Thursday, November 15, 2018

Unpuzzled

*growl*  I had this post up, apparently ran the cursor across a delete button or something, for the thing is gone.  Rewrite:

Another one unpuzzled.  Except for "What is that blotch on Mabel's right cheek?"


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Campus Romance

Campus Coffee Club,  corner table just to the left of the fireplace.  Three occupants, Ginger Girl, Black Haired Beauty, and a big guy with a man bun and a varsity letter jacket.  I approach.  She's sipping a chai latte, Ginger is saying her goodbyes, "Gotta run!"

Manbun is holding forth, "Yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah!"  and so on.  She continues to sip her concoction.

I'm in love.

Of course I knew who she was but I had never seen her before in person.  It's not just that her eyes are as black as her hair and her complexion, to use a cliche, is peaches-and-cream.  It's, it's an indescribable thing.  Good thing, too, because I lack both the vocabulary and the language facility.  I'm at the end of the table now, set the laptop down.  "Hi!  Mind if I have a seat?"  Her only response is a smile cast in my direction.  Bunny says, "Actually, we do mind.  This corner is occupied and we are busy here."

I moved across the room, sat at an unoccupied table.  I opened the computer but I kept an eye on the happy couple at the corner table.  "Happy" seems to be a bit of a stretch.  His mouth continues to move, more or less nonstop.  She glances across at me.  And again.  The third time she looks my way Bunny stops talking, looks at me, looks at her.  I couldn't hear what he said next, but clearly he was not making her happy.  She said something to him, took a sip from her mug.  The guy stood, all six foot eight of him, swaggered over to me.   Towering over me, "Hey.  I see you eyeing my girl.  Let it go, Mac, if you get my drift."

"I have nothing against you, Robbie-- may I call you Robbie?"  Everyone knows this BMOC, name Robert Garrison.  "Do I fancy the lady? That is my concern, and hers if I make it so.  Tell you what.  Let's go over to the barrista, get ourselves a fresh coffee and go talk it over with the girl."

Well, Rob was quite taken aback-- to such a degree that he agreed with my suggestion and we went for the drinks.  He settled back in his seat next to the girl, I remained standing.  "Del," I introduced myself as I extended my hand toward her.  She took my hand in hers, shook, and smiled.  "Everyone calls me Ellie," she said.

"Ellie.  Elspeth, right?"

"How did you know?  Most people think it is Eleanor."

"Perhaps we could go into all that over dinner, say Tuesday evening, seven o'clock?"

She nodded.  "What's your number?" I had the flip phone from my pocket.  She told me; I entered it, hit "Send."  Her phone rang, I flipped my device shut.  "That's just me.  Call you Tuesday!  Bye, now."  I leaned in close, whispered, "What color are Rob's eyes?"  She looked perplexed, said nothing; she started to turn toward the giant.  "Never mind.  A word: don't be too intimate with anyone whose eye color you don't know."  She was looking squarely and deeply into my eyes. "Gotta go," I explained, "Big test in the morning, Lobachevskian geometry.  Midnight oil, I'm afraid."

I turned and walked away.  Rob caught up with me as I reached the door.  "Nervy.  Why didn't you ask her out Friday night?"

"Why?  I thought you might have things set up for Friday, or hoped to, so I left that open for you."

"Yeah; I wish.  She always goes home for the weekend."

"Oh, my."  I couldn't help myself.  "She doesn't see your performance on the gridiron?  See you around, Robbie."

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Judges in Israel

After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years. Then Elon died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.  (Judges 12:11,12 NIV)

Paul in his second letter to Timothy tells us  "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"  (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) hence today's puzzle.

The twenty-two words in the Book of Judges tell us everything we know about Elon so I infer that that is all we need to know.  But Paul's letter assures us that we need to know that much.  Why, then, is it important at all?

The Bible gives us an account of the period in the history in Israel in which the people not having a confederation which could rightly be called a state were led by a series of people that we refer to as judges.  There were twelve of them serving consecutively over a period of  roughly three hundred years.  (Some scholars include Eli and his sons Joel and Abijah as judges, followed by Samuel, bringing the count to sixteen.)  This period ended when Saul was anointed King over Israel.

Several of these judges are given considerable space in the scripture with detailed accounts of their accomplishments, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson being chief among them.  The others are mentioned, like Elon, scripture giving their roots, the length of time they led the people, and their burial sites.   For most a few words are given to some particular in the individual's life, for example of  Abdon who ruled eight years it is said that he had forty sons and thirty grandsons, each of whom rode on donkeys.  Clearly Abdon was a busy man, a virile man, and one wonders how he had time to consider the disputes and legal differences that arose among the people.  But I digress. (Which I am wont to do.)

Then we ask, "Why is Elon mentioned at all?"  Short answer, the ten years represented by his leadership are necessary to a completion of the chronology from the Exodus to the development of the kingdom.

As always, you are welcome.  Insights and comments?
 
Go!  This is the day the Lord has given the enemy into your hands.  The Lord has gone ahead of you!
Deborah, to Barak (Judges 4:14)

Jump to 21st century America.  The Lord still goes ahead of you; He gives you the victory!



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Joni Mitchell

Celebrate Joni Mitchell, painter, poet, singer, and perhaps the greatest living song writer as she turns 75 today!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/1974_Joni_Mitchell.jpg

Say a prayer for her well-being as she recovers from her recent illness.

Image: Wikipedia

Thursday, November 1, 2018

All Saints Day, 1924

Revisiting Unlce Jep's Halloween tale, 1924.


Happy Halloween, Mr. Principal
 
Did I tell  you about the time your Daddy and your uncles pranked the principal on Halloween? Well, them boys was sump'n, let me tell you.  Now I don' 'spose your Daddy's ever tole you of the onry-ness a them kids?  Anyways, there was a whole passel 'n'm kids, mostly boys and your pa right in the middle the bunch.  Now one a them boys was just a year older'n your pa, and another'n a year younger.  Whut a trio they made.  No, they warn't no singin', but mischief! Lawd, ha' mercy.

So anyhow there was this October when they was prolly 13, 14, and 15 year ol'.  Halloween a comin.'  Now the principal a the school over there was Ward Livengoodll, he was "livin' good," what with his nice income from the second-best job in the county.  Har! har! Livin' good.  I sometime crack myself up.  Anyway, ol' Ward, he come out here from Indiana, had him a dee-ploma from Oakland Normal School, doncha know.  What was the best job in the county?  Why sheriffin', I reckon.  You got no idee the ways them fellas can line they own pocket.  But that's a tale for another time.  So ol' Livengood marry a sweet thang from over to Terre Haute, and headed West.  Lureen Tuttle, she was, and the only way I would know that is she never cease from tellin' ever' one she meet about "the Tuttles from Terre Haute."

So Principal Livengood got the school over there, an' that school were the centerpiece a McClave. They had just built hit a couple years afore, and it were a two-story brick, three ya count the basement.  Now Livengood drive him a little ol' Model T Ford car, runabout, they call hit.  So anyway, morning of November 1 he walk on over to school-- didn't even notice his car wasn't aside his house, on account he only drove hit to work but rarely.  But he get to school, unlock the building and clumb on up the stairs.  Imagine his surprise when he get to the second floor, and there a settin' in the hallway smack again' his office door is his very own personal Model T!


And do you think that trio and they cohorts had anythin' to do with that?  Not much, they didn't; no more'n hit was them left Fred Sparks's outhouse in the middle George Watt's broom corn field.


© 2013 David W. Lacy

Reminder:  Uncle Jep's tales are collected
under the "Stories" and "More Stories" 
tabs at the top of the page. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October 31. Again

Still my favorite

I am making this an annual event.  That is how much I like it.  Hope you like it.
 
Today is Halloween.  It has become quite a big deal, commercially, that is.  Why, I would guess that the dollar turnover on decorations and partying is as big as Christmas.  Yet I don't think of Halloween as a holiday.  A day for fun and mischief, perhaps, but even the mischief has gotten carried away from fun into wickedness.

But that's not the reason for this post.

Here is the reason:  Wishing you a fun and safe good time on Halloween.  And,



inflicting on you once again my all-time favorite Halloween cartoon.  You are welcome.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Short-term Prophecy

Now Jotham the sole surviving half-brother of Abimelech stood on Mt Gerazim and preached this to the citizens of Shechem:
Once upon a time the trees set out to anoint a king over them.  They said to the olive tree, "Be our King!"  Don't be silly, replied the olive tree.  Should I give up being a useful producer to rule over you?"
Then the trees implored the fig tree to  become their king.  "That is ridiculous," said the fig tree.  I am useful for sweet, lovely fruit.  Who would want such a  useless position?"
So they turned to the vine and the vine, too, rejected the offer, for it would rather produce grapes for the wine.  Finally they asked the thorn bush  to rule over them.  Perhaps because it wasn't doing anything useful anyway it acceded to their plea, and so the trees anointed a king!1

"Now," continued Jotham, "this is what is going to happen: fire from the bush will consume the trees and the fire will also consume the bush.  You have treated the family of Zerubbaal thus. This son of his bondswoman has killed all our other brothers.  If you think this is righteous, take joy in his rule and let him take pleasure in you.  If not, however, let fire come out of Abimelech and consume you, Shechem, and let Abimelech be consumed as well!"

Prophecy fulfilled.

Three years into his reign the people of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech, he set siege to the city, a thousand of its principal inhabitants took refuge in the Tower of Shechem2 which the king burned killing all within, but as he was igniting the thing a woman in the tower dropped a millstone on Abimelech's headHe ordered his armor bearer to thrust him through with a sword that it might not be said, "He was killed by a woman."

1Throughout history thorn bush and royalty equally useful.
2Select your tower of refuge very carefully. 




Sunday, October 21, 2018

Father Named Him Twice

Joash the Abiezrite had a son whom he named Gideon "Destroyer" or he who bruises and breaks.  I think of him as The Hammer.  The Midianites were a scourge to the people, destroying their crops and means of livelihood.  The Lord revealed to Gideon that the people had strayed from His ways and their worship of Baal was the reason for their suffering.  Gideon tore down his father's altar to Baal, cut down the grove, built an altar to Yahweh and sacrificed thereon.

Upon discovering the destruction of the grove and the altar of Baal the people were wroth and demanded Gideon's life.  But Joash said, "What? If Baal is god, then let him fight his own battles."  So he gave his son a new name, Zerubbaal "He Against Whom Baal Contends."

Now Gideon was led to drive the Midianites back.  More than thirty thousand men showed up to engage the enemy.  The Lord told Gideon "No.  Take fewer men lest the people think they have prevailed and forget that it is I who give you the victory over the enemy."

Now we recall the Sunday School story about Gideon that we learned in our childhood in which Gideon tests God with the meat and the fleece, how Gideon finally selected 300 warriors to back him up.  The curious picture of the volunteers drinking from the stream, the selection of those who dipped the water in their hands and lapped it like a dog and so on. (Judges 7:5-7)  Seven decades after the SS lessons it occurred to me that there lies within this vignette a parable of alertness and preparedness.  Can we be ready to serve if our faces are immersed in the stream of worldly affairs?  Can we detect the enemy closing in upon us without sight?



God, true to his word as he always is, gave Zerubbaal and  his 300 men victory over the Midianites.Then the people asked this man to be their king.  "No," he said, "neither I nor my son shall rule over you, for Yahweh is King!

The story continues into territory beyond the Sunday school lesson in which we discover that Gideon lived to a ripe old age and had seventy sons "for he had many wives." But he also had a concubine in Shechem on whom he fathered Abimelech.

Sadly Gideon was hardly cold in the grave before the people of Israel again turned away from the true God and built altars to Baal, forgetting all the good into which Gideon and led them.

Abimelech aspired to rule the people, convinced his mother's people to support him in the endeavor to gain control, hired a bunch of lowlifes to assist him and killed 70 of his half-brothers.  The people crowned Abimelech, declaring him to be king.  Then Jotham, Zerubbaal's sole surviving son stood on Mount Gerazim and shouted the parable of the trees and the vine, then ran for his life.  (Chapter 9)

(Based on Judges 6 - 9)