Longing begins and long remains

Deep within stirring, a modest ache
evermore building
so much light

Building to overwhelming, such desire
all else overshadowing
so much warmth

Overshadowing forward falls, into blindness
only itself allowing

Simple things, really…

To love and be loved…
the one to whom thoughts still bend…
the one for whom longing remains…

A bit ridiculous, I say.

Time has passed; opportunity has moved over; we move on, right?

Why does this longing remain
why still overwhelmed by longing
why does impossible longing overshadowing all else

It is over; it is past; it is done with, but for my heart.

Year of the Beard

If you’re going to do it, then do it right!  Time lapsed photography of a student and the growing of his beard. It’s fun.  As the description says,

“As he grows a beard, Corey Fauver takes a picture a day for a year. That
isn’t exactly a new idea, but he twists it by changing his location
slightly with each picture, creating a stop-motion journey across his

Year Of The Beard – Watch more Funny Videos


This coming Monday, February 14, a bunch of folks from the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, a couple guys from New York City, and one nephew from Ohio will be heading to Israel and Jordan for a 10 day pilgrimage.

We are excited!

One aspect of this particular pilgrimage will be an experiment to use Journeys Unlimited’s social media websites to chronicle the experiences of the members of the pilgrimage as real-time as possible.  We will use Twitter, a Tumblr travel blog, YouTube, and Flickr to post impressions, experiences, videos, and photographs of the trip. Journeys Unlimited’s Facebook page will be a central place where new posts and uploads will be announced.

If anyone wants to follow this pilgrimage group along the way, stay tuned.

Journey Unlimited’s social media sites are as follows:



Tumbr travel blog

Flickr for photos

YouTube for videos

Unhealthy Clergy

I worked as the Data Analyst for the three year, multi-million dollar, multi-national research study (it was a real study!) dealing with healthcare benefits for Episcopal clergy and lay employees.  In our research, it became blatantly apparent that clergy are an unhealthy bunch.  The nature of the work and difficulty we have setting boundaries contribute to our lives being less than healthy.  We are undisciplined in this area, too.

I have found that I actually have to physically leave home and neighborhood (get out of town) so that I will  take a true day off!

This article appeared recently on AOL‘s blog, “Politics Daily.”  It is entitled, “No Rest For the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing
,” by David Gibson, Religion Reporter.  Here are a couple paragraphs:

“The untenable nature of the experience for me [being a pastor/priest] was being designated the
holiest member of the congregation, who could be in all places at all
times and require no time for sermon preparation,” Barbara Brown Taylor,
an Episcopal priest, said in describing her memoir, “Leaving Church,”
about her decision to abandon the pulpit. “Those aren’t symptomatic of a
mean congregation; those are normal expectations of 24/7 availability.”

Indeed, unlike doctors or police, for example, pastors are supposed to
be people who have dedicated their lives to a spiritual goal and are not
expected to focus on themselves and their own welfare in the here and

“I really don’t think people think about their pastors,” said Rae Jean
Proeschold-Bell, research director of the Duke Clergy Health Initiative.
“They admire their pastor, and their pastor is very visible. But they
want their pastor to be the broker between them and God, and they don’t
want them to be as human as they themselves are.”

Further on:

A program called the National
Clergy Renewal Program
, funded by the Lilly Endowment, has been
underwriting sabbaticals for pastors for several years; the program will
provide up to $50,000 to 150 congregations in the coming year. And
places like The Alban
in Herndon, Va., are studying the topic and offering
expertise and resources to denominations trying to make their clergy

But experts also say the solutions have to start at the congregational

Congregants can encourage pastors to take time off, and not view
everything in the church as the pastor’s responsibility. They can also
be sure to provide healthy food at church events. But clergy must also
learn find time to exercise or relax, even if it means saying no to some
requests. Otherwise, they won’t be healthy enough to serve their flock
later on.

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Christmas is a stolen Pagan Holiday…

Many people – Christians, non-Christians, Atheists, and the like – assert that the Christian holiday of Christmas was stolen by early Christians from a pagan holiday and that early Christians made to be their own in order to promote their new religion.
No so, according to William J. Tighe, then Associate Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His refutation of the Christmas-pagan myth appeared in Touchstone magazine, December 2003, entitled, “Calculating Christmas.”

Calculating Christmas
William J. Tighe on the Story Behind December 25
Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.
Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.
A Mistake
The idea that the date was taken from the pagans goes back to two scholars from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Paul Ernst Jablonski, a German Protestant, wished to show that the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25th was one of the many “paganizations” of Christianity that the Church of the fourth century embraced, as one of many “degenerations” that transformed pure apostolic Christianity into Catholicism. Dom Jean Hardouin, a Benedictine monk, tried to show that the Catholic Church adopted pagan festivals for Christian purposes without paganizing the gospel.
In the Julian calendar, created in 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar, the winter solstice fell on December 25th, and it therefore seemed obvious to Jablonski and Hardouin that the day must have had a pagan significance before it had a Christian one. But in fact, the date had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time, nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.
Read the rest here

Here is a synopsis of the article by Tighe:

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