28 February, 2009

Under an Aries Moon

Random Notes

1) - Colorado's only conservative leaning newspaper :


closed their doors last Friday. Its sad to see the old girl go the way of the dinosaurs. As long as the internet is available, her heart will continue to beat and archives will be perused for good writing and photography. Embedded in the above link is another link:


It is a Pulitzer prize winning work which should be read and seen by all patriots. AND, discussed in every civics classroom nationwide. WHAT?!?! oh, that's right. Civics is no longer part of a politically correct curriculum.

Still, every day, young men and women choose to join the armed services to defend our freedoms.

Patriotic Bloggers: http://www.blackfive.net/main/ maintain the watch here at home.


2) - The unlikely Duo of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant have released an album on Rounder Records:


Those eyes.....

Well, I would be infatuated even if she were not an accomplished fiddle player with a delightful, ethereal voice. Take a listen.....I still have a lump in my throat after listening to Killing the Blues...... Lord'a'Mercy!


3) - Yesterday was the first Sunday in Lent.

The gospel reading assigned was Mark 1:9-15 -

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."

In the Celtic Christian tradition there is a belief that there are times and places where the veil between the worlds grows thin....thin enough for spirit and earth to meld into one....where spirits and mankind walk together....where linked spirits meet and join as one in love, in HIS love!

Its called by some mathematical theorists "Tesseract"...the folding of space and time in the fourth dimension.

God can call us to that place. Its up to us to make the choice to accept believe that:

" ..the time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has drawn near..... "

and to walk through that veil, to walk and talk together with your brothers and sisters and with Jesus, no matter the seeming distance or time separating us.

We allow ourselves to be slaves to Kronos....earthly time. God calls us to walk in his time Kairos, where space and time, as we live it, have no meaning.

Care to join me?

25 February, 2009

Ash Wednesday, 2009

Sorrowful Joy

The season of Lent is misunderstood by so many folk, including Christians.
Andrew Kern, over at: http://antiphrontisterion.wordpress.com/ wrote a heart strong and well reasoned piece that speaks to the core of Lent, and to Ash Wednesday. He speaks to the depths of true joy based in Christ. It is a reflected in a life battered by grief, sorrow, loss, pain, anger, denial; all those worldly things common to mankind. Yet that Christian life is founded in joy....as he states, a "Sorrowful Joy."

From his blog:

" The Blessed (and theremore mourning) apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians an epistle whose soul is “Bright sorrow”– 'as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.' In it, he reflected on an earlier letter in which he had caused the Corinthians to grieve over sin in their company.

'For even if I made you grieve with my letter,' he said, 'I do not regret it… Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentence. For you were made sorry in a godly manner… For godly sorrow produces repentence leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.' "


He proceeds to define worldly and therefore, Godless mourning as self-pity. And THAT is what leads to death. Worldly mourning leads to find a temporary fix, a manufactured joy. This trumped-up, self-inflicted, caffiene buzz jazz of false joy is short lived, empty and requires more of the worldly, manufactured "drug" to maintain its high. God's joy is based in the continued growth in the knowledge that God is the font from which that joy flows. It is always there, always free, always available to the repentant, sorrowful human. It is heavenly fodder that nourishes and strenthens us more and more and more as worldly time progresses. When we find it, choose to allow God to save us, feed us and grow in him...our conscious being shifts.

C. S. Lewis speaks directly to this shift of consciousness in his theological treatise: Suprised by Joy.

Russell Kirk wrote a fine distillation of Lewis' writing in an old issue of National Review, 1961:

"Joy, as described by Mr. Lewis, is a sudden stab of intense consciousness, very different from mere pleasure. And there is something better than joy — as much better than joy as joy is better than pleasure: Christian faith. Joy comes to Lewis as often and as sharply since his conversion as before. 'But I now know that the experience, considered as a state of my own mind, had never the kind of importance I once gave it. It was valuable only as a pointer to something other and outer....'

...Real Joy, which is apprehended by the higher imagination, 'must have the stab, the pang, the inconsolable longing.' Again and again, Mr. Lewis communicates to us, in this little book, that stab, that pang, that longing."

What we Christians experience in this "Sorrowful Joy", is the knowledge that we are broken, sinful beings...strangers in a strange land...with one foot in this world and one foot in the grave, and our hearts yearning to return home. AND, beloved, we now know the way back home.

From the moment of birth, possibly from the moment of conception, we humans long for something outside of ourselves. I believe St. Augustine was the one to coin the phrase "We have a God shaped hole in our being, waiting to be filled." (that is a paraphrase.) Given who we are....stubborn, rebellious and self-absorbed human beings, we try to fill that hole with everything possible except the one person who is meant to fill it. That person is God. Yes, that is God with a capitol "G".

The "...One God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisble: And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; begotten of his Father before all worlds were made, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God; begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made..." - Nicene Creed

The one true, creator God, not made by mankind, unknown and unknowable by mankind, except through his Son, Jesus Christ, who, by his own free will chose to take on mortal flesh, chose to live among us, know us our dusty lives. He chose to feel heat and cold and temptation and rage and sorrow. He lived and died as one of us. His human form died on the cross. In choosing that horrific death, he chose to take all sins, past/present/future, upon himself as the ultimate sacrifice for ALL mankind...for those who confess his name. He made it possible for ALL of us to be able to fill that God shaped hole and know beyond knowing, that we can settle that restless longing and go home to our true home, in Christ, in God.

Ash Wednesday: "Remember, O man, that dust thou art; and to dust thou shalt return... "

Once we shed this earthly shell, subject to heat and cold and pain and all manner of affliction; subject to aging and temptations, battered, bruised, broken and just not quite comfortable. Once we die, then our new history begins as we stand before the Throne to be dealt justice as to our lives. We will ALL be found wanting and sinners. The only grace by which we will be saved is the fact that the judge already knows us.

He is Jesus, the Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, who suffered ubearable pain on the cross for one reason...that we might be cleansed of all imperfections, sins and suffering and made whole.

You see, beloved, it is our stubborn, self-willed, sinful nature that caused Jesus to hang on the cross. It is our choice to turn over our lives and wills to him that allows us to be saved. That is the ultimate sorrow and the ultimate joy, entwined in one being: Jesus, our Judge and Lord, our Brother, and our Sacrifice and Saviour.

22 February, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner and Homily

The last Sunday in Epiphany celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration.
Jesus, fully God and fully Man, has been called by his Father to make a cataclysmic decision.
He takes Peter, James and John outside of town to:
" a high place, apart by themselves and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exeedingly white like snow, as no fuller on earth can whiten them. And there appeared Eiljah and Moses; and they were talking with Jesus....
And there was a cloud that overshadowed them;and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my beloved, listen to him."
- Matt. 9: 2-4,7

He must choose to sacrifice himself for all creation...or return to His Father's side while all creation continues to wander in darkness, separated from God.

He makes the choice. Jesus chooses to accept and do God's will.

In this present age, we Christians celebrate that decision, knowing that Jesus made that decision and, from that point on, He turned his countenance towards Jerusalem... towards the inevitable sacrifice on the Cross.
It is inevitable for one reason:
Jesus chose to accept God's will. That, beloved, is the same decision to which our Father God calls each of us.

- Toss that little bit of information about in your gray matter.

- Chew on it while you enjoy the freedoms and liberty afforded us in this country.

Ask the wife or child or parent who has buried a loved one killed in action in the defense of these United States. They who chose to give their lives as a sacrifice to serve and protect our lives, our borders and our heritage.
Talk to the families of those police and firefighters who died saving their fellow citizen's lives on September 11th, 2001.
Walk the southern border with the men and women who have chosen to put their lives in harms way to defend our way of life.
It is a choice we are called to each day, ensconsed as we are in the gentle freedoms afforded us by lives given in sacrifice...even the One who saves us all, Jesus Christ.


Venison Stew

I defrosted a pound of venison trimmed from steaks and roasts. When I opened the packet, the clean frangrance of the high plains rose up. I was engaged by the fragrance of sage and corn, sunflowers and winter wheat. Like spice, the bitter and alkaline dust tickled my nose. This is clean, fresh meat. There are no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no feed lot silage....and no fat!
Add an onion, a few cloves of garlic, a couple of celery stalks, and some root veges. I had taters and carrots on hand.

In Grandpa Woody's Dutch Oven, I heated about two tablespoons of bacon fat. While the fat heated, I dusted the venison chunks in flour spiced with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Just as the fat began to smoke, I dumped the floured meat into the pan....stiring frequently.
Once the meat was browned on all sides, I added about a cup of wine and Worchestershire sauce, maybe a tablespoon or two.

Coarse chop the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and taters while the venison simmers in the melieu of bacon, wine and fish sauce, reducing the liquid by about half.

Stir in the onion, garlic and celery and allow to simmer, stirring frequently until the onions turn translucent. Enjoy a bit of the wine and the fragrant nose rising from the ol' Dutch oven.

Add in the chopped root veges and enough water to create a thick gavy, stir frequently until the liquid begins to simmer. Since this is Southwest cuisine, I add a couple of tablespoons of Mexican oregano, about one tablespoon of ground cumin and the same amount of sweet Chimayo or Hatch powdered red chile.

Cover and let simmer for about an hour. The delightful and heady fragrance will fill the house.
Serve with fresh bread or biscuits or my favorite, warm flour tortillas.
Oh, and a nice glass of Cabernet or Sangiovese, or whatever, rich red you enjoy.