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Friday, January 15, 2016

Joy

I don't really understand that of which I speak. But it is the opposite of worry, the opposite of control, of self-making. It's the free assent of not being in control, and celebrating that reality.

I have been lowered through the roof, so to speak, and the effort of this life, such as it is, is learning to be thankful. I want to be ever more thankful, and give it as my gift back to God.

We give You thanks, Almighty God, for these, and all Your gifts, You who live and reign forever and ever, Amen.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

We're Not Promised Tomorrow

David Bowie was 69. Alan Rickman was 69. Cancer took them both. A friend of a friend died in moments some months ago; he was 58. The problem with simply saying, "Get out and live, before it's too late!" is, we've been living, and not well, at that. What does it mean to live, to love?

Most of us deep down know that God is the one who can reconcile us with Himself, and each other, but we hesitate, because we know that it might mean a change in thinking or acting we don't want to make.

But what answer will you give when your time runs out?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mercy

What is mercy? To show mercy is to lessen the expected or deserved consequences of bad actions. By its very nature, it is forgiving. Sinners always experience the love of God as mercy, because they are sinners. If some kindness were due to a person, it would be justice, not mercy. This has far-reaching implications, which we won't discuss here.

I would say we would change the world, if we knew that God's very heart is mercy. Some people are so far from understanding this that they hurt themselves, instead of seeking mercy. They know they are sinners, but rather than count themselves sinners nevertheless deeply loved, they say, "I'm so bad, no one could love me!"

That's pride, you know. It looks like piety in some, but it's the same old song. Worth some reflection.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Closer

Do you ever want to get closer to God? There's nothing wrong, it's just not as close as we would like. Prayer is the way. The very thing we resist. I just want to sit here with God. Be here, O God. Fill me, my God.

I renounce all that is not You, God. I long for joy that does not end. I place all my friends and family in Your presence, that we may all soon understand and experience the fullness of life.

Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie, 1947-2016

I don't know his music much at all. I'm listening to his "Space Oddity" album right now. I have two enduring pop culture memories of him: that unique version of "The Little Drummer Boy" with Bing Crosby, and that sweet cameo in the film, "Zoolander."

What's really interesting to me is how regular he seemed in interviews. I wonder if he reconsidered his agnosticism in these recent months. He seems too nice, too good, to be an atheist. That's a loaded thing to say, but I stand by it. Human beings arrive in this world broken, in a sense incomplete. Even the noblest atheist, no matter how high-minded and practiced his presentation, will show his barbarity sooner or later. If there were no pious hypocrites, these noted atheist evangelists would have nothing to do.

Anyway, we mourn with David's friends and family today. "Check ignition, and may God's love be with you."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Oooh Child

I can't be the only one who's tired. I'm supposed to be in the party of individual initiative and responsibility. My party gave us Abe Lincoln, and fought bigotry from its very founding. Jackie Robinson himself was a Republican. We fought for equality and fairness before it was cool.

And yet, here we are, with people lifting our banner who can't even fathom peaceful Muslims, or honest, hardworking blacks. What? Kind of hard to mock the late Sen. Byrd for his membership in the Klan, when you're doing all you can to grow the ranks.

I once heard that eighty percent of Muslims in the US voted for George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. If that cheers you, you might be a patriot. If that scares you, please stay home on Election Day.

I'm voting for the son of immigrants, and happily, at that. I figure a little shake-up will make America great (always) again.