Friday, May 29, 2015

Dangerous Campaigning

In doing some personal research I was scanning through news from the end of the 1960 Presidential election campaign and cam across the following bits:

Oct 23: A woman in Milwaukee splashed Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy with whiskey while he was riding in an open convertible, then tossed the drinking glass into the car. According to an AP report, "Kennedy wiped his face, picked up the tumbler, said calmly 'here's your glass' and handed it back." No arrests were made.

Oct 27: With less than two weeks left in the U.S. presidential campaign, eggs and tomatoes were thrown at Republican candidate Richard Nixon at various campaign stops in Michigan. At Muskegon, an egg struck Nixon's coat and hit a Secret Service man, while other items were thrown at Grand Rapids and at Jackson.

Nov 4: As John F. Kennedy arrived at the Chicago Stadium for a pre-election rally, Jaime Cruz Alejandro forced his way through the crowd to get as close as he could to Kennedy's open convertible, then fought with police after running from them. He was found to be carrying a loaded .25 caliber pistol. Moments later, Reverend Israel Dabney was caught attempting to carry a .38 revolver into the coliseum. Both men said that they were carrying the weapons for self-defense and were later released.
It didn't end with the election. Perhaps the most significant non-event of that post-election was the almost assassination of the President-elect.
Dec 11: Richard Paul Pavlick, a 73-year-old postal clerk from Maine, loaded his car with dynamite and then parked outside the Kennedy family estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and prepared to kill President-elect John F. Kennedy, waiting for Kennedy to depart for Sunday mass. Pavlick changed his mind after seeing that Kennedy was accompanied by his wife and two small children. Pavlick was arrested four days later by Palm Beach city police.
Quite something to ponder.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Calendar of Saints: Joan of Arc (2)

Twice a week I post a quote from a saint from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)
Mystic, Visionary and Soldier
May 30




When she attempted to recapture Paris from the English, [the King] denied her adequate support, and the attempt failed.

In May 1430 she was taken prisoner in battle, and tried on an accusation of sorcery and heresy. Charles made no effort to ransom her or rescue her, although her first captors would almost certainly have accepted a ransom. She was convicted and burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, being then a little less than nineteen and a half years old. The French, however, eventually went on to win the war and to expel the English from France. King Charles, perhaps because it was not to his advantage to have it said that he had been crowned by a witch and a heretic, and that he owed his victories and his kingdom to a pact with the Devil, pressured the Church courts for a review of the verdict against Joan, and got her condemnation annulled in 1456. She came to be regarded as a French national hero, and was eventually canonized by the Pope in May 1920.
-Link

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maybe the Second Most Important

From today in "history":

1919 Charles Strite patents pop-up toaster
The biggest thing since, well, sliced bread!


Of course, I'm not one to stop at just one. How about other Second Bests, (or runners-up, or first-losers?)

There's always Buzz Aldrin coming down 
on the surface of the moon after Neil Armstrong.


 Don't forget the Brooklyn Dodgers after the Giants'
Bobby Thomson lifted one out of the park.


Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl,
beaten by the Green Bay Packers.


And to get political for a moment,
George W. Bush in the 2000 election.

We Do It Again In Less Than Two Weeks

One of the great joys the past two summers has been to be part of the Trumpets at Twins event. Over 100 trumpet players get to stand out in centerfield and play the National Anthem. What a kick. It's the sound, the crowd, the noise, the sight we get to see. It's the ability to play the National Anthem! We do it again this year on Monday, June 8 when the Twins host Kansas City.

Here's the video I put together from last year's event. Enjoy.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Your Patriotism? Mine? How About Ours!

When I look across many posts on Facebook, especially around national holidays like Memorial Day, it would be easy to get the idea that only those on the right-wing are patriotic, only Republicans truly care for the country, and only those who served in the military are the truest patriots. On top of that, "liberals" are out to undermine the country, tear it apart, make it into a third-class nation. They don't care about veterans or the future of the "average American."

So I looked up the definition of patriotism:

love for or devotion to one's country.
Pretty basic. It says nothing about being in 100% agreement on issues. It says nothing about being liberal or conservative. It says nothing about serving in the military. It says nothing except that a patriot has love for one's country.

Now I realize that calling an opponents patriotism into question is an age-old political tactic. It has been used shamelessly for  centuries. It has been used to undermine, libel, persecute (and at times kill) those who have differing opinions.

It has been, at many times, disgraceful, mean, and unpatriotic. Yes, I said that. If my patriotism is dependent on putting your understanding down, then my patriotism does not support the democratic ideals and values that built this nation. In that case, I am not very patriotic! Yet we see that all the time. We attack, we point fingers, we put others into a place of "them" which means we don't have to listen to them. We don't have to dialogue with them if they are obviously unpatriotic and therefore not worth much.

How sad.

Liberals get moved by seeing the flag or singing (or playing) the Star Spangled Banner.

Liberals eyes tear up while standing on the hill at Arlington Cemetery at the thought of the veterans who served and died.

Liberals are just as much real Americans as anyone else.


Let's just stop this insanity. If anything is tearing this country apart it is our intense actions that divide us! It will not be ISIS or Al-Qaeda that cause us the most problem. In our day-in and day-out relations with each other it will be how we treat each other- and especially those who disagree with us. It will be in our using our "party lines" as human barriers to working together.

Sorry- that will not cut it in this world we live in. Never did, but it's more dangerous now.

Calendar of Saints: Joan of Arc (1)

Twice a week I post a quote from a saint from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)
Mystic, Visionary and Soldier
May 30





Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne la Pucelle) was born in France, near the border of Burgundy, on 6 January 1412. In her time the King of England claimed the crown of France by the laws of inheritance, and English troops were fighting in France to support that claim.

Into this situation came Joan. When she was thirteen, she began to hear voices telling her that she was called to save France. ... Acting, as she said, under direction from her voices, she persuaded a local baron to send her to the castle of Charles at Chinon, where she spoke with the Dauphin (French word for the heir to the throne until he is officially crowned king), and convinced him that her message was genuine. The city of Orleans was under siege by the English. Joan and an army marched to the scene and raised the siege (8 May 1429). She then proceeded to win other battles, and to bring Charles to Rheims to be crowned king.

-Link

Monday, May 25, 2015

Over the Top

I grew up in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania, part of what is now often referred to by the tourism people as "The Pennsylvania Wilds." We recently made a road trip back across Pennsylvania and it's "iconic" northern route- I-80. I-80 does not intersect any major cities. In fact, it misses even some of the larger northern tier cities as well. But for me, in college, the eastern half of I-80 was my route to school. It has been over 30 years since we have been on the western part of the route. As we were heading east we passed the sign indicating the bit of travel trivia:




It is just east of exit 111 which means it is almost exactly 200 miles from New Jersey and, of course, 111 from Ohio.
From there we kept moving downhill, until the one that heads down to Milesburg. It is, of course, a beautiful sight- in nice weather. Although I have to admit that I'm not sure the truckers would agree with me.

As we were heading back west on our way home, I became very aware of the climb- and the ups and downs of this highway. I wondered what the elevation profile looked like? So I did some Googling and found a path mapper and got the following three elevation profiles.


First is the whole of Interstate 80 from the Delaware River (left) to Ohio (right). It is quite a jumble of ups and downs. Having grown up in the Susquehanna Valley I noticed the relatively low elevation from about mile 65 to mile 90. On the eastern side of that is the North Branch of the Susquehanna and the western  side, just before the climb is the West Branch.

I-80 elevation
East (NJ) to West (Ohio)
(Black lines - border of elevation below)

So I narrowed it down to the section in the mountains after crossing the Susquehanna. It is the section between the lines above, mile 1 on the left below. The first 30 miles climb up and along the southern edge of the mountains until entering a kind of valley south of Lock Haven, PA on to Milesburg, PA. Then the climb begins.

I-80 elevation
Susquehanna River (West Branch) to DuBois
(Black lines - border of elevation below)

The left line above is about Milesburg at the base of the Allegheny Front. The Allegheny Front is most famous for being the barrier to easy westward movement of the railroad across Pennsylvania. Then the Horseshoe Curve was designed and things changed. So, the 50 miles from Milesburg to just west of the high point is narrowed in on in the graph below.

I-80 elevation
Milesburg to just east of DuBois
As can be seen, there are really two major climbs. As we were climbing that one, it is where I became aware of how steep it really is. I thought of the pioneers who headed west from the relative ease of the coast and came upon this barrier. However they climbed, they had to keep climbing. Then, just when they thought they were at the top, there were only more mountains to climb.

Over the years much of this area has become more clearly forested. The highways that traverse that part of the state haven't taken away its wildness. You look ahead of you and you see the mountain climbing; look right or left and you see mountains and valleys and lots of trees. This is the western part of what was often called "The Endless Mountains." It is nowhere near as intimidating to my Ford-based travel as it would have been to horseback, wagon, or foot travel.

My final thought was how determined (stubborn?) or something those pioneers must have been.


Link to elevation mapper

Memorial Day 2015



Having followed my Dad's 80th Medical Battalion/10th Armored Division during the past year, on this Memorial Day a special remembrance. The plaque at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of those who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Dedicated to the gallant and victorious men and women who participated in the Battle of the Bulge, World War II, 16 December 1944 through 25 January 1945 in Belgium and Luxembourg. The greatest battle ever fought by the United States Army. Presented by the veterans of the Battle of the Bulge on 16 December 1986.


[Sidenote: A number of posts on Facebook this year have noted that Memorial Day is not Veteran's Day- that Memorial Day is to remember those who died in (or as the result of) the wars. I appreciate that distinction.]

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chutzpah or Disregard

That wonderful old Yiddish word- Chutzpah- came to mind as I walked into a coffee shop with outdoor seating recently.

On the wall every few feet are signs that state:

No Smoking!
Right in front of one of the signs sat a man smoking a cigarette. I thought of taking out my iPhone and snapping a picture but thought that might be a little obvious.

Following the 10th Armored (30): Feeling Better At Home

This is part of a series following my father's 10th Armored Division in World War II seventy years ago. He was a medic with the 80th Medical Battalion assigned to the 10th Armored, part of Patton’s Third Army.


May 23, 1945
The Entry in My Grandmother's Diary for the Day

Got a letter from Buddy that he wrote on VE Day.
So now I feel better.

Take this comment as a follow up to the one she wrote on VE Day:
O God just think of the mothers that their boys won’t be coming home
and realize that for the previous 15 days, over two weeks, she had no doubt been holding her thoughts, prayers and fears deep inside. She never commented on it in the diary. The dread and anxiety must have been overwhelming. Or perhaps in the past nearly nine months she had found a way to live without thinking about it. Perhaps that is why the daily entries in the diary are often just the mundane.

Today, she could feel better. What a relief!

But with all the elation and relief, the dread must have remained. The war was not over. Germany had surrendered; Japan fought on. Did they know that a massive invasion, far greater than D-Day was being planned? Were they all just living in the uncertainty of what  troops would be transported to the Pacific for an invasion of Japan?

What we do know is that for the next several months the Tigers would remain in Austria, relaxing, waiting, wondering, and being an occupation force, albeit a friendly one.




Obviously I am not sure this was in the letter, but it, along with the other two I posted on VE Day could very well have been there.
 

Toward Pentecost (49): From on High


Friday, May 22, 2015

Emptiness

Late night TV was emptier than it has been in years last night. Dave Letterman has retired. As I look forward to tonight, day 2 without Dave, I realized how empty it really is.

That's the whole thing.

Toward Pentecost (48): Creator


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Calendar of Saints: Copernicus and Kepler (2)

Twice a week I post a quote from saints from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler
Astronomers
May 23




Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution.

Johannes Kepler's first major astronomical work, Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographic Mystery, 1596), was the first published defense of the Copernican system. As he indicated in the title, Kepler thought he had revealed God’s geometrical plan for the universe. Much of Kepler’s enthusiasm for the Copernican system stemmed from his theological convictions about the connection between the physical and the spiritual; the universe itself was an image of God, with the Sun corresponding to the Father, the stellar sphere to the Son, and the intervening space between to the Holy Spirit.

-Link

Toward Pentecost (47): Power


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seen in Passing

Stopped at a gas/convenience store on our travels. I was standing at the register to pay and I saw a name from the 60s with the well-known corporate logo. It was the brand name "Zig Zag", famous for rolling papers to well, roll your own cigarettes. I knew they were still around, of course. But this particular sight surprised me. The logo and name was not on rolling papers.

Captain Zig-Zag was on liquid for e-cigarettes!

I remember hearing that some corporations have been ready to capitalize on legalizing marijuana for years. I don't know whether that is true or not, but at least this company jumped right in with a familiar name and logo when things began to change.

Toward Pentecost (46): Mission


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Calendar of Saints: Copernicus and Kepler (1)

Twice a week I post a quote from saints from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler
Astronomers
May 23



Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.

Copernicus' epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published just before his death in 1543, is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the scientific revolution. His heliocentric model, with the Sun at the center of the universe, demonstrated that the observed motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations, becoming a landmark in the history of science that is often referred to as the Copernican Revolution.
-Link

Toward Pentecost (45): Witness


Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Not Supposed to Change

I drove through my hometown today. It's been about six years since I last was there and this was just a passing through. We didn't have time this trip to stop and visit like we prefer doing. Over the past year or so I have been working on a memoir that, naturally, features my hometown. That means that I have spent a lot of time there - in my head and memory.

Imagine my shock today when the real town was there. The town that does not look like it did in 1965 (and earlier); the town that has been through changes and disasters as well as boom and bust. I drove down the street beside my childhood home. It's not the same. It was, as I remember it, a tree-lined street all the way down the next two blocks. Today there are none of those trees. All gone. "My" backyard is now not visible from the street as tall, narrow trees block the view and it looks like a fence was there. The building that was once a high school and then my junior high, looks a little worse for wear although it is now a shopping center.

The streets seemed smaller. The yards more compact. The neighborhoods closer together. There were newer homes next to older ones. There were falling down older homes and others that were well-kept. New businesses exist and some of the older ones are still there. What had been my Dad's store is gone, replaced in town by the big chain store.

No, it is not the place that was my hometown. That place was left behind a long, long time ago. At first I felt sad. But then I realized that even more recent places and memories exist only in the past. We can learn from them, build on them, but we cannot live there.

The town that was my hometown is now someone else's hometown. Over 45 years of high school students have gone through, including the children of family and friends. I am not part of that town and have not been for over 30 years.

That's okay! It was what it was, and for that I am grateful.

Toward Pentecost (44): Patience


Sunday, May 17, 2015

It Takes You

Anyone who has ever been on a spiritual journey- or sees their life as one- will be able to recount times when wherever we are becomes a place of enlightenment. Of course, any time and any place can be a place of enlightenment, we just have to be open at every given moment to hear or see it happening.

That happened to me again today. We were talking with a person who will be helping a relative out with some chores and the like. The person was giving us a brief Twitter-length account of their life. They referred to their life-journey as a "vision quest"-type of thing. [Yep- I can go with that one!]

They then talked about a simple prayer that they say daily- and as often as possible each day. It was what is referred to as either the Prayer of the Heart or the Jesus Prayer. Here is what you can find in Wikipedia:

The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Church. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the eremitic [desert Fathers and Mothers] tradition  of prayer. The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition as a method of opening up the heart and bringing about the Prayer of the Heart [which] is considered to be the Unceasing Prayer that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament.
I knew this person was a pilgrim. It wasn't what he said as much as how he put it into the context of daily living. Basically, he implied, you just do the prayer. You do it all day. You do it as you get up and as you go to bed. You live the prayer.

But, no that is not quite true, this pilgrim of the soul added. After you start praying it, I was told...
the prayer takes you!
Oh how true. Unceasing prayer does that. The pilgrim I met today is on the right path. For Christians the Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart is a living mantra that allows the work of the soul to be enriched and enlightened. It is the prayer that will move us beyond words to the depths of our hearts.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
As the pilgrim described it to me the words flowed slowly and with clarity. No word was missed, no word was seen as too little or unimportant. The slow, breathing way the words were said was a witness to their depth. This was not rote prayer. This was prayer that asked for nothing but grace.

Living and breathing prayer can make all the difference.

I have heard this many times in the past since first being introduced to this marvelous prayer of simplicity over 30 years ago. But as I listened today to a practical explanation of it's importance, it was as if I was hearing it for the first time again. It was always new and always fresh. I think of this for my own spiritual practice and tradition when I hear the 11th step of Alcoholics Anonymous:
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.
It's amazing- but you never know when God is about to teach you a new old lesson. Let the prayer live and take you where you need to go.

Toward Pentecost (43): Prayer


Saturday, May 16, 2015

As Low As They Count

In 1948, the year I was born, my name was 74th most popular.

(Note that in 1960, it was the 44th most popular 
name in Pennsylvania where I was born 
and lived at the time.)

In 2004, it was 963rd. (That was only 173 babies.)

I guess I'm going extinct.

Or extremely rare and special!

  • In 2014, the 74th most popular boy's name was Jason. Good luck over the next 60 years.
  • In 2014, the most popular boy's name was Noah. I guess people are getting ready for global climate change with ice caps melting. That way, if every Noah could take two of every animal on their Arks, we could save a whole lot more  and maybe people as well.

--Link

Toward Pentecost (42): Wait


Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Feelings and Transitions and What's Important

It has been a tough week or so. I have found myself in a kind of non-specific cloud of sadness and disquiet. I know exactly what is going on- it is life that is hitting me. It is life and transition and uncertainty and trying to stay focused on the important things.

It starts with making a sudden trip to support my wife's 95-year old aunt who needed surgery and a move to a rehab care facility. The questions of "What next?" and self-care and support are rattling around as I look at this very determined little old woman who has been independent and self-caring her entire life. She hasn't lived with anyone else since her father died over 40 years ago. There is a helplessness as I think about what my wife and I can do to help or support her- from 1,200 miles away.

Then there is knowing that while I am out east I can visit my old and most important friend who is facing significant health issues. We have talked and I know what's going on there. To go visit him is essential and heart-wrenching!

The third thing has been hitting a wall in my writing. There is obviously something I am digging toward in the work and I am hesitating in some ways about finding it.

On the lesser side of the issues, yet surprisingly emotional for me, is the series of TV shows as David Letterman ends his incredible career. I have been watching wistfully each night watching him move toward retirement. Having been in the midst of that myself this past year I have a strong sense of what he is going through. Since he is in my age-cohort, I am also watching the end of my generation's work on late-night TV. That, for me, requires a post all its own. Letterman has been a TV guide/guru/friend for well over 30 years and I am saddened as I am reminded of the incredible passage of time.

Perhaps it is not the "lesser side." It touches on my own journey. Like the other three it is what I have often called "intimations of mortality." Change sucks- even planned change- because it means we are getting older. We may not notice that until we do begin to notice that we ARE older. No, I don't believe we Baby-Boomers have invented aging. It may be, though, that we are the first generation to be able to truly experience aging into old age- and experience it with better health than ever before. When people say that 60 is the new 40 it is both a denial of aging as well as a statement about how aging has changed in the past 40 years.

But then the final blow came when I learned of the serious auto accident and eventual death of the 18-year old son of a friend. The young man was about to graduate from high school. He lost control of his car on Sunday and crashed. He was in an induced coma for several days, but was unable to recover. I fond myself prayerfully focused on the family over several days, even coming to tears for them and their personal tragedy.

The helplessness of life is what we most fear. My 95-year old aunt, my friend's health, my own inability to move forward with a personal project. These of mine are brought up short when I ponder the death of an 18-year old who will never get the opportunity to find out the ups and downs of life. I am humbled in pain as I think of parents losing their child so violently and in such a purposeless way.

So I have to put life into perspective. Mine, my friend's, my aunt's. I am sure that Letterman would be the first to agree that his retirement- even his achievements- are nothing- he was only a TV entertainer. To come to grips with loss and change and finally death is the reality of life.

I pray that in the end the quality of life- short or long- may not be dimmed by the pain of losing it. I pray that each day of life may be filled with an awareness of how important each day is and how important it is to live a life that touches others in their hurts as well as our own. To live otherwise is to truly lose sight of the great daily gift we have had.

No, this does not get rid of pain. But perhaps it can give us a perspective that helps us walk through it and be there with others when they need that companionship.

For me to live otherwise would deny everything I profess to believe. It isn't easy- and it is at those moments I can repeat the old but eternally true word: I believe; help my unbelief.



Listen and meditate.
May the soul be cleansed and
held close to the Creator.


Calendar of Saints: Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (2)

Twice a week I post a quote from a saint from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf
Prophetic Witness

May 10

Zinzendorf took the deepest interest in mission. He travelled widely, visiting America in 1741-42 and spending a long time in London in 1750. Missionary colonies had by this time been settled in the West Indies (1732), in Greenland (1733), amongst the North American Indians (1735); and before Zinzendorf's death the Brethren had sent from Herrnhut missionary colonies to many other places throughout the known world. -Link

Toward Pentecost (40): Heaven (Ascension Day)


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bringing Back a Memory

Reading the news this morning about the Amtrak crash yesterday brought back a memory of my own. It was spring 1987. The youth of our church had just completed our first ever mission trip. We had gone from Wisconsin to New York City to do some work with the homeless at our denomination's ministry in midtown Manhattan. At the time the best way to make the trip for our group of 15 was Amtrak.

It was a wonderful week. We had done something new and exciting not just for our church, but for our denomination as well. It was among the first of this type of mission trip and we all had had a remarkable experience. As we were heading north on Amtrak heading home we were all just sitting enjoying the warmth of having done something new and different.

When in an instant the air brakes slammed closed and we went screeching and bumping for what seemed like forever. It was around dusk, as I remember it, and all I could see out the left windows of the coach was water- the Hudson River. I had no idea how close we were to the water, what was going on or if we were about to jump the tracks.

My favorite four-letter word came out.

Shit!

Thankfully we came to a stop without derailing. The bump I felt and heard was a 4WD truck that had gotten stuck on the tracks- where there wasn't a crossing. No one was in the truck and no one on the train was hurt. We eventually (hours later) began to move on toward Albany where they gave us a new head-end but many of the cars, our included, had little idiosyncrasies as a result.

We were late to make connections and late to get home, but we were safe and sound.

The news from Philly today gave me pause at our not being hurt and that no one our train was killed.

Life can change in an instant- and it usually isn't something we expect at a time we want.

One of the reasons I have since learned the importance of letting people know how much I care about them and how important they are to me. Life is fragile. Keep the important things first.

Toward Pentecost (39): Peace


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Calendar of Saints: Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1)

Twice a week I post a quote from a saint from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.

Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf
Prophetic Witness
May 10

I was pleasantly surprised the other year when I first saw the contemporary Episcopal Church Calendar of Saints. There, on May 10 was our Moravian "patron saint." Zinzendorf was a prophetic witness to the power of the Spirit working in renewal and in trying to work across denominations.

Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf, Imperial Count of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf, (May 26, 1700 – May 9, 1760), German religious and social reformer and bishop of the Moravian Church, was born at Dresden. His intention was to carry out into practice the Pietist ideals. He did not mean to found a new church or religious organization distinct from the Lutheranism of the land, but to create a Christian association the members of which by preaching, by tract and book distribution and by practical benevolence might awaken the somewhat torpid religion of the Lutheran Church of his day.

He is celebrated as a hymn writer and witness to ecumenism. -Link

Toward Pentecost (38): Service


Monday, May 11, 2015

Not Logical

I saw a couple of stories online about a DA's young adult child being arrested for some issue or another. The general thrust of the articles was basically like

Isn't that awful? A DA can't control their own child? Their child is just a criminal!"
Illogical.

At best!

As the parent of a PK (Preacher's Kid) we were aware of the possibilities of that kind of judging going on.

Just as illogical to expect that a plumber's kid isn't going to clog up a toilet or a teacher's kid to get bad grades.

Toward Pentecost (37): Fellowship


Sunday, May 10, 2015