The Ultimate Word

"The ultimate Word is not a paragraph but a person. If Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, then the heart of proclamation is personal and relational, not propositional."

Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki * God, Christ, Church, page 135

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The songs of woe that tug at the strings of our hearts...

Thanks to my friend who told me about this song. It's certainly worth sharing with all of you.

If you enjoyed "Jesus is my Friend", then this should be right up your alley.


Come on everybody -- sing along!

Artist: Carll Hayes
Song: She Left Me For Jesus
Album: Trouble in Mind

We've been datin' since High School, we never once left this town
We used to go out on the weekends and we'd drink til we drowned
But now she's acting funny and I don't understand
I think that she's found her some other man


She left me for Jesus and that just ain't fair
She says that he's perfect, how could I compare
She says I should find him and I'll know peace at last
If I ever find Jesus I'm kickin' his ass

She showed me a picture all I could do was stare
At that freak in his sandals with his long pretty hair
They must think I'm stupid or I don't have a clue
I'll bet he's a commie or even worse yet a jew


She's given up whiskey and ah takin' up wine
While she prays for his troubles she's forgot about mine
I'm a gonna get even I can't handle the shame
Why last time we made love she even called out his name


It coulda been Carlos or even Billy Ortez
But if I ever find Jesus
He's gonna wish he was dead. Amen.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thanks, Brad!

The L.A. Times is reporting that Brad Pitt has donated $100,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8 (the proposed California constitutional amendment that would write marriage discrimination into the state constitution after the state supreme court declared such discrimination unconstitutional).

From the L.A. Times article:
Brad Pitt announced Wednesday that he's donating $100,000 to fight California's Proposition 8, a November ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry.

"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8," the actor said in a statement. READ IT ALL HERE
The campaign for marriage equality has been interesting to follow. Just last week, the bishops of the Episcopal dioceses in California stood together to oppose Proposition 8 and in support of marriage equality. Though the bishops presented different opinions on how the church should be involved in same-sex marriage, they stood in unison declaring that civil discrimination must be opposed by the church.

Read the L.A. Times article about the bishops' event HERE

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why I attend the General Theological Seminary

Though I've finished the main part of my theological training at the Theological School at Drew University, I am currently working on a Diploma in Anglican Studies at the General Theological Seminary.

This little gem came across my seminary email account tonight. In the unlikely event that I should have no other reason to appreciate my time at General, this alone, would have made the experience worthwhile. I hope you, too, will enjoy the fruits of my training when you watch.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

More politics as usual from the "Good ol' Boys"

Well, my first day at General Seminary was exhausting. The before-7:00AM train into the city, first day of classes, and after-7:00PM train home was a lot...

I tried to watch some of the Republican Convention when I got home, but soon I was overcome and went to sleep. I had been sleeping for quite a while by the time Sarah Palin gave her speech last night.

Though of course I've had chances to hear a lot of the speech through soundbites on the news shows this morning.

Let's get something clear about Palin. She may be a woman and she may be brand new on the political scene, but she's clearly a "good ol' boy".

I am most offended by the attacks on Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer. How dare they try to portray his devotion to helping the poor and underrepresented as a weakness! John McCain and Sarah Palin want you to think they represent some kind of change, but the speech last night proves once again that it's the same old, fear-based, environment-hating (chanting "drill, baby, drill" during Rudy's speech??? really???), Rove-style politics that have so deeply injured this country over the last eight years.

"Country first"? Not with these tactics. This is all about the powerful trying to stay powerful at the expense of the weakest most vulnerable people in the country.

Anyway - the real point of this post was to pass this on to you. It's what I found in my email inbox this morning from David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager:

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let's clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America's promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it's happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

It's now clear that John McCain's campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks -- on Barack Obama and on you -- are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A guide to Louisiana pronunciation

My prayers this morning are centered on my homeland.

Louisiana braces once again for the landfall of a powerful hurricane - this time nearly three years to the day after the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

I've been in hurricanes. To be honest, they can be kind of fun. If you're in a place where it is safe to not evacuate, you hunker down with your family and friends. After the power goes out you cook all the food in the freezer to try to keep it from spoiling. You sit up all night watching battery powered televisions and listening to battery powered radios to get the most up-to-date information possible.

But it is decidedly more difficult to be sitting in New Jersey and watching it all unfold from afar.

It is difficult to be consumed with worry as you see those places that are so familiar, and think about the people that you love who inhabit them, and to not know what's happening.

Perhaps most difficult, however, is listening to news anchors in New York trying to pronounce Louisiana names. Here's a quick guide:
  • Houma = HOE-muh (not HOO-mah)
  • Thibodaux = tih-buh-DO
  • Plaquemines = PLACK-uh-mihn (not PLACK-mines)
  • Lafayette = LAF-ee-ette (not luh-FAY-ette, and not lah-FI-ette)
  • New Orleans = new OR-lihnz (not some fake "nawlinz" - only local New Orleans natives are allowed to say it that way, and even many of them don't - nor New OR-LEENS)
Those are the ones I've heard most often this morning. But in general, when in doubt, just pronounce whatever you see with a French accent. That will solve any number of pronunciation issues in Louisiana names.

And continue to pray for the people and places of Louisiana. They've had a rough go of it these past few years, and they need our support.

** UPDATE **  (2/5/2010)

So, I've notices that this is one of my "most viewed" posts.  Even when it's not hurricane season, people still seem to be perplexed about the proper pronunciation of Louisiana names - even the name of the state itself.  So here's the update, that I hope will be helpful to those who are finding this post via searches.

Louisiana is pronounced as follows - lou-EE-zee-AN-nuh

It is not "LOO-ZEE-AN-nuh".  When northerners say that to us, we tend to be offended and feel "talked down to".  Please be kind.  It's true, the education system in Louisiana is nowhere near the best.  But all the same, the people there aren't idiots.  Please try to have a bit of respect.

If you've found this page and don't find the word that you're searching for, please leave a comment.  I will respond quickly.  Thanks!