Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
... tres adorable....
no wonder the kid has her own merchandising empire already. [something very amiss indeed with the animal who eats babies....]
Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.
And One Day, When Slightly Blue, She Wrote A Song For You....
I only know how to love you completely
just a feature of my frailty
I only know how to love you sweetly
I can't love a little and walk away neatly
like you didn't mean to say how your eyes greet me
I only know how to love you every day
with my whole self and itself out of the way,
my love didn't take a holiday
while my soul sings loudly joyous melody
forever and always under my breathe quietly
so as to not frighten you away. Love didn't take a holiday
This time it's here to stay. I only know how
to love you completely. It's not a game.
Slightly Sacred Heart, Body, Soul, Mind, all of me.
I am not ashamed,
from toe-nails to gray hairs
till death do we part. I only know
that this love is indestructibly forever and I never
want to be apart.
[so sue me.....]
FRANCISCAN FRIARS ROCK!!, and sometimes sing Jingle Bells.
Everyone knows the shortest verse in the New Testament "Jesus Wept."
Did you realize that there is an even more gut- heaving account of weaping in the 14th chapter of Mark- Peter wept loudly and bitterly. He "denied" Jesus.
Not such a rock then, was he.
This is what we have all been told, and so goes the legend of the Rooster- Keep one in your house so you will not "betray" Jesus- my Mother collects them for that reason.
There is more to the story if we look deeper.
Peter wasn't just seized with a sort of Thomistic doubt and backsliding from his understanding of who Jesus was. He wasn't saying- not sure who the guy is in this three-fold act of betrayal.
He knew who Jesus was. "Who do you say that I am ?" "You are the Christ-[Messiah]." - the Salvation of humanity-the one who came to save the world from it's own selves and sins. This is an affirmation we are told can only come by the understanding of the Holy Spirit. He knew exactly who Jesus was- his salvation. His truest Love.
He lied. He knew he lied.
Why did he lie. How did he lie?
For this we have to look at who was asking Peter whether he knew Jesus.
It is written that it was a maid/servant of the High Priest (probably Caiaphias).
Who is this person? Here is a person who had access as a maid or servant to Caiaphias. She had to clean after him or take care of his needs, thus she had access to some of the inner workings of the Temple. She took orders from him- could probably address him more informally-
"Do you want your socks folded or rolled" or "Do you want parmegian over the pasta?" or
"What shall I do with the leftover lamb giblets..." You get the point. The maid -servant was a person of the household of the High Priest in the service of the Temple.
Obviously word was out in the higher hierarchy that this Jesus character was trouble-and she would have heard it. He was deemed a bit of a rebel maybe. Totally presumptous running around calling himself important gathering a following that is blocking all the thoroughfares and attracting more support than the High Priest himself-is he taking up a collection?. Jesus was a real threat- some of his teachings were not only revolutionary, they were rather "in your face" to the High Priest hiearchy order of things- and let's not even talk about flipping out the entire courtyard of money-changers. It's easy to hear the subtextual gossip that she would have been around and heard..."How dare that Jesus character-who does he think he is!" King of What!!! What King!! He's a loser carpenter from Nazareth, that dive town -nothing good comes from there! Who does he think he is coming in here! What Dominican Seminary did he graduate from!
This is why the question to Peter by the maid-servant isn't a nice innocuous one - like, hey, I can tell from your accent that you came all the way from Gallilee, you probably came with that great nice fella Jesus who is so brilliant and kind-lucky you. No, it was an accusatorial finger-pointing sort of "you are one of them!!! I know you are, I saw you with him, you low life!" (paraphrased liberally)
So Peter looks the girl in the face and lies. He says- NOPE- Neva met the guy.
He doesn't just "deny" Jesus- he totally lies and says he never met him. Denial plus Betrayal plus a pile of lies.
Then the girl shouts to the passers-by hanging around or in part of the Temple- Hey!! Look! I found one- one of those Gallilean upstarts who hangs with that Jesus guy!! (paraphrased again liberally)
Peter lies again- NOPE- not me! Neva met the guy. The girl is outta her mind.
Then the crowd of passers-by light into him menacingly- Hey you! Are you with that guy Jesus?
It happens again- Peter sticks hard to his tall tale - insists on lying a third time- and insists that
he never met the guy, he isn't with him, he just came all the way from Gallilee by himself.... bowing to the mob.
Jesus, part Prophet told him- my dearest Peter, before the rooster (cock) crows three times you are going to deny me. Before it's even full morning light, in the dark of the dew covered cobblestones, you are going to deny me three times- like you never met me.
Peter was the one who understood and articulated who Jesus was originally. Remember. He knew in his gut as enlightened by the Holy Spirit at the very beginning who Jesus was. Lord. Lord of Lords, King of Kings. Purest Love. Purest Truest Love. The person who loved him the most on the planet.
He followed him around for three years and knew that he was LOVE incarnated. LOVE, such that no man ever had greater. LOVE of enemies, of harlots, of sammaritans, of the foresaken, the oppressed, the fatherless, the orphan, the imprisoned, the leper, the diseased, the hungry. LOVE incarnate. Peter saw Jesus cure his own mother in law, and raise dead people back to life for crying out loud. Who was he? Peter-you know exactly who Jesus is.
Jesus was the guy who caused him to reap a pile of so much fish while fishing his nets broke he couldn't contain it. He was his provider, his helper in time of despirate need, the one who beckoned him to walk to him on the water with him.
Peter lied, three times, and said he did not know the LOVE that was his very salvation.
The Purest Love- that he knew in his heart, he lied, denied, betrayed and said-Nope! Not Me! Neva met the guy (wiping out the last three years of any meaning in his life). Bowing to the fear of a tattle tale and a menacing mob.
Why did he do this? Because he was afraid of the Powers that Be- he was afraid that the girl would tell the High Priest and he would be in trouble. Big Trouble. The High Priest had the power to accept sacrifices to forgive sins, he could throw heretics in prison- he could even kill them as insurgents or turn them over to the Romans to do the dirty work. If he wasn't a dead man, he wasn't getting his sins forgiven anytime soon. For sure, he was getting his sorry Gallilean derriere kicked out of the Temple during Passover-the highest holy day. What a Scandal. Under any scenario, this girl was big trouble. And she was making a loud fuss about him. He was dodging this bullet-- with a big fat lie--against his very soul.
NOPE- never met LOVE, never met the man-whatzissname Jesus.
Who Me? Hanging with the heretics? Nope. Not me.
So Peter, realizing what he had done- to himself-- in betraying his own heart, wept. Bitterly.
The Purest Love is no servant to a polity in its opposition for its own political ends.
The Purest Love will always trump it- because GOD himself is LOVE- and the rest is just a means of keeping score.
Peter Wept. Bitterly.
Then woke up- and God himself forgave him -not the High Priest. Because God is Love.
And Love overcomes evil every time. Every time.
And so will you bow to the menacing mob pressure, or a tattle tale who scores points by ratting out to a boss threatened by Love.
Or will you look Love in the Eye and say- I know who you are. I Love You Back.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
CONGRATULATIONS!! MEGAN AND MARK.
Sorry fellas, my cousin/godkid, the cutest bicoastal babe now off the market;
WEDDING PLANNED FOR ATLANTA IN SEPTEMBER 2009.
Megan Blasier, sister of Rebecca Blasier, Senior HR exec with Edelman Public Relations in DC, daughter of the late William Eugene Blasier- Georgetown Law Grad, previous General Counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), in Dc and Marcia Blasier of Grosvenor/Rockville, Maryland. The couple will live in Northern California near enough to all our other crazy creative California relatives. Mark works for Google.
I must add-Megan is a full fledged bona fide Veterinarian (touched by Saint Francis:-)
BLESSINGS AND JOY!! What a great Christmas Present!!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Under this three-fold galactic super-novaistic event,
There were three Magi- Persian Zoroastrian High Priest Astologers by all accounts, who came bearing Three Gifts- Gold, for a king, Frank-incence, the finest incense for a Priest, and Myrrh, a medicinal material used to cure a variety of ills and used for preserving a body in embalming prophetically for his death.
This baby would be all three in one; A King, a High Priest, and a martyred Healer Prophet.
The Angel Gabriel made three visits to earth to make it all happen; one to Mary, one to Joseph so he wouldn't run, and one to Zechariah, the Priest and father of John the Baptist who was told by the angel not to fear or doubt but just to call the kid John. This boy John would pave the way and shout to make it straight while crying in the wilderness eating nothing but locusts and wild honey -so hearts could be soft enough to receive the message. It was that serious. I'm not eating anything but locusts and wild honey until you all get it.
After three visits by an ArchAngel, This baby Jesus came from a trilogy; from a Father, he was the Son, and the Holy Ghost did the insemination. His entrance onto planet earth completed a holy "family" of three persons; Joseph, Mary and himself.
Three in One- One God- in a three part harmony. Jesus, Mary, Joseph. Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
HEAR OH ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD THE LORD IS ONE,
and the Lord comes in a three part harmony.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
that have been healing people since it's discovery?
She lived there (traveled there) once and knew the waters when she visited. They helped heal the earthly pain
of her only son's violent death
which traumatized her from witnessing it.
"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
– Romans 14:17 (NKJV)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
There is a rare opportunity for someone coming to DC for the New Administration to live in a luxury high end fully furnished studio apartment complete with WiFi, and maid service, in a brand new renovated building on "N" street in the heart of Dupont Circle.
This building is expected to become a small hotel like the Dupont Inn next door after two years complete with kitchenettes. Prior to that tenants may live affordably in these units and have the rare experience of being two blocks from the DC Red Line and walking distance to downtown, the White House, the West End, Dupont and even Georgetown. These apartments are newly finished and will go quickly. If interested please call 202-466-0998 and indicate your interest.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Nestled in the back streets of Georgetown in Washington, DC on Dumbarton St (and 27th) is a little gem of a church called Epiphany Catholic Church.
It has a famous stained glass window of the Nativity over the Altar which you should not miss seeing at some point this holiday season. It has a georgeous dark wooden ceiling with inset fleur de lis stained glass windows.
The early service on Sunday hosts the Korean Community, who today was in the basement whipping up some Korean delicacies for sale to the later congregations that came in.
Next, there was an English Mass, not nearly as well attended as the Korean one but it featured a charming accapello choir that looks ready to march the streets of Georgetown singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" in home knit hats and scarves.
The third Mass of the day was incredible. It was the French community Mass. It's Priest is, as they say, "On Fire" for the Lord. You got the sense of the mission he was on and the urgency to it.
It was beautifully multi-cultural with an equal mix of white, brown and black faces and a sprinkling of kiddies; one got the sense that every country "Outre Mer" in the French protectorate, Magreb and mainland were represented. The Carribean islands of Dominique, Haiti and others were represented as well as the expected Parisian crowd.
Typically after church services in most churches there is some kind of fellowship happy hour in the basement with donuts and coffee. The Fellowship hour at the French church featured a home-made Salmon pate spread and chardonnay. Not kidding. As Paula Dean, that food channel southern bell might say--those French ladies can cook y'all.
This is a special church- especially if you speak Korean or French. It is a fantastic melting pot for the diversity of the city, and small enough to be hugely welcoming. The French congregation, the church of Saint Louis (technically) is actually under the Archdiocese of Paris. This is as real French as it comes in DC next to Bisto Lepic. I highly recommend going to this Mass just to hear the beautiful music sung in French. A French native Dominican Brother beautifully concelebrated the Mass.
I rarely do this, but am putting in a huge plug for their immediate needs.
Epiphany's boiler just blew -this close to Christmas.
So Father Lee had to replace it and they finished installing it yesterday. He took up a collection (and today they threw a bake sale and Christmas Bazaar). They are 11,000 (11 grand, 11k) short of their boiler bill being totally paid off.
Let's get it paid- any checks that you can send in are greatly appreciated. (So Fr. Lee doesn't turn the heat off!)
JOIE ET PAIX
Friday, December 05, 2008
play chapter / study / save / email / memorize
Jesus at a Pharisee's House1
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.2
There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.3
Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.
5Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”6And they had nothing to say.
7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:8
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.9
If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.10
But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.11
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12Then Jesus said to his host,
“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors;
if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14
and you will be blessed.
Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Jesus kept going against the social grain. He kept trying to tell people that their priorities were whacked- totally misplaced; that the people constructed their own golden calves and false idols to be socially secure in their own socially esteemed acceptable constructions, beautiful as they were, while at the same time completely quashing the Spirit of Life which was supposed to underlie the rules and laws-and that the rules and the laws were supposed to serve ("I CAME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY"). The laws and rules are for the maximal expression and fulfillment of Life, Love and Joy. Not the other way around.
The Pharisees elevated the rules over Love and Life and exhaulted their expertise in them above the progres of Love. They had it bass-ackwards. Some of them (by other names) sadly still do.
Of course you can break Sabbath to heal someone- the Sabbath was created for man not man for the Sabbath. You would pull your mule out of a hole if it fell into one on the Sabbath wouldn't you? Why shouldn't you heal a human? This violated the "law" concerning do no "work" on the Sabbath according to the Pharisees. The interpretation of the law was inconsistent with the principle underlying the law and thus the Pharisee was just flat wrong.
The prideful look, the haughty glance, the imperious disdain that the condemning Pharisees were famous for, will be brought low every time, because it elevates something above the Law of Love, which is at the Heart of the Creator, and extols one expert at it in a self-laudatory fashion. It is a form of hubris, elevating oneself about the creator, whose very essence is Love.
Pride is here exemplified in two instances; someone presumes himself worthy of the head table when a more honored guest might be coming, and someone throws a Feast and thinks he is too good to invite in the litany of oestensible smelly low lifes who can't pay him back for it.
What does Jesus conclude? --you are right Mr. Pharisee- keep the scum out on the street so no one smells bad at your fancy party? No, he says your reward will be great if you let the others in. Don't just throw a feast for the fancy- invite in the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind- the person on SSI, the unemployed, the homeless, the wierd looking ones, the guy who needs a shave. Invite them all in-even though they cannot pay you back. Because your reward will be paid back, you will get your check, at the Resurrection of the Righteous.
Well, our social outreach committe has to have an accurate count so we know how much food to make? Remember the loaves and fishes? How baskets were left over. Send someone out to the 7-11 if more folks show up. Have an extra lasagna in the freezer.
It's Christmas for Heaven's Sake.
Humble yourself in the Sight of the Lord, and he will raise you up.
The Washington Bach Consort will continue its 31st season with a concert at the National Presbyterian Church for An International Christmas on December 21, 2008 at 3pm. An enthusiastic return to the Church features the versatility of our singers in a program of Christmas music from around the world, including compositions by Whitacre (US), Taverner (UK), Villette (France), Villa-Lobos (Brazil), Chesnokov (Russia), Ødegaard (Norway), Lewis (Wales), and of course, Bach.
A movie to see in a theatre near you now (if in DC its at E St.)
“Love means doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning” (2 John 1:6, NLT).
HOW HARD IS THAT?
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
In this scripture, John is reminding all of us that God has not changed. He is basically saying, “You know what, there really isn’t anything new about God. He’s the same as He’s always been so just stay with what you know. Do what He’s commanded and love one another.” The Word of God is His truth. When you follow God’s Word, you can be sure that you are staying in the truth. Remember, Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Any teachings that don’t acknowledge what Jesus did on the cross are false teachings. False teachings feed your pride and tell you that you can make it on your own without Him. But God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Loving others and putting them first keeps us humble before the Lord. It puts us in a position to receive His grace and live empowered by His truth all the days of our lives.
A Prayer for Today
Father in heaven, thank You for Your truth which sets me free. Help me to love others the way You love them so I can stay focused on Your truth. I bless You and praise You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
You hear a lot about the "culture of life" and how the Republicans think that the Democrats don't have any. They are about "Life" they think and the Democrats are about "Baby Killing."
Anyone who disagrees is a "conspirator with evil" and should go to confession immediately.
A lot of post-election wrenching of garments, wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth has taken place in the post-election briefing of what went wrong, "how we lost" and more casting of stones and aspersion on the evil Democrats who are so liberal as to be "Godless" or clueless. Never mind the fairly brainless Caribou Barbie part of the equation.
This is all a very self-righteously convenient way to avoid looking in the mirror at the log in one's own eye. It allows one to avoid the harder questions like- why really don't they like us (you).
An honest look at "Why we lost" (you lost) should deeply examine the following question in addition to the pathological intelligence lying unto unjustifiable war defrauding a nation, tanking the economy selling it down the Euphrates River, ignoring the plight of the fatherless, the homeless, and casting stones on anyone who believes there is a more effective way to stop or curb abortions than locking up pregnant or post-abortive women and their doctors, etc. :
How well did we Love Our God and Neighbors as Ourselves. This is not just a nice thing, it is a Commandment. Breaking them comes with consequences. Always.
Is it love to cast stones or build bridges. Is it love to condemn or provide.
Is it love to cast nasty aspersions on people's ethics and honor rather than walk a mile in their moccasins when we are told specifically not to Judge-that's not your job. Further is it love to just not try to understand the argument sticking ones fingers in the ears and head in the sand?
Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach- but he did not state that this great commandment usurped what he stated clearly was the greatest commandment; to LOVE your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and LOVE your neighbor AS YOURSELF. He is even more clear about the priorities; he said essentially, I don't care if you can prophesy, I don't care if you give everything you own away (like the rich young ruler) I don't care if you have all the preaching eloquence in the world-that's all very well and good. But, it you have no LOVE you are just a clanging gong- how annoying, a
clashing cymbal--you are like a hand full of fingernails scratching down a chalkboard. Because if you have no LOVE, you are full of yourself and hot air. You are a pompous Ass. You are a False Priest essentially; the definition of Pharisee- the only category of people on the earth for which Jesus demonstrated pure contempt.
If your neighbor is hungry and you have food, is it love to eat in front of them and not invite them in?
If your neighbor is the guy sleeping homeless and wandering the park in front of you is it Love to walk on by and do nothing to help find them shelter?
If your neighbor has been taken by predatory lending and left for dead by the side of the Foreclosure Sign, is it Love to just sue her and blame her.
If your neighbor has been scammed and abused by a greedy Simon Le Gree landlord and evicted
on his head is it Love to kick him when he is down?
Is it love to engage in fraudulent emotional manipulations-of an entire country who sent their sons and daughters to war and lost over 4,000 of them in the sand hell of a country half a world away so Exxon Mobil executives and people like McCain can have more houses than they can count?
What is Love.
Love is not jealous, it is not proud (full of ego), it does not insist on its own way, it doesn't count wrongs against it (hold grudges or vengeance), it does not rejoice in the wrong- it does not perpetuate needless suffering. It doesn't wage wars killing people for no reason, or wrongly motivated reasons in war and lie to everyone about why. It doesn't fire people who disagree for political persecutory reasons who are good people trying to serve the country.
One very wise Priest said before the election "Republicans Don't Deserve To Win This Time", and he is probably a hard core Republican with a lot of fancy highly placed Republicans in his Parish in a fancy Washington suburb. He knows why.
Let's only hope that he wakes the rest of the party up--For God's Sake people.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Visit this gem when next in the hood:
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
A friend of mine from high school said she never kissed her husband until her wedding day. The Minister said "you may now Kiss the Bride" and he felt he needed his blessing and permission first apparently-they have stayed married for millenia and happily by all accounts. And she wasn't in the nerd crowd- she was the homecoming queen type.
The couple in the article below met on a Missionary Trip in Uganda.
Love at First Sight.
They waited until their wedding day to Kiss. Seriously. Imagine what you can get to know about a person if you never touch or tempt them first.
You might have to expand your cerebral muscles a bit. You may have to develop some communication skills you thought were useless. You might have to respect yourself more than you are used to. You might find other talents -like cooking, stand up comedy or cooking while performing stand up comedy.
You might have to be telepathically or soulfully linked in that way that causes people to proclaim --You know what! "You Just Know When You Know." (didn't your mother tell you that.)
And the rest is gravy folks.
Guiltless Gravy from here to Heaven.
--or so I'm told on good authority--
Respect yourself. I know you can do it. [That should be the new abstinence campaign motto.]
The wildest thing is that this practice is apparently so rare that it made the internet news.
That does say a bit about how far the slip sliddin' toward Gehenna or Gomorrah has slouched.
Catholic Priests don't even say sometimes in wedding ceremonies "You May Now Kiss The Bride"--it's reserved to the discrete privacy of the wedding suite--it's that SACRED.
I'm all for people getting prize money for preserving themselves until marriage. Let's start a Fund. If you cheat you have to pay into it, if you conduct a pious relationship that ends with Four Carrots and a Kiss at the Altar, you just hit the jackpot baby.
Where do you imagine someone got the notion to build such an instrument? It clearly resembles a simple recorder or piccolo wind instrument- only there are two such instruments strapped together. Someone thought- hey, if I put two of these together I can make a more beautiful chord than one alone. It's a fuller, richer, deeper more beautiful sound.
So one, a litle longer than the other was attached to one a little smaller. And then they needed a way to simultaneously blow air into both at the same time so that air was flowing into each as each were played. They had to be permenantly attached, so another device was affixed to the top through which air travelled simultaneously through both pipes and kept them both in place. This is the idea it seems behind the Spirit uniting two which God affixes together so that no man may pull asunder- because in his Divine Will for their maximal divine purposes to be fulfilled in their lives, the Holy Spirit affixes them together permenantly so that he may simultaneously blow the Spirit through both of them- to manifest a far more beautiful sound than could ever take place with just one alone- which is but half the notes on the chord. Now, there's a Presbyterian "children's message corner." Don't talk to me about the kind with more than two pipes- some Scotsman invented that after a few at the pub.
Have I just explained by accident why this is such a popular instrument at weddings?
How absolutely insane would it be to say that Pipes, to maximally make a joyful noise may never be attached to any other Pipe and kick out any Pipe so attached to another in the fashion with a "bag" for such shall be immediately evicted from the celestial orchestra by Order Of the Rule Of Benedict.
God's not foolin around folks. The word ADVENT reminds us of this because it actually means in Latin "Coming." [Lat. Adventus, sc. Redemptoris, “the coming of the Saviour”,
Jesus is on his way. This should give us Hope--if you recognize Him.
I am fond of looking at how people around the Globe who have grasped this fact celebrate Advent:
From Wikipedia; In many countries, Advent was long marked by diverse popular observances, some of which still survive. In England, especially in the northern counties, there was a custom (now extinct) for poor women to carry around the "Advent images", two dolls dressed to represent Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A halfpenny ("half-P") was expected from every one to whom these were exhibited, and bad luck was thought to menace the household not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve at the latest. (Remember the song-"if you haven't got a penny a hay-penny will do"- comes from this tradition.)
In Normandy, farmers employed children under twelve to run through the fields and orchards armed with torches, setting fire to bundles of straw, and thus it is believed driving out such vermin as are likely to damage the crops.
In Italy, among other Advent celebrations, is the entry into Rome in the last days of Advent of the Calabrian pifferari, or bagpipe players, who play before the shrines of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Italian tradition being that the shepherds played these pipes when they came to the manger at Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus. [There is a French wind instrument called the "shepherd's pipe"- early versions were conceptually made by poking holes in hollow reeds.] Have I just explained by accident why this is such a popular instrument at weddings?
And you thought Bag-pipes were just for Scotsmen in quilted pleated plaid mini-skirts.
Whether you play the Pipes, http://www.italianspringschool.it/, cling in a bell choir, blow a trumpet or shofar, stretch your melodious vocal chords, tap your foot or whistle in Dixie, listen to the choir of Angels this season and wonder: where does this beautiful amazing sound come from? Just Imagine; What Key is Heaven In?
Monday, December 01, 2008
And slightly more grown up:
No matter what religion you are: If you see one movie in the next month, it should be this one :(again if you saw it already)
THE NATIVITY STORY
Every cliche you ever saw or heard of about a bunch of Wise Men delivering gold for a king, Frank-incense for a Priest and Myrrh prophetically for his sacrifice, Mary and Joseph and a baby they named Jesus born in a manger under the North Star (actually 3 stars that aligned that night of his birth for the first time in 3,000 years), the road to Bethlehem on a donkey (and why?) from the village called Nazareth they worked and played in,
a virginal birth announced by an Angel named Gabriel, and living under the delightful
rule of the Romans under King Herod who had a habit of taking your children for slaves or concubines if you couldn't pay your taxes and slaughtering all the babies under 2 just on the chance one of them might challenge his power.....
comes to life in this movie and it all of a sudden all makes total sense.
I don't care who you are, what religion you are, these are historic facts that should be viewed in this interpretive light this holiday season. You will get it. You will understand why this event is celebrated all this month, and what it says for your Redemption and Salvation.
Trust Me, Just Watch It.
[You can get the DVD at the CIC-Catholic Information Center in DC, http://www.cicdc.org/ - I did.]
This is not a Renaissance Airbrushed Painting folks-its the gritty Jewish village story of
a girl who wasn't looking for trouble who met an Angel- and the world has never been the same since.
I'm trying to remember
when this said something special
that played at my heart strings
like a mandolin or violin
Trying to remember when I cried believing
this was a call to a homeland
Trying to remember you under the
Sorrento Moon but all I can see now
for the fog of the despirate crowds
is the catchy tune. Wonder if I will ever sing
this aloud again or ever see
the promise of you
this side of the Sorrento Moon.
We welcome you to our March 4-16th Study Tour of Israel.
You will experience Forty Centuries in Ten Days in His Land. These fun filled study days will cause your black and white Bible to turn to living color. Your love for the Lord, His Word and His Land will be deepened like never before.
Our guide, Yehuda, is the best in Israel (our humble and accurate opinion). He is Jewish, native born Jerusalemite and majored in New Testament and the Crusades at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He fought in three of Israel’s key wars, and will help us to understand the Middle East conflict. He has been our guide for over 25 years.
As your host, Barb and I lived in Israel in l959-60 and our oldest son was born in Nazareth. We fell in love with Israel, the people, the Land and the history of our Bible. The Jewishness of Jesus has become a five decade “study hobby” for me and I am now writing on the subject. We teach in colleges and seminaries on this subject and hope to publish soon. We will be helping you to interpret the life and ministry of our Lord against the tapestry of His Jewish culture. You will never read the Gospels the same again. Yehuda and I are in on-going dialogue (in Jesus’ day this was called, Beit Midrash as He and His disciples were involved in on-going question and answers). Our Study Tour is like a college/seminary course (without the exams). Yet, it is filled with fun, devotional times and “mountain top’ experiences, as we move from one Biblical site to another. We will focus on both the Old and New Testament sites as we walk travel the Land.
Contrary to a constant diet of fear from our news media, no nation that is safer than Isarael. This will be our 28th study tour and never have we had an person who has had a negative experience. No person on an organized tour has been injured or killed in Israel in their 60 year history of tourism. Incredible…when Israel has well over two million such visitors a year.
Warning: This tour will change your life. You will come back a new person. You will fall more in love with Israel, the Word of God (like never before) and have a new vision of our Lord and His ministry. Since Christians are “grafted in” to the Olive Tree of Israel, you will have the desire to “return home” to Israel, as often as possible. Our tours are not “canned” with much travel and little sight-seeing, nor are they traditional “pilgrimages to the Holy Land” (visiting one church to another). We will have numerous times for worship and devotional study, in ancient synagogues, standing beside the Sea of Galilee, in the Garden of Gethsemane, from the Mount of Beatitudes, at the foot of the Mount Hermon, where Jesus was transfigured, and outside the Garden Tomb. We will walk in the steps of our Lord in Galilee and Judea.
Your life will be changed! We could take a dozen or more, but need to know immediately of their interest. Presently, the cost is $3,942 for 10 full touring days in Israel. A person can arrange their own air mileage and meet us in Israel and save some $832, no problem.
No one offers a better tour a better price. We only have few seats available at this price. After that, we must check with Delta daily to see if they have seats available…but, we would expect an increase. If they want to go and save money, the time to act is NOW…TODAY (or sooner). They may call me at 972-596-8748 or email at email@example.com.
We look forward to sharing The Land of the Bible with you and your friends.
Serving the Son Who never sets, His Servant…