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Archive for November, 2011

Because of how much the families sacrifice and wait and wonder and go sleepless while the warriors are away–and because of how much so many suffer from absent ones who’ve been killed or loved ones who’ve been maimed or who’ve come home emotionally and mentally hurt or drained, it’s important to remember all of those involved in service and sacrifice given and service being given still.

Let’s be ever mindful that we can show support with care packages or cards and letters to the troops, or donations to support groups or scholarships, or maybe even a phone call or visit to a veteran or the loved one of a vet who may be hurting or worried today–or any day.

We can all do something, as well as remember the vets and fly a flag and attend an observance of some kind.

And we can always pray.

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Happy Birthday Marines!

fORMER MARINE PAUL ADAM MCKAY, SOMEWHERE IN IRAQ: SEMPER FINE, OL' SON

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Today’s love forecast calls for about a 20 percent chance of our showering the people we love with love, much less showering love on those we don’t even know well enough to love, in the sense of loving thy neighbor.

The love forecast is always so utterly predictable that way.

And isn’t that a pity.

DEREK WALCOTT, NOBEL PRIZE WINNING POET

Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.”

— Derek Walcott

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WOW, THAT WAS DIFFERENT, HUH????

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“So he set off and went to see his father.

“But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

“Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. . . .

“He was lost and is found!”

— From the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15

HIS GREATNESS REMBRANDT'S RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON (SEE LUKE 15:11 FOR THE STORY: ONE OF THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD)

The theology that can be mined from the parable of the Prodigal Son is just endless–it’s a story that says so much about God and humanity that you can read it a kazillion times, and discuss it as many times with a group in a Bible study, and everyone in the discussion will come up with a hunnerd ways that the story speaks to him or her personally.

Do you relate to the God-like father, or with the son who wandered off and squandered his inheritance until he came to his senses in a pig pen, or with the angry and understandably resentful brother who remained faithful to the father and to the work and security in their father’s fruitful little kingdom while the wild child was lost in the far country?

A friend of mine describes the parable as “a little Bible within the Bible.” And, indeed–it’s that chock-full of meaning(s) and theological themes: love and grace, of course, but also transformation, reconciliation, peace, justice and injustice, fairness and unfairness, family dysfunction and struggles–name a biblical theme or topic.

You don’t want to read it once, though, or rush through a reading, and arrive at your conclusions about it any too soon–especially in terms of which of the family members you relate to, or the assumptions you make about what the story tells us about God’s unconditional grace and love. If you approach it from different angles–say, from the angle of a time when maybe you were the progigal son or the bitter brother –the story might open your eyes to your entire life’s journey, to thinking more in depth about where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to be when your hands are as roughhewn but ripe as the hands of the father in the story.

Here’s a blurb from a great little book, “The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming,” by one of the great spiritual writers of the 20th century, Father Henri Nouwen. . . .

“Looking at the people I live with, the handicapped men and women as well as their assistants, I see the immense desire for a father in whom fatherhood and motherhood are one.

“They have all suffered from the experience of rejection or abandonment; they have all been wounded as they grew up; they all wonder whether they are worthy of the unconditional love of God, and they all search for the place where they can safely return and be touched by the hands that bless them.

“Rembrandt portrays the father as the man who has transcended the ways of his children. His own loneliness and anger may have been there, but they have been transformed by suffering and tears.

“His loneliness has become endless solitude, his anger boundless gratitude.

This is who I have become. I see it as clearly as I see the immense beauty of the father’s emptiness and compassion. Can I let the younger and the elder son grow in me to the maturity of the compassionate father?

“When, four years ago, I went to Saint Petersburg to see Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” I had little idea how much I would have to live what I then saw. I stand with awe at the place where Rembrandt brought me. He led from from the kneeling, disheveled young son to the standing, bent-over father, from the place of being blessed to the place of blessing.

“As I look at my own aging hands, I know that they have been given to me to stretch out toward all who suffer, to rest upon the shoulders of all who come, and to offer the blessing that emerges from the immensity of God’s love.”

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AND THEY ATTACK OBAMA AS AN OUT OF CONTROL SOCIALIST SPENDER? WHY CAN'T THEY JUST BE HONEST ABOUT THE PROJECTS BACK HOME?

Yes, you can’t buy me love, unless you’re a federal lawmaker looking to send home Big Government Money to fund YOUR Big Government projects while blasting the President and assassinating his character at every turn by smearing him as socialist or Marxist or worse. (As if it can get much worse in this country than being labeled a radical Marxist.)

Click here for the story from Newsweek on “The Tea Party’s Pork Binge.”

Read it and weep, Tea Party purists.

These guys always, always always do this; it’s just astounding how they rap the Democrats for spending us to death while secretly stepping up to the pig trough to get our federal tax dollars for THEIR pet projects back home.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t assassinating the character of the President of the United States at every turn, characterizing him 24-7 as a radical Marxist Big Government spender.

He does spend big.

So do they.

And we’re all tired of it, but want something done about it, most of us, who understand that politics is the Art of Compromise and Sacrifice. Politics is not just “No more spending.” No more Taxes. It’s about how you spend tax money and spend it wisely and effectively for the greater good of all Americans. And yes, it is for sure about controlling government spending–no argument here with that. But again–it takes compromise and takes leaders acting like adults sitting down together in meaningful negotiations.

The bizarre leadership we have now, and the weirdness that is the GOP group of juvenile candidates–is enough to make your head spin like Rick Perry’s after too many cocktails on a Saturday night.

And if he wasn’t tooted, his juvenile behavior is even more disturbing.

God help us–things are so desperate—we’re giving you ABBA for your regular Tuesday afternoon music therapy!!!!!

Which ain’t such a bad thing at that!!!!!!!

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