Monday, June 28, 2010

Lectionary Jokesters

Am I the only person on earth who noticed this?

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S-P Spill

s-p's head exploded recently spilling hundreds of thousands of pixels into the Ortho-blogosphere.  Spokespersons across the world are saying that stick figures and crudely drawn graphs are washing up in parishes and monasteries around the globe.  Subdeacons and the Society of Bearded Catechumens Dressed in Black have been unable to cap the spill.  "If we do not stop the flow of Curmudge into the Blogosphere, it may bring about the extinction of the ponytail," said Subdeacon Barfy.  Moo the Turtle, spokestortoise for s-p said in a prepared statement: "       ".  

It is rumored, however, that there are plans to isolate the spill.  Stay tuned to this blog for future developments.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two Percent

It doesn't work for me in either milk or air.
Today Phoenix tied a record for low humidity. Two percent. It has never gotten lower since the 1850's.  That's good news, since I've lived in humid places and it is miserable.

The bad news is, it was also 110.

The good news is, I was working indoors.

The bad news is, the air conditioner was broken.

The good news is, I wasn't doing something really "physical" like hanging sheetrock.

The bad news is, I was painting... with a sprayer.  18 gallons of paint on the walls. Instant paint sauna.

The good news is, it was paying work, something I haven't had much of for almost two years now.

So, I get home.  I shower, I'm reading email and the doorbell rings.  My daughter calls me... There's someone here.  I go upstairs.  At the door is a young man with a satchel full of books.  He starts to show me a book about Jesus, the King of Peace.  He looks at our icons through the doorway and says, Oh, it looks like you are really into Jesus.  We have a short conversation about Orthodoxy, which he has never heard of. He says, "I have these books about Jesus you might like" and starts to show me his satchel full of titles.

I say, you know what, I'd love to buy a book from you, but we're...

...and he says, "really broke, huh?"  I say, yeah, really broke. I don't think I can buy a book today.

He says, well, the price says 19.95 but we're giving them away for a donation of ten dollars.

I look at the young man. I know what he's doing. I almost did a summer gig back in 1974 selling Bibles door to door to make money for college.  It was 14-16 hour days, 6 days a week and a crappy sales rate... it was purely a numbers game. The more rejections you got, the more sales you made. I didn't do it.  He is. In Arizona. In 110 and two percent humidity.

I ask him what I usually ask kids who are selling candy or books or magazines door to door, "so do they keep track of how many books and how much money you come home with at night, and you get what, two bucks for selling me this book?"  He says what they always say, Well, yeah. 

I do to him what I do with all the other kids... I dig in my pocket and hand him ten dollars, and I hand the book back to him.  I say, keep the book and put the ten in your pocket and don't tell them about it.  He looks at me wide eyed. Really? Ummm...

Yeah, really.  Keep it.

He says, THANK YOU, sir... but...

I say, keep it. You're a hard working young man. God bless you and good luck.  As he walks backward down the sidewalk he stammers, Thank you.... Thank you sir, thank you.... 

Its always a good day when you can make a kid's day for only ten bucks. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Follow Your Dream

A caption from the third result of a google search of "Follow your dream":

To follow your dreams is a noble lifestyle. To be what you want to be is the only way to be truly happy.

Dreams are in your head. Following a dream is your brain chasing its own tail.

Reality is outside our heads. It is communal.

The cross is a nightmare.  But it is what we take up and follow instead of our dreams... for the sake of the salvation of those around us and in the end, for ourselves through them.

This is our Godlike nobility.
This is our human fulfillment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Preview of the Upcoming Trailer Contest Winner!

Afrotech, if you will kindly email me at the link in my profile, I will send you your autographed drawing of Curmudgeophan with your prize!  All you tone deaf people... thanks for playing and stay tuned... You never know what Curmudgeophan will do next.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

100... Still 200 Shy of the Spartans

Fr. Sean: As a consolation prize for being the 100th deluded follower, email me with your address and I will send you the one and only autographed print of this personalized Curmdgeophan cartoon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Curmudgeophan's "12 Things" #6 - What to Kiss and When

True story:
When a Bishop is serving the Liturgy, just before the Great Entrance (the procession through the congregation with the chalice and bread) he stands at the table of preparation and finishes his prayers of commemoration.  Everyone serving in the altar comes up to him, kisses his right shoulder and says their name, the Bishop prays for them and then they line up in their place for the procession.  

The clergy and altar servers were lining up and kissing the Bishop's shoulder.  The youngest altar server was a boy about 5.  He walked up to the Bishop and without hesitation, because he couldn't kiss his shoulder, kissed him where he could reach... on the right cheek of his butt, then said his name and took his place in line.  The Bishop looked over and smiled and said, "That boy is going to go far."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

New Blog That I'm Looking Forward To

I read a lot of blogs.  One that I frequent is Anonymous God-Blogger .  I visited there a few days ago and I was stunned when I saw this 

It is a page that Claire had scanned from a journal of a visiting friend, Martha Jane McElroy.  I commented that Martha Jane needed to publish her journals.  Martha Jane saw the comment, emailed me, and when she gets some tech assistance will be putting some of her journals on her blog HERE  Bookmark it and check back. 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Parts of an Orthodox Church

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(For all my friends who are "wandering in the desert"). 
"My soul thirsts for Thee in a land barren and untrodden and unwatered"... being led into the wilderness by the Spirit even happens in the Church.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Upon This Rock

The dangdest things occur to me while I'm brushing my teeth.

Jesus asks His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"...etc. etc.

Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

Jesus answered, "And thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church."

We've all heard this explicated, sliced, diced, shredded, dissected, parsed and proof-texted to prove Peter was or was not the first Pope and the legitimacy of subsequent millenia of various Church heirarchies and structures.

"And thou art Peter..." the same Peter who wrote "we are partakers of the divine nature", the seven word synopsis of the Orthodox view of salvation.

Why did Jesus say, "And thou art Peter"?  Why not, "Atta boy, Peter!" or "You got it, Peter!"

And what is "this rock"?  Not "THE rock", but "THIS rock"?  Why didn't Jesus just say, "You have spoken Truth, and it is upon the rock of My divinity that the Church will be established"?  Or, "Peter, you are A Pebble, but soon you will be The Rock and you will establish My Church?" as expositors for Catholicism or Protestantism have interpreted the Greek?

What is "THIS rock"?

"This rock" seemed to me as I brushed my molars, is simply this:

"This rock" is the capacity for a human being to recognize God in human flesh... AND

"This rock" is God in flesh knowing the name of a human being.

Revelation 2:17 says we will be given a white stone with a new name given by God, in an intimacy only the two will know, the Lover and the beloved.  Simon is given a new name by God: Peter. In Simon Peter is the foreshadowing of our salvation.  We know God.  God knows us by name.

This is the rock of our salvation, our "white stone": we name God.  God names us.  We know and are fully known in intimate Love.

This is the foundation of the Church. This is Communion with God.

So simple. 

Forehead whack.


I'm moving one of my comments up here to the blog post as an edit to the original post for further explication and consideration.

First, I have to put up the "ortho-disclaimer": this isn't "patristic"... as far as I know.  I might be the only person on earth in Church history who has thought of this (though I haven't read ALL the patristics, so let me know if anyone out there knows of something similar). However, it fits perfectly and connects all the dots of the Orthodox view of union with God, deification/theosis, God naming Himself to Moses and taking a name in the Incarnation, the "new birth and new name", etc.

I laid awake last night ruminating about this in terms of "being as communion", ecclesiology, and our Trinitarian anthropology and it just becomes clearer: We know and are fully known in love in the Church (I Cor. 12,13), Christ is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 1:19) and the Church is the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:22,23), we are dead and given life, reconciled to God and built together into a dwelling for God in the Church, to the glory of the Father from whom every family on earth receives its name (Eph. 2:17-23, 3:14). I could go on and on....

As I mentioned, the Petrine passage in the gospel is explicated by Peter himself in his epistles: in Christ we become partakers of the divine nature. St. John (the Theologian and The Beloved) also focuses on love and mystical union with God: two of the disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration. Neither of them in their writings ever hint at "authority structure" or pre-eminence or "succession" as the consequence of their intimacy with Christ, but spoke of the possibility of their experience of union as accessible to all mankind through the Christian life and sacramental participation of the mysteries.

Anyway, this isn't original, just connecting existing dots in perhaps an original way (or maybe its that those who use the passage to "prove their heirarchy" connected the dots in an original way and no one has thought the resultant picture looked goofy because we've stared at it for so long that way).

Orthograph #94 - Personal Testimonies, Orthodox Version

Orthograph #93 - Personal Testimonies

H/T: Kacie