Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm getting too good at typing with one hand ... as I still can't move my left arm.

I couldn't rouse the boys this morning for church so I found an evening service in Howell. It was a teen service, so-called, before their youth group meeting. Tim, as usual, led us to the first pew. I'm always afraid, at an unfamiliar church, of taking someone else's seat.

A young man played guitar and by the end of the service, Kenny was tapping his hands on the pew rail in front of us. Like he was playing the drums, he later told me. Sitting so close, it was hard to not "people watch," especially as I had done it all before earlier in the day. There's at least one altar server on his way to holy orders, tucking his worn black missal under a side chair.

Despite the guitar and praise music on overhead projector, it wasn't a low mass by any means. The priest, an Indian, was terribly reverent, even purifying the vessels afterwards which, even though it's the rule now, we don't see at our church.

After the entrance hymn, "Here I Am, Lord," we sang Chris Tomlin's "How Great Is Our God" for the offertory, most of which I missed because I had to take Tim to the restroom. But I do actually know that song, so I was singing it in the vestibule.1 The communion hymn was "Hungry (Falling On My Knees)" which I struggled with because it epitomizes the real absence of evangelical communion. It didn't fit.

The recessional hymn was "Here I Am to Worship" which sounds like a gathering hymn. IOW, like the communion hymn, it sounded out of place.

I'm wondering whether Kenny will request that we attend that late, teen service again.

1 The church, like so many, is undergoing a renovation but I think I was in the vestibule.

cf. Teens embrace the present at youth conference - The Monitor, 3/16/09.

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The rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, can be found written in the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

His prayer and how his supplication was heard, all his sins and his infidelity, the sites where he built high places and erected sacred poles and carved images before he humbled himself, all can be found written down in the history of his seers.
1 -- 2 Chronicles 33:18-19 (NAB)
"For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more." -- Hebrews 8:12 (NAB), quoting Jeremiah 31:34.
We finished last week with Manasseh's conversion, if you will, as captured in 2 Chronicles. And it struck me as odd that his sins, which God has promised to forget, were recorded, set down in writing, in a work that, as it happens, has been lost to history.

But the biblical account of his sins endures. Are the sins really forgotten?

Whose sins can we recount? David's, certainly. Those of Peter and Paul, yes. Those of the church at Corinth? Yes. And the church at Laodicea? Sure.

To paraphrase 2 Peter 3:4, where is the promise of His forgetting?

For another study, I read from the NJBC on Hebrews 7, on Melchizedek [p. 932]:
"According to a principle of rabbinic exegesis, what is not mentioned in the Torah does not exist."2
Which may be the principle at work in Mary's sinless reputation, among other things.

Myself, I am beginning to see how Marcion may have come up with his canon.

1 see Hozai

2 [H. Strack and] P. Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (6 vols.; Munich, 1922-61), 3. 693-95.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My left arm isn't working today, so please bear with me ...

I just took this temperament quiz, via the Catholic at BHT, although I already guessed the result.

Four Temperaments (Wiki).
I read this yesterday ...
Just this past Feb. 28 a car crashed onto our driveway causing significant damage. The car hit the heavy stone driveway entry pillar so hard it was thrown 15 feet.
And then happened to drive past the property this afternoon, after mailing michele a prayer book (at the post office), on my way to the boys' school.

Yup. Dark skid marks lead across the road and end in a heap of white picket fence and huge stone pillar. I can't imagine anyone doing that on purpose. The other stuff sounds personal.

Now, it isn't far to the churchyard, a municipal building and a basketball court. Kids hang out at the ball court. Would they hang out in the cemetery (like I did as a kid)? I don't know. They might joyride on the road as it is the most curvy in town. But the state police also hang out in the church lot and park at the municipal building.

I remember when the security fence was installed. Actually, I remember when the home was being built. It seemed like an awkward place for a home. And the workmen never cared about taking up a travel lane with their vehicles during the job. Coming around the corner at 40 m.p.h. could mean stepping hard on the brakes before a worker or his truck.

I wouldn't expect this letter to the editor to improve things any.

Millstone has the potential to be a premier New Jersey community - Examiner, 3/12/09, Letter to the Editor.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

How does two Spring Breaks sound? I would have thought they had already optimized busing ...

Schedule changes may help budgeting - Examiner, 03/05/09:
The district could reduce its energy costs by closing all schools and offices for one week in February.

The main offices in all three schools could also close one day each week in the summer of 2009 to reduce energy costs.

The telecommunication cost reductions would come as a result of the district going to Voiceover1 Internet Protocol for a full year

The administration originally proposed reducing transportation costs by outsourcing the middle school bus runs.

The second transportation plan proposes using district buses for all high school, middle school, elementary school and primary school runs. This plan would require changing the elementary school start and finish times to 8:55 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. Primary school start and finish times would be 9:05 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Last week at a reading of Hop On Pop by my son's 1st grade class (no, I'm not impressed by that!), the parents who live in the next-town-over were discussing which elementary school their children would be at based on neighborhood ... and what times their kids might be getting on the bus.

There were the customary complains about later pickup-times clashing with parents getting to work. But, even if the schedule works out one year, there's nothing to say the schedule won't change the next year, as Millstone has repeatedly shown.

1 "Voice-over" or "Voice over"?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Forgive the snark, but Limbaugh just said,
"Conservatives like People,"
and Obama's "People." Where's the conflict?

Catholic conundrum: Conservatives like Obama - Commonweal, 3/2/09.
This needs no explanation ... but I'll attempt one anyway.

Where to begin?

Surprised that he still enjoys wearing last, last year's Halloween costume? Or astonished how thin his legs are?

Yes and yes. But I really like how he struck the pose. Of course, they've watched Toy Story in the car non-stop for the past month ... because they believe we lost Wall•E on the way back from Florida.
We should have gone to the Carnival last week ...

Circus coming to Millstone Township - Examiner, 2/26/09:
"We're just coming off the successful Arts- Power's production of 'From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,' which was theater for children," Schulze said. "In February, we hosted Mr. Ray. And, we made our splash at the beginning of the season with 'One Night on Broadway.'"

The MPAC is an 1,200-seat professional performing arts venue built as part of the new Millstone Township Middle School that opened in September 2007. The facility offers state-of-the art lighting, stage and sound equipment and has its own entrance, lobby and dressing room facilities. Superintendent of Schools Mary Anne Donahue oversees the center's activities, which Schulze, the director of Community Education, coordinates.

Schulze said the center has been fairing well thus far.

Besides scheduling its own events, like Circo Comedia, to generate revenue for the upkeep and maintenance of MPAC and its programs, the school district also rents the facility to local organizations.

Students also use the facility. The middle school will present its spring play "Aladdin" at 7:30 p.m. March 13 and 14. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 13 and under.
When MPAC charges students admission to their own school plays, the organization and facility are in dire financial straits.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Seven arrested, charged with local burglaries - Examiner, 2/26/09:
the suspects admitted to burglarizing over 25 residences in Millstone, Upper Freehold, Jackson, Howell and surrounding jurisdictions.

the items stolen and damaged in the incidents totaled over $2,000.

the suspects admitted to parking their vehicles at the Clarksburg post office and walking through the surrounding area.

a residential burglary occurred on Stagecoach Road in Millstone on Feb. 3.

the state police are increasing local surveillance, using tactical patrol cars and working in plainclothes.
cf. Millstone votes down fire budget - Examiner, 2/26/09
"Why the rosary is the perfect prayer" - Antoinette Bosco, The Bottom Line, Catholic News Service:
The day my neighbor brought me the discarded rosary I learned that noted Catholic author Mitch Finley had written a book called "The Rosary Handbook: A guide for Newcomers, Old-Timers and Those in Between" (The Word Among Us Press, 2006). I keep telling others about this upbeat and easy-to-understand book.

Finley, the recipient of six Catholic Press Association awards and an excellence in writing award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, sheds light on a question I am asked occasionally: Why do Catholics refer to the "mysteries" of the rosary? He says the term "mystery" is "correctly defined as 'a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand.'"

Finley also points out that the rosary focuses on what theologians call the "Christ event." Central to this is Jesus' mother, Mary. Rather astonishingly, Finley convincingly affirms that the rosary is a feminist prayer.

"The rosary steeps a man's heart and soul in the feminine dignity and presence of the woman Mary," he explains. "Thus, men who pray the rosary with understanding grow to respect and honor all women more."

I was most moved by Finley's thoughts on the sorrowful mysteries that help us see in the passion of Christ "the extent to which Jesus went in order to fully embrace the experience of being human. ... He had to abandon himself to his unavoidable fate and trust that God's love was trustworthy. And that's exactly what we must do as well."

In the final chapter of this beautiful book, Finley speaks of the luminous mysteries, added by Pope John Paul II in 2002, to emphasize that Jesus is the light of the world. Finley singles out Jesus' baptism, his self-manifestation at the wedding at Cana, his proclaiming that the kingdom of God had come, his transfiguration and institution of the Eucharist.

"The addition of these 'new' rosary mysteries brings a more complete balance to the rosary and a more complete awareness of the public ministry of Jesus to those who pray the rosary," Finley says.

As for me, I believe if you read this book you'll think of the rosary in a new way. Once again it will be a key opening a doorway into the presence of God.
cf. Garry Wills's book, The Rosary

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