dual personalities

Category: inspiration

Jesus take the wheel*

Well, I got some hard news last month. I have cancer and will have surgery tomorrow. We have been through this in my family quite recently with the boy and now it is my turn. I hope I can handle it all with as much grace and confidence as he did.

This article from the desiringGod.org website

was very helpful to me and Piper/Powlison even refer to a favorite prayer of mine–what we call in the Episcopal Church, Saint Patrick’s breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

In the meantime my DP will continue with the blog while I recover, ably supported by daughters #1 and #2 who have pledged to fill in along with DN. So keep checking in!

And keep me in your prayers please.

I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

*Brett James / Gordon Sampson / Hillary Lindsey for Carrie Underwood

Counting every blessing

We have a had an extremely wet winter and spring. Yes, the trees have been beautiful and the grass is lush, but the flooding has been bad.

The eye shall look, the ear shall hark

To the hills, the doings in the hills,

And rivers mating in the dark

With tokens from the hills.

Now what is weak will surely go,

And what is strong must prove it so—

Stand fast in the lowlands, lowlands,

Lowlands under the hills!

(Rudyard Kipling, from the poem “The Floods”)

There is more on the way.

If this puts you in the mood to watch a disaster movie, here’s quite an exhaustive list of choices including a few about floods. I have seen Noah (2014) starring Russell Crowe and it is a pretty terrible movie. It seems odd to me that, considering it is based on the biblical story of Noah and the Ark, there is nary a mention of God in the whole thing. I think I would rather watch The Bible: In the Beginning (1966) which includes the Noah story from Genesis. You remember, John Huston plays Noah.

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 3.26.46 PM.pngHe also directed the film and narrates it. Yes, it is one of those elaborate star-studded Hollywood efforts and is  produced by Dino De Laurentiis, but its screenwriter Christopher Fry sticks fairly close to the original. I always thought that Peter O’Toole makes a good angel.

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As I recall, it is overly long and a tad boring at times, but I may have to check it out…

Meanwhile, we will hope and pray that the cresting rivers here in Missouri and our surrounding states do not wreak too much havoc with our neighbors and their lives.

Send us now into the world in peace

Well, first this:

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The dapper wee laddie had his fitting for the suit he will wear as the ring bearer at his aunt’s wedding in June. He seemed pleased with the look. I am not surprised, as his father always liked getting dressed up as well.

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He has always been at home in formal attire…

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 4.18.32 PM.pngAnyway…my weekend was low key and fun.

The gabfest with my two old friends was wonderful but too short. I forgot to take a picture.

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(taken at an event I did not attend–love those flyover blonds!)

Daughter #1 arrived home in time to make margaritas at 5 pm. Then she played DJ and we listened to music. There is nothing I like better than to listen to favorite tunes chosen by someone else.

We went to church on Sunday morning and then she had to hurry back to mid-Mo as she was heading to KC bright and early on Monday morning. But first we sat on the patio at Club Taco under the blue, blue sky…

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..and listened to our friends Gary and Don play some good, good music…

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Good times…Meanwhile I am re-reading Moby-Dick and loving it. It is amazingly current and prescient.

This, shipmates, this is that other lesson; and woe to that pilot of the living God who slights it. Woe to him whom this world charms from Gospel duty! Woe to him who seeks to pour oil upon the waters when God has brewed them into a gale! Woe to  him who seeks to please rather than appall! Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness! Woe to him who, in this world, courts not dishonor! Woe to him who would not be true, even though to be false were salvation! Yea, woe to him who, as the great Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself castaway! (“The Sermon”)

Look to yourself, Episcopal Church.

Have a good week!

When in doubt

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“Wait on the Lord” is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”
― J.I. Packer, Knowing God 

While we’re waiting, we can watch Paul Newman movies. He is the Star of the Month on TCM!

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I am not being glib. Sometimes binging on well-loved movies is the way to go.

(The painting is by J.M.W. Turner)

This is how my mind works

As you know, I enjoy perusing the obits in the alumni magazines I receive, most notably the old guys who went to Williams College. Case in point:

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Serving in the 104th division must have been important to Jerry since it was included in his fairly short obituary. So I looked up the Timberwolf Division.

“Nothing in Hell can stop the Timberwolves” was their motto in WWII. They fought through the Battle of Hürtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge and attacked the bridgehead at Remagen. As the 104th advanced into Thuringia, the unit overran Nordhausen and the Dora-Mittlebau concentration camp on April 11, 1945.

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During WWII, soldiers of the division were awarded two Medals of Honor, 14 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 642 Silver Star Medals, six Legion of Merit Medals, 20 Soldier’s Medals, 2,797 Bronze Star Medals, and 40 Air Medals.

NYC Mayor Ed Koch and NY Governor Hugh Carey served in the 104th during WWII, as did screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky and NFL player Bob Shaw.

To me, this is very interesting. I have such respect for these veterans, especially the ones who came home and attempted to lead normal lives and stayed married for 67 years! So a toast to these brave men, the living and the dead.

To the faithful trees, I confess my sins

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 “At start of spring I open a trench
In the ground. I put into it
The winter’s accumulation of paper,
Pages I do not want to read
Again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the suns, growth of the ground,
Finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders,
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse,
of mind and body, I close the trench
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.”
― Wendell Berry, New Collected Poems

(The photo is from a KMOV viewer in Maryville, IL.)

Hymns of praise then let us sing

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Did you have a good weekend? How was your Easter?

I had a lovely birthday…

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and a perfect Easter…57754955189__5C1EE6CE-CEDD-4A06-9912-5EBE0B6A88CC.JPG

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“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31

And the Blues advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs…Go Blues!

This little light of mine

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 9.03.18 AM.pngI am a morning person. I get up early and I exercise (while listening to R.C. Sproul or the like) and then I have coffee and watch the news for half an hour. Then I perform my morning ablutions and get ready for work. Sometimes I vacuum. By the time I get to work I have been up for two and a half hours!

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“Carl sat musing until the sun leaped above the prairie, and in the grass about him all the small creatures of day began to tune their tiny instruments. Birds and insects without number began to chirp, to twitter, to snap and whistle, to make all manner of fresh shrill noises. The pasture was flooded with light; every clump of ironweed and snow-on-the-mountain threw a long shadow, and the golden light seemed to be rippling through the curly grass like the tide racing in.”
― Willa Cather, O Pioneers! 

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I see a lot of sunrises out my kitchen window. Highly recommended.

The painting is by William Holbrook Beard, On the Prairie, 1860, The Museum of Nebraska Art; the photo is the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie.

Building tabernacles, just like Peter

I thought this post by a fellow Episcopalian regarding the fire at Notre Dame was really on point. Read the whole thing.

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“We want to build our devotion and then we love what we have built: but faith is not a building. St. Peter was vetoed when he tried to build those tabernacles, but he helped build a place for Grace to the world that fully lives after he is long dead. What 2,000 years has built will still be there tomorrow after every devastation because we did not make it: God did.”

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)

Hallowed be thy name

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We are almost to Holy Week! I have been terribly remiss and unfocused in my Lenten endeavors (or lack thereof.)

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Palm Sunday is this Sunday! I am not the narrator this year in our reading of the Passion Narrative. 😭 No, I am back in the bit player ranks–a “priest”. 😭 C’est la vie.

But on the bright side, Sunday night we have tickets to see Ben Hur (1959) on the Big Screen, which should be awesome.

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Let’s toast that and a return to focusing on what’s important.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

(Robert Robinson 1757)