Month: December 2016

Pärt’s Minimalism

Arvo Pärt (born in Estonia in 1935). Musik featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), There Will Be Blood (2007), etc.

Pärt’s minimalism embraces both sound and silence, and in this contemplative interaction points beyond itself to something hidden and yet revealed. The God of Judeo-Christian tradition is inconceivable and indescribable, and must be approached in silence and darkness – the early Christian writers called this apophasis. …Yet is has been given to humans to SAY SOMETHING, to Him & about Him, which the early Christian writers called kataphasis. …this paradox – speaking of God as nameless yet having the names of everything.

Every affirmation …has the force of a negation pointing toward transcendence. The purpose of silence is to generate a right word, a right sound. There is not the one without the other: no silence without sound, and no sound that does not begin or end with, or somehow embody, silence.

Pärt aims to help us RELISH the awful mystery that is God.


#2 – – – > from dweller to explorer? Ditch your Know-It-All Attitude & embrace the liberating limitations that are truly yours – respectful humility.


#4 – – – > put more priority on experience over and above your comfort-wanting abstractions.


#5 – – – > belonging is an inescapable dimension of believing. Stop trying to “believe” absent the reality of BELONGING (Matthew 25)


#7 – – – > Active Listening. Not Self-Righteous. Smell the haunting.




& finally – a quick convo. w/ Hugh

something useful? – David Brooks can help us here Hugh – – – I have no doubt you will like what DB has to say, but let us all acknowledge that – like DB – there are flat-out reasons Heb. 10:25 and 1 Cor. 12-14 simply will not FEEL productive. And by all means (costly) let’s repentantly kill our self-righteousness via putting ourselves near those who will force us to see how truly wretched we really are – in order that we might actually savor Jesus – the one who became THE CURSE – met us in the midst of our wretchedness [b/c He plunged Himself into it].



Pound the pavement & sit @ the Bus Stop. Pick up some trash off of the ground #Longmire.




Loitering? – – – Sojourners w/ Sass #Cheeky ??

  • have a sense? imaginatively inhabit.
  • Come over. Come in. Sense.
  • Note what happens when you only ask questions and only LISTEN for ‘just’ one hour.



Move toward it – – – B/C you are afraid of it – – – like The Man Who Was Thursday.

so often 0 0 0 expectations are the enemy of loving.


sharing friends

sharing food

sharing life




Xns & non-Xns have issues with – – – > marriage, parenting, doubting God, trying to be a better person, porn, materialism, consumerism, debt, forgiving people, divorce, sexual problems within marriage, loneliness, substance abuse, panic attacks, relating with children, anger, etc.

Sabbath & Benevolent Action

have to do and ought to do becomes can’t wait to do!


benevolent action; spontaneous blessing; uncomfortable giving; send yo leaders





Does it sound arrogant to you that I believe ____________ as absolute truth? Does my truth claim seem utterly implausible to you? Do you like that word “Implausible”? How about the word, “Haunting”? …How about the word “Humility”? I will tell you – right now, right this instance, without hesitation – that I ought to (that’s an absolute term BTW) recognize and accept my limitations. I cannot make you believe something you don’t want to believe (that’s a limitation that I really really really must accept!). In fact, accepting that limitation is tantamount to LIBERTY! I would be crushed under the weight of attempting to coerce you into believing something that I have absolutely no power to decree. Desires and demands …these must be kept in their proper places. Denis says that I am like a man squinting in a fog. I agree with Denis. Thanks for that IMAGINATIVE helper helperson D-man! I don’t know how the truth will become alive and real for my neighbor …There is a mysterious relationship between seeking the truth and being open to it. For all sorts of reasons, I may not be ready to hear what I need to hear and what I will someday love hearing – but not now, or here, or from you.

***Accepting truth requires not impeccable arguments but divine grace.

[Luke 16]

Patient waiting is essential.

I must count you as more significant than myself even when you resist the truth I am sharing. And I need to count the Spirit as most significant of all, trusting that His working and timing makes all the difference. – – – > this does not describe a weak soul, wavering, tentative, and uncertain, but someone who realizes that truth is not an achievement but a gift, best shared in the kind of love that is robust enough to welcome sacrifice. [Denis Haack]



“It seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do His work, to bear His glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.” – Madeleine L’Engle [Walking on Water]


“The world where we live is the one where even a glimmer of hope can shine like a beacon if it’s true and not lacquered with sentimentality. It’s a world where heroism is often discovered in quiet corners, where people keep on keeping on even though prospects don’t seem particularly bright; even though it feels like we are squinting in a fog. It’s a world where the details matter, where beauty can be spun out of ordinary stories, and where being a person of grace might just be the most radical calling imaginable.” – Denis Haack

“We are called at certain moments to comfort people who are enduring some trauma. Many of us don’t know how to react in such situations, but others do. In the first place, they just show up. They provide a ministry of presence. Next, they don’t compare. The sensitive person understands that each person’s ordeal is unique and should not be compared to anyone else’s. Next, they do the practical things–making lunch, dusting the room, washing the towels. Finally, they don’t try to minimize what is going on. They don’t attempt to reassure with false, saccharine sentiments. They don’t say that the pain is all for the best. They don’t search for silver linings. They do what wise souls do in the presence of tragedy and trauma. They practice a passive activism. They don’t bustle about trying to solve something that cannot be solved. …The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process. She lets the sufferer …define the meaning of what is going on. She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.” ― David Brooks, The Road to Character

Margie sez that David insists our nat. tendency is to consider ourselves the center of the universe – which leads to the disasters of narcissism and self-aggrandizement.


“When any man comes into the presence of God he will find, whether he wishes it or not, that all those things which seemed to make him so different from the men of other times, or even from his earlier self, have fallen off him. He is back where he always was, where every man always is. Do not let us deceive ourselves. No possible complexity which we can give to our picture of the universe can hide us from God: there is no copse, no forest, no jungle thick enough to provide us cover. We read in Revelation of Him that sat on the throne ‘from whose face the earth and heaven fled away’. It may happen to any of us at any moment. In the twinkling of an eye, in a time too small to be measured, and in any place, all that seems to divide us from God can flee away, vanishing leaving us naked before Him, like the first man, like the only man, as if nothing but He and I existed. And since that contact cannot be avoided for long, and since it means either bliss or horror, the business of life is to learn to like it. That is the first and great commandment.”

The Most Difficult Lie to Contend W/

The most difficult LIE I have ever contended w/ is that this life is a story about ME.

#Meism = LIE!

You cannot make that person believe. BUT – you can go talk to Jesus & ask Him what He would advise you to ask that person, and then – – – > go ask them what Jesus told you to ask them.

Life w/ others is a SliceOfHeaven b/c 2Focus on someone else means you’re NOT preoccupied w/ your problems – U are focused on their problems.

God RISKS Himself on me & so I will RISK myself on others.

Your love makes them lovely.

Your [SD] (*self-discipline) will never last long – but if you’re IN LOVE – U will be amazed @ the perseverance & the kinds of things you will do!

U will never obey God – until you ACCEPT His love for you. You will never LUV God & others until you ACCEPT God’s love for you!

*That dude talks about Jesus like he knows Him …like he’s just talked to Him on the phone earlier that day!

I was too proud – to prideful – to accept MY NEED of GRACE I thought I was above the grace of God – I thought I had no neediness; I didn’t require MERCIFUL ASSISTANCE.


Various Take-Aways From Convo w/ Donald

This first one is from the convo with Mark – – – > Afraid. Outrage. Sorrow. The Joy Set B4.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

	Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

	So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

A Poem by CS Lewis

“All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love –a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.”



…SPEAKING OF JESUS [is Jesus real? …If so – simply speak of Him as a real person].

  • #ArunningConvoVSrunningFromConvo!

There is absolutely nothing more progressive than embracing the idea that the problem lives inside of me.”

My slot machine god disintegrated on Christmas Eve when I was 13.” …see the poem by CS Lewis above.

My lies were barriers to protect my secret dark hidden thoughts; my tongue was a weapon to keep people away from the real me.

My life had become something to hide.”



God reveals Himself MOST COMPLETELY in a specific person name Jesus.

“We are often reduced to a life of routine through which we sleepwalk.”

I am either – – – > [A] Trying to get God to do what I want to do, or [B] Trying to participate in what God’s doing.

Before spending what will wind-up being only a few brief moments attempting to walk the irrational & terrifying tight-rope of HOPE – I find myself spending countless hours rigging up the safety net below.

Geoff had inadequate & under-developed imagined theology.

Geoff …Do You Have A Trinitarian Imagination?

Self-preservation OR incarnation… Grace = Slow Growth & Short Gains [G=SG&SG]


We get mired in the “Nothing can be done swamp” …and @ first we get grandiose & reactionary & angry – and then we are Intimidated into being Infantile instead of accepting readily available quiet confident Christian humility (lament & laughter).