Thursday, May 31, 2007

Three Years! Weeoo!

So, last Tuesday was our third anniversary. (I almost typed "yesterday," where is the week going? Heck, where did the last three years go? O.O ) Anywho, Jenny got me a wicked cool present, it looks like this:

or like this:

It's so much fun! You put a marble up at the top, and it winds it's way down through all the troughs and gadgets and widgets until it finally drops into the recipticle at the bottom. It also inspires you to use words like "troughs" and "recepticle" and also to check out the Think Geek site.

Jenny also knit me this!

Does he remind you of anyone?

To see what Jenny got for our anniversary, go check out her blog.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Counting Blue Cars

I just have to share with you a post from the blog Red Leggings, on the off chance that you haven't been clicking that link over there ------->

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Have you ever noticed your own humanity? Today, I've really seen it. It is terrifying but is full of grace and beauty. I'm going to take a walk soon. This is not your ordinary walk; it will be done with intention. I will be totally conscious of the soul I posses and nourish it. I've spent too much time wanting to kill it. Sometimes, it all boils down to the belief that God knows the truth. We can either take it in like a cool glass of water, or push it away until we are literally sick. I've done both; and I know to feel that refreshing water go into my system (whatever truths it delivers) will sustain me.
I know a while back, I was sure that God was a woman. But, I am deeply in love with this God I know who is an energy - the life force. Its presence is my lullaby.

With all the power of red leggings,

Elizabeth always seems to have some refreshing thoughts on God, and I sincerely hope that she keeps sharing them. God is so awesome and awe-inspiring, so much greater than we are that we have no recourse but to reach for metaphore. Is it any wonder that there is so much poetry in the Bible? Is it any wonder that Jesus himself spoke in metaphore? Elizabeth was convinced that God is a woman. And Elizabeth was right. Now she knows God as living water, lullaby, energy—as life-force. And Elizabeth is right. But I think that what's important in this post is that she finds God in her own humanity. As one of my favorite authors once wrote, "being human is a terribly important proposition." Or something like that, I've loaned my copy out again. *smiles* And I think it's just as important to note that we all can identify with the idea of taking it in, or pushing it away—even wanting to kill it. Much like someone on VH1 once said, if don't identify with Radiohead's Creep at least a little bit, you were probably a total jerk in high school. I could go on at length (there's probably a sermon in all this somewhere) but I won't. Instead I'll say—

Be good to yourself,
Rev. Josh

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ocelot? Take two!

For some reason when I try to put the daemon into a post, it does not show up on the preview. But when I publish, there it is! So here's a bigger version for you to peruse.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I recently got onto Dawn's blog and discovered that she has a daemon! Apparently, this daemon is part of a movie promotion (the setting, at least, sounds very intriguing so far, if you're into the whole sci-fi/fantasy scene) and is an avatar intended to represent who you are.

I had to try it out!

If you look in my sidebar, you'll what daemon was chosen for me in response to the little test I took. What I want to know is, do you all think it describes me? You have a chance to weigh in on the subject! You have 12 days before that daemon becomes mine forever, please click on her before that happens to see if we all agree on what I'm like!

Go on! Click it! I'll wait...

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Water and Walking

This Sunday afternoon is the CROP walk, a fundraising campaign to end world hunger through Church World Service I've been on many of these walks over the years, especially if you count the ones where I was dragged along in a little red wagon by my parents. It's not even a question for me every year. I'm going. But here's a little something for those of you who may not get the why's and the wherefor's of the thing. It's a true story I recently found in a publication put out by CWS. Although it's a story about water, not food, it still puts a whole new perspective on the mantra, "We Walk Because They Walk."

Water: The Rest of the story...

Our jeep came to an abrupt halt at the end of the dusty road leading to the entrance of the small Malawi village of Maziyaya. We got out, made our way throught he brush and then a cornfield, until we came to a clearing. There stood the new well. The entire "Well Committee" had assembled there to greet us. Ms. Andrea, the president of the group thanked the members of our visiting Church World Service staff group for, as she put it, CWS's kind gift of clean, accessible water.

Because I like to help people here in the United States identify with the long distances that women and children in the developing world have to walk each day to get water, I asked the inevitable question: "How far did you have to walk to get water before the well was installed?"

We had to walk to the river," she answered. "It's about 1 1/4 kilometers from here."
Thinking of the 5 km and 10 km distances that most participants hike in the United States in our annumal CROP Hunger Walks, I said quietly to a colleague standing next to me: "Hmmm.. that's not too bad."

Fate being cruel, my comment — which had not been intended for the women — was heard by the interpreter and, with a lack of any malice, translated to the members of the well committee.

The president of the group, Ms. Andrea, stepped forward and spoke directly to me.
"You're right; it's not that bad &emdash; at least not for grown women. We're used to it. But it's very hard for the little ones."

I felt my face flush. Of course I knew that. I'd worked for 10 years in very poor countries in Latin America. How, ever, had I forgotten how arduous was the daily hauling of water? I began to wish I'd kept my mouth shut.

Ms. Andrea continued: "You see, water's very heavy."

I swallowed hard. I knew that, too; but she was correct in assuming that most Americans, who don't have to haul water every day, may not. There is probably nothing that we consume on a daily basis, besides air, that we take more for granted than the easy availability of clean water. The age-old dictum sounded in my head: "A pint's a pound the world around." I was embarrassed.

"Not to mention the fact," she went on, "that a long of our children are sick."

I'd seen that immediately upon our arrival in the village. It is estimated that 60% of rural families in the developing world still do not have access to safe drinking water. For children who are malnourished, waterborne diseases can bring on diarrheal infections that dehydrate, lowering the body's electorlytes, and can spell death in as few as 48 hours. My discomfort was growing. I was mortified and wanted to go and hide.

"Not to mention the fact that the river is downhill from here and the children had to carry the water back up the hill," she added.

Humiliation is too euphemistic a word to describe what I was feeling. Yet it's important to state that she was saying these things in no way to "put me down" but out of a sincere desire to help me understand just how precious this new well was to them. Still, I was squirming.

"Not to mention the fact," she again went on, "that the river water is polluted with schistosomiasis, guinea worm, and other waterborne bacteria, so that once we'd hauled it back here to the village, we had to do more walking to find firewood in order to boil the water to make it safe to drink."

I wondered: How long would this verbal, even if unintended, flogging go on? I wanted to find a hole and crawl into it when, mercifully, Ms. Andrea put an end to my misery.

"Not to mention the fact," she concluded, "that getting water from the river was dangerous for the children."

"Dangerous? How so?" I asked, sensing a slight opening, the possibility of a slight reprieve, an opportunity to justify myself if, perchance, she might have gone too far out on a limb by using hyperbole with that adjective.

Speaking through the interpreter she explained, again matter-of-factly, "The river is crocodile infested."

It was the coup de grâce.

Today, even after 10 years have passed, when I turn on the water in my kitchen sink it's hard not to think of the village of Maziyaya, and my embarrassing faux pas. Far outweighing my short-lived discomfort of then, however, is the wonderful remembrance today of what a blessing clean drinking water is for one small village, far away, in the heart of Africa.

Joe Moran, Regional Director of Church World Service in the Carolinas, has worked in international development for 36 years.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh