Last weekend I had the very great joy of participating on the leadership team of a retreat weekend. The purpose of this “little course in Christianity” was to give people a taste of an intentional walk with God in Community. Particularly, it teaches a path embracing worship (or piety), study, and action.
One of my functions was to talk about the role of study in Christian life. I thought I would like to share my address on that subject here. Continue reading
While cleaning some files on an old hard drive, I came across a letter of recommendation I wrote a few years ago on behalf of my former wife Stephanie, and decided I wanted to share it with you. The letter does not involve me in any way, except in that I recognized the truths expressed in it.
So why make it public now?
In small part, because I believe it to be a necessary addendum to impressions I may have left before. But even more, I think it is important because it celebrates a large portion of Stephanie’s character. I believe it is very important that such things be celebrated. A recurring theme in these musings has been the observation that God erases nothing, but He instead redeems all things and works them together for ultimate good – that even things that are dark and painful are first enlightened, and then become vehicles of light as they are laid at the feet of our Lord. Stephanie’s living example is one of the reasons I am convinced that these things are true.
Last, there are many good people who struggle with seizure disorders, and with the stigma, “the box” into which most of us try to force them or their family members. I do not have the power of Stephanie’s witness, but if I can point people to her; if they, too can be encouraged and drawn to this reflective light, it is a good thing.
Here is my letter …………… Continue reading
I have said that I started these writings so that my errors could be made more obvious, by being exposed to light. And I often see my sloppy thinking just by writing it down. Sometimes, I see my errors through comments made by others. Concerning my recent post, “The Last Post of This Story ” it has happened again.
I have spoken with several people concerning this post. Some, but not all, were happy with it. However even those who expressed support and appreciation were somewhat unsure as to my point. I have been accused before of being sometimes obtuse. I have to take that seriously. So here is my remedial effort, and my attempt to clarify what is on my heart by opening it fully. ======= Continue reading
“You give and take away, blessed be the name” Popular worship song by Matt Redman (Listen here)
“ …The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
“…Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil (or disaster)? Job 2:10
One of the more difficult things in theology is how we are to understand the existence of evil; particularly, since we Christians affirm that God is all good, all loving, and all powerful – that God is One, and has no rival equal but opposite dark force who fights for evil while our God fights for good. No, we are forced to wrestle with Isaiah 45:7 “I make light and create darkness. I make blessings and create disasters. I, the LORD, do all these things.”
I say it is difficult, but it is not beyond our depth. At least, it is not beyond our depth when we are just talking in the abstract, in the absence of the screaming pain of real, fresh loss. But that is when we must talk of these things, so that we may be equipped when the waves threaten to overwhelm us. If we avoid wrestling with the problem until the day of trouble, we will be like a swordsman who avoids learning about his sword and shield until the enemy is upon him. Here on the Gulf coast, we are in the early days of Hurricane season. If we wait to prepare, to think about what must be done, until the wind is howling around our doors, how shall we stand? The time of need is too late.
I long to write more exploring the idea; but today, that is a diversion and a temptation. I need to be more personal.
(This is written as an early Lenten exploration, as described in an earlier post – I encourage you to comment!)
The Wedding at Cana
1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Continue reading
Many people who will read this will already know who Betty Pulkingham is. Her first husband, the Rev. Graham Pulkingham was a founding visionary in the Renewal movement in the Episcopal Church, and very important Rector of Houston’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
In her own right, Mrs. Pulkingham is one of the most important contributors of the music from that period and beyond. This description is totally inadequate, but if I used all the space this format will allow, I would still fall short.
Probably the best short summary of Betty’s true importance came to me from a local Methodist pastor, who voiced to me his private and very serious opinion that in years to come, Betty Pulkinghman will be honored, for her musical gift to the church, as of equal importance with Charles Wesley.
I have just finished reading Betty Pulkingham’s new book,
“This is My Story, this is My Song: A Life Journy”
What a beautiful, grace-filled little book! Continue reading
A friend of mine wrote a brief blog post on a subject I have been ruminating on for a few years, the purpose of marriage. His post compels me to write. I dare not say this is exactly in opposition to him, for he writes with several advantages over me:
- First of all, he has actually been successful, while I am twice married and twice divorced. The fact that both of my marriages and divorces were to and from the same woman may tell for or against me; I will leave that alone.
- He is demonstrably smarter than I am.
- He is a priest (Anglican/Episcopalian, hence #1 above) and has actually studied more than a little on these subjects. Mine was Psychology and Computer Technology, and much longer ago
- His post is full of biblical references,which he uses accurately.
- And most difficult for me, he is right.
Facing all these issues, how could I possibly resist the urge to stick in my own oar?