January 2011

I went to the Snow Goose Festival in Chico with Anne over this past weekend.  It was nice to get away with her (and to supply in Paradise on Sunday).  It was good to do a bit of birding.  And going to the festival brought to mind one of the “great” experiences of my life.  Which involved snow geese — I think.  I’ve talked about this experience before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever written it down. (more…)

Read an excerpt from a commentary on Galatians by Augustine of Hippo this morning.  In it, he talked about what it meant to be no longer under the law. (more…)

Today is St. Agnes’ Day (and my wife’s birthday!).  Guess which is more important to me?  No contest!  I do have to admit that honoring my wife’s birth on the day I also honor a consecrated virgin child’s martyrdom makes for odd juxtapositions in my mind.  And I’ve always had some trouble getting behind St. Agnes. (more…)

Went to the support group for those who’ve had bariatric surgeries put on by the group that did my preparation and surgery early last February.  I think that’s the fourth time I’ve attended (which means I’m getting there about every three months).  I may be able to get to some of the once a month Saturday during the day sessions (rather than the late evening monthly sessions I’ve been attending).  But, frankly, I probably need to supplement with a closer group (most such support groups are open to anyone who’s had this kind of surgery) if I want to be more regular.  And regular participation in such a group seems to make a real difference in how things work out long-term.  It’s also a chance to give back. (more…)

The Chico Snow Goose Festival is not this weekend, but next week (Thursday through Sunday) and looks like quite an event.  To see what’s going on, click here:  Snow Goose Festival.

I continue to find Sam Portaro’s “Brightest and Best” a wonderfully insightful and challenging book about our saints and seasons in the Episcopal Church.  This morning, I read his thoughts on The Epiphany of Our Lord (which is tomorrow).  He starts by noting that the number of the “kings” is three by tradition (probably because the “kings” brought three gifts), but that we don’t really know their number — it is never given to us.  And he continues by noting that the term “magus” was “often a contemptuous name for itinerant magicians and entertainers.”  We like the idea that the wise and mighty (“kings”) of the world recognized Jesus.  But they could just as easily have been “a troupe of wandering artists whose whim to follow a star brings them to the cradle of Jesus.”  And he talks about the “exotic, mysterious, and wonderful” possibility that “some simple and foolish people, drawn to the side of the manger, might surrender everything to the unknown child therein.” (more…)

It seems that everywhere I turn these days, I’m reading about love.  God’s love for us in Jesus.  Jesus love for us in giving himself for us.  Stephen’s love for those who stoned him to death.  St. John’s insistence that we love one another, and if we do this it is enough (and we will know God’s love in our lives).  Today it’s some excerpts from a commentary on John by Augustine of Hippo: (more…)

I have a strong sense of Advent from a year ago.  It was a time of real renewal for me.  Part of that was from being able to participate in the Benedictine Weekend Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg (which I would love to be able to do regularly).  Part of that was beginning to get immersed in the monastic version of the St. Helena Breviary.  I haven’t been able to maintain that level of immersion, but I think that’s still really feeding my spiritual life.  Much of it was sheer grace – simply a gift.

On the other hand, I have very little sense of Christmas from a year ago. (more…)