connect – the – dots, la-la-la-la…

It’s not like I think about thinking – it just happens. I ponder. I wonder. I examine situations, scenarios, possiblities, from just about every angle that I can. (BTW: The Bean says its one of the things that she loves about me, watching me examine the situation, put together related scenarios & bits of info to construct the big picture, which she likes to call “connecting the dots,” completely unlike PeeWee on PeeWee’s Playhouse, where he’d shout out, “Connect the dots! La la la la!” Pure magic. The caveat to the Bean’s liking of my thinking – the examination/evaluation shouldn’t be aimed anywhere near her general direction. The scrutiny of the “thinking microscope” is fairly intense, or so she tells me. Potentially relentless. But I digress…)

The thinking thing can be a gift. But when it turns into ‘overthink’ it’s more like a curse. I’ve got a meeting tomorrow outside of Sacramento with a supervisor – it’s been in the works since 10/5, & it was asked for by him… that means that I have had about 20 days to think. About. What. He. Wants. To. Talk. About.

The preparer in me wants to create, work through, & then solve every potential scenario, every interaction, every possible word that could be said so that if any of the scenarios’ actually does pop up, I’d be ready. However, it is impossible to predict what is on his mind, & the quest to “think through this,” in advance actually ends up being very, very destructive. Consuming. Frustrating. Counterproductive. Paralyzing. Esp. on the off chance (15-20% if you’re taking odds) that this could be a rough meeting.

So I find myself practicing rest in the middle of stress – breathing out confusion & tension, breathing in the peace of the Holy Spirit. Bringing myself to sit quietly on my purple chair (its comfy!) & reminding myself that a) I am not God b) I am not in charge & c) I know who is. I submit my thoughts, the wild, crazy, stuff that I won’t even type here thoughts, & the challenging, potentially life-sucking practical thoughts as well. Submit them. To God. Under His feet. Me, sitting at His feet. Just a boy, trying to figure it out on the fly, but really now trying to just BE, making the presence of God my priority.

(PS – why the photo? I’ve got a soft spot in me heart for PeeWee Herman, as the Bean & I met when she did my make-up at a camp where I played Mr. PWH for a week-long tour that was actually extended into a couple of extra guest appearances later in the summer…)

Friday fodder…

  • Pasty has 2 more games left in his season, then he believes that he’ll be called up to Varsity for the playoffs. He’s really been enjoying being a tackling target for practices this week. Woohoo.
  • The David Crowder Concert that me, The Moses, the Crow, & Schoern attended on Tuesday at the Fillmore in SF was worth the 7 hours of travels. What stood out to me: musicality; humor; incredible lyrics that could be understood (& were projected on a small screen, stage right); great interaction with the crowd.
  • Directly in contrast to the other 2 acts – The Myriad. This group sounded a lot like, a lot, alot a LOT like they were a Radiohead tribute band that also liked Coldplay & had heard Rebel Yell as well. The smoke machine made it interesting, as did the emo meets 1870’s bank teller outfit on a guitar player. I liked the wall of noise they used… Then came Phil Wickham. The presentation was frantic; frenetic; forced; TheMoses thought it was manipulative (& I couldn’t argue against it…) What I couldn’t get past was that it sounded like he had inhaled a bunch of helium & drank about 42 espressos before he hit the stage. Then came Crowder, & all was right with the world… At least for me & the boys.
  • I’m really enjoying the Roundabout discussions as well – where we pick a topic & talk about it – for more, check out: Roundabout.
  • While I blog, I’ve been listening to the Podcast “Converts to Hell” from Rob Bell/Mars Hill – he nailed something – the gist of it is: we think that if we pray “the prayer” & go to church weekly, that it will guarantee or promise a “good life.” Good relationships. Faithfulness from spouse & friends. Kids that grow up big & strong, loving Jesus. But it doesn’t. And it won’t. Because there’s no superstition or formula or quick fix to Christ-following. It’s learning, growing, & obeying.
  • We have a new dog – it’s Pastor Jack’s brother from the same litter she came from – the owner gave the dog, formerly known as “Tiny Tim” due to a hip issue caused limp, now called “Little Mac Baggins” to us (in a very roundabout way,) as she was unable to care for the dog anymore. One day of conflict has been followed by two dogs that are the best of friends & true partners in crime. I’ll try & get a picture of the two together & post it – Little Mac is a black & rust colored weiner dog, while Little Pastor Jack is all rusty-brown. Which reminds me…
  • Life is better with friends…
  • Disappeared…

    I have a secret blog that has disappeared, although not because I wanted it to – for some reason, completely unannounced, the weblog hosting service is no longer there. Hmmm.

    You might wonder: Just what does one put on a secret blog? Secrets? Not really – I’ve used it as a semi-private journal (because it is, or was, available for people within that particular blog community to read & comment on it.) I was struck with some inspiration & went to pour out my heart only to find: alas! it was gone. However, I will not be daunted…

    In other news: I’m connected…


    My long awaited 20th high school reunion finally arrived, & Friday night & Saturday day/night, the Bean & I got the opportunity to interact & celebrate with a plethora of people, most of whom I had lost touch with upon my move to Carson City in 1987/88. Going into the evening, (Friday) I made a list – (as every good, organized person knows you’re SUPPOSED to) – of people that I wanted to make sure to talk with in the attempt to reconnect. I feel pretty blessed in that I was able to have significant & meaningful interactions with every single person that I put on my list.

    Over the next couple of days, pre-Deutschland, I hope to post some pictures, organize some thoughts, & pontificate a bit about what I experienced. In a nutshell – it was an 11. My hopes for this weekend were realized. Prayers were answered. Thank you Jesus.

    Growing to Maturity…

    The last week I’ve had several interactions & meetings that drove me to dig out my copy of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality for a refresher.

    The Scazzero book mentioned above, summed up, posits the idea that spiritual maturity & a true Christian experience can’t be separated from emotional health & maturity. E.g. emotionally immature people can’t/don’t grow to real spiritual maturity, even though they may have many, many years logged as Christians. Scazzero states, from his own experience, that only by becoming emotionally healthy can any of us truly grow to maturity.

    In my un edgy-cated opinion, based solely upon my interactions with a large cross-section of humanity, (with a varied Christian experience & length of tenure as Christians,) tends to bear out Scazzero’s hypothesis. One of the things that I’ve also noticed is that the “ministry” seems to attract, nurture, & reward emotionally unhealthy people – in that it, the ministry, becomes a valid place for a person to ‘get their strokes,’ though its often at the expense of others. And in the name of God. Why is this?

    I’m re-reading the book. And pondering these thoughts. And doing a lot of introspecting.

    When Chief Sinners Become Moral Guardians…

    I’ve been reading a book by Gregory A. Boyd called Myth Of A Christian Nation. It addresses how the (largely evangelical) church has attempted to use political power in order to advance a ‘christian’ worldview. Boyd, a pastor, challenges the idea that America is (& was) a Christian nation, & points the Church towards Scripture to find out & to reclaim what our real mission is: the message of the cross (not the sword,) & the message of Christ’s love for us. AND every other human being on the planet.

    Today’s reading was from the chapter “When Chief Sinners Become Moral Guardians” – it addresses the problems that result when the church takes on itself the role of being the “moral guardian” of a nation, community, or culture…

    A few highlights in the form of quotes from this chapter:

  • As people called to mimic Jesus in every area of our lives, we should find it significant that Jesus never assumed the position of moral guardian over any individual, let alone over the culture at large.
  • When we assume the role of moral guardians of the culture, we invariably postion ourselves as judges over others.
  • When the church sets itself up as the moral police of the culture, we earn the reputation of being self-righteous judgers rather than loving, self-sacrifical servants.
  • When people assume the position of moral guardians of the culture, they invite – they earn! the charge of hypocrisy, as all judgment, save the judgment of the omniscient & holy God, involves hypocrisy
  • Throughout history, the church has proven itself to be a very poor moral guardian. Whenver the church exercises the power of Caesar to enforce its doctrine & convictions, the result has usually been at least as bad as any non-Christian version of the kingdom of the world.
  • An interesting & thought-provoking read, for sure…

    We’re Moving Out…

    No, I’m not just quoting Billy Joel lyric… we’re moving out of our house. Kind of.

    What we’re actually doing is taking a few days this week to pack up & move the downstairs, kitchen, & hopefully my room – to a storage unit the Brother has rented. Then, the hope is to take his stuff & put it in the downstairs, kitchen, & my soon-to-be-former room, so that the new home owners can begin the process of making this house their home.

    Where do we go from here? What are we doing next? Where shall we be staying in the interim?

    Stay tuned… hopefully we’ll get to that before the end of the week. Wish me joy.

    Dead link & other musings…

    No sooner do I get an AWESOME Star Wars poster/pic, a virtual ode to Brint, than it disappears. I was indignant. Couldn’t believe it. I was legitimately borrowing this link, & the owner of the link killed it.

    So, I found it again. And reposted it. Who’s your daddy?
    Other thoughts on an early Tuesday…

  • The Bean & the Daro (12 year old son) are on an extended, 3 day field trip to SF. Bummer. And, they’re freezing. I miss them. I really miss the Bean.
  • The NBA playoffs are almost interesting watching the Suns/Spurs go at it. Go Suns.
  • The Master Cleanse is coming… Anyone done this before?
  • I found out that there is a musical instrument called a Euphonium – how cool.
  • I will be sitting in meetings all day tomorrow. Ugh.
  • Brother’s dog (Carter) is in heat, meaning Brother’s other dog (Higgins) is chasing it around, 24/7. Higgins is tired.
  • Found a book on my desk after Sunday’s speech called, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Anyone know anything about this book? Anyone give it to me?
  • It is too hot to wear shoes, & my flip flops are uselessly thin. How does one go about purchasing new ones?
  • I’m off to Wild Oats to buy organic lemons, Grade B Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, & Sea Salt. I think I’m going to make a smoothie.


  • sleep deprived…

    11-4. 11-5. 12-5. 10-4. My sleep schedule – isn’t working yet – a version of a cold/allergy/hay fever/sinus-y, coughing & sneezing fit is contributing. Hooray.

    Pasty Gangster has his permit to drive – so we’ve been spending some time together in the car, albeit in opposite seats that we’re usually in. So far, the joy of driving has been limited to the Exp & the auto-tranny. This afternoon, we’re off to the Reed High parking lot w/the Jetta for a 5 speed lesson. Love it.

    Lost In Translation Story from Deutschland – we were at TPLF for church, & a wonderful lady came up to reconnect & talk to the Bean about stuff. They talked for a while, & our friend ended the conversation, with, “I’m so glad that you’re here. Your smile is like a douche of happiness every time we see you.”