Thursday, June 29, 2006

Too much

The title of my blog is a reflection of the DMB song of the same name. The band never draws any conclusions about all the things that are "too much," but I can feel it. Too many meetings, too much talking, too much to do. I'm hungering for a little space again. Some time where I don't have to make a decision. Some rest.

It's been an overwhelmingly busy week, and it's been compounded by getting in trouble at work, discovering someone broke into my car, being on-call, making plans for a short trip to FL, discovering some people I love may be moving away from Boston, and trying to negotiate my life to include someone who wants to date me. It's just too much.

Everything inside of me wants to stay home tonight, but it's Bible study. I need to go more than anything. But I wish I didn't have to drive to Boston to get there. Lord, BE MY STRENGTH!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


So I'm sitting here in my darkish living room avoiding taking my car to get the tire repaired. I'm thinking of all the ways I can prolong this repair. I've been driving around with a nail in there for a couple weeks now. Things are going ok, but I've had to put air in a couple times.

I'm afraid that one of the main reasons I want a husband is so he can take care of things like this. I love the fact that my car reliably gets me where I need to go, but the maintenance (little that there is) drives me crazy. Oil changes, washing, small repairs. Time I'd rather spend blogging on the internet, reading, sleeping, or shopping. Argh...I'll have to bring it to Sears tomorrow since that's the only place open on Sundays. I love/hate my car.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Me? Dating? What?????????????

Is a day off from work the key to blogging all the time? This is my second entry today and I think there might be even more...;)

I joined eHarmony in February with a 6 month trial run on the service. More than anything I think I was trying to scare myself out of the routine (see this post). To date I have only reached 'open communication' with 2 men. The first one left the service and the second one is new this week. I think he really likes me. He is pursuing me--I didn't even make the first communication. I gave him my phone number today and I feel like a teenager again. I'm not the most experienced person at relationships so the little things are still exciting. I think I might throw up if we actually meet each other. I'll keep everyone posted on the blog about any progress.


Due to recent events I've just heard about, I've begun to think about the mind and the nature of psychosis. What is it about trauma that can cause a biologically-sound brain to believe false things? Is trauma like an electric shock to the system that causes it to go haywire? Where are the paddles so I can shock my friend's mental arrhythmia back to the typical sinus rhythm?

Unfortunately, the brain doesn't work quite so simply as the heart. Isn't that ironic? My friend's problems are a result of a heart unchecked by logic. Now we have a problem. I'm too far away to do anything other than pray and make a few phone calls for counselor recommendations.

So, I'm sitting here on a stormy day off, still in my pjs and nearly helpless to make anything better.

Life is hard.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I was thinking about what to blog tonight and I ran across a thought-provoking post on one of my favorite blogs I was motivated enough to comment on the post. Listed below are the blog and my response.

On Manhood...

Where is manhood headed? It's a thought that's been in my head for a few days. My Dad pointed out this trend to me, and I think it's worth exploring. Consider the history of TV 'men'.
First you have a Ward Cleaver...Clean, wholesome, boring as a watching a brick move (they don't move). He had no personality whatsoever, but was portrayed as a good father to his boys. A father who wore nothing but suits, but a good father. He was well respected.

Moving on, we have Bill Cosby, of the Cosby Show. Bill (or 'Cliff' on the show) was infinitely more real and complex than his predecessor Ward. He was a good, and had some weaknesses (hoagie subs, primarily), but was still a cornerstone of the family. He was a man who, in spite of being a minority, became a doctor who worked, hard, help provide for his family, and was loved and respected by his children. And every prominent jazz musician somehow found his/her way to his house...which made him even cooler.

On to Ray Barone, of Everybody Love's Raymond. Ray's a guy who doesn't help around the house, gets yelled at by his wife, pushed around by his mother, and ridiculed by his brother. He is good at his job, which brings in a paycheck...but other than that, he's portrayed as the Butt (with a capital 'b') of the entire joke of the show: 'ray's an idiot, but everybody love's raymond anyway'.

The formula worked, so every network starting ripping it off. Hence, Jim Belushi of According to Jim. Another family provider who's an idiot. Sure, he loves his wife, but hates 'feelings', 'girly stuff' and loves sports. Oh yeah, and the difference between Ray and Jim: Jim is a 'fat' idiot. He too can't do anything right, is always making mistakes, and always seems to get himself into hot water with the wife.

Take the kids out of the equation, and add a few more pounds, and you've got Kevin James in King of Queens. Working man dork, forced to live with his father-in-law, and always subject to the wrath of his wife.

All of this leads to a progression of TV Dads being portrayed as the man in THE prophetic comedy, The Simpsons. Homer Simpson is the epitomy of dumb, fat, lazy, men.

Now, don't misunderstand...all of the characters above (with the exception of Ward Cleaver) are friggin' hilarious. But it begs the question: Will the real men please stand up? And don't get me wrong...I'm not talking about men who boss their wives around and command authority out of fear. Rather, I'm talking about Biblical Men...Davids, Solomons, Pauls, Timothys, Peters, Johns (not that kind of 'johns') who made mistakes, but owned up to them. Men who loved people passionately. Men who weren't afraid to cry. Men who worked hard. Men who didn't exist simply to bring home a paycheck.

Can it get worse than Homer Simpson? Absolutely...and there's a term for the frightening new future of the man: HIMBO. A himbo is a male version of a 'bimbo' (a disgustingly derogatory term). HIMBOs are attractive, young men who exist simply to be arm candy for the new, young, hip, power women of Hollywood's elite (Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, etc.)

While I applaud the fact that women are being empowered (though I'm not really sure if the women listed above are truly 'empowered'), I lament the destruction of manhood. Can't we have both? Can't we have powerful, gracious, loving, smart, intelligent, women and men? Why does our culture always have to exalt one at the expense of the other?

What can the church do to equip, encourage, and empower both genders? I find it interesting that, though men hold the keys to the power of most churches, women are the backbone...serving, teaching, leading. A few men may make the decisions in church polity, but by and large, most men are simply bored in church...not investing themselves, and thus, somewhat warranting their TV stereotypical portrayal.

My comment:

I've had more than a few conversations with friends about the trend in the media to portray family men (and men in general) as idiots. I know that's generally not a reflection of men I've had the pleasure to know. My father, and a great many other men I know, do not fit this stereotype, but rather the opposite. Having been born an observer of people and trained as a social scientist and behavior analyst, I wonder about the effect of media on our behavior and thinking. Is media setting our expectations for the performance of men in strategic areas of social behavior, church, and family life? Or is media a reflection of what we've become as a society? Why is this stereotype so acceptable and viewed as funny? Are married/family men one of the few "safe" things we have left to joke about?

This begs the following questions:
How can followers of Christ teach truth against such a pervasive viewpoint? How can we model the Bible's teachings about masculinity in a relevant way?

The Promise Keepers movement along with John Eldrege's work have encouraged me as a step in the right direction to answer these questions. Unfortunately, in many churches men are not leading other than by proxy. This is a vital matter of prayer for those of us who wish to see Christ's church celebrate its Creator.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Who knew that 24 hours away from my regular life would be exactly what I needed?

Angela and I headed up to the middle of nowhere in NH to a condo by a crystal-clear lake. (The condo is owned by Angela's employers, for whom she works as a nanny.) We arrived on Friday night, ready to watch movies and soak up the sun on Saturday. That's just what we did.

I enjoyed so much the fact that my phone didn't work and I had no internet access. I actually relaxed, got a little sun (too much on my back), and got to know Angela better. I feel like I got out of my own way a little and can hear God more. My regular life if so full of noise--much of it self-imposed--that hearing God is often a challenge. Now I need to discover how to re-create the space I found in NH to hear God in my daily life. For hearing Him is essential to knowing Him is essential to following Him. And that's my life's mission.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Driving home tonight from Boston, I was struck by the site of an amazing, huge yellow moon shining right on me while I was sitting in traffic. It was surprising and almost jarring as I was in the midst of being annoyed at the long wait for green lights. The sight brought me back to something Louie Giglio said: the moon is a big ball of dirt that gets all the props, but it just reflects the sun. In the same way, our ball of dirt lives must just reflect the light of Christ. That glorious moon tonight was giving glory to God. It was praising Him with all that it had, especially so with the optical illusion that happens once in a while. Glory, glory, glory! May my life be one-tenth as glorious as that moon tonight!

Take these hands
And lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
See, I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And all my soul needs is all Your love
To cover me, so all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And all my soul needs is all Your love
To cover me so all the world will see
That I have nothing
That I love You, yeah
With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And all the strength I can find

Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing
I am nothing without You

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


So as a lot of my blog entries show, I read articles from all over the web. One might say I'm addicted. More and more as I read and press into issues far more grey than black and white, my heart and my head are full. Maybe this is part of being in Boston and more aware of deep thinking and social justice. But maybe it's just a part of my formation process through the Holy Spirit.

I read an article by Kay Warren (Rick Warren's wife) about AIDS that was posted on CNN's site. Please read it, the responses, and Kay's rebuttal of some of those responses. It's worth your time.

Love justice
Do mercy
Walk in humility

Monday, June 05, 2006

Everything Old is New Again

In my quest to post links from everywhere on the web, I continue with one from the Washington Post about the explosion in home churches. Interesting read. Is this what the Church Public will remain?

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I want to memorialize Rebekah. I want to honor her life in some way and I'm not really sure how to do that. I haven't been as quick to tears in the last few days when I bring up a story about her, but I've talked about her a lot. Several people at work are also dealing with deaths and speaking of those passed loved ones has been therapeutic. Through Rebekah's death I've been able to join those conversations more ably. God is being glorified in her death, just by the sheer fact that it gives me the opportunity to show Christ's love to those people also mourning.

I've been sitting in Ecclesiastes while working through all my emotions about her death. Chapter 7:2-4 brought truth that I don't quite understand, but have found to be true:

It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

In some ways I need to be somber about her life--I need to mourn her loss. I'm so thankful that God has given me the ability to remember the moments that were completely silly and ones that were all about Him. Pictures are just a small part of how I remember Rebekah (check out the best on my Xanga). I'm surprised I didn't have more, but it was fun looking through all my digital albums to capture the best ones. I even found a goofy video with Bek and JLinn doing a Rockette's-style kick line on a retaining wall at Destin Commons, late one November night right after they opened for business. Ahh...when the Commons was fresh and new...It was the beginning of a long line of many evenings spent wandering, drinking Starbucks, and watching movies at the Rave. Rebekah always hosted great dinner parties too--she certainly had the gift of hospitality. There's so much more that I can't even begin to write here. Despite having our differences at times, both of us being stubborn as mules, God used her to teach me so much about Himself. She was a nurse, servant, missionary, musician, teacher, and friend to lost souls. I am grateful to have counted Rebekah Carter as a friend.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Silence and Space

At Bible study the other night I got on a tangent about how when my life is most noisy I hear from God less, and vice versa. I have a hungering need for silence and solitude with God but a bracing fear of actually stopping and being silent. It's a horrible conundrum and most likely one of those things God has appointed me to learn in this earthly life. So, with that in mind, I read Mark Driscoll's blog this morning and found there was a link to an article he wrote for the Faith & Values section of the Seattle Times. (If you don't know anything about Mark Driscoll, you should learn--he's written a couple fantastic books and is putting into practice a ministry in Seattle that in many ways mirrors the one we desire for Boston). So, click here for the article Mark wrote about silence. This guy has an amazing way of putting into words all the things I think (and know) I want to say.

Friday, June 02, 2006


I'm still tired after my trip. I hope this weekend will bring the rest I need, but that's going to difficult since Saturday is a bit busy. Going to bed early tonight after doing laundry will be a good thing.

So, I'm at work right now, kind of taking a break before delving into the stack of paperwork that needs to be logged and sorted. Totally not fun on a rainy Friday, but my desk will be clean at the end of day for the first time in weeks. Next Monday through Wednesday is our school's re-accreditation, so it's been pretty crazy around here for the last month or so. There's still things that need to be done, but there's too much for me to do if I wanted it to be perfect. So it's not going to be and I'm ok with that. Our school's accreditation is not going to depend on 5 of my student's graphs being updated. That's an entire day's worth of stress that I'm choosing not to have. And that's a really good choice.