Previous month:
August 2016
Next month:
October 2016

September 2016

the undeniable pressure of existence

Fox_running I saw the fox running by the side of the road
past the turned-away brick faces of the condominiums
past the Citco gas station with its line of cars and trucks
and he ran, limping, gaunt, matted dull haired
past Jim’s Pizza, past the Wash-O-Mat,
past the Thai Garden, his sides heaving like bellows
and he kept running to where the interstate
crossed the state road and he reached it and he ran on
under the underpass and beyond it past the perfect
rows of split-levels, their identical driveways
their brookless and forestless yards,
and from my moving car, I watched him,
helpless to do anything to help him, certain he was beyond
any aid, any desire to save him, and he ran loping on,
far out of his element, sick, panting, starving,
his eyes fixed on some point ahead of him,
some possible salvation
in all this hopelessness, that only he could see.

“The Undeniable Pressure of Existence” by Patricia Fargnoli
from Duties of the Spirit. © Tupelo Press, 2005.

"there is no try"

One of the cable TV channels has been broadcasting all six episodes of the Star Wars saga. It has been fun watching these movies in order.  I had to laugh when Episode 2 was shown and remembered that after the second time seeing the movie I thought it was one of the worst movie stories of the entire series.  The special effects were great, but the story and the acting -- simply awful.

Then, this afternoon, I tuned in Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back. This was the movie that made sure that the third movie in the first trilogy would have to be made simply to answer all of the story questions raised.  But it was also the movie that, at the time, was one of the most powerful movie scenes about faith I had seen at that point in life.

As I watched the scene again, I was convinced that this is the scene which is my favorite in the entire movie series so far.  I have parts of "The Clone Wars" animated series that I think are wonderful, but this one is my favorite:




If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the color of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence
and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star

On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star

On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
Songwriters: Gordon Sumner
Fragile lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



of the days that are no more


Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

    Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

    Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

    Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!

- "Tears, Idle Tears", Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

meditation upon the name


There is a name I call in times of trouble
There is a song that comforts in the night
There is a voice that calms the storm that rages
He is Jesus, Jesus

Who walks on the waters
Who speaks to the sea
Who stands in the fire beside me
He roars like a lion
He bled as the lamb
He carries my healing in his hands

"Jesus" by Chris Tomlin

Yeah, I Don't Think So

TinyBefore bed one evening, I found myself surfing around the TV coastline looking for something to jump into.  And I found myself watching something called “Tiny House Hunters”.  Now that’s not a reflection on the stature of the people hunting houses; these were not vertically challenged home owners looking for a new place to call home.  These were normal people looking to downsize their lives or to limit the investment required for living in a dwelling. 

Now I can understand this for someone who is single and needing to make the best of life based on their limited income and their reduced needs. I mean who needs thousands of square feet of living space when maybe something with less than 500 would do?

Continue reading "Yeah, I Don't Think So" »

God and Man


The age old debate of whether Jesus was fully God and fully man is once again making it's rounds.

I just read a Christianity Today review of The Mormon Jesus: A Biography by John G. Turner ; the article was called Mormons and Christians: So Close, Yet So Far Away by Gerald McDermott.

Some people think that it really doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe and live a good life, and when you die all will be well and you'll waltz through the pearly gates with no problem.

But that's NOT what the Bible teaches. There are plenty of verses in the Bible which argue for a sense of finite determination as it relates to the doctrine that one decides to believe.  For example, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."  Here's a good summary of why doctrine is important.

Continue reading "God and Man" »

50 years of trek

STrek50HBToday was the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek in 1966.  I was 9.

All through those years there seems to have always been the presence of Star Trek -- TV series, movies, books, cartoons, music.  It's an amazing franchise.

So Happy Birthday, Star Trek. You have lived long and made many prosperous.

rejoice with trembling

GrandtetonsFear does not rob us of our joy for two reasons. One is that it drives us to Christ where there is safety. The other is that even when we get there the part of fear that Christ relieves is the hope-destroying part. But he leaves another part-the part we want to feel forever. There is an awe or wonder or trembling in the presence of grandeur that we want to feel as long as we are sure it will not destroy us. This trembling does not compete with joy; it is part of joy. People go to terrifying movies because they know the monster cannot get into the theater. They want to be scared as long as they are safe. For some reason it feels good. This is an echo of the truth that they were made for God. There is something profoundly satisfying about being "frightened" when we cannot be hurt. It is the best when the trembling comes from the grandeur of holiness.

 - John Piper, "Desiring God"
from a meditation on Psalm 2:11-12

in the smokeless air


Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Wordsworth, 1802