Friday, February 10, 2006

EFM last night

EFM last night was a little “off putting.” Year 2 discussed the “natural and healing miracles” of Christ. Healing miracles particularly came into question as oft times being able to be scientifically disproven. The one about “casting out demons” from the man possessed was dissected. A scenario was offered indicating that a “Grand Mal” seizure which had about run its course had occurred. This was coupled with the idea that that type of ailment was not then recognized as a medical condition but as a demonic possession. Therefore, when Christ laid His hands on at an opportune time, the seizure ended and the man was deemed cured. Quien sabe (who knows)?

But here’s my issue. If we consider these stories of the Old and New Testaments to be only myths or allegories, where do we stop with the myths and when do we begin to believe. How do we determine what to accept as factual? Did Jonah really spend 3 days in the belly of a big fish? Probably not, call that a myth or whatever; but what about Moses and the Red Sea? I buy into the idea that something miraculous (beyond mere tidal surge) happened during the Exodus. And moving then to Christ’s miracles, were they only natural phenomenon or something really extraordinary? I choose to believe that something otherworldly happened in those instances, by God’s hand, time after time.

Elsewise, ultimately, one can follow the path to the Cross and Resurrection and ask was Christ really raised or was what was written some literary device to illustrate a point? Or for that matter, a belief based on mass hypnosis? Beginning down that road, you can finally arrive at a position without basis for a faith in Christ Himself and instead accept only a belief system that espouses love of one another and right treatment of all persons. Can we center our faith on Christ as only a Prophet? Not I.

So, I’ll continue to regard what is written as real truth and refuse to accept the modernists who attempt to understand the Faith as mostly allegory. You see, I firmly believe that by working backwards; there can be no Christianity without the Resurrection, no Resurrection without the Crucifixion of God Incarnate and likewise no God Incarnate, without the Virgin birth. For I believe “that God came down from Heaven…”, and with God all things are possible. Sometimes you just have to draw that line in the sand.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wrote my obit a while back

Being accused of having a Type A personality (I disagree with those making that accusation, but...) and as my wife and I have buried all our parents in the recent several years; some time back I wrote my desires for my Burial Service (Rite I, Thank you) in the hopes that 1.) it would make things easier for whoever has to make the final arrangements and 2.) so that the Service would reflect my personality, thoughts and beliefs. I do not see it being used anytime soon and continue to refine it while observing the Services of others (been to waaay too many Funerals lately) as well as adapting it to my changing preferences. It's kept in my Prayer Book. Anyone who knows me knows, for better or worse, my Prayer Book is as important to me as my Bible. There are several translations around the house and we're as liable to read one as another, but wife & I each have only one Book of Common Prayer. On the back of the instructions is an obit I wrote for myself.

Have you ever seen the romantic comedy Serendipity? It stars Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. Cusack's compadre is Jeremy Piven whose job is writing obits for the local newspaper. Towards the end of the film he writes one for Cusack detailing his passions and how he had lived his life to date (and No, Cusack's character isn't dying). I was struck by what he (Piven) found to be relevant and what was not. On a whim decided to write mine. In doing so, it's interesting to see what one considers noteworthy and likewise inconsequential. I daresay mine is not what most folks would expect from me, but then I've never been one to stand on convention.

Oddly, I enjoyed writing it and know that when the time comes that it is put to use, more than a few folks are going to say: "Never would have guessed that!"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Bittersweet Chocolate (part deux)

Now that I've had my serious say about NOLA & Katrina (that bitch!), I thought I'd share a few lighter observations.

Most of the refrigerator graffiti has been picked up, and most of the plywood with graffiti that was boarding up windows has now been taken down. Folks have taken to putting up "displays" in their yards.

The "tourist traps" in the Quarter had some great new "Tee" shirts. My favorites include:

Not Our Problem, Dude

I stayed thru Katrina and

all I got was this lousy T Shirt

a new Cadillac

and a plasma TV

Krewe of Disaster


Ray Nagin, Kathleen Blanco & Aaron Broussard

Daughter had just returned from a panel discussion on restoring the City when we arrived and she said that one of the panelists offered up a new slogan for bringing back tourists:

"Visit New Orleans, where the weird turn pro"

Friday night we went to listen to friend Phil Melancon in the Bayou Bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel. The "King" was there that evening and did a new number about FEMA. He started the parody with a question. "Do you know what the initials F.E.M.A. stand for? Fix everything, my ass!"

And finally, while having beignets at Cafe du Monde, I was struck by the thought that even the pigeons looked a little skinnier than usual.

Never the less, it sure felt good to kick back in the Big Easy.