Friday, February 29, 2008

i

iPhone. Love it. I fired it up on the plane with my Bose noise canceling headphones, set up an On-The-Go list, hit Shuffle, and was swept into this eclectic collection of slices of my life and times and tastes. Love the iPhone.

iTunes. Love it. I’m amazed at how easy they make it to buy any song you can think of, and podcasts are more than I could ask for. It’s amazing. I don’t know why I resisted for so long. Oh yeah. I do remember that. It was apple’s proprietary format. But now it’s all MP3 and the world is good.

And on a similar note, I have found peace and happiness at work by carrying my own phone, my own laptop, my own hard drives, my own thumb drive, my own laptop, my own luggage, everything. I just took all their government issued, horribly supported equipment and parked it in the corner of my home office. It’s amazing how happy you can be when you stop thinking that someone else SHOULD be doing something for you. Sure, I shelled out 5 grand or so to fund my employer’s operations, which is not reimbursed nor appreciated, but it’s so liberating to quit requiring everyone to do the right thing and just be ok to get what you want by spending yourself and your money on it. It’ll come back on them eventually for screwing all of us. I don’t have to answer for that. I do have to answer to God and my own conscience. And for how I loved all the people God put me next to.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

john's new book

I’m enjoying John Eldredge’s new book, Walking with God. Brent, David, Christian, Christopher, and I went to see him in the TV audience for James Robin’s show. Again. That makes 4 of 4. We were all really surprised to have a pre-released copy of his book, a paperback, under our chairs when we arrived. The interview was way too short, and James talked way too much, and John didn’t talk near enough, but the book is awesome. I have also been listening to it on the Ransomed Heart podcast.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

forty years in the wilderness

I thought I would coast through my 40th birthday with 40 winks and a sugar free cake but OMG. If you're reading this and you participated in the outpouring of grace to me, thank you. I am humbled by the videos. As for the letters, they are tucked away in a notebook like a hope chest. I'm sure I'll read them one by one over the next week. It's honestly too overwhelming just now. If you're not reading this and you sent something then never mind. I'll be writing or calling everyone back, but I just wanted to post this as a way of letting you know that I'm swimming in a sea of it right now. And ya'll mean to me more than I can say.

And yes, it was a new moon on February 7th.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

the mountains and the valley god

Mountains. What words come to mind? Strength, grandeur, immense, majestic, ancient? I get this sense of awe when I stand at their feet, especially when they're snow-capped, rising above the earth, looking out over all creation, head and shoulders above all their would-be peers.

I was thinking about the mountains as I flew out of San Francisco over mountains and valleys today. It's one of the most beautiful places in America, which is why Jill and I will be spending our seventeenth anniversary there next week.

You are treated with lots of mountains and the valleys they protect when you fly west to east across the US. They run north and south like great waves. Like mighty waves. Like royal family lines, rising and falling and rising again to new heights. Majestic. Strong. Old.

Somewhere along the way, thousands of years ago, or maybe billions, depending on how old the Earth really is, those mountains arose to exert their strength and assert their right to tower above the valleys. But when you think about it, is that really the way it went? Didn't the true strength lie in the valleys below?

Somewhere along the way, there was this underground, superhot metal and dirt that began to press towards the sky, demanding to be released from its prison beneath the crusty sphere we call the Earth. Giant land masses shifted. Some tore. Others buckled. The weakest places became mountains. The strongest ones became valleys. Somehow, there was something inherently strong and cohesive about the land that is today's valleys. The valleys kept their cool. The valleys held it all together. Mountains are the kids. It's the valleys that are ancient.

When I fly over the valleys I always look for geometric shapes piercing the snow, sure evidence that humans have been at work…or play…marking off territory or laying fence or pipe or tracks. Not many live up on the mountains. Lots live in the valleys. The valleys are flat. Easy to build on. The valleys sustain life. And it makes sense, really.

Sometimes people get into moral dilemmas. And sometimes the advice they get from the pious is—take the high road. But the high road is really the weak road. It's the low road that is the way of strength. The low road keeps its cool. The high road is impressive. The low road is plain. It's easy to build on. The low road sustains life.

This reminds me of Jesus. He was always refusing the high road, refusing exaltation, refusing to be made king, refusing to seize power, accepting humiliation, keeping his cool, keeping it all together. He had no majesty that would make us desire him. He was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. He was the valley god. The strong god. The god who didn't buckle. The god you could build on. The god who sustains life.

Since the beginning wave upon wave of youngsters have been raised up to take their place and scrape the skies. But the ancient of days is in the valley.