Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thanks to the Hawthornes

By the end of August we’ll be beginning our transition from Al and Katherine Hawthorne’s guest house to our own apartment. Though we are excited to get into our own place, we are deeply grateful for the blessing that the Hawthornes have been in our lives.

When I received the call that Thursday morning back in April that Pastor Gary Golike wanted me to be the associate pastor of this church, I was so excited. I couldn’t stop laughing afterwards. Eventually, when the euphoria wore off, I got to thinking about where in the world we would live down there. I hardly had any money, I had no idea where anything was—and I was moving there in a month. All I knew was that I had a job waiting for me and a fiancée that expected a roof over her head. As we traveled down late April to look for an apartment or guest house or something , I was a bit nervous. I didn’t know how or where or what to look for.

When the Hawthornes offered to let us stay in their guest house rent free, I was so relieved. I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my back. Ashley and I had been praying for months that God would provide—and, just like He had done in the past, He provided. We thank God for the Hawthorne’s ministry—they have definitely been instruments in God’s hands.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Poem Without a Name

A question whispers as a breath
of life and as a kind of death
It speculates the fruitful tree
and why it must exist with Eve
and Adam in their perfect state
they could not have presumed their faith
Because everything they knew was free
from sin, and nothing did they see
was botched with something imperfect.
They stood before their God erect,
unashamed and satisfied
to walk under the ever-pines.
And God enjoyed them at His side
It seemed that nothing could divide
the bond that in between them held,
but now- the hosts of heaven felled,
and down upon the earth, a third
confused what earned that horrid word
that cast them from before the throne,
"Was He not pleased with our loud drone?
The words we sang with our great lips?
Our songs were not enough for Him."
And for the first they tasted dirt
and groveled in the awesome hurt
realized by the given choice
and haunted by that booming voice.
And now, forever, bounded to roam
the earth without ever a home
without a place to rest their heads.
Their bitterness all beauty shreds.
To live among creation now
with all that makes their jealous brow
furrow in the unbelief
that God, once theirs, would hide relief
and force them live among his sons.
With Adam, full of bliss, he runs
through grass and shade unto his bride,
in perfect love, no need to hide
their bodies from each other's gaze.
And in the glorious Sun they bathe
unaware of jealous rage
that lingers in the shadow's shade.
In hidden, vile hearts- an oath
was birthed out of their guiled loathe.
But since all deeds they practiced pleased
God who made the Garden's trees
"What could make these creatures fall-
to fill their hearts, familiar gall?
All we'd need a simple rule
to serve as a specific tool
to draw the creatures into doubt
and force their Lord to kick them out
of perfect pleasure, doomed to feel
the pain of losing what is real.
To use the rule that God had made
to draw them both into the shade
under the tree so they could eat
the beautiful forbidden treat."

A God of love! Could he provoke
His son to hate the words He spoke?
That He would grow within the midst
of perfect beauty, perfect bliss
a simple, growing tree with fruit
designed to steal immortal youth?
But Adam must have known the scheme
behind the tree. He never dreamed
that Abba would within contrive
a plan to confiscate the lives
of image bearers- infant babes
so innocent dependent they
just wanted nothing more than Dad
to walk with Him and make Him glad.
And Eve who set the standard of
a woman's understanding love
never once began to doubt
that Father wanted children out
of His Garden, made for them
for somethine they can't understand.

When Adam pruned a lucious peach-
enjoyed the blessed fruits in reach,
no doubt he saw the cursed fruit
and understood a simple truth:
Without commandments to abstain
one would not know how to obey.
No reason then to such adhere,
no purpose for a godly fear.
Such law's existence, not so trite.
T'was made to show Adam upright.
Was not a curse purposed to damn,
to make their goodness just a sham,
but rather was a tool to bless-
remind them of their righteousness.

A truth- that God cannot so tempt
his sons with evil. Such intent
denies the Father's innate good
and claims that such a diety could
blunder in His competence-
create something that gives offense
to His own name- a big mistake.
Omnipotence, it could not make
such an item in the ground
No. No such thing would there be found.

So on the day creation rang
for the first time all nature sang
together in collective song.
And in them one could find no wrong.
All joy, perfection, love, embraces,
no evil in the lowly places.
God created girl and boy
and one small rule to so employ
the joy that comes from obeying
what Almighty's words are saying.
But at the aforementioned word,
The Corruptor fell to earth.
And so from here the story goes:
He'll take the truth and give it bows
and ribbons- with a little twist-
something that you may have missed
if you forget about the fight
he'll sing you his sweet lullaby.
So arm yourselves; unsheath your swords
and listen to Almighty's words.
You'll see the question has been faced
and still God has not been displaced.

The question whispered as a breath
of life-corrupted into death.
I started writing this in Horner's English Lit. class during school. I got a little carried away.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Walking Places

So I had this idea one time while I was walking. That idea was to video my feet as I walked. I did it for about five seconds. When I went back through my pictures and watched it, it all hit me. I wanted to video just seconds of all the places I go in my life. If you watch closely in this video you'll see a few things. You'll see me climbing Half Dome, you'll see me leaving my office in Fallbrook, you'll see me walking along the Big Sur coast, you'll even see me walking--graduating from college. Maybe to you these things will be boring, but to me each little video is a remnant of my life that I don't want to forget. And though the feet are ugly, they are the things that have carried me all this way.