Beauty and the Beast(!)

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We are celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Advent in unbelievable beauty and undeserved affluence. So many times in the past when in the midst of these blessings, I have felt sad and guilty about the millions even in the US who are not so lucky, I only pondered it. Why didn’t I do some small thing? Well, maybe I did or maybe I didn’t but those opportunities are long gone so the challenge is: what will I do today?

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Beyond “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Ok, sensible people, it is clear that no one should be harassed or bullied about being gay or lesbian, much less “fired” for their orientation. Heaven knows what would happen to most of us if the powers-that-be could detect all of our inner “sexual orientation type” thoughts.

Now, let’s think about the purpose of the military in the first place. Who, really, in their right mind considers it a virtue to lure 18 year olds into dehumanizing jobs and put them in a vehicle which will, given the odds, probably run over an IED? If that doesn’t happen then perhaps they will have to shoot high tech bullets into the night, hoping not think about who gets killed on the other side.

BTW: When they do their thing, they do it in our name for our sake.

War, what’s it good for? Absolutely nothing!

 

New Look At an Old and Very Important Profession

I am training to be a school bus driver. I would not have thought this was a very challenging or exciting course. Moreover, I didn’t think I would be proud to end up with a commercial driver’s license and actually drive a school bus. Then the instructor and the videos began to talk about the responsibity for the children and I remember the first few times I saw my elementary school kids off at the bus stop. I apologize to all the bus drivers that I didn’t totally appreciate. This will be a good choice for me.

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War: What’s it good for?

The next time you have slightest desire to justify modern warfare or to glorify the US in Iraq or Afghanistan, watch the scene from The Hurt Locker where the EOD team comes upon a British contractor group whose vehicle has a flat tire. While there, out in the desert with nothing but goats wandering around, suddenly an Iraqi sniper from a couple of hundred yards away in an isolated and abandoned building kills one of the British team. This results in a sniper stand off with the contractor team leader and all the Iraqis being killed. In THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE for NO REASON!

The Hurt Locker (2008) – IMDb.

Burning Love

Penitential questions of Advent could include: Is my problem with faith really about God, or a broken heart?  In whom, or in what, have I placed my trust?  When I’m disillusioned, why did I need the illusion?  What am I doing that makes me unhappy and why am I doing it?  How does God’s love make me accountable?

via Burning Love.

We just want to know!

One of my daily readings had this quote

When what we want and think we need is answers, maybe it’s not? Maybe we don’t need more answers but more wonder. “Concepts create idols,” claimed the 4th century desert monk, Gregory of Nyssa, “only wonder comprehends anything.”

It reminded me that preconceptions can be very, very limiting. The devotional was referring to a person and observed how often we make snap judgments or pushed for information. What if we just waited, let a little time go by? We could have been right about our first impressions but then again we might be pleasantly surprised. If not, at least we opened up the possibility.