Tuesday, December 31, 2013

If I must grow old -

"worse than verse" for a new year . . .

If I must grow old,
May I do so by my love's side.
Oh I'm not sure which of us may fare better,
When the other has died.
But as for me, I hope I go first,
And that's no lie.

I'm a "burn & scatter" guy,
Please don't think me morbid,
But don't waste good land,
With me old dead body, stiff & torpid.

Yes, scatter me ashes in the grand Pacific,
For that to me would be absolutely terrific!
I'm headed for a better land, and
In that HOPE, for now, I stand.


God's Word is Perfect -

Man's interpretation is not. So Christ Jesus came to reveal "the way, the truth and the life." Not only that, but redemption, reconciliation and adoption into the family of God; Father, Son & Spirit. The Living Word, even Christ Jesus is also perfect then in fulfilling the law and the prophets even unto death; the perfect propitiation, the Atonement (at_one_ment) of sin on behalf of the Holy Trinity, the Father and His children. These things are not revealed by or in man, but are the work of the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father sent at The Son's request on our behalf to reveal the Truth, even the mystery of the Word made flesh. So then, what are we to make of the interpretations of men? They tend more to cause division and disunity among the "elect", and because of that, to cause others to disdain or turn away from life in Christ, and the Church. Predestination, transubstantiation, penal substitution and more are terms coined by and interpretations revealed by man, not God. They serve more as stumbling blocks along the Way rather than guideposts or cairns. So God has given us Fatherly advice; "test them all, hold on to what is good," and of course the Spirit is our Counsel in that regard. As for the notion of predestination, a Calvinist reformation idea, if God is indeed Sovereign then of course He knows who will choose (free will is a truth too) His Christ, the Way. However, that does not mean we have no part in His Kingdom and the lives of His children. The truth is we are His instruments of love, grace, mercy and salvation to one another, to those who will choose; to the elect and the others as well. We don't know the mind of God nor those He foreknows, so our commission from His Son is simply to go and proclaim His Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; first and foremost with our lives, then when necessary with words that the Spirit gives for that time, person(s), and purpose. And fear not, God will provide those words if we are obedient in our surrender and submission. As for all the other doctrine, dogma and laws of man, they are best seen as "nonessential" and to be treated with charity and grace, while we as His Body hold in unity the essentials of our Faith in Christ Jesus. "The disciple whom Jesus loved", the Apostle John, gave us this wise exhortation, (1 John 4:1) "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Yes, even Christ Himself told us, (Matthew 10:16) "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." It is the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, that enables us to do so. You may ask if I'm "Calvinist", maybe to some extent. What about Arminian, again to some extent. But I prefer, I choose to emphasize for myself and in my life to hold the central tenets of faith in Christ, those things which unify us; Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and all the Protestant denominations alike. The "final" word: Revelation 21:1-8 Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.’ Christus Primatum Tenens . . . and to God be the Glory!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

out with the old, in with the new . . .

“The end of one year is a good time to reflect in silence and solitude in order to fuel heart, mind, soul and body for the new one that approaches.”  }:-  anonemoose

December 29
PSALM 23    GENESIS 5:21-24    REVELATION 3:1-6
As I sit here and try to rethink and meditate on what I have written about the poustinia, I honestly wonder if I can say 'Amen' just yet. My purpose was to explain the poustinia vocation as found in Russia, in my own life and in the life of the Madonna House. But, when you come right down to it, the poustinia is not a place at all - and yet it is. It is a stage, a vocation, belonging to all Christians by baptism.
It is a vocation to be a contemplative.
There will always be 'solitaries', or should be. But the essence of the poustinia is that it is a place within oneself, a result of baptism, where each of us contemplates the Trinity. Within my heart, within me, I am or should be constantly in the presence of God. This is another way of saying that I live in a garden enclosed where I walk and talk with God (though a Russian would say 'where all in me is silent and where I am immersed in the silence of God'). It's as if I were sitting next to God in complete silence, although there are always many other people around. (Like a husband and wife being in a private silence and solitude even though they are at a party and the room is filled with people.)
How stumbling words are! How inadequate the similes! Yet the poustinia is something like this to me: a state of contemplating God in silence.
December 30
PSALM 39:1-3   
The poustinia is within, and one is forever immersed in the silence of God, forever listening to the word of God, forever repeating it to others in word and deed. Thus everything that I have said about the physical poustinia, about trying to adapt it to the West, can be said about every Christian everywhere. The poustinia is this inner solitude, this inner immersion in the silence of God. It is through this inner, total identification with humanity and with Christ that every Christian should be living in a state of contemplation. This is the poustinia within oneself.
I don't know if all this makes any sense. It does to me. It is only in identifying with Christ, it is only by plunging into the great silence of God within myself that I can love others and identify with them.
It is by listening to the great silence of God, and having this strange, passive dialogue in which I become aware of the silence which is the speech of God - it is only by listening to this that I am able to speak to my brother. It is only by listening to this silence that I can acquire the ingenuity of love, the delicacy of Christ in my human relationships.  In this silence I become identified with Christ, I acquire a listening heart.
December 31   John Wycliffe (see p. 142)            
PSALM 97:1-6   EXODUS 3:1-6  ACTS 2:1-11, 16-21
The poustinia is a state of constantly being in the presence of God because one desires Him with a great desire, because in Him alone one can rest. The poustinia is walking in this inner solitude, immersed in the silence of God. My life of service and love to my fellowman is simply the echo of this silence and solitude.
Inwardly I identify myself with God and with humanity. Jesus Christ Himself conducts me into this inner silence, into that solitude which speaks so loudly to the Father under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Now I am immersed in the Trinity, in the fire of the silence of God (for the silence of God is always fire; His speech is fire). Now I become as one on fire with love of Him and of all humanity across the world. Now it is not I who speak. I speak what God tells me to speak. When my immersion into this immense silence has finally caught fire from His words, then I am able to speak. I can speak because His voice is sounding loudly and clearly in my ears, which have been emptied of everything except Him.
Now only His name is on my heart, constantly; it has become my heartbeat.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another place to find PnP; da Moose's Fb page


Career & Calling

“Your career is what you’re paid to do. Your calling is what you’re made to do.” Howard Hendricks
"Only when you discover the joy of your calling will you find the meaning of life. Next time you are tempted to ask someone what they do, consider instead asking them what they’re passionate about. Instead of askingthem what they’re paid to do, help them discover what they’re made to do." Dan Axtell
Now granted, you may be "lucky" (blessed) enough to have them both be the same, but most of us will have our "tent making business" to support us and our calling to support others. Your calling is God's plan for your life, and it may change with the seasons as you "grow" in His grace, so seek first His Kingdom and everything else will be taken care of. }:-)

I recall the time a prominent (older) attorney asked me what I did? When I answered; husband, father, Sunday school teacher and youth sports coach, he became perturbed with me and said, "No! What do you really do?!" I answered, "That is what I do, that's who I am. My career just supports it." I don't think he ever really "got it?!"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Irish or Scot?

Scots/Irish or Ulster Scots
If we look back into history, we may find that many of us were Irish before we were Scots? It's a complicated thing this Gaelic/Celtic heritage. We were also likely all Orthodox or even Roman Catholic before we became Presbyterian or Anglican. From Dal Riada to Pictland with Norse influence our origins are very mixed.
We were often "family" or at least collaborating and cooperative clans. And yes, we also often fought and killed each other, and mostly too often spurred on by others with their own motives and aims of power and greed.
Had we understood better, we may have helped avoid wars and "The Troubles". The best we can do now is recognize our heritage and be agents of Peace; among ourselves yes, but globally too. Indeed we are and always have been warriors, but the "olive branch" is better than the claideamh to wield these days.
Beannacht De ort!