Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Alcoholic - a pseudohaiku

The evil and idolatry is destroying his soul, even as the alcohol, his body.

Anon E. Moose

The Question:

Is he so stubborn and proud, or evil, that he refuses to save himself?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Personal Daily "Office"

My daily “office”: (slowly and deliberately, listening for His voice)

In Your Name Heavenly Father, in Your Name Lord Jesus Christ, in Your Name Holy Spirit.
Knowing what lies ahead, a new heaven and new earth, I press on toward the goal for which You are restoring me.

One thing I ask of you Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in Your house all the days of my life, to behold Your beauty and seek You in Your temple.

Even my faith is a gift from You Lord, even that I seek you is by Your Grace.
“And who is it that you seek my child?” I seek You Lord God, with all my heart and soul, with all my mind and strength. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, may it be so.

Yes, I seek You Lord Jesus, the Way to the Father with Your Spirit as my guide. In this way I bind unto myself daily Your Holy Trinity, Your Three In One.

I life up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? To whom shall we go Lord?
You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and come to know that You are the Holy One of God. Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Readings, prayers & meditations – (Psalms, OT & NT, inserted here, and again listening, with added supplications and intercessions, as well as thanksgiving.)

Christ as light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield, overshadow me. Christ above me, Christ below me. Christ before me, Christ behind me. Christ beside me, on my left and on my right. This day be within and without me. Lowly and meek, yet all-powerful, be in the heart of each to whom I speak, be in my heart as well. Be in the mouth of each who speaks to me; be in my mouth as well. Lowly and meek, yet all powerful, Christ as a light, Christ as a shield, Christ beside me, on my left and on my right.

(as sung by the Father and the Spirit to us):
“May the Peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.”

In Your Name Heavenly Father, in Your Name Lord Jesus Christ, in Your Name Holy Spirit. I bind unto myself this day and forever Your Holy Trinity. AMEN.

[adapted from Celtic Daily Prayer]

In this way I experience sweet daily communion with the Creator of the Universe and lover of my soul. Such is His outrageous Grace and Mercy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Carmina Gadelica & The Watters Clan

In these writings from the 19th century are captured the spiritual heart and life of my Celtic family. Alexander Carmichael collected the hymns and prayers of the people of the Scottish Highlands and western islands, which were handed down from generation to generation, and which sustained a people who lived hard lives and suffered oppression throughout those generations.

The Watters "clan" can trace their roots back to those islands before fleeing to northern Ireland (county Antrim) during the "Clearances", eventually emigrating to America when the Ulster Plantations threatened them once again.

Their faith, weathered and beaten, remained their only steadfast rock as they forged a new life in Pennsylvania, and later the Dakota territory. Even incorporating it into Lakota life as they became part of those tribes. [See "From Clan To Tribe"]

And now, in my generation, we seek that truth and faith once again by God's grace. Knowing that our past is part of "who" we are, but that we also look forward to a new heaven and earth.

Mitakuye oyasin, beannacht De ort. (all my relatives, God bless you - in Lakota & Gaelic respectively)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The spiritual health of places -

As I alternate living between Hilo, HI and Sacramento, I have sensed differences between spiritual calm and tension, respectively. Here in Hilo there is a "pace", a spirit of aloha as Hawaiians call it. It is evident in how people treat each other (most of them anyway), and most notably for me, how they always yield to others on the roadways.

On the other hand, California and my beloved City of Sacraments has a spirit of anger and tension. Whether due to politics, crime, economy or just everyone always in a hurry I can't say. But, I find myself struggling to maintain my own personal spirit of aloha (for me the spirit & character of Christ) when I'm back in Sac.

I realize this may have benefits for practicing spiritual discipline, as the tension "drives" me to seek Him more intentionally there. Contrastingly though, the spirit of love in Hilo reminds me continually of our loving Father God, which prompts thanksgiving and a grateful heart,as well as a "drawing to Him".

What to do with such "openings"? I continue to seek Him wherever I am, trusting His Son's assurance that He is near. To persevere in faith, even more so in the places and people of tension. And of course, I seek out "thin places" in and around our City of Sacraments. I continue to follow Jesus by Grace and in His strength, hoping to be a source of His love and light (however small mine is) trusting Him with outcomes, etc.

I also try encourage others to do likewise, AND, I try to introduce others to Jesus; first through actions & attitude, later through gentle words and personal introduction to and invitation from Him. Getting around assumptions and biases, the historical and institutional church, even the words (Christian, Christianity, religion and more), presents challenges, but submitting to Jesus allows The Spirit to work in ways we cannot anticipate.

This journey on The Narrow Road is one we were all created to take, our adventures may be very different, but our destination is the same - a new heaven and new earth. Our responsibility is to encourage one another, and gently invite others to join us. Be encouraged in Him; Father, Son & Spirit.

only by Grace,


P.S. One place we can all do better as Christians (The Body of Christ, the organism called church) is in our institutional churches. Avoiding a spirit of competition and fostering a spirit of cooperation and collaboration will go a long way to introducing others to Jesus by reflecting His Character; love, humility, grace and mercy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A ‘”nutshell” update from Da Muddy Moose:

As our kids settle into life in their various pursuits and locations, Patti and I continue to “follow” where He leads. 

 Kyle & Laura thrive in Omaha (if that’s possible), he loves teaching physics at Creighton University, and Laura weathers second year residency at U. Nebraska Medical Center. Hoping we see them back in California in the future (Santa Barbara/Westmont??!!)
 Cody is excited as his graduate studies begin at my (Pat) alma mater, Sac State. Already loving classes, and getting paid as a grad assistant, he can’t believe it?! Also working at our Zoo, which is a bonus, and getting to rotate on all the animals.
 Karly and Phil are into family life, and holding down the home front for Nana & Papa. Finishing up their own studies in Sociology and Criminal Justice respectively. Anthony is thriving with all his BIG family; walking, talking and just getting into little boy trouble as best he can. 
 Patti and I are in Hilo for another three months, she continuing to serve the elderly community at Hale Anuenue, and me finally getting all my volunteer opps lined up for the next three months; Arc of Hilo, Wainaku Elem. School and YL Big Island, with time for outrigger and stand up paddling on Hilo Bay. And, of course my favorite role as “house boy” for Hilo Patti.

We have notions (plans to come) for an “ohana” addition to our home for Nana & Papa. The kids will take over our home and we’ll live “out back” in our own little Aloha cottage. Ministry continues as only God could envision and lead, and we expect to stay in our anam cara (soul care) upon return to the City of Sacraments. Breathing his Life and Light into those He places in our lives, so good be two broken jars of clay leaking goodness as He fills us up.

Packing for a short trip up to Corvallis, Oregon and visit with friends celebrating 60th birthdays (I’m already there), Sac State vs. Oregon State game, and more before my own flight back to Hilo.

All “only by Grace”, and God is good, all the time, God is good. So, seek Him and His plans for your own life. He promises a “great adventure”.