Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Blog, blog…blog yer brains out!!!

Really, I’m trying. It has been rather difficult lately for me to explain here in this format my inner spiritual workings as of late; at least I hope they qualify as spiritual. It all began with my Confessor advising me to put down the history book and pick up something spiritual. It must be noted that the history books should not be discounted all together as non or unspiritual or even a-spiritual, Fr. Schmemman’s (of Blessed Memory) book in fact put a deep hunger in me for transformation. And maybe transformation is too strong of a term for what I am getting at, how about simply normal. I mean take the Montanist Heresy for example. Here we have a time in the life of the Church when it was seriously debated as to whether an individual could sin after baptism. Now of course it was declared a heresy, but the mere reality that it was hotly contended for and not simply dismissed puts a lot of weight in the matter and gives the modern individual the impression, heresy or not, sin has always been taken very seriously in the Church.

The first book I picked up was The Illness and Cure of the Soul in the Orthodox Tradition, by Archimandrate Hierotheos a very good book and very appropriate right now. However, when I received Beginning to Pray by Met. Anthony in the mail I quickly changed my mind. It was written for people who have never prayed before and is kind of making me wonder if I’m not in that category. The book is amazing in its directness and simplicity. It is cutting to the core of me and tearing me apart. The book so concise it almost leaves you breathless. He states his point, gives an illustration, and that’s it…kind of a “What are you waiting for, go and do it.”

“…the moment you reach rock bottom, the moment you are aware of your utter dispossession of all things, then you are on the fringe of the kingdom of God, you are nearly aware that God is love and that He is upholding you by His love.”

So, now I am on my quest of loosing my hands from all in there tight grip and lifting them heavenward. Lord have mercy!

Pray for me a sinner.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

It Isn't Even October

Cool fall night and friends trickle in
Dostoyevsky's Karamazov
oatmeal chocolate chip
Guatamalen Coban, full city roast...plus, plus
Sara, Basil, Sean, Katrina, Beniy, Chance sit semi-circle
thick billows of Danish Virginia rise somberly to the sky
traversing the complexities of friendship and brotherhood
friends trickle out and baby boy sleeps
cold moon shines brightly into our bedroom
silhouette and shadow of lovers at love
here sit i, sleepless and blissful
eager for gifts of sorrow and joy
that the years may bring to our door

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Monday, September 20, 2004

Certain Slant Of Light

gather up these weary bones
another day to muster
yeah twisted wreckage spent
held in strictest confidence

lamp burning in the sitting room
empty house pouring salt in my wounds
close the door and throw the bolt
and await the results

there's a certain slant of light
and the hope that's in your eyes
and i hardly realize
as i slip beneath those waves

yeah this rain seems to last and last
heavy heart yearning gray sky overcast
in this womb for a while
i collapse like a small child

let the doubts all perish at sea
you've got to learn to dream all over again
how long it's hard to tell
in the belly of your whale

tell me your deep dark secret
yeah and i will tell you mine
oh is that your deep dark secret
oh well never mind

Written by Bill Mallonee for Irving Music, Inc., Allegiance Music, Russachugama Music and CyBrenJoJosh (BMI) ©1995

Do yourself a favor and check out one of the world’s most fascinating souls.



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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Enthronement of Our Beloved Sayedna Joseph

As many of you have heard this past Sunday marked an historic moment in the life of the Orthodox, with the enthronement of his grace Bishop Joseph as the Bishop of Los Angeles. However, I discovered today that Bishop Joseph is getting all kinds of attention beyond this, in the form of this great link to the Antiochan home page using his image.

See and marvel....

The link appeared at a site dedicated to one thing, prosphora!

Thanks to Serge for the enlightening links.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

“The Elevation of the Honorable and Life-giving Cross.”

This morning while getting ready for work I attempted to have a bowl of yogurt for breakfast. I say attempted because Sara thwarted this effort with the crushing words, “Today is a fast honey.” My reply in tone and rhythm indicated my deep disappointment, “It is???’ ‘Honey, are you sure??’ ‘It’s only Tuesday.” I said with great hope of rectifying this sad news. But indeed the writing was on the wall or hanging on the wall at least. Ah, the trusty “Miracle Working Icons of the Theotokos” calendar from St. Anthony’s. Sure enough today was shaded some sort of drab pink, without even a hint of allowance for wine, oil, or some fresh once wriggling fish. So, toast it was with some organic, non GMO, vegan “spread”.

Later in the morning while enthroned in my bathroom, I had some thoughts flash through my mind (I know it sounds crude, but I do my best thinking here). The first was, “I shouldn’t have made that peanut butter malt an hour before bed.” This was followed by, “Gosh I am lazy…I oversleep…I don’t get up early enough to pray…I really need to start running again…” Finally, I recalled St. Paul’s words, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection…” Then it hit me, the beauty of today, the wonder of the Church, the Grace each member is given in the life of the Church. These days of fasting and feasting, they are the Church's gentle way of helping us along in our weakness, that we may have the ability to participate with all the saints of ages past who accomplished just this, who brought their bodies into subjection and were thus enabled to fight and struggle and run and ultimately finish this race that so often we are tempted to drop out of. Today is another opportunity to struggle and participate in the salvation that through the cross and resurrection we have within our reach. This feast is filled with grace, the cross is truly life giving.

Kontakion tone 4

O Christ our God Who wast voluntarily lifted up on the Cross

grant Thy mercies to Thy new people named after Thee

Gladden with Thy power Orthodox Christians

and give them victory over their enemies

May they have as an ally that invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace.

Author's note: Please take time and read through the article linked at the top.

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Monday, September 13, 2004

On my portch Posted by Hello

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Bulls eye!!!

This morning while checking the specs on an air popper Target is selling, I read a review that raised my respect and appreciation for the retailer considerably. Target it seems has jumped on the band wagon of many on line retailers in providing a place for customer reviews. My limited experience has been that these reviews are censored to ensure favorable product endorsement. This was my experience until today. Below is the actual review in it's entirety. Enjoy!

Write an online review and share your thoughts with other guests.

Kernal in eye July 30, 2004

Reviewer: John Zinster from West Hollywood, CA USA

My boss found this product on the Target website and asked me to buy it for him. Initially, I was hesitant. But, after reading all the bad reviews, I decided to buy it anyway - mostly because my boss is cheap, but also because I was curious to see what was now-known as "The Deathpopper." My coworker and I put some popcorn in and turned it on. At first, it was hilarious and fun to watch the burning popcorn kernals fly all over the kitchen. But then tragedy struck: a stray, burning-hot kernal flew out of the popcorn popper and lodged in my eye. I screamed. Then, without warning, the hot kernal popped in my head. However, I think this popcorn popper is an excellent product. The kernal popping in my head was the best thing to ever happen to me. I'm in a place right now in my life where, if you don't want my peaches, don't shake my tree. I'm into Happy Town, and if you don't like Happy Town, move! Hit the friggin' bricks, baby! So, if this is what you want, then buy this popper.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Beauty of Holiness

Thanks James for enlightening us to this great link

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Peace and Violence...or On my Silence

I got an instant message from my blog today it said, "I'm feeling lonely and neglected." This of course made me feel a mixture of guilt and laziness. So, I set to thinking through my usually questionairre to be used at times of blog crisis. The questionairre looks something like this:

1) Good morning Aaron, why aren't you blogging today?
"Umm, I'm tired."
2) Good afternoon Aaron, why aren't you blogging today?
"Umm, I need to eat lunch soon."
3) Good evening Aaron, why aren't you blogging today?
"Umm, probably because I feel a bit mixed up inside. All of the death in the world, especially the deathes of innocents in general and children in particular has been very disturbing. Instead, I've just been reading the thoughts and reflections of others."
4) Gee Aaron, I really appreciate the honesty we have working here, but is it possible you could just blog about something happy?
.........(dial tone)..................

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