Thursday, August 31, 2006

Shopping Lexington......

While eating at a local "ethnic" restaurant the other day I was intrigued to find this sign, addressed to patrons, on the table. It wouldn't have seemed so interesting had it not been for the little "patriotic" Uncle Sam figure heralding the news. Anyhow, I thought it was a pretty funny and thought provoking sign.....

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I read this story...

I read a Wendell Berry story called A Consent this past week. It is an account of the beginning of the courtship of Tol Proudfoot and Miss Minnie Quinch, two members of the Port William community. At one point, Tol attends a celebration that Miss Minnie has orchestrated. The following lines describe the scene:
And at the head of the room on a large table were the cakes and pies that were to be auctioned off at the end of the evening. In the very center of the table, on a tall stand, was a cake that Tol knew, even before he heard, was the work of Miss Minnie. It was an angelfood cake with an icing as white and light and swirly as a summer cloud. It was as white as a bride. The sight of it fairly took his breath--it was the most delicate and wonderous thing he had ever seen. It looked so beautiful and vulnerable there all alone among the others that he wanted to defend it with his life. It was lucky, he thought, that nobody said anything bad about it--and he just wished somebody would. He took a position in a corner in the front of the room as near the cake as he dared to be, and watched it defensively, angry at the thought of the possibility that somebody might something bad about it.
I can't help it, but often I am reminded that the Church is Christ's bride somehow, that he loves her for some reason. I, as a part of that Church, get embarrassed about our behavior. I get fairly critical about us in general. I forget that Jesus is looking forward to us like a man might to his future bride. Tol's admiration of Miss Minnie's handiwork, and his desire to defend her, makes me think twice of criticizing Christ's bride.
But that's just one strand. The story is touching and beautiful simply as a reminder of a courtship, and all the mystery and disequilibration that goes with confessing one's feelings to another human.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

greenbelt this weekend

i'm off.
today i leave for england to attend the greenbelt festival (
i feel very privileged to be going and it should be a wonderful gathering...i'll try and post a blog or two if i can find a way.
i'm looking forward to hearing what god is up to in the UK and other places and i'll enjoy sharing stories from our life together in Lexington. i plan on learning a lot. greenbelt is like a sacred pilgrimage for me and i expect to be challenged and energized by what i witness there.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

A new season in our family...

Clinton and I have often been thankful for sharing our lives with people like Billy and Maria and how that has challenged us to rethink definitions of family. As we celebrate with them their four years of creating a new vision of family with JFK, we are going through a different stage with the family we have been creating here on Ohio St.

(read on)

This week marks the end of a season in the life of our house as we say goodbye to our beloved friend and brother Pat. In his typical endearing yet short-noticed style, he told us a few days ago that he would be moving this week to New Orleans to begin graduate study at Tulane. This weekend, we shared the last of our Saturday morning breakfasts together and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon painting a bit of the upstairs. As we painted, I reflected on many of the times we shared on Ohio St. Such memories began just over a year ago as CG and I prepared to be married, and we painted the downstairs with the help of our friends Bill and Pat who eventually became our housemates.

I admit that at the time, the thought of housemates was often overwhelming. We were going to be transitioning to life as a couple in our first year of marriage. I was finishing up my last year of the Physician Assistant's program, a course of study that can be quite difficult. With many challenges ahead of us, thinking of the challenge of figuring out how our lives can be shared with others before we had even figured out how to share our lives with one another was a bit scary. Some would advise (arguably even scripture) that the first year of marriage should not be so broadly shared, but specially focused on one another. That is definitely a bit of advice that is more than reasonable. I guess we finally stuck to the belief that the Kingdom of God leads us to a different view of home and family, and we acted out of that faith. And now I hate to think of the many blessings we would have missed out on if we had clung to the reasonable view of cherishing "our own" space during the past year instead of allowing that sharing with others.

We would have missed out on weekly meals and the friendships that developed through this shared table. We would have missed the joy of seeing the ways Pat and Bill grew in the ways they cared for one another. We would have missed the richness that comes through walking with others. We shared in the struggles and sorrows of Bill's addiction as well as times of celebration when healing seemed more at hand. We continue together to hold in tension the sorrow of our brother who struggles with the hope we have for his healing. We would have missed the growth that comes from these journeys and tensions. We would have missed the challenge of Pat's example as he pours out his life in care of a family of refugees, a single mother and six boys. His passion is inspiring, and we would have missed the honor that it was to have such a beautiful soul as Pat take such an interest in us. I pray that as we answered his many questions, God's grace allowed him to grow in his own experiences of faith and love. It is truly an honor to be trusted with such an influence, and not something I would have wished to have missed. Simply put, we would not have experienced the ways the works of God are made manifest through his people in the ordinary aspects of life when we commit to opening our lives to one another in such ways.

We look forward with expectation to the next season God is preparing for us in the life of our home, but I am certainly going to miss the one that is now closing. I am so thankful for the ways our lives have been more abundant by sharing them. I pray that God will keep Bill safe wherever he is, and as we send Pat away, I offer this blessing to them both:

Numbers 6:24-26
The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.

We love you, our brothers.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

another jfk pic

 Posted by Picasa

Celebrating Four Years as Family

[Disclaimer: I also posted this over at my blog; such blatant reproduction is frowned upon in grad school but may still be permitted in the blogosphere.]

Well, yesterday was August 16th, 2006, which marks 4 years since the Spirit brought John Fitzgerald Kennedy Bruce-Papafio to 701 Golfview Drive. That's more C-SPAN, NBA, local Christian access, World Cup soccer, Buffalo Wild Wings, O Brother Where Art Thou, rice, Twix, and Sprite than I would ever have imagined! Through fun times and hard times, God has taken good care of us all and led us into deeper meanings of grace and faith. We are happy that we've had these four years; here's hoping for more.

John enjoying a celebratory lunch yesterday at "Country Cook'n, by George!" Excellent green beans.
John holding the Crunchie last autumn.

Golfview pals Troy and John.

Trifecta trio John, Mike, and Billy. (The Crunchie served in an advisory capacity only.)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (Jn 14:27)
We love you, brother.

Happy Birthday Thomas

I arrived at the High St House this morning and was greeted by Thomas (pictured with Isaac) who had slept on the front porch. I asked him what his plans were for the day and he informed me it was his birthday. So if you see Tommy today (or in the next couple of days) wish him a happy birthday. He turns 32 today. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

30 Days, atheism, christianity, and reality TV

sometimes i hear about tv shows and wish we had cable...
this show, 30 days, looks really interesting. the idea is that people with different opinions on life (religion, politics, etc.) spend 30 days together. it looks like reality TV with a twist and perhaps some redemptive value.
apparently there was an episode last week where an atheist moved in with a christian family.
this blog post summarizes the atheist/christian episode. it's well worth looking over.
and here's a clip from the show (YouTube).

from what i have read on blogs it seems like another sad episode in current-day christian witness. apart from that, it does raise some great questions about mission in our context...although, it is my understanding that atheism is actually a bit passe and people who don't identify themsleves as 'christian' are more likely to be open to spirituality/theism.

on related matters...i think it would also make a great show if they set up a 'big-brother' type house and loaded it with christians of various types - baptists, catholics, methodists, anglicans, etc. and then throw in a few pagans, agnostics, athiests...and then some missional/emerging types. and then give them a project like settling refugees or caring for cancer patients, or visitnig prisoners, or delivering meals to people with AIDS. i would break down and get cable for a show like that.

Friday, August 11, 2006

a response to terrorism

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom: Defend us, thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-from the Book of Common Prayer

He said to his disciples, "Why are you still afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

-mark 4:40

there's so much fear in the air. i refuse to live my life this way.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

always a good reminder

"You must realize that it is the ordinary way of God's dealings with us that our ideas do not work out speedily and efficiently as we would like them to. The reason for this is not only the loving wisdom of God, but also the fact that our acts have to fit into a great complex pattern that we cannot possibly understand. I have learned over the years that Providence is always a whole lot wiser than any of us, and that there are always not only good reasons but the very best reasons for the delays and blocks that often seem to us so frustrating and absurd."

"The Hidden Ground of Love", Letters by Thomas Merton.

Monday, August 07, 2006


i took this picture at our blokes retreat back in april. i messed around with it and liked how it turned out and thought i would stick it here...anyone else with pics, art from other people/places, etc. don't hesitate to post them here and let us share in what gives you joy. Posted by Picasa

there is a day

There is a day
when the road neither
comes nor goes, and the way
is not a way but a place

This poem from Wendell Berry (it is the final poem in "the timbered choir") has been bouncing around my mind for a couple of weeks. it speaks to something i am learning about home and place and the journey of life. i am a restless person insofar as i like the idea and experience of travel and dislike routine. after eight years of living in a foreign land many times i still feel very much like a backpacker passing through. i can happily move around with the excitement of the new offering greater joy than the sense of stability that comes from staying put.

Sherry and I have recently resolved to sink our roots deep here in Kentucky soil. We had occasionally imagined that we would be persuing a missionary call in some other land in coming years but instead we have been gently guided to make this the place to work out the future. we both came to this city on the way somewhere else but such are the trickster ways of the God that we have fallen in love with Lexington. we have also realised this is a grace-filled located and a strategic place to wrestle some vocational angels...all through the night if need be. so the way has become a place and belonging to a place (as wendell berry reminds us) is what it means to be a whole human. i am just beginning to learn this wisdom.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Kill the ƒ#@*!$, for Christ's sake!

Ok, props to Will who already found and mentioned this at willzhead, but it was Dan Lowe's comment at Asbury that alerted me to this new video game which will "perpetuate positive values and appeal to mainstream and Christian audiences, while remaining committed to increasing shareholder value and pursuing the highest standards of integrity and professionalism". (The company's quote, not Will's or Dan's)

Yes, folks, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is soon coming to a computer screen near you.

(read on...)
Apparently you can wage war as either the nefarious Global Community Peacekeepers (godlessly destroying people) or as the Tribulation Force (bringing about God's judgement on the antichrist's followers).

My personal favorite line comes from the end of the FAQ:

Does the violence depicted in the game run contrary to Jesus’ message on “love your enemy”?
Absolutely not. Christians are quite clearly taught to turn the other cheek and to love their enemies. It is equally true that no one should forfeit their lives to an aggressor who is bent on inflicting death. Forgiveness does not require absolute defenselessness. Apparent contradictions on behalf of Christians are often the result of them placing greater importance on the message, than in caring for others. LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces is a game which provides great entertainment while encouraging fascinating discussions about matters of eternal importance.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Amnesty International's Global Vigil for a Ceasefire

JUSTICELIST - Special ALERT - ** 8/5 **

Join Amnesty International's Global Vigil for a Ceasefire
- for an immediate, full and effective ceasefire in Israel & Lebanon

For details go to:

8:45 p.m. Monday
August 7

Triangle Park
Corner of Main & Broadway

* Your own candle. We will have extras.

* A sign with the single word "Ceasefire"

* Signs that are not political. Amnesty International asks that vigil should be totally apolitical. The tone should be one of solidarity and compassion, with victims and survivors. We will neither condemn nor support any faction involved in this conflict

* A 2-minute poem, essay, or song to share

We apologize for the short notice. Please spread the word.

On Thursday evening August 3, Amnesty International issued a call for Global Ceasefire Vigils calling for the United States and other world governments to work towards an immediate, full and effective ceasefire to protect civilians on both sides of the conflict in Israel and Lebanon. AI's call includes three points:

* We call for a ceasefire.
* We demand that all governments stop the supply of arms to the conflict.
* We stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors on both sides of the Israel/Lebanon conflict.

Central Kentucky Amnesty International
Peace Action Task Group of the Central Kentucky Council for Peace & Justice

Don Pratt - CK AI

Richard Mitchell
Peace Action Task Group, CKCPJ

Friday, August 04, 2006

what would jesus brew?

an excellent question.
a fun t-shirt.
these aussies know how to incarnate the gospel in their context...
the order form is here if you would like one.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the darker side of chocolate

"How much does a chocolate cost?"
"A couple of dollars is that all?"
"Maybe a little more overseas."
"Hey Lady how much for the kid?"
"hey enough! I don't feel too comfortable."
"Its ok, have some chocolate its a great comfort!"
"So, How much does your chocolate cost?"

this is the group:

they are performing this at the 'surrender' conference in australia (melbourne) in august. wish we could be there:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Small-Mart Revolution

Thursday AUGUST 3, 2006...
The Small-Mart Revolution: How Kentucky Businesses Can Beat the Global Competition talk by Michael Shuman

WHO: Michael Shuman is the nationally renowned author of The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006) and Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in the Global Age. He is also an attorney and economist, and Vice President for Enterprise Development for the Training &Development Corporation (TDC) of Bucksport, Maine.

WHAT: Mr. Shuman will speak on the idea that many small, locally owned businesses actually out-perform their "big-box" and Fortune 500 competitors-both in outright profitability and the value they bring to consumers, workers, and communities.

WHERE: At the Carnegie Center (251 W 2nd Street, Lexington, KY 40507) on Thursday, August 3, 2006, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (Atomic Cafe afterwards)Michael Scuman is one of the main organizers of BALLE-Business Alliance for Local Living Economy...see.

can't close my eyes and make it go away

this is still happening.

we have posted here about the ungodly destruction of our planet via Mountain Top Removal. today i was prompted by an email to check out this page and reminded of my (wavering) comitment to do what i could to end this practice of coal mining.
with energy prices going up this will be a battle made more fierce in coming years. please see this site and look at ways you might conserve your own energy use. i must confess i feel like it is too big an issue for us to change...