Archive for March, 2008

‘Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House’

March 31, 2008

‘Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House’
is a poem by Billy Collins. I had previously never heard of Billy Collins until I came across a couple poems of his in my surf across the internet.

I admit it, I find humor in this poem.

‘Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House’

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

saints

March 29, 2008

I was considering some different individuals from our era whom many people would like to see formally recognized as Saints by the Church (such as Bl Seraphim (Rose) of Platina –which i look forward to as well.) A part of me wonders if this is because we would like to think that even one of our contemporaries could be recognized as a Saint; that a Saint could arise from the midst of our society. A desire to formally acknowledge that Saints still do walk among us.

I then thought about how we would respond, if they were formally recognized as a Saint– we would ask for their prayers, make pilgrimages to venerate their relics, as well as various other ways that we would seek to honor the individuals of whose life God worked in.

But what about the saints around us? The people whom we walk, talk and interact with on a regular basis.

The same people who make us laugh.
The same people who make us angry.
The same people who we adore.
The same people who we judge.
The saints who we share our daily lives with.

Perhaps it is time that we make a pre-emptive strike…
To honor one another.
To ask the prayers of one another.
To recognize that God is at work in the lives of our brothers and sisters around us.
To treat each other with respect as vessels of the Holy Spirit.

Our society gets distracted by largeness, we the followers of Christ sometimes fall into the same trap– wanting to be associated with the formally recognized Saints, overlooking the saints that are right next to us.

Forgetting to ask their prayers.
Forgetting to respect them.
Forgetting that they are saints.

Another area that I fall short in.

Lord help me.

a thot as we continue our Lenten journey

March 28, 2008

During the remaining time of this holy lenten season and the great Feast of feasts when our Lord sacrifices Himself in His love for us to restore us to that original beauty which was ours, let us grow in love. Lent is not a time of self-torture, of God sadistically looking to see how much more we can endure — No! Lent is a time for us to grow in love, to move closer to our Creator. It is a time for us not only to regain the paradise which we have lost because of our sins, because of our turning away from God, but to ultimately see the gates of heaven itself open toward us.

–The above is an excerpt from an article taken from the Lent/Pascha 2006 issue of ‘The Veil;’ a publication of the Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery

what not to give a 4 year old for his birthday

March 27, 2008

Andrew turned 4 this past Tuesday.

One of the gifts given to him was an inflatable Superman bopper. For those not familiar with the bopper, it is a toy of sorts that has a sand-filled base and a big plastic space which you fill with air and a kid can punch on them. When the bopper gets punched it rocks back and forth.

Well, today as I walked up to the house I noticed a deflated bopper laying next to the trash can. I asked my wife what had happened… apparently Andrew jabbed it with a pencil.

Sounds like the kid is learning some street fighting skills.

For those keeping score:
A Superman Bopper lasts approx 2 days in our home.

bobblehead theater

March 25, 2008

since i have already admited that i enjoy 3 year old humor:


(length: 1 minute and 38 seconds)

sometimes i have preschool age humor

March 20, 2008

I must admit, sometimes I enjoy 3 year old humor.

This evening I listened, as Andrew sang in the background (to the tune of ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’)

“Mary had a poopie head…”

Of course his dear mother had to educate him regarding what is appropriate to sing about; poopie head did not fall into that catagory.

Not appropriate, “yes.”
But still I find it funny.

working it out in the skin your living in

March 17, 2008

A ‘romantic’ mindset that I have fallen into from time to time (along with some other converts to Orthodoxy I imagine), is that of wanting to be a monk (or maybe just to be like a monk)– But what I must remember is that God has not called me to follow Him while wanting to be a monk… thinking that being a monastic would be better or more spiritual. Rather, He has called me to follow Him while I live my life as: A husband, father, son, friend, and etc. God has not placed me in a Monastery or the wilderness to work out my Salvation day by day; instead the arena that I have been placed in to work out my Salvation in is my home, my place of work, and my community. I am to follow Jesus Christ day by day in the skin that I am living in.

But even though the life of a monastic takes place in a different arena than ours as laity, at the same time it is lived out in a similar manner. Just like our monastic brothers and sisters in Christ, the same things they do are available to us as well. Just like them we too have the Medicines of the Church available to us; and just like them we too can attend Services, pray, read Scripture, fast, and etc.–And these Things are available to me in the day to day world that I live in.

I find inspiration from my Monastic brothers and sisters….

….I thank God for these men and women who have left the world behind to follow Christ. And who, amongst other things, pray for themselves and for the world. I have benefited from visiting Monasteries, and spending time there amongst the monastics for a couple of days where I have been able to learn from their example and from conversation with them. I encourage others to visit, and spend some time at a Monastery.

But still, I need to be who I am where I am; a guy following Christ Jesus in the realm that He has currently placed me in.

on a similar note:A post that I have enjoyed is one from 2004 written by Paradosis James. It is a post he called “Monasticism and Otter Pops.” I invite you to read it here.

Memory Eternal: Metropolitan Laurus

March 16, 2008

metropolitan_laurus.jpg

Today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, Metropolitan Laurus– First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad fell asleep in the Lord.

As I think about Metropolitan Laurus’ repose, I think about how God used him most recently in the reconcilation between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) which formally occured in May of last year.

May his Memory be Eternal.

The Ora Et Labora blog shares about Metropolitan Laurus’ repose here.

————
additional thots:

Later, after posting the above words, I shared some thots with a friend that I thot I would add here-

As a convert I know that I do not fully understand the magnitude of what Met. Laurus did for us, especially in the reconciliation between ROCOR and the Moscow Pat.– although in my limited grasp of the situation I do know that it was big! I feel kind of like a child regarding the reconcilation, knowing that something major happened but at a loss of being able to explain what it was all about due to my age and limited understanding. I hope that makes sense.

I think about the factions that arose during the reconcilation process, those choosing to go into schism rather than be reconciled to the Moscow Patriarchate; how this must have hurt Met. Laurus’ heart.
————

Happy Birthday Becket

March 15, 2008

Today we celebrate the 10th birthday of our son Becket Daniel.

img_0162.jpg
(a picture of Becket and his little brother Andrew.)

Becket is a great kid whom I love very much, and I am proud to be his Dad!

May God grant him many years!!!