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Silence II

So I have to consider that I am at times hard on myself, while at other times way too easy. But in either case my last post about silence might have been a bit modernistic. It was as though to say that reading, listening to music, and participating in other daily routines are not in themselves spiritual possibilities, even sacraments – depending on what they are and why they are done.

And so I found a picture of winter and silence. I read a book. I listened to Dylan. I rode my Bike. I typed a blog. I sipped a cup of tea. I sat quickly and thought about the world at Christmas time. I spent some time with friends.

It really easy to find God in “that thing over there!” It is as though I say to myself “That one thing I cannot do and so I am excused from the kind of life that requires obedience, don’t you know. So Leave me alone with these expectations.”

Avoidance can be a really good excuse when it comes to spirituality. And so can the “lack of time” that so many of us seem to experience. But then after thinking about this more we have to come to grips with the reality that life only seems to perpetuate this lack of space for God. If this is so we have to main goals for a life of the Spirit.1. We need to make space for those activities that only can be done within the community of faith, or can only be done with God in the stillness of a quiet room. 

2. We also need to get creative and figure out how we can make those everyday things – things that are meaningful. How we can make art out of something mundane – art not just for art’s sake (though this is meaningful also) but for the sake of finding the creator through doing activties of participatory worship, sacrmental living, etc. Thus we have the “church of art” below.
Flickr Photo

The church has for a long time lacked creativity, I must say that Quakers have even further to go before they catch up with the already-far-behind Protestants. To attack one’s own spiritual life because it doesn’t fit into certain molds of piety is not the way to go about finding in roads to God.

Rather we need to be schooled again in creativity – we need to find God in the novels, the movies, indie and folk music (all other types are must be void), the riding to and fro, the listening, and the silence.

There is a balance of both. We have gone too far to the one side. It is either “do it this way or don’t do it at all.” This is no longer a fight to be battled in the postmodern world, which blends all worlds together, in hopes of finding something meaningful in the process. The journey becomes important, the doing, not so much the goal. The “purpose”is only second to the “life” that is apparent. Life, love, discoveries, courage, creativity, and longsuffering become important virtues for today’s humanity.

And so this is where we are at, the middle of two crossroads searching for a discovery of God.

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getting back to things

I have taken a bit of a hiatus from the world of blogging, primarily beacuse I have been recovering from writing the Barclay Press entries.

I was asked to review Ryan Bolger’s new book “Emerging Churches” for Barclay Press’s book review in February. I am really excited about this prospect, as I really respect Ryan’s work not only in this area but in the other area’s of academia that he pursues. For those who are unaware I am his teaching assistant this Quarter at Fuller. So not only do I get to know him from what he has written about in his book but have spent time learning from him. I am also in the process of writing a proposal for my PhD application to study with him Fuller, as well as the University of Birmingham (UK).

Emily and I spent sometime at the Huntington Library in Pasadena this weekend. It was a part of us celebrating her birthday which was on November 17, 1980! Huntington is beautiful, the gardens and museums are astounding but I would have to say my favorite part was going to the tea room and drinking tea and eating little savory sandwhiches and other great foods. It was a lot of fun to just do something different. It did cost $15 just to get into the museum (before paying to go to the tea room) and I do think that’s a bit much. Actually I am not so sure its really worth it, unless you are planning to go for the whole day and see everything, otherwise just wait till the one Thursday a month when its free.

It was really nice to celebrate Emily a little, I do feel as though she is an unsung hero around here. She is a very hardworker, very compassionate toward those in need, and has convinctions of a lion. She is always evaluating how we are living, what we eat, how we spend our money, and whether these things are appropriate for followers of Jesus, and point toward the kingdom of God. She has willingly lived in homes that are placed in the city (since we’ve been married) in order to live out the example of Christ in places where most white people are afraid to even drive through. When I tell people that we in the city, they will ask me “how does your wife feel about that” and I with a grin on my face get to say “It was her idea as much as it was mine.” The fact that she chooses to work in the school systems she has, has also proven how huge her heart is and how deep the call of God runs in her. She refuses to take the status quo at face value, instead she questions every aspect of it, and often times subverts it. She truly seeks to live life as one who has been “saved” and is being saved daily. I love the fact that she is stubborn Christ-following Quaker, a feminist, a vegetarian, a pacifist, a prayer, an intellect, a marvolous friend and that she is willing to do things that are culturally not cool (she wears make-up just a couple times a year) like ride bikes to school, drive old used cars (when she could have a nicer one), and shops at secondhand stores all because she takes seriously the call of Jesus. For all these reasons and many more she is a wonderful wife that somehow believes in and loves me. I continue to be challenged by her love and her life, and this is not only cause for celebration but what love and Christianity really should be.

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something is changing

LinkI rode my bike over to the train today – I made it there before it started raining, unfortunately I didn’t make it from the train to the bookstore before it rained – I may need to think about a rainjacket.

But something happened today on the train…I had the opportunity to talk with a hispanic man while we waited for the train and rode it. We just chatted, finding things we held in common and talking about what we do for work, I saw that I really can begin to practice this whole train-riding buisness differently. I didn’t get to read my Ray Anderson book, Judas and Jesus – but hey I think something better happened. Something is changing in the air.

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bike messengers

In another life – I would have gone to college to be a filmaker by night and a bike messenger by day. For now I just get my thrills rocking on my road bike to and from work, but tonight I found a website with some videos of messengers having fun. They are large videos so they take awhile to download but if you are willing to wait then you are in for a treat.

Video One

Video Two

Maybe someday – in another life.

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everyday is getting faster


my hot schwinn
Originally uploaded by cwdaniels.

everyday

I ride my bike to and from work on a daily basis these days, it is a 5 mile trip to and fro. Now to be honest I ride the bike to the metro train in the mornings – that takes me all but about a mile from work. I do this so I don’t begin my workday like I just finished a workout. But I am pretty much riding home everyday. I love it. I was riding home today, at one point I began passing some really old car (going about 20 mph) and as soon as I did that car hit the gas and took off, and then a little bit later they turned right, just in front of me, waiting in LA driver fashion for the very last second to turn on their blinker. “Come on! I can’t help it my schwinn goes faster than you pinto.???

I love rocking out to my ipod on my schwinn; its so much more fun than listening to tunes in a car. I have no idea why but maybe it is the thrill of never knowing whether I am going to get run over by a car or not – quite a thrill. My old scrappy bike that I bought form craigslist for $75 is by far one of the coolest things I own, pus I am getting back into shape a little – especially after two years of a steady diet of reading, dim lights, and lots of coffee.

Oh yeah and we just got our security deposit back from our old landlord only 2.5 months late. He responded rather quickly after I posted the California law in my email to him the other day. It stated that he only has 21 days to get it back to us before he is in violation. It 21 days dude, not 90! It is amazing how many people will try and take advantage of you because you are either nice. Or they figure you are ignorant, I guess I fall under both. …..anyways – thanks to all my friends for being ready to go over to his house and well, stand there I guess, after all we are just a bunch of Quakers and Mennonites – but hey he didn’t know that.