Thursday, June 21, 2007

Doing The Thought Link Limbo

Assorted flotsam...

*I suppose I should mention that most "links" on this blog only show up if you hover over the words. I'm still ambivalent about having the code set up that way, but know I don't like having all sorts of underlines or different colored words to point people down various trains of thought. However if you find yourself wanting more information about something I've spouted, for now at least you'll have to hover around a bit...odds are you'll find a link leading you somewhere I consider relevant. Think of it as an oddly tedious but hopefully more rewarding version of "Where's Waldo."

Speaking of obscuring the obvious. I try not to judge other folks. I mean it's pretty well spelled out in one of my favorite books that judgment should be left up to the Guy who has a much a higher pay grade than I'll ever attain. Of course, I'll readily admit that when it comes to finding flaws I need only look in the mirror to discover the perfect visual aid.

Still, I did read with interest a recent story about an Episcopal priest in Washington state who has announced that she is both a Christian and a Muslim. Apparently that's fine with her employer. I've known a lot of folks who have struggled spiritually, but none ever had the theological possibility of going on a jihad against themselves.

Is there a word for an Episcopal Muslim? Islamacopalchrislim? Episcomuslim? Muslicopal?

I think I'll just settle for "confused."

Thao and Elaine have moved in. Don't you be confused, they're two separate people...our latest "Upper Room Ministry" family members. Both are interning at the local newspaper for the summer...I'm not going to say too much about them...because I haven't really mentioned that I might write about them, plus I haven't gotten to know them too well yet.

They're both young, polite and quiet. I really am never quite sure when they're here. Thao is a photojournalist and Elaine is a we share some common ground which so far has prompted the only "rule" of the house, that we don't talk about work too much. I want this to be their home, as well as mine, and no one wants to have to worry about household conversation creating ethical concerns at our respective offices. We've borrowed a line from those Las Vegas promotional ads, What happens at home stays at home.

Hopefully that'll be more than a cute slogan everyone knows is a lie. I mean no one really believes what happens in Vegas actually stays in Vegas do they?

Thao does have a website, which I have no problem mentioning since it's a wonderful display of her talent. Elaine may have one too, but she hasn't mentioned it to me in the little time I've had to actually speak with her.

As some of you know our philosophy for the past few years, inspired by our first "room mate" Erin, has been to respond to our call to the mission field not by going somewhere else but - as Erin put it - by being someone else's elsewhere.

That led us to open our home to people in need. The Gomez family came after hurricane Katrina, followed by Simon, Katrina (no relation to the hurricane) and their adorable daughter Emily and then by "Shell" who moved in sort of gradually and some six months later left like an angry twister in a Kansas mobile home park.

We were blessed by all of those "family" members. Each had their challenges, but that's part of the deal. Admittedly at times Amy and I have had to remind each other that if they didn't have needs, they wouldn't need to live with us.

Thao and Elaine are different to a large degree in that they aren't so much in need of a place to get back on their feet as they are a safe place from which to launch the next season of their lives.

That's fine with us...our lives are more untidy these days, so low maintenance house guests/family members/room mates seem like another way God has blessed us. Between their wacky "intern" hours and my wacky every day hours...I hardly see them, although we're going to try to figure out a time to get our schedules to mesh enough for a regular family dinner. That'll come I'm sure...I've yet to run into young adults - or for that matter old adults - who can't eventually find time to enjoy Amy's cooking.

Today's the first day of summer. One week from today I'll turn 50.

A half century of life...a good time to count my blessings.


In about three weeks Amy and I will be off on our annual trek to Lakeside, Ohio to rejuvenate ourselves with the renewing power of family and faith. Lakeside is an interesting place, a little town where to a large degree time has stood still. It took me a while to get used to it...each year now it takes me longer to get used to not being there.

Not everyone grasps that concept, especially at my office where co-workers still look oddly at the pictures of the last place Amy and I went on "vacation": Moldova.

This morning a co-worker heard my boss and I talking about my vacation schedule and jokingly asked, "Where are you going this time? Beirut?"

I laughed and said, "No, I'm only going about 1300 miles...back to 1953."

I'm certain he's more confused now than ever...but that's fine. In fact the more I think about it, I sort of like it when folks have to hover about a bit trying to determine more about what I'm all about.

*Update: I received some diverse comments and emails in response to this post. Most of them had nothing in common except for the universal request that readers not be forced to "hover" to find links in posts.

So I'm capitulating to some degree. You'll see the links within posts themselves are now a different color...and actually if you hover over them the color changes slightly. The links on the sidebar however are not a different color unless you hover over them. I sort of figure most folks realize that things listed on the sidebar are links.

For those of you who really want to dig further into this weighty issue (then again it's the one thing I got the most universal response about ) "visited" links don't change color either...that is something I still find annoying, so I'm holding my ground on that one.

Unless a lot of people complain.