Friday, May 30, 2008

Until Next Time...

Dear friends and those who have become family,

Jeanine and her sister and I headed out yesterday at 11:45 in the A.M. After stopping to see Billy, who graciously helped us to unload and reload and offload some things from the trailer, we headed to Sioux Falls, SD where we are currently resting and relaxing for the next couple of days. We will be heading to Rapid City, Manitoba on Monday and from there, we will head to Evansburg, Alberta. 
"Goodbye" always seems like such a hard word to say to people who have become so close as many of you have to me and Jeanine. So many things have happened in the past three or four years that have helped us to become more responsible and free human beings! We know that we leave Kentucky changed people. And leaving is hard; it is excruciating in some ways, yet as Greg has told me time and again, "God is calling you onward." And so he is, though the pain of moving there is no less real. I was thinking about this the other day and realized that, when my meltdown occurs (as stress has been a bit of a barrier), none of you who have helped me through meltdowns before will be a hop-skip-and-a-jump down the road. Coming to the full realization of that brings tears to my eyes and pain to my heart, though I know that somewhere down the road, the sun will be shining, the pain will subside, and I will carry with me what you have given me for the sake of others like myself. 
Communality, friends, family - you have helped to successfully turn my world upside down; you have been the living breathing good news. Thank you so much for the life that you have helped to breathe into me and Jeanine. Thank you for the smiles, the laughter, the tears, and everything else that you have given to us. Thank you for meals, thank you for times with the kids, thank you for late night conversations and mid-day back breaking labor! Thank you for letting us into the shadowy places of your lives. Thank you for being exhibiting the characteristics of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit over these few years. 
We love you, we miss you, and until we see you next time...

Dan and Jeanine

Thursday, May 15, 2008

discrimination alive and well

this week i had the opportunity to sit through a seminar at university of kentucky about race and color discrimination in the workplace.  it is an initiative hosted by the federal agency, u.s. equal employment opportunity commission, called E-RACE (eradicating racism and colorism from employment).

the report was disturbing and discouraging.  most of us would believe, with hope and optimism, that we've progressed since the time of civil rights in the 60s and made great gains in the area of race in this country (although the national democratic primary is exposing otherwise).  the statistics given demonstrated the opposite.  last year they had 45,000 discrimination cases reported.  by the same time this year, there were 72,000.  discrimination based on race, color and gender is on the rise.

the speaker testified to case after federal case against major, well-known corporations that were found guilty of egregious acts of discrimination.  in one case against Target, a woman of color had submitted an application. her name was kalisha white.  the hiring manager was completely unresponsive to her calls and when she finally got a hold of him, he claimed he was "too busy" to set up an interview.  she revised her application by changing her name to sarah brucker and putting a new address from a different part of town,a nice suburb.  the manager called the next day, ready to schedule an interview immediately.  she then called back the same day as kalisha only to be told he was "too busy."  finally, she had a white friend call right away and ask for an interview which this man granted on the spot.  needless to say, kalisha and a few others won a major suit.  of course money does very little to restore dignity.

how unfortunate, in 2008 in the united states, people of color and women are repeatedly subjected to prejudice and inequity in the workplace.  i was glad to know there is a federal agency advocating and educating for change.  more than anything, as a christian, i felt that this is the kind of thing i need to be aware of and out of my awareness, take responsibility to live in the light of the gospel that embraces, welcomes and includes.


Monday, May 12, 2008

waiting for summer

at the end of parker palmer's insightful and gently written work, "let your life speak," he wraps up everything with a seasonal metaphor to describe the cycles and rhythms of life.  by taking this route, he dives deeply into the nature of all things around us, capturing the state of each season to describe experiences of birth, death, dormancy, renewal, joy, and loss. 

as the season warms toward summer, we wait for our gardens, both personal and shared, to produce fruit.  we begin to loosen ourselves from winter's grip and relax into the promise of plenty. i thought palmer's reflections on the season of summer and its characteristic abundance were are particularly fitting:

"daily i am astonished at how readily i believe that something i need is in short supply....the irony, often tragic, is that by embracing the scarcity assumption, we create the very scarcities we fear....

in the human world, abundance does not happen automatically.  it is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share our common store.  whether the scarce resource is money or love or power or words, the true law of life is that we generate more of whatever seems scarce by trusting its supply and passing it around.  authentic abundance does not lie in secured stockpiles of food or cash or influence or affection but in belonging to a community where we can give those goods to others who need them - and receive them from others when we are in need.

here is a summertime truth: abundance is a communal act, the joint creation of an incredibly complex ecology in which each part functions on behalf of the whole and, in return, is sustained by the whole.  community does not just create abundance - community is abundance.  if we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human world might be transformed.

summer is the season when all the promissory notes of autumn and winter and spring come due, and each year the debts are repaid with compound interest.  in summer, it is hard to remember that we had ever doubted the natural process, had ever ceded death the last word, had ever lost faith in the powers of new life.  summer is a reminder that our faith is not nearly as strong as the things we profess to have faith in - a reminder that for this single season, at least, we might cease our anxious machinations and give ourselves to the abiding and abundant grace of our common life."


Sunday, May 11, 2008

seedleaf party

it was a great seedleaf gathering on friday night at the high st house.  follow this link to learn more about seedleaf.

here are a few pics...thanks to everyone who was able to help make this happen.

seedleaf party

seedleaf party

seedleaf party

seedleaf party

Friday, May 09, 2008

beauty distorted

joey koskie passed this link astonishing clip of how dehumanizing advertising can be.  we have been spending much time in our weekly gatherings celebrating human personhood - affirming the fact that we believe in the bodily resurrection and that our bodies are not 'baggage' dragged behind a soul.  our bodies are essential to who we are and who we will become.  therefore, ugliness, beauty, clean, and unclean are all important categories for us to re-imagine in light of a Jesus-inspired anthropology.  but here is what each of us is up against as we are marinated in western consumer culture....


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the right way to eat

as we navigate the day-to-day, privileged decisions of eating organic and buying locally, we've been inspired by the sentiment - better to eat a twinkie with friends than broccoli alone.  geoff found this verse in proverbs 15:17 that tops even that:

"better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

guerrilla gardening

our australian dad sent us this article about guerilla gardeners -  wonderfully subversive activism going on in several countries.  you can find out more here.   and here's a clip...

THEY work in the dead of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their aim: to beautify.

An army of self-styled Guerrilla Gardeners is growing across the world, fighting to transform urban wastelands into horticultural havens.

To document and encourage their victories, one of the movement's leaders has written a handbook. On Guerrilla Gardening, by Richard Reynolds, defines the activity as "the illicit cultivation" of someone else's land.

"Our main enemies are neglect and scarcity of land," said Mr Reynolds, 30, a former advertising employee who wrote the book after his website,, became a global focal point for activists.

Friday, May 02, 2008

just make it cheap!

this opinion piece in the NY Times this week, entitled "dumb as we wanna be", does a great job of exposing some of the current insanity leading up to the november election. reveals some of the recklessness (and probably worse) that happens when people want power more than to do good.

article here

an exerpt: 

But here’s what’s scary: our problem is so much worse than you think. We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage — gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars — and you want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage — new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.

Are you sitting down?

Few Americans know it, but for almost a year now, Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December. I am not making this up. At a time when we should be throwing everything into clean power innovation, we are squabbling over pennies.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A little perspective........priceless

Speaking of being born again.......and again..........and again......I think that I stumbled upon what is for me the most humorous and insightful passage in the bible this, for all those of us who keep on stumbling and bumbling forward trying to work for a new world now (and tripping mostly over our won crap!), a little perspective and a little humor..........let's go back to where it all began!

"Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai, on a day in midwinter, Moses gave these speeches to the Israelites, telling them everything the Lord had commanded them to say."

Deuteronomy 1:2-3