19 May 2014

'Joyful Jim's Grand Adventure' - A Graduation Address

(Graduation Speech – School of Speech Language Pathology
San Jose State University, 16 May 2014)

His given name is Ian Christian Marsh.

He is my dear eldest son.

But early on in his unique and amazing journey, he inadvertently received another name.

When Ian was a wee lad, we bought him some little blue jeans. And we noticed that the ones that fit him the best were the 'slim' cut.

So, once we got the jeans and were heading out of the store, i simply called out to him, 'C'mon, let's go, Slim Jim.'

And a 'legend' was born.

18 April 2014

stones (israel-palestine chronicles - 2009)

it began early in the morning, ascending the Mount of Olives.
it ended late in the evening, descending to the Western 'Wailing' Wall.
in between, there were many steps and stories, silences and shouts, sights and sighs...we experienced beauty and busyness, contemplation and commerce, sanctity and sacrilegiousness, temptations and trials, glory and gluttony, tears and tumultuousness, awe and agony, love and lamentation...we were curious and cautious, fascinated and flustered, amazed and appalled, illuminated and unnerved, underfed and overwhelmed, enraptured and exhausted.
it was quite a day.
and in the midst of it all...there were stones.

08 April 2014

names (israel-palestine chronicles - 2012)

His mama named him Simon.

He didn’t like to do ‘drawerings’. But he did learn to catch fish. Enough to start his own business and become a pillar of the community.

Out in his docked boat one day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, in Capernaum, he heard someone shout out his name. It wasn’t a voice he had heard in his neighborhood. But it came from a person he and his neighborhood had certainly heard about. The stories were astounding. The rumours spread like wildfire. The mysterious man from Nazareth had done and said things so shocking and amazing, people all over the region were fishing for the right words to describe him.

And there he stood on the rocky shoreline, yelling out to him something indecipherable. Something about following him somewhere. Something about catching something much more interesting than fish.

The man named Jesus. Not named by his mama, but supposedly by God.

Simon had a family. A home just a stone’s throw from the synagogue and the center of town. A successful business that provided for his loved ones and others. A settled and satisfying life.

And a stranger invites him to drop his life as he knew it like the nets in his hands. And follow him.

And he does.

Granted, as Simon and the ragtag bunch that also decided to heed the stranger’s call began journeying from town to town, they always somehow made their way back to Capernaum. Back to their families and homes. Back to where things were familiar. Back to where they took their first breaths of life and received their names.

But the call was always away from what was old and familiar, and towards what was new and unexpected.

05 April 2014

*NEW GUEST POST on Reyes-Chow.com :)

hi again!

my colleague and friend (and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA), Bruce Reyes-Chow, recently asked this question on his blogsite: 'Why do you choose to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA)?'

i sent in a response.

and Bruce decided to post it. :)

here it is: Why Do You Choose To Stay In The Presbyterian Church (USA)?

click on the question above to link to my response on Bruce's site.

and read some of his great writings while you're there. :)

thanks, Bruce!


04 April 2014

from prodigy to persona to person

another couple of hours spent at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

another several months of inspiration as a result.

(hence, this blog completed in 2014 about a film i saw at the 2013 Festival.)

the source of spiritual stimulus arrived in the form of 'I Am Not A Rock Star' by filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart.

in the film, Hart creatively chronicles the adolescence and young adulthood of Marika Bournaki, a French-Canadian classical piano prodigy. an 8-year journey (ages 12-20) is faithfully and fondly fashioned into an 86-minute meditation on the magic and mystery of music, the conundrums of the creative life, the subtle yet strong pressures of preparation and performance, and the universally unique and unimaginable voyage of the human being into the inmost interior of identity and the sacred centre of the self and soul.

18 March 2014

NEW ON MakeItMissoula.com! 'Disconnecting to Reconnect'

greetings, fellow travelers and faithful readers (shall i call you 'apocalypsians'?)

it has been about SIX MONTHS since i have written a piece for Make It Missoula…and today, that 'streak' of non-prolificness has ended!

a new blog from yours truly is featured there starting today…a reflection for the Lenten season about an  experience of turning off my gadgets and turning on to grandeur, unplugging from distractions and plugging in to the Divine…

Disconnecting to Reconnect (click on the title to read the blog)

thanks for your encouragement and support, for clicking and reading and sharing, and for your friendship (near and far)!


10 March 2014

the dreaming is real

'The dream is a lie,
but the dreaming is real.'
(Bob Weir)

'I have a dream…'

'I'm livin' the dream!'

'This is a dream come true!'

this past weekend, i had the pleasure and privilege of being a part of an experience that was 'a dream come true' (at least for the couple getting married).