Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Walking in the Morning

I am always amazed at how beautiful the city of Pasadena is in the early morning. Today I went for a 3 mile walk at about 6:30am, and I am always pleased with the fewer cars and the shorter waits at the crosswalk. However, there is something clean and crisp about the morning that energizes you in a way that is hard to describe. Something I noticed today was that the Sunrise did not catch my attention. I may of been in a daze of waking up, or I was just to out of it to notice. Yet, this reminds me of the daily presence of our God that I tend to not notice. Here is this life sustaining force, rising in the morning to give life to God's creation, and I don't remember seeing it come up. My prayer for today is to notice the everyday wonders that I pass by on a daily basis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A New Love

So, I have recently found a new game that I absolutely love. Poker!!! I know this is a big fad these days, but coming from a gaming family, I will be playing this one for quite a while. I love this game, all the different variants involved and all the odds and rules you can learn. Plus, you gotta love the time you can spend around a table with a bunch of friends.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Frustration With Technology

Well, this weekend turned out to be a great one. Shannon and I got to hang out quite a bit, I got to do some fun reading, and my parents were over for most of Sunday, looking at open houses with us. The one hitch was the constant router problem I have been having in our apartment complex. To share a wireless router with people in the complex is a mixed blessing. It is nice to pay so little for the internet, but it comes with a price. If the router has a problem it annoys everyone, and not just me, so I get to hear about. Also, if anyone has a computer issue, I am the fall back guy. Shannon has made me promise not to tell anyone that I enjoy working with computers when we move to our next place, but I have a hard time not speaking up and trying to help. Especially if people show gratitude and appreciation, then it doesn't really bother me. Anyway, so the router we have been using was rendered useless this weekend by a firmware upgrade. It had been dropping the signal pretty consistently the last few months, and I was in the process of trying to fix it. Many posts on the support website showed that this was a common problem, but I was past the ninety day warranty, so some money would have to come out of my pocket to fix the dang thing. Needless to say I didn't want to deal with the problem anymore, and I sure didn't want to purchase a similar model or the same brand for that matter. So, I went ahead and purchased a rockin' Mimo G+ by Belkin, and I am loving it. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty, so at least the company stands behind their product. If you want to know which brand to stay away from, send me an email, and I will let you know.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Weekend Away with MLK on the Mind

So, I had another wonderful weekend, spending time with the in-laws and some great books (C.S. Lewis and Desmond Tutu). It would be pretty tough to ask for anything more. I started thinking about my guitars this weekend, and how they sit in my apartment taking up space. When I first started playing the guitar, it was so wonderful to just hear the new music I could learn. But over the years I have grown accustomed to playing with other, so now I no longer enjoy the guitar on an individual level. This is good and bad. So, now I have to I sell them or keep them?

On another note, here is an excerpt from MLK talking about being "dissatisfied". This continues to make me realize that so much still needs to be done.

So, I conclude by saying again today that we have a task and let us go out with a "divine dissatisfaction." Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. [,et us be dissatisfied until those that live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family is living in a decent sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality, integrated education. Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character and not on the basis of the color of their skin. Let us be dissatisfied. Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God. Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together. and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. Let us be dissatisfied. And men will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout "White Power!" - when nobody will shout "Black Power!" - but everybody will talk about God's power and human power.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tired of theory, yearning for practice

I think this title could sum up a good part of the way I have felt in the past few years. My journey of faith has had its ups and downs, and I know I have grown a lot in the downs. But lately, it seems that I have produced so much theory and speculation about what I know about God, the culture, and the way we should respond, while being completely void of any practical application to my own life. Early on in my faith I spent probably about two hours a day reading and praying to the God I was learning to love and admire. My passion was amazing, and it was a complete gift from God. But as I continued in my studies, I became rigid in my spiritual disciplines, to the point that it was not longer love that drove me, but rigid patterns for the day. So, I have gone back and forth, longing for the personal devotion I once had in the beginning, while still wanting to maintain the importance of the community of believers that I am a part of. I do think our "personal Jesus" mentality is detrimental to the Western world, but I know I have over reacted to the individuality of the faith in America by denying our Creator a personal relationship with me on a deeper level. Just writing the words "personal relationship" makes me want to cringe at the individualized faith I have abhorred for so long, but I know I have lost out in the meantime. As I have struggled to build a faith and theology centered on the love and work of Christ, I have narrowed it down to the topic of Social justice. Somehow I have come to think that I have God figured out, when I really know nothing at all. I long to encounter God in a new way, changing my life as I know it and filling me with a deeper love and care for the world around me. I long for an incarnational lifestyle that integrates my personal faith with the public world I am a part of. I do not want to box this awesome God in, thinking I can somehow have all the answers when I really just need to shut up and listen to God. I long to love and know God more than I ever have in the midst of a community of believers who see their faith as not a private matter, but as a part of the family of God. I long to approach God in the way described here....

"Religion has not tended to create seekers or searchers, has not tended to create honest humble people who trust that God is always beyond them. We aren't focused on the Great Mystery. Religion has rather, tended to create people who think they have God in their pockets, people with quick, easy, glib answers. That's why so much of the West is understandably abandoning religion. People know the great mystery cannot be that simple and facile. If the great mystery is indeed the Great Mystery, it will lead us into paradox, into darkness, into journeys that never cease...That is what prayers is all about."---Richard Rohr

Now all I can do is jump in to this Great Mystery with fear, excitement, and amazement, knowing that our God is faithful and loving...even to a nerd like me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Year of Better Friendships

I am always amazed (unfortunately) at how much fun I have with a group of friends, playing cards, or dominoes, or some sort of board game. You wouldn't think I would be amazed at this point in my life, at least when it comes to this concept. I have always loved games and the social aspect of them, but I guess I need a reminder here and there that I can have a much better time doing those things than sitting at home in front of the idiot box. Kind of a side resolution I have for myself this year is to be more intentional about the relationships I have, providing for more opportunities of leisurely gaming and socializing, opening up our tiny apartment to as many people that can fit in at one time. Oh, and I plan to read more (but that's just because I can't get enough of books)