Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"One toot on this whistle will send you to a far away land..."

We found our old school Nintendo in the attic. It still works. Best Christmas present ever.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Lo, how a rose e're blooming

Lo, how a rose e're blooming
From tender stem hath sprung
Of Jesse's lineage coming
As those of old have sung

It came, a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night

Isaiah twice foretold it
The rose I have in mind
And so then we behold it
The Virgin Mother kind

To show God's love aright
She bore to us a Savior
When half-spent was the night

- 15th century German carol

Sufjan Stevens - Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming (mp3)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I prefer winter.

Pennsylvania Landscape, 1941 by Andrew Wyeth

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape -- the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show." - Andrew Wyeth

Friday, December 14, 2007

You do not know what is before you.

Young Christian, you do not know what is before you. There is the goodly land, and it is all yours. Do not imagine that you are always to be a babe. You shall grow and become a man, yea, a father, I hope, in Israel. Imagine not that you are always to be that little green blade which is peeping up out of the cold sod; you shall be one day the corn in the ear: yea, you shall one day be the golden corn which bends its head through its ripeness, and the glad harvest-homes shall be shouted over you. You shall not always be weak, and feeble, and afraid to come near. Oh! you would not know yourself if you could see what you will be! The songs you are yet to sing, the grapes of Eshcol you are yet to pluck, the fair days of joy that you are yet to spend, the banquetings and feastings, the real enjoyments which you are yet to know this side of the grave, might well make you happy if you could but foretaste them. You shall go forth. Only get Christ, and there is no end to your happiness. Get him, like a sun, and your light shall never be put out.

- Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh! Dass wat dat mean!

My Christmas present to Amber was Da Jesus Book. It's the New Testament translated in Hawaiian Pidgin. Really, it's absolutely fascinating.

Here are some goodies from Da Jesus Book:

"God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva." - John 3:16

"So den, God no goin punish da peopo dat stay tight wit Jesus Christ! Cuz get two tings dat stay fo real: First ting, if you stick wit God's Spirit, he goin make you come alive fo real kine an make you stay tight wit Jesus Christ, God's Spirit cut you loose from da bad kine stuff." Fo Da Rome Peopo 8:1-2

"No get love fo da bad kine stuff dat stay inside dis world. If anybody get love fo dis world, den dey no mo love fo da Fadda. You know, all da bad kine stuff dat stay inside dis world, da kine da peopo like get real bad ony fo make demself feel good, da kine stuff dey like look at an get ony fo demself, an da kine stuff dey get dat let um make big show, all dad no come from da Fadda, but from dis world. Dis world an all da stuff da peopo like get, dat goin all pau. But da guy dat do wat God like him fo do, he goin live fo real kine foeva." Numba 1 from John 2:15-17


Some reviews of the Da Jesus Book:

"I like dis Bible. I can undastan!" - high school student, Nanakuli

"Oh! Dass what dat mean!" - Leeward Coast churchgoer in Bible study

Monday, November 19, 2007

More joy in heaven.

Tory Island by Martine Franck

I will have more joy in heaven and in the contemplation of God, if you are also there to share it with me. - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Friday, November 16, 2007

f y knw th cnsnts, y cn gss th vwls.

Friday, October 26, 2007

l(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)

Dori came to town, and we talked about this poem by ee cummings.




Monday, October 15, 2007

Küssen Verboten = Kissing Forbidden.

Man, oh man! I found this video on YouTube, and it brings back my high school German class days! I love German. This band is crazy, by the way. Their name is Die Prinzen which means the Princes. Watch the video for some laughs.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Roses are scentless, hopeless are the morns,
Rest is but weakness, laughter crackling thorns,
If thou, the Truth, do not make them true;
Thou art my life, O Christ, and nothing else will do.

- George MacDonald, "February 4th"

Friday, August 31, 2007

Figure of Grief, from the Tomb of Pierre Gareau by Francois Dominique Aime Milhomme

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The wounded hands, the weary human face.

Christ Bearing the Cross, with Dominican Friar by Barna da Siena

Come down, O Christ, and help me! Reach thy hand
For I am drowning in a stormier sea
Than Simon on thy lake of Galilee:
The wine of life is split upon the sand,
My heart is as some famine-murdered land
When all good things have perished utterly,
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
If I this night before God's throne should stand.
"He sleeps, perchance, or rideth to the chase,
Like Baal, when his prophets howled the name
From morn till noon on Carmel's smitten height."
Nay, peace, I shall behold before the night,
The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame,
The wounded hands, the weary human face.

-- Oscar Wilde, E Tenebris

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sufjan + the Innocence Mission =

Sufjan Stevens covers The Innocence Mission's song "The Lakes of Canada." The IM happens to be one of my favorite bands, and Sufjan Stevens happens to be one of my favorites as well. Thus, this combination is heavenly in my opinion.

Moreover, "The Lakes of Canada" has such rich and hopeful lyrics with vivid imagery. I love the image of joy being like a fish, a sudden light. How many times this song has given me comfort.

Look for me another day.
I feel that I could change,
I feel that I could change.
There's a sudden joy that's like
A fish, a moving light;
I thought I saw it
Rowing on the lakes of Canada.

Oh, laughing man, what have you won?
Don't tell me what cannot be done.
My little mouth, my winter lungs,
Don't tell me want cannot be done.
Walking in a circle of a flashlight
Someone starts to sing, to join in.

Talk of loneliness in quiet voices
I am shy, but you can reach me,
Rowing on the lakes of Canada
Rowing on the lakes of Canada. - The Innocence Mission

Listen to the original here, and then go support the IM by buying their albums.

The Innocence Mission - Lakes of Canada (mp3)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4

Friday, July 27, 2007


At the End of the Porch by John J. Sharman

"Language...has created the word 'loneliness' to to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone." - Paul Tillich

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"I think the choir is getting ready to let it rip."

This morning my great-grandmother, Elmo Rutherford, was baptized at the age of 98. She has been a Christian since she was a little girl and was baptized, but she felt she did not really understand what it meant to be baptized. Thus, she chose to be baptized again. At age 98. This made her very happy.

After the sermon, the baptism, and lunch at Cracker Barrel, we went to Nanny's front porch. Nanny wanted to sit on the steps because she didn't want anyone to get up from the front porch swing or chairs on her behalf.

This is Nanny and my great-aunt Mickey, whose real name is Kazue (Kah-zoo-way).

This is Cheyenne. She is five and a half. The half is very important, mind you.

This is Jasper. He is seven and three-quarters. The three-quarters is very important, mind you.

When I was little, my uncle would take us to this creek and bridge near Nanny's house. I felt very old taking Jasper and Cheyenne there today, but it made me so happy to carry on the tradition. Every grandchild and great-grandchild of Nanny's has always gone to "the bridge."I love this abandoned building. If it were ever restored, I think I'd cry. It's been like this for as long as I can remember. It needs to stay abandoned. There is something very nostalgic and poignant about an abandoned building. I'm not sure why.

"Why aren't you taking a picture of me? Take a picture of me!"

I told them to a make a normal smile. These are not their normal smiles.

I love this bridge. I hope it always stays rusted and shaky.

Friday, June 22, 2007

On anxiety.

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. - Søren Kierkegaard

Anxiety is the handmaiden to creativity. - T.S. Eliot

Monday, April 30, 2007

He's a bandit and a heart breaker / Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker

I heard the thunder come rumblin'

The light never looked so dim

I see the junction git nearer'

And danger is in the wind
And either road's lookin' grim

Hidin' me, I flee, desire dividin' me
He's a bandit and a heart breaker

Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker

Yes, Jesus was a cross maker

Sweet silver angels over the sea

Please come down flyin' low for me
- Judee Sill

Judee Sill - Jesus Was A Cross Maker (MP3)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Greater than Moses, turn and look once more and smite a rock.

"Good Friday" by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon,--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Like a dog drags his chain...

"Don't get caught up in the trap of neurotic guilt. 'Christ died for your sins!' Your sins have been imputed to Christ if you have trusted him and his righteousness has been imputed to you. To drag around your sins like a dog drags his chain, is to disregard the salvation of the Lord. Let not this commandment be like a chain, but like a challenge -- a word from your dear heavenly Father urging you to obedience and to 'a life worthy of the gospel.'

Your Father speaks to you. Can you hear him? 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.' If you are sorry for things in your past: repent, believe the gospel of forgiveness and imputed righteousness, and get on with the matter at hand in your calling as a child of the Kingdom of God, trusting in him and representing him in the various connections and relationships of your life!" - Dr. Dan Orme

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"A New Lifestyle" by James Tate

"Eight O'Clock Coffee, 1935" by Ralph Steiner

People in this town drink too much
coffee. They're jumpy all the time. You
see them drinking out of their big plastic
mugs while they're driving. They cut in
front of you, they steal your parking places.
Teenagers in the cemeteries knocking over
tombstones are slurping café au lait.
Recycling men hanging onto their trucks are
sipping espresso. Dogcatchers running down
the street with their nets are savoring
their cups of mocha java. The holdup man
entering a convenience store first pours
himself a nice warm cup of coffee. Down
the funeral parlor driveway a boy on a
skateboard is spilling his. They're so
serious about their coffee, it's all they
can think about, nothing else matters.
Everyone's wide awake but looks incredibly

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Photography of Willy Ronis.

Le Petit Parisien, 1952 (This is my favorite one.)

To School, 1959

Vincent Sleeping, 1946

Prague, 1967

Aubagne, 1947
Venise Fondamenta Nueva, 1959

Nuit au chalet, 1935

Le Vigneron Giroudin, 1945

La Ciotat, 1947

To learn more about the French photographer Willy Ronis, click here or here. Isn't he great?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

it is likely God is testing your faith

"Is there here this morning, someone whose faith is being tested, right at this very time in your life? Is it a fear, or an internal disability? Is it something physical? Is it some great anxiety about the future? Does it have to do with a great loss in your life or with a conflict regarding another person? Is it something you have wanted for a long time, and now it seems that it is not to be in God's plan for your life? If you are a true Christian, it is likely that God is testing your faith --not to show it up as bogus faith, or weak faith, but as a means to growing that faith and of making that faith of yours into a matter of 'praise and glory and honor' to the Triune God." - Dr. Dan Orme

Thursday, February 22, 2007

On assurance.

Dr. Dan Orme, The University Church, November 5, 2006 Romans 5: 1-11, "Reformation Sunday"

"Do you have doubts about whether the Lord receives you or not? Does your Christian assurance come and go with the weather and the mood of your day? If you have received Christ, your sins have been forgiven -- past, present and future. Insofar as God is your judge, 'there is therefore now, no condemnation.' Your sins have been laid upon Christ. But you are not just 'forgiven,' as if to say that you now must do something to make yourself valuable to God, or else he won't like you very much. He has imputed to you all the goodness of Jesus Christ and treats you accordingly and will treat you accordingly for an eternity. Even such things as promising your rewards in heaven for your shoddy good works, is a matter of grace. He has accepted you as righteous, only for Christ's good works that have been imputed to you. Do you realize that? It is a starting place for a correct view about the earthly life of Christ as your Savior."