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Showing posts from 2009

Quote

Had it not been for an obsessive fear of heresy grounded in the traditional understanding of hell, most of the atrocities committed in the name of the Christian religion would never have occurred.

-- Thomas Talbot, The Inescapable Love of God

Collect for the first Sunday after Christmas

Loving God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Wisdom: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reflection: 11-09

This month’s reflection is taken from Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I must confess that when the book arrived and I saw the size of it, I believed it to be a quick read, what with less than 150 pages. How wrong I was! That little book is a very dense read. I was captivated by the words and found that on more than one occasion I would have to set the book down and reflect on one sentence, one thought, on image.

One such thought is found right at the beginning. On page 17, Bonhoeffer wrote, ‘It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians.’ On page 21 he wrote, ‘Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this.’ And finally, on page 24 he wrote, ‘Only in Jesus Christ are we one, only through him are we bound together.’ As can be discerned by the page numbers, these quotes all come from the first chapter. I would like to just spend a few m…

Reflection: 10-09

‘Do you see?’, asked my friend as she pointed in the distance. We were standing on a hill over looking the ocean watching the sun as it started to rise. ‘The sun revolves around the earth.’

‘No’, I replied. ‘As I explained last night, the earth revolves around the sun. It just looks that way from our viewpoint.’~~~

This is a paraphrase of the story N. T. Wright uses to start his book, Justification. This book is a response to John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. The differences, as can be seen by the story, is a difference of perspective. Both authors claim to have the ‘biblical’ (and, therefore, correct) perspective. Both authors are writing from a pastoral perspective claiming that they are thinking and acting for what’s best for those they shepherd. And, to me, they are both right. There is no question that their hearts are in the right place. However, I feel that Wright does a better job than Piper (though, I must admit, I have not r…

Reflection: 09-09

This month’s reflection is on Esther de Waal’s book The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination. As I stated in a past reflection, this is the second book I have from de Waal. I found it just as refreshing as the other one but a little dry, similar to a dry wine (and I don’t particularly like wine). My mind seemed to wander more in this book than her previous one. This isn’t to say that I didn’t get a lot out of it. Quite the contrary. As before, de Waal offers some great insight into the Celtic world which leaves me thirsting for more.

In her introduction, she stated that with Celtic prayer, one is moved into the natural rhythm of light and dark. ‘The dark and light are themselves symbols of the Celtic refusal to deny darkness, pain, suffering and yet to exult in rejoicing celebration in the fullness and goodness of life’ (pg x). It is to the interlocking and overlapping that I find myself drawn. Recently we were entertaining a friend we hadn’t seen in …

Reflection: 08-09

For this month’s reflection, I ordered two books, Feminist Theology: A Reader edited by Ann Loades, and The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal. I determined that I would read and reflect upon whichever one came in first (since they were coming from different sources). Personally, I didn’t really want to deal with Loades’ book because of my previous experience with other feminist books. Most of my exposure to feminist material (and most feminists) left a lot to be desired. They were not very supportive of males. In fact, a lot of them have basically painted the white male as the incarnation of the devil. So I was really hoping that de Waal’s book would come in first. I have her book Every Earthly Blessing and was looking forward to a second dose from de Waal. Besides, by watching the shipping orders, it sure looked like her book would arrive first. However, God seems to have had other ideas. When I arrived home and noticed the package on the table, I quickly opened it ful…

Reflection: 07-09

Something about the island and its history connected with a deep longing within me, and brought together many different strands of my own faith...I discovered a burning and evangelical love for the Bible; a radical commitment to the poor and to God’s creation; and I discovered the most attractive expression of charismatic life that I had yet encountered. Not only this, but I felt connected with my roots for the first time.
So goes the introduction of Michael Mitton’s little book, The Soul of Celtic Spirituality: In the Lives of Its Saints. I could have written those words. Heck, I did write them. Not exactly, of course. But I have stated on more than one occasion how Celtic Christianity was the last link that connected all of my faith together. What I thought was a mis-match of unrelated ‘stuff’ in my own walk, was found within early Celtic Christianity. I was so moved by this book that I even highlighted parts of the introduction! A great treasure is found in this quote:

It is …

Reflection: 06-09

The road was quiet and dark. Well, that’s an understatement. This place was desolate of all sound and light. I just knew that I was walking on a dirt road in the deep woods. I did not know what lay ahead, whether further along or at the next step. I didn’t even know what the destination would be precisely. I had been given some clues, but nothing exact. I just trusted the Guide.

Suddenly, out of no where in particular and every where all at once, sounds and flashes of light started to bombard me. Confusion and fear started to grip me. ‘Am I on the right road? Am I going the right way?’ I was overwhelmed and dropped to the ground with my heads at the sides of my head trying to keep the sound and images out. I was almost completely terrified to move another muscle.

‘What was that?’ I thought to myself. ‘I swore I just heard someone call my name as if in a whisper.’

I spun in all directions trying to hone in on the Voice. ‘There it is again’. I could barely make it out from a…

Loss

My wife just called and said that she had to have her dog put down. Mocha lived a very good life. She was roughly 12 years old. She had lung cancer. My wife is taking it very hard. I asked for your prayers for her. The following is for her:Do not hurry
as you walk with grief,
it does not help the journey.

Walk slowly, pausing often:
do not hurry
as you walk with grief.

Do not be disturbed
by memories that come unbidden.
Swiftly forgive,
and let God speak for you
unspoken words.
Unfinished conversation
will be resolved in Him.
Be not disturbed.

Take time, be gentle
as you walk with grief.

Loss

My wife just called and said that she had to have her dog put down. Mocha lived a very good life. She was roughly 12 years old. She had lung cancer. My wife is taking it very hard. I asked for your prayers for her. The following is for her:

Do not hurry
as you walk with grief,
it does not help the journey.

Walk slowly, pausing often:
do not hurry
as you walk with grief.

Do not be disturbed
by memories that come unbidden.
Swiftly forgive,
and let God speak for you
unspoken words.
Unfinished conversation
will be resolved in Him.
Be not disturbed.



Take time, be gentle
as you walk with grief.

Updates...

I realize that updating this site is a lot smoother than in the past. So, what I might do, is update my regular site (http://odysseus.wordpress.com) and this one simultaneously. That way, people who venture here can see my reflections from the other site as well and visa versa.

I'll keep you posted.


~~~
In the Grace of the Three in One,
OD

Quote

Quote from a seminary prof in 2004: "There's more theology in U2's music than in any of contemporary Christian music."

Health Care from a Different View

I know, some of us are pretty tired of the debate already, but I wanted to share with you some thoughts I have been having lately regarding the debate.

A few days ago, I read a letter in a local paper that really got me thinking.  It was from a local pastor who talked about his health care coverage and how it affected him and his family.  While they were pretty much covered, they have a son with Down Syndrome.  He talked about the anxiousness and worry because of the 'pre-existing condition' if his son ever needed medical insurance of his own.

But that wasn't really what his letter was about.  It was about some of the people in his parish.  He talked about the elderly, the widowed, the unemployed, etc.  And he lumped them all into the category of 'the least of these'.  As you recall, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'  Have you ever experienced not really getti…

Ubuntu Remix

Yesterday, a person from our department brought in a new Dell Latitude 2100. This is a 'netbook' with a touch-screen. It has no optical drive and is powered by an Intel Atom processor. I was told that I could 'play' for a little while. Well, as you can guess, I took Ubuntu Remix for a spin.

Ubuntu Remix is especially made for netbooks running an Intel Atom processor. I downloaded the 9.04 release and put it on a USB drive. I put the drive in an available USB (it has 3) and booted the system from it. I have never done that before and was surprised at the speed!

When the screen loaded, I was greeted with the Remix desktop. What this post is really about, however, was that, surprise, everything worked -- sound, wifi, 3D graphics, and more astonishingly, the touch screen. I could just drag my finger across the screen to move the cursor and tap on an app icon to launch the app.

Once again, Open Source (in this case, Ubuntu) is fully functional with most of today…

Love as Christ Loves - Part 1

Last night, we had our Men's Bible Study group.  It was a great time.  We discussed the three commandments that Jesus left his followers:

'[Love] the Lordyour God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength'.
'Love your neighbor as yourself'.
'Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.'

I think that all three of these are best understood with the caveat Jesus placed on the last one, 'just as I have loved you...' we should love God and neighbor and each other.  So the question that comes to the for is, 'How does Christ love us?'  Completely.  Selflessly.  Sacrificially.  How does that play out -- what does it look like -- in the three commands above?  Further, is loving 'as Christ loves' a 'key' to becoming truly human?  Does it matter what the opposition is?  Does it matter how others make us feel?  Are these things barriers representative of our falseness; our sin?

'It…

"FilidAsbuig" = Gillespie

The Gillespie name is ancient, its origins dating probably from 5th century Ireland.  It is widely thought to be made up of two Gaelic words, "Filid," a druidic bard, and "Asbuig," a bishop.

Quote

The matter of life come forth directly from the womb of God's being.  The glory of the sun rising in the east is the glory of God shining on us now and now and now.  The whiteness of the moon, the wildness of the wind, the moisture of the fecund earth is the glow and wildness and moistness of God now.  It is the very stuff of God's being of which we and creation are composed.
Christ of the Celts, J Philip Newell, pg 36.

Q & A

A dear friend of mine sent me some questions and I followed up with some answers.  I thought I would post the coversation here for the benefit of others with similar questions (you know who you are).

~~~

Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave and is now at the right hand of God?

Yes and no.  I believe that 'Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said' (1Cor 15.3-4).  But what I am exploring is what we mean by 'for our sins'.  What was the meaning behind his death?  Was it a 'ransom'?  If so, to whom was the ransom paid?  If we say 'God', then my next question is, 'Does the love and forgiveness and mercy of God have to be bought?'  That is, we would NEVER have our children buy our love and forgiveness and yet, we think that God 'demands' such a thing.  To take Jesus out of context, '[If we…

Ubuntu 9.04 -- 64bit!

A couple of posts now, I have talked about Ubuntu's latest release, 9.04 -- the Jaunty Jackalope.  As most of you know, I have installed this release when it was an Alpha and continued to update it after the actual release.  I was using this for a while, but I saw a post on the Ubuntu forums about the 64bit version (I had been using the 32bit version).  He stated that everything worked, apps, multimedia, etc.  Now, my laptop is a 64bit laptop (Intel Core 2 Duo) and I've tried 64bit Ubuntu in the past (I tried the 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS) release).  But, things just didn't work out.  There was always something that I had to mess with that didn't work well.  In fact, if memory serves, I had to mess with a lot of stuff just to get things to work (flash, java, etc.)  Even some of the apps I installed from Add/Remove... from the Applications menu gave me an error stating that it was supported on the 64bit version.  But that persons post got me wondering.  As I read thro…