Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Me, myself, I, my family, my church, my life, my friends, compadres, my financial status, my dog (she keeps nipping at a festering wound on her hip)......are ALL due for some intentional, focused change. Or redirection. Rejuvenation, perhaps?

Now I know change occurs anyway and just because I notice the need to say the above does it mean it hasn't. One of THE MOST difficult changes for me to handle are the relational ones imposed upon me.....the ones outside of my control. And what am I really in control of?

If the grotesque, feral, hairy bitch of divorce marked its territory on the watering hydrant of my childhood, it was surely the one of relational vulnerability. And it doesn't leave me alone with my woundedness there, being in a college town, having the calling we have, with upward mobilopathy running rampant and the general socio-economic-relational transience leading us along.

I wax this way in the face of impending changes on our own relational front. In short time, we will have people moving on to one thing or another, almost coinciding in season. This is the life we have settled into and the one through which we will trudge. Seems to be a good time to take account.

We are no exceptional case wherein people come and go, whether for pronounced reasons or ones more elusive. It's the abrupt removal of oneself from one's place/people (or,relational ground of being) to the nebulous diffusion of undefined hope for continuation. Selective Relatectomies, I like to call them. Now you see 'em, now you don't. Causes are legion, I suppose, as are the justifications. Economic needs. Social needs. Emotional needs. Educational needs. Entertainment needs. Novelty needs. Stimulatory needs. Escapist needs. Avoidance needs. Needs we don't know we have. Needs we know we should not have.

These are the surprise, "I'm outta here's" and even the anticipated moves of people you've grown really, really close to over several years' time. It's these with the most time capital invested that ache the most. I pine with the noted philosopher Bruce Hornsby in saying, "that's just the way it is."

Is there anybody? Are we just damned to illusion? Has God forsaken this geographic locale, causing us to seek greater, better, over and away? When is our sense of Godforsakenness our own stuff to own and not the Oxford city council's...not Miami President James Garland.....not the crappy lot we have dealt and feel doomed to here? Are we to consigned to ask too, "Will you also go away?"

But we're here. We are seeking to create PLACE for wanderers to find their people and to carry seed if they have to move on. But we need fellow homesteaders in our staked plot here. And we are ever surrounded by wanderers. There is an abundance of Christian wanderers, but often these are weighted down by issues of self-absorbency or shackled by the parroted Christian faddism that easily besets campus Christian expressions, maybe even us included (this is not judgmentalism, just an observation). Most of these tire of the likes of us and move on. That's okay though.

I know it seems like I'm wont to put these issues on the post as my favorite whuppin' boy, so I don't really know if your heart hears me on this or not. It's no big thing if you don't. I'll be alright and maybe even God will transform me into something better and more productive than my current self as a result.

I know that deep, relational investments with those who will let me/us in are worthwhile for whatever duration I/we are blessed with. But for me and my fleshly house, I am thinking there is another investment I have branded as "outlaw" and that is increasingly the one with myself and me with God.

I need revolution. I need upending. I need castigation for the subtle syncretizing of self and comfort. I need to step up in an atmospheric kind of way. My 6 year old nephew got these jumpy, little "Moon Boots" for Christmas that go on your feet. Maybe I'll start there.

Monday, January 23, 2006


As a bearer of the stripes in the basketball courts of the high schools in SW Ohio, I've felt a little dogged at times.

Every official has had the mild or major misfortune for blowing his/her whistle for something he/she thought was happening or happened.

Houston coach Tom Penders collapsed on the sideline from an apparent heart condition during a play late in the first half of their loss to University of Alabama-Birmingham this past Saturday when a UAB player drove to the basket. This gave UAB the lead at 46-44. To top it off, a foul was called on Houston on the play with only :52 seconds left in the half.

The officials gave Penders a technical foul, thinking he was objecting to the call when he went down to his knees. When he didn't get up, the crowd was hushed.

Penders returned for the second half after receiving some oxygen.

This may be basketball's first technical foul assessed for a heart condition.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Current Temperature: 46
Conditions: Raw, Endlessly Cloudy and Foggy
Forecast: 100% Chance of Longing To Be In Nantahala In June

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ever suffered from a bad case of mistaken identity? Or had something ascribed to you- some loathsome thing or perhaps some feat of inimitable beauty and awe? Something for which you would not or ever could have been repsonsible?

Some wouldn't hasten to say that this wasn't a good week for God. But since the Western media has assumed a self-assigned god-hood status, that might serve to absolve the real God.

By character definitions alone, God can't give a miracle and then take it away. The media can, however. The miracle that wasn't in Tallmansville's Sago Mine in West Virginia this week is not primarily an assault on the character of God, in that God gave and then withdrew a miracle from the families of the 13 trapped miners who were somehow led to believe at least 12 of them had survived. This debacle was in part a revelatory indictment on the lust the media has to MAKE the news and not merely report it. To be the first to report it, confirmation be damned.

Whether it could be stopped or not once the rumor ball rolled, someone, (outside of God), somewhere knew the truth that only one had survived. This is not the first time misinformation has been reported as news and it won't be the last I presume. I don't imagine the greatest power is wielded in the fact that facts are fudged or not. The greatest power, mind you, rests in how adept these editorial minions fueling the media giants are in revealing and then withdrawing desired information to suit whatever agendas there may or may not be.

And what good does it do to offer supposed "messages from the grave" to the grieving families in the reporting of some notes being left by some dying miners that they weren't suffering, just merely "going to sleep?" And the families in West Virginia are supposed to believe that, in their last moments of consciousness, they devoted their time to that message, as opposed to sharing their loving goodbyes to the survivors they were leaving behind? Wouldn't that be the crux of any last words? If this was a part of the messages, why weren't we told they were? And this was beyond the point of any way physically furthering their survival? What were the means whereby they composed the notes?

Perhaps they did leave notes to that effect. But it sounds on the outside like an attempt to manipulate the course of grief by assuagement. If so, who would stand to gain from these goings on? The grief-ridden families? The perceptions and intuitions of the masses absorbing this psychodrama?

What you know isn't what might be dangerous to the ulterior agendas arrayed at whatever decency is left in the fabric of the American's heart and mind. It's whether you choose to believe what you know or simply dismiss it as fancy.