Saturday, February 27, 2010

The little things

Driving with the window down and the sun on my face. Listening to Moby and Juno Reactor. Electronica is more emotional than I remember. Or maybe there's something wrong with me.

It's been that kind of week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arise and eat

The physical aspect of this job has caught up to me. I'm so tired, I think I could sleep through the rest of this day, and the next day, and wake up sober on Tuesday morning. At that time, it would be nice to be awoken and fed by an angel, only to fall asleep again.

Ah, to dream.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A beautiful day

I have been tossing around and developing an idea for the better part of 2+ weeks. Admittedly, for the past week, I wrestled with whether or not it was worth pursuing, and how it might be received when implemented. Throughout the course of this day, though, I realized that I did not have it in me to resist this idea. There is something... right about sharing and giving. At this point in my life, I just can't help myself. (Although, 5 years ago, I don't think I would have thought or felt the same). There is a joy in sharing/giving that I cannot yet describe in words. It simply must be done.

The idea will be put to action. The results... well, I guess I'll see what happens.

Today was a beautiful day. It was too nice to not be shared.

Half full

I don't typically think of myself as an optimist. I would prefer to think of myself as a realist. It feels more respectable.

Today I am filled with a yearning. On a day where I have been given freedom, I am in search of beauty and things to enjoy and appreciate. With only a few hours available to me, it doesn't matter that the weather is terrible outside or that I have no idea where I am going. There is so much beauty in the world and I am going to avail myself to it.

...there is so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then i remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain ...and i can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

While Easter is a popular holiday and may be the most important Christian holiday (next to Christmas), many of us have a pretty weak understanding of what it is all about. For example, Easter often sneaks up on us: we may not even think of it until the annual church brunch is announced. ...

Lent is the antidote to this oversight. In the Western churches (of the Protestant variety) we don't participate in Lent, historically speaking. We are more comfortable with the joy and celebration of Easter than with the darkness that preceded it. But Lent is a chance to remember the dark before the dawn, the sin that sent Jesus to the cross. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is called the season of Bright Sadness, because it is a time of both celebration and mourning.

But you may well ask: why dwell on the darkness at all? After all, Jesus' work is done. Death has been conquered, Christ is victorious! The cross has answered it all; why should we be sad?

If the cross is the Answer, what exactly is the Question?

Before Christ, the world called out to God (in the words of David, King of Israel),

"How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire? " (Psalm 79.5)

Easter is the once-for-all-time answer to this question. Jesus took ourplace on the cross to appease God's righteous anger. He went alone to be punished: separated from God and deserted by his friends. The drama of how this happened is the story of Lent. ... Before the Resurrection comes crucifixion; before crucifixion comes prosecution; before prosecution comes betrayal, doubt, fear, rebellion, and sin.

Lent helps us experience our part in the Passion (suffering) of Jesus. We face our humanity during Lent: we learn that sin still dwells in us, that we still carry darkness. We learn that we, like his disciples, would likely have fallen asleep as Jesus prayed for deliverance in the garden, and, also, that we would likely have denied knowing him as he silently accepted his death sentence.


By the time I got back to the hotel, I realized that I had made the right choice. Becoming a recluse was never a real option; if I had chosen it, it would have been born out of a root of bitterness and selfishness. Like a child stomping off to his room after being punished and pausing to say "I hate you all and I'm never coming out again," before he closes the door, reclusion was a pouty way of saying "I'm angry that I can't have what I want." Which, of course, misses the entire point of Lent entirely.

Today, as my hands strayed towards seeking out what I had given up, I checked my heart and saw my heart motives; I am stressed. I am tired. I am hurting. And I am looking for release, soothing, comfort and shelter. And I sought those things in the comfort of my friends. And I'm not saying that is a bad thing; Certainly our God created us for community and to not be alone. But in that moment, I was alerted to the condition of my heart and the depth of my need. I saw my weakness and remembered my Jehovah Jireh. Instead of reaching out to friends through cyber space, I reached out to my Abba Father. Instead of putting out a cry for help to my friends, I whispered a prayer to my Yeshua.

Being aware of my heart condition is not something I have always had. Sadly, I must confess that it was my lack of immaturity that allowed this to go on for so long. Impulsively, I would act outwardly what I was feeling internally, before I even knew how my heart was feeling. Self control is another subject entirely; it isn't what I'm getting at here. I'm suggesting that knowing what I'm feeling allows me to address the needs of my heart in the most appropriate way when those needs arise.

Choosing to give and let go has helped me to see how much more I really have.

How Could I Ask For More

A conglomeration of thoughts

I've been meaning to write for several days now. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to do so. In no particular order, other than what comes to mind right now.

It's something I've always wanted. It's something I've gone without for the better part of my younger life. I think I experienced good, genuine, loving Christian community for the first time when I was in Australia, and when I came back, I was so inspired by the welcome and love I found that I tried to recreate it here in the States. It's been such a huge mission/passion for me over the years, and yet, I find that the more I grow as a Christian and a person, I find I am in more rarefied company. Ironic. Frustrating. And oftentimes heartbreaking.

The trouble with rarefied company is that it is difficult to find. Worse yet, the people I meet whom I can comfortably consider my peers are not people who generally stick around in one place for too long. We each have our own mission, our own calling. And these moments when we walk together before discovering that our lines no longer cross are simply there for a designed purpose. Encouragement? Affirmation? Proof that we are not alone? Inspiration? Maybe all of the above. Or none. Who am I to guess the intent of such intricate design? All I know is that I cherish those crossings and miss them tenderly when they are gone.

I have chosen to give up social networking sites. Twitter, facebook, etc. When I sit down to think of things I waste my time on, this is it. It's not like I have a lot of free time to spare when almost everything I do is invested into my company. But if there is one thing I do do for myself, it's trying to stay in touch with people, keeping up with what's going on, and every once in awhile, sending out a cry for help out of my frustration and semi-despair at my semi-isolation here in Denver. I'm still not sure if giving up social networking sites is really a good idea or not, since I sometimes feel it is my last tie to friends and community back at home. I fear this move will turn me back towards reclusiveness again, something I am trying to avoid. In the past, I have given up meat. Another year, I gave up cream and sugar in my coffee. I suspect that this year will be no less difficult. And it will have its desired effect: the pain of loss will press me further into the arms of my God.

What I ask for
And what is given to me... are two very different things. And I wrestled with this extensively on Saturday. As I fought through the emotions of it all, I recalled a heart stopping commitment I made to my God back in the summer. I meant it with sincerity and conviction then. My determination now to fulfill that commitment helped to soothe the turbulence. I accepted what I was given with thanksgiving. I released my grip.

Winds of Change
The breeze is picking up.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's the latest I've been up in days. It feels like weeks already. I have already reacclimated to the way of life here. It's not difficult. Work all day. Come "home." Work some more. But the work is not what I had expected. With our entire system down for the past two days, the frenetic crisis resolution I had expected to be occupied with has not occurred. I have had time to think. To plan. To diagnose. To document. It's been a relative vacation. In this time, I have invested significantly in mentoring and building relationships. It's great that my underling has finally started to realize how much he doesn't know and is willing to listen to me from time to time; We tend to have good conversations and the transfer of understanding, not just knowledge, has been satisfying. Of course, he is still the youthful braggert he always is, and wastes no opportunity to try to take me down a notch to show me what a big boy he is. I suppose this is acceptable for now, as he always manages to get both feet stuck in his mouth. I have to tread the line carefully though. It's treacherous to try to play friend/mentor/ and supervisor all at once, and the boundaries are difficult to maintain.

Today, I even had a small opportunity to be mentored as well. The affirmation is... I have no vocabulary word to describe it. I have always respected and enjoyed the man who has become the project manager. I think I have enjoyed him even more after taking a car ride with him into the mountains and having a chance to get to know each other more. The fact that he too is an INFJ helps immensely. So the fact that I suspect that there may be a target on his back and that he may become the fall guy concerns me greatly. I tried to broach the subject with him today, to let him know that this might be the case because I'm not sure if he knows this yet. We were interrupted before I got the chance. He must suspect to some degree, but he has been away from the home office for a long time, and the whispers are growing louder. I wonder if I am out of place to warn him of this concern. I wonder even further if I even should. It will not change the fact that he might be a marked man, but rather, it will only put more weight on his already overburdened shoulders.

Monday, February 8, 2010


And I'm getting ready to put on a show. Because I know that there is nothing magical about my being here, no matter how much they want to believe it. No matter how much I want to believe it. The work was completed weeks ago. We saw some of the fruits of our labors last week, but my being here changes nothing, technically. All I can do now is inspire confidence, restore some sense of order, and put smiles on faces again. Today, I am not wearing an engineering hat. I feel like I am wearing the hat of a snakeoil salesman. But I prefer to think of it as the hat of your favorite uncle, who's been there, done that, and completely understands everything that's going on.

I'm going to need a pack of jokes and my wits about me today.

Isabella: You will die. It will be awful.

William: Every man dies, not every man really lives.

Isabella: Drink this. It will dull your pain.

William: No. It will numb my wits, and I must have them all. For if I'm senseless or if I wail, then Longshanks will have broken me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Relational Idolatry - Somewhere in the beginning

The truth is, there really isn't much for me to teach here. Relational idolatry is a pretty simple concept. It is the idea that we can find completion and wholeness in another person. There. That's really it. So for the rest of the night, I'm just going to tell personal stories and lots of jokes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Relational Idolatry - Introduction/Segue from Narcissism

Last week, I talked about narcissism and how that arises as a response to being hurt significantly. We talked about how we come to a deep dissatisfaction with ourselves and see ourselves as flawed. That we don't like who we are, and are terrified that anyone would ever come to know us. We are so filled with shame and discontent that we choose to create a false image of who we want to be. And we show that image to others. We want so hard to believe that we are this false image, (and in wanting others to believe it too), that we become enslaved to this image. We maintain this image with an inordinate amount of energy, strength, and dedication. It becomes an idol in our lives.

To an extent, we all do this. To varying degrees, each of us have invested in an image we want to present to others. But this is not the only response we take when we are faced with self-resentment and rejection. There is a flip side of this coin.

When we are unable to attain a sense of wholeness on our own; when we realize that maintaining this false image is too much to bear, we begin to look outwards for a savior. Even when we've been hurt by outside people before and afraid to trust again, we hang on to a hope that maybe there is someone out there whom we can believe in. Maybe there is someone out there who is Mr. Right or Miss Right for us. It doesn't matter if we're Christian or non-Christian, this is a sin we commonly share. We look to the other to fill our needs, to strengthen us where we lack, and to give us a sense of wholeness that we could not, and can not attain for ourselves.

For the sake of progress

I work better on an empty stomach. Dinner will have to wait.