Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bede (673-735)

Bede is remembered chiefly for his "Ecclesiastical History of the English People." This five volume work records events in Britain from the raids by Juilus Ceaser in 55-54 BC to the arrival of the first missionary from Rome, Saint Augustine in 597. Bede's writings are considered the best summary of this period of history ever prepared. Some have called it "the finest historical work of the early Middle Ages."
Bede's writings cover a broad spectrum including natural history, poetry, Biblical translation and exposition of the scriptures. His earliest Biblical commentary was probably that on the book of the Revelation. He is credited with writing three known Latin hymns.

Bede's motive for recording history reminds us of his deepest desires. He clearly states his purpose in his writings when he says, "For if history records good things of good men, the thoughtful hearer is encouraged to imitate what is good; or if it records evil of wicked men, the good, religious reader or listener is encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse, and to follow what he knows to be good and pleasing to God."
Bede preserved for us the lives of many early Celtic saints, some of whom were dear friends known to him personally. Bede's work is in some cases the only surviving account of their lives. All though he disagreed with them theologically, (Bede lined up on the side of the roman church at the council of Whitby), he respected there godly character and exploits.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

St Brendan (484-577) in North America

From a montain monastary Brendan gazed out across the western ocean looking for a glimpse of distant lands. Some say he saw them revealed in a vision after fasting for 40 days. He and his band of brothers set out on a seven year journey in a Carrach or Coracle. A boat made from wood and leather coated in animal fat. They drifted free at the mercy of the wind, the whim of the waves and the will of God.

In the 1970’s a National Geographic expedition proved that not only was the voyage possible but that the explorers encountered many of the things Brendan did. Adding credence to a story dismissed by modernity as myth.

It is believed Brendan's voyage took him to the northern Isles of Scotland, the Faeroe islands, Greenland, Iceland and eventually Newfoundland. Many locations in these countries are named after Brendan.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A W Tozer ( April 12 1897- May 12 1963)

Born on a small farming in western Pennsylvania, Tozer became a follower of Christ as a teenager in Akron, Ohio while listening to a street pracher.

Five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, He acceptecd his first pastorate, a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. This began 44 years of ministry in association with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Tozer served as pastor for 30 years at Southside Alliance Church, in Chicago (1928 to 1959. The final years of his life were spent in Toronto Canada as Pastor of the Avenue Road Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.

Along with being editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine Tozer penned more than 40 books. At least two of which are considered Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His books impress on the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God. He has become a protestant connection to the rich stream of Christian Mystacisim and a spiritual mentor to many.

Tozer and his wife Ada Cecelia Pfautz had seven children, six boys and one girl. Living a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle they never owned a car and preferring bus and train travel. Tozer gained noteriaty as a writer and speaker yet He signed away most of his royalties to the poor.

He is buried in Ellet Cemetery, Akron, Ohio. A simple epitaph marking his grave: "A. W. Tozer - A Man of God."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Celtic Encircling Prayer

Blessing Of The Three
The Sacred Three
My fortress be Encircling me,
Come and be round
My hearth, my home.
Fend Thou my kin
And every sleeping thing within
From scathe, from sin.
Thy care our peace
Through mid of night To light's release.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celtic Beltane Blessing (2)

Myself, my spouse, and my children,
My tender children and their beloved mother at their head.
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling.

Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
All kine and crops, all flocks and corn,
From Hallow Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.

Be the Three Persons taking possession of all to me belonging,
Be the sure Trinity protecting me in truth;
Oh! satisfy my soul in the words of Paul,
And shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory,
Shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory.

Bless everything and every one,
Of this little household by my side;
Place the cross of Christ on us with the power of love,
Till we see the land of joy,
Till we see the land of joy.

What time the kine shall forsake the stalls,
What time the sheep shall forsake the folds,
What time the goats shall ascend to the mount of mist,
May the tending of the Triune follow them,
May the tending of the Triune follow them.

from the Carmina Gadelica

previous Beltane Blessing http://livingwaterfromanancientwell.blogspot.com/2007/01/beltane-blessing-oh-god-bless-our.html