February 18, 2003 On the Home Front

My Mom told me about this happening at the school I graduated from and now I see it is on the national news wire-

School System Chief Bans Pastoral Visits over Lunch Jim Brown, Agape Press

Christian pastors in Kentucky are protesting a local school administrator's decision to dump a longstanding policy that allowed local ministers to visit students during school hours. Bullitt County Schools superintendent Michael Eberbaugh recently told Ronald Shaver and other pastors they could not meet with students during their lunch break, as they have for the last 17 years. Even though Eberbaugh admits he has seen no worshipping or evangelizing on campus and has received no complaints about the mentoring visits, the schools' chief has put a stop to those visits. Pastor Shaver believes this is a case of blatant discrimination against Christians. He feels schools that are supported by public funds should not be able to deny any student the right and privilege of spending non-instructional free time with a minister-mentor if that is how some students choose to spend their lunch breaks. "They can go to the gym and play basketball, but they can't have lunch with one of their ministers," Shaver says, "and we find that to be appalling and irrational." The pastor insists the arrangement was designed not to proselytize, but to help students. The Bullitt County School Board is scheduled to decide at its Tuesday night meeting whether to maintain the ban. If the board fails to reinstate its prior policy, Shaver says he will file a lawsuit the following day.

February 17, 2004 Mysteries of the Unexplained

Here's my shot at documenting what I'd call the miraculous.

My Mother in Law's phone was reported out on Monday of last week. She could not call out and no one could call in. On last Tuesday about 2:20 PM she was bending over to put on her shoes so she could go out and get her paper and her hipbone snapped. She wriggled onto her good side, crawled across the floor and tried calling since she lives alone- it's all she could think to do. The phone WORKED and she reached my Brother in Law who called the ambulance from his cell phone.

The next day the phone still didn't work- I tested it by trying to call in and out. The phone guys came out and reported that squirrels had chewed throught the line up in her pines.

If the phone had not worked she might have lain there for days.

More proof that squirrels are evil. And here.

February 16, 2004 Paul Harvey review of the Passion

You have probably received it in your inbox- a glowing review of The Passion purportedly by commentator Paul Harvey. If you forwarded it- gotcha! It is an urban legend- in fact it is currently the most searched item at snopes.com. Here is a link to the original, legit review.

Caught the Diane Sawyer interview with Mel Gibson last night. I was impressed. To paraphrase what friend Larry said, if I can agree with any Christian brother on 95 percent of what he says especially when I agree with him 105 percent on some things he says, that is a good thing.

ABCNews also has a poll that says most evangelicals do not blame the Jews for the death of Christ- But I have known of some hatemongers who are just looney/weird/mean enough to cheer a pogrom so I understand the fear...

I look forward to seeing how the mystical aspects of the mass are threaded into the film. Catholics do not have the market cornered on symbol and mystery and the power to engage the mind on levels the spoken word cannot approach.

Speaking of that I just got back from a trip to Bardstown, KY, my Mom's family homeplace and drove by Nazareth (two great aunts live there) and the Abbey at Gethsemani -residence of Thomas Merton for years

Three quotes from Merton

"Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time." -- Thomas Merton

"Come, in my labor find a resting place And in my sorrows lay your head, Or rather take my life and blood And buy yourself a better bed- Or take my breath and take my death And buy yourself a better rest." --Thomas Merton

"The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt." -- Thomas Merton

Found a very interesting blog by a young lady who shows herself to be both thoughtful and contemplative (there is a difference, you know). She has been reading Merton and has better tastes in music than I, so I will read here again.

Speaking of symbol and mystery, I stopped by Rooster Run General Store on the way back from Bardstown. Joe Evans, the owner was my Granddad Pius Summers' first cousin. Joe hit it big by marketing hats with his logo...the Japanese especially bought them up with their love of American kitsch.

No thank YOU for YOUR business...

Here is one of my old ones though I have one that predates this that belonged to Grandad. the story goes that a local named "Rooster" was henpecked and would run when his wife called...sure...

Why are the blogs crying over CT's webzine section that premiered this issue? What is the big deal?

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/