Archive for the ‘Various Memories and Opinions’ Category

Feeling Lost   4 comments

Seldom do I remember my dreams.

I did not sleep well last night.  In fact, I awoke too early.  My mind was busy, and I could not get back to sleep.  The details of the dream have begun to fade, but the scenario of being lost and not knowing where important items are has stayed with me.

That feeling describes me accurately.

Since Bonny’s death two days ago, I have been in a daze, with occasional moments of clarity.  In a moment I have made the transition from being articulate to being a sobbing mess many times.  I have, however, decided to force myself back into a routine today, for my own good.  I have always needed grace to do my job well, even on my best days.  (All of us always need grace and depend entirely on God.)  Today and the following days I need that grace more than ever.

I bid your prayers also for Bonny’s family and the repose of her soul.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 16, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Posted October 16, 2019 by neatnik2009 in Various Memories and Opinions

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Farewell   2 comments

I held onto you for your dear life as long as I could,

but you slipped away anyway. 

Vaya con Dios, Bonny. 

May you have the peace for which you longed

during your struggles.

Thank you for being part of my life for a decade.

You improved my life by merely being part of it.

Love,

Kenneth

Posted October 14, 2019 by neatnik2009 in Various Memories and Opinions

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The Joy of Lectionaries   1 comment

Orderly Reading of Scripture

SUNDRY THOUGHTS is the oldest of my eight weblogs.  Four of its spinoffs are ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS; LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS; ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS; and the cleverly-named (with a nod to St. Thomas Aquinas) BLOGA THEOLOGICA.  I like to alternate between writing about saints and writing based on lectionary-based devotions.  The latter is the only Bible study method I have maintained for years–about a decade now.

I have already published new content for the complete church year that will begin in Advent 2019 at the first three spinoff weblogs listed above.  My thoughts have turned toward saints again, hence the drafting of new posts for saints with feast days in January.  My thoughts have also turned to lectionaries for church year 2020-2021 and later, due to my preference for planning.  I have written Years A and B of the Will Humes four-year lectionary, leaving Years C (2020-2021) and D (2021-2022).  And, at BLOGA THEOLOGICA, I have written all but a little of the now-abandoned, two-year lectionary from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship–Provisional Services (1966).

With half of the Humes lectionary behind me and the Presbyterian lectionary of 1966-1970 accomplished, I have a plan for the next few years:

I will complete the Humes lectionary by writing Years C and D at the three devotional weblogs I key according to date and copy and paste those posts into BLOGA THEOLOGICA, also.

After that, I will write the three-year lectionary (Sundays, mainly) of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, from the Lutheran Service Book (2006).  I will post at the three devotional weblogs I key according to date and copy and paste those posts into BLOGA THEOLOGICA, too.

For the next two yeas, at BLOGA THEOLOGICA, I will write the two-year lectionary found in A Book of Worship for Free Churches (The General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States, 1948).  Given the absence of collects in that volume, I will use the collects from the Book of Worship (Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1947).

Next, at BLOGA THEOLOGICA, I will write the two-year lectionary found in The Book of Common Worship (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1946).

I invite you, O reader, to visit these weblogs and find much useful reading.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 29, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MARY, MARTHA, AND LAZARUS OF BETHANY, FRIENDS OF JESUS

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My Tenth Anniversary of Blogging   6 comments

Above:  Kappa, the Tenth Letter of the Greek Alphabet

Image in the Public Domain

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SUNDRY THOUGHTS is a decade old today.

I created SUNDRY THOUGHTS on July 27, 2009.  I had little idea what I was doing.  I have, in fact, deleted the vast majority of early posts and spun off seven other weblogs–different channels, so to speak.  The content of this weblog has simultaneously improved and become less sundry.

The project that grew into my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days was one of the original purposes for creating SUNDRY THOUGHTS.  I recently (three weeks ago) completed the renovation of that Ecumenical Calendar.   That process took about two and a half years, on and off.  That stage completed, I will resume merely updating my Ecumenical Calendar–adding “new” saints and occasionally changing the dates of some feasts.

I also call your attention, O reader, to the episode guide to Starhunter (2000-2001, 2004-2005), one of my favorite series.  I delight in having filled a void after not finding a good episode guide online.

May you, O reader, find here much that is interesting, edifying, and informative.

Pax vobiscum,

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 27, 2019 COMMON ERA

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Posted July 27, 2019 by neatnik2009 in Various Memories and Opinions

Spiritual Paths   3 comments

Above:  My Desk, December 19, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Christian spiritual directors have, for some time, understood the variety of spiritual types, related, quite often, to preferences in prayer styles.  The last time I read deeply in the field, I learned that the middle two characters of one’s Myers-Briggs personality type often correlate to a preference of a certain style of prayer.

Another way of classifying spiritual types comes from Roman Catholicism:

  1. The Path of Intellect (Thomistic Prayer), in the style of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Teresa of Avila;
  2. The Path of Devotion (Augustinian Prayer), in the style of St. Augustine of Hippo;
  3. The Path of Service (Franciscan Prayer), in the style of St. Francis of Assisi; and
  4. The Path of Asceticism (Ignatian Prayer), in the style of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The test for determining one’s spiritual type takes only a few minutes.  A one-page document with fourteen rows and four columns requires one to look at a row of four words and rank them (“1” to “4,” “1” meaning least descriptive and “4” meaning most descriptive of oneself at the time).  Then one tallies each column.

My spiritual type has changed.  In the middle 1990s, when I was in my twenties, I was, first and foremost, a Thomist.  I have forgotten what the second, third, and fourth rankings were, but I was definitely on the Path of Intellect.  This morning I took the test again.  My scores were as follows:

  1. The Path of Asceticism–48;
  2. The Path of Intellect–43;
  3. The Path of Devotion–30; and
  4. The Path of Service–19.

Asceticism, according to this definition,

involves imagining oneself as part of a scene in order to draw some practical fruit from it for today.

It also entails a certain rigor in spiritual discipline.

The Thomistic preference for spiritual order applies to me.

Spiritual growth over a lifetime entails both change and constancy.  I, as a Christian, embrace that principle as I affirm another one:  one’s spiritual path must flow through Jesus.  Furthermore, to assume that one’s spiritual path in Christ is the only proper path for all people is in error.  In fact, one’s spiritual path in Christ in the present may not be one’s spiritual path in Christ five years from now.  In my case, the new preference for asceticism is consistent with my embrace of minimalism.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 19, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF RAOUL WALLENBERG, RIGHTEOUS GENTILE

THE FEAST OF CHICO MENDES, “GANDHI OF THE AMAZON”

THE FEAST OF ROBERT CAMPBELL, SCOTTISH EPISCOPALIAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL ADVOCATE AND HYMN WRITER

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Regarding Clutter   2 comments

Above:  My Desk, December 9, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I live in a small space.  In that space I keep my desk, my dining table, and my kitchen counters mostly empty the majority of the time.  At the moment the surface of my dining table is unusually full of candles, but this is a holiday season.  As of the first full week of January, it will be mostly empty again.  Furthermore, I enjoy being able to see walls and floors.  I abhor clutter.

I have possessions; they do not possess me.  I have fewer possessions than I did a few years ago; this fact delights me.  My library is down to about 800 volumes, from more than 2400.  I prefer donating to thrift stores to shopping at them.  When I do shop there, I almost always do so with a goal in mind; I seek a particular item or items.  My bedroom has two closets; my wardrobe fits easily into the smaller of the two.  This is a change from the time that my wardrobe filled both closets.  The recent rearranging of some furniture means that I no longer have a place for one lamp.  That object occupies space in a closet, for now.  That closet is mostly empty anyway, and I may decide to part company with that lamp, in time.

I recall a statement from a Buddhist monk regarding hair and vanity:  “It is just hair.”  Regarding possessions I say, “They are just objects.”  Many of them are useful objects.  I am fond of many of them.  I even have sentimental attachments to many of them.  But I possess them; they do not possess me.  And they are not in the way.  Neither is my home junky.

Life is good.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Posted December 18, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Various Memories and Opinions

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Holiday Busyness   2 comments

Above:  A Domestic Scene, December 8, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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On my bed when I think of you,

I muse on you in the watches of the night,

for you have always been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice;

my heart clings to you,

your right hand supports me.

–Psalm 63:6-8, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

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In my U.S. culture, the time from Thanksgiving (late November) to New Year’s Day is quite busy.  Holidays populate the calendar.  Some of these holidays are, for lack of a better word, ecumenical.  Others are religiously and/or culturally specific, though.  Christmas, originally the Christ Mass, has become an occasion, for many, to worship the Almighty Dollar at the high altar of commercialism.  This is how many Evangelicals of the Victorian Era wanted matters to be.

On the relatively innocuous side, this is the time of the year to populate one’s calendar with holiday social events, such as parties, school plays, and seasonal concerts.  Parents often like to attend their children’s events, appropriately.  Holiday concerts by choral and/or instrumental ensembles can also be quite pleasant.

Yet, amid all this busyness (sometimes distinct from business), are we neglecting the innate human need for peace and quiet?  I like classical Advent and Christmas music, especially at this time of the year (all the way through January 5, the twelfth day of Christmas), but I have to turn it off eventually.  Silence also appeals to me.  Furthermore, being busy accomplishing a worthy goal is rewarding, but so is simply being.

The real question is one of balance.  Given the absence of an actual distinction between the spiritual and the physical, everything is spiritual.  If we are too busy for God, silence, and proper inactivity, we are too busy.  If we are too busy to listen to God, we are too busy.  If we are too busy or too idle, we are not our best selves.

May we, by grace, strike and maintain the proper balance.  May we, especially at peak periods of activity, such as the end of the year, not overextend ourselves, especially in time commitments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCDONALD, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Published originally at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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