Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Interesting Read

Here's an article from Newsweek that may make for an interesting read. I found In Search of the Spiritual listed on another blog. It encourages me to see something like this making big headlines in a publication like Newsweek. I have maintained for some time now that our greatest desire, hunger, thirst as human beings is for God. Since He's made us for Himself (and He is Love) our deepest, most innate yearning and longing is to love and be loved by the One in whom we become fully ourselves - the individual God dreamed, designed and destined us to be in relationship with Christ. This is where the REAL adventure begins . . .

For more insight on identity, relationship and 'becoming' read Isaiah chapter 6 (in the Old Testament) and watch Isaiah's transformation as he encounters Yahweh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hospital Message from Mommy

An Inspiring Friend

Just wanted to point your attention to a friends' blog. His name is John Daharsh. We worked together (along with a great bunch of people) at Willow Creek Community Church (Chicago, IL) in the late 90's. He is living in Colorado with his family and is a great artist. I've just feasted on some of his photography - it's amazing! Check it out here. Wonderful stuff John! Keep it coming!

Hospital Message from Daddy

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Son is Born!

Please welcome Aidan Scott Tucker into this world. Aidan arrived at 5:35 a.m. GMT on Monday, August 29th 2005. He is a very healthy, hungry, calm little boy weighing in at 9 lbs. 1 oz. Christy is well and recouperating in a plush maternity ward with copious amounts of tea & toast at her disposal. She arrived at the hospital and was 7 cm dialated, then proceeded to give birth only 1 hour and 30 minutes later. She did so well and is due so much honour for her labouring to bring another life into this world. I am so proud of her - what a wife and what a mom! More to follow in the coming days. Click on the flickr image box on the right for a slide show of older pictures and recent ones of Aidan's arrival! God is good. Blessings on you all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Life-giving Activities

My wife is the best. She, being three weeks away from her due date for our second child, allowed me to get away for 24 hours to do some camping with a few friends. It may not seem very special, except that she did this in addition to me traveling quite a bit with work the past few days. She's the bomb! I got out for the night with a couple of friends in the heart of County Down, Northern Ireland. We had an idyllic spot. It was called the Windy Gap - and it was extremely so. But David, Stephen and I managed to build a roaring fire and get the tents up in full view of the Mourne mountains to the south, and Belfast city to the north. What a spot! God speaks to me and refreshes me when I'm in the out-of-doors! It was a soul-satisfying trip. Here's few pictures.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Deep, Deep Aching

I was told my father read the eulogy (see below) I wrote for my grandfather (his dad) at the funeral. Some of you may know that I haven't seen (nor communicated much with) my biological father for nearly 13 years. The last time I saw him I was 16. He wasn't around for my driving test, senior prom or high school graduation for that matter. He never visited me at university, he never met Christy (my girlfriend of five years, now my wife), he never showed up at our wedding or sent a card. He wasn't around for the graduation ceremony at Taylor University or our time with family before moving to Ireland. Don't get me wrong, I didn't really expect him to all of a sudden jump back into my life after a long hiatus, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wanted him to - or secretly wished he would. He has missed a huge portion of my life. And by the time I'm 32 I'll only have known him for half of my life.

The thing that really gets on my nerves - that truly ticks me off - is that he never intended to get involved in his first grandchilds' life! Neve has never met him - nor knows he exists - and there is a small part of me that doesn't want her to know him. He's a great man. He has some very likeable qualities, but he really isn't the type of grandfather I would want my children to spend too much time with. I guess I say that because he left me - his first-born - alone, and has chosen to remove himself from my life. How could he prove to be a good grandfather if he isn't even being a dad to me? And now we have our second child on the way and he has no clue - unless he's heard it from elsewhere - that he'll be a grandpa again. I haven't bothered telling him. I have given up trying to win his attention and affection. I'm not sure what factors have cause him to make the decision he has regarding our relationship. Whatever it is, it doesn't negate the responsibilities he took upon himself when he co-created me! I am a husband now. I am a father now. Whatever I feel I lacked growing up in the way of a father figure - it has made me even more sensitive and resolute to provide for my children.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad. I have some great memories of the two of us together. He is still my father even though he hasn't acted like it. But he has left me very little that I desire to emulate with my kids. I pray for him occasionally. I miss him. I get angry. I hurt over it - especially for Neve and our soon-to-be-born - but I am letting go. It's been happening for a while now and I figure it will continue for some time. I am letting go and allowing him, in some ways, to slip into my memories. In my world, in my life, that's the only place he exists anymore. Someday I will have to explain how all of this came about to our kids. I will have to try to convey to them how families can sometimes become very messed up. I will have to attempt to convey to them that the choice their biological grandfather's made to be estranged from his family, in NO way dictates what kind of love their father will give to them.

I am a recipient of grace. All of us can be recipients of God's unconditional love and grace. I am so grateful that God woke me out of my slumber and offered me true freedom. I realise that it's His grace and love that has allowed me to break statistics and scientific studies of how I 'should' turn out. It's God's love that is writing the new me - the me I can and will become. I'm choosing to believe the Father that hasn't left me and shows me His limitless love moment by moment. I'm choosing to believe what He says about me. Believing I just might become who he says I am and will be. Believing I can be the husband and father I so needed my dad to be for my mother and for me. I will choose to continue to receive this reality-altering, destiny-changing , soul-satisfying love . . . and I will become different because of it.

If you pray, please pray for my dad . . and for me.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Get Schooled in the Emerging Church

For anyone who has no idea - or wants to learn more - about the 'Emerging Church', here's your chance. It's laid out very clearly and easy to navigate. Thanks to Wikipedia.

A Lifetime High

Lately I've had the opportunity to do something that I haven't done since I attended Taylor University in the mid 90's. It still remains one of the most life-giving experiences I have ever had. I was able to work with creative types, have a good balance of administration and people time, work with a committed team, and if you haven't guessed yet . . it's concert promotion. My work with the Church of Ireland Youth Department has afforded me the opportunity to start booking bands again for our annual youth weekend in the Republic of Ireland. It's been great! I have re-educated myself (more fully) about who's who amoungst the Christians in the music scene and then the networking began. I think I have a mild addiction to 'networking'! ;-) I have managed to narrow it down to five groups that may fit our budget and may have an opening in their touring to come to the Dublin area for a weekend. They are GRITS, House of Heroes (from my hometown), LAST TUESDAY, Dynamic Twins and Anberlin. I'm loving it! What a thrill. It's one of those time that I feel as if I was made to do this. Well, not only this, but I get a sense that whatever 'this' is it may be part of it. Anyway, I'd like to know if any of you have heard of the bands and which you'd recommend for an all-Republic of Ireland youth event that caters to 13-17 year olds. We need someone who will engage with the crowd and not take themselves too seriously. A band that will get everyone involved . . So, start your voting!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Where I've Been Lately

This song describes well how I've been feeling lately. It's by a band called Model Engine (formerly Black Eyed Sceva) that I really enjoy which is no more. All good things must come to an end right? Well, thankfully not ALL good things . . .


Today's the day I draft my swan song
borrowing heavy on the theme of the 51st Psalm
I'm reticent, I am ill-secure
I'm a bastard son in search of suture
Here's to reversing the pole of my aum magnate
it's attracted the worst of times I've had yet
Take back this sin disease
I don't want it
Brought my temple down
and left it haunted

To be broken and have the wounds heal crooked
The patient remains ill and looks it

What resurrected what I had put to death
showed me the prose but not the poetry of the flesh
When your father figure is on temporary lease
You keep your heart strings on the short leash

To be broken and have the wounds heal crooked
The patient remains ill and looks it

To be broken and have the wounds heal crooked
The patient remains ill and looks it . . .

Monday, August 08, 2005

Aunt Dee, Uncle Tommy, Grandpa Tucker (holding Neve) and I [summer 2004]. Posted by Picasa

In Memory of Jesse James Tucker

My grandfather was buried today in Findlay, Ohio. I wasn't able to attend the funeral, but I did write a eulogy in his honour. It was shared at the funeral.

It's difficult being so many miles away from people you love dearly, especially at times like these. Please know that although physically absent, I am otherwise present with each of you on this day as we celebrate the life of Jesse Tucker.

It’s hard to pay homage to someone who meant so much in so very few words. Words cannot fully encapsulate the life of an individual. I suppose in many ways eulogies are simply a means by which we commemorate those whom we love and have lost, while coming to terms with their passing.

Here and now, I can say I wish I knew Grandpa, and Grammie for that matter, better. The older I get the more I’ve become aware of the extreme brevity of life. That realization has birthed the desire to value and invest in those relationships that mean the most to me. My contact with Grandpa has always been less than I would have liked, and in the last decade our times together had become less frequent. Since Christy and I moved to Ireland six years ago, we’ve always tried to make an effort to visit to Findlay whenever in America. Each visit has been meaningful to me as we, and more recently Neve, were able to spend time with Grandpa and other family members.

Thinking back, memories flood my mind of wonderful times with Grandpa and Grammie. From the earliest days the huge wall of pictures on the wall near the front door always captured my attention. My imagination was spurred on by the plethora of images of different family members in various stages of their lives. I think it is still the largest collection of family pictures on one wall I have ever seen! When I visit, I still love casting my eye over the snapshots of times and people that were special to Grandpa and Grammie.

In my pre-teen years Grandpa tried to instill in me the love of the game of golf. We went golfing together on a few occasions which were always enjoyable. Our trips to the course usually meant either Grandpa had to maneuver the cart into strange locations my ball had gone, or I got a lot of exercise chasing them. It’s only now I realise what patience he must have had. I guess to some degree he had given me enough confidence in the game to step on a course again later in life . . if only as a caddy! It’s hard to think of any way he’d rather have spent his free time than on a fairway.

Other memories are of Grandpa in his garage-come-workshop. There was always amazement at the sheer number and scope of tools and machinery he had out there. An even greater appreciation was held for the wonders he produced from that shop. From small ‘adjustments’ to purchased items which made them operate better, to his own unique inventions, such as the sand pit rake. The well-thought out, very pragmatic inventions and designs were a gift that Grandpa put to good use. I have a deep respect for him and an appreciation for the ingenuity he demonstrated as one in a long line of innovators.

Unbeknownst to Grandpa, for much of my life he’s been the subject of many conversations in which I have paid tribute out of respect and admiration for the man he was. There are, of course, many more memories of he and Grammie which I will always hold dear in my heart. They are as varied as each of our family members’ memories of Grandpa are unique. I will pass on these memories when my own children are old enough to understand, so they may have some connection with those who have gone on before them. I want to carry on those noble and cherished qualities that Grandpa demonstrated in the course of his life . . most of all his inquisitive nature which benefited him so well in his workshop.

That same questioning quality led he and I into a few conversations about life beyond the here and now. Although somewhat cursory in nature, those brief discussions made me even more aware of his searching, questioning nature. I’d like to think that some of the same quality has been passed on to me, as it has served me well in the path chosen for me. One invitation from the Lord in the Old Testament gives rise to opportunities and exciting possibilities. He says, ”When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." [Jeremiah 29:12-14]. May the same tenacious curiosity Grandpa demonstrated serve us well too.

I am only one in a long line. I thank God for family and for the example worth imitating set for us by those further along the journey of life. Jesse Tucker was a man who had many admirable qualities, many of which I hope I will also live out for the benefit of my children and their children after them. He was a man that although being my own grandfather, I was just beginning to know. For whatever is left of my own life on this earth I will remember him, and Grammie, with love in my heart.

With sorrow and admiration,

Shane Robert Tucker
August 2005


The Draw & Disdain of Emergent-ology Pt. 2

Here's the second installment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on the Emerging Church 'movement' complete with video. I would be interested in discussing some of the information presented in these two articles if anyone is interested. Would love to hear what the rest of you are thinking on the 'emergent church'. Every blessing wherever you find yourself today!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

This one's for you Eve. Hopefully it won't produce as much stress as the last screen shot!  Posted by Picasa