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Archive for December, 2012


Finally, the river has been crossed, a new harbor awaits…

We asked today to be allowed as Catechumens into the Antiochian Orthodox church, next sunday at the end of the Great Liturgy we will be accepted into the arms of the OCA and begin our journey to becoming fully Orthodox.

This has been a long and trying year for us, we left the Catholic Church, we stumbled at the strong middle eastern influence of the Orthodox liturgy, and our lives unraveled around us. At a time when we where between the shores of the Catholic faith and the Orthodox faith, I believe, God used circumstances to finally push us in the right direction. There is a huge sense of relief with our asking this morning, and the reception, along with the fellowship warmed our hearts.

I knew 5 minutes into the Liturgy this morning it was time, I signed to Michelle I was ready, and she told me later she felt the same calling. I don’t think that was coincidence,  I think it more divine providence. We have been off and on with the OCA, struggling with the liturgy and the aesthetic nature of it all, I tend to shy from piety because of my background in the Baptist faith.

But a month ago I met over lunch with Fr. Mark, and we discussed our hesitation and concerns, he shared the difficulty in his conversion which helped us to relax and just let it happen. We stopped worrying about getting the details right, and let the liturgy come to us naturally, it made all the difference and we are beginning to finally settle in. I have also realized that the piety I was so concerned about, is nothing of what I experienced while I was a Baptist. It was an internal change, but one that allowed me to start taking my guards down, which is a big step. Even while Catholic I never fully let my true self out, I was always on guard at some level, I never felt the familial comfort that we have found with Orthodoxy. That’s not a knock at all against the Catholic Church, I’m just pointing out the difference in how we have been received. I did a full year in the ministry of Lector, and it was an honor to be able to serve and pronounce the Gospel, and if we could heal the Schism, I would sign up again because serving to me, is the highest form of praise.

This journey will change us, I can already see that we are going to need a basic understanding of Greek to get through this, that’s a challenge, I could say it’s all Greek to me right now!, and very little in the liturgy or practice uses western names. They are in many ways very close to the liturgy of the Catholic Church, just with wildly different names. There are new Diet restrictions, weekly fasts, a more stringent rules leading up to the Eucharist. It’s all doable, but it’s new, and it will take time to adjust.

So we will start out the new year on a new set of journeys, from a new house, kids moving out, and into a new and wonderful faith.

2013’s going to be a ringer of a year!!!

Bring it on!


More Random Thoughts

There was a terrible tragedy a week ago, evil came to visit an elementary school, and took the lives of innocents. But now a week out and instead of praying for the family and victims, we have begun a witch hunt. And of course everyones favorite fantasy is to make guns illegal, it’s happened before and it’s never worked. It never will, in fact just like an atomic bomb, you can’t un-invent a technology. So even if we make guns illegal, you can still make one at home with little trouble. Arming the teachers is not a bad idea, except most teachers fear guns already. Turning our schools into prisons, which they already do here, might help, but ultimately it didn’t help in Sandy Hook. I don’t know what the answer is, Theodicy is the theology of explaining evil in the face of a good and loving God, and sometimes I just don’t think you can. Evil showed it’s face again, and it will happen again, no matter how many rights we take away from our citizens. But letting reactionary idiots on capitol hill run the conversation is going to lead to another TSA farce, where every one suffers but no one is really safe.

Finally got my iPad mini, if I’m not a certifiable Apple fanboy, then I have no idea what one is. I love the form factor, it’s just right for all the things I do, and fits into my coat pocket. The new cover for it is a disappointment, but Michelle ordered a switcheasy which will fix that problem. Now I just need an iPhone 5 :)

The house sold two days into showing, we just signed the paperwork, now to see if the lender accepts. I think he will, it’s easy money and the attorney will make it hard for him to collect anything else, I just want all this over, and to get back on with our lives, we also sign the lease on a new property today.

The Pope is calling Gay Marriage the end of our civilization, I don’t know if I would go that far. I think the whole thing is a farce to begin with, it’s an outgrowth of a society that is focused on an unequal concept of equality. There are so many now who think that everything should be ‘fair’ and ‘equal’ and they are not interested in the consequences of their ideology. The Catholic view of sex, marriage and birth control forces them to be reactionary when dealing with these issues in the first place, I can’t tell you how much bad information I’ve heard from Catholics about these topics, especially birth control. And some of the arguments from some of the biggest names are so skewed and nonsensical that I wonder if they actually believe some of the junk they pedaling. Gay Marriage is not the end of the world, I don’t agree with it, I think it’s wrong. But I’m not going to stockpile my supplies and wait for the end of the world over it, I have the Mayans for that :)

Speaking of the Mayans, I’m glad that nonsense is over.

I’m hoping for a white Christmas this year, the first year we moved into this one (almost exactly seven years to the day) we got a white Christmas, this will be the last one with all the kids here. So I want it to be special, we will do Roast beef, open presents and watch old cheesy movies, and laugh a lot. It will be good, then we finish packing and start a new adventure.

Here’s hoping your Christmas is Merry and Bright, and take some time to reflect on the reason we celebrate each year, God, through Christ, reached out and gave us a savior, and freed us from the tyranny of sin.



The point of the journey is not to arrive, anything can happen…

That line, penned by Neil Peart from the song Prime Mover (on my favorite Rush album) has always fascinated me. I don’t share Neils atheism, or his agnostic tendencies (well not all of them), but his words speak to me at a very primal level, they always have. Over the years while life took it turns and twists, my faith and the words of a man who shares nothing of my faith have kept me on track.

Here is what Neil penned for Prime Mover from the album ‘Hold Your Fire':

Basic elemental instinct to survive
Stirs the higher passions
Thrill to be alive

Alternating currents in a tidewater surge
Rational resistance to an unwise urge

Anything can happen…

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of the journey is not to arrive

Anything can happen…

Basic temperamental filters on our eyes
Alter our perceptions
Lenses polarize

Alternating currents force a show of hands
Rational responses force a change of plans

Anything can happen…

From a point on the compass
To magnetic north
The point of the needle moving back and forth

From the point of entry
Until the candle is burned
The point of departure is not to return

Anything can happen…

I set the wheels in motion
Turn up all the machines
Activate the programs
And run behind the scene

I set the clouds in motion
Turn up light and sound
Activate the window
And watch the world go ’round

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of a journey
Is not to arrive

Anything can happen…

Not everyones cup of tea I realize, but I find comfort in Neils ability to write about human nature and the forces that drive us, I find an almost brutal honesty in his words, we each have arrived at different conclusions. But that’s to be expected, one cannot read someone like David Hume and simply dismiss everything he states, or Descartes, both are on opposite side of the philosophical fence, and both are right, and wrong. That’s what makes us human, we are complicated, ethereal and corporal, a mixture of juxtapositions.
We have been on a long journey, Michelle and I, twenty seven years of marriage. There have been highs, lows, pain, suffering, and lots of joy. For a time I was hoping we would finally arrive, that our journey would finally come to a close and we could just settle down. But I missed the point, the journey is the thing, it keeps us going, we change because of it, not in spite of it. Next year it will just be the two of us, alone and together again, as it was when we first started this journey. Our children are all leaving home, it’s very bittersweet for us. There was a time when we dreamed of this day, and now that it’s finally coming to pass, neither of us are so sure it’s what we wanted after all.
Losing the house could turn out to be one of the best things to ever happen to us, we get to start the journey over, we are older, wiser, and have more resources at our disposal. I look around at all the work that is still left to do here, and I know once this is done, we will be heading in a new direction. I also realized this weekend while packing how much work this house still needed to get it fixed right, I was halfway there, but let the lender do the rest, it’s his bad decision not mine. I want to start building guitars again, I took a sabbatical for a large number of reasons, those are largely gone now. So once we settle, I’ll go back to building, and not just guitars this time. I’ve been collecting arcade part, and electronics to work on automation and gadgets, and we still want to raise clownfish.
Anything can happen…