Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thin Places

I’m in the middle of 2 and a half days out of town that are devoted to study, including the high level preparation for two sermons series this fall, and two new classes I’ll be teaching at church. Because I’m in the foothills of the Cascades, the days are punctuated by the rise and fall of wind. As the day warms, the trees outside the window begin to dance, sometimes wildly enough that cedar and fir needles float across the wind, glimmering as the pass through the shafts of light that penetrate the trees. Birds flutter. Squirrels nearly fly from tree to tree. This little patch of forest becomes a kaleidoscope, a light show, a celebration.

But at 5:30 in the morning, all is quiet. Not a sound. Not a movement of even a branch. I step outside and it’s cool enough to make my breath visible, even now in late July. Crisp. Still. Silent. These are the moments when, often, God speaks so clearly, so powerfully to me. I grind the beans, brew the coffee, and then simply sit and listen as I sip.

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice” – the scripture comes to me clearly, almost audibly.

In the stillness, a profound awareness sweeps over me regarding how much God loves us – infinitely. And in that love, I’m reminded that God also longs for we who have come to know Christ to enter in – fully – to the life of grace, glory, freedom, fruitfulness, and joy that is ours in Christ. I’m suddenly aware of a ‘besetting sin’ in my life which needs to be confessed. This awareness leads to confession, and renunciation, and thanksgiving for forgiveness and the freedom that is available because of Christ.

These revelations and this exercise remind me of two important themes:

First, the value of solitude and silence. The Celtic church spoke of thin places, by which they meant places and times where the veil between the seen and unseen world was particularly permeable. I’m a bit suspicious of building a doctrine on someone’s experiences, but would heartily agree that some times and places are more conducive to encountering the reality of God’s presence than others. I’m better at hearing God in this place, for example, than at a baseball game. It’s vital that I seek out, intentionally, what the Celts called ‘thin places’ so that God can reveal what it is that I desperately need to hear.

Second, the growing burden in my life, on behalf of the church where I serve, is the burden of strengthening intercessory prayer. There’s this growing sense that the next major movement in our little flock needs to be centered in the realm of learning to pray for one another effectively, so that, by virtue of a robust ministry of prayer, lives are blessed, healed, and liberated to walk in the good that Christ has offered. I’m working on a prayer curriculum right now, and will be training both staff, our church council, and whoever else is interested or called to the work of prayer. The goal will be that, by the New Year, we will have a small army of people available to pray for people after services who are trained and growing into the this important ministry.

The sun is up now… the dogs are barking. The thin place is thickening. But much has been gained in these early hours.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Celebration - Jubilee and Justice

Today's teaching on celebration, appropriately, converged with our congregation's introduction the band "Jubiliee", whose mission is to support international justice mission, a group dedicated to addressing the large issues of human trafficking prevalent across the globe (including in these United States). The Jubilee Year in the Old Testament was a time for celebration, and a time when the inevitable flow of wealth into the hands of powerful was arrested as debts were forgiven and land returned to their original owners.

While Sunday's study approached celebration by addressing its barriers among the evangelical culture, it's vital to see the connection between celebration and justice. The reality is that real celebration, the kind of whole hearted rejoicing that God invites us towards, is a response to the privilege of participating in the story God is writing: it is, of course, a story of reconciliation, captives set free, weapons and war destroyed, and hope and healing displacing the despair and death that hangs over this planet.

Of course, such a celebration is only meaningful and real if one is actually stepping into this story - and the stepping requires our action, whether that means hospitality, generosity, service, or whatever else it might be.

What are your thoughts? What are the barriers to celebration in the community of faith?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Justice - in the convergence zone

So I'm sitting in the potential juror room holding tank, and my activities include preparing the Sunday sermon, e-mails, and a little bit of general study. But there's a theme running through the days of this week, whether reading "Out of Africa" on the bus heading downtown, or considering the meaning of Christ's victory on the cross, or simply pondering as I watch the 'jury member' orientation promo: JUSTICE!

If you study theology, you know that there are several different interpretations of what is commonly called the doctrine of the 'atonement'. Books are written on the subject, so my distillation might not be enough - but there's a general sense of debate in some circles as to whether it's 'just' of God to a) demand the payment of DEATH for any and all sin. Such a flattening out of sin as the effect of both diminishing large sins and magnifying small ones. Any parent who punished their children equally for, say, refusing to drink their milk, and intentionally setting the house on fire, would have their sanity questioned. So goes the argument. b) there's the other question of whether it's really just at all for 'someone else' to pay the price. Again, if a son has committed an offense - say he's broken two windows in the house during a brawl - nobody would argue that something's gained by his sister suffering the penalty of punishment.

Yet these are the 'satisfaction' and 'governmental' notions of atonement and we who follow Christ stand, I believe, in the stream of historical orthodoxy by embracing them. Yet, please pause with me and consider how these ideas might sound to an outsider. You'll get some notion of how they sound when you ponder some tribe's religious traditions of sacrificing a virgin in the volcano to appease the wrath of the gods. We shrink back in horror at such 'terror', and yet perhaps should acknowledge that our own faith carries it's own challenging story. What do we do with it?

Here's what I do with it..

1. If you were to do a word search through the New Testament (New American Standard Bible, of course), looking for the word atonement, how many times do you think it would appear? Try none... zero... nil... nada. We're fussing about something that is part of an Old Covenant that's been done away with. Why do we do this?

2. The issue of satisfaction is in important one, but not in the way you might think. But rather than make it such a huge 'justice' deal, perhaps we'd do better to think of it this way: What if a great athlete bought up all the tickets for a game and invited people who couldn't pay? What if Yo-Yo Ma discovered a child prodigy cellist at a clinic, only to find out that the student was about to have his cello repossessed, and he responds by buying the little tyke a cello worth 15k? What of Babbet throws a feast? The real issue is a blend of satisfaction and generosity, and the good news is that GOD'S NOT MAD AT ANYONE ANYMORE, at least if the Bible is true. But that's not atonement (a word which means covering). Which brings us to the third point...

3. The best atonement, or payment for sin, could ever possibly do, would be to open the door to relationship. So, we get to go to the ball game. We get a cool new cello. We get a meal. But we remain, fundamentally unchanged. Ah but with Jesus, that's where the story changes dramatically. Behold the lamb of God who - not 'covers' the sins of the world, but 'takes away' the sins of the world. We're given, through an immense mystery beyond the scope of this tiny entry, an entirely new identity - made into new people - people with all the capabilities for righteousness, grace, peace, generosity, joy, hope, and love, that Christ Himself had and has!

So here people are, haggling over the meaning of a word that's used nowhere in the New Testament, all the while missing the major point, which is that Christ died and rose again to make us entirely new people - through whom an entirely new world would someday be created. Just? The question so drastically diminishes the story because it puts Jesus on par with the volcano lady who, for all her virtue and courage (real or imagined) could never impart life. And LIFE, after all, is what Jesus came to bring.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Out of Africa - Lessons in cross cultural engagement

This summer, while the rest of the globe is digesting Harry Potter, I'm reading Isak Denesen's "Out of Africa". Karen Blixen is a remarkable story teller, and this memoir of her years as a coffee farmer in Africa is not only filled with marvelous prose and turnings of words; it's also a record of three things worthy of pondering for Christians:

1. The beauty of the land - In contrast to the prevailing mindset of her contemporary colonialists, Karen offers up a deep appreciation for the land.

2. The beauty of the people - Again differing from her peers, Karen's view of the native populace is that they bring a beautiful albeit different view of the world to the table, and that we who visit must tread lightly.

It's for these reasons that I'm guessing Karen's work is popular among the National Geographic, culturally amoral anthropological crowd. These are the folk who view every culture on the planet as morally neutral, and so feel that outsiders should never impose their outside culture on natives. This very same mindset creates disdain, among this crowd, for missionaries, who are viewed as cultural imperialists when they call people to Christ.

So let's address this charge of Christianity's tendency towards cultural imperialism:

1. Guilty as charged - we've imposed slavery, dress, diet, music, and economic systems, all western in origin, on every continent in the world.

2. Guilty as charged - we've ended sex trafficking, slave trade, human sacrifice, and child prostitution. We've 'imposed' literacy, clean drinking water, freedom from demonic oppression, medical care, healthy economic development through micro-loans, and the vision of a world filled with the justice, beauty, and peace of Christ.

I'll repent for most of list one - for none of list two. The reality is that everyone who makes a home in a foreign land effects that land, for the culture of a people is its own ecological system, in the same way that native plants are effected by invasive species. The trick comes in trying to sort out which of the effects are positive, which are negative, and then try to strengthen the former and limit that latter. Of course, this is where it gets challenging... for the secular anthropologist wants to bring different gifts than the Christian missionary. But I'd argue that both parties want many of the same things, and so might be able to work together more often than they do. Mountaineers are building schools in Nepal and so are Christians - ah, but the mountaineers expressly want to avoid teaching the Bible... so the two groups never work together. And right there's the rub... it's the question of whether 'the gospel' is both true and good. The secularist says no... the Christian says yes - hence the different visions of how to relate to culture.

What I appreciate about Blixen is that she sees herself as a guest... and learner, but as a guest with gifts to give, and as a learner with things to teach. This is how we must approach all people... the homeless, the person of a different political party, the immigrant, the native.

Here's what Karen writes about the natives: "...they were Africa in flesh and blood. The tall extinct volcano that rises above the Rift Valley, the broad Mimosa tress along the rivers, the Elephant and the Giraffe, were not more truly Africa than the Natives were, small figures in an immense scenery. All were different expression of one idea, variations upon the same theme.

Oh to approach the land and the people in it as a delighted, awestruck, learner... as Blixen did. Then, life becomes an adventure, relationships become whole, and ministry becomes fruitful. Happy reading.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's Up with Silence

Are you ever curious regarding why silence is, for the most part, viewed negatively in our culture? Consider:

1. When the Grinch is considering stealing Christmas, we learn that it's the wicked guy who likes silence, and the good people who like 'noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!'

2. Simon and Garfunkel said that "The Sounds of Silence" are indicative that we're living in isolation.

3. The tendency for most (though not all) people, is to fill the voids of life with music/news/sports/weather via the radio, TV, i-pod, or whatever else is available. There is, for many, something eerily uncomfortable about silence.

And yet, God invites us to silence, indicating that it both a part of our relationship with Him, and part of our relationship with each other. This Sunday, we'll be addressing silence at Bethany Community Church, as a platform through which God invites us to intentionally shut other noises and voices out of our lives in order that we might hear the still, small voice, that is our Creator. I'll be interested to see how people respond to 'the sounds of silence' - and hope that the response will be paint silence in a better light than Paul and Art ever dreamed possible.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Redeeming Phoenix...or smashing it.

I saw the new Harry Potter movie on Saturday night. It was scary. I've not read the books, not joined the arguments in Christian circles about whether Rowling's books should be read, not commented on the issue in any way whatsoever until now. Well, it's time, and the offering which follows comes with the caveat that I'm a bigger Seattle Mariner fan than a Potter fan, and I can't even name the starting lineup or pitching rotation of our red hot local team, so take it with a grain of salt.

Rowlings is masterful, like Tolkien and Lewis, at creating an alternate reality, ushering us into it, and building characters that are so marvelously layered that there's something there for everyone from children to adults. At the same time, the progression of the film's has moved in an increasingly dark direction, so that in this film there were moments that I could only describe as demonic darkness. I read a time magazine piece recently that claimed Rowling's success lies in her secularism. Rubbish. Whether her intent is to be secular or not, the films have progressed relentlessly towards a powerful battle between darkness and light, and the forces of darkness have all the marks of Satan's strategies in the Bible: There's infiltration, so that you're not quite sure who's on the side of goodness; there's the reality that the dark forces are intent on death; and in the most recent film there's clear evidence that the best antidote to the forces of death is to keep one's mind intent on all that is true and good.

Rowlings, as far as I know, makes no claim to be a Christian - but her stories, in my opinion are increasingly telling a story of redemption and triumph of good over evil (note that I've only advanced as far in the story as the recent movie release... things may change in the final two offerings). If my children were in their early teens and were fans, this recent movie would be a perfect segue to discussions about the principalities and powers we face as followers of Christ, and the role that our thought life plays in helping us overcome. If my children were younger than 10... I'd say the movie is just too scary to see. Maybe we'd go see the movie about the rat who is a chef instead (very funny movie)

But the larger question that Potter brings to us is the believer's relationship to culture. The Celtic church had a way of redeeming culture, using cultural icons to illustrate and declare eternal truths. Paul did the same thing in Acts 16. And so, I'd argue should we... most of the time. Yet there is another model in the Bible - it's the model of smashing idols, and abstaining from meat sacrificed to idols. In other words, it's the model of separation. Regarding the smashing of idols... we're still called to put away all forms of idolatry from our lives, but I hardly think going to a movie constitutes idolatry. And regarding the abstaining piece of which Paul writes, the point is that this is a matter of conscience. For one, the activity defiles, for another there is liberty (See I Corinthians 8). Maybe this is the way of the Phoenix.

When the day is done though, discernment is that piece of the Christian life that enables us to see both idols and cultural icons which point to the gospel for what they are. And in this case, the Phoenix film is both entertaining, and a reminder that 'still our ancient foe... doth seek to work us woe!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Motion and Health... spirit and body

I'm no doctor, but it's pretty clear that motion and health are related. I consider myself fortunate that when, as happened this last weekend, my life fills with sedentary activities and an order of McNuggets, I quickly feel like a rusted appliance. Joints ache, movement is strained, and a heavy lethargy sets in.

Most of the time however, I'll respond to that feeling of lethargy by getting back on my bike, or the stairmaster, or some other motion inducing taskmaster or activity. Then, after a little bit of initial pain, I'll feel progressively better again, intent on moving more regularly.

What's true in the body is true in the realm of the spirit as well, and I truly believe that if we spend too much time sitting on the sidelines as spiritual consumers, we'll end up in an unhealthy space - bored with the life of faith in some or all of it's aspects. This makes perfect sense because, just as a body is made for motion, so also our lives are made for service, and it's only when were functioning according to our design that we're living in the wholeness and fullness that God intended.

Yesterday's sermon was about service and if you're wondering what the next steps to take are, I have a few suggestions:

1. visit the Bethany Website and consider the various ways you can get involved, pray about these opportunities, gather information, and then jump in. Just showing up and getting involved will probably help you discover how you're wired.

2. ask God to give you eyes to see how you might be able to serve either your neighbors or family members

3. Consider Paul's admonitions in Romans 12 and Ephesians 2:10, both of which remind us that we're created in order to do good works. Our calling is to find those good works and jump in.

4. Jerusalem first. That's a reference to Acts 1, and a reminder that it's pretty exciting to serve people on the other side of the world, especially if you're only going to be there for a week or two. But don't forget where you live - because that's where the real proving ground of service happens. Serving one another isn't a monthly check writing event, or an annual trip to somewhere 'needy'. It's a paradigm shift intended to bleed into every moment of our life.

If Bethany's your home church, the vision of making God visible in Seattle is compelling and inviting. And each person who jumps in and uses their gifts will contribute to bringing the beauty, joy, justice, mercy, peace, and healing/forgiving power of Christ to our city. What could be better?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Inflatable...missional...or something else entirely?

Books and hundreds of magazine and internet articles have been written about what it means to be 'missional'. I always think we're setting ourselves up for a little bit of trouble when we invent new words to describe what God has already gone to great lengths describing in His Word, and this 'new' word falls exactly into that category: trouble. Is church life really supposed to be so complex that we need to invent new words 2000 years after the inauguration in order to describe what we're to be about. Maybe instead of a new word, we need to simply remember what Jesus said was most important.

But never mind. If you simply must have a new word, then you must have a new word. Introducing the word: missional. But the definition? Of course, because it's a new word, there are dozens of definitions. But the best one I've found came, not from a PHD, pastor, or emergent leader. It came from a twenty-three year old posting the following on her web site (italics mine for emphasis):

Who's in the house? J.C's in the house...

The other day, while a friend was pumping gas, I wondered into a convenience store to buy myself an iced tea and was met at the door by a group of overly zealous, poster board waving, fifteen year old girls in triangle bikini tops and booty shorts, all of them blonde, bronzed, and recently hosed down.

"Car wash round back" One of them shouted at me. "Donation only!"

"What are you guys raising money for?" I inquired, mentally tallying possibilities. Cheerleading nationals...Dance Team Camp...Future Strippers of America convention...

"Well, it's for two things really. Bible camp this summer. But while we are there we are going to build a school. It's in Mexico."

"But not, like a nice part. Not Cancun." piped up one of the peanut gallery.

"Oh...okay..." I said, dumbfounded. Youth group definitely didn't look that this when I was a kid, or more teenage boys would have been born agains.

"We're around back." They repeated, and I watched them walk away, the words "younglife" emblazoned on the seat of their three inch shorts, right above their almost exposed cheeks. And all I could think as I stood there, trying to wash the mental picture of 'tween T&A out of my head was, "damn. Christianity has gotten SEXY."

And so it has. Being a "Christian" means a lot of different things nowadays. It means being "hip". It means being "cool". It means being part of a membership only club ran by the big JC. It means being proud of who you are and not caring who knows it. It means wearing your wwjd bracelet everyday and supporting your president even though nobody else does and putting "I love Jesus" in your myspace profile and listing "god" as a hero. It means keeping up with MTV and what's "new" and "with it" because this is how you are going to drive your ministry. You have to have something catchy to put on those reader boards, after all.

In the past two weeks I have been invited to at least three different church sponsored events, all of them masquerading as something non-church related. I was met in a coffee shop/the park/the mall and given fliers for a B-movie night/ BBQ featuring an "emo" band/ 80's Dance party. I received all of these invites from super outgoing, well dressed, attractive individuals...all of whom didn't bother to ask my name. The fliers were well done, with graphics featuring only the coolest in inanimate object trends and color schemes (guns are the new skulls you know, and orange is the new pink, which was the new black.) and simple directions to nameless addresses that, upon further investigation, lead me not to a house party/club but to a *gasp* church activity center.

Though the promise of FREE PIZZA tempted me beyond belief I didnt opt to attend any of these functions, though I am sure some of the more naive members of my fair city were not so lucky. And after praying over their "free" pizza and being asked if they are down with the G-O-D (yeah you know me) and being preached at by some super cool, girl jeans sporting preacher who may or may not have colored hair or an eyebrow ring they left feeling totally had, and with a really bitter taste in their mouth in regards to God.

I have been lucky to have met some really amazing people in the past few years. I met them in a bar/ at a party/ through friends. They live their lives without excuses and without gimmicks. They build relationships not hoping to sucker you in but out of genuine interest in who you are. They are your friends because they want to be, not because they have to. And, unless you bring it up, they don't talk about being a "Christian" much. This doesn't stop you from knowing that they are, you do. You can tell by the way they lead their lives. But they never force it on you. It's refreshing and honest and exactly what "Christianity" should look like. When I think of the word "Christian" I think of them.

Unfortunately that's not true for everyone. They think instead about the cheesy "Forget Miller...its Jesus time" reader board they passed on the way to work this morning. Or the news report they heard about the zealots who killed ten people in an abortion clinic bombing two days ago. Or they think about the fifteen year old MTV video back up dancers washing cars for their youth group on the corner of 19th. And then they shake their heads and move on.

Way to get your message out there for the masses, guys.

MISSIONAL... read the italicized paragraph again, and I think you'll see what it's supposed to mean - and what we ought to be about - and how we ought to go about building the kingdom - and how liberating it is!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hard Days for God?

I'm in Canada teaching this week, and the theme in both my studies (the book of Nehemiah, from which I'm teaching), conversations, and general reading, is of one cloth: God's reputation is being dragged through the mud these days. A CBC piece addresses it. Richard Dawkin's new book addresses it. The book of Nehemiah uses the word 'reproach' to speak of God's people... and Sam Harris charges that Christians are not only delusional, but dangerous.

What's going on here, and what should be done about it? Since I've asked two questions, I'll propose two answers:

1. What's Going on Here? -- The short answer is that we Christians are making a pretty fine mess of God's reputation. Just look at us: We can't decide whether to bomb our enemies or love them. We can't decide whether to care for the poor, or let them fight it out in a Darwinian economic system, whereby the 'losers' are judged as lazy and deemed unworthy of our help because we say the Bible forbids it. We can't decide whether this world is going to burn up, therefore inviting mindless consumption since the 'end is near', or whether it's going to be around for a while and so perhaps God wants us to continue the job of stewarding and caring for it. We claim to believe in miracles like the resurrection from the dead, but live often prayerless lives, so terrified are we of having our faith shaken by unanswered prayers. We sometimes vilify people who are different than us, and turn a blind eye to the very sins Jesus speaks of as most important (such as disregard for the poor, or divorce).

Mind you, none of this is God's fault. But since so many of us who are wearing his tee-shirts and bumper stickers are doing so much that is hurtful, contradictory, destructive, or divisive in His name, I'm not surprised to see that these authors are gaining a mighty falling. People are beginning to doubt the reality of God because God's followers seem unable to get it together.

From the bits I've read and listened to, each of these author's positions are shabby. For example, none mention that Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, and countless others through the ages specialized in genocide, torture, and oppression, AND were themselves atheists. The notion that removing God from the picture will create a utopia is absurd. That the masses are swallowing it is frightening.

Further, it must be stated that real, vibrant, joy-filled, generous, whole and holy lives are not the object of these author's scorn, nor the straw man they erect to knock down (at least, according the limited reading I've done). So, not only is this not God's fault, but it's also true that the glimpses of grace and glory are not hard to find, unless someone chooses to be blind. And again, the overwhelming response to these author's is indicative of a powerful blindness - which is ironic since their uniform cry is a 'return to reason'!

But people are weary of the confusing and contradictory messages peddled in Jesus' name, and this is, indeed, harming the cause of Christ, and His name.

What can be Done About It?

For starters, it seems vital that we begin from a position of solidarity, recognizing that all of us who carry the name of Jesus are collectively responsible for our representation of His life. It's frighteningly easy to throw up my arms in disgust and distance myself from those who 'don't get it'. I know of one pastor/author who, by the end of his life, had so distanced himself from the failings of the church that he was only taking communion with himself!

Having recognized my solidarity with the family of faith, the next important piece seems to be finding that passion that is boiling deep within me that will result in calling, in using my gifts and finding my voice.

Finally... I need to jump in and make my contribution. What is it? Hosting neighbors? Medical volunteering? Creating art? Justice? Environment? Bible Teaching? Writing? Hospitality? Mico-financing? How am I contributing to making the life of Christ visible? What's asked of me? What's my unique contribution? It's here, at the point of service, that the invisible God, or the caricatured God, is able to be seen more clearly. It's not too late... but the sun is setting!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


It was a great climb, father/daughter style, tossed together because the weather looked like a great chance for an Independence Day Summit. We had a tremendous adventure, even though the high winds and hard ice at the top made the final push on the last 500 feet too risky for our equipment, skill, and energy levels. The ice was, surprisingly, so hard that we couldn't gain any sort of protection from our ice-axes on the final section, which is, of course, the riskiest, and most demanding part of the mountain. Because of this, we made the decision to turn back just short of the top, but had a great time just the same. Trips like this always leave me pondering many things:

Father/Daughter... it's worked best for me by going on adventures with my kids, and thankfully, they've enjoyed going with me. And it's usually been on these adventures that we've had the best conversations. Strangely, I feel a special connection with my children when I travel with them, and especially when we share adventures. I enjoy life at home, but of course, one is balancing many things there. But 'away' provides time, and space for a different kind of connection.

My job/ My relationship with Christ... Of course, hiking affords great chances for thought and prayer - chances that don't happen during the rub of civilization and daily obligations. I thought and prayed a lot, and found conviction about several things in my life that need to change. If for no other reason, this is why I need to get out sometimes!

Trees... I was pondering once again, walking through the forest, how powerful the tree is as a picture of how we're called to live - rooted in Christ; receiving nutrients from all that's around, and continuing to reach upward. Am I enjoying my relationship with Jesus? Am I learning from my world, my relationships, my culture? Am I living a life of worship? Long moments on the trail afford one the chance to ponder these things.

Challenge ... mountaineering is the art of suffering and even as I'm doing it, I sometimes wonder why. The backache, the absolute spent feeling that comes from going to one's limit and then just a little bit more, and the 'risk' associated with the sport all beg the question: Why bother? But the answers come quickly: I climb because of the the beauty/ the transformation that comes from transcending one's desire to quit/ the physical challenge/ the fellowship/ the sunrises/ crossing streams/ glissading/ the incredible beauty and terror of crevasses/ and the fact that I won't be able to do this forever, but still can. That's why I still climb.

Good to be home. The pictures are here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mt. Baker...

leaving tonight to climb ... hope to post pictures friday -