Monday, April 30, 2007

spicy Luther

My dear Amanda shared this spicy (for Luther) Martin Luther quote with me:

"Who loves not women, wine and song remains a fool his whole life long. Be a sinner and sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ. Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. Blood alone moves the wheels of history. For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.

If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. Peace if possible, truth at all costs. Pray, and let God worry."

Currently watching :
What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

to ponder

Some interesting things I have been reading lately...

"The Language of God" - Francis S. Collins (p. 42): "... while the long history of religious oppression and hypocrisy is profoundly sobering, the earnest seeker must look beyond the behavior of flawed humans in order to find the truth. Would you condemn an oak tree because its timbers had been used to build battering rams? Would you blame the air for allowing lies to be transmitted through it? Would you judge Mozart's The Magic Flute on the basis of a poorly rehearsed performance by fifth-graders? If you had never seen a real sunset over the Pacific, would you allow a tourist brochure as a substitute? Would you evaluate the power of romantic love solely in the light of an abusive marriage next door? No, a real evaluation of the truth of faith depends upon looking at the clean, pure water, not at the rusty container."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment and suffering."

Augustine's "Genesis" essay: "... it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all mean to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show a vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but the people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of Scripture find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books and matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learned from experience in the light of reason?"

Currently reading : The Stream & the Sapphire By Denise Levertov

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the soul should stand ajar

"The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience." - Emily Dickinson

i am ready
... but imprisoned
too frail for earthly values and structures
that weigh heavier until my spirit is crushed
from seemingly meaningless matter such as work
daily conformity
societal structures
a cruel word
or demanding schedule

"The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make it." - Simone Weil

So how do I make it?
Leave my mark?
Take the bottled-up passion and explode into final fullness?
Is the afterlife beyond death the only place where this can be?

Currently reading : If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person; By Philip Gulley

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

taste and see

Beautiful thoughts from Chapter 9 of "Take This Bread", by Sara Miles; mirrors my thoughts and current state:

"[The stories of Jesus both pre and post resurrection, eating and meeting with people - revealing himself in bread and wine] point to ... a radically inclusive love that accompanied people in the most ordinary of actions - eating, drinking, walking - and stayed with them, through fear, even past death. That love meant giving yourself away, emrbacing outsiders as family, empyting yourself to feed and live for others. The stories illuminated the holiness located in mortal human bodies, and the promise that people could see God by cherishing all those different bodies the way God did. They spoke of a communion so much vaster than any church could contain: one I had sensed all my life could be expressed in the sharing of food, particularly with strangers..."

"Conversion isn't... a moment. It's a process, and it keeps happening, with cycles of acceptance and resistance, epiphany and doubt... I began to understand why so many people chose to be 'born-again' and follow strict rules that would tell them what to do, once and for all. It was tempting to rely on formula... that became itself a form of idolatry and kept you from experiencing God in your flesh, in the complicated flesh of others. It was tempting to proclaim yourself 'saved' and go back to sleep.

The faith I was finding was jagged and more difficult. It wasn't about abstract theological debates: Does God exist? Are sin and salvation predestined? Or even about political/idealogical ones: Is capital punishment a sin? Is there a scriptural foundation for accepting homosexuality?

It was about action. Taste and see, the Bible said, and I did. I was tasting a connection between communion and food - between my burgeoning religion and my real life. My first, questioning year at church ended with a question whose urgency would propel me into work I'd never imagined: Now that you've taken the bread, what are you going to do?"

Currently listening : Underneath the Stars By Kate Rusby

Monday, April 02, 2007

foodie heaven

As she shares of faith, food and feeding as a spiritual act, local San Franciscan Sara Miles, mentions the heavenly 'foodieness' of San Francisco... so true.

"San Francisco was possibly the most food-obssessed place in America. My brother had left New York restaurant work to become executive chef at a culinary school in Vermont. His interns begged to work in San Francisco; his graduates settled gratefully among the oyster fanatics and organic strawberry farmers. San Francisco's fanciest restaurants had become glamorized as high culture, with chefs as local pundits and celebrities. Even neighborhood cafes offered baby mache salad and grilled fennel, lavender creme brulee and pedigreed beef. All over the city, gleaming botique markets displayed the perfect organic peach, the rarest handmade goat cheese, twelve different kinds of artisanal bread. There were stores that sold only chocolates or only virgin olive oil or only rare coffees. It was foodie heaven." - "Take This Bread", by Sara Miles

Currently Watching: Who Killed the Electric Car?