Friday, October 28, 2005

A blessing for your weekend . . .

At this end of a week . . .
May the payments you've made for your "free time" be rewarded
May the moments mean more because you recognize them
May the sun's dance with the clouds mimic your soul celebration
And may all words spoken be worthy of hearing.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm Still Cheering

They won the pennant.

Someone Should Write a Dissertation on This

e got the link to them via comments on her blog last week. I watched. I laughed. I sent the link to a few friends.

Monday I saw the same clip on the Today show.

In today's blog readings, someone I've never met but love how he writes shared the link. And in those comments I find this link to a compilation of their work.

I don't usually continue email funny trails. Neither does the guy who blogged about them today. So what makes these guys special? And how far has their notoriety already spread? One comment suggested they already had a endorsement contract with Motorola in China. All laughter aside, this one clip illustrates better than most full-day seminars how our world is so much smaller than ever before.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Communion Blessings

May your life be like good wine, tasty, sharp and clear,
and like good wine may it improve with every passing year.
I spoke these and other words of blessing at a wedding this weekend. I liked the sentiment and since the couple were true lovers of good wine, verbage was highly appropriate.
Having grown up a small town Baptist, I must admit to some sense of liberation for having actually used the word "wine" in a spiritual ceremony and not because of any need for condemnation!
A conversation I'd had the night before as the wedding party sat around a table ladened with good food and carefully selected wine, fed into this line of thinking. A buddy and I were discussing the lack of knowledge we had regarding wine and our adult-found enjoyment of it.
I told him of a blog I'd read recently recounting a communion service held in the mountains in the early morning. The weather was cool and the wine was truly wine (not sweetened grape juice as was ALWAYS the case in the church of my childhood and in most Baptist churches today) and the writer spoke of the metaphorical power of the liquid flowing down his throat and warming him. He was moved beyond words, and yet, in his brief synopsis, I understood.
Sometimes we lose much in the translation.
I'm not writing this to debate the merits of using alcohol in a worship service or not. What I am doing is marveling at how sometimes the real thing is exactly what we need to connect with.
Thinking on these things got me to a memory of my favorite speech in the movie Sideways. This buddy road trip introduces novices to the world of California wines. At one point, one of the female protagonists explains why she loves wine. She does so with almost sacred awe in her voice. I was enraptured with her description of the care and nurturing that goes into the growth of the vines, of the attention to detail in the production. When she finishes her speech, I felt the need to say, "Amen."
Many times I've treated communion like a stop in a fast food joint -- place your order, pay at the window, consume quickly and get on the road. So I guess I was ready to hear from the man who found reverence in the wine.

How very postmodern of us . . .

He said, "I know you may have reasons to doubt this but . . . "

I said, "I don't know that I know much of anything these days, but I don't doubt much of anything either."

Friday, October 21, 2005

It Is A Good Day When . . .

  • the weather in Houston begs you to come outside and play and you do!
  • friends remind you with small gestures and shared giggles why you love them in the first place
  • faith questions seem like so many distant arguments, muffled and, for the moment, easy to ignore
  • the skirt you thought wouldn't fit does
  • couples who should be together are and one couple even invites you to be part of the celebration
  • that same couple know how to celebrate well
  • the "stuff" that surrounds you makes you smile and calms your spirit
  • you wonder what the night may hold.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's Not a Good Day . . .

when you can't decide if the younger man came back three steps to open the door for you with a gentlemanly "let me get that for you" because he

(a) thought you attractive as you walked down the stairs or . . .
(b) considered you elderly enough to need the assistance even though your hands were free . . .

Living in THE Moment

We won the pennant!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fair Weather Fans Unite!

I have a hard time with "in theory." I like to see, to experience. I'm not sure if I'll ever know anything fully but concrete is a little easier for me to handle than abstract. (Unless we're talking paintings and then I'd rather have the freedom to play with interpretations . . . so, ok, just call me fickle.)

However, my need for results is why I don't follow sports until it matters. The fourth quarter, the final inning, the last minutes on the clock, the playoffs -- NOW we're getting somewhere!

Unless of course, you're an Astros fan and it's the top of the ninth and one strike stands between you and the World Series.

I've been sick at my stomach all day long.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hmmmm thoughts along the way . . .

  • recently a got a call from a man who wanted help in distributing 50,000 bumper sticks that "don't actually stick"
  • a bumper sticker on a truck in my complex reads . . ."Yes, this is my truck. No, I won't help you move."
  • the man who owns this truck is an acquaintance of mine who told me upon our first meeting that he was not a homosexual (I hadn't asked). he's also the man who bears a tatoo that says "property of Victor" on his chest.
  • when people crave the spotlight, why do they complain when the brightness blinds them?
  • the list of things I will never do takes shape as I get older . . . I'm not sad about this but it's true . . . I will never bear a child
  • what does it look like to "honor" something?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sometimes the Weekend Begins Early

Ahhhhh . . . sweet conversation. Almost as sharp as the bleu cheese with my beefsteak tomatoe . . . certainly as spicy as my Morrocan shrimp . . . definitely possessing the richness of my polenta . . . offering me sustenance as did my veggies . . . topped off with the silliness of cotton candy in an oversized martini glass . . . such was the dinner conversation at Ibiza's last evening.

Is there a better combination than old friends and new discovering each other together?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sometimes Silence Is Over Rated

The quiet has bothered me today. I spent a couple of hours working my way through online photos, click, click, clicking to select ones that will show up well on our new website. That click and the occasional buzzing of the downstairs phone line was all I heard for a while.

The noise of the hurricane relief efforts has stilled. Several folks are out of the office. Many of my contacts are on the road and my calls are at a minimum.

I almost ached for something more.

While not quite an adrenaline junkie, I do have a need for adventure and having come off an adventure high over the last few weeks, I felt the melancholy of regret throughout the day.

No, I don't want another catastrophe. No, I'm not wishing hurt on someone else so I can feel excitement. But . . .

I'm ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


When someone who doesn't quite know what to make of talk of cultural creatives, contextualization, missional living, and experiences like what Doxology may become, I'm going to refer them to this article.


Thanks to our governors you can now see and hear a 45 minute presentation by Thomas Friedman on why our world is flat.

Some have already surmised that globalization has rendered the U.S. in what may soon be a "less than" position. Others may resonate with Friedman's assessment that they've been asleep. But all will find that he's got a handle on an interesting dilemma.

If it's true . . . that we've moved from globalization 1.0 where it was all about the country, to 2.0 where it was all about the company to 3.0 where it's all about the individual, the church has new avenues, possibilities, methodologies et al to explore.

With changing technologies, practices and players, we can embrace or compete. I know which option I favor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fair Maiden?

Beauty is a book in a box in the attic. While sure it exists, I don't consider it mine to access.

Charm is a mist, dependent upon the environ. Elusive, temporary, it never settles near for very long.

Grace is mine, and yet, sometimes I can't remember when I last used it.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

(The jury's still out on that one.)

I Want to, I Do

I want to click the channel,
change the script,
and create the happy
you want/need/deserve.

I want to turn the page,
see the image in color
and find the obvious
that so eludes you.

I want to touch a key,
switch the code
and unlock the seemingly ceaseless
you've embraced too long.

I want to
I do.
But reality dictates
that it must be

Patron of the Arts

My weekend was filled with images -- including but not limited to:
  • color added/drenched photos capturing a poor Mississippi neighborhood, captured by a middle aged white woman
  • trucker chic on a young German
  • brilliant blue scenes marking an exit from a familiar artist's usual muted abstracts
  • a sky perfectly framing the downtown courthouse as to suggest painted backdrops from a 40s flick
  • black lines cutting through a peaceful white calm splashed with interpretive gold begging for stories to unfold

On Friday, the scene was bumper after bumper as a friend and I were reminded once again that in Houston traffic is a part of the equation that can't be ignored. Your shopping list might be short but if time and/or money are in short supply, your will will be tested. After numerous stops and starts, we found our edible rice paper, food coloring, not-quite-brass tacks, and candles and delivered them to the interactive art exhibit we were trying to assist.

Organized chaos reigned there. Everyone knew what they were doing but it all seemed to be happening at once. The contrast later in the evening when the whole scene had been transformed into this black/white/gold-candlelit canvas on which each participant would "paint" via experiences their own story was remarkable.

So peaceful . . . and yet I couldn't linger long because there were theater go-ers to be sat. My standing commitment as an usher overlapped with the art opening. So after youthful exuberance came the calm strength of veteran actors who were guests of our local company. They may have been well passed 60 but they carried the show on strong shoulders.

Later when we returned to the gallery and stepped into the roles of the elders in the group I encountered much less resistance within my own spirit. Thank you Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter for reminding me that age has its own reward.

German house guests were chauffeured to their proper locales the next day and I was off again to serve the local art scene as a gofer at the Bayou City Art Festival downtown. By the evening, when I met my next houseguest at the airport, my eyes were heavier but my heart lighter.

Sunday offered a picture of the church global. In my living room were some of the brightest and best at what they do. We dreamed. We challenged. We wondered. We may not have settled anything but I can't help but feel the day was a beginning.

An afternoon of more art, more people, more conversation and I closed the weekend before 10 p.m. even showed its face on my clock! I found myself resonating with the stories of how weary the Astros were after 18 innings.

Still, I'm sure they, like me, were smiling at all that had been and could be.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

If you can't make the opening . . .

The Doxology exhibit will be in lovely Houston until November 6. Even if you can't make tomorrow night's opening or the dialogue the day after, you may still want to plan to drop by Taft Street Coffee and see for Rob Pepper's work for yourself.

I Provide the Link of the Day

On October 5th, the Waiter said, "But human love, with all its heat and tumult, with all its disappointments and triumph, is still the closet thing we have to heaven on earth. "

I wish I wrote with such clarity.
I wish I knew this guy beyond the page.
I wish the Legion among us could find each other.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It Happened in Houston

A Southern Baptist quoted Gandhi to a room filled with Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Catholics and evangelicals in all shapes and sizes. This is not the set up for a joke. There is no punchline forthcoming. It really happened when the interfaith community of Houston was asked to assist with Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

The quote:

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Mohandas Gandhi

The result:

30,000+ volunteers