Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Chuckles

I'm told that Anglicans make fudge... Capital Hill seems to be in the "creative mode" too...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Reverie II

Deacon's Mass

Sunday December 27 was a beautiful morning in Suburbia Majora. Father Toby was on the road and down in Hilton Head, SC. Our minister of Music was also away. this left this humble parish Deacon and a musically inclined vestryman to preside over the celebration that is the First Sunday after Christmas.

We were graced with the homily delivered by Bob Graver, a semi-retired Baptist minister who is a recent convert to Anglicanism. Pastor Bob spoke on the text from Matthew's account of the Nativity and levied the call for each of us to answer when our Lord's messengers speak to each of us.

This humble Deacon had the honor to preside over the Eucharistic Celebration of reserved Sacrament, consecrated prior to christmas.

I look across the blogosphere... Padre Mickey has the Lovely Mona, Father Mark has his helpmate; I have Miss Robin, my wonderful wife of 28 glorious years. She's that lady at my side.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prayers for Rifqa

From the Book of Common Prayer:
Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this
land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as
their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to
eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those
who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law
and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of
us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and
prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the
changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be
defended by thy gracious and ready help; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rifqa Bary, a seventeen year-old follower of the way desperately needs your prayers today. She will be in court today for a dependency hearing to determine if she is to be returned to her muslim parents. Rifqa contends that if she is sent back, she'll likely fall victim to an honor killing, an answer to "spare the rod, spoil the child".

Her fears aren't baseless by any measure. Honor killings have risen sharply in western nations, the UK has seen a pandemic of this crime. The US and Canada too have seen a rise of this crime which is sanctioned by sharia law and acquits those family members who murder (typically a female) family member for an imagined breach of honor.

For now, I find the deafening silence of the left, especially the feminist left awkwardly irksome. Had this been a case where Rifqa was desiring an abortion or the opportunity to pursue an "alternative lifestyle", the hue and cry would be off the gage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Claus... a denominational phenomena

I pinched this link from Fr. Dwight Longenecker's Bog, Standing on My Head. The post belongs to the Gentleman Farmer, a blogger dwelling outside the tendril's of Suburbia Majora. You're bound to enjoy a Monday chuckle or two.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Even in Advent...

From the Book of Common Prayer, An Order for Compline:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
Even in Advent, people hurt. As I type and as you read, there are those whose bodies are racked with sickness and even fighting for life. There are those who are writhing on a bed of suffering and those who are giving up the fight for life.

We can never allow ourselves to become so busy or self-consumed that we fail to be cognizant to the needs of those in our midst. The Lord help us if this is, or becomes the story of our lives.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Thought in Advent...

Like the video so aptly demonstrated, the hurting and wounded walk in our midst daily. It is all too easy for us to be blinded and deafened to their tears and their cries.

On that great day of reckoning, when we'll file our "travel vouchers" and settle the accounts, will we be standing there with our hands in pockets saying "Buuuwh?" Or, will we be saying to the Almighty that, in our ministry to the dispossessed that we never saw Him in the soup line. He reminds all of us kids in the peanut gallery that as we extend our hand to the most beat down, we are extending our hand to Him.

St. John the Baptizer's words should still ring in our ears... We all were a face in that clutch of copperheads trying to flee the coming wrath. May we all bring fourth the fruits of repentance, extending the Grace of the Almighty to all.

After the Third Sunday in Advent

Traditionally, this third Sunday in Advent is the Sunday of Gladness. Yet for the hoopla, this Sunday had a tincture of "warning" as contained in Sunday's Gospel reading.

The rub is so simple that a child can get it... Advent is a two-edged season in which we remember the babe, born into abject and crushing poverty that he might identify with us and our utter fallenness. He came, not to wallow in our brokenness, rather to lift us and wash us clean from that filth which stood between us and the Almighty. Too, we look to the King of Glory who is returning to settle a score with the Fallen one, and will establish a kingdom that will neither fade nor fall. To quote the Apostle, Come Quickly LORD Jesus, Your servants ache and long for your reign.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Strange Case of Rev. Mary Glasspool

Why do we elect those who would be Bishops? To what standard do we measure those who might become Bishops, should they meet the prerequisites? Where do we find this measuring stick? The questions seem ponderous at first, especially in an age where it takes a nation's CEO the better part of a year to make a decision. The questions may also seem seriously daunting to those caught in the kudzu of political correctness. Don't misunderstand me for one moment. The questions have extreme gravitas and the way in which they're answered have serious and lasting spiritual impact. No, far from being flip or sarcastic, this is an issue that calls for clear-headed consideration. Graciously, the Almighty has already done some heavy lifting for us in this search for answers. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit moving through the pen of Saint Paul, these questions have been answered for us ahead of time.

We elect Bishops that the church may have oversight and leadership. Consider St. Paul's words to the Ephesian Church:
... to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming... Eph 4:12-14

Those who would be Bishops have the Divine charge of stewardship over the flocks of the Almighty, to shepherd them away from darkness and onwards towards the light. They guard against the false and cunning teachings that would shipwreck the faithful. Too, we've been provided with prerequisites that one who would be Bishop should meet before "hands are laid" upon them. These are neither impossible nor onerous:
... Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. ... I Tim 3:2-7
It's quite clear that the Bishop is to be one who is rooted in the historic, orthodox Christian faith. Scripture is unambiguous as to the gender of one who would be placed in this office. This fact does not denigrate the the female gender one jot or tittle, and no amount of shrieking on the part of Shelby Spong, et al, will make it so. There is no Title IX clause or ERA Amendment to Scripture. If we attempt to shoe-horn a woman into a sacramental office that was ordained as one for a man, we are operating outside the pale of Scripture. The "Proverbs 31" woman, as blessed as she is, is not qualified by scriptural writ to serve in the office of Bishop/Overseer.

Now, ((gasp)), its time to address the 800 pound primate in the room...

Miss. Glasspool, by her own admission has chosen to engage without repentance in sexual activities clearly proscribed by Scripture. I will say to her credit that she has done this openly and without pretense but regardless, she has lived in open defiance to the counsel of the Almighty. This fact, on its own merit, is a disqualification to stand in the office of Bishop.

I want to lay down some presuppositions for a number of folk I'm fond of, including Mickey+, Mark+ and others. I hold no hatred or animus towards the homosexual or lesbian whatsoever. I am stridently opposed to any violence done to the gay individual on the grounds of their choice of lifestyle. Those who do violence against gay individuals deserve for the full weight of our justice system to come crashing down around their ears. In fact, I've no compunction in seeing the ultimate penalty (read capital punishment) handed down to those guilty of the ultimate violence against the homosexual, or for that matter anyone (without the need of hate crimes "training wheels").

Homosexuality is just one shade in a spectra of brokenness that separates us from fellowship with the Almighty. It is no more sinful than theft, adultery, murder, lying, gossip, grumbling, unthankfulness, witchcraft, etc. Regardless of what some loons or orifices may claim, the Almighty has not placed the homosexual under any special interdiction. No, Like any other brokenness, healing and redemption has been made available for us through the atonement.

Should a former, freed homosexual who now walks in newness of life in Christ Jesus be kept from an office they're otherwise qualified for? Absolutely not. Should one who continues in their sin, in spite of the Almighty's offer for healing be even considered for a sacramental office? Absolutely not.

It's not about barring the door nor freezing the homosexual out of the house of God. For the love of God, I would that every orthodox, God-honoring parish would throw their arms around the gay community; not to celebrate and wallow in their brokenness, but to point them towards divine transformation.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Out of the mouths of Blowhards...

MSNBC's own resident bloviator Chris Matthews has in just 31 seconds, spit in the face of every West Pointer who has served and bled for their country. Nutz to you Chris, you owe an apology and a resignation to America's finest!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent's Vesper Light

The sun has already set on this First Sunday in this new Advent season. From the standpoint of the Church Calendar, we kicked off a new Liturgical year and a chance to try and "get it right" once more. News Flash... Try as we may, we're going to bollix things up once more for the umteenth time in our lives. Left to our own devices, we'll screw things up royally once more. But, this is the beauty of the Advent Season.

From Eden's treason to Malachi's indictments against the restored Israel, God's chosen people continually proved that they were incapable of making the "wise" choice, of living up to the dictates of a Holy God. Then, the Almighty intervened. In Mary's son Jeshua (or Jesus in our western sensibilities), the only begotten son took the form of a Semitic Jewish man in order to not only show us the way, but to pay the airfreight.

In these unfolding 27 days, we have an opportunity to contemplate a two-fold mystery. First, we have these days to consider just why, and how, the second member of the Godhead crossed to veil between the eternal and the temporal in order to walk among us. The very expression and icon of the Father, born to Judean peasants in a dank, dark stable. Too, we have these moments to consider how that same expression of the Holy will return, not to lowly estate but in regal battle array. The Carpenter will return as Commander of Heaven's host, and as King of Kings.

Advent I

From the Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Morning - 2009

From the Book of Common Prayer...
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Across the nation this morning, Mothers, Grandmothers and others are waking to kick off preparations for the family feast. Turkeys and other entrees are being prepared for the oven. Balloons are being prepared for their journey down New York streets. Elsewhere, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines are letting their guard down long enough for a meal with their comrades. They're taking time out in a mess hall or even a foxhole to give thanks for the gracious provision of the Almighty.

Saints, Patriots and Pilgrims... Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be this morning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Reverie

The Manhattan Declaration

In the three years of shrieking here on the Catbird Seat, I've endeavored not to be a "bandwagon blogger". Instead, I've purposely delayed comment in order to provide a more thought through response. I wanted this principle to especially apply to the recently released Manhattan Declaration, recently made public on November 20th. This declaration, released by a significant number of leading Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Evangelical leaders and luminaries speaks directly to watershed issues, seminal to the historic Christian faith, namely:

  • Life
  • Marriage
  • Religious Liberty

In the issue of life, the signatories give immediate and primary recognition to the truth that Life is created and sustained by the hand of the Almighty. Additionally, it gives credence to the position of Christ Jesus is the giver of abundant life. The document speaks to what John Paul II referred to as the "Culture of Death" the institution of abortion, post-natal or palliative euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research.

Though the language of the life statement is firmly rooted in historic, orthodox Christian thought, the Declaration adopted a more global view in speaking to the horrors of our "modern" world to include Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Trafficking/the trafficking of girls and young women, racial oppression and discrimination.

In the issue of marriage, the signatories absolutely repudiated both the ideas of polyamory/polygamy, and homosexual coupling as viable, healthy human relationships. Heterosexual, monogamous relationships between a single male and female partner are seen as having been created, ordained and blessed by the Almighty. The institution is further endorsed in the New Testament writings of Saint Paul.

Signatories to the document have a clear understanding that marriage is a covenantal relationship between a Holy God, a man and a woman. Clearly, how can the Holy One establish a covenantal relationship between two or more individuals enmeshed in behavior that is clearly proscribed by scripture? While the document also recognizes that there are individuals who are clearly bent towards homosexual behavior, they're no more stigmatized than others bent towards other sinful practice. Those in disagreement with this Declaration will be prepared to scream bigotry and squeal intolerance at the top of their voices, they'll be screaming into the faces of the Godhead.

The third component, speaking towards Religious Liberty, speaks the loudest. In fact, the spirit of the section could be encapsulated in the language lifted below:
"It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn, aged and disabled and also a right to engage in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have relationships integrated around these practices be recognized and blessed by law—such persons claiming these “rights” are very often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to express their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife."

In some of its strongest language, the Declaration loudly condemns the efforts of some in power to dismantle the Christian idea of "Freedom of Conscience". Loss of this freedom is nothing short of searing, naked tyranny.

This document will be repudiated by some of the strangest bedfellows. No surprise here, but the Declaration likely will be loudly and vociferously repudiated by bodies such as the Episcopal Church, UCC, UMC, MCC, ADL, ACLU, Barry Lynn, et al as being intolerant, bigoted and insensitive. Jack Chick, Independent Fundamental Baptists, KJV-Onlyists and some in benighted pentecostalism/mountain folk religionists will loudly condemn the Declaration and its signatories as a "papist plot" cobbled together by "agents" of Rome. Amazing. after two thousand years, opposition to truth still has a way of bring together the most unlikely.

Now, my two cents...

The Manhattan Declaration may well take its place with the Barmen Declaration in the story of orthodox Christianity as a declaration of resistance against emergent, atheistic socialism. And as was the case with some of the Barmen signatories, their well may be those who in these latter days, receive a martyr's crown as a consequence to having their names attached to this historic document.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Monday...

Its Monday, and its time for another visit from Reverend Fun...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Concerning KSM and his fellows.

I continue to be amazed at the way we as a nation continue to take an Ad Hoc stance towards ratified treaties and settled U.S. Constitutional Law. In considering AG Holder's decision concerning the Trial of Kalid Sheikh Momammed (KSM) and his co-conspirators, we should look to existing precedent before playing it from the hip. Consider the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC):
Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.

It should be noted that under the treaty provisions, KSM could have been tried and summarily executed in the field as a war criminal. This didn't happen and won't happen because as American Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen (of which I was for 20+ years), we will put ourselves in harm's way to see the war criminal delivered to justice for the Due Process of military law.

The spectre of a "civilian criminal" trial for a war criminal the likes of KSM and his comrades is unprecedented, unconstitutional and an unnecessary risk to the citizens of New York City, or any potential venue for this circus of the insane.


Anyone on the hunt to determine if our nation has slipped her moorings and is slipping into in institutional psychosis, and slouching onward to destruction need not overexert themselves. We've now witnessed a new low in the continuing abdication of parental responsibility in the raising of their offspring. A woman in Arkansas, (I refuse to use the term "mother") is in the news for having her pre-adolescent daughter Tased over her refusal to shower. Before pressing on, I had to wait an entire day before commenting on this as there is great risk in "Loosing one's Religion" when even lightly considering this outrageous story. We're now only beginning to see the bitter fruit of seeds sewn over the past half century by a cabal of leftist fifth columnists who have worked silently and insidiously to destroy our Republic from within. If we have any remnant sense of judgement, these conspirators should be round up and brought to a Nuremberg-like trial for their coup.

Doctor Benjamin Spock (with the round ears) was unable to convince American parents to cease from raising disciplined children, a wave of his acolytes in the form of overstepping "social workers" stepped up to cow parents into raising discipline-free little crumb crunchers. Not satisfied, a wave of socialist/Marxist judges and prosecutors made it there life's mission to criminalize Biblical child rearing to the point that a majority of parents became loathe to even scold their children for fear of criminal repercussion. In the wake, our nation (and most of the western world for this matter) has now witnessed a generation of ill-mannered little turds, and other assorted me-monkeys ascend to adulthood without even the scent of discipline. Without the benefit of structure, they've no internal self-discipline and consequently, are bereft of the skills needed to raise disciplined offspring of their own. In this void, they call on the wellspring of their own poisoned rearing to take care of their feral litters. The result is clear; little girls are tased, police now carry pediatric-grade handcuffs and the dystopic nightmare continues to grow. Parent, Grandparent, Uncles and Aunts; you can stem the tide and staunch this insanity if you're willing to develop the spines, brass assets and godly characters to affect change.

If you bred 'em, raise 'em! If you're unwilling to take personal responsibility for your progeny, place them for adoption to a family who'll be happy to fulfill that Divine mandate for you. Secondly, NEVER rely on the State to raise your brood. The unfittest of parents; the State does not discipline, they only punish (and there is a difference...) Thirdly, dismiss the Sterecore Tauri that equates discipline with abuse, in fact the two are polar opposites. Abuse is criminal behavior that has no place in a civilized society. Discipline is a Divinely-ordered mandate that facilitates the upbringing of noble citizens. A judiciously applied swat on the bottom will reinforce the concept that a tantrum is unacceptable. It will not however, "scar" the child for life.

Finally, a note to Mayor Vernon McDaniel. If you think you need to consult the FBI or Arkansas State Police to determine the propriety or legality of Officer Bradshaw's actions, I recommend that you save the time & effort by simply resigning your position as its clear that you're lacking the sound, mature judgment required to be your municipality's chief executive. Hellen Keller could see that the patrolman's judgement was nonexistant and his conduct criminal. And BTW... IT WAS CHILD ABUSE!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Quote to Consider

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader." -- Samuel Adams, American Patriot

A Lesson in Communications

Sunday, November 08, 2009

November 8th -- Happy Birthday Derek

It was in the deep hours of the morning, moments after 2:33 or so, that I became a dad 26 years ago today. Shortly after, I was holding this little guy with a pointy head and a set of pipes that were knocking back 120-plus decibels or so. Though the shape of his head was temporary and took on a human form within a few hours of his grand entrance, Derek has always been gifted with those "pipes" so to speak. In his 26 years, he's made a "grand entrance" in whatever he has set his heart & mind to accomplish. Happy Birthday Derek!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ordinand Retreat - Day Two --II

The day has progressed on and the the Pennsylvania countryside is warming under azure skies. I've just completed a contemplative walk, considering Luke's Gospel from our morning meditation. Truly amazing! I'm grasping for words to describe just how a retreat sounds. The visual is a no-brainer as the panorama looks like a Wyeth landscape. The sounds however are another matter altogether. For certain, its totally devoid of the clatter that bathes Suburbia Majora. There are no Spleen-punching sub-woofers rattling the windows. Too, missing is the ever-present din of traffic, pierced by the occasional wail of an EMS vehicle. Finally, the skies are quiet; I don't hear the sounds of aircraft maneuvering on their approach to Dulles International. No, rather there's the sounds of wind whistling through the trees, punctuated by an occasional birdsong.

This is a place where the soul is nourished and the spirit can be set at liberty. A place where the voice of the Almighty can once again be heard in greater sense of clarity. I'm not speaking of audible voices but rather, a place that declares His glory and shines fourth with His handiwork.

Ordinand Retreat - Day Two

A chilly good morning to you all from Fairfield, PA. The operative word so far this morning is chilly and I'm confident that there is frost on the ol' pumpkin outside.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Hymn for a Thursday in November

Ordinand Retreat - Day one

Its a crisp November afternoon here in Fairfield Pennsylvania and in a sense, it feels like a bit of a homecoming as this was my stomping ground for seven years. In a sense, time seems to have been held in abeyance here. One hundred miles away from the ever present noise of Suburbia Majora, the silence is palpable and only occasionally punctuated by a passing automobile on the road outside. This is a far cry from the road traveled this morning. The hardwood foliage seems to have peaked here and is dimmed by a November overcast.

The retreat began with introductions and a light lunch. Following Bishop David Bena led us in a Devotion centering on the 1st chapter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah clearly didn't read "Your Best Life Now". Prosperity preachers would likely, after meeting him on a blind lunch appointment, write him off as an abject failure. The most godly servant, given their druthers would likely pass on the ministry given to the "weeping prophet". With the possible exception of King Josiah, Jeremiah preached to a hostile crowd, did hard time in both the royal dungeon and a well, and was ultimately carried off to Babylon. His end is known only to the Almighty and the company of saints.

Though his writings are melancholy and heavy to the point of sorrow, there's much to be learned from the character Jeremiah. The words "Politically Correct" are not found in his vocabulary. The man had the brass assets to speak truth to power, and society when the PC thing to do was to simply shut up and color. Our friends on the left seem to imagine this to be something one only does when the "adults" are running things. Sorry guys, the time comes and is coming when we've got to lay off the bong hits and hand Barry, Nancy and Harry the news.

There is one critical point to consider here. Jeremiah was neither copy editor nor cudgel. The prophet spoke the truth without adding his own color commentary. Too, though the truth hurt, he would neither sugarcoat, nor slam down the message on his hearers.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

For the Saints of South Korea

It was 12 years ago this morning that my feet touched down on the Korean soil at Pyongtaek and Camp Humphreys.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Contemplating Majesty on a Thursday Afternoon

Just about the time I begin to think that Barry and his Obamunists are on the verge of turning our blessed Republic into 3rd world dystopia, I'm reminded that there is one, one who "is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against".

There is no scheme that escapes His glance, no whispered cabal that escapes His ears.

When we were kids, we'd sing "He's go the whole world, in His Hands". Now as adults, we need to trust in this fact more than ever.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Let your dreams be sweet and your sleep restorative. And from the Order for Compline:
"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen."

The Kingdom of Narcissists and Throwaway Children

My heart aches this afternoon. It feels as though its been transformed into a leaden anvil that can't be soothed or assuaged. Adding to this, there's a holy anger that if it weren't divinely constrained, could consume the guilty. No, I'm not off my meds, I'm just heartsick over yet another angel whose precious life was violently cut short by a monster, who so much as tossed her spent body into the dumpster as if it were last night's garbage.

Their names are burned into the pages of our minds: Somer Thompson, Polly Klaas, Jessica Lundsford, Amber Hagerman, Carlie Brucia, Kristin and Kati Lisk, Sofia Silva. Too, there are also the little guys: Adam Walsh, Dylan Groene, and a legion of boys and girls whose names are lost to us. Let this litany of names sink in for a minute as each one had a their own bright hopes of seeing their lives unfold into adulthood and the possibilities the Lord had for each one. These hopes were torn asunder along with their innocence by some narcissistic son of belial, who used the child for their own lurid gratification, extinguished their tender life and cast them off like a spent cigarette butt.

Its a settled conclusion that truly exquisite horrors await the impenitent, unrepentent child predator. The Master didn't mince words:
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

I'm thoroughly convinced that Children, the most vulnerable members of our humankind, have suffered the worst since the fall. However, their lot is greatly improved in a society and nation that fears the Almighty, and honors His Words. Our nation was once a place like that and our most precious treasures could walk to school unmolested and without fear. This has changed in our own generation. And friends, this shouldn't be! You and I could walk the streets of Coatesville to Terry, Saint Cecilia's or any other school without having to be concerned for anything beyond obeying the crossing guards.

I want readers who pray, to pray for this nation. I'd also ask you to pray an imprecatory prayer against those who would seek to hurt one more little angel. Pray that their plans come to nothing and that if necessary, the Almighty rip them asunder if need be, to keep their hands off these treasures.

Oh, Lord, receive little Somer into your arms and dry her tears. Replace what was stolen with the joy of Your eternal love and provision. May she rise to judge her offender, as well as all who would do such deeds. Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I really needed this after that last post.

For now, peace and restorative sleep to all. From the strip malls of Suburbia Majora to the fertile fields of the Bellarine... Good night.

Fresh Hell from the North Carolina Hills

OK campers, Uncle Catbird wants to play a little game. Let's try and figure out just what are the biggest challenges facing God's church. Take yer' time... OK, time's up.
Did this show up anywhere on yer' lists?

OK, this isn't a goof and unfortunately, it happens far too often in the loony right circles of American Fundamentalism. Its an even wager that this group is part of what is known as "Independent Fundamental Baptists" A group that could easily be the contemporary analog for the Herodians seen in the Gospel narratives. This sect has taken the King of Kings and wrapped him in the stars & stripes. Sorry, God's one holy catholic and apostolic Church is to be the conscience of a nation, salt & light rather than a national organ.

The group makes outrageous claims against the one catholic and apostolic Church that legion, and far to numerous to address in this one essay. Based on these baseless claims, coupled with their slavish adoration of a single biblical translation, I considered the group to be a cult. I've taken this stand while still a pastor in the Church of God, Cleveland, TN. Suffice to say this made me as welcome as a wicked rash in many churches.

Now, for my heart's cry over this folderol. How in the name of all that's Holy, does this advance the Gospel message or the Great Commission? How does this self-indulgent benighted bonfire proclaim the message of the risen savior? No troops, this has no more grace than a hand grenade, no more love than a capo's cudgel! Its aberrant behavior such as this, acted out, in Christ's name that causes our Lord's name to be mocked by the pagans.

This isn't Christianity, its religious bondage that is born in ignorance, hate and fear. Pray for these, that the true light of Christ, His eternal word and transforming grace break the chains that bind.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The 20th Sunday after Pentecost

From the Book of Common Prayer...

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I continue to be amazed at the depths and insights found within our prayerbook.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On a Sunday Evening

Strip away all of our human-contrived adornments and it all comes down to Christ, and Him Crucified, as Saint Paul reminded the church in Corinth.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

On the Feast of Remigius

From the Book of Common Prayer:

O God, by the teaching of your faithful servant and bishop Remigius you turned the nation of the Franks from vain idolatry to the worship of you, the true and living God, in the fullness of the catholic faith: Grant that we who glory in the name of Christian may show forth our faith in worthy deeds; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Happy October! It's a crisp Thursday in Suburbia Majora, the first day of Fiscal Year 2010, and the Feast of Remigius, the Sixth Century Bishop of Rheims. Bishop Remigius is remembered for bringing the light of the Gospel to the Kingdom of the Franks. I suspect they are in line for an apology from LA's Bishop Bruno for being converted from the carefree life of pagan bondage to a life of faith in the Almighty.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On the Feast of Jerome

From the Book of Common Prayer:

O Lord, O God of truth, your Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we pray that your Holy Spirit will overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, will transform us according to your righteous will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today is the Feast of Saint Jerome. A day to celebrate a faithful servant, and a day to poke a finger in the eye of Jack Chick, who in his insane hatred of all things Catholic, has chosen to vilify one who desired to bring the Word of God into the language of his countrymen.

Jerome was born to Christian parents in AD 340, in the regions of contemporary Slovenia or Croatia. In his early adulthood, it was clear the the LORD was calling Jerome based on his own account and he soon entered into Theological studies as he traveled through the crumbling Roman Empire.

In the waning years of the fourth century, Jerome receive his ordination through Paulinus of Antioch, then found his way to Constantinople where he became a pupil of Gregory of Naziatus. As he matured in the faith and in his calling, Jerome levied a major critique against Pelagius and emergent Pelagianism. Adding to this Saint Jerome levied major criticism against the Origensim of John II of Jerusalem.

Funny, hardly the villan of Chickensian lore. Anyhoo, enjoy your Wednesday and consider the blessing of having God's Word in your native tongue.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Music to seed your Dreams

2002 touches a chord that few artists have reached. Enjoy their Nocturne...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Held to a Higher Standard

Its funny now for me to think that once upon a time, I was a slim eighteen year-old Airman sweating my appendages off in the blistering San Antonio sun. Ensconced in cotton, OD fatigues and marching everywhere with the exception of the latrine, my life and immediate future were in the hands of a granite-chinned Training Instructor (DI for you Leathernecks and Army types) who regulated every waking moment of my life. My dad described to the searing power of the Training Instructor (edited) as one who would bark "Defecate!" To wit, you'd respond "Where, and how much Sergeant?" His word was final and his terror seemingly omnipresent yet unlike my Flight-mates, I would only have to endure 21 days of Basic Training bliss instead of the requisite 42. Blackmail? Graft? No, something better.

Along with another Flight-mate, I was a "Bypass Candidate", or one who qualified for an accelerated Basic Training Regimen. This sound like quite the deal; bailing out of Lackland as an E-3/Airman First Class early to get on with your training. While your bunkie and fellow recruits were pounding the pavement, you were off to briefings and other appointments. While they were saddled with the mundane, you pursued the meaningful. You see though, as Mr. Crane reminds us, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Being, and maintaining Bypass status hung on some significant presuppositions. First, you were expected to already possess and continually demonstrate the competencies of gained through Air Force Basic Training. Posers and pretenders would quickly be seen for who they were. In order to thin the Bypass herd, one faced stringent testing within their first full week. There was the red line inspection and the written examination. A close order drill test was conducted with wiggle room meaning, your heels had best be together along with your uniform. Completing this program was a zero-sum prospect; failure in any aspect would cause the suspension of training and reassignment to day one of Air Force basic. This might well seem brutal by today's slacker standards, but it reflected a solidly Biblical construct: TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS REQUIRED.

Participating within the bypass program could well have been, and likely was viewed a a seat of privilege. Not so much, it was a seat of responsibility.

For some, this essay may be an exercise in WTH, yet I can look at this moment in history and compare it to a coming paradigm shift in the very near future. I'm alluding to life after November 7th.

The imposition of the Deacon's stole is in a real sense, the imposition of a servant's yoke. It represents a moment when not only has the anointing of 2,000 years been bestowed, it represents the moment when our LORD places one's counsel and words under a higher power lens. All of our words matter and Scripture reminds us that no idle word will escape examination on that Day of the Lord. All, from the poet laureate to the village idiot will give an account. Yet those who would be teachers will have their words evaluated with a brighter light and a finer comb.

Welcome to St James, Chapter 3.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jetting North

It's been a rush season for travel over these past few weeks, and I've spent far more nights in a bed other than my own. Three of the past six weeks have been spent in Florida and of course there was the desert trek out into the Nevada wilderness. Suffice to say that a return to life in Suburbia Majora will be a welcome change as the days begin to wane and the nights begin to chill.

Spending evenings alone and sitting at "tables for one" allow for plenty of reflection. True, there are plenty of distractions ranging from the benign to the destructive. When we kick these all aside and purpose to have deliberate quiet, these times can be rewarding.

I've given time over the past two weeks to contemplate life after November 7th. At one level, nothing will change. I'll still be fighting the battle against age, decrepitude, and gravity. I'll still be fighting off the "dunlap's", (that condition where your stomach "done laps" over your belt), and the temptation to lie in bed longer than I need to. Yet other things will surely change.

Joining the James 3 club rates among these. I'll pick up on this on the other side of the flight. For now, enjoy the ride.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On a Rainy Thursday Night

I've always been a fan of Supertramp and this song. At first, I wasn't able to put my finger on it but after some study, it became clear that the tune took me towards the admonition of Christ Jesus' half-brother James:

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27-28 (NIV)

We may (and rightly should) strongly contend for the faith once delivered. Its clear that there are parties, useful idiots and the witting, whose mission is to re-image the Historic, Orthodox faith into something that's "out there". This is "meet and right", but we can never loose sight of the outward expression, and physical mission of our faith.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who's afraid of Glen Beck?

Making my rounds through the blogosphere and Visiting a leftist Episcopal Blog, I saw that Mr. Glen Beck has retained his Boogieman Du Jour status. Though I don't find this surprising as Episcopal blogs of this stripe are as scripted and predictable as the tide, I do find it interesting. Like Ron Paul, Walter Williams, Ilana Mercer, Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell or a chorus of others; anyone who makes enough noise through cogent, incisive statements will be noticed and predictably reviled.

But who the heck is Beck?

After reading Glen Beck's bio, its clear that he has experienced a lifetime of tragedy and was wrenched back from the brink of hell. He found solace and meaning through a relationship with his redeemer and the LDS church. Personally, I'd like to have a meal with Glen and introduce him to Anglicanism, but that's an essay for another day... Anyway, I'm starting to digress. His LDS sympathies aside, Glen Beck is a good guy, and an honest broker. He speaks from a passion that can't be faked or feigned. His words are the hearts cry of a man who loves his country, and loves his countrymen.

There are some things that, however, are missed in the mix. Out of the gate, Glen Beck is clearly a Christian Libertarian/Constitutionalist. This is to say that he clearly holds to a line of thinking that is rooted in a Judeo-Christian consensus and is very similar to the zeitgeist of our founding fathers. He has no time for the revisioning of the American dream by the far-left. Equally, Glen is no cheerleader for neoconservatives or the spendthrift republicans who bastardized the party of Lincoln and Reagan.

In a real sense, Glen Beck is the young man with the audacity to say that the Emperor is naked, regardless of whether the Emperor is riding an Pachyderm or Jackass.

My personal thoughts concerning the man are relatively simple. Like Ed Rendell, Glen is a good guy; he loves his country and wants the best for his progeny. Like me, Glen is fallen and in need of a redeemer. His statements are neither anathema nor infallible. Take what he says and weigh them in the balance of common sense and plumb them against the straight stick of Scripture.

Some grist for your mill.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tonight we're gonna party like its 1999...

I was a fan of Vertical Horizon, and really hoped they be more than a one CD wonder...

The Clock is Ticking

Funny, I was looking a the calendar; Seven sundays from today, I'll be celebrating my first Eucharist as Deacon. This will be nothing short of a moment of life actualization. Thoughts on this will be forthcoming this week.

Sunday on the Space Coast

Its been a good day to be hanging out on the Space Coast. Temperatures and dewpoints have been pretty much straight out of the weather textbook for Central Florida.

The morning kicked off with a visit to Prince of Peace Anglican Church (PoP) in Viera, a community tat sits about ten miles north of Melbourne that rests between I-95 and the Indian River. This parish's primary affiliation lies with the Anglican Mission in America, or AMIA. PoP apparently was born out of St. John's Melbourne and has existed as a separate entity. In this time, PoP has grown into a healthy, thriving body that stands on the uncompromising truth of God's Word, while throwing their doors and their arms wide open in the spirit and love of the Christ. Far from being "Angry-cans", this family of saints has a grip on what it means to live out their faith in our new millennium.

PoP is shepherded by Father Gary Echols and three capable Deacons. Additionally, the parish has an active lay leadership core.

I highly recommend this Parish to anyone visiting or relocating to the Brevard/Melbourne area as an outstanding community in which to live out your faith.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's go back to 1986 on a Thursday Night

C'mon Guyz, The Gipper was our Chief Executive, the Dollar was King in Europe and we were about to put the Soviet Union up on the ropes with our Pershing II and GLCM deployments. We were a superpower and had no reason to apologize to the world. Too, we weren't throwing our allies under the bus for no good reason.

Once more, its time to overthrow the tyrants and declare with one voice: "Americanium, Factum non Verba".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reverie in Ember Week

Rich was taken from us way too soon.

Consider the greatness, awesomeness and all-in-all of our God. Our language fails in delivering the laud, honor and glory that is to be ascribed to the architect of creation, and author of our redemption.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Deacon's Anthem

Another "Deacon's Anthem"

Somewhere in the Troposphere

Its 7:19 PM on a Sunday evening and I’m sailing through the troposphere, slicing the airstream at some subsonic speed on the way to a two week class in Melbourne, FL. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an upgrade, which had previously been waitlisted. This afforded a roomier seat for my skinny little frame. The grapes, cheese and china teacups were too were a nice as well. There’s an overcast ceiling down below, perhaps ten or so thousand few below the United Airlines 757.

After ruminating over Father Toby’s sermon, I broke out the iPod and dug for some ear food, since the Captain had elected no to make the cockpit audio available to the cabin. The menu fell on Randy Stonehill’s song, “Starlings”,a powerful song that in my estimation could easily be the “Deacon’s Anthem”. The song speaks of the birds brought to the new world by someone who wanted to have a piece of their former home in their new homeland. These birds quickly adapted to their new digs and became an invasive nuisance.

The second stanza moves to consider those who, unfortunately, have come to be viewed as the “human starlings”. The lyrics go something like this:

Riding with my family in a '58 Buick
I can still recall
How we'd drive through the valley
To my Grandmother's house
Every summer vacation
When I was small
And I'd gaze out the window
At the farms and the orchards
And the sound of our motor
Would frighten the starlings
And they'd rise from the fields to fly
My mother would grumble
"Those birds are a curse
They're a thorn in the farmers" side
But I couldn't help feeling sad and inspired
By their desperate ballet in the sky

Say a prayer for the starlings
A hot, dry wind beats their ragged wings
Have a thought for the starlings
No one ever listens to the songs they sing
Say a prayer for the starlings
There's no welcome for them anywhere
Leave some crumbs for the starlings
They say that Winter will be cold this year

She was sitting on a curb by the Seven Eleven®
She asked if I had some spare change
Her skin wore that leathered and windburned look
And the light in her blue eyes was wild and strange
I sat down beside her and asked her her name
She said, "pick one you like, I need something to eat"
And her life made me think
Of the dead leaves in Autumn
Drifting like ghosts down the street

Is the life that we celebrate only a dream
A lie that we serve like a god made of stone
And our hearts are the hunter
Birds with no nesting place
Weary and aching for home


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

November 7, 2009 -- A Turn in the River

So there I was, Checking my e-mails and deleting the many "Pharmaceutical" e-mails when a two-worded subject line leaped off the screen, "CANA Ordination". I read on.

Dear Andrew,

Bishop Minns has approved you for ordination on November 7, 2009 at Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia. We praise God for what He has done in your life, for your commitment to Christ and for the ministry ahead of you in CANA. Our prayers are with you as you prepare to take your ordination vows.


“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20

In Christ,


(The text has been slightly edited, removing some administrative information, and e-mail addresses in the spirit of privacy.)

Reading the text filled me with a sense of elation and and trepidation. Elation in the sense of an effervescent joy that welled up at the sense that the prayers, studies, examinations, and the waiting of the past four years were all now coming to their fruition. There was now a date marked on the calendar, the feast of Saint Willibrord of Utrecht (or November 7th in more common parlance), where my soul would receive the blessing handed down by Christ Himself to His own Apostles by means of the laying on of hands by either Bishop Minns or Bishop Bena.

On the heels of joy came a sudden fear. This wasn't a phobic moment but rather, a sudden dread that seems to strike those suddenly in the presence of the Almighty. I believe that at its core, is a sense that one is about to enter into the most holy moment of their life to date.
When Isaiah entered this moment, he could only say "woe is me for I'm ruined." Saint Peter was recorded as proclaiming "Go from me Lord, for I'm a sinful man." Even the God-fearing Centurion sensed his utter unworthiness to stand in the presence of the Divine.

There is a comfort and confidence to quash this dread. Christ's atoning death, resurrection and ascension, and the Father's election has allowed those in Christ to stand in His presence. It's not us, no in and of our selves we're still waterlogged turds worthy of the eternal flush. Yet in Christ and through Christ, we can enter into the presence of the Mighty One in the faith of knowing that we won't be smoking ash.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Timeless... after 25 years

The Fire still burns white hot...

she moves like a mysticlike a priestess tall and pale
she lays down the mysteryall her secrets are unveiled
wherever I look I see her there
wherever I go you know she's there
and she takes posession she has control
next to you I can touch the fire
and when the fever takes a holdnext to you I can touch the fire

her words fall in echosringing bells like gypsy rhymes
she has the powerno believer can explain
wherever I look I see her there
wherever I go you know she's there
and she takes posession she has control
next to you I can touch the fire
and when the fever takes a hold
next to you I can touch the fire
I feel the heat pumping in my veins
next to you I can touch the fire
I see myself going up in flames
next to you I can touch the fire

wherever I look I see her there
wherever I go you know she's there
she takes posessionshe has control
next to you I can touch the fire
and when the fever takes a hold
next to you I can touch the fire

I feel the heat pumping in my veins
next to you I can touch the fire
I see myself going up in flames
next to you I can touch the fire

she takes posession touch the firetouch the fire
I feel the heat pumping in my veins
next to you I can touch the fire
I see myself going up in flames
next to you I can touch the fire