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Showing posts from March, 2011

Faking confidence...

I don't know if this will let the cat out of someone else's bag, or my own for that matter, but someone's gotta say it.
Most people have no idea what they're doing but live looking like they do.
It's true. Leaders make decisions and everyone else thinks they came to the conclusion they did because of some "insider info" that important people have a "backstage" pass to. Special access. While the leader's guts are rotting like a bruised apple at the bottom of a bushel basket, other people are largely living as if that person is decisively certain about every aspect of their decisions. It's just not true.
Most people are making stuff up on the fly. Even while they are in meetings with furrowed brows playing "make believe" with themselves about the future and its certainty, they are scared spitless of making a mistake or misstep. But here’s the thing, you can't let on like that's what you're feeling inside or everyon…

The Silence of Friends kills...

"It's not the attacks of your critics but the silence of your friends that hurts the most."
I'm not sure where I read this, but when I did, it seared into my soul like a firebrand.
David called critics "blood-thirsty" men. A pretty graphic adjective if I do say so myself. Critics are licking their chops looking to sink their teeth into anything that's alive. And the most painful strength of critics in their verbal boldness.
I've been on both sides of silence. I've been in conversations where I've left someone stranded in order to protect myself. I've also stuck my neck out on occasion hoping for backup only to be disappointed with stone silence. This kills the soul.
I want to make sure I'm speaking up for my friends instead of assuming they know I'm with them. I'm sure that I have tons of people that silently affirm me, just as I have people that I silently affirm. This makes about as much sense an "unspoken requ…

What Jason thinks of Rob Bell & Love Wins…

Let me begin by saying that I have learned a great deal from Rob Bell over the years.His speaking and writing have stirred me to deeper places of discipleship, especially his emphasis on the Jewish culture and the Rabbinical traditions of Hebraic history.I get very defensive of someone like Rob Bell when people rabidly malign him and question him at the level of personal character making “low blows” that seem more personal than biblical in substance.Though your belief and your behavior are intertwined, I find it appalling to read the reactive commentary of so many “so-called” Christians that seem to error toward personal attacks instead of theological higher criticism.I think Rob Bell is a good man.I don’t think his heart is malicious and cunning and deceptive at the core.I don’t know Rob personally, but I don’t sense that he’s “Judas Iscariot”, “The Snake in the Garden” or a “false brother”.I guess I struggle with the vitriolic verbiage of the vocal minority as the respectable repres…

Song of Solomon rendering - Chapter 8 - last one!!!

Chapter 81 If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! 
Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I feel like I have left everything for you, and though I’ve lost friends over my decision to offer myself to you completely, I don’t regret it.I can see that others sometimes despise my joy with you.They are jealous, and in some ways it makes me feel good, like other women are jealous of my life.The way you treat me, pursue me, kiss me.It feels good to be despised sometimes.2 I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house—she who has taught me. 
I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.I love going to my family’s house with you.I love putting you on display for all to see.“This is my husband.This is my champion.This is my lover.Check him out…He’s all mine!”Sometimes I miss parts of my old life, but not often.You have eclipsed all of my other desires; they pale in comparison to your presen…

...the help of my daughters...

Nehemiah 3:12 - Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.A little explanation. I'm reading Nehemiah right now for the fun of it. I'm learning about leadership, conflict, resilience, vision, planning, team dynamic, delegation, criticism, prayer, listening to God, and failure.In the aforementioned verse, Shallum was a ruler of what is described as the half-district of Jerusalem and he was in charge of rebuilding a section of the wall of Jerusalem. It is described as "the next section" meaning that there were several sections butting up against each other around the city that others were in charge of rebuilding simultaneously. You can read about all the different gates tucked in between these broken down walls (the Fountain Gate, the Horse Gate, and my favorite, the Dung Gate) and the people groups designated to each. It's a pretty fascinating coordination of reparation.But those d…

Song of Solomon rendering - Chapter 7

Chapter 71 How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your body is a wonderland.Whenever you take off your clothes my eyes scan you up and down wrestling to embrace the idea that you are all mine, forever.I love you from toe to head.Let me explain.Your feet are beautiful as you walk about elegantly gracing the ground with every step.I love starting with your feet as I kiss up your body making my way to your lips.O prince’s daughter! 
Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands.From your feet I kiss my way to your legs--slender, soft and smooth.It is as if they were carved with a sculptors chisel and brought to life with the breath of God, as Eve was in the world of Eden.2 Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. I’m almost bashful to admit my love for the next thing my eyes caress, for to talk of it feels wicked, but I can’t help but speak my mind.Your folds of flesh that beckon my touch are pillows of pleasure on which I rest m…

Song of Solomon rendering - Chapter 6

Chapter 6Friends1 Where has your lover gone, most beautiful of women? 
Which way did your lover turn, that we may look for him with you?FriendsWell it’s clear that you’re quite taken with this gentleman, so let us help you find him.Where do you think he’s gone?Is there a spot that he goes to when he needs to get some space and collect himself?Just tell us where you think he may be and we’ll give you a hand in looking for him; we can’t bear to see you in this dreadful state any longer.Beloved2 My lover has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. WomanChances are he’s gone down to his favorite place in the whole world.It’s a luscious garden filled with flowers and scenery that is to die for.There are certain flowers there that he always picks for me.I wonder if he’s gathering them for me even now?3 I am my lover’s and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies.Come to think of it, why don’t I go to his favorite place and you look…

Reading and Writing...

Paul loved to "lead and fight", but what I love about him was that he also liked to "read and write". In an age when it's easiest to just live hard until you eventually expire and retire to your eternal dirt nap, I have great respect for the spirits that draw away from the fray and take the time to scrawl, scribble and script a record that bears witness to their existence, their experiences. Making a mark in the sands of time, so to speak.
A verse struck me several years back that I haven't been able to shake in 2 Timothy 4:13 ...
"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments."
This is the last chapter of the last book Paul ever wrote in the New Testament. We see in his final will and testament the things that meant the most to him. And one of those things that he couldn't do without coming down the home stretch of his life was his books and notepads. The scrolls represented his r…

A leader talks to himself...

Leadership - the ability to talk yourself through self-doubt.
I remember a kid named Joel Palmer who constantly talked to himself. He would mutter under his breath at his desk as he worked through mathematical equations. He would mouth words soundlessly as he was waiting in line to play four square talking through the last play that sent him to the back of the line or working through the next play that would advance him to the next square. But there was one thing he did that was, by far, my favorite thing to secretly witness.
As he made his way to the bathroom, I would sometimes follow him in and listen to him carry on a full-on conversations with himself as he went "#2". Everywhere else you would be forced to read his lips or bend in close to distinguish his muttered whispers, but he came to life in the bathroom, especially if he didn't think anyone was there to hear him. I would let him get settled in and then soundlessly open the door and tip toe in to voyeuristi…

Song of Solomon rendering - Chapter 5

Chapter 5Lover1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. 
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.ManYour body is every bit as beautiful as I dreamed.Every touch, every taste takes me to new places of ecstasy.There is nothing left to my imagination, for I feel your welcoming warmth inviting me to explore every mysterious place on your body.I have had my fill thanks to your freedom, your inhibition to let me in.FriendsEat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.FriendsAfter years of holding yourselves back from each other, you are free to eat, drink and be merry!Doesn’t it still feel like you’re doing something wrong, something naughty?But you’re not.It’s not longer a guilty pleasure.Beloved2 I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”WomanWhen I we…