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You Never Know

You never know what is lurking behind the seemingly benign and harmonious relationships. I shot a wedding video for my father-in-law this weekend. Except for one sentence, I would have thought it was one big happy family.

There were smiles all around. The families were all intact as much as I could tell. Brothers and sisters seem to all love each other. There were no knock-down-drag-out fights about flowers or the service or anything.

Everyone was cordial to the help (me). There was no unusual nervousness on the part of the bride or groom throughout the wedding. In fact, at one point the bride laughed out loud.

The only odd thing I noticed was that the mother of the bride decided it was time to pick up the church in between the pictures after the wedding and the reception. We waited twenty minutes for her to arrive. That was a little frustrating.

I had to stay probably 30 minutes over my time to record the necessary rituals of cake cutting, etc. When I finally left, I realized that I was missing my jacket. I had laid it down on some bushes while waiting to get the shot of the couple exiting their limo. It was hot, and we were waiting on the OCD mother. I decided to drive back to the front and pick up my jacket.

As I drove up to the front of Cultural Activities Center, there were two people I recognized from the wedding. One was a groomsman and the other his wife. They were smoking outside near my jacket. I wondered if the thought it was strange for someone to park in the middle of the street and walk up to them. However, they kept talking as I walked up and picked up my jacket. The only words, I heard were, "It's horrible, ya know, it is the happiest day of Lori's life, and it is divided..."

A New Robinson

We have been talking about it for while, but I have not posted it here. There is a new Robinson. He or she is quite small now: about the size of a peanut. However, he's no less a person. He doesn't really have a name yet as we don't know the sex. He does have one, though. Do doubt about that. People has been suggesting that it is going to be a girl because Courtney is feeling more morning/all-day sickness with this one. From what I have read there is limited scientific evidence. We are excited about the possibility of a new girl or boy and a new niece or nephew. That is right folks. Upon calling Krystl to announce our addition, she said that she was also pregnant. We are excited for her and Dan. I think my Dad can already feel the money leaking out of his wallet to buy new baby stuff. Both are due in the beginning of February!

More Bonfire Reflections

I had a good lunch with one of my friends today. One of the things we talked about was the spiritual and psychological funk I seem to be in. I feel like I am coming out of the fog, but it seems to be a slow process.

It all started while I was reading Bonfire. As I saw into the minds of the various men portrayed, I began to realize their resemblance to myself. This is particularly true in a few of areas.

One is the way I seek to impress my colleagues. I hate to admit it, but I can see where I am often posturing to make the most favorable impression. I don't usually lie or falsely portray myself, but I do "put my best foot forward" most of the time. It is pure hypocrisy.

The second is the way appearance and sexuality plays into relationships between men and women from spouses to on-the-side girlfriends to attorneys and jurists. It is pervasive. It is the righteous man who this does not afflict. Now this is a sensitive issue. I am a married man, and I am 100% faithful in deed. But I have to admit, that I do commit adultery in my heart. Christ was the first I know of to say that what counts is lust in the heart. Tom Wolfe's insight into this area is disarming: he clearly demonstrates the connection between adultery of the heart and real adultery. It made me realize how shallow my righteousness really is.

Lastly, Wolfe keenly unwinds a story where small steps of deception completely overtake ones life. Secrecy and deception are evil. It is no wonder Satan is called the father of lies. I am a relatively honest man, but I have had my times of deception and dishonesty and they have near torn me apart on the inside. I am thankful for the grace of God and his mercy in sparing me the consequences of this lifestyle.

As I read the book, I wrestled with what to write here. When I started this blog, I wanted to be completely honest. Holding back on how the Spirit was showing me my sin in these areas felt like real deception. How could I write candidly and leave out the stirrings of my heart? No doubt, it would the hight of hypocrisy. Intentionally confessing a little earnestly is worse than not confessing at all. It makes people think you are holier than you really are.

I can't say that I am 100% transparent yet, but I am working on it. I am sure I am a worse sinner than I even know. Thank God for Christ.<!-- technorati tags start -->

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I have all the time in the world

I was listening to some good ol' classical music on public radio tonight when I heard a short fact about Frederick the Great.  It said that he was a flute player and wrote concerto's for himself.  However, he had to "punt" when the pieces required quick finger movements.

This made me think of my own experience playing the trumpet.  It is really amazing what you can train your body to do if you practice.  With singluar devotion it almost seems that you can accomplish anything.  

I proceeded to lament my limited time to pursue things like history, painting, trumpet, guitar, poetry, etc.  Then, I was struck with the reality that I had all the time in the world.  I have eternal life, and I have eternity to explore the wide boundries of the life God has given me.  A second time, I was struck with the one thing that I have now that I will not have in the new creation: the lost.

There are people around me with whom I will never have the chance again to share the good news of Christ.  More worshipers for my King are to be gathered.  More slaves are to be freed.  While it may not be my calling to devote myself 100% to this task, I cannot ignore it.

Where are all the deep thoughts? - Bonfire of the Vanities

They are there, and they have been in my head. It is almost more becuase I have been thinking so much that I have not blogged. Sometimes it seems like my inability to accurately record my thoughts encourages me to just let them pass by without any record. Pretty stupid, huh?

Much of my time has been being spent finishing up Bonfire of the Vanities. It is really a great book. I learned much, and it was a thrill to read. Some things I thoght about are:

  • My Sin
  • New Yorkers
  • Local Politics
  • Being a man in the 20th Century
  • The relative value of money
  • The power of money
  • The power of pride
  • The press
  • How to read fiction
  • How to write fiction
  • The way we lose our dreams
  • How much a part of life sex is

To tell the truth, it put me in a bit of a funk. Nevertheless, I want to write a full review. I will be at least piecing it together as Courtney and I talk about it. She is currently reading it.

Site Update - Take II

As you may notice there is a slightly new look. Last night I was taken in by the upgrade bug, so I upgraded to drupal 4.6. It seems that the upgrade is not flawless. Several of the database tables did not upgrade, so I ended up doing the whole thing again tonight. Yipee.

I changed themes to gain another column for blocks of different information. I'm not quite sure what to put there yet, but I am sure it will be useful. Right?

Anyway, it is all working, and it is time for bed.

Little Men




Little Men

Originally uploaded by bheathr.

Isn't this a great pic. Look at the seriousness of Gage and Soren way in the background. They look like boys being transformed into men.

That they are. Bit by bit they are becoming men. I see it peek out from undering their shallow view of life. My task, I think, is to discern the seed of a man that God has planted in each one.

I am to nurture that seed and watch in amazement as God makes them into men that I could never be and might even never choose to be. It is so easy to drift into raising them to be the men I wish I were. I want to prepare them now to more fully fulfill my own dreams.

No dobut God has dreams for them, but they may not be mine. While God does teach me now through them, I look forward to the day when I can learn from them.

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Squeamish

I hate to admit it folks, but I am squeamish. I cannot stand detailed descriptions of medical procedures or conditions or I quickly begin to feel like I will pass out. Now, I would not heed this light-headed "bad buzz" had I not actually fell victim to it on more than one occaision.

The first time, I was reading about vaccinations for our children. The second time was while giving blood. The next occasion I barely fought it off by pounding my fist into the ground while my elder son was getting stitches in his lip. The doctor must have thought it was surely an abuse case.

The latest occasion was brought about by a coworker's description of his appendectomy. I sensed the "bad buzz" as one of my associates accurately labeled, and quickly dismissed my self to sit with my head down to get some blood flowing up there.

New Topic - Shopping

Here we go. This is one of those recurring conversations between Courtney and me. What is the role of shopping in our culture and in our own lives? What should it be?

We believe that it may have very well surpassed baseball in being America's national pastime. How often is it that you want to go do something with your family, and the only thing you can come up with is shop.

Now I admit, this sounds a little weird coming from a guy, but I see lots of guys browsing sporting good stores and electronic stores eyeing that piece of equipment that is going to set them free to a life of pure enjoyment.

Tonight was one of those nights. We left my aunt's house and were heading home, but we were half-way to 3/4 way to Waco, so we felt like we should go explore the "big city." So, what did we do? We went shopping. We only bought a few t-shirts for the boys, so we didn't spend that much, but we did look. I dutifully went to Best Buy and looked at various electronic gadgets I didn't need. Strangely I felt drawn to them as if they would somehow improve my quality of life even though I wouldn't really use them at all or all that much.

In many ways we are defined by our stuff. It signals to others who we are, what our values are, and what we are worth. If buying determines your existence, shopping is a dang important activity. You might even call it religious. To extend the analogy, buying is sacrifice, shopping is spiritual discipline, and the marketers are our priests.

Anyway, this is my paradigm for shopping. I think it is part of the broader materialistic idolatry that pretty much engulfs the American church, evangelical and non. Sadly, I am not that different. It is really a constant struggle to not be almost completely swept up in the world's gods and ignore the one true God who purchased me and validated that my existence is of infinite worth. Believing this is the only way the church will be able to free itself from this enslavement.

Just so you don't either think I am totally wacko or a genius, most of these ideas are highly derivative. Two books that have particularly influenced me are Lead us into Temptation by James Twitchell and Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks. I was also influenced by John Meuther at RTS in a couple of classes.

Oh yeah. Buy the books by clicking on our link so we can make some extra money to go shopping with! Is there a smiley for "like gag me with a roll of quarters?" :-@