I’ve been attending St. Thomas Episcopal Church for a while. (Yes, I’m Orthodox, there’s a story, but that’s between me and my confessor and not for thee general public, so don’t ask.) Pretty consistently after the sermons (by Fr Jay Denne), I think, “That’s not how I would have approached the text.” In nearly every case the way that he approached the text was far superior to how the text struck me when it was proclaimed minutes before the sermon.
But it raises the question, how would I approach the text if I actually gave prayerful thought about them rather than reacting to them moments after their proclamation from the center of the nave.
Since the blog has been rather dead lately, I decided to reflect on next week’s text starting on Sunday afternoon.
These are not sermons because they lack community context. I am no longer a pastor and thus no longer have my pulse on a community. On occasion they may be a response to my crazy “Emerging Church Cheerleader” colleague at work, or possibly a riff on the current news cycle, etc. But they are not aimed at edifying a community of faith, rather they are (for me) pre-worship preparation. They occur, not in the hurly-burly of community, nor in the collegiality of a study group, but in the quiet of my own head.
You may find them interesting or you may find them self-indulgent. As always (for this is how I have used my blog for years), they are a repository, or possibly a filing cabinet, for ideas, thoughts, and inspirations I have as I reflect on scripture. The previous post was the first of this little exercise. They probably won’t be every week. I do hope you find them helpful and interesting.
Been thinking and writing over the last couple of weeks. The result is four new essays on salvation which I’ll post over the next few days. A couple of them might seem a little odd outside the context of the set, but the four of them together were too long for a single essay. Thanks for reading!
Thanks to my brother, T.K., the old Just Another Jim address now points toward the WordPress site where this blog is hosted. So, for those of you who haven’t gotten around to updating your link to this site, you get a reprieve. Both addresses work. Thanks T.K.!
Sometimes I mistake myself for a humorist. A good humorist can be acerbic without being small-minded. (Don’t forget that before “mean” meant “hurtful” or “offensive,” it meant “small-minded.”) My humor too often is small-minded and thus unintentionally veers off in the direction of mean-spiritedness.
Here’s my own means-spiritedness measuring stick: Would I be embarrassed to meet a person face to face of whom I wrote about on the internet? On a handful of occasions the answer is yes. Two come to mind. The first is this little attempt at humor I wrote back in April. I would like to think that anyone reading that piece, where I skewer academics getting government grants, is tongue-in-cheek, and not designed to be informative, only humorous. Now that I’ve reread it I suspect that Mark Dixon, Carter Johnson, Mike Scott, Daniel Bowen, and Lisa Rabe (author’s of said study) probably wouldn’t think it so humorous. I know I’d be a bit embarrassed to meet any of them face to face if I knew they had read that piece.
The same can be said for the newscaster I skewered a couple of days ago. I suspect it’s shamefully embarrassing to be caught not knowing the facts about something you should understand, and the health care story had only broken an hour or so prior to the interview, so she undoubtedly got sent to the street by her boss without getting the proper background. Rather than hanging her out to dry, I should have kept my mouth shut.
I have edited the previous post (about the new header photos). Since it’s inconvenient and time consuming to continually hit the “refresh” button on the browser just to look at the header photos, I turned the previous post into a gallery post with all twelve photos included.
First there was a Costa cruise ship that ran aground while the captain was evidently flirting with a blond lady. Yesterday there was a fire in a Costa cruise ship engine room, leaving the ship helpless in pirate waters north of the Seychelles.
So before all the cruise ships sink to the bottom of the deep blue sea or are taken over by pirates (arrrgh!!) I thought I should post some cruise ship pictures. Such times may be but a memory if things continue in the industry.
I replaced the old header photos with a dozen new ones. The headers will appear randomly on the site with each refresh of the page. Since refreshing the page is a bit of a crap shoot for bringing up pictures, I’ve posted them below.
Two cruise ships docked somewhere in the Caribbean
A frigate bird floats in the air looking for a morsel along the beach.
The "Lawn Club" -- real grass on the top deck of the Celebrity Solstice.
The harbor at St. Maarten - the Dutch side of the island
Going to heaven? No just boarding the ship from the Zodiacs near Walrus Island in Canada. Cruise Ship? not exactly. One probably ought to call it an "Expedition Ship."
A piece of driftwood on a local lake. I wonder if it could sink a cruise ship? Good thing they don't sail Crystal Cove Lake!
A pelican looking for a handout
A street vendor in the Casco Viejo District of Panama City
Joshua Tree blossoms after a March thunderstorm in the desert
A Tiger Swallowtail butterfly resting in some ivy in the Colorado mountains
A father and son playing chess in the library of the Norwegian Spirit
A turtle in the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border
Granted, they’re not all cruise ship pictures. But variety is the spice of life.
Changing header photographs is a real pain with WordPress. I still haven’t found a great solution, but I did decide to switch themes. The new theme loads a random header photograph each time a page is brought up. One can also click on the picture to change it.
What’s missing is the text to explain the images. I would also like a bit more control over image selection. Right now the two options seem to be a static or random image. But for now, this theme (which is called twentyeleven) will work.
I was looking through my spam queue (making sure legitimate posts weren’t getting cast into e-gehenna where there is gnashing of tweets and the worm never dies) when I discovered my filter flagged the following reply to one of my posts as spam. Can you believe it?!?
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Maybe I’ll have to look for a new spam filter.
p.s. Did you know, according to the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota, that Nikita Krushchev credited SPAM with the survival of the WWII Russian Army? “Without SPAM, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.” So, what is it with the Russians and SPAM? (Pretty astonishing thought, eh?)
I have a picture of Cape Wolstenholme(the farthest north point of mainland Quebec) that lent itself to the header. The new header photo is taken from a Zodiac. There’s a second Zodiac in the foreground and a third (very tiny) at the far left. The ship (home base) is on the horizon.
WordPress just released a new version of the software. I was using a third party template and it didn’t work very well with the new WordPress. So I have a new template and a new look.
The picture in the header is of the Sandia Mtns in the background. The rock outcropping in the foreground is at the edge of the El Malpaise Nat’l Monument. The photo was taken from the entrance to the La Ventana Arch (pictured below). I’m not quite sure of the lay of the land, but I assume Albuquerque lies at the foot of the peak pictured.
La Ventana Natural Arch, NM Hwy 53