Monday, May 31, 2004

The Lord's Prayer in Arabic Posted by Hello

- posted by -g @ 4:41 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

David will be visiting this summer - anyone interested in meeting him?

Hi Dean

I am planning to be in WI for the summer - arriving around mid -June. I am feeling a rest will be welcomed, the days are long and the situation continues to worsen for many...

My village is the only "strong hold" the only place safe within hundreds of miles. This is because it has become the garrison of government troops who have literally dug a trench around the village and occupied every street... there is an airport that has become the strategic base for a ruthless bombing campaign despite international attention, even from the UN... it is just bad!

I feel especially for the children that arrive with their families (some arrive alone!) fleeing attacks on their small villages... I was marveling at how the kids seem to cope, I joke with them and they seem like normal kids but then I hear they have nightmares... it twists you up inside. The adults tell harrowing tales in their fleeing - crossing large expanses with scattered corpses everywhere - it is estimated that some tens of thousands have been killed and no one is left to bury the dead. The rains are coming and there is great fear of a cholera epidemic - let alone famine conditions on the horizon because the hundreds of thousands who will not be able to plant a crop this year if things do not improve soon... and there is not peace in sight.

Easter on the other hand was a joy - amid piles of personal belongings that were salvaged, woman washing, others cooking, children running around... we organized a system for using water, food supplies and finished constructing lean-tos wherever possible to get people out of the sun... and toward evening their was preparation of the readings and choir practice filled the air with songs that spoke of "New Life". It filled the air with Easter Hope and our celebration was exactly of that, these people, who have all been baptized within the past ten years (46 of the group this past Easter) and have known little else but poverty, oppression, war... know the real truth, they witness to others and to me; the Savior lives within and no one can take that away from them!

There is a feeling of being unworthy in front of the simple and profound faith I've encountered here at times. I have always prayed to be open to the positive movements of the Spirit to highlight and encourage it so that it could be seen and shared by others. I don't think anyone who lives among the Sudanese comes away with anything less than great admiration.

Thanks for your continued prayers - they are being heard - we too remember and pray for all who are in solidarity with us and all who are suffering injustice in our world. May the Lord continue to strengthen us in his wisdom, peace and love and let us praise his name with singing and dancing and lots of drums whenever possible!!

Pass my special greetings to you mom - and be seeing you soon!


ps. the Lord's Prayer in Arabic

- posted by -g @ 4:22 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Sunday, May 30, 2004
Yesterday on our flight out, the airline bumped us up to first class. Not only that but I was in seat 1-A. I felt like the most important passenger on the whole airplane.

I saw the most delightful clouds. We flew right into a tower of them and at the top was an airplane shaped cloud. There was a cockpit, complete with windows and pilots and there were even wings! We flew onward and the other end looked just like a frog's face! After passing the guard tower, for miles there was a level floor of clouds.

I closed my eyes for only a second, I just needed a little rest. When I opened them again I saw Joan, our flight attendant, outside my window. (She was so adorable! She has her little dress with matching pumps, red cardigan, and hair like a president's southern wife). She waved and offered me her hand. I glanced over at my mother, who was sleeping like a log, for silent permission. I took Joan's hand and walked right out of the plane, onto a floor of white, and into a pair of ice skates. Joan and I skated to the sounds of Fred and Ginger singing together on the wing of the plane.

We skated for so long, doing figure eight's and waltz steps, that I hardly noticed when Joan let go of my hand. I just kept skating, slowly noticing that I couldn't hear "I've Got Beginner's Luck" anymore. Into a thick cloud of fog I went.

Just then I heard a whisper in my ear.
"Faites attention!" it said.
I stopped in time to see I was about to skate onto a patch of thin cloud. I could not see a single thing, except the cloud floor thinning around me. To clear the fog, I took a gigantic breath and blew it all away (appearantly causing a tornado in Beatrice, Nebraska). I was standing on a cloud island and all around me was a deep patchwork lake.

"May I be of service?" shouted Joan, from a bluff of cloud.
"Uh, I appear to be stuck. Stranded, if you will-" I replied.
"I will."
"-And I was wondering, if it wouldn't be too much trouble and all, if you could help me?" I asked.
"Anything for our most imporant passenger!" Joan said, and with that she rolled out a giant roll of cloud carpet right over the lake.

After skating to safety I took a look around. Not a single plane for mile! Not even a cloud pay phone. I asked Joan, "How are we supposed to get back?"
"We will hitch-hike, silly," she said.

We saw several airplanes fly, not even giving us the slightest notice, so we hailed one a la Claudette Colbert.

We could hear "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" clearer and clearer as the plane arrived.
"Say, kids, where are you headed?" asked Fred.
"Rapid City," I told him.
"Quelle coincidence! Hop on!" said Ginger.

We danced on the wing of that plane for quite a while until Fred sadly said, "Well, you cats have fun. Ginger and I have to go. Shouldn't you be getting back also, Miss Allie?" said Fred.

I just sighed.

Then Fred and Ginger springboarded off the wing.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. I peeled my cheek off of the window against which I had been resting. It was my pal, Joan.

"Please restore your tray table to its upright and locked position," she said, with a wink and a smile.

I just thought I would share.

This picture of Mr. Graf's makes me think of that wonderful dream. It has been posted before, but I always enjoyed looking at it so I thought I would post it again.

- posted by Allie @ 9:03 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Saturday, May 29, 2004
"September 1, 1939"
WH Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyskrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

- posted by -g @ 6:16 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Friday, May 28, 2004
Hello Eva! When do you head off to Boston for CFLs? Best wishes to you, I know you will do well. I didn't find anything in the Bible about recruitment, but there are a few things on conversion and Jesus did send his disciples out to convert or to make disciples of the nations. Evangelism is imbedded in the faith because it is "good news" after all, and any who ascribe to it wish for those near and dear to share in the deep joy, peace and freedom it holds. Actions deriving from strongly held beliefs are sincere and should be considered, but it is ultimately the object of faith that matters over the amount of faith or passion you have about your belief.

I was given a precious note today. I read it in the company of another teacher, and she welled up with tears (I am sure that other circumstances influenced this emotion, but the note was conducive to such). Emily and Da are the authors and I am the flattered and humbled recipient of two tickets to King's graduation. YES! we will be there. It was wise of you to put Mrs. before Mr., it indicated a proper understanding of who is really in control of such decisions.

Thank you deeply and dearly; I am truly honored to know you.

- posted by -g @ 5:07 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

So what does the Bible say about recruitment?

- posted by Eva @ 12:11 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Part II for Julia (the asian version)

Michael Chang - tennis success: They said I was too small, that I didn't have the strength, that I wouldn't cut it. I'll admit it's been tough - really tough. Sometimes I still feel I just don't have the height or strength to go out and compete against the bigger guys.

But I found it takes a lot more than physical size or strength to make it in life - both on and off the court. That's where I found having a relationship with God makes all the difference.

At 15 years of age, I was doing a lot of searching. I think at this particular age, kids are wondering about the meaning of life and are really trying to find themselves. I definitely had a lot of questions.

I became a Christian in 1988. My grandparents had given me a Bible that they asked me to read every day. On one particular evening when I didn't have anything else to do, I decided to take a good look at it and see what it had to say. I found the Bible to be true and pure, expressing incredible love and peace through the life of Jesus Christ. Through my reading, I eventually accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

When I won the 1989 French Open-my first Grand Slam title-I was only 17. This came much earlier than my family and I ever dreamed. I never expected it, and I don't think anyone else in the tennis world expected it either. But the Lord has His way of working things out.

It might have been easy to let my head swell, getting caught up in the money, fame and glamour of winning. I am thankful that I was able to stay focused on Jesus and not fall into this. I believe that I have been put in this position in order to touch people's lives in a positive way. Nothing is as important to me as this.

I also consider it fortunate that I became a Christian the first year that I was on the Tour. Before all the fame and money, the Lord was there teaching me His way. It is wonderful to be able to look back at my life before I was a Christian and see how even then the Lord was looking out for me.

I know God is the one who gave me the ability to play tennis. I would not be where I am without Him giving me the strength to play the way I do. When I keep this perspective, I'm able to go out and compete with the mindset that winning and losing is up to God. What's important is giving it my best. I may win or I may lose, but when I keep my focus on Him, I always have the joy He alone can give.

I have confidence knowing that everything is in His hands. I see so many things happening in my life that I know are not just mere coincidence. I know that the Lord loves me, that He will always be with me looking out for me - no matter what happens.

- posted by -g @ 5:25 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Good News For Julia (because she asked)

Ed Becker's success story - In 1977, I thought I was successful. I owned 50 per cent of a successful business, had a Ph.D. and was married with three children. I believed I had accomplished this all through my own capability and wisdom. I thought I could accomplish anything if I just tried hard enough. My knowledge, strength of will, college degrees and business success were important to me, and I put them ahead of everything else.

My 20-year-old son Allen had different priorities. He tried to tell me what Jesus Christ meant to him, but I was convinced I didn't need Him. I told Alan that I could do everything myself. I was so firm about rejecting the Christian faith that Alan told his pastor, 'My dad will never become a Christian!' As a chemical engineer, I had tried to prove or disprove the existence of God as one does chemical reactions in a lab. The tests came up empty, so I ignored God.

Alan later became seriously ill and was admitted to hospital. After his heart stopped beating, I stood outside the emergency room struggling with pain, anguish and helplessness. It was here that I realized I could not do everything myself. There was nothing I could do as my son hovered on the brink of death. I didn't even know how to pray.

Alan survived the cardiac arrest, but he was in the hospital for a long time suffering from a serious head infection. He told me, 'God is in charge. If God's purpose in my suffering is to bring you to Christ, then everything I'm going through is worth it.' I was astonished!

I read Alan's Bible to him every day at his bedside. For the first time, I began to learn what the Bible was really about. And I began to learn about Jesus. Alan's strong belief in Jesus, combined with what I read in the Bible, made me realize that Jesus was real. He had to be who He claimed to be. Although I tried to believe that He was nothing more than a great teacher or prophet, this argument didn't stand up to the test. He claimed to be the true Son of God. I decided that Jesus must have been telling the truth, and I accepted His claims.

A month later, I asked Christ to take charge of my life, to be my Lord and Saviour. I knew God wanted me to have a more meaningful life. Alan was thrilled when I told him about my decision! He had prayed for a long time that his father would know eternal life.

Three weeks after my decision, Alan went into a coma. For three days I hardly left his bedside, until finally he slipped away from life on earth to be with his Lord and Saviour. I had looked forward to sharing my new Christian life with my son, but I knew that he would now spend eternity in heaven and that I would see him again someday. Though grief stricken, God gave my wife and me a peace and hope that surpassed all human understanding.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that if anyone is in Christ, he is a 'new creation.' The old self has gone and the new has come. This certainly was true in my life. God now has first priority, followed by my wife and family, and then my business. My principles for decision-making have also changed completely. I ask God for help in making daily business decisions, and no longer rely solely on my own knowledge. I have found that God's infinite wisdom is vastly superior to my own. Best of all, there is joy in my life no matter what happens to me. I know that I have eternal life to look forward to.

- posted by -g @ 5:16 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Frogs ask for a King

THE Frogs, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent ambassadors to Jupiter entreating for a King. He, perceiving their simplicity, cast down a huge log into the lake. The Frogs, terrified at the splash occasioned by its fall, hid themselves in the depths of the pool. But no sooner did they see that the huge log continued motionless, than they swam again to the top of the water, dismissed their fears, and came so to despise it as to climb up, and to squat upon it. After some time, they began to think themselves ill-treated in the appointment of so inert a Ruler, and sent a second deputation to Jupiter to pray that he would set over them another sovereign. He then gave them an Eel to govern them. When the Frogs discovered his easy good nature, they yet a third time sent to Jupiter to beg that he would once more choose for them another King. Jupiter, displeased at their complaints sent a Heron, who preyed upon the Frogs day by day till there were none left to croak upon the Lake.

- posted by -g @ 5:27 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Advice Given Advice Taken

As the story goes, a girl threw a firebrand at a goat that was eating her corn and the goat's coat caught fire. Maddened with fear, it ran to a haystack and started rubbing against it. The haystack was soon ablaze. The fire spread to the barn and then to the stables in which the royal elephants were housed. Some of the elephants were badly burnt before the fire was finally put out. The men looking after the elephants could not heal their wounds. So the king sent for his own physician. On the way to the palace the physician lay down under a tree for a nap. Hardly had he closed his eyes when he felt something warm running down his face. He got up with a start and found that a crow sitting on a branch directly above him, had spattered him with its droppings. The physician cursed the crow and wiping his face, continued on his way, but in a foul mood. When he reached the palace and the king asked him for a remedy for the elephants' wounds he replied: "Rub the wounds with crow's fat, lots of crow's fat!"
And so a great slaughter of crows began. Thousands were shot and it looked as if the slaughter would continue till all the crows in the kingdom were dead. One day, a crow flew into the palace and settled down in front of the king. Soldiers rushed forward to catch it, but the king waved them back.
"Let it be," he said. "Perhaps it has come to tell me something."
"I have," said the bird. "I am the king of crows and I have come to tell you that you are doing us a great wrong. You are being led astray by a man bent on revenge against my brethren."
"You are making a serious accusation," said the king. "Have you any proof?"
"I have," said the crow. "The proof lies in the fact that crows have no fat, otherwise you would have got bucketfuls of it from the thousands you have already slaughtered."
The king felt ashamed of what he had done and immediately stopped the slaughter of the birds.

What I presume to know has often been shown to be silly. What I know by faith I can only offer as a kindness to be taken or left as seen fit. In the interaction or exchange of ideas, a new understanding of truth may occur, and who knows what great deeds may result? I purport the absurd, but it means nothing if my actions do not purport it as well.

*Bows peace and love*

- posted by -g @ 6:35 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Sunday, May 16, 2004
Lately I have been questioning my faith. I found it hard to believe, to let so much go and simply believe. I was questioning death. What if there is nothing? What if what I am working towards all my life, that paradise, that goodness, that light, is nothing? What if it turns out that I am not destined to go there? What if what I believe turns out to be the wrong thing in order to achieve that paradise and all the misdirected end up in the exact place they were all trying to avoid? So much doubt, so many questions to which no one can ever know the answers, and I found that to be quite a scary prospect. I'm investing my whole being in something that I or anyone else can never be sure of.

And then this morning something fell out of the pocket of a skirt I hadn't worn for weeks as I was doing the laundry. My rosary that I thought I had lost, the rosary I was given as a gift, the rosary I plan to give in the future as a gift. I had prayed I would find it as it means so much to me. I know it is just a rosary, but this was the one I carry on my wrist every day as a reminder of my faith. Lo and behold, St. Anthony never lets me down. How I ever doubted God and the power of faith, I can see plainly. It is a shot in the dark, unknown and uncharted. But it took that small sign to help me let go again.

- posted by Allie @ 12:30 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Saturday, May 15, 2004
You know, I am prone, debater that I am, to ask one question after nearly every contention that anyone presents to me, and that is: WHY? What justification have you got to say that?

And I tend to think that if I had met Jesus, face to face, and he had told me, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life', I would have asked: why?

Because I cannot believe without questioning. I have strong beliefs about the political world around me and I question those. I have a spotty understanding of history and I question that. I have built up belief systems and torn them down in a matter of weeks because I cannot see why they need to be the truth. I have fallen in love and I even question that sometimes. I can question the sky and I can question the rain and I can question the ground beneath my feet, and sometimes I get answers and sometimes I don't.

If there is one thing in which I have faith, it is that somewhere in me, there is knowledge. Somewhere in me I understand the universe in which I live in, completely and perfectly, because I was born in it and I will die in it and I live this life in it. So, I can understand it; I can know the truth. And I can search the world for something that will awaken it in me. And I think I found it. Or rather, I think I found her. But there is more than one trigger and they will not pass me by if they come across my path.

This is the way the world looks through my rectangular glasses.

- posted by Eva @ 7:37 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

I have an existential map, it has "you are here" written all over it. -Steven Wright

I think that in order to have a clear perspective of our importance, we should all own a dog to love and adore us and a cat to ignore us.

I have a student who, each day, leaves my classroom in the middle of my introductory lecture. I asked her about this today. She told me that I say the same thing three times differently. "I understand that this is necessary for most students, but it cuts into my worktime, so I go into the hall and start. That way I don't disturb your lesson and I get more done." She is in 6th grade and has already begun to embrace the power available to those who claim it. I am only slightly concerned that several Asian students have begun to follow her example.

"Wit is educated insolence." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

- posted by -g @ 12:24 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I was going to post tomorrow but I want to procrastinate more so I post now.

Some people are stressing out, breaking down, etc... right now. The IB exams. The thing we have been preparing for, for about four years now. People are cramming, others are praying, and there's some that have given up.

I have not given up, just stopped caring. What's the point? Sure these numbers can give you credit for college. That means less time and money spent.

Which seems like what the whole word is centered upon, money (since time = money, they're the same thing).

I hate money. I absolutely loathe it with all my heart but, for the life of me, can not give up. No matter how much I can't stand it, I want it. I am so repulsed by the dirty, grimy, and crankily pieces of paper that are worth so much to so many people.

Money can make people kill, die, betray, lie, steal... sin.

I don't want to be rich; however, I don't want to be poor. I want to live in a Socialist Society. Everyone is equal (not the same, but equal). There is no rich, no poor, no leaders, no anarchy, just to be rid of all these arbitrary levels of society.

Is it possible that one day there will be a society like this? Is the Earth still too young and in it's infancy. I know I will never live to see this day of Socialism but will there ever be a day like this?

- posted by Julia @ 7:23 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Truth, Science and God

Before you conclude about the truth, gather more data. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. Each problem you solve becames a rule which serves afterwards to solve other problems. Math seems to hold some answers. For instance, 317 is a prime, not because we think so, or because our minds are shaped in one way rather than another, but because it is so, because mathematical reality is built that way. If two things don't fit, but you believe both of them, thinking that somewhere, hidden, there must be a third thing that connects them, that's credulity. Plurality, on the other hand, is not to be posited without necessity. Another crazy possibility is to simply ask God. Let me know what he says.

- posted by -g @ 6:01 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Philosophical Uncertainty

How do we know what to believe? So many stand uncommitted to anything but apathy or uncertainty. What is controlling you? I have come face to face with Jesus, and he made an astounding claim: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I struggled with the possibility that he was who he claimed to be, or he was a liar, fraud and charlatan. Buddha, near the end of his life, said he was still searching for the truth. Jesus said he was the embodiment of all truth and that all truth is centered in him. What does it mean to be free? What did Christ mean when he said that the truth would set us free? I am certain that this stallion is going its own way, and that I am holding on for dear life. I think that freedom lies in the peace of abandonment. Doubt is essential to establishing certainty. I am certain of my freedom, but I am not certain how to share it.

- posted by -g @ 9:25 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Sunday, May 09, 2004
Basic System
If you hold something as precious, do not sit complaisantly by as others speak ill of it. One will hold this or that date as precious, while another will see them all the same. We stand alone before our God on this, and it is not our place to alter another's view on such matters. Seduction seems to be the way these days. What would it take to seduce you into a new way of thinking? What would it take? Words and actions mingle to alter ideas, but no manipulator of these is ever guaranteed their intended result. "The key is not to wish." Perhaps, but isn't this a human characteristic that drives us to act? I will keep my wishes, but act in such a way as to make them come about, as far as it depends upon me, and as far as it infringes not upon another.

I was stunned to hear this day...this special day upon which we remember our mothers...that a pastor and his son were mutilated and burned in Somalia yesterday. Were they infringing? Perhaps so, but I believe not. They were welcomed and invited as far as offering medical assistance to those in need. A separate group thought differently about the invite and carried out the brutal act-in front of wife and mother? What drives us to do as we do? If you would destroy a life of any sort, what would stop you from destroying any life?

Is it ok to lie? Is it ok to lie under any circumstance? A mob of beautiful intellectuals seeks to remove form their society, a degenerate. He seeks refuge with you. You find evidence to show he is innocent. The mob of intellectuals does not buy it and wishes to have him out. You refuse. They threaten to destroy you and your family. What do you do? They threaten to blow up the city if you do not comply. What do you do? A Jewish family, hotly pursued by a heavily armed Nazi unit, seeks to hide behind your secret bookcase. You hide them moments before the aggressors break in. "Are you hiding any Jews here?" What do you answer? If you lie over any article or subject, can you be trusted to tell the truth in any situation? By what standard do you live?

Cause for Laws
Laws of nature are not easily broken (are they ever able to be?), but what is to guarantee that the reality we hold as valid today will be valid tomorrow. Cause and effect are common in scientific inquiry, but have you noticed that we never really see the cause? We presume the cause. Two things happen in close chronological proximity, and we associate them. Who is to say that we are not missing something? Our senses are faulty after all. It is said that every effect has a cause, but have you noticed that not every cause has a cause? If the law of gravity dictates that I fall from a building at a certain rate per second; this is not disputed. The cause of my fall may be disputed, and judgment may be given in regards to it. Was I pushed? Was it just that I was pushed? Who is to say? Maybe I tripped while attempting to steal my boss' lunchboxbox, and fell through an open window. Maybe it was just that I fell. Maybe my past actions - actions that others regarded as unjust and wrong - were paid for in the act of my death. Who is to judge this? This judgment is moral. It is not natural. Is there a moral imperative as Kant proclaims? What is it? Is the moral imperative meshed with the natural laws? They are different. We do judge.

g's Repetition
In truth, we make decisions and act according to our beliefs and values. To say you hold to a belief and yet to act contrary to that belief makes it not true belief. Every belief is like a wild stallion upon which you jump, holding tightly and riding where you are taken. This is honest. What would seduce you to jump upon that horse? What do you name that horse? I name it Christ. It is not a safe ride, but I am on it, and to jump off at this point would be to end my life as it now exists in the world. What horse are you riding?

I have shared this quote many times over, but it haunts me daily, and it is my ethos, so here it is again in paragraph form:

No, not one shall be forgotten who was great in the world. But each was great in his own way, and each in proportion to the greatness of that which he loved. For he who loved himself became great by himself, and he who loved other men became great by his selfless devotion, but he who loved God became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each became great in proportion to his expectation. One became great by expecting the possible, another by expecting the eternal, but he who expected the impossible became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each was great in proportion to the greatness of that with which he strove. For he who strove with the world became great by overcoming the world, and he who strove with himself became great by overcoming himself, but he who strove with God became greater than all. So there was strife in the world, man against man, one against a thousand, but he who strove with God was greater than all. So there was strife upon earth: there was one who overcame all by his power, and there was one who overcame God by his impotence. There was one who relied upon himself and gained all, there was one who secure in his strength sacrificed all, but he who believed God was greater than all. There was one who was great by reason of his power, and one who was great by reason of his wisdom, and one who was great by reason of his hope, and one who was great by reason of his love; but Abraham was greater than all, great by reason of his power whose strength is impotence, great by reason of his wisdom whose secret is foolishness, great by reason of his hope whose form is madness, great by reason of the love which is hatred of oneself.

One final note: In the mid 1800's in Denmark, Copenhagenggen to be exact, a rather large catch of salmon was brought to market. The local officials ordered a decree that only one serving of the fish per week should be given to the household servants. This was due to the richness of salmon and its effect upon the bowels. One could wish for a similar law against the indulgence of sentimentality.

- posted by -g @ 9:13 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Saturday, May 01, 2004
"Nothing made sense and neither did everything else."

Thank you Mr. Wood for once again sharing your life and photos with us. The power of your presentation is not in the technical aspect of your photographic skill, although you are a master, but in you...the lives you touch and the life you share. Your humanitarian spirit and deep concern for the individual, regardless of politics, race or ideology, is a gift to us. Your images sing of love and cry of hate. We think: "How?" and "Why?" We feel helpless and hopeful. Your stories are the currency of human contact, and the equipment we need for living more fully. You are a catalyst to better thinking and hopefully better behavior.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards."

- posted by -g @ 4:14 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

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