Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I Dreamed of Brewing; I Dreamed of Praying

Last night as I lay in bed half awake, my mind spinning like the chewing, grinding blades on a pencil sharpener in an elementary school, I daze dreamed of doing many things I had been meaning to do for the past few weeks. I relished the wild idea of getting up and brewing up a batch of beer. Nevermind that it was 2am, nothing could stop this burning motivation! Except for the tired state of my bones, which led me to my next fantasy. "I'll get up and pray!" I was going to go all out, candles, incense, and i would even say the long prayers and the Creed! Alas, my dizzy tired state won out and led me to other thoughts and dreams. "What toasts will I say at Ben's bachelor party?" "That scotch at Peter's sure was tastey."

Finally, I came to the realization that my thoughts were showing no sign of slowing, no matter how tired I felt, no rest would be granted without appeasing my active mind with some activity. So, I scraped myself out of bed and stumbled through the darkness guided by the solitary light from our lampada. It drew me to the icons and i stopped and lit a massive beeswax taper from St. John's Monastery. I thought of the gentle and humorous Fr. Nicholas, as I stood in the warm glow of the candles sweet light. I crossed myself and just stared at the icons. The prayer books beamed at me, but not convincingly. I continued my staring contest with Christ and the saints. My prayers were wordless emotions and feelings of thankfulness for the Church and sorrow for my lack of devotion. Eventually, the icons won and I walked away with renewed peace.

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Chinese Firework Art

The Fourth of July has to be the ultimate secular holiday. Since I was very young I can remember cherishing it more than a trip to Disney Land. Once again it looms on the horizon, and I find myself once again obsessed in thoughts of pyrotechnic glory. While browsing obscure Chinese firework manufacturer web sites I came across the above, pyro panda. He is either severely retarded or suffering from some bizarre psychosis. Either way I think he's very special.

38 days and counting.

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

I AM a blogging machine

If anyone is still reading this thing....

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I'm not dead, and I'm not done blogging. However, I am very busy, not to mention caught up in life's whirlwind.

Let me give you an abstract idea of what the above means:
The dead and the dying
Friends marrying
finals and end of semester reports
special events galore, parties, ordinations etc.
I have never missed so many weekly services

I guess this all means that I am actually alive, so much for my obsessive pulse checking.

I have posts written. I'll post them soon.

"My soul hath trusted in the Lord, from the morning watch even unto night"

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Thursday, May 06, 2004

"...and there were added that day about three thousand souls."

Sara and James have both brought up a topic of special interest to me. Sara discusses a New Testament designed for appeal to teenage girls. James laments this in light of his Highschoolers at St. Paul's, "...imagine how you might sell asceticism to a teenager whose totally into fashion mags and watching 'Dawson's Creek'?"

More pertinant for me is James' concern with dressing up Orthodoxy for adults. Orthodox Christianity in our culture is a hard sell, as others have noted. So now I pose a real searching question(s), because I have not the answer. Was the experience of the faithful in Acts unique to that time and place? Should we still be baptizing people by the thousands? Finally, what is Orthodox Evangelism?

Update: See James' post here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

So It Begins

Some thoughts on beer...

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer

and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football

team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need

a beer.

--Frank Zappa

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Backpacking with Beniy

That's the Munkee, wandering out into a mountain lake that I have longed to wade into for the last 6 or 7 years. The lake sits up at more than 9000' and is appropriately titled Dry Lake. At last I have managed to sneak up on it while it still held plenty of cool water!

The mountain looming above me is San Gorgonio (St. Gorgonius) and at 11,499' is the tallest in Southern Califonia. As a major side note that I found rather interesting, St. Gorgonius' brother was St. Gregory of Nazianzen who happened to be close friends with St. Basil the Great! I had no idea that this beautiful mountain I spent so much time wandering around had such connection.

Holy St. Gorgonius Pray unto God for us!

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