Saturday, August 27, 2005


in response to a thing on another blog, shandi said... sculpture was done in a different technique... coil method of building up from the groundfloor rather than taking away unnecessary clay. So... in essence... I was nothing until built up in stages. But... as you astutely pointed out... I should have been left on my own to solidify my personality before being put to the kiln. And.. yes I did crack.


yeah, tragically our churches can become kilnlike, can't they?

i mean, fledgling sculpture subjected to all that heat and intensity? i'm not sure that this is what Jesus had in mind when he said to a few everyday people 'come, follow me.'

shandi's description of the technique used to create that bust is beautiful and, if allowed to also stand as metaphor, is one that shines light into who we are: raw material built around an integral core becomes the realization of that which the scultor envisioned in the first place...

i have, a number of times over the last five years, wondered why God waited so long to remind me of the call to ministry that i heard when i was seventeen. i mean, sure, i got it all wrong the first time around, thinking that i was supposed to be a rockstar for Jesus or something... but why did he choose to wait until i was, like, thirty-five or whatever before suggesting we try this one again?

my eventually agreed-upon answer: because there were still more layers of the raw material that makes a person a person (relationships, experiences, learnings, pain etc) needed to be added before the intended form was realized and ready to be used in the way intended for now.

clearly, i don't have a clue about working in three dimensional mediums like clay and such, but i've got to ask: what happens to said sculpture if you never fire it? is there some way to keep adding more on there?

reason i'm asking is because i don't think i ever want to be fired alive.

i never want to have some sense of complete realization because from there you kinda go 'okay, now what?' small affirmations along the way, acknowledging the artistry of the one at work forming me i think... sure. just nothing that says 'my work here is done.'

i think that being fired may very well be (in this metaphor that naturally goes way beyond my own depth and ability to recognize logical comparisons) death itself. only then can the final form be considered and assessed.

also, once something is fired, the only way to reuse or otherwise rework it is to smash it into fragments, right?

nope- the less smashing for me the better!

now as to why the institutional church seems to be, in many cases, kilnlike? it's probably because people have allowed themselves to be fired, and now desire that for everyone else as soon as possible.

not every church is a kiln... many of them are studios.

nobody knows where you are
how near or how far
shine on, you crazy diamond
pile on many more layers
and i'll be joining you there
shine on, you crazy diamond
and we'll bask in the shadow of yesterdays triumph
and sail on the steel breeze
come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion and shine!
(waters, '75)
note: for anyone who's been paying attention and is wondering, it's not that i don't have anything to say about my recent trip to sri lanka, it's that i still have too much to say. eventually i will be able to write about it.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005


funny how God works sometimes...

when i enroled in bible school during the fall of '83, i thought that i was basically signing on for a year of camp- that and the hope of meeting other musicians withwhom i would launch my big recording career. not exactly the best reasons to go, but whatever.

i remember telling my girlfriend at the time to quit fretting because it's not like i was going off to find a wife or something.

we never kissed again.

in fact, i was basically dead wrong on all counts. funny how God works sometimes.

yet, after a year and a half of it with limited academic success i realized that, although i had met a beautiful girl and fallen in love, i was not going to be a preacher or a missionary or a youth pastor and so any further time there would be wasted. i enroled in university in the faculty of education and got on with life. married in 85 and graduated in 88... been married and teaching ever since.

funny how God works sometimes.

about five years ago, God said 'okay, you've had your fun- now let's try this again.' i found myself once again taking classes and asking myself 'if God were to call you here, could you move here?' on holidays. mrs jollybeggar was thinking the same things at the same time.

this and that happened and today i sit in my office at the church, reflecting upon having just finished doing the youth pastor thing at a camp, and suffering a bit of anxiety on the eve of a missionary trip to sri lanka. the only real bummer on this one is that mrs jollybeggar won't be able to accompany me on this trip. however, i know that there will be others...

funny how God works sometimes.

(i say all this to say that i won't be posting anything until the end of august. shalom)

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