Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kýrie, eléison

Kýrie, eléison
Christé, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

Singing in the boys choir at Tolentine’s in the Bronx, the “Kýrie” hymn was a weekly ritual. The words seemed to lift themselves into the rafters, drifting toward heaven. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.


I don’t remember hearing many homilies on this topic, though. It’s not a word that comes up in conversation much these days, whether in church or out. Instead, we talk a lot about mercy’s close cousin… forgiveness. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive and forget. Forgive your enemies. Can you forgive me? Before you pray, forgive. You need to forgive yourself. I will never forgive you! Without forgiveness, there is no future.

Mercy? That’s just for criminals, right?

I like forgiveness. You’re not looking for anything tangible… you just want to feel better. As wiki says, forgiveness is typically defined as the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense.

The bible talks a lot about forgiveness. And if you look at what may be the most-quoted story of forgiveness, the Prodigal Son, you see that the “wrong doer” in this case is not looking for anything tangible… he just wants everyone to feel better.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men. Luke 15: 18-19

Mercy? That’s not about feelings… it’s more of a transaction.

This distinction came to bear this morning as I was reading from the Gospel of Luke. Mary had just gone to see her cousin Elizabeth, and she sings a song or praise to the Lord… including this verse:

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Luke 1:50

I probably pray for God’s forgiveness daily. But can count on one hand the times I have asked for God’s mercy. I kind of expect that the “day-to-day sins” will simply be swept under the rug… kind of an automatic. It’s only when I’m really defiant that I begin to fear my maker. Most days, I take God’s mercy for granted… while in fact I probably should be trembling much more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 random things...

I was tagged on Facebool to write 25 random things about myself. And because I am lazy, instead of writing what I want to say over here today, I'll just repost that list.

I need to be right. I always need to be right. Got it?

The fact that PT Barnum started the circus when he was in his sixties motivates me to get off my butt and try new things.

Last week, I spend a whole day sitting on a couch with Eileen, just hanging out in front of a fire. It was one of my favorite days.

I need to constantly remind myself that my children are there own persons, living lives meant just for them, and they are not extensions of me.

Nothing irritates me more than jammed copy machines. Grrrrrrr.

This month, I made soup for the first time.

Have never sued anyone, nor has anyone ever sued me.

Have never fired a firearm (nor has anyone fired at me).

It wouldn’t surprise me if I was diagnosed as an obsessive compulsive. I had to delete games on my PC because I could just spend hour after hour playing Free Cell.

I hate being thanked in public. But not being thanked in private irks me even more.

The last time I was drunk was April 5, 2002. My car said hello to the median on the Merritt Parkway on the way home from Yankee Stadium. The entire left side was totaled. The air bag never deployed. The Lord kept me from harm.

I often wonder what I have done to earn God’s love. Then I remember there is nothing I can do about that… it is His gift. My roll in this is to love Him back. Some days I don’t do that very well.

The trooper who arrived on the scene at my crash was Officer D’Amato. I received a ticket for changing lanes without signaling. I will remember his name always.

There are days when I would just like to start all over. And there are other days when I realize that I can start over… starting today.

I finished my first screenplay in 2007. I am ten pages into my second (but have been at page ten for many months now… hmmmm).

I don’t like dogs… but wouldn’t mind having one as a pet.

I often cry at the end of sappy movies. It’s a Wonderful Life gets me every time.

Some times I think I am the only person who can’t stand Meryl Streep.

It bothers me that people close to me don’t see the peace and joy that has come into my life since I discovered Jesus and His love.

I broke 90 on the golf course once in my life. I was playing with my brother Tom. All the best rounds I have had have been when playing with my brother.

I blog at

When I got on the scale in January 1, it dawned on me that I had gained 45 pounds over the past five years. I’ve come to learn that losing weight is not about diets or workout plans – it’s about making a decision to lose weight.

I love to plan and organize events.

This year, I have a dream that involved organizing a performing arts club – getting people together so we can go perform for people who don’t have ready access to live performances.

I have many secrets. Maybe one day I will share them. Today is not that day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

a new day

Here's a link to 48 amazing photo's from Tuesday's inauguration. Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

from the book of bob

some people feel the rain.

others just get wet.
- Bob Dylan, American songwriter

Monday, January 12, 2009

scripture: have at it

The biography of Walt Disney is over 800 pages, the Gospel of John less than 27. So I get the sense that the Gospel authors took great pains to choose their words wisely, and that every paragraph is important.

Reading John last week, was struck by the telling of the crucifixion... an event John witnessed first-hand. While this scene is presented in vivid detail in The Passion of the Christ, it is portrayed over the course of a few paragraphs in John, ending with:
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced." John 19: 36-37

So I am coming back to this again today... knowing that having these two events together is important. Body pierced, but no bones broken.

What do these verses say to you? Why is so important that they are talked about in the same context? No broken bones, but body pierced. This is not a question for bible scholars, it's a question for you. First thoughts OK. Thanks for playing.

i can only imagine

via the Naked Pastor

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009: a year of dreams

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28

Over the years, I’ve taken my fair share of self-assessments and strength-finder tests through various employers and organizations. And I’ve been told I have an ability to apply logic and intuition to put things together—often to see how certain actions may play out three or four steps ahead.

In the business-world, this has served me well. My clients count on me to identify potential obstacles and hurdles that could impact marketing campaigns, for example, and develop strategies that are more likely to succeed.

If you’ve been following things here at cross the road over the past month, you’ll know that I have been struggling with dreams – or more specifically, my lack thereof. For some time now I have been living a life of contentment—satisfied with small steps, comforted by the safety of routine. But my friend TK has challenged me to dream God-sized dreams… that even at my “advanced age” I was still being called upon to make the world a better place.

While visiting Seedlings in Stone the other day, I came to the realization that this ability to apply logic and intuition to see several steps ahead was holding me back. I was afraid to accept a dream if I didn’t see how it could be achieved.

In other words, I was failing to allow for the presence of God.

My God defies logic. My God is not limited by my degrees of intuitiveness. He moves mountains. Defeats death. Loves the broken. Loves even me.

If I wanted to dream God-sized dreams, I needed to let go of my Ed-sized imagination.

And you know what… I do have dreams. I have no idea how they will ever come to life, but I am ready to go at it. Stay tuned…

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

flat is the new up

Rec'd an e-newsletter written by a business associate and the author was making a a comment about the economy.

Flat is the new up. This is the notion that simply maintaining the revenues and profits of the past is a victory when so many companies are shrinking or disappearing.

And I was thinking... how many times have I mistakenly applied that same thought process to my walk with Christ? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

don't hold me responsible

Roland Burris showed up in Washington today and was denied a seat in the U.S. Senate under the cloud plaguing Illinois' Governor Rod Blagojevich - the man who promoted him.

So this afternoon, Blago issued this plea: "The people of Illinois are entitled to be represented by two senators in the United States Senate... Any allegations against me should not be held against him and especially not the people of Illinois."

While pondering whether or not Burris should be allowed to join Congress, I had this thought.

How many times do people look at me and say 'if that's what it means to be a Christ follower, I want no part of it'. Like all of us on this journey, we have moments of sunshine and moments of clouds.

So I just have one thing to say to those who are far from Christ: Any allegations against me should not be held against Him.

what's new

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

On the equator, the earth rotates around its axis at a speed of 1,037 miles per hour (slightly slower up here in North America). At the same time, our planet orbits the sun at a speed of 66,660 miles per hour.

The end result of these amazingly consistent rules of physics and nature are two gifts: new days and new years.

I cannot imagine living life without either of these gifts. They are gifts of anticipation and opportunity. Second chances. New discoveries. Rebirths.

Our amzing God knows us so well... he understands our needs more than we could ever imagine. On the first day, God created the gift of hope.

Personally, I like to start anew on Monday's, so yesterday was the official start of my 2009. And I am so excited. So full of anticipation. Ready for new discoveries. All because of the gift of hope. Thank you Lord.

Friday, January 2, 2009

i don't know what to do...

When I was a youngster, I had lots of dreams. Getting married and raising kids, buying a house, driving a convertible, starting a business, building skyscrapers, flying a plane, seeing my face on the cover of Time magazine... yada yada.

But today, I find myself in a situation where these dreams have either been realized or simply faded away... living a 9-5 life of comfort devoid of big dreams and aspirations that will change the world. And that's not right. We all should be dreaming. We can all change the world. We need to see it... and we need to work for it.

So I've been turning to God. Help me God. Show me the way. Fill my mind with dreams. Paint a picture for me. Open my eyes. Tell me what to do.

And after several weeks, I am no closer to an answer.

But today the feeling I'm getting from God seems eerily familiar to a scene from the Godfather. I don't know about you, but seems like just about every situation in life can be described by a scene from the Godfather.

So as I turn to God, looking for him to take care of everything and draw me a personal roadmap for my faithwalk... I'm not getting a simple answer. I'm getting a bucket of cold water thrown in my face.

Kinda like when Johnny Fontaine goes to the Godfather for help... knowing that the Godfather can never refuse a request made of him.

Johnny: Oh godfather, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.
Corleone: You can act like a man. (The Don slaps Johnny in the face.)

So I'm asking God what I should be dreaming about. And his response: act like a man. Gee, I didn't know it was going to be this tough...