Blogging is a Moving Meditation.

BLOGGING as a MOVING MEDITATION: Liminality's thin passage untangles as it weaves, fits in the ineffable nooks and crannies of my heart's prayer wall, like the cracks in pavement, mile markers on the road, windblown whimsical napkin poems written in eyeliner.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Arabic Christmas Carol (higher resolution)

Rather beautiful. Thanks Alan for posting on facebook. Makes me wonder about the first "Carol's" - or even how Jesus sounded when HE sang.
May your stockings be filled with gold and you would hear HIM sing over YOU.
Blessings and Shalom this Christmas.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sing Winter | Jonathan & Melissa Helser


Jonathan & Melissa this really blessed me today. This northern girl- now in Texas has been missing some white stuff. (least we got a bit when i lived in NC!) Love that back porch high in the trees!!! The Farm always looks so tender and calm in the snow. Now missing you guys!!
Loved the song... thanks for the winter blessings.
xoxoxo

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent Prayer

Written awhile ago... Feeling it.... Thought I'd repost..... (Sending it out as a reminder and with much love to a few VERY DEAR... Friends. Blessings and remember what a wonder YOU ARE! ( you know who you are..... Well, most days you do... But here is my elbow nudge)



Birthright born of Battlefield
This valiant tribe contends
Keys to Kingdom Hearts
Friendship Advent mends.

Tarry to rekindle
Sacred pause remind
Embracing marrows moment
Nobility refined.

Sojourn of Spirit
Novitiate gauntlet passed
Renegade of Royalty
Passion taunted grasp

Revelation brimming Truth
Burning to conceal
Loves ransoming of death
A Signet ring to steal.

Prodigals to Princes
Prostitutes to Queens
Paradox of Destiny
Proselytizing Dreams.


Faith’s Sonnet
Hope’s Prayer
Dance and Dirge
For Love to Dare.
--by Cathryn

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

O Come O Come Emmanuel - Trace Bundy and Josh Garrels

This is my favorite christmas song .... it's such a lament to the calling forth of God being "with us" - which is what Emanuel means.......
(got turned on the Josh Garrels music about 3 years ago... and, well, - just love the skill, humility and purity of it)
So we are stepping into December. -
Just before thanksgiving 6 years ago, my dad tried to commit suicide. ( God spared his life... thank you Jesus)- however for me ...... this window of time...... is filled with a lot "lacking". I know it's supposed to be filled with all sorts of "christmas cheer" and all that. Society puts a lot of weight on it. It's hard when you don't have "family" per say.... that weight feels overwhelming and i fight pretty hard not to go into a space of avoiding.
I still like singing christmas carols though.... i think it's the only thing that brings me some comfort.

Let's Talk About Jesus Fall Retreat in the Poconos Friday evening message

I sooooo love his simple teaching.... the point of praise.... the living water.... drink ...drink more... -
Here's a bit of Northern........ preaching. I think the praise point is much missing in all of our walk. We forget, (at least i do)- that the enemy hates praise... he can't stand to be in a space of praise. So it might be simplistic...... but so needed. I have chosen the better part of things.... when i made that decision to follow in the way of Jesus. It's not believing harder..... it's about drinking more of Him. So toasting to living water... and eating more of the bread of life.

Let's Talk About Jesus Fall Retreat Saturday evening

I've listened to Wayne since 1979.... he had a radio program "let's talk about Jesus"... it's been on the air ever since. Gone to a few retreats... (one that basically changed the course of my life ....- long story there )
I had just become a believer back then... "79"........ His radio show was a call in counseling program for those that had gotten disillusioned with christendom.... so early on i was already hearing so much of what people were having angst about... and hashing through. His voice reminded me of my favorite priest... it was strong with a gentle, yet masculine authority. He wasn't about hype... thankfully. It was simple and solid teaching; yet also held some of the mystery of the Gospel, hidden nuggets of truth. It was calm truth in a very stormy sea of my life. So here's a snippet. I'll prolly share more on it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jonathan David Helser | Endless Ocean


Speaking of new ones........ nice one bro!
There is no place where i feel "home" as deeply as i do the Ocean..... Jonathan.. thanks for combining my hearts passion there. - I'm soaking in the salt now.

Songs of Water at the Broach Theatre - montage

New one from Songs of Water... (need i say more?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deluge JONES style!



Just had the honour of hosting the Jones’ (aka TallSkinnyKiwi & fam), this past week.  
T’was a thick 5 days of “Tribe Touchin”, filled with food, fun, deep convo, punching play, the mini row and even included Amy Chapman’s birthday party; with STONEY’s new EP... “THE SOAR BEFORE” in crescendo!  (Love you girl... you are soooo walkin in the beauty!)  
Nothing like a party thrown by the Chapman’s ... SERIOUSLY!!!!... and Mark... that EP absolutely SMOKES DA HOUSE OUT!   (both Amy’s party and Mark’s new EP deserve their own special blog post actually!- will get on those two, shortly.)
Gotta say though, as per the JONES’s,  i really don’t think these guys get enough credit for what they do.  I don’t know anyone quite like them.  Ummm 5 kids, 2 adults and the random ragamuffins that often just pile in their rolling house- geezzzzzzzz they touched 23 countries this year alone!  (or was it 24, i’m bad with numbers and tend to loose count!)  

Spreading some thick Jesus love in what i would consider NYC cream cheese style on a warm onion and garlic bagel!  (Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I got love in my Tummy and i feel like a-lovin you!) *** yes, yes, Ohio Express- 1968!
I love their Kingdom expression of Grace...  they really are living it not just yapping about it.  
They rolled up in the “brady-bunch” wagon ... (really, it looks like it, no joke!)   Thus began the deluge, (well, that was the word i got on it in the Spirit) ; so the ocean of love swelled and rolled and we just played in the fray for a few days and the sand is still stuck in my shoes.
Really was a full house though, Paul Pleasant came in, as did Jenna White and Becky Garrison got in on the tail end of the goods.  So the body count strewn over air mattresses, couches, futons and floor was 11 including Phil and myself.  We got to feel what this home/kingdom space could hold and actually now understand that it can hold even more!  (love those stretching moments- made me think that we really have a TARDIS here, bigger on the inside!)  

There were a few i was REALLLLLLLY missing though.... 

Brian & Whitney, Jen & Fran, Jessica, Lizzy, Teresa, Brandon & Julia, Stephen and Sarah, and Shannon- so consider this guys as a hug sent your way.... 
Anyway.... 
It was a really rich time of convo as well.  Andrew you absolutely MUST... no if’s, and’s or butt’s about it... when you speak ANYWHERE.. have a podcast going...  you hold way too much wisdom and knowledge that is in dire need of expounding upon.  So dude, GET OVER YOURSELF!  Build that bridge will ya!-

AND... speaking of WISDOM... Debbie, you don’t get off easy, girl! 
                     What a frigg’in wealth there!  Get DRAWING and get TALK’IN! 
What stories to tell, what love to spread, what Joy to go viral!!!!
(just remember the image of that “draw bridge” - God loves to PUN... and the creaking sound i was making at both of you!)  K- nuff said! xo
I think the thing that always gets me ... when this crazy Tribe touches is the incredible amount of rich deposit in the Spirit that is carried.  Such a wealth of goods & Kingdom bootie! 
It happens in an organic fashion, where not everyone has to be in the same room, just that we make room, to touch in Coffee Shops & each other’s homes.  (still longing for the day though that we can all go on a rafting trip- level 5 like, and BE together in some action adventure!- just my lil secret desire there!)
So presently, with an Irish Coffee in hand as i’m typing this... 
I’m toasting to ya all in Lagavullin, Ardbeg, Highland Park & Famous Grouse - QUAICH like fashion!
Here’s to L’Chaim and it being poured out and drunk “neat”  Together!
much love guys,
xocathryn

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Willow Live At The Visulite Theatre


Here's a new one from Songs of Water. Stephen brilliant as ever! I so love these guys!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

PLEASE PRAY for SPENCER WILSON



We have some VERY dear friends in N.Carolina that hold a deep place in our heart's pocket.  When Ken Helser told me that his 14 year old grandson, Spencer was diagnosed with "Ewing's sarcoma" in August 09, my heart broke.  There are some things that happen in this earthly realm that piss me off to the core and this would be one of them.

I've been following his posts on CaringBridge and will post the link at the end.
I'm asking here that for those of you who read my blog, pop in on occasion and or stumbled on to it....... to PRAY..... please.
 
I'm going to copy and paste a few things- including an article that was written about Spencer in the High Point Enterprise on 10/24/10 by Jimmy Tomlin  - but first a word from Spencer...

My name is Spencer Daniel Wilson and I am 14 years old.  I was diagnosed on August 20, 2009 with Ewing's sarcoma.  I completed eight months of chemo on March 15, 2010.  I was in  remission for six months, but I relapsed on September 16, 2010.  I am now undergoing chemo and radiation at Brenner's and then a vaccine study at NIH.  Keep praying for a miracle!   


Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 


BACKGROUND STORY


Thank you for all of your prayers.  It has really touched me and I know God will answer them.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phillipians 4:13.  Please pray for me as I start my chemo therapy treatment tomorrow.  I also have a portocath being put in.  Thanks again for all of your prayers and may God be with you.
Spencer Wilson 



Here is the article - i would ask that you take the time to read it and pray for this young lad and his family.  



HIGH POINT – One afternoon about a month ago, as Spencer Wilson stepped out on a rock ledge at Hanging Rock State Park, his mother Jodie snapped a photograph – not just of her 14-year-old son, but also of the vast, beautiful expanse stretching out far beneath him.






It wasn’t until later, as Jodie studied the photo, that she remembered Spencer’s fear of heights. Yet there he stood on the precipice, calmly, confidently surveying the scenery in front of him.






“It made me think about what he is going through,” Jodie says.






What Spencer’s going through – again – is cancer. Specifically, it’s Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare malignancy that Spencer was able to beat the first time around after an intensive chemotherapy regimen that claimed his hair, made him nauseous, sapped his strength and – temporarily, at least – derailed his dreams of someday playing college basketball.






Spencer celebrated his last day of chemo March 15, and a week later he was declared in remission.






That lasted half a year. In mid-September, following Spencer’s six-month checkup, a biopsy showed the cancer had returned. With Ewing’s, the odds of beating it the first time are favorable, but when the patient has a relapse – and particularly so soon – the prognosis is dismal.






“The quicker it comes back,” Jodie says softly, “the cancer is more vicious.”






Spencer knows this, because his parents have shared everything with him. He knows that in the cold, statistical world of medical science, odds are that he will die – and if his current treatment regimen doesn’t work, it could happen in as little as six months to a year.






But there’s something else Billy and Jodie Wilson have shared with their son – their faith in a sovereign, merciful, loving God who still performs miracles.






“He is not a God of percentages,” Billy says.






“He’s much bigger than cancer,” Jodie adds.






Spencer knows this, too, and it shows in how he carries himself. With a full head of hair now and a big, confident smile of perfectly straight teeth – courtesy of the braces he recently had taken off – he looks more like a fashion model than a cancer patient.






“I feel great,” he says, explaining that while he does tire more easily than usual, his chemo treatments have not yet taken a heavy toll on his body.






Spencer admits, however, that the initial news of the relapse stunned him.






“I just got really angry – not necessarily at God, but just mad,” he says. “I didn’t know what to do. Couldn’t figure out why this was happening.”






Nor could his parents, who believed God had healed their son.






“It was like a dagger,” Billy says of the diagnosis. “Everything had been going so great.”






Indeed, Spencer’s three-month checkup had been perfect. He’d been working out and playing basketball almost daily to get back in shape after his first bout with cancer. He’d been to several basketball camps. Only a few hours before learning he had relapsed, Spencer had been at Davidson College, where he met one of his favorite players, former Davidson great Stephen Curry (who, coincidentally, had sent Spencer a signed jersey during his first illness).






When Spencer’s parents told him about the relapse, he asked questions: How long do I have to live? How can I be away from my family? My dream of playing college basketball isn’t going to happen, is it? Do I have to do chemo again?






“That was really, really tough,” Billy says. “But we also had a really amazing conversation, a spiritual conversation about eternity. We talked about how God is in this, and He totally understands. We told him we were going to be with him every step of the way, and we were praying for a miracle and believing that God was going to get him through this and heal him.”






They cried together and prayed together. And then, Billy says, a peace seemed to come over Spencer, and he hasn’t cried since. Yes, he’s had his moments of frustration – when the chemo made him sick, for example – but he has remained upbeat and even maintains his quirky sense of humor.






“He’s handled it so well – he’s a unique kid,” Billy says.






The medical protocol calls for a staggered regimen of chemo – one week on, two weeks off – as well as a five-week blitz of daily radiation treatments. If the cancer begins to shrink, Spencer will also participate in a clinical vaccine study at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., traveling there every other week for three to five days at a time.






In the meantime, the family has committed itself to praising God through what promises to be a difficult storm.






“The first week we were just so overwhelmed with grief,” Jodie explains, “...and when you have so much grief, you don’t have room for joy. We knew we had to move past that place, because you’re immobilized when you’re overwhelmed with grief. There’s no place for joy, no place for laughter, no place to praise the Lord, so we knew we had to get out of that place.”






Spencer, too, has moved past his initial anger. He thinks the relapse has actually strengthened his faith and caused him to cling to his God more tightly than he already had been.






Which brings us back to Jodie’s photograph of her son, standing on that precipice, calmly, confidently surveying the scenery in front of him.






That sounds an awful lot like Spencer’s approach to cancer, doesn’t it?






“It takes faith,” Jodie says of her son, “to stand boldly up against your greatest fears and trust the Lord has you securely in His hand.”






jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579





Thank you all  for taking the time to read this Blog post... and for praying.

If you would like to follow Spencer's journey in this storm please go to:



http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/spencerwilson/mystory

Monday, November 01, 2010

Storms & Faith and the miraculous Pt.1...Awe TV

Well, i'm obviously in listening to good teaching mode. Storms of faith has been an ongoing dialogue of late. I think there are times when as David did... we must encourage and strengthen ourselves in the Lord. See 1 Samuel 30:6 - It's a place of when feeling all the doubt and angst as well as facing some fierce foes we return to the place of belief in knowing Who HE IS... HE is the I AM.
For me, it's getting grounded again in some solid teaching.. since faith comes by HEARING. That also means speaking the truth of what i know of God in my life ... for when i speak out loud - or sing out loud... my ears hear the truth that my mouth is speaking and my spirit man is filled with faith again.
My brain can feel like a stormy sea and my stomach churns with doubt... Lord, please step into my boat. amen.

(Storms Faith & The Miraculous Pt.2)

hmmmm No hope of vision part due to the battle in the mind. I know those Oi Vey moments... all too well. Love the point that Jesus MADE the disciples get into the boat...

WSTK-ITV - Storms Faith & The Miraculous Pt. 3 - AWE TV

Ok... i have to laugh on the Bob Jones part here... just classic.


WSTK-ITV - Breaking Down Strongholds (Part 1) Awe TV

I've listened to John Paul's teaching for over 10 years now. He always packs a punch. I love his teaching style because it's clear, direct and gentle.
This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot in recent years. I had a conversation the other day with a friend about "faith, hope and belief" and what is the difference and how they interact with each other. It got me thinking about what directly comes against those 3 things- and how we THINK directly effects/affects our faith, hope and belief. Also, how strongholds effect relationships in "spiritual disorientation" based in offense. I needed to hear this today. (it's 1 of 2 parts) though i know it could be much more..... but i like his snap shot and meaty teaching because it causes one to think deeper on how we think.

i needed to pull down a few strongholds in my mind.

Mark 9:24 (Amplified Bible)

24At once the father of the boy gave [an a]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[a]eager, b]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[b]piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help myc]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[c]weakness of faith!


WSTK-ITV - Breaking Down Strongholds Part 2 - Awe TV

Ok... Here's part 2 ... sometimes we just need the basics and be reminded. Hmmmm "the stronghold of judgement". God knows i've fallen victim to that one! I know i need to be reminded that my mind needs to be renewed ...... strongholds steal our hope and destroy our faith. I love the point where John Paul looks at the stronghold as an opportunity for strength building.. instead of the whiny "why me" points. I'm going to write out the his "Tips" here... (so i can re-read them too!)

#1) HOW WE THINK ABOUT OURSELVES TRUELY AFFECTS WHO WE ARE AND CAN KEEP US IN BONDAGE.

#2) STONGHOLDS SET THEMSELVES UP AGAINST GOD'S KNOWLEDGE OF US AND OPINION OF US SO WE WILL LOSE SIGHT OF WHO HE SAYS WE ARE.

#3) STRONGHOLDS WILL SUPPRESS YOUR FAITH AND WILL KEEP GOD FROM BEING ABLE TO ACT ON YOUR BEHALF.

#4) A TELLTALE SIGN OF A STRONGHOLD OPERATING IN YOUR LIFE IS A RECURRING "WHY ME?" MENTALITY.

#5) STRONGHOLDS NOT ONLY AFFECT YOUR OWN LIFE, BUT THEY CAN ALSO KEEP YOUR CHILDREN IN BONDAGE TO THE SAME THINGS.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sexual Mythbusters - The Jesus Trip with John Crowder


I'm posting this due to a comment left on my blog.... pretty nasty one actually. So this is a mythbuster.. To Seeker3- you might want to listen.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

a grain


mourning light casting off the shadows
you’ve seen my shadows more
peering behind lattice like blinds
distorted glass and curtain tore
when will you give me grace a grain
to fill the depleted harvest fields 
that lay across the desolate land
to which friendship yields
can the vail part and hearts mend 
touching once more the breech
allowing Resurrection life to live
rising from fallen with love to teach
------- by Cathryn

Monday, October 11, 2010

Berkeley Bionics: Introducing eLEGS


wow this is very COOOOOOOL. I'm stoked for the future for some of my patients! way cool. (thanks Paul for passing on the link!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Benjamin Dunn - Album Update and Sample


So here's what Ben is up to! Nice one dude.. i like the title of it! I REALLLLLLLY like it. THE CIRCUS OF LOVE... kewl concept! I can't wait to hear it! Ok so go buy a CD peeps and spread the LOVE!

School DAZE



Wow... i just finished my last project for School...  which was a business plan for my up and coming private practice as a Massage Therapist/Bodyworker.   It’s been on the back burner of procrastination stirring with the spoon of dread.  

My brain so doesn’t work like that... i’ve never had a business mind.  I’m good at the vision parts of things and brain storming creative aspect, but the nuts and bolts of cost assessment, comparative analysis ... yada yada gave me more agida than any tums could squelch. 

It’s been a year of school while also working; and to be quite honest a helluvahalotta study, projects and exams!  

My brain is knackered, but i still have states boards with which to contend. (that and finishing up internship.. only 20 more massages to go!) 

I think the most frustrating part for me was the lack of personal time to do the things i love, like writing, hanging with friends, going to hear live music, chill time to do absolutely NOTHING and so forth.   On some levels instead of feeling like i was burning the candle the proverbial “both ends”, it’s felt more like i’ve been a menorah.  I know just living has more than one plate in which to spin, but i’ll give anyone kudos when they tell me that they are working AND going to school.  
I wasn’t even working full time, but it sure as hell felt like it.  
This is not so much of a kvetch as it is looking back over this last year and being thankful for God’s grace in the process and feeling a sigh of relief that it’s almost concluded. 
  
Now i’m looking at what’s next.  I’ve kinda stopped asking the why parts of having to go back to school to do what i’ve been doing for 15+ years.  I’ve made a lot of cool connections and met some amazing people along this part of my journey.  

For now, i’d like to get some projects done that are a bit more playful and creative as well as having a yard sale.  I’m in the mood to go through everything i have and ask the questions.....  is this of value, do i have need of it, what could it be worth and what could i do with the proceeds that has more value?  (besides for wanting to buy a Iphone)  That one is frustrating cuz i hate AT&T- the rates just seem too high ... and again, at present, i’m asking what is really needed when there is so much need around me.  So cleaning up clutter in the natural does set things in motion to clearing the clutter in the Spirit too. 

I’m looking forward to some free time... (just as soon as i’m done with boards and internshit ;-) ummm and perhaps a IPhone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Cricket Chorus (sample)

I think this is just cool beans.....

Jim Wilson & David Carson - God's Cricket Chorus (1992).

The story behind GOD'S CRICKETS.

This unusual recording contains two tracks:
1. the natural sound of crickets chirping
2. the sound of the crickets slowed down to match and mirror the length of the average lifespan of a human being.

The angelic chorus you hear accompanying the sound of the crickets is NOT a synthesizer or a chorus singing. It's the crickets themselves (slowed down) creating the effect. Really an amazing thing they've accomplished here. This recording can be played continuously in the background to create a natural soothing atmosphere for calming and healing.

This recording has been created by Jim Wilson.

This recording is an extended digitally remixed and mastered version taken from the original 1992 recording entitled "Ballad of the Twisted Hair" from the album "Medicine Songs" by David Carson and Little Wolf Band produced by Jim Wilson and released on Raven Records.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bob Jones 2011 The year of The Roaring Lion



Bob has been one of the most accurate prophetic voices i have heard in 15 years. I think this one does have some major heat on it. HE's been speaking to my heart about HIS Roar for over 3 years now... it's been a really hard season for most. There has been much hurt, much despair and much heart break. When i heard this today, i just wept. The sowing part really hit me... not to quit.
Let the vibrations from the Roar of the Lion of Judah go forth.........

Sunday, September 05, 2010

New York Trip- Time to stomp with some Grace!


Wow ... Finally have some sit down time to ponder my NYC trip.
Far too long since i was able to wander around old stomping grounds and it was really good for my soul to feel the strength of the North East. 
I was staying with Anthony and Michele out in Hempstead, Long Island.  (about a 20 min. train ride to NYC- and one of the oldest    English settlements in Nassau County)-  
To it’s credit also has a English/American Pub, “CROXLEY ALES”, to which i frequented for some MUCH needed decompressing!  
Thank you Anthony for that gem, and i’m still gonna expand your beer palate.  I really liked the English/American combo aspects of it... complete with servings in a real PINT and a side of “wings”.  It also had proper fish and chips as well as shepherds pie; none of which i fancied at the time, as i was getting my fill of amazing Greek/Italian at their house.
(Michele you are an amazing cook and i love your kitchen!)

HA! i guess one of the things i was craving, besides the cooler weather and nostalgic moments, was the food! (oh and a lil POOL!)
Bagels....... I mean the way only New York can make ‘em, filled with the pride of generations!
Pizza......  with the “spirit of competition”!  That meaning, family’s that have been perfecting their craft to be the “best in the area”; with the feeling of a truly “family business”, complete with the strong voice, bickering and shall we say “attitude”. 
I cannot fail to mention the Greek food in Astoria, which is Michele’s stomping ground.  Really nice lil cafe there, though the food, according to Michele was not up to Greek perfection standard, had amazing coffee frappe; which was perfect for the rainy Sunday jaunt. 

The thing is about Cities for me... is more the relationships there.  Don’t get me wrong, i’d jump at the chance to go to Paris or Belgium in a heart beat, just that, what gets my heart beating faster is the love in fellowship/friendship.  

So it was lovely to “touch in” with Anthony and the family and hanging out with my 9 year old niece Christianna.  It had been 5 years since we hugged and my skin didn’t know how much it was missing those deep embraces till i actually got there!
Christianna had not been to the top of the Empire State Building, so one of her requests was to have that “experience” with me.  Yes, i’m quoting, a 9 year old .... “Aunt Cat’rin this is special cuz we’re gonna have an “experience” togeddah!”  Yes, she cracks me up as she is 9 with a 15 year old vocabulary, complete with a very thick New York accent.  Anthony and i kept shooting each other “looks” as we stood in the endless queuing, looking at rows and rows of KITCH CHACHKA!!!!    Yes, if you are NOT familiar with that wording..... go google.  
It was a nice venture out, that was fully completed by Anthony’s erratic driving skills extraordinaire.  We made an illegal U-turn that turned into a K-turn, ‘bout to go into the tunnel out of NYC, and he scared the living shit out of a bus driver as well as the peeps in it, as he came with in inches of T-boning the bus.  Talk about alphabet soup driving.... U turns K turns T!  Christianna was yelling in the back seat... “Dad, waddu’ah do’in, we’re gawna die!”

Then there was the Gerbil escapade!  They had gotten 4 lil fella’s for Christianna to have as pets.  A dog was an option, but that’s not until they get rid of the grandmother.  (long story- trust me)
The endless parental warnings as to what NOT to do to the poor critters led to no avail, when one of ‘em, after some rough and tumble, was on the floor bleeding from the mouth and trying to crawl with half it’s body functioning.   (did i mention it was the grandmother’s ... the one that she wanted)  Ummmm, long to short, well sorta...  
Christianna was in pieces thinking she had just killed the poor guy, while Anthony and Michele were reeling in the throws of how to make this "OK," while sharing the non-verbal communication of.... “we KNEW this was gonna happen”.
I am making light of it now, but during it was not pretty.
So Michele went on to brain storm as to how to get another critter that “looked the same” to replace the battle fallen rodent.
In the mean time, Christianna was praying to Jesus to save it’s life so that her grandmother wouldn’t hate her for the rest of her life.  While Anthony was giving psychological counseling in Rambo style... “yer gawna have to give gram’ma one of yer other ones, you took a life, now yer gawna have to give one.”
Needless to say, we were ALL praying!  Anthony then picked up the lil guy, and i said, “dude it’s in misery, either pray for healing, or ... you know.”  
I guess the prayer took, cuz while he was about to gently cease it’s breathing, it started to move, and when put on the ground, started running about.
We were all a bit wide eyed and just at that time, Michele came home with the “twin”.        
Suffice to say, there are now 5 ‘lil critters and a happy child and i was wondering about Anthony’s “Wigglesworth” skills. 
That was the first of the little drama’s that cluttered my trip.
I had a grand time hanging with Becky Garrison jaunting around  “Battery Park”, looking at such obscure lil niche spots as a memorial to the “irish potato famine” and a tucked away Jewish Labyrinth!   All the while dialoguing on what’s “emerging” in Christendom, with some serious cheeky banter. 
Plus having a freebee “Staten Island Ferry” ride, just ‘fer good measure and catching some off shore breezes.

I had to ponder at the 9/11 Twin Towers hole in the ground.  All the barricades STILL present.  Made me wonder about how long it takes for ground to heal and people to rebuild.   It’s not like the obvious HOLE isn’t somewhat representative of many things still not restored.  I have to say, i was a bit sickened by the stuff they were selling at St. Paul’s Chapel; making money off of other’s scars.  I understand, that it’s “The little chapel that stood” admits the violent storm that happened that day and stands in a place of memorial, however, i can’t get past that “children’s story book” about the account that is selling in the store.  end kvetch.
On my return trip back to Anthony & Michele’s i had my bag lost...  i’ll say that cuz i’m not sure if i left it or it was nicked, as there was a dodgy fella next to me, and my radar to surroundings is more than high generally.  After canceling all my credit cards and now facing being 2 more days in New York with no cash and no credit------- thankfully it was found, and i had to travel out to Brooklyn to get it.   (lacking my cash, but still the rest of the contents in place, that was nothing short of a miracle!)
After that lil jaunt... got to spend the afternoon with my oldest and dearest friend, Billy Francis, aka  Captain Francis of the Salvation Army in Times Square. 

Dang that’s got some history to it.... (a tad too personal to share here, and that’s say’in something; suffice to say we were childhood sweethearts in a very tenuous time in our lives)  
47th & 8th- wow, that brings back so many memories! OMG!
Last time i was there it was a dump!  Now it’s a vibrant worship center with the sound of multicultural lil feet dancing and singing.  Billy, you and i both know that it was and is a portent of what God can do with things when we give HIM permission in our hearts and lives!!!!  God’s an expert in transformational work eh??????
Spending time with Billy and his amazingly beautiful wife Annalise touched a space in my soul that i didn’t know needed touching.  It was the place of old and new with the consistency of Grace that is soooo lacking in this world.  (esp. in Christendom)
It was also the same with Anthony and Michele...   rich & deep, sharing life across kitchen tables.  Being able to touch in and travel and still find “home” there.  I’m gobsmacked and astounded at how deep it goes.  (even in the drama’s of everyday life)
I’m truly grateful for those spaces ... thin places of being, where friendship and grace melt like fragrant oil and hot wax, filling the room with an intoxicating flame.
Spending time with friends that have walked with me in some very troublesome and yet GLORIOUS spot.  

I guess that pretty much sums up my trip. 
Grace that covers time and space.
Thank you so much Anthony and Michele for grace that covers on that trip.  You guys are such a deep part of my spiritual family.  i love you.
oh... and kinda liked this oxymoron:
'sum classic Jewish cheek!- ONLY IN NYC!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

John & Caroline's Adventures!

Our friends John & Caroline Cienki did some volunteer work @ CASA De NINOS, which is an orphanage in Mexico, for a month this summer. I loved the line on fixing the water piping system "that had been personally designed by satan". (i KNOW that had to be a "john comment!")
Thanks guys for putting this together and sharing your experience and your hearts... i know those kids got blessed amazingly. I love the servants hearts you carry and how you are ALWAYS looking for ways to bless those that "don't have", even when you're living a bit skint. Your Friendship has blessed us tremendously! We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

james taylor - Something in the Way She Move - Live

I guess, this song really reminds me of Holy Spirit...... i'll prolly piss a few off on this post... but honestly.... it's how Holy Spirit churns and swirls in the atmosphere. ok, nuff said......


James Taylor - Fire and Rain (Beacon Theatre)

Been fee'in some JT..... ever get in those moods... ol friendly voice... that has better descriptors on the tongue than any french kiss could fashion. ?? ok.. well that's what some James does to my spirit.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Phil Keaggy "Salvation Army Band"

Ok this one if for Billy Francis....... in Times Square...... oldest and dearest on so many levels..... Hats off to ya bro........ ps... "love what you've done with the place" ;-)
Love you man!
xocc




Friday, August 06, 2010

Rich Mullins - Sensationalism

Gotta love his honesty here.......... he actually gets it.......... Die hard...... come on!!!!! This holds some meat!!!!!!




Tuesday, August 03, 2010

billy joel and elton john-the piano man

Gotta love this duo... such the classic... such the story teller.... I really want to go to some open mic nights while i'm there.... I know Austin is the Live Music Capitol of the USA.... but the scene here is so much different.... a bit more intense.
So thank you for bearing with me as i'm fuel'in my jets!
xocat




The Entertainer _ Billy Joel

Ha.... dang he learned the hard way... such ballsy charisma.... i love how he takes some punches at the industry.... and the fleeting fickle audience.




Billy Joel "She's Always A Woman" HD




I guess, this is why i think of NYC as a woman.... - I've always thought of Billy Joel as the quintessential New Yorker songster/story teller. His love for this city and his unabashed critiques of her has always kept it real....

Yup i'm in that NYC STATE OF MIND!

Can ya tell what i'm thinkin?????????? Been too long.... i really like this clip cuz it's fast movin like NYC- and it hits highlights. I'll be stayin with my Bro out in Long Island... and i'm NOT taking a Greyhound Bus....
I met Billy Joel in Chelsea Sound Studio's in NYC a long time ago.. oh, yeah, i should say ... Billy Francis (oldest friend- God i love you Stubby!)- was working there, and i had crashed out on the couch... we had gone out to an Irish pub earlier...right PROPER one at that... (need i say more).. so i "met him" while sleeping... woke up enough to say hello.. but ... well, can't say i remember it. I've met Susan Vega, Susan Sarandon, James Taylor, and Bob Dillon (just to name a few) ... plus some of a bit unknows that have gotten some major lookie at... John Gorka, Jamie Heath, Steven Kelly, and Harris Goodman.....all in pubs down on Bleaker St.... those years of open mic nights in smoky bars and then the all night dinners that served beer till 3am!

There are a lot of things i miss about the North East.... fast banter and quick wit mostly... and that "no B.S" mentality ... It's been a long time that this Jersey Girl has been living in the South.... and for the most part, have adjusted well. Some of the slower and softer ways have been good, but ya just can't get the North East out of me... the culture... the diversity... the DRIVING....

There is something about the kinetic nature of that City.... it's scrappy boxer like, quick walking pace.. looking and being aware of the perimeter. I've always like sitting where i can see the door... i clock the exits... bit of a trauma compensatory strategy.. i know.... but the level of alertness is sorta needed.... yet when you enter it... with that awareness .... you can actually RELEASE deeper in some strange way. All the movement is sorta like the ocean at high tide, it's fun to play in.. but you do have to be a bit cautious with the rip tides that draw ya out and really need to remember if you're caught in them, not to struggle against it , but ride along with it, knowing that at some point it will bring ya in on the land... but if you panic or get fearful, you can wear yourself out and die in the struggle.

Some sense that NYC is a masculine City... but to me she's a very focused female that knows what she wants... even the driving ... (that many kvetch about) is fluid, there is an order and a dance in it... basically, my rule is... (and i tell others) "don't hesitate" drive with purpose and people feel it and you can maneuver pretty easily. (barring 5:00 traffic on the L.I.E or down town Manhattan at the same time) It's a grid basically....... reminds me of "fish-net stockings" quite sexy- and also Lady Like in ways..... she's Classic in her style and not afraid to glam it out a bit at times...

Many think of it as a gray and cold, but it's got such colour in it... esp the Food! She does wear Grey and Black well.... the shape, cuts and fit and contrasting texture, with some nice solid high heeled boots! I'm gonna be on quest for some kewl black NYC boots!!! that's what i'm going to do. She is Lady Liberty to the extreme... and in my eyes.... such a Queen!



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Play or Fold?


Listening to Jars of Clay...  “Frail”....    (really haven’t checked on what they have been up to lately... funny how that goes with music and seasons of life)-  but i guess the comfort in that song is the acknowledgment of how frail we really are....

Thinking back today on some of the things my dad used to say... he was quite cheeky at times and often living in his own world.  However, he used to say that “christians should be the happiest people in world, because they know they are “saved”.”  I used to get annoyed about that, because i felt like he lived in a world of denial on many matters.. and those words just felt a bit hollow.

Then again, i knew there was some truth in it...  “the Joy of the Lord is my strength” parts and all that.  And yes, when we are living in His Joy there is strength, yet at the same time there is the Jeremiah like lament (weeping prophet)... that longed to see the wholeness.

I’m thinking about all those prophetic words that have been spoken over me in the past... some have been “shelved” and are a bit dusty.  All the glimmers of revelation that HE has imparted in my heart... that due to my cynical nature, i’ve let go of ... or at least hold them out at arms length staring at with a bit of a raised eyebrow.  It’s not complete disbelief on matters, more like what is manifested in the here and now, doesn’t seem to line up on what has been spoken or promised.

I’m also thinking of the words in revelation... 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

and........................

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.- Zechariah 3:1



Think of that for a minute..... Joshua is STANDING BEFORE the angel of the Lord... (the phrase Angel of the Lord - refers to Christ in this matter.... emphasis on “THEE Angel of the Lord”... and Satan is standing at his right side. ... (typically sword side) to accuse him.... if that ain’t balls,  i don’t know what is.....)

It seems none of us are immune from the “lies of the enemy”, where the “Accuser” puts forth a case against us, that makes us question all of what we know as “truth in God”.  Even pitting brother against brother per say, in that our shadows seem more real than flesh and bone.  Then, there are the places i’ve agreed with my “accuser” on matters, taking on the persona of lies and acting them out, i guess because it seems easier than standing in and on the truth that i know.  Knowing often seems elusive at best, some formlessness ether like in fragmented texture.


Some deal with that by staying in what i consider the “christian bubble”... and i guess that’s needed for seasons... place of protection is my sense.  Conference junkies... (and i’ve been one too during times of high intensity where all i’ve really needed is a space where the Spirit seems to be flowing and the enemy’s darts don’t seem to be able to penetrate ... or at least if they hit, can be pulled out under Holy Spirit sedation where it’s not as painful).

But i can’t really stay in those spaces... as where i work is filled with harsh realities and heart breaking situations.  I’m thinking of a 27 year old woman i met yesterday, who is diagnosed with end stage lymphoma and is paralyzed from the chest down, due to the tumor that is pressing on her spine.  She’s got 5 children and a prognosis of 6 months to live.  How’s that for a reality kicker.  (while i was bitching this morning on the traffic in getting into work)   I was working on her legs, which hasn’t moved in months, but her sensation is still intact ... so it was painful - yet necessary ... and through the tears, (her’s and mine)- by the end she was feeling a lot better, pain levels decreased by more than 70%, and she could sit up without back pain.  Small portion of peace in the middle of confounding realities and fears.
 
So it got me thinking of the frailty of life and that in the end we are all dying from the moment we take our first breath.  Sometimes for me ... it feels easier than living......... (and i’m saying that in the full acknowledgement that my heart can be as fickle and as drastically changing like the texas sky)

Yet, Jesus loved life... even knowing all that he would have to walk through... from cheering and praise riding a donkey into Jerusalem ... to the mocking while carrying a cross.


How do i let Jesus (cuz really that is an act of our will agreeing with His)-  live through me - that i love life as much as He did and does... and where does it fit in that He came to give life Abundantly.  Yes, it can all get rather theological and heady in spaces, but what i’m asking is on a visceral and kinetic level.

Neal T Anderson calls it “truth encounters” where we exchange those lies for truth.

"The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can't change God and he can't do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however, he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ isn't true."

I know my life has been a mixture of conundrums, conjectures and juxtapositions.  I get told i’m a “leader”... and all those eloquent soliloquies that tend to stroke ego (and a couple other phrases i’ll leave out here).....   but i’m a reluctant one at best... knowing far too well my flaws and soulish leanings on matters.

 I try to keep things real, and that means being honest on my “not so hot days”. ...
 
But culture (including “christian culture”)- doesn’t often allow for that much honesty-
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality."
T. S. Eliot

one of my fav quotes.... i often refer to “Eliot” as the “T.S”- meaning “tough shit”.

We all have those dark spaces where we only allow few to know..   often times those spaces are needed to hash out and even flesh out... when we are coming out of our skin and need to be reminded through touch... that we actually do have a frame and the ache is real.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
Henri Nouwen 

.

yet... i remember Steve Thompson (awesome teacher at Morningstar/ though not quite yer “pastoral type” if you know what i mean....) saying....
“honest is awesome, but don’t go up to your brother and tell him you have been harboring hatred towards him and think he’s an ass, cuz the fruit of that wouldn’t be good... some things... just confess to the Heavenly Father and leave it at the Cross.. knowing that God knows the confession of your heart and trusting He will work out the flesh parts in it”.

I guess that goes back to the “life giving parts”.....  what’s not life giving really does need to be laid at the cross, yet also being honest with my own heart.. that people wound... and friends wound deeper due to heart approximation.

How can i bring life... even when i feel my life ebbs away on matters?  When hopes and dreams feel like they’ve fallen on rocky soil, where the birds of the air seem to feast on them.  Where wormwood (ps... wormwood is a hallucinogenic -medical tid bit there) eats holes in the fabric of things.

Part of the reason i hold to the “Mystics” is because they were really transparent on matters.  They spent enough time in the desert of their own hearts that they know they are empty with the exception of HIM....  they chose some of the isolation in order to be fully present on other matters.

I’ve had incredible encounters with HIM... so astounding and breath taking, that the thought of moving beyond them - back into the painful reality of the day to day, mundane tent making parts of things, made me wish to die in that moment to hold to it...
I’ve often asked the Lord on matters.......... “why not know your salvation, be delivered and you just take me home?”  It seems a lot easier than transversing this terrain of human fickle emotions and being tossed and plundered by the waves of circumstance... where even the simplest of annoyances rock my mood to the point of saying *&@* it.

He’s pretty faithful to remind that part of us being the Body of Christ ... in the here and now..... and in the HEAR and now... means walking with HIM in it....  that Healing isn’t the main goal... but growing closer to HIM in the painful places is the point.  - and reminds me of Graham Cooke’s point when he approached Abba on that matter.. where God quickly quipped back.....    “what part of ME can you know, NOW,...that in another other situation ... you could not have?”

I’ve challenged that in many places... letting my soulish parts dare God to love me.... even that unspoken but screaming cry from my heart that says......... “Can you love me NOW.... even in THIS MESS???”

I’ve even trusted people with the crevices of my heart... daring them on some matters..... “can you love me now?”   Even taken well meaning “gifts” - just to squander .... with a hidden part of my heart that is questioning their motives ....  just to see if they were really real.......

Bottom line........ i really TEST everything on matters.... (oh, i’m a bit of a gambler- did i say)... but holding some cards really close to my chest.

Yet, if i’m really honest, it’s fear that dictates that....

I used to be a performer ... i was shit at doing “cover songs”... only thing i was really good at was doing my own stuff....   funny thing is... even on my shit days on being in front of an audience... i never really got any negative response... more like..... “wow... that was really raw, i felt that... “

Perhaps that was and is more my writing style... more “well felt than well written”... and that’s a quote that i got on one of my many english papers...  (funny thing was the Prof. that commented on that, was a bit of a twat on matters.... Nothing could be good enough for him, and he was really harsh with his responses- quite the critical spirit... and i knew what he was looking for in the paper, but purposed NOT to go there... and just wrote from a heart space...  )book response “virginia Wolf” actually,) - got an A on it for whatever that is worth, but the part that made me giggle was i knew i was taking him out of his critical element and saying... “ok, what are you gonna do with this ... grade it?”

sorry for the tangental moment, but it’s more to do with where i’m at in the looking at the grand picture of things and why i question so much.... even to the point of questioning LIFE IN HIM.

I guess, some of that is my Spirit is more alive than my flesh on things....  I can feel things in the Spirit in an instant... yet in my soulish parts ... i can remain numb to action on what i actually KNOW in my spirit.

The Irish call these “Thin Places”... where the veil is made permeable from one plane to the next, specifically the the veil that parts the heavenly from the earthly plane; but i think there are “other” - “thin places” ... between soul and spirit .. internally.   Where we vacillate ... even vibrate... shake.... and shimmy between.  Where we know one thing and do another (paul’s lament there).......   things i want to do, i don’t, - the things i don’t want to do ... i do.......... parts.

Living and Dying is a thin space.......   the more we live for Him, the more we die to self... and that’s a painful one, because that means trusting ........ in Him..... and HIM...in each other........

I guess, since i am a gambler on matters... that means putting my hand in for another round.... even if my cards are a bit crap.... i’m willing to risk life....... since death is an easy fold.