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Day 4—Second Week #7 Exercises

Today’s a repetition of Day 2 where we discussed the schema that Ignatius supplied. The idea is, basically, to see that the things God’s given us can be used against us if we’re not careful. Most notably are seeking after riches than can lead to seeking after honor (or human approval) , which, in turn, leads to a false sense of pride. And If pride goes unchecked, it could lead to all vices.
That’s the story Ignatius tells anyway.
And I can kind of see the point. “Paul” wrote that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6.10). So I think that’s what Ignatius is referring to—not the money itself but an unhealthy desire for more wealth. If one is solely focused on obtaining wealth one begins to look at scrupulous ways to get it. At the beginning, one might be hesitant, but if one doesn’t get caught stealing, and doesn’t for a long time, then one begins to think one can get away with a lot more. But it all starts from “the love of money.”
Now, this doesn’t have to be …

Day 3—Second Week #1 Exercises

As I stated previously, I’ve been quite busy with the second year of Spiritual Director training. And because of that, I’m not able to update this blog as much as I’d like. However, the last few days of class have been the exception to the rule.
Last time, we talked about God’s Dream. Today, we’ll focus on Jesus and his cause. The prayer texts for this are:
Who was Jesus: Isaiah 9.6-7; Matthew 16.13-24; Luke 9.18-22; John 1.1-18; 6.35; 8.12, 57-58; 10.37-38; Colossians 1.15-20.
What was his cause: Isaiah 11.1-11;  53.1-12; Matthew 11.2-6; Mark 10.45; Luke 4.16-20.
Just like the other day, I’d add some other texts, specifically to Jesus’ cause: Mark 1.15; 10.35-45; Luke 4.16-21; etc.
To put it bluntly, the Gospels seem compelled to say that Jesus did and said the things that only Yahweh was supposed to do and say (see Wright’s book How God Became King). His main cause, therefore, was to usher in God’s Realm (or Kingdom). As he said in Mark 1.15, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! C…

Day 2—Second Week #1 Exercises

I apologize for not keeping up this blog like I normally do. I’ve been deep in my Spiritual Direction class and part of our “homework” is to keep a spiritual journal. At first, I was just going to post my journal entries but then I realized that there would need to be a lot of back story for you, the reader, to know what the heck I’m talking about! So I canned that idea.
But this last week we actually tackled something I want to share. It was about God’s Dream. These were our prayer texts: Isaiah 65.17-25; Ezekiel 26.22-38; Hebrews 2.5-13; Hebrews 8.6-13; Revelation 21.1-7.
I’ve adopted God’s dream as my own dream a number of years ago. I’d add a few other passages to the above, though: Isaiah 2.1-4; 55.1-13; 66.22-23; Ezekiel 47.1-12; Revelation 22.1-5. And many more besides. Take some time to read both of these sets of passages and then come back here. Go on. I’ll wait.
Back? Good!
In Proverbs, it says, “When there’s no vision, the people get out of control” (29.18). As followers of Jes…

It’s a Maggard Kind of Day

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It’s been over a year since I wrote about shaving. And some people might be thinking, “Yea!” But, I find it very calming. Especially since I use a double edge (or DE) safety razor. My shaves have been very smooth—no irritation, bumps, or cuts (well, a couple of nicks but nothing serious).
As with most things one picks up, one starts to seek out other techniques or supplies. And wet shaving (as it’s sometimes called) is no different. I’ve tried various blades and soaps and I even purchased a couple of inexpensive razors at flea markets—one’s even a nice twist-to-open (TTO) or “butterfly” razor .  But one thing that I wanted to try was an “open comb” razor.
A lot of DE safety razors have a bar that runs the entire length of the under side of the blade. This leads to less exposed blade, thus making it much safer than a straight razor, especially in inexperienced hands. But an open comb razor has notches or openings in the safety bar, giving it the look of a comb. While this is still safer …

I'm Guilty!

For a long time now, I’ve been writing the word God as G-d. I explained that there are two reasons for this, one being that some people find the name of God so holy, that one shouldn’t take a chance of defacing it or deleting it. So, they substitute the “o” with a hyphen or underscore. And so, not wanting to offend such people, I hyphenated the word God. But I was enlightened to something yesterday.
While we were listening to Matisyahu on the way home from a long day of traveling, I realized that I have been guilty of dualism. For those of you who don’t know Matis, he’s a musician who mixes Orthodox Jewish themes into reggae, rap, beatbox, and hip-hop, though some of his latest music embraces different musical styles.
A few times in Matis’ music, he uses variois Hebrew words for God. Sometimes he uses Adonai, a Hebrew word meaning, “My Lord” and sometimes he’ll use HaShem, a Hebrew word meaning, “The Name”. Both of these words have replaced the Hebrew word YHWH (יהוה), the name of God (