Monday, May 31, 2010

Beatae Memoriae

May Almighty God's face shine upon all those who've faithfully paid with their life the high wage of war; for causes just or unjust, in the employ of Godly men or the Enemy's emissaries, whether wearing our colors or those of whom we oppose. Forgive us Father, for we know not what we do.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An ogre-sized kick in the arse

We watched Shrek 4 today. I enjoyed it, but it made me feel awful about how much time I've spent at home lately not doing homey things. Our house is a wreck right now, and we're behind on everything, because whenever I'm not at work, I'm working on Campaign Narrative, a website I've been crafting to role-play online. Put simply, I've been selfishly neglecting my responsibilities as husband and father.

So, I'm going to stop. I'm not going to stop working on Campaign Narrative, but I am going to stop working on it until I've caught up at home, and in the future I'll be more disciplined about only working on it *after* my family responsibilities are fulfilled. With a 6-week old baby, an autistic son, two other kids, and a job that demands more than its fair share of time, I need to learn what capacity I have for 'more'. Life just delivered an ogre-sized kick in the arse and told me that, for now, I have very little room for 'more'. It does this every year or so, and I still haven't learned the lesson. Here's to hoping it sinks in this time.

Why am I 'blogging this seemingly private matter? For one, I wanted to explain to my Campaign Narrative play-testers why things are changing. But I also wanted this out in the open, as a reminder not to over-commit, even to myself, at the expense of my family responsibilities. Perhaps some other father will read this and realize that he's been subconsciously neglecting his family responsibilities. Better yet, perhaps he'll consciously realize that he's ordered his life well, and neglects nothing. I'll work hard to get there, too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flat-Rate Tipping

I don't understand tipping as a percentage of the amount owed to the restuarant. Does the server work harder when I order prime rib than when I order a burger? I don't think so; and yet, the bill for a burger will be half of that for prime rib. Add a few more people to the party (such as our family of soon-to-be-six), and the disparity can be even larger (particularly for my family, as we choose inexpensive dishes to spend as little as possible).

So I've started flat-rate tipping. For most restuarants, I tip at a rate of $5 per half-hour for good service, rounding up to the half-hour. For a typical Miller family meal, lasting between 45-60 minutes, I'll tip $10. I'll go higher or lower for exceptional or poor service, and I'll obviously increase the flat rate for fine dining. If, by some chance, my flat-rate tip was less than 20% of the bill, I'd bump it up. I don't think this is ideologically neccessary, but I just can't bring myself to under-tip, even according to "normal" expectations. I admire and respect the work that servers do, and I'm happy to pay well to be well-served.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Does June make you feel bloggy?"

Wife: "Does June make you feel bloggy?"

Ha-ha. She asked that because it has been exactly a year since I last posted to this 'blog (I've 'blogged elsewhere, briefly, in that time, but naturally they too were short-lived).

I have no intention of "restarting" this 'blog. I just felt like writing my last post, and this was the most convenient place. I might never write here again. The date was just a coincidence.

Feeling Guilty on this Lord's Day

Trinity II, 2009

We woke up late this morning, at nine o'clock. That's normally when we need to be walking out the door to make it to the parish on time. Instead of rousing the kids and rushing to leave, we rolled over and went back to sleep. To Deedee's credit, she tried to get everyone up, but "sleepy Drew" won the battle.

That's pretty bad. But it's actually worse than it seems, because I went to sleep last night expecting this very thing would happen. I'd already accepted it. To at least a small extent, I was looking forward to it.

Sure, I had a nice list of excuses for staying home. Yesterday was a very long day (albeit a very fun one). I have a moderately bad sunburn. My diabetes is hitting me hard this week, most noticeably as severe headaches and shakes. I've slept very poorly this week (last night being the worst yet) and I'm exhausted.

Given time, I'm sure I could think of even more excuses.

But, as you've certainly surmised, that's not the reason I stayed home today. The reason is simple: I was lazy. I was sinfully and willfully disobedient to my Lord and to His Church. And I've felt guilty all day.

Given all the the Lord has done for me, and done for us all, this is ingratitude of the most severe sort. And while I leave all the blame where it squarely rests, with me, I know that there is a very real spiritual war going on, and that we (yes, that includes you) are the field of battle. Today went to the Enemy.

What's the point of all this? Well, it's what comes next. Or rather, it's what won't come next: admonishment. I expect our spiritual leaders, our Holy Clerics, to be active in the spiritual lives of those they shepherd. But none of the clergy I've known during my life would admonish someone for my sin today.

We know Jesus would have (we have some examples, after all). And so would the Holy Apostles and the saints. St. Paul writes about admonishment often (νουθεσίᾳ -- a word which would make for a great language study). I'll grant you that Christian admonishment must always be done in a spirit of love, meekly, and with deference to the Holy Spirit. But it must be done.

This is on my mind today not only because of my sin, but also because I've been praying and thinking about who God would have us call to be rector. We've spoken with two candidates, and I've spent some time with the third. I'm simultaneously dismayed and excited when considering them in this light.

I fear the first candidate is like all the priests I've know previously; I expect he'd shy away from admonishment. On the other hand, I'm certain the second candidate would admonish me (albeit in a loving, kindly, and pastoral manner). I'm really not sure about the third. I guess I'll just ask him when we see him in a few weeks.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oops, I forgot to mention I moved the 'blog

I moved my 'blog to (powered by Tumblr). I forgot to mention that here. Oops.

I've been posting over there since late March. It's where I announced the resumption of my postulancy. The new 'blog doesn't have comments (at least for now), but you can always email me or follow me on Twitter. There are links to both on the new 'blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust


I go through 'blogs like most women* go through purses. I've been a bit better with this 'blog than with most I've started in the past, but I've never written as regularly or as often as I'd intended. I've been thinking a lot about 'blogging the last few days, both generally and specifically (mine). Here's what I think.

All writing, journaling included, can be put into two categories: writing for others and writing for yourself. Most public 'blogs obviously fall into the latter category (why else make them public?). Of course, even writing for others can really be writing for yourself. You know what I'm talking about: vanity. But I digress.

When you write for others, you must consider your audience (or, if you don't yet have one, the one you want to attract). I've always felt awkward about 'blogging, because I don't have a real audience outside of my family and friends. And of the two types of 'blogs folks keep, mine aren't the type that suit family and friends.

What are those two types? They're journals and commentaries. I started this site as a journal, but then I never really journaled. And I haven't really written Anglican or geekly commentary. I do want to journal, but this isn't the best place for that. Our family 'blog is. So, I'm closing this 'blog and from now on I will journal at

For the few who kept up with this 'blog, thanks. I hope you'll continue to do so over at the family 'blog.

* My woman -- er, wife -- doesn't even use a purse. And even when she did, she used the same one for years. I love Deedee.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

St. Augustine on the spirit of gentleness

Tomorrow (well, today in less than eight hours, actually) I'll lead the second session in my study of the Flesh and the Spirit in the writings of St. Paul.

In the first session, I tried to ask and answer questions about life in the Spirit: what is it, why do we want or need it, who is the Spirit, and how do we get him?

The second session will focus on the fruits of the spirit. Again, I'll approach the subject by asking and answering questions (or at least attempting to). What are the fruits of the spirit, both generally and specifically? Why do I need to know them? How do I bear them? How do I help my brothers and sisters in Christ bear them? How do they relate to the gifts of the Spirit?

I had originally planned to talk about the gifts of the Spirit next, but something I read by St. Augustine changed my mind:

"There is no surer test of the spiritual person than his treatment of another's sin. Note how he takes care to deliver the sinner rather than triumph over him, to help him rather than punish him and, so far as lies in his capacity, to support him." Epistle to the Galatians, 56.

As we discussed briefly last week, Christians today too often view their faith as an individual experience. Godly admonition is viewed as judgemental and unwarranted. But St. Paul clearly contradicts this notion, both in Galatians 6 and elsewhere. It is critical that we keep an eye to the fruits of both our Spirit-filled life and our brother's, so we can "restore him in a spirit of gentleness."

To bear the Spirit's fruit, we'll need the Spirit's gifts, both ours and our brother's. But that's for session three.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why I'll never teach/lead a Bible class/study again

This morning I taught/lead the third session of my Bible class/study on the Flesh and the Spirit in the writings of St. Paul. Only, it wasn't really the third session because I showed up way late for the first two. And, it isn't really a class 'cause teaching (in the traditional sense) just isn't my thing. Also, I didn't really lead the study, 'cause I'm not exactly a Pauline or New Testament scholar (in fact, I'm on the other end of that pole).

So it ended up being 45 minutes of me rambling and flitting around Scripture (to the extent my limited understanding allowed) and trying to coax people to join the discussion. Given all that, I thought it could have gone much worse, even if it wasn't that great. (Deedee mentioned that I spoke too fast and fell into my Southern manner of speech; I tend to do that when discussing a subject I'm passionate about).

Last night, around 2AM, as I was thinking about what I would actually talk about during the study, I decided that I'd never do this sort of thing again. In truth, I probably wouldn't have done it in the first place had Fr. Daniel not asked me to (I believe that when the Church calls, you answer, and so I agreed to lead the study). But, what's started is started, and so I'll run with this study until it finds it natural end (probably in November since I'm two weeks behind). But this will be my last Bible study/class.

That might sound odd coming from someone who until very recently aspired to be a deacon and who has committed himself to bringing others to faith in our Lord. Let me try to explain.

The problem is that I hate lectures. They aren't dynamic or interactive enough for me. I prefer an inquiry-driven or dialectical approach to learning. I don't want to just deposit knowledge into the learner. I want the learner to withdraw (or, even better, develop) the knowledge based on their exploration of and inquiry about the subject at hand. I don't really believe that we can teach one another; rather, I think at best we can facilitate a person teaching themself. I know this is somewhat controversial, and very few people I've explained this to agree with me.

This leads to another problem. That sort of facilitation requires a deep and thorough understanding of the subject at hand. And I just don't have that depth of knowledge of Holy Writ. I'm working hard to change that and I have a plan (as I'll explain in my next 'blog entry). But, today, right now, I'm just not qualified to edify, at least in a way I'm comfortable with.

So, what do I do?

As my knowledge of the Bible increases, and as I become more qualified to help others learn, I hope to host what I'd call "informal inquiries". The idea is to be available before and after the parish's services to answer whatever questions folks might have. Where Holy Scripture is concerned, one question, even if seemingly simple, can develop into a lifetime of study. If you truly explore just one question, I promise you'll never run out of subsequent questions.

But, you have to start with that first question. And that question needs to be something you care about, that you are passionate about, that you are prepared to invest time and energy in exploring and answering. I can't just give you a question like that; I don't think anyone can. But I'm going to work very hard so that I can help you explore and answer it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm no longer working to be a deacon

Several weeks ago, I wrote that I'd been doubting my calling to Holy Orders. I also said that I would make a decision whether or not to continue my postulancy by the Autumn Ember Saturday. A few people have asked me what I decided, so here it is.

It so happened that our parish's spiritual retreat was on that Ember Saturday. This allowed me to spend most of the day in prayer and meditation about my calling. In the past, when I needed the Lord's guidance, I've always found it in prayer. But at the day's end, I still had no idea what I should do.

The next day, I decided the best course of action was to continue my postulancy and let things happen as they would (as my Baptist friend might say, "give it to the Lord"). The problem was, to do that, I'd have to ignore the growing conviction that I wasn't called, that I wasn't ready, and that most of the mission work I wanted to do didn't require ordination. I started to realize that I wasn't being honest with myself, and therefore I wasn't being honest with the Lord either. I'd let my fear of disappointing so many of the people in my life interfere with my judgement and doing what I knew to be right.

That realization finally took hold last week. Last Saturday I composed a letter to the Bishop informing him that I wanted to end my postulancy. But I didn't send the letter. I've been sitting on it for a week (a policy I've tried to adopt after sending a few embarrassing letters in the heat of the moment). But, I'm still convinced I should end my postulancy, so I sent the letter off today. I'm effectively no longer seeking ordination and no longer a postulant for Holy Orders.

This doesn't mean I won't continue to serve the Lord and His Church. I actually have the clearest goals and plan for that I've ever had. More on that tomorrow.

Thanks to all who've kept me in their prayers.