Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Move to Abolish the Crazies

It took about four hours, but I finally completed casing Green Hills mall for appropriate powder for my fair complexion. Why it is so difficult, I'm unsure. While not finding makeup, I did find a fabulous pair of boots to accompany me back to Edinburgh this coming week. Surely fantastic shoes makes up for wearing zilch makeup!

On to other news: I'm pleased to announce that in addition to teaching, I'll soon be practicing constitutional law. A superb organization has given me the opportunity to work from Scotland, and I'm delighted to do something I'm presently passionate about. Watch out crazies who want to invite the government to infringe upon our civil liberties: this newby is out for you!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wise Counsel from a Kempis

"Study also to guard against and to overcome the faults which in others very frequently displease you. Make the best of every opportunity, so that if you see or hear good example you may be moved to imitate it."

- Thomas a Kempis on 'Thoughts Helpful in the Life of the Soul' found in Imitation of Christ

My Apologies...

My apologies for being absent from the blogosphere for several weeks! While Matt returned to Scotland a few weeks ago, I have been busy here in the states with project work, lunching, traveling, and securing work to do from Edinburgh. Which is fantastic. When I return to Edinburgh next week, I'll be a busy bee. But not too busy for the blog :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"The Rule of Law" by Matthew

Those familiar with William Law will not be surprised by the profundity of what follows. His most popular book, "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life", is considered by many a devotional masterpiece. Law studied for the ministry at Cambridge, achieving both a bachelor's and master's degrees. However, while still in training at Cambridge, so as not to contradict his good conscience, he elected not to pledge his allegiance to King George I. The consequences of this decision were his immediate expulsion from Cambridge and a permanent revocation of any future ministry in the Church of England. Law, however, found the path of love despite his cival punishment.

Alduous Huxley, in a letter to Alan Watts once commented:

"I have been reading William Law--with great pleasure and profit. What a wonderful writer, when he is at his best. It is sadly typical of our education that we are all made to read the second-rate amiabilities...--but that one of the greatest masters of devotion and of philosophical theology is passed over almost in silence."

Today, I learned of the "Rules of William Law", penned while a student at Cambridge. I list them below for your reflection and edification. Perhaps they will have a similar impact on you as they did me.

Rules for Achieving Christian Perfection

I. To fix deep in my mind that I have one business upon my hands--to seek for eternal happiness by doing the will of God.

II. To examine everything that relates to me in this view, as it serves or obstructs this only end of life.

III. To think nothing great or desirable because the world thinks it so; but to form all my judgments of things from the infallible Word of God, and direct my life according to it.

IV. To avoid all concerns with the world, or the ways of it, but where religion and charity oblige me to act.

V. To remember frequently, and impress it upon my mind deeply, that no condition of this life is for enjoyment, but for trial; and that every power, ability, or advantage we have are all so many talents to be accounted for to the Judge of all the world.

VI. That the greatness of human nature consists in doing nothing else but in imitating the Divine nature. That, therefore, all the greatness of this world, which is not in good actions, is perfectly beside the point.

VII. To remember often and seriously how much time is thrown away, from which I can expect nothing but the charge of guilt; and how little there may be to come on which an eternity depends.

VIII. To avoid all excess in eating and drinking.

IX. To spend as little time as I possibly among such persons as can receive no benefit from me, nor I from them.

X. To be always fearful of letting my time slip away without some fruit.

XI. To avoid all idleness.

XII. To call to mind the presence of God whenever I find myself under temptation to sin and to have immediate recourse to prayer.

XIII. To think humbly of myself; and with great charity to others.

XIV. To forbear from all evil speaking.

XV. To think often of the life of Christ, and to propose it as a pattern for myself.

XVI. To pray, privately, thrice a day, besides my morning and evening prayer.

XVII. To keep from _____________ as much as I can without offence. *(Note: scholars note that Law's personal writings reveal this blank to be "public houses", or, as we know them, "coffee houses". No kidding.)

XVIII. To spend some time in giving an account of the day previous to evening prayer: How have I spent this day? What sin have I committed? What temptation have I withstood? Have I performed all my duty?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cool Discovery: Plumgood Foods

Grocery delivery is common in Edinburgh. All of the stores deliver for an extra fee, which is especially handy when one doesn't have a car and lives on the third floor of a tenement building. However, I just discovered that Nashville has grocery delivery!

Plumgood Foods was founded in Nashville in 2004 by a pair of local Middle Tennesseans. The grocery webstore delivers organic and natural prepared meals, dairy, produce, meats, seafood and all other grocery items to your home or office from the low price of $6.95. You must go check this website out -- -- there's tons to discover!

My favorite feature of this local company is their 'Meals Made Easy.' Wanting to encourage nutrition and the fun of cooking, the owners provide a host of recipes on their website that list all the ingredients needed for that particular recipe. With the click of just one button, you can order all ingredients to make Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Snowpeas or Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Kale and Yukons and Steamed Baby Carrots ... you click the desired recipe, they provide the ingredients. How unintimidating is that?

On to other news for you local Nashvillians - next time you stop for a cup of joe at Fidos, request a day old bagel and you'll get it on the house. I love that they don't throw their food away like other coffeehouses (ahhum...Starbucks!).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Latest Findings

Absolutely witty, a bit crass at times (maybe a bit more than just a bit), and unbelievably moving -- I highly recommend the movie Juno. A story demonstrating the ability to overcome both stereotypes and cultural faux pas, Juno just may be a movie that ever so slightly shifts the foundations upon which our society makes several of its assumptions. It's a must see!

Also a wonderful find: This fantastic website highlights the top 100 restaurants in the top 50 cities in the country.

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