Category Archives: My other stuff

Personal and psychological integrity, including matters of the spirit


A short story snippet, rescued from the electronic archives. I seem to have written this in November 1999.  Enjoy.

Jon and Liesa used to sit and listen when funny old Bobo would talk about the Magic Times.

You could never tell when old Bobo was just making things up and when he was really remembering. Most people said that his mind wandered too much, and he imagined things that no one could have seen. But Bobo was the oldest one, and if anyone could remember what happened before the Crash, it was he.  Bobo had helped organize the co-op soon after the Crash, but had never been one of the recognized leaders; besides being ineligible because he was male (though he talked about having once been named an “honorary woman,” he had no documents to prove such an unusual honor) he was too old for that sort of thing, he said.

He would always chuckle when anybody asked how old he really was. “I’m not as young as I look,” was all he would say about it. Which always came across as a joke, because it truly was funny: Bobo looked ancient. His eyebrows and scraggly beard were a yellowish grey, and the wrinkles in his face seemed to fold in on themselves.  But when he went out and worked, tending the greenhouse or repairing a wall, he had enough strength to outpace even the strongest women. Of course he helped the men with the housework, most of the time; all except the needlework.

There was a lot of work to be done, both indoors and out. The children helped, of course. Liesa would contribute to the building while Jon kept the floors swept and the kitchen tidy. One day Bobo would teach him to bake bread. He hoped that would be soon.

Today, however, was a rest-day, and Jon and Liesa sat while Bobo remembered, or imagined, the Magic Times. He talked of a time of wonders: cities with more people in them that could be counted on all the fingers in the co-op:  many more even than the number of berries in a good summer’s picking.  Boxes that spoke with the voices of living people. Magic wagons that needed no oxen, able to carry people beyond the edge of the trees in less time than it would take to plow a row.  Invisible energies that carried light from far away, to illumine lamps that burned without fire.

Bobo said once that the magic was still all around them, but everyone had forgotten how to use it. At that the adults in the room had all laughed, shaking their heads at the old one’s foolishness. That was the only time the children ever saw Bobo cry.

Whaddya Know….

….. one’s past never really leaves one behind.  Seems some work I did with a few friends back in the day has found its own life here on the Inter-Tubes.    And even with a social networking presence, yet.  There you can find some of the very few extant pictures of yours truly with real hair.

This link belongs here on The Search for Integrity particularly because of an early working definition for integrity (developed by me for my own use) as follows:  Integrity is letting all the different parts of your life acknowledge one another.

A Tipping Point

This post was used as a basis for comments made at the September 8, 2007 “chew and chat” held in Nanjemoy, MD and sponsored by participants in the Delusional Duck, a local blog.  

….. is when what seemed impossible begins to seem inevitable.  Since some of us have many impossible goals, we need to be pushing toward tipping points in relation to each of them, one at a time.

  A very wise man once said, “If you have faith  even as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and be cast into the sea,’ and it will be done for you.” The tipping point is reached when faith is exercised.

I rather think  that for many of us, the real tipping point is the decision point.  

Continue reading


Jesus is the great equalizer.  Paul, the apostle, declared that all are equally sinners, that Gentiles have equal access to God through faith in Christ, that we share with him equally the inheritance as joint-heirs to God.  This spiritual equality … Continue reading

I like it here

My yard, in the spring:
Dogwood Spring

Philosophickal Ruminations – Mystical Musings

Philosophickal Ruminations – Mystical Musings

Dragged from the archives just because….

Some observations, in the form of parables:

One: There is general agreement among the wise of many traditions that below the root or foundation of all that is, that which gives rise to the existence of all that is cannot be named as if it were among the elements of existence that have come into being. A shorthand way of saying this is that the name of God is unknowable, and any name used is at risk of becoming a blasphemy in short order. The Hebrews protected themselves from this danger by means of a prohibition (”thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”) as well as the fact that both of those words, Lord and God, were descriptive titles and not meant to be names at all. The Pagans, or some of them, seem to assume a different tack: by naming or identifying a variety of gods and goddesses, they acknowledge that the Mystery that binds all into unity and gives rise to the diversity they celebrate, itself/himself/herself cannot be named.

Two: Everything in the Universe, and the Universe as a whole, is a manifestation or a revelation of the divine Reality that brings us into being and sustains us; each is in some sense a complete and definitive revelation and manifestation of the same, and wants nothing else; yet none can be said to be that Reality in fullness. That is to say, everything that can be said of God reveals some truth, yet at the same time falsifies that truth, if it is taken, shall we say, too seriously. 

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Sympathy pains

I observe the world, watch and pray;
Sometimes that’s all I do all day.
A bombing here, a cancer there—
What can avail my feeble prayer?

With God, I, helpless, see the strife
Feeling the bleeding, the ebbing of life.
In faith believing, despite the pain
That healing Love will prevail again.

No anxious spouse by bedside waiiting
Can match the Love I’m contemplating
The tender care for planet earth
The New Creation’s place of birth.

When I arise from contemplation
I’ll seek the healing of my nation
For God so loved, and loves us still
With love that seeks to heal, not kill.

Yawn factor? Or sleepy weekend

Wow, traffic here has slowed down to zero.  I suppose the memething on what theological pigeonhole I come to roost in must have generated a backflow in the tubes.  This post is here just to see if we can unplug the blockage.

Or maybe all my friends took the Memorial Day holiday away from the computer, then went back to work and just got busy.  Whew. I will admit that I collected much of the family on Monday afternoon and went to the movies.

In other news, I figured out what category of movie the Pirates of the Caribbean series belongs to, and why I find them so enjoyable.  They are live-action comic books.

Aside: there is something eminently satisfying to see Johnny Depp playing  a swashbuckling antihero who can’t seem to get to first base with the women.  Now there is a consummate actor!

Orthodoxy test

I passed, I think.

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan, You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God’s grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Classical Liberal
Modern Liberal
Neo orthodox
Reformed Evangelical
Roman Catholic

What’s your theological worldview?
created with

On the message board where I found this, several people who also scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan expressed some reservation or objection to the description that “you believe that you yourself are totally depraved.” I kept quiet about that but do understand the objection, based on the notion of the universality of what we Wesleyan types like to call “prevenient grace.” It’s probably a matter of definition: Continue reading

Belief in belief

When I was a seminary student, long about 1985 or so, I met a colleague, a fellow-student, on the stairwell between classes. Like many first-year theology students, this fellow had been exposed most of his life to a fairly narrow set of doctrinal teachings, particularly about the Bible, and was a bit overwhelmed at the barrage of information that was coming his way. Various theories of inspiration, textual variants, critical-historical method, the history of theological argument, was all getting a bit overwhelming. The comment I overheard as he passed me on the stairwell was: “It’s getting so I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

At this time I was rather constantly bathing in what I call the nonstop mystical experience. In a flash of inspiration and insight, I reacted instantly. “Well, bless the Lord!” I exclaimed.

He looked at me in stunned surprise. “What?! How can you say that?”

“Now,” said I, “You have an opportunity to put your trust in the living God, and not in your beliefs.”