30 enero 2006

"an average of serenity"

thought one:
"the most essential part of our being is contained in language. "

thought two:
marriage is for servants. yeah companionship, yeah romance, yeah soul-mates, whatever.

serving The Other is:
~the ROLE of woman
~the task (quality) of man

in short: say "i do" only when ready to be made a servant for the rest of your life.

thought three:
i use "interesting" way overly exceedingly much, but i do so in all sincerity.

thought four:
funny how our powers of observation focus themselves.

some women notice shoes. i notice hands. some count "ummm"s or "like"s in conversations or lectures. others notice dialect [pronounciation of "what," "were," and "pen"]. some make a study of gait; others zero in on brands or the number of times someone has worn a certain pair of jeans in a two week period [ah... junior high bliss...]

how much to study in people!

~their prayers [the title they use for God!]
~the way they eat a taco
~where they look when searching for a word [supposed: to the right=symbolic thinking; to the left=visual (creative) thinking]
~nervous habits
~response to rebuke
~response to praise
~response to pain

so much! and how much do we ignore... just gazing over a sea of people... what significance do they have to me, anyways? they're just people. just a person... just one in 6 billion...

26 enero 2006

"you can have all this world... give me Jesus"

thought one:
~an academic with an evangelistic coffeehouse
~an agriculturalist in Palestine/ Gaza
~worker in a Thailand orphanage/ "rescue" center for girls
~a counter-counter-revolutionary in Nepal
~a humanitarian worker in Darfur/Sudan [Africa]
~a Bible translater in the Caucuses
~anything in Kazakhstan
~a globe-trotting photo-journalist/ reporter
~a bilingual teacher living in the barrio with a home for girls
~this one.

thought two:
God saves us not just from what we did/were, but WHAT WE ARE WITHOUT HIM. we underestimate the fallenness of humanity. it is/ would be REALLY bad.

thought three: of western civ readings, chpt 19
Robespierre was antichrist-ish, but I like Napoleon.

23 enero 2006

The only thought (a sermonette on surrender)

ever noticed how a conversation can be lagging until a third party jumps in and adds himself to the equation?

not only does he add his knowledge and experience, but he also creates the possibility for greater interest in the resulting interaction. (or something.)

point being: in our natural state without God, we have only ourselves: our own intellect to instruct us, our own will to rule us, our own conscience to guide us, and our own emotions to motivate us. Society and the Devil butt in with their two cents from time to time.

if you have spent much time with yourself (not to mention Satan/ our culture), doubtless you know how scary a proposition this is.

"wherefore remember, that ye being in time past [...] without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" ...

but now...! we have the mind of Christ!!! we have access to so much more! we have A CHOICE... our selves... or HIM. our will or His own.

why is this a big deal?

1) because we don't know the causality of any action. not even the slightest one. we have a pretty good idea based on past trends, but we dont really KNOW what's going to be the result of any action of our own. how many stories does one hear of "chance," of "serendipity"- either for good or for tragedy... "if only he had been 10 minutes later..." "if i hadn't chosen to ride the bus that day..." "if my grandparents had gotten on that boat...." if our fate was in our own hands, ay de nosotros.

But God knows contingency. and remember: God loves us. He has a vested interest in the existance of our heart, mind, soul, self...

2) assuming fate was not such a big deal, and we really were masters of our own destiny, exactly what, praytell, would we do with it? conquer the world? become rich and famous? then what? "help people"? then what? die. that's what. and who would remember us? a plaque in a park somewhere? if we're lucky and no major natural disasters occur... but who reads plaques?!

But a Kingdom which can never be shaken... man... i could live for that. a God who will wipe every tear from our eye... i would weep for that... souls that will have life... i would die for that.

3) because the mind is so limited. because there is so little we individually can experience, so little we can comprehend... and that which we are capable of comprehending, we so often ignore. and that which we know so intimately, how much does it matter? what doth it profit?

But the fullness of God! such depth of understanding... His reality high above my abstractions... that God would be my teacher and open my mind, stuff my mind, channel my mind, and link my mind to His own. i cannot handle the weight of being responsible for it myself. this was lengthy. the hour is late. but God...! don't get me started...

"you're so proud of saying you're a seeker, but why are you searching in the dark?"

thought one:
of love [agape]: deciding to place worth on another's existance/ person

thought two:
Attributing worth means creating circumstance for potential loss.

for God so loved the world... means God attached Himself emotionally to the human race (read the Prophets.) To care whether mankind as a whole burned... or a single soul was wasted.

By His decision to love us, God also decided to suffer emotionally because us... every day of our wretched human history.

I think it bothers me to read the papers?!?!?


thought three:
from Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca- La Relacion

[Regarding the assertion that a new group of Spaniards (the "Christians") were the "same type" as Cabeza de Vaca's group, who had lived with the Indians]

Speaking among themselves, they said instead that the Christians were lying, [...because] we healed the sick and they killed the healthy; that we were naked and barefooted and they were dressed and on horseback, with lances; that we coveted nothing but instead gave away everything that was given to us and kept none of it,while the sole purpose of the others was to steal everything they found, never giving anything to anybody.[...]The Indians could not be persuaded to believe that we were the same as the other Christians."

11 enero 2006

...oh, my soul... to be cultured...

thought one: courtesy A. Schmemann

[Utopia and Escape:"The Christian ideas gone mad."]
"Yes, the world is sick, mutilated, fundamentally mutilated by sin. But, it still sings the divine glory! It is still capable of God!"
"And today, the real intellectual and spiritual work that we, Christians, face is not simply to choose either Utopia or Escape. It is not to sell religion as a little Valium, a holy Valium pill. Our real challenge is to recover that, which I call the fundamental Christian eschatology. Whatever the Other World is (and we know nothing about it) this Other World is first of all revealed to us here and now. Nowhere else, but here. If we do not know it today, we will never discover it. If we cannot find the Kingdom of God, I repeat again, in Chicago, Wilmington, Times square, and so on, we will never find it anywhere else. "
"If there are two heretical words in the Christian vocabulary, they would be "optimism" and "pessimism." These two things are utterly anti-biblical and anti-Christian. "

thought two (technically):
La serenata- Mario Urteaga

Crepúsculo- Urteaga
(this has just become my favorite piece of artwork ever- 'crepusular,' yessss!)

Rincón de casa-hacienda

thought three: Literature....

"But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
"O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time."
"In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.
"O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed." ~W.H. Auden from As I Walked Out One Evening

10 enero 2006

"Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody"

(a non-related "hmmmm")

thought one:
~I do not have to justify my existence (I am knowing God.)
~I do not have to justify my salvation (Christ did.)
~I DO YES DEFINITELY EVER SO MUCH DO have to justify my blessings.

"Blessings" is such a prosaic word.

THIS! the opportunities, the wealth, the education, the books, the internet, the youth, the time, the family, the love, the language, the nationality, the Church...

why? and what am i going to do with it all?

thought two:
Multi-Ethnic Lits in America will prove to be an interesting class, me thinks. I predict I will talk too much for my own good.

to remember: silence and questions MUST be my domain!

thought three:
This is weird, I'm warning you:
If you look at the reflection in someone's irises, you're seeing what they see (though with a slight convex distortion).
But, considering that "eye contact rarely lasts longer than three seconds before one or both viewers experience a powerful urge to glance away," it's rather difficult to observe.
thought four:
The Inimitable Presence...
I was first struck by the absolute "uniqueness and irreplaceability" of persons on the last day of my last visit to Peru.
We (me, my brother and his family, and some of my sister-in-law's family) were in a Chinese restaurant (Chifa Brasil, to be precise) and I realized, wow, in a very short amount of time, there will be a very large distance between me and these people... and I can't compensate for the loss of their presence. "You can't pay me enough to make it okay that they are 3000 miles away." How funny it is, that a body can be there, or not be there, and it make such a difference. I will have memories, and I will have pictures, but the possibility for being with them will be gone.
You are in a room with someone and they walk out... the room sort of deflates a little. You're alone and someone walks in... the atmosphere has some sort of electrical charge to it, not previously there.
I'm not explaining this very well, but hey, the IP is introduced and I will refine it as I go along.
thought five: (LeTU is so conductive to thinking)
"It is faith alone that saves, but the faith that saves is not alone."~melanchthon

08 enero 2006

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?"

thought one:
Observed: my super (and i do mean super) attuned conscience is very solicitious to compensate for my sometimes-less-than-perfectly-redeemed ethics.

thought two:
I think I finally understand the appeal of wife/mother-hood...

In those occupations/ roles, one's primary value springs not from her talents, or abilities, or personality, or accomplishments, but simply from her. That good ol' inimitable presence. She doesn't have to worry about justifying her existance or earning her keep on the cosmic scene, because it is her relationship to others that justifies her.

When a 5-year-old is crying his head off on the first day of school (or a ten-year-old on his first boy-scout camp out, como sea), he is not primarily bemoaning the absence of his mother's cooking or superb house-keeping skills (generally). He wants his momma (or "Mamita," como sea), the same as a child seeks the comfort of his mother's arms, which has just given him what-for from the end of a buena vara. Because it's her.

So that's nice. Now, on to how to justify one's existance without all that domesticity.

thought three: proof text for previous post (irony?)

"A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring: There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." ~Alexander Pope