Groups seek to save historic trees from demolition | Maryland News – WBAL Home
When Dumbarton Middle School was built in the 1950’s, careful care was taken to build around these trees. These trees were a part of the original Dumbarton Estate, and may be as old as 240 years. They are quite frankly irreplaceable. These magnificent old trees have an inherent value that cannot be expressed in utilitarian terms, except to say that removing them in the name of supposed traffic efficiency is the kind of horrid, small-minded bureaucratic action that makes our lives, communities and our world a worse place.
There’s no question that Dumbarton Middle School badly needs renovation, but the school board’s aggressive plan to expand the school’s footprint, pave over beautiful and well-used greenspace and destroy historic trees is just absolutely unnecessary overreach. Not only will it be an eyesore and a serious injury to the character of our neighborhood, but it will come at a large and unnecessary cost to taxpayers, without actually improving our schools.
picture copyright 2014 by my beautiful and sexy wife; used without permission
This tree is in danger.
Posted in Nature | Tagged Baltimore, Baltimore County, Civil Discobedience, Community, Dumbarton Middle School, Education, Government, Government Overreach, Neighborhood, News, Protest, Rodgers Forge, Schools, Television, Television News | Leave a Comment »
I heard this at church today (I heard it for the first time at Central Presbyterian a few weeks ago), and I have not been able to stop listening to it since.
They’re from Northern Ireland and they rock my Kingdom of God socks off. Got the chords off their website and I’m gonna play the heaven out of it.
Posted in Music, Religion | Tagged Banjo, Cedar Ridge Community Church, Central Presbyterian Church, Christian Music, Christianity, Church, Music, Praise, Rend Collective, Rend Collective Experiment, YouTube | Leave a Comment »
Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
This passage really nagged at me when I read it as a Mormon. It even says that these things are an apearance of wisdom, for crying out loud. I’m not saying it was a slam-dunk, but it always felt uncomfortably close.
Posted in Religion | Tagged Asceticism, Christ, Colossians, Colossians 2:20-23, Commandments, Doctrine, Epistle, Legalism, Mormonism, New Testament, Paul, Religion, Scripture, Wisdom, Word of Wisdom, Worship | Leave a Comment »
My kids spent all weekend playing with a bunch of 2x8s and 4x4s that I bought to build raised garden beds; they built castles, slides, ramps, racetracks, forts, &c, and it was glorious. They got dirty, they got banged up but nothing serious, and they had a great time. And the lumber was basically inestructible anyway.
But at one point, my daughter dragged two of the boards out, made a cross out of them, laid down, and announced that she was Jesus. Then, she decided that she was not actually Jesus, but Jesus’s older sister, who does not die. Only Jesus dies.
You seriously just can’t make this stuff up.
Posted in Parenting, Religion | Tagged #freakythingskidssay, Carpentry, Children, Cross, Crucifixion, Death, Gardening, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Kids, Lumber, Parenting, Sunday | Leave a Comment »
Nobody told her to draw this. Kids can be really creepy sometimes.
De ta maison disposeras
Comme de ton bien transitoire,
Car là ou mort reposeras,
Seront les chariotz de ta gloire.
Posted in Death | Tagged Argyle, Art, Childhood, Children, Construction Paper, Crayon, Dança Macabra, Dance, Danse Macabre, Dansul Morţii, Danza de la Muerte, Danza Macabra, Death, Dodendans, Emperor, Family, Fear, Hans Holbein, Kids, Love, Memento Mori, Parenting, Totentanz | Leave a Comment »
Sometime in mid-2012, I turned to Jesus.
There wasn’t a day when I had a big spiritual experience, or made a conscious decision. So maybe some people will say I’m not really converted or not really born again. Maybe they’re right; I get nervous about it sometimes. But I do know that on January 1 of 2012 I still identified as a pagan, but on December 31 of 2012, I was a committed little-o orthodox Christian.
I hadn’t been much of a pagan in awhile, to tell you the truth. I was not particularly pious by then. I had pretty much totally stopped making offerings or praying or singing hymns to the gods at all. My paganism had sputtered out into just thinking pagany thoughts every now and then and reading pagan blogs. I was more into the Civil War, Southern literature and country music than I was into the theoi. And I tried to hold it all together into some sort of broad paganism that could include all of that stuff, but it didn’t ever really seem to fit right (Stonewall Jackson was a Presbyterian who talked about Providence all the time, Flannery O’Connor was deeply Catholic and it intensely informed all of her work, and Jesus is all over country music), and it was increasingly evident that the paganism was slipping away.
I also started getting more interested in pagany things that leaned a bit back Christianward. Tarot. Arthurian stuff. In fact, that was one of the first tipping points, really. I read Keith Baines’s rendition of Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur in the spring of 2012, grail quest and all, and it moved things in my heart. I was back to thinking about Druidry and Vedanta a bit (again, trying to hold it all together). I read Gareth Knight and underlined all the references to Jesus and the Trinity (there are a lot). I started looking into the Gnostic gospels. I picked up some books about esoteric Christianity. And within a really short amount of time, I was earnestly reading the Gospel of John and then the rest of the actual Bible.
At the same time, my kids were getting older and getting literate. My oldest (then six) was starting to get interested in the Bible and Bible stories. We always had tried to be multireligious (my paganism, my beautiful and sexy wife’s Christianity), but it was plain that the kids liked Jesus best.
Flashing back for a minute–the day I knew I was going to marry Katyjane was the day I came back from Chattacon with my buddy James and we went straight to a Young Single Adult broadcast at church. I looked around for a place to sit, and I sat down by my friend Daniel. But then, a few rows up, I saw Katyjane, sitting by herself. So I hopped back up and went up to sit next to her. And when I sat down, it felt so insanely right. I was in trouble. I knew I wanted to sit next to her in church for the rest of my life.
So going to church with Katyjane, and now with my kids, was important to me. Even if I was a pagan. But we hadn’t been going to church regularly since we moved to Chicago, and I kind of wanted to start again. Especially since my kids were showing interest (and pWning me with the Bible, which is a story I’ll tell in another post). So my mind was inclined in that direction.
As I said above, I was also listening to a lot of country music (I still am), and that also meant basically relentless exposure to Jesus. I could not help but think about Jesus Christ because the music I listened to mentioned him over and over again and it moved me. It was troubling, uncomfortable, and kind of exciting.
But again, there was no moment of clarity. No road to Damascus (unless the whole year was my road to Damascus). I mentally made peace with some sort of Green, liberal, vaguely Hinduish pagany kind of Christianity, but that was clearly just a threshold to walk through, since I spent basically zero time grappling with that. Instead I was just on a straight trajectory to orthodoxy. I picked C.S. Lewis back up and read Miracles, and was blown away by how much I had just glossed over things like the Incarnation when I was first grappling with Christianity as a post-Mormon.
That’s important: I left Mormonism mostly because I had an increasing sense that Mormonism and Biblical Christianity were not the same thing. But I really struggled with Christianity in the years after that because my notion of what Christianity is was really limited to the teachings of Jesus and the Atonement. I think I had an acceptable handle on those, but I understood them in such a radically different context that I just could not make the direct transition, and I didn’t realize the pieces I was missing. even when I read about them I just kind of glossed over them as secondary. No wonder I struggled.
But this time, coming to Christianity with fresh eyes after a couple of years of pagan detoxification, it was all just totally new, and totally amazing. I just found myself hungering for the Bible and for Jesus and the more I consumed, the hungrier I got. I still feel that way. Reading the Bible just makes me want to read the Bible more.
So Jesus just sort of gradually sucked me in.
By the end of the year, we had moved to Baltimore (that was unrelated, but not irrelavent), I was reading the Bible and praying every day for the first time in years, I was devouring N.T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone, and I believed in Jesus Christ, my prophet, priest and king and my only savior. And then I spent 2013 continuing to grow. We were baptized. We joined a church. I kept reading the Bible. I prayed more. I put my trust in Jesus. I even read Augustine!
I have to eat a lot of crow to write this, and of of the reasons I have held off on spelling it all out is fear of being called out for wishy-washiness. “Oh, Kullervo’s found a different religion again. Must be a day that ends in -y.” I don’t have an answer for that either, other than to swear that this time it’s different. But of course I can say that all day. I can say that through all my pagan years, I always had a sneaking suspicion that I would eventually come back to Christianity, that like C.S. Lewis I had to learn to be a good pagan before I could learn to be a Christian, but I realize that’s easy to say and hard to believe. Maybe it doesn’t matter because it’s ultimately between me and Jesus anyway.
But I wanted to finally write it all out, mostly so that I can refer back to it in some other posts I want to write and not have to give a lot of background every time.
So there you have it. There’s a lot of different ways to look at that I guess. Country music and the Bible turned me to Jesus. A good Christian woman turned my heart to God. The Holy Grail and the blood of the Lamb called me straight from heaven itself. I finally dropped the pretense of exploring spirituality unbounded and settled down like I was always going to do anyway. However you want to look at it, that’s how it happened.
Posted in Religion | Tagged 9/11, Arthurian Mythos, Atonement, Augustine, Baltimore, Bible, C. S. Lewis, Chattacon, Chicago, Christianity, Civil War, Conversion, Country Music, Damascus, Druidry, Esoteric Christianity, esoterica, Family, Flannery O'Connor, Gareth Knight, Gnostic Gospels, Gnosticism, Gods, Hinduism, Hip-Hop, Holy Grail, Incarnation, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Keith Baines, Liberalism, Marriage, Mormonism, Music, N.T. Wright, Orthodoxy, Paganism, Parenthood, Paul, Piety, Polytheism, Prayer, Presbyterianism, Providence, Rap, Religion, Roman Catholicism, Science Fiction, Scripture, Sir Thomas Malory, Southern Literature, Spirituality, Stonewall Jackson, Tarot, Theoi, Trinity, Vedanta, Wyclef Jean | 11 Comments »