Emerson on words and deeds

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
as quoted on God's Politics

Wrong extension!

A man joined a big Multi National Company as a trainee.
On his first day, he dialed the kitchen and shouted into the phone: "Get me a cup of coffee, quickly!"
The voice from the other side responded: "You fool, you've dialed the wrong extension! Do you know whom you're talking to?"
"No" replied the trainee.
"It's the Managing Director of the company, you idiot!"
The trainee shouted back: "And do you know whom YOU are talking to, you IDIOT?"
"No!" replied the Managing Director angrily.
"Thank God....!!" replied the trainee and put down the phone. 
Thanks to MadPriest!

Vicar elect

The diocesan chapter today decided to appoint me vicar of the Swedish parish of Lovisa, where I have been working as vicar pro tem since January. I will become vicar proper starting December; the rest of November I might be called vicar elect.
I thank the Lord for the possibility to serve as vicar. Just a few years ago I was convinced that I’d never have a chance to do so because of my controversial opinions on a certain subject, but the situation has changed more rapidly than I had thought possible.

Lovisa is a small town east of Porvoo/Borgå where I live. It is situated about 90 km east of the Finnish capital Helsinki, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland (an arm of the Baltic Sea). My parish, consisting of the Swedish-speaking members of the ELCF in the centre of Lovisa, had 2.661 members as of the end of last year.

On the Sunday after Epiphany, January 13, 2013, I will be officially and ceremoniously installed in my new office by Bishop Björn Vikström. The festivities start at noon in the church and continue in the Högstadiet school, as the parish’s own buildings probably would be too crowded. Welcome to attend!

What a pun!

I've decided to marry a pencil.

I can't wait to introduce my parents to my bride 2B.

Merton on the comforts of the Bible

There is, in a word, nothing comfortable about the Bible - until we manage to get so used to it that we make it comfortable for ourselves. But then we are perhaps too used to it and too at home in it. Let us not be too sure we know the Bible ... just because we have learned not to have problems with it. Have we perhaps learned ... not to really pay attention to it? Have we ceased to question the book and be questioned by it?
- Thomas Merton
from his book Opening the Bible
as quoted on God's Politics

The makem and the geordie

A makem (man from Sunderland) applied for a job at a factory in his home town. A geordie (man from Newcastle) applied for the same job and since both applicants had similar qualifications, the manager asked them to take a test. When the results were in, both men had scored 19 out of 20.

The manager went to the makem and said, "Thank you for coming to the interview, but we’ve decided to give the geordie the job."

The makem said, "Why? We both got 19 questions correct. This being Sunderland and me being from Sunderland surely I should get the job."

The manager replied, "We have made our decision not on the correct answers, but on the question you got wrong."

The makem said, "And just how would one incorrect answer be better than another?"

The manager said, "Simple. On question number 7 the geordie wrote down, 'I don’t know.' You put down, 'Neither do I.'" 
From MadPriest. Who else?

Mozart on eloquence

To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
as quoted on Facebook

Better to love badly

I find that it is better to love badly and faultily than not to try and love at all. God does not have to have perfect instruments, and the Holy One can use our feeble and faltering attempts at love and transform them. My task is to keep on trying to love, to be faithful in my continuing attempt, not necessarily to be successful. The quality of my love may well be the most important element of my spiritual guidance.
- Morton T. Kelsey
from his book Companions on the Inner Way
as quoted on God's Politics

Finnish for foreigners

järki = reason, sense, intelligence
järjestää = organize
järjestelmä = organization
järjestelmällinen = organized
järjestelmällistyttää = organizationalize
epäjärjestelmällistyttää = unorganizationalize
epäjärjestelmällistyttämätön = antiunorganizationalized
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyys = antiunorganizationalization
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättomyydellä = with antiunorganizationalization
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellään = with his antiunorganizationalization
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänkö = is it with his antiunorganizationalization?
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänköhän = I wonder if it is possible, with his antiunorganizationalization?
epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänköhänkään? = I wonder if it is possible, even with his antiunorganizationalization?

Seventeen syllables in one word - how about that? You just have to love that language!

MadPriest and the other cheek

Turning the other cheek because of personal cowardice is not what Jesus was on about. 

Walesa on peace and justice

In many parts of the world the people are searching for a solution which would link the two basic values: peace and justice. The two are like bread and salt for mankind.
- Lech Walesa
from his Nobel Lecture
as quoted on God's Politics

Churchill on rebuilding the world

If the Almighty were to rebuild the world and asked me for advice, I would have English Channels round every country. And the atmosphere would be such that anything which attempted to fly would be set on fire. 
- Sir Winston Churchill
as quoted on Child of Illusion

Power and influence

If you really want to be powerful, if you really want to be influential, then just serve.
- Rev. Willie Barrow,
civil rights activist who earned the nickname "Little Warrior"
as quoted on God's Politics

King on nonviolence

[Nonviolence] is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil. It is evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil.
- Martin Luther King Jr.,
from his book Stride Toward Freedom
as quoted on God's Politics

No need to protect God

Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol.
- Stanley Hauerwas
as quoted on God's Politics

The elderly pick-up line

A handsome elder gentleman, about 90, sidles up to a handsome elder lady of about 85, in bar.
He inquires of her: "So ... do I come here often?"
Thanks to JCF, commenting at OCICBW...!

Good news to the poor

The gospels record that Jesus preached good news to the poor, and an essential part of that good news was that they were to be poor no longer.
- Dorothy Day,
quoted in Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean
as quoted on God's Politics

Hammarskjöld on what God is

God is something so simple: always to live for others, never to seek one’s own advantage.
- Dag Hammarskjöld,
from his book Markings
as quoted on God's Politics

Thought provoking or just provoking?

I read an interesting article on the net the other day. It was called Christians Who Are Against LGBT Misuse The Bible, written by Greg Carey (Professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary) and published on the Huffington Post 11.8.12.
Hiding behind the Bible doesn't exempt us from responsibility for our beliefs and behaviors. The Bible is a complicated book. Using the Bible to condemn sexual minorities requires that people make a series of choices and assumptions,
Carey writes, and the goes on to analyze some of those assumptions. It all comes down to your interpretation. And whenever you read something - anything - you automatically interpret it. You just can't avoid it. Saying you read something the way it is written means you close your eyes to the fact of your own interpretation. And then you will go astray more surely than if you acknowledge your interpretation and take it into account. Professor Carey writes:
There's no avoiding the problem of interpretation - or the responsibility that goes with it.
Julius Caesar said, "People believe what they want to believe." Modern psychology has confirmed his wisdom: Our moral choices tend to reflect our biases and passions more than an unbiased process of moral reflection. Let's be honest: if you're anti-gay, you're anti-gay. Just don't blame the Bible for your bigotry.
Please read the whole thing - it isn't all that long. Perhaps it will provoke you - which is healthy enough - but hopefully it will also be thought provoking.

Ora et labora

The things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for.
- Thomas More,
English philosopher, lawyer, and author of Utopia
as quoted on God's Politics

New media

An elderly gentleman was visiting his daughter and her husband when he asked if he could borrow a newspaper.
'This is the 21st century, old man,' the son-in-law said. 'We don't waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow my iPad.'

The bloody fly never knew what hit it. 
Thanks to MadPriest!

Securing the good

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
- Jane Addams
as quoted on God's Politics

Good medicine for sunburns

A guy fell asleep on the beach and got a horrible sunburn, specifically to his thighs. He went to the hospital and was admitted with second-degree burns. His skin was starting to blister and he was in severe pain so the doctor prescribed continuous saline, electrolytes, a sedative, and a Viagra pill every four hours.
The nurse, who was astounded, asked, 'What good will Viagra do for him?'
The doctor replied, 'It won't do anything for his condition, but it'll keep the sheets off his legs.'
Thanks to MadPriest!

Iceland: First female bishop

Iceland’s first female bishop, Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, was consecrated in Hallgrímskirkja, the cathedral of Reykjavik, on 24 June 2012. Sigurðardóttir was elected with 64.3 percent of votes in a second round of elections. She succeeds Karl Sigurbjörnsson, who retired at the end of June. The new bishop has worked with youth, as a parish pastor and as regional dean.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge has welcomed the installation of Bishop, as an affirmation of the leadership role women play in the church.
“We celebrate your ordination as a bishop in the memory of Jesus’ commissioning women disciples to become his followers and partaking in God’s mission to the world,” Junge said in a congratulatory greeting conveyed on behalf of the LWF by Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, Lutheran Church in Great Britain, at a reception following consecration service.

One of the main goals of the new bishop will be to attract more people to The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, which has suffered losses in recent years. “We should do that with joy and interest, not just to raise the number, but because of the good message that we are entrusted with,” she said.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland has 247,245 members.
LWF 11.7.12
ENI 11.7.12
evl.fi 12.7.12

Two ideas of government

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.
- William Jennings Bryan
as quoted on Child of Illusion

West on indifference to injustice

Indifference to injustice is more insidious than the injustice itself.
- Dr. Cornel West
as quoted on God's Politics

Tech support call

Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support: Are you sure it’s plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can’t get behind the computer.
Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Customer: OK.
Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes.
Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there’s another one here. Ah… that one does work…

Source: funnymos.com

Carroll on taking the right road

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.
- Lewis Carroll
as quoted on Facebook

Mandela on freedom

My hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A [person] who takes away another [person's] freedom is a prisoner of hatred ... is locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
- Nelson Mandela
from his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom
as quoted on God's Politics

Punny humour

Dr. Jekyll's more successful second formula turned him into a world-class sprinter rather than a violent psychopath, proving that you can run but you can't always Hyde.
Thanks to Bailey's Buddy!

Chesterton on respecting property

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. 
- G. K. Chesterton in The Man who was Thursday (1908)

Denmark: Parliament introduces same-sex marriage

Folketinget, the Danish Parliament, has voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, Österbottens Tidning reports 7.6.12. Previously, they had only been allowed to register their partnerships. The new law was passed by 85 votes to 24.
Since Denmark has a state church, the new law immediately takes effect also within the (Lutheran) church. The church is divided, however; one pastor in three is unwilling to perform same-sex marriages. The new law gives them the right to refuse to do so. 

Gandhi on violence

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary - the evil it does is permanent.
- Mahatma Gandhi as quoted on God's Politics

Cheap bastards

A man and his wife were celebrating 50 years together. Their three kids, all very successful, agreed to a Sunday dinner in their honour.

"Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad," gushed son number one. "Sorry I'm running late... had an emergency, you know how it is, didn't have time to get you both a present."
"Not to worry," said the dad.."the important thing is that we're all here together today."

Son number two arrived and announced, "You and Mom still look great, Dad! Just flew in from L.A. and didn't have time to get you a present... Sorry."
"It's nothing," said the father, "Glad you were able to be here."

Just then the daughter arrived.
"Hello both of you, Happy Anniversary! I'm sorry, but my boss is sending me out of town and I was really busy packing... so I didn't have time to get you guys anything."
Again the father said, "I really don't care, at least the five of us are together today."

After they had all finished dessert, the father put down his knife and fork, looked up and said, "Listen up, all three of you, there's something your mother and I have wanted to tell you for a long time. You see, we were very poor. Despite this, we were able to raise each of you and send you to college. All through the years your mother and I knew that we loved each other very much but... we just never found the time to get married."
The three kids gasped and said, "You mean we're bastards?"
"Yep," said the dad..."and cheap ones too!"
Thanks to MadPriest!

No State Church in Norway - or in Finland

The Norwegian Parliament - Stortinget - decided yesterday (21.5.12) to abolish the State Church system. Good for them!
Voices in Finland have been raised for the same thing to be done here. This shows, of course, a lack of knowledge of both history and of the background of the relationship between Church and State. I've blogged about this before.

I'm not saying that reforms couldn't be made, but a non-existant State Church cannot be abolished, can it?

The nuns' first hot dogs

Two Irish nuns have just arrived in USA by boat and one says to the other, "I hear that the people in this country actually eat dogs."
"Odd," her companion replies, "but if we shall live in America, we might as well do as the Americans do."
Nodding emphatically, the mother superior points to a hot dog vendor and they both walk towards the cart.
"Two dogs, please," says one.
The vendor is only too pleased to oblige and he wraps both hot dogs in foil and hands them over the counter. Excited, the nuns hurry over to a bench and begin to unwrap their "dogs."
The mother superior is first to open hers. She begins to blush and then, staring at it for a moment, leans over to the other nun and whispers cautiously: "...What part did you get?"

Thanks to Mrs. Karl!

Wilde on bitter trials

What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.
- Oscar Wilde
as quoted on QuoteFame.com

Punny humour

Even though he contributes either the X or Y chromosome, when a father chooses the sex of his child it's just a sperm of the moment decision. 
Thanks to Bailey's Buddy!

Barth on prayer

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.
- Karl Barth
as quoted on God's Politics

The wrong side of the bed

Mother Superior was on her way to late morning prayers, when she passed two novices just leaving early morning prayers, on their way to classes. As she passed the young ladies, Mother Superior said, 'Good morning, ladies.'
The novices replied, 'Good morning, Mother Superior, may God be with you.'
But after they had passed, Mother Superior heard one say to the other, 'I think she got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.'
This startled Mother Superior, but she chose not to pursue the issue.

A little further down the hall, Mother Superior passed two of the Sisters who had been teaching at the convent for several years. She greeted them with, 'Good morning, Sister Martha, Sister Jessica, may God give you wisdom for our students today.'
'Good morning, Mother Superior. Thank you, and may God be with you.'
But again, after passing, Mother Superior overheard, 'She got out of the wrong side of bed today.'

Baffled, she started to wonder if she had spoken harshly, or with an irritated look on her face. She vowed to be more pleasant. Looking down the hall, Mother Superior saw retired Sister Mary approaching, step by step, with her walker. As Sister Mary was rather deaf, Mother Superior had plenty of time to arrange a pleasant smile on her face, before greeting Sister Mary.
'Good morning, Sister Mary. I'm so happy to see you up and about. I pray God watches over you today, and grants you a wonderful day.'
'Ah, Good morning, Mother Superior, and thank you. I see you got up on the wrong side of bed this morning.'
Mother Superior was floored!
'Sister Mary, what have I done wrong? I have tried to be pleasant, but three times already today, people have said that about me.'
Sister Mary stopped her walker, and looked Mother Superior in the face.
'Oh, don't take it personally, Mother Superior. It's just that you're wearing Father Murphy's slippers!!'

Thanks to MadPriest!

"If you desire peace..."

If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the field to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace.
- Norman Borlaug
from his Nobel Lecture
as quoted on God's Politics

Tech support call

Tech support: What’s on your monitor now, ma’am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.
Source: funnymos.com

The price of freedom

The price of freedom is to allow freedom. Very few people are willing to pay the price.

Word play: Balderdash

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. One of the winners is: 
Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline. 
The English language needs this...

Thanks to the Episcopal Padre!

Emerson on the envoys of beauty

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would we believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
from his essay "Nature"
as quoted on God's Politics

Hendrix on power and love

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
- Jimi Hendrix
as quoted on Facebook

King on human salvation

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. 
- Martin Luther King, Jr.,
in Strength to Love (1963),
as quoted on Facebook

"All I ask of those in authority"

All I ask of those in authority over me is that they are better at their job than I would be. This is not arrogance on my behalf. It is simply what I need to be able to do my job.

Finland: Vicar in registered partnership

In western Finland, not far from Turku, there is a small municipality called Koski. The parish is, of course, equally small, with some 2.500 members. The vicar, Terhi Latvala, is a woman, and she recently formed a civil partnership with the parish’s youth deacon, another woman called Katri Tuori.
At first, the good people of Koski were stunned, but they soon came to accept the situation. Only a few discordant voices were heard. These were, naturally, the ones that the yellow press seized on.
But the fact of the matter is that the vicar of Koski is a lesbian, living openly with her partner, and no-one gives a hoot.

Good for Koski!

And congratulations to the new partners!

Latvala ja Tuori virallistivat parisuhteensa (Auranmaan Viikkolehti 25.11.11)
Työntekijöiden rekisteröity parisuhde puhuttaa Kosken seurakunnassa (Kotimaa 25.11.11)
Lesbopappi kuohuttaa pikkukunnassa (Iltalehti 14.12.11)
Lesbo kirkkoherra hämmentää Koskella - nai nuorisodiakonsa! (Hymy 15.12.11)

Biblical morning coffee

A couple argued about who should brew the morning coffee. The wife gets really annoyed and says: "Men HAVE to make the coffee. It says so in the Bible!"
Her husband demanded that she show him. She fetched the Bible and showed it to him. At the top of the page, it said "HEBREWS". 
Found it on Facebook.