Monday, December 10, 2007


The Meeting I visited yesterday has a project where young Friends make sandwiches once a month for a shelter.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Inner Lightning, or Inner Lightening

This is silly, but it occurred to me to think about these names for the blog. "Lightning" sounds sort of scary and dramatic; probably most people wouldn't want the sort of epiphany Inner Lightning suggests, at least not more than a few times in their life. Inner Lightening though seems like something I need all the time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary

I think I've mentioned this on this site before. The web site Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary
has wonderful (somewhat academic sounding, but still wonderful) meditations on the Bible, non-violence, and theology based on the thinking of Rene Girard.

This morning a passage on imitating Christ struck me. As long as we imitate our neighbors, we will be mired in conflict.

I am thinking about how internet addiction, which I have fairly badly, is a stumbling block for me. Is internet browsing a search for rumor, fashion, the latest human models to imitate?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What about Hitler?

I'm reading a book, "What about Hitler?", which tries to answer the question pacifists often get. I'm a little worried that the answer amounts to "we have to be nonviolent but be open to the fact that it might not work", but I'll see. It's odd to me though that people assume that a violent response to tyranny/oppression etc. is guaranteed to work better than nonviolence. We *can* lose wars. Anyway, more thoughts later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Florida Avenue Meeting

My older son and I traveled the Metro to Dupont Circle to visit the Florida Avenue Friends Meeting in DC. It took us a while to find it, as I somehow thought it was visible from Connecticut Avenue, and didn't take the hint of the name that it is, in fact, on Florida Avenue. We couldn't stay for Meeting, but had a nice chat with the fellow in the office. My son was impressed with the building - he told me expected it to "be in an old house or something"!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Joys and Concerns

Yesterday one of the young Friends spoke up during the "joys and concerns" part of the announcements, to say that the start of school (today, here in North Carolina) was both a Joy and a Concern. Perhaps the concern part is more on my mind today.

We were watching "Rocky and Bullwinkle" last night, and Rocky says, "How are we going to get to Mt. Flatten?"

Bullwinkle answers, "Let me worry about that."

"You mean, getting to Mt. Flatten?"

"No, worrying about it."

I think I'm doing the "worrying about" part of most things around here, just not the "doing" part.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Korea in First Day School

I'm teaching First Day School today, and I am going to talk about Korea, especially AFSC's work in North Korea. I am going to try to tie in how the US considers North Korea our enemy, but we should love our enemies and do them good. I'm not having much luck finding visuals to interest the kids, but there is at least the story of Ham Sok Hon, a famous Korean Quaker. Also, we are going to take pictures of our Meetinghouse to send to other First Day Schools.

Centering Prayer again

I had a real sense of peace in my centering prayer group this week.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Visiting a Programmed Meeting

We visited our first programmed Meeting, in New York State, and the hymns and music and
sermon were wonderful. There was silence but the boys didn't get restless. We had just been to the radio museum the day before, where the boys were fascinated by Morse Code. The children's bulletin at the Meeting had a phrase from Jesus in Morse Code!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Wasting Time

I don't know if there is a Query like, "Do I use my time wisely?" But I spend way too much time reading political sites on the 'net, and very little time actually doing anything to change the political situation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Where do I find shoes that I can be sure were made by fairly paid workers?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Surfaces of Things

Anne Lamott talks in her new book "Grace, Eventually" about the untidiness of her family, and how important it was to have a neat public appearance to disguise the problems of her family. She finally learned when she grew up that taking care of the surface of things could also be a way of nurturing their insides, not just putting on an appearance.

This has been a great help to me this week, and I have been trying to clean and straighten up more, just to make our lives easier, and free up energy for what is truly needed.

Monday, April 9, 2007


I spent the week before Easter at my dad's, and spent some of that time trying to get my sister to agree to let me de-clutter her house, without success. My sister in fact turned the tables on me, asking to hem my slacks (all of which get frayed). Sometimes accepting gifts is harder for me than giving them!

There's a spiritual lesson for me there, too. Do I need to spell it out? :)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Please hold my sister in the Light

My sister is facing some medical issues, around an autoimmune disorder, that she did not even know she had until two weeks ago. Please hold her, and my father and me, in the Light as we wait for the results of the many tests she'll be having this coming week.

Discovering Alexandria Meeting

On a short trip to DC a few weeks ago I discovered the Alexandria Friends' Meeting, right across the road from Fort Belvoir. I was at Fort Belvoir with my dad trying to get one of his prescriptions filled (the pharmacy turned to be closed) but on the way out the gate my dad said "There's a Quaker meeting here somewhere... oh, there it is."

So I stopped off, they were already having a meal of bread and soup. My dad was not up to getting out of the car but a Friend there brought dad out some bread and coffee. I am looking forward to attending the Meeting there with my boys, worship starts at 11 which overcomes the boys' objections to getting up early on Sunday, errr, First Day. And it's only about 15 minutes from my dad's place.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Verbal nonviolence and being irritable

One of my hardest to solve personal problems is being irritable: I yell at my kids, I yell at my wife. I don't mean "angry shouting" as much as just being "loud" and cranky.

This is a form of violence, and I can hardly claim to be nonviolent as long as this is such a large part of my personality. I don't have any leanings at all to physical violence, so I don't think I deserve any credit for not being nonviolent that way. I don't like alcohol, so it's easy for me to be against drinking, I don't like gambling, and losing :) , so it's easy for me to disapprove of gambling.

I would be happy to have advice on how to be less irritable. Relaxation techniques and more exercise are the obvious remedies, but any suggestions would be very welcome to me and my family.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Starting a new blog for my Quaker-related writing

I've decided to move my Quaker/spiritual musings to a new blog. The title "inner lighting" comes from a limerick about Quakers by G. S. Gwynn, in "Sects from A to Z" (in Billy Collins' edited
*Best Poetry 2007*).

The Quakers possess inner lighting
And refrain from all feuding and fighting;
They enter their meetings
WIth "Bless Thee" for greetings
But the service is hardly exciting.