Monday, September 29, 2003

Rock Climbing

I've been getting motivated to climb again in the near future by perusing subject oriented sites. This site has a trip journal section that is particularly interesting. Check out the "Free Climbing" section (aka climbing larges cliffs without ropes).

I'm curious if I'm the only climber here?

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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Would C.S. Lewis be Orthodox today???

The Onion Dome has the answer my friend!

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I had to post it...

Taken from The Onion

U.S. Invades Non-Oil-Rich Nation To Dispel Criticism
LUXEMBOURG VILLE, LUXEMBOURG—In an effort to quiet criticism of U.S. military policy, 50,000 U.S. troops invaded and soundly defeated the non-oil-rich Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Monday. "Once again, the U.S. claims victory over a rogue nation," said President Bush after the 45-minute war. "The people of Luxembourg, although prosperous and living in peace, have suffered under the tyranny of a monarchy for centuries. And allow me to point out that Luxembourg has not one drop of crude oil." Troops will return home Friday, following the public hanging of Grand Duke Henri de Luxembourg.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Basil don’t ya go, do ya go to La Jolla…

Okay, so last night was the first time since his birth that Basil has kept me up. There wasn’t anything wrong, he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t hungry, but he wasn’t tired either. He was simply wide-awake with no signs of fatigue to be found. He is so beautiful and sweet that it really didn’t bother me. Heck, walking around the house singing made up lullabies is a good time for introspection and generally reflective thought. Seriously, it was amazing how different parts of my house sparked distinctive reflections. It was almost like an automated museum tour.

There I stood before our icon corner and pondered my path as Husband, father and friend. I thought of the immensity of these roles. As the brevity of life manifested more potently I thought, “Why in hell are you wasting your time with sin…get over it!” My thoughts passed to my last confession and Fr. Wayne’s gracious and wise advice, “You’re going through a major transition and this is effecting your liturgical rhythm so to speak, just try and settle down.” My thoughts drifted to fears of raising Basil into a godly and holy man. “Lord, please give me the strength to do this right.” I passed into the kitchen and my thoughts must have seemed pathetic to St. Euphrosynos as he hung patiently on the refrigerator. “Why did we make oatmeal raisin cookies instead of chocolate chip?” Finally, Basil had conked out. I walked back to the bedroom and stood silently watching my wife sleep in the soft warm light. She is beautiful and amazing to me. I can’t fathom how it was I convinced her to marry me. I am humbled and happy as I slip back into bed with my family. How blessed I am.

Now at work I’m realizing just how tired I am. What a trade off though!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Smell the Morning Coffee!

Alana's blog has been blowing up lately. It seems she just can't avoid controversy with her readership.

Kudos to Alana for her honesty, humility, and openness.

Stop by soon before it all settles down.

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Monday, September 22, 2003

“Ramble on, sing my song…”

Well, life has been happy at the Plew home. Basil is growing and developing beyond what I ever imagined. He was born a little over two weeks ago and is up to 11lbs 3ozs today. He is grabbing, pushing, and pulling (especially when dad overwhelms him with kisses). His awareness and sense of his environment is fantastic. So, needless to say we are feeling quite blessed.

We just finished a season of great emphasis on the power and meaning of the cross. Let me just say, Wow! To top off stirring liturgical movements our priests came out with both guns blazing in their homilies to reemphasize the message. Quotable:

“We must take the cross out of history and make it a reality in our lives. In fact, what the cross needs to become is the sole, defining reality of our lives. Why would we bear any other burden, or walk any other path, or allow any other power to lay claim to our lives than the cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ?”
“During today’s Feast, let us declare anew our love for the cross, and elevate it in our own lives.”
-Fr. Michael Reagan

Sunday night reading
Still plodding our way through St. John’s Ladder of Divine Ascent. Gasps, eews, aahs, “Dang!”s and crystal clear silence is the norm at this reading. We are all overwhelmed with St. John’s poignancy and all out clear-cut applicability. We are begging to know just what is irrelevant about this 6th Century desert monk. Here is a Quotable On Chastity:

“One man keeps his tormentor under control by struggling hard, another by being humble, another by divine revelation. The first man is like the star of morning, the second like the moon when it is full, the third like the blazing sun. And all three have their home in heaven. Light comes from the dawn and amid light the sun rises, so let all that has been said be the light in which to meditate and learn.”

“A fox pretends to be asleep; the body and the demons pretend to be chaste. The former is on the watch to seize a bird, the latter to catch a soul. So as long as you live, never trust that clay of which you are made and never depend on it until the time you stand before Christ Himself. And never imagine that abstinence will keep you from falling. It was a being who never ate that was nevertheless thrown out of heaven.”

-St. John Climacus

Yesterday was the birthday BBQ for Chance at In Communion. Carne Asada and nice tall Fosters good times!

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Thursday, September 18, 2003

Basil Pics

Go here to see pics of Basil.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Happy Anniversary to You!

Well, it’s hard to believe, but our good friend Chance has had his blog up for a year now! This is especially significant to me because Chance’s style of blogging very much inspired and influenced me.

Be sure to check out his very well written anniversary post.

Congratulations Chance and In Communion!

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Thursday, September 11, 2003

Just Sara and Me

I know this may seem a bit elementary to my Orthodox readers, but for me this is an issue to be learned again and again. This lesson played out for me in the labor and birth of Basil. As many of you know we had a home birth assisted by midwives. Prior to the “labor event”, Sara and I were deciding if we wanted anybody at the house to assist us in the first stage of labor before the midwives usually arrive. So, for a time we had decided it would be just the two of us till the midwives came for transition and second stage.

Having never been through birth or home birth, we figured we could go it alone, not based on experience but other factors. I mean realistically, birth is a natural process that a women’s body was designed to carry out. If we really break it down Sara and I may not even need the midwives. Animals in the wild don’t have any veterinarians on call, and there births seem to work out just fine.

Well, through a series of events we finally concluded Cybil (Basil’s Godmother/Chance’s wife/Our Friend) and Ruth (Choir director at St. Barnabas/Our Friend) would be “nice” to have around. Thursday evening around 6pm labor finally began. Cybil and Ruth were already with Sara, helping her to get comfortable, before I even got home. When I did arrive I found Sara calmly working her way through contractions.

All through the night Sara’s labor progressed slow and steady. It was a long and tough night and I remember coming to a point of where I said to Sara, “Honey, I’m so glad we have Cybil and Ruth here.’ I can’t imagine doing this without them!” I mean they were incredible! They took turns between various and sundry tasks that included, rubbing Sara’s back, legs, feet, saying the Jesus Prayer and at the same time making sure I was okay. They kept this up all the way until Sara finally delivered Basil at 8:31pm the next evening. Now, if that went in one ear and out the other STOP and think about this. With the exception of a nap or two these dear sisters stayed up with us for more than 24 hours straight. While many of you went to sleep, awoke and went to work, came home and prepared for sleep again, Sara was in labor and Cybil and Ruth were there for it all backing us up big time.

This situation drove home a very potent idea for me a former Protestant. The understanding that we do everything in community and that community includes the whole Church, Militant and Triumphant. In American Protestantism you find a deep-rooted individualism that says, “You only need Jesus”. As a Protestant I looked around at Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians and thought, “You don’t have to pray to a “saint”, you can pray directly to Jesus.” Or, “You don’t have to confess your sins to a priest, you can tell Jesus our High Priest.” Right, you don’t have to! For that matter you don’t have to go to church to find God. You can find Him backpacking or in your garage or if you stare at a stucco wall long enough you may even find Him there. In the same way that Sara and I didn’t have to have any help with our son’s birth. But it comes down to this, why wouldn’t we want help?

To think I went it alone on so many spiritual matters. All because I didn’t have to! I missed out on all of the great comfort and guidance that one much more knowledgeable and experienced has to offer. I’m not talking about 30 years or even 500 years of experience. The Church has faithfully passed on its wisdom and guidance from Christ to His Holy Apostles to their disciples for 2000 years.

I am SO thankful to be home in the Orthodox Church. I am SO thankful to know the comfort of its wisdom and guidance. In the long tough nights of my spiritual journey, I know the Church will be there guiding me through it. It isn't that I have to look to the Church, it's the fact that I can.

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Monday, September 08, 2003

The Long Awaited Arrival

Friday September 5th the year of our Lord 2003, Basil Nikolas Plew entered our lives and has effectively changed our world! He weighed in at 9lbs 9oz. He is 22” long. He is healthy and strong. Our midwife told us, “He is the most alert and responsive baby she has ever seen!”

As you may imagine we feel blessed beyond any measure and give great thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, to His most holy mother and all the saints! God has been merciful to us.

Please keep Basil and us in your prayers.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

More to come…

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