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Archive for January, 2008

Christianity …

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In my Christian Spirituality course, each of us were challenged to sit each night and read our Bibles. So that when we talk about the life of Jesus, we would have some textual knowledge for ourselves to bring to the discussion. I have been sitting with my Bible every night, and I read and I take time each night to let that word settle into my heart.

Over on the sidebar on the Blog list is an assortment of faith writers from across the spectrum, and from around the world. These writers all play a part in my Christian journey because I read them every day.

I have been sitting here in the dark reading my blog list, since hubby is out with friends, I can sit in peace and quiet and do what I do best. Yet, for some reason, my best doesn’t seem good enough. I am finding an emptiness in my heart a longing for something that has been absent from my life for many years. I know what it is, and I can name it, I just have a problem looking for it.

Mark 5:24-34

So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

I keep coming back to this scripture passage, it is repeated in the Gospel of Luke, although I really love this telling by Mark. Reading scripture for me has become a new experience, now that I read my bible with four years of religious study behind me, I have a solid background in Christian Origins and history. I’ve read many of the Gnostic literature over the years and now when I read my Bible, the words come off the page and I am caught up in the words like fresh fruit. The word of God is a feast if you take the time to sit and study.

I have begun my reading of Acts, to follow my reading of the Gospel of Luke. It is just an awesome thing when I take time each day to stop, read, pray and meditate. Life does not seem so difficult when I keep it all in perspective.

Frank Laubach relates a story in “Streams of Living Water” Laubach had experimented with prayer in many ways, His “Game with Minutes” is the delightful spiritual exercise of forming a habit of having God in mind each minute we are awake. “Impossible,” you may say. Laubach himself wondered about its feasibility. “Can I bring God back in my mind-flow every few seconds so that God shall always be in my mind as an after image, shall always be one of the elements in every concept and percept. I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question.”

Every day I explore a new way of living a Christian life. I take time to read your blogs and I comment here and there. I find that wisdom is something that I have felt ‘come on’ since my 40th birthday last summer. I can’t tell you how wisdom came, but I began to feel things differently. It was as if, the filter was removed from my vision and I saw the time line behind me and I just knew I KNEW something…

Something more than the usual.

I look for ways to be of service. To you my community and to You my readers and reads. I work each day to make time to pray and contemplate. The ladder to God is in the finer details.

  • The Reading of Scripture,
  • The prayer to God,
  • The meditation to wait on God
  • And finally, the outward action to others in service to God and to my fellow.

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Lent begins on February 6th, Ash Wednesday. I will begin this Lent, the same way I have began my Lenten journeys every year prior, with my 40 days and 40 nights essay. I hope that you all will join me for our Lenten reflections, prayers and services. And please, by all means share your journey with our readers here. I know that I have readers who do not comment much, yet they exist [BECKY!]

I have a meditation book that I bought for this Lenten season, and I will be posting those meditations here for you to read and follow along. Behold the Cross atop Mount Royal here in Montreal. This picture was taken during the interregnum, after the death of John Paul II during the conclave. It was the only time that the cross was shed in purple light.


Bitter Cold…

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Tonight it is [ -9c with a wind chill of -21c ] it isn’t as cold as the Prairies tonight, but still for Montreal, it is cold. All the slush and snow and rain that fell over the last 24 hours has now frozen, everything is coated in a layer of ice. Let’s hope that it doesn’t get much worse.

I know in PEI, things are really bad and many are without power or heat tonight, because of downed power lines because of an ice storm. There is a chance of snow tonight, but more on Friday and Saturday as the outlook says that may all change in due course…

I debated on whether or not I was going to go to class because it is so bitter out, I did go to class and take the quiz we had UGH, what a nightmare. Thank God it is only a 10% grade, I think I did alright. I came home at the break because I made a time commitment with one of my ‘people’ which I got a message when I got home so that’s ok.

I can’t wax poetic about the cityscape of Montreal under a sheen of icy white. Montreal in the cold, dark night, is inhospitable. The homeless are sleeping in the Metro tunnels and in the kiosk buildings to stay warm. People are bustling about hurriedly trying to get from point A to point B is record time. The one thing you can observe about our city, in the downtown core is that I don’t see all the trash like we used to see during the winter. When the snows melt we always get piles upon piles of refuse that had been snowed under previously. Not this Winter…

I noticed when I left the house earlier that the power was off on the block next door and the Hydro crews were working in the tunnels. This is when it starts to get dicey out when ice begins to build on lines and the snow-melt that creeps down through the pavement and sidewalks and freezes as we saw today. I can hear the wind still, at this hour, blowing at 50 clicks… We have plastic on the windows in both rooms and the air that is seeping in through the window seals has blown that plastic almost off the windows, I had to reinforce the bedroom windows today so that we did not get a break in the plastic window seal.

All of this is just useless information for you, but I am typing it anyways, because I have nothing better to write about. It’s cold and I am inside…

One of the boys I mentor, named Karl, lives in Texas. His family has seen better days. It seems that everyone in that family bears a cross of some kind. His father is on kidney dialysis, he also has bad diabetes, his little brother is recovering from scoliosis surgery over the holidays, where they put steel rods in the boys back. His sister was just diagnosed with asthma, and mum is a wreck, not to mention she needs a “room” more than the bottle…

Karl has had to take on a more leadership role in his family and there are a team of men, Tom, Mike and myself who have been mentors to Karl for over a year now. If you believe in the power of prayer, would you lob one up to God for Karl, he needs all the help and strength he can muster…

Let us say our prayers…

I stopped by Curtis’s Blog last night and he writes about Shadrach, Meshack and Abdenego and wonders why he has holy thoughts before bed… This was my reply:

“Because the Holy Thoughts come to us prior to bed. To help you remember your faith and to connect to the divine before you sleep.”

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Frank C. Laubach, a man written in “Streams of Living Water,” worked as a missionary in the Philippines, and he is having conversations with God and while in Africa he had this encounter with the Divine:

Laubach’s prayer experiments constantly turned him to the needs of others. On 27 April 1937, at Kikuyu, Kenya, he felt God speaking to him: “My child, when you pray to Me of your own little troubles and doubts, your prayer is pretty thin and small. When you reach out to help other people by offering yourself as a channel for Me, your prayer becomes at once large and noble.”


The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian: “Kissing the Leper”

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Read over on: Father Jake Stops the World

The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at California
State University, Bakersfield and has authored a number of books on monasticism
and the early Church Fathers. He is also an Episcopal priest, canonically resident
in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He was recently appointed to serve a growing
congregation in Bakersfield, which is within the Diocese of San Joaquin.
Here is part of the story of that appointment, as reported in the local paper,
The Bakersfield Californian
:

…At a Thursday night gathering of 60 to 70 believers and clergy at First Congregational Church and hosted by Remain Episcopal in the Diocese of San Joaquin, a faith community opposed to the split, Moore received hearty applause when he announced he had appointed the Rev. Tim Vivian, a Bakersfield resident, to a “temporary pastoral position as missionary priest under my direct supervision, which puts him within the jurisdiction of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church”…

Dr. Vivian has a long history with the Diocese of San Joaquin. Many years ago,
he became quite frustrated with Bp. Schofield’s refusal to allow Integrity to meet
in any parish in the diocese. This led him to write an editorial which appeared in
TheBakersfield Californian
. In response, Bp. Schofield pulled Tim’s license to serve
as a priest in San Joaquin.The following is the text of that editorial, reprinted here
with Dr. Vivian’s permission:____________________

Kissing the Leper
Last Friday I sat with the lepers and outcasts. Inside St. Paul’s Episcopal parish,
delegates for diocesan convention were meeting, but we were outside because
Bishop Schofield refused to allow us inside. Who were we? Members of Integrity,
the national organization supporting gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Schofield not only refused us entrance to St. Paul’s, he has refused to allow Integrity to meet in any parish in the diocese; he has forbidden the clergy of the
diocese to celebrate Communion for the people of Integrity.

I wish this fear and hatred of gays by many Christians were an isolated event,
a simple example of theological racism, but it isn’t. Among some Christians,
homophobia is just one symptom; others are fear of women, fear of sexuality,
fear of the poor, fear of those not like us, and fear of change.

The reasons for these fears–and the hatred that often accompanies them–
are complex, but they are bound together by, and find their common
expression in, a profound misunderstanding and misuse of the Bible.

With regard to homosexuality, the extreme conservative argument is
simple: Homosexuality is evil, a sin, because the Bible says so. Such an
argument reduces a complicated human subject to absolutes of good and
evil, right or wrong. Those who make this argument conveniently–or
blindly–ignore the fact that “the Bible” variously endorses polygymy,
slavery, massacre, and the sequestration of women during their periods.

Put more positively, the Bible is a human document (or collection of documents),
a human witness to God’s being, activity, and presence. As a human witness, it
is a fallible one. Since the Bible is a human witness, those who wrote it–however
inspired they were–were subject to social, political, ethnic, temporal and religious
biases and prejudices, just as we are today.

In ignoring all this, conservative biblicists make a serious mistake; unfortunately,
in their use of the Bible they commit a worse one: false use is worse than false understanding. Biblicists mistakenly believe that the Bible is a book of dictates
and rules, revealed by God. Once they have this infallible rule book in hand,
like a boy scout with his handbook, they selectively decide which issues are most important. Usually for biblicists it is homosexuality or sexuality in general,
abortion, and women’s subordination. Biblicists are so obsessed with these
issues that they usually ignore questions of social justice, poverty, homelessness,
or war and peace.

It is a question of priorities, and biblicists have their priorities wrong. While
more and more of our people go hungry and homeless, die from drugs and
violence, and live lives without meaning, biblicists care more about who is
sleeping with whom and what parts of the body are being used to do what.

Those who condemn homosexuality say they are speaking of “biblical” ethics
or as a “biblical” Church . But what is this “biblical” belief as it seems to be
practiced in this country?

Is it “biblical” to condemn homosexuality while at the same time keeping
a patriotic and blasphemous silence (as virtually all of the churches of
Kern County did) when the United States slaughtered over 100,000 Iraqis?

Is it “biblical” to oppose abortion while supporting or keeping silent about
the death penalty (legalized State murder)?

Is it “biblical” to deny, in the name of scripture and tradition, the full ministry
of women in the Church–as the local Episcopal Church does?

No. None of these is biblical. Some who espouse certain “biblical beliefs”
are misguided: they naively and simplistically use the Bible to support
non-Biblical agendas.

Others, though, who make “biblical” statements–such as certain bishops,
priests, and ministers–should by their training know better. Their use of
“the Bible” is at best a form of fundamentalism; at worst, it is knowingly
mendacious. Such biblicism is not Christian.

Those of us who are not biblicists or fundamentalists, as we listen to their
increasingly strident voices, need to remember that–despite their loud shouts
–they do not represent the truth of Christianity. Their misuse of the Bible in
no way damages its real message: that God is a God of love and compassion,
mercy and tenderness; that God became human in order to fully know our
humanity; that God loves each of us equally and completely.

The Bible–the true Bible–not only calls us to kiss, like St. Francis,
the mouth of the leper. It calls us to claim the leper’s mouth as our own.

The Rev. Tim Vivian
____________________

J.


The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian: "Kissing the Leper"

captsgebzq29210907222408photo01photodefault-367x512.jpg

Read over on: Father Jake Stops the World

The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at California
State University, Bakersfield and has authored a number of books on monasticism
and the early Church Fathers. He is also an Episcopal priest, canonically resident
in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He was recently appointed to serve a growing
congregation in Bakersfield, which is within the Diocese of San Joaquin.
Here is part of the story of that appointment, as reported in the local paper,
The Bakersfield Californian
:

…At a Thursday night gathering of 60 to 70 believers and clergy at First Congregational Church and hosted by Remain Episcopal in the Diocese of San Joaquin, a faith community opposed to the split, Moore received hearty applause when he announced he had appointed the Rev. Tim Vivian, a Bakersfield resident, to a “temporary pastoral position as missionary priest under my direct supervision, which puts him within the jurisdiction of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church”…

Dr. Vivian has a long history with the Diocese of San Joaquin. Many years ago,
he became quite frustrated with Bp. Schofield’s refusal to allow Integrity to meet
in any parish in the diocese. This led him to write an editorial which appeared in
TheBakersfield Californian
. In response, Bp. Schofield pulled Tim’s license to serve
as a priest in San Joaquin.The following is the text of that editorial, reprinted here
with Dr. Vivian’s permission:____________________

Kissing the Leper
Last Friday I sat with the lepers and outcasts. Inside St. Paul’s Episcopal parish,
delegates for diocesan convention were meeting, but we were outside because
Bishop Schofield refused to allow us inside. Who were we? Members of Integrity,
the national organization supporting gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Schofield not only refused us entrance to St. Paul’s, he has refused to allow Integrity to meet in any parish in the diocese; he has forbidden the clergy of the
diocese to celebrate Communion for the people of Integrity.

I wish this fear and hatred of gays by many Christians were an isolated event,
a simple example of theological racism, but it isn’t. Among some Christians,
homophobia is just one symptom; others are fear of women, fear of sexuality,
fear of the poor, fear of those not like us, and fear of change.

The reasons for these fears–and the hatred that often accompanies them–
are complex, but they are bound together by, and find their common
expression in, a profound misunderstanding and misuse of the Bible.

With regard to homosexuality, the extreme conservative argument is
simple: Homosexuality is evil, a sin, because the Bible says so. Such an
argument reduces a complicated human subject to absolutes of good and
evil, right or wrong. Those who make this argument conveniently–or
blindly–ignore the fact that “the Bible” variously endorses polygymy,
slavery, massacre, and the sequestration of women during their periods.

Put more positively, the Bible is a human document (or collection of documents),
a human witness to God’s being, activity, and presence. As a human witness, it
is a fallible one. Since the Bible is a human witness, those who wrote it–however
inspired they were–were subject to social, political, ethnic, temporal and religious
biases and prejudices, just as we are today.

In ignoring all this, conservative biblicists make a serious mistake; unfortunately,
in their use of the Bible they commit a worse one: false use is worse than false understanding. Biblicists mistakenly believe that the Bible is a book of dictates
and rules, revealed by God. Once they have this infallible rule book in hand,
like a boy scout with his handbook, they selectively decide which issues are most important. Usually for biblicists it is homosexuality or sexuality in general,
abortion, and women’s subordination. Biblicists are so obsessed with these
issues that they usually ignore questions of social justice, poverty, homelessness,
or war and peace.

It is a question of priorities, and biblicists have their priorities wrong. While
more and more of our people go hungry and homeless, die from drugs and
violence, and live lives without meaning, biblicists care more about who is
sleeping with whom and what parts of the body are being used to do what.

Those who condemn homosexuality say they are speaking of “biblical” ethics
or as a “biblical” Church . But what is this “biblical” belief as it seems to be
practiced in this country?

Is it “biblical” to condemn homosexuality while at the same time keeping
a patriotic and blasphemous silence (as virtually all of the churches of
Kern County did) when the United States slaughtered over 100,000 Iraqis?

Is it “biblical” to oppose abortion while supporting or keeping silent about
the death penalty (legalized State murder)?

Is it “biblical” to deny, in the name of scripture and tradition, the full ministry
of women in the Church–as the local Episcopal Church does?

No. None of these is biblical. Some who espouse certain “biblical beliefs”
are misguided: they naively and simplistically use the Bible to support
non-Biblical agendas.

Others, though, who make “biblical” statements–such as certain bishops,
priests, and ministers–should by their training know better. Their use of
“the Bible” is at best a form of fundamentalism; at worst, it is knowingly
mendacious. Such biblicism is not Christian.

Those of us who are not biblicists or fundamentalists, as we listen to their
increasingly strident voices, need to remember that–despite their loud shouts
–they do not represent the truth of Christianity. Their misuse of the Bible in
no way damages its real message: that God is a God of love and compassion,
mercy and tenderness; that God became human in order to fully know our
humanity; that God loves each of us equally and completely.

The Bible–the true Bible–not only calls us to kiss, like St. Francis,
the mouth of the leper. It calls us to claim the leper’s mouth as our own.

The Rev. Tim Vivian
____________________

J.


Tuesday Drama…

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After last nights joys, today was supposed to be a really good day. But then again, I remember my own words, “You make plans, and God laughs…” I got up and sorted myself out and started my day.

In the afternoon, I went to meet Ms. Nikki for coffee and we talked for some time, our usual banter back and forth. We set off for the church as usual. It is cold and bitter outside and we arrived and settled in to do set up. I walk back into the hallway and open the store room up and [it is behind a locked door] and I go to unlock our cabinet and I come to find out that someone pounded our cabinet into a mangled mess, all for a lousy piggy bank full of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

We had been robbed a SECOND TIME!!!

We spent a chunk of money on labor, time and materials to get it fixed the last time we were robbed a few months ago. We spoke to the pastor of the church and the maintenance man who works on site about the break in. Once again, our group has been vandalized by someone who knew that that piggy bank was in there. I looked in the other cabinets to see if their banks were in their cabinets. The other group was missing their bank as well.

Each AA group collects loose change for pamphlets and to buy literature for the group or for institutions. We don’t keep money in our cabinets, perse, but some junkie or really deranged alcoholic targeted our cabinet AGAIN…

Now we need to either get the cabinet fixed, which this time is going to take more work to bang the doors back into alignment and attach a new lock to the outside or we get another cabinet – they don’t come cheap … FUCK ME !!! We Are Not Happy tonight…

God Grant Me Serenity!!!

We had a business meeting, to which only 4 of us showed up for, I come to find out that we have lost more long standing members who have decided to leave our group. I am not happy about that at all.

I hope the junky who hit our cabinet used that change for something useful like food or something. We get sober and we are supposed to get honest, right? For me, tonight, some asshole who knows the truth, stole from a group who’s members take burglary and dishonesty very personally.

There are no coincidences…


A Titanic Night…

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The Biggest room on IMVU is The R.M.S. Titanic. Tonight Danny took me aboard Titanic and he played the song for me. It was a very Celine moment… How much more Canadian can you get, I ask you? You can actually stroll the decks, and sit in the lounges inside the ship, we stood on the stern where Rose attempted to jump ship and even, if you look at the photo above, stand in the crow’s nest at the front of the ship.

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I’ve spoken often about IMVU, the virtual community that I belong to. You can click the IMVU Link and join up yourself if you feel inclined. Tonight was a special night. One of my oldest and best friends is a builder in that community and He created for me my very own nightclub which I am going to show you below. There are cars and trucks on the first floor, a spinning dance floor with lights and sound.

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This is another wide angle view of the first and second story of the club, where one can sit on sofas and look down on the main floor and watch plasma tv’s. It’s really cool. I am standing next to the sports car that is in the club.

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And this is my Canadian Made Avatar…

A fun night was had by all.
That’s all for tonight, it’s quite late already…


Holocaust Memorial Day …

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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

Let us Remember so that We Never Forget…


Caroline Kennedy endorses Obama

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NEW YORK – The daughter of President John F. Kennedy endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he could inspire Americans in the same way her father once did.

“I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them,” Caroline Kennedy wrote in an op-ed posted Saturday on the Web site of The New York Times. “But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.”

Kennedy, who was four days shy of her 6th birthday when her father was assassinated, wrote that Obama “has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things.”

And she appealed to other parents to pick a candidate who she said could invigorate a younger generation that is too often “hopeless, defeated and disengaged.”

Kennedy wrote that she wants a president “who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.”


Obama runs away with SC primary

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By DAVID ESPO and CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the racially-charged South Carolina primary Saturday night, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National Convention delegates.

Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina battled for a distant second place. Either way it was a sharp setback in the state where he was born and scored a primary victory in his first presidential campaign four years ago.

About half the voters were black, according to polling place interviews, and four out of five of them supported Obama. Black women turned out in particularly large numbers. Obama, the first-term Illinois senator, got a quarter of the white vote while Clinton and Edwards split the rest.

The victory was Obama’s first since he won the kickoff Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, scored an upset in the New Hampshire primary a few days later. They split the Nevada caucuses, she winning the turnout race, he gaining a one-delegate margin. In an historic race, she hopes to become the first woman to occupy the White House, and Obama is the strongest black contender in history.

The South Carolina primary marked the end of the first phase of the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a series of single-state contests that winnowed the field, conferred co-front-runner status on Clinton and Obama but had relatively few delegates at stake.

That all changes in 10 days’ time, when New York, Illinois and California are among the 15 states holding primaries in a virtual nationwide primary. Another seven states and American Samoa will hold Democratic caucuses on the same day.

Obama’s “South Carolina voters rejected the politics of the past,” said Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for Obama.

The first fragmentary returns showed Obama with 57 percent of the vote, Clinton gaining 29 percent and Edwards at 13 percent.

All three contenders campaigned in South Carolina on primary day, but only Obama and Edwards arranged to speak to supporters after the polls closed. Clinton decided to fly to Tennessee, one of the Feb. 5 states, leaving as the polls were closing.

After playing a muted role in the earlier contests, the issue of race dominated an incendiary week that included a shift in strategy for Obama, a remarkably bitter debate and fresh scrutiny of the former president’s role in his wife’s campaign.

Each side accused the other of playing the race card, sparking a controversy that frequently involved Bill Clinton.

“They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender. That’s why people tell me Hillary doesn’t have a chance of winning here,” former President Clinton said at one stop as he campaigned for his wife, strongly suggesting that blacks would not support a white alternative to Obama.

Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as “the black candidate,” a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

Nearly six in 10 voters said the former president’s efforts for his wife was important to their choice, and among them, slightly more favored Obama than the former first lady.

Overall, Obama defeated Clinton among both men and women.

The exit polls showed the economy was the most important issue in the race. About one quarter picked health care. And only one in five said it was the war in Iraq, underscoring the extent to which the once-dominant issue has faded in the face of financial concerns.

The exit poll was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and the networks.

Clinton and Obama swapped accusatory radio commercials earlier in the week.

The former first lady aired an ad saying Obama had once approved of Republican ideas. His camp responded quickly that Clinton “will say anything.” First she, then he, pulled the commercials after a short run on the air.

Given the bickering, Edwards looked for an opening to reinvigorate a candidacy all but eclipsed by the historic campaign between Obama and Clinton. He went on the “Late Show with David Letterman” at midweek to say he wanted to represent the “grown-up wing of the Democratic party.”

That was one night after a finger-wagging debate in which Obama told Clinton he was helping unemployed workers on the streets of Chicago when “you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart.”

Moments later, the former first lady said she was fighting against misguided Republican policies “when you were practicing law and representing your contributor … in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.”

___

Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy, Seanna Adcox and Mike Baker in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.


What Your Remix Says about You…

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This is a reply post to one that I read the other day over on No Milk Please…

After the hellacious week we have had, it is finally Friday and the weekend is upon us. It is snowing outside once again. UGH!!  I have fired up my little player with some music from ‘Deborah Cox Remixed’ Cd.

I guess you can safely say that I am truly gay…

Ive been listening to a lot of radio out of Seattle Washington, on SEA 89.5, which is a really great radio station, that I pipe in on my virtual DJ player. You can go into the radio station selector and pick stations from an assortment of musical genres. They are listed under dance as [SEA 89.5 Worldwide ] Online, it streams very well. They play some really great tunes.

I have also found, on the dance dial, a station called Sanctuary Radio that plays some awesome music from all over the time line. You can find the [Virtual DJ] radio link over on my sidebar. It is a quick and painless, FREE download of the tool bar, that makes it very easy to stream whatever kind of music you like on your desktop.

There is nothing much else going on here tonight, it is quiet, hubby is asleep on the sofa and I am going to get back to my IMVU community. If you haven’t joined, it is quite addictive – build your avatar, buy some clothes and come join us.

Other than that, I don’t know what else to say at the moment. Oh, we are closing in on the 90,000 hit mark and very soon, I am hopeful of that BIG 100,000 hit mark in the coming months…


The Heart of Spirituality…

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“As we struggle to channel our EROS, to find the spiritual disciplines that can bring us life, we need to bring our egos and our scars, our hopes and our fears, and our joys and our hesitancies to Jesus to see what he makes of them. But Christian spirituality is even more than that.

The fire energy of God that so burns inside us will come to maturity, creativity, and calm when we shape our lives and our bodies in the way that Jesus shaped his, when we help him carry the incarnation forward. Spirituality, as we have already said, is not a law to be obeyed, but a presence to be seized, undergone, and given flesh to.”

The Holy Longing, pg. 107 – Ron Rolheiser…


Ritual and Age…

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When Israel’s great prophets are called, God initiates them through an interesting ritual. They are asked to physically eat the scroll of the law, to eat their scriptures. What a powerful symbolism! The idea is that they should digest the word and turn it into their own flesh so that people will be able to see the word of God in a living body rather than on a dead parchment.

The task of taking God to others is not that of handing somebody a bible or some religious literature, but of transubstantiating God, the way we do with the food we eat. We have to digest something and turn it, physically, into the flesh of our own bodies so it become part of what we look like. If we would do this with the word of God, others would not have to read the bible to see what God is like, they would only need to look at our faces and our lives to see God.

“Jean Paul Sartre, suggests that we are born without a face, at least without one that says very much… This holds true for a baby when it is first born, but, with each hour, day, and you of its life, the changes and, according to Sartre, culminates at age forty when, finally, a person has the essential lines of a face.

At that age, we look different from anyone else in the world (even if we have an identical twin), our face speaks volumes about who we are, and our physical beauty had begun to blend with out general beauty so that we are now judged to be good-looking or not more on the basis of who we are than on the simple basis of physical endowment. From age forty onward, our faces manifest individuality, character, and a beauty beyond genes.

What is important about all of this is what, in the end, forms our faces. Up until age forty, genetic endowment is dominant and that is why, up until that age, we can be selfish and still look beautiful. From then onward, though, we look like what we believe in.

If I am anxious, petty, selfish, bitter, narrow, and self centered, my face will show it. Conversely, if I am warm, gracious, humble and other-centered, my face will also show it. A scary thought; there can be no poker faces after forty.”

The Holy Longing, pgs. 102,103 Ron Rolheiser…


Hard Drive…

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Hello babies…

I am back from the great abyss of having no computer for 24 hours. Firstly, let me say that it is freaking cold outside. It snowed Monday through Tuesday night. So there is a lot of snow on the ground today. It is (-13c) at the moment.

Monday night, I was up late hanging with my peeps at IMVU, and I went to bed around 2 a.m. I turned off the computer as usual, following the shut down protocol and it shut off by itself as usual. What I did not know at that moment was that my poor baby had taken her last breath…

I got into bed with a book to read, and around 3:30 I got back up because I wanted to write something here. I pushed the button on the box, and she wheezed and farted, there was no life on the screen. It was blue… and it said that the registry had been corrupted!!!

Hubby was sleeping and I wasn’t going to wake him. So I went to bed. The next morning, that would be yesterday, I wake up around 10 because I had a spiritual direction appointment at 11, hubby was frantically trying to fix the old girl. And she wasn’t going to cooperate. We ended up calling the shop where we bought her and we reported her death. I took a shower and we unhooked her cables and plugs and began the journey to the shop where we told that she could be rebuilt.

The first estimate we got for the repair was $35.00… We left her in the capable hands of the repair wizards at Microbytes, I made my appointment which was just up the street at the Cathedral and hubby came home. I went to mass, hubby reminded me to pray for money… Because we didn’t have enough cash in the bank at the moment to absorb a huge repair bill, in any case, we were fucked…

I came home from church and hubby was sitting on the sofa, he was withdrawn and sad looking, he spent the better part of Tuesday beating himself up, because after we dropped the box off, he figured out, at the internet cafe downstairs, what was wrong. But that was premature…

Tuesday night I call from the Metro on my way home from my meeting to see if she had been resurrected, and I was told that the hard drive needed to be replaced and that diagnostic tests told us that things were worse than we had first expected…

That $35.00 estimate ballooned to a whopping $150.00.

Thank God for prayers and for people who love us. On the way to the meeting I went for coffee with friends, who listened to my sob story. One of them got up, went to the atm and came back to me and handed me a stack of cash. Enough to cover the repairs in full and have enough left over to take a taxi home from the shop.

This is where I tell you how grateful I am to certain people in my life. You know who you are. So today we went to the shop around noon to pick up our baby. She had a new hard drive and she was dusted and fixed, they had resurrected our baby…

Hubby spent the balance of the day and well into the night, reprogramming Windows and making sure our Outlook Express and all of our bookmarks and passwords were salvaged from the old hard drive. [Let me say that there are now 3 hard drives in our box] …

I went to hear a lecture by an Orthodox Rabbi who came up from NYC to speak about Judaism and homosexuality. Afterwards there was a panel discussion, to whom I spoke for my department. It was a good experience to speak at a panel forum.

The meeting ended and I had an hour left to get to my class which was meeting at the same time, so I got there a little late, but who’s counting minutes? I got to have an hour of class and get the notes for the quiz next week. So we all win.

So here I am – hubby is watching tv, after a long day of computer work, all the programs have been reinstalled, and our baby is humming along quite nicely. I can’t tell you how hard it was to NOT have a computer for 24 hours. All we did was stare at the desk all night last night until we went to bed. It was the first time I got to bed before midnight in ages…

I hope you all had a good day…


Heath Ledger

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I’ve been away for a couple days, and in the middle of this, I came home the other night and hubby tells me of the death of Heath Ledger. Like many people, I am sure, I saod those words out loud, “I can’t believe it…”

A beautiful man, a wonderful actor, they call him a gifted man. taken from us, in the prime of his young life. Like many of my fellow gay writers, we saw Ennis Del Mar as a human being, a man with great passion and love, “You can’t fight it, you have to ride it.” Brokeback Mountain is my connection to this brilliant young man. It is just too sad for words.

Eternal Rest Grant him and may Perpetual Light shine upon him…


For Understanding Guidance…

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The Holy Longing …

“I spent some years as a spiritual director to seminarians [Rolheiser]. Very often a young man would come to me, struggling with his decision as to whether to accept ordination or to leave the seminary. Invariably, in trying to discern this, he would want to learn almost exclusively on a gut-feeling that would come to him on the basis of private prayer and private reflection.

Rarely would he want to give equal weight to the assessment of the seminary community and the persons he had already, in various internship situations, ministered to. Bluntly put, he wanted to discern as a theist — “What does God in heaven want me to do?” — without doing what Paul was asked to do, let himself be taken by the hand by human beings and allow them some say in the matter.

John of the Cross once said that the language of God is the experience God writes into our lives. That is a good incarnational comment. God does not speak to us through seances, and the most important things that God wants to say to us are not given in extraordinary mystical visions.

The God of the incarnation has real flesh on earth and speaks to us in the bread and the butter of our lives, through things that have skin — historical circumstance, our families, our neighbors, our churches, and that borderline-psychotic friend who painfully reminds us that we are not God. When we look for God’s guidance these voices on earth must complement the voice from heaven.

Ron Rolheiser…The Holy Longing…Chapter 5 excerpts

What have I learned so far?

Looking at this, we see that Jesus was prescribing four things as an essential praxis for a healthy spiritual life: a)Private prayer and private morality; b) social justice; c) mellowness of heart and spirit; and d) community as a constitutive element of true worship.

That we should pray our prayers, and wait upon God, but we must also act on behalf of our prayers. I know, I am repeating myself, but it is a fine balance of knowing when and for how long to wait on God and when and how to act upon and for God.

That we need to put skin behind our prayers, that we can pray night and day and that if we do not put action or [skin] behind our prayers, that we may be waiting forever for God to act on our behalf.

That God speaks to us in the real world through the body of Christ, that we should pay attention to people and what they say and how they say it, that also, people are put in our path for specific reasons, so we should take the time to stop and participate in the lives of others, because God might find a way to speak to us through them.

That healing can take place without explicit touch, yet as we saw in the Gospel of Mark that healing can take place in two stages: As well there are two moments of healing: the initial, mute touch, and the explicit exchange between her and Jesus that later takes place. Why two different moments of healing? What does the explicit exchange add to the essential moment of touch? Risking an interpretation through other categories, one might say that when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she was essentially healed and when she spoke to Jesus explicitly and told him the whole truth she was fully healed.

That all my spiritual practice is good, except for the fact that I lack in one major area, that of a spiritual community on the ground, [i.e. Church]. I am working on this area of my life. I have situated myself in a parish that is the Christ Church Cathedral, I am actively seeking spiritual direction from the Reverend Canon, and I attend mass there throughout the week and on Sunday.

Religion, like spiritual living is constantly evolving. And so am I. In reading this text and sharing it with you in open community I see the template that Rolheiser sets before me in the text and I see where I excel and I see where I have fallen short in my quest for spiritual enlightenment. And I willingly admit that I have fallen short in my spiritual journey but I know how to bring that aspect of my life up to par. I read my bible each day, and I work on  my prayer life.

Rolheiser writes:

St. Paul warns that we must always be solicitous, lest having preached to others, we ourselves might be lost. Private prayer and private morality may never be bracketed; otherwise, as Henri Nouwen so well pus it, I might find that “just when I was being praised for my spiritual insights, I felt devoid of faith. Just when people were thanking me for bringing them closer to God, I felt that God had abandoned me. It was as if the house I had finally found had no floors.”

In many of the spiritual classics of Christian literature, the writers, oftentimes saint themselves, suggest that we will make progress in the spiritual life only if we, daily, do an extended period of private prayer, and only if we practice a scrupulous vigilance in regards to all the moral areas within our private lives. In essence, that is the first non-negotiable within the spiritual life.

The Holy Longing, pg.64 – Ron Rolheiser…