Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lenten Reflection

Part of my spiritual practice is to daily read a portion of the Rule of Benedict; the version I read has commentary to go with each reading. One of the recent readings/commentary had something that I think I may try doing this lent: "Each of us should have two pockets," the rabbis teach. "In one should be the message, 'I am dust and ashes,' in the other we should have written, 'For me the universe is made.'"

With the addition of reading Psalm 67 (plea for continued blessing) and Psalm 51 (need for continual forgiveness) daily during Lent.

Psalm 67
1 God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
2 That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

5 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
6 Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unbelievable Sorta II

Tonight my family and I went to the Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner at "our church" (I could gag). We've been there 8 months. No one sat with us even though there was room. The woman who my son invited to sit with us pointedly ignored him - though I'm not surprised as she is the EVIL church lady. We got a few drive-by hellos, but only one person, the pastor from another church who I'm in a group with came over and was geniune in her hello and wanting to meet my family.

We left as soon as we finished eating. The only thing keeping me from tears is the amount of fucking anger I have right now. Not even my own pastor said hello and he was sitting at the table across from us.

If I ever become a priest and can survive these people and/or make it past them - God help me, I will never let another family experience what mine did tonight. Christians - what a fucking joke. When you look up Christian in the dictionary what do you see - hypocrite.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Unbelievable sorta

This is just so saddening:



And then I read on another blog that The House of Deputies is planning on cutting funding (though I'm not sure if it's all the funding or a portion of funding) to the MDGs.

Two pretty crappy messages either way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dublin




You Belong in Dublin



Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.

You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.



If you blink
You will miss it

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

3 Words

Grace waiting patiently

Monday, February 16, 2009

Catching Up

The wife and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day - though she did manage to sneak in card shopping. But, we spent the evening together as a family at a Senior's Center serving a meal that the parish had put together. There were about 12ish of us and about 50ish of them. It went really well and we had requests to do this again; hopefully we do.

I emailed my Pastor and got the thumbs up for starting step one of the discernment process sometime in March/April. I am quite excited but (yes there's a but) it doesn't quite feel real yet cause I don't have an actual let's meet on this date yet. I've sent days/times and now I wait for the here we go date back. There's parts of me that are doing twirls and spins on the inside - the it's going to happen dance. Then there's the wall flower watching and thinking - watch your step cause it could all come tumbling down. So for now I'm just trying to honor both aspects of this dance I call discernment.

There's more odds and ends, teaching a class in March, really need to start working on the auto-bio now, we may have found a new rental place - will know sometime this week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Monday, February 09, 2009

If left is right and right is left which way do I go

We've started looking at rental houses but realized that most of what we're seeing is "AVAILABLE NOW!" There's only one house we're seriously considering that's available now, but if that falls through I need to just look but not really look until April.

Needing to move is creating alot of anxiety and impatience within me, and not having a clear date for starting discernment is creating lots of big sighs. I'm just plain old frustrated - tired of waiting. Tired of worrying about where we're going to live, and will we be able to find something we can afford that will take pets. Tired of wondering about what's considered early Spring in the land of frost and mud.

I know what I should be telling myself. Relax, be proactive, everything's going to work out...but what if it doesn't? I am proactive. I'm trying to relax. I want to like this place but every time we begin to settle into an 'this place is ok' mode - wham. What message is that? Don't get settled in cause you're not staying? Until you can be settled in no matter what - nothing will be settled? I'm tired of feeling like Job. How about some Paul, or Peter, or Mary Mag?

Everyday you tell me
Humility
Everyday you tell me
Pray
And there you will be
Everyday I tell you
Ok
But
Where are you? And where am I?
What path, what cross, what well?

Perhaps I should try to write a book about the 12 Steps to Surviving the Discernment Process assuming I survive. Maybe if I start writing it now, it will help me now :-)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ready for something

The kids went ice skating for the first time Saturday. It was a gorgeous day for it. Sonshine had been roller blading this summer and that definitely helped him as he cruised along. While Bella was not her graceful ballerina self as she used her skates like trainers and ran near tip toe across the ice to do a beautiful spin and promptly plop on her behind.

I went snowshoeing that same day on the path that we go biking on in the Summer. I didn't go very far, well not as far as I wanted...just plain outta shape. But it had moments of beauty and moments of ya know you should have turned around like 15 minutes ago. The wife estimates that I'd gone about 3 miles. I wanted so very much to make it to the farm to get to the what is probably now a frozen river (or perhaps partially so).

I'd forgotten that you walk different when you got the snowshoes on. A wider stance, no lazy draggin feet - ya gotta pick em up or ya just make it harder on yourself. I was exhausted by the time I'd walked back to the house.

I do want to go again, but this time I may park closer to the destination I want to get to, so I can take the trail I was hoping to make it too.

Life at church is tension filled, one of the church positions is being cut and that's about all I feel like sayin for now.

It's hard to believe it's February already. Need to start writing my Spiritual Autobiography, been doing a lot of thinking about doing it but not doing it. I like to think there's alot of inner fermenting going on. I keep praying for the right words to express, I should perhaps pray for time when I feel refreshed to write it; and when I do, that the Spirit be with me...though maybe I mean I'm more attuned to the Spirit always being with me. I'm trying not to think too much that perhaps the official journey may begin soon.

Totally random...the Deacon approached me Sunday to tell me that a person I visit really enjoys our visits. And whenever the Deacon smiles, really smiles, it transforms her face and there's well a twinkle in her eyes. So she's smiling like that and telling me about the visits...and I smile back and tell her thank you - hoping that I'm not being too awkward and that my appreciation showed. I've never been good at receiving compliments though I do like getting them.

I took Bella with me on my last visit and she thought one of the lady's looked alot like our Deacon...so when Bella said this I told her I thought so too.

I have piece meal moments of feeling holy connected to my church. I still don't always feel like it's my church, or even my work place for that matter. I find myself hearing myself use language which suggests I'm not really a part of you. They have my works, but not my heart entirely.

It's weird - I want to "fall in love" if you will...but, I keep putting up shepard walls maybe in response to their initial new englander walls. I would like very much for those walls to fall and to feel grounded. And I have this sense inside that it needs to happen soon.

But I've rambled on long enough - good day to you.