Saturday, 19 March 2016

Here begins Compulsive Obsessive Disorder Week for the "Holy Clergy".

Of course it is more properly called "Holy Week".

But as I look back on my years in parish ministry (thank God for them) I know that for me it often became fuss-pot week, or compulsive obsessive disorder week.

I got so caught up in the minutiae of planning, and the desire to enable "perfect liturgies" that I most likely became a pain in the soul for parish office staff, musicians, singers, lay ministers etc.

I also know that I often took up an unnecessary "non-negotiable" stance, so that it would all be done "my way".

Now, from the pew-side of the congregation I wonder why a made such a fuss.  It all seems to be so much less important than I once thought it to me.

It's not that I am in favour of sloppiness or poor planning.

But I make two observations.

1.  Let's not have Liturgy for the sake of Liturgy.  Our Holy Week observances are for the sake of God,  for the sake of God's people, and as a witness to the deep grace of God.

2.  Let's remember that the purpose of Holy Week is to move Christians into becoming a Holy People.


Friday, 18 March 2016

26,229 days PLUS ONE! (and an interesting website)





Gratuitous photo' to get your attention! 
My reformed diet is not because I am a virtuous person.  It's because I truly need to take care of my health.

Those who have known me for a while know that I have a less than sensible relationship with my weight and BMI.

I balloon up to about 189 lbs,  suffer the consequences of hypertension, and then "get smart" again until I am down to about 166 lbs.

Then I get lazy and careless, and the upward spiral starts all over again. 'T'aint good.

In common with many other retirees I sometimes eat simply to "fill the time". When that eating includes large amount of cheese (my particular weakness), and salty snacks -  well then it's just a matter of months before I am back where I started.

(I truly understand why many people with diabetes find it very difficult to stay on diet. Nagging them does not help).

Coffee is another one of my weaknesses. It's not been unusual for me to drink five 8 oz mugs of caffienated coffee a day.  That of course adds to hypertension, and to dehydration.

I am trying to content myself with two mugs of "half-caff" in the morning.  I am drinking lots of water.

There are immediate benefits.  I am sleeping much better, and I now hardly ever get those leg cramps which make walking a chore.

Fortunately I like whole grain breads, other grains in cooked meals, and good vegetables. Lunch today was very good:  Quinoa, lentils, black beans, and "Morning Star" brand "Grillers Crumbles" (the latter being a great substitute for beef in soups or casseroles),

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And then there is CHOCOLATE.

I grew up in the U.K.  with the myths that "Cadbury's" Chocolate was the best in the world, and that the British Empire was the most gracious and benevolent force for good -  the finest Empire there had ever been!

About chocolate -  once I discovered Belgian and Swiss chocolate I came to realize that Cadbury's is a rather inferior product (that's a hard realization for  a Bristol U.K. boy, Bristol being the home of  Fry's Chocolate - part of the Cadbury group).



As for the Empire?  Take a look at Irish, Indian or Kenyan history to get the other, and grim  side of the story.

For example see this:   http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-the-forgotten-white-slaves-says-expert-john-martin-188645531-237793261.html

(Having "dissed" Cadburys and the Empire  I risk being refused entry into the U.K.!)

Now I have learned that a daily  2 oz portion  of dark  (77% cacao) chocolate is useful in combating hypertension. I have never cared for dark chocolate, but I am learning to like it.  Fortunately "Trader Joe's" sells a relatively inexpensive Belgian made  77% cacao chocolate  - a full 1lb bar lasts for eight days.

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BUT OF COURSE you must be bored with the details of my diet.  So am I!

But it's my diversion from the ghastly, deadly,  and dreary worlds of Senator Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, David Cameron and George Osborne.

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PLEASE RELIEVE YOUR BOREDOM by looking at this site, and thereby discovering how many days, or hours, or  seconds have elapsed since your birth

http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html

Thursday, 17 March 2016

26,229 days

(1) I read "somewhere" in recent days that it is a good thing to start one's day with a glass of warm or hot water suffused with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

I have no idea why this is recommended.

But of course I do  this.

It's all part of my "reformed diet" which I adopted after a recent and miserable intestinal tract infection, and then an unrelated spike in my blood pressure to high and dangerous levels.

My good and faithful Physician recommended the use of foods and beverages with probiotic qualities  even as I took the anti-biotic medicines to deal with the infection.

Thus I have been drinking Bigelow's Lemon and Ginger Tea (with probiotics) and using Kefir brand "Low Fat Cultured Milk" (with probiotics) with my morning Cereal.




BUT  an article in the week's Sarasota Herald-Tribune Health Supplement asserted that probiotics have no useful effect.   Deary, deary me!

NOT TO WORRY  Dr.Kristen Paulus.  I'll hang in with those probiotics, confident in my belief that in five or so years another study will reveal that probiotics are efficacious in curing male pattern baldness, ingrowing  toe nails; and nasal hairs.

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NOT ALL IS LOST

1. I have been drinking far more caffeinated coffee than is good for my health  (four to five mugs a day anyone?).  

I have been reformed into drinking only one cuppa "real coffee" each day.  Herb teas (with or without probiotics) fill the gap.

2. The health benefits of Kefir Low Fat Cultured Milk may or may not be clear.  But I like its flavour, especially when I use it on my "Back To Nature"  Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola for breakfast (with added Blueberries)


3,  Good Lord above (!) with this diet I had hoped to feel about thirty-five years old.

NOT SO,  Diet notwithstanding I am 26,229 days old today.

4.  Too bad that there is not an emoticon for "Tongue in Cheek" or for "Povey silliness".


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

I voted today



In the Florida Primary Election.


(Note to readers outside the USA.  The Primary or Caucus system is confusing even to well informed USA voters! )  Save to say that in FLORIDA we vote according to whether we are registered as Republican or Democratic Party voters.  We vote in the primary of the party of our preference. Voters who are registered as "Independents"  do not get to vote in the Florida Primaries.

I do not know whether or not there are also Florida  Primary elections for those who are registered to vote as members of minority partys such as the "Greens" or the  "Constitution Party".

SOME STATES have "Open Primaries" in which voters can vote for the candidate of their preference, regardless of party affiliation.

Nonetheless I voted today.  I went to my local Polling Station and made my choice via an optical reader voting machine.

MANY OF MY FRIENDS vote in advance of election days by using a Postal Ballot, or by visiting an "Early Voting" venue.

Of course this makes sense for those who because of age, incapacity, or "out of town" business commitments are unable to visit the Polling Station  on election days,

BUT FOR NOW  I choose to vote in person at my local  polling station. There I am more than likely to encounter my neighbours, and to greet them warmly because we are participating in local democracy whatever our party affiliation. (It happened to me this morning).

It's a sweet face to face encounter with neighbours,  Republican or  Democratic,  as we do our wee bit to participate in representative democracy,



Monday, 14 March 2016

Nice article about St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20160312/NEWS/160319877/2066/NEWS?Title=St-Boniface-sends-meals-to-the-world