dual personalities

Category: prayer

“For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”*

This weekend I plan to do nothing but rest.

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O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.–BCP

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Both daughters #1 and #2 are moving to new apartments this weekend and I wish them well. I wish I could help. I will be thinking of them from my couch.

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Just a reminder that the Book of Common Prayer is a wonderful source for good prayers!

And here’s a little end of the week inspiration from Casting Crowns–love this new song:

Have a good weekend!

(Paintings are by John Singer Sargent,  Jacques-Louis David and Hippolyte Berteaux

*Psalm 91:11

“What ho, Tashtego!”

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Where did the week go? Daughter #2 and I went to work every day and got things done until about 1:00 and then went home and collapsed. This is my new normal. She made tasty dinners hoping I would eat them and I mostly did. We watched Lonesome Dove and Love With the Proper Stranger (1963).

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This movie was better than I remembered!

But we didn’t get much else done and that’s okay. DN arrives today while we are at chemo…

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 10.07.50 PM.png…and we will put him to work, busting up chifforobes etc. Daughter #1 rolls into town later this afternoon, and then we will all go into Melville party mode for the big day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to toast Herman Melville at least once!

PSA: Just a reminder that August is the month for TCM Summer Under the Stars, wherein each day of the month is devoted to a full 24 hours of films featuring a single outstanding actor or actress. Returning favorites include June Allyson, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunne, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern and James Stewart.

Check out the full schedule here and start setting your DVR.

And please say a little prayer for the wee laddie who is having another corrective surgery on his eye this morning. 🙏🙏🙏




Mid-week inspiration

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Most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee who carest for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Bright (1824–1901), English ecclesiastical historian and Anglican priest

“Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.”
― Norman Vincent Peale

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” –Oswald Chambers

“Ultimately the only answer God gave to Job was a revelation of Himself. It was as if God said to him, “Job, I am your answer.” Job was not asked to trust a plan but a person, a personal God who is sovereign, wise, and good. It was as if God said to Job: “Learn who I am. When you know me, you know enough to handle anything.”
― R.C. Sproul, Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

–Psalm 116:7 (NIV)


“I haven’t lost my temper in 40 years”*

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July–let’s whoop it up some!

In the morning TCM is playing some great John Wayne movies…

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…and that night they’re showing some appropriate musicals…

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We will probably be taking it pretty easy here in our flyover neighborhood. We won’t be attending Fair St. Louis or anything big like that. (We’ll watch the parade on TV.) But the OM will fire up the barbecue and the wee babes will come over for awhile. (They have new outfits.)


We’ll dig out the sparklers and bang some pots and pans. Maybe we’ll play some patriotic music…

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And let’s all say a prayer:

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Independence Day, BCP)

There are a lot of movies with 4th of July scenes, but lists almost always forget the classic finale of McClintock! (1963) wherein John Wayne spanks Maureen O’Hara and everyone cheers. Here’s another great scene featuring our quintessential American hero.

Have a good one. Make good choices.

*John Wayne in McClintock! (1963)

Troubles and trials

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John Charles Ryle (May 10, 1816 – June 10, 1900) was an English evangelical Anglican bishop. Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism.  Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century(1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 volumes, 1856–69), Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition.

(And a little inspiration from Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Dolly Parton, “Green Pastures”)

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

“Yeah, well… sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand”*

There is a lot going on this weekend, including the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 1.19.57 PM.pngIt is also the 50th anniversary of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, MO and there is a whole weekend of activities planned.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 1.23.54 PM.pngThe St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair is this weekend–always a favorite of mine.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 1.18.50 PM.pngIt is Cinco de Mayo. Time for a margarita!

And it is my 45th high school reunion.


I am getting together with my two best friends from back in the day for a gabfest, but other than that, I am playing it pretty cool.

Meanwhile the rivers are rising as rainfall continues to be higher than forecast.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 6.07.23 PM.pngIt has been raining all week and the forecast for the weekend is not great. So let’s all say a weather prayer…

Compassionate God, source of all comfort,
We pray for the people whose lives have been devastated by rain and flood.
Bring them comfort, we pray.
Protect the vulnerable.

Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry.
And may our response to their suffering be generous and bring you praise.
For we ask it in Jesus name,


I hope we get to see these goofballs.

IMG_0990.JPGAnd this made me laugh…

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Have a good weekend–whatever you decide to do!

*Cool Hand Luke (Paul Newman) in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

“And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England”*

Today is the feast day of Saint George, a Roman officer of Greek descent from Cappadocia, who was martyred in one of the pre-Constantinian persecutions. George is a very popular saint, honored all over the world, but especially in England where he is the patron saint. (“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead. … cry God for Harry, England, and St George!”)

Here is Donatello’s famous statue in Florence…

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.37.07 PM.png…but something’s missing! Where’s the dragon?Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.24.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 12.00.35 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.16.19 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.27.30 PM.pngThe slaying of the dragon is definitely an integral and important part of this saint’s universal appeal.

Here is Dragon Hill, a small hillock immediately below the Uffington White Horse in the county of Oxfordshire in England. It is a natural chalk hill with an artificially flattened top. According to legend, Saint George slew the dragon here.

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A bare patch of chalk upon which no grass will grow is purported to be where the dragon’s blood spilled.

A traditional custom on St George’s day is to fly or adorn one’s home or business with the St George’s Cross flag. Pubs in particular can be seen festooned with garlands of St George’s crosses on April 23. It is also customary for the hymn “Jerusalem” to be sung in cathedrals, churches and chapels on St George’s Day. All of the above sound like good ideas to me.

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Lord Jesus Christ, whose cross didst seal thy servant George: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and prayers, may triumph to the end over all evils, to the glory of thy Name; for with the Father and Holy Spirit thou livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

*Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, scene one

(The artwork is, from top to bottom: Donatello, Albrecht Durer, an English WWI recruitment poster, a Russian icon, N.C. Wyeth)

A mighty heart was broken

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“GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD,” John writes, “that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is to say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son even to this obscene horror; so loved the world that in some ultimately indescribable way and at some ultimately immeasurable cost he gave the world himself. Out of this terrible death, John says, came eternal life not just in the sense of resurrection to life after death but in the sense of life so precious even this side of death that to live it is to stand with one foot already in eternity. To participate in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ is to live already in his kingdom. This is the essence of the Christian message, the heart of the Good News, and it is why the cross has become the chief Christian symbol. A cross of all things—a guillotine, a gallows—but the cross at the same time as the crossroads of eternity and time, as the place where such a mighty heart was broken that the healing power of God himself could flow through it into a sick and broken world. It was for this reason that of all the possible words they could have used to describe the day of his death, the word they settled on was “good.” Good Friday.

– Frederick Buechner, The Faces of Jesus

Have a blessed Easter weekend. Go to church!

We will celebrate with our little family at church, brunch and with peeps.


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–Thomas Aquinas, translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall and the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861

(The Crucifixion stained glass window by J. Gordon Guthrie, Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York City)

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)