Wednesday, March 14, 2007


top three sensations of being alive today:
  1. the comforting feeling caused by the smell of my wife's hair when i hug her;
  2. the chilly feeling an ice-cold drink causes as peristalsis eases it down into your stomach;
  3. the welcome warmth of the sun on your back after a dreary winter.

God is good.

Monday, March 12, 2007

noise and silence

i have come to think of silence not so much as the absence of words, nor even the absence of noise, but the presence of something greater, like anti-noise, peace, or shalom. just as dark is the absence of light, noise is the absence of silence; the presence of the lesser is the absence of the greater.

noise is, or is that which provokes, the inappropriate word, inappropriate thought, or inappropriate image. merely keeping my mouth closed does not address the clamour of the old man. merely getting rid of one's t.v., radio, email, or extraneous diary appointments are just cutting off one's sinful hand, or gouging out one's sinful eye. they're a bit like only washing the outside of the cup.

anti-noise is the inner poise which allows self-control. peace guards the heart and mind. shalom is enjoying the presence of the eternal sabbath in the midst of temporal work and striving.

Friday, March 09, 2007

another back post

dallas willard quoting william c martin's The Art of Pastoring:

"If you fill your [diary] with important appointments, you will have no time for God. If you fill your spare time with essential reading, you will starve your soul. If you fill your mind with worry about budgets and offerings, the pains in your chest and the ache in your shoulders will betray you. If you try to conform to the expectations of those around you will forever be their slave. Work a modest day, then step back and rest. This will keep you close to God...

One's [diary] tells plenty about one's spiritual formation: it reveals volumes about the pastor's spiritual condition, values, fears and ambitions. It tells who your bosses are, who your lover is, how much value you place on your soul.

If you're working more than 50 hours a week, you're not doing it for God, no matter how eloquent your rationalisations. Take a long prayerful, meditative look at your [diary]. Who are you trying to impress? God? Give me a break! The congregation? Possibly. Yourself? Bingo. Now cut some big chunks out of each week for family, rest, meditation, prayer and flower-sniffing, and when you've done that you'll be more sensitive to the path of God."

and while we're still reeling from those blows, willard follows up with this statement of c. s. lewis:

"Only lazy people are busy."

by way of the briefest of explanations, willard comments: "if you are unwilling to exert yourself to take control of your time, you will constantly be torn to pieces by the demands of others."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the next big thing?

how about completely getting rid of email?

we got rid of our telly, video and dvd a while back (although we do still watch dvds on the laptop ocassionally). this has forced us to be more sociable in watching telly - last night mrs hope and i went to a friends to see liverpool progress in the champions' league.

you might think it odd to get rid of email in an attempt to be more sociable - but he's got a point about receiving a proper letter. maybe this is the next step...
who taught you?

i found this out on the web today: "when gardeners apply salt to slugs, they set in train a process called exosmosis, whereby water moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration through a semipermeable membrane - in other words, the slug's cell walls."

so i guess a slug's skin is not waterproof, and salt draws all their moisture out, and they die from dehydration. the debate still rages as to whether they feel anything as they writhe and shrivel up and slime everywhere (apparently it's got something to do with needing a cerebral cortex to experience pain.)

anyway, it was my big brother (whom i want to be like when i grow up) who taught me how to salt slugs when we were kids in nairobi. good times! thanks chuck.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

new contact

had a ride home this evening from an old friend (okay, a long-standing youthful friend) who is a fresh blogger and now also a new contact of mine. there you go timmy - old, long-standing, youthful, fresh and new - it's all about you bud.

a discipline is something that i do - within my power - to enable me to do something else - which i cannot do by direct effort alone. like having a prayer rock! a prayer rock is a fist-sized rock that has the following rhyme attached to it by a pretty ribbon.

"I'm your little prayer rock
and this is what I'll do.
Just put me on your pillow
'til the day is through.

Then turn back the covers
and climb into your bed,
and, whack! your little prayer rock
will bump you on the head.

Then you will remember
as the day is through,
to kneel and say your prayers
as you intended to.

Then when you are finished
dump me on the floor.
I'll stay there through the nighttime
to give you help once more.

When you get up next morning,
clunk! I stub your toe,
so that you will remember
your prayers before you go.

Put me back upon your pillow
when your bed is made,
and your clever little prayer rock
will continue in your aid.

Because your Heavenly Father
cares and loves you so,
He wants you to remember
to talk to Him, you know."