Easter Refractions

Paskalya’yı aniden algılayamıyorum ben. Yüreğim sağır mıdır ki bir gün yetmiyor? Resmi olarak kutladığımız gün bitmek üzereyken gözü dalıp günün önemini düşünüyordum. Ancak o zaman gözyaşı dökmeye başladım. İnsanlar metroda ağlayan bir yabancıyı görünce ne düşünmüşlerse benim umurumda değil. Ben ölmeye hak ederken yerimde bir kurban kesildi. Fakat o kurban mezara tutsak kalmadı. O nasıl dirildiyse ben de O’nunla dirildim. Ancak buna layık değilim. Sabahtan beri O’nu düşünüp kutladığım halde bugün içerisinde O’nun güzel adını sayısızca lekelemiş oldum. Yaşamasını kutlarken ölmesinin sebebi olmaya devam ettim. “Ne zavallı insanım! Ölüme götüren bu bedenden beni kim kurtaracak? Rabbimiz İsa Mesih aracılığıyla Tanrı’ya şükürler olsun!” Her pazar günü resmi kutlamamız devam edecektir ta ki kutladığımız kurtarıcı dönene kadar. “İşte, dünyanın günahını ortadan kaldıran Tanrı Kuzusu!”

I am unable to comprehend Easter in a moment. Is my heart deaf that one day is not enough? As the day in which we officially celebrate was almost at a close, I was staring into space and reflecting on the importance of the day. It was only then that my tears began to flow. It matters not to me what people must have thought to see a foreigner crying on the metro. While I deserved death a sacrifice was made in my place. However that sacrifice did not stay entrapped in the grave. As he rose to life so I have been made alive with him. Yet I am not worthy of this. Though I have thought on and celebrated Him since the morning, I have brought countless stains upon his beautiful name. Even while celebrating His life I have continued to be the cause of his death. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Our official celebration will continue every Sunday until the day when the savior we commemorate returns. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!


1 day of sickness cures 3 years of silence

The simple story of a bed-ridden programmer cleaning up his own site.

This afternoon I decided to attend to some house cleaning and repair tasks that have been outstanding for longer than I would like to admit, but the previous post date on this blog probably gives me away. As a programmer, it seems the most neglected code is always my own. In the course of several server changes in recent years, the software powering my personal site got pretty out of whack.

Yesterday I was quite sick and didn’t get anything done. Today I was still feeling sick enough to not want to work on anything that was actually work. As a result, I poked around at my own stuff and got some of it wired back together again. The archives still need a bit of work, but the upshot of the change today is that comments should finally be usable.

Besides the blog, several other things got cleaned up on my home page so that it’s actually a useful place to point people towards again. I will continue to use this as a central place to organize my presence on the web.


Consider it Jousting

Constructive criticyzm is a well accepted concept, but add a little sarcasm you have probably crossed the line.

Having a good round of “jousting” with a friend who knows you well enough to make fun of you but loves you enough not to actually break anything can be a fun and stimulating experience. As long as the parties are considerate of each-other, even sarcasm can be fair game.

Now switch mental gears for a minute and consider criticism.

Our society is fairly accepting of the concept of constructive criticism. Done in the right manor, it is possible to make observations about other people that encourage them to change for the better. This is effective only to the point where the parties trust each other.

Now mix the two. (insert explosion here)

My experience says that there needs to be a very distinct separation between these two operations. As long as you can trust a friend to pull you aside and be intentional and loving with real criticism, the jousting can be a blast.

I recently felt the need to make an apology to a relative that I had been jousting with for several days. We had given each other considerable amounts of grief in a humorous sort of way and to a point, I was confident that it was all in the spirit of fun. That “point” came when I said something a little to close to being a real put down.

Although I did not intend it derogatorily, something told me that the comment was inappropriate and so I brought it up the next day and asked forgiveness. Thankfully no inferences had been made, but the mistake got me really thinking about what things are safe topics for jest.

In the pleasant conversation that ensued with this individual, I found out that I was not the only one to have jousted with them and hit the same unsafe topic. Unfortunately the other party had long since crossed the line and was mixing real criticism with the humorous comments. The effect was devastating.

The moral of the story? If you are going to seek this kind of fun, please make the extra effort to ensure that your engaging in considerate jousting. Save any topic even remotely close to real criticism for a real “in love” discussion, and make sure this is well understood in the relationship!


Portrait of cuteness

My cousins are cuter than your cousins.

The week before last marked the fourth bi-anual Maclennan Clan reunion. I had a truly wonderful time relaxing with family and hanging out on the northern California coast. We got home just in time to cope with the chaos that is living and working in a tourist town on the fourth of July.

I have not had time to sort through all of the pictures yet, but I did get one set of pictures posted on flickr.


Two week topics

While the past two weeks have been full of adventure and refreshment, they have also served to highlight many areas in my life in which I am too week.

Life is not dull. I am back at my own apparment after spending the two weekends out and about. The thought that I know what I will be doing and when for a few days is more comforting than I would have thought.

To summarize:

  • 2670 miles.
  • 6 beds.
  • 4 states.
  • 3 churches.
  • 1 hot wired bus trasmision.

While I could go into the details, I don’t see the importance unless someone specifically cares about the whos, wheres and whys.

What is important is the things that God has been working in my heart lately. Some of the discussion topics brought in the lime-light recently have been like rays of God’s light shining in on parts of my life that have been dusty and dark.

As far as conviction goes, the most obvious “too weak” that has been shown me lies in the way I live out the verse, “always be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in you.” While I am willing enough to be forthcoming about my faith around people of like mind, I am to all to willing to compromise my answers to non-believers and downplay the spritual importance of my actions. It is a terrible habit, but I all to often skirt around the real motivations in my life.

More on this and other issues comming soon.


In pursuit of clear facts and fun fiction

Zeldman does the prophet thing again just as I finish up Frank Peretti and move onto nothing of the dog.

I have been trying to get back into the habit of reading fiction. Back in October I started forcing my self to spend a few less minutes stiring the stew in my brain and a few more minutes filling it with story. I started with an old George MacDonald favorite, plowed through a couple books by CS Lewis, and have just last night completed Prophet by Frank Peretti. I tried starting on to say nothing of the dog last night, but after just two paragraphs gave up in confusion.

The excersise has been worthwhile. Even if all I have is five minutes before I am too tired, it has been a nice way to close the day and force myself to stop woriing about the next days problems.

Along with the evening habit, I have been trying to spend a few minutes in the morning absorbing the word. This is difficult for me as the am hours our not my clearest. I do not try to actually study durring this time as I know I would fail, but I believe this is the right direction to start. Often I will come back later in the day when I am more alert to really dig into whatever I read.

This week scored a number of very good articles online. From the blog of brother of a friend of a friend came a susinct explanation of the sacrements. In technical reading, Zeldmans article entitled the web 3.0 stands as a landmark reminding me of the pitfals waiting to suck up unwary web developers. And to brighten the end of my day and this post, this Dilbert episode made me laugh. How are your analogies?


The River

We come with sins we cannot bear; we leave with life beyond compare.

What happens inbetween is a meeting with The Most High God through Jesus Christ.

To the river I am going, bringing sins I cannot bear;
Come and cleanse me, come forgive me; Lord, I need to meet you there.
In these waters, healing mercy, flows with freedom from despair;

I am going to that river, Lord, I need to meet You there.
Precious Jesus, I am ready, to surrender ev’ry care;
Take my hand now, lead me closer;
Lord, I need to meet You there.

Come and join us in the river;
Come find life beyond compare;
He is calling, He is waiting; Jesus longs to meet you there.
He is calling, He is waiting; Jesus longs to meet you there.

I am to be baptised this comming Sunday. I think that song is a great picture.



Proof and quote

Proof of my short attention span

Me: Hey have you eaten yet?
Laura: No, why?
Me: I was starting to get hungry. Want to find something?
Laura: You’re fasting today.

From Baraita, because it’s funny.

First, an important advisory: if you are not Jewish, and a Jewish friend tells you anytime during the Passover holiday how tired s/he is of matzah, do not say, “Oh, I love that stuff!! It’s delicious!” We appreciate that you know what matzah is. We may even believe that you enjoy it. At any other time of the year, we would find this to be an interesting tidbit of culinary information, or perhaps further proof of pleasant eccentricity on your part. But liking matzah does not establish you as a member of the tribe, and if you avow your love for matzah anytime after about day three of Pesach (especially if you are munching on toast/pasta/baklava at the time), it will be all your Jewish friend can do not to beat you to death with a large canister of matzo meal. This has been a public service announcement, because I run into people who say this every blessed year, and there is no tactful way to explain this in person.



Practical jokes have never really worked out very well for me. Today was a great case in point. As a fundraiser for a missions trip we have been going around town shoveling people’s walk ways. Clean up the snow, leave a note on the door and move on to the next house.

This particular morning one of our team could not be with us. We happened to be shoveling along and went by his house. Since he had missed a couple shovel parties, we figured we should shovel his walk and leave him a note just to make him feel guity or something. Being the kind hearted soulds that we are, we shoveled his walk and left him a note.

In my brilliance I figured it would be funny to take it one step farther and burry his door while we were there. A good thirty seconds later and I had his door about 3 feet deep in snow. As I threw up a nice big shovel full, thunk against the door, to my chagrin, the door opened. And a man looked out. And it wasn’t Dave. It wasn’t even somebody who knew Dave. We were at the wrong house.

Todays lessons:

  1. Check the number.
  2. When caught, tell the truth.