Showing posts from July 24, 2011

Prayer and silence (2)

“Let thy soul walk soft within thee, as a saint in heaven unshod. For to be alone in silence is to be alone with God”
I ended my blog entry yesterday with these words:
“If we listened (to God) how might we hear, and what would we hear?”

I offer a few suggestions.
(a)Some of the mystics and saints (of many religions) have heard a clear and audible voice. They believed it to be the voice of God. I do not discount the possibility of such a voice, but I must also be reminded that some megalomaniacs, or tragically mentally ill folks (and I do not place them in the same “box”) have claimed to have heard God’s voice.  
Should we hear such a voice, it will only be congruent with the will of God if it is congruent with the witness of scripture. Only those “voices” which instruct us to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8) may be trusted.
(b)After long silences in the presence of God, we may well hear God’s voice in our intuition. Godly intuition will always lead us int…

Prayer and silence

“Let thy soul walk soft within thee, as a saint in heaven unshod. For to be alone in silence is to be alone with God"

At some other time I told the Rector of a parish that I would not be attending a pot-luck supper because I didn't want a “certain person" to sit near to me.  I offered “no names, and no pack drills".
That Rector immediately offered a name.  He was “spot on".
It's not that I dislike the person.  But she has an annoying habit of breaking in to others' conversations without invitation;  and of trying to dominate the conversation with her “wisdom".
I can sometimes “put up with her" (for indeed I am sometimes like her!), but on that particular day I was bereft of patience and did not want her insistent company.
Maybe God is like that with our prayers.  Maybe God sometimes wants us to shut up; not to interrupt, and not to dominate the conversation.
Do you think that God would sometimes like to get a word in edgewise?  Do you suppose that God …

War is hell

No President, Senator, Representative, Prime Minister or Member of Parliament should vote for or authorize any military action or war unless:

he or she has served in combat, or has a son or daughter who is serving in combat.

That's what I think.

Please do a You Tube search for "The Fureys" rendition of "The Green Fields of France", and you'll understand.

(Maybe this link will work  -  - if you cut and paste it into your browser )

And I say to myself "What a wonderful world:

1.I had a long and good “Skype” conversation with my good pal Joe S.He got me up to speed with news of his partner Marliese, their very young son Raphael, and of his career. It was all good.
2.Nancy called to tell me of the death of her good mother Diane S.I have known Diane since about 1992, and was able to be present to her husband Don S. in his illness and death when they owned a restaurant in Chatham, N.Y. and Don was a patient at the (Pittsfield, MA) Berkshire Medical Centre.
In due course Diane S. moved down to Englewood, FL (some 30 miles from my home).I’ve been able to visit with her in recent years – and our visits made it clear that we were very fond of each other.I last saw her on 2th July 2011 and was able to pray with her in anticipation of her death.I will be honoured to preside at her memorial service on Sunday 31st July 2011.
3.My visit to Resurrection House (a day shelter for homeless people here in Sarasota) was as wonderful as ever.I was able to pray with three people …


I decided this morning to “do the right thing”: -  that is to see a Physician with regard to my hearing loss.
My Primary Care Physician is Dr. Kristen Paulus.She is “the tops”.But she is always so busy.
So I took myself to Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s “Urgent Care” facility on nearby University Boulevard.
I had suspected that my hearing loss was due to a build up of ear wax. My suspicions proved to be accurate.
The Physician at this urgent care clinic examined my ears.Then a good L.P.N. (Licensed Practical Nurse) went to work.She rinsed both ear canals with a mixture of warm water and hydrogen peroxide.
I was in and out of the clinic in the space of 50 minutes.I entered worrying about my hearing loss.I left much relieved, and able to hear better than at any time during the past two months.
My guess is that this ear wax problem had been building up over a matter of weeks, if not months.My hearing had been diminished “little by little”, so much so that I’d hardly noticed the diminishment unti…

Cabbage is good!

Cabbage is good!I braised some cabbage tonight for my dinner.Here is the recipe.
4 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 large “Granny Smith” apple, peeled, cored and diced Half a head of cabbage, chopped coarsely Quarter teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper Three tablespoons of cider vinegar ( I used red wine vinegar) One quarter cup apricot preserves
1.Sautee onions and apple in butter for about 8 minutes. 2.Add cabbage, pepper, vinegar and apricot preserves -blend well. 3.Simmer in a covered pan over low heat for about 90 minutes
How I cooked this tonight.

(Having sautéed the onion and apple in a skillet, I transferred them to a slow cooker, and then added the cabbage, pepper, red wine vinegar and apricot preserves.I also added some thinly sliced boneless pork chops.Then I allowed the whole mess to simmer away for about an hour and three quarters).
‘Twas delicious!And there are more than enough leftovers for tomorrow.

For Priests, Pastors, Preachers and Church people. A Sermon. Second entry for 24th July 2011

Sermon for 24th July 2011.  The Revd. J. Michael Povey, at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key FL. Romans 8:31-39
Music in Church is not an optional adornment, like the frosting on a cake. It is essential to who we are. The ministers of music have a vocation which is as important as that of the priests and pastors. Music introduces us to the beauty of God.  The words challenge and inform our faith.
When I was a young boy I would weep every time I heard that bit of music known as “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, from Handel’s oratorio “Solomon”.  I did not know then why I wept.  As I look back I think that I was been touched by a beauty which I did not understand, but which I recognised.
As I grew up, I fell in love with hymns.  This was sometimes because of the beautiful tunes, but often because of the texts.  The words of the hymns stretched my mind and my spiritual imagination.  
So I ask our organist:  “my brother Seth, please play us a hymn tune”.  (Seth Wertz, organist plays “Sine No…

Good thing? Bad thing? (First entry for 24th July 2011)

The Secret of Happiness  -   an old legend. Once upon a time, an old farmer lived in a valley with his son, a handsome and dutiful youth. They lived a peaceful life despite a lack of material possessions. They were very happy. So much so, that neighbours began to get envious and wanted to understand the secret of their happiness.

One day, the old man used all his savings to buy a young and beautiful stallion. The day after he bought it, the horse jumped the fence and escaped into the hills. The neighbours came to express their concern, "Oh, that's too bad. How are you going to work the fields now?" The farmer replied, "Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?"

In a few days, his stallion came back from the hills and brought eight fine mares with him. The neighbours again gathered around, "Oh, how lucky! Now you can do much more work than ever before!" they said. The farmer replied, "Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?"

The next day, the farmer's son f…