Archive for January, 2008

:Memory Eternal:

January 27, 2008

Early this morning my father passed away.

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Gone beyond the gate
We must all pass some day
You took a part of me
A broken heart left here to play
This sad/sweet music
The air that I breathe fills me with longing
I thought that I saw your face in the crowd
But that couldn’t be
‘Cos you walk beyond the stars

One more time
I’d love to see you my friend
One more time
I wish I could hold your hand
One more time
I’d look into your eyes
And tell you “I love you”
One more time

Here, inside a dream
I see you standing on a hill
You smile, then turn away
Now I must go–the air is filled
With sad, sweet music
I open my eyes and I feel the longing
I thought that I heard
Your voice call my name
But that couldn’t be
‘Cos you walk beyond the stars

“One More Time” Words and Music by Terry Taylor

weather

January 25, 2008

It has been rather cold lately here in Walla Walla, WA. Amidst the cold one can hear a common statement: “Oh I wish it were 90 degrees” (or whatever the speaker deems to be the comfortable warmer temperature. ) Of course come Summer the common statement will be, “I wish it were 75 degrees” (or whatever the speaker deems to be the comfortable cooler temperature.)

We human beings are just never satisfied.

Before we begin to bash the wimpy modern man we must realize that complaining about the weather is not unique to our times. In the 1800’s Kalli a young Esquimaux (Eskimo) man was taken to Britain on the HMS Assistance.

Apparently the British weather did not suit him, as seen in a letter he wrote dated April of 1853 (remember this is from a man who came from the Arctic region):

My dear Sir,

I am very glad to tell, How do you do, Sir?
I been England, long time none very well. Long
time none very well. Very bad weather. I know
very well, very bad cough. I very sorry, very
bad weather, dreadful. Country very difference.
Another day cold. Another day wet, I miserable.

Another summer come. Very glad. Great
many trees. Many wood. Summer beautiful,
country Canterbury.

For those so inclined, you can read the ebook: “Kalli, the Esquimaux Christian” (the source of the above letter) here

Today I was reminded of Harlan

January 24, 2008

Today I was reminded of Harlan.

Harlan was an older bachelor man that I knew when I was a youth worker for the local Episcopal Church. He was a member of the congregation.

Harlan had his own way about him. He could come across as kind-of eccentric and I think some people did not know how to interact with him, so they wouldn’t. I liked Harlan.

Sometimes Harlan would stop by our house and bring us kale from his garden, offering serving suggestions. Sometimes he would bring me tea that he had ordered, but did not like so much. One time he stopped by our house and brought for your young daughter a clay bird-shaped whistle. I can close my eyes and picture Harlan sitting on our couch. And even though he was an aged bachelor, he never seemed bothered by our children. Rather, I think Harlan would sometimes stop by because he liked the atmosphere that our young children created in the house.

During week days Harlan could be seen wearing his overalls and hat. On Sundays, Harlan could always be found in his suit, sitting near the front of the church, on the right-hand side.

Even with his seemingly eccentric traits, I always respected and liked Harlan. Harlan struck me as a devout, Episcopalian, gentleman; and he could be a font of insight.

I was reminded of Harlan today as I read a quote that was in the front of a novel I started reading today. The quote, attributed to Frederick Buechner, read:

“Not the least of my problems is that I can hardly even imagine what kind of an experience a genuine, self-authenticating religious experience would be. Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me.”

This quote reminded me of Harlan because of a vague story-of-sorts that I had heard spoken of regarding Harlan… All I really knew of the story was that it presented the idea that at some point in Harlan’s life, while working in a field, Harlan had an experience with God of some sort.

Was this sparse story true? I do not know, I never pressed the issue with the person who mentioned it, or with Harlan. So what this encounter entailed, if it did indeed happen, I never knew.

But having heard what I had heard, I would wonder if this encounter was the reason behind some of Harlan’s quirks….

I do not know if Harlan is still alive, he seemed pretty old when I knew him. But every so I often I think of him; today was one of those days. Today I was reminded of Harlan.

thot wanderers

January 23, 2008

I remember one evening during the course of my Confession I talked to the Priest who was hearing my Confession about my wandering thots while doing my prayers.

I asked him if he had any suggestions that would help me in this problem. He responded, probably with a smile, “no.” But he then continued on that “the Fathers of the Church struggled with the same thing.”

I guess it is a common struggle. And for me and my fellow ‘thot wanderers,’ it seems like we are in good company. Lord help us to struggle on.

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I do not know if St. John of Krondstadt struggled with wandering thots during prayers and Services like I do, but I recently came across a prayer that I had saved. This prayer, according to the notes with the paper, was a prayer used by St. John asking for the gift of prayer.

This prayer responds to the ‘wandering thot’ struggle as it says, “Gather together the dispersed thots of my mind, that it may always strive towards its Creator and Saviour.” And “Quench the flame of the passionate thoughts that devour me during prayer.”

Here is the prayer in full:

O All-merciful Lord!
Grant me the divine gift of holy prayer, flowing from the depth of my heart.
Gather together the dispersed thoughts of my mind,
that it may always strive towards its Creator and Saviour.
Destroy the burning arrows of the evil one, which tear me away from Thee.
Quench the flame of the passionate thoughts that devour me during prayer.
Cover me with the grace of Thy Most-holy Spirit,
that to the very end of my sinful life I may love
Thee alone with all my heart, all my soul and mind,
and all my strength, and in the hour when my soul
takes leave of my mortal body, O Sweetest Jesus,
take into Thy hands my spirit when Thou comest into
Thy Kingdom.
Amen

it is just a prediction

January 21, 2008

With only a couple handfulls of States having completed their Presidential Primaries/Caucus’ so far, I am willing to make my prediction of who our next United States President will be.

This prediction does not mean that I like (or don’t like) the answer, or that this is the candidate whom I support (truth be told I currently support no candidate or political party.) This is just my prediction.

With that said…

I predict, whether anyone likes it or not, that our next President will be Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Why do I make this prediction?

–Mrs. Clinton knows how to communicate. And it seems that in a debate setting she can communicate her stance concisely, which is a plus in that setting.

–But more so, my prediction is fueled not so much about what people like about Mrs. Clinton; but rather what they do not like about the Republicans.

–Many Americans are tired of our current Administration, and so they do not want a repeat.

–Many Americans are no supportive of the current situation in Iraq, Iran, and etc…. Although Americans may not know what the answer is… what they are currently seeing is not what they want.

–Candidates like Ron Paul (Republican) have drawn some support from various fronts. I seen reports of people from Priests to punks to Rastafarians who support this man, a fact that I find very interesting and worth noting. Mr. Paul does seem to generate interest from many different types of people who would probably be surprised to see each other in the same room. But I kind of see Ron Paul as the Ralph Nader in this current run for the White House. But whereas Nader received votes that hurt the Democratic candidate; Mr. Paul, should he run without support from the Republican party, will take votes that will impact the Republican candidate.

–Whomever the Republican party will end up nominating for President, this person will not be a person who can draw support from the majority of undecided Americans. If they do it will not be a vote for the candidate, it will be a vote against Mrs. Clinton.

Like I said earlier, I currently support NO political party. I would not cite my political affiliation as being with any of the major political parties. Rather, like many Americans (of the United States variety), my viewpoints are all over the map. So do not take the reasons behind my prediction as a wake up call to Republicans, anti-Democrats, anti-Hilary’s or the like. And do not take my prediction of Mrs. Clinton as the next President to be a ‘rally the troops we are on our way to the White House’ cry to her supporters. The thots expressed in this post are nothing more than: my prediction.

Whether you liked what I have to say or not…
Whether you are indifferent to what I have to say or not…
My only request, my only encouragement is for you to find what candidate best supports your points of view and vote for that person.

Or you could support:

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As scary as that would be….

Come November we will see how this all worked out.

In the meantime here are some websites you might find helpful:
Glassbooth
Project Vote Smart
Smart Voter
Opensecrets.org Money in Politics data

Sliding Liberia

January 19, 2008

What follows is a trailer for the film ‘Sliding Liberia’. Although this movie falls into the ‘surf film’ genre, this film appears to be much larger than just a surf film.


(trailer length: 3:11)

more about this film:
Sliding Liberia
Kevin in Liberia
Dan Malloy on Sliding Liberia

add this task to my to-do list

January 19, 2008

Apparently my daughter has commented to my wife that she does not want us to be one of those people who have their Christmas lights on the outside of the house all year long.

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Today is Theophany. Perhaps I should begin to think about taking the Christmas lights off of the house.

confession from novice soccer parents.

January 18, 2008

Our daughter Tansy has started indoor soccer. One thing that confirmed to us, was the fact that we are not soccer parents–at least not yet. Our novice status still sticks out a bit.

Exhibit A:
My wife gets Tansy ready for her first practice. She has Tansy put on her shin guards on over her socks. Thanks to a young friend of Tansy, when they got to practice she quickly schooled Tansy (and my wife) to the fact that the shin guards go on UNDER the socks.

Why do they make shin guards in colors if no one is suposed to see them?

Seventy

January 17, 2008

Today (Jan 4 on the Church Calendar) the Church commemorates the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles.

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“These Seventy Lesser Apostles labored at the same work as did the Twelve Great Apostles; they were co-workers with the Twelve in spreading and establishing the Church of God in the world. They endured many sufferings and malevolent acts from men and demons, but their strong faith and fervent love for the resurrected Lord made them victors over the world and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.” (from the Prolog)

Who were these Seventy men: James the brother of the Lord, Mark the Evangelist, Luke the Evangelist, Cleopas the brother of Joseph the Betrothed, Symeon the son of Cleopas, Barnabas, Justus,Thaddaeus, Ananias, Stephen the Archdeacon, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas of the seven deacons, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Onesimus, Epaphras, Archippus, Silas, Silvanus, Crescens, Crispus, Epenetus, Andronicus, Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles, Aristobulus, Herodion, Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobus, Hermas, Linus, Gaius, Philogogus, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Olympas, Tertius, Erastus, Quartus, Euodias, Onesiphorus, Clement, Sosthenes, Apollos, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Carpus, Quadratus, Mark called John, Zenas, Aristarchus, Pudens, Trophimus, Mark, Artemas, Aquila, Fortunatus and Achaicus. (You can read about the lives of the 70 here.)

But the reading from the Prolog also includes a sober reminder regarding some of the Seventy Apostles:

“But, as Judas, one of the Twelve, fell away from the Lord, so it was with some of the Seventy who abandoned the Lord not with the intention of betrayal but because of human weakness and faintheartedness. ‘As a result of this, many of His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied Him’(St. John 6:66).”

What a sober reminder for me, as there are times when I am tempted to want to toss in the towel. Though perhaps what prompts these thots in me at times are, in actuality, some sort of side/minor issue that I have mentally stired and fed on.

I may have times of doubt; but how often are some of these doubts initially fueled by my being sidetracked on a smaller issue?

May I not ‘major in the minors’… but rather, may I remain in “faith and fervent love for the resurrected Lord.”

The whole Prolog text can be read online: here

dirt

January 15, 2008

I have a thing about dirt… (maybe some day I will write more about this) on our family altar we have dirt taken from the gravesite of Bl. Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose), and dirt from the grave of St. Herman of Alaska.

A couple of years ago Fr Dcn Innocent (then just Innocent) was making a trip to Mt. Athos. Prior to his leaving I asked him if he would bring me back some dirt from Mt. Athos.

Upon his return he gave me some dirt that was taken from the grave of St. Seraphim of Sarov. He shared with me that while on Mt. Athos someone had given him the dirt, and when he received it he thot, based on my request prior to his leaving, that the dirt must be for me. And so when he came home he gave the dirt to me. What a wonderful gift.

I share this story because today, January 15 (Jan o2 on the Old Calendar -or as i sometimes call it, the “old school” calendar) St. Seraphim of Sarov is commemorated.

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Also commemorated today is my dear wife’s Patron Saint, St. Juliana of Lazarevo. Many years!!

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