Archive for February, 2007


No words to describe this one

February 28, 2007

Sorry guys, I’ll be funny again tomorrow, I promise. 


There is a way that a mother looks at you. You probably cannot even recognize it until it is gone, but there is a subtle knowledge that all she really sees is the best of that tiny baby she once cradled in her arms. It is as if you were the innocent child, incapable of wrong that she first held. No one in this life can ever really see you like that.

            It is a function of viewing a part of one’s own being in its purest state, as if the separation between you and her that occurred at birth had never happened. She is seeing the best of her, and can only see the best of you. It is this, pure, unfiltered love that leads a mother to make any sacrifice for the well being of her child, even if she must lay down the rest of her to achieve it.

            That look, that glance that does not pass from eye to brain, but straight from your heart to hers is a very powerful thing. If you are truly blessed there is one other who might possess that knowledge of the real you, who sees only your potential, your mother’s mother. I was that fortunate.

            My mother seemed never to have noticed even the most grievous offenses that we committed against her, but let us wrong each other and there would be no stopping her in her quest for justice. Because although she saw in me the thing that God had placed there, that mirror of his image, she also saw it in the others that had shared her womb.

            She passed from this life early, three months to the day shy of her fiftieth birthday, not able to complete her course. Until recently the memory of her full life still lingered on this earth, in the woman that she was carbon copied from, my grandmother. With her passing from this life so passed the human knowledge of the real me in my perfect newborn state.

            No one will ever look on me with that knowledge again. As I said you never realize that the look exists until it is gone, and then the emptiness of knowing you will never be seen in those terms again in this life is indescribable. The void that that connection with my history having been broken has opened seems unfathomable.

            I now understand just a little of what my wife feels when her babies cry, it is this love, a love that a Father can never feel. It is in that intimacy of the womb, and only there, that this love can be born.

            A Father’s love is always a measurement, of pride, of achievement, of ownership. And while a Father can strive for unconditional love his knowledge of us is incomplete. He is incapable of that knowledge. God’s creation of man was to be in his own image, Adam was created with the knowledge of the womb, that gift was given to Eve in their physical separation.

            I wonder in seeking the Father’s heart if it is not this innate Mother’s knowing look we really seek. At the risk of sounding politically correct my heart longs for that mother’s gaze from my creator. To be known in my created state, the way only God sees me now.


A cosmic game of tag! You’re it!

February 27, 2007

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the game of tag, well maybe not my fondest… oh skip it! I hate the game but it just didn’t feel right to start off with tag sucks! All that running with no time to slow down and contemplate the beauty of God’s creation, now freezetag, there’s a game!

Lately I find myself in this cosmic game of tag with God. It goes a little something like this…Mark screws up and then, in a show of colossal ignorance, ignores the first three chapters of Genesis which outline just such a scenario, and runs to “hide” his mess.

It is at this point I seem to hear footsteps pounding after me and as I look back over my shoulder I see Jesus sprinting to catch up, sandals slapping, robe flapping, with a big goofy grin on his face.  “Oh no,” I say to myself, “I can’t let him catch me with this big pile of crap I’ve made of the life he just fixed twice yesterday, so i stuff it down the back of my shorts and stand waiting as he gets closer. I figure he’s going to catch me and he knows all of the hiding places, all of them, so I face the music.

I think the most terrifying part of this has got to be the grin. Not having any older siblings myself I’m not sure on this but I think a smile on the face of an older brother in hot pursuit is usually a precursor to sadistic torture.  He runs up out of breath (yeah out of breath, I also believe God can put a lid on so tight he couldn’t get it off, he’s like that) and taps me playfully on the shoulder, “You’re it!”

He turns and runs a few steps off expecting me to follow but I have a pile of…, wow that metaphor stinks, um Ihave stuff down my shorts so I don’t dare move for fear he’ll find me out, “Come on and play with me.” “Can’t” “Oh, got more important people to play with?” “No, I have…stuff.” I drop my stuff accidentally and there I stand with him looking it over, scared spitless. 

Now, here’s an interesting little “aside”, why is it that when we deal with other humans we want to pretend our sin doesn’t stink, or at least not nearly as bad as theirs, but when we deal with God we expect him to be shocked by the depths of our depravity, and run screaming, “Help I’ve never seen anything like it!!” Do we really think our sin shocks or surprises God?

Okay back to the story. 

 “Oh, that, ….huh. Okay, you ready now?” “But what about the…stuff.” “What, you want to bring it? No? Okay leave it here I’ll send somebody by to clean it up later, come on. It’s all right, Dad?” “Yes son?” “Will you tell him its all right?” “It’s all right.” 

So reluctantly I leave my mess and begin to follow after Jesus. Pretty soon I’ve forgotten all about it and I’m running so hard after him and it feels like that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and then temptation walks by in a short skirt, or carrying a tray of donuts, or whatever and I fall prey to spiritual ADD. And the process repeats itself, again and again.

The point is, all he wants is our affection. All he asks  is for us to chase him so he can turn and scoop us lovingly into his arms and dust us off. Heb.10:5-9 describes Christs sacrifice for us and in verse 10 it says this…we have been made Holy through the sacrifice of  the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

So the next time you hear him coming, drop your stuff and run into his arms, tag, you’re it!


Sharp spoons? That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard.

February 26, 2007

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By now some of you may have wondered what’s up with this title, “The Sharpened Spoon”, you haven’t? Well, it’s my blog so I’m gonna tell you anyway. It started out as a sarcastic barb at people who try to impress you with their “big fishyness” while standing ankle deep in small pond waters. 

 I would say to my long suffering wife, “It doesn’t take much to be the sharpest knife in a drawer full of spoons,” and she would roll her eyes and give a sigh. People like that make me want to put them in a sack and kick them. ( not my wife , the fish people)

Over time I came to realize that we are all like that in some way, and the worst way of all is the Elijah syndrome in which we try to convince God that we, like Noah, are the only one left down here who is paying attention. So God began reminding me of this little phrase every time I became to big for my britches, “You’re right, that was great prayer time, but let’s be honest, ‘it don’t take much to be the sharpest knife in a drawer full of spoons’. Ouch! Ever have God make fun of you? He does it to me all of the time. Probably because that is what I understand best, anyway…

So I began to realize that it doesn’t mean much when I compare myself to other “deeply flawed” persons. I mean look at the lot of us, the human race has chosen as some of its stellar examples, Genghis Khan, King Solomon (the wisest idol worshiping whore monger who ever lived, and got to write part of the Bible) , Judas, Billy Ray Cyrus (sorry, I’m sure he’s a great guy, but he can’t act and he has not one but two TV series, come on! Although I gotta give the guy credit for getting out of the country music biz with that one big hit before anybody realized he couldn’t sing either.) the list goes on and on.

So when I boast, what am I really bragging about? As I once heard it the best among us is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. In the end boasting doesn’t get you very far, even if you managed to rise to the top of the stack and could categorically state that you were the best human being who ever walked the face of the planet, that’s like saying, “out of all the stinky poop in the world,mine stinks least.”

So back to the spoon thingy. I came to realize that I wasn’t even the sharpest knife in the spoon drawer. I was just a spoon like everybody else, so what to do? At first I considered  becoming a professional under achiever (the pay stinks but the hours are great!), after all how hard could it be it be? But then I realized that it was okay to be a spoon, we all start out as spoons, and someday if we’re blessed and choose our friends well we will become, TA DA! “Sharpened Spoons!!! …oons…oons..oons”

 (echo effect just in case you didn’t get it). That’s right, Prov. 27:17 As iron sharpens Iron, so one spoon sharpens another. (okay it actually says man instead of spoon but I think most of you get it)

I finally came to the realization that I am one messed up dude, and that’s okay. Now I’ve never done anything that anyone could point to and say, Wow, he sure messed that up, but if we are guilty of one point of the law we are guilty of all, and there is only one price, no matter the sin, death is the penalty. Whew! Thank god for Jesus.

So when you read my title just remind yourself that you too are a spoon, and then ask, how sharp am I?


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February 26, 2007

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February 25, 2007

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I am a junk hound. Point me in the direction of a good flee market on a sunny Saturday afternoon and I will be as happy as a giblet in gravy. Now I know that many people like to brag about how much they spent on their car or their boat, and they enjoy waving around a five or six carat diamond, but my pride in possession comes from another source, I’m cheap! Of course I must admit to being cheap out of necessity, they don’t call us starving artists for nothing, but I mean I am good at it!


While perusing a goodwill store for a small desk upon which to place my recycled PC for my children’s use my daughter and I struck gold. It only happens once in a great while but when it does you feel like this guy

 Well, not quite.


Being a cabinet maker by trade I can spot quality furniture from a mile away. There in the back of the store sat a six drawer oak dresser with mirror that would have been new in the
Roosevelt administration, and I do mean Teddy. I quietly sidled over, containing my excitement to read the price tag and nearly fainted, $15.


As quickly as I could I walked to the front of the store and laid my $13.74 on the counter. Oh, did I forget to mention I frequent so many thrift stores in my capacity as director and scenery designer for a small Christian theatre that I actually possess a 10% discount card fro the Goodwill store? Now that’s cheap! So off we go to collect the suburban to transport this glorious item, which my wife is dubious about although I have resold other antiques with much success in the past, and it occurs to me that if they had wanted ten dollars more I would have passed it up.


This may not seem significant unless I tell you that I had been meditating on the concept of divine redemption off and on over the past few days. Ten dollars difference would have separated me from my prize, how unlike God I am. The kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, is like a man who walks through a field and finds a treasure. Immediately he goes out and liquidates all of his assets to buy the field and possess that treasure. What he forgets to mention is that the man in the story is not us, we are the treasure, the man is Father God.


Liquidating the assets of even a wealthy man here on earth is no small feat, what could God sell to gain such a treasure? Now mind you he can’t borrow against it because it is worthless to everyone but himself and so he sells the only thing he has that will pay the price, his own life. In this God demonstrated how much he cared for us, while we were still in rebellion his only son gave his life for us, with no guarantee that even one of us would respond!


Not only does he give is life willingly but he said that he did it with his eyes on the prize, us, and counted it a worthy endeavor. Wow! Me personally I think he got gypped, cause I know I’m not all that and a lotta people out there in much worse shape than me, know what I’m sayin?  But seriously folks you are bought with a price , no THE PRICE!


So as I collect my dresser and take it home and photograph it for sale I will be thinking on what Jesus paid for me and how I can make it  a more worthwhile investment. What about you, were you worth it?


Interested in a dresser, for sale cheap at $150 bucks, send email to for a picture.


Love Junkie Rehab

February 25, 2007

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The postman cometh, and it’s about time!

February 24, 2007

The mailman cometh, at last!

I know I said I would toddle down to the post office and get a PO box. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. First of all they did not want to give me an application, then they sent my mail back anyway and pretended they’d never seen me, so my application is now lost in the bowels of the postal service along with the super 8 movie footage that proves that Elvis and Bigfoot were complicit in the Kennedy assassination.

So I went back again, and again, and again vainly attempting to contact my local post master [probably out surfing with Elvis and Bigfoot] anyway after beginning to feel like everyone in our local postal depot was being subjected to daily mind wipes, “you sure it was me you talked to?” “I don’t know, is there another delivery supervisor named Eddie with the same dumb expression on his face?” Finally after this guy, who I remind you had to pass a test to get this job, has taken my number for the third time he tells me to call the post master because she usually isn’t in her office very often.

So home I go, assuming I will be treated to some really great hold music and maybe a voice mail box, right? WHO do you suppose answers the phone? That’s right,  Eddie! So I am prepared to leave my number yet again when he asks, “What exactly do you want?”

Now there’s the sixty-four dollar question. I want to say four million in small unmarked bills and the Oscar Mayer wiener mobile with a full tank. But I find myself wondering if my brilliant sarcasm will be lost on this poor, poor man. So I tell him I would rather not have to send my mail to my office or pay for a PO box. What I would love, like a fatman loves twinkies, is to walk down to my mailbox and find…..are you ready for it? MY MAIL!

You know something just occurred to me. This entire concept of refusing to deliver to the mailbox in my yard, which remember is conveniently placed at the curb, is doubly vexing for one reason. I CAN NOT USE IT FOR ANYTHING ELSE! No I don’t mean I can’t think of other uses, believe me I could, no it is against federal law to leave so much as a key in a mailbox. That’s right folks , your mailbox is officially US Government property. Don’t believe me? Go to and be enlightened on the dangers of mailbox vandalism.

Okay, what was I saying? Oh yeah so what happens yesterday? Not one but two mail deliveries occurred at my house, hallelujah! I’ve never been so happy to see dog food coupons and mortgage refinancing scams in my life! Is it over, who knows, in fact in this moment, who cares?

My battle with the post office has taught me a couple of things. One, don’t fight the law the law always wins. Two, Sometimes I need to remember that I am like that mailbox. I don’t belong to me. In the grand scheme of things this is essentially why it matters how I handle my encounters with the postal service, I am not my own I have been bought with a price. I am a representative of God here on earth. Does that mean I should rush right out and buy a bullhorn and a suit and find the nearest street corner and start representin’? Sure, but only if that’s what God is telling me to do. Mostly for me it means seeing the person, taking the time to understand that Eddie is responding not only to me but to the three thousand other people who complained about some facet of his job in the last week, and having compassion on him. It is so much more important that I show the love of Christ to this man than whether I ever open another sweepstakes notice. Love the Lord your God with all your might soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. First I have to get that down, then  I’m gonna fix what’s wrong with the freakin’
united states postal service!