There many limits.

The spiritual Russian-roulette kind

pits us in an ageless war between how far we push

real-world and metaphysical sin

against the loss of redemption.

It’s a dangerous game.

Pressing those limits lead to dark places,

where there’s always

a bullet in the chamber.

But what about Chuck Yeager test-pilot limits?

When we push ourselves outside our selves…

bending, transforming, twisting, remolding…

and breaking through to the other side?

It’s where we discover that with worthy tribal members,

self-discipline, and prayer…

There ARE no limits.

Hop in, tighten your seat belt, and go for a ride.

When you’re going fast enough…


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Mink Eyelashes???

I started getting daily emails from Amazon Local awhile back, and I guess I have higher priorities in my life than unsubscribing.  But a few weeks ago, a salon was running a $70 special for—of all things—mink eyelashes!!!

I’m a former farm kid from northeast Iowa.  Dad taught my brother and me how to trap in junior high.  Along a two mile stretch on our small creek we harvested muskrats, raccoons, and an occasional barn rat.   But it was always a special day when we caught a wily mink.

Needless to say, this “mink eyelashes” thing intrigued me.  Here, bullet-pointed for your reading pleasure, is what went through my mind:

  • Are they using live mink for this? And why would you want to put an aggressive predator (related to wolverines!) so close to your eyes?!  I wonder if that’s what Frank Zappa’s record “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” is about….
  • Do they only use one mink, or two? I’d think one would be crowded enough on your face.   But you do have two sets of eyelashes…hmm.
  • Assuming they’re using dead minks—a much safer option, in my humble opinion—how do they attach them? Jenn-Weld?  Gorilla glue?  They’re pretty skinny and don’t weigh a lot.  But scotch tape wouldn’t hold them.  Duct tape?
  • Being as slender as they are, aren’t they better designed for eye brows?
  • How do you expect to even see with a mink attached to your eyelid? How can you even keep your eyes open?  I hope folks aren’t driving after getting this done.  They’re already doing enough other stupid things.
  • If they’re using the mink’s eyelashes—aren’t they awfully small? A good sized mink measures about two feet, including a cat-like tail.  I’m guessing their eyelashes might only be 1/8” long at the most.  Wouldn’t cow lashes be more noticeable?

Seventy bucks seems like a lot of money for mink eyelashes, especially with all these disturbing questions.   Even if I wanted to get this done, where would the money come from?

I’m not touching my badger toupee fund.

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Nothing To Fear…

There are times we’re involved in a project that consumes our spirit.  We’re captivated and drawn in, led by a force much larger than our own.  Depending where we’re at in life’s journey, we question whether pursuing this passion is selfish ambition…or a God-calling.

You give some thought, feed it prayer. Your internal compass and the Holy Spirit lead you to believe that yes, this IS what you were designed to do.

You’ve found your destiny!  So you lace up your work boots and start the New Life trek.  Like John Denver, you’re going home to a place you’ve never been before.  And the journey is at first…exhilarating!  Stimulating!  Fourth of July mind-blowing!!!

And then…life happens.

Your car needs tires.  Bronchitis puts you in bed for a few days.  The boss is cranky, and your spouse is crankier.

Events conspire to undermine you.  Life options contract at a dizzying rate.  Crap mutates and multiplies and breeds fear.  Instead of going to Disneyland, you’re in the doghouse.  The dog’s growling, too.

It’s all upside down.

You fret that God sucker-punched you, because you were getting a little too big for your britches.   And God, being all-wise, must know what he’s doing, right?  He must be doing this to protect us.  That’s the only thing that makes twisted-logic sense.

So, we accept a toxic myth. We start thinking that our Destiny Trip was a delusion, crazy brain-talk, something we’re not worthy of pursuing.  We feel lashed by Original Sin; bound by a Puritan ideal that life by design has to be long and hard and unfulfilling and pious and we’ll party in heaven, but not sooner.

This paralytic, downward thought-spiral all started with fear. Fear that gripped us with the idea that God thought we were becoming a little too prideful as we, ironically, ventured closer to realizing His/Her plan for us.

But how often in the Bible are we told NOT to fear?  Frequently, it turns out.

So let’s assume that our original passion is a generally-agreed upon worthy pursuit.  A calling that’s constructive and life-affirming.  Maybe even something that could possibly and positively shape lives for generations to come.

Now do really think God placed that fear inside you?   The fear that froze you in your tracks?

Satan is a tricky bastard.  He skulks around our soul-shadows, weaseling quietly in when our guard is down.  And he leads us into fearfully believing that life-happenstance is God’s judgment…instead of just a little detour.

There’s no question that God puts fear in our hearts for self-preservation.  It’s what keeps us from jumping off cliffs, and keeps most of us from prison time.  But that’s a different kind of fear.

So consider this.  When it comes to fear, shouldn’t our biggest fear be that we fall short of the destiny God has created for us?  Maybe God’s biggest fear is that we hear our calling—respond–then shuffle off into forgotten anonymity.

If fear originates outside God’s realm, it can’t be worth all the power we give it.

Because love trumps hate. Light vanquishes dark. And faith slays fear, every time.

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Dream Crushers

Dream crushers grind brilliant ideas into pepper flakes;
Flatten spirits thinner than a steam roller convoy.
They elevate themselves by chucking their poison-arrow fears
Into your sacred, hallowed vision.

Their spiritual foundation is built on an unsanitary-landfill
From the blueprints of an F5 tornado,
Pitched on a trembling fault line.

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Watching a show about the universe the other day, I learned the Hubble telescope has detected a dwarf star in a galaxy 40 light years away.  Rotating around it is a planet composed of graphite.

The planet’s orbit is so close to its sun and the solar gravitational pull that it’s constantly rocked by violent seismic activity.  And the atmospheric pressure on the planet’s surface,, combined with extreme heat, is so intense it turns the graphite into…diamonds!

It must be an incredible sight.

But walk outside on a cold January night when fluffy snow is falling.  Watch how the light creates diamonds as the flakes descend to the ground.  And see how their radiance changes with any slight move.  It’s magic.

You can’t do that in Cancun.

And you’ve saved yourself a 240 trillion mile trip, more or less.

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Time to Re-Launch!

The first thing I remember writing, at age 7 or 8, was an illustrated and very short story about a kid who became a hero by running somewhere quickly in his P F Flyers.  They were the mid-1960’s equivalent of Air Jordans, and were advertised during Johnny Quest on Saturday mornings.  Red Ball Jets were their big competition.

I kept a diary for awhile in early high school, wrote for the school paper and some satire for “Labyrinth,” a magazine we occasionally printed.  Channeling my geeky interest in presidential history, I wrote a 56 verse poem that appeared in the 1976 Bicentennial edition of my hometown newspaper, the Independence Bulletin-Journal.  We were halfway through the Gerald Ford presidency.

I’ve scribbled on envelopes and notepads, spirals and legal pads and leather journals.  Typed stuff on a half-dozen different computers we’ve owned.  Had freelance articles published in several magazines and a couple newspapers.

For a couple years, I had a blog called Iowa Seer.  And in November 2013, I enrolled in a “30 Day Challenge” project, launching a blog entitled Godservations. The intentions were good to continue posting.  But Christmas came and I started a new job in January and the blog got mothballed, even though my writing continued.

For 2015, Godservations re-launches.

A goal I’ve had for a long time is to get a book published.  But my brain has traditionally been too scattered to actually figure out and implement a plan to get that done.  Narrowing down my five book ideas to just one has been a handy delaying technique, too.

But I’ve been called out.  Reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield will do that.  He names the obstacle demons that prevent us from creating.   It’s profound stuff.

And I’ve been reading many other blogs, leading me to realize not every entry has to be truly profound or even original or 800 words.  Short is good—as long as it’s good (no pun intended).

Finally, my intention this year is put wheels on my vision.  If God’s plan for me in 2015 is to get a book published–then I need to write, edit, post, revise, and repeat.  Through that process, hopefully the discipline will evolve to take things where they are destined to go.

Thanks for reading!

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January 61st

According to the calendar, we’re in the waning hours of March 2, 2014.  That puts us less than three weeks from the vernal equinox and spring’s arrival.

The thermometer begs to differ.  It’s currently 3 below in Des Moines and we’re headed toward an overnight low of minus 14.   It could shatter the old low record by ten degrees.

We’ve all rightfully done our share of bellyaching about how cold and snowy and miserable and long this winter has been, and we’ve all wondered why.   My theory?  It’s actually January 61st.

Anyway, I noticed some amazing crystal ice patterns on our glass sliding door and wanted to share them.  This won’t warm you up at all—but  come July 54th, looking at them may cool you down a bit.

Enjoy these views out your own window while you can…it WILL get warmer!

Oh yeah–and as we’re approaching Ash Wednesday…see if you can find the cross.

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