Monday, May 30, 2005

Kiss the Anglican Communion good-bye.

If Rowan Williams is behind this – and he is – I seriously doubt any reasonable hope remains of keeping the Anglican Communion together save the Queen asking him to step down, which I don’t expect.

Up to now, the Global South clergy could say the embrace of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion was confined mainly to errant North American dioceses. And they declared communion with those dioceses broken or impaired.

But what are they to do now? Rowan Williams has put them in a position where they will see little choice but to disassociate themselves from the Archbishop of Canterbury and therefore from the Anglican Communion. Otherwise, Global South clergy will no longer have any credible answer to those in their dioceses who say they are aligned with sin.

Even putting aside the morals of this matter, this is an incredibly stupid move by the Archbishop. But if there is to be a split in the Anglican Communion, at least this will speed it along.

There hasn’t been a lot of fallout yet, but it’s coming. Oh, it’s coming.

By the way, for what it’s worth, except for ++Peter Carnley, the Panel of Reference STILL has not been named. We see where ++Rowan’s priorities lie.

Friday, May 27, 2005

More unhappiness with ++Carnley and the Panel of Reference

If you thought I was unhappy with ++Peter Carnley’s leadership of the Panel of Reference, then you ought to read what David Anderson has to say about it.
”Our quarrel is concerning the things that have been added.”

There’s been much in the blogdom about the Anglican-Catholic statement on Mary. I don’t think much of it, and not just because ++Carnley has his hands on it. I think it completely disregards the concerns of Anglicans of a more Protestant flavor. Any effort to unite Catholics and Anglicans that expects assent to the Immaculate Conception and such dogma will only sharply divide Anglicans along Protestant and Anglo-Catholic lines. It would really require a willingness to jettison Protestant Anglicans.

Peter Jensen, the very Protestant Archbishop of Sydney, doesn’t think much of the statement either, as he reveals in an A(ustralian)BC interview.

I’ve mentioned that although I have much in common with Catholics, much more than with liberal Protestants, and although I love Anglo-Catholic worship, it’s high unlikely I would ever become Catholic. Towards the end of the interview, ++Jensen says something that sums up well why: “It is not that the Roman Catholic church has ever denied Christ, or faith, or the Bible. Our quarrel is concerning the things that have been added. “

That is indeed my issue. Roman Catholicism takes matters that are at best speculative theology and makes them dogma, and some of that quite recently, such as the immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary, and papal infallibility.

And I really don’t have a big problem with Catholics having the freedom to believe these things, as was the case for centuries before those three beliefs were made dogma. My problem is with those beliefs indeed being made dogma.

One of the strengths of orthodox Anglicanism is that it accommodates a variety of orthodox Christians, from rock hard Protestants to smokey Anglo-Catholics. But to be a good Roman Catholic (as opposed to a “cafeteria Catholic”), you must assent to papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception etc.

And I’m just not going to do that.

And the Anglican-Catholic statement on Mary disregards those many Anglicans who feel likewise.

Monday, May 23, 2005

”That’s progress.”

Why doesn’t the world stop when I don’t have to time to cogitate and post? Yes, a deal has been struck just now that would avoid, at least for now, a showdown over judicial filibusters, the so-called “Nuclear Option.”

If most of Bush’s appellate nominees and all his future Supreme Court nominees get an up-or-down vote, then great. Since I don’t trust most Senate Democrats (and some Senate Republicans) further than I can throw them, I don’t know if this deal accomplishes that, but it might. And it is progress as the White House has said. And it’s probably preferable to a divisive showdown vote on the matter.

We shall see. But for now, I’m glad.
More on departures

The Pontificator’s daughter took over his blog for a day. Her heartfelt comments bring up an important point: In deciding whether to stick it out in a largely apostate church, one has to consider the cost to oneself and one’s family. And one has to consider whether the strife and effort of staying in is more wisely spent elsewhere.

I suspect different people can come up with different answers and still be in the will of God. Myself, I left the mainline Presbyterian Church years ago and recently avoided joining the orthodox to moderate ECUSA diocese of West Texas in part because apostasy provokes me beyond endurance (in case you haven’t noticed ;^) ). Anger might tear me up inside if I were to put myself in that kind of situation. And I want to be in a church I can wholeheartedly support.

I’m thankful God has provided me just that in a wonderful Reformed Episcopal parish.

I could say more, but I got a busy day ahead. God bless.

UPDATE: The post has been taken down. But the points remain.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


I wasn’t going to post today, but the reception some at Calvin College, a Christian institution, are giving President Bush as he comes to give their commencement address gets my goat.

If they disagree with his policies and want to say so in a decent and intellectually honest way, then all power to them. But for people who claim to be Christian to publish the open letter they did is inexcusable hypocrisy. Two paragraphs from the letter will suffice to make my point.

By their deeds ye shall know them, says the Bible. Your deeds, Mr. President – neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment, and misleading the country into war – do not exemplify the faith we live by.

Moreover, many of your supporters are using religion as a weapon to divide our nation and advance a narrow partisan agenda. We are deeply disappointed in your failure to renounce their inflammatory rhetoric.

Excuuuse me? Who is using “inflammatory rhetoric”? Who is “using religion as a weapon to divide”? This letter is little more than using religion and intellectually dishonest inflammatory hyperbole to conduct a vicious attack on the President and fellow Christians.

The signers of this letter should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Departures should give pause.

The departures from the Episcopal Church -- or from Anglicanism altogether – of such good people as Al Kimel should give both the orthodox and the revisionists in that denomination pause.

It should give the revisionists pause. They should consider that something just might be wrong with the direction they are leading ECUSA when Fr. Kimel and a flood of the faithful are leaving or being driven out.

Of course, some have the attitude of the woman who told a conservative at the last General Convention, “Why don’t you just leave, so we can be more inclusive?” Hopefully, most revisionists have more sense than that. But I see more concern about keeping the property of orthodox parishes than about keeping the orthodox.

It should give the orthodox pause. Some are urging that the orthodox stay in ECUSA and fight for its transformation. But so many orthodox have already left that the question has to be honestly asked if such a fight is a waste of time. The way ECUSA is structured, the revisionists are firmly in control.

I remember in my old denomination, the mainline Presbyterian Church, conservatives urging people to stay in and strive to reform that denomination. That was about 20 years ago, and things have not gotten any better.

Is fighting a lost battle for one, two, or more generations when your army is suffering a flood of desertions what God is calling the orthodox to?

Perhaps. Isaiah and Jeremiah were called to prophesy even though God told them people wouldn’t respond. But I think the Lord usually would have us pick more hopeful battles to fight.

I’m not saying right now is the time for orthodox Episcopalians to leave. But I do think the orthodox should think long and hard about fighting a war they have already lost. There is a time to acknowledge defeat, accept exile, and seek a better country.

There is one battle that may be looming that is winnable. There may soon come a time when dioceses will have to choose between ECUSA and the Anglican Communion. And in orthodox dioceses, it is definitely worth staying around to push the diocese to make the right choice.

But in other dioceses, I think the orthodox should look around at the good faithful people who are leaving and honestly ask themselves, “Why am I staying?”

There may be good reasons to stay. But there are certainly good reasons why many are not. And that should give all in the Episcopal Church pause.

(Housekeeping: Early next week, I’ll be preoccupied with moving issues of my own. So I might skip a few days of blogging.)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Pontificator crosses the Tiber.

One of my favorite blogs is Pontifications. If you want some churchly brain exercise, it’s a great place to go. Not that I agree with everything there, and I have joined some vigorous discussions with him in the past.

Readers of that blog will not be surprised that the Pontificator, Al Kimel, has decided to join the Roman Catholic Church. I pray the best for him. May God bless him.

Readers here may wonder if my also joining the Roman Catholic Church is a possibility. After all, I have acquired some Anglo-Catholic tendencies, at least in how I enjoy worshipping. And I have mixed feelings about the Anglican Communion, especially it being led by someone de facto appointed by the Prime Minister of the UK. And I do want to be part of something bigger than just a local church or a national denomination.

And I think in recent years, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have dealt with heresy and apostasy well. Church discipline still exists in the Catholic Church, something that can’t be said about most Protestant bodies. And I’ve posted here about how important church discipline is.

However, my crossing the Tiber is highly unlikely. I will probably go into some of my reasons here why Roman Catholicism isn’t and really never has been an option for me.

But today is not the day for that. Today is a day to honor the great Pontificator, Al Kimel, and wish him well in his new church. Although I would not make the decision he is making, I appreciate him and his dogged commitment to be true to the Faith. May God bless him always.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I’ve had it with Capital One.

I’ve had it with Capital One and other credit card companies mailing me solicitation after solicitation. Yes, I can just tear and throw away their letters. And that’s what I’ve done so far. But this flood of unwanted solicitations is an invitation to crooks rifling through trash or mail to steal my identity and credit.

And I’m fed up.

Today, I’m mailing back their solicitation with the following written on it in felt tip so they can't miss it: STOP MAILING ME YOUR CRAP!

Does that make a difference? Yes. Since they pay return postage, it increases their postage costs. So I’m going to keep on doing that until they do stop mailing me their crap. Join me and get others to join us, and we will punish these companies for being reckless with our identities and credit.
Debate on judicial filibusters begins.

I’m listening to C-SPAN as the Senate begins debate on the nomination of Priscilla Owens – which is clearly the debate on whether to require up or down votes on appellate and Supreme Court nominees. Majority Leader Frist is doing well so far, and I suspect he will win. I don't think he would proceed now if he didn't have the votes.

Since this is a matter of justice and the rule of law, I am also praying.
The Botching of the Panel of Reference (continued)

Some may think I was being alarmist about the appointment of ++Peter Carnley to lead the Panel of Reference. Heck, even I was wondering if I was being alarmist. Then I read this article (written by a friend of mine, btw).

Carnley apparently sees the Panel as little more than another mode for “conversation,” not as a means to issue any judgements to guard the faithful. Yes, more holy conversation and dialogue. We’ve seen how much good that does in the Episcopal Church.

Participation will be voluntary. And as for those hoping for real relief from apostate bishops . . . are you kidding?

In cases when an alternative bishop has been requested, Archbishop Carnley prefers to think of it as “alternative episcopal ministry” rather than “alternative episcopal oversight.” The diocesan bishop still has jurisdiction, but another bishop will provide ministry to the parish, diocese, or province in question.

Voluntary . . . no alternative episcopal oversight . . . . Can anyone tell me the difference between that and DEPO, which is already an utter failure in the Episcopal Church? I didn’t think so.

I’m wondering if ++Rowan Williams and ++Carnley are willfully subverting the will of the Primates. The Primates’ Communique was quite clear (even after Carnley got his hands on it) in calling for real relief of distressed orthodox Anglicans and for the Panel of Reference to be a part of that. And they stated that the matter was urgent. Instead, we’ve gotten delays and a Panel that will do little more than facilitate “conversation” and string along the orthodox . . . again.

Don’t be placing any hope in the Panel of Reference. I don’t anymore. I now think the best thing that could come out of the Panel is a walk-out after it proves itself to be a sham.

More comments here.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek belongs in the toilet. . . .

. . . literally.
Chips Ahoy drove me to Anglicanism.

Well, not me actually. That’s the interesting testimony an Anglican friend told me the other Sunday.

He played in the worship band at a large evangelical church (one which hasn’t been mentioned on this blog). One Sunday, they were having communion when they ran out of crackers. So the servers grabbed some Chips Ahoy cookies and used those.

As he received his Chips Ahoy, he was provoked, knowing that just wasn’t right. He told me he knew then and there that he needed to move to a more reverent, more sacramental church. And he eventually found an Anglican one.

A commenter on this blog had a similar experience:

I am not a theological hairsplitter by nature and won't ever be. I'm not sure what you would call my understanding of the Real Presence. Maybe I am just one of those "is means is" types. What I do know for sure is that the breaking point with [a previous] church was the day when they distributed communion as an afterthought, like a snack, at the doors after a night service. No prayers, no preparation. I just knew then that it was just too important a thing to pay lip service to. If you think its important then you should treat it as such. I knew that I had to find a church with reverence for Body & Blood of Jesus no matter how they understood it.

And she’s now a happy member of an Anglo-Catholic parish.

I find it interesting that the treatment of communion played such a pivotal role in driving both to Anglican churches.

Communion has always been handled reverently at my previous churches. (Well, I can think of one exception at Big Dallas Bible, two churches ago. But there’s no need to revisit that.) So that wasn’t a factor in my move.

What was a factor was my growing dissatisfaction with worship consisting almost exclusively of singing a number of songs in a row, then listening to a sermon. The sermons were great, but the singing got tiresome. I thought, isn't there more to worship than singing? And my throat often can’t handle a lot of non-stop singing well. Then when my previous church persistently had us standing for more and more of the singing time –- often more than 15 minutes (My legs have never handled that well.) and when the lead vocalist’s voice was always overamped, hurting my ears and drowning out a usually excellent band (in spite of my twice telling the music leader afterwards there was a problem), I really got tired of it. It became a hindrance to worship. For a while there, I even made a point to show up to church late so I wouldn’t have to endure too much of the worship time.

Yeah, I know. Probably not the best way to handle things. But that’s how unhappy I was with the worship.

Now in other respects, I was quite happy with my church, and it is excellent. So I wasn’t at all seeking another church until I knew I would be moving. Then when I visited Christ Church Plano, I was overwhelmed with how excellent the worship was. And, although I wasn’t at all unhappy with how communion was done at my church, I did appreciate how reverently and prayerfully it was handled at Christ Church. And you know the rest of the story – from Bible Churcher to Wannabe Anglican to Newbie Anglican.

I think most evangelical churches would do well to note the small but significant evangelical exodus to Anglicanism and rethink how they worship. I’m not saying every church needs to have the liturgy, ceremony, and traditional music I’ve come to love. But God and his people deserve better than overamped singing marathons every Sunday and Chips Ahoy.

Friday, May 13, 2005

An interesting Anglican (and Catholic) cultural difference

Even before I became a confirmed Anglican I discovered there are definitely church cultural differences when it comes to alcohol. At Denton Bible, the rule among us youth leaders was abstinence from alcohol. The pastor, Tommy Nelson, often avoided drinking anything at public gatherings so no one would think he was drinking anything fortified. There was freedom for most people to drink, but leaders were expected not to.

Not so at my new church. I knew I wasn’t at Denton Bible anymore when I first visited the rector’s home and he offered me a beer. Apparently the same thing may happen if you visit the Pope.

In fact, among Anglicans, I think I’ve discovered the more “Catholic” the parish, the more the alcohol flows. At post-service refreshments at an Anglo-Catholic parish (that will remain nameless because I don’t want teetotalers descending upon it), I was going over to what I thought was a lemonade dispenser. When I got there, I saw a makeshift sign – “margaritas.”

Although I don’t know if I’m ever going to have a margarita at church, I like the difference. I’ve decided to lighten up and drink infrequently. (And I still rarely have more than one drink. I weigh less then 160 and alcohol affects me rather quickly. Plus I don’t have a readily available designated driver.) I do appreciate good wine or a good beer. And it’s nice relaxing and talking over wine with church friends.

I’m still a bit concerned about the influence on kids. But drinking lightly and responsibly may be just as good or better an example than making alcohol forbidden fruit. And it’s better that kids see light drinking than furtive or irresponsible drinking.

In any case, it’s quite a cultural difference from my previous churches.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

No conspiracy here! Nope. None at all.

I’ve been castigated as paranoid about Democrat election fraud. But lookie here. There was massive election fraud in the past presidential election in Milwaukee, fraud certainly favoring the Democrats.

Hundreds of felons voted. Over a hundred people voted twice or used fake names and addresses to vote. Dead people voted, of course.

(But they’re weren’t 4600 more ballots than registered voters. That is an errant report as pointed out at the Captain’s Quarters. There were at least that many ballots that shouldn’t exist, nevertheless.)

A newspaper investigation found 1242 votes from fake addresses, including a baseball diamond, an alley, and a bridge.

Milwaukee is where the adult sons of Democrat leaders slashed the tires of Republican get-out-the-vote vans, by the way.

And that’s just what’s been found. What have investigators not found, however?

Investigators “did not uncover any proof of a plot to alter the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race in Wisconsin's largest city,” the story goes.

"There is not the evidence of an overriding conspiracy in all of this," U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said.


And prosecutors have not filed any charges. Hmmm, could those be . . . Democrat prosecutors? Oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t ask such questions.

Oh, not-so-by-the-way, Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration. And there was massive same day registration in the state in this election. And if you or your dead friend is already registered, you can just show up to vote without ID.

Let’s see . . . Hundreds of felons vote. Dead people vote. Democrooks People double vote. Democrooks People use fake names to vote. Over 1200 people use fake addresses to vote. Republican vans slashed by the Democrat version of “the family.” Not to mention lefty vans bringing in scores of ID-less Demobums voters. And all this and more in a state where Democrats have made it easy to cast a fraudulent ballot, a state where the presidential race just happened to be very close and narrowly won by Kerry.

Nope. No conspiracy here! You all go home. There’s nothing to see here. And don’t go check out other bloggers on this either!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Archbishop of Canterbury is botching the Panel of Reference.

In discussing the Bedford Communique last month I posted the following:

Another paragraph from the communiqué I find interesting:

The primates of the Anglican Communion at their meeting in Newry called “as a matter of urgency” for a panel of reference (paragraph 15), and yet as of this date, the panel has not been organized. We implore the Archbishop of Canterbury to organize this panel immediately to help ensure the protection of beleaguered parishes and clergy of the Episcopal Church.

Sounds like some polite but public impatience to me.

I, too, am wondering why the Panel of Reference hasn’t been yet formed. With situations in Connecticut, Brazil, and elsewhere, the need is urgent, and the Primates were right to say so. I realize there are probably procedures to follow, consultations to make, etc. But I’m scratching my head about the delay.

My impatience has been proved mistaken before. So I’ll say no more . . . for now.

It’s time to say more.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed Peter Carnley, Senior Primate of Australia to lead the Panel of Reference.

When I read the news last night, I was beside myself. My first thought was ++Rowan’s putting a fox in charge of the hen house. In fact my second thought was ++Rowan’s putting a fox in charge of the hen house.

This is a terrible choice. ++Carnley has long been a partisan in the liberal camp. He has again and again alienated conservatives, including this one. The Panel needs a chair the orthodox trust and respect. Carnley is NOT it.

Is this the best Rowan Williams can come up with after such a delay? I was (and still am) hesitant to criticize the delay in appointing the Panel of Reference because I’m not in a position to know much of what’s going on behind the scenes. But it seems to be becoming more clear there is no good reason behind the delay.

The delay combined with this appointment sends an awful message to orthodox parishes under distress – the Archbishop of Canterbury really doesn’t care about you.

Maybe he does care. But he’s not showing that well at all right now.

The Primates made clear that the Panel was an urgent matter. And the Global South Primates have made clear the distressed orthodox should get real relief. The delay and this appointment are at cross purposes with those priorities.

I wonder what the Primates think about this. I’m flabbergasted myself. I really thought the Archbishop gave keeping the orthodox in the fold more priority himself than he is showing now.

I hope events show I’m overly alarmed and misreading the situation. But based on his actions so far, the Archbishop of Canterbury is botching the Panel of Reference and giving the orthodox less and less reason to stick it out and stay in the Anglican Communion.

And it’s time to say so.
A technical question

I really want to be able to use the “trackback” or “pingback” comment options I see on some blogs. But I have no idea how to do that. Can someone tell me or link me to a page that will tell me? Thanks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Archbishop of Uganda comes to Denton, Texas.

Sunday, the former Archbishop and Primate of Uganda, the Most Rev. Livingstone Nkoyoyo, came to St. David’s. It was an excellent time.

He gave a fun but to the point sermon. He talked some about the Anglican church of Uganda. He mentioned that most priests have several parishes. So the typical parishioner gets communion only three or four times a year.

He talked of Ugandan Anglicans being a laughingstock and being stuck with the label of supporting immorality because of the actions of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. He said this with a sense of humor and without any bitterness. But he made clear it’s a hard label to shake off. ECUSA actions are more than a trivial hindrance to the church’s witness.

But he said the Anglican church in Uganda is growing anyway, and not because of TV evangelists. “We don’t have those.” It’s because of lay Christians doing evangelism. He said the laity is in a better position to do everyday evangelism than the clergy.

Then he told of his own conversion. He said his father kicked him out of the house because he was “a naughty boy.” Eventually, he found a job at an auto shop. Well, a band of people came around the shop to preach. And they kept coming back. And although he was unresponsive at first, God used the lay evangelists to break through. He became a Christian. Not long afterward he was called to ministry while doing a realignment job.

He used his experience and that of the church in Uganda to emphatically tell us that we, the laity, are the ones to do evangelism. Christianity is not a private thing.

He then briefly told us about his orphanage and its work. The need is great – Uganda has two millions orphans due to the AIDs pandemic.

Here’s a news story about ++Nkoyoyo and his orphanage from his visit to Montana. You can also contact the ministry though

By the way, his favorite phrase is “Praise the Lord for that one.” And his tat was quite impressive although I don’t have the Anglican vocabulary yet to describe it well.

The archbishop then confirmed a good number of people. Yes, I’m jealous. ;^)

He stayed a long time afterwards, taking with people. And I enjoyed talking with people myself, including a fellow DBC’er who got confirmed and a longtime reader of this blog.

The rector and I agreed – it was a great Sunday.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Liberal Arrogance

Pseudo-Christian George Regas gave a little sermon the other day at the National Cathedral. The sheer arrogance of it got my blood boiling so much, I had to calm down a few minutes before I was able to write anything coherent.

The man quotes Jesus’ claim to be “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” . . . and then immediately states, “I simply refuse to hold the doctrine that there is no access to God except through Jesus.”

If your temperament can handle it, you may click the link above and read more.

I use the word arrogance pointedly. To get up in the pulpit of a church under the (false) pretenses of being a Christian and directly and willfully contradict the claims of Christ is an arrogance that just blows my mind. That the pulpit didn’t explode in a ball of fire shows God is far more patient than I am.

Think of it in these terms. If someone thought the Koran is a crock, the appropriate response is not to go to a Mosque under the pretense of being a Muslim cleric, then give a message saying the Koran is a crock. One should instead be honest and respectful enough to admit he is not a Muslim and not attempt in any way to lead Muslim services.

But does Regas possess even that minimal and – since he likes the word so much – universal honesty and respect? No.

Regas’ arrogance is intolerable. And I’m glad to see a large number of the congregation at even that uberliberal cathedral indeed didn’t tolerate it and walked out.

Look, Regas and company, If you don’t believe Christ, then be intellectually honest and take off your frinkin’ collar. Don’t heap judgment on yourself by ascending a pulpit and arrogantly “correcting” the Son of God.

Or are you such a wolf that you just don’t care about your eternal fate and that of your listeners? Are you attempting to entice your listeners into the same condemnation you are under?

As a number of comments on the link note, that this man wasn’t defrocked years ago speaks volumes about the Episcopal Church.

Friday, May 06, 2005

One advantage of the doctrine of Real Presence

I went to St. Matthias (or “Smokey Matt’s” as I affectionately call this very Anglo-Catholic parish) for their Ascension Day service. It was an excellent service. And I found myself personally worshipping at a deeper level than usual.

One reason among several is they take the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist very seriously, and it’s reflected in their worship. And that helped me to worship and pray as if He was really there . . . which He was.

I hold to the doctrine of the Real Presence although probably in not as “Catholic” a way as St. Matthias Church. But a couple years ago I didn’t hold to it as all. At the time, I thought Real Presence was the same as the Catholic doctrine that the sacrament becomes the actual physical body and blood of Christ. So I rejected it out of hand.

(Note: I now respect the view that the sacrament becomes the physical body and blood. And it’s definitely not a communion breaker for me. But it’s still not my view.)

I do think something special happens so that the sacrament becomes to the believer the body and the blood. Although it’s a mystery (especially to me) just how it happens, I believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist. I think it’s hard to explain a number of New Testament passages otherwise, especially John 6:53-57.

As this doctrine sinks in, it has become more and more meaningful to me. And I find it helps me to worship in a big way. For Christ is really there in Holy Communion. And now I know that as I didn’t before.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

News about my book . . .

That encouragement I mentioned yesterday was very timely. I found out yesterday evening that my book distributor is dropping God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager. The reason given is slow sales (which is normal for a book after four years. Most books sell well for only a brief time, if at all.).

I would appreciate all prayers for guidance in this situation. I still want God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager to be readily available to people. One possible avenue would increase its availability in Europe. But I need to make some decisions quickly. So pray. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An Encouraging Word

I don’t write about it much here, but I’m a small author. My first published book is God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager, which came out in 2001.

Sales have been mildly disappointing. I wasn’t expecting it to be the Prayer of Jabez, but I was expecting to need a second printing. But that looks unlikely. The irony is that the book sold fairly well, but very few stores took on my book and reordered once they sold out. But I don’t want to get started on the Christian bookstore industry.

Anyway, this past weekend I went to the Denton Jazzfest. I love it because I can just walk over to it whenever I want, and I always see a lot of friends there, including people I haven’t seen in a while.

Well, one of those people was Adam, a Freshman kid I know from my days of volunteer youth ministry at Denton Bible. He’s a great guy. Even though he had a girl friend with him he stopped and talked with this old youth leader for a bit. That’s the kind of guy he is.

He’s a very encouraging guy, too. And he encouraged me in a big way. He talked about how excited he was about helping lead his older brother to Christ and about sharing with others.

And he mentioned that he uses my book and its website and the stickers that go with them in sharing with friends.

Walking around afterwards, I was happy that I heard about my book and its site being used in a way I didn’t know. And I thought back to other scattered times, especially when a guy I didn’t know sent me an e-mail out of nowhere telling me God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager was a big reason he decided to become a youth minister.

And I thought that when you’re faithful and use the gifts and abilities God gives you, the visible results might not be much for a while -- maybe a long while. But God uses our faithfulness and work beyond our knowing.

And no telling how He’s used my very backlist book.

Thanks, buddy, for the encouragement and the reminder.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Windsor Action Covenant

Yes, this covenant first presented at the Bedford, Texas meeting of the Network has been out for some time. I was a bit tied up there for a while, so I didn’t post on it. But this is important enough that I can’t let it pass without comment.

I think it a good statement. I do think the name is a bit unfortunate. It is easily lampooned. (Perhaps warped minds such as mine will be the only ones to notice. Does the Windsor Action Covenant come with a set of Anglican Action Heroes? Is it WACed out?) And not all who agree with it’s content are big fans of the Windsor Report. Although aligning with the Primates and their endorsement of the report is probably smart strategy.

And the statement pledging “standing with those who stand with me regardless of what they feel they must do in their situation” is a bit open-ended. But I agree with its sentiment that orthodox Anglicans need to put aside disagreements on matters such as women’s ordination, Anglo-Catholic practices, and whether or not to stay in ECUSA. There’s nothing wrong and much right with holding and being faithful to strong views on such matters. But they shouldn’t keep us from standing and working together.

What I find most significant about the covenant and why I’m posting on it is the following pledge:

If General Convention chooses finally to walk apart from the Anglican Communion, I will not follow, but will remain a faithful Anglican, God being my helper.

That is the clearest statement I have seen from the Network acknowledging, if indirectly, that separation from ECUSA might become necessary.

Leaders from all sides of the Episcopal Church are publicly recognizing that remaining in both ECUSA and the Anglican Communion may soon not be a viable option. And I think these breaths of reality are healthy.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Big days at St. David’s

I got two pleasant surprises when I went to St. David’s yesterday. First, it was St. David’s Day, the celebration of the patron saint of the parish. There was a special service with lots of Easter carols. It felt like Easter all over again.

And the rector gave a fun brief homily on St. David of Wales. He was a very evangelistic-minded Celtic abbot who, largely through the twelve monasteries he founded, spread the Gospel and combated Pelagianism.

There was a nice bratwurst lunch afterwards outside in spectacular weather.

The second surprise? Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo (ret.) will be visiting next Sunday! Yes, he is the former Primate of Uganda. And he’ll be doing confirmations, too. I’m jealous of those who get to be confirmed by him! It should be a special Sunday indeed.

If you come, join me in bringing your checkbooks. He’s raising money for an orphanage. Anglicans in Uganda are among those turning away ECUSA money. So it’s time for us to step up and support their good ministries.