This Saturday I proctored tests all day. I often get contemplative when I do this and do a bit of writing. I did not write the following this Saturday, but found them in my notebook and reworked them a bit. They are not the most subtle bits of writing, but present some decent thoughts….
“Ain’t it funny how we call it a ‘fix’ and it don’t fix a thing.”
it might be just rountine
like the seatbelt and the keys
turned to start the engine
the hand that reaches to the radio
is it to tune things in or out
and does that heat
that pain
that prayer
even have a chance to be remembered
in that constant absence of silence
that chills with coolness
whatever is it that you feel
why is it that you fear it
and won’t let yourself near it
is it because you’ll hear it
the beating of your heart
the crying of your heart
the longing of your heart
it’s in silence that he whispers
be still he says and know me
he died on earth to show you
the beating of his heart
he feels the aching of your heart
you are the longing of his heart
his love it cast out fearing

It’s a Double Expresso, Grab Life by the Handlebars Kind of Day

…or at least that’s the blog entry title I was thinking about this morning as I was drinking my little double expresso on the way to work today, taking small sips and swishing some of them around in my mouth so that some of the caffeine might be absorbed through my tongue and have a quicker route to the brain and because these things are so dang small and so expensive. The double expresso was somewhat of a necessity, though, because of going to Blueberry Hill with some friends last night on a school night for darts, Blue Moon, and watching some karaoke, which all was fantastic but made for a late bedtime.
At any rate, I was pumped this morning because today is the day I must begin my training for the MS-150. A month or so ago I told colleagues at work, in an off-handed way, that I would start training on June 9th, three months before my charity ride for Multiple Sclerosis, and they did not forget. They have been updating a countdown on my door for the past two days. Groan!
Needless to say, I am less pumped now as the effects of my late night have been kicking in all afternoon. Nonetheless, in about 15 mins it’s off to home and to the bike.
If you have piles of cash about and want to support a worthy cause, check out my MS 150 pledge page (HINT: the online pledge form is in the top right hand corner) or you could just email me.

The Fighting Dasslers FC

fighting dasslers.bmp
Did you ever want to design your own football logo or name your own football team? Well, a cool site from Nike lets you do just that, though obviously it is not completely customizable. This site has lots of additional cool stuff, including JOGATV with a video of pepole passing a soccer ball along in a long chain made from user submitted videos.
Another interesting and inspiring soccer story is about Clint Dempsey. He is no preppie, pretty soccer boy of the sort that walked around in Nike sandals after games when I played high school soccer in the ’80’s. On the contrary, he’s gots some street cred and freestyle skills. And I am not recommending that you buy his indoor soccer shoe (which looks kind of like a skate shoe) as it is $85, but it is fun to customize a pair. And here is a link to Clint “Deuce” Dempsey’s web site, which has a blog and video clips, etc.
Finally, a strange and thought provoking story about soccer and sorcery (and an meditation on spiritual warfare) from another fellow NCF blogger, Kirk, husband of Sarah, father of Joanna.

A Tale of Two Dasslers and World Cup Madness!

Today on BBC News, I came across the sad and somewhat humorous story of Rudi and Adi Dassler, brothers whose inability to get along led to the creation of two althetic shoe giants in the same little town in Germany and the dividing of the town along party lines. And since the story is fascinating and related to the title of the blog, I thought it worth posting.
Anyone going to watch the World Cup? If so, who are you going for. I am for America, first, but running a close second, if not on par with the US, the Anglophile in me wants to see England do well.

Raising a Blue Moon to the Women Bloggers of New City

Over the past few months a number of people whom I know personally have begun blogs, and, more importantly, have been posting steadily. And vibrant conversations, both silly and serious, have begun as we comment on one another’s blogs.
This post, though, is to specifically highlight the blogs of some of the women at my church, New City Fellowship, which I am aware of and which are part of my blog browsing and which are presented in order of their appearing on my radar screen.
This is actually a blog of Sarah and Kirk Ward, our church’s musical director. And though their lovely wee daughter, Joanna, is the real star of this blog, here is a recent post that is a wonderful picture of their marriage and family life as a whole.
Yeah, Like the Fish
Amanda Salmond (yeah, that’s how it’s like the fish) is in my house church, only sadly she is away for the summer wrangling kids at a summer camp. A poem on trusting.
Last Answers?
Another house church friend. Our house church rocks! Yeah, Angela is the one who has had a blog for nigh on five years and is more or less silent about it. Well, the secret is out, and more folks get to appreciate her insight, writing, and aesthetics. Here is a recent post on the real challenges of reconcilliation, even in the context of a church that has that as one of its central goals.
Safe, But Not Sound
My friend Heidi by training and temperament has keen insight into how people tick, herself and others, and often reflects on this in relation our position as children of God. A post from today on the depravity of the human heart and the ravages of sin.
Miss Mark in the Class Room
I do not call her “Miss Mark,” but frequently I like to use her whole name, “Tanya Mark,” and she replies with a “Neil Das” in return. Tanya’s blog not only chronicles the first year of a teacher who wants to good for her students not just by way of teaching science but also in regards to shepherding their spirits, but which also often poignantly reflects on issues in the church. Then, of course, there Larry and Myers-Briggs posts and some thoughtful poetry.
Street Acrobatics
Well, the title says it all. Or does it? You will have to have Heather demonstrate or Claire, who has dipped her toe into the blogging world but is not ready to jump in…yet. Here is an early reflection on the nature of blogging for Heather.
The Moon is the Spoon of the Sea!
I am just getting to know Heidi and her husband Jake, but I am enjoying them as friends already. The meaning of the title of this blog? All I know is that it has something to do with the tides. You will have to ask Heidi. If you surmise that this new blog will have more than its fair share of whimsy, as do I, I do not think we will be far off of the mark. The first “official” post.
Guinea-Pig Voices in the Night
Another house churcher. It is a toss-up whether I visited Laura’s blog before or after The Moon is the Spoon of the Sea! by her sis-in-law, Heidi. At any rate, GPVITN has come out of the blocks strong with two lengthy, but not overly lengthy, posts: the first a touching remembrance of the genesis of the blog’s title; the second a bit of a lament and a bit of a throwing down of a gauntlet concerning the scarcity of men at New City in relationship to women, or at least Worku throws down the gauntlet to men in a comment on the post. An honest and bold posting for Laura’s second time out.
So, to all you “amazing, talented, beautiful, Lord-loving ladies” of New City that Laura mentions in her blog, single or not, blogging or no, I raise a glass of a new favorite, which the boys and I have been enjoying for the past two Tuesdays after and during prayer time, Blue Moon with a slice of orange. It is not sweet, but mellow and fruity, and the color is lovely. And when the orange is squeezed into it to add a little sweetness, it is even better. It is especially brilliant on tap at Blueberry Hill. Cheers!
blue moon.jpg

Mi Buen Jesus

I do not know if this song lyric is good Spanish grammar or not but it was good for the heart to hear on Sunday as we sang Te Alabare in church on Sunday. It may have taken hearing it in another language for me to remember this sweet truth, or perhaps it is because we do not often use this syntax. “Mi buen Jesus.” “My Good Jesus.”
“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a Lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe. ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
A psalm of praise. Of David
1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.
11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
-Psalm 145

Three Views of a Tree

I have the very good fortune to live near a very cool part of St. Louis, which I rather take for granted. Still it is lovely to be able to pop out for a cup of coffee or dinner or a movie or just a walk. These pictures aren’t fantastic, but I am a sucker for a tree with Christmas lights, and Tanya was kind enough to loan me her digital camera.