The bird that plucked the Olive Leaf has been circling like a record around the spindle of my mind where the needle's worn the grooves too deep

I have now spent over 3 hours today writing blog posts.

But now all I have is this.

This black hole seems be sucking everything up.


The harder the rain, the lower the flowers bend

Blogs are still strange to me. Sharing emotions publicly in this manner seem to be the bad kind of naked. But perhaps sometimes we can't help undress; being asked at work by our managers if we're, "ok", which is a question that I believe solves itself.

I learn that emotion intertwines with spirit much more than is safe.

But yes, I am, "Ok", I just wish that customers would quit talking to me.

Did you know the word "Okay" (Abbreviated "O.K.") is the most known word in the world? Although the words, "Jeep" and "Coca-Cola" have made that claim as well (Perhaps the most known name in the world?).

This picture about sums up France ("About" meaning that Luke and Jeff are not in it):

Another thing about emotions is that they attach so strongly to something outside of oneself, thus making us lust after control. The ability to manipulate ones situations to either pro-long or end a given state awakens this.

Today, unrelated to all this talk about emotion, I found myself giggling about a time that I used the word "Sabbatical" to describe to a bunch of middle-schoolers why their favorite activity hadn't happened the day before.

Yeah, if giggling about that seems random and weird, you're exactly right, none the less, I giggled for about 10 minutes.

Just now I recovered from watching my computer shut off as my battery reached 0%. Strangely, while I knew this would happen, I never intended to stop it. And as I plugged it back in and booted it up to finish this post, it seemed to speak to me in some strange way.


Let us die! Let us die! Then dying, we replied . . .

I don't want even try to convey the 10 days I spent in France, so I won't. It was awesome, but what else could it have been, right?

It's coming back that I'm most inerested in. Like this Polish man I met said, "The real pilgrimage is the journey and arrival back".

So, now I sit here selling the very thing I was so pleased to do without on this trip, cell phones. I sit and listen to our daily conference call and swear that if I hear one more inspirational quote applied to selling more accessories to customers, I am going to throw up all over this keyboard.

More than a simple life, I crave a simple spirit. I hope a simple life is birthed from a simple spirit.

I've come back with so many more questions than I left with.

And so many questions do not birth a simple spirit, do not birth a simple life. But I pray that they lead there.

I'm a little dizzy and my arms feel week as I type. Such is the toll of so many things in life changing. So many transitions occuring. And I can't help but feel that transitions never complete and I get stuck in purgatory.

That signals get crossed and I can't process. Dust never seems to settle to see what I've even done. So in the cloud, I learn to breathe through a moist cloth, not sure if this is a storm I am facing or a response to all the dust I've kicked up.

What a strange pilgrimage.


Angel no, I think you've come too soon, it's not my time to go.

So, next year in Kansas City has pretty much consumed my thoughts.

Living in the inner city, in the "Murder Factory". Crazy stuff.

This last weekend we met with Jake from the Hope Center. He said something, a casual comment not meant to be made into a bullet point, but none the less, something that really caught my attention. When talking about poverty in the inner city and people sitting around and collecting Welfare checks, he said that, "When the church doesn't step in, the government has to."

This angered me so much. Should we ever have to hear those words?

When the church doesn't step up, then the government has to.

Wow, this just set a fire in my heart. Mainly because I think hes exactly right. Unfortunately we're faced with a country full of Christians that live there pampered lives, vote for a person who will take care of social concerns, and proceed to live there comfortable, safe lives.

But WE are the church. Heaven forbid a secular institution need to pick up our slack.

I really just want to cuss right now. At Christians. At myself.

I blame God, he seems to call just about every Christian I know to a 9-5 job, life in the suburbs, big screen TV, diversified portfolio, and an early retirement.

God, quit calling people to such a comfortable life.


I also discovered the idea of the two kinds of sacrifices this weekend.

The first is the thing that you give up, and its hard, but you feel so good about yourself for giving it up that it about equals out. It's something that is a frill of life, far from a necessity. This sacrifice is primarily trendy, completely manageable, and always has an escape plan. I think the better word for it is "purged" rather than "Sacrificed" from your life.

The second kind of sacrifice is never something we want to do or give. It's either forced upon us, meaning that it is out of our control, or it presents us a choice, but the only real option is sacrifice. It's the killing off of something in us that is so important to us that we fight for it, but in reality, it has become an idol. And the death of it is very painful. Its the kind of sacrifice where after the fact, the only option we have is to rely on God. To trust in God. To hope in God. To believe in the goodness of God. It leaves us completely wrecked and completely needy. That is true sacrifice. This sacrifice always involves death.

So far I'm prepared for the former kind of sacrifice next year. But now I see the reality and inevitability of the the latter kind of sacrifice.