Sunday. The day of rest. Mandated by God. A part of our culture and a part of our childhood, this gentle day has in today’s society been relegated to just another busy day as we sprint through our lives as though we were not really running the marathon that is life. In years gone by families gathered and friends met and lasting romance was seeded on gentle Sunday afternoons. Barbeque meant family and friends rather than football and Facebook. We would gather and connect with the cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and stories were shared and history passed on. Hard working fathers could relax and laugh, and children would find harmless mischief and happy abandon. Mothers, sometimes spending all week caring for children and household, could connect with much-needed adult conversation. It was a time to reflect upon the week that was and make plans for a future full of promise and opportunity.
It is Sunday, and I sit by the banks of the stream, swollen by the recent rain. It speaks to me of spring, and renewal. The sun is out now, and green shoots and emerging leaves spot bits of green here and there to brighten the skeletal chill of winter. Soon the sky will fill with songbirds, and the crickets and frogs and those mysterious creatures that you never see will crowd the air with song melodic in its discord and so loud as to drown out your deepest thoughts.
Our time is like the water in the creek, always moving toward the future, depositing that which has found its place and snatching up that which is still searching, moving it along through the currents and eddies until a destination once again is reached and another wanderer finds his rest as those rested or unprepared are set once more upon their journey.
How important for us, then, when we find a place of rest that we take the time to also prepare, for we all are on that journey through time. The floods will always come. It is always up to us whether and how we prepare.
Shining gem of varied worlds,
A quilt of cascading greens
Ancient writings of timeless lives,
Colliding with noisy technology,
Tempered softly through reverence
Learned by life in shadows
Formed of goliaths dusted white;
With the time line of God.
By Ron Buedefeldt
September 28, 2009
I often sit in a small park tucked into the foothills of the coast range near where I live and let my three best friends explore and get their daily exercise. As I sit I see the log trucks rumble back and forth on the gravel road. Today I sat and read once more in the newspaper that President Obama is taking the Republicans to task for blocking his health care bill and then I read that the Republicans are blocking our economic recovery and the Republicans won’t allow any progress on the job front. On top of that we are still fighting two Republican wars and the Republicans are in bed with big corporations and Republicans have …
As I sat along that stream and read the paper and watched the trucks go up the hill light and quick, and then another came down, heavy and slow as they take their precious load to a hungry market it struck me; It’s always the empty truck that makes the most noise.
It is over a year now since President Obama swept into office on the promise of hope and change and a transparency of government not seen in modern American politics, bringing with him a supermajority in the senate and a huge advantage in the house, eschewing lobbyists and special interests as though they were lepers and invulnerable to the evil conservatives.
So, how’s that working out for you? Oh yeah, things have gotten worse, and they are STILL blaming the Republicans. Is it just me, or does the party in charge remind you of the dog who was always chasing cars but then didn’t know what to do with it when he caught one?
I heard yesterday of a bike path that had been illegally cut through a sensitive natural area in Forest Park. It is a sad sign of the times. How appropriate that the most visible case of vandalism in an area known for its renegade bike culture, that bike hooligans would be the culprits. This isn’t a phenomenon restricted to the bicycling community, most of whom are law-abiding citizens who wouldn’t dream of causing such irreparable damage to a vulnerable ecology. Rather it reflects the growing conflict between our expanding and increasingly technologically engrossed population who, in their pursuit of personal gratification have lost their basic connect with the natural systems and processes that are at the root of our ability to enhance our lives to the degree that we have been able to do so. As we refine and process the natural materials and spaces around us we lose the close connection to the very things that nurture our souls and allow us to bond with our environment and by extension, with each other. I have taught my children through my words and my actions that you should always leave an area in better condition than you found it. We remove trash when we find it in parks and in the woods, and we do this not out of obligation, but out of respect for this beautiful world that God created to nurture and support us. I don’t resent having to clean up after others, but I do wish that people would be more responsible in our wild areas, because I can’t be everywhere, and I can only do so much. I’ll do as much as I can, because it just feels right.
Take a walk in the woods on the next sunny day. Find a quiet spot near a creek or under a tree, and sit for a while. Take along a notepad, because I guarantee that you will have some thoughts that will be worth saving. Talk to God, or just sit and listen, and He will speak to you. Happy hiking.
I’d like to touch on the subject of fiscal responsibility. Both the far left and the far right are just biding their time, waiting for the tea party movement to run its course and die out. What they cannot seem to grasp is that the very diversity that they think will tear the movement apart is in fact it’s very strength. There is a wide range of views that are coming together under a common umbrella: they are all fed up with being lied to and tired of condescending politicians treating them as though they were stupid. The very tolerance that the progressives try to manufacture and legislate is manifested right in front of them and they are unable to recognize it. To see the supportive cooperation and acceptance long sought they need only look at the opposition. People just want their government to start working for them. They want proper representation AGAINST the many well-heeled organizations who are trying to get a larger piece of the pie. THAT PIE BELONGS TO THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS, NOT CORPORATE AND UNION INTERESTS.
It doesn’t matter if you disagree with someone on gun control, you can still work together to rein in damage to the environment. Abortion foes can agree to feed the homeless. We can all agree that our soldiers need the best equipment and support, no matter what our views might be on the merits of the war. People just want their political leaders and representatives to remember that THEY WORK FOR US. Public Employees!
Too many of the people who we put in office are so desperate to retain their position that they lose their effectiveness to forward the vision that carried them there in the first place. The vision of their constituents. They represent all of us, not just those that voted for them. They need to remember that getting there is opportunity given by us. The rest of the job is carrying through with the promises that they made to convince us that they were worthy of the position. If they worked as hard at that end of the bargain as they did at maintaining the status quo we would have no qualms about keeping them in office. I think that a lot of politicians are coming to the end of the “fool all of the people some of the time” period and entering the day of reckoning. We’ve been rewarding the wrong kind of behavior for a long time in our political arena, and people are getting fed up.
Don’t you hate it when your kids lie to you about school and you think that they are doing well and then you get the note saying that they haven’t turned in an assignment all semester and that at best now they can just barely pass the class? Why, then, are we letting our leaders get away with the same thing?
On that same subject, I see that Oregon used federal stimulus money to temporarily plug holes in the budget without addressing the reasons for the shortfalls. The are now budgeting for the next two years as though that money that wasn’t there now will be there then. Of course, there is no federal stimulus coming and so the money will not be there and the state is predicting huge shortfalls in the coming four years. It’s as though I worked for a company that had an unusually good month and I took home a large one time bonus. I’ve been a bit foolish in the past, spending more than I could afford, and had to use the bonus to pay down some debt and buy a few necessities. So far, so good. But then I budget for the next month, including the amount of last month’s one time bonus into my budget for this month two and then spend accordingly. Near the end of the two month period some bills are due but I have no more money. Rather than re-adjust my spending to match my actual income I demand that my employer give me more of the dwindling funds that he has to again bail out my overspending or I’ll just stop doing as much at work, but I find that he is overextended because he’s been bailing me out with draws on future company earnings already, so he gets fed up finally and fires my butt.
So that is where we are, or should be, getting. Fed up and ready to fire their butts. The success of the tea party movement; It’s just common sense taking over.
Life sometimes gets in the way of what we want to do. Not that I would have it any other way. I have always been a little afraid of the well ordered and executed life, preferring to stay in the calmer waters for a while, but then pushing out into the current to be swept along, out of control and wondering where I will land, but trusting in God and knowing that there will be opportunity and promise wherever I end up.
If life throws you or you find yourself uncomfortably buffetted by the circumstance in which you find yourself, search your heart, put your faith in God, and see what you can find wherever you land. You’ll be amazed at what presents itself to you.
I always find comfort in the words of Psalm 72:20-21
Though you have shown me great troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again: from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
I’m in shock. I am mourning the trade of two of our beloved Blazer family. Aside from the folowers of Chad and Gavin over at the morning show on AM 95.5, I think that they leave as two of the most liked and popular players on the team. As a matter of fact, could we trade the whole morning team from that station for Camby and keep Blake and Outlaw? Oh yeah, you have to match contracts. Trade them for a lazy-boy, I don’t care. Just get them off our radios. Travis, especially, has a special place in the hearts of fans. We’ve watched him grow up. We met his family and loved them too. We marveled at his knack for hitting the big shot, and thrilled at his unbridled athleticism. We’ll miss him.
That said, I think that this is a very good trade for us. Marcus Camby brings a strong defensive presence and can be the same sort of stabilizing force that Juwan Howard has proven to be for us. He brings us experience and confidence and a proven ability to clean up the boards like few in the league and rebounds and patrols the middle with authority. He is just what we have been missing since Greg and Joel went down. He doesn’t require a lot of shots but is capable of scoring if he needs to. He is a great addition to our team and could even be someone that they will keep beyond this season. K.P. Adds another impressive piece to the puzzle. Go Blazers.