Cieli di Toscan

Everything slows down in Autmun. I literally feel like I age more slowly in Autumn. Autumn is a season where purposes are realized and fulfilled. I find myself much more introspective in the Autumn; pensive even. This is not so much a melancholoy state of mind for me, rather a content one. The Lord has often delivered me out of worrisome times in the Autumn. This year appears to be no different. Several weeks ago my Bride was told that her Pap Smear indicated some abnormal cells. Yesterday she endured a colposcopy and biopsy. While the biopsy results are a week away, the doctor indicated that the colposcopy was very encouraging. Anyone who has found themselves praying for my family and I — not even knowing why — I want to thank you!

I also find Autumn a special time of the year for certain music. One of my absolute favorites for Autumn is Cieli di Toscan by Andrea Bocelli. I have listened to this repeatedly over the past couple of days and I’m convinced L’ Ultimo Re is the shower solos to end all shower solos.

L’ Incontro opens with a poem written by Andrea and recited by Bono. While my children are no longer of the age written about in this poem, the moment is still very vivid in my memory. Enjoy:

While like a giant – proud and happy
I take my baby in my arms
Fragile, innocent and alive
And like a little bird he’s
Pushing against my chest
Abandoned quiet and safe
For an instant almost sweetly
My destiny appears to me like a dream
And I see myself, old and surrendered,
Seated there near the coalfire
Waiting for the evening with
the anxiety of a child,
Just to see him coming back home
With the gift of his smile
Of his words and kindness
It’s like a promise that can
solve the enormous joy
Of one of his caresses.
Then I wake up and I’ve already forgotten
But inside of me the kid’s trapped
soul advises me
That this new born child is already more important to me than that of my own life…

McLaren Bandwagon

Here I go, hopping on the bandwagon. OK, so maybe it’s more of a Radio Flyer. After reading Adventures in Missing the Point I was prepared to dismiss Brian McLaren’s writings and move on. Both Clint and Graham suggested otherwise and recommended that I give A New Kind of Christian a read. I have acquired a respect for the perspectives of both Clint and Graham. So, off to the library I went only to find that Brian D. McLaren is not well stocked in the library realm — nor in the bookstores for that matter. I eventually found A Generous Orthodoxy at a local bookstore and bought a copy.

I mention these two who have influenced this purchase decision for very much the same reasoning that Mr. McLaren includes chapter 0. Basically, if you eventually wish you hadn’t purchased the book, don’t blame him as he told you to return it before you got started. Well, if I have any regrets, it is not my fault. After all, Clint and Graham talked me into it.

I am about a third of the way through and am finding it very interesting and more than a little… how shall I say… unsettling. This sensation awoke early on and it was midway through Mr. McLaren’s tale of the Jesuses he has known that I had what I don’t expect to be my last epiphany of the book. Brian McLaren and I are traveling the same journey. Actually, that would better be described as a journey on the same roadway. The catch is we are in opposing lanes headed in opposite directions. Mr. McLaren cut his teeth in a conservative, evangelical environment whereas I found myself growing up in a dying church within a liberal, mainline denomination. Where Mr. McLaren traveled through a “mild youthful rebellion” (p. 44), I had little from which to rebel spiritually; at most I may have questioned the lack of anything of substance. In fact, I find myself moving toward a conservative, evangelical community in which I find clarity and a platform for the use and expression of my gifts. While seemingly oxymoronic, this is not dissimilar to the freedom that comes from obedience.

Actually, as I think further on the analogy of opposite directions on the same road, I like it less because at some level I think he and I are headed toward the same destination — a sincere, impacting witness that is lived out daily and strengthened as exercised. Since I don’t recall seeing Mr. McLaren pass me by, I’ll conclude we have neither yet reached our destination although we both are growing closer to it.

I’ll share more as the thoughts epiphanate.

Singing Cop

The Singing Cop is considering renaming his children. Fortunately, I am the elder child and can look back on memories of aggrevating my little brother with a smile. There are many stories; some of which I am not proud. For instance, there was the hide-and-go-seek incident. We, my brother and I, had the ultimate hiding spot (an old barn) when he decides to tell me he has to go to the bathroom. Well, I was not going to allow him to reveal our choice cover. So, I reasoned with him that finding a spot in the corner to answer nature’s call would be just fine. After all, it was a barn. A couple of minutes passed and I am called over to the corner and see my brother with his drawers down and a perplexed look on his face… he never mentioned it was to be a #2.

Helpful Resources

I thought I would pass along some resources I am finding helpful while revising this blogsite. First I want to thank Clint for all the work he has done and for sharing all the work he has done! I also found many helpful links on Graham’s site under “Geeky outings”.

w3schools has a plethora of tutorials and other goodies on various related topics such as HTML, DHTML, CSS, and of course JavaScript. I also have switched to using 1st Page 2000 as my html editing tool. It is extremely functional and has a great deal of reference materials and sample scripts. This is really a cool tool… pssst, and it’s FREE!