Archive for October, 2011


I love Halloween. Not so much the holiday or the costumes or the candy (well, that part was pretty great) though. Raised as the good Pentecostal boy, I disavowed any affection I held for this day. I guess it’s safer to say I love everything surrounding the time of Halloween.

This time of year, signified specifically by Halloween for me, always indicated the official arrival of Fall. Maybe it has to do with it not being convincingly autumnal here in Houston until this late in the year. But when the pumpkins start showing up in grocery stores and when crappy costumes make their way onto the shelves, I know cooler weather and longer evenings are finally here to stay (fingers crossed this year) – a very welcome change after our scorching summers.

I have fond memories of Ms. Chandler’s fourth grade class around this time of year. I remember the Halloween decorations and festivities but that wasn’t what got me particularly excited. I loved the need to wear a jacket to school every morning. On those certain days, I loved seeing the dark, gloomy sky from within the hearth that was our bustling elementary classroom, the moodiness of nature that I (maybe wrongly?) still associate with this time of year.

Yes, I love it all. So, I hope you enjoyed yourselves a nice Halloween. No trick-or-treaters came by here which was convenient since we had no candy that wasn’t already expired.

But the other part I love about Halloween? All the candy that goes on sale tomorrow. I’m going to single-handedly make it a profitable quarter for Reese’s, I know that’s for dang sure.

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Avoid the gatherings of men as much as you can. The discussing of worldly affairs, even though engaged in with good intentions, is nevertheless a hindrance, for we quickly become tainted and charmed by trivia. I have often wished that I had remained silent and had not been in the company of men.

Why are we so fond of speaking and conversing with one another, though we rarely return to our silence without some injury to our consciences? The reason why we enjoy talking is because we seek solace in chatting with one another and desire to lighten our distracted hearts. Furthermore, we enjoy talking and thinking about the things we most want and desire, or those which we especially dislike.

2. But alas! It is often vain and to no purpose, for the consolation gained by talking greatly diminishes the internal consolation granted us by God. Therefore, we must watch and pray lest we spend our time in fruitless idleness.

If it is permitted and advisable to speak, then speak of those things that nourish the spiritual life. Negligence about our spiritual progress and yielding to bad habits are the reasons for our keeping so little control over our tongues. Godly conversation about spiritual matters very much helps spiritual advancement, especially when persons of like mind and heart are united in God.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 10

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It is a very excellent thing to be under obedience, that is, to live under a superior and not to be one’s own master. There is greater security in living a life of submission than there is in exercising authority. Many live under obedience, more out of necessity than out of love of God, and they murmur and complain in their discontent. These will never achieve spiritual freedom until, for the love of God, they submit themselves with all their heart.

No matter where you go, here or there, you will find no rest except in humbly subjecting yourself to the authority of a superior. Many have dreamed that it would be better for them to be in another monastery, but they have found they were deluded.

It is indeed true that everyone likes to have his own way and is partial to those who think the same as he does. But if God dwells among us then we must sometimes relinquish our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to be able to know all things? Therefore, rely not too heavily on your own opinion, but listen to the ideas of others as well. Your opinion may be a good one, but if, for God’s sake, you set it aside and follow that of another, you will profit the more.

3. I have often heard it said that it is safer to listen and to take advice than to offer it. It may well happen that each one’s opinion is good, but to refuse to go along with another’s opinion, when reason or a just cause demand it, is a sign of perverse pride.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 9

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Do not open your heart to everyone, but discuss your affairs with one who is wise and fears God. Do not associate too freely with young people nor with strangers. Do not flatter those who are rich, nor be eager to be in the presence of those who are important in the eyes of the world.

Keep company with the humble and simple, with the devout and godly, and speak of those things which nurture religion. Do not be familiar with any woman but, in general, commend all good women to God. Desire to be familiar only with God and His angels and shun the acquaintance of men.

2. We must have charity toward all but familiarity is not necessary. It sometimes happens that a person unknown to us enjoys a dazzling reputation, but when we finally do meet he makes much less of an impression. We sometimes think that our own presence gives pleasure to others, whereas we may really be offensive to them because of some unbecoming behavior in us.

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 8

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It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m excited about today, excited about church, just looking forward to all the good things in store.

You see, I’m trying to keep a positive attitude this morning. I learned last night that on the current David Crowder Band Tour, their final tour as a band, the tour that spent not one but two nights here in Houston, the tour that I decided not to attend because I had seen Crowder a few times before and, while they were excellent, I thought I’d be good and save some cash this time around – I learned that this tour had both John Mark McMillan and Gungor as openers.

So yeah. Just putting a positive spin on my morning. Because it’s pretty easy to slip into a state of desperate bummed-out-ness. But that’ll only happen if I think about it. So, like, we’re good.

Yeah, we’re good.

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