08 August 2016

helpless anguish of love



Among birds, the ones that are tame protect their young by building on the housetops, and the others, by building in precipitous chasms and in holes and tops of trees, hatch the nestlings and ward off the intruder.  If they are not able to keep the intruder away, they do what they can to help their young by flying in circles around them in the anguish of love, warning them with their own calls.” (4 Maccabees 14:15-17)

As spring gave way to summer, the swallows’ building project progressed on schedule and under budget.  The nests, anchored on front and back of our house, has housed the youngsters in their welcome to the world.


 (our winged neighbors were camera-shy)

Aidan and I—dog and I—have experienced the anguish of their love.  Straying too close to the fuzzy critters’ hideout, a circling of chirping has been the result.  When that failed, chirping has become a more intense and less distant affair.  Aidan, especially while lying on the front porch (or even more menacingly, in the front yard), has been oblivious to the threat he poses.  Hes been the target of dive bombing, only a few inches above his head. 

The things we do for love.

02 August 2016

baptism, 30, st. lydia, purple reign



Tomorrow, 3 August, is the 30th anniversary of my baptism.  You can see posted on our basement door the shirt I was wearing for the ceremony.  It looks as good as the day I got it!  (It has often been forced to escape the pleas of my wife to pay an eternal visit to the rubbish bin.)

It is also the feast day for St. Lydia, whose story is told in Acts 16, where she assists Paul, Silas, and their friends.

And she is noted for her dealings in purple cloth, giving her wealth with which
she helps believers in need and avoids the label of the “rich fool,” the parable I preached on yesterday!

May all of the baptized follow her lead in all dimensions of life, and be immersed in purple rain.  (Sorry, I had to steal that last one!)

16 July 2016

spatially heartened




“The morning after the mayhem in Dallas we were contacted by a Texas Hearts of Space subscriber, asking if we could offer some free HOS programs to help calm the raw emotions on both sides.

“Well yes, we can.  We created a special channel called ‘Peace, be Still.’  The name comes from Mark 4:35-41—the story of Jesus calming the raging waters.”

The above appeared on the website of Hearts of Space, which features music that can be described as space music, contemplative, meditative, and a whole bunch of stuff tossed in: like ethno/ambient, chant, space jazz, and other ambient odds and ends.

I discovered Hearts of Space back in 1984.  I was listening to the Vanderbilt University radio station.  Then, late at night, this incredible mind-enriching (and mind-expanding!) music began wafting through the speakers.  Producer Stephen Hill’s tranquil, sonorous voice weaved its way through the aural tapestry, preparing us for the transmission yet to come.

I was heartened (yes, I had to phrase it that way!) to see the response to the horror of that week from hell.  Today, I discovered this addition on their blog:

“We launched this free channel a week ago at the suggestion of a Texas subscriber in the wake of the terrible incident in Dallas.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive—a heartfelt thank you to all who have written and posted acknowledging it…

“We will keep the service free and open this weekend in the wake of the violence in Nice, and now the political chaos in Turkey.  In the long term we are planning to retain the channel for subscribers and further expand the number of shows.

“Unfortunately we live in turbulent times.”

Some might wonder, “How much good can music do in the face of such terror?”  Those of us who love music can respond, “Music fills our words and deeds with life.  It is a celestial gift that digs into the earth and comes up raw and lovely.”