Category Archives: ALL

What do we mean when we say the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from the Father and the Son? What does “to proceed” mean in this context?

This question popped up on another site,, which I enjoy messing around with.
It gave me a chance to do sort of a theological “geek-out” on the “filioque” clause in the Nicene creed. I enjoy making an attempt at this because it lets me try something really hard in language that is very street-level. And that lets me see what it is I really think. (C.S. Lewis said that “any fool can write ‘learned’ language.” The real test is to see if you can translate the ideas into the everyday speech) Continue reading


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Of “Small Voices”

Last night I had an interesting, and corrective, experience.

I play guitar and bass with a local guitar club. Mostly just for the joy of making music with other people, and to improve our skills, but sometimes we get to play out, for one event or another. Last night, we had the joy of playing for one of our own, a wedding reception for one of our members.

This is not a group of 20-somethings. They would not likely know the songs. We are not ALL my age, there is a pretty good range, but at 62, I fit right in. I find it fascinating that in the few short years I have been part of this group, this is the third wedding. That seems more prolific than among the groups of those 20-somethings I hung with 35+ years ago! Continue reading

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Old Files, and talking to myself

-cleaning up some old files on my computer.
One of the good things about seeing things I wrote a long time ago is that sometimes they apply back to me. Of course, a lot of it is junk, and should NOT rise again to the surface. But sometimes it is good for me to read again. This is one of those.

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“Why do we call it “FAST” when it makes the day so slow?”

I like words. And I have an unfortunate taste for stupid jokes, particularly when they turn on double meanings of words. Or homophones.

As such, this has been my response when someone brings up the idea of fasting as a spiritual discipline.

I actually did this decades ago, 1 day every week, and a longer 3 day once a month. Liquids only, but a little V8 juice seemed a good thing. Did that for a year or so when I was in school.

But whatever the virtues there might be, or the lack, it certainly gave me inspiriation for one of my worst word jokes.
But then 2 weeks ago, I pulled it out for a friend at Church (All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Stafford, TX), and he actually took the “why…” as a real question, which had a real answer. And was therefore worth finding out. I admire that. Over 40 years, and I had never done that. I suppose I was afraid it would ruin the joke, as if that were possible.

What he found was the relationship in proto-German to a similar word meaning remain still. I tried to morph it into a more modern “Make fast” as in “Fasten,” but my friend insisted that although that was partial, it was not primary. The earliest would be simply to REMAIN still.
And this opened up something for me, that relates to a previous post about this time of waiting between Ascension, and Pentecost. I called it a gap, with seeming abandonment.

This meaning of “fast” differed from mine in that to “hold fast” seems to refer to a state or condition. Static. To “remain fast” seems more like  a point in a process – like the pause before turning left across a busy street, or a right turn on red. The quite spot between movements of a symphony, the dramatic pause a speaker might use.

Or the Seventh day of Creation – when God “rested” (I wonder about the Hebrew – how the word “fast” might fit there?)

And also this time of waiting, wondering what is coming next. 

Anticipation, Nervous , perhaps even fearful (with or without cause).

But Something is about to start. A change is in the wind.

We are standing fast. 


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On Ascension and Abandonment. Gaps

You would think that after 40 years as an Episcopalian, I would pretty much have this “Liturgical Calendar” thing, the “Church Year” down. But after spending my first formative years as a Southern Baptist, I can still find a surprise or two.

As they say, even a blind squirrel finds SOME acorns.

Today, 25 May 2017 is the Feast of the Ascension. Continue reading

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On Baking Bread, Communion, the Holy and Profane

Bread making this morning.

In the deep past, I did this once or twice a month at home, and really enjoyed it. This time, it is for Communion Bread for a special event, which fills me with thoughts. Apparently, I would rather THINK about my work than actually do it. Continue reading

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Some Personal Thoughts on Suffering: 1

A friend of mine once asked for some Bible passages for a friend who was going through some rather serious difficulties. The following is taken from my response.

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