Random Thoughts at the Beginning of the Week

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1. Being a parent is hard. There is always some issue. Something to make you worry. Something requiring a brand of faith you cannot afford without some serious assistance. Something pushing you into bigger arms as you are pushed to be those limbs so another small life can rest in them. The world is big and full of trouble. Blessed is the home who can worry about the troubles in the wider world.

2. My wife is better than me at all the things that matter.

3. Far too many christians are worried about their freedoms in this country and not enough are concerned about restricting other’s freedom in Christ.

4. The new Wilco album is fantastic. And totally free. Just like grace. Until I buy it on vinyl and then it costs money and thats more like law and I’m not really sure where I’m going with this.

5. Those who know me best never ask if I’m hungry.

6. Seamus Heaney’s poetry.

7. Speaking of Wilco, am I the only one who thinks Sky Blue Sky sounds like Abbey Road?

8. Speaking of being a parent, I love my kids but does anyone want one of them?

9. You’re probably a slave to the news cycle. As soon as the media outlets quit talking about whatever they want to get you outraged over so they can get more advertising dollars, you will probably quit caring about it. Repeat.

10. From the far reaches of your front yard
Breaks the moon’s playful beams,
For which we’d pay full fortunes
Were they shut off from us in the dark

Thursday’s Random Thoughts

  
1. I wish I wasn’t so encouraged by the random encouragements on my running apps. Sad.

2. You know that person that says complaining doesn’t do any good? I can’t stand that person because so much of the Psalms and the Prophets are the blues.

3. When people ask for help on writing, I tell them to read Hemingway. If they aren’t willing to read Hemingway, it is hard for me to believe they could ever be a good writer.

4. I heart pizza.

5. I have an interview tomorrow. So if you’re the praying kind…

6. I was told that if I became good at my job, I’d like my job. That has not happened.

7. I artery pizza too.

8. It is painful to say “Stay gold, Ponyboy” to someone and they don’t know what you mean. 

9. I would never be able to take seriously the opinion of a person who does not at the very least think Planned Parenthood should be investigated because of that video. And before you tell me it was edited, there is an unedited version also.

10. There is so much joy to be had. This is why the debris field of our broken-hearted moments is so hard to walk over. We see in those shards things as they ought to have been. Could have been. But things are not as they were created to be. And so a dream unfulfilled here, a failure there, and life cut short at your feet. You’d kick at the pieces in anger but something inside sees a beauty when the light turns just right on the jagged edges. You remember, it’s not over yet. If there can be dancing in a valley of dry bones, then all these can too be made new.

Thursday’s Random Thoughts

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1. The most punk-rock event in all of history was the Son of God hanging bloody on a cross and saying, “It is finished.” Sid and Nancy got nothing on the homeless Nazarene.

2. I took a spiritual gift test and it conclusively said mine was putting leftovers from dinner in a tupperware seven times larger than is needed.

3. I normally wish I was at home all day with Bethany and the kids but I’m really feeling it today. I can’t imagine the difficulty for those who are miserable at work and at home.

4. I’m not sure guys like Ken Rosenthal understand that the All Star Game is about what players are doing in the present and not what they’ve done in previous seasons. That’s why it’s an – wait for it – *annual* game. By every metric, Carlos Martinez deserves to be in the contest over Kershaw, even though we all have a mancrush on the 3 time Cy Young Award winner.

5. Why did I wait so stupid long to buy The Gaslight Anthem’s Get Hurt? Because God knew how great it would be to have it on vinyl.

6. The most counter-cultural thing you can do in our day and age is stay married to someone of the opposite sex.

7. One of the unexpected joys of writing a book is hearing from people and getting to sit down with them and hear their story. But there is some fear too. Will they like me? That question buzzs in the background. I assume this is just a fraction of what goes on in the head and the heart of the truly famous. It’s probably terrifying. Can you imagine what it’s like for stars who have lost their luster? They were so well-liked and then forgotten. And they realized it wasn’t them so well-liked actually. Gotta be hard for them.

8. Is there no accountability among those who package bacon? The reckless disregard for those of us who just want the package opening experience to be reasonable continues unabated across brand lines. Which presidential candidate will stop this madness?

9. Tomorrow we will be home-owners again. Much thanks to my in-laws and my parents, who are still providing for us after they have gone on ahead.

10. Remember those summer nights when you were young and dusk hung in the air like heavenly kisses and the fireflies lit the yard of freshly cut grass and your dreams were bigger and brighter than the mirror-ball moon hanging among stars you pretended to throw into the night sky? One day. One day, my friends. It will come with no end. And our parents in all their strength will lay down their newspapers and their dish rags and join you in the joy as the screen door slams shut behind them. The ice cream churn will hum and the smell of the community pool will shine thick upon your sunned skin and it will crave the breeze traveling like the trains you hear down in the valley. It will come with no end. And the tears of cancer and the tears of Alzheimers and divorce and all the broken hearted moments will end and give way to an unending string of those moments that taste like that memory of dusk unending.

 

Through the Glass Darkly

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This morning I woke early. I’ve had nightmares all this week. None have been the kind you laugh off later in the day. Each has been the kind of nightmare only a parent who has watched their child hooked up to machines can understand. You wake up and know there is no more sleep to be had.

An early run, I thought. But rain was falling in sheets. And there was more thunder than I thought was tolerable. So I waited till the rain slowed. I figured if I couldn’t run between the raindrops, I could run between the storms.

Yesterday I read that a young mom from our church is now in hospice care. She will go on ahead of her young husband and young daughters. Into what we only see through a glass so darkly.

The nightmares and that reality were in the passenger seat on the way down to Star lake where I run. And this morning, in a cruel rain.

On the way down the mountain I heard what I could only call a hymn. I’ve listened to this song by Bill Mallonee a hundred times but this morning the words snuck in through the broken parts.

 

Well, I think we’ve got time for just one more
Before that bartender counts his tray
There’s a million reasons to walk out that door
But only one to stay

Through the glass darkly
I’m just hoping to make it to
To that place where we’re all made new
When it’s all over and through

Are you listened to when you call in the night?
Are you held inside your dreams?
Is it something like an anchor in the raging storm?
When the world turns cruel and mean?

Through the glass darkly
I’m just hoping to make it to
To that place where we’re all made new
When it’s all over and through

One more round for the round of confusion
Its always dogging our steps
One loud hosanna and a victory cry
Shouted while you wept

Through the glass darkly
I’m just hoping to make it to
To that place where it’s all made new
When it’s all over and through

Through the glass darkly
I’m just hoping to make it to
To that place where we’re all made new
When it’s all over and through