Monday, September 20, 2004


I have to say I'm blessed to have spent an evening with a family that I know from school. They have (I think) eight children. I always lose count. But they're some of the Godliest people I know. They care about each other like no other family I've ever encountered. I've been blessed to be teaching one daughter guitar lessons. And after the lesson, they invited me to sit down and eat with them. It is mentally astounding to actually sit down and pray and eat and talk with a family that cares for and loves each other as much as they do - it's almost like reading a story. Every time I go to their house and see them together, I feel I've experienced a Thanksgiving Day get-together. They live up on a hill top overlooking the whole residential part of Jefferson City. You can see for twenty miles or so and you can see the royal blue seam of Cherokee Lake piercing the green of the hills. And at night.....oh, by the way, I saw a shooting star tonight. Just thought I'd throw that in. A falling star is sort of a reminder that God likes to play and have fun. That's what I think it might look like if God was shooting marbles. This life is full of beauty. I bought a pint of Sun Drop flavored sherbet the other day. Miracles are wonderful.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Sometimes I love feeling American. I don't really know what that means. I guess it means I just love being alive and walking through places where people are alive. Andy, Jared and I spent the morning taking a walk down through Jefferson City. Listening to Andrew Osenga on the way back in Andy's jeep with the windows down. The night is just cool enough to be comfortable, and a bit of a breeze is left, thanks to Hurricane Ivan. I had an espresso and we watched Dead Poets Society. Sometimes I just have to let go of all present things and go walk through the world and breathe the air like that. I can't care about a whole heck of a lot right now. Life is too beautiful at times to let things like school and schedules and work bring you down. Don't get me wrong, work and such is important, but it pales in comparison to the things we have worked for. Don't really take what I say and "set it up as the one thing you should follow at all costs." (CS Lewis) I just felt like writing. A cocktail of Dead Poets Society, espresso, rain-cleansed air, and early morning/late night brings out this sort of thing in me. Just a rant from a crazy man. But thanks for listening, whoever you might be. Go take a constitutional of some kind.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Meeting People

Kat and I found ourselves at Cracker Barrel with my folks after church this evening. I am blessed with a woman that has insight that others don't have. Her mom has it too. Her dad (Richard) and I have talked about it. It's nothing less than a spiritual gift. Which is interesting, because that's something that really get's me irritated. All this talk about spiritual gifts is getting out of hand. Paul said, "I don't want you to be ignorant," (1 Cor. 12:1). He didn't say, "I want you to take surveys to find out what your gift is specifically and then go after that." Some folks are prone to limiting what they think they can do in the power of God because they don't think that it's their spiritual gift. I also don't think a survey is going to tell you what your spiritual gifts are. I don't even think it's something that needs to be addressed. If you look at the passage in context, Paul is talking about unity in the church, not your abilities given to you when Jesus saves you. He goes on to talk about "many parts" and "one body." Even in that very passage, he doesn't begin his list of spiritual gifts until he tells us that "there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." In other words, just because you're a janitor and your brother is a rock star doesn't make you any less important in God's eyes. Nor should it in the church's eyes. But instead, people get bent out of shape. I won't deny that there are spiritual gifts. I believe that my ability on guitar is a spiritual gift, because of the time it began. I believe that my fiancee's insight is a spiritual gift, because it's beyond what most folks have. I believe that what our gifts are is not the issue though. It absolutely infuriates me when I hear the words "That's not my spiritual gift." Even in jest, it irritates me. I believe that God will give us the power to do what He wants us to do, regardless of what our survey said (reminds me of Family Feud). Anyways, I digress-

Kat and I were at a restaurant, and our waitress came up and had cuts on her wrist. About ten of them, in adjacent straight lines. Kat immediately picked up on that, and on the fact that the woman was lonely. She stood at our table simply to find someone to talk to, especially after she found us asking about her wrist. She didn't want to talk about that though. We found out a little more about her and invited her to New City Cafe on Thursday nights. It was a little less conspicuous than inviting her to church. Kat had the presence of mind enough to know that if we did that, the woman would know that we knew what she had done to herself. And I don't think that would have been exactly a turn-on for her going somewhere with us. I'm glad Katrina picks up on these things. I'm also glad God put us there in that place. I guess the post should have been titled "Meeting a Person" but I'm from the south, where grammar don't count for much. So meet people. Eat popsicles. Ride the occasional Ferris Wheel. Who was Ferris anyway? Did he invent the wheel?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Boys with Toys

I have been quite added to today. The story is as follows: I got up at about 7:45am (quite unusual for a night-owl like myself). Threw down a couple of pop-tarts - the other universal language - and a Nalgene full of V8 Splash and began a long drive towards Townsend. It has rained non-stop for the entire day (the remnants of a lady named Frances), "Good Scottish weather" to quote a certain movie. So I tried my best to stay awake through the hour-plus drive to Townsend. Now, all that to say, I was on my way out to Mike Clemmers shop - Wood'n'Strings. I went out to buy a hammer dulcimer.

Now that was a lot that could've been expressed in just one sentence. I guess that tells you how much like a kid at Christmas I am today (you know, the way I idiotically try to create suspense, and it doesn't work). That, plus, my fiancee shows up tonight with a nearly brand-new stereo with a 5-disc changer. And we didn't even have to pay for that one. She stole it..........klepto. No, just joshing with you.

But that's why I didn't buy the dulcimer the other day. Good friends Nathan and Jared were with me at Clemmer's. Nate had promised to take me, so Jared and I went to UT campus to make careful search for him. After we had traveled to the penultimate floor of Hodges library, I called Nathan and he reminded me that he was in the place where I said I'd meet him, not two hours ago. So we went to find him in Worlds Fair Park. Then he proceeded to egg me on towards making a purchase at Mike's shop while Kareth kept throwing sales pitches at me. So they made me an offer I can't refuse, and I put on the cement shoes willingly. And here I sit with a lovely hammer dulcimer, a new stereo, and a $380 dollar-shaped hole. I have no self-restraint. Don't tell that to anybody with cool toys to sell.