au·then·tic /ôˈTHentik/

Adjective:1. Of undisputed origin; genuine: “authentic 14th-century furniture”. 2. Made or done in the traditional or original way: “authentic Italian meals”.

Advertisements

Moved

Where You Were Born

Yesterday we moved the last box from the little one-bedroom apartment our daughter was born in. The Lord provided that apartment in our great time of need. Our daughter took her first steps in that kitchen, while her Mamma prepared dinner. Sophia spoke her first words within it’s walls. After cleaning the old apartment yesterday, I looked around, seeing it as I had on our first walk-through: an empty and clean slate. All traces of the countless meals in front of that large window gone. The smell of my wife’s Beef Bourgeon replaced by the fragrance of cleaning chemicals. In that moment I thanked God for providing such a beautiful home for us. I thanked Him for filling our home with joy and gladness. I thanked Him for filling it with the joy that is birthed through suffering. I am thankful.

Technology

Here is a great article about cell phone use by Ken Myers.

How Would Jesus Call?
A Column for the Dallas Morning
News
 
By Ken Myers
 
An
article in the April issue of Wired magazine makes some frightening
predictions about the dangers of three cutting-edge technologies. Though Wired
is better known for treating the latest gadgets and high-tech systems
either with irreverent glee or awe-filled reverence, this article, written by
Bill Joy, cofounder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems (and thus a high
priest among the digerati), sounds more apocalyptic than messianic. Joy warns
that future developments in genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology
(the development of microscopic machines) may pose a serious threat to human existence.
All three technologies aim to create self-replicating mechanisms.
 
Joy’s
article makes some very serious points that ought to be of particular concern
to theologians and religious ethicists. Even if his most ominous fears prove to
be as ill-founded as Y2K hysteria, his concern for attending to the unintended consequences
of technology is instructive.
 
With
few exceptions, religious people have not given enough thoughtful attention to
the social and cultural consequences of emerging technologies. When technical
devices are used for obviously immoral purposes (e.g., pornography on the
Internet), Christians express concern. But church leaders and theologians give
far too little attention to the subtle ways in which technologies reshape our
lives and thereby re-configure our moral understanding of the world.
 
Technologies
are usually developed to make a particular task more convenient, and
convenience is valuable. But it is not the only valuable thing, and it is up to
individuals and communities to determine when an increased level of convenience
is actually a hindrance to other human values.
 
Cell
phones, for example, make it easier for us to have immediate access to others
and to remain perpetually accessible. But certainly there are times when cell
phones should be turned off or left at home. Some restaurants now require
guests to disable their cell phones while dining. This shows respect for the
ambience of their dining rooms and honors the desire of other diners not to be
forced into the role of eavesdropper.
 
I’d
like to suggest that Christian people in particular give some attention to cell
phone etiquette. A thoughtful set of manners regarding cell phones could be a
small but significant way of reducing the sum total of dehumanizing behavior in
American culture. Such manners could demonstrate the high value Christians
place on embodiment, expressed in our doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and
Resurrection.
 
What
could cell phones possibly have to do with the Incarnation? Both involve the
significance of physical, embodied presence before others. The presence of
another person before us is a kind of moral claim, asking for the recognition
appropriate to a fellow human being. Likewise, when we make ourselves present
to others, we are showing respect. Thus when we visit someone in the hospital
or in prison (a situation Jesus alludes to in Matthew 25) instead of just
phoning or sending flowers, we demonstrate by our presence a higher level of
regard for their well-being.
 
The
idea of presence is an important one in Biblical religion. In his second
letter, the Apostle John writes, “I have much to write to you, but I do
not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you
face to face.” The Church is called the ekklesia, the assembly, the
place where believers are present to one another to encourage one another to love
and good works.
 
By
contrast, holding a telephone conversation while walking down the street or up
an aisle at the supermarket pointedly ignores the presence of others. The
importance of physical presence is thus de-valued. It also poses a kind of challenge
to passers-by.
 
In an
earlier, less hectic time, when you wanted to make a phone call, you isolated
yourself temporarily in a telephone booth (ask your parents if this is an
unfamiliar term). This guaranteed privacy for yourself but also spared strangers
the awkwardness of hearing half of your conversation, especially if the
conversation involved intimate personal details. The more primitive technology
imposed limits on where your body was when you made a call, but certain notions
about presence and
boundaries
were also encouraged.
 
Just
because we are now able to make calls anywhere anytime doesn’t mean that we
should. Whether or not we should is a question that, to my knowledge, hasn’t
even been raised.
 
To
treat the presence of another person with indifference is not just rude. It is
dehumanizing. Bill Joy’s dire predictions about technologies destroying
humanity may not come to pass. But there are already many instances of the
thoughtless use of technologies diminishing humanity. The unexpected and untested
convenience of cell phones has brought us into territory previously uncharted
by convention. The devices come with technical instructions, but no guidance
about their well-mannered
use.
Encouraged by a theology of human dignity, embodiment, and the value of
presence, Christians have the resources to make some small but notable
difference in this cyborg culture. Resistance is not futile.

Ronald Edward Santo, 1940 – 2010

A great light has gone out. Come spring, I will miss the radio voice that consistently expressed the emotions of the listening fan. His voice was truly our voice. Listening to the Cubs radio broadcast was like watching the game with a close friend who is sharing the lows and highs of such a turbulent ball club. I am thankful for so many years of this gift of summer. I am thankful to have once spent two and a half innings in the same room with this man. I am sad that my child will grow up in a world where he isn’t. I am thankful to have the job of teaching them about our beloved “Number 10.” Ronnie, we miss you. It won’t be the same without you. You will be in our thoughts, in the words of Eddie Vedder, “..when the day comes with that last winning run, and I’m crying and covered in beer..I’ll look to the sky and know I was right to think someday we’ll go all the way.” And if someone hasn’t said it yet, this one is for Ronnie: THIS IS THE YEAR!

Teachers and Saints

Applying Scripture to our individual experience is difficult for each of us, often as much because we fail to understand the signifigance of our own situation, the context in which we are applying it, as because we fail to understand the original, objective meaning of the text. We live in complex patterns of need, of opportunity, and of sin, and the inference we really ought to draw from Scripture is often the most difficult to see, because of the complexity and sin in our lives. This is why we need teachers and the fellowship of the Saints

-From All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers.

A Fullness of Time

O GOD, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Collect appointed for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity

The Lord has prepared good things for those that love Him, as has been made evident in this past year. May 4th, 2009, in the midst of a personal spiritual breaking point, I first began praying the Morning and Evening Offices. I attended my first Anglican Mass the Wednesday before Whitsunday, 2009. In July of the same year–in the season of Trinity–I attended the Anglican Way Institute (Anglicon) in Plano, Texas. While in Texas I met Nicole, whom less than a year later, became my wife.

This Trinity season marks a year of Incredible change in my life. It marks the completion of a year-long commitment to living a monastic lifestyle. Becoming a monk might not be practical for many of you, and neither was it for me. I didn’t take formal Holy Orders, but I was intentional about where I lived, and the role the local parish would have in this lifestyle. This commitment fostered not just change, but a rich fullness that I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. Coming home to the Church “Ancient” and meeting my wife were the bricks of last year. Everything else was mortar, leaving not even enough room between brick and mortar to slide a sheet of paper through. Our parish priest asked if this past year has felt like a year (observing that time often flies by when we are busy).  I can answer without pause “yes”, the previous 365 days I have lived slowly in the present.


Some of the aforementioned mortar is composed of my quest to reclaim my education. This has been a tedious endeavor, breeding patience despite my impatience. God has blessed Nicole and I with a complete set of the Great Books of the Western World. We have begun to read the set, starting with the first volume The Great Conversation by Robert Hutchins. This, companioned with Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book, is proving to be a great start to the Great Books. More on self-education as time goes by.

I want to finish up this post by saying the greatest investment I have made this past year has been the implementation of a structure or rule of life that is found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Allowing the liturgies of Western  Christianity to permeate my being and placing myself under the spiritual authority of the Church (by way of a parish priest) have been monumental in growing towards my deification. We as humans–and maybe more so as American humans–have no desire to be ruled. Ironically, we are slaves, no mater the master (sin or God).





St Ambrose on Trinity III


“Who are these three persons: the shepherd, the woman, the father? Is not Christ the Shepherd, the Church the woman, and God the Father? Christ Who took upon Himself your sins bears you upon His own Body; the Church searches for you; the Father receives you back. As a shepherd He brings us back, as a mother He looks for us, as a father He clothes us. First, mercy, second, intercession, third, reconciliation; each to each; the Redeemer comes to our aid, the Church intercedes for us, the Creator restores us to Himself. It is the same divine mercy in each operation; but grace varies according to our merits.”

-From St Ambrose’s sermon on St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 15

Midwexas?

Yesterday snow fell in Dallas. Not the mere dusting that annually graces parts of the state, but a real snow. A Midwest-style snow. A “Midwexas” snow.  Big beautiful flakes fell all day, leaving around 12 inches of accumulation on God’s good ground.

Mesquite, the city where my Fiance sleeps, sustained a spectacular slew of snow.

Maggie, Nicole’s new vehicle, resting in the white snow banks of North Texas.

A Pilgrim’s Progress

No, not the thick allegory of Bunyan, but rather a very real journey that began July 8th of this year. July 8th found me in Dallas, attending the annual Anglican Way Institute (Anglicon), a conference held in Plano, Texas. This story begins that evening, in Mesquite, at the home of my dear friends, the Linebargers.

Wednesday, July 8th, 20 hours, 26 minutes. That’s when I found myself sitting in a borrowed Jeep Grand Cherokee, outside if the Barger’s home. I was on the horn with Robbie Mezger because 1) we agreed to drink beer that night, and 2) I certainly didn’t want to go inside the house. As it turned out, Rob was all tuckered, and wanted to reschedule for the next evening. Imagine my dismay, for I absolutely did not want to meet…

In 2006 I remember perusing Chris’s blog, reading descriptions of his recent trip to ex-Yugoslavia. Among the words on the screen were pictures. I knew all of the people in the photographs, save one.

Who was this beautiful young woman traveling with my friends? I scanned the words written in close proximity, searching for clues to her identity. “Nicole.”

Nicole…de Martimprey…aka Pilgrim? She has a blog! She has a blog, and within the blogosphere she goes by the name “Pilgrim!” (click link to “Pilgrim”).

Who is this “Pilgrim?” How is it that my friends know this woman, and I don’t? I commented on her blog, exclaiming that I too hoped to visit ex-Yugoslavia.

Shortly after this discovery, I conversed with either Chris or Rob–I don’t remember which– inconspicuously asking who this “Nicole” is. “She’s Anglican.” Got it.

Realizing that Rob couldn’t be persuaded to go get that beer, I slowly made my way to Chris and Leslie’s front door. She was in there. Nicole. That very “she” from the pictures on Chris’s blog, three years prior. I knew she was in there because I knew what time she would be arriving in Dallas. Not only was she attending Anglicon, but she and I were both staying with the Bargers. I didn’t want to be there when she arrived. I didn’t want to meet her because…

I slowly opened the door, and out of the corner of my eye, a beautiful woman in a black dress…

The beginning of the end.

I tried to b-line it to my room, but the way was blocked by other house guests. From behind me, I heard the words “hello.” I turned, and there she was, in that black dress, hand stretched out in greeting. What could I do, except “hello” back?

“ I’m Nicole. I work with Owls in Northern California. Would you like to see a video of my owls?”

“yes.”

We seemed to always be in the same place during conference events and extra curricular moments. She attributes this to the fact that I was always around people she wanted to be around, but I know better.

Nicole left that Sunday. Chris and I drove Nicole to the airport after eating lunch at a fried seafood restaurant. We exchanged contact information at the entrance to Love Field (irony?), and kept in contact thereafter.

Since then, Nicole and I both moved to Dallas from our respective homes in California and Iowa; She to pursue training in midwifery, and I to experience Christ through sacramental living by participating in a thriving Anglican parish.

Our first date was a U2 concert in October. It feels pretty great to be able to say that

We define our relationship with various terminologies. I believe the easiest to use is “dating.” I more often than not refer to her as my “Girlfriend.” This nomenclature has inherent problems within our world’s culture, but on the whole is acceptable. Basically, it’s better than “Courtship Partner,” or my hands-down favorite “Courtmate.”

So, if you don’t know her…

Some call her Rosemary. Her full name is Nicole Suzanne Sally Brenda Marie de Martimprey. She prefers to replace “Sally” with “Violet,” though that’s not quite legal. I address her as “Nicole,” but I am trying to call her “Nee-coe,” as that is the correct pronunciation.

This is a picture of us, taken by me, during a delightful afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum. Take note of the fact that she remains beautifully genuine, though my smile is painfully contrived. I feel comfortable behind the camera, and uneasy in front of it. After fifteen to twenty attempts at a good picture of us together, Nicole concluded that we should just let Leslie take it. I agree.

Nicole is from a grouping of small communities in the High Sierra Mountains of Plumas County, California.

She wears her love of God’s creation on her face. She has the most revealing blue/splash-of-yellow-eyes I have ever seen. They shine with a bedeviling brilliance when she is happy, and dim when she is troubled. She has passionate sensitivity that is often overshadowed by her immense strength. She is very intelligent and very funny.

She is nerdy and weird – like me – but in a graceful manner. She uses patchouli soap. I used to hate the smell of patchouli. Now I can’t go to the grocery store without finding the soap isle, locating her brand, and smelling.

She helps me to love people, because I get to see people through her eyes. She names everything, or rather everything “tells” her its name (her car’s name is Harold).

She loves owls, but dislikes the “Barn” and “Barred” variety because they prey on “Spotties.” She belongs in a Wes Anderson movie because she is so interesting.

She is proud of her French heritage, and ashamed of the city she was born in. Her favorite movies are “A Love Song for Bobby Long”, “So I Married an Axe Murderer”, and “Tommy Boy.” She is a free spirit that prefers high churchmanship.

She likes both her living space and her whiskey neat. She wants to replace her teeth with dentures because it would be financially practical. She has a beautiful voice and an ugly Scottish flannel shirt.

She has uncharacteristic handwriting that uncharacteristically changes with the pen she is using. It’s hard to nail her down.

She reads quickly, eats slowly, laughs heartily, sneezes loudly, and loves genuinely. She knows a couple of cheap card tricks that she is really proud of.

She loves the word “Languorous,” and hates the word “moist.” She wishes I wouldn’t have used that word in the previous sentence. Unfortunately there was no other way to make it comprehendible to the reader, so she will just have to live with it. Seriously, what was I supposed to do? M***t?

She loves Jesus more than she loves me. I love Jesus more than I love her, which empowers me to truly show her love, and truly—though imperfectly—know who she is.  She is one of the most vivid sacramental things in my life.  She is an outward and visible sign of God’s inward, spiritual grace.

So, I am crazy about this woman. I want you all to know that I am crazy about this woman— Nicole Suzanne Sally Brenda Marie de Martimprey—I am madly in love with her. Full stop.

New

DS

So much of my world has become new.  My brain is still masticating all this newness.  In the midst of such grand adventure, I have found sanctuary in the “old” or “ancient.”

Jason Vine copy

Maybe this sanctuary has found me.

Grant unto me, my Lord, that with peace in mind I may face all that this new day is to bring. Grant unto me grace to surrender myself completely to Thy holy will. Instruct and prepare me in all things for every hour of this day. Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept them calmly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy holy will. Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say. When things unforeseen occur, let me not forget that all cometh down from Thee. Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonable toward every member of my family and all other human beings, that I may not cause confusion and sorrow to anyone. Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day and to bear my share in all its passing events. Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love. Amen. -portion from Orthodox morning prayer




Goodbye

Van

These past few weeks have been spent in the uncomfortable limbo of joy and sorrow. Joy for whats ahead mixed with the pain of leaving good things behind. Saying goodbye has been the theme of these “brief hours and weeks.”

Goodbye Des Moines. Family and friends are what made you my home.

Footwear

Flip Flop

“A gentleman may be forgiven for having spilled a bit of soup on his tie at supper. He may be excused for having grown a bit too wide for his summer slacks. But he may never forgive himself for wearing a pair of scuffed shoes — especially if he wears them to a crucial job interview or to a cocktail reception where he intends to make his best impression.

…. He may not have absolute control over the splashing of his soup or the size of his waistline, but his shoes, he knows, can always be fixed. They are there to carry him, in more ways than one, through the marbled corridors, over the cobblestones, and across the polished dance floors of life.”

—  John Bridges & Bryan Curtis,  A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up


Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire.

—  Luke 10: 2 – 7a

Love Hate

cross

“…we can trust this God who is love, because He is changeless in His loving, and His entire will is engaged in love. God cannot be a tyrant because true love is not tyrannical. To deny this one true God is to deny love and to embrace hate as a way of life. Sin is mankind’s choice of hate over love, an imitation of that other fallen creature, the Devil.”

“The only cure for hate is to replace hate with love. This replacement is the work of God in the world since the fall of man into hate and sin. The perfect love and obedience of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the undoing of the Fall.”

–  An Outline Of An Anglican Life, Dr. Louis R. Tarsitano

God Is

DSC_0053

A rather quick thought here.

Genesis 1

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The Lord God raised dust from the newly formed earth, forming His image, and then breathed life into his lungs. Through the Word, Man is created, birthed within the confines of time. This limitation seems a strange cradle, as God exists outside of time. We, being in time, cannot understand anything outside of it.  Before the heaven and the earth were created, God is.

Consider music.  This creation of  the Lord has meter, and yet in Heaven the four beasts sing  Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8b). Imagine music without the institution of time. What would this canticle sound like, if the ear didn’t receive music as a sort of rhythm (vibration)?

I am reaching outside of my reading list with this back-yard-pipe-in-hand pondering.

Books And Such

Pleather copy

I have accrued a reading list within the past two months. Yes this list is in order. Yes I am intimidated by City Of God.

-I Believe, Alister McGrath

-An Outline Of An Anglican Life, Louis R. Tarsitano

-A Rationale Upon the Book Of Common Prayer, Anthony Sparrow (online)

-Evangelical Is Not Enough, Thomas Howard

-Genuine Godliness and True Piety, Peter Toon.

-English Spirituality, Martin Thorton.

-Recalling the Hope of Glory, Dr. Allen Ross.

-A House For My Name, Peter Leithart.

-Confessions, Saint Augustine

-City Of God, Saint Augustine

Also, if you would like  a concise taste of Lent:

Drowned In Living Waters , Nicole de Martimprey.



Organized Space

Book Shelf copy

Hear, Lord, my prayer; let not my soul faint under Thy discipline, nor let me faint in confessing unto Thee all Thy mercies, whereby Thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways, that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements which I once pursued; that I may most entirely love Thee, and clasp Thy hand with all my affections, and Thou mayest yet rescue me from every temptation, even unto the end.

Confessions, Saint Augustine

It has been said that God’s “glory” is the organized space around His throne, a picture of which we have in the scriptures. The Church’s liturgy is modeled after the ebb and flow of worship there, a place that is not merely a holy vapor, but rather has definition.

I have just returned from a two-week trip to Dallas, Texas.  More on that soon. For now,  I welcome you to this nearly new forum. If nothing else,  it will be a deposit for my thoughts as I venture forward with — as a dear friend of mine has put it — an excitement for “the Church and the Sacraments in a new way,” and  an excitement “about our God in a revived way.”

Welcome.