Sunday, October 6, 2013

My 7 Step Hard-Decision Making Process

So, you have to make a hard decision that may cause the course of your life to spin wildly towards new unforeseen heights and/or valleys. Neat! Now, the only thing to do is to step out and actually make that personal life decision... only problem is... decisions are hard, and some valleys really suck. Therefore, one must gauge one's steps carefully before proceeding. I heartily recommend the following plan of attack:
Read James Joyce's classic "Ulysses"

First, you need motivation. You need epicness! AND, you need the mind of a genius. You know you yourself are not yet genius calibre, so your best bet is to read the outpouring genius of a bonafide genius-fella. If you're like me, you met a statue of Mr. Joyce not only in Trieste, Italy, but one in Pula, Croatia as well. You figure that if Joyce, an Irishman, is lauded enough to get a a my-sized-barbie version of himself bronzed in two non-Ireland, non-english speaking countries, he must be worth his mug of Guinness.

So you read "Ulysses"... well, you start to read it, and then skim through most of the chapters while heavily relying on the cliffnotes summaries of each chapter to sip the wisdom out of the literature-ic slogfest. 

You awake ravaged by words that seem to carry infinite meanings beyond your comprehension, pulverized by a seizing sense of self-loathing for being too thick witted to fathom genius when it's sitting in your miserable lap. You sob for the overcomplicatedness of life and yearn for either Joyceian genius or Homerian ignorance (Simpson, not the Greek) to relinquish you from the snares of mediocrity. You pray for some simpler way to reach nirvanic decision making bliss. 

Delve into the word of comic books

You grow strong in your ignorance. You crucify the smarter demons of Joyce's yore, and cast your nets on narrative tales for the modern working man. That's right, you've now convinced yourself that genius is actually no help at all in evaluating life. "Geniuses, shmeniuses," you say. The working man's cure in the modern age is comic books. Simple morality tales, that's the ticket!

Quickly you descend into the endless void of narrative art. You realize that there's a whole lot to this realm, and it ain't all that simple after all. Nevertheless, you read. And look. And read. And look. 

Your conclusions are two-pronged:
a) Early comic books (like 1939 Superman) are boring. 
There's just no way around it. It's a bore. Bore. Bore. Bore. War. 

b) The best comics are the newer, skeezier "graphic novels" likes of which include only anti-heroes and complex, freudian villains. This is fascinating but ultimately unrewarding as you feel more gray inside your gray heart with every passing gray panel. Gray.

You find a home in Astro City
You know what you're looking for now; a not boring (waring) comic that scintillates and provokes you towards moral decision-making expertise. You want to know how Batman chooses to prioritize his daily affairs, not how he manages to torture a mobster without killing him. And then, glory be to God, you find your El Dorado in the form of Astro City.

The first issue of Astro City says it all. The daily grind of a nearly invincible hero leaves him horribly tired. Tiredness. Astro City deals with the minutiae of life in a fun superhero system. Hooray! Beers all around!

In fact, Astro City is sooo good that you tell yourself you will only read it in real life; none of this online nonsense. You need to feel the pages beneath your dirt stained fingertips! But, that means you have to buy volumes of this stuff... and you live in a land that is not America. This makes things difficult. 

Your checkbook doesn't let you get past the first volume. 

Go with the Peace flow
1st Corinthians 14:33 says, "God is not a God of disorder, but of peace..." Therefore, clearly, the answer is simple: make the decision that God grants you peace about. 

It's so easy...

Peace in every situation

But wait, Paul says in Philippians 4:12, "... I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." 

We who have the Holy Spirit with us should be at peace in every situation... and therefore every and any decision. SooooOOOooooOOoo, it shouldn't matter what decision you make, you should be at peace. 

And come to think of it, you're not sure you have peace about either decision! Aaaghhh! What does that mean!??!! Oh, wretch that you are!

Just make a decision, stupid
Okay, okay, now let's just settle down now. This isn't a moral decision, just a life changing thingamabobber. Nothing serious. So just make a decision. Flip a coin. Pull straws. Whatever. It's just a thing. You gotta make decisions in life and strive forward in faith in that decision. Right. Right? That's what you're supposed to do. Just do all the things! 

Come on! Make a decision! Makeadecision, makeadecision, makeadecision, makeadecisionmakeadecisionmakeadicision, make a cake!

Yes, good decision! Make a cake! Go for the gold! Eat away your anxiety! 

Continue to step seven after you've consumed all possible cakes.

STEP 7: 
Blog about it, hoping that by the time you reach step 7, you'll have magically made a decision. 

Umm... rinse and repeat?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chapter Titles for "My Mentaculus: Thoughts on Everything"

Today, I thought to myself, "If I were in writing a postgrad history research paper, what topic would I choose for my thesis?" This bizarrely fun question led to the inevitable answer, "Everything." The simple fact is; details are boring. I like to keep my mind thinking about big picture stuffs. 
Enter the Mentaculus. 

I followed my answer with another question: how would I write about everything? What follows is the outline of such a work.

in 10 brief volumes

Mentaculus Rules:

  1. There are to be 10 volumes.
  2. Each volume is 50 pages in length.
  3. Each volume includes 10 chapters
  4. Each chapter is 5 pages
  5. Every chapter must specifically reference 5 aspects referenced in 5 other chapters in other volumes.

Preface to the work: would include a one-page brief explanation as to why I'm doing this, and why I've chosen to convey the information in which I want to convey via succinct chapters that delve in-and-out of my own personal life experience.

Notes on the Mentaculus: the Mentaculus is a 'work' being pursued and written (drawn) by a character in the film "A Serious Man". Throughout the film we are given the promise of something extraordinary out of the completion of said work. When it is revealed to be just the scribblings of a madman, we are left greatly dejected.

Volume One: Animals
Chapter 1: Introduction -- in which I explain why I've chosen to start with animals rather than something more self-centric. The answer being, namely, that as a child we put as much (if not more) stock into other as we do self (at least at a directly conscious level)
Chapter 2: Tasmanian Tiger -- in which the extinct tasmanian tiger is used as a tangible illustration of the separateness of the animal kingdom from us. Additionally, how they spark emotion in us. Use: "The Hunter"
Chapter 3: Cats -- in which I tell of my adventures with their alien personalities
Chapter 4: Hippos -- in which hippos are seen as the epitome of paradox: blubberous, cute, and deadly
Chapter 5: Sharks -- in which we realize the existence of sharks is mindblowing
Chapter 6: Dinosaurs -- in which we wonder on what once was, and what we've lost Additionally it must be noted that the existence of dinosaurs was unknown until the 18th century
Chapter 7: Ants -- in which ants are depicted as extraordinary creatures... and communists
Chapter 8: Donkeys -- in which I reflect on their stubbornness and seeming humility
Chapter 9: Apes -- in which we try to reconcile ourselves with the humanness of apes
Chapter 10: Dogs -- in which we reflect on man's best friend and their mortality
Volume Two: Childhood in Our Own Lifetime
Chapter 1: Intro on self -- in which I recall when I first connected my name with my child self.
Chapter 2: 
Lying -- in which I recall lying got me gain and virtue got me in trouble
Chapter 3: 
Cheating -- in which I recall buying trophies for myself 
Chapter 4: Hurting -- in which I retell my story of the man and his donkey

Chapter 5: Church -- in which I recount the oddity of going to church as a child
Chapter 6: School 1.0 -- in which I recall the happiness of school-life
Chapter 7: School 2.0 -- in which I recall the terror of school-life
Chapter 8: Thought-life -- in which I recall the things I thought about at an early age
Chapter 9: Christmas Trees -- in which I recall the times we picked out Christmas trees
Chapter 10: Perfect Contentment -- in which I reflect back on perfect moments
Volume Three: Systems
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which I review my childhood in order to view it as a series of systems of managementChapter 2: Family -- in which I note the most primal hierarchy, the family unitChapter 3: Collections -- in which I depict our historical insistence on collecting things and ideasChapter 4: Language -- in which we evaluate the need and limitations of spoken languageChapter 5: Progress -- in which we observe the miracle that the mere ordering of information leads to accrued knowledge and therefore progressChapter 6: Human Body -- in which we observe how successfully some systems workChapter 7: Testaments -- in which we look at the systems in place first in the Old Testament, then the New, and then extra Testaments of other religions.Chapter 8: G.U.T. -- in which we discuss the "Grand Ultimate Theory" and the need for controlChapter 9: Gestalt -- in which we see how the whole is more than the sum of its partsChapter 10: Too Muchness -- in which we conclude that systems are necessary because there is too much stuff to hold individually
Volume Four: Worldviews
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we inspect how one's worldview affects everything one doesChapter 2: Plato and the Ideal -- in which we think about eternal, big things
Chapter 3: Cynicism -- in which we reckon with our unknowingness and what that does to us
Chapter 4: Lowlier Studies -- in which we see how philosophy turned to baser studies, namely, psychologyChapter 5: Life Questions -- in which we place abstract theory into our life decisional contextChapter 6: Refusal of the Call -- in which we refuse to knowingly accept any worldviewChapter 7: Acceptance -- in which we accept the fundamental place of philosophy in our personal lifeChapter 8: Nihilism -- in which again we reckon with our unknowingness and inability to knowChapter 9: Existentialism -- in which we re-invent our realityChapter 10: Building -- in which we build a personal worldview from the variety of choices
Volume Five: Theology
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we examine the need for theologyChapter 2: Sunday School -- in which I recollect the strangeness of Sunday SchoolChapter 3: Theism and Atheism -- in which we ask, "Why is there nothing instead of something?"Chapter 4: Polytheism and Character -- in which we examine world religionsChapter 5: History of the World -- in which we look at history from a godlike perspectiveChapter 6: Jesus -- in which we examine the life of Jesus ChristChapter 7: Jews -- in which we examine the history of the Jewish peopleChapter 8: Romans -- in which we look at the book of Romans and the expansion of Jesus-ism from a cultural belief system to a worldwide phenomenonChapter 9: Stephan -- in which we reflect on Stephen's last monologue and martyrsChapter 10: Job -- in which we survey the book of Job and come to certain conclusions concerning the character of God
Volume Six: Fear
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we acknowledge the power of fearChapter 2: Calvin and Pondscum -- in which I reflect on how miserable John Calvin makes me feelChapter 3: Pain -- in which we isolate pain as something that causes legitimate fearChapter 4: Workouts -- in which we reflect on lesser forms of painChapter 5: Of the Unknown -- in which we reflect on unknown forms of painChapter 6: 9-11-01 -- in which we use the historical event to examine responsesChapter 7: The Experience of Terror -- in which we acknowledge the existence of terrorChapter 8: Guilt -- in which we feel guilt and great fear of further guiltChapter 9: Psychosis -- in which we delve into the psychological ramifications of fearChapter 10: Breakdown and Repetition -- in which we acknowledge the inevitability of repeating our past failings
Volume Seven: History
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we delight in the existence of a examinable historyChapter 2: Repetition -- in which we examine cycles and tendencies of mankindChapter 3: Novelty -- in which we acknowledge novelties in history, including modern day fadsChapter 4: Revelation -- in which we acknowledge the entrance of gamechangers into historyChapter 5: Knowledge -- in which we examine how knowledge has been leveraged by cunning historical figuresChapter 6: Power -- in which we examine what causes power and how it is wieldedChapter 7: Storyline -- in which I remind the reader that storyline is the prevailing lens by which we must examine the pastChapter 8: Ancient -- in which we evaluate ancient history so as to depict its storylineChapter 9: Middle -- in which we evaluate the middle ages so as to depict its storyline
Chapter 10: Recent -- in which we evaluate recent history so as to depict its storyline
Volume Eight: Media
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which I claim art is a way of pushing past the limitations of languageChapter 2: Ugly Woman Sculpture -- in which we recognize the oldest known sculptureChapter 3: Homer -- in which we evaluate mythChapter 4: Bible -- in which we examine the poetic nature of the Bible
Chapter 5: In Praise of Folly -- in which we examine the book by Erasmus
Chapter 6: Bolero -- in which we laugh at the repetitiveness of Ravel's workChapter 7: Mona Lisa -- in which we are confused by the popularity of DaVinci's workChapter 8: Citizen Kane -- in which we examine the wholeness of Orwell's workChapter 9: Amadeus -- in which we wrestle with God and unknowingness yet againChapter 10: The Lives of Others/Narnia -- in which greater truths are found in myth stories
Volume Nine: Unanswered Questions
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we take our frustrations and write it all into a bookChapter 2: Storyline -- in which we acknowledge that we don't know why there is a story at allChapter 3: Gamechangers -- in which we ponder what the next gamechanger will beChapter 4: Aliens -- in which we dwell on the existence of smart extra-terrestrialsChapter 5: Light -- in which we vent that we don't even know what light is (or isn't)Chapter 6: Smallest and Coldest Things -- in which we discuss the absurdity of limitations in natureChapter 7: End of Space -- in which we try to imagine nothingnessChapter 8: Time Travel -- in which we frolic through thoughts of time travelChapter 9: After-Life -- in which we try to envision continuation after our physical deathChapter 10: The End -- in which we contemplate the end of story
Volume Ten: Death
Chapter 1: Intro -- in which we discuss conclusions and story ends Chapter 2: Death of Gracie -- in which I tell of my experience watching my dog dieChapter 3: Death of Wells -- in which we mourn the death of Wells (both the death of his ambition and his literal passing)Chapter 4: Death of a Salesman -- in which we contemplate the death of idealsChapter 5: Death of Rome -- in which we contemplate the death of ideasChapter 6: My Death -- in which I muse on my own deathChapter 7: Sequels -- in which we examine our need for sequelsChapter 8: Infinity -- in which we rack our brains trying to imagine a world without endChapter 9: Prestor John -- in which we find hope in novel places
Chapter 10: How does it end? -- in which we acknowledge we don't know how to end anything



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Horrible Responsibility #10

Now the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah... Jonah 4:6


Are there missed opportunities? Could I miss out on something?

If yes, then others could conceivably suffer because I missed your leading. If no, then doesn't that mean there are no opportunities? No possibilities?

I guess it's the same-old, same-old: determinism versus free will... but it's harder when it has a personal context. It hurts to contemplate.

And so I give it to you.

But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. Jonah 4:7

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Horrible Responsibility #9

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


Manasseh, the worst of the worst of kings, a man who burned his sons as a sacrifice to unknown entities, this rogue Judahite humbles himself, pleads mercy unto your name... and you were moved.

2 Chronicles 33:3: He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. 

I don't question why you had mercy. I need that same mercy, so I wouldn't dare jeopardize it by asking why. Nevertheless, Father, I ask this in wonder and in honest contemplation. How could you be moved by a man's prayers? Lord, you know all things. You are the Beginning and the End, how can anything move you? Does the prayer of a desperate sinner come as a surprise to you? Surely not. Then how can it be that you were moved? Who are you that you count such a man's prayers as something that draws you to change? How can that be? How can the finite influence the infinite?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

28 Lingering Fragrances of 2012

 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthains 2:14

Since we are far far past the date of this sort of entry being respectable, I'll limit myself to one sentence an item. For posterity's sad sad sake. Here are the experiences from the arts I'll keep with me hopefully in perpetuity (or at least, remember them when I look back upon this blog entry. 

28) Cloud Atlas novel and film
novel by David Mitchell
film directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer 
At least they tried dammit... at least they did that.

27) Hanna film
directed by Joe Wright
There was a magical flare to the film that I can't quite put my descriptor-finger on.

26) Breakfast of Champions novel
by Kurt Vonnegut
The interaction of the author with his fictional characters brought out the champion in me!

25) American Psycho novel
by Brett Easton Ellis 
The book starts out with the quote from The Divine Comedy, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here." I should have listened.

24) Nantes song
by Beirut
The song's cascading chorus played on repeat is my personal Bolero.

23) Prometheus film
directed by Ridley Scott
This was Lovecraftian philosophy played out as an interstellar, bloody opera. I loved it. 

22) The Hunter film
directed by Daniel Nettheim
The whole film was worth the one, existentially mutilating shot in the 3rd act. 

21) Christmas Unicorn song
by Sufjan Stevens
All the madness of Christmas; the tradition, commercialism, Christ-centeredness, familialness, etc wrapped into one bombastic Sufjan song. Joy to the World!!!
Free Download here!!>>

20) Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell novel
by Susanna Clarke
They're magicians, but they're cultured too!

19) Double Rainbow Song song
A man needs to be awed once and awhile.

18) Logical Insanity on Hardcore History podcast
by Dan Carlin
"History is the autobiography of a madman."
Free download here>>

17) Blood Meridian novel
by Cormac McCarthy
90% of the book left me confused, but then the focus pulls in on our mysterious "Judge" who relishes his role as war incarnate. 

16) Moneyball film
directed by Bennett Miller
An underdog story, giving even the weariest of small market baseball fans, such as my own masochistic Padres love, hope. 

15) Scrubs tv show
created by Bill Lawrence
I was reticent to dip into the lengthy series with Danae, but when I did, I discovered a wealth of highly communicative, intriguing characters lodged in Sacred Heart hospital.

14) The Mind of Bobby Fischer person
Seize the game. 
Read my rantings about the crazy genius here:

13) The Silmarillion novel
by J.R.R. Tolkien
I never had any interest in mythology until Mr. Tolkien awakened a hope within me >> that all myth comes from a common, truthful ancestry. 

12) The Works of Andrew Kevin Walker person
We all have our own unique gifts:

11) Les Miserables film
directed by Tom Hooper
My musical obsession as a child made its way onto the screen only to moderately disappoint me. It did, nevertheless, remind me and silence me into recalling how desperately we all hunger for redemption.

10) Community tv show
created by Dan Harmon
I became a fanboy of the show in 2012, releasing a childlike wonder wherein I come to believe that anything is possible when sitting at seven-seated table. 

9) The Broom of the System novel
by David Foster Wallace
One way to revenge your fate is to eat the world entire. Yes, eat.

8) Take Shelter film
directed by Jeff Nichols
Now that I'm married the prospect of mental illness as a vehicle towards transcendence appears more haunting than thrilling.

7) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius novel/autobiography
by Dave Eggers
Despite the title, I didn't see the ending monologue coming. Color me bushwhacked.

6) Wrath of the Khans on Hardcore History podcast
by Dan Carlin
The story of the little Steppe people that could... conquer the world. 
Download the series for free here>>

5) Leonard Cohen R.I.P. song
by Richard McGraw
So poignant. So soft. So dramatic. Richard plays the existential, religious angst like no one else. 
Free download of the song!! >>

4) Chronicles of Narnia novel series
by C.S. Lewis
Aslan is still perhaps the fullest embodiment of God ever realized.

3) The Grey film
directed by Joe Carnahan
The horror in place here is unescapable, because it's life's horrific reality as the clock ticks. 

2) Watership Down novel
by Richard Adams
I am a full grown man that had to work desperately hard to suppress emotion when those damnable rabbits fade into death at the end of their time. 

1) The Crusades reality, yo!
by life, yo!
2012 was a historic year in my life. It represented a tremendous establishment of the greatest ebenezer I could ever hope to attain of proof of God's love (aside from salvation itself) in the form of my bride. It also was the year that history became something of an obsession for me. That rabbit hole goes so deep. There are great mysteries of awe trapped in time gone by... and the crusades was a great initiation into that hole. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Horrible Responsibility #8

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


I can be Boxer from animal farm. I can be that horse that works and works and works and when confronted with a new problem simply regards it by saying, "I will work harder." I can be that work horse.

Even more than that, I want to be that work horse. Work me barren, if it is your will. But work me true.

I remember Chesterton's biography of St. Francis. He said by 50, Francis' body just fell apart. He used every bit of it. I can be like that, Father...

But I so often get lost in the fog, in the shuffle. I can't get my bearings straight. It takes so much energy to find my compass. I lose my way. I forget what needs to be done.

I don't know how to be Boxer.

2 Timothy 2:5-6: An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Horrible Responsibility #7

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


I want...

to write about you.
to write about truth.
to discover truth as I write.
to hold onto truth as I write.
to write.
to write truly.
to write wisely.
to write without lying.
to write clearly.
to write something novel.
to write something wholly different.
to write something fun.
to write.
to feel what I'm writing down in words.
to be a good writer.
to be heard by you as I write.
to be awed by where my thoughts as I write lead me.
to have a beginning, middle and end as I write.
to know the story I should write.
to surprise myself as I write.
to know what words you prefer.
to write.
to write about mystery.
to write about a mystery.
to write about a mystery and make it known.
to write about a mystery, make it known, and make it complete.
to write about a mystery of yours, make it known, make it complete, and tell it truly.
to see as I write.
to see truth as I write.

You like words written down, I know that. Why else would you keep a book of life?

Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.   -Philippians 4:3

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. -Revelation 3:5-6

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. -Revelation 20:12

Horrible Responsibility #6

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


You made the Son one of us. But he is also not. He is fully different. He is fully you. I am, we are, merely made in your image.

This distinction is most apparent because I cannot create. The Son created all things... and he will do so again. He will make all things new. As for me, I can only collect. I collect thoughts, words, actions, ideas, memories, loves, objects, pieces of earth, sights, sounds, hopes... none of these start from me. They merely stay.

You create. I don't. I feel that frustration as I sit in front of my computer looking out onto a sweeping horizon of your created world. The famous men of this world, the ones we remember most, they are the conquerors, they are the men of blood spilt. Is this because they cannot create anything for themselves? The closest we can do to creation is destruction. Is that true?

We have no concept of creation. None. We can't fathom it. We use phrases like "the big bang" to describe something not even close to graspable.

I admit, it sounds nice to create. This love of collecting thoughts you've placed in me, is it the reflected, weaker version of creating? Will I yet see you create something holy new? And if I do see it, will you let me fathom it?

And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly... their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." -Revelation 21:5-8

I am thirsty. How do I conquer?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Horrible Responsibility #5

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


It was told to me that colors are trickier than we think. Is it true that all the earliest manuscripts from every culture has an evolution of annotating the colors they see? Is it true that blue is the latest color to be named in history? How can that be?

If that's true, than colors are all about perspective. And that would also lead me to believe that colors are about ideas. Blue is an idea that can't be seen until it's grasped?

What does this mean?

I think you give a lot of weight to ideas. You've structured this place to be one in which ideas lead us in various game-changing directions. You've brought it forth so far as to place it within the work of your Son as well.

We must believe in Jesus' work on the cross. This is an idea. It's a game-changing idea.

Why are ideas important to you?

Why must I believe in blue?

And his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. -Mark 9:3

Horrible Responsibility #4

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


Brennan Manning has died. He seemed like a warm soul made rich by your love. But he also seemed like a wrestler. He wanted more and more of you.

How do I wrestle with you? Will you reproach me if I do? Or will you take that as affection?

What sort of questions would you like me to ask you? What questions are you open to answering now?

How do I wrestle with you and still be a peaceful man? Can I wrestle with your Spirit while He's inside of me?

I feel like Job. There's so many questions to ask, not all of them nice, but I fear that I am too lowly for you to answer me. You told Job to brace himself as you knocked him over with an un-answer. I don't know if I could take that sort of answer from you. Yet, I want to dig into you. I want to know more. I want to feel more. Because if I don't, then what am I doing here? If I don't wrap myself up in you, then I am already dying without a purpose.

Only you give me purpose and life. I feel like there's nothing I can do to get closer to you. You have all the cards. You brought me to grace, you dipped my hand in that offering, and you give me as much of you as you want. But perhaps I can wrestle you by yet pleading for your attention.

Look at me. Look at me, Daddy! I can ride my bike with no handlebars. Please.

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. -Genesis 32:25

Horrible Responsibility #3

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


I heard this story about King Philip II of Spain. I was told his son fell. He went blind. He was sick. It looked like he was going to die. Then Philip prayed to you, he said if you saved his son he would return his thanks by giving you a miracle. The boy woke up cured the next day. And the boy had this dream that a monk visited him telling him he'd be fine. So, Philip went about making his miracle. He had a fifteenth inch automaton of the monk from the dream made. The monk was a wind up figure that repeated prayers, walked, and performed his mechanical rosary when wound up tight. 

Did you heal the boy because of Philip's prayer? Did you like his offering? 

Will we ever get to know answers to questions like that? Will we get to see how you responded to our earthly questions? Will you ever tell us the whys of your answers?

Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen. -Job 37:13

Horrible Responsibility #2

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


There are so many animals. They are, to me, unfathomable. I can observe them. I can write down facts about them. I can compare the elephant to the king cobra and the blue whale. But that doesn't make them anymore knowable to me.
I can't know them. I can't understand them. I find myself asking, again and again, what do they know of you? Do they listen to your words? Do they hold secret knowledge in their primitive souls as to who you are? 

I remain fully other from the entirety of the animal kingdom. All reason eventually runs dry. I can but only sit back and be in awe of them; awe of their diversity, of their engenius make-up, of their intrinsic beauty. 

I need to see your face in every mouse I see, in every nutra rat I happen upon. I need to. If I don't do that, than the animals, due to their unrelatableness, become computer programs, diddling about a software that has no real function. 

I need to see you in the pheasant and the cockroach and the buzzard and the amoeba. I need to not miss that opportunity to see your creativity on display. I need to. I need to. 

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning. -Ezekiel 1:13-14

Horrible Responsibility #1

This series exists to help me refine my reflections about daily life as I seek:
To worship God and relentlessly seek the expansion of his Kingdom on Earth.


Genghis Khan's army puts into perspective a 'duh' statement; discipline gets things done. If I claim to seek you out, to love you, to yearn to wrestle with you and grow in faith, hope and perseverance, than I must apply discipline in my life and act responsibly on that premise.

There was a time when the Mongol army decided to wipe away a city full of people. 130,000 souls were to be erased that day by the vengeful steppe people. But this scene takes place in an age long before weapons of mass destruction, before even gun powder came into dominance. The 130,000 needed to be eradicated by hand.

The empire took care of the problem by dividing up the 130,000 by the number of their own army. They may have had around 20,000 men that day, so each Mongol soldier was responsible to take out roughly 12 people. It was that simple. If you didn't take out your 12, you were taken out.

This is an extremely grim example, but it remains an example nonetheless.

To follow you I must take responsibility for what you've given me.

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. -Matthew 25:30