Thursday, September 29, 2005

heaven's here on earth

You can look to the stars in search of the answers
Look for God and life on distant planets
Have your faith in the ever after
While each of us holds inside the map to the labyrinth
And heaven's here on earth
We are the spirit
The collective conscience
We create the pain and the suffering and the beauty in this world
Heaven's here on earth
In our faith in humankind
In our respect for what is earthly
In our unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding
Look around
Believe in what you see
The kingdom is at hand
The promised land is at your feet
We can and will become what we aspire to be
If heaven's here on earth
If we have faith in humankind
And respect for what is earthly
And an unfaltering belief that truth is divinity
And heaven's here on earth
I've seen spirits
I've met angels
I've touched creations beautiful and wondrous
I've been places where I question all I think I know
But I believe
I believe
I believe this could be heaven
We are born inside the gates with the power to create life
And to take it away
The world is our temple
The world is our church
Heaven's here on earth
If we have faith in humankind
And respect for what is earthly
And an unfaltering belief in in peace and love and understanding
This could be heaven here on earth
- Tracy Chapman

I just rediscovered this song and I find myself listening it to it over and over again, like there's a message in it for me that I'm supposed to decode. Thank goodness for headphones.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I found a post about GodBlogCon 05 and it sounded interesting, so I went to their site. But then on the site I read this and was completely turned off.

Because GodBlogCon is a Christian conference, participation will be also be limited to those who affirm the historical and Biblical Christian faith.

I guess I can't go because I'm not sure what that even means. And why do they feel the need to exclude on that basis anyway - not up to a challenge?

.. many Christian institutions have a system by which you find out whether you're in or out. Sometimes it's rules; sometimes it's a certain belief system. - Richard Foster, The Making of a Christian interview at Christianity Today

Why do so many Christian institutions feel the need to exclude?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I love the idea of a new kind of conversation, so I tried it out myself. Yikes - it's kind of scary putting my writing out there for scrutiny.

So I love this idea because I had it myself this summer. My family of origin (mom, dad & brother) are collaborating on a book and I setup a blog to post our writing and as a mechanism to give feedback since we're not in close proximity to one another. At some point, we think we'll also make it more widely available to get feedback from others. The theme of the book is a family album of reflections on counter-cultural themes in Christianity. Sound interesting?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Enemy Women

Just finished Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles. It's an interesting read that intersperses actual correspondence from the Civil War with the tale of a young southern woman's journey during this period in history.

The world was in truth made of jackstraws. The world was very combustible, the human body was partible in ways heretofore unimagined. What held the civilized world together was the thinnest tissue of nothing but human will. Civilization was not in the natural order but was some sort of willed invention held taut like a fabric or a sail against the chaos of the winds. And why we had invented it, or how we knew to invent it, was beyond him.

Source: Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles, pg. 297

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

nothing worthwhile?

behind your eyes, you hide a thousand sighs
behind your pretty smile
there’s nothing worthwhile that makes you happy
there’s nothing worthwhile, fills you completely
there’s nothing worthwhile that touches deeply
there’s nothing worthwhile that brings you peace

Nothing Worthwhile (Rachel Fuller)

I find I am constantly asking myself, how in the world did I get caught up in this Christianity thing again. As a religion, it still has so many problems: gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, intolerance, extremism, hypocrisy, and the list goes on. Have I been somehow brainwashed by my parents, by my pastors, by my church community, by my addiction to reading emerging church blogs?

When I listen to the song Nothing Worthwhile by Rachel Fuller, I keep coming back to Christianity (being a follower of Christ), as my spiritual path, being worthwhile and that the truly worthwhile things in my life all require work and sacrifice (and thus the occassional need to re-justify them to myself):

  • being a spouse is worthwhile

  • being a mother is worthwhile

  • being a follower of the example Jesus set is worthwhile

While juggling these things can sometimes make me feel sad, unfulfilled, lonely and in turmoil, because they are worthwhile they also bring me happiness, fulfillment, connection and peace.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jesus & Hospitality

Images for this weekend. Source photos downloaded from the Houston Chronicle.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

A Walk in the Woods a.k.a. Exercising My Demons

I wish the demons could be exorcized, but I’m afraid that all they got was a good workout. We are on our "active" vacation (tie-breaker tennis match, hiking Mount Rogers, cycling the Virginia Creeper). And even though I’m a little sore this morning it has been a good time. However, earlier in the weekend, I was in a funk. I think my brain’s defense mechanisms had finally broken down in the face of the Katrina disaster. The images I’ve seen and the articles I’ve read have been horrifying. I read an article one morning that put me over the edge. It was about the abysmal conditions at the SuperDome and the depravity that some humans beings had resorted to. During my walk in the woods, I began processing some of the thoughts and emotions that I was struggling with.

Of course, I am angry that disaster planning for Katrina has seemed so poor and disaster relief so late. I want to yell at God and say fix it. Can’t you see people are suffering? Go and open people’s eyes to the good they could be doing or to the bad they should stop. But then I realize that would take away our gift of free will.

What really scares me is when I imagine if it had been me and my son stuck in New Orleans. What if the conference we had attended last week had been there? What if we were stuck in the SuperDome? My demons have reminded me that I could probably sink to depths unknown to protect my son.

What has struck me about New Orleans is how fast order has broken down and chaos has ensued. Just a matter of days. Is our orderly existence really so fragile or is it virtual reality? I think the demons must be at work here. I’m not talking about little red guys with horns, I’m talking about denial in the face of disaster, the scales on our eyes that show us only half-truths, and the blinders we put on to get through the day unscathed by reality. Because of our free will we are capable of almost anything.

I’ve seen a rich man beg
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I’ve heard an honest man lie
I’ve seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between
~ What It’s Like (Everlast)

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

not laboring day weekend

Tom and I are going away for the holiday weekend. I love these little escapes from parenthood back into couplehood. I’m usually the trip planner and I probably would have planned something on the relaxing side, but Tom planned the whole itinerary, which means there will be lots of activity: tennis, mountain biking, hiking, etc. If I can avoid "breaking a leg", it should be a great time!

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