Dublin and proper

The trip is off to a wonderful start. After our first full day in Ireland, we got to sit down to a proper Irish supper, complete with cabbage and Guinness for those who wanted it. The next morning it was off to the city Of Dublin to see the Book of Kells and St Patrick’s cathedral. Liam was rarin’ to go, and almost climbed the fence to get in. And, at the same time, one of our professors, sculptor Chris Slatoff, can be seen giving one of his nearly continuous talks. He has us wrapped around his finger. When we are in public, we tend to gain a few extra members to our group, as tourists find his thoughts as enthralling as we do.

Tonight we will begin Praying the Hours, which is an ancient monastic tradition. While I normally would not relish the idea of getting up several times in the night, I am looking forward to it–and I believe that my classmates are as well. Tomorrow we are on the road again. It is my hope that at some point during the trip I will have a chance to post more for you, in the meantime, I will make a point to continue offering you glimpses.

Have a blessed day!

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Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

Today’s Monday Inspiration comes in honor of the country I arrived in this morning. This is an Irish blessing attributed to St. Patrick. (It may look long, but its a quick read)Be blessed today!

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession in the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarch,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightening,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Though God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lay down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me,

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Ireland or Bust

I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share with you a new summer adventure:  In a couple of days I will board my first-ever trans-atlantic flight and fly to Ireland.  With the exception of the occasional jaunt into Mexico (and, really who counts the occasional jaunt into Mexico?) I have never really been out of the country.  This is in spite of the fact that I am considered one of the jet-setters of my family.

As a result I will be taking Faith Unscripted off the rails between now and when I return, the first week of July. Expect anything but our regular conversations while I am away.  I do not know how much time I will have to write, or when I might have access to the internet.  But when I do, I will probably be posting thought, pictures, and whatever else I can during the trip (maybe even a video?).  Also keep an eye on my twitter feed (see the feed to the right of your screen on most browsers, or follow me at twitter @nickybarger). We’ll return to Monday Inspirations and “thoughtful thursdays” as they normally appear in early July.  For now, this trip is sure to be both inspirational and thoughtful.

Why Ireland? Well, for one thing, why not Ireland?  Simply speaking, the Brehm Center offered two courses there this summer, and I was determined to go.  The more complicated answer is this: this is what I came here for.  I recently sat in an office with an advisor trying to work out my schedule for the rest of my time at Fuller.  Though my time with her was productive, and her services helpful,  it seemed apparent to me that she thought that my choice to go to Ireland was a waste of time and money.  “You have no more electives, you realize these won’t count, don’t you?”

Bless her, it was her job to point that out to me.  But frankly, in that moment, all I could see was someone who just didn’t get it.  You see, I am not on an specific pre-planned/known-to-me career-path that required me to get and MAT in order to advance professionally.  But, let’s be clear, my degree is more than mere “personal enrichment”.  I am confident of my call to Fuller, and despite my ignorance of God’s plan, I have no doubt a plan exists.  I am in the rare but not unique position where I have to pick and choose the education I get, because on one hand I need to fulfill the requirements set before me to graduate.  But I also need to get in the classes that resonate with that cord God plucked in me that made it clear God was moving me to Fuller for a reason. Without a doubt, the courses I am required to take have value, and I do learn from them.  But, just the same, I have to keep an eye open for those classes that I suspect have more to do with God’s plan for my life, than the Registrar’s plan.

So, then.  Ireland.

For now, my parting gift to you is this recent satellite image of IRE, where the entire island was briefly exposed with no cloud cover whatsoever.  This is a rare shot of the Emerald Island.  Enjoy. 

Some thoughts

Sitting in our morning lecture, and I have a whole train of thoughts competing with, and in response to, what Todd Johnson has to share this morning.
I got to thinking about what kind of theatre I might want to do and I returned again to the idea of shows with questions, ideas and topics that stir people up into conversation and even to action.  Seeing theatre as a potential catalyst for the community, for the church. And then I heard the naysayer in my head.  “Bleeding heart” Continue reading “Some thoughts”

Hello from New York

Well, I’ve tried to do some video blogging just for fun, but as these things go, technical difficulties have arisen.  So, if you get to see the videos, it will likely be much after the fact.

Oh, well.

I can tell you that I have never been in a more humid environment before, and it takes some getting used to.  But that’s pretty much all I have to complain about, and that ain’t too bad. Continue reading “Hello from New York”

Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center

You may remember a few months ago I posted some questions for your consideration.  This week, as we went around the group to introduce ourselves to one another, I couldn’t help but really stand on that leg for a moment.  I want to know what the questions are, specifically for people who are in my position, or positions similar to mine.  What are we dealing with?  Struggling with? What have we learned the hard way, and what were we graced to know without having to pay a costly price to learn? Continue reading “Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center”

top 10 things that won’t happen on a road-trip to Vegas with your christian girlfriends

Ok. As you know, I will soon be relocating to the Los Angeles area to begin studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. A couple of girlfriends will be making the road trip down with me to help me move my stuff, and we’ve decided to stop on the way in Vegas for fun, since we have to stop somewhere on the way. In a fit of absurdity my friends and I were joking around about the things least likely to happen to us with one night to spend in Vegas. I make no promises that any of this will make sense to you, but we’ve had quite a laugh coming up with them. And if by some bizarre coincidence something on this list does happen to us… well, you know the saying. We’re not going to tell.

10. any incident with a sky-diving Elvis
9. not likely to wind up on a date with Wayne Newton
8. not likely to wake up wed to a perfect stranger
7. will have no need to assemble our brilliant-yet-quirky team of criminal masterminds to do any of the following: steal back our estranged spouse/steal a fortune from multiple casinos/impersonate the celebrities we actually are/or take revenge on an arch enemy.

6. since we will be playing it relatively low-key, there will be no need to identify our remains by our plastic surgery; which is a good thing, since we’re all implant-free, and would otherwise remain Jane Doe 1, 2, and 3 in the Vegas morgue.
5. are not likely to wake up with circus animals in our suite, or a mysterious infant.
4. are not likely to sneak down to the roulette table, claiming “I’m just going down the hall for some ice”

3. not going to wind up with a dead hooker in the trunk (ok, I’m not going to include the link to the movie reference here, simply because I disliked the film so much, I didn’t bother seeing the whole thing. It makes the list because this is the item that started this top ten list to begin with)
2. not likely to have to disguise ourselves as chorus girls or drag queens to hide from the mob or exact information from an unwilling informant
1. none of us are likely to be found drunk, stumbling and swearing at the roulette table, asking a stranger to blow on the dice that aren’t in our hand, while shouting “c’mon, mamma needs a new Bible!”