Remember the Audience

Warrior, Woman, Sword, Wild, Beauty, Blonde, Girl
Pixabay

The tension was high as the party entered the enclosure.  It was then that Julie caught sight of a Goblin waiting in ambush in a side corridor.  She drew her sword which immediately began to radiate with a soft blue glow. She then stepped into a small recess to engage the fiend.

As she did a huge icosahedron rolled across her pathway, unbalancing her.  “Shit,” she shouted in shock and exasperation.  “What in the hell was that?”

Her comrades looked on in disbelief, until Ted, the wizard,  finally said, “Um – Jules, I think you might have forgotten that this blog is a PG forum, and that you might need to rein in your explicatives a bit.”

“Yeah, Julie,” Tina interjected.  “It was only a d20.” 

“The Goblin got a Nat 20 on initiative,” Brian the DM said.  “What do you plan on doing next?  And whatever it is, roll with disadvantage for your potty-mouth.”

 


Padre

 

What You See Is What You Get

Fandango’s latest Provocative Question is, “Are you the same person on your blog as you are in real life? Do you like yourself more in the virtual world than you do in the real world?”  Okay, it’s two questions actually, but the answer is the same, as the “real” me is a person I like, even if I do see and (usually) publicly admit his failings.

In my blog – I preach, teach, and at times pontificate.  Yes, that is me.  My wife used to call me out on it in “real life,” pointing out to me (all too often) that “you are in teacher mode again.”

But my “Sheldon-like pedantic streak is also tempered with some diplomacy, which betrays my actually rather tolerant heart.  While there might be “right answers” to objective questions, I recognise the subjective nature of many issues.

I am unapologetic for my Theism, and I wholeheartedly subscribe to Jesus’ testimony that the two greatest commandments are to love God, and to love my fellow humans.  That love is not judgmental.  I hope that is plain to see in my blog.

One of the readers of my blog recently commented that the viewpoint in some of my recent Covid-19 related posts is pessimistic, but that she could detect an underlying optimism.  Here too, I am what it says on the tin.  I may as a writer express what many might be feeling at the moment, but I am really an optimist.  I really do believe “all things will work together for good . . . . ”

In short, I am the same person in my blog as I am in my “real world” existence, and I get on with that person pretty well.

Padre

 

 

Padre’s Rambling: A Haibun

padrerambling

Though he was a “low churchman,” and preferred “brother” to any other title, the men of the battalion still tended to address him as Padre.  In time he came to recognise it as a term of endearment and respect, and as such he accepted it and then gradually adopted it.  Padre would wander among the troops telling stories, answering questions, and yes – giving spiritual guidance.  Though the uniforms may now be gone, the ramblings and mission still remain.

Padre – the chaplain

Observant through life rambles

Enlightening flock

 

Padre

 

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 14th 2019, your penname or blogname

Sunshine Blogger

 

I would like to thank LIBARAH for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I really appreciate the kindness of both the nomination and your support for my blog.

As part of the process, Libarah has asked the following questions:

 

1. Whom you are close to more Mom or Dad?

It is far too difficult to answer this one, as each has their own special place in my life.  But I am also separated from both of them by so many miles, that the relationships are not all I would hope them to be.

2. What is your favorite food?

I am a fish fan, and really enjoy dishes like gumbo.

3. Who is your idol of life?

As cliche as it might seem, I do have to say Jesus, though I am far from being a mirror of His model.

4. What do you consider your greatest weakness to be?

I am easily wearied, and procrastinate all too much.

5. What does your perfect day look like?

A perfect day is one where I can lie in, and cuddle my wife, and just soak in any quality time together.

6. Do you consider yourself a good friend?

I try to be.  I think I am loyal, and strive to be kind and supportive.

7. What is your favorite thing to do?

I like good food, and the company of good friends.

8. Have you ever been heartbroken?

Yes, and dread when it shall come again.

9. Would you rather be rich or famous?

This is another difficult question as, I really don’t aspire to either. I would rather be loved and happy, than wealthy or famed.

10. What does the meaning of  love to you?

Love is to surrender yourself to the good and happiness of another or others.

11. What makes you feel most loved?

Being accepted for who I am, despite my flaws and shortcomings.

 

Padre


The Sunshine Blogger Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.

2. Answer the questions.

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

My Nominees:

Zizywrites

Sewskimo Gertz

Perfect Chaos

Santé Bon Viveur

The Questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. Has it achieved what you hoped?
  3. What role does faith play in your life?
  4. Would you rather be an important person or a respected one?
  5. What things are the most important in a friendship?
  6. What one thing would you change about yourself?
  7. What is your favourite film?
  8. And what is your favourite book?
  9. If you had to give up the book or the movie, which would it be?
  10. What recipe brings back childhood memories?
  11. What would be willing to risk for one you love?

 

 

 

Remembering Priorities

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First Samuel 2:12 is telling,  “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord.” Eli the man of God was a great leader, a prophet, and man who was marked by his holiness.  Yet, his sons did not follow suit.  Was he too busy for his sons?  Was he as the saying goes “Too heavenly minded to be any earthly good?”  King David, likewise, was “a man after God’s own heart.”  But his sons too were rebellious (Absalom literally so). Was the ministry of kingship at the cost of his family? Did these men of God, see all of their priorities?

We need to reflect on this truth: One’s relationship with God, is not necessarily the same thing as one’s ministry.

I began to write this blog as part of my outreach with God’s word, and sharing with God’s people.  But I recently had an experience in which it became clear that the “priority” of sharing was having a negative effect on my relationship with God, and with my wife.  I was missing out on opportunities for quality time with my wife, and on the enriching of my life, knowledge, and ministry which has always been nurtured and enhanced by her.  I was letting her down. I was in so doing, letting God and myself down.

Where had it gone wrong? Concern over getting things written to a time scale.  Spending more and more time (beyond my traditional study time) reading and seeking “new ideas.” Writing was becoming an end in itself, not an enjoyable wind down activity, or sharing of the thoughts that naturally flowed from my normal study or reflections.  It was (and is) clear that back to the basics is needed.

The basics flow from the two great commandments.  One – love God, spend time in prayer, spend time in study (but not for the sake of writing, but) for the sake of relationship with Him. Spend time with my loving wife.  Share my life with her, and become enriched by what she offers me in inspiration and example.

So what way forward? Back to basics – this blog needs to be for its original purpose.  I need to limit my “computer time.”  We educators moan about the amount of time students spend in front of screens.  I need to not be hypocritical, an hour of screen time is enough.  I can check my mail, write by blog, and more in that time.  I need not check everything under the sun just because it catches my eye, or crosses my mind.  Priorities and perspective are essential.

I will still post, and I will still do my best to make what I write worth reading, but I must seek first the relationships, which I was blessed with.

Padre

Liking Being Liked

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If we are honest, we all like to be appreciated.  I am no different, I really like the warm feeling that encouragement, and praise brings.  So with that in mind, thank you to all of you who have supported, read, and liked my blogging efforts.

Today I received a notification from WordPress that my blog has received 1337 likes.  Again thank you.  I did find it a rather arbitrary point for recognition, however.  One thousand (yes), 1500 (okay), but why 1337?  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that so many have liked my stuff.

My first thought was this an encouragement to keep going?  But I usually publish daily, and there has been no break since my last posts. Is it set to tally on a certain date? The 5th of the month seems a odd place to do that.  Is it linked to the age of my blog?  Again, it doesn’t fall on any easily discernible anniversary.

So if anyone knows the significance of 1337 in the World of WordPress, please let me know.

I hope you all have a great day, and that you keep writing and sharing.  This is a wonderful community, and I am thankful for it, and each of you.

Padre

February Reflections

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We are entering into February, the shortest month of the year.  It is still winter, though in the UK the snowdrops and crocus flowers are starting to make their appearance.  At this time last year my blog was only a few months old, and was still exclusively theology and scripture based.  I had yet to come to understand the need for tags, and I used pictures sparingly.

Well short month, irregular posting times, and inexperience paid off.  Well it paid off if that means it was the lowest readership of any month since I began posting (with a grand total of ONE view).

So what have I learned?

First, to see life as more than one dimensional. Don’t get me wrong here, focusing on a single theme in a blog is great. More importantly, writing on spiritual themes is a true reflection of my values, it is the centre of my life.  But, there is more to me than my faith, so I have shared more of my experiences over time and shown more of myself to those of you who read me.

Secondly, writing while it can be a great release of the self, is for others to enjoy.  I have learned to think, not just “what’s important to me,” but what might others find interesting.  Hopefully, I have had something to offer you.

Third, the blogosphere is a community. I have begun to read more and follow more.  I have made “friends” and feel a loyalty and compassion for those with whom I interact with both as a writer and a reader.  Irish, Gertie, Steven, and others (all too many of you to list – but you are valued) are near and dear to my heart. I actually miss you guys when you don’t post.

Fourth, I have learned the practical stuff such as using tags, and photos.  These do promote themselves.  So easy, so straight forward.

Finally, be thankful.  Yes to God, ALWAYS! But also to those of you who use your precious time to visit me.  I hope I always acknowledge your comments with at least a “like.”  But please be assured each of you, even casual visitors are really appreciated.

As a final thought, if any of you might be interested in what I was posting a year ago, please do visit.  There is some good stuff there (even if I say so myself).

Padre

Reflections on 2017

Capture

The calendar year is drawing to a close.  It has been a year of transitions and adjustments.  There have been atrocities in Manchester and Las Vegas (and all too many other places). The Trump administration has recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and conflicts continue with North Korea.

In Matthew 24: 6-7 Jesus said that this would be the state of the world until His return.  “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”  But so it has been for most years in the intervening centuries.  

I will leave the eschatology for another occasion, but would like to here focus on the effects of these things on us as individuals.  This has indeed been a sorrowful year with unexpected personal tragedies (such as Manchester). Let us remember to pray for these families even after the news stories have faded from our radios and screens!

Personally, I have only just learned of the death of a friend a few days before Christmas.  Again my prayers are with his wife and family. I have also been dealing with the aftermath of my wife’s battle with cancer (which for now she is winning), but the fatigue and post-radiation complications persist.  It has made her more reliant on prayer. Prayer is a great strengthener, and we need to remember that rather than to count on our own powers and devices.

I have had the opportunity to preach the word of God more this year.  I have been able as well to continue my studies of scripture and to share my findings on this blog.  I continue to teach, and I hope I have been able to kindle a fire of inquiry into things divine in my students.  Here too, let us resolve to be “ready in season and out of season.”

I have had the pleasure of two cruise holidays, and been able to make a pilgrimage to Santiago. Though at the same time, I have been saddened (along with the world) by the Barcelona tragedies (the terrorist attack during my first cruise and the crackdown on the region by the central government during the second).  But isn’t that the nature of life?  Joy and peace tempered by sorrow.

Solomon captured this well in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8,

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 

The year has also allowed me a chance to get to know (at least in the community of the blogosphere) many of you.  I have been enriched and uplifted by many of your posts, and shared in your triumphs and woes.  I thank you for allowing me to share in your lives in this way.

Padre

Tweaking the Ramblings: An Early New Year’s Resolution

padrerambling

 

I started to put some order into my ramblings earlier in the month, and said then I would see in January if it was working.  Basically it has, though the lumping of “themed” posts on Wednesday to Friday did leave some unpredictability for what to expect on the rest of the week.  While I haven’t changed the balance of themes and musings, I felt it would break things up more and help readers to know what days to find what.  Therefore, a new running order (or it being me “hobbling order”) is ready a little ahead of time.

Schedule of Posts:

  • Monday Musings  (Miscellaneous  topics)
  • Travel Tuesday   (Trips, Holidays, and Cruises)
  • Witness Wednesday (Spiritual themes)
  • Thoughts for Thursdays (General musings)    
  • Foodie Friday (Recipes and reflections on food in general)
  • Weekend Ramblings (Wherever my musings take me)

 

 

I plan on leaving this structure in place through 2018, so to all of you who have so kindly read and followed my scribblings, first of all thank you.  For those who read my various themes, hopefully you now know when to expect them.  And to all of you have a wonderful new year.

Padre

Putting Some Order to the Ramblings

padrerambling

My ramblings have been truly that and my musings and wanderings pretty much show up as they occur to me.  For the rest of December, however, I will try to see if a schedule will work.  Here is the plan:

Rambling Mondays and Tuesdays (general musings on multiple themes)

Witness Wednesdays (faith based posts)

Travel Thursdays (cruise and travel stuff)

Foodie Fridays (recipes and reflections of food in general)

Rambling Weekends (wherever my musings take me )

I will review in January to see if it works, and then decide if I keep the plan, or just ramble.  Thank you to all who read my posts, and for the encouragement several of you have given me.

Padre