Monday, December 31, 2007

Can she really upload video??

video

If this works, that'll be so cool!!! Six seconds of nothing but the cat ;-)

ALT's Meesa Back Tag

Not sure if ALT was throwing out a tag for anyone, or responding to a tag...but hey, I'll play anyways.

1. What is your favorite flower?
Lilies.

2. What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?
Loving-kindness.

3. What do you miss about your childhood?
My Star Wars action figures, along with my Justice League dolls.

4. What is the main fault in your character?
Perfectionism.

5. Describe how you kiss in one word.
Present.

6. What in the world do you least desire?
Violence, discrimination, and monetary debt.

7. Finish this sentence. "Happiness is a thing called..."
now.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Have a safe and merry New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Anniversary Celebration

So, my wife and I have been talking about going up to the altar rail for quite awhile, and due to a chain of events, such as, our Pastor saying all are welcome to have clebrations blessed - today was the day we went up for our 3.5 year celebration blessing.

My poor wife kept wanting to hold my hand and I kept needing to wiggle free, but luckily for me she didn't let go :-) So we were up at the rail with one birthday and another anniversary of 38 years. So our Pastor gave the celebration blessing, and normally our church claps right away after the blessings...well, there was about 2 seconds of utter silence, then bless him, our Pastor started clapping, then the people at the rail starting clapping, and then the congregation joined in.

Afterwards, a friend asked me if I felt the Holy Spirit during the blessing, to which I replied "No, I was way too nervious." I felt like I did the day my wife and I got married, extremely happy and a bit weak in the knees. My wife just beaming at me (which was awesome) and supportive quiet laughter at my 10 minutes of deep breathes afterwards.

It's telling and sad that not one of our LGBT parisheners uttered one word to us after church, but a number of straight parisheners did. And I don't know if it was coincidence or intentional but one lesbain couple got up and left once we got up to go to the rail, and didn't come back until after the blessings - I'm sure I'm just imagining things.

So that was my fourth Sunday of Advent.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Sup with Me

Well, I finished crocheting my wife's scarf last night - yea. It will go very nicely with her winter jacket. My next project is to use just the knit stitch to make another scarf so I can get some fluidity before moving onto knit 1 pearl 1.

The EFM group liked my homily :-) It was a wonderful evening of fellowship. And when I arrived at home there was one of my wife's best friends all the way down from CT. So that was a very nice end to a really nice evening.

I got cd's that are designed to teach you Spanish while driving in the car - very exciting. So let's see if the cobwebs get swept away cause deep in the recesses of my brain, there are years worth of vocabulary and sentence structure buried in there.

Totally random - I got a new cowboy hat, so I'll see if I can remember to take a picture of it. OOhh, and one of my Christmas presents is a digital video recorder - nothing fancy, on the way low end, but it was priced in bargan bin numbers. But I don't get to use it until after Christmas Eve (which is when we open our presents). But when I do, I'm going to play with posting "videos" to zeh blog - or at least thta's my thoughts for now. Wouldn't y'all love to see a videos of my dogs ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First Homily

So, I wrote my first homily for my EFM group's Christmas Eucharist Celebration. We each picked what part we would have in the service and what foods for the shared meal afterwards. Our theme we were given, or maybe we chose, I can't remember now, is gifts. I don't know what any of the readings will be to include the gospel reading, and the only other requirement be that it was between 2-3 minutes in length.

Sermon in a sentence, not quite, more like snippet of scripture to work from, and it's pretty obvious what that snippet is. So, here it is:

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…how true is this - for us in our lives, as we go out everyday into the world? How easy it is to get lost and overwhelmed by hopelessness and sadness…especially during the season of giving. Holding in tension the joy of giving to our loved ones and knowing there are so many who go without everyday.

News stories about Iraq, Afghanistan, CIA torture techniques, Darfur, killing sprees in Colorado, severe weather causing deaths in the mid-west, Guantanamo Bay, habeas corpus, who will be the next president, deficits, talk of recession, out sourcing, consumer confidence, Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too…

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…cannot be undone, revoked, unalterable…how amazing is that? That God gives and does not take away. He is always there waiting for the ‘Here am I’, that entrance into our hearts. That entrance into the realm of it is possible to change the world. It is possible to live this life as though it is the kingdom of God right now, right in this moment, that every moment is a moment to bring God’s love for us to another…one word, one touch, one acknowledgement, one courageous act of love…

Imagine a world without borders, without fences…Imagine a world where ethnicity, sexuality, gender - didn’t matter…Imagine a world that saw instead Christ in each hello, good-bye, come again, how can I help you, thank you, peace be with you…Imagine a world where people had the courage to say no to violence even in the face of their own imprisonment or death…

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…how often do we think, I’m just too tired, I’ve done enough, and felt guilty for not doing more? How often do we turn away only to hear and feel God gently nudging us, encouraging us, surprising us…

I look at the people in this room and feel humbled by all of you. Each of you in and of yourselves gifts; teachers, healers…treasured for your sharing, compassion, and companionship along my own journey. I look at each of you and find courage – strength – and most specially, laughter. You help me remember each week that it is possible to accomplish anything with God’s help.

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…can it really be that each of us is gifted…as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor. What are our gifts? And when we embrace them, what will we do with them?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas and other stuff

Celebrated Christmas with my wife's family early. It was a wonderful weekend that went too quickly. My favorite parts were (a) my mother-in-law's awesome cooking (b) the long walks down country roads (c) falling a asleep on the back screened in patio watching random birds come to feed.

It felt really good to leave the stress behind and forgotten for a couple of days. We took tomorrow off to shop together for the kids' Christmas presents, as well as run a few errands. I'm sooo excited about not going to work tomorrow.

Lastly, the resume is out there, so here's to finding a new job sometime soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

YouTube Fun

Eddie Izzard and Anglicanism, way funny.


Eddie Izzard and his Star Trek commentary, too funny.


I do hope you enjoyed.

Dante Inferno Quiz

So, I bit and took the quiz that ALT took, and the results are...

...the Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Level Score
Purgatory High
Level 1 - Limbo Moderate
Level 2 High
Level 3 Low
Level 4 Very Low
Level 5 Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis Very Low
Level 7 High
Level 8- the Malebolge Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus Low

Purgatory: You have escaped damnation and made it to Purgatory, a place where the dew of repentance washes off the stain of sin and girds the spirit with humility. Through contrition, confession, and satisfaction by works of righteousness, you must make your way up the mountain. As the sins are cleansed from your soul, you will be illuminated by the Sun of Divine Grace, and you will join other souls, smiling and happy, upon the summit of this mountain. Before long you will know the joys of Paradise as you ascend to the ethereal realm of Heaven.

Level descriptions: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-information.html
Take the test: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Crocheted Shawl


So, crocheted shawl? Doesn't she mean knitted? Weellll, knitting is going to have to wait a while. I got the basic knit stitch but I was so tense through the shoulders that instead of being relaxing and meditative it was stressing me out. I crocheted years ago and decided to see if I could pick it up again. And well I did. Crocheting is so much easier for me, and I enjoy it. I found a nifty prayer shawl pattern book. So the shawl I put together is based on a pattern in the book, but slightly modified. I do wish I'd gotten the width longer, but ah well, next time.
I made this one for the kids grandma, I hope she likes it. I can't wait to make another one :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Been Tagged

Two names you go by (besides your given names)?
1. JS 2. Mama

Two things you are wearing right now?
1. Blue jeans
2. Brown and tan sweater

Two longest car rides?
1. Non-stop from Texas to Pennsylvania for a funeral
2. Anytime I ride in a car with my mom driving

Two of your favorite things to do:
1. Hike with my family and take photos
2. Read

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. More time with a healthy dose of patience
2. Toss up between more books and camera equipment

Three animals you have or have had:
1. Diego, my six year dog.
2. Sparky, a dog who adopted my wife then the rest of us.
3. Darth Vadar, my wife’s cat.

Three things you ate today:
1. Raisin Bran cereal
2. Donut
3. Italian sub

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
1. Going to work
2. Preparing for EFM

Two favorite holidays:
1. Christmas
2. Easter

Two favorite beverages:
1. Hazelnut coffee
2. Orange soda pop

Added question - Two favorite words:
1. Plethora
2. Serendipitous

I tag: Anybody who wants to play and hasn't been tagged yet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Who is the Girl

Who is the girl, who
Stands slightly alone but near enough
Her eyes shift and follow movements
Like breath

Who is the girl, who
Would hold your hurts but doesn’t
Let go of her own

Who is the girl, who
Wants to walk with you but hasn't
Quite figured it out herself

Knitting

ALT got my wife a beginners knitting kit for her birthday a little over a month ago. Once my wife started to get the hang of it I asked her if she would show me too. And it's a good thing she's learning all the stitches first, because there's something about knitting that almost works counter-intuitive to my brain.

My wife is thinking her first project will be a scarf, and I'm thinking socks for mine. But I need to spend some more time with the knit stitch and probably need to learn the pearl stitch before I can begin socks. Oh yeah, and how to increase and decrease stitches.

The wife's next lesson involved knitting with four needles at once - I think she decided to skip that lesson as it sounded intimidating. I'm still trying to imagine how that would work.

I'm hoping to get fluid enough with knitting that I can turn it into a meditation/prayer excerise, but first I need to make more then two rows of stitches :-)

So, next Christmas you know what you all may be getting right ;-) Socks and scarves!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ok, Just One More for Today



How serendipitous, my wife got me a bracelet that says, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi.

ALT's link to quiz



I suppose now I should go watch the movie.

Kid Rock: Rock N Roll Jesus


Kid Rock has grown on me, especially once his music shifted out of (well mostly) prepubescent boy audience lyrics.

I haven't gotten through the whole CD yet (got it late last night) but I do like it. And true to the title, at least thus far.

I don't often get home sick but there's another piece to Kid Rock that brings back parts of home. Kid Rock and I are from the same part of Michigan, his accent sounds like mine, and he reminds me of my brother. The same brownish hair, similiar facial structure, and mostly it's the similiarity in how they carry themselves.

My friend ALT has that effect sometimes, though it's memories of my Grandmother - it's the shape of her eyes that look like mine that look like my Grandmother's.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quiz: What Breed of Liberal Are You?

You are an Eco-Avenger, also known as an environmentalist or tree hugger. You believe in saving the planet from the clutches of air-fouling, oil-drilling, earth-raping conservative fossil fools.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Find the Man in the Beans

I friend sent this to me, and I founf it fun, so I pass it on to you:

Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, your right half of your brain is better developed than most people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger.
And, yes, the man is really there!!!


What's interesting is that once you find the man you can't unfind him, if you know what I mean.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Be Grateful for Every Experience part ii

Be Grateful for Every Experience part ii

It’s hard to know what to say about my Cursillo experience, as I’ve only just gotten back and there’s still much to process. I went to Cursillo for two main reasons: (1) People who had gone kept saying I should go, and (2) the people who have gone I have immense respect for. I understand now why fellow Cursillitos get vague about Cursillo, it truly is something that must be experienced firsthand, and to say too much will take away from the experience if you’ve not been. I can say that your experience of Cursillo will be as unique as you are. If you want to live more fully into Christ you should go, if you’re trying to discern your role in your church and the world you should go, if you want to see Christ in others you should go. If you go, plan to eat a lot, cry a lot, sleep a little, and stack the mattresses if your Cursillo is at Camp Capers.

The word devistating from the "part i" post sticks out, and in some ways it was a devistating experience in both senses that the word can be used. I just worry that that particular word will be misconstrued...it was not my whole experience...but it I believe it is that devistation that will bring the most feeling...and for now there will be no more on that...

Be Grateful for Every Experience

I left for my Cursillo Thursday evening, and this was the Weekly Guidance awaiting me on my return from Cursillo, Sunday night:

Eileen’s Weekly Guidance 9.11.07 Be Grateful for every experience‏

Be Grateful for every experience

Be Grateful for every experience in life which draws you ever closer to Me, no matter how devastating that experience may appear to be at the time. I keep telling you that good comes out of everything for those who truly love Me and put Me first in everything. Why not open your eyes and see this come about? Look for the best and see the best come out of every situation. Put your whole faith and trust in Me.
I think right now that’s the best I can do to describe my Cursillo experience. Would I recommend Cursillo to someone else…Yes. Only time will tell if what I think I got out of Cursillo will hold true. So, until then, I need to process the experience, and see what transformation comes, if any, I think I went a butterfly already – but there was nectar there, so I look forward to seeing how that fed me.

De Colores

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sold and Clarification

Yea, the house now has new owners - they got the keys yesterday. What a relief.

I'd like to clarify my "Been on my mind" post: This post was something I needed to express and put "out there" but I already knew the answer. You cannot not be you and still make a good priest.

Even though I can't discern in my community, they validate me all the time in big and little ways. Too many people I respect validate that they can see me "in minstry," or "as a priest." And those are truly wonderful gems. But the ones that truly sparkle are the shared words that come from moments of being together.

So, what I'm saying is that "you" saw a glimpse of my insecurities and fears - that I am not good enough.

And well...phooowwwiieee on that.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Been on my mind too

I think I've been confusing what I see with what I was percieving as being wanted of me. And in the end that just isn't me. So I'm going to leave it be, and just be me. And if there's a place for me at the priestly table great.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Been on my mind

I’ve been struggling lately with can I be me and still be a priest? Of the priests I’ve seen there’s a genuine concern for others, but there’s also this distance. Is it just them? Is it protective to self? And I can’t help but think that isn’t me. That that is not what so many people need. They need someone to walk with them in their very personal pain/love/grief/life. To not be afraid to embrace them and hold them. And that image keeps calling to me. But it feels so conflicted with what I see.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The almost wasn't closing

Well, my wife and I signed the closing paperwork; first we thought we would get to close today, then we where told we couldn't; then we got the call asking if we could. But the realitor still needs to drop off the certified survey tomorrow morning, and the buyers can't close until tomorrow around 5pm since for some reason the Title Company person wasn't able to stay past 5pm today. So, we're not quite done yet...and here's to praying that we won't have to resign anything which is apparently a slight possibility.

My neighbor saw the new couple at the house yesterday, and she said they were taking pictures of the house and them in front of the house with big smiles. I'm really glad they're excited about the house. It's been a good house to us and well loved.

I just can't wait for the call that says the loan was funded.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Right Brain - Left Brain

Here's a fun right brained or left brained link:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/11/03/are-you-a-right-brainer-or-a-left-brainer-take-this-quick-test-to-find-out.aspx.

The first time I took it, I first saw counter clockwise, and then it suddenly switched. But now she spins clockwise and no shift.

The apartment is 90% unpacked, and that's a major relief. I've gotten my internet up and running again. It seems the cat ate through my ethernet cable - ugh. Happily a replacement cable was inexpensive.

I've got two chapters of EFM to get done by Tuesday as well as prepare a worship for this Tuesday's class...here's to speed reading. But, I'm torn between relaxing and watching a couple episodes of The L Word (season 3) and being studious.

I need to pack Wednesday for Cursillo. I'm excited about going, but I really dislike leaving my family for more than a day. I need to remember to give my ride directions to my new apartment. Maybe I should do that nect and soon.

I was EM/Chalice Bearer for the first time today; and it felt really right and comfortable. Prior to service I was pretty nervous but all went well.

Well, I'm off to call my ride.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Randomness

Ain't love a paltry affair
So blue so incandescent
In the end it burned out his eyes

The mornings are cool here in SA land, the afternoons flush with warmth, the evenings hint at the chill to come.

Halloween today...my kiddos quite excited Tinker Bell and Scream, punk rock Mimi, zoot scootin' mama. The dogs and cat cast as themselves. Mounds of joy ready to plunder my waist and thighs, unless of course self-control over the little pearls of sugary glooy sweetness is maintained.

Have a safe and Spookaliuos Night mi amigos.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Prayer

This prayer was given to me by my Spiritual Director...I don't know the source of the prayer, but I want to share it, especially for Lee.

Lord,
it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been dome has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Closing Date and Moving

Well, things are still looking good for the closing on our house - yea! We weren't able to find a rental house - boo. But I suppose apartment living won't be so bad when it's only for 8 months. And it really is a very nice apartment complex.

I just want November 5th to hurry up and get here so that I can honestly let go of the stress. I keep giving it to God and taking it back...I really wish She'd quit obliging me.

I've been reading Borg's book about meeting Jesus for the first time. And one of the chapters talks about the femininity of God/Jesus. And that's been really good for me, as well as the interesting thoughts about Sophia a.k.a. Wisdom was a lady.

So we've got tons of little things to do and tons of big things to do and many phone calls to make - moving is a major pain in the butt. And I'm ready to get started. I'm ready for the big move - but I need the transitional move I guess - I know my children do. We're working through having to let go. I am so excited about Vermont, and very sad to leave a place where the potential for some awesome growth is being given room to incubate and then possibly blosom but I suppose where and how the blosom goes depends on the congregation.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Type B Love

I read ALT's "Type A Love" and this I let go - nowhere near as good as hers but fun none-the-less.

Type B Love

If only I had some,
You see everything's a mess
Boxes scattered and stacked,
Some even half open unable to close.

If only I could make my orderly list
But there's a conspiracy of this must flow first,
then you may plan
But my fingers itch and my heart palpitates.

The uneasiness of just let it be
What if something gets forgotten
Or is left undone,
the consequences of not getting it just right.

Jazz

Went to a jazz concert with my wife this Saturday. We saw, Brandford Marsalis and his quintet. Now, I'm not much of a jazz fan - so I went to this out of love, and it wasn't bad. My problem with jazz is that my ears and brain translate the music as noise. What I liked about this jazz was that it sounded smooth even if nearly everything sounded the same to me. I asked my wife if she could hear the difference and she said yes. Then I said that I liked classical music alot more then jazz, and she said it was the opposite for her.

Watching the drummer was fascinating - seeing his hands fly across the drums and cymbols, feet bouncing. The bassist with his odd head shoulder body movements.

But 2 hours had me at my limits even when the jazz was good. What's odd to me, is that I enjoy music that doesn't have "words" per say, but not jazz. And I guess it bothers me that I don't like jazz, cause I keep thinking I should, but I don't.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Riffing

Riff-Raff Tag-about

Original: Vineyard, Root, Rescue, Perseverance, Divided

Vineyard: Matthew 20 - So the first will be last and the last shall be first

Root: of it all, casual effect, sand blasted fever dried, pummeling the ground for the gord

Rescue: run-away, only you and God can work it out

Perserverance: a fancy word for it was hard as hell and I really didn't want to do it (or maybe I did), and the whole time it sucked but I was bull-headed enough not to quit

Divided: split among many, fragmented, incapable of making a decision

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ben and Jerry's Pics Just for Murat


Apparently pictures of Vermont are not complete without mentioning Ben & Jerry's, so the next time I go to the grocery store, I'll have to pick up a pint of VT goodness.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pictures of Vermont

My friend Lee has been sending me pictures of Vermont, and with each image I find myself catching my breath, and my heart feels weird, and my tummy tightens - but not with anxiety, but with a longing towards and for something that I know is awaiting me.


So here's some of the picture's Lee has sent me from various websites:





Tuesday, October 09, 2007

So It's Been Awhile

Well, let's see...I've been really sick, though I'm beginning to recover - I just can't seem to get rid of the stuffy congestion (ugh).

My wife and I have sold our house, but we're both nervous until we get past the option date. So, we've started looking for rental places within our children's school boundary. We've made our list of call all these people to change address, turn this off, turn this on, oh my. We'll start packing this weekend.

I've gotten elected to my church's vestry; that's really exciting. We've started having celebrations blessed so that all couples can go to the altar rail to have their particular celebration blessed.

And that's me in a nutshell.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

HoB - So Lame

Instead of being a shining example for the Anglican Communion and the rest of the christian community - the HoB cowers under the threat of the bullies. I don't think Jesus would be proud.

Not only that - the bullies weren't even satisified; they left early to return to based camp PA. To re-stradegize how to bring about their ultimate goal of schism.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Going Adrift

I've lifted anchor
Though my voyage is upon a raft
The waters out to sea are calm and slow moving
I float slowly from the shore
The water not yet deep enough that I couldn't just leap
and walk back to shore
Heartened and scared, thankful for the calm sea moving me slowly
Still tied to what is behind me yet ready to go

Thursday, September 20, 2007

San Diego Mayor Decides Instead to Support Gay Marriage

The Mayor of San Diego speaks of how he had planned to veto the city council's decision to support gay marriage and why in the end he instead passed the council's resolution. Click hear to hear his heartfelt speech: http://cbs5.com/video/?id=26888@kpix.dayport.com

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Randomness

Finding God

In the Woodwork

I looked into the cracks on my hands and knees

Finding God

In the Mirror

I looked at the bark my nose nearly touching

Finding and articulating God...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Images of God

I've been thinking about the images I have of God. As I've gotten older I've become more aware that his image is fluid for me but that some aspects that I impute upon him stay the same.

Like, God is always a he for me...one day he may become a visual she for me but not yet. He is always white-haired. His Holy Spirit is always wispy. Jesus is always kind and righteous.

God right now is white-haired and lean, kind, loving, compassionate, weary-eyed, and he's waiting for me patiently with a smile. God is not naked though I don't know what he's wearing except that the clothing is simple and worn, his feet are sandaled.

Oh Holy Spirit, you yes are still this wispy loving energy that is my breath.

Jesus, doomed by those bibilical stories, my long-haired Messiah with the travel worn feet and deep but raspy voice with the callused though gentle hands. Your eyes say too much, that gaze is hard to hold, you died for us and knew that the door you opened too many would be afraid to follow.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Random

Vision of a priest walking in the desert sand
Robe swept westard by the wind at her feet
Back to me she is, staff in hand
Just her and the desert and the setting sun

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Too Emotional

Recently at my church we held 3 Communion Matters (CM) discussions. I only participated in the first 2. During the second CM I was told I was being emotional.

Here's a snippet of why I get emotional about these things:
The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama condemned homosexauls as "insane people" and "satanic" and "are not fit to live". Here's the link: Africa Monitoring

I felt hurt by being told I was too being emotional, but I've come to realize that my reaction was not wrong nor inappropriate. It was inappropriate of those around me to expect me to not show any emotions about something so very personal.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What Color Crayon Are You?

You Are a Yellow Crayon
Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.
You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.
Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.
While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Undermining the Episcopal Church Series

The Episcopal Majority blog is putting together a series on the undermining of the Episcopal Church, and I've found it to be quite informative.

Here's the links to Part 1 and Part 2:

  • Undermining the Episcopal Church, Part 1

  • Undermining The Episcopal Church, Part 2


  • Happy reading.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Makes Me Happy

    Thought I'd share something that made me smile and jump up and down on the inside...

    August 28, 2007
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Integrity Responds to List of Candidates for Bishop of Chicago

    "The big news today is that discernment has trumped discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago," said Integrity President Susan Russell. "The inclusion of the Very Rev. Tracey Lind on the list of five extraordinarily qualified candidates for Bishop of Chicago is a bold step forward and a sign of hope and encouragement not only to LGBT Episcopalians but to the whole church. Her experience and leadership make her an excellent candidate and Integrity applauds the Diocese of Chicago for not allowing the forces advocating bigotry over ability to dominate their nomination process.

    It is long past time for the Episcopal Church to acknowledge that B033 -- the 2006 resolution designed to prevent the election of a gay or lesbian bishop -- has failed in its attempt to balance the unity of the Anglican Communion on the backs of the LGBT faithful. There is no turning back on the full inclusion of the baptized into the Body of Christ -- only moving forward into God's future as an Episcopal Church committed to mission and ministry, to unity in diversity.

    Integrity extends congratulations to all the candidates, any one of whom will make a fine bishop for the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Chicago's diverse list of qualified candidates is a sign of the end the 'season of fasting' at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church and the whole church should rejoice and be glad in that!

    (The Reverend) Susan Russell, President
    president@integrityusa.org

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Random

    Disappointed, that's how I should have replied to my wife this morning when she asked if I was doing ok. I am profoundly disappointed. She is deeply disgusted; Trying really hard to not have me take ownership of blame that is not mine to take...but, well, it does take two to tango...

    A friend sent me a wonderful story about a bear and community...and there's the rub, that thing that hasn't worked itself out yet, that disappointment.

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    So Who Can Name When Logic Saved the Day

    I would be curious to know when logic saved the day, "the day" being equality issues (e.g., racism, bigotry, women's rights).

    Does anyone know of such a "day"? Would we call Martin Luther King Jr. a logician, or Gandhi or Lucy Stone?

    Just curious.

    Oh you gail force wind
    You emotional beast you
    You are just too emotional

    No, no I am the fire of passion
    It is your heart I hope to ignite
    As your head is an ice fortress

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Haircut Decision

    Well, I almost went completely for it, I did get a faux-hawk, but it's subtle on the sides. I think I may need to buy some industrial strength hair gel, because my hair isn't quite staying the way I want it to. But, still I'm glad I did it.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    And we're off

    So life is about to hit the fast lane again...and I'm disappointed about that. I just got asked to fill a position for which I've little experience - I do believe there's a dilbert moment in there.

    EFM starts first week of September, kids go back to school Monday, my wife's work schedule changes. So, grand jugger supreme mama bring it on (ok well no really don't bring it on, but you get the picture).

    I get my haircut tonight, pretty excited about that...maybe I'll get that "foe-hawk" after all. Maybe I'll dye my hair some crazy color. Maybe I'll say @#$% it all and get both a "foe-hawk" and some crazy colored hair. Or maybe not.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Poem

    When words become meaningless...
    When words become daggers...

    Twisted and gnarled but so prettily woven
    on the outside

    I see you, but my ears tire
    Maybe if I turn my head and walk away
    I can pretend you didn't happen

    You've worn me down with the miles of your spinning
    You've taken advantage of my good nature

    Cleanse me, oh but I don't want to deal with you
    Convince you, love you, you wear me down

    We read the same words, yet, your translation is garbled
    I hear love, you hear damnation

    He loves me, my Lord Jesus Christ, He loves me
    Why can't you, oh Anglican South

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Computers

    Up until 2 years ago I was running on what is considered an ancient box, a Windows 95 Packard Bell that had to follow a specific sequence of "power up" events else forgetaboutit.

    Now "I" have a glintzy new computer running XP (not ready to venture into Vista land) with a cable modem. My friend who helped me spec the box out, was like man, you have this superfast machine and your strangling it with dial-up. And I most admit we didn't use the computer much because dial-up took most websites forever to load. So I ask my wife if we had it in the budget to get a broadband internet provider. And well she said yes, so now we use our computer all the time.

    Then somewhere between installing an MS OS update and the power going out - death, or well near death. The machine was breathing but couldn't respond. So I called my computer guru friend and he told me to bring it over...3 days later he was able to retrieve all my files off the C:\ and finally get the OS to reinstall.

    I missed my computer, I missed visiting the blogs I read, and the news, email, looking up random question asked by the kiddos, I missed being able to research stuff. I felt oddly disconnected.

    But, now the computer is well again...and appears to be functioning normally.Hats off to my friend who saved me and la famalia a small chunk of change.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Just for Fun

    So yeah, like, I'm bored man...if you are too - go have five minutes of fun.







    You’re St. Justin Martyr!


    You have a positive and hopeful attitude toward the world. You think that nature, history, and even the pagan philosophers were often guided by God in preparation for the Advent of the Christ. You find “seeds of the Word” in unexpected places. You’re patient and willing to explain the faith to unbelievers.


    Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!








    You’re Constantine The Great!


    Though he did not accept baptism until the very end of his days, Constantine was the first Christian Roman Emperor. His Edict of Milan put an end to institutionalized persecution of Christians in the Empire. He convened the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicea, to settle major doctrinal and disciplinary disputes. Though it has become fashionable to portray Constantine as a ruthless suppressor of paganism, that is a caricature, based on almost no evidence. He is better represented by one of his famous pleas for tolerance: “Let those who delight in error alike with those who believe partake of the advantages of peace … Let no one disturb another, let each man hold fast to that which his soul wishes … What each man has adopted as his persuasion, let him do no harm with this to another.” Constantine condemned “violent opposition to wicked error.” The Orthodox venerate him as a saint.


    Find out which Byzantine ruler you are at The Way of the Fathers!



    Fuzzy Friends

    I snapped off some quick pics of the my animals and the neighbor's dog with a friend's digital camera.




    This is our cat Darth Vadar - he was thus named for how he sounded when he was taken in as a stray with a cold.

    This is Diego - the cat out weighs him by 1 lb. Still super sweet but starting to get a little crochety.


    This is Sparky a stray who was insistent that we adopt him, so we did. He's a very sweet 7 monthish goof ball.


    This is Bear the neighbor's going to one day be a huge bundle of 90lbs love you, love you, love you lap dog.

    We took all the animals (except Darth Vadar, sometimes he follows along too but not last night), and all the kids, and then the adults - we were quite the motley crew. And an enjoyable time was had by all.

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Poem

    Springtime and all is in bloom
    Summer and all stays as it bloomed
    Fall and all begins to shed
    Winter and all is emptied again

    Can I hold each these seasons within my soul?
    I am all these seasons there is no doubt
    A kaleidoscope, a door that always opens
    Two visions, two visions how quiet they are

    Sunset field grass swaying softly is me
    Dusk snow covered mountain grove of pines is me
    Different spaces yet intimately entwined
    Vast spaces never empty so full of God-space

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Playing Tag With Seven Things

    1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies:
    If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl “shows you what it would be like to have the ancient wisdom of the Buddha to guide you through the dating process” – great book whether you’re dating or not.

    2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music:
    More like genres; New Wave music from the ‘80s: and I’m not talking the poppy new wave, more what would nowadays be called Goth; and Trance. New Wave opened me up to poetry; Trance to the beauty of beat and rhythm. For a sample of what Trance is check out: State of Trance 2006 Armin van Buuren.

    3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue:
    Bound – Gina Gershon, Jennifer Tilly - directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski - need I say more. Fire directed by Deepa Mehta is also awesome.

    4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief
    Hmmm…I don’t really have a favorite performer. But how about a cast; I regularly suspend all disbelief while watching episodes of the L Word :)

    5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with:
    Uh, don’t I already live with a work of art called the planet Earth? Although currently it’s in need of some major restoration.

    6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life:
    When I was a kid it was the writing of Piers Anthony and Stephen Donaldson and Lawrence Sanders. The Little Prince, James and the Giant Peach, Stargirl, and A Priest Forever: One Woman’s Controversial Ordination in the Episcopal Church.

    7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh
    “yeahsss, yeahsss” but without the background this makes no sense, and really it just makes my wife laugh which makes me laugh. This comes from listening to an audio book and one of the characters says "yeahsss, yeahsss" in a very distinctive way which when I immatate makes my wife laugh.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    New Zealand Prayer Book

    I've just begun to sit with the New Zealand Prayer book...there's a richness within these pages, no, more a warmth, a spark to the tinder of the personal God, a language of inclusion deliberately written into their corporate worship.

    My meditation, this promise, to dwell within comes from this book:
    "NN, we praise God for your commitment to serve Christ in the order of priests. Serve patiently and cheerfully, remembering that the work you are called to do is God's work; it is in God's hand, and it is done in God's name to God's glory. Follow Christ whose servant you are. Share the burden of those whose cross is heavy. You are marked as a person who proclaims that among the truly blessed are the poor, the troubled, the powerless, the persecuted. You must be prepared to be what you proclaim. Serve Christ simply and willingly, and let your joy in Christ overcome all discouragement. Have no fear; be humble and full of hope."

    I thought I needed to avoid the muck and the mire. I thought I would become lost within in it, and I had because I forgot that the journey is to be shared. I mustn't avoid the muck and the mire, but I must walk through it, in it, and out of it with Christ and because of Christ. I let my feet walk with arrogance that this I do alone; I let my feet walk with pride that this I can do alone.

    How long until my heart melts
    How long until my heart trusts
    Within You and through You
    You are my Light and my Way

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Musings

    Randomness brought about with sitting with Ignatius of Loyola for just a wee bit.

    If I say and believe that God is in every created thing,
    then I must include myself.

    Who are you and what is your name, how do I name you?
    Are you my sun and moon, the beating of my heart?
    Are you my daughter and my son and my wife?
    Are you my neighbor and my friend?
    If I name you all your names this then would be my life task to you.
    So what is your one name that I may live with for now?



    Beloved.

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Letting Go

    I've been struggling with God and my's relationship lately, and well I've been petulant with him. I haven't wanted to talk to him, but at the same time I haven't wanted him to go anywhere else either but be right beside me.


    And I'm struggling because I don't know what to do with my frustration, I don't know where to channel it - I'm an action-oriented kinda gal who's feeling pretty stuck in muck that is not mine, like if I'm not careful it will mire me in.


    And so I again remind myself to let go, let God carry some of this for me for awhile. That doors shut so that other opportunities may open. That God is still forging the path one chiseled step up the mountain at a time.


    And though I haven't been able to sit and pray, the hours have become my prayers, he's here and I know it. And though I haven't been able to pray, reading Psalm 23 for Sunday school pries open my doubting heart. And though I haven't been able to pray, Benedict's Rule of Life brings me my daily zen.


    And my heart aches for others who struggle with living their homosexual identities and their ordained identities, because the two are not separate - but many times they are asked or told to lead their lives that way.

    And I'm struggling with the "Why do you want to do this?" question from a lesbian priest. And my internal answer is, well because that's what I think God is calling me to. And if I don't fight for this and it is a fight - a fight for my right to be in this world as I am and not compromise myself in order to fill a role but instead to be the role...then I tell myself I will, here I am Lord. Because if we don't keep trying, keeping living our lives out in the open, the world will consume us.

    Saturday, July 28, 2007

    The Outing of My Discernment

    For a long while this is all I wanted to blog about, and then for a long while it was the last thing I wanted to blog about. Discernment. We are all called by God. God has a vision for each and everyone one of us. We each have a prophetic vision of God to share with the world. We each go out into the world wearing the many calls of God.

    I wear the call of child of God, mother, wife, aunt, lesbian, professional, and maybe, just maybe the call to ordained ministry. So the journey starts with tugs towards, inklings of, random coincidences, things keep popping up, can’t seem to get this crazy idea out of my head, and then, and then the saying of it out loud first to my wife, then my closest friends, then my pastor, then my spiritual director, then finally, then finally the vestry.

    And while this is happening other events occur, like my pastor speaking with the bishop, seeing what he has to say since I’m openly homosexual in a committed relationship in a conservative diocese. Finding out I can’t discern here, not formally, not informally…and soaking that in, absorbing what that means, and wringing out the pain from my being.

    And while this is happening I research the ordination process, look at other dioceses, talk with two of our church’s seminarians, talk to my spiritual director, and pray for answers or ok what’s the next step Lord. If it isn’t this then what? If it is then where? If it is then when? I read spiritual direction books recommended within the ordination process handouts/guidelines, trying hard to hear. I center trying to clear my mind and let God in, really let him in, no other thoughts or worries, just time for him.

    I often feel like I’m doing this alone, but that is a selfish self-pitying thought. I walk this journey with God. I walk this journey with my pastor, with my spiritual director, with my family, with my friends, and now with I hope the prayers of my church.

    My frustration comes in not being able to “do” the process with my church to discern with them through a discernment committee. My frustration comes that I will have to move and start all over again. My frustration comes because I’m scared about the risks involved with moving my family and starting literally all over with new jobs, new schools, new everything, and what if it wasn’t the right call, what if I’m getting it wrong. My frustration comes in that if I wasn’t homosexual, there would be no barrier to my beginning the formal process. My frustration comes that my diocese is unable to wholly welcome me.

    Going on vacation gave me space to breathe again. I told myself I would neither bring thoughts of discernment with me, nor thoughts of work, nor thoughts of things that always need to be done. I told myself I would walk away from this for awhile, and if the tug didn’t come back well then there I have it. But I find I am unable to walk away. I tried ignoring, but then I ignored prayer and study, and they both kept beckoning – come back. So I learned I don’t know how to ignore this, and I found I do not want to. What can be more beautiful then walking the path, the call God calls us to? Because in walking that path I am more fully myself, more fully a part of the world, more present to my family, more at ease with myself.

    So now I wait and I pray and I think and I listen and I learn and I grow.

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Inclusion with Clauses

    I wrote this at my pastor's request...he asked if I'd write about how I had felt about not being able to have my same-sex union blessed on my and my wife's anniversary.

    Inclusion with Clauses

    I find it odd and absurd that gay and lesbian unions can’t be blessed. The Episcopal Church welcomes homosexuals to its church with the promise of full inclusion, well at least until you read the unpublished and typically undocumented fine print. Gene Robinson put the Episcopal Church on the map for me, until then I didn’t know that the denomination even existed. A fellow lesbian parishioner led me to our church, Reconciliation. As I learned more and more about what it meant to be an Episcopalian, the more excited I got. Here’s why I fell in love with the Episcopal Church: (1) Scripture, Tradition, Reason, (2) Women priests, (3) Gays and Lesbians welcomed as themselves, (4) via media. And these reasons why I love the Episcopal Church are also what bring me the most pain. It is reason number 4 in particular; the loop hole, the well ok, the we want everyone at the table, the so well we’ll look the other way when we don’t agree. We color it in the language of living in tension, we call it giving those who aren’t quite where the others are time to catch up; and this I can understand. But what I can’t understand is when we use via media as an excuse not to take action against injustice and discrimination.

    Maybe it’s a fault of my own - an impatience with a 30 year conversation, an impatience with pure talk and not enough action. Maybe it’s a fault of my own that I’m unwilling to hold this moment in time in comparison to a 2,ooo year history. Maybe it’s a fault of my own for not being able to understand why others can’t see the beauty of my relationship to my partner, the beauty of our young family, maybe it’s my fault for not being able to see a God who finds my sexual orientation as evil and contrary to specific pieces of scripture never uttered by Jesus Christ. Maybe it’s my own fault for wanting our diocese, the Diocese of West Texas, to be like the dioceses that do bless same-sex unions that do allow practicing homosexuals to be ordained.

    What I do know is that full inclusion with clauses hurts, it’s like a wound that never quite heals, every Sunday freshly poked as my heterosexual coupled parishioners have their unions blessed, never having to explain to their children why our church treats us just a little bit different. And so we begin the slow growth of the seed called hypocrisy. Do I explain to my children how sometimes the church gets it wrong even though Jesus tells us how to get it right? Do I explain to my children how sometimes “church people” are still learning what Jesus’ radical love is all about? Do I explain to my children that how the church is treating us, gays and lesbians, is contrary to the notion of what the ideal church is all about – it’s about family? And the answer is yes, to sugar-coat the issue, to avoid, to umm, well – is well, shameful to me, shameful to who I am, it is a shame I won’t carry. I’ll fast but I won’t lie; I won’t pretend that’s it’s ok. And when my children begin to ask why I stay the answer will be, because to leave the table is to leave the conversation, to acquiesce, and because the Episcopal Church eventually gets it right.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    +Gene Robinson preaches on "The Good Samaritan"

    The Walking With Integrity blog has a video of +Gene Robinson's sermon from Sunday, July 15, 2007 given at All Saints Church, Pasadena - here's the link:
    Walking With Integrity: +Gene Robinson preaches on "The Good Samaritan"#links

    It's a very well done sermon that leaves one with much to think about.

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Eight Random Things About Me

    Choosing to self tag per "Rickety's" loose tag broadcast.

    1. As a kid I really liked Happy Days, and thought Fonzie was super cool. I even put stickers of him on my dresser, which didn't come off until my adult years when I stripped and restained the dresser - the dresser is now my son's.

    2. I've traveled across the top part of the US, kinda through the Mid-West, and along the South-Western states in a quasy round trip one year. My ex-brother-in-law had this rule that if you used the restroom in that state it "counted as a visit." I didn't track my visits so I'm not sure how many states "count."

    3. I've lived in 3 different countries: Korea, Panama, Peru, "visited" Japan, and many "visits" to Canada since their drinking age was 18 and not 21.

    4. I've been attempting to learn guitar since I was 16. Have sold both of the guitars I now own once each, and bought them both back from the people I've sold them too.

    5. I was married to a man for a long time before I divorced and came out with a @#$%* @#$% if you don't love me anymore because I am a lesbian and no one is putting me back in that closet bang.

    6. I joined the Army during Desert Shield and was in Basic and AIT during Desert Storm, but then it was over, so my group got re-assigned or so the rumor went.

    7. I did Weight Watchers and lost 30lbs, and have come to accept that I did inherit my mother's hips which I'd asked God many, many times in my teen years please not the hips, but alas, I've got curves.

    8. One day I will take a vacation to New Zealand, Ireland, England, Italy, and Greece (in that order dang it).

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Poem

    Gratitude

    Greatful as a grapefruit
    Thick skinned and bittersweet
    Puckered lips, squinched face
    chewy and hard to swallow

    And the surprise at the realization
    Widened eyes, that my thank yous hallow
    Everything in life hard won, hard earned
    I saw no god in that, but myself

    Greatful as a...
    Vision of God in all things
    Greatful as a...
    Memory to hold on to

    And gratitude
    Oh humbling gratitude
    I am not alone
    Never alone even when light
    Is forced in through the cracks

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Back From Houston

    Back From Houston

    We went this weekend to my wife's friend's wedding in Houston. The bride was lovely and her groom adoring. But, what stood out most for me, call me selfish yes, was us, the only as far as we could tell homosexuals, and the homily (it twas a Roman Catholic wedding). The good father spoke of commitment, love, trials, and endurance. He spoke of why the couple would want to profess and share their union in front of friends and family. And though I was greatly pleased to be a part of their journey in that moment, I could not help but think, if a priest, and the people present can and could understand what he was saying, how then brown cows can you could you not understand why homosexuals fight for their right to be married and blessed. The only leap required is one of imagination - switch either bride or groom for another bride or groom and here my lovelys am I.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Forks

    Three forks in the road
    One leads to more of the same
    Another leads to Plan B
    The other, ah, the other leads to leap of faith

    How that other road taunts and teases and grieves me
    One would think then no choice is that
    But oh, how in the dark of night and random dreaming,
    It glows so brightly...By what fire does it burn though

    Does it burn from my desire, my will alone
    Does it burn from hellfire's kiss
    Does it burn as an amber lighting the way
    I ask of the darkness, I ask of the dream that fades with open eyes

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Discerning Alone

    No committe do I have
    Nor will I be given, at least not until
    the fasting has been well ended
    and everyone has fattened

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Been listening to Team of Rivals, very good audio book, quarter way through, and the words are coloring my langauge this evening.

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    Vacation In California

    Here are some photos from la famlias trip to California:





    We took quite the trek to get to Grace Cathedral. The church is just beautiful, and the picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't get good pictures of the stained glass windows nor the intricate cravings on the front doors. We did walk the outside labrynth as the inside one is under repairs.



    This is the Palace of Fine Arts which we got to see on our way to the Exploratorium which is right next door. After our hours spent exploring we re-emrged into daylight and walked around Golden Gate Park then took our long bus ride back to the hotel.




    San Fran was our training ground for Yosemite [Note: we stopped in Monterey but I didn't include any pics of the Bay]. Which after 2 days of walking those hills made our day hikes here a piece of cake. This is a picture of Yosemite's Upper and Lower Falls.



    This was our view from Olmstead Point. This part of the park is only open in the summer, and after driving Tioga road for the hour it took us to get to the meadows it is very easy to see why...by the end of the day the steering wheel was getting that fried electric smell from all the twists and narrow turns. But, I am glad we took the drive.



    This is the view from Inspiration Point - way in the back is Half Dome (which I now have tons of pics of) and to the left is El Capitan and if you look really hard there's a waterfall mid-right. We took a 2 hour tram tour of the valley, which was well worth the money.

    We managed to have a really good mix of activities our whole trip, so the only day we were bored was the last day before flying out, because we underestimated the length of the drive back and because I didn't want to take scenic stops (though driving scenic 120 without getting out of the car wasn't too shabby either) because I worried about the rental's on-again-off-again fried sterring wheel smell.

    If you ask the kids what their favorite thing to do was, they'll tell you it was swimming in the hotel's pool; good thing for scrapbooks (which my wife puts together for the big things we do).

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Vacation Time

    I can't wait for Friday, not just because it's Friday but because la familia y yo are going to California. We're spending time in SF and then Monterey and then Yosemite. It's our first "big" vacation. We've been waiting for our youngest to (a) get big enough to walk at least an hour without much complaining and (b) be able to remember what she saw. Our daughter is so excited she's already packed.

    I plan on taking a mix of faux black & white, and color photos. I'm worried about the color photos turning out. For some reason I don't focus the lense so well with color film. I'm also worried about driving in SF, luckily it's very limited driving.

    My wife's parents are going to watch the house, the dog, and the hermit crabs for us; I hope PaPa doesn't spoil the dog too much. I wonder if Nannie will make PaPa take care of the hermit crabs...hmmm.

    I can't wait; I'm so excited about this trip, I lived in Monterey for a short time many moons ago and getting to share a place that was special for me is a real treat.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Love Your Enemies

    An excerpt from “A Knock At Midnight” from Martin Luther King’s sermon “Loving Your Enemies”

    It’s not only necessary to know how to go about loving your enemies, but also to go down into the question of why we should love our enemies. I think the first reason that we should love our enemies, and I think this was at the very center of Jesus’ thinking, is this: that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.

    Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.


    I share these words of wisdom mostly as a reminder to myself. I copy them out here to engrave the message into my being. I copy them out as a reminder of how Jesus’ words and actions are able to transform all our lives. We live in a global world at odds with itself; Torn between the love of universal brotherhood and the love of power.

    I end with two of the promises I made and reaffirm at every baptism from the “Book of Common Prayer:”
    Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
    I will, with God’s help.
    Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
    I will, with God’s help.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    A Prayer

    This prayer comes from Rueben Job's book, "A Guide to Spiritual Discernment." I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking not only to discern God's will for themselves, but to anyone who wants to build a closer relationship with God.

    This is week four's closing prayer:
    Living and present God, we thank you and praise you for your presence with us
    in all of the experiences of life. We seek your guidance in every decision of life,
    and even as we ask for your help, we offer our lives to you anew and ask you to do
    with us what you will. Our promise to you today is to follow wherever you may lead us. We are yours. Amen.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Serenity Prayer

    Saw this on my friend's blog and thought I'd like to post it here as a reminder to myself:

    Serenity Prayer
    God,
    Grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    forever in the next.

    Amen.
    –Reinhold Niebuhr

    Friday, June 08, 2007

    Poem

    Run swift run quick
    So light of foot no echos left
    What chases you chases me
    The exhilaration of "tag you're it"

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Poems

    Willow shire

    Weeping willow beside the river
    Bowed down and thick trunked
    Seasons flowing past
    But steady you stay baring the memories
    For the rest



    Sitting Together

    Mama you forgot we have to do the
    sitting down close our eyes thing
    Oh, you remembered, you want to Ok
    Sit crisscross apple sauce
    Rest your hands on your knees close your eyes
    Think one happy word and say it inside your head
    Breathe in – breathe deeply so they hear me –
    I listen for their echoed inhale
    Exhale loudly now do it again
    again
    again
    again – giggles breath giggles are we done
    Yes, I come back to them and they to me

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    More photos















    It may just be me, but can anyone else see/find the face in the tree? ALT, I just had to post my hat pic once I saw yours.

    Sunday, May 20, 2007

    Random Photos














    The top two photos are of Garner State Park (a really great park to take the family to).
    The mid-three photos are taken at a fellow parishener's ranch in Sisterdale.
    The bottom two photos are of Lola and Blue - the family's hermit crabs curtesy of ALT.

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Poem

    Listen, listen, little heart
    Take thine eyes and ears
    into the great wide dark
    Listen, listen, little heart

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    On My Mind

    I decided that I wanted to post some of what I've read today:

    In an email from Intergity which was sent me (Also see Intergity's blog: Walking With Integrity - The official blog of Integrity USA):
    Friday, May 4, 2007
    Nigerian Primate responds to letter from Presiding Bishop By StaffEpiscopal News Service
    May 03, 2007

    Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola has responded publicly to an April 30 emailed letter from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, asking him to reconsider plans to install Nigerian Bishop Martyn Minns as head of the Nigerian-based Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).

    The installation service is set for May 5 at the Hylton Memorial Chapel, a nondenominational Christian event center in Woodbridge, Virginia.

    Jefferts Schori said the installation "would violate the ancient customs of the church" and would "not help the efforts of reconciliation." Such action, she said, "would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ.

    Click here to read the full ENS article.

    Click here to read Archbishop Akinola's entire letter.

    Then while at the Thinking Anglicans website I read the lead article and the following link
    (Anything But Straight: Nigeria’s Frequent Flyer):
    Anything But Straight: Nigeria’s Frequent Flyer
    By Wayne Besen
    Thursday, 03 May 2007

    Snip: According to international election monitors, the April 21 vote in favor of Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua was rigged, threatening the very freedom and stability of this oil-rich, but corrupt nation. Braving threats of a brutal governmental crackdown, thousands of courageous Nigerians took to the streets on May Day to protest the political charade that passes for political liberty.

    Clearly, these demonstrators could benefit if they stood side-by-side with a moral leader who demanded an end to corruption and called for new elections. Such a man would be regarded as a true national hero who could lead Nigeria from a kleptocracy to genuine democracy.

    Anglican Archbishop Peter J Akinola is perfectly situated to step in and fill this role. Not only is he a local powerbroker, he is also the leader of the largest province in the worldwide Anglican Church. This offers Akinola a unique international platform to draw attention to the electoral sabotage that is ripping apart the very soul of Nigeria.

    But, instead of staying in Nigeria this week to bring his convulsing country together, he is flying to the comfy confines of Virginia to tear the Anglican Church apart. While his country is on the verge of a Constitutional conflagration, the Nigerian archbishop is burning with rage because in 2003 the Episcopal Church installed openly gay V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

    Just something to think about.

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Poetry Today

    My wife got me a miniture rock garden as a gift
    It sits perfectly still on my desk
    Neatly raked everything in its place
    Three stones three models (cottage cottage swan)
    Two trinities
    Equally spaced perportional grace
    Swan fallen awaiting its arising


    Questions of place and space and my place within the space
    Questions of grace within divine conversation of late
    Questions to grapple and wrapple and untangle within inner sactum

    Internalized treasure chests lay claim to anwsers yet unvocalized
    Open me open me open me you see
    Ah yes maybe no what if what if not oh so oh bother

    What kind of risk taker am I
    Well that depends on whether you ask the mother or the other idealist inside
    What balance what risk what compromise

    Gifts upon gifts and life experience
    Heavy from the holding in
    But for the grace of God where go I

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Update

    The family is pretty excited about going camping this weekend. It’s our first camping trip of the summer. I just checked the weather for the weekend and it’s a lookin’ good!

    I need to check my camera batteries before we leave – I think the power supply is going. If that’s the case, the camera probably won’t even be worth keeping. What really stinks is that the camera is only a few years old and only moderate use.

    In Sunday school we’ve been discussing what the Book of Revelations is and isn’t. The book that goes with the class provides a really nice overview about what it means to read Rev. as a road-map, myth, or historical-critical. It’s been nice having my paradigm shift. It’s no longer this going to hell scripture but a “wake up” call to what being Christian means.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    FindHabeas.com


    I would encourage people to check out FindHabeas.com to find out more information about The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) and why the ACLU (and we too) should be concerned about what the MCA means.
    The below is pulled directly from the FindHabeas.com website:

    "The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country, to imprison some people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, and to define what is — and what is not — torture and abuse.
    Just before the 2006 elections, Congress passed and the President signed the Military Commissions Act (MCA). Under the Military Commissions Act, the U.S. government can now:
    - Imprison some people indefinitely without charge or legal justification
    - Deny detainees any court review of their imprisonment
    - Hand down convictions based on evidence literally beaten out of witnesses
    - Redefine torture and abuse as they see fit, without regard for the Geneva Conventions or any other human rights law

    The MCA was sparked by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the original military commission system established by President Bush to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay was unfair and illegal. It ratifies key parts of the illegal commissions, reversing in part the Supreme Court decision.

    This wide-ranging and dangerous legislation eliminated a cornerstone of our Constitution by taking habeas corpus rights away from certain individuals. It allows our government to continue to hold hundreds of prisoners with no end in sight.

    Without due process, we are almost certainly holding innocent people behind bars. In fact, the Bush administration has already acknowledged that at least 140 of the prisoners held at Guantanamo are not terrorists — they are individuals who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    High-ranking officials must be held accountable for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody. And we must challenge the practice of “extraordinary rendition” — the kidnapping of foreign nationals for detention, interrogation, and torture in overseas prisons.
    The Military Commissions Act, torture by our government and extraordinary rendition stain our nation’s legacy as the standard bearer for the protection of human rights.

    We must not tolerate our country being engaged in acts of kidnapping and torture or a law that says the President can simply decide what is and isn’t torture. It is up to all of us to restore respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. You can do your part; take action today.
    The Restoring the Constitution ActThe Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, introduced by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), fixes all of the problems that the MCA caused in undermining the Constitution and the rule of law. The legislation restores habeas corpus and due process to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and to other detainees held indefinitely by the federal government. It would specifically block any president from arbitrarily deciding who is an enemy combatant and limit that designation to people actually engaged in armed conflict with our country.

    In addition, this bill would prevent this and future presidents from making up their own rules on torture, and make clear that the federal government must comply with the Geneva Conventions, which have been America’s laws for decades. The bill makes clear that the Constitution is the law of the land — and that no president can make up his or her own rules regarding torture and abuse.

    Congress made a mistake when it passed the Military Commissions Act. But the ultimate responsibility lies with us, the people. We know what America stands for, at home and abroad. We must call on Congress to correct its mistake: restore respect for the Constitution, restore habeas corpus and restore all the constitutional and due process rights Congress took away. Take action today to restore the Constitution."

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Misc

    Tempered silence
    Booms
    within the chambers of my heart
    Far away spaces
    Unfold
    within the dimensions of my soul

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    God.
    God who?
    God to know ya.

    BBQing tonight – angus burgers and bratwurst - yum. My wife’s friends from college are visiting tonight. Grocery shopping, and yard work tomorrow (need to replace one more vine and the gazebo flora is done). Church on Sunday. My wife and I just joined our church’s Bread for the World group…so we’ll be doing that Sunday too.

    Otherwise, not much happening. Wife insistent about us camping - so that’ll be in May. Our big vacation isn’t until the end of June to San Francisco. Ho hum…it’s always off to work I go J.

    Interspersing Martin Luther King Jr’s “Why We Can’t Wait” into “church” reading for variety.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Saying too much in too few words

    Easter week is is shaping up to be quite busy...

    But for me this Easter marks a continued affirmation of a connectedness to a faith community...

    I feel as though I've emerged from the depths and have broken free to the surface and gasp that first lungful of oxygen...I feel new.

    I wonder at what discernment will bring, what it will entail...ah, continued resounding affirmations one hopes.

    ...To think about it but not too much...listening, listening, listening...worrying about earwax :) ah, well it will fall where it may...

    ...Zeitgeist (the spirit of the time) keeps "popping up" today hmmm...

    p.s. The Chill Out Lounge rocks (if you use Windows Media player Internet Radio), as I write this post lyrics keep repeating Delivery me, won't you delivery me...I know you're the one to delivery me...now that i've found you i know that you're the one to believe in me
    ...nice

    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Sooo...

    Been reading like crazy...finished "The Close" - it was interesting...at the beginning of "The Episcopalians" - I think it's going to provide a very nice overview of the Episcopal church, a much lighter read than "The Reformation: A History" which what I read was good (it just got overcome by other books, and I had to return it to the library). I'm really enjoying "Living in the Spirit" which I don't have the internal pressure of speed reading through, since it's not due back in two weeks. Then off to "Being Christian" along with the all everyday readings.

    Greek has been resurrected - I was getting overwhelmed with lots of other stuff. I seem to be stuck on chapter 7 vocab. But, plow, plow, plow through I will.

    I'll be starting EFM at the end of summer and they're having a Seder Meal. I'm really looking forward to the meal and to meeting everyone.

    Centering Prayer in the morning is hard for me, I find that my mind once mildly awake wants to begin thinking about everything I need to do - sacred word, sacred word, sacred word. I wonder if anyone else has the sensation of upon "leaving" centering prayer of their limbs feeling heavy as if rooted to the ground?

    Was looking for something to listen to and decided upon the M People - I forgot how much I like this group - you can't help but tap a foot and sing along.

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Nicho Workshop and a poem

    This Saturday my wife and I attended a nicho workshop. This is the first nicho I've ever made and I don't think it will be my last. Everyone's nicho was truly different and all were beautiful. It was soothing and I didn't talk often, my wife and a friend were chatterboxes...but it provided pleasant backdrop.

    Nicho are altars you make to remeber and honor loved ones.

    I tend to forget how much I like using my hands to make things. Maybe because most of my creative time is spent in my head and only later do I use my hands, and usually it's to type.

    Speaking of which here's my "green" poem for last Saturday:
    Luscious how it rolls off my tongue
    Rigid and serpentine
    Along the ridgeline of your taut neckline
    Pin you to me in a coiled embrace
    Swaying softly with you – mesmerized

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Not Much Happening

    Not much going on, BBQed last night, and finished the book I was reading by Carter Heyward - she was one of the "Philadelphia Eleven" in 1974; she and ten other women deacons were ordained priests in the Episcopal Church.

    I'm looking forward to the "build one's own altar" class this weekend.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Elements and Pulling Weeds

    So my wife and I bought a 2007 Honda Element this week (above is a picture of it) only ours has running boards and a roof rack. It's a pretty cool little SUV. We were having problems with our minivan and were starting to get the feeling that the service department wasn't doing a good job anymore, hence we shifted brands and downsized in the process. That was last Monday, and here it is Sunday and I've no buyers remorse :-)

    The rest of the week was alright. My wife and I and our daughter pulled a whole lotta weeds this weekend. Now we're down to the tiny ones; some clover, teeny tiny pricker plants, and some crab grass. I mowed for the first time in months. It felt really nice to be outside after so much rain; which also made pulling weeds easier.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Still Out There

    I found a beautiful place to walk at my work. It's like entering into an oasis: no cars, no buildings, rarely any noise; the occassional rabbit, the occassional deer. It's absolutely wonderful - a slice of heaven.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Silence

    Tears
    So there’s pain in the water
    A bitter drink to swallow
    Being left maybe to swing…
    …from the gallows

    From the land of milk and honey
    To the land of power and money
    Ultimatums
    …swaying in the wind

    Who will take me down
    And rub my body with anointment
    Who will take me down
    And rap my body in cloth

    Bare this cross a little longer
    One more season
    One more
    It is too much already



    Questions
    Will you sit at my table
    and eat with me
    Will you sit at my table and eat
    as Paul or as Peter

    Like water added to wine
    You can’t undo the act

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    Barbie and Ken

    My wife wants to blog for me today about Ken and Barbie clothing, so here she is:

    My daughter, girly girl to beat all girly girls, (in this house at least), loves barbie. (She also has a Ken but not of her free will, he was a gift and she only plays with him as an afterthought.) ... Right, she love Barbies.

    She loves the doll and Barbie clothes - she is so cute. However, she cannot put the clothes onto the dolls. Tell me why, even today when Barbie is not unrealistically proportioned; she finally has manageable breasts and less back pain; still, she cannot fit into her wardrobe. The poor girl only wants to be fashionable, yet comfortable. Is that too much to ask? Every time she wants to change party dresses, or swimsuits my daughter has to come to me. All those years of dismembering Barbie did have a purpose after all!

    Today she brings me Ken who she has begun to clothe with new pants. This is beach Ken and his other pants are way drafty, so we were happy when Ken got new clothes. Imagine, Ken who has been mauled by the family dog, has only half of one of his arms and the other hand is horribly disfigured, he has this smile on his face that seems to say, "Clothe me." Poor Ken is now in the hands of a lesbian mom.

    I struggle with his pants and ponder, "Why are Barbie clothes always too small?"
    I ask Ken, " Have you been working out?"
    He smiles, "Why, yes."
    I tell Ken, "You've gotta lay off that pizza."
    He smiles, "Look Lady, I never asked to be naked in your cold hands."
    My wife chimes in, "Maybe those are Barbie's pants."
    "No." It's too perfect that not only are Barbie's clothes too small but so are Kens. Poor, Beefcake, Beach Bum Ken. The Feminist Justice is too great to ignore.
    Just then, my daughter thoughtfully appears with Ken's drafty beach pants.

    Ken smiles gratefully as he slides gently into his drafty beach pants. He smiles, "Ahhh."

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Fingerpainting

    I friend emailed this image to me...gives new meaning to the term finger painting.