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Showing posts from July, 2008

The OS Problem

I recently purchased a new laptop.  It's a Gateway M-6843.  It's wonderful!  The very first thing I did, of course, was install Ubuntu 8.04.1.  I plugged in the laptop and booted from the Ubuntu CD and clicked the install icon.  After about a week, I saw this blog detailing how this person got a refund from HP because he didn't want to use Windows Vista.  So, I started the process with Gateway.  It's been about a week and it's going to be a long process.  Customer Support at Gateway gave me the run-around so I am in the process of writing a letter to the Corporate Office.

The reason for all of this is because of the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) from Microsoft.  According to the EULA, if I choose not to use Vista, I should contact the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM, in my case this would be Gateway) for a refund or credit.  But this begs the question: Why don't people get this option before buying the system?  That is, instead of having the customer


[For] every act of evil there are a dozen acts of goodness in our world that go unnoticed.  It is only because the evil deeds are less common that they are 'news'.  It is only because we believe that people should be good that we despair when they are not.  Indeed, if people condoned the evil, we would be justified in losing hope.  But most of the world does not.  We know that we are meant for better.

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu

Political Signposts

I've been trying lately to describe why I like the Democratic party better than the Republican party and it's been difficult.  I just don't seem to have the right words.  But, I'm going to try.  Also, I have to emphasize that I do not believe that the answers to the questions I raise lie within any political party.  I am fully aware that the grace of God is the hope of creation (Romans 8).  My struggles are about which party best points to that hope.

I guess it all starts with a way of seeing.  In a very broad brush stroke, I have come to see things as 'very good'.  I see all created things, at the deepest possible level, filled with the Life and Light of God.  As St John wrote, 'God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it' (1.3-5).

In our place in histor…


Lughnasadh is the ancient Celtic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season.  It is a festival filled with community gatherings, horse races, reunions with distant family and friends, the blessing of fields, fairs, trading, bonfires, dancing and celebration.

Now, when the days grow visibly shorter and the sun seems to decline, the crops ripen.  So too, when we work for justice, when we have expended huge energies to bring about change, the results often come only when the tides of enthusiasm and urgency seem to be ebbing.  When the marching and the shouting die away, public opinion quietly shifts.

Some traditions call this festival Lammas (meaning 'loaf-mass'), a time when we honor and celebrate the grain and the food that sustains our life.  In a just world, no one would go hungry.  All people would have access to good quality food - organic, fresh, local and truly nourishing.

The grain stands golden in the fields, but has not yet been gathered in.  We stand poised…

A New Expression of the Lord's Prayer

Ground of all being, Mother of life, Father of the universe,
Your name is sacred, beyond speaking.

May we know your presence,
may your longings be our longings
in heart and in action.

May there be food for the human family today
and for the whole earth community.

Forgive us the falseness of what we have done
as we forgive those who are untrue to us.

Do not forsake us in our time of conflict
but lead us into new beginnings.

For the light of life, the vitality of life, and the glory of life
are yours now and for ever.


'It is I, be not afraid.'

I had the great pleasure of attending a two day teaching/meditation seminar with John Philip Newell.  As you recall, I have made some brief comments about his latest book, Christ of the Celts.  In one of the sessions, John Philip told a story about a 20th century Celtic teacher from France named Teilhard de Chardin who became a Christian during the first World War.  While caring for the wounded, Chardin heard deep within himself, 'Ego sum, noli timere' ( 'It is I, be not afraid' ).  He knew that it was Christ and his life changed because of the encounter.

Later, during the meditation time, we were to meditate on Isaiah 58.11 'You shall be like a garden, like a deep spring where waters never fail'.  While meditating, I saw light cascading over water.  The water appeared amber in color and the light reflecting on the many waves and ripples were every color imaginable.  As I breathed upward, I kept seeing the image and hearing 'It is I, be not afraid'.

This …

Thin Places

I have written before about thin places.  One of my longings has been to find ways of creating thin places else where.  Thin places, as you know, are those places where 'heaven' and 'earth' meet.  The place where the 'thin veil' between the two is very, very thin.

However, through my recent studies in the Celtic Christian tradition of my heritage, my vision has been changing.  The Celtic tradition is about a way of seeing.  It holds the 'everlasting pattern' in both hands -- the 'mystery of Christ' and the 'mystery of creation'.  In this tradition, there are two books -- the 'small book' (Bible) and the 'big book' (creation).  The Western Church (some would say the 'Empirical Church'), has taught us well about the Small Book but has been negligent about the Big Book.  Because of the awakening I'm experiencing within my study of Celtic Christianity, I am beginning to see that I (we) don't need to 'make&#…


When I purchased an iPod, I found that it revolutionized my music experience.  The idea of having thousands of songs in your pocket is an amazing thing.  This isn't new, of course, but Apple has done it better than anyone else.  They dominate the market of portable music players.  The iPod has a very simple interface that makes it easy to use, even if your 'technologically challenged'.

But for a number of years I have been wanting to use my iPod with Linux, my OS of choice.  The problem comes because Apple doesn't make iTunes for Linux.  I can understand their reasoning.  There are different distributions out there and several of them have different ways of installing software.  You can't just use one type of package for all distributions (but that is something that I believe the community is working toward).  So I get it.  But that doesn't change the fact that I want to be able to listen to my music with my computer running Linux Mint 5.

There are a number of ap…

A Celtic Prayer

O Christ, there is no plant in the ground
but it is full of your virtue.

There is not form in the strand
but it is full of your blessing.

There is no life in the sea,
there is no creature in the ocean,
there is nothing in the heavens
but proclaim your goodness.

There is no bird on the wing,
there is no star in the sky,
there is nothing beneath the sun
but proclaims your goodness.