Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them. - A.W. Tozer

I recently finished reading The Sacred Romance (although the sidebar won't reflect that, or anything else I've read / watched / listened to in the last couple years). I have to say that this is the first book I've read in quite a while that either a) caused me to begin making some life changes from the rut I was in prior to reading it, or b) been quality enough that I plan to re-read it shortly.

One of the things I liked best about the book was the humility that was evident in the writers' style. This is a humility I see in what I consider to be the best of writers and orators: they are not afraid to rely heavily on the previous wisdom of others. They offer a unique and relevant point of view, however it is clear that their thoughts are heavily seasoned with what they have learned from those who went before them - and are quick to quote and cite these sources. C.S. Lewis is an excellent example of this, relying heavily on the ancient church fathers. I also like my pastor's style for this reason - of course it helps when the person employing this tactic is as well read as men like these.

Some examples, with related thoughts from the authors:

Power can do everything but the most important thing: it cannot control love.... In a concentration camp, the guards possess almost unlimited power. By applying force, they can make you renounce your God, curse your family, work without pay, eat human excrement, kill and then bury your closest friend or even your mother. All this is within their power. Only one thing is not: they cannot force you to love them. This fact may help explain why God sometimes seems shy to use his power. He created us to love him, but his most impressive displays of miracle - the kind we may secretly long for - do nothing to foster that love. As Douglas John Hall has put it, "God's problem is not that God is not able to do certain things. God's problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God as it complicates every life. - Phillip Yancey

Satan gets us to side with him by sowing the seed of doubt in our first parents' minds: "God's heart really isn't good. He's holding out on you. You've got to take things into your own hands." And Paradise was lost.


We come into the world with a longing to be known and a deep-seated fear that we aren't what we should be. We are set up for a crisis of identity. And then, says Frederick Buechner, the world goes to work:

Starting with the rather too pretty young woman and the charming but rather unstable young man, who together know no more about being parents than they do the far side of the moon, the world sets in to making us what the world would like us to be, and because we have to survive after all, we try to make ourselves into something that we hope the world will like better than it apparently did the selves we originally were. That is the story of all our lives, needless to say, and in the process of living out that story, the original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us hardly end up living out of it at all. Instead, we live out all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world's weather. (Telling Secrets)


We have all read in scientific books, and indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is.... We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. (Orthodoxy) - G.K. Chesterton

Every woman is in some way searching for or running from her beauty and every man is looking for or avoiding his strength.


It is impossible to live the spiritual life in the ontological lightness of doing because our hearts and minds have become enemies rather than allies. Neither are we free to love or serve.

All in all, the book had a powerful message which resonated thoroughly with me at the time that I read it. That, however, is a caveat in and of itself - I don't believe it is a book that's been aimed at people who aren't in that point in their life that they are ready to hear its message. And I think that I just barely got to that point before I finally cracked this book, in God's good timing. For the first time in a long time, I'm not quite so skeptical on hope.


Well, its nothing deep, but its a post that has nothing to do with me (and everything to do with stuff I think is cool). Its been a long time coming, but here they are: links 'a plenty.

The Talent Myth. 2 guesses why I like this one.

You can either worry about it, or get used to the new world, like the kids are doing. This is the kind of stuff I want to book about at some point.

Smart urban design.

Go TSA, go.

This was interesting, as was this. Not sure if anything will come of either.

Google link of the week: Why Ajax Failed (Then Succeeded)

Whisk and Ladle sounds about as cool a dinner as one could have in the city, or anywhere else for that matter.

Finally, some excellent Asimov reading.

Oh, and some music to read by, straight from the Paris metro.


Wrote this a couple years back. Followed up with this.

So...yeah. Almost 7 years now. And that's neither here nor there.

Still sick, stuck in Chicago til tomorrow night, tired and behind schedule on the project. Also, neither here nor there.

Been a lot of that, lately.

Happy Wednesday, or whatever you decide to call it.

Oh and kudos to you if you caught the subtlety in Google's mispelling of their logo today. I take the fact that I noticed it and figured it out as proof positive that I do know what its like to love someone on a daily basis enough to notice when they change something small. My someone just happens to be Google.


Well it hasn't quite been a week yet, so I'm making good on my last post's promise.

Roughly... end of November, that's when I last wrote a decent piece. A short bit in support of returning to conscription.

It was a good post because it didn't have anything to do with me.

What was different between me now and me 3 and half months ago? I had just spent some time in Greece, for one thing. That helps. I hadn't been exposed to the full brunt of this project yet, for another. I hadn't been travelling so regularly - that definitely has something to do with it. Not much else comes to mind.

So there it is.

I'm debating getting on the plane tomorrow, but not for profound reasons - I'm feeling rather flu-ish. Hit me last night after a big day of nothing. Met Dave for lunch and worked on the lesson I never ended up giving since I started feeling rough around dinner time and knew I'd wake up worse.

The week was about normal, although a pleasant exception was meeting up with Dawn on Wednesday to sample some of Chicago's finest French cuisine. Le Bouchon had a nice, crowded feel that a lot of NYC places do, however the crowd was definitely dying down by 9:30, when we left. I had the hanger steak, it was decent, as far as hanger steak goes.

Its freakin cold in Chicago. Everyone complains but I kind of like it.

And this week my goal is to write a decent post that has nothing to do with me. Baby steps.


...meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain; meaninglessness
comes from being weary of pleasure. And that is why we find ourselves emptied of
meaning with our pantries still full. - Ravi Zacharias

Sitting in the pre-Super Bowl silence of the pad on a Sunday night - well, the silence that is b-sides of old U2 and Badly Drawn Boy and Van Morrison and whatever else the vast repository that is the home computer may decide to produce. Roommate is having a dozen or so people over for the game - Sunday night is about the last time I feel like being social these weeks, but hey - its the Super Bowl. Should be super - not being able to hear the game or ads over the din of the party, not to mention being generally alone while surrounded by people. Which is a state I'm fairly accustomed to, but do not enjoy so much in the sanctuary of the place that I live in.

Especially not up for it after a weekend where I was out Saturday and most of today for our winter youth leaders' planning retreat. It was good, but not exactly restful. I'm going to need next weekend, when it finally gets here.

Especially not up for it after this past week at work - its getting tough and while I'm certainly capable of delivering an excellent production, I've lost motivation. Doesn't mean I won't produce - my deeply instilled work ethic is more than enough to force that out of me, but there's just no zest in the formula at this point. I'm tired of business traveller hotels with their sandpaper towels, smoked-in rental cars that I'm too tired to exchange, dealing with masses of people who don't understand basic air travel etiquette, and having to find food at night when I'm in the office past when everything's closed.

I'm even more tired of my own whining. This week I've resolved to go back and find the last time that I wrote a positive post about something, anything, and then write about the difference between where I was then, and where I am now. I don't expect to remedy all matters, but at least force some reflection. Its not that things are all that bad right now anyhow - I still have a steady job at a great company, and love the church and youth group and friends I've been blessed with in the city that I love living in. Regardless of any need I may feel for change, I need to drop this habit of complaint I've weakened into. I didn't used to do that.

Pause for laundry and finishing the packing.

Billy Joel's singing the Anthem. Troops at attention in Bhagdad. Two African American coaches in the big game. Thunderbirds by night, 9g's in the tropical rain. Live, around the world, in 176 countries.