Dec 23, 2010

Here comes...

Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.  

Mark 13:35, 36

Merry Christmas!
to you and yours from

Michael (P.M.) and Linden (Lura) Summer

Dec 10, 2010

And yet another.

"We must be willing to accept the bitter truth that, in the end, we may have to become a burden to those who love us. But it is necessary that we face this also. The full acceptance of our abjection and uselessness is the virtue that can make us and others rich in the grace of God. It takes heroic charity and humility to let others sustain us when we are absolutely incapable of sustaining ourselves. 

We cannot suffer well unless we see Christ everywhere—both in suffering and in the charity of those who come to the aid of our affliction."

-- Thomas Merton (1915-1968), No Man is an Island, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955; reprint, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 93-94 (see the book)

Nov 30, 2010

Today's crib from CQOD

"For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it was well worthwhile."

--Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957)

Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 14

Nov 28, 2010

Stool samples.

Rise and shine.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Acts of the Apostles 1:8
New International Version (©1984)

On November 28, 1984, reality intruded upon my superstition.

Nov 27, 2010

Bouncing around.

"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."

"Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good."

"In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known -- no wonder, then, that I return the love."

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

-- Soren Kierkegaard

Nov 25, 2010

Continuous prayer.

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."

-- Meister Eckhart

Nov 18, 2010

The Gardener

"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves."

-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Nov 3, 2010

Wake of the flood.

"A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them."

-- P. J. O'Rourke

Oct 23, 2010


Historian T. R. Fehrenbach (IIRC) says the "rebel yell" originated with the first Texas Rangers, the loose conglomeration of lawmen who defended early Texas pioneers from the Apache and Comanche warriors, combining still remembered ancestral Celtic war cries with Native American war whoops. Terry's Texas Rangers (CSA 8th Texas Cavalry, whose core consisted of men from the Rangers) introduced the cry to the Confederate Army.

It's a yell earlier Texas Rangers used to great effect against earlier Yankees. The Rangers were also known as giant-killers, who wore out many a filly.


Oct 9, 2010

Buffalo Shuffle

My wife brought me a pack of Clark's Teaberry gum from The Cracker Barrel (the official place grandparents take their grandkids for a meal).

Oct 8, 2010

"Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the non-violent, the elegant and beautiful."

-- E.F. Schumacher

Oct 1, 2010

A revelation.

Quatuor pour la fin du temps, for violin, cello, clarinet & piano, I/22
Olivier Messiaen
(Richard Stoltzman, Ida Kavafian, Fred Sherry, Peter Serkin)

RCA Red Seal

Olivier Messiaen wrote this piece during World War II, while he was being held prisoner in a German concentration camp. It takes its inspiration from (among other things) the Revelation to Saint John.

The rather odd ensemble grouping is a result of the circumstance that the only musicians in the camp who were proficient enough to perform a work of his, were a violinist, a pianist, a cellist, and a clarinetist. Thus he found a quartet for the end of times.

Sep 25, 2010

Church, mission, and truth.

"The Church is her true self only when she exists for humanity. As a fresh start, she should give away all her endowments to the poor and needy. The clergy should live solely on the free-will offerings of their congregations, or possibly engage in some secular calling."

“The knowledge of good and evil appears to be the goal of all ethical reflection. The first task of Christian ethics is to supercede [aufzuheben – cancel, dissolve] that knowledge”

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Sep 18, 2010

Lost and found.

Old habits die hard. Once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you never forget. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Deja vu. Ask me about the darkness that pervades Marfa, Texas.

Sep 7, 2010


I feel like the man who was tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. To the man who asked how he liked it he said: 'If it wasn't for the honour of the thing, I'd rather walk.'

-- Abraham Lincoln

Be always sure you are right - then go ahead.

--Davy Crockett


Sep 3, 2010

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity."

-- Frank Leahy

Aug 12, 2010

Family, circa 1986.

Lake Texoma, 1986. Left to Right: Catherine, Anna, Linden, Michael (aka, PM), June and Ginger. Harry stayed back at The Cabin.

Aug 4, 2010

Other than just striking the surface...

Fred Frith & Evelyn Glennie

What she said.

"We have to repent of our blindness, our lukewarmness, and our disobedience, and turn back to the central truth of Christ as Lord and Saviour; an ethical system will not save us here, nor a timid sentimentalism, nor an excited emotional return, nor a dilettante mysticism.

We have to find that deep contrition which is the condition of His abiding.

Repentance is not a mere feeling of sorrow or contrition for an act of wrongdoing. The regret I feel when I act impatiently or speak crossly is not repentance... Repentance is contrition for what we are in our fundamental beings, that we are wrong in our deepest roots because our internal government is by Self and not by God.

And it is an activity of the whole person. Unless I will to be different, the mind will not follow.

True repentance brings an urge to be different, because of the sense of the incessant movement of what I am, forming, forming, forming what I shall be in the years to come."

-- Florence Allshorn (1887-1950)


Aug 3, 2010

Confusing Jesus, Christ, and Roman Catholicism... with vampires.

Author Anne Rice 'quits' Christianity

"Interview with a Vampire" author Anne Rice has turned her back on Christianity after becoming troubled by recent controversies surrounding the church.

The writer, whose gothic novel inspired the hit Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise movie of the same name, has been a follower of the faith for years and released her memoir, "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession," in 2008.

But on Wednesday, Rice stunned fans on her Facebook page when she posted a note, which read: "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.

"In the name of... Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

Rice admits she has harbored doubts about her religion for the past two to three years following the revelations of certain scandals involving the church, particularly allegations of child abuse, and she felt compelled to make a personal stand by declaring she was no longer a Christian.

She tells the Associated Press, "I believed for a long time that the differences, the quarrels among Christians didn't matter a lot for the individual, that you live your life and stay out of it. But then I began to realize that it wasn't an easy thing to do.

"I came to the conclusion that if I didn't make this declaration, I was going to lose my mind."

Really, the issue is her confusing Roman Catholicism (or any denomination) with being a follower of Jesus the Christ. However, her mixing up vampires and the Vatican makes perfect sense.

Jul 22, 2010

Colored perceptions.

Farbenkreis zur Symbolisierung des Menschlichen Geistes und Eelenlebens
: 1809, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Jul 11, 2010

Whores and sinners and saints.

Threepenny Opera, University of Nevada, Reno

"Doesn’t surprise me that Christ our Lord preferred to live with whores & sinners, seeing I go in for that myself."

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Venetian Epigrams, as translated by Jerome Rothenberg

Jul 5, 2010

Happy Dependence Day!

Lutherans singing praise songs at a contemporary worship service.

"We might well pray for God to invade and conquer us, for until He does, we remain in peril from a thousand foes. We bear within us the seeds of our own disintegration... The strength of our flesh is an ever present danger to our souls. Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees... So He conquers us and by that benign conquest saves us for Himself."

--A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Divine Conquest

Hat tip.

Jun 20, 2010

Thanks, Dad.

Thank you for removing my training wheels, and untying Mother's apron strings.

Jun 18, 2010

The yardstick.

Three Standard Stoppages, Marcel Duchamp

"The great heresies in the early Church arose not from the rapid expansion result of these unknown [and untrained] teachers; but in those churches which were longest established, and where the Christians were not so busily engaged in converting the heathen around them. The Church of that day was apparently quite fearless of any dangers that the influx of large numbers of what we should call illiterate converts might lower the standard of church doctrine. She held the tradition handed down by the apostles, and expected the new converts to grow up into it, to maintain it and to propagate it. And so in fact they did. The danger to doctrine lay not in these illiterate converts on the outskirts; but at home, in places like Ephesus and Alexandria, amongst the more highly educated and philosophically minded Christians. It was against them that she had to maintain the doctrine."

... Roland Allen (1869-1947), "The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It", London: World Dominion Press, 1949, reprint, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, p. 64

Jun 16, 2010

Close-Up of Galaxy NGC 4826 in Infrared

"Whatever be our conception of the universe we must, it is obvious, start somehow; we must begin with something; and the something with which we begin, from the very fact that we do begin with it, must itself be without explanation, since, if something else were invoked to explain it, then the 'something else' must needs be logically prior to that which it is invoked to explain. Thus the 'something' being explained by a logically prior 'something else' could not have been ultimate."

-- C. E. M. Joad

Jun 9, 2010

Flung at random.

Hubble, NASA

"The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness."

-- Andre Malraux
French author & resistance leader (1901 - 1976)


Ludwig van Beethoven
Wiener Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado, cond.

Deutsche Grammophon

A beautiful recording, and perhaps the most stunningly beautiful LP jacket I have. Gold foil and Gustav Klimt.

May 30, 2010

Alright, Jack.

"That is why I often find myself at such cross-purposes with the modern world: I have been a converted Pagan living among apostate Puritans."

-- Clive Staples (Jack) Lewis

May 24, 2010

Too bad BP didn't read The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

- Douglas Adams

May 19, 2010

My Cousin Harry.

"I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."

-- Harry S Truman

Fair warning.

Complete with dangling preposition.

May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer. The Christian Right and the Secular Left are going at it, tooth and nail.

But what does The Authority have to say about such things?

Matthew 6:1-15 (New International Version)

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

'Nuff said.

May 2, 2010

Apr 29, 2010

Of reivers and religion.

"The opening chords are from the last movement of Vaughan Williams' Sixth Symphony. It goes from there to a Skip James motif. Following that it moves to a Gregorian chant, Dies Irae. It's the most scary one in the Episcopal hymn books, it's all about the day of judgment. Then it returns to the Vaughan Williams chords, followed by a blues run of undetermined origin, then back to Skip James and so forth."

-- John Fahey, describing his piece, "Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania/Alabama Border"

Apr 23, 2010

St. Augustine Blue Grass

I want to do right, but not right now.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

-- Tom Stoppard

Apr 21, 2010

An artist remembered

R.I.P. Sandy Denny (6 January 1947 – 21 April 1978)

"frightful to behold"

At 4:30 p.m. on April 21, scout Deaf Smith (pronounced "Deef Smith") announced the burning of Vince's Bridge, which cut off the only avenue of retreat for both armies without having to cross water more than 10 feet (3.0 m) deep. The main Texan battle line moved forward with their approach screened by the trees and rising ground. Emerging from the woods, the order was given to "advance" and a fifer began playing the popular tune "Will you come to the bower I have shaded for you?" General Houston personally led the infantry, posting the 2nd Volunteer Regiment of Colonel Sidney Sherman on his far left, with Colonel Edward Burleson's 1st Volunteer Regiment next in line. In the center, two small brass (or iron) smoothbore artillery pieces (donated by citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio) known as the "Twin Sisters," were wheeled forward under the command of Major George W. Hockley. They were supported by four companies of infantry under Captain Henry Wax Karnes. Colonel Henry Millard's regiment of Texas regulars made up the right wing. To the extreme far right, 61 Texas cavalrymen under newly promoted Colonel Mirabeau B. Lamar planned to circle into the Mexicans' left flank. Lamar had, the day before, been a private in the cavalry but his daring and resourcefulness in a brief skirmish with the Mexicans on April 20 had led to his immediate promotion to colonel.

The Texan army moved quickly and silently across the high-grass plain, and then, when they were only a few dozen yards away, charged Santa Anna's camp shouting "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!," only stopping a few yards from the Mexicans to open fire. The Texans achieved complete surprise. It was a bold attack in broad daylight but its success can be attributed in good part to Santa Anna's failure to post guards during the army's siesta. Santa Anna's army primarily consisted of professional soldiers, but they were trained to fight in ranks, exchanging volleys with their opponents. The Mexicans were ill-prepared and unarmed at the time of the sudden attack. Most were asleep with their soldaderas (i.e., wives and female soldiers), some were out gathering wood, and the cavalrymen were riding bareback fetching water. General Manuel Fernández Castrillón desperately tried to mount an organized resistance, but was soon shot down and killed. His panicked troops fled, and Santa Anna's defensive line quickly collapsed.

Hundreds of the demoralized and confused Mexican soldiers were routed, with many being driven into the marshes along the river to drown. The Texans chased after the fleeing enemy, shouting "take prisoners like the Meskins do!", in reference to the burning of bodies after the Alamo and the mass murder of Texans at Goliad. Some of the Mexican cavalry plunged into the flooded stream by Vince's bridge but they were shot as they struggled in the water. Houston tried to restrain his men but was ignored. Gen. Juan Almonte, commanding what was left of the organized Mexican resistance, soon formally surrendered his 400 remaining men to Rusk. The rest of Santa Anna's once-proud army had disintegrated into chaos. From the moment of the first charge the battle was a slaughter, "frightful to behold", with most of the Texan casualties coming in the first minutes of battle from the first Mexican volley.

During the short but furious fighting, Houston was shot in the left ankle, two of his horses were shot from under him, and Santa Anna escaped. The combat itself lasted 18 minutes but the slaughter of the Mexicans continued for "another hour or so". The Texan army had won a stunning victory, killing about 700 Mexican soldiers, wounding 208, and taking 730 prisoners while suffering 9 killed and 30 wounded.

-- Wikipedia

Morning dirt.

Apr 20, 2010

Anti-hipster scooter

"In 1947, the US 75 mm (recoilless rifle) was acquired as war surplus by the French military and mounted on a Vespa scooter. It was used by French paratroops as a mobile anti-tank and anti-fortification platform and saw service in Algeria and Indochina."

Apr 16, 2010

Gott hilffe mir.

On April 16, 1521, German reformer Martin Luther, 34, arrived at the Diet of Worms, where he afterward defended his theological position behind the “Ninety-Five Theses” (first advanced in 1517). It was at this assembly where Luther concluded his defense with the historic words: “Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders tun. Gott hilffe mir. Amen.” (“Here I stand! I can do nothing else. God help me! Amen.”)
--quoting Bill Blake

He was condemned as a heretic and ex-communicated.

Apr 15, 2010

2 o'clock A.M.

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'"

-- Charles M. Schulz

Apr 2, 2010


Psalm 51 (The Message)

Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I've been;
my sins are staring me down.

You're the One I've violated, and you've seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I've been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise.

Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.

Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls.
Then you'll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar!

Apr 1, 2010


Psalm 51 (Luther Bibel 1545)

(Ein Psalm Davids, vorzusingen; da der Prophet Nathan zu ihm kam, als er war zu Bath-Seba eingegangen.)

Gott, sei mir gnädig nach deiner Güte und tilge meine Sünden nach deiner großen Barmherzigkeit.

Wasche mich wohl von meiner Missetat und reinige mich von meiner Sünde.

Denn ich erkenne meine Missetat, und meine Sünde ist immer vor mir.

An dir allein habe ich gesündigt und übel vor dir getan, auf daß du recht behaltest in deinen Worten und rein bleibest, wenn du gerichtet wirst.

Siehe, ich bin in sündlichem Wesen geboren, und meine Mutter hat mich in Sünden empfangen.

Siehe, du hast Lust zur Wahrheit, die im Verborgenen liegt; du lässest mich wissen die heimliche Weisheit.

Entsündige mich mit Isop, daß ich rein werde; wasche mich, daß ich schneeweiß werde.

Laß mich hören Freude und Wonne, daß die Gebeine fröhlich werden, die du zerschlagen hast.

Verbirg dein Antlitz von meinen Sünden und tilge alle meine Missetaten.

Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz und gib mir einen neuen, gewissen Geist.

1Verwirf mich nicht von deinem Angesicht und nimm deinen heiligen Geist nicht von mir.

Tröste mich wieder mit deiner Hilfe, und mit einem freudigen Geist rüste mich aus.

Ich will die Übertreter deine Wege lehren, daß sich die Sünder zu dir bekehren.

Errette mich von den Blutschulden, Gott, der du mein Gott und Heiland bist, daß meine Zunge deine Gerechtigkeit rühme.

Herr, tue meine Lippen auf, daß mein Mund deinen Ruhm verkündige.

Denn du hast nicht Lust zum Opfer, ich wollte dir's sonst wohl geben, und Brandopfer gefallen dir nicht.

Die Opfer, die Gott gefallen, sind ein geängsteter Geist; ein geängstet und zerschlagen Herz wirst du, Gott, nicht verachten.

Tue wohl an Zion nach deiner Gnade; baue die Mauern zu Jerusalem.

Dann werden dir gefallen die Opfer der Gerechtigkeit, die Brandopfer und ganzen Opfer; dann wird man Farren auf deinem Altar opfern.

Mar 31, 2010


Psalm 51 (New International Version)

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.

Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Mar 30, 2010

Truth from a surprising source (or not so surprising).

"For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing."

-- H. L. Mencken


Psalm 51 (English Standard Version)

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Mar 29, 2010


Psalm 51 (King James Version)

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Mar 23, 2010

The Walking Ghost Phase

A chilling (and new to me) term, although I have long understood it.

Mar 5, 2010

Acton speaks louder than words.

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

* “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

* "Great men are almost always bad men."

* “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.”

* “There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

* “There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye.”

* “The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”

* “Be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favourites.”

* "The science of politics is the one science that is deposited by the streams of history, like the grains of gold in the sand of a river; and the knowledge of the past, the record of truths revealed by experience, is eminently practical, as an instrument of action and a power that goes to making the future."

* “[History is] not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.”

* “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

* "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."

* "The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern."

* "Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought."

* "There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men."

* "Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin."

* "Socialism means slavery."

* "At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has been sometimes disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition."