Showing posts from June, 2008

Reflections -- 29 June 2008

'The sun rises on the just and the unjust'.  So then, does not the grace of God also shine upon the 'just and the unjust'?  Are we to limit upon whom God bestows grace?  God forbid.  God's gift of grace can not be less than God's gift of nature.  It must be more.

'The very rising of the sun each morning is a gift of God, given for the whole of creation, no less than the gift of redemption, given to restore creation to it's essential well-being'.
J Philip Newell, The Book of Creation, pg. 42

New Theme

What do you think about the new theme?  I really like it.  The sole reason for the last theme was the font.  I like the dark and the nice green header.  What I like about dark themes, if not too dark, is that they seem easier to read.  A light text on a dark background seems easier on my eyes.

Anyway, I hope you like it.

Peace be with you.


Linux Mint 5

It's been a while since I did a technological (read: geek) blog, so I thought I would update you on what's going on.

As you are aware, I am a full-fledged geek by trade and passion and I have gone from Windows to Mac to Linux.  My Linux evolution went from Linspire to Mepis to PCLinuxOS to Ubuntu.  I stayed with PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu for the longest.  However, I have always read good things about another distribution called Linux Mint.  It's based on the latest Ubuntu release but with a lot of add-ons.  The latest version is called Linux Mint 5, Elyssa.  So, at the office, I downloaded the latest iso and tried it out to see how it all worked.

First of all, there are always some things I keep in mind when trying any new Linux distro, the primary thing being, 'How would the average user feel about using this OS?'  'Is it (very) simple to install?  Is it easy to use?  Is it easy to get help?  Is it easy to add or remove applications?  Is the terminal (command line) u…

Christ of the Celts - Book Review

Do not read this book.  It will challenge you at such a deep level that you may not even consider yourself a follower of Jesus afterward.

I just finished it and I'm speechless (but yet I am trying to speak).  This book was written by J Philip Newell, the author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God. This is a small book, less than 150 pages.  But don't let the size full you.  It is extremely powerful.  As I have said before, 'Simple is better', to quote Mr Rogers.  That is what Newell does in this book.  He doesn't waste pages or time with complicated thoughts or words.  He is clear and straightfoward.  That in itself can be unnerving, especially for me.  I like big books that I have to ponder.  Well, let me tell you, there is plenty here to ponder!  Newell, an authority of the Celtic Christian tradition, calls us back to a time when Christ was embraced through various means, namely nature.  He refers to the sacredness of creation.  All creation.

At one point, close …

An Incredible Find

What you are looking at is my latest pipe.  This is a limited edition Peterson's Mark Twain in almost perfect condition.  Peterson made almost 3000 of these in the very early 80's and then stopped manufacturing them.  It's a replica of the original Peterson pipe Twain smoked from the late 1800's until his death in 1910.  The original can be seen in the Twain Museum in Hannibal Missouri.  I have wanted one of these pipes for years.  And today, I found one at a very, very reasonable price.

From time to time, we venture into antique stores looking for bargains.  I always look for pipes but I usually only find cheap dime store pipes.  I had always hoped that I would run across an old Peterson that no one really understood what they had.  For years I searched this way and always came up short.  But not today!  At the spur of the moment, we decided to go to an antique store a little further away than normal.  They had some wrought iron fencing my wife wanted for the garden.  …

Who are we?

Who are we according to the Church, or the Bible, or tradition, or reason?  Who are we?

Some would say that we are people.  Human beings.  In the Christian tradition, most of us would probably jump to the idea that people are sinners and some are 'sinners saved by grace'.  I am starting to believe that this is only one aspect of who we have become.  But, we also become blind, deaf, enslaved, exiled, dead, etc.  All of these words describe the human condition.  Well, they describe the human condition after 'the fall'.  The problem here is at least two fold.  First, to just use one term as a catch-all for the human condition distorts our plight.  A blind person needs to be able to see, not to be freed from slavery.  Perhaps if the blind person could see she could find her own way out of the prison.  Perhaps not.  In the Western Church, we have usually stated the human condition on at least one of these words, 'sin' (some would even say 'dead').  I think th…

The Way

Several years ago, I had an epiphany (no, not the web browser). While talking with a couple of my best friends, I said, 'What if John 14.6 is referring to a journey?' And (basically) from then on, I have been seeing it that way. For those who aren't familiar with the passage, Jesus stated, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me'. The way I explained it was (roughly), 'What I'm beginning to see is that 'the way' is a 'path', 'the way' is a lifestyle, 'the way' is the way of being truly human. Now, along 'the way' we will discover some 'truth'. And as we continue on 'the way', with 'the truth', we will come into life.'

That was the basis for my understanding. I think I can simplify it more now. When Jesus said, 'I am the way', I think he was speaking about the 'way' of being 'truly human'. If we want to follow Je…