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Archive for February, 2009

Hear

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“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one…”

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.”

The first portion relates to the issue of the kingship of God. The first verse, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord,” has ever been regarded as the confession of belief in the One God.

The following verses contain the commands to love God with heart, soul, and might; to remember all commandments and instruct the children therein; to recite the words of God when retiring or rising; to bind those words “on the arm and the head” (a reference to tefillin), and to inscribe them on the door-posts and on the city gates (a reference to Mezuzah).

The second portion relates to the issue of reward and punishment. It contains the promise of reward for the fulfillment of the laws, and the threat of punishment for their transgression, with a repetition of the contents of the first portion.


Pastoral Ministry 404

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Tonight I have finished one of the greatest projects of my academic career. I was asked to write a presentation for the Monsignor which will be presented to the diocese later on this Spring. Luigi suggested that I finish the paper this week to allot enough time to work on our paper for New Testament studies.

With that said, the Pastoral Ministry Paper is 39 pages long. I will be posting the letter over in the Pages section of the blog. The title is “I want to become the man who met the woman at the well.”

I think that it is one of my most important writings to date.

The Man At the Well is now up on the front page for you to read.Click the tab just above.

Enjoy.

Yes after a few revisions and spelling checks I am very pleased with the writing. It is an amazing meditation on spirituality and God. I hope that you all take a few minutes to read it receptively.

God is good.


Final Potter to get 2011 release

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Via:  The BBC News Online

The final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise is to be released in 2011, it has been announced.

Fans of the boy wizard will get to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in cinemas from 15 July.

Warner Brothers decided to split the seventh book in JK Rowling’s series into two parts as it was impossible to cram its 608 pages into a single film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is set to be released on 19 November 2010.

Stuntman David Holmes suffered serious back injuries on the set of Deathly Hallows last month practising an aerial sequence.

The set was closed for a week for investigation before being allowed to re-open by the Health and Safety Executive.

It was announced in August last year that the release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would be pushed back eight months to July this year.

Warner Bros president Alan Horn said the decision was taken to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009.

He also blamed the Hollywood writers’ strike, which hit the film industry hard in 2008.

The first five movies have made $4.5 billion (£2.2 billion) worldwide – making it the biggest film franchise in box office history, surpassing both James Bond and Star Wars.


Romans and James

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I wasn’t going to write tonight but a lady left a comment and I updated my last post with more information so why not “Crank one out!” Today Luigi and I got together for a tag team bible read through of the books of Romans and James for a paper we are writing on a topic of

“What is the basis for salvation in Romans and James”

We brought our bibles and our concordances and side literature from Theo 301 and sat down at a coffee shop for 5 hours today to work. He did the reading and the talking and I did all the writing. 20 pages worth of writing.

The coffee shops around campus are always glad to have students come and sit in their establishments and drink coffee and eat muffins. It was tasty. If you’ve never read the Book of James here are the bullet points:

  • Faith and Wisdom
  • Doing the word – Action Giving to the Poor, the widows, the hungry
  • Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself
  • Right speech
  • Right Wisdom – gentleness
  • Friendship
  • Being non-judgmental
  • Not being boastful
  • Patience in suffering
  • Prayer of the faithful
  • Attention to the Law (Commandments)

James speaks about works and that they will show faith, that faith without works is barren. Works should be born of wisdom. There is a contrast between human wisdom and wisdom given by God. James is speaking to a community of Jewish Christians. In Romans Paul is addressing Roman Christians and the communities that are having issues with each other. Jews and Gentiles.

In James wisdom is the object of prayer. James 1:2-8

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

James 1: 19-27

Listening and Doing

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

These are just a few passages that we were studying from James that really impacted me today after the last 24 hours. Sometimes God speaks through his scriptures and today I was wanting to hear him.Like I said in the last post, there are times when I am not so compassionate and my mouth takes over when I disengage my brain for just the slightest moment. But that’s what happens when one is pushed against a wall…

Anyways, I digress…

James 2: 14-26

Faith and Deeds

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

There is so much to say about James and his writing.

James 3:13-18

Two Kinds of Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

It’s so Beautiful… And here is the crux of my problems:

James 4:1-12

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Sometimes I should keep my words and my thoughts to myself. But it needed to be written so that others who belong can see where my head is so no one is shocked by my departure. Everything we pray for usually gets worked out in one way or another. Like I said, God speaks through scripture. And I was willing to see the words on the page impact me in the way they did. But I am already forgiven. That comes from God. Not from man or woman. I don’t need anyone’s forgiveness tonight.

As we move into Romans there are more bullet points:

  • Justification comes through Jesus’ blood
  • Jews cannot boast in the law
  • Justification by faith is taught in the Hebrew Scriptures through the story of Abraham
  • Justification results is reconciliation and the restoration of broken relationships with God.
  • Just as sin came to all through one man, Adam, God’s grace comes to all through the one man Jesus the law merely increased the sin.

So you see here the difference between the writing of the Book of James and Paul’s writing to the Romans. Jesus is the redeemer after the Old Testament.

A person is justified through faith in Christ by accepting his death as a substitute for one’s own. Justification does not come by keeping the Law of Moses any longer. Having faith in Jesus and living by the faithfulness of Jesus.

Paul engages in a diatribe style of writing here in Chapter 2 vs. 1-10 He is asking pertinent questions to receive an answer but he already knows the truth of the answers he seeks. (His truth and his faith in Jesus )

God’s Righteous Judgment

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

When you read the books written by Paul – if you study like I have studied Paul, he seems to have inside information that even Jesus’ apostles did not have. I wrote a paper once on Paul, Mary Magdalene and Judas. From Paul’s writing, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Judas, that these three people were given “special knowledge” by Jesus. Paul exhibits a lot of the special knowledge when he writes on certain topics.

James writes about the justification of faith by referring to the Old Testament, through works and deeds – the law which states works and charity. James uses the OT to explain that salvation comes through works and deed; works of charity.

While, Paul, justifies faith through the story of Abraham from the OT. Genesis chapters 12-17. Through the story of Abraham it provides evidence that FAITH justifies. Abraham exemplifies this thesis stated in

Rom. 3: 21-28.

Righteousness Through Faith

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Letter to the Romans. There is so much more that I could write, but you get the idea. We found it funny this afternoon, Luigi brought up the discussion of Peter from Galatians: here is the scripture reference:

Galatians 2: 11-21

Paul Opposes Peter

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.

Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Why did Peter draw himself back? Was the question when he watched and participated with Jesus who ate with everyone at many tables, with many kinds of people. It is a critical read on Peter. We were talking over this point and a man sitting at the next table over from us was listening. And he pointed us to this scripture passage above. He had his bible on the table and was reading it. It was a King James Version.

He asked about our education and what we were doing? We as Theology students can be a bit loud at times. Luigi strives to be a scholar, and I am in Pastoral Ministry. Those were our credentials for any discussion.

If you know anything about Biblical studies, The KJV is very differently written than your every day bible and the teachings are hard line and set in stone. It is a one version bible and many Christian readers who read their KJV bibles see Christianity in a whole different manner than do others. I have learned this over 40 years of life and 8 years of Religious Studies.

Luigi engaged him in conversation while I hung back and watched. The discussion did not go very far, everything stopped when he started talking about what books Paul wrote, which ones are attributed to Paul and which ones were not. You have to Read and Study Paul in depth to understand the delineations. I have written about Paul recently here.

In the New Revised Standard edition of the Holy Bible the following books are written by Paul:

  • Romans
  • 1 & 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 & 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon

Non- Pauline Literature:

  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 & 2 Peter
  • 1,2,3rd John
  • Jude and
  • Revelation

Right there you have a religious argument between those who read their bibles and those who study the bible. That’s when we walked out of the cafe politely excusing ourselves from a row over the bible. I choose my Christianity battles wisely. Wow that was a lot of writing.

It is approaching 3 am here and I need to get some sleep.

More tomorrow – Stay tuned…


Finished…

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It is my time to go.

I knew that eventually Owain and I would go head to head over a business meeting and tonight was that night. The punk wants my job and wants to rotate all the positions – well he can have my job. I will be turning in my keys this week to Rick and bidding farewell to Tuesday Beginner’s.

He pitted 2 years of sobriety against my 7 years. I walked out of the meeting after screaming at the top of my lungs at him. After accusing me of not knowing how AA works. I just lost my mind. The boy has an ego and a wanna be a star people pleaser complex as well. There is no room for an ego in sobriety. And this is the second time he has got me riled up and I am just getting too old to deal with newbies with ego issues. After seven years of service it is time to walk away quietly. After blowing up like dynamite.

My compassion and patience goes out the window when he walks into my space, with his cock of the walk strut. Look at me, look at me, I’m so pretty and so popular look at me…

Others will follow me – either in or out the door. That’s how sobriety works. He doesn’t understand the dynamic that has been in place for so long and the shock that a change to that dynamic would produce – but it’s all about him now. It’s not about me. People come and people go. And for me it is time to go.

I don’t need that kind of stress.

So I am finished…

He can buy the supplies, pay the rent, make the coffee and set up the room. I am not doing it any more.

end of story…


Lent begins for 2009

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My yearly Lenten Reflection 40 days and 40 nights. Join us.

I was gonna wait to post this, but the spirit is moving me today, So here is one of my favorite pieces of writing. I wrote in a few years ago, and I repost it every year at the beginning of Lent. And since I don’t have anything fresh to offer you – you can read this and prepare for your journey … Enjoy..

And so it begins, the walk through the desert. God is moving tonight, I can feel it in my bones deep within my soul. I am in Preacher mode and the message is loud and clear…Write and share the journey. There are several new bloggers on this list now, Christians I know for sure. Here is my Lenten exercise of the journey, it is called “Will you walk with me a step or two.”

One day the Lord spoke to them and they started walking through the desert. Men, women, children the elderly and the herds and flocks. Where they were going was not known, but it was apparent that they were going to get somewhere. If only they walked a step or two.

A young man spoke up and said “I will walk ahead of the tribes, I will lead them as the Lord leads me.” And the Lord asked the young boy, “are you ready to walk for the glory of God,” why “Yes,” the boy answered. So be it the Lord said, “now lead them, but take only that which you need and nothing more.” I will walk with You Lord, he said without a second thought.

The Lord said that the way will not be smooth and there are things you will see on the way that will test your faith, yet I the Lord will make the way straight and the path smooth, if you have faith in Me and the Glory of God the father. Yes, I have faith, the boy replied, so walk my son.

A few days into the journey the boy came across a woman with ragged hair and little clothing. She was elderly and needed some water. The boy was only carrying what he had, and he gave drink to the woman and quenched her thirst. She said to him, that she was lonely and afraid of the road, and the boy replied, woman, have no fear, for I will walk with you until nightfall and we will camp under the canopy of heaven. That day they walked together and the woman was grateful for the company and the water.

That night, they made camp, the tribes of the Lord.

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The Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and water flowed. They all drew water from a spring that appeared and everyones thirst was satiated. And the animals were watered as well. Food was passed from group to group until every last one was fed. That night they sang the song of the Lord until everyone was sent to a sleep protected by the Lord himself.

The very next morning, rested and fed, the tribes packed up their wares and started the journey as they did the day prior. The sun hung low in the sky, and by high noon, sweat was pouring off the brows of the people. The young boy made his way in front of the pack, leading them as he was guided by the spirit of the lord. Soon after noon the boy came across an elderly man who was being carried by two men, visibly shaken and tired.

The boy looked up to the sky and said, what can I do Lord?

The answer came and the boy took the arm of the litter and helped carry the man for the rest of the day, until darkness fell and camp was set up for the night. Once again, the Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and from the rock a spring came up from the earth once again, the people and the animals were watered. The tables were set and the people were fed to their fill. Once again, they praised the God of Abraham and in the coolness of the night they slept under the canopy of the heavens.

On the third day they awoke to a cloudy day, grateful for the relief from the sun, they gathered up their wares and began to walk once again. Today the young man was tired. He had been leading this lot for days now, and yet the lord said, Keep walking. So he did.

On this day he came upon a young person drawn from travel, covered in dust from the desert. Visibly the boy had not eaten in days and was close to death.

The young man stopped and knelt down next to him and shared his water and some bread from his pack. He lifted the boy into his arms and carried him for the rest of the day. Hours passed and the boy was filled with faith and strength as he carried his charge on his back. That night at camp, the young boy gathered some bedding and laid his friend in a cool soft place.

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That night the Angel of the Lord appeared and once again, struck the rock and water flowed. He bathed the young man whom he had carried all day, then they broke bread and shared living water from the earth. Miracle, you ask, quite possibly so.

That night all were fed and after the plates were cleared and all had been fed, they gathered before the fires and praised the God of Abraham. They rested beneath the canopy of heaven.

For 38 days and 38 nights, the boy walked with his people, helping each soul he encountered to the best of his ability as God had commanded him to do.

On the 39th day they awoke. The angel of the Lord was there at first light and he told them, the journey was almost over, walk on as the Lord commands.

That day was no different. On that day the young boy would meet his final “person.” She was laden with child, and was walking alone carrying everything that she needed. No man walked by her side, no assistance came to her. She was visibly close to giving birth, and the Boy took her hand

As night fell, the boy gathered the women together and they prepared the woman for birth. A call went out to the men and they gathered together some wood for someplace to keep the child. As was foretold, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them once again, and struck the rock and as happened each night before, water flowed.

That night the stars shone brightly, the heavens were alight with song. Something was about to happen. For after the meal, the woman called for the boy and he appeared by her side. The time had come and she wanted to share the birth of the child with him, for he walked with her a step or two. That night under the canopy of heaven a child was born and she asked the boy his name.

He answered, “My name is David.” She smiled at her son, and spoke to the heavens, May God in heaven be blessed and may he bless my son David, born this night. The heavens replied with a thousand shooting stars… What a glorious vision the host of angels come down from heaven to sing to David, the newest member of the tribes of Abraham. That night they rested and slept in peace.

On the 40th day the young boy awoke, there standing before him were 40 men, women and children. All of those whom David had walked with through the desert. At that moment an Elder man spoke to David and said follow me, there is someone who would like to see you David, HE has asked for you by name.

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The people before him parted and through them David walked until he reached a hill that was green with foliage and there a spring bubbled up. “Take off your sandals David” a voice spoke to him. David did not skip a beat. As David looked up from undoing his shoes, There the Master sat on the rock before him.

David’s eye welled up with tears, he had done exactly as he was instructed, as the Lord had told him. He had led his people through the desert helping each soul he met on his path. The Master knew what was in his heart and soul. David was without words. The Master got up from where He sat and approached David and wrapped his arms around him, and said……..

“Well done good and faithful servant. In YOU I am well pleased.”

What for? David said, all I did was what you asked of me while I walked. And the Master replied, “you know David, each time you helped one of these souls on your journey, you helped ME.” “What the least of these you have done for my brothers and sisters you have done for me.”

The Master reached down into the pool of water and blessing the water he blessed and baptized David the Boy, and then David the infant. And for a moment the heavens opened up and God’s voice was heard, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

And from the sky a beam of light shone forth into the desert and the sands were parted and there in the swirl of dust a city appeared. It is there that the people made their homes. The journey had ended. And a placed blessed by God was theirs to live in.

So will you walk with me a step or two. The journey is long and the road may be rough, but as the Lord says “I will make the path straight and your burden will be light.” Take only that which you need. And if you meet someone of the road, stop and ask your questions, share your water and food, for you never know when the Master will reveal himself to you.

Are you ready to start walking !!!


And the Oscar goes to …

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Sean Penn – as Harvey Milk – Best actor in a Motion Picture “Milk”.

” You Commie Homo sons o’ Guns.
We must have equal rights for everyone…”

Quite the upset tonight. Mickey Rourke did not get his statue.

Screenwriter for gay-activist movie ‘Milk’: Very soon–I promise–you will have = rights federally.

Lance Black won for writing Original Screenplay for MILK. It was a great night for all LGBTQ people. Statements were made, boundaries were broken and pledges were also made to a nation. We are very proud of Lance.

Film National Board Awards

Sweeping almost all of the categories “SlumDog Millionaire.” Winning Best Picture and a multitude of other awards.

“Slumdog Millionaire” won the top prize at the 81st annual
Academy Awards ceremony, as well as awards for

  1. directing,
  2. adapted screenplay,
  3. original score,
  4. film editing,
  5. original song,
  6. sound mixing and
  7. cinematography.

I think that the show went long and did not move as fast as other awards shows. I don’t know if I liked this “New Show Return to the Basics” kind of presentation. It seemed a little LONG and that there were too many commercial breaks during the telecast. I mean He had to do a stage number as an entertainer and stage performer but it just seemed wrong for an Oscars telecast. My favorite part of the show was the presentation of the original scores with the live performances from SlumDog Millionaire.

It was sad that Peter Gabriel was in the audience but he chose NOT to perform his piece from Wall-E. He complained that the segment was too short. Yet he was there to see the show.

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Kudos to the Academy for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor category for Heath Ledger. Only the second actor in Academy history to win a posthumous award.

A good night was had by all. Now on to the parties…

A list of all the winners from Joe My God:

Best Original Screenplay
Dustin Lance Black – Milk!!!!!
Best Actress
Kate Winslet – The Reader
Best Actor
Sean Penn – Milk!!!!!

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Christina Barcelona
Best Director
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire

We interrupt this live blog for a moment of mildly uncomfortable gay panic courtesy of James Franco and Seth Rogan. UGH. And here’s the rest….

Best Live Action ShortSpielzeugland. Best DocumentaryMan On Wire. Best Documentary Short – Smile Pinki. Best Visual EffectsThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Best Sound EditingThe Dark Knight. Best Sound MixingSlumdog Millionaire. Best Film EditingSlumdog Millionaire. Best Score Slumdog Millionaire. Best Song Slumdog Millionaire. Best Foreign Film Departures / Japan. Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire. Best Animated FilmWall-E. Best Animated ShortLa Maison En Petites Cubes. Best Art DirectionThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Best Costume Design -Michael O’Connor – The Duchess. Best Makeup Greg Carman – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Best Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle – Slumdog Millionaire.


Saturday Report

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Well, 3 days have passed and I stopped one of my pills to see if I could change up my system and it seems to have worked. I have had no potty problems since stopping. I have been eating well, and everything seems to be ok. I did some internet reading about [Lipitor] and how it interacts with some HIV medications, some on the list of interaction are in my medicine cabinet. I assume that maybe this was also a problem for me.

I have an appointment to see the doc on March the 4th. Sometime between now and then I have to drop labs, since it is well due for them. I’ve been meditating on 1500 which is a nice round number to shoot for it would be a new high for me but let’s be honest, I don’t know if I can get that high on the number scale. We’ll see what happens. I don’t usually drop labs when I am in a low point emotionally – I usually wait until I am in a good swing to do them because it shows up in the numbers.

I started working on my Pastoral Ministry Sermon for the Diocese this weekend, and right now the presentation is 18 pages long. I am mid-way into my outline of stuff I want to talk about. I have incorporated some of my blog writing into the discussion which has filled a good deal of writing so far. The longest paper I have ever written for a class was 15 pages. I just have to maintain a writing schedule and make sure to at least write something on the paper every day for the next week while I am on reading week break.

Tonight I whipped up a huge casserole of Baked Ziti for dinner which went over very well. Now we have food to eat for the weekend. It’s a recipe that has been passed from friend to friend. A good meal was had by all…

I made an addition to the blog tonight. —> over there on the sidebar. It’s a photo of our friend Adam Frey.

I went through the Google Images to find it, it’s a shot of Adam from Flow Wrestling when he did an interview on Cancer. I also posted a video of an Iron Man tournament in 2004 wrestling at 130 lbs. where Adam wrestled from the Tube.

I was sitting here for the last couple of hours watching old video on the Tube of H.R. PuffnStuff – that was a show that I watched when I was a kid, I also have the box set here. It is very scary to see all the show clips from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a lot of fun…

This week is reading week, so no classes. But I have work to get done this week so I might as well maximize my work time. There is snow in the forecast for the next couple of days. That will be nice. Just as long as it sticks and doesn’t melt, 10 cm of snow will be a good dusting.

Well that’s about it from the neighborhood. I am going to bed shortly. I just wanted to post an update for my regular readers. I want to tell you how important it is to hear from all of  you. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to stop and write me.

**********

I want to cross post something for Adam – it’s called PIN DOWN CANCER…
I know you want to do a good deed, so here is your chance. Go help Adam and his fellows to PIN DOWN CANCER…

This was posted the other night on Adam’s Blog.

46995_adamfreyoncancer_1222835723124_l

Goodday Everyone,

This is going to be a quickie because, well I am tired and today was spent sleeping, wrestling, and then studying.

I do have an important thing to ask.  My former high school team and the team I still help out with is wrestling the National Preps this weekend (for those of you who do not know, it is basically the state tournament for the prep school kids that cannot compete in their state tournaments due to certain stipulations).  They are putting together their yearly “Pin Down” campaign.  In my years it was Pin Down Hunger for the local food bank, then it became Pin Down Diabetes among other things.  This year it is Pin Down Cancer with all the benefits going to the Hope Lodge.

For those of you who do not remember, I along with tons of other families spent time at the lodge during treatments.  It is run by the American Cancer Society and provides free rooms to those who are going through treatments throughout the country.  I believe there are currently over 20 Hope Lodges nationwide, the one I stayed at was in NYC.  It saved me well, over three months of hotel costs.  90 days at $100 a night at least for NYC, and we are talking $9,000 dollars it saved me.

So, here is the deal.  You pledge for each pin or fall the Blair team gets at the tournament or make a flat donation.  Usually we average around 35-40 falls throughout the weekend, so if you pledged one dollar per fall it is about 40 dollars.  That equals one dinner for two at Applebees.  So, for sacrificing one dinner at Applebees, you can make a big difference in the life of someone battling cancer and needing a place to stay.

To sign up, go to www.blairwrestling.com.  It is the first link on the side with a little write up and an email address to look up if interested.  Two years ago they raised $14,000.  With all of the people reading this post (and I know how many of you there are), an average donation of one cent per fall per reader plus donations collected by the wrestlers would easily double or triple that amount.  That equates to one third a cup of coffee at McDonalds, or one fourth an Egg McMuffin.  If any reader cannot sacrifice one third of one Egg McMuffin to help house people fighting the biggest fight of their lives, well, I for once don’t have a comment.

Take care, be generous, and help us to pin down cancer.

God Bless,

Adam Frey

Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
Ezra 10:4


Adam Frey Wrestling IronMan 2004

Adam Frey vs Matt Dunn 2004 Ironman Wrestling 130lbs



Fr. Damien

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By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY – A 19th-century Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii, and died of the disease, will be declared a saint this year at a Vatican ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Rev. Damien de Veuster’s canonization date of Oct. 11 was set Saturday.

Born Joseph de Veuster in 1840, he took the name Damien and went to Hawaii in 1864 to join other missionaries of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Nine years later, he began ministering to leprosy patients on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai island, where some 8,000 people had been banished amid an epidemic in Hawaii in the 1850s.

The priest eventually contracted the disease, also known as Hansen’s disease, and died in 1889 at age 49.

“He went there (to Hawaii) knowing that he could never return,” The Rev. Alfred Bell, who spearheaded Damien’s canonization cause, told Vatican Radio. “He suffered a lot, but he stayed.”

De Veuster was beatified — a step toward sainthood — in 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican’s saint-making procedures require that a miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession be confirmed in order for him or her to be beatified. De Veuster was beatified after the Vatican declared that the 1987 recovery of a nun of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was a miracle. The nun recovered after praying to Damien.

After beatification, a second miracle is needed for sainthood.

In July, Benedict declared that a Honolulu woman’s recovery in 1999 from terminal lung cancer was the miracle needed for de Veuster to be made a saint.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints said Audrey Toguchi’s 1999 recovery from lung cancer defied medical explanation. Toguchi, too, had prayed to Damien.

The Vatican announced the date for Damien’s canonization and that of nine others. Five will be declared saints at a ceremony April 26, with the rest, including Damien, on Oct. 11.

Bell said Damien’s concern for others was a model for all the faithful today, particularly the young.

“Father Damien’s example helps us to not forget those who are forgettable in the world,” he said.


Blood …

blood_spatter

EDIT – UPDATE:
I called the clinic and spoke to the nurse in charge. And I explained what was going on, and he said “Not to worry.” My doc is booked until the 4th of March which is when I can get an appointment. He believes it is my hemorrhoids. I also told him I stopped taking the Lipitor and we will see if that is the culprit.

Stay tuned…

I’m having some issues that are starting to wear on my nerves. I don’t feel any pain, but my appetite is shrinking and eating full meals makes we wanna hurl, I don’t know if it is this cholestrol drug I am taking [Lipitor] …

The weather is not helping me going from cold to warm spaces sitting and standing – walking in the snow. The first time it happened the doc told me not to worry about it that probably my hemmoroids were acting up, so I let it go.

I have had bleeds every once in a while when I force myself in the bathroom. Tuesday this week I had a huge bleed at the meeting but the bleeding stopped. So I watched my stool all week since then. Tonight I attempted a potty break and once again there was blood. Bright Scarlet blood, it is coming from the passing I think. I don’t know.It was one shot and no more after that.

I have been having cancer nightmares for weeks. It’s like I have this sick sense that something is wrong. I’m either right or I am just going crazy.

Sister Georgette had cancer that spread like wildfire and it eventually killed her. I think I need to get with the doc tomorrow.

I’d hate to think that this is the other shoe dropping.

Something is upsetting my system to the point of bleeding and I don’t know what it is. And I am kind of freaked to find out. I think the Lipitor is making me nauseous when I sit down to eat and I eat till I am full, and I think that has screwed up my system. An interruption of diet, my system is all out of whack.

Oh well, we will see what the doc says tomorrow…


Thursday notes …

Do you believe in Love

Keeping with the theme of the week, it is Thursday February 19th.

President Barack Obama has visited Canada and the comments about the visit have all been very positive for Canada and its people. I just watched the press conference on Parliament Hill and was very impressed with what I heard.

Today I had my midterm exam on Early Christianity – Greco Roman traditions and Paul. I think I did alright. We were able to use our bibles for the exam which was a good thing. I hit 5 out of seven questions with ample information – we only had to answer 4 out of 7 questions, but I threw one in for good measure. I got a B on my biliography – well hubby made a B because he was the one who did it for me. The last time I did a bibliography I did not do so well, so I had the master of writing work on it for me.

It has been snowing, raining and pelleting all day today. There is some snow on the ground but the sidewalks are very wet because temps are a little higher than usual, the snow has melted and there are great puddles at every intersection which is messy. There was not enough accumulation in the city to warrant plows. Still the messy wet snow is a pain in the ass.

Now we are on break for the next week. Sadly we won’t be going anywhere. I have to work on my papers and get them done while I have some down time. So that is a brief look at the day from Montreal.

More to come, Stay tuned…


PM hails Obama’s visit as ‘great honour’

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Courtesy: CBC.CA Online

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Barack Obama shook hands and smiled Thursday as the U.S. president arrived on Parliament Hill for a meeting during which the two leaders are expected to take the first step toward a North American climate change treaty.

The pact involves carbon capturing, sequestration and the development of a so-called “smart grid,” or a more efficient power transmission and distribution system to save energy and reduce costs, White House officials told Reuters.

Obama, on his first foreign trip since taking office, arrived just before noon by motorcade at the Centre Block rotunda of Parliament Hill shortly after leaving the Ottawa International Airport.

The leaders met privately for 33 minutes, a session originally slated to last only 10 minutes. They then moved on to a meeting and working lunch with their staff teams. The president and the prime minister are scheduled to hold a joint news conference at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Cameras were briefly allowed into the Prime Minister’s Office, where both men were seen smiling and chatting.

“Thank you so much for having me,” Obama said to Harper as they stood and shook hands for the cameras.

“It’s a great honour to have you here on your first visit. We really appreciate it,” Harper said.

A senior PMO official said the private meeting gave the leaders a chance to establish a “good rapport. This was a good start and bodes well for the rest of the day.”

When the president arrived on the Hill, he waved to a cheering crowd of an estimated 2,500 people who had gathered in front, hoping to catch a glimpse of the U.S. leader.

Clary Fraser, who drove from Toronto to take in the moment, said he was in Birmingham, Ala., during a tragic race bombing in 1963.

“No one, no one in the world would have dreamed, could suggest that there would one day be a black president of the United States,” Fraser said.

Obama had been greeted at the airport by Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean after Air Force One touched down around 10:30 a.m.

An RCMP honour guard lined the airport tarmac as Obama was welcomed by the Governor General and other officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Michael Wilson, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.

Obama, who was wearing a long, dark coat with a dark crimson scarf tucked into the collar, and Jean, who was wearing a long, charcoal coat and matching hat, smiled and chatted as they walked side by side toward the airport terminal.

Crowds of people braved the light snow and chilly, damp weather to line the heavily guarded and barricaded streets of Ottawa. Busloads of police started arriving in the downtown area around 7:30 a.m. ET to start shutting down the streets.

The RCMP arrested a 20-year-old man Thursday morning who apparently tried to jump a barrier set up on Parliament Hill. The man is being questioned.

Yellow-jacketed officers are patrolling the streets by foot, scanning the sidewalks for any suspicious items.

Afghanistan, economy on agenda

During their meeting, the president, who took office in January, is expected to gauge the prime minister’s views on the future of the Afghanistan mission, as well as discuss what each country is doing to get the global economy back on its feet, CBC national affairs editor Chris Hall said.

Almost certain to come up is the controversial “Buy American” provision in the $787-billion US stimulus package Obama signed into law this week, despite fierce lobbying efforts by Canadian officials against the measure.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Harper warned that protectionist measures are the greatest threat to the global economy and that Canada will take action if the U.S. violates its international trade agreements.

Obama said in an interview this week with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge that Canadians should not be “too concerned” about the “Buy American” clause and that the U.S. would abide by trade agreements such as NAFTA, “just as we always have.”

He also said that he did not plan to make a specific request for Harper to reconsider Canada’s decision to end the military component of its mission in Afghanistan.

Obama will not address Parliament during his six-hour visit, but will meet with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff at the airport before departing for Washington at around 4:30 p.m. ET.

Ignatieff said he viewed his meeting with Obama later in the day as a “get-to-know.

“I think I want to excite Mr. Obama with the possibilities of working with Canada,” Ignatieff told CBC’s Susan Bonner outside the House of Commons. “There is so much we can do together.”

He said he wouldn’t use his time with Obama to “score political points” in the meeting, but added it was “appropriate for the Americans to be skeptical about the credibility of this government with respect to the environment.”

With files from the Canadian Press


PM hails Obama's visit as 'great honour'

shake-cp-w6279781

Courtesy: CBC.CA Online

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Barack Obama shook hands and smiled Thursday as the U.S. president arrived on Parliament Hill for a meeting during which the two leaders are expected to take the first step toward a North American climate change treaty.

The pact involves carbon capturing, sequestration and the development of a so-called “smart grid,” or a more efficient power transmission and distribution system to save energy and reduce costs, White House officials told Reuters.

Obama, on his first foreign trip since taking office, arrived just before noon by motorcade at the Centre Block rotunda of Parliament Hill shortly after leaving the Ottawa International Airport.

The leaders met privately for 33 minutes, a session originally slated to last only 10 minutes. They then moved on to a meeting and working lunch with their staff teams. The president and the prime minister are scheduled to hold a joint news conference at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Cameras were briefly allowed into the Prime Minister’s Office, where both men were seen smiling and chatting.

“Thank you so much for having me,” Obama said to Harper as they stood and shook hands for the cameras.

“It’s a great honour to have you here on your first visit. We really appreciate it,” Harper said.

A senior PMO official said the private meeting gave the leaders a chance to establish a “good rapport. This was a good start and bodes well for the rest of the day.”

When the president arrived on the Hill, he waved to a cheering crowd of an estimated 2,500 people who had gathered in front, hoping to catch a glimpse of the U.S. leader.

Clary Fraser, who drove from Toronto to take in the moment, said he was in Birmingham, Ala., during a tragic race bombing in 1963.

“No one, no one in the world would have dreamed, could suggest that there would one day be a black president of the United States,” Fraser said.

Obama had been greeted at the airport by Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean after Air Force One touched down around 10:30 a.m.

An RCMP honour guard lined the airport tarmac as Obama was welcomed by the Governor General and other officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Michael Wilson, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.

Obama, who was wearing a long, dark coat with a dark crimson scarf tucked into the collar, and Jean, who was wearing a long, charcoal coat and matching hat, smiled and chatted as they walked side by side toward the airport terminal.

Crowds of people braved the light snow and chilly, damp weather to line the heavily guarded and barricaded streets of Ottawa. Busloads of police started arriving in the downtown area around 7:30 a.m. ET to start shutting down the streets.

The RCMP arrested a 20-year-old man Thursday morning who apparently tried to jump a barrier set up on Parliament Hill. The man is being questioned.

Yellow-jacketed officers are patrolling the streets by foot, scanning the sidewalks for any suspicious items.

Afghanistan, economy on agenda

During their meeting, the president, who took office in January, is expected to gauge the prime minister’s views on the future of the Afghanistan mission, as well as discuss what each country is doing to get the global economy back on its feet, CBC national affairs editor Chris Hall said.

Almost certain to come up is the controversial “Buy American” provision in the $787-billion US stimulus package Obama signed into law this week, despite fierce lobbying efforts by Canadian officials against the measure.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Harper warned that protectionist measures are the greatest threat to the global economy and that Canada will take action if the U.S. violates its international trade agreements.

Obama said in an interview this week with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge that Canadians should not be “too concerned” about the “Buy American” clause and that the U.S. would abide by trade agreements such as NAFTA, “just as we always have.”

He also said that he did not plan to make a specific request for Harper to reconsider Canada’s decision to end the military component of its mission in Afghanistan.

Obama will not address Parliament during his six-hour visit, but will meet with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff at the airport before departing for Washington at around 4:30 p.m. ET.

Ignatieff said he viewed his meeting with Obama later in the day as a “get-to-know.

“I think I want to excite Mr. Obama with the possibilities of working with Canada,” Ignatieff told CBC’s Susan Bonner outside the House of Commons. “There is so much we can do together.”

He said he wouldn’t use his time with Obama to “score political points” in the meeting, but added it was “appropriate for the Americans to be skeptical about the credibility of this government with respect to the environment.”

With files from the Canadian Press


Our Father

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Found On: World O’ Jeff

Very Exciting News. Fr. Geoff will be speaking at All Saints Church in Pasadena on Saturday February 21st. Their website can be found: Here – All Saints Video Page

Text of the sermon presented by Father Geoffrey Farrow at Hollywood United Methodist Church, Sunday, February 15, 2009

—-

In the Gospel of Luke 11:1 “one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray. Here a disciple asks Jesus for practical instruction in how to pray. I’ve often heard people in the gay community make the statement: “I’m spiritual but, not religious.”

There is a great truth in this statement. It is born of personal pain and loss. Many have been rejected outright by their religious communities of origin, some have been relegated to a sort of second class citizenship where they are tolerated, at best. Worst still, some parents have echoed what religious leaders have told them. Believing that they were doing what was best for their children, they have unwittingly become accomplices with religious leaders in driving their children away from God and the spiritual life. Even more tragically, some have believed that they are worthless and have taken their own life.

Yet, like the disciple who asked the Lord to teach him to pray, many in the LGBT community recognize a transcendent spiritual good for which they long. The Lord responds with tender and generous love and teaches this disciple who is hungry for spiritual life seven petitions which we know as the “Our Father” or “The Lord’s Prayer.”

“Our Father.”

St. Brigit of Sweden said that you could spend the rest of your life meditating on the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer. A scripture professor was in the museum which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. Like most large public spaces, there were crowds moving around and suddenly, a small girl started crying loudly. She was saying “Abba, Abba” the word for father which Jesus used in this prayer. The professor was taken aback, it was the first time he had heard the word used outside of academia and by a child no less. A large hand stretched out from the crowd, the little girl recognized it as her daddy’s hand. She put her little hand in that large hand and her countenance changed from fear and tears to reassurance and a gentle smile. She was safe, she was with her “daddy.” My professor told our class, for the first time I understood what the Lord meant when he taught us to address God as “father.”

“Hallowed be your name”

Relationships are not a “right” but, a privilege. Who here today can pick up a telephone and call the President of the United States and have him answer the phone. Yet, the Lord granted us the privilege to be able to call the supreme being at any time. To be able to address God intimately.

This second petition is intended to remind us to cherish this privilege. In Hebrew, there are no vowels, just consonants. Vowel sounds are identified by points which are placed under the consonants so that the reader may pronounce the words. When the Name of God was written, the vowel points were excluded so that the name would not be abused. The Holy Name was invoked in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem. The High Priest would whisper the name, invoking mercy on Israel for her transgressions. While he was in the Temple, the representatives of the various tribes stood outside making as much noise as possible so that the Name of God would not be heard and misused. We have gone from that deep respect and reverence to blurting out the name of God when our cheeseburger order gets messed up.

“Thy Kingdom Come”

When we think of “kingdoms” or “countries” most of us think of a map. In antiquity however, a kingdom was thought of as “great” not by the extent of its lands but, by the number of its subjects. We could say that the Mayor of New York is probably more influential than the Governor of Alaska. Even though geographically, New York is much smaller, it have a much larger population than the State of Alaska. This petition, reminds me that the Kingdom of God will never be found “out there” until it is first manifest in my mind, heart and soul.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

The instant that the angels in heaven know the will of God, they execute it. Do I do that? In my major decisions in life, is what is most pleasing to God a first consideration? Is it a consideration at all? If God is love, as St. John asserts in his letter. Then, Love should be my guide in relationships, finances, career, social issues, politics, etc. This petition was placed on the lips of disciples by Jesus to have them measure their words and deeds by this standard. St. Augustine said: “Love and do as you will”. If authentic love is your touchstone in decision making, you are not far from the kingdom.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

When sister taught us the Our Father in grammar school, she asked the class if this meant: “Wonder Bread, that builds bodies in 8 ways” I stretched up my hand and blurted out “YES”. It was, of course, the wrong answer. The Lord taught that man does not live on bread alone. Here we are asking God for spiritual sustenance. Grant that I may think, speak and act as spiritually enlightened person. Grant me the sensitivity to look beyond my own needs and wants. Grant me the courage to speak and act for what is right and not merely do what is expedient. Give me grace, a share in true and abiding love.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Most of us learned this prayer as small children. Most of us machine gunned it out of our mouths as we did the alphabet. How many times have we actually paused and considered what it is we are petitioning the Creator when we speak these words? The Lord, deliberately placed this petition on the lips of every man, woman and child who would claim to be his disciple.

Please, take one moment. Close your eyes and imagine the person you most dislike in this life. The person who had most wronged or hurt you. Or, even worse, has hurt someone you dearly love. Now, speak this petition slowly. How you treat that person, how you speak of that person, that is how you want God to treat you. It can be a sweet heart deal or, merciless. Its up to you. And that is precisely why the Lord placed this petition on our lips. To require us to reflect. To help us to grow. To help us become channels of love and mercy in a world which is all too often obsessed with hatred and revenge.

Lord Byron wrote that “hatred is the abiding pleasure.” Its like a cat that sits on our lap and we pet. You can really get into fantasizing about that evil so and so getting what they deserve and imagine all the scenarios. But, if someone seriously suggested that you invite that individual to move into your guest room and live in your house, you’d think them insane for suggesting the idea. When you chose to harbor a grudge, you’re not inviting someone you dislike into your home, you’re inviting them to take up residence in your mind and heart. You’re inviting them to spend time with you to the exclusion of others. Hatred becomes a very insidious and corrosive cancer which consumes those who hold it in their heart. Let it go. Pray for that person, that he/she come to the same joy and peace you desire for yourself. Spend your thoughts and times on good things and people who extend you their love.

“And lead us not into temptation but, deliver us from evil.”

Two years ago I was driving to the hospital and I saw a car with a bumper sticker which read: “And lead us not into temptation, I can find it for myself.” That should make a Marriage and Family Therapist’s Accountant very happy. Sin and temptation have been used for decades by advertisers to sell us everything from clothing and toiletries to automobiles. All of us have probably made an impulse purchase which we later came to regret. Sadly, this is sometimes not limited to commodities but, in unreflective moments of weakness, relationships have been seriously damaged, or destroyed.

Beyond this, we all have a breaking point. A point were “we lose it.” Where we say and do hurtful or hateful things. Here we the Lord teaches us to know our limits. This petition teaches us to consider our limitations and ask for help to avoid those circumstances which could be too much for us. It also asks for Divine assistance at the end of life’s journey.

Considering our end is not morbid, it helps put things in perspective. Where are my practical choices leading me? How do I treat others in my life? My co-workers, people I supervise, my family members, people I date, my partner/spouse? Would I want to be with me in any of those relationships?

The petitions in the prayer the Lord taught us are meant to make us reflect. They are formulated to help us grow spiritually. They are made to help establish a little piece of heaven in our mind, our heart and in our world.