Tuesday, March 27

Addendum to last night

Looking for something else entirely, I came across this quote:

"Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation." - Fr.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 

It's almost as if the Old Dog reads my scribblinz.  Oh, wait....right.

"I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds." - Jeremiah 17:10

Did I ever mention how much trouble I'm in?  *laughs*

Monday, March 26

I'm just sayin

There is a great comfort in being able to talk directly with the Divine.  The problem with talking with my dear Coyote is that She listens.

I love you too, Dad, and I AM laughing with you....now.

Sunday, March 25

reflections on authenticity

This afternoon, a friend of mine invited me out for lunch and we went up to a town in the mountains for a marvelous day with great food and good friendship.  During our meal on the patio, I watched people as they walked by and two groups stick in my mind. 

The first were a pair of men in their late 30's-early 40's walking generally together.  Call it insight, gay-dar or what-have-you, but it was apparent to me (and my straight friend) that they were a gay couple, yet any sign of PSA was painfully absent. It was if an invisible barrier prevented them from being less than 'X' inches from each other, acknowledging each other or giving off any sign that they were who and what they are. 

The other group was a trio of teen-aged boys, cavorting about, acting up and generally being pretty ridiculous - in short, being teenagers having fun.  At least one of them was obvious enough that only a blind man would mistake him as straight, yet neither they nor anyone else seemed to care.  What rang through their actions was an immediacy and honesty of expression that bespoke of the authenticity of being.  This made me smile and, in truth, feel a tinge of jealousy.  Having grown up in an earlier time, I have felt all too often like the earlier couple - incapable of expressing who I am and what I feel for fear of social retribution of one type or another.  To see those kids being themselves fills me with joy and sadness - joy for them and sadness for myself and so many others who have never felt the ability to be themselves.

This brings me to church and other social organizations like it.Where is the line between being authentic and risking causing offense?  Is there fault to be laid in the social offense and if so, is it upon the offender or the one who takes offense?  I am not talking about being a social provocateur but rather being true to who you are. 

For myself, I know that some in my parish would be probably less than accepting if I laid out all of the particulars of who I am and what I believe.  As anyone who is reasonable, airing all of your personal laundry is a poor idea.  That said, to be able to connect with them, serve them and engage them where they are at, I feel a certain necessity to be as authentic as I can be.  Thus, there is a certain tension.  Hrm. 

Wednesday, March 21


Things used to be so much simpler.  I could just float on through life, obese, obtuse and oblivious.

Now I see it.  I see the good and the bad and the ugly everywhere I turn.  I see what can be done, could be done, should be done and yet what so very little is being done.

In my office, I have an image from the BBC that I've printed out.  A lone Burmese monk stands, back to camera,  facing a crowd of 'security forces', bedecked in riot gear, shields and the ilk. It reminds me that Edmund Burke was right, "One man with conviction makes a majority".  There is a danger in that, though.

Once you know the truth...that the world can be changed, that we can make a difference...you are dangerous to the powers that be, to yourself and to others.  Whether you are tired woman who won't sit in the back, a handful of bois refusing to 'go along quietly' or one man who stops on his way home from market to halt a column of tanks, getting up and saying 'this shall not stand' is frightening indeed and once you open your eyes to that possibility, you cannot unsee it.

It means that every day, you see what needs doing while everyone else bumps along, oblivious, obese and obtuse.  Every day you know what CAN be done when everyone else says that it can't.

"Let your conscience be your guide".  Thanks Dad.  *grumbles*

Saturday, March 17

Reflections on St. Patrick's Day at our church

A moving homily and efficacious eucharist followed by a wonderful dinner, home-made desserts, good beer and marvelous conversation about the nature of the Divine with someone I never met while we washed dishes and Irish live music is in the background.  Oh yes...and whole reason we do this dinner/show is to raise money for the mission trip to build houses for folks who need them.

Really, how much better of a day could it possibly be?   

My, but I love my church and our Lutheran brethren.

BuĂ­ochas le Dia!

Thursday, March 15

Today's Reading: Long Division

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house divided against itself will fall. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?" (Luke 11:17-18)

No, I haven't been blogging recently and I have found it increasingly difficult to comment on other people's blogs.  Part of it is a cyclical issue dealing with personal matters, but a larger portion is this scripture verse.

Whether it is political discourse, religious ramblings or general societal scuttlebutt, I see time and again the lack of a willingness to embrace a unifying position. I could provide examples and point fingers, but the bottom line is a dearth of comity and a callous, unyielding nature which creates a gulf that separates us as human beings one from another.

If the Kingdom of G-d belongs to the people of G-d, how can it stand if we are divided?  Divided Muslims and Jews, catholics and protestants, clergy and laity, young and old, male and female.  Are not these divisions artifical constructs of our own making and, if so, do we not have the power to erase them?  It is not about a 'Right Way', but recognizing that your way is no less valid or 'right' than my own way, even if it is different.  It is about respecting the G-d in others, just as I should respect myself for She resides in me.

Be patient, kind, forgiving and loving, for that is what you would wish others to do for you.  If we do not, then we have separated ourselves from each other and from G-d.  I'm seeing that as a bad plan.

Thursday, March 8

Today's Reading: Trust me

"Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.... Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord....More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?  I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds."  (Jer. 17: 5-10)

[note: the ellipses are examples as to what such a person is like].

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5)

G-d knows our hearts and understands us better than we even understand ourselves.  We must trust in Her to fill our hearts with His love and to guide us. 

"Trust me," She says, "It'll be awesome!"

Wednesday, March 7

a thought

Had a wonderful time walking and talking with a friend yesterday. Something to mention from that discussion.

Simple and easy:
It is far simpler to have 2 concepts (love God, love your neighbor) than a bookcase full of canon law. 
It is far easier to have a raft of specific do's and don'ts than a few overarching tenets which each person must interpret for themselves.

We were never called to do what is easy, but rather what is right.  It's just that simple.

Tuesday, March 6

Trolls and talking amphibians

Thank you, Admiral.  We know.
I know that my blogging has been cut back recently, and the reason is due to Lent. 

Long ago, I was taught that where the mind focuses, your energy goes and that energy is what helps create what is. I have recently had several experiences which have driven the validity of this teaching home, so my Lenten journey this year is to focus my mind on the core teachings of Christ.

So....looking at the news and blogosphere, there is a tremendous amount of  mental focus and energy being poured into things which appear to be downright destructive (at worst) to having no benefit (at best).

The causative agent is, predictably, a  public figure, 'entertainer' or prelate making outlandish claims or backing outrageous positions and watching the hornets nest get all stirred up.  Of course, the idea behind making outlandish claims and backing outrageous positions is just that...to get people outraged.  It breathes life into an otherwise lifeless cause and helps draw battle-lines and muster troops for a fight that only those sounding their clarion call will win.  In short, the people at the center are playing as trolls and their shrill screams are a trap.

Don't do it.  Don't feed the trolls and don't fall for the trap.

If we are called to love the Divine and our neighbours, then focus your mind towards that.  I am not suggesting that we, individually or collectively, become disinterested and disengage entirely.  Not at all.  Instead, we need to keep focused on loving others and honouring G-d and mud'rasslin a pig (metaphorically speaking) will do neither.  

Before you post or holler or protest, answer yourself honestly: Does what I am to do or say help create the Kingdom of God or does it feed the trolls?  Will my actions be unitive or divisive?

Saturday, March 3

Random thought on choices

Every day we have a choice.

We can go through the day worrying about what will happen, what others think and with the concerns of the world on our shoulders.

We can go through the day with joy in our hearts, grateful and wrapt in the wonders of the world which are made manifest around us.

We can choose to focus on the evils of the world or carry good in our hearts.  We can weep at the injustices around us or laugh with the Divine who knows that "All shall be well". 

We can be deadly serious about the things of 'modern adulthood' or bounce with joy as a child and revel in the absurdity of it all.


 In the words of the ineffable Divine "Dude...lighten up!"

Thursday, March 1

Lessons from the Saints : Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!

Saint David (Dewi Sant in Cymric), he was a teacher and a preacher who Christianized Wales (which then served as the cradle for evangelism in Celtic Europe) and established a monastic rule underlined by an extreme asceticism which has been attributed to 'celtic' monastics in general, a rule he followed himself.  There is a quote purportedly from his last sermon which I believe is as prescient today as it was some1500 years ago.

'Be joyful, keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about.'

I can't think of anything to add which wouldn't be gilding the daffodil.

Doilch fo i Dduw!

Today's Reading: Teamwork

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.  (1 Cor. 3:5-9)

Reading this passage, it reminds me of what is written later:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 
There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (1 Cor. 12:4-6)

This sits with me for two reasons.  The first is because of so many people expecting that a priest functions in very specific ways with rigidly defined roles.  But if we are to function best, we need to work with each other, leveraging our individual gifts, for the betterment of the team.  Thus, we each need to focus on what we do best, hone those skills and contribute what we can for the good of all.  It's that team thought which leads me to the second part.

Avoiding the 'body of Christ' analogy, I would go with that of a sport team.  Looking at american football as an example, each position on the team is of equal value and has a valid function.  There is nobody who is 'better' than another, just people fulfilling different roles as their skills and abilities direct them.  Further, individuals come and go, but the team endures.

Each of us in the broader church, from virtual preacher to parish sacristan to lay-person, are all part of the Team of God and each of us has a vital role to play in the health and well-being of the church.  Some are more high-profile than others but none are more or less important and we ALL need to be putting in our very best - not for our own glory, but for Hers.