Saturday, March 26, 2005

easter eve

whew, busy week. like the calm before the rainshower tonight, the sort where you can smell the ozone, the air pregnant with the promise of wet. sermon notes and multimedia presentation are completed, uploaded, printed, etc. looking forward to breakfasting and worshipping with the church. looking forward to preaching. looking forward to the baptisms. looking forward to the second coming...

while driving home from our basketball game this morning (which we won; so good of you to inquire), the song "to Zion" by Lauryn Hill came on my shuffle. what a great song, i'm thinking (pretty much every song sounds great after a win). this would be a good one to do a powerpoint video/lyric thing with, i'm thinking. then the chorus hits, and i'm weeping. suddenly, no warning, sobs, the whole nine yards (isn't there a liquid equivalent to that expression?). surprised, as i always am, at the realization that to some part of my soul, some part that every other part reports to, Jesus really is everything. two thoughts, dancing? fighting? in my mind as i'm trying to avoid ditches and other cars. thought one: what's wrong with me? thought two: man, i sure hope this is what's right with me.

anyway, gonna chip away at a video for this song over the next few weeks. looking forward to finding out what it'll be for. maybe just for me. maybe just for Jesus. maybe something else.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

maunday thursday

after much wondering over many years, recently got around to googling "maunday thursday origins" and discovered that "maunday" is simply a corruption of the Latin word "Mandatum", meaning "command". so called because at the last supper, which is celebrated today, Jesus washed his disciples feet and mandated them to similarly wash one anothers' feet. it seems a latin hymn was often sung at early holy thursday services, and the chorus began with a form of mandatum, and so the day itself began to be called maunday thursday.

[edit: Val notes that "maunday" should be "maundy". i think she is probably right, as a search on google for "maunday thursday" returns 6,880 results (for an example, see this page: and "maundy thursday" returns 225,000 results. but there is something both comforting and disturbing about being wrong with 6,879 other people]

off to a church board meeting tonight. great board. wonderful group of disciples who keep trying to outdo one another in service. they've got the edge on me, in my book.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


been a while, not because there's nothing going on; quite the opposite. we dedicated Elle on Sunday (Mom & Dad came to Milan to do the honors). lots of family at church, even my aunt Pat from Fort Wayne was there. upgraded the dedication ceremony this year, incorporating a great suggestion from my mom about having parents offer a personal prayer of thanksgiving and dedication, and compiling a blessing from the book of common prayer. what a great gift to the church that book is. also, finally got around to making an image for dedications:

the whole celebration was really rich with the Lord's presence. nice thick slice of heaven on earth.

not exactly related to Elle, but close enough seeing as she's my daughter - lots of sister news i've been slow to report (i have 6 sisters, including sisters in law). first, Paula had a baby girl a couple of weeks ago (Rebecca). extraordinary girl, bright and beautiful. second, Becky (not to be confused with Rebecca, although they share a name and likely some DNA sequences in common) is moving to Colorado in a week or so. is there right at the moment interviewing for a job, in fact. third, Maja just received a contract from a prominent educational publisher to write a book critiquing rubrics (a method of establishing and communicating grading criteria for assignments, as best as I understand it). fourth, met Judy's boyfriend Dan and was suitably impressed. fifth, celebrated Grace's 12th birthday and noticed her nearly straight a+ report card. sixth, thought it was worth mentioning that Amy is really cool and looking very buff these days, even though i don't have any actual news to report.

enough for now, off to bed.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


second saturday today - cleaned toilets downtown. 3 new businesses that i hadn't gotten to yet. no one turned me down. happy about that. none of the bathrooms were in terrible shape. mixed feelings about that.

would've been nice to serve alongside some other people, though. you know, equip the saints and all that. got to figure out a better way to invite others along (better than announcing it and posting it on the web and in the bulletin). now that i think about it, figure out is the wrong phrase. more accurate to say, got to do a better job inviting others along. personal invites, vision casting (see "cool God story" post at donnell's blog), etc. an easier access project like handing out cold soft drinks this summer won't hurt, either, i'm sure.

maybe it's just me, but i genuinely enjoy this kind of outreach. probably the extrovert in me. wonder if the small town dynamic makes it awkward for people? washing the toilets of strangers is one thing, but being recognized as you walk along the sidewalk, cleaning tools in hand might be another thing altogether. good for the soul is what it is, if you ask me.

anyway, had a great time. how lucky am i to get to do this kind of stuff for a living?

Saturday, March 5, 2005

the lion sleeps tonight

had to put Aslan (our first cat) to sleep last night. got home from a dinner with my parents, and he was stretched out on my office floor, howling intermittently. after calls to the emergency vet clinic and goodbyes to Colin and Ronni, i drove him to the clinic, cried, prayed, petted him, signed some papers, turned over my i.d. and credit card, told him i loved him, gave him a final rub on the head, and said good bye. more attached to that ambitiously named cat than i ever expected to be. he sure didn't go out of his way to make friends outside the immediate family, but he was a blessing to us.

brought Aslan home from the humane society eleven years ago after graduating from college, on Ronni's encouragement (we were dating at the time, and a guy will go to great lengths to impress a pretty girl). he couldn't stand near me without purring loudly and nuzzling me, behavior that continued for the rest of his life. caught on fire once (man, cat hair sure does stink), had one emergency surgery. other than that, didn't really make the news much. weird not having to fend him off from my cereal bowl as i ate this morning, though. now i'm wondering about pets and heaven and all those things (no doubt inspired by Colin's penetrating questions). as with most things, just have to let Jesus sort it all out, i suppose. good thing He's good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

vespers office

missed the vespers office in my daily prayers today, but returned to it after finishing the night office, and concluded with this extraordinary prayer by the German writer Jacob Boehme, dating from sometime in the early 1600's:

I thank you, my God, for your care and protection this day, keeping me from physical harm and spiritual ignorance. I now place the work of the day into Your hands, trusting that You will redeem my mistakes, and transform my accomplishments into works of praise.

And now I ask that You will work within me while I sleep, using the hours of my rest to create in me a new mind and heart and soul.

May my mind, which during the day was directed to my work and activities, through the night be directed wholly to You.