Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have been reading Markings by Dag Hammarskjold recently, and I came across this:

He came with his little girl. She wore her best frock. You noticed what good care she took of it. Others noticed too--idly noticed that, last year, it had been the best frock on another little girl.

In the morning sunshine it had been festive. Now most people had gone home. The balloon sellers were counting the day's takings. Even the sun had followed their example, and retired to rest behind a cloud. So the place looked rather bleak and deserted when he came with his little girl to taste the joy of Spring and warm himself in the freshly polished Easter sun.

But she was happy. They both were. They had learned a humility of which you still have no conception. A humility which never makes comparison, never rejects what there is for the sake of something "else" or something "more."


I've read this page a dozen times or more. It makes me think of going out with my daughter and just enjoying her company, not caring about anything else in the world. I love the reference to hand me down clothes and the fact that they missed the party. None of it matters. What matters is that they were out, together, enjoying springtime.

How often do we find ourselves disappointed by what is, only because we imagine what was or what might have been. Rather than rejoice in the abundant blessings of God, we fret about what we missed, or what we wish we could be doing.

Our culture thrives on sowing of discontent. Your car isn't good enough, your house is too small, your friends aren't the right friends, your kids aren't the star of the team, your wife has too many wrinkles, and the list goes on.

Discontentment often leads to poor choices (buy a car or house you can't afford, do things to impress people you don't even like, push your kids too hard, trade your wife in on a new model etc.) that may become outright sin. I think of Luke 12:

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12:27-31 NIV)

Enjoy the moment, be grateful for what God has given you, and seek after Him, not the things of the world. This, we are called to do.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


In 1984 we were visiting with my dad's aunt and uncle in San Jose, and my sisters and I decided to go to a movie. We went to see Dune. We were a little late. This is probably the worst movie ever to be a little late to as it was incomprehensible. People who weren't late had a hard time figuring out what was going on, and for us it was even worse.

The saga of that movie is a sad one in which a 4.5 hour rough cut was hacked down to a little over 2 hours, leaving far too much out of a very complicated story. Audiences were generally baffled and the movie flopped. Me? I was intrigued. It was a tantalizing glimpse of something really cool, and I sought out and read the book.

That was a long time ago, and recently I found myself thinking about the book, the movie, and the later sci-fi channel miniseries. Patty and I watched the DVD of the sci-fi channel presentation again and it's very good, but it got me thinking about the book so I cracked it out and read it again.

Dune is fascinating because it's not a simple story, it's an amazingly complex web of political intrigue, deceit, religion, and science fiction. The book repeatedly refers to the plan within the plan within the plan. What appears simple on the surface never is, and there are always other things brewing.

The most precious resource in the universe of Dune is spice, and spice only exists on one planet: Arrakis (Dune). Each of the entities is focused totally on self preservation and advancement, at the cost of all others. It's an interesting study in greed, self centeredness, and the inevitable calamity that follows.

Well worth the read if you enjoy science fiction from time to time. If you are more of a movie guy, go for the scifi one over the original film, as it's much closer to the book and easier to follow. It helps that it's around six hours long... Sure, the original movie has Sting, but that doesn't necessarily make it better :-)


Monday, May 10, 2010

look. at. me.

I don't generally post videos on my blog, so it's crazy weird that I have two in a row. Generally I don't like video. I read fast, and would rather skim an article and glean the information I want than sit through a video that forces me to take the information delivery at their pace, not mine. But sometimes video is extremely effective in communicating something that is hard to communicate in print, and I think this is one of those times:

Television is a drug. from Beth Fulton on Vimeo.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just for fun

I love it when kids are creative, and my friend's son did this video on lunchbreaks at school using only the built in webcam on his macbook. Enjoy!