Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Red in the Morning,

Red in the morning, sailors take warning.

Was directed to a
London Daily Telegraph article about Abp. Rowan Williams comments with regard to alternative lifestyle couples and their place in The Church. Am not sure exactly how I feel. Followed that up with a trip to the Church of England Newspaper website and found essentially the same report. As a matter of personal opinion I am committed to the Via Media, which I interpret to mean that I am disposed to be welcoming to gays and gay couples but not uphold their lifestyle as one to be emulated. Ergo, I'm not sure but that The Archbishop went a little overboard to the right in his latest interview. But then, the Church's newspaper article wasn't quite as harsh as that of the Telegraph, so it's possible that the report in the Telegraph was skewed.

Not sure where that puts me theologically with regard to The Episcopal Church at the present time. I'm aware that PBp. Griswold has called for a conversation with regard to request for "alternative oversight" from Bps. Iker and Duncan and I see that as a good thing.

Am closely watching the upcoming Bp. Coadjutor election in the Diocese of Newark, and truly fear that the election might hinge on whether or not Newark chooses to test the resolve of our Diocesan Bishops and Standing Committees in regard to General Convention's 11th hour resolution B033 and their understanding thereof.

Ultimately it appears that the far left and the far right are working with some success to drive a wedge into TEC and bring about the schism that each so desperately is seeking.

Don't we truly have better things to do?

Monday, August 21, 2006

EFM is settled

I've had a decision made for me with regards to EFM this upcoming year. Not sure how I feel about being somewhat left out of the process but there is some comfort in no longer having to pursue which direction is correct.

Had indicated that one or more members might drop out. Counting myself that number now comes to three out of nine. One choice I considered was that to continue I would read Year Three solo. An option I chose not to accept. Second possibility, in my eyes, was to re-take Year Two (unregistered) with the Group. I was told that this doesn't fit within Sewanee's guidelines. So, I will sit out a year and possibly rejoin next year.

Am a little disappointed being told that unregistered participation was a no-no. We spent a lot of last year sidestepping guidelines and now this year I'm being told it's all "by the book". That causes one to feel there is latitude being granted some participants but not others and that rules are tailored to fit circumstances and preferences. However; I've been spared making a hard decision, so maybe it's for the best. C'est La Vie.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Comment from the Antichrist

When I blogged “The End Is Near. Long Live the End!”, I almost immediately received a comment from someone whom I can only describe as the Antichrist. The speed with which the reply was received and its composition do nothing if not reinforce that opinion. It's taken me a few days to get to this because I really wanted to ponder how to approach it.

The purpose of my original comments were to suggest that scare tactics about the end of the world (i.e. “the Rapture”) were not good fund raising tactics. I went back and reread my post and still believe that’s the point I made. That IS NOT; however, what the comment I received chose to address. I decided not to post the entire reply as nowhere could I find any positive value, but I will tell you something of it.

Among other things it said:
1). “Christian timelines and interpretations are wrong and purposefully confounding with regard to ancient Hebrew symbology as regards to ‘The Revelation of John.’”
I’m starting to feel like I’ve “popped a tab” and am listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

2). “Christianity is the False Prophet symbolized in the Apocalypse, that Rome (Vatican/Papacy) is the so-called anti-messiah, and Jesus Christ is the false messiah.”
Whoa, Nelly!!!

3).”The so-called ‘Seven Years Tribulation’ began in ancient Judea and is now nearing its end, not starting. The nations and followers of all three faiths of Abraham have been thoroughly deceived by Rome during the previous age, which ended in year 2000 (5760). A new age began in 2001 (5761) and now the
seventh angel has begun to sound!" I’m now at a loss for words and beginning to hear the theme music from The Twilight Zone.

There were links to web pages that I, being an inquiring soul, decided to investigate. Whereupon I read:
4). “Not only have I decisively and verifiably exposed the lies of all three Faiths of Abraham, thereby proving the true nature of the Vatican, I have solved many ages-old mysteries and given humanity the ability to understand ancient symbology and the wisdom it encodes.” Great shades of the Priory of Sion and The DiVinci Code.

5). “The Teacher of Righteousness delivers decisive proof about the Creator of our eleven-dimension holographic universe, karma, astrology, reincarnation, and more. After painstaking research and reconstruction, he has unsealed The Apocalypse for all to understand. It is analyzed word by word and cleansed of Christian fraud to unveil its long-awaited Truth, Wisdom, and Justice. Its ancient wisdom symbology is fully reverse-engineered and revealed in the extensive “Apocalypse Symbol Guide.” Here is comprehensive proof the original Apocalypse was a symbolically encrypted Hebrew wisdom text encoding prophecy, philosophy, scientific knowledge, and the long-lost ancient Philosopher’s Stone of Melchizedek. It was stolen and fraudulently modified by the founders of Christianity. The true author was the Teacher of Righteousness of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a.k.a. Jacob the Just (a.k.a. St. “James”).

(Name omitted) is the Teacher of Righteousness reincarnated who now stands forth as the long-prophesied Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Root of David; (a.k.a. Melchizedek, “Archangel” Michael, Moses, Elijah, the Branch, the Stem and the Rod from the Stump of Jesse) to decisively end millennia of Vatican deception, injustice, genocide, false doctrine, and false prophecy.”
Get me out of here, and hurry!!!

I made the post and got the reply all in the daytime, so I can’t even blame a full moon.

Y’all be safe out there, it’s really getting weird!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lost some friends lately

Been a rough week or two for Funerals. A friend of our lost her brother (age 52) weekend before last in a true horror story. Following the loss of their Mother and Father within the past 22 months, her Brother was preparing to walk his Daughter down the aisle. Four hours before the Wedding he suffered a massive heart attack and died. Then the Mother of the Bride's Mother suffered a stroke the following day.

My Brother in Law died tragically yesterday and picking up the paper today to see if his obit. made the paper I see that a long, long time friend passed on Saturday following a long illness. Let me tell you about her.

Ann was an English Professor at Baylor University, revered by the University, faculty and students alike. She was named one of Baylor's first two "Master Teachers" (a very select group) and the kind of teacher you wish all of your instructors could be like but then you're glad they're not; for if all were as challenging as she was you would never have and free time from studying. But man ..., she could teach and inspire her students.

I've mentioned before my fascination with obituaries. Well done ones seem to provide real insights into the character, both good and bad, of the deceased. I believe Her's the best I've read to date. But then, for Ann, I would expect nothing less. If you're a member of the Baylor family, you probably in some way or another, knew and remember Ann Miller. Her obit can be found in Wilkerson Hatch Bailey's Memorial Obituaries

Rest in Peace, Annie Laurie Vardaman Miller.
Godspeed and God Bless.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

L. L.

It's reported that Lindsay Lohan (yes, the actress from such blockbuster hits as Freaky Friday, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Mean Girls and The Parent Trap) has said she wants to go to Iraq with Hillary Clinton and entertain the troops.

OK, I'm down with that.

It is also reported that she hoped to emulate Marilyn Monroe who performed for our troops in Korea in 1954.

Well, if performing for the troops is what she wants to emulate, I can go there too. If, however, she believes she can look like or have the appeal of Monroe, naaah.

Finally, it's reported that she would prepare for her trip by taking shooting lessons with her security guard,

God save and protect our men and women in uniform!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The End Is Near! Long Live The End.

I’ve referred once or twice to a newsletter I receive from one of our most effective local social service agency’s Director. This time, I’m a little put out and think he missed the mark by a wide margin.

He begins this month’s epistle by stating that “… even the skeptic ‘end times’ forecasters begin to wonder if the biblical prophecies could be coming true in these days.” He then goes on to opine that: “… if I could just get Bible-believing folks even half as interested in the poor as they are about horror stories of a pre-millennial dispensation and their own heavenly future, we could change the world.” And he ends with: “So if this really is the end of time and you, as a follower of Jesus, have not lovingly fed the hungry, cared personally for the poor widows and orphans, or ‘remembered the poor,’ (Gal 2:10), you might want to get busy! The ‘
red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns’ (Rev 12-3) may be outside your door tomorrow!”

A few thoughts:
1). Nobody knows when the end times are and we are instructed to be in all ways prepared, always. Likewise; we should ever consider the hungry, the poor, the widows and orphans, in fact ALL those marginalized by society.
3). However, using “end times” philosophy directed to a generally less theologically grounded readership seems to me as scare tactics designed accomplish one’s own agenda at the risk of sound Biblical knowledge and scholarship. The world is scary enough these days without some well respected leader preaching “God’s ‘gonna get you for that.”
4) And finally, while you might get a few extra donations from some guilty souls in reply to your message; you should consider the folks you “turn off”, who see through your agenda and take exception to the method. Unfortunately, this time I fall in that camp.

Friday, August 04, 2006

What to do, What to do

Am in a quandary as to upcoming EFM. Last year wound down on less than positive notes and time off this summer seems to have fomented even more dissention. More than one group member had to be convinced to renew and one may yet drop out. I feel we failed to develop cohesiveness and it appears to me that we’ll begin this next year even more fragmented, including a few hard feelings existent that didn’t seem apparent until late last year. Our members represent multiple Parishes as well as denominations and one or two give the appearance of pursuing personal agendas. We’ll also have several new folks joining us. Certainly not a situation conducive to learning and growth.

If I stay involved it looks like I’ll be doing Year Three solo and I don’t know how viable an idea that is. If I drop out it becomes the second time I have failed to sequentially move forward with my studies and that’s not good either. I felt totally justified in “setting out” the last time as that group’s next year was being put together with less than the required number of members for studies, one of the members was absent at least 50% of the time and it worked out that were I to have continued there would only be two Year One’s, one Year Two, one Year Three and one Year Four. Ultimately, the four of them and their co-mentor wound up doing EFM on line in a chat room which I find utterly unacceptable.

But truthfully, this is a different scenario. Therefore, do I plod along failing to receive the stimulation and learning experience EFM is designed to provide in an effort to get it (EFM) behind me and earn my certificate, or do I respectfully opt out of yet another group and wait hopefully until another class is formed that can become the experience Sewanee has designed? I really don’t know what to do. Stay tuned for further updates.