“It is said an Eastern

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, “Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin” (September 30, 1859), pp. 481-482.
Thanks, Nick, for finding this.
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It’s going to be sunny

It’s going to be sunny and 45 degrees today. Nice! Even balmy! But, water will be rushing everywhere. I’m curious to see where it all goes. We are all so tired right now. Not just a couple of us – everyone. Mid-terms haven’t even hit and already we are spent. If I thought there was a method to their madness, it might be okay, but I doubt there is. I can only do so much, yet as every day passes I get further and further behind. I’ve kept track of every minute the past week and a half, and I’m not wasting time. Financial aid stuff is taking a lot of time that would have been devoted to study, but I have to pay for this education; I have to come up with $36,000.00 (granted, the seminary is gracious with their scholarships, as is my diocese and home parish, yet…). Financially, I am in far better condition then many of my fellow seminarians – I am grateful. Anyway, we are becoming nothing much more then zombies at this point.
Last weekend was the Perspective Student Conference, so hardly any homework completed last weekend. This weekend, students are coming up from Virginia Theological Seminary for the annual basketball rivalry. This should be fun, but we are hosting three people, which means we (I, mostly) will have to clean and prepare. I’m sick of cleaning and preparing.
We are just weary. Frankly, the most frustrating thing of all is that all the material is quite interesting and I would love to dive into any one class, the homework, and the projects, but there is so much that nothing can be done well, nothing can be processed well, and there is just going to be a lot of cramping for regurgitation. That’s just a shame, and I blame poor planning and coordination. It seems we are being formed by a negative process rather than a position one. Maybe there is a grand scheme, but if it is unrealized, what’s the point.
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The snow has been amazing

The snow has been amazing today. I woke up this morning and looked out my window and thought, “another false alarm.” Yes, there was snow, and it was still snowing, but nothing major. I thought. I was a bit disappointed. Then, a couple hours later as I left for chapel, I tried to open the front door of Hoffman and realized that we had a whole heck of a lot of snow. It has continued snowing all day. I suspect we have a good 18 inches by now. The maintenance crew has made a yeoman’s effort trying to keep up with the snow. I’ve helped a bit.
I’ve been watching out my window onto 10th ave. as much as possible. Traffic has been almost non-existent. The only regular and major traffic has been a cadre of garbage trucks plowing the street. I just finished watching two garbage trucks, with chains on their wheels, get stuck attempting to go down 20th St. It’s amazing, and a whole lot of fun! So, what am I doing in here typing out Patristic definitions? It’s cold out there!
The snow is actually starting to pickup again. 20 to 24 inches are expected by tomorrow, all told. I wonder whether perspective students will be able to leave tomorrow? General has been conducting the winter Perspective Student Conference this weekend. This morning, a man from Kenya was commenting on the snow. Another guy from southern California has nothing but tennis-shoes. Poor guy! I wonder whether he will end up here next year?
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The city is pretty bad

The city is pretty bad tonight. The news channels are saying the city is supposed to have up to 12″ of snow tonight. That’s a lotta snow! The taxis are having a hard time of it. I just saw one practically going sideways.
Ashton and company boarded and set sail today. They are going to have such a great time! Cruising in the warm Gulf while we are stuck here in New York with 12 inches of snow!
Everyone is gone and everything is cleaned up. We had six perspective students over for dinner tonight for the kick-off of the Perspective Student weekend. A bunch of nice folks! Elise and Elizabeth joined us, too. I really enjoyed it, although it literally took all day (10:30 am until now, 10:55 pm). I at least finished a bit of homework this morning at Big Cup!
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Ashton is off on his

Ashton is off on his cruise. He and his friends and a bunch of volunteer fire fighters. He is so funny when he wakes up so early in the morning. The exact opposite of me – he feels totally out of it in the morning and I do in the evening. I hope he has a very good time.
How much have we given ourselves over to the systems of this world. My challenge is different then many of the people’s here. Knee jerk reactions in all directions is a common human trait, but how to do get ourselves out of such responses. Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, dove, hawk – all believe they are doing the best for our country and our citizens, yet there has to be a third way. What is the third way?
Hussein would not be letting weapons inspectors back into Iraq if it were not for the U.S. and Britain’s forceful demands – something lost on the French. As they say, war may be the acknowledgement of diplomatic defeat, but with despots like Hussein there is often no other option but force. Force is what he respects, something again lost on the French. I agree that war is the acknowledgment of defeat for diplomacy, but not everyone is honorable, not everyone is interested in peace, not everyone can be trusted, not everyone is worthy of civil consideration, not everyone is interested in diplomacy. They prove themselves so by their actions, by their history, and by their own lack of civility. What is the third way? Not war, not appeasement, not acting in ignorance or false hope, false expectations.
How easy it is to depend on the formulations of our own minds and emotions. Reliance on our own limited understanding and refusal to allow God to be whomever God is, rather then always attempting to recreate God in our own image and demand God abide by our understanding of things. I have a scientific mind and cannot conceive of supernatural happenings that seem to suspend “natural laws.” Then, of course, I have to explain away any miraculous event or report, whether current or ancient. I don’t believe in a literal embodiment of evil, then I cannot acknowledge the possibility of demons or demonic possession – it is just always mental illness or epilepsy so some such physiological condition. I cannot conceive of a God who does or does not certain things, therefore I demand God be whatever I decide. We rely on our own understanding – to our detriment.
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Tonight, Ashton and I are

Tonight, Ashton and I are going to see Les Miserables. The show is closing in March. He kept saying that it is about the best musical there is and wants to see it one more time. I have yet to see it, so that’s good for me! The tickets are a fortune, but as Jason said, if money is going to be spent, this is a good way to spend it. Valentine’s Day is a good day for such a think. Ashton is leaving Saturday morning for a cruise with his friends, so this will be a good sending off! I can’t wait.
Financial aid applications, grants, scholarships, FAFSA stuff, is taking up so much of my time right now. No homework for the weary, or at least the begging for money weary!
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I bought tickets to Les

I bought tickets to Les Miserables, which is closing in March. I bought them for Ashton for Valentine’s Day – he said a few times now that he wanted to see the musical one last time before it closed. That works out well, because I want to see it for the first time before it closes. The tickets are not cheap – $100.00 bucks apiece. I’m thankful that the seminary will reimburse me for half the price of a cultural event, so it won’t be all that bad. I have to quite spending so much money. I’m not that irresponsible, but a couple hundred dollars for one Broadway musical on a fixed budget when I could have probably spent far less and made Ashton just as happy (maybe). Anyway, it is finished.
I am truly enjoying my Patristics class, as well as my Philisophical Foundations for Theology. This semester, many of the classes support and inform one another – New Testament and Patristics and Philosophy all add to an overall understanding of what was going on during the development of the early Church. So much reading, but it is good reading. As much as I applied myself this past week, and especially this weekend, I have not even finished all the Patristic reading for tomorrow, let alone any of my Old Testament reading. All I can do is what I can do.
Even though there is so much more work this term, I am in such a better frame of mind. I have an idea of what is expected and most of the transitional issues are settled. I suppose I am much more at peace! I even went to all three chapel services on Thursday, which was a first. It was so odd being at Morning Prayer last Monday. It just felt good, comfortable, like I was supposed to be there. There was a familiarity with the experience that seemed right. I’m glad of that. I still have a way to go before I am able to say truly that the services feed my soul, like a regular quiet-time does for me, but I hope I am getting there. Everything in its own time, I suppose.
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As many are writing this

As many are writing this morning, the second shuttle has been destroyed. At 9:00 am or so, the shuttle Columbia exploded on its re-entry over Texas. I can’t imagine how it is for the families, who were waiting in Florida for the shuttle to land, when they see it happen live – finding out through the media rather then a visit from an official.
I’m wondering of all the anti-American elements throughout the world, especially the Muslim fundamentalists, including the radical Palestinians, and whether they will be cheering – proof that Allah is judging American and Israel. Will there be cheering and celebration in the streets?
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