[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


a monday poem


tired of waiting
sick of taste
tired of sleeping life away
sing kyrie
hear nothing

throw something
feel the irony
feel anger sink
dried up tears
feel nothing

think insanity
entertain it
keep testing
such real imagining
face steels

candles mourning
mouths sing
inside hearts weep
smell the stink
the smoke stings

weary and bleeding
bedtime sneers
weary of thinking
eat bitterness

try to breathe
grind teeth
why keep living

(by my friend linda olsen)


interview w/ tom howard

i was delighted to rev up the aggregator today and find a link from pontifications to an old interview w/ tom howard, a man who (to purloin his own phrase) “took my arm and said ‘look.’” the magazine, touchstone, also has a compendium of some articles mr. howard submitted for publication over the years, and i was blessed enough to hear him read aloud one of the articles -- "the wages of reading" -- one friday @ beer & bull (although the article was no doubt better suited to the more refined scotch & theology). i commend them all to you w/o reservation. nobody talks like tom howard talks.


carnival's up

courtesy of neil @ digitus, finger & co.



pssst. don't tell renee' how intrigued i am by fr seraphim's transition to eastern orthodoxy in today's pontifications.



i cannot believe we are having this discussion. did we learn nothing from falwell? first the media reports: "dobson outs spongebob" (he does provide context in his 25 jan. broadcast of focus on the family). then the ucc, an organization i love and used to work for, extends an unequivocal welcome to spongebob and cartoon cohorts. no wonder katha pollitt posits (in the course of dissing jim wallis) that b/c xtians "have been arguing for centuries without reaching agreement on even the simplest matters, the rest of us are entitled to wonder if perhaps they are reading the wrong book." am i missing something? both sides are sending out simplistic responses to complex arguments instead of listening to each other, which only foments controversy and dissension; however, it seems like a lot of time spent and ink spilt on a goofy subject.

that face

so it was day 4 of mrs. wood's flu, and upon my arrival @ the office i was ushered -- from a safe distance -- out of my office and cursorily sent home. just in case i was carrying any cooties, you see. so it was day 2 of my time @ home taking care of ellie while renee's body marshals reserves to fight against little viral invaders. and luckily i was home for this afternoon, b/c -- boom -- it hit me when i saw this picture of ellie w/ her first pigtails. this is what she's going to look like when she grows up. until today i had always seen my little girl w/ the monkey hair (alas, she appears to have inherited some mutant gene from both me and renee'), but this picture was her in 15 years. very odd to see, a little heartbreaking, but definitely made me proud to think of all she'll be when she grows up to look like this. biased or not, i think she'll be beautiful.Posted by Hello



a little celebratory apple juice. heh heh heh. Posted by Hello


ellie and the animals

out of the ground the lord god formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. (gen. 2.19)

until today, i thought i understood what that verse meant. even more importantly, i thought i understood what it implied. and then renee' got sick and i took a day off work to stay w/ ellie grace.

for christmas or a birthday or something, someone gave elmo this little plastic noah's ark play thingy, complete w/ two animals of every kind (on a side note, i've always thought it a bit odd that so many children's play sets and picture books and bed spreads and whatnot have a "noah's ark" theme, when the story itself, heilsgeschichte aside, is about holocaust and judgment). today i was sitting in the floor of her room, just watching her play w/ whatever was @ hand, and she decided to bring the ark and its inhabitants over to me. the ark opens on a little hinge for all the animals to spill out onto the floor to be collected and put back and re-emptied ad infinitum. i flicked the hinge, the animals spilled out, and ellie pulled up a chunk of floor across from me, spread-legged, and waited. i picked up the first animal, a rhino, and held it up for ellie to see. "ah-nah-si-sus," she spurted gleefully. then a brown bear: "teddy!" in rapid succession, "ki-cah" (it was a lion, but kitty cat is close enough); "raff" (giraffe); "pan" (panda). she came up w/ something for "alligator," too, but i was laughing too hard to hear.

so, to my point. steve brown says "all of life is crafted to illustrate bible doctrine," and there are these little flashes i get to see every day just by being ellie's pop. sure, it was just my kid in the floor w/ plastic toys and an underdeveloped grasp of the english language; but i immediately thought about genesis 2 and the story of adam and the animals. "whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name." why is that in the creation story? if the point of it all is to demonstrate that we worship the creator god, the king above all kings, then it would seem that adam's naming of the animals is superfluous. not so. the stories are there to show us something about god, but it's not just that he created the heavens and earth ex nihilo and, therefore, rightly deserves our worship. it's much more. it seems to me that it's a king delegating authority to a subject so that his glory will be reflected back @ him through that subject's actions. it's a poet moved by his own poem. in a sermon i listened to recently, dr. tim keller quoted c. s. lewis' conclusion to the weight of glory, and i'll quote him here:

it is written: we shall stand before him. the promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of christ, that any of us who really choose shall please god. to please god, to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness, to be loved by god, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in her work, or as a father delights in his son. it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain, but so it is. it means good report with god, acceptance, response, acknowledgment and welcome into the heart of things. the door @ which we have been knocking all our lives will open to us @ last.
"ah-nah-si-sus." i'd never have thought of that.

family planning

my friend jeremy has crafted a far-reaching (and dead on) "family vision statement" that he's kicking around. every christian parent ought to read it and consider just how deliberate we are, or should become, about structuring our families' lives around the principles of the kingdom of god. stephen has one, too, so i've got to get on the stick! very nice work, guys.


random things

try these on for size:

stupid science

i'm a science guy. no, really. i love the stuff, and i read books about science all the time, i'm just not very proficient @ grasping too much of the math that always seems to be involved. but i do love the concepts, all the great theories, the history of science, you name it, i'll watch a nova special on it. so my friend new hampsherite chris bernier sent me a little link to something called "science made stupid", and i found it to be wonderful. especially the little page on evolution. if you only have time to read one page, click on that one. thanks to tom weller for chuckles.


tattoos (& king cake)

in the search for tattoo no. 2 (there is a wife-imposed moratorium on tattoos in excess of one per calendar year, so i only became tattoo-eligible again early in january), i ran across doug gray's christian symbols and their meanings site. pretty interesting, if you're into that kind of stuff, and i am. i'm fascinated by the symbols and art of the xtian church (of any religion, if you press me on it). and on a slightly different note, who knew king cake had religious significance? if you want one and don't have a local eatery that traffics in mardi gras-type confections, try paul's pastry. our office just polished off the first one of the season, and it was from paul's -- best one we'd ever tasted.


let's play . . .

20 questions. 20q.net is just scary. salt shaker, typewriter, hubcap -- it got me every time, usually in about 14 or 15 guesses. someone has way too much time on their hands.



nothing really to post, but there's this computer w/free www access here in the lobby of our hotel in new orleans, which is pretty cool (i really like this computer, and i'm trying to figure out how to sneak it into my trousers). for lack of anything pertinent, go pats!

now i shall go upstairs and watch espn for 2 hours.


stuff to listen to


random songs

here's a pretty cool exercise (thanks to jim @ dappled things):
  1. open the music player on your computer or ipod
  2. set "all music" as your playlist
  3. select "shuffle" from the "play" pull-down menu
  4. list the song title and artist for the 1st ten songs that come up. jim says to 'fess up "no matter how embarrassing. that's right, no skipping that carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. it's time for total musical honesty."
  5. if you get the same artist twice, you may skip repeat occurrences just for variety's sake
  6. post it in your 'blog and link back to @ least a couple of the other sites that suggested the exercise (makes me wish blogger had trackback)
mine are:
  1. "lost and found" - michael nyman (from the piano sountrack)
  2. "man @ the top" - bruce springsteen (from tracks)
  3. "my proud mountains" - john t. van zandt (poet: a tribute to townes van zandt)
  4. "mother india" - caedmon's call (share the well)
  5. "he thinks he'll keep her" - mary chapin carpenter (come on come on)
  6. "jewels" - alison krauss, suzanna cox (o sister 2: a women's bluegrass collection)
  7. "come back" - foo fighters (one by one)
  8. "last lullaby here" - george winston (forest)
  9. "the rush of wings" - metamora (winter's solstice, vol. 2)
  10. "half harvest" - michael penn (march)
and since i'm the only one playing our game as of 1.18.2005, i shall do it again, for i enjoy it immensely:
  1. "for all the saints" - christopher miner (the calm of paradise)
  2. "clearer" - garrison starr (eighteen over me)
  3. "plastic" - the blood violets (from a 7spinmusic sampler cd i got in the mail back when relevant magazine still loved me)
  4. "lobster fisherman" - john mock (new england portraits)
  5. "stutter" - andy stochansky (five star motel)
  6. "variations on the kanon by pachelbel" - george winston (december)
  7. "melody of you" - sixpence none the richer (divine discontent)
  8. "sussex carol" - nightnoise (a winter's solstice v)
  9. "new favorite" - alison krauss (new favorite)
  10. "sing mary sing" - jennifer knapp (the way i am)


went into the avaitor the other day expecting scorsese to blow me away, but i think he wanted an oscar too badly, his window is closing, something was off. gangs of new york, goodfellas, the last temptation of christ, the color of money, raging bull, taxi driver -- they were all way better movies than this one. but collateral surprised me, pretty much. i was a michael mann fan already; the insider is in my top 5 movies, seen it dozens of times. collateral wasn't as good as the insider, but i didn't have the highest of expectations, and mann's directing style is one of my favorites. in fact, there were several actors that appeared both in collateral and the insider, which i kinda like. anyway, it's not the greatest movie i've ever seen, and it does inspire incredulity @ points, but if you like mann's eye and style, it's a better movie than scorsese's.



worst video i've ever seen. just try the first 25 seconds, if you don't believe me. sorry, jill; i tried. "cinnamon park" might even get beavis & butthead back on the air.

from "quilts to wear"

shriveling, contracting, waning away
i am daily drained
from sins stronger returning
returning in a bolder, more brazen way
(excerpt of a poem titled "quilts to wear" by David W. Franklin in thirsty plants vol. 2, issue 2 (summer 1999))


cool hunting watching austin city limits

tuned in to austin city limits tonight to hear the always amazing wilco. it's the first time i've gotten to see them perform songs from a ghost is born live, and i was, as expected, blown away. heard favorites "at least that's what you said," "hell is chrome," and "i'm a wheel" (wish they'd had time to play my personal favorite "theologians" and "the late greats," but i'll take what i can get). great show.

what i didn't expect was to be blown away by the second set from bright eyes, who i take to be a ragtag amalgamation of musicians from several bands. i wasn't ready for the first song, "waste of paint," and it's amazing lyrics (from lifted or the story is in the soil keep your ear to the ground):

I have a friend, he is made mostly of pain. He wakes up,
drives to work, and then straight back home again. He once cut one of my
nightmares out of paper. I thought it was beautiful, I put it on a record
cover. And I tried to tell him he had a sense of color and composition so
magnificent. And he said "Thank you, please but your flattery is truly not
becoming me. Your eyes are poor. You are blind. You see, no beauty could
have come from me. I am a waste of breath, of space, of time."

I knew a woman, she was dignified and true. Her love for her man was one of
her many virtues. Until one day, she found out that he had lied and decided
the rest of her life, from that point on would be a lie. But she was
grateful for everything that had happened. And she was anxious for all that
would come next. But then she wept. What did you expect? In that big, old
house with all those cars she kept. "Oh!" and "such is life," she often
said. With one day leading her to the next, you get a little closer to your
death, which was fine with her. She never got upset and with all the days she
may have left, she would never clean another mess or fold his
shirts or look her best. She was free to waste away alone.

Last night, my brother he got drunk and drove. And this cop pulled him off to
the side of the road. And he said, "Officer! Officer! You have got the wrong
man. No, no, I'm a student of medicine, the son of a banker, you don't
understand!"The cop said, "No one got hurt, you should be thankful. And you
carelessness, it is something awful. And no, I can't just let you go. And
though your father's name is known, your decisions are yours alone. You are
nothing but a stepping stone on a path to debt, to loss, to shame."

The last few months I have been living with this couple. Yeah, you know, the
kind that buy everything in doubles. They fit together, like a puzzle.
I love their love and I am thankful that someone actually receives the prize
that was promised by all those fairy tales that drugged us. And they still
do me. I'm sick, lonely, no laurel tree, just green envy. Will my number
come up eventually? Like Love is some kind of lottery, where you can scratch
and see what is underneath. It's "Sorry", just one cherry, "Play Again." Get

So I have been hanging out down by the train's depot. No, I don't ride. I
just sit and watch the people there. They remind me of wind up cars in
motion. The way they spin and turn and jockey for positions. And I
want to scream out that it is all nonsense. And that their lives are one
track, and can't they see how it is all pointless? But then, my knees give
under me. My head feels weak and suddenly it is clear to see that it is not
them but me, who has lost my self-identity. As I hide behind these
books I read, while scribbling my poetry, like art could save a wretch like
me, with some ideal ideology that no one can hope to achieve. And I am never
real; it is just a sketch of me. And everything I have is trite and cheap
and a waste of paint, of tape, of time.

Sometimes I park my car down my the cathedral, where floodlights point up at
the steeples. Choir practice is filling up with people. I hear the sound
escaping as an echo. Sloping off the ceiling at an angle. When voices blend
they sound like angels.I hope there is still some room left in the middle.
But when I lift my voice up now to reach them. The range is too high, way up
in heaven. So I hold my tongue, forget the song, tie my shoe and start
walking off. And try to just keep moving on, with my broken heart and my
absent God and I have no faith but it is all I want, to be loved and believe
in my soul.

after that, other guys came up on stage, one a member of a band called my morning jacket, and they played an awesome song called "golden" that i can't seem to place on any of the albums or eps on their website. the acl website has a clip of the show, though. fantastic show. a perfect end to a perfect saturday.


what's in a name?

ok, so i was thinking last night about a post recounting the recent negotiations in the wood house about the name of our son (e.t.a. 27 mar 2005), and i figured i'd call it "what's in a name?" this morning, coffee steaming nearby, barney on in background to entertain child no. 1, i sat down to pen this gem, when what do i find but a thinklings post by the same name? their comments are much more meaningful than what i had been thinking, anyway (don't use names that rhyme w/ bodily functions; old girl-/boyfriends' names definitely out; what about biblical and family names?), so i recommend them wholeheartedly.

i will give you a quick little update on our negotiations, however: yesterday i reluctantly w/drew seamus from consideration, along w/ absalom, blaise, knute and dacey. in return for my concessions, renee' did leave open some other proposals i've made, including names from american literature (courtesy of larry mcmurtry and harper lee) and christian theology.

updates as events warrant.



now we must select with extreme caution our lovers,
water, foodstuffs and even our invisible

it is a very careful time.

our politicians consider ways to dismantle
the worldwide stockpile of bombs
all too late, of course, since it only takes one fool to
push one button

we draw close together, frightened, searching for a return
to a safe

but we must have been wrong for too long. the asylums
overflow and spill their
detritus into our streets
and where our leaders once spoke wisely
they now speak gibberish --
they stop, then continue, look about, addled,
substituting inane slogans for real

this is the price we now pay; we can't go
back, we can't go forward and we hang helpless, nailed to a
of our own
published posthumously and found in charles bukowski, the flash of lightning behind the mountain: new poems (new york: ecco, 2005): 72. i hope i'm not playing too fast and loose w/ copyright law, but i really like this guy and was moved by this poem, so i wanted you to read it.






had a conversation w/ a friend today. she confessed she finds it hard to pray for the victims of the tsunami in asia when she is praying to the guy who did it. i feebly recommended that she read lewis' the problem of pain, but i had to admit that i have no great answers to my own questions. in fact, i'm so daunted by the complexity of the moral and theological questions that this tragedy raises that i just slam my head in the sand and try not to think about it. not very pastoral, but i guess that i am still a lawyer for a few more months, and the truly pastoral stuff is probably best left to the pastors for now. still, i question, and i wish my answers were like what i imagine dr. tim keller's or tom wright's would be. then, tonight, i read a thinklings post that quoted @ length a piece by, of all people, michael novak in, of all places, national review online, a periodical not often found on renee's and my coffee table. i'm a self-respecting liberal, for heaven's sake, and i'm pretty sure it's incongrous for me to quote michael novak; neverthelss, what he has to say should be heard. here's just a portion of the piece that asks "who's judging whom?"
stand before the cross. look at the body of this suffering servant of god. look, perhaps, with eyes opened by mel gibson's all but unendurable the passion. if this is what god did to his own son — his own being, with whom he is one — then what hope is there that we will be treated "nicely"? the god who does this is not "the god of niceness." his scale of grandeur is far different from ours. one has no sense of him whatever if one does not feel inner trembling and vast distance.

he is not a god made in our image. we are made as (very poor) images of him — images chiefly in the sense that we experience insight and judgment, decision and love, and that we too have responsibilities.

this is the god who made the vastness of the alps and the rockies and the andes; who knows the silence of jungles no human has yet penetrated; who made all the galaxies beyond our ken; who gave to mozart and beethoven and shakespeare and milton and dante and legions of others great talents; who infused life into the eyes of every newborn, and love into the hearts of all lovers; and imagined, created, and expressed love for all the things that he made. he made all the powers of storms, and all the immense force of earthquakes, and the roiling and tumultuous churning of the oceans. he imagined all the beautiful melodies we have ever heard, and more that we have not.

god is god.

god is our judge.

we are not his judge.

the question is not, "does god measure up to our (liberal, compassionate, self-deceived) standards?" the question is, "will we learn — in silence and in awe at the far-beyond-human power of nature — how great, on a far different scale from ours, is god's love?"

it would be the greatest and most obscene of illusions for a man, any man, to imagine that he has greater love for a child mangled in the oily, dark waters of the recent tsunami than the creator of that child has. it would be like ivan karamazov being unable to forgive God so long as one single child anywhere went to bed at night crying in loneliness and in pain. who is karamazov to think that his own love for that child — a purely abstract, speculative, hard-case, counterexample love — is greater than that of the child's creator?

the tapestry on which god weaves human existence is not the tapestry within the framework of time that we experience. as we do not comprehend the power of nature (especially nowadays, when we live so far removed from it, so protected from it), even more we do not begin to comprehend the love and goodness of god.

the truth is, the sight and smell of awful human death is sometimes more than we can take. perhaps we should feel confidence in the power of god's love, but we do not see it. all we feel is the night. our darkness is as keen as that of the unbeliever and the nihilist.

yet in that darkness, we the believers alone (not the unbeliever or the nihilist) feel betrayed by One whom we love. we alone feel anguish because we cannot understand.

but it is not as if we had not often before bumped into the limits of our understanding, and recognized nonetheless that there are undeniable glimmerings of powers and presences we know not of. and, like job, we refuse to deny the power of the goodness and light which we do see, their power to go out into the night in which we cannot now see.

it does seem that the creator is not always kind, not even just, within the bounded space that we experience. it does seem that the creator acts with undeniable cruelty. in our time, we have seen unimaginable suffering. like job, we cannot deny what we see.

neither can we deny the Light, which is what makes the absurd seem absurd. only in contrast to Light is the absurd absurd. otherwise it is only a brute matter of fact. no less than the unbeliever or the nihilist does the devout jew or christian inhabit the night. but only the believers continue in the silence to utter the unseeing yes of our love. the yes that ivan karamazov cannot say in the night alyosha does say.
so, that's one thread of an answer, a very well reasoned one, to the question of evil and suffering. it's better writing than be right to expect from li'l old me, but i will pass along this that i wrote a while back after hearing a sermon that deeply troubled me so that i couldn't sleep for thinking about it. some innocent kids had died in a fraternity house fire in our sleepy little hamlet, and it was in the minds of all that came to church that sunday.
the preacher, who is a dear friend and mentor to me and whose name i won't divulge, recounted a funeral he heard years ago wherein the preacher foolishly said "god wanted x w/ him in heaven." my friend said he had decided years ago that "an all-powerful god cannot be all-loving; and an all-loving god cannot be all-powerful." not to mention running counter to the teaching of the church for millennia, my friend's statement isn't an accurate description of the god of the bible, even a god, as episcopalians are wont to say (and rightly so), most fully revealed in jesus. yes, god chose to take on our humanity and suffer, humble himself and die. yes, there are mysteries shrouding god, and he is, in some way, like the wachovia securities tv commercial that asks "what can a fitted sheet teach us about financial security?" the "moral" of the ad (catch that oxymoron?) was that just when you think you've got it covered, some corner pops up again. it's probably hubris to even think we, finite human beings, can apprehend the infinite. but, as my friend andy rambo used to say, "god's not hiding behind a rock." he wants us to know him, and scripture, teaching, tradition and jesus all reveal the mystery of godhood.

indeed, he did choose to be humiliated and crucified, but that doesn't mean his power is confined in some divine weakness. jesus was "very god of very god," and it's appalling that he would dirty his hands with us. but the broader picture of "god" is incontrovertably one of omnipotence. he showed job just how strong he was, and just how puny job was. he confounded the gods of the eqyptians, rescuing israel and almost mocking their impotent deities in the manner of the exodus. he is the creator god, pictured at the outset of holy scripture as making all that is, seen and unseen, ex nihilo and by divine fiat. he is the god who holds the universe together even as i scratch these words (heb. 1.3). the weak god of openness theism gives up his ability to know what his creatures will do, and in doing so we have a nifty way of understanding tagedy, a larabbi harold kushner, but we lose the faith that god can do what he proposes, answer prayers, win it all in the end. we get a god whom we can't blame when tragedy strikes, but i fail to see how it's not also a god whom we also cannot blame when and if things don't turn out as he expect w/ regard to thinkgs like redemption, salvation and victory over sin and death. that's like trading a 56 topps mantle for an, i don't know, 1988 mark lemke or something. all the way around, it's a bad trade.

i don't think tonight's little bout with sleeplessness and an echo of a call i thought i might have heard in 1 tim 1.3 is going to make me go to my friend and command him to stop teaching false doctrines. in fact, i'm not sure i'm suposed to say or do anything. but i do believe that, for now, i'm encouraged to do what i can do positively to proclaim the gospel, including teaching, unashamedly, an orthodox christianity with a god who is both all-powerful and all-loving, and a world in which the fault of all tragedy lies solely @ the feet of a humanity that, in our power grab for divinity for ourselves, brought into being all the mystery and confusion that makes us shake our fists @ heaven. and it's only in shaking our fists and railing @ god, perhaps, that we ever see our true limitations and are forced to fall upon the grace and mercy of our holy lover. this world, ultimately, is not for our own understanding, but for god's glory. for whatever reason, he has allowed sin to enter the world with all the pain and chaos and darkness it carries with it. but far from being a powerless god who would have to sit back and watch events play out, he came down himself and defeated sin, routed death, claimed a people as his own whose very lives, whose salvation, whose election brings glory only to god. he is neither weak nor limited. he is not impassive, nor is he detatched and removed from us and our struggle.

he is the victor, and therein lies our hope.
my attemtpts at cobbling together a cogent theological response is, maybe will always be, a work in progress. for now, i'll tell you to read lewis' book, which is a bit dense but may be the bridge god crosses to meet you if you find yourself struggling w/ these questions of ours. and i'm truly grateful for novak's reminder about the obscene temerity of our hearts if we suppose that we somehow love the tsunami victims more than their creator loves them. we see the tapestry from this side, not from god's vantage point. oh, for the day when all death will be put down, the creation will be fully restored in its original perfection, and all of us can get a glimpse @ that tapestry from the other side. until then, we pray. and if we don't get answers right off, never we should mind, for the praying changes us.

further reading:


fear has been front and center for me lately, so much so that i preached about it in december. i guess that's why last night i was caught by a repeat segment of ira glass' this american life that excerpted fears of your life (vols i and ii) by michael bernard loggins, a guy who decided to confront his fears by listing them all, from the pedestrian fears of bats, hospitals, foghorns, killer whales and toys that come on without touching them, to the the more nuanced fears of authority and punishment and, one of my favorites, no. 85: "fear that if you put too much of toilet paper in the toilet bowl it will run over and get all over the floor and on you and on someone else too; it would leak from upstairs to the next floor below." a few weeks back i got so weirded out by all the stuff i was afraid of that i, too, resigned myself to just writing my fears in this little black moleskin book i carry around in my back pocket. come to find out, i tend to fear, inter alia: heart failure, somehow turning my daughter away from faith in christ, esophogeal cancer, tunnels, ministry w/o all the answers, disappointing my wife, and having everyone find out i'm a fraud and that i fake my way through every day with smoke and mirrors. i pray all the time that i can practice what i preached and internalize promises like 1 john 4.18 and 2 tim 1.7. all too often, i fear, i can't.

more profound than you'd think

it's the middle of the night near the indiana line
i'm pulling in a christian station
the signal's crystal clear
but i cannot really hear
what he says about the revelation

i am wretched, i am tired
but the preacher is on fire
and i wish i could believe

whoever watches over all these truckers
show a little mercy for a weary sinner
and deliver me
lord, deliver me
deliver me to the next best western

did he who made the lamb
put the tremble in the hand
that reaches out to take my quarter
i look him in him the eye
but there isn't any time
just time enough to pass the tender

the highway takes its toll
the green light flashes go
and it's welcome to ohio

whoever watches over all these truckers
show a little mercy for a weary sinner
and deliver me
lord, deliver me
deliver me to the next best western

it takes light years of nothing to let these stars shine through
and it's an empty road that finds it's way back home to you

at 4am on 80 east
it's in the nature of the beast
to wonder if there's something missing

i am wretched, i am tired
but the preacher is on fire
and I wish I could believe

whoever watches over all these truckers
show a little mercy for a weary sinner
and deliver me
lord, deliver me
deliver me to the next best western

("the next best western," from courier -- thank you, richard, for my new favorite song of all time; sorry, "creep," you're still no. 2)


amazing grace

thinking of grace today, remembering part of a sermon dr. tim keller gave not long ago (for christmas mom & dad gave me a subscription to the redeemer pres. tape ministry, which pleased me very much). he quoted a hymn i'd never heard, the lyrics of which have been running through my mind the three days since:
what though th' accuser roar
of ills that I have done
i know them well, and thousands more:
jehovah findeth none
what i wouldn't give to not only believe that intellectually, but know it, really know it, in the marrow of my bones.


eden to zion

i'm happy to welcome an old friend to the 'sphere -- say 'hi' to jeremy @ from eden to zion. i spent a happy couple of years around jeremy when we lived in marblehead, and i owe much of my slowly developing understanding of christianity and ministry to having been a part of his community group and watching him live his life. he's a stud (and a very creative voice in the church, emerging or otherwise), so check it out.
WWW [rough draft]