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Bloged in community, life, prayers by rod Wednesday April 18, 2007

Yesterday afternoon, when I drove to get Jack from track practice, I heard of the shootings at Virginia Tech. At the time there were still many questions and few details. Some details are becoming known, but there will never be answers. There can never be answers.
My love for Wisteria is known to any who’ve read these pages, but those who read closely know why. It is the purple tears of the melancholy blossom that speak to my soul. This flow of pensive and prayerful color that wells up from the earth tones.


The brilliant pallet of spring brings joy and feels it with us, but the empathic tears of wisteria remind us that even creation moans with us in our struggles.
There are no words to bring comfort midst such devastating loss. Mourners needn’t empty words, but friends whose falling tears and lifting prayers water seeds of love and hope.

Kyrie Eleison
Christe Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

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coming of age

Bloged in family, parenting, prayers by rod Wednesday February 21, 2007

Last week, I read an article called, “How Not to Talk to Your Kids.” The article was about research that has shown that kids who are praised for being smart perform at a much lower level than kids who are praised for how hard they worked at something. Basically, the statement, “great job! You must have worked very hard at that!!” produces many more great jobs, while, “great job! You’re really smart!” results in stagnation, and even fear of trying something that the child doesn’t think they are already good at.

Though I have always believed that to be true, and generally do a good job of pointing out the cause of success and accomplishment as the result of hard work, you’ll notice from my last post that I sometimes fall. Fortunately, usually my direct praise usually speaks to character and personality. Sometimes my amazement simply is manifest by a dropped jaw, followed by, “you are so awesome.” I have to work really hard to realize that Will’s knowledge and abilities were not simply bestowed upon him, but that his Petabyte Plus gray matter is being filled by his relentless gathering of information fueled by his intense interest in so many things. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said, “HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?” I could retire and fund his research to reverse global warming, and create alternative fuels and even alleviate the need for fuel. So I try to remember to praise his interest and relentless info gathering. Assimilation is natural for him, and like me, every bit he acquires seems directly related to all the other bits. This explains why he can pick up a camera, and being shown where the shutter button is, frame and capture beautiful images that express what he was seeing, observing and feeling, and why he took the shot. His ears do the same thing musically, and his hands do the same thing artistically whether he’s drawing, painting, or writing. His heart beats on his cuff, and his poetry fuels every expressive vehicle.

Today at 4:30pm, he became a teenager. When I picked him up from band and Jack and I told him “happy birthday,” he said, “Now I can be all hormonal and pubescent and be terribly mean to the people I love.” WHAT? That sounds really funny coming from a 13 year-old birthday boy, but that is something he’s worried about for a couple years. “Dad, I don’t want to get all hormonal and out of control and treat people badly.”
Truth is, of any kid I have ever known, I can’t imagine him being mean. Will gives himself to others so completely that everyone believes he is the only friend Will has. Every hug, every smile is a life-long commitment. When Will wraps his arms around you and presses his head into your chest, his cells and being meld with yours and for a moment, he teaches you something you didn’t know before.

I love him for being, and above all else, I’m proud of him for his willingness to love. This is something that he doesn’t have to work out. It is who he is. But it takes a very strong man to be so vulnerable. He will constantly have to work at the strength to remain this way, pure and giving. As his brother observed at a VERY young age, “sometimes when you be nice to someone, they be mean back to you.” Yes, that is the way of the fallen world. People take advantage, exploit, misinterpret, and hurt you. Every time this happens, a potential brick is mortared into a fortress around who you are.

I pray constantly for the strength and courage Will will require to be who he is. These next years will be like a power lifter’s workout for him as he studies how Jesus’ love is misunderstood and rejected, and like Jesus, grows in wisdom and stature, and favor with those who matter.

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Bloged in advent, apprenticeship, poems, prayers, seasons, worship by rod Sunday December 24, 2006

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
-Isaiah 7:14

O EMMANUEL, God with us, our King and Judge, the One the people await, and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

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Agnus Dei

Bloged in apprenticeship, easter, poems, prayers, worship by rod Monday April 24, 2006


the paschal moon is all but gone;
a waning crescent fading into the passing season
as are the fasts and sacrifices undertaken
to remember for a time.

the Paschal Lamb,
Bright Morning Star shines on
as new mercies are bestowed in the misty dawn
day after day after day after day…

Yeshua, Paschal Lamb,
slain from the foundation of the world,
may we remember in this season and in the next
and live thankful lives of service in the
freedom you’ve won for us.

As the flower moon waxes
may we be found blossoming into
what you are making us.

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i’ve got a message to bring

Bloged in church, community, friends, prayers by rod Wednesday April 12, 2006

Today, I was licensed to “Preach the Gospel as I might have occasion.” This was something that I asked of Pastor Don, and he in turn, asked the Board of Deacons who would approve or disapprove the licensing. I was asked to come to the Deacon meeting and give my testimony concerning why I would like to be licensed, what I’m involved with, etc. This, I did. I shared how over time, one begins to notice how he is being used by God and begins to work at being more available in those areas. I shared about worship leading and speaking that I’ve been doing. I shared about how last summer, through some prompting by Eugene Peterson, I began to recognize my pastoral role among a growing small group of students.
Years ago, when Allison and I began to talk about marriage, I realized that to make the whole thing official, I was going to have to muster the courage to “ask her dad.” One may think that this is a silly formality, because it is hard to imagine not marrying her had her Dad told me I couldn’t have her. But in reality, I told him about our relationship, about how we’d grown together, and that we’d been talking about marriage. Essentially, I asked him for his blessing on something that was already developing.
That is really what my meeting with the Deacons was about. I had come to realize where I was being used, was making my self more available and would like to do so knowing I had the backing and prayer support of my church community. I was asking their blessing. And bless me they did. I told them about how when the band began to stretch out a little and seek to go where we felt we were needed, I’d asked some Deacons for their blessing, and one night we were playing in a “scary” place and looked back from the stage to see Pastor Don, standing in the back. Don assured the deacons that he’d come to support us, and that we’d not merely “caught” him there when we showed up.
Today, the deacons supported me unanimously, gathered around me and prayed for my availability, obedience, purity, ministry, etc. It was a really good thing. It is always encouraging to know that you are going about with the support and prayers of others.

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Bloged in luna see, poems, prayers, worship by rod Monday May 16, 2005

Sometimes I sit and look down
and ponder the tiny creatures moving about my feet
in the dirt, under leaves, through the grass.

Sometimes I look up
and ponder myself, a tiny creature moving about on feet.
Made of dirt, covered with blood, a blade of grass.

Even the waxing flower moon has gone to bed now.
The clouds have moved out and the temperature has dropped.
My breath wisps in front of my face and disappears as it rises
up toward myriad stars.

What am I that you would consider me?
That you would feel the wisps of my heart
rising up and dissipating in the atmosphere
that is you?

paschal moon

Bloged in easter, luna see, poems, prayers by rod Friday March 25, 2005

the lentels of my life bear your provision
death passes by, but may not enter.
but you never pass by.
you open the door, sit at my table and
break the bread and pour the wine.

a psalm

Bloged in poems, prayers, worship by rod Saturday January 22, 2005

You, who hear prayer from a quiet heart,
to whom all men come overwhelmed,
You Who whisper to a silent soul,
speak into my quiet resolution to hear Your voice.
You, Who knows not lies
protect us from the father of lies.
The evil one has set me as his bull’s-eye
he has emptied his quiver on me.
The fiery arrows sting, but cannot penetrate because You have set Yourself before me.
You’re the great interceptor, the victor before the dawn of time.
He deceives himself to even attempt at one hidden beneath your wing,
on whose shoulders You’ve lain your feathers of comfort,
into whose heart You’ve breathed Your Spirit of peace,
into whose ear you’ve whispered Truth.

You, whose mighty hand crushes fear and caresses trust,
incubate my embryonic faith,
nudge my fledgling flight,
catch me when I fall.

point of know return

Bloged in community, friends, prayers by rod Monday December 29, 2003

I found out today that the world really is flat. Who can prove otherwise? I guess Aunt Hazel was right – all those space photos were just Hollywood images. I saw it with my own eyes. Flat as a pancake.
lighthouse.jpgToday the Fam and I drove over to the ocean. There was absolutely no wind. Tall grass on the dunes just stood there unmoving. The ocean was like glass. I’ve never seen it so calm before. It’s always choppy, rising, falling. When you look out at forever you can impose the curve of the earth on the mere 15 miles that are visible.
Today was very different though. Without the texture imposed, the horizon was straight as an arrow, as level as a… well, a level. It seemed smaller for some reason, I stood there believing I could look all the way across since it was all at eye level. I thought of Daniel over there, a mere five time zones away. I thought if I looked hard enough I might see him preparing for supper. Family gathered ‘round. Threw up a prayer. God, give Daniel a sense of joy I feel right now standing here with wife tucked under my arm and kids playing in the surf. A momentary calm as peaceful as the glassy sea. Even the wind and waves obey. Speak peace into our lives with the knowledge of You and the housing of the Holy Spirit. Implant this moment into the turbulence of the coming year. May Your peace in my life weight the burden for those who don’t know it, for those who grieve with no hope, for those in Iran whose lives have been shattered by literal turbulence.
Peace on the G and J and little squid, as they face the uncertainty of a baby ministry and depend each moment on Your guidance. Peace on Dave as he embraces change. Peace on Timbo as he rises to and is made equal to the task. Peace on Cisco as he learns to shed some salt …
May we know You in a new way.

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