just as transforming, and that what I've learned will shape me and grow me and allow me to be to the people I love what John Steinbeck called, "a blessing... the brightness in a foggy light." We shall see.

In the meantime, Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reflecting on Things That Are Wild, a Month Later (from update 534)

There is this story in the bible about a boy who thinks he is a man, so he takes all of the money that his dad was saving up for him to receive on the day that he died and thus ran to a far off location, someplace like Atlantic City or Los Vegas or Gatlinburg, TN.

Out here, "Nobody knows me at all", he said to himself. And so he went about being the master of his own world. It was not for long that he realized that he was not the king of his own life, and with his control he had made a huge mess of things.

In his lowest moment, he realized that he was meant to be at home, imperfect though it may have been. The boy works up the courage to make the trek home and upon arrival, expecting his father to turn him away, he finds that his dad had been waiting anxiously for him since the day he set his sails and headed out to the great unknown. Even then, at the resolution of the story, the brother is upset that he has returned home to such open arms. In other words, life went on at home, that even in the resolution, there was still heartache and tough things to deal with. They were there, together, but it was still just as hard as life usually tends to be.

It was at least a month ago that I saw, "Where The Wild Things Are." I was not one of those kids who grew up with the 1960's, 10 line story that dominated so many child's thoughts as their sleepy eyes fell down to rest at night. I am pretty sure that I had read it in my childhood, though, because when I thought of the story it seemed familiar to me in a way that I can't quite solidify. I don't have the memory of reading it, I have something more vague. It is kind of like looking at a picture of a memory, instead of having the actual memory itself.

The film itself fleshes out a simple story in a staggering and moving way. I was saying recently how I really appreciate films that feel real. I love it when I can watch characters interact on a screen and believe that those exchanges could be felt in the real and wide open life. The boy's childhood was so accurate. Max's heart breaks the way a child's heart would break. He loses his sense of reason when he reacts to the wrongs that he feels inflicted, but when you see it, you know that lack of reason. You know what he is feeling.

Max throws a fit and runs off to the far country. He sets sail for an island inhabited by monsters. It was amazing to watch as Max sees the way they interact, and it was incredible to find yourself resonating with large, muppet-esque creatures hiking around an island, laughing with each other, loving each other, biting at one another not with their teeth but with their words. Hurting and leaving one another and returning and leaving again. Maybe because they are monsters and not real people, I was able to focus on their interactions better and not get lost in how they look or what their status was in the real world. Because they weren't doctors or lawyers or business executives, because they didn't live in the suburbs or work in non-profit or wear American Eagle or Ed Hardy or Brooks Brothers, I wasn't distracted. I wasn't distracted by how beautiful the monsters were on the outside. All of that was a non-issue. All I had was their interactions, their relationships, and because of this, these monsters made for one of the most human movies that I have ever seen.

Max was made their king and they expected him to make everything better between them. He was supposed to use some kind of magic to solve their very real problems. It doesn't take long for Max to realize that he doesn't have the ability to make everything better for them, and this is illustrated perfectly when his one question to the pair of old, wise owls was "How do I make everyone okay?" But he can't understand their response, even though it seems that everyone else can. Don't you wish you knew how to make everyone okay?

Isn't it amazing that even in Max's greatest fantasy come to life, he still lacks the power to restore people's lost hearts? That's so hard. And so are the relationships of the monsters that carry on when he is gone. He changed their lives, no doubt, but he had to go home. The love that they had for him transcended his ability to make the world right. Even though he did not have all of the answers and the magic to heal everyone's hearts, they loved him so much that they could eat him up. Don't you know that in your life with the people around you? Don't you know that no matter how hard it is in staying and how sad it is in leaving, the love in your life is as large as those monsters themselves? How incredible is it that we have ability to go on loving when we are hurt or sad or far-off? These are the lessons that Max is learning in his own prodigal tale. He comes home and finds his meal is still hot. Everything is where it should be, but that doesn't make tomorrow any easier. Max has to go through the life-long process of growing up. He has to live out the relationships that he saw with the monsters. His return doesn't make tomorrow perfect. But that doesn't make it wrong, either. It makes it beautiful.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ancient Hebrew Cosmology

This is pretty fascinating. Check the original spot on Flickr.

Ancient Hebrew Cosmology by Michæl.Paukner.
The preceding description of the world doesn't share the same scientific view that we have, in which the Earth is one planet around one sun in a universe full of suns and planets. The ancient picture of the universe portrays a world in which the Earth is a disc surrounded by water not only on the sides, but underneath and above as well. A firm bowl (the firmament) keeps the upper waters back but has gates to let the rain and snow through. The Sun, Moon, and stars move in fixed tracks along the underside of this bowl. From below the disc, the waters break through as wells, rivers and the ocean, but the Earth stands firm on pillars sunk into the waters like the pillings of a pier. Deep below the Earth is Sheol, the abode of the dead, which can be entered only through the grave.

As portrayed in the illustration, the biblical cosmos consisted of three basic regions: the heavens, the land, and the underworld. In conclusion, by understanding how biblical writers viewed the cosmos, readers are in a better position to properly interpret the Creation, the Flood, and other biblical stories, and to place them in their proper context. The Bible is not a book of science. It was written in a pre-scientific era and its main purpose was to communicate moral and spiritual lessons. The Children of Israel had no advantage over their neighbors when it came to matters of science. In fact, this erroneous concept of the cosmos was quite common for that era. The Hebrews were inspired by nothing more than their political and religious motivations. Thus, being ignorant of scientific facts, they thought the earth was flat, that sick people were possessed by demons, and that essentially everything was caused by either gods or demons. Unfortunately, many people are still just as ignorant today.

All Christian sects recognize the Bible as the primary source of revelation. This compiled material was allegedly inspired by God and written by chosen authors to reveal him and his will to man. The Bible, then, is the foundation of the Christian religion. To Christian fundamentalists who believe in verbal inspiration, the Bible is an infallible foundation. They claim that "the Holy Spirit so dominated and guided the minds and pens of those who wrote (the Bible) as to make their writings free from mistakes of any and all kinds, whether it be mistakes of history or chronology or botany or biology or astronomy, or mistakes as to moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity," (Wilbur F. Tillett, "The Divine Elements in the Bible," The Abingdon Bible Commentary).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Can scientific evolution help us better understand spiritual evolution?

Would love your comments on this... It is a post that comes from Soul Pancake-- not my work.

Can scientific evolution help us better understand spiritual evolution?: "


:: spiritual evolution by afeatheradrift

The most elegant part of scientific theory is the ease with which science accepts new information and adjusts past ideas and hypotheses that were incorrect. In a sense, the scientific method itself, like evolution, has a built-in feedback loop that can fix or abandon what doesn't work and pursue traits (or ideas) that are useful and rewarding. It made me wonder: Can faith evolve and grow in the same way?

For the answer, I’m turning to an unlikely place: evolution. More than 15 years ago, archeologists discovered Ardipithecus ramidus (or 'Ardi') in Ethiopia. Ardi was a likely human ancestor that walked upright around 4.4 million years ago in the jungle and is the earliest candidate for a human ancestor ever to be found. Ardi has the intermediate characteristics we would expect from a human ancestor—she was an able climber, yet could still walk upright on the ground; she had a more dexterous hand than a chimpanzee; she did not walk on her knuckles. In other words, she has characteristics that are distinctly unlike both chimpanzees and humans—characteristics unique to her species. Since the initial discovery, teams of researchers have been painstakingly performing and compiling research about Ardi, much of which was published last month in the journal Science.


How Nuru Works

How Nuru Works from Nuru International on Vimeo.