fiv5sticks

February 20, 2011

Moving to a new blog location. Please join me at: http://5ivesticks.wordpress.com/

I will keep this page open to allow for reading past posts, using the links, and etc.

Monsters in the closet

April 12, 2010

I guess it is not too uncommon for a little kid to think that a monster might live in their closet. I was no exception.

How do kids get this idea? My only recollection as to how I might have gotten the idea that a monster lived in my closet was after I was read the book, ‘There’s A Monster in My Closet’ by Mercer Mayer. Funny how a book that was probably intended to help kids deal with their fears, initiated the idea that a monster might be living in my closet.

It was from this point that I began to sleep with my closet door shut.

As I grew older the idea of a monster in the closet matured into the idea that some sort of psycho killer was hiding in my closet… or under the bed… or maybe in the shower.

I recall coming home to an empty house and having to check under all of the beds, closets and the shower to make sure that no one was hiding… waiting for the appropriate moment to come out and kill me.

I lived with this fear for a time.

I still remember the moment that I came to terms with the “hiding psycho killer” fear.

One day I came home. No one was home. As I started to initiate my usual routine of checking the assorted nooks and crannies for the hidden homicidal maniac a thought came to me… “If someone is in the closet, they are going to be in there whether I check for them or not.” And so I didn’t check for knife welding killers from that point on.

And I went on with my life.

Epilogue: It has been many many years since I have checked under the beds… in our showers… or in closets for homicidal knife welding maniac killers–And I am still alive.

Doubting Thomas

April 11, 2010

Today, this first Sunday after Pascha/Easter is St Thomas Sunday. The Gospel reading is John 20:19-31, the “Doubting Thomas” story.

One things that our Priest, Fr. Daniel, shared today about this story was the fact that Thomas “articulated his doubt.” He shared it in front of the 10 other Disciples/Apostles.

What a powerful, ballsy, thing for Thomas to do… to verbalize his doubt in front of the others.
Unlike Thomas… How often do I keep my own questions, struggles, etc to myself?


25The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”

27Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I tell myself that I do not want to cause others to stumble… so I keep my questions and struggles to myself.
Yet at the same time I acknowledge that I find an encouraging comfort (for lack of a better way to express it) when others are open about their own struggles. –At what point does being open about your own struggles and questions move from an honest sharing to something that causes another to stumble and question?

I find it interesting that the Gospel account does not record the Apostles arguing with Thomas when he expresses his doubt….

This morning in Service as I thought about the Apostle Thomas I thought about Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber and her tattoos. I thought to myself that perhaps a tattoo of the Apostle Thomas would be appropriate for me; in a relating and encouraging to me sort of way.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945

April 9, 2010

Today is the 65th Anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran Pastor, was killed at the Nazi Concentration Camp in Flossenburg, Germany.

He is commemorated as a Martyr by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Church of England and the Church in Wales.

“The camp doctor who witnessed the execution wrote: ‘I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.’”

Farming As A Spiritual Discipline

April 8, 2010


I just entered to win a copy of FARMING AS A SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE by @Ragan Sutterfield from@ERBks . You can enter too: http://ow.ly/1vfQr

You can read more about this book: here.

Visit Ragan Sutterfiled’s blog: here.

‘Teacher’

March 11, 2010

‘Teacher’

It was a sunny day when I handed her the shears.
“Why do you want me to cut your hair?”
She asked rather knowingly.
The truth was that in my despair I saw the cutting of my hair
as a form of separation from society;
an outward sign to signify an inner disposition.
Too bad that so many other people had a similar haircut,
which rendered my outward “statement” mute.

She let me kiss her once…
It happened near the dumpster at our school.
She had the faint taste of thyroid medicine and suntan oil.

She wore a bandana on her head that caused her to look like Squeaky Fromme; complete with red curls hanging down the back of her neck.
And she moved with a creepy crawl stride
as she walked past the hall lockers to the girls restroom.

Punk rock made her aware…
It was an awareness taught by power chords, social conscious lyrics and despair mixed with hope.
She was all grrl power;
but she let me hang out with her anyway.

She had drunk eyes
even when sober.
She had drunk eyes
even when hung over.
Drug consumption never appeared to interfere with her grade point average.
Although sobriety seemed to strangely tamper with mine.

I watched her struggle to wipe away the pain.
The pain of the virtues she attempted to grasp.
The reality of perceived personal failure, left unexplained;
left to be without understanding even with extensive counseling.
She attempted to make sense of it all
by reading writings of Anne Sexton and Slyvia Plath out loud.

Looking back;
she never talked as her lips moved.
But her words left an impression on me that i will never forget.

reflections on my past work week

July 24, 2009

As I sat in my garden today, during the late afternoon/early evening hours, I noticed the wind softly blowing leaves in the trees. I observed that our garden was protected from wind by the bushes, fence, and shed.

My thots wandered to my past workweek (I am a Correctional Officer -the p.c. term for Prison Guard.)

I recalled how an inmate shared with me this week, about how a member of his family (I think it was his Mom… or maybe an Aunt) grew a pot plant and would put a fan by it in order to strenthen it’s roots.

I was not raised like that at all.

Although I did have one friend who grew, with his parents awareness, a marijuana bush. One evening he was busted for pot and his parents dug up his bush and sold it to his uncle for $100.

May 23, 2009

My daughter is a hugger. Always wanting a hug.

I know that hugging, and showing affection is important.

I understand that as her Dad it is important for me to show her physical expressions of love and affection.

Often, I sadly (and shamefully) confess, I act like I am doing her a favor when I give her a hug when she asks….

“Interesting fact: to be most effective at optimizing the flow of the chemicals oxytocin and serotonin – which boost mood and promote bonding – hold a hug for at least six seconds.”

Perhaps she is actually doing me the favor.

Hug those around you.

Don Letts

May 15, 2009

Don Letts was around back in the early days of UK punk. He made “The Punk Rock Movie” back in the 70′s, and he later made a good documentary that showed the history of punk rock called: “Punk: Attitude” in 2005.

Don Letts was a part of the early days of the band Big Audio Dynamite.

All this to say that Don Letts has a cultural perspective that is worth givin’ a listen to… he has been around. This is a good little 3+ minute interview with Don Letts:

i am a part of the fellowship of thieves

May 14, 2009

“…neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss, but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.”


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