The Temple

Virgin Mary in Tree Bark

Virgin Mary in Tree Bark
The Virgin Mary appears in tree bark. No kidding. It really is her! Read all about it in the Toronto Sun. It must be true.

The guy interviewed in the story is the neighbor of the tree (Mary’s neighbor!) and he doesn’t want a lot of people traipsing through to see it (although it apparently healed his mother in law of cancer!) unless they are ill or in need of a miracle, how generous! He first noticed it when cracking open a beer in his backyard, but he insists he wasn’t drunk, nor is he a whacko. No, he just sees Mary in tree bark.

This doesn’t quite compare to Jesus on the doggy door, but it is pretty good.

Mock all you want, but that is unmistakably her!  I feel better already.

I love the Catholic Church response through representative Neil MacCarthy:

Neil MacCarthy, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said the church generally doesn’t play a role in investigating or “authenticating” such claims to determine if they are in fact a sign from God.

“If it causes the individual or people seeing it to reflect on their faith then that’s not a bad thing, that’s something positive,” MacCarthy said. “In terms of authenticating it, that’s not something we would generally do.”

It’s better to keep an open mind about such things, MacCarthy said.

“We have to careful about saying too specifically what they are,” MacCarthy said. “People interpret these things in different ways.”

“It is better to keep an open mind about such things”????? He has to be kidding.  It truly is not better to keep an open mind about the Virgin Mary appearing in tree bark.  It is nonsense.  This response sounds like:

“Let’s encourage Catholics to be ignorant, and appear more superstitious than many already do.”

Just come out and say:  “It is just a tree.  It is not Mary.  Nor is it a sign.  Just a tree, growing funny.  Worship God”

To cap it off, the neighbor of Virgin Mary, Mr. Moreau, a Catholic who has problems with the wealth of the Vatican which keeps him from church attendance said this:

“Why do I need to go to church?” Moreau added. “I feel that God has come to me.”

If only all of us had such a tree.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Silly Stuff, Stupid Stuff, Worship | , , , , | 7 Comments

All Good Things Come to and End…

A week in Oceanside (Thanks Good Friends) is wrapping up. A lot of sitting, cycling, and just looking…

Carlsbad
This is the view from PCH from my trusty old Cannondale
Cannondale
The trusty steed…

Oceanside Pier at Sunset

Oceanside Pier after Sunset

Oceanside Pier is a nice site at sunset and after dark, this is the view from our vacation studio on the beach.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Personal | , , | 2 Comments

What I am Watching

The Good Life…Sunset on my bike ride from Saturday, Monday morning view at the beach.

August 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence


This 13th century Christmas Hymn is a good example of marvelous lyrics with a timeless tune. This version, by Fernando Ortega, is really good. The video is not bad either, some of the connections are sketchy, but the opening and closing are good.
Take some weekend time to be silent before the Lord…

But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.

Habakkuk 2:20

August 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Dodgers Should Sign Barry Bonds

I always thought this would be the quintessential signing.  Last year when he was chasing the home run record and all the talk was about how the Giants wouldn’t sign him, I suggested (but who would listen…what was I thinking?) that the Dodgers go out and get him.  And now, here he sits.  He said today, “I am not retired”, apparently a subtle suggestion to the Dodgers.  I think it would be marvelous.

We already have Manny, and some ESPN talking head said that what Manny (he just struck out…although isn’t he performing marvelously) did to the Red Sox these last few months was worse than the steroids scandal, so why not?  We could use another bat.  Barry is available.  I love the potential irony.  He could take us to the World Series, and that is all that matters.

August 9, 2008 Posted by | Culture - Values | , , , | 4 Comments

Beyond Me

Here is a great book for your personal reading pleasure or for your small group or Sunday School class. Kathi Macias‘ book, Beyond Me, keys on part of the gospel’s impact on humanity; a movement past a focus on self to a focus on others.

Kathi writes well, she is engaging, well researched and provocative.
Kathi also attends our church (Yeah) further solidifying our claim to the best kept secret in the Inland Empire.

Kathi has written 22 books and helped with a myriad of other books.  She is the author of “The Train of Thought Writing Method” which is a book for beginning writers.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Books, Christianity | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn died yesterday.
I have such vivid memories of his remarkable accounts of suffering in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago. The Gulag has been noted as one of the most telling indictments of any government and he has been characterized as the most dominant writer of the 20th century.

Maybe the most memorable of his criticisms was aimed at the materialism he witnessed during his years in America. He called us spiritually weak and noted that we were mired in vulgar materialism.  How right is that?  What a great discussion for our comments section.  Is America spiritually weak and in what ways is our materialism vulgar?

Read Father Raymond J. De Souza’s article on Solzhenitsyn on Full Comment, and the NY Times Obituary.

August 4, 2008 Posted by | Culture - Values, Politics, Politics and Religion | , , , | 5 Comments

In Christ Alone

Here is another great song for your preparation for Sunday Worship: In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. I am posting three videos, one is the song with words underneath scenes from The Passion of the Christ. The second is an interview with Stuart and he plays and demonstrates some fingering for you guitar buffs. The third is a rendition by Keith and Kristyn Getty, live with piano accompaniment.

August 1, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Worship | , , , , | 3 Comments

Vote for the Worst Preacher

Over on Scotteriology you can place your vote for the worst preacher ever, today’s head to head is between Pat Robertson and John Crowder.  Check out the brackets and cast your vote.

(No, you can’t vote for me…I did not make the cut)

August 1, 2008 Posted by | Silly Stuff | , , , | 2 Comments