Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The first thing they see

From a Facebook post:

"I was a Sunday-morning Christian most of my life, and now I'm trying to be an everyday Christian." Grab your wallets, and hide your daughters.

First of two articles on Central Texas' water rights. Gary Bradley, the developer who remade parts of Austin only to see his empire fall into bankruptcy and then tried to hide his assets from creditors, appears to be back in the deal-making game. Bradley'

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

One in the series of Isabel Dalhousie novels by Alexander McCall Smith:

Isabel had firm views on moral proximity and the obligations it created.  We cannot choose the situations in which we become involved in this life; we are caught up in them whether we like it or not.  If one encounters the need of another, because of who one happens to be, or where one happens to find oneself, and one is in a position to help, then one should do so.  It was as simple as that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Through the week with Borg

No, not The Borg, but Marcus Borg.   He and John Crossan co-authored The Last Week-A Day by Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem.   I tried to read it last year during Holy Week but grew afraid of how it would end.  Yes, I knew that Jesus would die once more.  I wasn't sure of what would be said about the resurrection.  Borg has described what we know about Jesus as pre and post resurrection, so I was bit leery of what they might say about the resurrection.  Although I did make it through Saturday, I'm wrestling with Friday.

Borg & Crossan write that the crucifixion was less a blood sacrifice and more of the natural order of events when someone affronts both the religious and political domination system of their day.
The more specific meaning of sacrifice in relation to Jesus's death speaks of it as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin, a dying of the sins of the world.  This understanding is absent from Mark's story of good Friday; it is not there at all. . . How then does Mark understand Jesus's death?  As his story of Good Friday reports, he sees Jesus's death as an execution by the authorities because of his challenge to the domination system. (pages 154 & 155)

I attended an art display conceived around the Stations of the Cross.  Interestingly, the devotional material began with this:
Yet, this is what got Jesus killed.  Jesus threatened the political powers by imagining a world where true power came by serving, where peace came by love not by sword.  Jesus threatened the religious powers by imagining a Kingdom inclusive of the "least of these," where boundaries became befuddled mixing and mashing th clean/unclean and the sacred/secular divide.
Affronting the domination system.

This is how it ended:
As you prepare to leave this place recognizing you are deserting the cross, you are invited to take the body that was broken for you and the blood shed for you.
Blood sacrifice.

What I have to figure out is this either/or  or both/and?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are you in good hands

I'm thinking the ad meisters are at work to lift our spirits and get us spending again:

Back to Basics with Allstate.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"The thought came to him that there was a difference between the world of low finance and the world of high finance. In the world of low finance you couldn't get away with anything. In the world of high finance you could--sometimes--get away with murder.". From Death of any Effendi by Michael Pearce.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grandmother Mind

Let this mind be in you...

When my grandmother died, my nephew and I drove to Dallas together for her funeral.  We arrived early to the funeral site in the midst of Laurel Land in Oak Cliff.  Joe Scruggs album,  Deep in the Jungle was one of my favorites at the time, especially the song Grandma's and Grandpa's:

Yes, Grandparents, they sure named them right, 
Cause Grandparents are a grand delight!
And they always love you, if you’re good or bad,
Like you’re the best grandkid they ever had.
They are the parents of fathers and mothers,
But sometimes they might be others.
Like the nice old lady who lives down the street,
Who remembers your birthday and calls you sweet.
Or the nice old man, who’s a friend of your dad,
Who tells you stories from when he was a lad.
He gives you pennies and he tells you jokes.
He’s not related to you or your folks.
But you call them Grandpa and Grandma, too,
And that’s okay for you to do,
‘Cause kids need all the Grandparents they can get,
No one’s had too many yet!

This is my best view of grandparents. My aunt had already chosen the music to play as people arrived, so the funeral director couldn't play the song then.  We were allowed to play it beforehand, so we sat in the chapel and listened to this song and thought about Mary Eula Foster.

There is a Zen concept called grandmother mind : 

"But he had one weak point: he didn't yet have robai-shin ("grandmother-mind"), the mind of grandmotherly compassion, and so he could not truly follow the cosmic order.  Dogen, just a little while before his death, told him this:  'You understand all of Buddhism, but you cannot go beyond your abilities and your intelligence. You must have robai-shin, the mind of great compassion. This compassion must help all of humanity. You should not think only of yourself.'" 
". . .who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross."

Grandmother mind? - Philippians 2

Saturday, February 21, 2009


"You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.
 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines.'For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.  On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property."  Leviticus 25 (NASB)

What if the idea of Jubilee is a basic economic principle?  What would an economy look like that knew exactly when it was going to reset instead of having to crash and burn?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A prayer for today

From d365 :

Loving God, as you empower the seemingly powerless and the seemingly powerful cannot always bring about change, please help me to put all of my faith, all of my trust, and all of my hope in you. Amen

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From The Fig Tree Murder by Michael Pearce:

Egypt circa 1910:  "The Nationalist Party was predominantly secular.  They were a modernizing party and modernizing, for many of them meant sweeping away much of the influence of the Church.  Which the Church knew very well. The imam would have spotted this tactic a mile off.  Even so, thought Owen, it might be worth keeping an eye on how successful the tactic was.  Ordinary people might be less discriminating than the imam and if the Nationalists could add religious fervor to popular hostility then they could make a lot of trouble."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Merry Christmas - 2008

Another year in four paragraphs!

The year started off with a great trip to Isla Mujeres to celebrate the wedding of my niece.  As a a result, I have fallen in love with Mojitos.  Bought me a muddler (also handy at Derby Time), grow mint, and already had fresh limes growing in the backyard for homemade Margaritas.

Besides the Mexico trip, the husband traveled to Iceland and Belgium, and actually, Mexico again.  Mostly he attends board meetings and conferences, sharing information on foreign students and how to analyze their credentials for studying at US universities.

The daughter and her husband moved to NYC, specifically, Brooklyn, in stages.  The daughter left to find a job on Madison Avenue in July, approximately one week before the stock market crashed.  You can imagine what that did for advertising budgets!  The son-in-law journeyed north the weekend that UT BEAT OU:  Remember 45>35.

The son continues his work for the US Congressman.  I complain that he gets to read newspapers and go to parties and parades for a living.

Blessings on all who read this, and may you have good  health, luck, and prosperity in 2009.

It's interesting what we remember in December.

2007 Christmas Letter

Our year in four paragraphs:

The son graduated from college, and after an internship with the Christian Life Commission, began working as an aide to a US Congressman.

In the name of international admissions,  the husband continued his junkets  from coast to coast and even to Germany.

The daughter and her husband continued spinning ideas for their advertising clients and singing with their bands, Honeypot, for girls only, Glory Story, and The Sheeps.

12/30/07 rolled around and we joined the daughter and her husband to celebrate their first anniversary, listening to Dale Watson and playing Chicken-sh*t bingo.

What Did Debra Do?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Bit Disappointed

From the NY Times:  Add Image"The biggest contingent was from Texas, 11 women who had perfected their signature curtsy, the “Texas dip,” which drew gusts of applause from the crowd. The most recognizable name in the pale pink program, which featured full-page black-and-white portraits of the evening’s stars, was a Huffington — Christina Sophia Huffington, daughter of Arianna, the founder of The Huffington Post Web site, and Michael, the oil heir and former California congressman."

Just seems inconsistent for the founder of politically-liberal website.