Wednesday, June 29, 2005

O Santo Patrono Mío...

Today is my namesday!

Oh líderes de los apóstoles y maestros de las naciones Pedro y Pablo, interceded ante el Todopoderoso, que conceda al mundo la paz y a nuestras almas la gran misericordia.

First-enthroned of the apostles, teachers of the universe: Entreat the Master of all to grant peace to the world, and to our souls great mercy!

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Week Out...

Tomorrow evening marks one week of being parents. As we recover (is there really any time to do that?!) from this first, whirlwind week, there's obviously so much going on in my head...

First of all...I am a Daddy. It seems so...old. Yet here's this small, round, pot-bellied munchkin who depends on her mother and me for everything. She is my daughter, and I love her more than I have ever loved any other human being. Which brings to mind something I know as an absolute from this first week of being a father: Love is absolutely not a feeling. Really, I don't think it has anything to do with it at all. Yes, we've had the cuddly, warm-fuzzies moments; yes, she's absolutely beautiful and has already charmed me to death...but this week has been emotionally draining, truly. It's left me, oftentimes, very much bereft of feeling and very much aware of a desire to protect her. Something I'm willing to sacrifice for, this protective instinct is so divorced from any feeling that to call any sort of "gut emotion" "love" is, to me, to cheapen what love truly is. In fact, it's when you get past all the emotional, "drama queen/king" stuff that you find out how you truly value something or someone. What you're willing to do when no one's looking, nothing's in it for you and motivational "feelings" are nowhere to be found--this is the measure of your love for a thing or a person or (better still) Persons.

Secondly: Audra is a creature of strength and grace. My wife, who has very little tolerance for pain in normal situations, let doctors have their way with her for seven brutal hours--the nurse said they were the hardest she'd ever seen--of contractions before hearing for sure that a C-section was imminent. So much tougher than she gives herself credit for, she is an amazingly sturdy, secure person who, though she be concerned at first, will not let the feelings of fear and impatience that naturally arise dictate how she will live her life around baby.

Audra's parents leave tomorrow morning; they have truly been more help than they know, and I am more grateful for their assistance and expertise than I can express. Wonderful folks, very active missionaries to India. Not much contact with the Indian Orthodox, though their photos of charismatic endeavors make it seem as though they are doing quite a lot there.

Which leaves me feeling conflicted. On the one hand, my obvious desire is to see the Orthodox faith spread across that land St. Thomas so thoroughly evangelized 2,000 years ago. On the other hand, missionary efforts among indigenous Orthodox seem so few and far between so as not to register on anyone's radar--for example, the radical Hindi goverment following my father-in-law around. It's almost as if, in the absence of any real, determined missionary work among God's true Church, those who are very much outside her are going in and confronting the pagan strongholds.

And with what? With the name of the Incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ, knowledge of the Holy Trinity, and the awareness of (and overwhelming desire for) the presence of the All-Holy Spirit. I would rather have them there, converting the Hindus to charismaticism, than to have them stay Hindu. I applaud their focused determined efforts, even if I bemoan their theology (and our Church's lack of activism in this area).

If anyone knows of Orthodox work being done in India, please let me know; also, pray for the child of God Elizabeth, the mother Natalya (both of whom will return to Church on the 31st of July for baptism) and frazzled father Peter.

May Christ our God have mercy on us all, and raise us up that we may glorify Him among all peoples of the world.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

She's here!

Check here for our little webpage on Hope Elizabeth's delivery, then click on "My Photo Gallery!" for more pics.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Not Sure...

...when my next post will be.

I do plan on continuing this blog, as I've found it to be a wondeful outlet for thoughts, rants, expression, reflection, and (especially) community. I guess you could say I'm a community junkie (this, for no other reason, is why I think I'd make a lousy monastic), and I value the connections made thus far through "the blogosphere." Just a warning that it may be a bit before the next post comes up. Keep checkin', though.

Prayers for the servants of God, Peter and Natalya, and the child to be born of her.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.


Went to church tonight; Father called last night and wanted to arrange a time where A and I could come and pray some prayers with Father for a woman about to give birth.

Still in a Pentacost state of mind (Billy Joel can have NY), was thinking about the newly-reinstated prayer at the beginning of the Trisagion: "O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and abide in us..." and my mind sort of "caught" on "Giver of life." Here we are, two people who God has united as one in marriage, the sacrament of unity, and we are now asking the Giver of life to do just help us bring forth a life.

This is the beauty of the union of people in Christ; it cannot help but bring forth new, real, and--God willing--lasting life. Both in the spiritual and physical sense, it is an icon of the union, healing, and restoration of us all.

Take Me

Was thinking about Fr. Schmemman's Book, O Death, Where is Thy Sting? tonight, and thought of a song I hadn't thought of in quite a while, Take Me, by a group called Waterdeep, whom I absolutely adore. Truly they are poets who put their poems to music. Here're the lyrics to the haunting song, Take Me:

“Old ain’t a word that I’m fond of,” he said.
“And these days I’ve begun to lose count.”
Mumbling she rolls in her wheelchair, and says,
“I’m afraid that they’ve closed my account.”

There’s a blur that occurs in the line of their life
That decays the whole notion of sense
And they call to the past, insisting that it last,
While they’re climbing down reality’s fence

Singing with me
Take me
Take me
Write my name in the most Holy Tome
And when it’s my time
To assume the sublime,
Take me to my promised home

And their hands aren’t gnarled, they’re in love with the earth
And they’re dying to go there again
We say the essence of life is strong in our youth,
Slowly buried under wrinkles of skin

But there’s God in the way that life comes to an end,
In the way that it draws to a close,
In the saying of soul to the house of the skin,
You’re too weak now to really oppose...


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Pentecost (Warning! Long Post!)

I love this feast.

Attended the Vespers service for the feast of Pentecost, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Not even Pascha, I don't think, truly fills me with as much gratitude as this feast. True, the Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord renewed the nature of man, opening the doors of Heaven to mankind and providing for us the Firstfruits of the union of God and Man, but it is this feast which offers to each individual believer, as well as the Church as a whole, to have this prototypical union--already fulfilled in the union of the divine and human natures of Christ--manifested in the lives of each member of Christ's Body here on earth.

I think back, four years now, to my chrismation, which is my own personal Pentecost. The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit was bestowed on me then, and something amazing happened. The incarnate life of God which was lost to us in the Fall was reestablished within my body, soul and spirit. The third Person of the Trinity came to dwell within me, leading me to union with the Son, Who would bring me whole into the presence of the Father. It is for this reason that the icon usually known as the Hospitality of Abraham, the most well known of which was written by the hand of the iconographer (and perhaps future saint) Andrei Rublev, is displayed in Orthodox Churches:

The Hospitality of Abraham

We celebrate not only the gift of the Holy Spirit, but the final act of the Godhead to bring us into His presence. The Spirit gives life to us, bringing us into the Body of Christ, wherein we may partake of the divine nature of the Son, through Whose nature we become reconciled to our Father and Creator.

The troparion, kontakion and stichera of Pentecost, from the service tonight (they say it better than I ever could). It's long, but worth it:


Blessed art thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them thou hast fished the universe, O Lover of mankind, glory to thee.


When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, he divided the nations; but when he distributed the tongues of fire, he called all to unity, and with one voice, we glorify the all-holy Spirit.


Lo, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the presence of the Spirit, the fulfillment of the promise and the completion of hope. How wonderful is this mystery; for it is great and most solemn. Wherefore, we cry unto thee, O Lord and Creator of all, glory to thee.

Thou hast renewed for thy Disciples, O Christ, a different kind of tongues, that they might therewith proclaim that thou art the immortal Word and God who granteth our souls the Great Mercy.

The Holy Spirit provideth all; overfloweth with prophecy; fulfilleth the Priesthood; and hath taught wisdom to the illiterate. He hath revealed the fishermen as theologians. He bringeth together all the laws of the Church. Wherefore, O Comforter, equal to the Father in Substance and the throne, glory to thee.

We have seen the true Light we have received the Holy Spirit; we have found the true Faith. Wherefore, let us worship the indivisible Trinity; for he hath saved us.

By the Prophets thou didst tell us the way of salvation, O our Savior, and by the grace of thy Spirit. Thou art God from the beginning; and for time to come, and unto the ages, verily, thou art our God.

In thy dwelling-places I offer praise, O Savior of the world, and by the bending of the knees I worship thine unconquerable might. In the evening, on the morrow, at midnight, and at all times, I bless thee, O Lord.

As we believers bend, O Lord, in thy dwelling- places, the knees of the soul and the body together, we praise thee, O Father without beginning, the Son equally without beginning, and the most Holy Spirit coeternal with thee, the Illuminator and Sanctifier of our souls.

Let us praise the consubstantial Trinity, the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit; for thus did all the Prophets preach, and the Apostles with the Martyrs too.

Come ye nations, let us worship the three-personed Godbead, a Son in the Father, with a Holy Spirit; for the Father timelessly hath begotten the Son, equal to him in eternity and the throne; and the Holy Spirit was in the Father, glorified with the Son, one Might, one Substance, one Godhead, which we all worship, saying, Holy God who created everything through the Son with the help of the Holy Spirit; Holy Mighty, in whom we knew the Father, and through whom the Holy Spirit came to the world; Holy Immortal One, the comforting Spirit, proceeding from the Father and resting in the Son; O Holy Trinity, glory to thee.

When thou didst send thy Spirit, O Lord, the Apostles, being seated, the sons of the Hebrews took note, and were astonished; for they heard them speak in strange tongues, according as the Spirit bestowed on them; for they were illiterate. They philosophized, driving the Gentiles to the Faith, as they preached of things divine. Wherefore, we cry to thee, O thou who wast revealed on earth and didst save us from error, glory to thee, O Lord.

Being ignorant of the power of thy most Holy Spirit who came to thine Apostles, the Gentiles imagined that the gift of tongues was drunkenness. But we who are confirmed by them cry ceaselessly, beseeching, Thy Holy Spirit take not from us, O Lover of mankind.

The coming of the Holy Spirit, O Lord, and his encompassing of thy Disciples, revealed them as speaking with other tongues, hence the miraculous wonder. As for the unbelievers, they thought it drunkenness, and the believers, a cause of salvation to them. Wherefore, we beseech thee to make us ready for his illumination, O Lover of mankind.

Of old there was confusion of tongues because of the boldness of the tower-builders. But those tongues have not uttered wisdom for the glory of divine knowledge. There God condemned the infidels to punishment, and here with the Spirit Christ illuminated the fishermen. At that time the confusion of tongues was designed for vengeance, and now the unison of tongues hath been renewed for the salvation of our souls.
And from the service of Pentecost Sunday:

Let us, O believers, celebrate with joy the last Feast, which is also the last of the Feast‑Pentecost which is the end and fulfillment of the preordained promise; for then did come down the fire of the Comforter upon the earth in the likeness of tongues, lighting the Disciples and revealing them plainly as initiates of heavenly things. Verily, the light of the Comforter hath come and lighted the world.

The spring of the Spirit hath come to those on earth, dividing supersensuously into fire‑bearing rivers, moistening the Apostles and illuminating them. The fire hath become to them a dewy cloud, lighting, and raining flames upon them, from whom we received grace by the fire and the water. Verily the fire of the Comforter hath come and lighted the world.

After thy rising from the tomb, O Christ, and thy divine ascent to the celestial heights, thou didst send thy glory, O compassionate One, to thy Godhead seeing Disciples, renewing in them a right spirit. Wherefore, like a musical harp, they proclaimed their words unto all mystically, through the instrument of thy dispensation.

Let us praise Him who overwhelmed Pharaoh and his chariots in the sea; who crusheth wars with a mighty hand; for He hath been glorified.

Thou didst call unto thy Disciples, O Christ, saying, "Stay ye in Jerusalem till ye be endued with power from on high, and I will send you another Comforter like me, who is my Spirit and the Spirit of the Father, and in Him ye shall be strengthened."

When the Prophet perceived thy coming in the last days, O Christ, he lifted his voice crying, "I have heard, O Lord, the hearing of thy might; for thou didst verily come to save all thine anointed ones.

The Spirit of salvation, O Lord, who for fear of thee was conceived in the belly of the Prophets and wast begotten on earth, hath created the hearts of the Apostles pure, being renewed in the faithful; for thy commands are light and peace.

My soul hath been stirred with the agitation of worldly concerns. Yea, I am drowned therein, from the sins that accompany me, and cast to the soul-corrupting beast. Wherefore, like Jonah, I cry unto thee, "O Christ, lift me out of the mortifying depth."

The righteous youths who were thrown into the furnace of fire, changed the flames into dew when thy lifted their voices in songs of praise, crying thus, "Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers."

The unconsumed bush which mingled with fire in Sinai made God known to the heavy-tongued and hoarse-voiced Moses. In like manner, God's zeal manifested the three youths as unconsumed by fire, but praising thus, "Praise the Lord, all His works, and exalt Him more and more unto the ages."

Of old the fire-breathing, zealous Elijah did mount with joy the all-flaming chariot. Wherefore, this sign did explain the rising of the gentle breeze illuminating the Apostles from on High, through which they were lighted, making known to all the Trinity.

Strange things contrary to the law of nature are now heard; for by the one voice, which the Disciples received in diverse kinds, through the grace of the Spirit, all the nations, tribes, and tongues heard the great things of God, and received the knowledge of the Trinity.

We on whom the grace coming from God did blow, have become luminous and bright, changed in a resplendent manner of exceeding beauty, comprehending the indivisible equipotent, triluminous, wise Essence. Wherefore, let us glorify Him.

All-Holy Spirit, issuing from the Father and coming through the Son upon the illiterate Disciples, save and sanctify all those who know thee as God.

Light is the Father. and Light the Son; Light is the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles in fiery tongues, through which the whole universe was illuminated to worship the holy Trinity.

Today all the nations in the city of David beheld wonders, when the Holy Spirit descended in fiery tongues, as the God-inspired Luke spake; for he said, The Disciples of Christ being gathered together, there was a sound as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they began to speak strange doctrines and strange teachings with divers tongues, to the holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit hath ever been, is and ever shall be; for he is wholly without beginning and without end. Yet he is in covenant with the Father and the Son, counted as Life and Life-giver, Light and Light-giver, good by nature and a Fountain of goodness, through whom the Father is known and the Son glorified. And by all it is understood that one power, one rank, one worship arc of the Holy Trinity.

Light, Life, and a living supersensuous Fountain is the Holy Spirit, good, upright, supersensuous Spirit of understanding, and purifying offenses, God understanding, presiding, and purifying offenses, God and deifying, Fire projecting from Fire, speaking, active, Distributor of gifts, through whom all the Prophets, the Apostles of God, and the Martyrs are crowned, a strange Report, a strange sight, a Fire divided for the distribution of gifts.

O heavenly King, the Comforter, Spirit of Truth, who art, in all places, and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life, come, and take up thine abode in us, and cleanse us from every stain; and save, O good One, our souls.

St. Peter

Here's a post from today's orthodoxdynamis (a Yahoo! group daily devotional) about my heavenly patron, St. Peter, chief of the apostles. A very Orthodox, scriptural view of him.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Our little one will, Lord willing, be born this coming Tuesday, June 21st, the Third Day of the Holy Trinity, if not before. The appointment to induce labor is set for Tuesday at 5 AM (ugh). As induction usually speeds up the birth, the child should be with us sometime that same day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Countdown Begins...

Audra had her weekly appointment today. Her OB-GYN said that she would enduce labor either on Tuesday or Thursday of next week.

By this time next week, ladies and gentlemen, we will either be parents already or be in the process of becoming them.

Pray for us.

Friday, June 10, 2005

From Aaron's blog, The Violent Munkee, a bibliophile's Meme:

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned:

Seriously, I DON'T KNOW. Probably close to 1,000. Couldn't tell you, though.

2. Last Book I Bought:

O Death, Where is Thy Sting? by Fr. Alexander Schmemman. A good read, especially for those who want a good, hard look at how death is to be despised to the last breath, not "accepted" nor something to which we should be "resigned" or "reconciled."

3. Last Book I Read:

All the way through? A couple: re-read Hitchhiker's Guide in preparation for the movie (which, if you've seen it, you know that that really didn't matter all that much, as they took bits from several of the books and put 'em in there. Also read Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South, an alternative fiction about the Confederates winning the Civil War.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:

1. The Apostolic Fathers. They were the guides who led me out of Evangelical Protestantism and into deeper questions about what it meant to be "in Christ." These men are called "apostolic" because they sat at the feet of and received their extensive training as bishops and/or apologists for the Faith from the writers of the New Testament themselves. They painted a picture of the original Church that was very different from my Baptist upbringing, so I began to ask questions about just how accurate my view, derived only from Scripture, was, and if it needed to change. I owe these guys a lot for getting me started on the road to Holy Orthodoxy.

2 and 3. For the same reasons: The Orthodox Way by Bp. KALLISTOS Ware and For the Life of the World by Fr. Schmemman. Were the two books that really made me sit up and take notice of the different "spiritual flavor" that Orthodoxy offered. Knew I had to take the claims of this Church seriously after reading them.

4. "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. I wrote my Sr. Thesis on this, along with his other play, "Endgame." A classic tale of two tramps waiting for what the audience knows will never come, it's been interpreted as a satire of religious souls waiting for God (which I deem as a superficial shot at the title and an unfair reading of the play) as well as of materialist souls waiting for meaning in an ultimately meaningless world (which I see as more plausible). In any case, Beckett paints his own picture of nihilism, giving those of us who do not share his worldview a richly artistic picture of what life is like when meaning eludes seekers who search both the spiritual and the material realms.

5. The poetry of Pablo Neruda, specifically Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada. Not only can this man write stuff that can make women SWOON (though only when understood in the original Spanish, in my experience), this guy was the first author I really read -- and by that I mean read for enjoyment -- in another language. It was a welcome break from García-Márquez, Lorca and Borges (though Borges was occasionally cool). His poetry is amazingly heartfelt and connected to the most primal and urgent feelings of most anyone who's ever been REALLY in love or REALLY hacked off. Just beautiful.

5. People I Will Infect With This Meme:

Alan, Nathan, David, Ronda, The Rambler, Paige, Ari, Owen, Joshua, and Kevin Basil.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Three's a good number.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, my wife, Audra and I celebrate the third anniversary of our union in marriage. These have been undoubtedly the three best years of my life, no comparison. She has taught me more about myself than I ever thought was even out there...some stuff I didn't, at first, want to know...but she is, indeed, perfect for me. Thank you, O Lord, for my wife.

I got her some comfy sandals to help with the burden of carrying herself and (please-God-let-it-be-)soon-arriving child. She would probably prefer an early onset of labor.

We commemorate the glorification of St. John of Kronstadt today -- you can see a summary of his life here, at a page for his repose though the OCA website -- a wonderful, loving saint to watch over us and help us as we work together to achieve theosis.

Holy St. John of Kronstadt, pray to God for us, Peter and Natalya!

From the (Temporarily!) Dormant Blog, Pensateomnia...

There's this post about the odd claim of "assured salvation" within Protestantism and the distinction it attempts, yet fails, to make from Catholicism...

This one, which says all that needs to be said about intellectual snobbery and eliteism, which is the root, I think, of the problem many have observed in which "those who can't" often go to teach... (though this, as you no doubt guessed, is not always the case, in my fair and balanced opinion!)

And this one...a GREAT quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa...

Looking forward to when this blog will be up and running again in a few months!

Should I Get My Hopes Up?

What an odd couple of days....

After being so quickly dismissed from TAKS tutoring, I decided it was the most beneficial option at my disposal to be as involved with the Global Language Center as I possibly could (which is pretty dad-gum involved, as I had all day, every day available until Dormition!) That, and seeing what I could see on -- a veritable paradise of potential freelance work for language/translation geeks such as myself -- would (I hoped) get us enough to make it through the summer without having to dine on pork-'n'-beans and spaguetti all summer.

It was then I got a call from the principal of TAKS training (who really did feel awful about having to dismiss me). The fellow who is involved with quite a few of the school district's summer programs -- and who, incidentally, was SUPPOSED to have made the original decision regarding filling the TAKS tutoring position (one of his inferiors hired me w/out consulting him, hence my inevitable sacking shortly thereafter...) -- had a position available for a non-certified teacher such as myself (I like that phrase; can you tell?) to do much the same thing I WAS doing, but with a smaller group of students (> or = 10) in their 20s who didn't pass the since-discontinued, former standardized test, TAAS. Same pay, same schedule, start tomorrow. And since HE'S the one hiring me, there's nobody else (so he says) who will come along to sack me on Monday.

So -- at present -- looks like this in the morning, GLC stuff in the afternoon/evening. Good stuff, thanks be to God. And so, another prayer, this one of thanksgiving:

Almighty and merciful God, I most humbly and heartily thank Thy divine majesty for Thy lovingkindness and tender mercies, that Thou hast heard my humble prayer, and graciously vouchsafed to deliver me from my trouble and misery. Grant me, I beseech Thee, Thy helping grace, that I may obediently walk in Thy holy commandments, and lead a sober, righteous and godly life, ever remembering Thy mercies, and the blessings Thou hast bestowed upon me, the undeserving one, that I may continually offer to Thee the sacrifice of praise than thanksgiving, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Summer Work...Kinda...

So I get called out of my class today--first frickin' day of TAKS tutoring (see two posts down if you're new)--and am told that, since I am not technically certified to teach English, the district can't have me teaching these kids and prepping them for the test. Nevermind, I suppose, that I rocked the house (if I may say so) as an English major in college; my lack of a (frankly) silly little certification test precludes me from teaching these lovlies who, I must say, could be taught what they need to know by a reasonably bright high school student.

Ah, well...went by the Global Language Center here in Ft. Worth after the session was over (they let me finish so I'd at least get the hours in for today, which was nice of them), and promptly got signed up to do ESL classes! I'll only be subbing for some folks tomorrow, but afterwards I'll sit down with the bosslady, who'll get me going on some long-term, consistent classes. Sessions are five weeks long, and it sounds like business is booming, so while it may take a bit to get a real clientele going, this is at least something during what will undoubtedly be the most strenuous (and, financially, the leanest) summer of my life.

Prayer after finding out I was sacked:
O God, our help and assistance, who art just and merciful, and who heareth the supplications of thy people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner, have mercy upon me, and deliver me from this trouble that besets me, for which, I know, I am deservedly suffering. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are given by Thee for our chastisement, when we drift away from Thee, and disobey Thy commandments; deal not with me after my sins, but according to Thy bountiful mercies, for I am the work of Thy hands, and Thou knowest my weakness. Grant me, I beseech Thee, Thy divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to Thy will. Thou knowest my misery and suffering and to Thee, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting to Thine infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when Thou knowest best, Thou wilt deliver me from this trouble, and turn my distress into comfort, when I shall rejoice in Thy mercy, and exalt and praise Thy Holy Name, O Father, Sona nd Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Longing for Little One

We're having a garage sale tomorrow and Saturday--our desparate and hopefully fruitful attempt to get rid of some of the extra stuff that's accumulated round our house--and my mother, who lives here in town, was gracious enough to come help us...we just got done about fifteen minutes ago, and as she drove away, I caught a glimpse of the child safety seat in the back seat of her car (see, this is why grandparents living in the same city is a definite good thing: free, eager babysitters!). All of a sudden I had this intense longing to meet, to know, to touch and caress and kiss the soft, vulnerable head of someone I've never even seen face-to-face...only in a fuzzy, grainy, black-and-white image...yeah, she'll keep us up all night, yeah she'll scream for no good reason for long periods of time...yeah, she'll eat and eat and eat...and poop and poop and poop...but come on, child. Bring it. Make us a family, for reals.

I love you, Hope E. And I've not even seen your sweet face yet. Ven y estate con nosotros, mija.

Summer Work!

Thank God--I'm going to be teaching TAKS tutoring sessions (TAKS is the TX Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, which is the statewide standardized test that every one has to perform well on for No Child Gets Ahe--, excuse me...[ahem] that's No Child Left Behind), Monday through Thursday, in the morning, from next Monday through July 11! Am still hoping to find something to do in the afternoon, but this will definitely help us through the summer.

Thanks be to God...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Annex to the Blog

If you're observant, you'll see there's now a link underneath the icon at the top of the blog to the "Infamous Electronic Quote Book." This goes back to college days, when I would keep an ear out for random quotes that, if taken completely out of context and left devoid of any explanation for the reader, would either scandalize or cofuse the tar out of said reader. So on this livejournal you will see, every so often (maybe twice, three times a week depending on how random my students/wife/fellow parishoners/random guy at Wal-Mart is being. Quotes will be accompanied by the date they were uttered, and that's it. No utterer, no footnote explaining it away, hence the fun.

Oh, and I don't put in stuff other people hear and want me to post. Sorry.

Check it out if you like!

Army Priest

Fr. George's blog: he's an Orthodox army priest and a former Southern Baptist. Only has a pic of himself and a (long!) conversion story, but for those who like that sort of thing (as I do), this is a great start of what promises to be a very interesting blog. Pray for Fr. George as he serves both our God and our country!

Spoken Thunder, Murmured Rain...

From today's post at the Yahoo! Group orthodoxdynamis (read the whole patristic commentary here).
St. Ephraim (d.373 AD)..."When our Lord took a little bread He multiplied it in the twinkling of an eye. That which people effect and transform in ten months with toil, His ten fingers effected in an instant. For He placed His hands beneath the bread as though it were earth, and spoke over it as though thunder. The murmur of His lips sprinkled over it like rain, and the breath of His mouth was there in place of the sun....The loaves of bread, like barren women and women deprived, became fruitful at His blessing, and many were the morsels born from them. The Lord also showed the incisiveness of His word to those who were accordance with the hunger of those who were hungry....His miracle therefore was measured by the hunger of the thousands, and it was victorious over the number of the twelve baskets."