Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Road Trip

And now for something completely different . . . .

Tomorrow morning, my family and I leave for Memphis, TN (is there another?). It's a road trip!
My oldest child is looking at colleges. It is decision time. Said child has been accepted in four schools, and now we must decide. I might also need to find a good bankruptcy lawyer, too!

I've never been to Memphis, so this will be a first for me. The biggest downside is that it's about a 500 mile trip. That will make for a long time of all of us in the confined spaces of an automobile. We will be attempting this without strapping anyone to the roof. Pray for our success in that regard.

Packing and laundry to get down. Away we go! Cheers!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Plant Sequoias - Practice resurrection

Sometimes it feels like planting sequoias. Waiting for the harvest of a thousand years, or more. Perhaps for the Church it will take that long. That long for the institution to accept that God loves all. Accepts, loves, redeems. Practice resurrection.

Happy Easter to all.

Cheers, Joe.

An excerpt from
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

. . . . . . . . .
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. . .

. . . .
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Instead of You & Me

Sydney Carter was a British song writer and poet. He is best known for his text (and adaptation of the tune) "Lord of the Dance," (I danced in the morning when the world was begun . . . )

But he also wrote this song, reprinted below. Please take the words for what they are, dramatic irony through the words of one of the theives crucified with Jesus.

It stirs up all our feelings of our anger at God, which it something we seldom admit or think we are not supposed to feel at all. And yet we do.

I have always felt God could handle my anger. After all, don't we get the angriest at those we love the most?

God wants our anger, our misunderstanding, our limited vision. God wants all of us, all facets, all sides, all parts, all of us. What else could the incarnation be about, except to show that all of us, body and soul, is part of God's wonderful creation.

It was on a Friday morning
that they took me from the cell and I saw
they had a carpenter to crucify as well
You can blame it on to Pilate
You can blame it on the Jews
You can blame it on the Devil
Its God I accuse
Its God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

You can blame it on to Adam
You can blame it on to Eve
You can blame it on the apple, but that I can't believe
It was God that made the Devil
And the woman and the man
And there wouldn't be an apple
If it wasn't in the plan
Its God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

Now Barabbas was a killer
And they let Barabbas go
But you are being crucified
For nothing that I know
And your God is up in Heaven
and He doesn't do a thing
With a million angels watching and they never move a wing
Its God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

To hell with Jehova
To the carpenter I said
I wish that a carpenter had made the world instead
Goodbye and good luck to you
our ways will soon divide
Remember me tomorrow
The man you hung beside
Its God they ought to crucify instead of you and me
I said to the carpenter, a-hanging on the tree

Sydney Carter

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


This is the knocker on the door of Durham Cathedral. In ancient times if one grabbed on to this knocker one could proclaim "sanctuary."

Let us be sanctuary for one another, as God is sanctuary for us. All our brokeness, all our fragments, all our wounds. Taken into the heart of God.