Thursday, February 26, 2009

Situation Normal: All Anglicanned Up

Anglicanism's very pessimism about the nature of man and his prospects for earthly success is a big part of why I will always remain Anglican.

The Anglican faith, as expressed in the Book of Common Prayer, predicts that things will be horrible.

Sometimes, as in the Litany, we are praying that God will preserve us through the horrible problems.

But more frequently, we are confessing that we are the horrible problem.

At Morning Prayer, we pray: Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.

But then, at every Morning Prayer and Holy Communion, we confess that it has not worked.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.

So, you see that Failure is enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer. The expectation of sin and failure are, in a sense, at the very heart of Anglicanism.

Will trouble in the Anglican world cause me to leave Anglicanism? No way!

Situation Normal: All Anglicanned Up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Incredible Goodness of God

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I shall date a super-model, and drive a Ferrari, yea, even unto days everlasting.

What ... that verse isn't in your Bible?!

Well, alright, I changed it a bit. Of course, here is how it really goes:
What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalm 116:12,13)
So, it is even better than my tongue-in-cheek modern "paraphrase" above. Infinitely more wonderful in fact. The fact of the matter is that the "payment" to God for His incredible goodness ... is to receive the very cup of salvation in the eucharist, and to have the great privilege of calling upon His name. Our "repayment" to God is to receive a yet more wonderful gift from Him!

How, then, shall we ever catch up with paying him for that? We shall not. We cannot. We need not.

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today in Michigan - Cold Rain and Snow

God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth ... (Job 37:5,6a)

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? (Job 38:22,23)
Because I hate cold and snow so much, I have always taken the fact of God's storehouse of snow as more of a threat than a promise. While intellectually assenting to the notion that hail and snow are God's servants, fulfilling His word (Psalm 148:8), I still hold my longstanding grudge against them both.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Cindy and I lived in California for 2 years and 9 months. Years ago, before children. I have to admit, it was Edenic. Every year about this time, when we get another punishing round of winter weather in Detroit, I pine for my lost California. Here is what Cindy and I looked like back then:

And now I have lost California, lost Nadine (the 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix - we donated it to our church), and lost my Vox Phantom VI guitar (to a swap meet in Detroit). But I kept the best: Cindy. Oh, yeah, and I still have that skinny black tie.

I am reminded of these lyrics from the America song, California Revisited:
Heaven may be an answer
If you're lookin' for Eden in the sky
On your waters I see a strange reflection
Rumor has it I'll see you when I die
Everyone I meet is from California
There's dancin' in the streets in California
I cannot find America singing this song on YouTube, but this guy does a very decent cover ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Edo Bertoglio - Finish Line - The Video

I posted back here about Edo Bertoglio's Finish Line art gallery display, dedicated to his passion for Thingie slot cars.

Now you can pretend you were at the gallery in Milan, as Edo gives you a tour through the various parts of the exhibit.

If you watch to the very end, you'll see my name in the credits. I am humbled to have been asked by Edo to play a small part in his moment of Thingie triumph!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Livin' the Low Life

Well, for once, an upgrade! I often fall into the trap of believing that everything in the world is getting worse and worse, day by day. It is an easy mistake to make, what with President Obama taking a few hundred billion dollars, every other day, from productive, hard-working Americans, and giving it away to those who are not. Political power-grabs and paybacks abound, all at taxpayer expense. "Tax breaks" for those who already pay zero tax.

But it took my 14-year-old son to introduce me to something really fresh and wonderful, via the blessing that is the SPEED channel. It's a little show hosted by Vida Guerra, and called Livin' the Low Life. It is nominally about the Lowrider car hobby, but I've seen two episodes now, and it is really about a larger segment of the old-car hobby than just lowriders. It is segment-busting, in a good way. When you take a larger view of life, rat rodders, lowriders, old school customizers, and even back-to-stock restorers actually have a lot more in common than they have to divide them.

This YouTube video will give you a taste of what the show is like: