a prayer for when climbing through the thorns

dear heavenly father,

you told me this would happen
you told me that when i took my gaze off of you
that i would veer and get lost
and end up in the slough of despond

in my pride i forged my own path
because it seemed better
because i didn’t know where to look
because i had no idea

then came the weeds and
then came the thorns and
then they pierced me hard and
then i was hurt and cold and then

where were you?
i hurt so much and the pain was so loud
it was so loud i couldn’t see you
it hurt so much it’s all i could feel

so the hurt broke me more
no matter how hard i tried
so the broke me hurt more
no matter how hard i tried

lost and in the desert
alone and without help
hopeless yearning for light
proud and still fighting

this is what you told me would happen
this is your answer to my question
how is man to humble himself before God?
what more could i possibly do?

???

silence
darkness
fear
doubt

!!!

in the arena
the only fight worth fighting
with everything on the line
there was nothing i could do

i could do nothing
i was powerless
i was defeated
i was humbled

you told me this would happen
you told me that when i cast my gaze on you
that you would restore me
and give my feet their way

your word is a light unto my path
because you are gracious
because your mercy knows no limit
because wisdom is fearing you

then your love is enough
then your reward is enough
then trusting in you is enough
then in the storm you shelter and then

there you are!
my pain is fierce but i am alive
you give life freely
you have overcome death

so trust in you healed me
no matter how great the pain
so healed me trusts in you
no matter how perilous the route

sorry for running away
repentant for every choice
grateful to find my way home
humbled and still fighting

this is what you told me would happen
this is your gift and promise
if i should walk humbly before you
if i should cast my gaze on you

***

peace
purpose
love
trust

~~~

in the arena
the only fight worth fighting
with everything on the line
you are the victor

you have done all things
you can do all things
you are victorious
you are my strength

trust and obey
in you i will trust
your words will i obey
there’s simply no other way

amen.

the nib growls

Yesterday I spent some time at the park doodling. I haven’t penned much in the past couple of years but it’s an activity I really enjoy and it helps me exercise the sort of creativity I don’t use when programming.

There is nothing quite like a fountain pen with a quality nib on it. I believe it was in my undergraduate years that I received my first such pen. Though I have never owned what one might call a “high-end” fountain pen, I have adopted a Lamy as a practical instrument and it does well enough for fun and profit.

Ballpoints have very little differentiation. They tend to fatigue me quickly as I struggle to apply enough pressure to get the solid lines I want. There are gel pens that make up for this, but they are clumsy and it’s harder to control their wide ink flow. The so-called “space pen” is a pricey improvement but still leaves one without pressure, width, and angle control.

IMG_4286
The missing disc and split in the middle of the nib is crucial for controlling ink flow.

Each nib differentiates itself on the width of the stroke, the flow of the ink, the flexibility or stiffness of the tip, and the reliability of operation. It’s the piece that draws ink out of the cartridge and directs it to the paper. Because the ink is wicked instead of pressed onto the paper it only requires a barely perceptible amount of pressure to get a solid line. Unlike the ballpoint, which digs a trench in the paper as it rolls and scrapes, the fountain pen leaves the paper virtually untouched (but painted) and that enables filling solid regions of color.

TheNibGrowls
Please pardon the typo if you find it. It slipped by me until after I finished. Ink is permanent.

Paper quality doesn’t matter as much with a ballpoint whereas you can probably see some excessive bleeding in the print above that’s due to the paper being cheap (a freebie notebook thanks to the great folks at SiteGround).

IMG_4287
#texture

Like having a pencil on paper, it’s about the feel, it’s about the texture, it’s about the blank canvas.

Fireproof

For several years people have been telling me how good the movie Fireproof is. I finally watched it on my flight tonight and agree with everything I’ve ever heard about it. It’s a wonderful story. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it whole-heartedly. It’s a simple story about two people who get off track and have no idea how get back, no idea what they themselves even want, and no idea what the journey they embark on is going to be like.

Since I had someone offer to me once before to pay for the movie if money was keeping me from it, I’ll extend the same offer to you – it’s worth it.

http://www.amazon.com/Fireproof-Danielle-Brooks/dp/B0026KS3XI/ref=tmm_aiv_title_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=