12.31.2004

An ongoing conversation over the authority of holy scripture and the debate thereof sparked by an article (click here) written by Ben Shobert is going on over at Riley's place. It is a part two in published post, so if you want to join make sure to read where it started.

12.29.2004

Last nite was the first time I have been able to see footage of the the Tsunami's devastations. The pictures are incredible. The stories are even more frightening. I have seen footage of the "death field" were countless bodies are being heaped up and tossed into a mass grave for burning. The journalist rightfully commented, "there is no dignity in this burial..." because of the health issues that the mass of dead bodies pose to an already hurt part of the world. They must be disposed of quickly. Loved ones of the dead stand by weeping and covering there noses because of the stench of death that was causing people to pass out. One 30 year old mother lost her 4 children and husband in the tidal wave. Her 8 month old was in her arms when it hit and the waters separated them both. Later she found her son's body in the streets and actually carried him to the "death field."
The pain and drama of this is so intense. I got overwhelmed last nite. I dont even know how to pray. You feel like just crying to God. No words can express. The stories that I have heard are to much to bear. The pictures are heart rending.

If you havent and would like too. Support the relief.
I am making available to web links so that donations can be given to support. Right now these people need food, water, medicine, clothes and all. They lost everything. Gospel for Asia is a well respected missionary endeavor that I firmly trust. They are offering a link for support and also the Red Cross.




Big Gnome: miguel angel, son of margarito de la caridadd mesa

12.27.2004

There are more pictures posted on Mesaphoto's. If you care!

Lets talk about books. What are you reading? What do you think so far? And even better, why are you reading it? C'mon let's talk about this. I am very curious. There is lot's of substance in something like this.

12.26.2004

I have written and posted this for two reasons. This is a part of an on going conversation over two of my last three postings and what I have written is too much to have to break it up to make it fit in the meagerly sized comment boxes and also it makes this ongoing conversation more inviting to join while not always having to resort continually to the comment box. Unfortunately you still have to read the comment boxes to stay current on the conversation.

Our Christmas was good. We had the blessing of having a house full and with lots of babies, I think 7 in all. It was cool. We ate good stuff. Lotsa sugar, had some good Christmas instrumental melodies playing and than watched Fiddler on the Roof. Or at least it was playing while we hung out.
Our friends the Williams family, John and his wife Rebecca and there son's Isaac and newborn Ezra brought us some interesting junk gifts ranging from burned down house remnants to hard hats and toilet paper with a five dollar bill in the center of the roll. Truly creative to say the least. I hope you all had a good time as well.

I appreciate your genuine concern for my well being Mike. Those earlier days you mentioned were dark ones.

Your right Mike the work of having three newborns is substantially demanding. The constant care for these three whom at times have been constipated, overwhelmed by acid-reflux and difficult bowel operations does take a toll on the emotional and mental faculties while sapping physical strength. But aside from those times which do have a tendency to rob us of the joy of having these little gnomes we are truly grateful to God and would not have our lives be any other way if it meant not having them at all. These little gnomes make me laugh when I think of them while working out and about. There so cute! Often times Danae has the same effect on me while working. Her character and humor tickle me with wonder and laughter when I think about her antics. These little guys do so the same.

I have found myself at times just out of the blue pondering what still feels to me to be a horrific event of time when Danae gave birth to the boys and crashed later that nite. Seeing her colorless body and the spell she went into and through because of the sickness which was incredible drama brings about within me the beginnings of a gut wrenching pain, fear and intense sorrowful feeling. When those times of pondering do happen I immediately go to Danae and kiss her and remind her how much I love her and give thanks to God for sparing her beauty and life for me, her little gnomes and God's continuing story here for us and him.

Though we have the human labors of straining and striving to accommodate this new life with it's many demands our home is filled with God oriented hope for the now and the future as a family in God's community. There is much more beauty still to be found by me here in my life's home. It lies beneath the surface of all that is presently occurring through the continuous creation and transition of life waiting for it's time to be found and to find me. All the while beauty is still here.

I don't believe I am in a phase or was in a phase of wallowing. I have bemoaned the state of affairs of what have you but am not wallowing in it. Again I would mention here that the failings of fully communicating in word through this medium betrays the reality of the circumstances in it's fullest expressions. So while some may perceive my writing to be filled with misery (while I am sure that is not all I may have given impressions of in my writing) the truth of the matter is contrary.

The spiritual process of construction demands always that much is also being deconstructed. This is not an easy thing to experience and go through, but it is an awesome adventurous one. I would not trade my life in all it's complexities for anyone else's. I am firmly fixed on God's fearful and wonderful creation and expressions in me and others. I know that I am in all of my life experiences a vital part of the drama of God's history. So while life is hard and complex and demanding and all that good stuff, I really do feel like Indiana Jones, except the treasures for which I strive for are eternal; for both now and later.

There is no doubt or question to the reality that Satan does scheme and influence extremities of all sorts. That danger is always a posed risk. I and all of us must be vigilant to not get caught up into stuff that is essential and non-essential to the point where we miss the point or center of it all or the big picture, God who is all in all. Be careful how to read that statement. I am not speaking New Age here.

There are many things that are worth are while providing that we do not get caught up and lose the picture or miss the point. To some the "worth while" has great significance and valuable bearing to their life and expression of worship to God. To another that same worth while may not. And the reason for that can be manifold. We must remember that many that have come before us have pursued that which was a worth while pursuit and have contributed riches to others in indirect fashions. Their stories may not apply to us so easily because our context and theirs may have been different but nonetheless there is an effect that is felt. These pursuits will be proven worth while and valuably profitable to all directly or indirectly by the manner and attitude in which they are pursued. To do theology is the point.

I want to clarify what I wrote about earlier in the comment box about Romans 8:28. I wasn't assuming when I mentioned this verse that you were indirectly referring to it in your comment. I just was vaguely making a point to the cavalier attempts we make at applying "scriptural bandages" on people's wounds or confessions without really listening to the person. This has been my experience on both ends. I have many times attempted the application of my theology in the wrong fashion while missing the point of bearing one another's burdens.

12.25.2004

Hey folks I have finally started up a photopage with pics of the beans!! You can check it out here and in the future just click on Mesaphoto's under "other stuff." I will post when it is updated to let you all know. Just so you can keep up with how we look like in case you forget. :)

Peace and glad tidings unto you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


hlepful

Your comments of my last post was helpful for me to really think about the things I vaguely wrote about and to assimilate practical sense out of it. I valued Riley's input and Mike's passion and thought provoking comments. Without them I would not of been able to better understand my own position on this and how to communicate it.
Mike Williams did make a comment indicating that it is not a bad thing for the church to take an already established pagan practice or holiday and make something christian out of it, or try to redeem it in some way I think. I agree with that, but to a certain degree. It is good for us the church to establish traditions that center on redemptive history and that also allocate ourselves into that history. But what I find troubling is if the church would take an already pagan holiday and just "christianize" it. I believe I was assuming much in that christmas was totally pagan in its practice and than Constantine or whomever just dressed it up with Jesus and other early Roman Catholic regalia. My history of this all may be way off in thinking that Constantine had anything to do with it. I am reminded of statues in Rome's vatican city that are supposed to be Peter, Paul and others but once were the actualy statues of Romes ancient god's. Or the Pope's outfit. Once the Roman religious traditional garb but than transferred over to Christianity. It's that kind of christianization that I find troubling and stange. I feel ashamed to be associated with that kind of unoriginal and manipulative practice.
Now I should not assume that this is the case entirely with Christmas. So I will revoke my ignorant raving on that.
Your comments have helped me to see better what I believe would be a good intention of the early church to establish a tradition that centers upon a piece of redemptive history. For that I am thankful.
But the idea of taking Saturnalia's December 25th and trying to usurping it reminds me of the competitive marketplace of our culture where you have gas stations on two corners of an intersection! It just strikes me as kinda sickening. Does anybody follow what I am saying?

Save a beaver, don't chop down any trees!

Have a day of merriment and wonderful joy in the presence of loved ones. Knowing that God has created the cornerstone of society the family community after his mysterious fellowship in the trinity. Laugh, hug, kiss, eat, drink, sing, think, reflect for tomorrow we will not die, for Christ lives!


12.21.2004

Holiday Blues

I do not know what to make of Christmas anymore. Last year I embarked on an almost 24 hour day of reading on what Christmas is and better where it came from. My findings led me to believe that Jesus was'nt even born on December 25th but that he was probably born somewhere around early fall or spring or something...it's been a while since I have read this stuff. Further, I believe it was the early church around the time of Constatine or so that adopted the Romans Saturnalian festivities involving the big bon-fire bash on the 25th of December and converted it into a "christian" holiday. Somewhere in there someone through in the idea of the birth of the incarnated God, Jesus. All the other through inns of our Christmas holiday if I am correct comes from other traditions as well the Romans. Back in the day I think it was the Scandinavians who placed our famous green fur the Pine into there living rooms except they hung them upside down. To them it was a symbol of the resilience of life even through the coldest and harshest times of life, winter. The Pine always keeps it's green and is all the more vibrant in its green glow with the backdrop of a white surrounding.
I suppose I could go on and on about all the things by which our Christmas receieved it's traditional substance but that is beyond the purpouse of my writing now. You can look it up on the web as well. Look up Christmas traditions or Saturnalia or something. Just make sure your looking at more than one source.
Anyway here is my beef. I dont know what to be cynical about it all but I dont know what to think about Christmas. Aside from the intense material driven consumeristic make me your christmas wish list stuff that makes me nauseated (figuratively) and totally misses the point of what Christmas is supposed to be the lack of realism to our Christian holiday makes me almost completely disenchanted and detached from it itself. To me it sounds like an absurd thing to do to take Halloween and than make a holiday that would be Christian in it's place. But than again I guess that's what All Saints Day is all about right?

I would like to write more on this issue because Christmas is so culturally and traditionally ingrained in me (and who is it not?) and I don't know what to make of it all now. I just want to talk about it. If any one is out there who has been thinking on such things as these than please comment or something.

I am too tired now and my mind is not clear enough to really write what I want so I will let this be as incomplete and meager in breadth as it is.

12.17.2004

Once again this is a test post. I am testing the Toolbar's Blog button. That is all.

New Terms for our Post-Modern Age:

Skanky-Rooster; Individuals or person who ignore or refuse to acknowledge the comment of another.

Chicken-Squash; Individuals or person whom are consumed with "much thinking," that "has made one mad." The chicken sqaush may or may not be percieved by another as inferior or superior in knowledge or informational capacitation.

miguel angel, son of margarito de la caridadd mesa


This is a test post. This is only a test post.

12.12.2004

mine

Awoke at 9:30 AM. Danae spent the night watching and nurturing the boys. She needed to get rest. I took over. It is now 9 minutes till 1 PM and I have been changing, feeding, holding, applying oral medicinal treatments since I awoke. The work has been one after another and often all at the same time. Right now all of the boys are crying. They have all been fed and changed. I cannot hold them all. I pick one up and he quiets down. Than I would set him down and he would start up again. They are all like that now. I simply cannot do it all. My mind needs some releasement. So that is why I am writing now. Even as they are all crying……Okay. I just went and burped Aidan and changed Asher’s poopy diaper. They are quiet now. Wait no, someone is crying now. I think it’s Jonah…..No, it was Asher. He wants his paci. He is now lying on my lap. I look down at him and see his little arm firmly pressing his pacifier into his face. He is happy. I on the other hand have been coming to the end of myself. I told them after doing what I could, “alright guys, you’ve slept, eaten, gotten medicine, been changed and held and now it’s time for you to just wail. Papi needs to get his head together.”

Playing in the living room near the boys is a compilation of classic pieces titled “Quietude.” Indeed!

**************************************************************************************

Aside from my own personal reading of books I have also done some blog and article readings. Also, very casual conversations on issues that are of pertinence to my pilgrimage. All these things coupled with mine and Danae’s present life has developed into a culmination of intense torrentlike pent up emotion. I know very well these emotions are embodied by thoughts pertaining to all the aforementioned. My heart desperately wants to have a communicative releasment of these things. I am much like a geyser that erupts when the pressure gets to be apropos.


To me this writing is equally resembling of the psalms of scripture. Not all of my and our writing is equally resembling psalm style but those which are personal in journal nature. Much like the writings of the people of old which are recorded in the psalms my own writing is the psalms of my own human experience. In them is seen my attitudes and thoughts. Maybe not perfectly but as close as I can pen them to be. In my writings are the interest and aspirations of my life. This is my reflective psalm.

I have told people that I do not like where I am at in my journey. I have told people that “my journey is crappy right now.” This is not to say that I do not know or even see some of the positive elemental qualities. I use the word crappy for lack of another word. I don’t think I mean shit either. Maybe crappy is very misleading. I believe the word is frustrating. It is a time of great frustration. Much is in transition. I am getting sick of using these words but they are I believe most appropriate; reconstruction. To reconstruct involves deconstruction. And when that happens in the internal being it is difficult and much confusion, perplexion and detachment occurs. There is also fear. Fear of being labeled by those who would be quick to judge and slow to listen and think. Fear of not being allowed to vocally express my journey in the community of God’s people. And to think the latter is very indicative of the condition of the church.

I don’t know if I will be able to journal, blog post or verbally converse all of this meta-physical substance. But knowing something of myself the actual communication of it may take form in an unintentional cryptic form. Like in a cryptic poem or song. Poetic language of the soul maybe is the best description or embodiment of the dialogue within our heart. After all communication is poetry in and of itself. It just sounds different allot of times. The manifold tongues of humanity and the talk of children to adults is tell-tale of this.

I am hesitant to post this. Maybe it’s because I fear that by doing it I will cut off this dialogue of mine. It already has become therapeutic to me.

12.10.2004

Our boys appear to be getting better with the colick. It has not been easy. They have been miserable lately and it has taxed everyone here at the house who has been living here and has helped. All except for bubby. His feliness is undetered. A model of stoicism.

Check out and join the conversation at Riley's. His question is striking. The thought raises a possible need on some reconstruction of our "systems" thinking. It poses healthy musings. I would love to here your opinions on the matter. And while were at it lets brand Mr. Kern a "LIBERAL!!!!" :)

Hope to see you there at Messy Sainthood.

12.07.2004

As well aching

I just read Scotty Miller's blog. His words a very akin to my own journey now.
I dont know what to say right now. I am home from work. Danae is taking a knap. Aidan, Jonah and Asher are actually sleeping and in quiet mode now. They have colic bad. It has been crazy today I hear from Danae and her mother Susan. It gets to be very overwhelming dealing with the boy's problems. They are almost always miserable now.

You know I write thinking that their are a few of you out there listening. And you may. I am thankful for that. I hope to be listening well to you also. But this is a lousy way to get what I really want. And that is lively exchange. Scotty is saying it. That's what I want too. Although a helpful medium the internet is a lousy way to have community. It is theraputic nonetheless to write; to "click away."

I want to love more. I want to embody the way of Iesou. I know it is one of the most powerful ways to have fellowship with Him.

12.04.2004

Friday nite Grace and Vanity?

We had the fortunate grace of God given unto us last nite by way of the Churchills babysitting for Danae and I while we went out for dinner. Not only did they babysat but they are sleeping with Aidan and Asher in our living room even as I write this! Their awesome. God is good.

Danae really yearned to get out of the house for a bit. We weren't out that long because I have to work this morning but it was good nonetheless. We went and ate at Applebees and had good conversation. One thing that really sticks out in my mind that we talked about was how we are self-conscious about whether or not people or someone would know that we look in the mirror at ourselves to see how we look and to prepare ourselves according to our sense of aesthetics'. We both laughed about this because neither of us want to give the impression to the other that we're ate up with ourselves. We deliberately avoid being seen gazing in the mirror!!
But does not this prove that we are "ate up" with ourselves? Maybe.
We all have an aesthetic beauty that we are attracted too and desire to have when it comes to ourselves. We are creatures that are artistic. We like to see symmetry, blend and balance, controlled chaotic beauty and the abstract in a certain style. To want to look like how we want to look according to these things are not necessarily evil. I think civilization is more ate up with it's own beauty more than in ancient past since we have better mirrors and an entire host of other regalia conducive tofeeding our narcissistic vain inclinations. But again in and of itself the aesthetic beauty and desire for it of the creature man is not wrong. But surely has become and can become perverted. But it also can be redeemed.
I dont like to give the impression to others that I am ate up with myself because I dont want to appear to them to be conceited or so very vain because............ta ta da da!!!!! It's a shameful and humiliating thing to be so!
So while I will say that I do like to look good and presentable according to my aesthetic moorings as much as I can and I also that I am in danger of being ate up with myself to the point that it becomes shamefully narcissistic. So what do you think about yourself in the mirror? Do you hate looking into the mirror? Do you feel like a vain creature? How about your spouse or anyone else; do you avoid being seen by them when your looking in the mirror? What constitutes being ate up with yourself? We can appear to ourselves that we are alright when it comes to mirror action but when in our relationships we are selfish and thinking and doing less for those around us, whats the point of just talking about the mirror? Our actions in front of the mirror can and may also be indicative of or condition.

Let's talk about this. Lines are open.



11.30.2004

Great words!!

For a long time I have always wanted to communicate what Eugene Peterson has here in these few words from this article. Throughout my sojourning with God and following after the way of Christ I had become detached from all the methodology and rote formulas of "christian practice." This would include the traditional practice's of "devotions," "bible study," and the classic "prayer closet." Now in and of themselves these practice's are not wrong. They most certainly are not wrong but they are not entirely indicative of what the life of the redeemed should be characterized by or consist of. Bear with me.
These terms of practice for me have misled me to think categorical and compartmental in the past. Deep down inside I new there was something else, something richer and deeper still that made up what it meant to be a "spiritual person" and to be spiritual. It is difficult to practice somethings that other people do. There is a sense of detachment and lack of ownership to a certain quality needed to be and do such things as spiritual practices. So while the practices are good we can't and are not going to be able to just do them unless we already have the "spirit of the disciplines" within. The life of a being, the being that is fully alive and in tuned to life is the life that is in communion with the divine mystery Yahweh. Christ has shown us to be connected to him by his Spirit and through faith. And to live this life is not by necessarily viewing it and doing it by categorical and compartmental deeds and practices but by simply being it. Breathing, eating, thinking and moving in conjunction with God all the time.
I think for the most part some of you already understand me but I would like to assure others who may be reading this that I am not espousing a nurtured walk with God and truth by way of outside of the revealed will of God through and by holy scripture. What I am trying to communicate is the failure of emphasis of practice which lead to an unhealthy and emasculated christianity. No compartments, no categories but rather a full embodiement of prayer. Prayer as life. A life with God in all things that transcends all things.
After seeing prayer in this fashion then I am able to do the other things of classic practice through a life of prayer.
It is early in the morning and I gotta get dressed and head out the door to go to work. So I am unable to really edit my thoughts and seek a more refined articulation of what I am writing about. Hopefully the excerpt that follows will give a better idea of what I am saying. After reading this I got really pumped up to think about this by way of writing and posting to assimilate my own experience with the much echoeing words of Peterson within my own heart.

"MH : Say more about the idea of "a life of prayer," as opposed to saying our prayers.

EP: It's a life that you are immersed in. Prayer is the interiorness of our life in relationship to the God who has spoken to us. So deep within us there is a dialogic reality. God spoke life into being and we answer it. That is the way our life is. As our life enters this lively word, this revelation, prayer is living our life now in response to that. Prayer cannot be confined to a certain period of time. It is nurtured in those things, and we realize certain aspects of it during those times.
At one point I realized that the time I spend in the external act of prayer, where if someone could see through a knothole and say I was praying, I'm not really praying then--I'm just getting ready to pray. When I get up off my knees or out of my chair at eight o'clock, that's when I start praying. That other time of saying my prayers is just getting ready to pray. It's just getting rid of the distractions and making pre-deciding things about the day which give you room so that you're not just swallowed up by everybody else's agenda.
While I was growing up my parents would often invite missionaries to our family home in Montana so they could rest and recover. When I was around fifteen years old or so there was a man who came to visit us one summer. He was a Frenchman named John Wright Follett, a small, bird like man who had never married. He was a teacher of quite acceptance in the Pentecostal movement in the thirties and forties and because his name was a household name in our circles, I was in awe of him. When I met him he was probably seventy years old. One day he was laying in a hammock with his eyes closed and I wanted to talk to him. I told my mother I wanted to talk to him and she said, "Just go up and talk to him, it's okay." I timidly approached the hammock and said, "Dr. Follett how do you pray?" He didn't open his eyes at all. He just grunted and said, "I haven't prayed in forty years!" He stunned me and I walked off totally puzzled. Since then I have realized the wisdom of the man. You see, anything he had told me I would have imitated. I would have gone and done what he said and thought that's what prayer is. He risked something to teach me what prayer was, and I'm glad he did. Prayer wasn't something he did, it was something he was. He lived a life of prayer. It took me about six or seven years to understand what he had done but it was sure better than wasting time trying to imitate what he did.
"
To read the entire article click here.


11.29.2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

11.28.2004

Seasons of Transition

It seems that I am always in a season of transition. In this long season thought forms are being deconstructed and reconstructed. I am also trying to find my place in the occupational world and adapting to a new life as a husband and father of three newborn boys.

I have gotton a job. I have been working now for two weeks with FedEx Home Delivery. My route is based in New Castle and Rushville. It has been an adventerous challenge. County roads are a riddle and it's very easy to get lost out there in the middle of nowhere. I had the fortunate blessing of meeting a very burly bearded farmer yesterday on the road in the middle of Egypt. The dude was very cool. He had an awesome sense of humor and attitude. He was the kind of guy that I would love to sit back with and hang out with a couple of beers and talk about the organic world, farming and God.

Our three boys are too much for me to take in at the moment. What I mean is that they are such a rich blessing that I cannot absorb it all. Children truly are a heritage from the Lord. There has been moments where I would feel a deep anxiety when I think of there little beauty and wonder and not being able to cherish every moment of their little lives for they will become larger and older very soon.

Our family is hungering for communion with the household of God. I long to gather with them and be provoked by the wondrous beauty and infinite mysterious person and grace of God unto greater holy living. By holiness I mean a life that is conformed to the desire's and appetites of Christ. Marked by the perfectly honed quality of moderation and self-control. I want to celebrate life as a human should. Knowing that God is the center of all things and all things are given to us from him for us and him. I am reminding myself of John Piper's often qouted coined, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

I would like to plan a party sometime soon. Call it a party or call it a gathering. I will let you all know soon. I would like to cram our house with friends, food and koinonia.

God bless you all in the daily endevours of life. May they be oriented in our hearts and minds to be from and too God for his and ours delight.

If anyone knows how to set up the comments for these posts please write me at mesamd@gmail.com and let me know.

11.24.2004

k

Going through some changes. My blog was accidentally erased so I had to start somethings over. But I am happy with this format so its cool. My wife is beautiful.

11.15.2004

Our Jonah Dove-bean is home
and he and we are very happy. He came to Drexel Ave. on Sunday afternoon to join his two brothers Aidan and Asher and their resident feline freind BubbySamson. The occasion of having all three Mesa Beans at home was celebrated by giving of thanks to our God with family and the enjoyment of a very tasty dish, grandma Susan's home made lasagna.
We are now a family of five. Hopefully soon we can have another celebrative gathering with our friends. We would love for you all to meet one another.
My mother Maria is coming down to Indy via Greyhound tomorrow and will be staying for two weeks! This is exciting. I long for the occasion that is afforded by this stay. I have never been able to really have close union bonding with my mother. It is a good surface relationship that we have but I much long for something deeper with her and my father Margarito. I long to share Christ with them. What I mean by that is by being in Christ together and sharing Him together in faith. May God the Lord and Father bless this time.
Maria Elena will be hanging out to help us break in our home and ourselves with these boys. Since I start my training for FedEx tomorrow and will be working than on it is imperative that I get sufficient sleep/rest for driving and delivering. Having this help will be very good for Danae and I. Tonite grandma Susan is staying the nite, Thanks a mucho Grandma!!
I still plan on posting pics so stay tuned.


11.13.2004

Last nite Joshua and I were in the Lounge and recorded a conversation over the topic, "Hiding Behind Your Theology." I soon realized in conversing that the topic at hand was and is a deep dillema with many variables that contribute to it. So while there are good things that we did talk about it certainly wasn't all there was to say on the matter. Unfortunately there is only so much time to talk. Maybe there will be a series of dialouges on the issue. The hopes of which would include live call-in's from our listeners if there are any.
If your online doing stuff and are interested in listening to this 50 min. session just click on Laymen Lounge and look for the November 12 archive of Hiding Behind Your Theology. You can also tune in on Thursdays in the evening @ 7:30 PM for live webcasting.

Other News
. I will be heading off momentarily to an orientation with FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. It will be some good money. Seasonal work with potentially good opportunities for further placement or independant contractual work. I like this stuff!
Jonah Angel may be coming home tomorrow!!! Bring him home to us on Drexel Ave. Lord and be praised for your beauty!!!!!!
Hopefully we will come into contact with you our friends soon. I know that some have left messages and we have been unable to get back with you yet. We are wanting to hang out with you too.

May God bring us together in his bond of unity and peace. To the glory of the radiant beauty of Iesou Cristu our Lord. O' that I may see this beauty more.

11.12.2004

If today you knew that it would be your last day living on this earth what would you do?

Although I don't know that today may be my last day on earth I know that I will pray more earnestly. So what does matter most?

11.09.2004

taking sometime off

11.01.2004

Asher Damon came home Saturday evening. It quickly became apparant to Danae and I the reality of having these boys. It is taking time for this to become real to our sensory experience. Rather let me say that our sensor's are slowly interpreting the reality of these little lives that our completely dependant to our care every moment of the day.
So far Danae and I have been swapping feeding/diaper changing throughout the nite. Both Asher and Aidan are about 20 to 30 minutes apart in their feedings so it does well that Danae does a round then I. Because they generally feed every three hours this affords us both opportunity to be able to get six hours of unbroken sleep. This is good for me. I can run on six. Danae on the other hand needs something between eight and ten.
These boys are so beautiful. They are so very small. They remind me of those little cute things that we fall in love with from cartoons or some stuffed animal or doll that we always wish were real and living. Aidan, Asher and Jonah are these things to us.

Last nite at Joshua's both John and I with Joshua discussed what and how we are going to have this open forum; The Laymans Lounge. The consensus amidst us was to take a book that offers or that will lend structure torwards the topics or theme that we want to discuss. Among the many different books that all three of us are working through it appears that we are going to start with the discussions provoked by Spencer Burke's Making Sense of Church; Eavesdropping on Emerging Conversations about God, Community, and Culture.

Every one of us has a desire to see some changes in how andwhy we do church. A reformation if you will. To move beyond strains of polemic tension that divide the church to finding unity in our diversity and engaging in thoughtful, healthy dialouge about doctrine and whatever else while maintaining the mind of Christ and exhibiting his wonderful fruits that are the ever so tangible extension of his being.

Patience; for some on the road do not all have the same attitude or understanding as others.
Humility; knowing that all of us our on this journey to know truth and are constantly discovering truth. We all have and are constantly coming out of darkness and into greater and brighter light. It is important to remember that we at one time were more ingnorant than we are now. None of us has the claim on truth, unless we be the disciple of truth.
Tenderness and lovingkindness; seeking the best for the brethren despite our differences we always seek to engage one another in love always remembering that if we have not this we are but clanging symbols and instruments without substance.

I am persuaded that all truth is God's truth and the Bible does communicate such things that are firmly upheld by some theological traditions. But the polemic for and against such things do have thier proper place and attitude. Never at the expense of koinonia should we entangle in polemics unless it be on the issue of Christ as Lord and the ancient confessions of the early church; The Apostle's Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Chalcedonian Creed. I imagine some would disagree with limiting to these confession's alone. It is my opinion that some other confessions start to lean torwards some of the very things that are dividing the church by polemic tension (assuming that the proponents and exponents are seeking Christ).
I do not have a desire to see the tension all together eliminated but rather that the tension would be percieved in it's proper place and without division if at all possible. This "proper place" for these polemics may be and is for some another point of contention as well. Not everyone is in agreement on what is a major and a minor point of doctrine. We must engage in healthy Christ-centered dialouge about such things. Always striving to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

10.30.2004

Firey

Aidan Margarito is living up to his name. Firey! This little guy has got lungs, super lungs. So far it hasn't been too crazy over here. We have had the help of our mother Susan and good friends the Churchill's. Thanks again for the meal and service.
This afternoon Asher Damon is supposed to be coming home. This was unexpected. He is the littlest guy and he is growing turbo. I dont know how much longer little Jonah is going to be in the NICU, but I can't imagine it to be too long.
Thanks to Joshua this laptop is doing better. He even somehow and in someway fixed my October 26th blog post. Thank you Jesh!
Last nite Joshua and I did a practice spoofer of the Laity Lounge. I dont know if he is going to make it available on his site but if it is available you gotta check it out. We had a hillarious time. There's a bit of improv in it, so if your in the mood for a laugh listen to it. Tonite we may be doing a session on something. Don't know the topic for sure but I think it will have something to do with how we in the church get caught up in theology so much that we hide behind it and just become a dry dusty and dead orthodox head.
The point of the Laity Lounge or Laymans lounge is to provide an outlet for folks locally in the church to have a forum of audible dialouge about issues in church, culture, history or whatever.....

Goodness I just got back from running to my mother's place and I am suckin air. I am terribly out of shape.

10.29.2004

!auhsoJ em pleH. em gnitae era sgub esehT

10.27.2004

Frustration from virus.

My computer is possessed by a legion of micro-bugs! Things are getting worse. As some have noticed my post for the 26th was not readily available. But I was told by Scotty Miller that if you right click and select "view source" you will be able to read the posts. I tried it and it works. Anyway, the micro-bugs are taking over the laptop. I have been unable to check emial in several days and that is making me constipated (not really).

Aidan was circumcised this morning and and Asher and Jonah will be circumcised this afternoon while they have their surgery on their hernia's. Tonite Danae will be staying at the hospital (I as well) to have her breastfeeding of Aidan observed. Aidan will be coming home tomorrow!! We are very excited. Aidan Margarito will be the first bean to come home. He is our little margarito burrito.

My brother Joshua is cooking up an interesting discussion on topics in the newly under construction of The Laity Lounge. I imagine this lounge will be a neat place to discuss much of what is going on in the church from various viewpoints. I am looking forward to seeing what will come about from this. More on this to come.

Brian Mclaren's book A Generous Orthodoxy is an interesting read. I am enjoying his words. This is my first book of his.

Recommended reading; Spencer Burke's Making Sense of Church: Eavesdropping on Emerging Conversations about God, Community, and Culture.

10.26.2004

Tonight after watching "coffee and cigarettes", "The United States of Leland" and talking with my wife I got that feeling. Isn't it an overwhelming feeling when you can see glimpses of all the major things that are going through your mind and weigh heavily on your heart and consume you most of the time? You see the glimpse or glimpses and say to yourself, "Man, I gotta go write out my thoughts right now!", but you can't at the moment. That's what's happend to me. Now I am sitting down hoping to vomit this out. Maybe something will become of this. (Here's a thought that just occured to me, does it really matter that I place an aposterphy on my words when they are according to english grammer necessary?) I have done much reading within the past couple months. I have started books and did not finish and I have started books and finished them. What I have gathered from studying is that I am not alone in how I feel and think. I am not the only one thinking as a follower of Iesou about myself and asking questions about the present state of things in the church and yearning for something else. That something else has been readily identified in the past to be what the obvious longing of my soul is and that is God. But, more specifically it is how I relate with God. Knowing that I can give myself to God in an honest, genuine, authentic way is what it is all about. Being honest with myself in knowing and saying that I dont have all the answeres, that I don't need to have all the answeres and that I really don't care if I do or dont have it all figured out has been the emancipation of my soul in this long season of my sojourn. Truth is becoming something once again to my soul as it was. Or at least I think it was at a time, or so I think. Truth is becoming something once again. Funny how I write truth to be "something." But isn't that what much in the church treats truth to be? Something? As if truth is all about abstract propositions accumulated by the scientific method and our rational. Don't misunderstand me, I am not against reason or our God given ability to identify truth through and by logic. Truth is not just something. Foremost, Truth is someone. I don't have to have all the answeres. Truth holds me. I dont have to have it all figure out. Truth is there. Waiting. Watching. Keeping always. But I will seek and endeavor to understand my relationship to this Truth this Christos. Many have gone before us that have also related with him. Their voices are just as precious as the voices of today and the voices of our recently past millenia. We are a culture. We are a people. We are a community. We are the Church. I long to gather with His people on this journey in this history. Lets do this. "if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." "nothing you desire can compare with her." Proverbs 2:3-5, 3: 13,14,15b

10.25.2004

"All authority has been given unto me." Iesou Cristu

Danae is getting caught up on her rest. She sleeps in very well. Her body has been through so much. It will be a long season of recovery for her. A nurse came to visit the other day and mentioned that in the 50's an experiment was conducted on 4 young healthy and athletically active men. They were given a thorough physical exam to see how there motor skills and agility was and so forth along with muscle mass qauntities. Than they were placed in the hospital for a week in a bed with only the allowance to get up and go to the bathroom. After a week of this they were then given another physical exam of the same sort and found that all men had significant muscle loss and strength. Their cordination needed to be beefed up again because of the lack of activity. In other words Atrophy. It was said that for that single week bedridden in the hospital they needed one month of rehab just to get back up to par. Danae was in the hospital since August 13th. She stayed for 9 weeks. All but a week and a half was she able to get up to the bathroom and shower. So it appears that with the duration of stay D has got a long road ahead of her. She has lost much of the water that she had retained and her legs are beginning to look more normal despite the muscle loss. She is doing good. Feel free to send cards or letters of encouragment for Danae (1020 N. Drexel Ave. Indianapolis, IN. 46201) Recovery for Danae is going to be a more mental than physical. So for her to be able to do some normal things that she used to do would be very healthy and conducive to her growth. Practical things, she loves to go and visit her father over on Post Rd. It is more rural out there and is visually more gratifying than the neighborhood where we live. She loves to go out there and hang out with her father Damon, brother Nathan (he is a crack up) and the fly wizard her cousin Jeremy. The icing for this visit is also to see the dogs and cats over there. Nike the Rotwieler, Butch the something, Scrappy the Datsun and Batman and his brother Nate the cats. This is one of the most welcoming environments for her. I saw how going over there made her feel more normal. She is able to laugh allot. This is medicine to her.
I am ranting here for some reason or another. I love Danae very much. All of our freinds and beyond have been encouraging and warm with love and we are truly thankful. I know our struggles and joys are not alone. Everyone out there has them and we want to rejoice with you and also to sympathize and feel with you in hard times. I am just spewing out my thoughts as of late while trying to let people know how D is.
On the Beans front line; Aidan is over 5 pounds (he's the beef), Jonah is getting close and Asher is tailing behind. It was discovered yesterday that Asher and Jonah have herniated groins. This can be bad if not taken care of properly. Their abdominal muscle near their pelvic region is partly open and their bowel is coming through. The surgeons are going to asses them to see if they will need surgery. Poor little guys.
As soon as I am able I am going to put some photos on here, so hang on a bit.
God is the one who calls into being that which is not.

Chistus Victor!

10.24.2004

Bean photos via JPCsubDeo

My brother Joshua posted some polaroid photos that have been taken in the NICU within the last 2 weeks of the beans stay on earth. Check it out! You love his little daughter Julia Bug. She is the cutest. Also is a photo of my other brother Nathan and his little wonder Ella. God has brought much wonder into this family in the last year and a half. By the way I call them brothers but they are my brothers-in-law, but still brothers nonetheless. Peace!

10.22.2004

UPDATE: 1020 N. DREXEL AVE.

Danae arrived back at her little home on Drexel Wednesday evening. She is getting back into the groove of being "home". She is getting caught up on much needed rest. We are breast pumping, or rather I am helping her breast pump. Danae is a Dairy Queen. She will not be seeing any friends as of yet so she can still focus on recovery and breast pumping. But I will post when that will be. Thank you for praying on this families behalf.
Our sons are doing very, very well. Asher is now out of the incubator and off of the oxygen as well! There growing excel-lent!
Aidan is 4 lbs. 11 oz.
Jonah is 4 lbs. 9 oz.
Asher is 4 lbs. !!!!!!! (Go you little scrapper!!)
Aidan is up to bottle feeding all the time now so he has his little feeding tube off of his face. We can now see his entire face. I wish I could place pictures on here but still have yet to do that. I am sure D will help me to do sometime soon.
Some nurse remark that they are unusually well and growing for being caucasian male premies.

Today I will be working with my brother- in -law "Jesh" or Joshua. We are going to cut some grass. I am excited, it has been three months since I have been on the Z-Track or EXsmark!

Has anyone seen the film "Saved"? Danae and I just watched it last nite. This film strikes up some very good dialouge to say the least. A provocative film. I would encourage some to read reviews on PluggedIn or HollywoodJesus before checking it out if your very cautious on what to watch and listen too. I am not saying that I am not, but I do take liberty in listening and watching somethings that other christians generally wouldn't. I am sure many of you know.

Off to the foxes!! (remember Charles Barkley in the Gillette commercial, or was it Old Spice?)

I look forward to dialouging with you all very soon in a very tangible way. May the real Jesus show us how close He is to us all.

10.19.2004

Methodist Maternity Center: Labor and Delivery Rm. 19, Update

Danae is getting stronger. She has been doing physical therapy and she is making progress. She is able to walk now without the assistance of a walker. Although she does get tired quickly and her pace is no where near a mall walker she is doing awesome considering all. Potentially she could be going back to our home on Drexel sometime this week. At this time she will not be taking visitors unless they are scheduled to come according to her abilities. Her days are fully occupied with resting, breast-pumping, walking, going to the bathroom and spending time with our boy's and this is all very difficult to juggle for her.
Our beans are doing good. Asher is the small guy and he is still in the incubator while Jonah and Aidan are hanging out next to each other being babies. Asher and Jonah's blood volume is kind of low but not low enough yet to really raise an alarm. Them too also have occasional and yet frequent episodes of the heart rate dropping. This is a nuerological thing. The brains still need to develop better for their breathing. They recently started to do one bottle feeding per day and it looks like Aidan is going to soon be doing it all the time cause he's a hog.
In case your wondering how I am doing, I am doing good. Danae is doing better and the boys are okay so I am good and okay. Thanks to God the Lord, by His word all things consist.
Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. We miss you all and look forward to getting together with some of you for the first time as families and to see them that have been our but buddies for sometime.

Aidan is 4 lbs. 9 oz.
Jonah is 4 lbs. 6 oz.
Asher is 3 lbs. 12 oz. (I think)

Thier cries are like little lambs!

10.13.2004

Danae is still with us. She is now recovering in Labor and Delivery where she has spent most of her bed rest. She is getting stronger and she has seen the boys and held them recently for the first time. We are thankful to God for His mercy in sparing Danae's life and keeping her here with us. I her husband and her newborn little sons and all are family are blessed to still have this precious woman. Thank you for your prayers and love.

Please continue to pray for her recovery.


10.06.2004

The Climax

Danae is now 32 weeks and 5 days. Today our baby boys will come out of the bio-dome and into the atmosphere. Aidan, Jonah and Asher will take in their first breath's.

Today at 4 PM the C-Section will start. If you all read this before please join us in giving thanks to God for enabling Danae to endure this bearing and for the beans to grow and develop. Join us in petitions to our Father for wisdom and skill to be imparted to them that will play a major role in bringing our son's to the air. Join us in asking our Father for the preservation of Danae's strength and well being so that she make recover expediently and well.

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. I have fear and inexpressable joy deep within. As always without ceasing you have been bountiful torwards us with your graces. We thank you for your people and for your lovely Spirit. May you be seen by your people and by all the beauty of your Majesty as you bring our sons to this place.

Thank you for your prayers and faitful love and support in their manifold ways.

I will update after the delivery as soon as I am able too.

9.24.2004

Methodist Maternity Center
Labor and Delivery Room 18.

Danae has completed 31 weeks today. Contraction acitivity has been minimal lately. Things are looking good. The beans and Danae's tank is still growing! Thank you for your continued prayers.

I had an interview with Lincare this past Tuesday that went very well. After the interview I was sent to take a drug test. Lincare was supposed to get a criminal background and driver check. And contingent upon the cumulutive result I believe I would recieve an offer for the job. So I should be getting a phone call sometime today. I do have some anxiety about this. I really would like to have this job. So there is that.
I am a sensation in the Maternity Ward because of my Hazelnut and Vanilla Maxwell House coffee. They love it! And trust you me, so would you if all you smelled and drank was Methodist Hospital coffee!

Danae and I noticed several helicopters hovering almost completely stationary in the air nearby us over the city. I thought that something may be developing out there with the media so I turned on the tube and saw live footage of some suspects on Martin Luther King Dr. Aparantly a Butler Campus Police Officer was shot in the head around 10 this morning and just recently died here at Methodist Hospital.

Maranatha

9.18.2004

Update

We moved to another room lastnite. We are now in room 18 which has a nice panoramic window with a nice expansive view of downtowns buildings. Danae has completed 30 weeks and is now working on her 31st. We are happy. We are praying that God will give further favorable conditions to the fully development of the babies and the comfort for Danae. We are thankful for your prayers and for the grace of God in all these things. Are new rooms telephone number is 962-7359.
Also, more good news. I have an interview with Lincare this Tuesday. The job entails delivering infusion therapy throughout portions of Indiana. I believe the job is mine to take if I want it providing that I pass the CDL endorsement test. Cross your fingers!! (in prayer of course!)

9.06.2004

From Methodist Maternity Center Rm. 12

Danae has completed a full 28 weeks. This is very good. The survival rate for the beans is 90 to 95% now. We are happy with this so far. All three of the boys are just over 2 pounds a piece. We have directed hearts torwards God's good hand to bring about what He will. And we pray that it would be that the beans will stay in Danae's womb at least till 34 weeks and that D remain healthy.
I am still looking for work. This has been a constant source of difficulty at times for me. It has been almost two months since I have had steady employment. I have had work to do for some people that has provided money and for that I am thankful. Every now and then I get this feeling that others whether family or friends are dissapointed or upset at how me and the work thing has been. I feel a sense of shame. It could be that I have and am undertaking the job seeking exploit all together wrong. Please join me in petitions to Father that I may do what is right with the work issue.
I want to thank all my friends and family who have given their loving support in it's manifold ways to Danae and I.

On another end. I have read and am reading some very interesting subject matter in books. I have finished a book by R. J. Rushdoony called The Word of Flux. This book is an exploration into the failure of mans thinking. It is a study in Epistemology, which is very, very interesting stuff. Another book I have recently finished is by Steve Chalke called The Lost Message of Jesus. This book is very provocative. I can feel the tension between some circles of the church that would have much quibble with the contents of this book. But what Steve is advocating is something that is necessary to discuss within the church. The book gave me affirmation in some areas and in others it opened new doors. It does seek to deconstruct Western constructs of perception to the Gospel and it's very understanding and proclamation in the Church. I very much would like to discuss these things with others and especially those who have read the book. (Mr. Bean that means YOU!)

8.14.2004

It is 10 PM and I thought I would do a little writing. I am not really in the mood to write but I will. I think it will help keep me a little "creative" to kill the idle feeling's that have developed from bad habit's of mind and possibly to much coffee intake.
Danae is going to be in the hospital indefinitely. Her pregnancy poses substantial risks for the beans and things have come along in such a way that it is best that she remain where she can recieve the best attention and care. I agree. Although the idea of being in the hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy is not fun ( I speak for Danae more than myself) we know it to be the best thing for her and the beans.
I am very excited to see them.
It is challenging to visualize an outcome of humanisticly speaking great expectations. Like all potential parents my desire is to see my children born healthy, whole and matured physically. The thought of seeing them with undeveloped lungs and brains is frightening and sad. Even worse is the thought of having them stillborn. Danae has borne much pain, discomfort and challenges that occupy all spheres of her personality and humaness. To see our beans not come into this life at all would be a very hard reality to embrace. To see our beans come into this world with difficulties would be an easier reality to embrace but no less hard. We want them. What I want in the frontal lets of the eyes of my heart is to see the beautiful and unfailing sublime wisdom of God working itself out through all I see, especially in mine and Danae's journey in this pregnancy. Truly it is that what God brings about is perfect regardless to how our limited perception, understanding and emotional experience interprets it all. And come what may God is dear and near through it and not aloof. God the Father was near to His Son in the most despairing and awe-filled moments of His life.
Prayer is a great mystery to me, as I am sure it is to all. Our petitions have a role and bearing on how the will of God works and is carried out. I will keep praying that my sons come strong and sound to experience this life with a view of God's Kingdom.
There is no doubt that what holds for Danae and I in however this all turns out to be will be so that our experience in this life will be one that is viewed through the lens of God's Kingdom and ever more increasingly.
May Christ be formed in us.
Lord be to us your people the strength to embrace what comes for the sake of life as you are working it in and through us.
Lord of life form the beauty of Jesus the Logos in us to be One with you in this life eternal.
Lord of sublime holy mystery bring about the desire of your people according to your working within us.
There is no life without you.
Give us what is ours in Our life with you, Lord. Amen.

Thank you for listening and praying with me.

7.24.2004

Freeing Truth

Recently I have begun reading Dallas Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines.  There are many things that Dallas has to say that speak very specifically about the human heart and a common spiritual condition within the community of professing christians. I found these statements to be perceptive and enlightening.

In reference to a false approach to following Christ Willard states the telling counterpart to human life which he calls, "the misguided and whimsical condition of humankind."

He says, "the general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy. This is the feature of human character that explains why the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We intend what is right, but we avoid the life that would make it reality."  (italics mine)

Speaking specifically to Christians,
     "In our efforts to avoid the necessary pains of discipline we miss the easy yoke and light burden. We then fall into the rending frustration of trying to do and be the Christian we know we ought to be without the necessary insight and strength that only discipline can provide. We become unbalanced and are unable to handle our lives."  (italics mine)

These statements come from the books first chapter entitled, The Secret Of The Easy Yoke. This secret is not to be understood as gained from some form of mystically embraced knowledge   that lies between the lines of scripture but rather is missed and not apprehended by us, "Because of the contemporary bias with which we read the Gospels," a bias that Willards says, "we'll be discussing later" in the book. This bias causes us to, "have difficulty seeing the main emphases in his (Jesus') life." In reference to the Matthew 11:29-30 passsage where Christ speaks of the, "easy yoke and light burden" and other words of Jesus, Willard says, "To many, Jesus' words are frankly bewildering. We hear them often quoted, because the idea they express is obviously one that attracts and delights, but there seems to be something about the way we approach them, something about what we think it means to walk with Christ and obey him, that prevents most of us from entering into the reality which they express. The ease, lightness, and power of his Way we rarely enjoy, much less see, as the pervasive and enduring quality of our street-level human existance."

It gets really exciting in reading this when Willard states, "the secret involves living as he lived in the entirety of his life--adopting his overall life-style. Following "in his steps" cannot be equated with behaving as he did when he was "on the spot" To live as Christ lived is to live as he did all his life."

I am excited about this read. This book addresses the practical yet crucial and vital issue of sanctification both by God's Spirit and the important yet often neglected aspect of our intentionally active cooperational lives. I have'nt gone that far in the book yet but I believe that I can safely assume that Willard is aiming at addressing the kind of spirit we are to have in order to actively and intentionally seek to have our lives bear the image of God.

My friend Riley told me, "the first chapter of the book alone is worth the price of the book."






7.20.2004

Who am I?
 
I am an image bearer. Like every other soul born in all of time and history all humans were born to reflect the image of something. That something is a person. That person is God. The creature was created to reflect Creator. In being made for this my reason for living is to bring glory to God my creator and originator of all things. I need to focus on this fact. Within this truth is my identity. I cannot do anything as I should or as I was meant to do without this fact embraced as a reality. For it is reality. I can choose to believe a lie and serve myself and think that all of life, (that is my little vapor of a life) is the center of all things, and that I live to suit my pleasures and desires. I also can live knowing that God is real and that he is there and that “in him we live and move and have our being.” This “knowing that God is real” is a very informed life, that is a life that has learned many facts about the reality of God and what He has revealed. Yet to learn many facts about God and to know that He is there and that He does this or that is of no profit to my life now unless I embrace from the center of my person the reality of God. Knowledge is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The end of knowledge is always God. All knowledge points to God because it comes from God. The book of Proverbs says that, “from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Yes I must be informed (gain knowledge). But then I must live in and by this (knowledge) information. There is no wisdom with knowledge that is merely theoretical. But knowledge applied is wise and makes for wisdom.
To know myself is not to know in theory, but to live actively with the consciousness of who I really am in reality. I am an image bearer. That is what I am. What I am to bear is the image of God. Who I am, in the center of my being my heart, by the grace of God through Christ who has given me life and power to stand before Him and to reflect Him must seek to keep standing before Him. I must stand before Him so that I may more and more grow to reflect Him.  I must continually seek to stand before Him so that I do not stand before another or stand alone as myself. If I stand before another or by myself than I am no longer reflecting God, where my true identity lies.
I want to walk in the light as He is in the light. I want to progressively become more and more like Christ. This wanting will always be with me. To want to become like Christ is the desire of a wife to be one with her husband in intimate communion, so that they are no longer twain but one. This want is the Holy Spirits work and presence and seal upon my heart that I am betrothed to a husband and permanently fixed in covenant with Him. I want my husband. I do want Christ.
I learn and hear much about Christ. Who he is. What he has done and what he is doing. But I lack the deliberate and intentional seeking to be with Him and one with Him. I know this because in the midst of my desire and passion for Him there is a dwindled and dwindling passion and desire for Him.
My words are the manifest symptoms of my heart, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Where I am is good because where I am is in His hands. But where I am is never fixed. Where I am is continually moving with Him. I am continually and progressively living and moving and having my being in Him. Although I feel and look very incomplete, my completeness is Him.
Random thoughts as it were, I am an image bearer. I am betrothed to one husband eternal. I want the intimate communion with my husband, who is my God, Creator and originator of all things. God’s bride and wife is in my midst as well. They too are looking and feeling incomplete but their completeness is not themselves or ourselves but Him. We cry for our husband. To be like Him; to be one with Him.

Paradoxically sounding; though we aren’t with Him, we are.


7.15.2004

A want to open.
A very strong cyclonic storm of pressurized thoughts.
Arrayed emotions tied to circumstances; trivial and vital feeling.
O a want for releasement!

Solace is my confession.

It would be really good to have a runners high right now.

7.14.2004

Hazreti Isa (Turkish for Jesus Christ)

Danae is really cute. She is my little bedresting egg. She has an eggy tank. I am grateful that I can be home at this time to help her in the transition to the strict prescription for her and the beans sake. Since Danae has started her bedrest I have begun to play, "Mr. Mom". I enjoy it. Usually the site of dirty dishes, doing laundry and whatever else is not appealing work, but I have quickly acclimated to it. It feels good to clean. It's nice to see the transformation the happens when your cleaning. I know our sanctification is allot like that too. It's a scary thought to be a clean cup but filthy on the inside! I have been sensing my short temper and proneality to complain and murmur now. It happens and manifest's often. I know that I am lacking patience know that this is also due to lack of seeking the mind of Christ in solitude and prayerful meditation with God in and by His word. When I manifest my impatience and complaining outload that can become an influence to my wife and those around me. To exhibit a controlled spirit is much more attractive and gravitating to Christ. It feels good when one has controls of their emotions to an extant or rather to their tendencies to complain and murmur. Not that this is an end in itself but it certainly is beautiful. Rather it drives us closer to the formation of Christ within us. Christians don't want to be a clean dish or cup and be filthy on the inside. Appearance is not the goal. Transformation of the life within is. The apprehension of the Kingdom within our lives.
This Kingdom is given to them that seek it through Hazreti Isa.

7.09.2004

The Season of Miguel's unplanned place of obedience.

On Wednesday evening I began to search for another job via the internet. It was decided by Joshua, John and Miguel (myself) that RDC no longer can go on with three men operating it. RDC Lawncare was and is only generating enough profit to support two families. RDC was three Christian husbands working together to furnish our families needs and our livelihood.
Lastweek it was suggested that I would start focusing on selling our services to neighborhoods on a fulltime basis while Joshua and John would be working the accounts we already have. We all agreed it would be a good idea. The plan was simple and it seemed to be one with good expectations. I new I could distribute RDC Lawncare flyers and go door to door all day long. We were looking to see through the growth of our company our families needs taken care of and the needs of RDC through the downtime of late fall through spring taken care of. The attempt to begin was the beginning of this week. Mon. and Tues. I had to work on a side job to supplement my income by doing a mulching job, which in actuality is RDC's work, but I need the money earnestly that I was able to take the job for myself and the immediate profit of my family. So on Wednesday I began distributing flyers for our services door to door on the Northeast side in Castleton. We have an existing account up there servicing Grace Presbyterian Church so it seemed good to tackle that neighborhood up there. Like I said I had a good time. There is always an excitement of going door to door and engaging people in real life and offering our services. There was one occasion when I was able to speak with an elderly man about the our services. I gave him a bid/estimate for his yard and he looked at me with this look of contempt like how could I be suggesting an outrageous price like that to a man who can barely walk around his own yard to appreciate it! I said "well if that's too much"....He quickly retorted, "Too Much..Too much!?!?" Inside I thought "O man, this is not good, this guy thinks I am his enemy or something." He told me to get off of his property and quickly disappeared from the doorway. I could no longer see him. So I just turned really discouraged and upset because he misunderstood me and didn't give me a chance to explain to him the reasons for the cost. As I was beginning to walk down the driveway I heard what sounded like the cocking of a rifle or shotgun or something like that. I turned around to look back at the door and saw the old man in his boxers with his black socks up over his calves and a white muscle shirt on holding a shotgun pointing at me! I said outlet, "Whoa man...." And then "boom!!!" This buck shot riddling spray of bullets came at me with such speed and force in the blink of an eye, I thought in this moment simultaneous with the gunshot, "I'm going to be killed."...The bullets went everywhere but me!! These large pine trees were directly behind me and all I heard was tree bark and limbs getting blasted and broken. Dead squirrels falling all over the driveway. I dropped my mailbag with my flyers, notepad, Albuterol inhaler, pocket Bible; the(ESV), and pens and other malarky unto the drive way and somersaulted torwards this murderous black socked boxer wearing old man and said right before he could cock the gun and get another round off at me, "I'll give you full lawncare service for $30 dollars a cut and..." He quickly responded to me before I could finish, (like lasttime!) with a twinkle in his eye, "You got yourself brand new business buddy." After that we enjoyed some freshly grounded Starbucks coffee, (houseblend) with a freshly made Cinnabon.
It was the best day of marketing for RDC Lawncare I ever had.
Alright enough with my adventures. . Like I said before the tangent and it was TRUE..(on ti saw ton eurt!), there is always an excitement of going door to door and engaging people in real life and offering our services. This past Wednesday was supposed to be the beginning of building business fulltime. Later that afternoon on Wednesday while I was distributing, Joshua called me and asked if us three could have a meeting soon. So we did. John and Joshua had finished up early that day and they came and picked me up in Castleton and we went to Qdoeba on RDC Lawncare, (the fat guy in Miami usually picks up the bill). While eating my burrito Joshua tells me the reason why we are having this meeting is because they concluded that one guy has to leave RDC Lawncare in order for it to stay afloat, and in order for at least two of our families can make it. I new this to be true.
Just earlier in the day I thought to myself that I probably should go and get another job and just work to build business for RDC once in a while part-time. The thought came to me. Than it went away. But when Joshua mentioned it at Qdoeba I new that it was certainly true.
We decided to cast lots. Right there and than. We talked about it for a moment. Encouraged ourselves unto the Sovereignty of God and prayed before doing the deed. Joshua had cut some pieces of paper at different lengths and stuck them under a clipboard enough for them protrude evenly out so they all looked the same. John and I were to pick. Joshua would be last. John and I would be the deciding pickers. When John pulled one and than I we would automatically know who was the one to leave RDC Lawncare. So John pulled. His piece of paper looked long. I knew he was still in. I saw two pieces left. John and pulled the middle one. I knew now we would find out. I pulled the one to the right. It was very long. We were fixed on Joshua's eyes and and Joshua had a face of determined fortitude coupled with an awkward hidden smile of surprise and sorrow. It hit me very deep in the heart. It was one of the saddest experiences. Joshua embraced it. We were all in discomfort and shock, because now we knew who was going to be leaving RDC Lawncare and look for another job. All three of us worked together. It was great fellowship/camaraderie/co-workmanship. We worked good together. We enjoyed beers together. Although Joshua always drank non-alcoholic ones. It was good. We have been through allot already these past four months of work. Sun up to sun down. We smoked flavored Philly Blunt cigars together. We had lots of good laughs. And we felt proud to be able to serve together for the same endeavor; to provide an honest service to others under the sun while seeking to make a good livelihood for our families.
It was really sad. One of us had to go. We knew that. We consoled one another with the fact that we would never leave each other high and dry. We were constrained by the love of our Lord who is Christ to meet one another's needs and to always be there to support in good and bad times. And surely this has been the fruit of our lives together since we all met. The fruit of the Vine has manifested in manifold ways in and through our friendship together. We were real humans working together. Sometimes clashing with our ideas and ways of doing things but always ending in sweet love and closer transparent brotherly affections and bond. I love John and Joshua. It's now the second day that I am no longer with RDC Lawncare and in my heart deeply seated I really miss them. The sound of the John Deere and Exmark motors, the Schindawa Trimmer zipping in circular motion like a giant mechanical cicada singing and ripping through the natural elements. Most I miss is sitting next to John and Joshua in the truck in between accounts laughing about the characters of life and the idiosyncrasies of reality. John would manifest his character in unusual ways. He makes me laugh real good. His mock-jerk-smartass character that he portrays sometimes is the best. Joshua is good at playing many roles. He is good at improv. He cracks me up. He is also one of the most agile creatures on this earth. One time John and I were watching him do these headstand somersaults in the air while roli poling on the ground like a ninja. He is awesome. Not to mention the time he did that in my mother-in-laws backyard finishing his ninja acrobatics with tossing a knife into the side of her garage like he was on a blood-hunt.
I know that as your reading this you are wonder what in the world is going on. I began by saying that I am the one looking for a job and yet Joshua was the one who drew the "shortest straw" making him the one to leave RDC.
I knew that I was the one to leave. I was frustrated with not having the security of not being able to make enough to pay our bills and now being late on paying everything. I needed and need money now. I couldn't wait another two months to get things better with my family financially. We get paid on the last two weeks of the month now. And we are not generating good profit in light of the necessary expenses the RDC has to maintain and operate the business. I knew that Joshua loved the job the most. He is an intelligent guy who has been going to college for thirty or forty years, (mind you Joshua is only 27 yrs. old) has a wife and new born child, and wants to stay in this line of work. He is most earnest in the field. John is also but would rather be a policeman and is hoping to become one very soon. I on the otherhand like the work but the money is a determining factor in my decion making. I cannot stay in this business if it cannot provide for my family. I would love to run and be a partner of RDC Lawncare if it was conducive to the most important things in my family but now it is not. John and Joshua would do better without me and can do better with the company and their families since they have less monthly expenses in finances then I do. That is why I after the lot was cast I decided and volunteered to leave the company. I knew it was supposed to be me.
My leaving does not mean that I will never be a part of RDC Lawncare. Joshua most certainly will stay and run this business even if John becomes a Law enforcement officer for our city. If that happens I can jump on the bandwagon next season with Joshua and it will be him and I. But that is not certain. I do not know what will happen. I may find a good job that provides well for my growing family and stay there. John may end up staying in RDC support and raise his wife and child with another one coming in the winter. Either way God provides for us all. We will toil with the strength that God gives and we will always remain and be fellow brothers in Christ Jesus and faithful comrades. It is always just the beginning.


6.28.2004

This is a test entry.

Hello my name is Miguel and I do not have a mustache. But I do have a beard.
My name is Miguel and my sons are sleeping. My three sons are sleeping in my wifes belly. They are sleeping in there right now.

6.27.2004

"And I feel this coming over like a storm again now."
-Maynard James Keenan


Today I feel a very great sense of despair, frustration, and anxiety. I am very confused and lost. So much in the church that leaves me feeling displaced. It's times like this when Jesus Christ is the only thing tangible to my soul. No comfort from relationships or activities. Life right now seems to be very dark and uncertain. And all this because I don't know what to do about "church". Where to go, which one is biblical? Divisions over church government, confessions, woman in leadership over men, all the "discussions" about mysticism with respected leaders all over the camps.
I have been longing for community for a long time. I real involving, incorporating feeling kind of life within the church. My wife Danae and I want this. I know others who have the same yearnings. But this is not the only thing. So much of what is "church" are things done within the church that I and Danae and others just cannot identify with. It is all just religion. There is no raw power or God-breathed soul to it. I have had the yearning for a local community of believers for a long time. It is not very local. There are good friends with the same longings that are further away, and possibly will be even further away in the future; geographically. My hopes for establishing or rather being established in something different that I cannot articulate and describe is diminishing. I don't know where to go, what to do.
This is not true. God is over all. He is with me even now. His breath I breath. His colors I see, and His music I hear. I am not far from Him. His Spirit is within me. Christ the Truth is with me even now in my confusion; this seasons pilgrimage.
There is so much fear and uncertainty within me. The fear of walking and leading my family down the wrong path due to whether my understanding of theology is correct or not is breaking me. I know Christianity; life in Christ is not a list of theological propositions and my life is not in this per se, but much of making sense of how to live life is governed by what the bible teaches about life and God; Theology.
There are loved ones on various sides of camps. The ones that understand me most are very few. Some do not understand because they have not been exposed to the differences and others I think may not understand because I haven't fully made it known to them the struggle because of my fear of their being to "institutionalized" in thought. I know that what I am writing here can be and probably will be misunderstood. There is no ill will in any of me to others or where they stand. I just do not know what to think for myself. I don't know if I even understand what is or whom could be institutionalized? Maybe it's me.

6.24.2004

Check out this great article on Dallas Willards site. It speaks about the necessary and and vital role the body plays in our sanctification. Very encouraging truth for the thirsty soul. Growth in Christ is not an uplanned and passive action on our behalf. It involves our co-operation and deliberate actions.

6.20.2004

fruit

This past week has been one of the most demanding and challenging ones in a longtime. It seems that out of everything that could go wrong almost all went wrong. But in the end the fruits of hope, strength, assurance and greater unity was brought forth for John, Joshua and I. For that I am thankful to God. It is Sunday morning. I need to decompress from everything and be still before God by myself and with my wife.

6.15.2004

A brand new trailer was purchased today by RDC Lawncare. Tomorrow we buy two brand new mowers. Both very good and very efficient. RDC is back into the chlorophyll field.

6.13.2004

CONFUFRUSVENTING

Is the church, the body of Christ supposed to keep the Sabbath day today? How are we to keep it? Many think so. Are we supposed to baptize our infants? Many think so. Is it sin to not baptize our infants and not keep the Sabbath? What hermeneutic are we supposed to read the Bible with? Do the Theonomists have it right? What about the Regulative Principalist's, do they have it right? Those who can be classed as within the so-called Emerging Church Movement, do they have it right? And if they have only something right what is it?
Dispensationalist's, Covenant's and Whateverelseist's, what and where do you derive you authority for your hermeneutic dogma's?
Where are all the learned people? Why don't they get into a room and lock themselves up in it and pray and discuss these dogmatism's that divide and seek the TRUTH, who is Lord Christ and confess are inabilities to comprehend almost all things in the scriptures that we think we have figured out that may be wrong if that's the case and send it down the line for the rest of the church.
I feel like quitting sometimes. I feel like no more reading of the issues that divide the church.
I cannot quit. I must keep reading and seeking. Maybe I will be the one to first lock himself in a room with the other and do this. I know this though. I cannot remain passive. I cannot quit. I want Christ and his truth. I need to know what to be dogmatic about. We all do. I am not proposing to seek all the "truths" within all these lists and that's all there is to truth. Christ is the TRUTH. Jesus Christ is the TRUTH. God's TRUTH is Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah. He is Lord of reality. Love Him. Seek Him. Live in Him. This is what I must do. And in doing this, than I seek the harmony. Than as I seek Christ and live in Him I seek the harmony that He brings. I seek it all by obeying what He says.
O'Lord so many say you are saying this or that. What are you saying? Who is right in what they say you say? Is there a simplistic answer? What does it look like to obey you? Does it look like how the Theonomist or the Presbyterian or the Baptist say? The thought of you saying it is relative fears me....

My Song
My body is stiff. I am still very tired. I feel that I work so often that I do not really remember how to sit still. It is difficult at times to read and set the things in my mind in an understanding fashion. Like this morning I awoke seeing the clock read 8 AM. I knew that if D and I were going to be going to church at least I would have to get up then. But I didn't. I was still very tired. Like a stiff brick that cannot be taken out of it's appointed wall. I was shaped and formed to my bed with a stiff brick body. But more than the "stiff brick body" keeping me down was fear. I had and still have somekind of fear within me. This fear has to do with my life in Christ. Or rather my lack of life. I think that says it best.
Going to the church's gathering was and is not of any interest to me right now. The thought of going to some gathering with people, sitting down and watching people sing, and singing songs that I feel alienated from at times and then to listen to a sermon was the furthest thing from my heart and mind. I want to sing a song to my God but not one of those. There is in my heart a song that is playing. The words are deeply hidden within me. The emotion of this song is wearing tears, confusion, frustration. It's a song about all the stuff that I am seeking to know whether it is true or false. A song about what is necessary and what is not. A song about what is real and what is fake.
This song is a picture of the present story that I am living in of course. A by product commentary on my souls acting and reacting within the events of my life in this season. I am a real person in real circumstances with real feelings of confusion, hope, and hungering for a deeper or closer walk with my God. I don't know if I am drifting away from everything or getting closer to that which makes up everything; hence what is necessary and what is not. What do I mean by what is necessary and what is not?
The "what is not?" is what is there in my understanding about what it means to be spiritual that is not true spirituality. What am I wearing or what is on me that I think spirituality is all about that really is and has almost a harmful or hindering effect on me and others that is pointing them and myself away from walking with God as Jesus himself beckons us to walk with? Of course there are and can be a multitude of things that can draw people away from the Lord Jesus who is Christ. I am not speaking about sin in my life. Not some sinful tendency per se or attitude but a misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian and to follow Christ.

6.12.2004

The unplanned place of obedience. Pt. 2

One month after our first incident is when we had our trailer and mowers stolen from us. The total value of the loss is around $12,000 dollars. Our insurance company is going to reimburse any expense of renting equipment for the time being untill we can replace what we lost minus the trailer because the is not covered under policy, but we were told that it is certain that we will be dropped from Erie Insurance. This is our second claim in two months. We are a liability. It's ridiculous to me though. I understand the Mercedes incident being a "liability" issue but theft! How can anyone avoid that? It happpens. Like if a tornadoe just comes around and picks up a trailer and takes hundreds of yards away and leaves it as rubbish. Insurance is for these kinds of things. I believe that insurance is should protect so that if incidents that are not negligable to the part of the insurance carrier would happen they wouldn't be liable for a bad report because of the claim. Now an accident I can see as reasonable to be considered a "liability" if it happens more than once or often. Same goes for speeding tickets.
The problem now with RDC is not only do we have to get new equipment rented for the time being with money we dont have to be up and running Monday morning but we may not be in operation at all much longer because we may not be able to get another insurance company to take us. We need insurance to operate. If anyone knows someone who could help us out with insurance let me know. Friday we worked from 7:30 AM and got home at midnite. The day ended with John buying Joshua and dinner. I had a Killians with a western burger and buffaloe chips. And we all shared a basket of chessy chili nachoes. Johnny had the great "Guiness" and Joshy had a Coke. It was a great way to end the day.
God knows what is tomorrow. He knows what is today. The King of reality has all circumstances tailored of glory. His glory. I do pray Father that we would have grace to embrace what comes to us with the knowledge of your goodness. May I give you thanks in all things. Not in my lips so much as in my heart. Magnify your beauty unto your people that we may behold you more precious than this life and all that is therein. May this life and all that is therein magnify your beauty so that we may know more that it is you who makes and defines and is beauty. Even in the midst of sin. Maranatha.

No towing company took our trailer and lawnmowers. Some non-God fearing individual or individual's stole it. This incident has wounded RDC Lawncare almost fatally. This is RDC's second insurance claim in two month's. That's not good. Last month we began a new $150 per cut account that takes two guys a couple of hours to do. It is two office buildings on Arlington Ave. between 16th and 10th St. There both occupied by various medical practices. On our first day of cutting it John and I set strategy and went to work. As I was blowing off grass clippings from the parking lot and cars I noticed and black convertible mercedes benz parked in a corner of the parking lot practically using up several parking spaces. The car was parked diagonal so it would prevent others to park immediately next to him. This individual obviously was very protective of his car. So I blew of some grass clippings. Now when we cut in any place we attempt to not get any grass clippings and most importantly and kind of debris like rocks, pebbles, stones and wood or anything else on cars. Especially in a place like this where there is many vehicles parked. John did all the mowing that day and I know that he face the grass expeller or "deck" away from the cars. But just because you face the deck away from the cars or anything does not mean that grass cannot get on that which is opposite of it's expelling direction. The wind easily carries grass clippings anywhere. So it's predictable and inevitable to see cars with some grass on them after cutting in a place like this. I did the trimming that day. And with trimming there is always going to be stuff flying here and there. These high powered commercial trimmers are good at what they do. So good they know just how to send stones and what everelse it can send right into your face. That's why we wear safety glasses. I cannot recall getting anything "sent" to my eyes, but I sure know what it feels like to get little stones that feel like Mike Tyson's fist to your lip when it impacts. A day later after the job was done we got a call from our sub-contractor who told us that a doctor with a black convertible mercedes benz had his car hit with debris that eyewitness's say sounded like "firecrackers" when it got hit. Well I dont want to get any more detailed with this story than to say that almost everyone thinks this was a shady event. Some nicks on this car could've been done by my trimmer. There werent many nicks by the way. Like a handful or so. And they were small. Very small. The Mercedes Benz ornament had it's gold plated seal chipped off. The chip on this emblem/ornament is in such a perculiar place that it is almost impossible for somekind of debris from my trimming to have done it. Our insurance payed for the paint job. We have no choice but to pay the deductable and make this doctor and his car happy. RDC and Jennco (who is our sub-contractor) think it's shady. I was trimming next to this car and I heard no "firecrackers" blasting it. I was next to it. "Firecrackers" would of done more damadge than what was reported to have been the case. But that was our first claim. Miguel's trimming wounded a car. To be continued.