Monday, February 28, 2005

Mommy keeping an eye on our little butterbean. Posted by Hello

Life is a little fuzzy right now but I think I have a plan. Posted by Hello

Parables and Prophesies, guilt and glory

Daily we walk down our streets and pass people without a spark of connection. We think, "they are dirty, they are strange, they might have a disease, those poor people, those beggars, those scum of the Earth, they'll only buy more drugs, they will only waste what I throw in their cup." They are those we wished weren't there because they make us feel guilty.

Guess what. They are God.

Those beggars, those drug addicts, those alcoholics, those prostitutes are the heart of God, and we walk past them and wish they weren't there. We make up stories about how they all deserve to be where they are, or how they have a car parked around the corner and live a good life in the suburbs, but they are suffering and providing us with an opportunity to show God's love ... and yet we walk on by.

We see that poor pregnant teenager but we can't stop making moral judgements about her long enough to see the Christ child growing inside of her.

We look at the 28 million people in Africa who are dying of AIDS and somewhere inside we say they deserve it. We say its God's will or we say to ourselves that God could work a miracle if he wanted to, and all the time we forget that we are God's miracle. We exist to do God's will and his will is that we transfigure the world like he transfigured our hearts. He gave us a chance, so we would be his miracle workers and give someone else that same chance.

We head off to church to sit on a pew and listen to stories about how great God is and by what means we should measure our morality and all the time God is out on the streets, shaking a cup and wondering why we want to talk about him when we could talking to him.

We try so hard to go to church every Sunday and shake hands with the preacher and we hold the door for the matriarchs and patriarchs of our congregation, we tithe and we follow all the commandments, but we never even think about doing it the way God told us to.

Have you ever noticed the different tones of Christ in dealing with sinners, specifically the contrast between the way he gently sat down and talked with the sexually immoral women that we deplore today, and how stern we reacted to the hypocrite we are most days?

We are the religious and the wealthy men riding by the poor man in the ditch, looking down at him and trying not to make eye contact because we know that guilt will leave an ache in our throats until we can make it back to prayer meeting and maybe remember to say a prayer that he was okay. Or we just look down and wonder what he did to deserve it.

And all the time, God is wanting to bless the Samaritan who is willing to get down in the dirt with him and help that poor soul realize the Love of God that exists inside all of us.

The thing about God's love is, he loves that person in the ditch, that Samaritan getting dirty to do his will and that rich preacher who turned his head and rode on by. He loves the junky and virgin just the same, because his love is perfect.

Maybe we could learn something from that example.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Brendan's Isle: Histories and Mysteries From Campires to Kitchen Tables

So why did I call it Brendan's Isle?
Before Columbus came in 1492; before the Chinese fleets in 1421; before Leif Erikson in the 1100s, a wily Irish priest named St. Brendan and a handful of monks left Ireland in the 500s in a leather boat and jouneyed for seven years and along the way found America. They did not build anything like the Danes, they did not stay like the Chinese and they did not conquer like Columbus, they simply stopped and witnessed God's grand creation, and found it good.

Brendan's Isle is a place of hope where we can come together as a global community and experience the joy of transfiguration. Its where we can forgive and be forgiven. Brendan's Isle is an idea that we can come together and share our cultures with the other's in our community and possibly along the way we will realize how infinitely insignificant we are, yet experience the Love God holds for us as a community.

Brendan's Isle is America and its not. There is a diversity here that doesn't exist anywhere else. Everybody kept discovering America. Everyone has a stake in it. Its like the roughneck kid in the global community who had a row with his dad and had to grow up too quick, and now, he feels like he's the biggest so he has to be the big brother to the world. Big brothers always mean well, but sometimes they can be a real bully.

America is caught in an adolescence. Its like the rest of the world is just waiting on us to make something of ourselves and become a better part of the whole. We have to stop trying to be the moral dictator's of the world when we are so immoral ourselves. We have to stop acting as if we own everything and start remembering that God placing us as stewards over the land mean that we are visceroys, not victors over it.

Brendan's Isle is America and it is not. Physically, it is the diversity of America, but the ideals of it are far beyond where we are. That part of Brendan's Isle is a dream that we need to start dreaming, that we can let go of our ideas of God and the church and realize that we are not the moral sword of God, we should be acting as the compassionate bandages instead. God loves us all -- even our enemies, and there is nothing we can do to change that because his love for all of us is perfect.

There are some key issues that we need to explore to help our kids do something better than we did. That is what Brendan's Isle is going to be -- a place where we can remember apartheid and choose to forgive all the wrongdoings of it; It will be a place to forgive slavery; a place to heal the wounds of Ireland despite continued oppression. It is a place where my son will be able to look out at ideals not set by an agenda or a church or a political organization -- but a place filled with people loving and appreciating each other in the perfect love of God. It will be a place where we can learn about transfiguring our community and our minds.

It will be a place where we can send people out into the world and show them the humanity of mankind -- show them that there is no evil in man and nature -- show them everyone and every culture has the capacity for good -- show them what we can become together. It will be a place where others can come to our surreal community and witness the corporate nature of living in the oneness of Christ.

In my perfect plan, I want to turn this idea into an educational program for children, both as a challenge to the deplorable and violence filled Children's Educational Television programming currently challenging the innate goodness in our children, but I want it to go deeper than that. I want to find a calling for this idea.

I think we need to tear down some borders. We need to realize its okay to be Irish -- there's a lot of history there. We need to learn its okay to be Lakota from the Rosebud and its also okay to be part of one thing and another. Its okay for me to really dig all my cultures and get down into the roots of all of them. This isn't just about America, its the whole global community and its my desire to introduce us all, to shake hands and share a laugh and a story and learn we can live through the differences.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

My third day in profile Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I am Liam. Hear me roar. Posted by Hello

A new joy

For months I waited with anticipation for this day, for the moment when our child would be here, when the mystery living in Heather's womb would emerge into the world. I waited and talked to that part of us that rolled under her skin and wondered through our souls what would be coming. Who would this person be? And then, there lying on his mother's belly, having journeyed into the world, still tethered to his former life, fully gazing in wonderment to the life ahead -- a gift from God, a son.

Then, I told him the one thing I had thought all those months to say, the legacy I would pass on. I whispered the dream I have for him, that, "You can be anything you want to be."

big yawn after keeping mom and dad up all night. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

William "Liam" Tecumseh Bell, born February 21, 2005 at our home with the great assistance of midwives. Liam was 8 lbs., 20 1/2 inches long and has a head full of curly black hair. Posted by Hello

Welcome to the World

Liam Tecumseh was born at home February 21, 2005 at 5:48 p.m.