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Graduate Studies

Sweet Deals …

Where can you get over $600.00 in MX gear for cheap? EBAY … You never know when something is gonna hit that you can’t pass up. I’ve been looking at race gear to go with my boots that I got for Christmas and everything I have come across runs $100-$150.00 per pant and $50 – $100 per shirt to buy them right from a dealer or professional site.

So I jumped at the occasion to buy this lot of gear for a mere $55.00 plus shipping which is a steal. I am planning some new things for the summer here in Montreal and maybe take a trip to do some motorbiking in a foreign country, I’ve been mesmerized by ENDURO videos on You Tube from all over the world as of late, and I want to do something exciting this year. I guess you could say that that is one of my resolutions for the new year.

I had lunch with my mentor yesterday and we talked about my Grad Student career and he gave me some good advice that I have been following up on today. He said that I should get in contact with student services on campus and see when they will offer grad student writing courses, to help me work on my writing.

The second piece of advice was to consult the campus vocational director to see if there are any work possibilities for the future since I do have my two degrees. I also put in a call to the Monsignor yesterday to go talk to him to find out if I could get a break into diocese work.

I am still seeking answers to the question – What am I doing here? I need to sit down with my program director since I haven’t seen him since classes ended in December. Last night I went to class and we had a guest presenter to do a presentation on Hermeneutics and Biblical Scripture in Africa. What is the meaning of scripture in a contemporary setting. It was good. My friend Judy was the one to present her work to us. She is going to Kenya next month for a 4 month sabbatical to work and teach. THAT is Amazing … I want to do stuff like that.

We’ll see …

That’s about all for now … More to come. Stay tuned …


Conversation with God … and Man

As I write this I’m sitting in a garage waiting for my car to be done, so please forgive my spelling and short words.

I’ve been talking to God about you, for you, since I received your letter. It seems like a very difficult spot you are in right now, very discouraging for you.

I think its wise to use these times to confirm that we are going in the direction God has for us to go. Sometimes we get moving along and don’t hear the subtly of the spirit so he uses heavy shots across our bow. Is this where he wants you to be? Doing what he wants you to do? Apart from the financial necessity of keeping going, is there a sense that he wants you there right now?

He could provide for you differently if he’s asking you to do something else. But it takes great courage to face that question. Great courage and faith.

Maybe he desires to make your education more experiential rather than academic.

The more I think about and pray for you the more it feels to me like he wants to do a deep work in your heart. these “deep works” are often preceded by crisis times. These times are invitations to go deeper in faith. Like Moses at the red sea he invites us to faith by positioning us in a place where we are unable to accomplish it ourselves. We can lean into him and trust him to do in us what needs to be done, or we can turn away because we are not ready for the invitation.

This work actually changes our insides, our spirits. We look more and more like Christ Jesus and less like ourselves.

These times come to help us, deepen us, create real faith in us. If they did not then all we would have is a head knowledge of religion. If we are going to be used of God, our faith needs to be real.

I know on one hand it sounds cliche but to lean into Christ for strength, support and direction will not be a waste of time.

He may say you’re done this part of your education for now. He may give you super strength and clarity to accomplish the task. He may help you with friends and support systems that sustain you for years. Or he may give you just what you need for any given day. But whatever happens, you will deepen in your walk with him, if you lean into him.

Use it as a discernment time, as an invitation to go deeper, as a possibility for Him to work the faith into your spirit.

And I shall pray.

Use what is good from this email and toss the rest and may Gods will and blessing and peace rest with you Jeremy.

My response tonight:

I really really appreciate your letter. It is sound and right. I signed up for this Masters Degree. I did not expect that it would ask so much of me, and to a degree I don’t think I was properly prepared to be a critical theologian at my age.
My exit interview with one of the profs who is overseeing my degree work told me that they expect greater work from me to be more critical and more involved in what I write and how I study. To hear him tell me that I did not fail, perse, I just did not turn in work that was good enough that merits grad student levels did me in emotionally.
*
I don’t know where God wants me to be, because nothing has appeared on the radar to direct me anyplace else than where I am at the moment. I started class on Monday night and I told my prof that I was stressed and that I did not do so well last term. She said that she wouldn’t let me fall behind and that I would be ok. Tomorrow’s class is going to be a challenge (Ecclesiology and Hermeneutics) taught by one of the elders of the department and I know that class is going to be a handful.
*
Right now, I can tell you that I don’t know where I am supposed to be or maybe I am not asking God the right questions. I have two more people to consult before I make any decisions about school. One is my academic adviser from the religion department. And the other is the Rev. Canon from the church I go to here in the city, she is out for another week.
*
If this is a test, then failure is not an option. If God wants me to walk through this – then that may be the option right now, I got on the ship, I need to work like I belong here right?
*
So I will pray and I will listen and I will do the work as it comes and see what pans out. If I am meant to stay here a sign will come, I’ve trusted God all this time and he has never steered me wrong. If I am meant to go somewhere else, I figure when the time is right God will tell me so… isn’t that how it works? If you pray for discernment usually you have to listen for the words to come however they come to you.
*
I don’t know if I can be a critical scholar. This all may be too much for me and I should see where a Degree in Religion and a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry can get me. I haven’t consulted the Monsignor in a long time. Maybe I should talk to him too… you can never have too many minds on the case, not if they are good minds.
Thanks for your prayers they are much appreciated. I’ll keep you posted.

Year End Review 2009

It’s almost over, and I think it is important to look back over the last year and see what happened over the last 12 months.

In January I began another set of classes to finish my Pastoral Ministry Certificate. It was a tough semester with Applied Human Sciences and the New Testament and my Pastoral Ministry Practicum, which I excelled at. January was a big month. It was all about Barack Obama, and the Audacity of hope that was coming to America.

My friend Sam was very pregnant with James. And his birth would come on inauguration day, January 20th. He has grown into quite a good looking boy almost a year after his birth.

Bishop Gene Robinson caused a fruckus because he was to give the invocation at the Grand Inaugural Concert – which was not shown on the HBO telecast, which caused a great deal of consternation to the LGBTQ community. Where +Bishop Gene goes, controversy follows.

On January 31st we buried a long time member of AA in Montreal, Sylvia was a fixture in Montreal sober circles and it was a grand day at St. Monica’s she was remembered well.

In February I learned that family members were on Facebook, and after several failed attempts at communication – that door remains closed. It was quite a drama for me in sobriety. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

March was up in the air… I want to share some writings from Adam during the month of March. This comes on March 29th 2009 …

Goodday Everyone,

My chemo had no effect on anything and although it died in one tumor, it spread to two new spots on my liver.  My HCG is as high as it was during my initial diagnosis and the new chemo regiment is a pill that is more about quality of life than actually beating my cancer.  I was given a timetable on my life and it was not fifty years, in fact it was not even five…two seems likely, months if it is left untreated.

I find out Monday if it would be safe to laser out the lesions (the liver is one organ they can literally burn cancer out of), then I go back on a drug I had a year ago and with good effect.  My cancer does not respond to platinum drugs, meaning all the main drugs they use to treat TC were voided.  This means I went through high dose for basically nothing and could have just had the other two with the same effects.

I am almost happy that I do not have to go through that chemo regimen anymore.  It hurt, it was miserable, and it beat me up.

I am not quitting, or accepting this, and overseas I have learned of some therapies that involve stem cells and other therapies that cure cancer.  I am looking into it because conventional medicide is just not doing the trick.  It is too strong for chemo.

This is starting to annoy me more and more, the consistant failures.  It is frustrating living like this, fighting hard and doing things right just for it to do nothing.  Well, I guess I have to take things into my own hands and research the unconventional methods.  They apparently work very well, and that is the next step.

Well, I was always unconventional…

God Bless,
Adam Frey

On April 25th 2009 we lost Bea Arthur – at age 86.

The month of May was a tough month for me, as things in my medical circle began to change and I was diagnosed with Type two Diabetes. It was quite a shock, I got real sick and began to loose my vision. After some serious doping by my doctor they got my numbers under control. My diabetes is quite in check today.

Here is a letter from Adam – from May the 17th 2009 …

Jeremy,

You know, I think things get darkest before they dawn.  I just wish I knew how dark things would be.  Until a few days ago, I was pretty bitter. Bitter, angry, frustrated, just pissed off at the situation.  I am sure you can understand.

Then it hit me.  Who am I to hold grudges.  If God can forgive and let things go, why have I been holding grudges, some for years, some with poeple that do care about me.  Some over things that are sort of outlandish.  I had a moment in prayer and I vowed to let it go.  I got the notion that God came in right there and a calm fell.

I told him I was sorry for my stubborness and rage and that I in fact wanted to be a miracle…for surely I cannot spread hope and love in a box.  By days end I started feeling better.  I started having night sweats…which is the number one symptom of a REGRESSING cancer.  Maybe I needed to change my
goals and path to what he wants it to be.

From the little I know about you, you have been declared terminal and changed your path and seem to be doing ok.  I think I needed to change mine, and maybe I just needed to be pushed to the breaking point and past it to realize that.

Its optimism

-Adam

The month of June brought a spate of deaths …

On June 25th we lost two powerhouse people, Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett. We watched a lot of tv that day, it was all about Michael. That same day was the last time we had a torrential rain/hail storm in the city.

I also applied to the Department of Theology to pursue my Masters in Theology, and was subsequently accepted into the MA Program.

In July the world lost an Icon of Television broadcasting. Walter Cronkite died at the wise age of 92.

I turned the ripe old age of 42, without pomp and circumstance on July the 31st. It was a very sedate affair. My fourties has been all about hindsight.

August 24th was the 3rd anniversary of the death of my great aunt Sister Georgette. On August the 26th we lost the a lion of the senate U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy died after battling brain cancer.

I finished my studies over the Summer of 2009 – ending my pursuit of my Certificate in Pastoral  Ministry with my massive missive of working in Task Groups for professor Bright.

With the start of the Fall Semester I became a Graduate Student in the Department of Theology. Do I regret that today? NO, but I am unsure of the future.

I started going to the gym at the new EV building something I enjoy doing and something that I haven’t done in a while because of school.

The month of September brought illness to my hubby who ended up in the Montreal General with intestinal issues. And after 48 hours spent in the ER and massive doses of morphine and being poked and prodded by this one and that one we brought him home with medication which seemed to be the ticket to good health. He hasn’t had another problem since then.

My friend Carmi lost him father on September the 22nd. The funeral was here in Montreal at Paperman and Sons. I went to pray with Carmi’s family and about 200 friends and family. The chapel was packed. His dad was well loved.

October brought another death to the world, that of Stephen Gately of the boy band BOYZONE. He was only 33 years old. So young and gone from the world.

In November the fear of Swine Flu invaded the airwaves worldwide and clinics were opened to inoculate as many people with the swine flu vaccine as possible to circumvent a world wide pandemic.  I got my shot on November the 9th.

On November the 19th the world was shocked to find out that Oprah Winfrey told us that she would end her long running television show in September of 2011. The world took a collective gasp and television stations began to ponder how they would fill the void after her television departure.

December was a very rough month. I finished my first semester as a graduate student and I did not do as well as I had expected. In fact nothing I wrote was acceptable to either of my professors and now I have to rewrite all of my papers that are due in the coming months.

Christmas came and went – it was a quiet holiday here at home. Everybody got what they wanted for Christmas and fun was had by all.

Adam went into the hospital with breathing problems and ended up on a ventilator, he died on Boxing Day at 2:21 in the afternoon. Such a bright light gone so young.

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

Much happened in the year 2009. I learned a lot about myself over the course of three semesters in two disciplines. Pastoral Ministry and Theology. I learned a hard lesson from my Applied Human Sciences professor. I hated that class. I worked all summer in finishing my Ministry Certificate.

I hit a lot of meetings and worked my program. I celebrated 8 years of sobriety on December the 9th. I took my cake and it was all well and good. My academic career needs to be stepped up for the next semester so that I don’t make another failed attempt at a graduate degree. I can’t afford another fail report because I will be dismissed from the program if I don’t do better this term, not to mention rewriting all that work from the fall semester.

It was a year of highs and lows. We lost some good people from show business and we lost family and friends this year. So that is a brief overview of what happened this year…

Let us close with Adam … and pray for his soul…

True to his word, Adam went down swinging. 21 months after his car crash in March of ‘08, Adam passed at 2:21PM December 26, 2009.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
-Phillippians 4:13

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

After I posted this to the blog over on Adam’s site and here, I have been informed that Adam has passed. We pray God’s blessing upon him.

Adam, has taken a turn for the worse, phone calls have been made, today we pray for Adam as the journey looks to be coming to an end.

For Adam …

Now is the time to say all those things that need to be said. Now is the time to let God be God. Now is the time that we pray for mercy. Now is the time we give permission to Adam to do what he needs to do with the understanding that he is not alone, and that all of us are here with him and with you. We all live on borrowed time. And if this is Adam’s time, then Let go and Let God. He has been a champion and a fighter for so long. Now may be the time we tell him that it is ok to let go now. If we give him that permission he may hear us and the end won’t be so far away.

We pray God that Adam’s life not be forgotten and that we all may take away some lesson for ourselves. We pray that the angels will protect him and carry him to the altar of God in heaven where there is no more sickness and no more pain. We know that God is merciful and that God hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the Lord. We pray that Adam is where he needs to be and will be going to where he needs to go. The fight has been long and arduous and those of us who have walked with him over the years, like I have myself, can say that he fought the good fight. But sometimes you can’t fight disease, no matter how hard we pray. Sometimes when we pray God says – no, I have other plans, but this is a time of learning and of faith. Now is the time to commend Adam to God and to allow God’s will be done. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want …

We pray God’s blessing upon Adam and upon his family. We pray that God will bless him and make him whole once again in heaven. And we pray for strength to allow God what he needs to do to take Adam home. This is what, ultimately, faith asks of us, to know when it is time to die and to go to that death with the ultimate knowledge that God hears us and is with us even in the darkest of times.

We love you Adam, and we have been blessed to walk this journey with you. God’s peace to you on your journey. We will not forget you and neither will God.

Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty.

Jeremy

Here is to 2010 may it be new, bright and exciting…


Tuesday Debrief …

buid63 copy

Last night I had a monster of a headache. Not sure if it was hunger driven or illness driven, but it was pain nonetheless. So I was in bed very early – I got up to get some food around 11 and went back to bed. I had an early call this morning.

I don’t do mornings – usually… But today I had to be at the diabetes clinic by 9:00 a.m. to get into the patient queue. There are always at least 20 people waiting at any given hour of the morning. I got in line and they took me quite quickly – a very smart looking and cute looking intern did my triage. He went over my numbers and took some notes of things that I had observed over the last few months and he also looked at my test numbers. They have been steadily coming down.

It seems doctor George used me as a guinea pig with the medications that I am on now. Because at one point the young intern went to get him and he told me so much. He said that most doctors wouldn’t have done what he did to me – medications wise, but it seems that I respond very well to medications.

They decided to cut my Diabeta in half for my lunch and dinner pill taking. From 5 mg to 2.5 per meal, along with the Metformin and the Januvia. It seems that the Januvia is doing the bulk of the sugar work, as in, bringing the numbers down. I have these wonky moments here and there and they were noted in my file. Doctor George was very pleased with my numbers, he was actually bouncing on his toes, apparently pleased with what he did with me.

So they tweaked my meds a little bit and gave me a 6 month return appointment. That was a good morning.

***********

I came home and went back to bed. And I had the most interesting dream. It seems that in this dream I had been adopted into a family of religious people, it was a very “Seminary” dream. That’s the best way to describe it, because that is the feeling that I took away from it. There was a huge house. A mom and dad, and three siblings. There was a big party and lots of spiritual things going on in the dream. It was very spiritual – they say that you should observe the dream and if you can – are awake – during your dream, take as much information away from it that you can, visually, emotionally, descriptively and physically. There was cake, and celebration. There was prayer and communication. I haven’t had a dream like this in like, forever… then it ended abruptly and I woke up.

***********

And now for the best news of the night… Remember that I had that exam in my Gnosticism class last week, and I was angry about the fact that I studied like a madman and most of what I studied was NOT on the exam. And I posted the questions I answered earlier, let me go find them… Here they are:

  1. Who was Simon Magus and why was he important to Gnostics?
  2. Why is it so difficult to define “Gnosticism?”
  3. Who is Sophia and what role does she play in Sethian Gnosticism?
  4. Describe the socioeconomic, religious and political atmosphere in early Alexandria that led to Gnosticism in Jewish diaspora Jews? (I nailed this question)

When class started tonight the prof told us that nobody failed the exam and he was quite pleased we all did so well. I just shook my head. I wasn’t sure what i was expecting in him saying “he was pleased we did well!” We had our lecture on the Gospel of Philip and a discussion about Jesus and Mary Magdalene which was entertaining and informative. At the end of class he handed out the exams and I was afraid to look at mine. I got a ( B- ) … Holy Fuck !!!

I pulled a ( B – ) out of my ass …

I thought about this on the way home tonight. Thinking about what everyone had said to me after the fact when I was fretting about my work… I knew the material. I studied it all. I took it all in and when I sat the exam, I wrote everything that came to mind on every question. And it wasn’t about how much I wrote on each question, but WHAT I did write on each question that mattered. Because on a few of the questions, I only wrote half a page, not a whole page, and in those cases, that was enough. I had hit the nail on the head.

So that makes the following: I got a ( B ) on my bibliography and I got a ( B- ) on the exam. Which puts me in good standing as a graduate student. I have a book review due in a couple of weeks and I really need to finish this 245 page text on What is Gnosticism by Karen L. King. It’s a nightmare … But doable…

Well, now I really need to eat. Then to bed …

That was my good day…

More to come, stay tuned …


Graduate Studies …

Do you believe in Love

I was waiting for my batman ring, or my superpower to make itself known or maybe there was a secret handshake to take place… None of that happened tonight as I attended my first class as a Graduate Student. The class is Gnosticism and is cross listed as a 300 level undergraduate class as well as a 600 level Graduate course in the department of Theology.

The syllabus was “THICK” and our prof, the esteemed “Teacher of Teachers” Professor Andre Gagne was our leader. He is a man, a scholar and an all around great professor. Most of the class is made up of veterans of his past classes. It seems his admirers run in packs.

He had two sets of syllabuses for us, one for the undergrads and one for the grads. Our grading structure for the grads differs a little and we have extra work to do for the term.

  • A Bibliography 10 titles/10 articles
  • An 8 to 10 page Book review from a list of sources
  • A Midterm exam in October
  • A 20 page final paper

Tomorrow I have my second Graduate class – Christology in Early Church. It’s not about egos and attitudes. I know most of my classmates and we all hung out after class walking back to campus – the class is in a building off the main drag of the campus itself.

I’m a little intimidated – but I hope that will dissipate over time. My friend Luigi had nothing but good things to say to me seeing that I am now a graduate student and he is still an undergrad. He joked, “hopefully you will still be my friend, even though you are a graduate student…” of course I will.

I didn’t get to the gym today. Maybe tomorrow.

More to come, stay tuned…


I'm Melting …

4ktcly

It is soooo HOT today. This morning I sorted out my financial aide FINALLY and I am OFFICIALLY a GRAD student. I am registered for classes in the fall. Yes, it really happened, and I am really a GRAD student. Can you believe it… I’ve worked very hard to get to this point in my academic career.

Then I set off for church where it was so sweltering that I was sweating like a whore in church, literally !!! I came home and hung out for a couple hours before heading off for the Gym.

It was eerily quiet today. The muscle bunnies were all on the weight side. There were only a handful of people on the machine side. The boys were all absent. “sad” So I did my thing and got on the treadmill for a bit, then I did a mile on the elliptical. It is so hard … There is more work on the elliptical than the treadmill. I did my weights and finished up and packed it in.

Came home and took a cold shower. I’ve been taking cold showers for the last week, several times a day because of the heat and humidity. I don’t do well in the humidity. My body just doesn’t want to move, and I have to force myself to get up and work.

The drama that is Big Brother is going to be good tonight. If you haven’t gotten the scoop on the latest drama click here : The Prime Time Dish run by my friend Dustin.

So that’s all for now. Stay tuned, more to come …


I’m Melting …

4ktcly

It is soooo HOT today. This morning I sorted out my financial aide FINALLY and I am OFFICIALLY a GRAD student. I am registered for classes in the fall. Yes, it really happened, and I am really a GRAD student. Can you believe it… I’ve worked very hard to get to this point in my academic career.

Then I set off for church where it was so sweltering that I was sweating like a whore in church, literally !!! I came home and hung out for a couple hours before heading off for the Gym.

It was eerily quiet today. The muscle bunnies were all on the weight side. There were only a handful of people on the machine side. The boys were all absent. “sad” So I did my thing and got on the treadmill for a bit, then I did a mile on the elliptical. It is so hard … There is more work on the elliptical than the treadmill. I did my weights and finished up and packed it in.

Came home and took a cold shower. I’ve been taking cold showers for the last week, several times a day because of the heat and humidity. I don’t do well in the humidity. My body just doesn’t want to move, and I have to force myself to get up and work.

The drama that is Big Brother is going to be good tonight. If you haven’t gotten the scoop on the latest drama click here : The Prime Time Dish run by my friend Dustin.

So that’s all for now. Stay tuned, more to come …


News

ma-pic

I met with the director of the M.A. Program at the Department of Theology this morning. We discussed the requirements for admission and what I needed in the way of recommendation letters and my own two page letter of intent.

As it stands, I was told that as long as the letters of introduction were positive and I followed the administrative route to apply, that in essence I have been accepted into the M.A. Program for the Fall.

It looks like I will be following this option for my studies.

M.A. with Applied Project (45 Credits)

  1. THEO 603 Method in Theology 3 credits
  2. THEO 604 Seminar 3 credits
  3. Elective courses in Theology 18 credits
  4. THEO 691 Research Paper 12 credits
  5. THEO 692 Applied Project in Theology 9 credits – We spoke about the mentor circle and he thinks that my community experience will translate well into the applied project.

Full time studies – will be 6 semesters and run a maximum of 4 years to complete, although one can finish in less than 4 years. The deadline to apply for the Fall semester is July the 1st.

YAY !!!


The Seven Deadly Sins…

A reading from the Gospel of Mark: 10:17-27
The Rich Young Man

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.”

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

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

What is it that man can judge another man? There is a lot to be said about Pride. For Pride cometh before the fall. I am very careful in writing here because I know that every word that is written here is scrutinized by a chosen few men and women who seem to think that it is their job to judge me.

I’ve never been one to sit on pride. I’ve never been one to be prideful to the extent that I have committed a sin or sinned against anyone that I know. A person in recovery knows that pride is one of those sins that can take someone down faster than most. So let us review the seven deadly sins and let us explore together how we avoid them and why we talk about them today.

Proverbs 6:16-21

There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

The Seven Deadly Sins are: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

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It was brought to my attention today by a commenter that I was Prideful and that I should read my own posts to see that truth. I beg to differ. I take pride in the fact that I hold a B.A. in Religious Studies and a second Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. And if I am not reminded daily that I am a sinner and that I have fallen short of the Glory of God, that would be a sin.

I have no need to be

(1) Lustful because I own the love I have for another and he for me. So I think I have cleared lust off my list of sins. I am not a

(2) Glutton, in fact I believe that I am just the opposite. I’ve never been a big fan of

(3) Greed
because what does greed get you but pain? It does not get you further in the game nor does it bode well to be a greedy human being.

(4)
Sloth,
I have not been in the pit of misery for many years. This sin has been called the sin of sadness and despair. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness — the last being viewed as being a refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world he created.

I do enjoy every day that God gives me because lets face it living with AIDS you never know when your card is going to pop up on the dashboard of God’s choosing.


(5) Wrath
, Wrath (or anger)
may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth, both to others and in the form of self -denial, impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the workings of the justice system (such as engaging in vigilantism and generally wishing to do evil or harm to others.

Well I think I have my own truth. And I know God’s truth. And I do work every day to live in that truth. My truth may not be your truth and what a bore it would be if I owned your truth. I don’t believe that my brand of Christianity is any better than the next and I do preach my truth with precision and here I am covering all the bases just to make sure that no one can say I have spoken wrongly.Envy, for sure, I don’t envy anyone in my social circle. Like greed,

(6)
Envy
is characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons. First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy desire something that someone else has which they perceive themselves as lacking.

I really don’t desire anything that anyone I know owns or has. And i don’t think I am lacking in any of the creature comforts of house and home, my spiritual life is in tact and is very well thank you. So let us talk about the last deadly sin, PRIDE.

(7) Pride In almost every list Pride ( or hubris or vanity) is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and indeed the ultimate source from which the others arise. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to give compliments to others though they may be deserving of them, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).

Dante’s definition was “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbor.” Pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the titulary famed Parisian doctor. In perhaps the best-known example, the story of Lucifer, pride was what caused his fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. Vanity and narcissism are prime examples of this sin. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the penitent were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs in order to induce feelings of humility.

Hubris, that was the word that my commenter used this morning… If you think that I am as vain as some seem to think, I believe you are sadly mistaken. I do not and never have desired to be better than anyone else, I don’t believe that I set myself above anyone, lest I really sin against God.

I wish that some people who come to read this blog were stricken with a terrible disease that is fatal and that they try to live within that space for a period of time to see just what it feels like. As a person living with AIDS I can tell you that vanity and hubris went out the window years ago.

A fatal disease removes all these sins from you in ways that you the normal well reader could never imagine. I don’t know what you believe if you think that disease has not taken its toll on my physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and I find it incredible that someone would have the desire to point out that I have sinned in the way I live my life, what I do with this life and what I chose to print on this blog. Because I am damn well sure that You do not know me and I have no earthly desire to know you or believe like you.

I will say this again… I don’t have to prove myself or justify myself to anyone and you don’t have to agree with me or my spiritual practice. You may not agree with my brand of Christian belief, and that is your problem, not mine.

They say in recovery that IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANYONE THEN YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO YOUR OWN SELF AND FIND THAT WHICH IS THE PROBLEM WITHIN YOURSELF. Then you must change that which is within yourself.

Matthew 7:1-5

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


All is Right in the World

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I slept in today, UGH! But I did get to my evening class with Sara, my Celtic Christianity class, which I totally enjoyed. Sara’s classes are comfy and warm and cozy that you come in and you sit and allow the feeling to wash over you that “all is well in the world.”

That doesn’t speak of an easy ride mind you, but one of conscious thought and work. I have been reading the course pack and through tonight’s discussion we have learned a few things. That there is more to Celtic life than we may have known. That each reading in the book is set in its place for a reason.

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Imagine standing before a forest, you boys out West can better understand this than I can paint a picture, but Sara used the forest imagery tonight. And I remarked how each reading, if laid upon the one prior paints a picture in successive layers of reading, and information. And the readings tease you to walk into the forest and turn leaves over looking for further clues to the real truth of the Celtic.

We are invited to start exploring the forest for clues to our study for this term. It is not all so easy, and reading about the past – we must use our lenses of hermeneutic suspicion, to read each text and article with a critical eye. I used that term tonight, and Sara giggled to the rest of the class, “oh Jeremy, you are so clever, aren’t you!” I had to explain this strategy with my fellows.

It’s all good…

And my young warrior from the West came to visit! You can check out his blog, The Life of Robert Wesley, he is a very special friend that I have known for some time.  Joy of joys he has decided to continue writing!! YAY!!

On the way home I hit “Came to Believe” in time for the second speaker, just so I had some time to sit with myself and be quiet and listen to another speak about his trials and tribulations about recovery. I just wanted to sit and listen, which is always a good thing to do when possible.

Over all is was a great night. Now I am gonna hit some dinner and chill out…

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A photograph from the Portfolio of Robert Wesley from B.C.


Monday Night …

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I got some mail from London today and in it was a really wonderful gift from my Big Sis, needless to say I was amazed and overjoyed. I have really great family and friends, all over the world. It is far easier to love one another than to criticize or be hateful. So this little note starts off my gratitude list for tonight. Thanks Sis…

  • I didn’t drink today
  • I hit a meeting
  • I had a great day in class this morning
  • I saw some new friends
  • I did some writing earlier
  • I have great friends
  • I have a great life
  • Tomorrow is my Home Group
  • And I am right, and I am happy!!

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 “Oh to be this young and beautiful – again…”

So I was trolling my reads today and I ran across this picture over on DAN NATION, it seems he’s got a new job in the valley and I spied me some Chad Fox, isn’t he a cutie? Kinda makes me want to move out to the coast and join the Sunday Brunch Crowd! I even got an invitation from Dan the man himself!! I love me some CHAD FOX!!

What could be better than a room full of beautiful men on a Sunday morning? I don’t know about you but we don’t have that many good looking men here in our fair city! OMG!!

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The Forest, I love the forest. If you get a chance go over and take a look see at COOPER’S CORRIDOR, he has some beautiful writing and photos of his family from an outing this past weekend. Cooper is another fantastic read, no one should go without every day. He breathes such joy and wonder into my day, because he is such a gifted writer. I think this weekend we shall take a meander out to the green space and take some photos of our forest in the middle of the city (we call it Mount Royal). The real forest is far, far away from here up North.

From Cooper’s Blog: one of his favorite words, Forest:
“Because it is full of promise … because it is wild … because it is fragile … because it is strong … because it sings of simply being … because it is part of my bones and blood … The forest is in my heart”

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You can go read my friends and show them some love. First we have Steve, we call him Dr. McCoy, because he’s a Trekkie! I wrote a piece earlier for Arkano, he lives in South America and he is new to our little “Bubble of Love.” My read list, over on the Blog Roll is getting ‘closer’ by the day, as I noticed that many of my friends here, read over there and they comment as well. So please, if you like to look at beautiful men, and you are interested in fantastic reads, check out my read list. I have updated all the links and I am sure everyone will appreciate your visit.

Fall is on it’s way, it is 19c here and rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days! AS is the custom here in Montreal, the weather cools off, the rain comes, then we have our fist cold snap “in the city” then the leaves start turning in earnest. This photo above is a wishful prayer for Montreal in the coming weeks.

Tonight’s meeting was an experience. I heard what I needed to hear. I spent an hour doing nothing but be present and to live in the moment. My Monday night commitment to support “Came to Believe” persists. Things I heard tonight:

  • It’s all Good
  • Live in the Moment
  • Stay in the Now
  • At any time of the journey, you are right where you are supposed to be at any given location and at any moment on the time line
  • There are no mistakes in God’s time
  • Live and Let Live
  • Easy Does It
  • But for the Grace of God
  • Think, Think, Think
  • First things First

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I took a resentment to a meeting, and I left her there. But I will close with this little blurb on the Blog Nazi!! If you have a complaint about anything you see, read or perceive on this blog, please, by all means, let me know. If I have misrepresented Concordia University in any way, I haven’t heard that from any one. My disability and my student status is between my doctor, myself, my husband, my department, the government and the University and NO ONE ELSE! What I do with my education is my business. If you don’t like something on this blog, there are certainly other blogs for you to read. I am not changing my presentation or writing for anyone, even YOU Rebbecca.

They say in AA that acceptance is the KEY to all of my problems, and if someone has a problem with you, that – that is a direct signal that someone has a problem with themselves. And what YOU think of me is none of my business. If I have a problem with you then I need to look at me and find out what’s wrong with me. So you got a problem, first ask yourself what that problem is, and then fuck off…

I’ve never EVER had anyone complain about something I have shared on this blog, nor posted to this, my personal web log. AND I am not going to take horse shit from some chick who has an axe to grind with me so get the fuck off my blog! Oh, that felt good!

DO YOU GET THE PICTURE???


What is your definition of History???

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“May I speak freely Miss?”

“It’s just one fuckin’ thing after another…”

Rudge…


Contemplation …

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It was a quiet day. The weather turned hot and muggy, as Montreal waits on a saving rain to cut the humidity from the air. On hot miserable days, all that I want to do is blast the AC unit and stay cocooned inside my blankets, which is what I did today.

icheb-the-borg.jpgYou will be assimilated, Resistance is Futile… My body is reverting back to its old sleep schedule. For every six days of action, I have to give up one day to sleep. It is a fine trade off because I enjoy my sleep, especially when I get the lucid dreams that go with them. As for the rest of the day, I did a little shopping for dinner and now I am sitting here trying to write something worth while, and I don’t think it’s going very well…

I don’t feel inspired tonight, so I will call it a night.


Religions of Tibet

Buddha with a view

More on this topic later this evening.

The Class is amazing. Many of my friends from last term are in the class as well. I really like my professor, because he brings real life stories from his visits to Tibet and surrounding areas of that far land to the classroom, so this isn’t just class, but it is a real life educational trip to a real place not only read about in a text book.

I’m tired so I shall write some more later. I don’t have class on Friday’s so we are back to regular schedule now. I get my 3 day weekend now, with Friday being cleaning day at home.

Talk to you soon…


Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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

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

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

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!