Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"They"

The ubiquitous "They" have done it again.  This time they have hijacked my church.  Please understand that no one, but no one including Satan himself can hijack The Church, the Body of Christ.  Jesus said, "On this Rock (the confession that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my Church and nothing can prevail against it."

I am writing here of the congregation of people who refer to the earthly building and its organization as "their church."  Many of these people belong to The Church, some do not.  That judgment is reserved solely to the One whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins.  I have attended this church for more than three decades.  I was baptized in the baptistry in that building, dunked by the pastor who was in the water with me.  That practice has been exchanged for a dunking in a horse tank placed on stage, presumably to save the pastor from the inconvenience of having to change his/her clothes.  That's okay; it is not solely what I am "on" about.

Note that I referred to a "stage."  That is the area once known as a platform on which stood a pulpit from which the minister delivered the Word.  And where is the altar, or mourner's bench?  There once was an organ and a piano on the platform as well.  They have been replaced by a drum set and wires and amplifiers and electronic instruments of one sort or another.  And the lighting.  One cannot have a weekly rock concert without adequate lights and background.  Huge screens on which is projected the seven-word choruses which are sung over and over serve as backdrop.

The pews are gone. In their place there are beautifully padded sturdy, comfortable chairs.  The hymnals are gone.  Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts.  All gone.

How came these changes to be?  It is my opinion that no person or group of persons set out deliberately to hijack the church.  Like most change, short a violent explosion, the theft took place incrementally, the planning resulting in unintended consequences.  Then one Sunday morning we arrived to worship and discovered that our church was gone.  We mourn for it, but praise God! Jesus is still on the throne and He is still in love with His bride.  He will shepherd her, guide her to safety with Him for eternity

Now the issue is, being in the habit of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, where to?
 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  --Jesus Christ

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black and White, and Black


 A few days ago I was on about short pants and how I so looked forward to starting school because that was the marker for my becoming a "man" and wearing long pants.

I found this picture of Little David before he started school.

So that your trip over here won't be a total washout, I include this snapshot of our black hollyhock.  This flower is truly as near black as any I have ever seen.  Here, as you can see, it is strongly back-lighted and the camera picked up the red undertones.

Be blessed!  I know I am.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ouabache State Park '17



That's us, down there on the left.

We managed to get in a truncated camp out at Ouabache State Park last Tuesday and Wednesday, drove home on Thursday.  The weather was absotively perfect for camping.  That doesn't always happen.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Mid-America Show 43

Time again for the visit to the Mid-America Threshing and Antique Show.  This is the 43rd annual edition.  This year's featured machinery is by Allis-Chalmers.

Allis-Chalmers Company was formed in 1901 by the merging of the Edward P. Allis Company, manufacturer of steam engines and mining equipment, with Fraser and Chalmers, makers of mining equipment, along with Dickson Manufacturing Co. and Gates Iron Works.  They currently manufacture farm equipment, heavy construction equipment, generators and engines, stuff marketed worldwide.




Really old.
 
Not quite so old, but restored.
Besides A-C, there were many other marques represented.
These labels were on the tractor below.


And what's this?  My guess: Someone loves his wife or his daughter, or someone loves herself more than they love the tractor.  Nicely restored machine, though.

I have attended many editions of the MTA show here in Tipton.  But then it is close by.

2010

 2013 

2013


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Donkey and Lion


Now when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it.  He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey.

Continuing to read in I Kings 13 we see the lying prophet on his way to the site of the demise of the man of God at the tooth and claw of the lion. Picture the scene.  The man of God dead in the road, the lion and the donkey standing beside him.  Though the donkey would normally be prey for the lion the lion did not bother the donkey.  They stood calmly after the kill.




Here's a thought.  The lion was a symbol of Judah, a symbol of strength and power.  The donkey has long been representative of self-will and stubbornness.  To this day we call a foolish and stubborn person an ass.  So here we see the man of God choosing to ride (self-will) rather than to walk in the way (God's will), sadly to a horrible end.

Anyway, that was free of charge.

So the prophet put the corpse on the donkey and took him back to Bethel, had him interred in his own tomb, and directed his sons to bury him beside the bones of the man of God when he died.  The prophet of Bethel mourned the death of the man of God.  Did he experience remorse for what he had done to him?

The rest of the account of Jeroboam's reign, his losses in battle to Judah, and his end can be found in II Chronicles 13. 

The prophecy of the man of God concerning Josiah was fulfilled three hundred years later.

Prequel

Friday, August 11, 2017

New School Year, New Clothes



In our town, the little guys and gals are off to school this morning.  Fellas and girls alike are affecting the latest sartorial "styles."  I remember when my children were tots the challenge of getting them togged for the beginning of a new school year.  Naturally we wanted our children to be appropriately clad for the occasion, but the challenge came in the attempt to garner sufficient resources.  We managed.

Yet remembering much farther back in time I recall my own venture forth into the new thing called "school."  I faced it with much trepidation, fears soon warranted, but the one thing I was excited about was that when school started I would get to wear long pants!  No more stupid short pants that screamed "little kid."

Today, seven plus decades later, I am observing the styles.  The boys are looking thus:

Ranger shorts










And I still would not be caught dead in such attire.  (But they are emulating their daddies.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trumpy Bear and Melissa

Just saw (again) the ad hawking "Trumpy Bear."  At the lines, "God bless America, and God bless Trumpy Bear," I found myself on my feet, hand over my heart as I heard the strains of the National  Anthem playing in my head.  Couldn't help myself.  Laughed maniacally.  Couldn't help myself.  Then I sobered up and realized how totally unfunny the whole thing is.

But it got me to thinking about a post I made here last November in which I explained that in good conscience I could vote for neither of the leading candidates.  Now were you to ask me after the fact who I voted for I would tell you the ballot is sacrosanct and I am not obliged to tell you.  However, of my own free will I am going to tell you anyway.  I, along with 43 of my fellow-Hoosiers voted for Melissa L. Kelly.

I think I made the wiser choice.

 With his very own certificate of authenticity; i.e., it is a real stuffed ripoff.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fascinating Reading

The passage to which the title refers is the thirteenth chapter of I Kings, a historical book of the Old Testament.  In this chapter, much too much to address in its entirety in one blog post, we read the story of "a man of God" who goes up to Bethel and prophesies against the altar on which the current King Jeroboam was sacrificing to heathen gods.

In verse two we read  “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord, 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you."  (NASB)

As we continue reading we see the anger this stirs within King Jeroboam for he clearly understands that the prophecy is not against the inanimate altar to which the man of God speaks, but against him.  And the man's words predicting a reigning king of the house of David is a clear message to Jeroboam that he is through.

The next several verses tell of the king's anger and his response, the withering of his accusatory arm and the healing of the same by the prayer of the man of God, the king's misplaced gratitude and his offer of victuals to the man who asserts that God told him to neither eat nor drink while on this mission.  Read it.  It is fascinating.

Fast forward.  An old prophet, doubtless a has-been, is told by his sons about the events at the altar, which is to say that the sons were at the site to worship the golden calf in violation of God's laws in the first place and the old father received their news and rode after the man of God.  The prophet, probably out of envy inasmuch as it was clear that God spoke to the man and the prophet had probably not heard from Him in a long time, invited the man to come dine with him, blatantly lying in saying that an angel had given him a word from the Lord which superseded the direction the man of God had received from God.  (Envy leads to strife within the Church today.  How supportive are we when others are successful in their ministries?  Just asking.)

And the man of God believed him and went to eat with him.

At first glance it seems that the man's sin was disobedience, and so it was. But I think more importantly the basic sin was doubting God's word, for his instructions were clear.  When doubt entered, he was doomed.

Doubt God and disaster will follow.

And we didn't even get to the part about the lion and the donkey.  Please read the story in its entirety.  It contains much that is interesting and instructive.

 Image result for why did the man of god lie to the prophet

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lies, damn lies, and statistics,

 to borrow from Mark Twain.

Ignorance is bliss, and useful, too.  Much that is written on social media deliberately relies on the ignorance of the audience.  A case in point.

I was reading an "article" in which the writer pointed out that if a certain benchmark represented the "average," then half the people were below average.  A simple example would suffice to show how irresponsible that assertion is, yet many probably blithely swallowed it whole, just as the false prophet intended.

Here's an example.  If four people present scores of 100 and one person scores zero, the average score is 80, and yet clearly only twenty percent of the people in this example are "below average" while eighty percent of them are above average, and none are "average."

How carefully do you read the stuff you read?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Four

The church custodian is going about his business when someone enters the sanctuary. She thinks she is alone as she goes about her mission.  Then the man reveals his presence.
 
"Startled?  I thought she would surely break for the door but she was so startled that she was frozen in place.  As she looked at me her eyes and her mouth were as though they were three gaping caverns.  Her face was so thin that the rest of it seemed to disappear,"

Here is the full account of that morning in "Mt. Carmel Community Church."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Three

In the true story "Climbing Fool's Hill; and Coming Back Down" I recounted an incident in the life of a fourteen-year old.  That would have been me. The scene has been set, the end (so to speak) is not yet.  I wrote

"As I stepped out onto the unstable pile of small rocks, my weight and the forward motion combined to create a skiing action.  Wow!  That was fun.  Climb back up the hill, repeat.  Climb back up,  Wait.  If I make a short run (there was space for no more than a short run) I can fly!  The landing will be safe, for the itty bitty rocks will cushion me, and I may skid a  l o n g way down the hill!"

Here you may read the story in its entirety.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can take the heat,

after all, I grew up on the High Plains. And, I am not saying it is muggy, but when you jump into the pool and nothing feels any different, something's just not right. 

--Bob Warr


 



Saturday, July 22, 2017

New Toy

Vanilla is attempting a new approach to writing his blog posts. It works like this. Two weeks ago I purchased a piece of equipment that purports to be a cell phone for less than 20 bucks. I did not purchase any of the minutes for telephone usage but simply adapted the piece of equipment to serving as a handheld computer. I soon discovered that this machine has many amazing features including voice writing. Thus I sit here at my ease and dictate my story to my machine. I am so excited by this that I am hoping to carry this away from home and transmit my messages back to my base computer. Wow this thing is amazing!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Two

The series about the Burrell twins ended in a twist that surprised the author, for I was not aiming in that  direction when the story began. This is the penultimate paragraph in the series.

"A choking in his throat and a feeling that his heart would stop, Cooter held his aim.  A tear ran down Scooter's cheek, and the report of the rifles was as one.  Two minie balls sped toward their targets."

Read "Burrell's War" here.

 Little Margot entertained me over a series of brief stories.  This paragraph found its way into the tale "Margot and the Pink Elephant."

 But as the elephants approached, Margot suddenly got very quiet and very still.  Very un-Margot-like behavior indeed.  The first behemoth was pink.  All over pink.  Mother could see that the attendant for whatever reason had dusted the animal all over with pink powder of some sort.  But little Margot's comprehension was addled, or as we would say in this day and age, her mind was blown.

Read about the Pink Elephant here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dad's Strawberry Roan

I shared this story on STSTT several years ago.  I can picture Dad clacking away on his old manual typewriter, twenty-six years ago today. 

The following is  from my father's writings.  I go through his material from time to time and share some of his wit and wisdom on the weblog as I feel impelled to do.

The time of this incident, circa 1924, the setting, a  farm in Southeastern Colorado.  These memories were recorded  when Dad was eighty years of age.  I know this because the document is dated July 19, 1991.

When I was in my early teens, I came into possession of an outlaw horse, a very bad deal for the horse, as I remember, but game he was.  He was always looking for a way to ditch rider and destroy life as well.  Oh, that "strawberry roan," under fourteen hands high but mighty in determination and revenge.  Falling with rider on back was his delight.

Number one:  With eyes bulging, running full force, teeth set in the bit, he ran headlong into a heap of discarded woven wire.  At that time I wasn't even classified to be called a Holy Roller, just an angry sinner, until I saw old Dewy doing the roll himself, trying to get untangled from his own mess, while I, bruised and angry went to his rescue, not for pity's sake, but to capture him so that I wouldn't have to walk home.  With disappointment in his eyes, I saw, more than heard, him apologize for his wrong-headedness.  A lesson learned that day from a horse.  A good apology vents the soul from all venom.  Indeed:  Oh, yes!

Number two:  When Dewy ran for vengeance he was trying to find a way to do the thing he had in mind, or did he have a mind?  We always traveled full-tilt out on the farm, but why would he pull to one side and step in a hole?  On purpose, I sincerely believe.  He had a gambler's heart, innocent eyes, and seeming readiness for the run, just waiting his day.  What a trip to the ground!  A somersault on the horse's part, and a belly buster without any water for a landing place for me.  Again an apology-- accepted with the understanding that he must carry me home, for I was bruised awfully.

Number three:  This time a badger hole.  I think my shoulder was broken, but I had to milk my share of the cows anyway, one handed, I must say.  Dad didn't believe in Drs. nor did he have the money for such niceties.  Nature would, in time, take care of that.  About this time I thought of praying for relief from pain that lasted for days, but how was I to pray?  I didn't know how, but I sure did develop a strong left hand for milking.  Bad wind that blows no good, so I had learned the hard way.

Number four:  An indentation in the road was sufficient excuse for another roll.  By this time, I had heard others pray, but when I tried, it didn't seem to do much good.  Does God hear prayers offered in profanity?  Well . . .

Final fall:  Across the ridges in a field.  There must be a magic number some where, but I am not sure where.  I sold the brute and got all my money back, with a bit of increase.  Beginning of my business life, after recovering from my last ride on Old Dewy.*

Business life  (to be continued)




Other snippets of Dad's writing may be enjoyed here and here.

*I heard Dad speak of Old Dewy many times.  I pictured the name as "Dewey" ala Admiral Dewey.  I first thought to change the spelling, then thought, Perhaps Dad did not name the horse after the admiral, but rather called him "Dewy" because he was always in a lather.  You reckon?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

County Fair Time, 2017

The annual 4-H Fair has come and gone.  Typically the weather was only semi-cooperative.  A significant portion of the time was too hot and/or too wet.  But it is now history.  Someone suggested the dates might be shifted in hopes of somewhat cooler weather.  But it is Indiana, so . .  .

 This little piggy wears her heart on her shoulder.

 The merchants displayed their wares.

The kids submitted their projects for judging.

And a good time was had by many.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --One

While entertaining myself by reading some of my old posts, a few paragraphs here and there jumped out and spoke to me.  Bragging.  I like some of these and thought to mention the ones I particularly enjoy.

This is the opening paragraph of "A Test of Patience."  It is in the voice of Uncle Jep.  It tickles me.  The paragraph is rather long by my standards, yet shorter than most of Washington's paragraphs, compare, for instance, with his First Inaugural address where some of his sentences ran to more than 100 words.

"Did I tell you about the time your granny's mother come over to visit her daughter?  Stayed two years, she did.  Sam plum wore his wits clear to they ends tryin' to figure a way to get her to go home.  Now, Sam liked Margaret, that was your great grandma's name.  Nobody ever called her "Maggie" or "Peggy" neither.  She was Margaret Sarah Alexena Florabelle Chloe Ann Wilson, you know, of the East Branch Wilsons.  "You may call me Margaret," she says.  Anyhow, Sam did truly like his mother-in-law, but as he put it, "in shorter bits and pieces, no disrespect intended."  Now I for one don't rightly see how you could take her any shorter, 'cause she stood maybe four-foot five in those black high-top  shoes she allus wore.  But I'm strayin' all over the pasture.  Say, did you see that new bull Red Hurd got over in his south pasture?  Bee-yoo-tiful black thing he is.  Simmental.  Red got him offa Ayers over on the Huerfano.  That bull ain't no orphan, though, got a pedigree longer'n my left arm.  Red is proud as a Longhorn rooster just done the whole Plymouth Rock hen house.  But he ain't talkin' how much it cost him.  Feard Maybelle will find out, I reckon.  Well, Bob Ayers did take his wife, Lou Ann to Galveston for a week, for what that's worth.  Both 'n'm  come home redder'n a Maine lobster been in the boilin' water.  Anyway, Doc Barrett says they'll live.  I know it is a sin to covet, but I really wish I had that bull.  Forgive me, Lord."

Full story here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Four-letter Words: Y and Zed

Approaching the end of the project the four-letter "y" word I choose is:

yaks.

I have been influenced by my current environment in the selection of this word.  I am thinking of it in the sense that "She yaks incessantly about a lot of nothing or a little of everything."  My BBBH and her eldest daughter are on the other side of the room.  They have been yakking for over an hour and their mills show no sign of flagging.  Sometimes one talks, then the other, but frequently they are both talking at the same time.  Ninety miles an hour.

Please, take a breath.

yak (v.) to talk uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter.  You yak, she yaks, and so on.

Yaks is also a plural noun indicating large, shaggy-haired Asian buffalo.

*****

For the ultimate four-letter word I have chosen

zest.

This is a wonderful word.  Just makes one feel all perky, does it not?

zest (n.) relish, gusto, piquancy.

"I admire one who undertakes a task with zest."  

Zest is also a culinary term referring to the use of the outer rind of an orange or a lemon for flavoring in certain concoctions.

"I used a grater to scrape the zest from the orange."

Finis 

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Second Time Around


 It rained a bit yesterday-- a ridiculous amount, actually.  Couple inches.  I snapped this picture of a neighboring house. As the rain fell on the roof the wind carried the water up and over the peak then a plume of water arced down on the other side.  A different kind of rainbow!

 This pair of socks shows up more or less every other Wednesday.  Each serves its original function, each lost a previous mate.  They still do their jobs, but something is different.  This may or may not be a metaphor for something.

 These lilies, like the socks, got a second chance.  They were in the wild flower garden where such beauties were systematically being choked out by the ditch lilies and such.  I lifted these and placed them along the fence near the house where we enjoy them daily. 

I counted sixty buds on this one the day before the first bloom opened.  What a display now!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11

Did you know that July 11 is less likely to fall on a Tuesday or a Friday than on any of the other five days of the week?  Now does that not make today special?

No, it does not.  What makes this day special is that you woke up today to experience another day in your life.  Make the most of it.

A special day in the life of former President William Howard Taft was July 11, 1921, the day he was sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States making him the only person ever to serve both as POTUS and CJOTUS.




William Howard Taft, 27th President 1909-1913, 10th Chief Justice 1921-1930.
Taft also served as Civil Governor of the Philippines and he was Secretary of War in TR's administration.

 "Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever."  --WHT


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Interpretation of Scripture




I was writing a post for Sunday morning.  I was working from the premise that Paul in one of his epistles was overextending himself in interpretation of Old Testament scripture.  I had completed about  half the article when the Lord spoke to my heart, Shut up; you are wrong.

    I hit the delete button and proceeded to extend my study by reading further in the Word.  I found plenty of support for Paul's premise and clearly have to admit I was wrong.  So today's admonition is the directive Paul gave to Timothy:  "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  --2 Timothy 2:15

In the sixteenth chapter of The Acts of the Apostles we read that the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia such that "she attended to the teachings of Paul."  Seems my heart has been likewise opened.

God is faithful







 Image:  Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama

Friday, July 7, 2017

Four-letter Words: W and X

Holy cow!  We've come a long way and are rapidly approaching the end of our alphabet.  Today we select two more words, leaving only two to go.

The four-letter "w" word springs to mind almost without bidding, for we all

wish
one thing or another might occur, or that we could obtain something we don't have.

wish (v.) desire, to want, long for
"I wish people could disagree without being disagreeable."

wish (n.)  something desired
"He got his wish-- a new car!"

*****

Having had several children of my own and having worked with other people's kids in a school setting for many years I have encountered many "Alphabet Books."  You know, "A is for apple, B is for bear," and so on.  Almost invariably when the composer got to "X" she wrote, "X is for X-ray," or "X is for xylophone."  Xylophone hardly qualifies as a four-letter word. The x-ray equipment has served me well over the years, both identifying problems and ruling out problems, but no x-ray for us today.  Our four-letter "x" word is:

 xyst.
 xyst (n.) a covered portico; a garden walk planted with trees.
Pronounce [zist], rhymes with fist.
 Image result for xyst


Yes, I had to look this one up.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Conversation with Random People --20

I have been in the nursing home a bit more than an hour, visiting with patients and staff, singing with the group gathered in the commons.  A normal Tuesday morning for me, except this is the Fourth of July.

At the intersection of two halls where I will make a left and exit the building, I meet an old guy who is upright, walking without assistance and looking quite perky.

"Good morning," I say.  "How are ya today?"

"Better than I have any right to be," he replied.

"I think I could say the same."

"My wife was killed in a boating accident."

"I am sorry to hear that.  A tough thing for you to have to go through."

"Yes; they never  determined who caused the accident-- twenty-four car pileup.  Only found part of her body and never found my little boy."

[?]

He continued, "I was in hospital thirty-one months, in a coma for seven of them.  Doctor said had I been put in a high speed blender the result would have been about the same."

At this point the gentleman started a litany of injuries, some of which I list here: missing left arm from elbow down, repaired by "the first-ever bionic arm;" (looked fairly normal to me, but what do I know?)  Clavicle broken in four places, right ear missing, had to be rebuilt (did look a little different from the left ear); jaw completely shattered, had to be reconstructed; shoulder broken; leg shattered; and a few other particulars.  "I was deaf, couldn't talk, blind, had forgotten how to walk," and so on and so forth.

Finally he told me "My therapist worked with me two years teaching me how to walk again.  He was a saint.  Had no legs, (the therapist, he means) but he never gave up on me."

I finally attempted a "goodbye" and he held out his hand and said, "I'm Bert."

I said, "I'm David, and it has been nice talking with you.  Have a wonderful day."

[This is not nearly all the palaver, but you get the idea.]

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

83 and Fuzzy

    Image result for highway 83

  It seems a bit like I am "going South" and I don't mean that in a literal geographic sense.





Yet I think I don't look a day over ninety.


   
   

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Four-letter Words: U and V

Except for ugly, upon, user, and undo, most of the four-letter words beginning with "u" have never graced my blog; no, most have never so much as entered my vocabulary.  Of the examples given, I do not like two of them, and the other two seem a bit pedestrian.

So in honor of my hair-sylist spouse, I have chosen:

updo.

Image result for updoThe word hardly needs a definition.  It is almost obvious that an updo would be a style in which the hair is combed upward away from the face.  While it has been stylish, both for men and women, in the past, I think it has fallen into disfavor.  But despair not--  what goes around comes around.



"Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb."

*****

 Four-letter "v" word for this July morning is:


vamp.

Vamp is a multipurpose word having several distinctly different meanings.   The first thing to cross my mind when I hear the word is Ella Fitzgerald singing "Hard hearted Hannah, the vamp of Savannah, the meanest gal in town. . .   she'd pour water on a drownin' man."  The word here is used to indicate

vamp (n.) a woman who uses feminine wiles seductively.

The word can be used as a verb:

vamp (v.) to seduce, esp. to gain an advantage.

I had a great uncle who was a cobbler and a businessman whose skill made his business very successful.  A cobbler is a shoemaker.  Here we encounter our word as

vamp (n.) the part of the shoe that covers the instep and toes.

Another usage of the word occurs in the music world:

vamp (v.) to accompany by improvisation.

Thus enough space has been devoted to our four-letter "v" word.
 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Recognition

I retired 27 years ago this week.  So why the dream about the corporation recognition party?

A lady and I were being "honored" for our long years of service  She was given a huge perhaps 5-gallon stone bottle with a two-inch diameter cork.  It was filled with cologne.  I do not know what the message was.

The superintendent handed me four, count 'em four, slices of white bread on each of which he had slathered a dab of strawberry jam.  Handed literally.  They lay in the palm of his hand as he presented them to me.

21 years of faithful and honest service.  And.  I. Do. Not. Eat. White. BreadImage result for jam and bread
I may someday relate the true story of my "recognition" by my employer.  Don't hold your breath.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weeping Jesus

"Jesus wept." John 11:35

Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, were close friends of Jesus.  But Jesus was away when Lazarus died.  Jesus returned four days after the interment.  Martha said to Jesus, "Had you been here, he would not have died."

Jesus observed the sisters and the friends of Lazarus in mourning, they weeping for their loss.

And Jesus wept.

Jesus did not weep for the death of his friend, but rather in compassion for his friends who were weeping.  We know this because Jesus knew that Lazarus would be raised alive from the grave.

Even so we ourselves gather at the mourning for one gone on to the eternal reward.  We do not weep for the dead, but rather in compassion for the loved ones who are left behind.

Those who are in Christ and encounter death will yet live again!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Four-letter Words: S and T

There are literally hundreds of four-letter English words that begin with "s."  The lovely initial sibilant sound is fun to make and pleasing to hear.  Place the tongue at the top of the upper teeth and s-s-s-say the sound!

Skep, skew, skid, sing, silo, shun, shoe, seed, sass.  What a wonderful panoply of words from which to choose.  I choose:

stob.
I particularly like this word because my BBBH introduced me to it.  This is a direct quote:

 "Stobs are tough on your feet when you are stealin' watermelons."  Spoken like a true Southern Illinois farm girl.  She was referring, of course, to the stubble in a cornfield.  Makes sense.  Barefoot girl, stobs, heavy melon. possibly an irate farmer.  Yeah, that would be tough.  But if you love watermelon as much as she does, . . .

The dictionary definition is

stob (n.)  a post, a stump, a stake
Regional, south central United States.

 *****

Our four-letter word for "t" is:

true.
 
[W]hatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  --Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

I have a very strong preference for things that are true as opposed to, say, fake news.  I have no problem "making up" stories for this blog, but if you are observant you have noted that I tag such tales with the label "fiction."  I enjoy fiction, I like to read imaginative stories, I enjoy writing such tales, but I want my truth to be true.

A popular "t" word these days, way too long for this current exercise, is "truthiness."  What th' ?  I think the word did not even exist in my younger day, nor was there any need for it.

Please, just stick with what is true.  Or give me a heads up if you spin a tale.


 





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tipton Artwork


The mural on the wall of the Diana Theater is complete, the scaffolds have been removed.
The vignettes on the "film" strip, left to right
The Kelley Round Barn; St. John the Baptist Church; Courthouse Clock Tower; Nickel Plate Station; City Park Entrance.
 The number on the admission ticket at the right is 06261926 which if I am not mistaken is the date of opening of the theater.

Muralist Robin Conyers

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Old Man and the Old Cars


Two of the boys, Kent and Ricky, picked me up Saturday morning and took me to a car show in celebration of Fathers' Day.  The show was the 30th Annual John Dillinger Legendary Bank Robbery Run in Daleville, Indiana, a bucolic thirty-minute drive from the house.

Whatever the show had to do with John Dillinger I failed to see, but it was a great car show!  Tons, literally, of entries ranging from '27 T-buckets to Cadillac road arks of the Fifties and Sixties and MoPar muscle cars of the Seventies.

To my surprise one of Kent's favorites (he's big on MoPar muscle cars) was a '63 Rambler 440.  He also was amazed at the Willys vehicles which he said he had never seen.  Ricky was enthralled with the Cadillacs.

After I was worn out and had seen about all the old iron I could process in one session, Kent treated us to a steak dinner, then home.

Great day!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

"Do You Love Me?"

You've probably heard it; I know I have.  "I love Jesus, but I am not religious."  Sometimes, "I am very spiritual, but I don't practice any religion."

Wait.  Before you call these people out for their appalling ignorance, think about what they are really trying to tell you.

"I love Jesus, but I am not religious."  This is to say I believe in Jesus but I don't want to practice any system that suggests that I am other than my own person.  I don't want others to think I might be different from them in some way.  I can love Jesus and still fit in with the worldly crowd.

A religion is a system of belief, a set of doctrines or tenets to which one subscribes.

"I am very spiritual, but I don't practice any religion."  Similar to the above, the speaker wants others to know that s/he is "deeper" than the appearance presented to the world.  I want to look like, speak like, act like the world, but deep down I am really special.  The problem here is that no matter what system one chooses to explore "spirituality," s/he is practicing a religion (system of belief.)  In a nutshell, it is possible to be religious without being spiritual, but it is impossible to be spiritual without being religious.

Either statement makes me sad for the speaker.  I have heard it even within the walls of the church building; I have heard it from the lips of a "minister."

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."  --James 1:27 (KJV)

 "Do you love me?" Jesus asked.  "Feed my sheep."  (John 21)

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  --Matthew 7:19-21 (KJV)

Assignment: Read the entire seventh chapter of Matthew.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Four-letter Words: Q and R

While there are twelve or fourteen four-letter "q" words one might expect that my favorite one would be:


quiz.

I am a teacher.  What can I say?  "Class, there will be a quiz over the first section of this chapter tomorrow."  Or, one of my favorites, "Pencils and paper, ladies and gentleman.  We'll have a little pop quiz this morning.  Number your paper from one to five."

quiz (v.) to examine informally, interrogate briefly.

quiz (n.) the question or series of questions asked in a short informal exam. 

"The glee of the instructor is inversely proportional to the joy of the class."  Kidding.

*****

If you thought the "r" word would be "rich," guess again.  Rich is an excellent word and I like being rich.  But I am not indicating worldly goods or treasure when I say I am rich.  I am talking about the cornucopia of blessings I have received.  Food, shelter, warmth, family, friends, sunshine, rain.  There it is!  The four-letter "r" word of choice is:

rain.

 Yes, I am one who counts rain as one of life's richest blessings.  Rain waters the earth, provides a basic necessity for all life: water.  Of course too much rain over too long a period of time can be distressing, but I truly appreciate our rainy days.  Flooding days, not so much.

rain (v.)  to fall; to send down upon

rain (n.)  water that is condensed from the vapor in the atmosphere.

I lived for several years in the Pacific Northwest.  That statement by itself evokes the idea of constant, never-ending rainfall in the minds of the uninitiated.  It is an inaccurate concept.  Unless one's entire time spent in the PNW falls between October and May.  There is a rainy season in which it seems almost perpetual precipitation occurs.  Usually light rain, but rain nevertheless.  The summers, though, are gorgeous and rain is rare.

In point of fact if the fall season remains dry late into October the locals in the area begin to get antsy.  "Where," they wonder, "is the rain?"

Fact: The average annual rainfall in Seattle is less than that in Indianapolis.  Check it out.

(Of course the PNW is a large territory and local rainfall figures vary widely.  Aberdeen, Washington, for example has an annual rainfall of 83 inches, whereas Sequim, not that far away, has an average of 16 inches.)

"May the Lord rain blessings upon you."

 



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Forces in the Universe

Here is today's weirdity.  This morning I was singing in the shower.  Burl Ives, "My Funny Way of Laughing."  Enjoying the song, thinking about Mr. Ives, now long gone.

Then I open the computer.  (Okay, I got dressed and everything first.)  In my news feed I find that Burl Ives was born on this date in 1909!

Eight years ago I posted a little tribute to Burl Ives along with his rendition of "Big Rock Candy Mountain."  To listen, click here.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Four-letter Words: O and P

One of my favorite four-letter "o" words is oven.  Clearly that is because of the wonderful comestibles that exit the oven and wind up on my plate.

But surprises are good.  Sometimes.  And sometimes not so much.  So for the "o" word I have selected:

oops.
 Unfortunately I have occasion to use this word too often.  Oops is an interjection, the first such that we have picked for this series.  It is most often used to express dismay at a minor mistake or mishap.  It may serve as an introduction to an apology as in, "Oops.  I'm sorry I spilled the coffee on the carpet."  (Although that could be a bit more than an "oops" depending upon whose carpet is stained.  Well, at least in my case, it would not be wine.

Oops.  I'm late; gotta be running along!

*****
Pick a peck of peag.  There we go.  The word is:

peag.

Of all the words from which to pick, why peag?  Have I jumped the shark?  Well, no; but perhaps have gathered some shells.  As a school child I learned that the medium of exchange among the East Coast Native Americans (whom we called "Indians" at that time) was "wampum."  Later in life I learned that both "wampum" and "peag" are short forms for the "money" called wampumpeag.  Since I am a descendant of some of those people as well as the early seventeenth century arrivals from Europe I find it amusing to insert peag into a conversation.  Glazed eyes.

peag (n.) A string of white beads made from shells of the quahog.

 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Marcus walked through

the main door of the family restaurant on the southwest corner where two busy streets meet.  First time visit, so Marcus surveyed the place carefully before choosing a table as the sign posted at this hour read, "Please Seat Yourself."  To his left and toward the west end of the building was a large dining area, six booths along the south wall and many tables throughout the room, most arranged to seat four, a few small ones for two, and three round tables with six chairs.

Straight ahead past the buffet he saw another dining area, brightly lit, full windows on the east and north walls.  Just before entering this area, though, there is a diner-type horseshoe shaped counter with eight stools-- the perfect place for the single diners to sit unmolested or to swap lies with other men of like station in life.  There was but one occupant at this bar.  Tall guy, old.  Marcus would decline to guess an age, but the white hair, the cords down the back of the neck, the mottled hands, one holding a fork, the other a biscuit, all suggested the many years it had taken to develop to this stage.

As Marcus walked slowly past the counter he noted further that the blue jeans were Wranglers® well-worn to a dusty blue shade, not quite threadbare at the knees, but sharply creased and with no holes.  The shirt was western-cut, snap front and long sleeves, each with three snaps tightly fastened around the wrists.  Vertical narrow stripes, alternating brown, beige and black.  The boots, too, were western, brown, highly polished, roach-kicker toes.

On the stool next to this diner, this relic from an earlier day, was a black Stetson, brim up, the famous Stetson picture clearly visible inside the crown of the hat.  Marcus noted the "X X X X X X" inside the leather hatband.  Good quality, not the most expensive hat Stetson ever made.

Marcus, alone again after decades of togetherness with his beloved, took a seat at the other end of the horseshoe.  The old timer never so much as glanced toward the newcomer.  Marcus, though, continued to study the subject, the familiar mien, the craggy brow, the long, slightly hooked nose, the moderately upturned handlebar moustache all spoke to Marcus.  They said, "You know me, don't you, fella?"  Marcus turned his eyes to the waitress as she asked what he'd have to drink.  As he replied, "Water with lemon, please," a strange and uneasy feeling crept up his spine, the hairs on the back of his neck tingled, and as he turned to look once again at the man opposite him it felt as though a monstrous fist grasped his heart and squeezed it.  Marcus realized that he was looking at himself seated on the opposite turn of the horseshoe.

In a moment Marcus recovered, forced his left hand to reach for his billfold.  He took two singles from the wallet, placed them on the counter, rose from his seat. and walked quickly from the restaurant.  The old man never lifted his eyes, continued to concentrate on shoveling his food into his mouth.

Marcus very nearly ran across the parking lot to his car and very soon the entire town disappeared in the rear view mirror.  The memory would haunt Marcus until his eighty-fifth birthday, the day he drove through this village again, pulled into the parking lot of the family restaurant on the southwest corner . . .

 ©David W. Lacy 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

I borrow stuff.

As memes go, this is absolutely one of the best!

Image may contain: 1 person, meme and text

Friday, June 2, 2017

Four-letter Words: L and M

If you have  been following this little exercise in four-letter words, you may recall that the word "love" was used in the introduction as the greatest of the four-letter words.  So then I choose another word for today, which is:

lacy.
What other choice do I have?  Capitalized, this little four-letter word is my surname.  It has been said that for most people the sound of their own name is the most pleasing sound in the world.  So it is imperative that I find this to be a word pleasing to my ear!

lacy (adj.) describes an object which is made of, or is trimmed with, or resembles lace.
 The frost on the window imposed a lacy design on the world viewed through it. 
I carry the name proudly, for it was my father's name, and his father's before him.  But as an adjective it totally would not apply to me.  Who was it who said, just the other day, "You are a bit of a prickly old man, you know that?"


*****

 There exists a mess of four-letter "m" words.  Menu could be a favorite because I always want to know what's available.  Meek is good.  Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek."  I find that a difficult posture to attain.  However, I choose:

mend.

To mend is to set right, to repair, to improve.  My parents were both very talented and accomplished menders of things.  Father could fix almost anything mechanical and Mother was a wizard at keeping the clothing presentable long after most people would have discarded them.  "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" was not just a mantra in our household.  They were words lived by.  One of Mother's mending maxims was, "It is no shame to wear patches; but it is a shame to be dirty."

I like "mend" particularly in the instance of improving health, as in "He has been deathly ill, but he is on the mend now."

I also favor the use of the term in cases of healing relationships.  "The man and his son were alienated for years, but they seem to have found a way to mend their relationship."  Such mending almost always requires someone to say, "I was wrong."  In many cases of broken fellowship, both parties are at fault to some degree.

Can a broken heart be mended?  There is a question that should be pondered long and hard before one behaves toward his beloved in such a way as to break her heart.  imho 
 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Coversations with Random People --Nineteen

We were camping at Mounds State Park last week and as is our custom, a fire was blazing in the fire pit as darkness crept onto the scene.  Several fellows were sitting around the fire chewing the fat, Elvin adding a log now and then.

Eventually the legs, mine, needed to be unkinked so I stood and walked a few steps away from the fire.  A young couple walked up with two little girls in tow.  I am saying the man and woman were thirty or mighty near it, one way or the other.  The kinder were nine and four.  I established that by taking a wild, and correct, guess to the age of the older one, explained that I had been an elementary school principal for many years.  The younger child extended her right hand toward me, thumb tucked, fingers upward.

The man had close-cropped sandy red hair and the genes that produced the coloration was passed to both his children, though being girls they wore their tresses quite long.  The young lady had on a red t-shirt on which was emblazoned the words "I am a programmer."  Thus I saw an opportunity to probe a bit.  "I see that you write code for a living, but I have no clue as to the role of the mister here."

"Yes," she replied. "I am a full-time programmer, and also I am adjunct professor at our college where I teach coding."

The husband spoke up then and said, "I am a stay-at-home dad.  I take care of the household, care for the kids, and I home-school Nadine.  We are thinking we may send her to school this fall when Rosemary starts kindergarten."

"That is very interesting.  Your arrangement seems to be working very well for you," a comment I made just before Nadine bumped her right arm against the fire ring.  Well, that necessitated a trip to the cold water source and mother took care of that.  They returned in a few minutes and the child bore a red mark along the wrist but she never wailed or whined.  While they were gone Dad and I chatted generally about their home in Columbus, Ohio and the circumstances which brought them to this particular park at this very time.

"Come on girls.  Bedtime now."  Then to me, "Nice talking with you.  Probably see you around tomorrow.  Goodnight."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Inspiration

Sadly, there will be no inspirational piece here today; nor will Bob Warr post sermon notes as no one here is going to church.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:

Well, we are staying home in the interest of everyone's health.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Four-letter Words: J and K

I so wanted "joy" to be a four-letter word, but alas, not so.  Thus I have chosen instead:

jars.

jars (v.t.)  That jars me to the very core of my being.

jars (n. plural)  Containers for the thing contained. (ha-ha)
  
 I chose jars as a happy word because it was the labor of my father in the gardens and the toil of my mother in the kitchen that put the produce in the jars.  We were then fed sumptuously over the long winter months.  Mama cleaned, pared, and "canned" the produce in jars which she processed, I think seven at a time, in a large pressure cooker.  She was terrified the whole time it was in use which was hours and hours over many long days.  She was afraid the thing might blow up.  It never did.  Mama died at age 83 and a few years later I saw the pressure cooker in the trash bin at the alley awaiting its final trip to the landfill.  
Ball Mason Canning Jar w/ Zinc Lid & Sealing Rubber

Man has been making and using jars for thousands of years.  Early jars, of course, were made of clay and perhaps even of stone prior to that.  We read in the Book of Genesis that Isaac said to the beautiful woman at the well, "Lower you jar and draw water that I might drink."  She replied that she would not only give him to drink, but his camels also.  What a woman! 

The material changes, but the purpose remains the same: storage and transportation of the thing contained.  Mother's canning jars were Mason jars, glass, and preserved their contents beautifully.  Jars still make me happy.  So long, that is, as the contents are satisfying.

*****

 "Every kiss begins with "k," says the jeweler's advertisement.  And mete it is that our word choice for "k" is

kiss.

Kiss is another multipurpose word.  It may be a verb used either with or without an object, or a noun.

We are thinking here in our choice of the word of an expression of affection.  Though we may also consider that our skill in getting the cue ball to kiss lightly the object ball or the cushion was never refined to the point I would have liked.

A kiss may also be a small piece of candy.  Also a sweet, if not so sweet as the sign of affection.