31 January 2007

'tis my life

kerry + heavy equipment + power pole + height = quality friday afternoon

30 January 2007

what is "it?"

what are we chasing? we fly through our days hoping to finally lay our hands on that last intangible, that moment of arrival, when we have finally attained "it." is "this" all there is? "it" cannot be love, for we pass up the opportunity in a seemingly endless progression all day long. we cannot want to become lovers, for that would mean that we would have to stop and smell the roses, stop and seek to put someone ahead of ourselves. "it" cannot be acceptance, for we refuse to accept even ourselves. we cannot bear the thought of people knowing who we actually are. to let down the masks of achievement, beauty and indifference. "it" cannot be understanding, for we do not really care to understand. almost as if that would mean that we should then be forced to care and take a stand about what is. "it" cannot be wonder. for wonder necessitates that we recognize that we are nothing compared to all that is and control is nothing but an idea we use to cheat ourselves out of contentment. what are we chasing then? what is "it" that is always there, always beckoning us forward, onward, higher?

29 January 2007

who is a christian?


so simple and yet so compelling, so refreshing and yet so open...

28 January 2007


G. K. Chesterton talks about freedom as “making room for good things to run wild.”


27 January 2007

the consumer disconnect

it hit me today how that our society has completely lost any and all respect, ability and desire for craftsmanship. everything comes to us prefabricated, uniform and easily replicated. maybe this is the consequence of a consumer based society. when something breaks or wears out or we just tire of it, we simply go buy another with no real understanding of the time, energy, skill and creativity necessary to bring into being the things we find in our lives. this disconnectedness cannot be good for it only leads to misuse and abuse (of both things and people) because we cannot see the connections or relationships. i lament my ignorance and lack of desire to learn to embrace craftmanship as a way of connectedness to life...

25 January 2007

a blast from the past...


24 January 2007

it could have been me...

i have been wrestling with one thing quite a bit lately: the five simple words of "it could have been me."

i do a lot of work with homeowners and have seen more than enough here on the coast in almost five months to have a small taste of the devastation that has forever altered life here. i have seen the wrestlessness of those living in tiny travel trailers as a family. i have seen the frustrations of homeowners trying once again to work one more angle with their insurance company. i have seen people apply to any and every organization that they can find in hopes that someone will take notice and help. i have seen people living in front of their homes with all the funding necessary to restore what was, but no knowledge, skill or help to get the work done. i have seen and heard much, and lately i have been haunted by the reality that it could have been me...

i used to try to insulate myself from that by saying that i would have up and left for good, or that i would have done the work myself, that i would have been able to fight the insurance companies on my own, or that i would have somehow found the funding and help necessary to be back in my home living in some semblance of normal life. that somehow i would have been the exception to the norm, that somehow i am more special... nothing but big fucking lies...

for reasons beyond my control i was not born here nor did i ever have any life here. for some reason katrina devastated this region and i had absolutely nothing to do with the immediate or the long term chaos, suffering and reality. i will never be able to ever really identify with everybody who has gone through and continues to live in the wake of such a catastrophic event. i am forever an outsider here, fully responsible for having chosen to come, fully capable of leaving when i would like, free from the scars and fears and challenges... and this is the reality that i must live in and wrestle with each and every day here on the mississippi gulf coast...


Dear President Bush,

I know it must have slipped your mind last night, but i thought i would remind you that approximately 17 months ago a category 5 hurricane named Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states with catastrophic wind, water and lifestyle damage. I know that you have been spending a lot of time and energy fixing our national health care and educational issues, building walls on our southern borders, and ridding the entire world of evil people, but as President of the entire United States of America I simply ask that you do not forget to help those that are still living in travel trailers outside their homes (or what's left of them) with no money and/or help to put them back together. We appreciate your constant care and concern for the citizens of this great nation and rejoice in your buddy Trent Lott winning his personal battle with the insurance companies and look forward to your remembrance and recommitment to working for a better America here on the Gulf Coast.

Kerry Herdegen

22 January 2007


today was the first day in a long, long time that i felt healthy again... it's been a long, hard haul the last few weeks and it was so amazing to feel energized and invigorated and even joy-filled. god's moving in some pretty incredible ways down here and it's nice to feel like maybe, just maybe, i'm in a position where i can jump on board with what he's got going on.

20 January 2007


i was overtaken by the "need" for a run today. i can't remember the
last time i ran, nor can i remember the last time i ever really
desired to go for a run. it was not fun, it was not easy and it
wasn't even very long, yet it awoke something inside of me. a person
of years past, an awakening of part of me i have denied, stunted and
buried for too long...

19 January 2007

tactile prayer

In addition to reinforcing what is prayed, physical prayer becomes the prayer itself. Distance runners know well the experience of the body overcoming the mind’s desire to quit in the midst of a marathon. Music lovers know what it is to be consumed by the feel and rhythm of a live symphony. An artist senses that her body is ready to create even before her mind is certain what to make. In the same way, our physical expressions of faith lead the mind in deeper and more meaningful prayer.
-Doug Pagitt

18 January 2007

pondering faithfulness

i've been diving a lot into the word faithfulness. it seems that so much of my culture has lost the ability to even desire this word be a part of our vocabulary. webster defines faithfulness as "loyal, constant, steadfast... true to the original." so much of my time and energy is spent seeing how much i can "get away with." or ways that i can bend the rules and still get by, but this is right along the lines of promiscuity (latin root - indiscriminate). my life is shaped by many different covenants at the moment: my relationship with god, my family, gulf coast mission, living in community, friends, etc. i cannot help but think that maybe, just maybe god has designed me in such a way that i may come to find the deep, hidden richness and fullness of life not in finding ways to simply get by in my covenantal duties or ways to lower standards to make fulfillment so much easier, but that as i seek to become more and more faithful to the covenants i have made. i want christianity to become more than an adjective in my life. i want to stop trying to see what i can get away with, and start seeing just how faithful i can be. it's time to step it up, swallow my pride and dive straight into the realm of striving to become a faithful person...