Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Temple – Salt lake City. A Word Press Production.

Archive for July, 2008

July 31 …

Call us, The boys who lived… Harry Potter celebrates his magical birthday today too.

It was a good day. We got up and prepped for the beauty salon. 4 years of old hair growth is now gone, I sat down in the chair and asked Tanya if she was ready… ready for what, she asked, To cut it all off… She pulled out a couple of books to try and get an idea of what I wanted her to do. We finally agreed on the style I wanted. So now my hair is shaved up on the sides and there is length on the top to pull back with gel, kinda like a mushroom!! Tee Hee …

Then we went to lunch at the Eaton Centre and we did a little shopping for my birthday.

In the Eye of the Storm, by +Rev. Gene Robinson.

I picked it up at the Diocesan Bookseller and I also got the 2 disc set of Celine Dion’s A New Day from Las Vegas. The Reverend Canon is in England as we speak, attending the Lambeth conference, and she assured me that while she was there, she would strenuously work towards getting +Rev. Gene Robinson to come back to Montreal to preach for us once again. I am awaiting word from her.

I went to class because I had a presentation to make to class, it was a class assignment, to prep our critical reading paper with a preliminary presentation of what our papers were going to be on. I am writing on The Cross in Our Context by Douglas John Hall, and his essay, “Religion Kills.” I sat through a number of really good presentation, and I tried to rework my thesis while I sat there. Then a young woman who is a teacher got up and did her presentation on education, religion and secular culture and that presentation went on for almost 30 minutes. I was supposed to follow her, thankfully, another student with a presentation on Wahabi and Islam asked to go next, which was a good omen because his lecture was the perfect prelude to my presentation, since my essay speaks about Islam, War and Christianity and the Cross in our Culture.

I was a flop anyways, it did not go well for me. Hopefully I will pull a 6 page paper out of my ass and redeem myself on paper, because I did a terrible job in my presentation. My Prof was all over my ass with comments and critical speculation about some of my ideas. ho hum…

I got home to gifts and goodies from hubby. Like a new umbrella, both of our brellas are broken. He got me a new water bottle and a new bunch of hankies. And some candies that I like. I got phone calls and lots of emails from friends like Eric and Hunter and on Facebook, it was a veritable virtual birthday party all day long.

So that does it for the day… Now bring on the Holidays…

Thanks to all of you who participated in the day with me from where ever you are. I much appreciate your kind wishes and friendships.


Number 41 – Who Knew!!!

So I lived to see another birthday. Someone up there likes me. We are off to the beauty salon and then on for an adventurous day before class. Happy Happy Joy Joy…


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The sixth Harry Potter movie is continuing to creep toward its Nov. 21 opening.

The trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrives today online and makes its debut in theaters Friday before The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Film editing is complete, says director David Yates, and studio officials will soon see the finished product.

Then next month, test audiences will get a sneak peek — something that doesn’t seem to faze Yates in the least. “That’s an incredibly useful process,” he says.

The big reveal in the trailer (and in this exclusive photo from it): a glimpse of the young Tom Riddle, who grows up to become the wizarding world’s most malevolent force, Lord Voldemort.

Voldemort is played by Ralph Fiennes, and his 11-year-old incarnation is played by 10-year-old Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, the actor’s nephew. Not only does he bear a resemblance to the grown-up Voldemort, but he also has the requisite intensity, Yates says.

“His mother (Martha Fiennes) is a film director, and Hero was very focused and disciplined,” Yates says. “The fact that he’s related to Ralph wasn’t the primary reason for choosing him. It was an advantage that he looked very similar to Ralph. Of course that was useful. But primarily I went for Hero because of this wonderful haunted quality that seemed to bring Tom Riddle alive on-screen for us.”

Yates stressed how hard it can be for very young actors to find the necessary dark place to play such a creepy character.

“But even though he’s the nicest child you’d ever want to meet, sweet-natured and pleasant, he got the corners and dark moods and odd spirit of the character.”

Audiences also will meet a teenage Voldemort, still known as Tom Riddle. He’s played by Frank Dillane. The character made an appearance in the second Potter film, Chamber of Secrets, played by a different actor.

“Even at a very young age, Tom Riddle shows tendencies toward cruelty and maliciousness,” Yates says. “And it’s a very unsettling thing to see.”

From MTV Movie Blogs:

Only hours before the debut of the first “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” trailer (we’ll have it right here VERY soon) and we’ve got your first look at three newly released images. Enough to tide us over for these few minutes at least, right?

You think the Harry Potter movies are all about Harry Potter? You think he’s the only poor orphan who started manifesting strange and potentially dangerous powers at a young age only to discover he was actually a wizard and would get to go to Hogwarts and escape his miserable life? “Half-Blood Prince” is where you start to realize that Harry is a lot like Lord Voldemort — and by understanding how the Dark Lord came to be is the best way to defeat him. Kind of like “Star Wars” and its treatment of Anakin Skywalker as a kid and teenager, but much, much better. So how does Harry learn all this? From Dumbledore’s handy dandy memory collection, which he pours in the Pensieve.

While Dumbledore poured many a memory drink for Harry in the book, the film cuts the boy wizard off at two or three. So we’ll get to see Dumbledore visit a young Voldy — when he was just known as Tom Riddle — in the orphanage, where he was dumped even though he wasn’t technically an orphan (dead witch mother, very much alive Muggle father). This is where his hatred of Muggles begins — even though he doesn’t know the circumstances of his birth, he knows he’s unwanted, since Dumbledore is the first person who’s come to visit him. In a neat bit of casting, Tom is played by Hero Finnes Tiffin — he’s the nephew of Ralph Fiennes (who plays Voldemort), so the resemblance is there. Young Tom reveals a bit too much in his first talk with Dumbledore, which later helps the elderly wizard and his protege (watching the memory in the Pensieve) figure out where Voldy might have stashed some important stuff. Not without some security measures, however.

What was a little kid’s secret space — a cave near the beach where the orphange kids got to have an outing — becomes a death trap for anyone who might want to invade his space later in life. The cave scene promises to be epic — with zombie-like Inferi who Dumbledore has to fight off with a firestorm, just as he’s fighting for his very life, since he’s just been poisoned as well. If you think Dumbledore has it rough there, just wait until you see the final battle of the film — perhaps some of it will be teased in the trailer to be released tonight.

From MTV Movies Blogs:

As the actor who embodies Harry Potter’s every move, Daniel Radcliffe certainly knows from heroism. There’s the type of courage needed to battle a basilisk, for instance, or the bravery required to face down several dementors. But you can keep your dragon rides and your sorcerers’ duels, insisted Radcliffe, who told MTV News that the scene from the upcoming movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” he’s most looking forward to filming is the one in which Harry’s heroism manifests itself in the simple act of telling a friend it’s all going to be ok.

“I’m really looking forward to filming the cave and all the stuff in there with the lake and the Inferi,” Radcliffe enthused. “Me and [Michael] Gambon in a row boat for a few days. It’s gonna be amazing.” (Warning: spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the book.)

The climax of “Half-Blood Prince,” the cave scene centers on Harry and Dumbledore as they search for one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, believed to be magically concealed deep within a cliff young Tom Riddle stole away to while at an orphanage. The pair find the horcrux, of course, but not before passing the Dark Lord’s many booby traps – the most terrifying of which is a potion designed to make the drinker relive his very worst memories. It’s here that Harry is able to save Dumbledore, who has tasted the brew and fallen into a screaming hysteria.

Which — as readers of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” could tell you — was all for naught, since the locket horcrux was already removed from the basin by Regalus Black and the house elf Kreacher. But now that we know they got there (and out), how will Radcliffe and Gambon? Will the expansive cave with the vast underground lake be entirely digital?

Not according to Radcliffe.

“I thought it was all gonna be largely visual effects, but they have built the cave,” he revealed, confirming that the shoot will be all practical. “So it’s gonna be very interesting to film.”


Injured gymnast Paul Hamm not going to Beijing

By NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer

Paul Hamm had the best medical care there is, and the drive and determination to make yet another spectacular comeback.

What he didn’t have was enough time.

With only about a week of training time left, the reigning gold medalist withdrew from the Beijing Olympics on Monday because he won’t be healthy enough to compete. Besides persistent pain from the right hand he broke 2 months ago, he strained his left rotator cuff in his accelerated recovery effort.

“There came a point in the gym where I almost threw my arms in the air and just knew, this wasn’t working,” the 25-year-old Hamm said. “It was a really tough decision for me to make. You could drag this out even further. But what I know with my body and what I feel, there’s no point for me to do that. It’s not in the best interest of everyone involved.

“I pushed for the comeback, I did everything I possibly could,” he said. “There just wasn’t enough time. I feel like if I had another month, I would have been able to get the job done.”

But he didn’t have a month. He didn’t even have a week’s worth of practices. The American men go through processing Tuesday and leave for China on Wednesday. Podium training—the one opportunity gymnasts have to train on the competition floor and in front of judges before the meet begins—is Aug. 6.

The men’s competition begins Aug. 9.

“We were so close,” said Dr. Lawrence Lubbers, the hand specialist who operated on Hamm on May 27. “Without the shoulder, we probably would have made it. But the two were just too much.”

Alternate Raj Bhavsar will take Hamm’s place in Beijing.

“It’s difficult to train sometimes when you don’t know what your training is truly for or whether you’ll get that chance. It can be a disheartening experience. There are times you have to dig deep and not lose faith,” said Bhavsar, who almost quit the sport after being an alternate in 2004.

“I wish this was done in a better circumstance, without losing a great athlete. I accept it, and I’m ready to fulfill this mission.”

USA Gymnastics also is still waiting for final clearance on Hamm’s twin brother Morgan, who received a warning July 3 from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for getting a prescribed anti-inflammatory shot without having the proper paperwork.

Paul Hamm’s withdrawal is a huge blow for the Americans, who were fourth at last year’s world championships and hoped his return—and that of Morgan— would get them back on the podium. Hamm is the only American to win the world (2003) or Olympic (2004) all-around titles.

It also clears the way for China’s Yang Wei in the all-around. Yang, the two-time defending world champion, is so technically superior that Hamm was considered the only one who could challenge him.

“I was giving myself the chance to see how this past week went, to see if I could turn the corner at any point. That just never happened,” Hamm said. “When you go into the Olympic Games, you’re supposed to be in the best shape of your life. Not the worst shape.”

Hamm’s recovery appeared to be on track when he proved he was physically able to compete at a July 19 intrasquad meet. He did portions of all six events that day, estimating he was about 90 percent, but said he still had pain in the right hand.

He said his shoulder began hurting the day after that intrasquad meet. When he returned home to Columbus, Ohio, it was clear just what a toll the hard training had taken.

“The week after camp has been a disaster,” Hamm said flatly.

Time and again last week, he got up on the still rings only to have to quickly drop back off. Skills he had been able to do a few days earlier were now impossible.

“What stopped us, I think, is the shoulder,” coach Miles Avery said. “It’s just from working hard. It’s just an overuse injury. If you rest and ice it, you’ll be fine and can pick back up. We don’t have the time.”

Hamm broke the fourth metacarpal—the bone extending from his right ring finger to his wrist—May 22 at the national championships, just 11 weeks before the start of the games. It’s a devastating injury for a gymnast, because every one of the six events the men do puts a heavy load of stress on the hand. Many moves require the hand to be twisted sharply or support a gymnast’s entire body weight.

Lubbers stabilized the fracture May 27, inserting a titanium plate and nine tiny screws. Though Hamm was allowed to do strength and conditioning work, he wasn’t cleared to resume full gymnastics activity until July 3.

“I felt we could make it under the wire, even though it was close and it was going to be close,” Lubbers said. “If we’d just had another month or if we could have gone a little slower. (But) I didn’t have the flexibility in the time table.”

The Americans likely would have needed him on all six events in both qualifying and team finals. Because the scoring format in team finals is so unforgiving—three athletes compete on each event and all three scores count— Hamm didn’t want to hurt the Americans if he wasn’t fully ready to go.

Hamm did talk with USA Gymnastics officials about going to Beijing and only doing a few events. But that isn’t realistic or fair, he said, especially considering rings is one of the events the Americans would have needed him on.

“This has been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” he said. “But I have too much respect for the Olympics and my team to continue on when I know the best thing for everyone is for me to step aside.”

Hamm’s withdrawal likely ends the career of one of, if not the best gymnasts the United States has ever had. In addition to his world and Olympic titles, he led the Americans to a silver medal in Athens, their first at the Olympics in 20 years.

His comeback in Athens was one of the most spectacular ever in the sport. After a fall on vault dropped him to 12th place with only two events left, he rallied with two of the best routines of his career to win the gold.

Two days later, however, the International Gymnastics Federation said that bronze medalist Yang Tae-young of South Korea had been wrongly docked a tenth of a point on his second-to-last event.

Add that extra tenth, and Yang would have scored higher than Hamm. That assumes, though, that everything in the final rotation would have played out the same, something nobody can say for sure.

The Koreans did not protest in time, and the FIG said it couldn’t change results after the competition. But the Koreans took the matter all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, forcing Hamm to defend his gold medal. CAS eventually declared Hamm the rightful champion.

Despite taking 2 1/2 years off after Athens—an unprecedented layoff in the sport—Hamm had firmly established himself as a contender for another gold, winning every meet he entered this year, often by large margins. Even with his injury, he still finished the first night of nationals almost four points ahead.

“Enough cannot be said about the effort Paul has made over the last few months and the contributions he has already made,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “His decision is being made with the team’s best interests in mind. It’s a shame that it’s happening right now, and one of the world’s best gymnasts will not be able to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games.”

Hamm, a three-time U.S. champion, also was the cornerstone of silver medal teams at the 2001 and 2003 world championships. He has five medals from the world championships, and three from the Olympic Games.

He had said he planned to retire after Beijing, and said Monday that is still his intention. He graduated from Ohio State last year with a degree in accounting and plans to go to business school.

“Of course right now it’s a difficult moment for me,” he said. “The truth of the matter is, I’ve had a wonderful career. The success that I’ve had in the sport has been more than I ever dreamed of, and I’m more than happy with the way things have turned out.”

Except for the ending.


Love is the Answer …

Memories of Ministry past and life as a youth minister…


We as Canadians…

We as Canadians strive to do many things. As a people, we strive to be better people, we are good members of our communities, better stewards to the land, and we as Canadians have very strong beliefs when it comes to certain ideals, morals and convictions.

No matter where you live in Canada, we are one community. We are leaders on the world stage, We are international trend setters, and the world watches us as leaders in this global community. Canadians are a proud people of their nation, of their provinces and of their communities. We work to take care of ourselves, and we spend time taking care of our families and our communities. We work together to build strong communites, we work to maintain our land, and we work for the betterment of Canadians as a people.

We have set ideas on religious and moral issues. We believe that we must be good stewards to the land and that if we don’t change the turning tide of pollution and deforestation that our beautiful country will go to hell in a hand basket.

I as a Canadian work each day to present myself as an upstanding member of my community, no matter what that community may be, be it the HIV community, my spiritual community, my recovery community and as well my academic community.

Today I am thinking about these little guys. Who are they, where are they and are they safe. Will they ever know how they impacted our lives here in Canada and across the blog sphere? Will they ever know that there were hundreds if not thousands of people who were invested in their little lives, and also invested in the life of their so called “father.” I wonder about the person who chose to make a decision that would rock the world as we know it? To tell such a compelling story about loss, life and love.

And it brings me to the question, What kind of Canadian are you that you would do such a thing to unsuspecting people. How could you bring the lives of these children into the open and weave a story that, to me, was some of the most wonderful writing that I had ever read.

It is one thing to hoodwink one person, it is completely another beast that you hoodwinked an entire community here in blog land and that you have so negatively impacted us so badly that a number of bloggers have been led to shut down their blogs because of the scandal that has so emotionally impacted so many of us.

I wonder who you think you are? And I wonder if you realize that as a Canadian on the world stage you have brought shame to us as a country, a community, as a people and as community on the world stage. One blogger and those who are still involved in this drama are responsible for making Canada, once again, a laughing stock. You have embarrassed us as a community and you have embarrassed us as a people, as a nation.

You have eroded the sacred trust that lies at the core of blogging. You have violated us in ways that many of us did not expect from a man, whom we thought was caring, devoted and remarkably present to the world at large and on any given trail in the woods.

I don’t believe that the Cooper I knew, would accept or support the kind of heresy that you have committed upon our community. I don’t believe that Cooper would have spun a web of lies, I don’t believe that Cooper would have put his children out there and told us this story with malice intent. I believe that the Cooper I knew would abhor this kind of behavior.

So I ask you, who are you and what would you say about yourself? You have embarrassed Canada on the big stage, you have embarrassed us on the communal stage, and you have devastated us on the familial stage. And I wonder if you feel any kind of remorse for what you have done to us? I wonder if you think of the little children that were at the center of this story and how this drama will play out for them in their young lives? And as a Canadian who believes in honesty, integrity and trust, I wonder how you could break these most sacred of boundaries?

My Cooper would not have stood for this kind of behavior. He would rather have receded into the background and taken his kids off the world stage and he would have distanced himself from this kind of drama. He would not lie to his readers, He would have upheld the sacred boundaries and I for one believe that he would have a strong sense of integrity when it came to his children.

Cooper was an upstanding member of the community. He had a beautiful vision of the world around him, he knew the land like no other did. And in the immortal words of Cooper, I share with you the totem.

totem_pole_stanley_park-200x300.jpg

*****************

I stand in the great hall of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, head bent back, gazing up forty feet to where precise images have been carved into cedar totem poles by craftsmen whose art has been almost entirely erased by time. Near the bottom of a nearby pole, a smooth-shouldered wolf rests in the shadow of a killer whale. The eye of the whale is a shadowed well.

This wood, these bones, trace the nature and purpose of a vast awareness, a living spirit in the grain, each knot and every growth-ring a secret hieroglyph worked carefully into many layers of meaning. The echo of leaves is here, the resonance of damp fields half submerged in twilight, of dark soil and tales of night. And long, interwoven strands of time knitted together by wood and human hands.

The wood has been coaxed into shape … whittled, chiseled, sculpted with broad, incising strokes … by tools of utmost antiquity, by weapons, by stones, by countless forms oiled by brown muscled skin.

The focus of the collections is northwestern …hundreds of examples … an eagle with a five-foot, intricately carved beak, a tenebrous skull shape, moons and ravens and wild spirits of the forest. There are objects of great power here. The spirit of creative work calls to whomever will listen, and as I gaze at these ethereal faces staring back from a lost age, their muted colors hiding a secret flame, once again I hear that whisper spiraling out from the primordial source of things.

This is my spiritual heritage.

The instant I reach my hand to the wood and sense a silent energy thrumming inside, I become aware of being pulled into an elemental state. The stillness of that source lies behind the dream of an ancient, verdant grove that sometimes wakes me in the night.

Dark sky, cold rain, and a ground made bright by the sinuous shapes of wood sawn fresh from the tree … ivory of birch, faded porcelain of maple, linen of alder. There is some cypress, too, its scent of lemons reaching to sting me with exhilaration. A black, rough walnut rests alongside the opened bole of a Douglas fir, its orange grain glowing from a sunrise heart. I reach down to touch the alder, and in the moment of reaching, of touching the silent wood with its living core of mystery, I become acutely aware of the life-blood of my ancestors within me.

I acknowledge that the wood’s redemption … its escape from dissolution … is also my own. We are bound now, fragments of becoming. We share the journey of the totem. The faces of the figures are hidden in my own hands and heart. The totem is a spiritual heraldry. It describes, through a vast shorthand, the indications of the unfathomable. It is a finger pointing to the beginning, a wind blowing from a pristine field of possibility. It relates the tale of meteoric iron birthed as companion to the sun. Totems are reminders to remember, and to act.

I step into the landscape of my own totem. I see my Nana, the falcon, her brow etched like the grain of rough cedar, weathered by pain, made bright with love. I hear the voice of my mother, the wolf … first a clear call, then a tremor, and finally a sorrowing wail. I feel the hands of my unknown father, the ghostly raven that I sometimes watch, looking for myself.

I am the eagle ….the one who carries and sustains, whose touch is redolent with solace.

My oldest son, to whom I gave the second name Cedar … the swift little deer … blueberry stains on his chin, shouting with joy as he runs through green fields. And my baby boy Rowan, the seal, cradled by wonder, darting into the light with luminous eyes.

I wonder what indelible traces I will leave … and they … what teeth marks from carved mouths? I reach toward a horizon of prophecy, to mentors and unknown guides, the gods and goddesses of an unbroken cord of lineage secured at the source by invisible hands.

This is where I begin.

**************************

This is the Cooper I knew and that I cared for. Do you think that the man who wrote this would have spent years weaving a web of lies and deceit? The person who perpetrated these lies terribly misrepresented the man of the myth. As a Canadian who is linked to the Up Coast, one of the most Sacred areas of our country, I say shame on you. You desecrated the land you walked on. You desecrated the holy lives that were part of Cooper’s family, or whomever family they belonged to. You desecrate the written words of traditions past.

I am ashamed as a Canadian to know that we come from the same country. I am ashamed as a member of this online community to think that someone could do such a heinous act. What you did smacks in the face of all that Cooper was. All that he stood for, all that he lived for. What you did do, you desecrated a life, you desecrated a number of lives in the telling of lies and the web of deceit. You led us all on, and I would bank my very last dollar on the fact that Cooper would never have done this kind of thing to people who were clearly invested in his life and in the lives of his children.

Shame on  you.

In reading this piece on the Totem, I am struck once again by the sheer grandeur of the spiritual meaning of the totem, and how they affected Cooper and how they grounded him to the land and his tradition. I am a spiritual man, and I can tell you that I am terribly upset that you came into our lives and you shook the tree of spiritual truth and tradition. You have walked on the grave of those who came before you and the ghosts of those men and women of the totem now haunt you and will until you are dead.

I take the sacred very seriously. And I take tradition very seriously. I asked Cooper to write for my birthday last year and he did. I believed in the ways that Cooper walked. I believed in the tradition and the sacredness of the land that he held so dear. I walked those trails with him as he led us into the woods. And what did you do to the person of Cooper? How dare you walk upon sacred ground and write such sacred prose only for us to come to find out that you were a fake.

It is one thing to desecrate the religious, it is quite another beast when you desecrate the traditions and the land that is steeped in the ways of the native people’s of that land. I believe that you have upset the spirits of the land. I believe that you have desecrated the land and the people of that land. And I think you ought to be ashamed of what you did to so many, what you did to me.

You toyed with the one area of my life that was sacrosanct. My beliefs and my traditions. You toyed with that area of so many lives, and I wonder if you realize the terrible damage that you have done to us? Cooper would never have done this to us. Cooper would never have desecrated the land and its people. Cooper would never have participated in our lives to the degree he did, only to pull the rug from under us and laughed in our faces telling us that this was all a huge JOKE!!!

Cooper was better than that. He was a better man. He was a spiritual man. He was a believing man, which totally blows my mind to sit here and think that you took such time to build this story in such detail and deceit, Who you are and who Cooper was did not jive in any way shape or form. You spit in the face of a young man who captivated us with his prose, his tradition and his knowledge of the sacred.

And for me that is the greatest sin that you have committed.

You desecrated sacred land, and for that you should be punished. You desecrated the sacred beliefs of the people of the upcoast, and for that you should be ashamed. You desecrated our lives with your web of deceit and lies, and for that you should pay. What you did was sinister and evil.

What you did, Cooper would never have done.

The person you are and the sacred man whom Cooper was do not match. How can you talk about the sacred and the land like you were connected to it at the hip, and do such evil? How can you even speak of the sacred and perpetrate such evil? How can you talk out of both sides of your mouth like that? And I wonder how you can live with yourself – how do you sleep at night?

I imagine that the sacred men and women of the totem are terribly disturbed by your desecration of their lives and their traditions. And I imagine that Cooper would never deign to do what you have done to us. What you did was deplorable. What you did smacks at everything that I believe in. Everything that I have studied and everything that I stand for.

All I can do is pray for you now. We are powerless over people, places and things.

You must make peace with the spirits of the land, you must make amends for the heresy you committed, you must make amends for the desecration that you committed. May the spirits of those you walked upon forgive you. May the spirits of those you spat on remind you of what you must do now to repair the damage that you have done to them as members of this community, as guiding spirits of the land and of the people and of nature.

May you never forget that the Cooper I knew, abhored people like you…


Forgiveness…

Forgiveness comes when we are truly ready to allow God into our lives and we gain the ability to let go absolutely. Forgiveness is not something that comes over night. Sometimes it takes a long time, nursing the pain of being hurt. But in time, the pain dulls to a mere annoyance then finally it disappears.

Pray God that we never create the pain that others have created for us.

Matthew 18:15-22
A Brother Who Sins Against You

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.


Curtis…

WE are Powerless over People, Places and Things…

It seems that many of us are very raw at the moment over the reality that Cooper’s Corridor was a fake. The misuse of trust and the duplicity of those involved. I left a comment over on Curtis’s blog on this issue and he wrote me and told me that he has issues with me because it seems to him that I have been avoiding him and that I may not be as Holy as I was once perceived. I have never had the need to lie to any of my readers, nor make myself out to be someone that I was not.

Let us be truthful here. I do have a life. I have kids that count on me every day. I have a husband that requires me to be present every day as well, not to mention my academic studies that take up a great deal of my free time. I have 90 blogs on my daily read list and I read them religiously every day. I may make a comment here or there, but for the most part I am a silent reader.

I opened a dialogue with Curtis and it went the route it was going to take. I don’t sit here day in and day out writing emails to my peers or to my reads, be they who they may. I’ve never SNUBBED anyone on my read list. I would tell you that if your name appears on my blog list and the name of your blog, then that means that I read your blog and I recommend that read to my readers.

If I have upset any of my readers by my silence then let me take this opportunity to openly apologize. Yes I may be Holy, but I am also a human being. It was never my intention ever, to offend anyone that I have written to or corresponded with. But I am not Cooper, and every word that is written on this blog is the God’s honest truth. I even set a picture of myself on the blog which is from my wedding day. There is no need to think or believe that I have gone to any length to MIS-REPRESENT myself to anyone. I have no desire to plagiarize any ones writing, because, let’s be honest, Plagiarism is not very scholarly is it???

I know, right now, that several blogs are shutting down over this whole Cooper scandal. And that saddens me that some sick fuck has emotionally devastated so many blog writers. I was one of those people. I got involved with this scandal because I was emotionally invested in this story. And I offered my tidbits of information that I had to the greater good. And I emailed certain writers that I knew had correspondences with Cooper to try and validate what it was that I knew. I am not a psychopath like those who perpetrated this huge farce.

I am not prone to lying. In fact I abhor lying. I don’t put up with it in my life, and I sure as shit don’t lie here on my blog. I am just a man who is studying Pastoral Ministry and I am who I am. If you believe that I have slighted you in any way, then that is YOUR problem, NOT MINE. I have no open issues with anyone I read, and I don’t know that I have offended anyone recently. So if you are offended then that lies directly in your own lap. Because I live my life every day and I try my best to communicate. It seems that I failed Curtis in that respect. That I was a Holy Man who let him down… I had no idea that I let you down, and if you don’t tell me that you are in distress I cannot sit here and divine from God that you are in distress.

I don’t sit here and daily take the emotional temperature of my readers like a parent to their sick child. I don’t have the time to do that. And once again, if you have a problem with me, it is Your problem with me not my problem with you. They say in recovery that if you have a PROBLEM with someone else that really you should look within and find the problem within yourself. I can’t be responsible for creating in you a state of dis-ease. Because I don’t make it my business to sit here and create dis-ease for my readers. You may not agree with something that I write or I might make you get angry and think about something that I have written, but I do not make it a point to compulsively start shit with my readers.

I am not a mind reader and If you have an issue and I am in the dark about that issue, is it really about me? or is it about you? You may not trust me as a writer after this breach of sacred trust. But I’ve never given anyone a false idea about who I am or what I write as my message. If you want to invest in me then fine. I invest in all of my reads by spending time EVERY DAY reading your blogs. I may not comment but I do read.

I wish all those people who will be shutting down their blogs peace and I hope they heal from this situation. We are powerless over people, places and things. And we also know from recovery that we are only as sick as our secrets. I have not kept secrets from anyone on this blog, in my life or in my ministry. What good would that do me?

It is your choice to Forgive, Invest and Trust. I don’t force myself upon anyone. I just write.

For all that is is worth, Cooper was my friend. At least I thought we were. He even wrote for this blog for my 40th birthday celebration. I am saddened that on that day I posted fake writing, from a fake writer. Someone who lied to me like they lied to you as well. May God have Mercy on them for what they did.

In the end only God can judge them.

If you have judged me for one reason or another, then that is on your conscience not mine. I’m not responsible for your state of emotional feeling. That is all I have to say tonight.

I hope that Curtis comes to read this, because I never meant to harm anyone. I did not know that I had harmed anyone, and maybe we are all just a bit frayed over Cooper’s lies. So I forgive you … I cannot live up to everyone’s expectations, if I don’t know for myself what those expectations are. you cannot fault me if your expectations were not met in some way, shape or form. I cannot be all people to everyone.

Let us return to the way it was. Or it now is. What happened wasn’t my fault. I was duped just like you were.


Full Circle …

There are moments of grace, then there are “Moments of Grace.”

Tonight was a truly gracefull night. My day has been quiet and I spent my day hanging out with my hubby and then we had a nice dinner and watched some tv. I had logged onto IMVU and I was in the middle of a conversation with Hunter, and I got a hit on my facebook as I was sitting here in front of my terminal.

I have to say that I did not expect what was to happen nor could I have predicted it either. There are times in our lives that we complete a journey of faith amid the life that we are living. Days come and go, as they will, but you never know what God is going to give you at any given moment of any given day. I had a God moment tonight. In fact, God hit me with a curve ball and it almost knocked me out of my chair as I sat here.

The group of young people that once populated New Life has begin to reconnect. There are 27 people on my friends list on Facebook tonight. The 27th contact came tonight, her name is Adriana. She tells me that she was sitting in front of her console and just for shits and giggles she plugged my name into facebook and wasn’t she pleasantly surprised to see my face pop up in front of her. She sent through a message and I messaged her back and back and forth we went, until I added my phone number to one message and posted that I was waiting for her to call me and she did. It was after midnight.

Once again, we have come full circle.

They say in recovery that when we make our amends list at step 9 that there might happen that one may be unable to make amends to certain people for one reason or another. It seemed that God gave me an opportunity to make amends for a wrong I committed many years ago. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to hear her voice on the other end of the phone, after so many years.

And wouldn’t you know it, she’s a Preacher!!! She has a special someone and lives on 30 acres of green space in Ohio. And I could not be more happier for her. I knew, one day, that those who needed to find me would, for one reason or another. You never know how your life will affect another’s in the course of their life. As she said to me that it was because of me that she was able to become the woman she is today, that I somehow gave her strength to get up and stand up and be solid in who she was. I had exited the closet prior to her. But we had lived through our respective hells, sickness and death had come to pass for both of us and for the first time, I was able to share with her what really happened to me during my slip into Hell.

It felt good to finally be able to explain what I had been through and to share with her how I survived that extremely painful time in my life to end up here as I write. Coming full circle feels good. Like putting on an old pair of shoes and sitting down before a warm fireplace and cozying up with hot cocoa and talking well into the night about everything and nothing.

Now I have fulfilled a part of my story. I have reconnected with part of my life that was really very important to me because it was Adriana and her family that reached out to me when I most needed it. We were meant to meet again, God needed each of us to sit here and talk. To share about the men and women we have become. To mourn the dead and remember the past. 10 years is a long time to go without word of life or existence.

Mark 5:24-34

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.”

If I just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed…

Come on In the Waters fine, Leave onshore your troubled mind, we don’t care where you;ve been just so long as you come on In…

You never know when Jesus is going to walk into your life at any given moment to bless you and heal you. But when I think of tonight’s conversation I am reminded of the story from the Gospel of Mark. We have been healed tonight because we believe.

She is preaching on Sunday and this is what she will be preaching on:

The Gospel of Matthew 13:24-43

The Parable of the Weeds

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

There are no coincidences. And God surely was up with us and sitting with us and for moments during our conversation when the words would stop, I would sit and listen to the silences between us and there in the silence, God would put another thought into the bowl of conversation and mix it up. I am truly blessed to have such people in my life today. All those years of love and devotion that I put into a group of people is coming back now to bless and anoint me. The following is an excerpt from my Page: Youth Ministry. Let us revisit it for a moment.

One solid foundation of any young persons life, is that of Youth Ministry. It was the one place where kids from different backgrounds, lives, and ages came together once a week to sing, to congregate and to celebrate what it means to be a young person and a Christian. For many of my friends at that time, broken homes was something of a phenomenon. Everyone I knew during those days had parents either coming to, deep within, or on the outs ‘of’ divorce. I was stuck somewhere in the mix of ‘they have no clue what to do!’ They will either kill each other or they will end up in separate ends of the house until the end of time. But I digress…

After these past years in the pursuit of sobriety and then the years spent acquiring a four year degree in the study of religion, I have some hindsight to a specific period of my life and I can look at my youth as a ‘burgeoning’ young Christian boy, I can appreciate what it must have been like for the first Christians to identify themselves on a wide scale within a society and community of ‘others.’

They took us away to Camp Get Away for weekend sojourns with our friends, peer leaders and leaders. Trusted servants to the church community, who took time out of their busy lives to feed us spiritually. They ask me, if there was one time you could return to, as it was, to relive once again, (like the diet Pepsi commercials) it would be to my years during high school, because it was so hard, and so difficult, but at the same time so sacred and the most incredibly amazing time of my life.

The program followed you through your first year in the youth group where we were the newbies on the block. Each year a new crop of kids were brought to Christ through a finely orchestrated plan of action that was the Youth Ministry of my home parish. That was 10th grade, the same year I was confirmed into the Catholic Church.

I remember the night – that first night, after a four hour bus ride far away from the lights of the big bright city, we got to the camp, lit by candle light. It was the most incredible time of my life. On that weekend we were broken and brought to the Master through talk, testimony and service. We learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, that meant something particular at that time, seeing that so many of us were living in homes that did not bode well for the fostering of Christian youth trying to follow the message and teaching of Jesus.

Can you imagine what it is like to come home from a weekend at Camp Get Away – bible in hand, profession of faith on your lips, and a testimony before two thousand people sitting in the church upon our return to hear a parent say “Jesus Christ, what have they done to you?” Imagine how hard it was to maintain Christian values when your parents constantly fight, your father constantly up your ass with his hatred, bigotry and racism and disdain for all things noble and Christian and Holy!!

Not to mention the life you were re-entering back in school on Monday morning, when you tell your friends that you met Jesus over the weekend and wasn’t it swell!! As they roll their eyes and walk away in disbelief, you try your might to stick with your friends that went to school with you – that just came off the mountain, with that glow of Jesus still alive on our faces and in our hearts.

The finding Jesus on the Mountain experience was the most incredible point in my young life. Short lived as it was, I had the youth ministry to help me along the way. A haven of sorts that I, we, could go to and hang out on any given night – all night in some cases. We used to find ourselves sitting on the hoods of our cars in the parking lot of the church until all hours of the night talking about life, safe within the property of Mother Church. The chapel was open all night long, the blessed sacrament always there to give us strength.

Not long after our first ‘Mountain Experience’ we were invited to return to that mountain to get another glimpse of the Holy of Holies, through the veil of the Holy Spirit. We packed hundreds of kids on 5 mega size buses and made the trip to Camp Get Away again. The second time up the mountain was so much sweeter because we knew where that ‘mountain’ was now. We learned about being ‘baptized in the spirit’ and we were all there in that ‘Upper Room’ waiting for that Pentecost to come for us too. The Spirit would be called down upon us and we would see and know for sure the Love of Jesus once again.

The second time coming ‘down the mountain’ was not as painful as the first time, because we now knew what to do to maintain that ‘mountain top’ feeling when we got home. We had begun to build that community of faithful kids that knew where to find each other at any time of day or night. We created safe places for each other. I spent A LOT of time in other people’s houses and bedrooms during those years of my life, because my father went through a very ruthless period in his life. I knew too much and he had to stomp me every chance that he got. God bless him…

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path…

There happened to be one particular portion that made this journey into Christianity a little softer. That was the dawn of Contemporary Christian Music. Singers like Amy Grant, (whom I am listening to at this very moment on my pod), The Imperials, and groups like Petra and many others. Contemporary Christian music was the soundtrack to our lives back then. We had a DJ that carted hundreds of ‘records’ (yes we had records back then) with his stereo and turntables to Camp Get Away and he would serenade us with Holy music that was uplifting and sometimes painful.

Much of the life of a young Christian boy or girl was shaped by the music that was the backdrop to any retreat. Even today, if I hear a particular song, (I collect Contemporary Christian Music from the 80’s) I will be transported directly to a specific point in time – I can see it, feel it and can describe in fine detail exactly who I was with, what was going on and why that piece of music impacted me so deeply…

If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart…

I’ve seen the face of Jesus. and tonight I heard him say

“Well done good and faithful servant…”


Israeli newspaper publishes Obama’s private prayer

By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – An Israeli newspaper’s decision to publish a handwritten prayer left by Barack Obama in the cracks of Jerusalem‘s Western Wall drew criticism Friday as an invasion of his privacy and his relationship with God.

In the note, placed at Judaism’s holiest site Thursday, Obama asks God to guide him and guard his family.

“Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will,” reads the note published in Maariv.

Maariv ran a photograph of the note on its front page Friday. It said the note was removed from the wall by a Jewish seminary student immediately after Obama left.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would neither confirm nor deny the note was Obama’s, but the handwriting was similar to another message written by the presidential candidate during his time in Israel this week.

The paper’s decision to make the note public brought quick criticism from religious authorities. The rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitz, called it an intrusion on Obama’s intimate relationship with God.

“The notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall are between a person and his maker. It is forbidden to read them or make any use of them,” Rabinovitz told Army Radio.

The newspaper’s action “damages the Western Wall and damages the personal, deep part of every one of us that we keep to ourselves,” he added.

Many visitors to the 2,000-year-old Western Wall leave notes in its crevices bearing requests and prayers. Obama placed a small note and then bowed his head during a pre-dawn visit Thursday, following a day spent in talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The Western Wall is the lone remaining outer retaining wall of the second biblical Jewish temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Revered as Judaism’s holiest site, it stands where the Bible says King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

“It’s inappropriate that the prayers of a person at the Western Wall should become a subject of public knowledge at all,” said Jonathan Rosenblum, a Jerusalem-based analyst of the religious community and director of the Orthodox Am Ehad think tank.

“There is a rabbinic prohibition against reading other people’s private communications, and certainly anyone who goes to the wall expects that those communication will be protected,” Rosenblum said.

Another Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, published an article Friday saying it had also obtained the note but decided against publishing it out of respect for Obama’s privacy. Nearly all other Israeli media ignored the story.

Thousands of notes and prayers are stuffed into the cracks of the wall. In recent years, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which operates the site, has opened a fax hot line and a Web site where people overseas can send their prayers and have them printed out and put in the wall.

The wall is emptied of its notes several times a year. The papers are treated as a prayer book and buried, rather than burned.

While Maariv drew criticism, the removal and publication of the note did not appear violate any laws. Police officials said they were not investigating the incident.

The handwriting appeared to match a message that Obama wrote Wednesday in the guest book at Yad Vashem, Israel‘s official Holocaust memorial. It was written on stationery from the King David Hotel, where Obama stayed while in Israel.

Obama signed the Yad Vashem message. The note from the Western Wall was unsigned.

At the Western Wall, Obama was greeted by a crowd of curious onlookers and photographers. He donned a white skullcap, listened to a rabbi read a prayer, and inserted a folded white paper between the stones. One hardline Israeli protester shouted, “Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale.”

The visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories was part of an international tour meant to shore up Obama’s foreign affairs credentials ahead of the November election. Obama’s prospective rival, John McCain, visited Israel in March.


Israeli newspaper publishes Obama's private prayer

By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – An Israeli newspaper’s decision to publish a handwritten prayer left by Barack Obama in the cracks of Jerusalem‘s Western Wall drew criticism Friday as an invasion of his privacy and his relationship with God.

In the note, placed at Judaism’s holiest site Thursday, Obama asks God to guide him and guard his family.

“Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will,” reads the note published in Maariv.

Maariv ran a photograph of the note on its front page Friday. It said the note was removed from the wall by a Jewish seminary student immediately after Obama left.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would neither confirm nor deny the note was Obama’s, but the handwriting was similar to another message written by the presidential candidate during his time in Israel this week.

The paper’s decision to make the note public brought quick criticism from religious authorities. The rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitz, called it an intrusion on Obama’s intimate relationship with God.

“The notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall are between a person and his maker. It is forbidden to read them or make any use of them,” Rabinovitz told Army Radio.

The newspaper’s action “damages the Western Wall and damages the personal, deep part of every one of us that we keep to ourselves,” he added.

Many visitors to the 2,000-year-old Western Wall leave notes in its crevices bearing requests and prayers. Obama placed a small note and then bowed his head during a pre-dawn visit Thursday, following a day spent in talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The Western Wall is the lone remaining outer retaining wall of the second biblical Jewish temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Revered as Judaism’s holiest site, it stands where the Bible says King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

“It’s inappropriate that the prayers of a person at the Western Wall should become a subject of public knowledge at all,” said Jonathan Rosenblum, a Jerusalem-based analyst of the religious community and director of the Orthodox Am Ehad think tank.

“There is a rabbinic prohibition against reading other people’s private communications, and certainly anyone who goes to the wall expects that those communication will be protected,” Rosenblum said.

Another Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, published an article Friday saying it had also obtained the note but decided against publishing it out of respect for Obama’s privacy. Nearly all other Israeli media ignored the story.

Thousands of notes and prayers are stuffed into the cracks of the wall. In recent years, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which operates the site, has opened a fax hot line and a Web site where people overseas can send their prayers and have them printed out and put in the wall.

The wall is emptied of its notes several times a year. The papers are treated as a prayer book and buried, rather than burned.

While Maariv drew criticism, the removal and publication of the note did not appear violate any laws. Police officials said they were not investigating the incident.

The handwriting appeared to match a message that Obama wrote Wednesday in the guest book at Yad Vashem, Israel‘s official Holocaust memorial. It was written on stationery from the King David Hotel, where Obama stayed while in Israel.

Obama signed the Yad Vashem message. The note from the Western Wall was unsigned.

At the Western Wall, Obama was greeted by a crowd of curious onlookers and photographers. He donned a white skullcap, listened to a rabbi read a prayer, and inserted a folded white paper between the stones. One hardline Israeli protester shouted, “Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale.”

The visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories was part of an international tour meant to shore up Obama’s foreign affairs credentials ahead of the November election. Obama’s prospective rival, John McCain, visited Israel in March.


Relax …

It’s time to take a deep breath and breathe…

Have you ever sat in a lecture class and had to sit through one – only praying the God that the lecture would come to an end! It is really painful to sit through a lecture where people are shifting in their chairs just hoping that the prof will eventually loose steam and give it up. I have to write a critical essay paper for my Theology class in the next week, and I still need to write my outline and get it ready for class presentation on Thursday next week.

I spoke to one of my boys this evening. He tells me he’s met a girl and that he likes her very much. This is news and like any good maternal instinct moves me, I invited them for a visit and I also made sure that they would be available for Thanksgiving come October. Got to get those plans on the books now.

Another Blogger friend of mine has hung up his pen and paper and is leaving the sphere. It seems that this medium has changed for many in my writing circle. I wonder sometimes if people are just loosing the will to keep writing, I know this space takes a little work to maintain and I don’t know today, how many people, who are on  my read list [on the blog list on the sidebar] really take the time to come here and read. I know there are two, BEN and ERIC.

So that is my short entry for tonight.


Archbishop of Canterbury: No gay sex, please

SUMMARY: Rowan Williams remains “committed” to Anglicanism’s stance against extramarital sex, while bishops push rhetoric against gays and their allies to new heights.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he remains “committed” to the Anglican Church’s official stance against gay sex in an attempt to preserve biblical norms, The Times of London reported.

“I do not believe that sex outside marriage is as God purposes it,” Williams said Tuesday. He spoke as controversy swirled around the acceptance of homosexuality within the church at global Anglicanism’s decennial Lambeth Conference in England.

“Are we heading for schism? Well, let’s see. If it is the end of the Anglican Communion, I do not think anyone has told most of the people here,” Williams told The Times.

Division within the church arose after openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson was consecrated in the United States in 2003.

Afterward, church elders decreed that no more gay bishops could be consecrated. Liberals within the church are hoping to reverse that ruling by the time the next General Convention meets in the summer of 2009.

In the fray, 230 bishops boycotted the Lambeth Conference and organized their own rival meeting, Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, in Jerusalem last month.

Others went to Lambeth, but used it as a platform against Robinson and everyone who supports him.

Daniel Deng, archbishop of Sudan, called for Robinson to step down, blaming Robinson for the boycott and saying his behavior “violated Anglican norms,” the BBC reported.

Deng said Anglicans in other nations, such as Sudan, face discrimination because of Robinson’s ordination.

“We are called ‘infidel’ by the Islamic world,” the BBC quoted Deng as saying. “When they are hearing our brothers and sisters from other parts of the Christian (world), when they are talking to the same sex to be blessed, immediately it gives them the way out to tell people these people are evil and they can even harm our people more.”

The bishop of Fort Worth, the Right Rev Jack Iker, went a step further, telling the Times of London that bishops “who stand in solidarity with Gene Robinson” should leave.

“Having failed in several attempts to include Gene in the conference, his supporters should themselves feel a sense of rejection from the conference itself,” Iker told the Times. (The Advocate)


If you’d like to know more, you can find stories related to Archbishop of Canterbury: No gay sex, please.


In his own words …

I have decided not to make any official kind of response. It seems to me that the challenge is not so much to me as it is to the Episcopal Church, and specifically to its House of Bishops, our polity as a Church, and the canons which were followed to the letter in my election and consecration.

But I will reflect on a few questions raised and thoughts I’ve had since.

First, this is also about the faithful people of New Hampshire who called me to be their bishop. Everyone

seems to forget that I am not here representing myself, but rather all the people of the Diocese of New Hampshire, with whom it is my privilege to minister in Christ’s name. They have called me to minister with them as their Bishop, and suggestions that I resign ignore the vows that I have taken to serve myflock in New Hampshire. I would no more let them down or reneg on my commitments to them than flyto the moon. We may be the one diocese in the entire Communion who is, for the most part, beyond all his obsession with sex and are getting on with the Gospel. They would be infuriated, as well they should be,if I entertained any notion of resigning. And it is not just Gene Robinson who is being denied representation at the Lambeth Conference, it is the people of New Hampshire who have been deprived of a seat at the table.

Second, those calling for my resignation seem to be under the impression that if Gene Robinson went away,
that all would go back to being “like it was,” whatever that was! Does ANYONE think that if I resigned,
this issue would go away?! I could be hit by a big, British, doubledecker bus today, and it would not change
the fact that there are faithful, able and gifted gay and lesbian priests of this Episcopal Church who are known and loved for what they bring to ordained ministry, who will before long be recognized with a nomination for the episcopate (as has already happened in dioceses other than New Hampshire), and one of them will be elected.

Not because they are gay or lesbian, but because the people who elect them recognize their gifts for ministry in that particular diocese. We are not going away, as much as some would like us to. That toothpaste isn’t going to go back into the tube! Not if the Bishop of New Hampshire resigns. Not if the “offending” bishops leave the Lambeth Conference. Not ever.


Micah …

Seen over on: Randall’s Blog, Flickr Retreat Chapel – Chicago

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

My Tuesday’s have been upset because of class, and I am disconnected from the hive, and tonight I am feeling a little out of sorts because of my missing a few meetings. Today was an uneventful day as my Tuesday’s have been the same as the rest for years.

I spent coffee time with my friends before hand and we walked over for set up. Funny that the matriarch of the meeting comes earlier and earlier to the church so that we have time to visit before I have to leave the church as the Angelus bells ring from the bell tower of St. Leon’s Church in Westmount.

I made it to class on time and handed in my latest reflection paper in early. I have to say that the discussion in class has gotten very lively. We’ve been discussing Richard Dawkins, who is a staunch Athiest and Alister McGrath who discusses Dawkins in a lecture given at Babbage Lecture Theatre, Cambridge.

McGrath writes:

“Pretending the religion is the only problem in the world, or the base of all pain and suffering, is simply no longer a real option for thinking people. It’s just rhetoric, masking a difficult problem we all need to address – namely, how human beings can coexist and limit their passions. There is a very serious problem here, which needs to be discussed openly and frankly by atheists and Christians alike – namely, how some of those who are inspired and uplifted by a great vision of reality end up doing such dreadful things.

This is a truth about human nature itself. It can easily be accommodated with specifically Christian understanding of human nature, which affirms that we bear the “image of God” while being fallen on account of sin. To put it very simplistically, the lingering remnant of divine likeness impels us to goodness; the powerful presence of sin drags us down into a moral quagmire, from which we can never entirely escape.”

Has Science eliminated God? Richard Dawkins and the Meaning of life, pgs. 200-201

I came home and remembered that I had an appointment to write a friend about her life. I have been following her blog religiously for months now. Tuesday is the day I go to church at the Cathedral and I take my friends to church with me and I lay their problems down at the altar. So I spent the better part of an hour when I got home doing that. We’ve had the discussion of “Should I stay or Should I go” for months now, and it seems that we have come full circle because she has asked this set of questions once again. And again, we have to stop and assess the situation as it is today, and see what has transpired over the last few months since our last communicade, and sit down and ask ourselves a few pointed and sometimes harsh questions.

There are no half measures when it comes to sobriety.

There are three places an addict can find themselves if they don’t find recovery, they are Institutions, Jails and finally Six Feet Under. There comes a time in recovery when we reach a point of no return with others who are in the grips of addiction and self destruction that one must assess the viablility of maintaining a relationship with someone who clearly does not strive to clean up their act. Every living person had one redemptive quality about themselves, and I write:

“The fact that you see One Redempive Quality in your husband is so very admirable. And Unlike most, we tend to miss the redemptive quality, while looking for everything that is wrong with said person.

Everyone has a redemptive quality about them. The junky, the addict, the alcoholic and the abuser. The caveat here is this, does the offense overshadow or outperform the redemptive quality of said person? Is it time to hang up your coat and walk away?

Has redemption passed for him? Has he reached the point that redemption has come and gone? Aren’t you fed up with this already? For Christ’s sake, enough already. havn’t you had enough? I know if it were me I would have shipped his ass off to rehab somewhere where he would not get out until he was clean and mentally taken care of.

Is it time for you to call it a night? The [battered] wife, usually goes back because it is all she knows. Until she claims herself free and walks away from her abuser,then she is ready to start her life again without the violence. Oh but he will not do that again, he only does it because he loves me, he is not really a bad man. I see it in him, [every time he drops his pants].

He’s abused you enough. Don’t you agree, this train is not coming into the station, it is running at warp speed and you are powerless to stop it. And the only way that it is going to stop is when you get off the ride, mentally, emotionally and most importantly physically…”

My heart is broken over this situation because I know that if a decision is made in haste that it could be dangerous. But just when is enough?  Working with others is a very hard chore sometimes, when one sees the writing on the wall and you have to step back and say, I can’t make this decision for you, but I can offer you a viewpoint from outside the maelstorm, maybe you can find some assistance in what I have perceived and what we have spoken about in the past. We are stuck on a broken record. And the rut the needle is stuck in is getting really deep. There is no confidence breaking here. Pastoral Counseling is something that doesn’t come easy. I’m supposed to remain objective and offer counsel and advice where I can. I hope I did that tonight.