In case you’re wondering

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I keep mentioned web designy stuff around these parts as that not being something which stirs my soul. But, it keeps me busy at times.

I’m doing two sites right now, education sites. One is for my brother, and is a work in progress, only I thought it might be worthwhile to show for the two or three people who might be interested in what I do besides write the occasional word about the Spirit or post pictures of various birds.

So, here’s the little bit I worked on this past week: www.hallofoden.com

a thought for a Friday morning

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The Spirit has a mission in this world and it’s not to be the hall monitor.

another excerpt, this one on that frustration we call community

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I’m editing my manuscript, again, and so might pluck out the occassional excerpt to post here.

Such as this one:

“The thing is the Spirit, in no way, manhandles us. We don’t become slaves of the Spirit, or pawns of the Spirit. The Spirit enables and focuses and empowers, but we work with the Spirit. This isn’t about salvation, you know, that’s the common misconception with a topic like this. Christ and the Spirit work in salvation through grace. It’s all on their end. However, once saved we are called to participate, and our willingness to participate frees us up for even greater service.”

“How do we participate?”

“The goal of our lives isn’t to go out and do all those things they talk about in Acts. That’s the Spirit working, and if we try to do it with our own power we lose heart and are totally ineffective. Our goal is to break down the barriers and sharpen our spiritual ear so we listen and our instincts are shaped by the power of the Spirit to make us into the sorts of people who naturally live in the sort of way that forms a community. We don’t do these things at first, instead we begin to mature and tap into the power that allows us and encourages us to do all of this.”

“How do we do that?”

“We create a context, by giving things up, attitudes, fixtures, whatever. Then the Spirit moves in. That’s why it was so important to me I let go of that house. It was a barrier, and it became a barrier. Not just as a house, but as a symbol. It represented a place to lay my head and it represented my desire to go out and bury my dead, my dead experiences and relationships. I had to let it all go. In letting it go the Spirit opened the door for me to find and experience a real freedom, a freedom I could never have managed, even if my goals were the same. Letting things go is the most profound Spiritual act we can do, because all that stuff, whether our possessions, ambitions, sins, whatever, they become substitutes for the Spirit. We even let spiritual leaders or tradition or good influences be the Spirit for us. But even these things are not our Holy Spirit. Each of those things good and bad whisper to us, and in the cacophony of whispers we get confused which is the real Holy Spirit. We have to abandon it all, and then we find it all, and we find each other, because when we let go, then the Spirit works in us and in others to create this profound bond, this profound reality in which our greatest joy is to serve and help and live for others. That’s the nature of the Kingdom, you know. That’s the discovery of God and heaven in this present.”

“Community?”

“God is drawing us towards him. Part of that process is drawing all people towards him. To grow closer to him we have to grow closer together. Think of it like we’re all climbing a mountain starting from separate spots. The closer we get to the top the nearer we all are walking with each other. It just happens. Our goal is the peak, but in going there, each step we take draws us together, so at the top, there can only be the bunch of us gathered together, all at the same goal.”

so yeah…

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I’ve run into a bit of a lull here. Call it between projects, or searching for the next inspiration, or waiting for responses, or just plain without a thought. Or a little bit of all the above. I do know that while working all day in Flash is likely good for some sort of vocational skill, it’s not as good for my soul.

I guess I need to find that new project somewhat soon while I wait for responses on the old project, trying to throw my interests on new inspiration so as to regain the thoughts, get back to writing, and find my soul once more.

It’s sort of empty around here without that. All too empty.

Well, there’s this… up, up, and away.

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Your results:
You are Superman

Superman
80%
Spider-Man
70%
Green Lantern
70%
Supergirl
63%
Robin
60%
The Flash
60%
Hulk
55%
Wonder Woman
53%
Catwoman
45%
Iron Man
45%
Batman
35%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.


Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

I’m four spots away from being supergirl.

Which is disconcerting, in a way.

emergent

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God’s Spirit is the power and might of God in which in constantly new ways people are rescued and led out of distress and danger, out of demonic possession, and above all out of diverse forms of self-endangerment and self-destruction.

From early on, God’s Spirit has been experienced as a power that exercises deliverance by means of appearances and processes that can be termed “emergent.” In the midst of disintegration, the Spirit restores community in an unexpected, improbable way. The Spirit connects human beings, interweaving them in an unforeseen manner in diverse structural patterns of life. The Spirit is “poured out” on human beings in diverse structural patterns of life. The Spirit comes bringing life “from all sides.” Thus the Spirit heals and revives human hearts and human societies, causing them to grow together anew. The Spirit restores and strengthens communities of creaturely solidarity. The Spirit produces communities of faith and hope among the living and the dead. These communities are realities, even if they sometimes surpass contemporary and finite conceptual capacities.

–Michael Welker, God the Spirit

in case you missed it…

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I did a couple weeks of work over at Barclay Press, writing a Daily Journal. I didn’t really know what direction it would take so on the first morning I sat outside with a journal and a pen, thinking I would actually journal and then type it up later.

Turned out my writing took a bit of a nature bent all along the way.

So there you go. Two weeks of journaling, now without the wait.

good clean dirty fun

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It’s been a while since I last had a favorite television show. I watch television, and I think there are good things to be found among the bad things to avoid but I haven’t really seen anything recently that grabbed me. Part of the problem is the shows I get to liking tend to be cancelled fairly quickly. I’m not sure why this is, however, I chalk it up to being another sign I’m not entirely in tune with American popular culture.

I’ve never liked any so-called reality television, for instance.

I do, it seems, like actual reality television as I’ve discovered a new favorite show these last couple of weeks. It’s called Dirty Jobs. And that’s pretty much the description of what it is about. The host solicits suggestions for jobs that get a person dirty, then goes out and works at that job, revealing the mysteries of what might otherwise be often considered mundane labor. Last night, for instance, he worked at a coal factory and dismantled Rose Parade floats. In other episodes he did roofing, exterminating, waste treatment, various types of farming, and just about any other kind of job that involves getting, well, dirty.

He has a sense of humor about it all, and an honest approach to the reality that dirty jobs can also be frustrating jobs.

I find the show utterly fascinating and entertaining. I have no idea why.

Well, maybe I have a little idea why. I’m utterly fascinated with seeing the curiosities in what would otherwise seem mundane. The host does this well. He walks through worlds entirely outside my own, interacting with people who I have very little in common with, doing things I likely may never even see up close let alone ever do.

There’s a mystery in all of this for me, and I love being put into these various, peculiar to me, worlds.

I have absolutely no interest in Hollywood gossip, and find the whole world of glamour and celebrity entirely vacuous and boring. But put on a show about crab fishing in the Chesapeake, cleaning a gutter in Los Angeles, making sugar in Louisiana, or potato farming in Colorado and I’m glued to the television.

It is the exact same feeling I have when I step outside and look at the same old trees, the same old squirrels, the same old jays and ravens and chickadees. They are endlessly fascinating to me, even if they are not particularly all that grand. They are beautiful and interesting but only if I take the time to see those aspects. I can easily miss noticing, as many people do.

I wonder about why I like this show then I realize it is sort of the problem I had when I was working in a church. I’m entirely unimpressed with those sorts of people who think themselves important and utterly fascinated with those sorts of people who aren’t very involved or are deprecated or are out of the loop of popularity. This is a problem, mostly because people who think themselves impressive like others to think them impressive also, and often people who think themselves impressive have worked themselves into positions where it is important to impress them for the sake of one’s own increasing importance.

In other words, finding approval often means kissing up to the right people, and I’m utterly incapable of doing that. Not because I’m rebellious, but because I easily get bored of that game and those sorts of people who love that game.

Instead I find what is considered by many to be uninteresting to be the most interesting of all. I think there is mystery to be found. In a show like Dirty Jobs there are hidden secrets to every work, and it’s fascinating to see how important, yet often maligned, dirty jobs are done. With people I think it’s something more.

I am utterly fascinated with seeing the Spirit in people, and the most fascinated with seeing the Spirit in people who don’t suspect they bear much of the Spirit. Only they do, and oftentimes significantly more than those who think highly of themselves.

I genuinely think nature speaks loudly of the Creator. That’s why I like to notice what it is saying through the trees, or the birds, or the beasts, or the weather. It’s the artistry of the Triune God in living splendor all around. With this I genuinely think people too speak of the Creator, not so much in their words as in many other ways, and it is in discovering the secrets of who they are as a person that I see a new glimmer of God in whose image they have been created.

Maybe this is at the heart of why I went to seminary. I see those qualities in people, and I want to burnish this splendor, bring out the bright imagery, and help myself and others rediscover the likeness of God in our present lives. It is not the up front preaching, or the nicely tailored suits, or the societal esteem, or the community authority, or the methods of leadership which attracts me to ministry. It’s the same sort of thing that makes me like that show so much. One has to get in the muck and the mire, helping to wash away filth and discover something worthwhile. It can be tedious, and frustrating, and overwhelming, and exhausting, but there’s an immensely practical purpose which can be seen at the end of the day’s labor.

I think a lot of ministry on television and in seminary is portrayed like a glamorous entertainment show. Only that’s exactly what has bored me about church life in the past. That’s what repels me, and those sorts of people are entirely boring to me. They may be in leadership of churches but they are altogether outside my interest.

Ministry is a dirty job. Or at least is should be, if it is done as Jesus called us to do it. That is the aspect I find utterly fascinating about it all. Which, I guess, makes my interest in the Dirty Jobs show a bit more understandable.

air defense force

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Just looked outside and saw two ravens chasing a hawk over the house one on his wing, the other on his tail. They were all flying low, not too far above the roof, as they carried the chase northwards.

Vigilance. That’s the motto up in these hills.

oh and…

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It might be a bit interesting to check out Barclay Press again. To catch up on my complete body of journal work and read a wee book review I did for them.

Servanthood. It’s where it’s at.