Full or Empty?

27 02 2007

I’m reading “Into the Depths of God” by Calvin Miller during Lent.. I’m reading other things, too, but I have had this book since 2001, and only read the introduction several times–never getting any farther. So one of my goals in Lent is to read and finish this book.

In Chapter 1 (yay, I got past the introduction!) Miller talks about what it is that keeps us from having an appetite for God instead of an appetite for other things… why we do not succumb to self-sacrifice in the name of Christ as often as we might like to, or think we might like to. One of his reasons is the sin of “living too distant from the Great Enabler”…. filling ourselves up with other things, ideas, people.. instead of with God. Emptiness, Miller suggests, causes us to fill ourselves up with other things–the seven deadly sins, for instance. He says Pascal was right, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in our lives that only God can fill.” Even Christians, Miller says, can have these vacuums…and these vacuums come only from neglecting our relationship with God.

“When God fills our inner vacuum with his Holy Spirit, life works.”

Not sure what I think about that statement. I guess it depends on what “life works” means. Admittedly, I have a God-shaped vacuum.. I am in need of God, and I do not always fill that need with God. I fill it with TV, with food, with tears and words of complaint, with other relationships. Not that these things in and of themselves are bad, but when they replace my relationship with God, then I need to do some re-prioritizing.

And yet, is there room for a vacuum left by the loss of hope and dreams? The vacuum of my single friends who return home to an empty house? The vacuum of my life which has no children at home? Is this life working? Or do I just need to do what I’ve been trying to do–move forward despite the vacuum, even though the vacuum has not been filled? And what does it say about me that my vacuum is still here, even though supposedly God and God’s spirit could be filling it?

Oh I wish I were a ski bum…

25 02 2007

This past weekend was our church’s annual retreat at Covenant Point….For the past three years, we’ve been told that we should go up a day early-on Thursday-and ski at Ski Brule on Friday… so finally we did.

It was my first time skiing since 4th grade (except for a half-hour of “skiing” down a bunny hill in Canada 11 years ago)… I was very afraid–of falling, of breaking my leg, of making a fool of myself, etc. I did not fall, I did not break my leg, I may have made a fool of myself, but had a blast in the process! I was shocked at how much I loved it. I mean I loved it!!! It’s my kind of sport–you take a ride on a ski lift, get to have a blast going down the slopes, then catch your breath riding up the ski lift again. I’m hooked.

So now I’m dreaming of buying skis and ski equipment on Craig’s List, of skiing more often next winter (and maybe even this one), and of just having more fun on the slopes.

In the meantime, here’s a link to a photo (taken by Ulla Swanson):

Skiing at Brule

It’s just wrong, but oh so funny

22 02 2007

Check out my video on You Tube… It’s called “Dairy State Dog”..


22 02 2007

the latest picture of the four of usthe latest of us and the dogs…

Fat, Shrove, Pancake Tuesday

20 02 2007

Fat Tuesday. The day before Lent begins. Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, in French) also known as Shrove Tuesday. Shrove comes from a word that means “to hear confession”. The idea is that on the day before Lent, we confess our sins and we eat stuff that’s fattening… why the fat? Because in Lent people often give up fattening foods for Lent. And so, people made food-pancakes, specifically-that used up their eggs, milk, butter.. Thus the term Pancake Tuesday.

We celebrated Pancake Monday. Jim made pancakes yesterday. And tonight, we celebrated Fat Tuesday by eating M&M’s (peanut butter-my favorites!) and cheesecake and watching “Miss Congeniality”. Let’s not analyze that, except to say it’s just a fun movie. But back to Fat Tuesday…I didn’t empty out any fats in the house, I didn’t do any confessing… I’m just going about my life as normal, except that I am trying to figure out what I need to do–or not do–this Lent.

And so, I go to bed with a full stomach, having half-celebrated Fat Tuesday, anticipating Lent, which begins in about 90 minutes.

Why the new blog?

18 02 2007

Why the new blog? Because blogger was giving me some problems, and a friend suggested moving to wordpress… so I did.

Eventually I’ll try and import my old blog over here, but for now, this is it….

Hasta Luego…