Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The first week home with a new knee

It's hard to believe it's been a week since my last post. Frankly I have not had time to think on much of anything during this period. Donna, my wife, had here knee replaced and is now home. She needs assistance with many activities at this point. Also there are many "extras" in her schedule such as a complex pill routine, ice-packs, shots, therapy, exercises, doctors, etc. I had already struggled with getting things done so this has been a challenge for us both. It looks as though it will be several more weeks before things resume some normalcy around here.

Pray for us both.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday and the Geese

Sunday: The Church had a 50th Anniversary bash starting at 10 and going till 5. I stayed for the whole thing, came home feeling beat up, then off to the hospital. I finally settled at home in time to catch the 10 pm news then crashed. I maintain the church Website, so I have much work to do catching up on it, plus kitchen cleanup, laundry, tending to my garden sprouts, running to the hospital, picking up things Donna will need when She comes home, & etc. The railing for the steps that lead upstairs from the house entrance were taken down to paint a few years ago, then she decided they needed replaced - it never got done. Now I need to get it back up before she comes home so she won't fall on the steps. Did I say that I have difficulty getting around myself, I feel a bit overwhelmed right now.

Back to Geese: My daughter Ellisa tells me she is not a Goose Fan, so whats the big deal with them! (The following is a digest of much material I have read on the subject - little is my original thought, and some might be termed outright plagiarism).

The term `Celtic Church’ is used to describe almost the earliest native form of Christianity in the islands of Britain and Ireland, it dates from around 400. The Celtic Church established itself as the most successful evangelistic movement Britain has ever seen. The Celtic Christians, led by St. Patrick, stood in stark contrast to their Roman Catholic counterparts (although Celtic Christianity was a part of Roman Catholicism, their ways were significantly different). The Celtic Christians were more a “Do as I do” tribe rather than a “Do as I teach” group. This meant that those outside of the Christian faith saw the Celtic Christians living the Christian life and were both amazed and interested in becoming a part of the faith. Conversely, when you think of Christians you know, which of their lives is so attractive that you just can’t stand to not be like them?

Which brings me to the wild goose. The Celts looked at nature and saw God revealed in all His glory and they understood God best when they took symbols from what they experienced. The Holy Spirit was symbolized by the wild goose. Doves were docile and delicate, but the wild goose was untamable, free, and unpredictable. Instead of a soft coo, the wild goose was noisy - it's raucous honk was strong, challenging, strident, unnerving and just a bit scary. And it seemed always to be on the move—on a pilgrimage ordained by the Lord Himself.

In much the same way the Spirit of God can be, demanding and unsettling. Think about the story of Pentecost, and the impression the disciples made on the crowd. During the Festival of Weeks each person was to bring to God a special gift in proportion to the blessing the Lord had given to him. All daily work was to be set aside. The people were to gather and worship and rejoice before the Lord. Who was invited? “You, your sons and daughters, your men servants and maid servants, the Levites in your towns, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you.” In other words, just about everyone was invited. Jerusalem was crowded on that first Pentecost. No wonder so many different languages were being spoken. On that day, the disciples were all gathered together in one room. Suddenly they heard the sound of the wind blowing fiercely. This mighty wind was not blowing outside the house, but inside.

Even more amazing, as the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks like wildfire they all began to speak in other languages. Suddenly those cosmopolitan Jews from various nations of the world were hearing the disciples of Jesus tell their story. And strangely, each of them was hearing the story in their own language. Without interpreters.

And they were both amazed and baffled. “Aren’t these all Galileans?” they asked. Galilee was Hicksville as far as they were concerned. Where did these simple followers of Jesus learn to speak in various languages? It was all a mystery.

Some people, of course, were turned off by all the raucous activity and accused the disciples of being drunk. But they were not drunk. The scripture says simply that the Spirit of God had come upon them. Its one thing for a gentle dove to descend peacefully on Jesus – it’s something all together different when the Spirit descends like a wild, noisy goose!

I can't think of a better description of what it's like to be led by the Holy Spirit than a wild goose chase. When you follow the Wild Goose you'll go places and meet people and do things you never dreamed of. Kids love chasing butterflies and other things, it's almost like we have a chasing gene. It's part of our DNA. We need something to chase. So we grow up and we stop chasing butterflies. But we still need something to chase. So guys chase girls and girls chase guys. We chase academic or athletic or artistic goals. We chase degrees. We chase dreams. Then we graduate and we chase positions.

And then something happens: we stop chasing and start settling. The problem with that is this. Proverbs 29:18 says, "Without a vision the people perish." In other words, when you stop chasing your God-given dream you start dying! We need something to chase. It's the way God has wired us. But too many of us stop chasing or we're chasing the wrong thing. You were created to chase the Wild Goose. Anything less than chasing God is settling for second best.

A life following in the tailwind of the wild goose. That’s the kind of life that calls to our innermost being and awakens the lethargic longings within. The problem is, I know few Christians who have discovered the flight path.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hospital and Park

Yesterday was filled with trips to the hospital to keep my wife company. The time between trips was filled with paying bills, eating, shopping for Her, a visit to a crafts store to get some letter-boxing ideas, and a visit to a local park to discover some letterboxes.

I am still thinking about the Geese and almost ready to publish some more on them, stay tuned.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Running, running, running

So just a quick update. My wife Donna now has a mechanical knee. Do to an error at the hospital she has not been able to receive the intended amount of pain medication. Therefor she is not sleeping well. They are pumping her with a lot of Morphine to make up for the missing meds. I have not seen her in this much of a stupor for years. It is funny to try to talk with her.

At any rate trying to do chores and make visits is taxing my own physical abilities right now.

My daughter Ellisa first got me interested in blogging a few months back and I find that I am enjoying it. Now she has introduced me to "Letterboxing" which really sounds fun and intriguing. I think I will try getting involved with it to get me out and about more. When I do I will probably blog about that too. I have another blog which I have set up, but haven't used where that will probably go.

I will try to talk more about where the wild goose goes soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dove or Goose

This has been an unusual week mostly because my wife has been off schedule. She is preparing to have her knee replaced next Tuesday which has resulted in many extra activities for us both. She did take me to see the Indians beat the White Socs Wednesday night. She is quick to remind me that the tickets are hers. She is a baseball nut so for her birthday last year I gave her 2008 partial season (20 game) tickets for two people along with garage parking passes. She will probably miss a couple of games now because of her knee replacement. I am also trying to prepare for planting my garden and getting a Ham Radio installed into the car I picked up last fall. So all-in-all I have been running is circles. To further complicate things I blew out a tire resulting in my car going to the shop twice. Once for a new tire and alignment. Then for replacement of my brake routers which they discovered were bad while replacing the tire.

The other day I discovered mention that in the early Celtic Christian church the accepted symbol of the Holy Spirit was not the dove, but the goose. As I am of Scottish/Irish decent, I became interested and researching I found quite a bit of material. Here are some preliminary thoughts on the nature of geese which I wanted to get down.

I tend to like this symbol, geese are a wonderful species. Together in flocks they accomplish more than they could individually. They will lead when called upon, but defer to others when that is appropriate. They care for each other when flying in formation even to the extent of staying behind in support of another which is sick or wounded. They give each other encouraging honks as they fly above us. If you have ever been around geese you are aware that they can be rather pushy and independent if you try to direct them the wrong way.

I have some thoughts on the spiritual aspects of this which I intend to digest a bit before posting.