Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deja Vu

Excerpt from a May 2008 journal entry:

"I went out from my native land with a searching heart, and I found God awaiting me there. He invited me to be released from gravity and dance among the stars, but I wanted to wrap Him up and take Him back home, where I was comfortable and the weights that held me down were all familiar."

Further up and further in!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I really enjoy God.

Is that a rather elementary statement to make? Perhaps.

He is just so delightful. It makes me so happy to see the way He is constantly interweaving the motions and conversations of life to communicate a larger point. It's great.

Everything that has been occurring in my sphere of late, all my paradigms that have been challenged, and every conversation I have held--the sum of my life is pointed toward the anxious need for maturity.

This begins in my day-to-day existence. I am experiencing what I can only articulate as a fundamental longing to be good. This "good" of which I speak is not simply a lack of outrageously wrong behaviour or thought. I want contribute to the rushing flow of time into which I am so often swept unaware. I want to be good.

This, for a time, concerned me. Is this desire basic self-interest? But no, He says. Goodness is one of My fruits. Kindness. Gentleness. Those are Mine.

And so I am slowly beginning to engage the messy process of straining forward as a person. I am learning to let the dead things and the rotten things be expelled from my flesh. It is not a pleasant process: For the sourness to be pushed out of me, it will necessarily be exposed both to myself and to those around me. I am wearied by the depth of my seemingly endless depravity. However, I perceive the life that is being breathed into my soul, though all I may feel in my body is the weightiness of my filth.

As these transformations and challenges are occuring at my foundations, I find that this movement is happening all around me. Tonight, I listened to my dear friends' exasperation at their own toleration of carnal things. I heard an urgency for abandonment in their words. This thing is living and dynamic.

I watched a friend's eyes fill with tears as she lamented the inactivity of the Church on behalf of the orphans in the world. "Our churches are filled with people who are perfectly capable of providing for a child," she said. "Why don't they? They go buy a new TV or computer instead. Why?"

These heart cries are not isolated. Together, they form the picture of the very activity of God. Romans 8:22 tells us that creation literally groans in waiting for the revelation of the Son of God. Revelation 19:7-8 exposes what will be necessary for this longing to be fulfilled: the Bride of Christ, His Church, must prepare Herself for His return. How will She do this? She must clothe herself in acts of righteousness, being found in linens spotless and bright.

This is the drive of the Spirit for the Church today. She must cease to be a child, gratifying her addiction to entertainment and her ties to materialism, and she must mature into responsibility for the world for which Christ longs to return.

Why, do you think, is the Church heralding the need to care for widows, orphans, and the poor? It is not because She is joining some social motion. No, the secular world is following the activity God is desperate to accomplish through His people. We are being driven to responsibility on this planet that we might be made a Bride ready for His coming.

What I realize is this: He is asking us to be simple people. People unconcerned with appearances and possessions, status and power, fame and prowess. People who don't particularly care about how they look or how they compare to the socially established standard. People who, instead, care deeply about caring for the well-being of the exploited. Who go without so that others may be provided for in the flesh and, having been sustained in physical life, may be presented with hope for eternity. Who are on mission at every moment, desperate to see the kingdom come on Earth as it is in heaven that the King might return. Basic, unpretentious, satisfied, simple people.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There that is.

This is the question I want to ask of every human being on the planet.

Well, one of them. Of course, I'd like to know their favourite thing about Jesus, and the story of what He has done in them, and lots of other glorious tales as well. But once all those things are settled, I am itching to ask one thing:

What are the five books you would recommend I read before I die? (And, why?)

So, do tell!

(An aside: As deeply as I appreciate your wittiness, let me clarify that I already have read and continue to read the Bible. It's as necessary as water. So, after the Bible, what are your top five literary pleasures?)

The Vagabond Song

Written early 2009. Chemineau thoughts.

I am a vagabond.
I belong to another place--a far country.
My soul is not tied to this rock.
My heart is free of cares in this world.
My life is bigger than the confines of the planet.
I am anti-gravity.

I go about in rags, wandering, destitue--looking for my home.
I am an alien. I am a stranger.
My eyes are constantly seeking, seeking the Great City.
I live in the Wait. I carry the Ache.

I am a whisper. I am a vapor. I am a phantom.
I am the breath of eternity. I ride upon the wind.
My heart is fixed on the journey.
I am pressing on toward Zion.

I am confident in the world unseen.
I rest assured in the reality of an invisible Kingdom.
My senses cannot confine me.

Write it across my brow: just passing through.
I freely admit, I do not belong here.
My longing is for another place.
My deepest affections are for another Master.
My aim is for another goal.

I am a traveler. Pilgrim. Vagabond.



I live in the Wait. I carry the Ache.

Past the veil.
The beautiful unseen.
The glorious mystery.

Crying, "Come!"

Heart unfettered.


Asking. Seeking. Knocking.

Desperate to behold.

Possessing no alternatives.
Willing one thing.

One great obsession:
Only Him.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tour ramblings

theFurnace just spent a week on the road doing nights of prayer and worship across the country. I went with a group of thirty college students to tour the west coast. We started in Roswell, NM, travelled through Arizona and California, and ended in my home church in Ogden, UT. It was an incredible experience, and we saw God move in magnificent ways. Once I write my ramble about our free day on the ocean, I may post it here. In the meantime, here are a few other rambles tapped out in a fifteen-passenger van on the freeway...

On the Desert

The road through New Mexico and Arizona is beautiful. It reminds me very much of the drive through certain parts of Utah. Especially as the sun drops in the sky and the shadows grow longer, the light casts a sparse, romantic beauty on the desert as it lies on either side of the highway.

This more than anything explains the unique charm of this country: the desert doesn't flow as the coast and its ocean; neither does it grow in the way of the plains. It simply lies with its dusty greens and dirty yellows, serene and a bit predictable surrounding four lanes of asphalt, without presumption or extraneous aspirations. Even the rocky growths that are repeated again and again in the view from the car windows seem to roll in and out of the ground in which they are planted, unlike the boldly stated mountains or the sheer and sudden precipices that can be seen elsewhere.

Our movements have fallen in with the rhythm of this land. They are paced and recurring. We listen to songs that flow in and out of each other. There seems to be something natural and familiar to this place.

Perhaps the desert is a faint echo of some plainer existence to which we feel an indefinite drawing. It evokes a memory of a life that is content with strength and tenacity, not caring for embellishments or handiwork to display. The desert is a life without trophies on its shelf, a life that is more interested in lying in quiet expanse than momentarily leaping from the earth: one that is deep and interior and silent, one whose power lies mostly in the unseen.

On Happy Jack

Making a drive across Wyoming is one of the less enjoyable experiences of my life, and one that I have undertaken many times. The landscape from I-80 is barren and notably indecisive. Even in colour, the topography refuses to commit to any shade or hue and instead muddles about in a dreary grey. After several hours of such a view, my eyes grow weary of constantly gazing on dustiness and endless horizontal lines.

Then comes the glorious moment of the trek shortly outside of the city of Laramie. One rounds yet another grey corner and is suddenly greeted by bright reds and greens shouting cheery platitudes from either side of the winding road. Pines are stacked up above the grooved face of the rock like an evergreen ensemble marching through a wilderness. The sign for the nearest exit reads “Happy Jack Road.”

Cheers, friends.