Saturday, January 31, 2009

Flannery O'Connor

"Most people come to the Church by means the Church does not allow, else there would be no need for their getting to her at all...The operation of the Church is entirely set up for the sinner, which creates much misunderstanding among the smug."

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond



5 stars
What a delightful tale - and even more so when read out loud with a British accent. Here's the book that started the tales about the bear from "Darkest Peru" who loves marmalade and to whom unusual things always seem to happen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

disease:

An invasion. Whether through covert operations or a full frontal attack - there is always casualties...dis/ease

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fairy Tales From Many Lands, ed. by H. Herda

5 stars
One of those books where the axiom, you can't judge a book by its cover, holds true. The copied I had was a pea green color, tattered, and the binding was beginning to tear. One of those random pulls from the public library that you take home and are quite delighted you did. This proved to be a well edited collection that stayed true to its title. Containing tales from a multitude of origins including: Greece, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Finland, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Africa. The illustrations were as enjoyable as the stories. If you are looking for a book of tales check this one out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

kaleidoscope:

The beauty of the created universe as we spin it in our mind.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

jack-in-the-box:

The result of the inner self when wound and wound and wound...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

epoch:

Another word that proves we are simply passing through.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

humility:

The raindrop, diminished, to surrender itself for the need of the dry earth.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono



5 stars
It won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 1987 - an exceptional story told with outstanding cinematic interpretation that is well worth thirty minutes of your time. I highly recommend the link below to view the film.

In brief, it is the story of one shepherd's long and successful single handed effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps near Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century. An inspiring tale of what can come through the effort and determination of one man.

See the whole 30 minute movie by clicking here

Click here to read the story

Saturday, January 17, 2009

teacher:

It is the soil, the rain, and the sun that nurtures the seed into the production of fruit and therein another seed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

play:

It is the heartbeat of childhood - pumping through the veins a life giving fluid called imagination.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ozma of Oz, L. Frank Baum



5 stars
Baum did it again in book 3 of the Oz series. This book was particularly magical. It fills out the story of Ozma that was introduced at the end of book two. Dorothy also returns in this book and meets some new characters that accompany her on a new exciting adventure filled with puzzles and twists.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Edwin H. Friedman

"The colossial misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which a message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech."

from, Friedman's Fables, p. 5

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Elizabeth O'Connor

"The church that educates for a new society will live out in its structures what it proclaims. The very structures themselves educate. When our acts mirror our words, they give to our words a transforming power."

from, The New Community

Saturday, January 10, 2009

testing:

Seems that every day is a series of tests with little time to study. As a fraction I suppose it would look like this:

------What you know------
What you ought to know

Multiply this by silence and you have a more rewarding outcome.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thomas Merton

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

from, Thoughts in Solitude

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ant:

The oxymoronic insect that proves mighty and little can co-exist in one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Richard Rohr

"The gospel is not primarily a set of facts but a way of seeing and a way of being in the world because of God. Jesus speaks to the heart, saying (1) God is on your side; (2) God can be trusted; (3) the universe is safe and benevolent; (4) trust yourselves, one another and God; (5) there is no reason to be afraid; (6) it's all heading toward something good."

from, Jesus' Plan for a New World

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No Future Without Forgiveness, Desmond Tutu


5 stars
It is ultimately in our best interest that we become forgiving, repentant, reconciling, and reconciled people because without forgiveness, without reconciliation, we have no future. (p. 165)

Tutu recounts the the establishment and outworking of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the fall of apartheid. Anyone interested in the themes and ideas that surround reconciliation need to read this book. If you don't have the time for this book I would highly recommend chapter 7 to you at the very least. A haunting read but one that leads the reader to the hope that can only come through Christ. There is a deep evil in this world and Tutu understands it well. He recognizes also that we are capable of the vile realities as we are of the beauty that fills his pages. We serve and have been created by a good God which can be a difficult proposition when one begins to consider the horror that can be done by those He has created. Tutu's belief and testimony of this good God help ground my own belief and same testimony. Bottom line: truth will always win out.

Monday, January 5, 2009

then:

Proverbs 2:5
...then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

Here it is...THEN...the ifs of the last two days come into fruition. The if is the treasure map; the then is the treasure.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

insight:

Proverbs 2:3-4
...yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures...

It is emphatic: as to say go, do it, call out, raise your voice for it would be like looking for something you know is there - you must find it...all your moments that follow depend on you finding it. Yes, It is in sight!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

receive:

Proverbs 2:1-2
My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding...

A "then" is coming...but before it does one must ask, "How do we receive words?" - it is by listening; an attentive ear, an inclined heart...a gift given and then put in the store house of the mind...it is slow and quiet like snow but covers with such delight.


For anyone interested in a wonderful interpretation of Proverbs in heroic couplets see, Proverbs: A Poetic Paraphrase by Bill Billions

Proverbs: A Poetic Paraphrase
Proverbs: A Poetic Paraphrase

Friday, January 2, 2009

new:

The harbor of possibilities - filled with hope and what might be. It is the liminal space of New Year's Eve and the strike of the clock at 12:00:01 am...it is tomorrow and the next day and the day after that...it never needs to be lost only always born.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

St. Augustine

"You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in You."

from, Confessions - A.D. 354-430