new blog

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If you’re in the mood for a new blog, and hey there’s so few of them out there I’m sure you have been waiting for a while for someone, anyone, to get moving along in the blogosphere, I’ve found this one for your reading delight.

Whaddya get when you take a Quaker and add a little salsa? Well, something like reitzels.blogspot.com.

Dimly indeed… but worth a look.

Thought for the Day

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In whatever work we engage patience gives birth to courage, courage to commitment, commitment to perseverance, and perseverance to an increase in the work done. Such additional labor quells the body’s dissolute impulses.

The checked, desire gives rise to spiritual longing, longing to love, love to aspiration, aspiration to ardor, ardor to self-galvanizing, self-galvanizing to assiduousness, assiduousness to prayer, and prayer to stillness.

Stillness gives birth to contemplation, contemplation to spiritual knowledge, and knowledge to the apprehension of the mysteries. The consummation of the mysteries is theology, the fruit of theology is perfect love, of love humility, of humility dispassion, and of dispassion foresight, prophecy, and foreknowledge. No one possesses the virtues perfectly in this life, nor does he cut off evil all at once. On the contrary, by small increases of virtue evil gradually ceases to exist.

–Gregory of Sinai

I like this because it places theology (understanding and awareness of God) within the path of devotion and sanctification. This is why I like Orthodox thought (which is the basis of the Wesleyan approach). In the West the Church has fairly separated the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of holiness. This separation has bred a distrust. Those who pursue ministry and sanctification can easily drift into anti-intellectualism while those who pursue the intellectual qualities of theology often do so with an insipid faith, if they retain their faith at all. There’s a combativeness in the Western Church which is terribly frustrating.

Only by somehow restoring this ancient conception of integrating both devotion and learning which insists on devotion through learning and learning through devotion, can this be overcome. Like most things, this starts at home and with oneself, not by demanding “others” do it first.

Thought for the day

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There are three virtues connected with stillness which we must guard scrupulously, examining ourselves every hour to make sure that we possess them, in caase through unmindfulness we aer robbed of them and wander far away from them. These virtues are self-control, silence, and self-reproach, which is the same thing as humility. They are all-embracing and support one another; and from them prayer is born and through them it burgeons.

–Gregory of Sinai

the answer?

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Curious what the answer might be? Well, first I guess you need to know the question. What’s the Church to do? What should we do in the Church?

That’s a big question. Fortunately Jesus gave us the answer. The trouble is we have always had a hard time listening to his suggestions.

“Attic Invasion”

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It’s official. We checked. It’s an infestation.

In the morning you can see them outside, ready to dart in at a moment’s notice. They’re out there, strutting around like they own the whole neighborhood, knowing that no one is going to catch them. Those red, beady eyes are often the first thing I see when I wake up – somehow they know where my window is and place themselves right in front of it. They stare, they walk back and forth, they sometimes even sit. Their over-confidence mocks me in the morning light. I see them, they know it, but are so arrogant as not to care, instead they continue their morning lie-about in ease and comfort.
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Random Fiction

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For a good long while I woke up and wrote a 1000 words a day of fairly random fiction. I had finished seminary and thought I would try my hand at writing a bit, only the only bit of writing I had done entailed footnotes, arguments, “from the Greek” and serious consideration of such things as the eschatological implications of a strongly pneumatological Christology. Needless, to say such things weren’t exactly likely to be popular with the sorts of people who live outside of ivory towers, and those were the sorts of people who I wanted to write for, or at least learn how to do it. Jack London has always been a model for me, as I enjoy his writing and his bullheaded drive to get to writing. I also see his influences in my work and tend to see his approach work well for me. I don’t quite approve of his love for socialism, but as this was before Socialism ended up killing millions of people for the sake of the People, I figure he died before his idealism could be tested by reality.

Jack London recommended getting up and writing at least a 1000 words a day. He decided this later in his career, when life was good and publishers had treated him well enough he could find a nice rhythm without the demands an empty stomach puts on a writer. So I started doing this a couple years ago, writing a short story each day, and for whatever reason fell off of the consistent habit late last year. Some of this had to do with more focused projects, a good reason, and some had to with a lack of focus altogether, a bad reason. As I venture back into the rhythms of writing I think it would be fine to pick up this habit again, just for the exercise. I also realized I have a good many little bits of short fiction sitting on my computer doing nothing of note. So, I might as well post them.

These aren’t necessarily things I’ll be sending out, and so remain rather unpolished, and all written at various stages of my writing education. Encouragement and critique are always welcomed.

Happy Holidays!!

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Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to bring out the decorations and bake the cakes. Time to put up those little lights and prepare the house for well-wishers of all kinds stopping by with their sweetmeats and festive marzipan.

This is the time of year in which we can casually celebrate yet another go around the sun, or whatever kind of go around suits your fancy. Break out the party favors, gather round the old oak tree, sing with extra gusto the songs which so heartily commemorate such a day as this.

Yes, it’s July 22. The twenty second day of the 7th month of the year.

Happy Pi Approximation Day!

“Gromit, that’s it!”

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The moon was at perigee yesterday, roundabout 4 pm or so. What is that? It’s when the moon is closest to the earth during its yearly trek. It was also a full moon. This much I knew, as all the light which filled the bedroom in the early hours either meant that, or a particularly irksome fellow with a spotlight hanging out in one of the taller cedar trees. It was in fact the moon.

It is also called the Full Buck Moon, for reasons which have something to do with deer and their antlers.

If you find an extra moment, take a tour of the Full Buck Moon. I especially recommend zooming in as much as possible. Turns out NASA hasn’t been telling us everything. Though some intrepid explorers of the animated variety have been preaching this for years.

Thought for the day

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God, it is said, is the Sun of righteousness, and the rays of His celestial goodness shine down on all people alike. The soul is wax if it cleaves to God, but clay if it cleaves to matter. Which it does depends upon its own will and purpose. Clay hardens in the sun, while wax grows soft. Similarly, every soul that, despite God’s admonitions, deliberately cleaves to the material world, hardens like clay and drives itself to destruction, just as Pharaoh did. But every soul that cleaves to God is softened like wax and, receiving the impress and stamp of divine realities, it becomes ‘in spirit the dwelling-place of God’ (Eph. 2:22).

–Maximos the Confessor

a wee bit o’ the history

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Yes, London was bombed again today. What else really can be said? The Australian Prime Minister had good words, worth finding. I’m not posting them mostly because this isn’t a place for continuing analysis of Muslim terrorists. I’ve made my points in posts past, and so that’s that on the subject. Only minor injuries is what I hear, and this is the sort of thing which will be a regular part of life for a long while.

So, instead of wallowing in more descriptions of the kinds of folks who would blow up other folks because of their own inner discontent, I would rather make note of this intriguing little tale of Scotland’s lesser known history.