Saturday, March 31, 2007

Walk that dog proudly

One of the reasons I believe that God can work through my sermons happened a few years ago. One of my professors had prepared us for this. He said something along the lines of there is going to be a time when your sermon doesn't come together. If it were a dog it would be a mutt. But walk that dog proudly.

There was a week when my sermon wasn't coming together. I ended up with a manuscript that I didn't like and didn't think was very good. I preached it anyway. In the middle of the sermon I thought - this just isn't coherent. After the service one of the people listening told me it was just what they needed to hear. A few weeks later they said the same thing about that sermon - mentioned the week so I knew it was that particular sermon - and mentioned what they needed to hear. I didn't remember saying that but ... maybe... I knew I hadn't been doing all that well and just maybe I'd said something that coherent

I finally listened to the worship service and sermon tape. I didn't hear what that person heard. I heard a horrible sermon. Even though I'd said some of the things that person heard in other sermons, this one didn't have them.God works through my sermons even if I think they're not going anywhere. And I really do think that particular sermon was an incoherent disaster. But someone got something out of it through God's gracious gift because it certainly wasn't that sermon.

That sermon was a mutt, a disaster of breeding and work, but I walked that dog proudly and God used it for someone's good.

Speak the truth and shame the devil

One of the sayings that floated around the church while I was growing up was "Speak the truth and shame the devil." The practice was sometimes in harsh words against other people, but more often in calling ourselves as Christians to account. I saw this in practice in the civil rights movement as people started to speak out about the injustices of the law.

This is what comes to my mind when I hear that someone (Monica Gooding) is a good Christian who livesbut is taking the Fifth to avoid prosecution for some statements and actions in her job for Attorney General Gonzales. If she did the right thing, then as a Christian she should speak the truth and shame the devil. Instead it sounds like she's not acting as a good Christian though she proclaims that she is faithful and went to a religiously related college.

Ms. Gooding needs to stop her plans to take the Fifth. If she is Christian she will take responsiblity for her actions or, in other words - speak the truth and shame the devil

Gonzales and the problem

Daily Kos pointed me to an article at Salon which gets to the heart of the problem with Gonzales and the firings. The firings were fine, but the problem comes when lies are told about why they happened.

Here's the money quote:

The president had an absolute right to fire us. We served at his pleasure, and that meant we could be dismissed for any reason or for no reason. And we all accepted that fact without complaint. When challenged by Congress, the leaders of the Department of Justice could have refused to explain. Or, they could have explained the truth. But apparently the truth behind some or all of the firings was embarrassing. So, instead, they said it was because of "performance." We didn't accept that, because it wasn't the truth.

Joe and Margaret - Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Women’s Bible Study, and they were going to cover all of Ruth, Margaret was excited. Pastor Larry had suggested that the group keep up with the suggested home Bible readings and they were. And what would the other women think of the story of Ruth?

Pastor Larry was there as the women arrived. They greeted him and started passing out the desserts. Miriam, Pastor Larry’s wife, was the hostess so the women did not think too much about his presence. They were glad to see the Pastor taking an interest. Then Miriam said, “I’m glad to see you all here today. My husband thinks this book is of great importance and is going to teach us himself. Larry is going to take over teaching all of the women’s groups. We need to thank him for his concern for all of us weak women. We will be lead not just by one of our husbands, but by our pastor in this Bible study.”

Ruth applauded politely along with the other women thinking that she should be grateful but Pastor Larry left so little room for discussion. He had called her on her questions before saying that they indicated a disobedient heart. But if Joe was not wanting to talk about the passage and Pastor Larry was leading the women’s study she didn’t know where she would turn and as Pastor Larry continually emphasized she had a great deal to atone for to get from underneath God’s judgement. She kept a polite smile up as she sighed internally and wondered if her questions would ever be answered. Then she sighed again; there she was asking questions instead of being obedient. Could she ever be like Miriam?

Pastor Larry began by reading all of Ruth. Each woman opened her Bible to read along with him. They all had NIV. Pastor Larry said that it was the only translation that was inerrant and had preached against using the RSV which had included the heresy that Mary might not be a virgin by translating Isaiah as young woman. Pastor Larry was even more against any version that claimed to be feminist or open. There was only one translation that had any validity in his mind. Since Pastor Larry was the pastor and as such the head of the church, the women agreed.

Pastor Larry talked about how Ruth was an obedient woman who held to God’s plan. She saw the better options in living with God even as Naomi tested her; telling her to return to her mother’s house. And this phrase mother’s house showed how Naomi was testing her since men ran the only proper households in God’s realm. When Ruth showed proper obedience by holding to her faithful household, then God provided. Naomi was the proper older woman in teaching the younger to listen to men. Naomi taught Ruth to do whatever Boaz wanted, as Boaz was the proper man in the household after the death of her husband and sons.

Margaret was grateful for Pastor Larry’s explanation and resolved to be a more obedient wife. She looked at Miriam as she left and was reminded of the days that she wore long-sleeves to hide her bruises. It was good to be married to someone where she didn’t have to hide things. She had wanted to ask about how Ruth could be a member of the Israelites when also a Moabitess. Deuteronomy 23:3 seemed to say that she couldn't be one and David wasn't ten generations from her coming into the community, yet he danced for the Lord and his son built the temple.

copyright Roger Victoria 2007



Ah youth, it lasts but just a day
then laughs and quickly glides away
Before one knows enough to grasp
it has all but wandered from one’s clasp.
But is not blithe spirit that quickly goes its way,
not counting cost that it may pay,
the sign of youth, not snow-crowned sage.

And all that laughs and loves and glitters,
they that lose but are not bitter.
Have some chance, hold a spark
of long lost youth’s hidden lark.

Begun March 4, 1990
copyright Roger Victoria 1991

Friday, March 30, 2007

Joe and Margaret - Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Margaret sighed as she put away the dairy and meat. There were still the gutters to do. At least with them she had an excuse for blue jeans. Joe had been so insistent on her wearing dresses after Pastor Larry mentioned the passage about women wearing clothes proper to their gender as it said in Deuteronomy 22:5. She couldn’t see the big deal - blue jeans were for both women and men, but Joe did. As she changed clothes she plotted - if I start in the back I should be around front when Joe can see me as he gets home. He’s always a little more ready when he sees me in blue jeans, I know I have to be patient since the accident, but the Bible did say for the husband to give due affection to the wife in I Corinthians 7:3. It seemed to be easier for Joe to give her a full measure of that affection when he had seen her in slacks or blue jeans.

“Margaret, Come here!”

Oops, Margaret thought, he's already home. “Yes, Joe? I’ll be a minute. I’m changing to go do the gutters.”

“The totals are wrong on the grocery list. It says sunflower seeds and I didn’t put any away and it doesn’t have the peanuts.”

“I’m sorry Joe, I didn’t catch that at the store. Should I go back and get it corrected?”

“What was the price of the peanuts?

“They were $2.19.”

“The sunflower seeds are listed at $1.99. No, Margaret, don’t go back. I’ll put the difference in a letter and mail it to them. Then I’ll take the costs out of next week's grocery allowance.”

Margaret sighed and went out the bedroom window. How could she get through to Joe that a few pennies didn’t matter? He seemed to be more unreasonable each day. She agreed with him about the importance of honesty. But, honestly, a few pennies mistake at the supermarket, a wrong price just didn’t seem that important.

Joe wondered why Margaret couldn’t see how important honesty was. It didn’t matter who made the mistake – honesty was the only way to live. Keeping track of every penny enabled one to do God’s will. He still remembered the error he had made the night of his accident. If only he had done God’s will, the accident wouldn’t have happened. Maybe then he could have continued to be the husband Margaret deserved.

But then, Joe thought, maybe if Margaret would look to me as head of the household I would be able to be a better husband. The Bible does tell women that as Christ is head of the church so the man is the head of the woman. Margaret gets that some of the time - but too often she has an independent streak. She just keeps missing wrong amounts on the grocery list. I just can’t see why the counselor thinks that is not important when we talk about how I’m recovering from the accident.

Margaret finished the gutters and went to change. Joe’s going to be upset if he sees me in blue jeans, she thought. If I change into a nice dress, he may say I’m being a good wife. I’m grateful he hasn’t yet noticed the passage about blending two types of fabrics (Leviticus 19:19), it’s difficult enough to meet the church's idea of what are women's clothes. Joe’s been so good to me it’s the least I can do.

Joe had dinner ready by the time Margaret came down. He’d taken over that chore after she started doing some of his jobs. Margaret didn’t think Joe realized how much she enjoyed mowing the yard, cleaning gutters and generally getting messy. It wasn’t womanly, but it was fun. She didn’t think Joe realized how much he had hated those jobs, though he did realize how much he enjoyed cooking. She knew Joe worried about the mixing of gender roles, but since his accident there was just no way he could do those outside jobs.

Joe began praying, “O God, bless this food to your use and us to your service. Help us to love each other as we love you and may we always be grateful for your gifts as we give you the obedience that you command. Amen.” Margaret looked at the burnt meatloaf and wondered if she should volunteer to cook, but no, Joe wanted to feel useful as if he could do more, and Joe seemed to enjoy it even when he made mistakes.

Joe continued talking, “Pastor Larry’s sermon was interesting. I’ve been thinking about the James part about calling in the elders. I just think I should be healing faster. Pastor Larry is so right about us needing to be a part of the community of the church and how we need to model the order in heaven in our families and church. Jesus heads up the church, then the elders head up the church and the husband heads up the family. Should we start in James in our evening Bible studies or do you want to keep going straight through?”

“I think we should keep going through the Bible, Joe, though getting through one of those shorter books sounds attractive. It would feel like we got through more if we could just chalk that one up as finished. But whatever you decide is o.k. with me. And then, we are starting Ruth so it’s a short book like James. I really don’t have a preference. You’re the head of the house. I like both thoughts.”

“Let’s go with Ruth then.”

Margaret was relieved; she really wanted to study Ruth. It was so encouraging hearing about the women in the Bible. They finished the meal in silence.

Margaret rinsed and loaded the dishwasher thinking how lucky she was. She had started cooking at eight after her mother disappeared. Her father had never talked about it except to say that now that his wife was gone his daughter would be responsible for her duties. She knew, now, how sick it was for him to expect her to do everything a wife did, but what did an eight-year-old know. Joe had given her a resting-place from all those demands and let her choose her own time. His patience had been so wonderful, if he needed time to recover from the accident; well she could just give it to him.

As usual Joe read. Margaret picked up some cross-stitch, she was beginning a series of Christmas ornaments, and went to her own thoughts. So Orpah and Ruth are encouraged to go to their mother’s houses. I wonder what it would have been like to have known my mother and mother’s mother. I think I have memories of playing in a garden, but I wonder if that is from one of the houses we lived in before my mother disappeared or if it really was with my grandmother. But I’m not sure I want to find out, if they were anything like my father’s family then I’m better off not meeting them, though I don’t recall anyone yelling at me other than my father and his family. Mom seemed pretty quiet, at least in what I remember. When we got married I didn’t know where that “entreat me not to leave thee,” came from. But Joe has been my safe haven and I am so thankful for that. He gave me such a wonderful space when we got married. He didn’t make any demands except to see that the house was clean and that is so easy after living with my father. My father kept demanding that the house be clean, sparkling clean, but he could come in drunk and spill liquor all over and still expect it to be clean when he got up. And if anything was out of place. Well, I just don’t have to worry about that with Joe.

copyright Roger Victoria 2007

And I said

And I said

And I said.
And he said
That I said
That You said
That we should be friends

And you said
That he said
That I said
That we should make love

And I said
That I hoped
That we are in love

And I hope
That you want
To become my love

Because what he said
That You said
Is not
What I want

And I want
For you to
Want that thing which is love

And so
What he said
That you said
Is not very much

And so
What you say
That he said
Is now even less

Until you say
Or don’t say
That I am in love.

Monday, August 27, 2001

Copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Traditional Marriage isn't

I could refer to a number of books that show that 'traditional' marriage changes through the years, but here's a quick post that does the same.

Change is possible and necessary - for everyone

I pray regularly that my heart, mind and soul be changed to what God would have me be, yet I must admit a sliver of self-satisfaction when another person comes around to the point of view I hold and agrees that it is what God would have us do. So when Box Turtle Bulletin pointed me to an article at Pam's House Blend where Joe Murray formerly of the American Family Association changed his mind about homosexuality... suffice it to say I was probably a little too pleased. But the interview is good. And it shows one of the reasons I keep talking to people with whom I disagree. Possibly they're right and I need to change or maybe I'm right and they need to change or both of us may be wrong and need to change - yet I need to constantly examine and re-examine my beliefs so that I may come more into what God would have me be.

Aging and being gay

There's a great article at Queersighted about the problems of elderly gay people. Check it out.

Day of Silence

Some conservative activists, according, are taking their children out of school so that they won't be exposed to the idea that gay people want equal rights and gay men and lesbians (or those perceived as such) are sometimes victims of discrimination. I say more power to them. If their children weren't already aware that there are issues around homophobia and sexual orientation, they certainly will be aware of such after being taken out of school.

The action of taking your children out of school so they won't learn about the day of silence is like cutting off your foot because your toe hurts. It shows the children how important the issue is.

Albert Einstein

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

(Albert Einstein)

Story of Joe and Margaret - Introduction


Joe thought he was truthful. He learned he was wrong. Margaret thought she was worthless. She learned she was wrong. Joe and Margaret thought they loved each other. They learned they were wrong. They learned to love themselves and each other. They divorced.

copyright Roger Victoria 2007

Berit Olam - Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

I just got Berit Olam's commentary on Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I found it useful but wouldn't get it as a first or even second commentary on the books. But then I didn't do so. There are a lot of lists and graphs on word use. And while I will complain when generalizations are made without supporting evidence, there is also a place where it seems the lists are to avoid thinking about the book and this commentary got to that point. A great deal of work went into this book, but more focus on purpose and thought would have been helpful

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light.




was I
did not see
what they saw
was in part
now they see more parts
they, I, become whole.

Copyright Roger Victoria, 1997

Danse Macabre - Anita Blake

The latest in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series has a lot more sex, if looked at from one perspective. But in a more important sense Danse Macabre has more relationship in it. There's still blood, gore, fights and mayhem yet Anita Blake is growing in maturity and working on her relationships. And, while I want the mayhem and murder, the relationships are what keep me coming back to this series

Tuesday, March 27, 2007



Staring out the window
as you walk out the door
looking for the last time
as you flee from the war
searching for the meaning
of how a love went wrong
staring out the window
as you walk out the door.

September 17, 1999
copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Gonzales in deep

Gonzales seems to me to be digging himself in deeper. I'm afraid that when you are supposed to be upholding the law it seems a bit disingenuous not to comment on a staffer pleading the fifth. Certainly it is a right that should be upheld. Yet those in the service of the law should be condemned for taking any action that says that they have broken the law. And that is what happens when someone pleads the fifth. If Gonzales has a staffer who pleads the fifth he should be mentioning how he is cleaning house to make sure no one else on his staff has done anything to break the law or thwart justice. That seems to me the hallmark of someone who is responsible and innocent. But nothing is happening along those lines.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Thomas Jefferson

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

--Thomas Jefferson

Gonzales and more covering up

It seems that Gonzales not only has a weak memory when it comes to his involvement in firing some of his staff; it also seems he doesn't remember some child abuse cases that he failed to prosecute.

Thanks to Pam's House Blend for pointing me to the links.

The Fifth Amendment

Maybe I'm slow, but I would think that the idea that one of Gonzales' aides is going to cite the fifth amendment would be cause for Bush and/or Gonzales to be doing a whole lot of housekeeping. If the people we are trusting to prosecute our laws can't tell the truth without incriminating themselves, then something is very wrong.

Oh wait, Gonzales lied and it is clear that he did so.

And so it goes

And so it goes

Where does love go?
it seemed so strong
but is now gone
it seemed so strong
Where does it go?

Where does love go?
it came to stay
but went away
it did not stay
Why did it go?

And love does go
when held too tight
when held too tight
love fades from sight
and so it goes
Where does it go?
Why did it go?

copyright Roger Victoria1999

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Matt Sanchez

I was trying to figure out how to write about Matt Sanchez, one of the latest right-wing poster boys who had a past in pornography and prostitution - gay - and then found I didn't have to. There's a great article at Center of Gravitas. Oh and the past isn't that much in the past.

Support removed

Support removed.

I’m eating,
but he isn’t
I’m drinking,
as he is not
I’m waiting,
and so is he.
I’m waiting
for sweet release.
We’re waiting
for death to come.

Roger Victoria, October 19, 1998
copyright Roger Victoria 1998

Hospital II

Hospital II

The waiting
doing nothing
but waiting.
Waiting for something
but nothing
nothing happens,
and so, waiting.

copyright Roger Victoria 1998



The doctor should be older.
Surgeons, all of them,
all that are any good
should be older.

But I am older,
Older than I was.
And those younger,
ones that are good,
can do things I never thought to learn.

January 20, 1998
copyright Roger Victoria 1998



Walking the hallways,
waiting the news,
searching the views,
seeking the rays
of hope.

But the views that are there
are blank windows that stare,
are the shades that draw tight,
or doors open and bare,
... we cope.

So we sit in more chairs,
all the bright, sterile chairs
by the bedsides and doors
in dim light or glare,
and we share,
and we hope,
and we cope.
And we hope.

August 28, 1998
copyright 1998 Roger Victoria

Friday, March 23, 2007

Idiocy and global warming

Unfortunately I live in Longmont. Well, not because I live here, but because of some of the teaching. From Pharyngula comes this tip. And the original article. I seem to remember from my experience in debate and judicial proceedings within my denomination that not all evidence is equally credible. But the students seem not to have been taught such by the teacher responsible for their learning.

Do Not Disturb

I always thought that people who left a Do Not Disturb sign on the door understood that we wouldn't call them or knock on their door. Evidently for some it doesn't quite mean that. I had a complaint from some people that their room wasn't cleaned. When I looked at the housekeeping sheets it was noted that there was a Do Not Disturb sign. But they told me that they'd taken the Do Not Disturb sign off in the morning. Since the housekeepers were gone I went ahead and apologized.

The next day I let the housekeeper know that she had to clean their room. I emphasized doing a good job. And then I went about my business until the housekeeper came and said that she was finished and there was a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. So I went up and looked. There it was. And so I went and typed up a note and slipped it under the door.

And about two hours after I'd done so the guests came down and complained about having a note slipped under their door when I could have called them and let them know that the housekeepers were leaving. And then they complained about letting the housekeepers leave before noon. And so I apologiized. And I said that I let the housekeepers go when they were finished with their assigned tasks. And I said that with the Do Not Disturb sign I didn't want to ring them in case they were sleeping late.

And what it came down to was that I should have read their mind and called them before the housekeepers left even though they had a Do Not Disturb sign on the door.

And I sighed. And I went up and cleaned the room.

Testifying under oath

Town called Dobson makes the point today. If you're going to tell the truth why are you unwilling to answer under oath? I certainly can understand reasons for not taking oath such as not taking any oath on Scripture rather letting your 'yes' be yes and your 'no' be no as do some religious groups. But flat out saying we're not going to testify under oath?!

Woody Guthrie

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that make you think that you are born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or ugly or too fat or slim or too ugly or this or that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.

I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.

I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you down a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are how your built. I am out to sing songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just like you.

I could hire out to the other side. The big money died and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind of songs that know you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow."
-Woody Guthrie

A Prayer

A Prayer

Oh Light that lights up all my life,
illumining the darkest shadows.
Oh Light that shines through all the years
and gives the years their meanings.
Come to my heart and all my life.
Illuminate in every part.
That I may see what I have been
and look to what I yet may be.

Oh Love that loves the loveless ones.
Love loving those who cannot love.
Oh Love that cares through all the years
and gives the years their meanings.
Come to my heart and all my life.
Come cast your love in every part.
That I may see what I have been
and look to what I yet may be.

Oh Life that lives in every day.
Come breathing through endless, lifeless days.
Oh Life that lives through all the years
and gives the years their meanings.
Come to my heart and give me life.
Come to my heart that I may light
the breath of love in every part
Till I may see what I have been
and become what I may yet be.

copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Tuesday, March 20, 2007



everything is
a burden
a task
just one more thing
pleasures become burdens
pleasures become just
just one more thing
another task
another burden
no pleasure
no pleasure at all.

Begun March 12, 1998
Roger Victoria
copyright Roger Victoria 1998

Words that are no comfort

Words that are no comfort

Some words that will not comfort
but the words that might sustain.
Rachel is weeping for her child
and cannot be comforted.
The loss may be transformed
but the loss will still remain
The slave may be redeemed
but the slavery is not erased
a life, our lives will still go on
but without the presence.
"They" may say you are grieving well
or may think you're doing badly.
But it is o. k. to grieve badly and well in your own way
it is o. k. to make others uncomfortable
You don't have to cry (or not) so that they can say
"How well you are doing."
You must grieve as you grieve
and move through the pain
You must cry - or not - as you will
for there is no comfort.
there is only hope

Roger Victoria, October 20, 1998
copyright Roger Victoria 1998

Helen Keller

"Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow."

Helen Keller

Depression happens

One of the people I talk with recently mentioned some of the signs of depression in his life. And I immediately jumped on him to get medical and therapeutic helps started. The signs of depression are several - lack of interest in anything, feelings of suicide or thoughts on how to accomplish it, weight loss or weight gain that's not explained, and more. But the big thing is to go to your doctor and if the doctor passes off the symptoms go to another. Depression is a medical illness that affects body and brain. Depression is just not a matter of getting out there and ridding yourself of it.

There are a number of mentions of depression in search engines, go to the sites that have real medical advice rather than the herbs or other treatments. There are drugs that have been tested and shown to help. There are therapies that have clear success rates. Go to those sites, go to some of the free medical helps in your community or the nearest major metropolitan area. But go get some help.

That's the advice I gave to 'him' and to you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Year

A Year

Once in spring
sipping wine
thoughts of snow
mulling winter.

Through the autumn
drinking beer
remember heat waves
summer disappears.
memory remains

For the summer
sipping water
seeing leaves fall
fall sere and brown.
thoughts endure

In the winter
drinking amaretto
remember cherry blossoms
come in spring.
will you come?
oh come back in summer
will you come?
come to me in fall
will you come?
come back in winter
come back in time-
-come back to me

copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Grover Cleveland

Someone who liked beer. Someone with whom I could get along.

Paul F. Boller Jr., in Presidential Anecdotes (1981), relays the following story about Cleveland’s campaign for district attorney of Erie County, NY in 1870:
“[Cleveland] and his friendly opponent, Lyman K. Bass, agreed to drink only four glasses of beer daily. But after they had met a few times on warm summer evenings to talk things over, they decided that their ration was too skimpy and so began to ‘anticipate’ their future supply. A few evenings later, Bass suddenly exclaimed: ‘Grover, do you know we have anticipated the whole campaign?’ Cleveland nodded sorrowfully. The next night, however, both of them brought huge tankards to the saloon, christened them ‘glasses,’ and had no problem with the ration after that.”

Thanks to Dead Presidents Daily for the tip.

East of the Sun, West of the Moon - John Ringo

East of the Sun, Westof the Moon is not up to the standards of the other novels in this serires of a possible future, but it is worth a read - especially for those who have enjoyed this series. Read the other books first, then you'll enjoy this one. East of the Sun is able to carry a story without the rest of the series, but my advice is to read the others first as they have more interesting stories.


This quote is too good not to use.

I can tell you that having Ann Coulter call anyone else stupid is like seeing cockroaches complaining about vermin, or a pig farmer turning up their nose at someone else's stink.

Coulter has more than a little tendency to call people names and then say she doesn't really mean what it says, e.g. her use of 'faggot'.

Cravings by Laurell K. Hamilton et al

Cravings is a collection of short stories by two authors I've known for awhile - Laurell K. Hamilton and Mary Janice Davidson - and a couple that are new to me - Eileen Wilks and Rebecca York. I may just have to buy some books by the new to me people

Bite Laurell K. Hamilton et al.

I've been buying a few short story collections recently. Usually it's to see whether I like a author I haven't yet read. Bite has some of my favorite authors and the short stories are in some of my favorite fantasy worlds by those authors. Little bits of information from novels I've read and loved are filled in and made into stories I enjoy. The stories are complete in themselves, but it would be helpful to have read one or two other books in the world.

Marriage is a good`

There are books without end on whether marriage is limited to different gendered couples or not. Historically it is clear that there are a wide variety of marriage patterns from serial monogamy to polygamy (Israel from Scripture) as well as variations on gender (Will Roscoe has several booksthat have more than two genders for marital partners. But there's now a paper on the internet by the Institute for Progressive Christianity. Thanks to Straight not Narrow for pointing me to this document

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Presidential primaries

Bill Richardson has just jumped to the front runner in getting my vote in the primaries. He's the first candidate I've heard mention repeal of the failed Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy. I still think it's too early to start campaigning, but I'm resigned to having it happen. And since it is happening I'll be looking for reasons for and against candidates and probably keep changing my mind on whom I support.

ABC's and McCain

Thoughts from Kansas has a good post on the McCain debacle while being asked about the transmission of AIDS and condoms. Simply put the promotion of ABC's

Be faithful to your partner, and

is the most effective way of preventing the spread of any and all STD's.

On St. Patrick's Day

On Saint Patrick’s Day

Orange and red was the sky this morning,
orange and red on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Green-reddish-brown was the ground this morning,
Green-reddish-brown on this Saturday.

How is it, why is it;
the world lives in color.
Yet here we are dreary
and lacking in style.
Fighting and crying
for two different shadow
When clear in the morning
all colors are right.

copyright Roger Victoria 1990

When in the dark

When in the dark

When in the dark of night I fear
and what I fear draws near, draws near,
Nearer still, yes nearer still,
God’s love is yet nearer still.

When in the heat of noon I quiver
and I am prey that shivers, shivers;
where shall I go or travel
save, flee to God, God’s love will still.

When in the frenzied tasks I lose
lose sight of what to do, to will
I will then, truly then I will,
turn to God, will do God’s will.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Saturday, March 17, 2007

McCain stumped.

This is just plain scary. A presidential candidate who has several children is unable to come up with whether or not condoms help stop the spread of HIV - McCain was unable to answer this question. This should be basic knowledge for every child approaching puberty. I cannot believe that any adult would be unable to state that condoms help prevent the spread of STD's, especially one that is running for a major public office. So let me mention this again - I don't believe in sexual activity outside of a life-long commitment, but until both of you have been tested for STD's use a condom. Condoms, properly used, help slow the spread of the HIV virus and other sexually transmitted diseases. If you can't wait, then be careful.

Rev. Mohler

I haven't had words to speak about Rev. Mohler's assertion that we should use in vitro treatments to correct the sin of homosexuality, but the Rev. Wilson of the Metropolitan Community Church does. The full text is at Christian Voice for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Bisexual Rights along with several articles. Straight, not Narrow pointed me to the letter. Sexual orientation is not a medical problem and should not be treated as such. My sexual orientation is a gift from God that has blessed my life in countless ways once I accepted it. To take away that gift before it has a chance to blossom is an affront on the nature of abortion or the death penalty.

Little things

Little kindnesses

Little kindnesses
a cup of coffee
Little gifts
a shared smile
Small thoughts
show love

Little kindnesses
an offer to help
Little gifts
a soft touch
Small thoughts
of love

Little kindnesses
no hope of return
Little gifts
without need
Small thoughts
with love.

December 8, 1999
copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another shibboleth skewered

Dan Savage says:

People opposed to same-sex marriage are just ... addicted to double
standards. Marriage is about children—unless you’re straight, in which case you
can get married without having children. Marriage is about monogamy—unless
you’re straight, in which case you can get married and swing and cheat or have
threeways. Marriage is about a life-long commitment—unless you’re straight, in
which case you can marry multiple times, like Keillor.

This was in reply to the multiply married Keillor suggesting that gay men and lesbians marrying their same-sex partners would lead to a confusion of parents.

Easy work

Easy work

Works would be easy
to count up
to add and get a sum
Works would be easy grace
easy grace paid by me
easy accomplishments and then move on
But we are not asked for works
we cannot count the activities
we will not finish the repayment
For we are not asked to repay
what we cannot repay
we are only given
and can but accept.
not easy, not cheap
given, freely given and free

December 6, 1999
copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm wrong

I shouldn't have written about General Pace before reading Andrew Sullivan. I was wrong. His comments do matter. They matter to the service men who are gay and the service women who are lesbian. What must they feel? Talk about undercutting troop moral.

Immoral or moral is irrelevant

General Pace made a comment with which many agree and many disagree. That comment was that 'homosexuality is immoral.' Frankly I don't care if he apologizes for that remark. I would like to know whether his viewpoint on the morality or immorality of homosexuality which he claims is because of his upbringing affects his judgement. Certainly there is a lot of discussion among ethicists and moralists over what is ethical and moral. Homosexuality may or may not be immoral, yet the Armed Services have to deal with conflicting definitions of morality every day. What is moral in some religions is not so for members of other religions. And what I want to know is whether General Pace bases his actions on something more thoughtful than this is the morals I was taught as a child? Is General Pace thinking as an adult?

No apologies are necessary for his remarks, but more of an explanation is needed.



Love like a raging lion
My senses reel as wind blown leaves
around a maelstrom of emotional
so as love comes - I let go

Love like a hunting cat
upon my unwitting heart
while I was busy living
and I was caught

begun August 11, 1999, Roger Victoria

copyright Roger Victoria 2000

Monday, March 12, 2007

A wonder

Another wonder

I wonder as I wander within my own room
why I can do some things and other things too
and yet why the some things are never enough
to be what I want them to be for myself

I wonder as I wander out into the house
why I can do only as much as a mouse
and why all the things that I think I can do
can only be done when I do them for you.

If I could do any thing that I would do
then I would do anything that I could do
but any thing, any thing that can do
ends up being only the things you would do.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Muslims in the seat of government, oh my.

'Much ado about nothing' is how I'd sum up the Republicans who are upset that a Muslim group has been invited to the hill. Even if they do have terrorist ties, so what. Their main goal is civil rights. Shouldn't we be seeking opportunities to talk rather than leave it at open warfare?

Nelson DeMille

From Nelson DeMille's "Plum Island"

"It occurred to me that the problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you're finished."

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Soulforce has been going around for a couple of years with college age kids talking to colleges that have morality codes or such stuff that is antithetical to accepting homosexuality as a natural part of what is. One of the colleges they visited is near where my father grew up. Namely Dordt College in Sioux Center. While it is certainly in the Dutch area of Iowa they are nowhere near as liberal as Holland. But they do have something of which I approve. A desire for neatness and a respect for each other. And so, when the bus was vandalized, the college apologized.

Too often the debate is couched in terms that demonize the other side. This is good news. We can disagree in way that doesn't call the other names and respects the viewpoint of the other. We don't have to accept what they're saying, only respect that they believe it.

So kudos to Dordt College. I may not agree, but I can appreciate them. They're taking responsibility for what happened during the visit. They're showing respect. I keep wishing we would do more of that sort of stuff, but until that day comes when we all show respect I'll try to give a word of thanks when I see it happen.


And my dad grew up in a small town called Hull just down the highway from Sioux Center.

Nelson DeMille

From Nelson DeMille's "The Gold Coast"

She "excludes any realities that upset her prejudices."

from 2002 - lodging stories

It is really nice to know that those fire sprinkler systems put out a lot of water. But I wasn’t expecting to learn how much water they actually put out while I was working. We found out just how much water damage happens just this year. A delivery person knocked off the head of one of our sprinklers. We were planning on replacing the carpet and one of the rolls of padding came too close to the ceiling. In just under fifteen minutes six rooms and a hallway sustained water damage.

Which employees know where the shut off valve is for your sprinkler system? If it is only one employee each shift it may not be enough. The employee who knows the systems valves could be anywhere around the property. A quick tour to show each staff member where to reach emergency equipment and other equipment could save your property hundreds of dollars in replacement and other costs.

We lost the use of six rooms. The carpet padding already in storage was damaged. Furniture and other fixtures had to be replaced. Rooms were out of order while the carpet was dried. Rooms remained out of order until the insurance adjusters examined them. If you are solidly booked you may have to walk some customers. Walk-ins may leave when they see some of the damage. Every minute saved is worth the time spent training or re-training each staff member on where are your system valves and switches.

The fire department was a great help in containing the damage. They helped us move the water off of the carpet. But the men and women of the fire department will not know where your system valves and shut off switches are located. The fire department is not going to be on your premises when the accident happens. I have to confess I was not up to speed when we had our sprinkler incident. My first thought when hearing that a sprinkler head had been broken was that someone had driven over a lawn sprinkler. By the time I walked down the hallway and saw that it was a fire sprinkler the water was flowing out of the room door. That took two or three minutes. I squished down the hallway. Fortunately I had a portable phone with me so I could call the fire department immediately. Their arrival was about ten minutes later. The staff is your first line of defense in cost containment

By the way, does your staff know more than the location of the shut off valves? What are your emergency procedures? Who do they call first and are those numbers easily found in an emergency? The property where I work has the phone numbers of the general manager and owner posted near the numbers for local services at the front desk. This is out of sight of the customer and easily seen by the front desk staff. We assume that they will hear about a problem from the customers or other staff. For most locations 911 is the first number to call, but what about others that need to be informed. The general manager, owner(s), and several others may need to be informed. Customers will want to know what has happened. Your staff - whether housekeeping, front desk, maintenance, engineering, or other – will help you keep the good will and business of each customer, if they know what to do in an emergency. The staff will help you retain your customers in the face of an emergency.

The fire alarm will probably ring, while your staff deals with any accident to the sprinkler system. Your staff will need to know how and when to shut off the alarm system. In our case shutting off the alarm before finishing with the water was not sufficient. The alarm would continue to be set off as long as the water was flowing. But that leads to another question. If a fire alarm is accidentally pulled do your clerks know how to turn off the box along with the main system?

Since I have been at this property, an exploring child pulled the only fire alarm. While many fire alarms are not pulled because of an actual fire, the person on duty needs to treat them all seriously. Is the list of customers readily available? Who does the clerk call first? Is there a way for the clerk to call rooms without staying by the front desk? And what do you do to get the mechanism of the fire alarm back together?

Most of these questions need to be answered by the owner or general manager before an emergency happens. Even if the alarm goes off without an emergency or the sprinkler head is broken without a fire the staff present must know how to deal with the situation. Each property will have different procedures depending upon the equipment present, but a game plan is needed. Written procedures are necessary, but it is just as important to train your staff to handle the problem. Anyone who will be at the front desk or by themselves at the property will need to know the proper procedures. There must be training and regular review of the procedures. When there is an emergency whoever is on duty will not have time to look up instructions.

Preparation and training is the key to success in an emergency. Looking at the knobs and bells and whistles will take a little time during the day.

Lectionary thoughts from Psalm 63

From Psalm 63

My soul thirsts, my flesh faints
as in a dry and dreary land,
My breath fades, my muscles fail
as after many sleepless nights --
without you, O my God,
without you there is nothing.
Without your will I have no breath.
For you, O God, are my life.
Without your will I have no joy.
For you, O God, are my strength.

copyright Roger Victoria, 1999

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What I want

What I want

I know lust and desire
and know love and desire
and lusty love that desires
and desire more.

There is lust that devours
and love that inspires
and lusty love that fulfills
and I ask for love.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999


"Theology needs periodic rejuvenation. Its greatest danger is not mutilation but senility."


Genetic cleansing

Sounds like an old story made new once again. Genetic cleansing - this time not for Jews - for homosexuality. A religious leader, Rev. R. Albert Mohler, is calling for people to change the sexual orientation of their child within the womb. It really does seem a stretch to call a predisposition a sin. And to try to change it in the womb? Hmm. If I remember by biology and zoology correctly - it's been awhile - the species which are more monogamous have smaller testes in the male, perhaps we could help out with the sin of adultery by shrinking the testes of males in the womb?

Walter Reed problems - not new

There are a few reports out that members of Congress knew about lapses at Walter Reed long before the recent resignations. Now it's really not new to have problems at veteran's hospitals. Most of us know or have heard of instances for a long time. But avoiding the problems when you know about them is still just plain wrong.

Practicing pickups.

It's not just humans that go out to pick up a mate in pairs. I suspect almost everyone has gone to the bars or some other place with a buddy. And there's good reason to do so. From Science, "It pays to be the wingman".

Still cute

I'm not really a fan of the Star Wars, though I do admit to a certain fondness for some of the male hunks, but this is just plain cute. R2D2 mailboxes.


It seems any religious conservative who speaks about climate change and stewardship of the earth is going to get slammed by other conservatives. The Rev. Richard Cizik is but one of the examples I've noticed recently. I always thought that we were the stewards of God's creation, whether it is the idea that we are to create a pleasant garden, or take care of the earth, or several other scriptural leanings, the idea is that we are not to leave a wasteland.

Good stewards

Liberal theologians have been talking about being good stewards of the earth for years, there's even one branch of liberal theology that is centered on being good ecologists - I'm not coming up with the name, but I remember reading a couple of books on it back in seminary 20+ years ago. Now a more conservative theologian Edward Wilson wrote a book talking about being good stewards - I think the idea starts in both creation stories from Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 - and is being lambasted. Pharyngula has a good post on the subject.

No sympathy

The Republic of T has an article about being less than sympathetic towards the New Life church layoffs. Contributions have dropped after Haggard's departure over lies and sex. I, too, have little sympathy. From the reports I've seen the congregation is working at rooting out the sinners, but not working on the ways that they are complicit in enabling the sin. Until the solid work is done on their own role I see little hope of recovery.

Purification not needed

I don't like Bush, but that's more because I think he got us into a war using false and misleading information - the weapons of mass destruction argument - but I don't think I'd go as far as having a priest purify the area after he visits.

Falwell and Gingrich

Somehow, even with the excuses, it still smells like hypocrisy to me. Gingrich was slow to go after Clinton for his affair and was careful to point out the problem was lying, but it seems the coverup was on the side of Gingrich and Falwell as well. I believe the hypocrisy would have been avoided if both Fallwell - who seems to have known of the affair- and Gingrich - who had the affair - would have just said something along the lines of "Yes I've had and am having an affair, but the problem is Clinton lied under oath." But then the proceedings towards impeachment wouldn't have gone as far.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Robert Frost

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

(Robert Frost)

Come live

Come live

is to risk much.

is to risk more.

is to live life.


copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Matt Sanchez

Joe My God alerted me to another outing. A presumably straight man protests all the liberal hypocrisy and then we find out that he's been in gay porn. here's the thing I don't get. If you've had sex with another man, please don't claim to be straight. You may be bi; you may be gay; but you're just not straight. I don't care if you never have sex with another man. Once you've been sexually active with men for more than a few ocassions just don't claim to be totally straight.

Lonnie Latham

The anti-gay pastor who was picked up by a police officer (male) for soliciting sex is free. The fact is soliciting for sex isn't and shouldn't be illegal. It is hypocritical to troll for a same-sex encounter, while preaching against it. For that he's paying the price. But it just isn't illegal to ask someone to come with you to a hotel room for sex.

Personally I'd like to be in a life-long relationship with someone before I consider sexual activity. But that didn't happen in Scripture, e.g. Tamar posing as a prostitute and seducing her father-in-law and being judged righteous for doing so in Genesis 38:15, and doesn't happen today.

Martin Luther

The Devil does not stay where music is.

(Martin Luther)

Fortune's Fool

What happens in a land where magic and fairy tales control the actions of people. The answer is in Fortune's Fool and the related books by Mercedes Lackey. A good read


Mahu by Neil S. Plakey is a murder mystery and coming out story. I loved the interplay of family dynamics and police work. I laughed in more than one place and don't want to spoil by saying where. If you enjoy coming out stories, but not mysteries, you'll enjoy this book. If you enjoy mysteries, but aren't quite sure about coming out, you'll enjoy the book. I'm looking for more stuff by Neil S. Plakey

Leonard Matlovich

They gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one.

From the tombstone of Leonard Matlovich in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC

By Slanderous Tongues

Mercedes Lackey has taken history and childhood tales and woven them together in several novels. One of the latest retellings of history - if elves and other supernatural creatures existed - is set around Elizabeth. By Slanderous Tongues is one of the latest, co written with Roberta Gellis, and I find it fascinating to trace the historical accuracy along with the 'supernatural' reasons for some of the events.

Sweet and Deadly

Charlaine Harris, as always, writes a lovely story. Sweet and Deadly has none of the supernatural elements of her other work that I've read, but loses none of the mystery, charm and suspense. I'll be reading this book again and again.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Demon's Delight

Devilish and angelic passion are what the short stories in the book in the book Demon's Delight are about. I bought it for the Mary Janice Davidson story, but enjoyed more.

The Elysium Commission

I have a lot of favorite authors. L. E. Modesitt, Jr. is one of them. The Elysium Commission is one of the more surreal books from Modesitt. It is still science fiction and adventure with a healthy dose of a love story, but there is more change of appearance and viewpoint than usual. However good struggles vs evil and triumphs in the end.

Etienne de Grellet

"I expect to pass through
this world but once.
Any good therefore
that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show
to any fellow creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again."

"Attributed to Etienne de Grellet [1773-1855]."

The Curse of Chalion

I've thoroughly enjoyed the books I've read by Lois McMaster Bujold that are set in the Chalion Universe. The question in this book is how do you figure out and follow the will of God (or in Chailion the five Gods). That is a question that each of must ask ourselves. The answer for one of Bujold's saints is to go about one daily tasks trusting that those tasks are what God asks of one. Seems like the right answer to me.

A Fire of love

A fire of love

on fire
on fire for
in love
in love with
my fire
my love
I am in love
I am on fire
with you
for you

copyright Roger Victoria 1999


I've been going back to the Elijah and Elisha stories again especially I Kings 17, 18, 19. And what I see is a foreshadowing of the gospels. From the early stories about the grain and oil that don't run out to the raising of a widow's son the miracles are similar. And what is it about those stories? Well the poor are comforted and those who use their power to abuse others are brought down. Could it be more simple than that? Look for those who need help and confront those who step on another.

Or Love God and neighbor.

Myth-ing Persons and Little Myth Marker

I've been enjoying getting to re-read the 'Myth' series by Robert Asprin. This week I got through Mything Persons about what do you do when someone you care about disappears and Little Myth Marker which again is how do you care for the people about whom you care. Perhaps the most pertinent point is when the 'hero' Skeeve makes the point that you can't include someone who makes their living by lying to people among your friends. The magic and demons and all make for a fun read

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

And love is

And love is?

from out beyond confines
of space and time
a life, my life, our lives look like
a tapestry
a tie‑died tie
bonds that bind each
one to one
each to each
we teach,
we learn
we reach,
to earn
the gift
freely given

copyright by Roger Victoria, 1998

Monday, March 05, 2007

Jules Joubert

The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it entails.
-- Jules Joubert

Please don't make it up.

There are hate crimes. But really, please don't make it up. Yet that's what one woman did. She needs to apologize to all those who have actually been attacked because of their perceived sexual orientation, race, or other civil rights issues. I was once told to leave town because of my sexual orientation - that's discrimination. I suspect that the mother who told me so was worried about one of her sons being gay. I know that I didn't know the man with whom she accused me of having an affair. And that sort of situation needs to be addressed, but being gay or lesbian or anything else is no excuse for making up a crime.

Intelligent Design and Evolution

Red State Rabble pointed me to this letter from the Wichita Eagle - so many ministers commit false testimony. Good point. Certainly one can reject evolution because of one's beliefs, but to say it is not science is false.



O name that is above all names
yet closer than loves treasured heart
beat close to mine, before each claim
separate from all love can start.

O name that is before all names
still nearer than loves whispered breath
breathe to my ear
-- the words,
the fame,
that naught can part,
not even death.

O name that is within all names
which love may give both breath and heart
beat close to me, that I might claim
each pulse, each pause, and bear my part.

copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Sunday, March 04, 2007

On What Foundation? or If you think you are wise

If you think you are wise....

There’s something to be said for preaching against the follies of this world, but there’s also a point where one can be trapped by the follies of this world and preach as if one were against them. And the latter is where I see much of the religion that is on TV. It’s not that they sometimes get things wrong – all of us sometimes get things wrong – but the essential message is that through God all things will be well and to the persons satisfaction.

I’m more of the mind of Thomas Merton, “Certainly we know that all will be well, but the ways in which God makes it well are apt to be difficult for us.” Our plans, our desires for the future may not be in line with God. The power and wisdom that comes from God may include wealth and status on this earth, but may be a life of degradation, shame and lack of status. To quickly proclaim that God’s power will conquer all is to ignore the call to do God’s will.

Our foundation is in Jesus Christ. It is not in buildings where hundreds come to worship. Our foundation is in Jesus Christ. It is not in being known in the hallways of prestige. Our foundation is in Jesus Christ. It is not in a doctrine or creed or any edifice of knowledge or philosophy. Our foundation is in the one who saves us through his life and death.

If we boast in the fact that we are evangelical or feminist or both, then we’ve fallen into the trap of the Corinthian church of looking to someone other than Christ. If we’ve proclaimed ourselves to be servants of Christ and deny the faith of another because they don’t follow our particular understanding, then we’ve deceived ourselves into thinking we’re wise. If we say we must go back to this time or that when everything was better, then we’ve fallen into the ways of the world.

One of the many ways we fall into the ways of the world is by denying the truth. And there are many who deny the truth even as the proclaim that they are preaching the truth. As Inigo Montoya said: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." And while his word wasn’t that word, the quotation still applies.

A recent example from people who call themselves Christian and worship regularly is from the Dover trial. Buckingham lied in his deposition. He said he did not know where the money for the ‘Panda’ books had come. He, himself, had asked for donations before the beginning of worship at his congregation. He had collected the money from his mail box at the church, deposited it in his account, wrote a check and gave it to another member of the Board (Bonsall) for Bonsall’s father-in-law to make the purchase. As is clear in the court records ( p. 114) In other words to put religion back in the schools Buckingham and Bonsall lied all the while claiming to be good Christians.

They deceived themselves and the truth was not in them. And that is what happens when you let your desires for what you think should be overpower your love for the truth. And they’re not the only ones. We who call ourselves Christians have deceived ourselves about the truth many times over the ages. Augustine in his On the Literal Meaning of Genesis writes:

even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books.

And I would say, there are truths that cannot be explained by facts, there are truths that are beyond facts, but there are no truths that contradict facts. And while one could quote Ralph Waldo Emerson in contradiction, “...consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines” using that quote to contradict facts is not what Emerson intended. There is a difference between sticking to what one believes to be correct no matter that the information backing that assertion is misunderstood or wrong or mistaken or… which takes consistency to the extreme of denying what is in plain view which is what Emerson talked about versus calling people to look at what is in plain view which is the consistency of looking for the truth no matter what creeds and beliefs may fall.

If we are wise in the ways of the world we are seeking our own advantage. And while it’s not wrong to look out for our own needs we need to be asking whether we are looking out for ourselves on the backs of other people.

Here’s a real test for whether or not one has a bit of wisdom. Don’t look at those who cite themselves as the authority – no matter that the sound as friendly as ‘Pastor Larry’. Look at whether they think they still have much to learn. The citation of qualification after qualification (unless one is doing an academic curriculum vitae) is a sign of insecurity. The one who can learn, even when they disagree, is the one who has the roots of wisdom. The one who can tolerate and respect dissent, while still being clear about what they believe, sits at the feet of Jesus.

We are, each of us, a temple. And God’s spirit is within each of us. We are like blind men examining one part of the elephant. One of us can touch the leg and say it is like the tree trunk; another will touch the trunk and say it is like a snake; a third may touch the side and say it is like a wall; yet one more will touch the tusk and say it is like a bow. Together we know more than if we take our own view as the only part that is worth anything. Together we can see more of what God places before us.

The foundation of our faith is revealed when we pass through the times of test. Is it in a particular idea or understanding or is it in Jesus – the one who is our Christ? I can only believe if the Bible is true as I understand it to be true – that’s not a solid foundation. I can only believe if Intelligent Design is more true than the theory of evolution – that’s not a solid foundation. I can only believe if – starts a sentence that places conditions on belief. And when we place conditions on our belief we reveal that the foundation of our belief is not in the one whom we call Savior, but in something else that is fragile.

Who is wise? The one who knows however much they know it is still less than a drop of water in the sea. Who is wise? The one who worships God daily and welcomes all who come while letting them worship as they understand. Who is wise? Well not the one who places demands on others that they are unwilling to bear themselves. And not the one who forces others to worship with creeds and verbal formulations. And certainly not the one who puts anyone other than Christ at the front of worship. Who is wise? It can be seen in many different things. It can be seen in the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – from Galatians 5. And where there is greed, pride, flattery, the sacrifice of others – well there is something, but it’s not wisdom.

There are follies of this world. But they’re not the things about sexual orientation or lack of prayer in school. There are follies in this world and they are about self-absorption and lies. The foundation we lay should be on the stones of truth, love, and worship of Jesus. Any other stone is dross that will be burnt in the fire and disappear like chaff in the breeze.

On what foundation are we building? One that seeks the truth no matter where it leads? Or one that puts our own desires in the first place? One that respects our neighbor and the stranger? Or one that seeks place of honor and walks over any in our way? On what foundation do we build?

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

[11] For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--[13] the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. [14] If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. [15] If the work is burned, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. [16] Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? [17] If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

[18] Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. [19] For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness", [20] and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." [21] So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, [22] whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all belong to you, [23] and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.


Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for this article on Mrs. Kagan reviewing the work of her husband. One of the main people to review whether the idea of a surge is working is married to one of the architects of the same idea. I always thought a review meant you disclosed any conflict of interest and tried to be dispassionate. I guess I was wrong. I work in a small business where several people are related and it is difficult to have someone unrelated review the work. But this isn't a small business we're talking about and isn't there someone with a little less interest in making the work product sound good to do the review?

Thomas Merton

Certainly we know that all will be well, but the ways in which God makes it well are apt to be difficult for us.

-- Thomas Merton

Julian of Norwich

All will be well, and all will be well, and every manner of thing will be well.

-- Julian of Norwich

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The magi or Follow and Seek

Follow and seek

The magi are travelling over the earth
From beaches and deserts they follow a star
With them as treasure comes incense and gold
And, in bitter pleasure, there’s myrrh as foretold
How many wise ones will follow that star?
How many riches will come from afar?

The magi are travelling over the earth
In search of a Savior, in search of rebirth
How many are looking to follow that star?
How many will find Christ from near and from far?
What gifts will they bring? What gifts will they find?
What gifts do we bring? What gifts might we find?

The magi have come and gone over the earth
The star that they followed has now disappeared.
Still we too may follow and seek Jesus Christ,
Who risen as Savior, brings God down to earth.
Will we look with the magi for Jesus Christ?
Will we follow the Christ into rebirth?

copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Why the poetry?

I do write poetry, though I've been a little slow this year. But a few years back I switched computers and while I had backup on disk and paper the new word processing program wasn't compatable. But, oh frabjous day, I recently was able to convert some files into my current word processor and able to just paste and point rather than type them in again. And while I lost some formatting it just doesn't seem as onerous as typing it all in. And so I'm sharing snippets.

Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

I couldn't listen to all of this today, but it sounds like a thorough examination of Intelligent Design. There's more detailed information in the Dover Trial Documents - especially with the cross-examination of a proponent, but this is more acessible.



everything is
a burden
a task
just one more thing
pleasures become burdens
pleasures become just
just one more thing
another task
another burden
no pleasure
no pleasure at all.

Copyright Roger Victoria 1998

Matthew Fox

"When we petition God without thanks, we are mere spiritual consumers."

Matthew Fox


An earlier post today talked about migraines, but I have more problems with other sorts of headaches.

Today one of my housekeepers was coming down the hall muttering under her breath. I thought of calling her on using some swear words. They might be in Spanish and I don't know what they mean, but the tone was clear. Then when I realized what she was bringing I just had some convenient deafness.

I don't really have a problem with illness and cleaning up after it. But I do have a problem with not telling us about it so we can clean it up. It's not a favorite job, but any of my desk clerks will come down and change the bedding or clean up a spill. But don't let the vomit sit for more than a day. Just let us know. We won't be upset. We will be grateful that we got to get it cleaned before it sat and permeated the whole room.

Problems happen and we fix them. But letting the situation stew is more trouble than it's worth.


Human happiness is a web with many threads of pain in it.



I Deal With It had a post about this today and it brought back memories of one of the less pleasant experiences I've had of growing older. In many ways my twin and I have grown both more alike and less alike as we get older. Some of our health issues are the same even as we get to them at different ages. Migraines seem to be one of those things.

One of the gifts of age that I'd just as soon return is that I now have migraines. And migraines are not in the same class of regular headaches. I've had headaches and I've had migraines and I've met people who say, "Oh I had a migraine and I just continued to do what I was doing." They had a bad headache, but not a migraine.

I sometimes know when a migraine is about to come. I've found that my head starts tilting to the side an hour or two before it actually arrives. But since I don't spend that much time staring at myself in the mirror I usually only notice when someone says something along the lines of 'you're tilting your head to the side is there some reason?' and I run, not walk, to get one of the OTC medicines that I always have around. I don't always get it taken in time but... when I do I avoid things like sounds making my head throb, lights flashing at me, aches in time with my heartbeat, cold washcloths on my head and more.

And I actually do have migraines where I clutch the desk when someone speaks. Or when I don't want to walk down the hall because my head throbs with each step and there are flashes in my eyes when I walk between minor changes in shadow and light (variations I don't notice other times). And when people call their headaches migraines and they just aren't that bad it irritates me. I want to keep the name for the actual condition.

Little Kindnesses

Little kindnesses

Little kindnesses
a cup of coffee
Little gifts
a shared smile
Small thoughts
show love

Little kindnesses
an offer to help
Little gifts
a soft touch
Small thoughts
of love

Little kindnesses
no hope of return
Little gifts
without need
Small thoughts
with love.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rainbow Road

Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez is a good high school romance. How to come to terms with the fact that your beloved isn't a God is the plot with good fun as three friends travel across country in the summer after high school

Dead Presidents Daily

I sometimes wonder if I have too long a list, but the history buff part of me just found Dead Presidents Daily. And so I now have one more place to visit regularly - and it will remind me that some of the same politics we have today happened before.

On calling John Edwards a ...

The whole point of an Ann Coulter is to let everybody else in her party
look terribly reasonable by comparison, and kind.

from Huffington Post

I somehow thought we were supposed to try to be civil in political debate, it seems we're not. I've not yet heard Coulter being called out for the same word the Isaiah Washington used. I have a few more problems with a pundit calling people names than an actor. One is supposed to be able to think for themselves and the other supposed to act out what someone else has written. But where's the brouhaha over Coulter, maybe because she's expressed so many other outrageous opinions?

The Prophet's Test

The Prophet’s Test

The cry goes forth from rich and vain.
The cry that says, “I shall not hear.”
But open eyes and open ears
must tell the Word of God.

Don’t tell me that I will be slain.
Don’t tell me that I’m worthless.
Don’t tell me where my sons will go.
Don’t tell me of our God.

The cry goes forth from rich and vain.
The cry that says, “I shall not hear.”
But open eyes and open ears
must tell the Word of God.

What is commanded by our God.
To love God with our all.
The second one is like the first.
To love other as our self.

The cry goes forth from rich and vain.
The cry that says, “I shall not hear.”
But open eyes and open ears
must tell the Word of God.

The poor are weak, oppression strong
The prophet’s voice called lies
Yet one there is who will win forth
and that one is our God.

The cry goes forth from rich and vain.
The cry that says, “I shall not hear.”
But open eyes and open ears
must tell the Word of God.

From Amos 7 and Matthew 22

copyright Roger Victoria 2001

Another laugh, another love

Another laugh, another love

Marching or creeping,
even crawling in pain
so we go forward
seeking God’s reign.

Slipping and sliding
falling backwards again
yet with hope and a promise
we are seeking God’s reign.

Laughing and crying
the joke is on us
we live in the future
that’s glorious.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999

The hunt

The Hunt

Look into the sky
and travel o’er the seas
Search among the plains
or climb the mountains
Yet as close as my own heart
is where I may find God.

Search throughout the cities
and travel every path
Look in every farmstead
or wander all the world
Yet as close as my own heart
is where I may find God.

A heartbeat in the womb
and a glance across the room
a drop within the ocean
and a breath inside the lung
This - as close as these things -
is where I have found God.

copyright Roger Victoria 1999

Top Ten

I found a list of reasons to become evangelical (and while I'd like to reclaim the word from those who only percieve it as being conservative to fundamentalist that's not going to happen anytime soon). So from Queersighted - the top three...

Fellow Sodomites, I offer unto you the top ten reasons to become an
1. Fantasy sex with teen boys.
2. Loyal female slave who keeps your home clean, does your laundry and prepares your meals.
3. Unlimited access to pretty white boy virgins who are fully loaded and ready for


Children have more need of models than of critics


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Broken Sky

Broken Sky or El Cielo Dividido is what montage should be in a movie. With very little dialogue the movie is filled with movement and romance as two men fall in and out of love. This is acting and film at its best.

Long Hot Summoning

Long Hot Summoning is the third in the "Keeper's Chronicles" of Tanya Huff and introduces the little sister - the terror who we first met in the first book - out on her own and finding her own love interest. Fighting a segue with King Arthur and meeting voracious mummies makes this another fun fantasy where good triumphs and evil fails.

The second summoning

The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff is the second in her series about Keepers who protect the world from other universes breaking in. And while the journey is about finding a lost angel and a lost demon, the story is about how two people fall in love. Fantasy and romance together - I'm a fan.

Summon the Keeper

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff is one of the fantasy books to which I keep returning. Enough so the edges are getting a little bit worn. The idea is simple enough - some people are born to help keep the supernatural and natural worlds separated, but a fun plot of how to close the hole to hell that's in the basement along with werewolves, vampires and retired gods wandering by makes for a fun read.

Explain it to me please?

One of the concepts I just don't get is 'bicurious'. I know what it means - a straight identified man is advertising for sex with another man - but the term provokes me. By the time someone is advertising for sex - the usual times I've seen it - they're no longer curious. They're ready to take action. And what they are is bisexual, not heterosexual. Please tell me why someone wanting to have sex or date or something similar is only curious?

Horace Walpole

The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.

(Horace Walpole)

To fear the arrival

To fear the arrival

Love, oh love,
do not awaken love.
Oh, my love,
do not awaken my love.
Love, my beloved,
do not awaken love.
Oh, my beloved,
do not awaken my love.
Beloved, my love,
do not awaken love.
Beloved love, my love,
do not awaken, but slake my love.
But, beloved, my love
cannot be quenched.
My love, beloved,
cannot be slaked.
Once awake, love, my love
can only be met.
Meet me, my love,
meet my love, be my beloved

copyright Roger Victoria 1998

Nicolai Berdyaev

"The question of bread for myself is a material question, but the question of bread for my neighbors, for everybody, is a spiritual and a religious question....Christians ought to be permeated with a sense of the religious importance of the elementary daily needs of people, the vast masses of people, and not to despise these needs from a sense of exalted spirituality."