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Yeah, yeah, I know she already has the Baby and they're on their way back from Bethlehem, but I like the image. The season of Advent begins in a couple of weeks, on Sunday the 30th, and I thought I'd put together a little Amazon Advent store of items you might use to celebrate with friends or family. In a little bit, I'm heading off to the woods to go camping this weekend with several other big 'ole boys - well, most of us are pretty big.
The first thing I'll say is - can we all now, as Christians, get back to focusing on being who He created us to be, on the Kingdom that is not of this world, on not finding ways to press our siblings into tight, worldly corners? He's fast becoming one of those guys - the ones you read and nearly everything makes sense, you know the ones. I've never heard one person say anything about this during the election or after, about Barack Obama, in reference to his race. I doubt it, but maybe it will at least be interesting for a while for those who may tend more toward trusting in the arm of conservative politics to usher in God's reign. My friend Michael Spencer over at Internet Monk has started a new series on his blog called Liturgical Gangstas, and he's asked me to be on that team.
Being a Roman soldier - after his conversion, he became what we now know as a conscientious objector. Every so often he's going to pose a question to us and we'll all answer from our own spiritual perspectives, backgrounds and ecclesial traditions - very cool. I have my desktop images set to a group of several 19 photos that I have taken from my iPhoto. If you buy from Amazon by clicking through from my link, I get a referral fee per item sold.
I'm not linking yet, not reading his post yet, because I want to share my own thoughts without being influenced (Update: Link to Randy's blog). They change every hour - that's why I say "for now." If it changes here in a few minutes, I'll take another screen shot and put that up here too. These books are easy to use, with a reading from whomever (Merton, Francis, etc.), a Scripture reading, a reflection and a prayer for each day in Advent and throughout the Christmas season - handy.
The cast of characters is a little frightening, so pray for us: Me (of course), Kevin Rains, Chris Marshall, Paul McGillivary, Glenn Johnson and Bill Bean. I saw on a comment on Facebook that he had talked about this on his blog.OK, a lot was said about Obama being an African-American, a black man, about the historical significance of how far up the political ladder he has gotten in this country. I pray they can keep their eyes on the Author and Finisher.So, I'm not going to hell - I didn't vote for him. And we don't order many so don't everybody be expecting to get one, especially if you live close to me - we don't do in-town cards. Me havin' more money right now is very good - not because of greed, mind you, but of necessity.
Thomas Aquinas, whose ideas saturated his public speaking." A little more from Wikipedia here. Note, first, that none of this is meant in any way to be negative about him or anything like that. We're lucky if we even get the ones we bought out for family and people who live away from here. One of the other panelists is my good friend Peter Matthews, Anglican Priest from here in Lexington as well. We're like little kids who keep running to the door to look out and see if it's still snowing by looking under the street lights outside - wait, that's exactly what I kept doing last night - ha! I don't have as much traffic as I used to, but hopefully this and Google ads and anything else might help some. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight."Many Christians before and after St. That's a bad joke - very unfortunate that it actually, yes actually got that far in this election, at least among some Catholics.
Most of them aren't canonized "Saints" - that's fine, you don't have to be.Of course, there have been heroically holy people a'many who have passed over into the fullness of eternity with God whom we have no knowledge of whatsoever - probably several to whom the likes of St. We try to do the Thanksgiving rotation though, there, then the next year there and the next one here.This is the "here" year. When I had this before, it was for a church and another group, and it actually did generate a little revenue.
Martin have come to the same conclusion about killing in light of their new Life in Christ.
Very helpful.I think one of the first bits I read from him was about forgiveness, somewhere. It was emotional watching Jesse Jackson cry like a baby in the crowd Tuesday night - that man who stood next to Dr.
The first question Michael has posed to us is as follows: a€?A person comes to you and says 'I want to grow significantly as a Christian in the next year.' Using the resources we all share and the specific resources of your tradition, what kind of guidance would you give this person?
May it continue to come and bring us a real live Winter this year.A reading from the letter of St. Every little bit helps, so there you go.Anyway, on the left is a general link, and on the right sidebar are two boxes - one is my recommendations (not just books, but other things I recommend to you) and the other is my Amazon wish list (in case you, my dear friends and loved ones, want to buy something for me some time).

I bought the book I have now not long after - God, Christ and Us - which had in it the whole context. Being a Saint is not about being canonized, it's about being wrapped up in the Life of God, about being transformed into the Image of Christ.
It's significant.OK, and I've thought this a few times but am just now sort of trying to work it out. The Church sometimes officially recognizes this reality in some of its members, but that has never meant that only those people are "in Heaven" and can be venerated or petitioned for their intercession. Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. My inner anthropologist starts crankin' about things like this (degree in anthropology - lots of cool knowledge laying around in my head). The kind of stuff thrown around about all this for the last year or so has been further formation for me in my conscientious decision not to participate. There's probably some overlap with tomorrow, All Souls Day, which is about all those who have died and gone before us, whether or not they have been officially recognized as "Saints." And of course, we are Saints. But, as Pete also mentioned, I like Christmas music and am presently listening to Charlie Brown Christmas as I write this.
Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. Technically speaking, Obama is the first "African-American" President of the United States.
In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.This was the reading from today's Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours. I'd think if we are inhabited by the Life Essence of God, the same thing that has made the recognized Saints who and what they are, maybe we should capitalize our Saints too. I looked and found a cool Scripture quote for today - it's the Canticle from today's Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours. So, when we speak of him forgiving, we are using the word 'forgiving' in a rather stretched way, a rather far-fetched way. And at the core, I can't get very far at all from the belief that ultimately, this is simply not our realm of action.
She actually started being a teenager when she was about 10 I think, so she should actually chill out in the next year or so, right? We speak of God forgiving not because he is really offended but accepts our apology or agrees to overlook the insult. Of course, if your eyes are open, you'll understand that in this country, being half black is like being half pregnant - you're just black. Certainly, aspects of that can be argued, but ultimately, seriously.It was fascinating to watch last night - definitely a historical moment in America. What God is doing is life forgiveness not because of anything that happens in God, but because of what happens in us, because of the re-creative and redemptive side of forgiveness.
And certainly, being born in 1961 as he was, he has experienced overt racism in his lifetime as a black American. I was impressed by McCain's concession speech - very gracious and humble (not so much the crowd - it seemed to disturb him as well).
OK, good.My two youngest children are actually having a civil conversation about something in the other room right now. As I read this aloud, I had a slight feeling of hopelessness come over me as concerns the whole Christian community.
During the next couple of months, I prayed a lot, studied a good bit, and came to the very firm conclusion that I could not kill anyone for my country, for anyone.
I couldn't do it.I called the Senior Chief Petty Officer who recruited me and explained to him my dilemma. I think some people think of All Souls as only for those who have passed over and are still "in purgatory." OK, as if we can really know who is and who isn't. You can buy them at the Gethsemani book and gift store or from Credence Communications, who distributes them.> This is a great little section about All Saints, about us being Saints, Grace, etc. This is just not going to happen."Forget all of mankind in it's fallen brokenness, look at us, the supposed People of God. He was actually very nice about it, very understanding, questioned me, proposed scenarios to check my resolve and finally told me I would receive paperwork in the mail soon that I needed to sign. For God's forgiveness just means the change he brings about in the sinner, the sorrow and repentance he gives to the sinner. And then, there's the when and where of purgatory - kinda hard to nail down something that exists outside of time in eternity. And there's a lot more laughing in here than you'd think from that picture over there (I wonder if he laughed when they had him stare out the window - funny). It's pitiful how we treat each other, how we speak of other people, to our siblings in Christ, not to mention those outside of Christ.
God's forgiveness does not mean that God changes from being vengeful to being forgiving, God's forgiveness does not mean any change whatever in God. I'm just talking about the symbolism of it, calm the fire down.And now, as I already have, I'll pray for President-elect Obama and his family, for wisdom and clarity and safety and protection.

So, "how long?" - hmmm, not really qualified to fully answer that one (not putting myself down, nobody is). And listen, these are the simplest, the most basic of instructions about how we are to behave, we who have been branded with the name Christian. Purgatory is about mercy and God's Love and transforming power working on us until we're done, until we're fully recreated as members of the New Humanity.
This is baby stuff and we want to go on to some kind of higher things, "more important" things when we can't even learn how to gum our food and swallow it. And no, I'm not officially a "veteran" since I was only ever technically in the "Innactive Naval Reserve."OK, that's my story.
His black Grandfathers and Mothers were not the same as theirs, as most African-Americans, even of mixed race, in this country.This gets into family history - family soul, passed down from generation to generation. I think we just need to settle down and listen - close our mouths and eyes, grab hold of what shred of humilty we can find and learn the Way. And the souls of black families in America have a very painful streak running through them. I feel fairly confident saying that.That was sort of a tangent, but it was worth it probably. Usually I just wander around dreamily looking at all the stuff and don't buy anything, but I convinced myself that this would be a good thing to have.I'll write more on this later, but thinking about the statement that - War is not an intrinsic evil - turns my head inside out.
He could have been instantly killed for his decision, which took place in a battlefield setting.
Our contrition is God granting us forgiveness.All that God asks of us is that we put aside the barriers, the illusions and the timidity that stand in the way of accepting his love. If your ancestors were owned by other human beings who considered them just a little more than cattle, and perhaps your family was in that system of degraded life for a couple of hundred years, not to mention what came after, then this will affect how you think about things, how you react to things, etc. Now, do you mean that war, in this broken world, is sometimes unfortunately necessary in order to maintain order and stave off all-out chaos on earth? All those who were marked with the mark of Jesus, who have gone before us, whether or not they have been officially recognized as "Saints." They all aren't necessarily still being purged. This is a Catholic theologian getting down underneath and past the legal and technical talk of sin and forgiveness - down into the core of what's going on.
Even those of us who aren't convicted in this way, should be very careful and serious about vowing your oath and allegiance and taking up arms to kill for a cause.
What I read here is something about God's Heart, in His infinite immutability, reaching out in His nature of Love, to a broken mess of a humanity who couldn't do anything to fix itself if it tried.
He reaches out to us, into us, when the inward barriers are put aside - when somehow we respond to His Grace and perhaps say "yes" without even consciously knowing we have done so - and fills us with His forgiveness, which transforms us from the inside-out.Sure, there are Sacraments and signs that we experience to help concretize His forgiveness to us, but in a very real way, it's already there. I want to name some names - of some whom I have known or "known" (who aren't on any Saint list). But here is our Christian dilemma: we are supposed be about the full and complete restoration of God's Kingdom on earth, which ultimately is about ploughshares, not swords.
Our sorrow for our sin, our repentance, is only a reflective sign of what's already happened in our deepest selves. Not that it should have effected the outcome of some election as far as, if people thought about it, would they have voted for him.
This is why our deep, growing and dynamic relationship with God in Christ, through the working of the Holy Spirit is the really important thing. Like I said, I'll write more about this later, but here's the deal - killing any human being for any reason IS certainly intrinsically evil - it's against His Original Intent. That's not to say they're not real in themselves, just that any effectiveness they would have in and for us is only to be had when they are mixed with a real and living faith. He was spoken of, by other African-Americans, as a different kind of black candidate than we had seen before, as not an "angry black man" - of a different generation.
I wonder how much these cultural elements of his life played into that.Perhaps because he never had ancestors in America who were a part of the slave culture, who were slaves themselves, his outlook is different. Something that is passed on to American blacks through the culture of their families, wasn't passed on to him.
I'm sure some of these things were passed on to him, in a sense, by simply being a black man in America, by being a member of the black community as much as he was.
I would encourage you not to look at spiritual growth as something that can be done by leaps and bounds in a specific frame of time.
A year might even seem long to our Western minds, especially our American minds, but as I have come to see it, a year in spiritual growth terms is a drop in the proverbial bucket.
Gates, start reading my blog and talk about this a little bit.As I said before, as far as a black man being President is concerned, for me it's a great thing.
You know I'm a conscientious objector when it comes to voting at this point, so I'm not taking anyone's "side" about policies or politics.
No more comment, I just thought that was funny - both "ha ha" and weird funny.Well, I wanted to do 7 things cause it's a cool holy number and everything, but oh well, I can't think of anything else.

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