Monday, November 30, 2015

Prayers for the People (39)

39. For those who Influence Public Opinion

Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many

voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where
many listen and write what many read; that they may do their
part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and
its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--Book of Common Prayer,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prayers for the People (69)

69. On Sunday

O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to
flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all
our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears,
make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us
to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last 
great Day; 
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-- Book of Common Prayer.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dog Diaries

Kermit's Confidences:

My name is Kermit the Dog. I am nine months old. My first owner named me after a muppet. I came to live with my new owners after that first lady said I was a little too much for her.

I am a big, black puppy. I love my new family very much. I love Fall very much. I love to eat the acorns very much. They are little balls rolling all over the land. They make me get a little sick inside, but I still like them very much. I like to chase the leaves in the street very much. It is fun to chase them. They are running away from me, but I will catch them! My mommy has to run with me after the leaves, because I am so fast and strong. I know she likes that exercise very much.

I love my family very much, and I know what they like for me to do: they like for me to share their things. I know they want to share things with me, but they forget. They forget to share, so I take some things. Like bread loaves, cheese, and potatoes. I took a big raw potato the other day and ate it. I like potatoes and things I find on the counter very much. Also I ate a tube of cortizone cream. The people in my family forget to share, so I help them by getting the things off the counter. The little dog likes me then. I share the things from the counter with him.

I like to chew things very much. I like to chew things that remind me of my family. I like to chew socks and shoes very much. I know they leave them out for me to taste, so that I won't forget them while they are at the store. One time I ate a white sock whole. But it made me feel a little sick inside my tummy. Do not worry, right after I swallowed it, I gave it back to mommy, so they could still use it. Mommy didn't want to use it anymore.

When I am outside, I like to be inside. And when I am inside, I like to be outside. I like all the sides. I wish I could be on all the sides at once.

I like the little, grouchy dog, named Cowboy, very much. He does not like me very much. But that is ok because I will keep trying to be friends. He does not like for me to step on him by accident, because I have a big paw. So I tell him I am very sorry by starting a fun game of chase. I know he would like to chase me when I take his red panda toy. It is so fun for us to chase each other. He does like to chase me very much. He does like to bark at me sometimes. I like him very much. He puts all the chewies under the bed. Does he know I do not fit under the bed? One day we will be good friends.

Cowboy's Confidences:

Let's kill the big dog.

No one needs to know.

Kermit's Confidences:

I like to jump on people very much. After I jump on many people mommy puts me in the big crate with a treat to "just quiet down." I don't mind the crate. Sometimes I go in there by myself to quiet down. Sometimes I need to quiet down. Mommy helps me quiet down. It is hard to quiet down.

I am afraid of getting in our car. But when I am already in our car, I like it there very much. I like to look out the window very much. I feel very sad when my people get out of our car for their sports. They leave us and I feel sad, and so I cry out loud for awhile. It is sad that they would leave our car. Why would they leave our car?

I like to rest on the cool floor by mommy and put my head on her feet. I like her feet very much. I don't mind that her feet are very bumpy under my head. I just like to be near my mommy. I like my whole family very much.

Cowboy's Confidences:

He must perish in flames.

Prayers for the People (69)

Two days ago I wrote my dad, a Navy veteran, a note. I thanked him for his service to our country throughout modern history -- he was in the Navy during Vietnam and the rest of the Cold War, and, after retiring, worked in anti-terrorism. He was part of three great western conflicts, and numerous small ones (though no conflict is truly small to those who are in it). 

From time to time, a culture corporately exhales and says, "Ah, it is over." But then the next ferocious enemy arises. It hunts at us with a different set of teeth and claws, but with the same spirit. Perhaps it hunts us with weapons, or intrigue, or guerrilla warfare, or terror -- or even (especially?) ideas.

A bloody pageant of cruelty and injustice is being played out around the world and in our own country, but Christians, of all people, must never be surprised. 

And along with terror and injustice always comes great stories of boldness, bravery, clarity. We will soon hear stories of people who were very brave, who resisted, who tended the hurting, who shared the gospel in word and deed.

Today after the events on Paris, which are the most recent part of a sustained effort to terrorize around the world, I want to skip ahead in the Book of Common Prayer to this prayer, number 69, entitled "On Sunday."

69. On Sunday

O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to
flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all
our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears,
make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us
to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last
great Day; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Prayers for the People (38)

38. For the Right Use of God's Gifts

Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we
possess: Grant us grace that we may honor thee with our
substance, and, remembering the account which we must one
day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty, through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--Book of Common Prayer 

(available at

Lisitsa plays Liszt

Hungarian Rhapsody #2

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Prayers for the People (36, 37)

36. For the Oppressed

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this
land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as
their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to
eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those
who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law
and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of
us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

37. For Prisons and Correctional Institutions

Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal:
Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment.
Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance
and amendment of life according to your will, and give them
hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them
release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice.
Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them
humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming
brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison,
O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All
this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.

--Book of Common Prayer

What heart heard of, ghost guessed

Poems for Fall

Spring and Fall

Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child
Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

(thanks to poetry foundation website)

Joy's that Sting
CS Lewis

"Oh doe not die," says Donne, "for I shall hate 
All women so." How false this sentence rings. 
Women? But in a life made desolate 
It is the joys once shared that have the stings. 

To take the old walks alone, or not at all, 
To order one pint where I ordered two, 
To think of, and then not make, the small 
Time-honoured joke (senseless to all but you); 

To laugh (oh, one'll laugh), to talk upon 
Themes that we talked upon when you were there, 
To make some poor pretence of going on, 
Be kind to one's old friends, and seem to care, 

While no one (O God) through the years will say 
The simplest, common word in just your way.

(thanks to conquering poet/blogspot)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Valorizing the trades" (once more)

(to quote Camille Paglia.)

CityLab article, Bachelor of Arts in fine building trades in Charleston, South Carolina.
(As an aside, Joe Riley has been the mayor of Charleston since before I was in high school there in the '80s.)

Yestermorrow Design/Build School

List of Schools (and resources) from PBS's The Woodwright's Shop

Dimming of the Day

A beautiful classic by Richard Thompson

Dimming of the Day 

This old house is falling down around my ears
I'm drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day

You pulled me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side

What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonny birds have wheeled away
I need you at the dimming of the day

Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confidant

I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I'm living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day

I need you at the dimming of the day

Allison Krauss and Union Station

The Corrs

L&M (adorable young ladies)

Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson

And the original: Richard and Linda Thompson 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Prayers for the People (35)

35. For the Poor and the Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you
all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us
to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick,
and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those
who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow
into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for
our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-- Online Book of Common Prayer

See -- great resource

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Frame and Hafeman Said

Message of the Bible in one sentence

In my opinion, Hafeman and Frame win because man and his redemption are only part of the story. (And also because "brevity is the soul of wit.") God's being and glorious acts are the whole story; man and his troublings and troubles are part of it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayers for the People (33, 34)

33. For Cities

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of
that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their
glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth.
Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life.
Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate
poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail
with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and
women from different cultures and with differing talents may
find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

34. For Towns and Rural Areas

Lord Christ, when you came among us, you proclaimed the
kingdom of God in villages, towns, and lonely places: Grant
that your presence and power may be known throughout this
land. Have mercy upon all of us who live and work in rural
areas; and grant that all the people
of our nation may give thanks to you for food and drink and
all other bodily necessities of life, respect those who labor to
produce them, and honor the land and the water from which
these good things come. All this we ask in your holy Name.

-- copied and adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

Flotsam and Jetsam

Huge crack develops in Wyoming visible in earth in week(s) due to water saturation (CBS Denver)

Death of Ken Taylor, brave Canadian diplomat who rescued American's during Iranian hostage crisis (LA Times) (Trust Hollywood to never tamper with a good story -- ahem)

One useful perspective on packing Samaritan's Purse Christmas shoeboxes for kids in other cultures -- from missionary who is there when they are received. (blog)

Two liberal writers every conservative should read (Washington Examiner).
And Galston's article on poverty. The Poverty Cure (WSJ)