Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"What I've Done" - Linkin Park




I'm speechless . . .


In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

[Pre-Chorus]
So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

[Chorus]
I’ve faced myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
Well I cleaned this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

[Pre-Chorus]

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

[Chorus]
I’ve faced myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For what I’ve done
I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

[Chorus]
I’ve faced myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

What I’ve done
Forgiving what I’ve done


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Freedom in Tension - PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC




Ahh, finally an expression of Christianity which I'm at home in. Seriously, I have traversed many a tradition within the Christian Church in my life (Methodist, Nazarene, Lutheran/Charasmatic, Mennonite, Non-denom., Presbyterian, Anglican and a good shoulder rub with Catholicism), but for all it's lifelessness at times, the Church of Ireland has felt the most like home. It's a strange animal, occupying the 'Via Media' in Christian expression, and I feel a sense of affinity for it. I'm sure much of it has to do with the process of maturation in my life (some could say it's another phase), but I do love this Church. It is part of a larger body within the Anglican Communion which is 70 million strong and which has so much diversity. From lethargic to charismatic, liturgical to 'dance revolution', reflective to shouts of praise - it's beautiful. Given, there are bound to be heresies as well (and there are in my humble opinion), but that is no reason to 'jump ship' - rather, a 'truth in love' engagement is required. I am also quite partial to the early Irish (Celtic) roots from which this church springs. The older I become the more I sense that there is salvation in tension, in the area between extremes known as balance (which, coincidentally is so elusive). God has big plans yet for His Church in this little island on the edge of the world . . .

May we all know our deep, deep hunger for Him who is Life to the full!

Click here for more - very interesting info - on the Church of Ireland (some of which you may have never imagined before!) and scroll down to the topical links.


Barak O’Bama’s Irish Roots


Well, if the world isn't getting stranger! This is the second time our little place on the map has been on the world stage in the past year! CBS just aired their television coverage of the breaking story of two weeks ago that Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama had a great, great, great grandfather from Moneygall (translated 'field of the foreigner'), Co. Offaly, Ireland who was a member of the Church of Ireland. Moneygall is in the same group of parishes that our village Cloughjordan is in and therefore, my friend and rector - Stephen Neill - has responsibility for that area too. I wasn't at church the day CBS came through due to the final weekend of my course in Spiritual Direction, but Christy and the kids were. I think Stephen told me he had done 30+ interviews, 7 radio shows and the television piece for CBS when it was all said and done. Isn't the world hungry for information! You can read the story and watch the video from the link below.

O’Bama’s Irish Roots?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Running the Numbers


I was very intrigued and very disturbed by this exhibition by Chris Jordan. I applaud him for his work on this project which begs me to ask the question, "Is there anything I/we can do?!" or more appropriately, "What MUST I/we do about this irresponsible behaviour?!"

What are you doing about it?

If you're a Christian, let's not waste time trying to build the case by 'running the verses' on stewardship, creation and ethical responsibility - we shouldn't have to do that. It's all there. Know your Bible . . but more importantly, know your God.

DO WHAT YOU CAN.

“Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.”

“My hope is that images representing these huge quantities in “Running The Numbers” might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of - 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day, or fifteen million sheets of office paper used every five minutes”.

“The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.”

“As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry.”


- Photographic artist, Chris Jordan


See the online exhibition here: 'Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait'


Monday, May 14, 2007

IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE



This video really drew me in. Aesthetically and lyrically it provides the framework for an engaging narrative. Regardless of whether you appreciate the style, what did you 'take home' after viewing it? What was the message laiden within this video from Thrice as you see it?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Prolonged Silence


I have been silent. Not necessarily because of my desire to be, but more due to my hectic schedule in recent weeks. Traveling has been average around the island (Mayo, Dublin, Kilkenny and Belfast) but other aspects of life and work have kept me at full tilt.

I am very happy to announce that after two years of investing in my course at Manresa for a diploma in Spiritual Direction - I am finished! Last weekend marked the final requirement for the course and I am elated! It was a fantastic course - very well crafted, paced and balanced - with a generous and open spirit to outsiders (non-Catholic in background). My sole prayer to be challenged was answered . . it was! I made a number of new friends, many times 30 years older than me. I have been stretched and opened to understanding the riches and complexities that make up the Catholic Church and the human soul. I look forward to seeing what doors God may open to utilise this training and experience in the days ahead. Our graduation is in October.

I was able to deliver a morning breakfast session on the Emerging Church / Fresh Expressions phenomenon at the General Synod of the Church of Ireland this past week in Kilkenny. It was a great opportunity and was fairly well attended. I was pleased to have my old friend Brian Ross over with me to give a snap shot of this topic from a North American perspective. More on this in the week ahead.

We finally launched MOBILISE in the Youth Department. It's a nation-wide initiative to meet the felt and perceived needs related to youth ministry across Ireland. We (the youth dept.) are rolling it out with six topical, inter-active workshops this year and an additional six to follow next year. More on this in the week ahead.

Christy is plowing ahead with getting a full-fledged Sunday School (for lack of a better phrase) off the ground in our parish. Today was one of the Sundays she and the rest of the team pulled together to deliver. It went very well. Small numbers . . but what can be expected from a village of 500+ people?!! I'm proud of her for the vision, persistence and passion she's poured into the kids in our church!

Neve and Aidan are brilliant!!! I cannot say enough about my kids. They enthrall me, enthuse me, enrich me and wear me out. Neve carries out such intelligent conversations for a little girl of nearly four and Aidan is such a boy - wrecking things, growling and running. He's a lover though (like his daddy!) ;-) - and he enjoys a good cuddle now and then. And Abby - how could I forget the dog who has been the epitome of faithfulness??? She sits in our back garden day after day and never really complains. Neither does she complain when what little attention she gets is from the kids pulling her tail or laying on her back. She loves to snuggle in closer and sit on your feet when we let her. Fantastic friend!

Well, that's about it for tonight. A little more personal post before I slide back into the brief soul snap-shots that I usually post begin again. I hope this finds each one of you well and in a state of perpetual wonder at God's love and goodness . . and the beauty of life!