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. 
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May in Indiana


 What a pleasant sight it is to see the rigs of old friends gathered together again.

 Just sitting under the awning sucking in the warm spring air.

Parked beneath a tulip tree (yellow poplar).  The tree
shed several flowers, scattered them about.  Pretty.

And now having ended our first outing of the season, we are back home again.
Thank you, Lord, for your bountiful blessings.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Four-letter Words: I

It is too bad that the word "I" is not a four-letter word because it is almost everyone's favorite word.  But enough of self.  Here is today's "i" word:

iris.
 
Iris is my choice for several reasons.  First, the bearded iris, which we are beginning to see now here in Hometown, is one of my favorite flowers.  There are so many striking varieties in an entire palette of colors.  Yet even the lowly wild iris with yellow stands and brown falls is lovely to behold.  The typical lavender flower with falls and stands of the same color may be the blossom that springs to mind for most people since it is quite common.  In the yard of a previous residence we had 13 varieties of the bearded iris.

iris (n.)  The iris is a thin disc in the eye which controls the size of the pupil opening and thus the amount of light that reaches the retina.  The iris is that part of the eye that imparts eye-color so if the iris is brown we say, "She has brown eyes," and so on.  

Such an important element of our sense of sight deserves to be recognized.  My father literally made it a practice to note eye color and recognize people years later by that feature.

My wife says I have amazingly green eyes.  My driver's license says they are hazel. (Some "experts" on the topic say that "hazel" and "green" are two distinctly different eye colors.)  I am sure that we  have all noted eyes of many colors: brown, blue, hazel, green, grey, gold, and so on.  I think probably all eyes are either brown or blue in some variation, but what a variety!  My wife's eyes are a deep brown, you know, those eyes I fell into right away!  Yet she had a brother whose eyes were such a startlingly brilliant blue one could never forget them.  (Yet with today's technology, tinted contacts and such, who knows what color anyone's eyes might be.)

Green eyes





The term iris may also be applied to a rainbow or a rainbow-like appearance in an object.  Also Iris was a messenger of the gods in classical mythology. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Downtown Beautification


The Diana has its new adornment on the east wall.  Nearly complete, the "unveiling" ceremony was held Saturday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good Old Golden Rule Days

Past these ivied walls
and through these hallowed halls

Two generations, three
 learned their "times" and ABC.

Now occupied by ghosts
and memories of hosts

of superannuated"boys" and "girls,"
and bats, and birds, and mice, and squirrels.

All good things give way
To better things in their day.




Madison Township, Tipton County, Indiana


Monday, May 15, 2017

Superman and the Pigeons

Travel has become one of those frenetic activities I no longer engage in, so I asked a stringer in Metropolis to seek out Superman, see how he's doing these days.

Jimmy, no not that Jimmy, found the old superhero on a park bench.  The red cape was tightly wrapped around his shoulders, sunny day but a bit brisk, you see.  The great man was feeding the pigeons flocking around his feet.  A big bronze-and-white bird swooped in for a landing, sailed over Superman's left shoe and dropped a bit of whitener right on the toe of the brogan.

"Drat!"

"Excuse me?"

"Not talking to you, Sonny."

"Would you talk to me if I told you I'm a news reporter looking for an update on our favorite hero?"

"Well, are you?"

Jimmy is not necessarily quick on his feet, nor in his processing, either.  He stammered a bit, then as though someone threw a switch the light came on. "Yes, sir.  I am."

"Whata ya wanna know?"

"Do you ever want to get back into the fray, so to speak?  Catch some bad guys?

"Nah.  Too many of them; catch one, five spring up to take his place.  Or hers."

"But what will become of us, then?"

"Don't ask me. Dozens, hundreds of doomsday scenarios out there.  Pick one."

"Do you feel as though your career has been an exercise in futility, then?"

"Pretty much.  Why don't you just write up whatever you want.  You seem to have all the answers, anyway."

"Sorry.  Just trying to get the story.  Have you any advice?"

"Yes, take the sunshine, feed the pigeons, wipe the kaka off my shoe, and hit the road."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers 2017



JoAnn, my BBBH, mother to these mothers, Shari and JoLynn

Friday, May 12, 2017

Four-letter Words: G and H

I have a good friend for whom his word of choice for "g" would no doubt be golf.  He plays golf, and as he gets older his nearly-sole tv entertainment is watching golf.  But my four-letter word for "g" is:

gala.

This is a happy word, evoking balloons, bright ribbons, and sunshine.  Maybe even pinatas and cake!  It is a festive word.  Of course it is, for a synonym might be "festival."  Or carnival, jubilee, party, jamboree, or celebration.  Are these not all happy words?

Merely selecting this jubilant word for your pleasure today makes me glad.  Enjoy. 

*****
With so many wonderful 4-letter words starting with "h" it is a difficult choice indeed.  Hero, head, hymn, hues, holy.  See how tough it is!

 But on to our "h" word:

ha-ha.

In written communication this word is often used to express mild amusement, imitative of the sound of laughter, or even a brief way to say "just kidding."  But that is not why I chose the word. 

ha-ha (n.)  A ha-ha is a vertical fence built into a depression to prohibit access to an area by animals or vehicles yet not obstructing the view from the elevation above the fence.   

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Scotland-2016-West_Lothian-Hopetoun_House_02.jpg

The word in this particular construct has always amused me, so to speak.  Ha-ha.  I hope you like it. 

We would do well to erect a ha-ha or two in our lives to keep undesirable things at a distance, yet a wall that does not obstruct our view of life's beauty.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Superman Redux

This interview with Superman appeared in STSTT four years ago.  We are seeking a follow-up interview with the superannuated intrepid crime fighter.
 
Daily Planet

Last phone booth removed from Metropolis
Superman thwarted

Metropolis- The last remaining phone booth belonging to RD&D (Ring a Ding and Ding) Telecom Corporation has been taken away by its purchaser, I.D. Ott, the well-known collector of memorabilia from the mid- to late twentieth century.

As we all know, the phone booth was a crucial aid to Superman in his relentless fight against crime in the City.  He now has no place to change while maintaining his anonymity.  We caught up with Superman recently as he sat nursing a nourishing drink at Sourduck's Health Bar on Third Avenue.

Planet:  Superman, we have noted a decrease in your activity recently.  Surely this is not due to a drop in crime?

Superman: No, unfortunately.  But remember, I started leaping tall buildings of Metropolis three-quarters of a century ago.  I like to think I am not in my dotage, but I'm not so young as I once was, and a twelve-story building taxes me these days.

P:  What about flying?  Are you still able to pursue the bad guys by swift flight?

S:  Flying is for the birds.  Besides, I have rather lost my enthusiasm for crime fighting since Lex Luthor died.  One just naturally needs a nemesis to keep him focused, to keep him in the air, so to speak.

P:  Do you consider yourself retired, then?

S:  I've been drawing Social Security since 1981, and with some good IRAs I built up over the years, I really don't need the work.

P:  I am sure the Metropolitans will miss you and your exploits.

S:  Well, they can get their thrills from TV reality shows; or better, by simply being out and about.  Crime is so rampant these days one can hardly miss being in the middle of it.  Catch your own crook.

And there you have it as Superman finally flies, er, ah, strolls off into the sunset.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How strict complementarians

get it wrong.

In the strictest sense the complementarian holds that a woman may not hold authority over a man, nor can she presume to teach him.

Who was  your first and probably most influential teacher who held almost complete authority over you?

Case closed. 

[Remember your mother.  This coming Sunday is Mothers' Day.]

Monday, May 8, 2017

Are you kidding me?

Okay, I'm ticked.

We are ticked.

One of the daughters stopped in for a visit and we are grateful for that.

But.

During the course of the evening she casually mentioned that we should consider moving into assisted living quarters.  "This place is just too much for you," she said.

Oops.

Okay, so the vacuum cleaner has not been run in over a week, the layer of dust on the horizontal surfaces is less than an inch thick, and the cob webs sparkle in the light hither and thither.

But.

The lawn is mowed and edged, the gutters are clean, and from the outside no one can see what is inside.

And.

Darn few people ring our doorbell.

Actually, the woman may be right.  But please allow us a few moments of disgruntlement.  I mean, we thought she would be the one that would want us to move into her home when we reached our dotage.

(While the above is true, I share it in fun.  No one is mad at anyone.  I think.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Four-letter Words: E and F

This is a plural noun the singular for which has only three letters, but these come in pairs to humankind, so this is fair:

eyes.

These precious orbs are our windows onto the world, and they have been said to be the windows of the soul.  Perhaps two-way:  we look out, and to an extent others may look in.  What do your loved ones see when they look into your eyes?

To prioritize the value of the senses is inappropriate, I think, as we should rightfully appreciate and respect them all.  Yet it seems to me that sight is precious beyond my ability to express my appreciation for it.  And I do know that multitudes of people who have not the use of this sense have lived full lives and have accomplished much.

I am personally grateful to the medical/surgical community, for my sight has been maintained by multiple surgeries, at least six.  Thanks be to these dedicated physicians, and to the Lord who endowed them with the talent and the drive which placed them in their roles. 

The second word for today is:

fair.
  What a word!  It may be an adjective, an adverb, a verb, or even a noun.

Unfortunately the use I most often hear is an adjectival usage in which the speaker exclaims, "That's not fair!"  Depending upon the speaker and the circumstances I am likely to remark, "Fair is where the 4-H kids go to show their pigs."

It is certainly meet and right, fair, so to speak, to hope for justice.  But often it is the case that life is not "fair."  Thus we must call upon our resolve to do the right thing, regardless of the injustice.  And though it is not a four-letter word, "justice" gets bandied about in strange ways, I think.  For example, in the case of a loss of life due to murder, we often say we want to catch the culprit to "get justice for the victim."  What we really mean is, "We want revenge and the assurance the killer won't strike again," for there is no justice in the case of an unwarranted loss of life. 

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Riddle Me This


"For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

 Proverbs 3:14-18 KJV
 Who is she?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Four-letter Words: C and D

I see today is the day for "C."  The word of choice is:

care.

This four-letter word is sometimes a verb as in "I, [we, they] care for you."  It may also be a noun as in "We placed it in the care of a conservator."

In the first instance the meaning is to attach importance to, or to be concerned for.  In the second it means to provide for the custody of, or the welfare of a person or thing.

This is a good word, not exactly warm and fuzzy, but perhaps that with a bit more steel, more resolve.

At the rate of one word a week this project would require half-year.  So we shall endeavor to "double up," at least on some of the choices.

The second word for this day rhymes with the first one:

dare.

Again, our word may be either a verb or a noun.
dare (v,) " They dare to participate in the pentathlon."  The word in this case indicates courage, boldness, fortitude, on the part of the one who dares.
dare (n.)  "I would not undertake that on a dare."  Our word here is indicative of a challenge.

A great four-letter word is "dare," because we must face up to life's challenges in order to succeed, nay, even to survive!  Dare to do well; dare to choose the right. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Conversation: Not so random

Last evening I was talking on the phone with my brother-in-law who was telling me about his recent hospitalization.  Glenn is 92 years of age, retired military.  Served 22 years in the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne, WWII, German Occupation, Korea.  That's background.  The conversation:

Glenn: I'm lying in bed, flat on my back, lady comes in.

Lady:  How are you?

Glenn:  Why don't you tell me.  I'm in the hospital, for heaven's sake.

Lady:  Would you like for the chaplain to stop by for a visit?

Glenn:  Oh, hell no.  I'm not in the hospital to visit with people I don't know.  I came here to get well.

vanilla:  (laughing my butt off)

Glenn:  It wasn't really that funny.

What

will the morrow bring?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Beauty and Entertainment

I am calling this phase 3 on the project downtown.  The wall is painted and now what?



Beauty is where one finds it.  Nestled against the wall of the jar was the olive with the perfect star.
 A few evenings past we were blessed to view a performance of two real entertainers, Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey.  This show was taped years ago but thanks to "Get TV" we were royally entertained.

Miss Bailey left us years ago; Miss Channing is now 96 years of age.

I believe I mentioned this some years back, but I'm a name dropper, so:  I saw Pearl Bailey in person in 1978.  Did you know that these two ladies played the role of Dolly Levi in the Broadway version of "Hello Dolly"?  Can you name one of the other five who also played that role?  All big-name stars.





 Then there is this.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Worship Choruses



Scriptural admonition to continue writing and singing new worship songs?  What say you?

1 O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.

 Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people

.For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. 

                                                                                                                   --from Psalm 96 (KJV)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Four-letter Words: B

Today's word is:

best. 
 Best is an adjective, the top-level in the hierarchy good, better, best.

When I was a child I spent many hours lying on the floor, propped on an elbow, with a Sears, Roebuck catalog opened in front of me.  This was the sort of entertainment available to young people of a certain stratum and in a certain time.  No smart phones, no television,  A different world.  But not an unpleasant world.  Wish Book, we called it.

Sears, in its attempt to be all things to all people, offered products of almost every sort and in a wide range of price availability.  For instance, a page might feature a certain item say, electric iron.  Mom certainly needs a replacement for the flatiron she heats on the wood-burning kitchen range now that we have electrical outlets in nearly every room in the house!

Sears has the answer:  A "good" iron, 94 cents; a "better" iron for $1.94; the "best" iron, $2.99.  But even Sears jumped the shark on occasion, for, What's this?  One more "premium" choice at $3.88.
This, of course, begs the question, "When is best not the best?"  Perhaps when someone else makes it?

You get the idea.  Everyone wants the "best."  But in the event the budget will not stretch that far, even our entry-level product is "good."

Our language has developed to cover exigencies when the "best" is not in the cards.  We might say we are "settling" as in fitting our means, yet not keeping up with the Joneses.

There are some things for which second-best is not an option, though.  These would be things not obtainable at retail.  For example, don't settle for second-best when choosing your mate.  Don't settle for less-than-your-best in the performance of a task.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Beautification

The pear tree is alive and well.  New blossoms to greet a new season!



The workmen are alive and busy as well.  Phase 2 of a downtown beautification project.  Phase 1 was cleaning the old brick wall.  Next step?  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Four-letter Words: A

The "Four-letter Word" series was scheduled to appear on Fridays.  Because I slipped "N" into last Friday's slot we will insert this one on Wednesday in place of the Pineville tales which may resume Monday if the muse favors us with another idea.

For the letter "A" the word I have chosen is:

able.

"Able" is an adjective meaning competent, equal to, prepared to, having the opportunity to, accomplish an end.  To say one is able implies that he is intelligent, skillful, accomplished, or talented.  Able is a powerful word and conveys confidence in the recipient of this descriptor.

Miss Lillian Bateman, my senior English teacher in high school  was given to nautical references, just one of her many fascinating tricks in her repertoire.   Often when she called on me she would favor me thus: "Mr. Lacy, Able Seaman, please explicate on the reading of the previous paragraph."
When she signed my yearbook she addressed me just so.  I think to this day that the lady was making a sincere attempt to educe the confidence she felt I had buried within me.  Other students had their pet designations, but to the best of my recollection I was the only one on whom she bestowed the adjective "able."  BTW there were many kids in that class brighter than I.   Too bad "bright" is not a four-letter word.  Have to look elsewhere for the next post.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Lone Goose


  
The cry of a lone goose pierced the sky, the haunting notes singing the tale of a bird separated from his family.  It was late April.  This Blue had somehow lagged behind, was left behind and now it is plaintively seeking its kind.  As the sun drops behind the horizon, the goose hears  the clucking and cackling of poultry far below as their keeper is spreading grain for the evening feed.  The goose circles, descends.  In a large open yard it espies two dozen or so common chickens.  Though the birds are not its kind, they are birds.  Blue lands on the periphery of the yard and the hens go ballistic.  The goose assumes submissive posture, offers no threat.  The chickens calm down and the goose cautiously walks toward them.  Finally it is close enough to peck at the grain on the ground.  Blue joins the chickens for dinner.

We have seen that Blue has assumed the role of guardian of the property and protector of the flock.  Even the rooster has accepted this interloper as a part of his family and all is well in Birdland.

September comes, as September will.  On a bright clear morning Blue hears a familiar sound approaching from the north.  A flock of its own people-- snow geese!  Nature stirs the whatever within the creature that impels it to rejoin its own kind.  Blue starts down the lane, runs down the lane, flaps its wings and leaps to launch itself into the air!

Blue gets about three goose-heights off the ground, sails a few yards and crashes headlong into the dirt.  The poor bird has been much too-well fed, its body now heavy with surfeit.  Its sole exercise for months has been waddling around the chicken lot; its pinions are atrophied and too weak to support flight.

The flock, hundreds strong, soars overhead while Blue honks a feeble "Good-bye, good-bye."*

 *There is a moral in here somewhere but I shall refrain from pointing it out.  If I could see it, and I did, I know that you can as well.

 Text  ©2017  David W. Lacy

Image By Adrian Pingstone - Self-photographed, Public Domain, Link

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrection Sunday!



"He isn't here! HE is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen." -Matthew


"The resurrection tidings are far and away the most astonishing news to ever break across the tired, old face of this earth." -Gardner C. Taylor

" The Easter resurrection is the ultimate reason why failure and crosses need not intimidate us." -Ed Hird

"It is hard to imagine anything less hopeful than the sight of a burial. When the body of Christ was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a clean linen cloth and laid in a new tomb hewn out of the rock, how many who looked on had the faith to hope that inside three days this dead Man would be walking again among men and women, alive forevermore? But so it came to pass. Aaron's rod budded. The leafless tree on which the Savior died sprang into bloom. What had been stark death before became life at the touch of God, and the gallows became the gate to everlasting life.

"One thing the resurrection teaches us is that we must not trust appearances. The leafless tree says by its appearance that there will be no second spring. The body in Joseph's new tomb appears to signify the end of everything for Christ and His disciples. The limp form of a newly-dead believer suggests everlasting defeat. Yet how wrong are all these appearances. The tree will bloom again. Christ arose the third day according to the Scriptures, and the Christian will rise at the shout of the Lord and the voice of the archangel.

"Faith can afford to accept the appearance of defeat, knowing the true believer cannot be defeated finally. 'Because I live, you also will live.' That is the message of Easter. What a blessed message for the whole world if men would only believe it." -Aiden Wilson Tozer



He died that you might be saved. He arose that you might live with Him eternally!

Happy Easter!

Pedro, Juan y Maria Magdalen en el sepulcro vacio
Jaime Dominguez Montes

Saturday, April 15, 2017


HAPPY EASTER!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Four-letter Words: N

This is Good Friday.  We kicked off the four-letter word series last week with "L" for "love."  To do this alphabetically, today's post should be "A."  I am unpredictable, however, and we are skipping to the first letter in the second half of the alphabet, "n," and the word is:

nail.

Jesus died the cruelest and most insulting death we can imagine.  We observe Good Friday in commemoration of the sacrifice of His own life to atone for our sins.  He died for us that we might live.

The nails were driven through His hands and feet to hold him to the rood.  Yet it was not the nails that held Him there, but rather His unimaginable love for us that forced him to give His life.  Make no mistake.  His life was not taken from Him, He gave his life.  He cried to the Father, "Not my will, but Thine be done."  He gave all in the will, not of self, but of the Father.

I am thinking as I worship this morning of the thud of the mallet as the nails were driven, the agony of  my Lord, Creator of all things, as he suffocated there on that hill we call Calvary.

The greatest Love of all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Watch Goose and Camaraderie

Darlene: "Ardella came over and told me the cops brought you and Clifton to school this morning.  What happened?  Did he beat on you?"

Darren:  "Not any more than I beat on him!"

Darlene:  "Ooh, I'll get him now!"

Darren: "No you won't.  It is all settled; Clifton and I are good."

And so they were.  The two lads even started hanging out together during lunch time and afternoon recesses.  Darlene was not amused, but she is the loyal sister.  She spent more of her time stirring up difficulties amongst the girls.

One afternoon about two weeks after the fight, Clif (the boys were now "Clif" and "Dare") said, "Come on over to my house.  You can see our chickens and stuff.  And we have a watch goose."

"A what?  A watch goose?"

"Yeah.  We have this goose-- Ma says it's a blue goose-- that came in and started living with the chickens.  He guards them and watches over the place.  No one, but I mean no one, steps foot on our property without a big ruckus from Blue.  He's better than a watch dog.  He'll scare the bejabbers out of you, too, and run you off if you don't stand your ground."  Goose won't let the chickens out of the yard, either.  Haven't had one cross the road since he got here."

"Cool!  But how do I get on your place if the goose attacks me?"

"Oh, he won't attack you if you stand still and make yourself as big as you can--  raise your arms up and spread your feet apart.  He will run toward you honking, but he will stop when he sees how fierce you are.  Then you take two steps toward him.  He will back up two steps.  Then stomp your foot and step toward him again.  He'll turn and run."

And that all happened just so..

While Clif and Dare were checking out the hen house, Louie came out.  "Hey," he said.  "You're the kid that looks just like his sister.  She tried to beat me up.  I oughta clobber you just for being related to her."

"Did beat you up," Darren sassed.

"Why you-- I'll beat you up just because you are a little smart aleck."

"No," interjected Clifton, "you won't.  Dare is my buddy now and you'll have to beat us both up."

"I could do that."

"No, you won't.  Remember, blood is thicker than water, or something like that."

"Yeah, yeah.  Well, have fun."  Louie headed back to the house.

Darren knew a world more about poultry and how he got his eggs for breakfast by the time he left for home.


 ©2017  David W. Lacy

Monday, April 10, 2017

Altercation in Pineville

Inevitably the day came.  Darlene had a bad case of the sniffles, a sore throat, and every good excuse to stay home from school.  But Darren had to get ready and head out by himself.  Darren turned the corner at the end of the block, walked the half-block to the alley, and there behind the lilac bush was Clifton lying in wait.

"Ha!  Gotcha!  Where's Miss Piggy?  Piggy-tails, I mean."

And here Darren's "erudition" got him into serious trouble.  For some inexplicable reason his recent reading had been centered around nineteenth century American history.  Nine years old and already looking as though he'd be a lawyer or worse, a politician.  Or both.

"Sir," Darren cried, "I perceive that thou art a foul Whig!"

There was but one word of the sentence that Clifton understood and what he heard was "fowl."  He instantly concluded that he was being called a chicken, or worse depending upon what "whig" meant.

He flew with unrestrained fury at his antagonist.  Darren dodged and Clifton overshot his mark.  Both boys turned and the fight began.  I will spare you the details.  Suffice it to say that when Hans Freylingheusen drove up in his police cruiser the boys were rolling in the crushed limestone surface of the alley, both covered with the white powder of the recently-laid material, each flailing at the other, screaming and hollering.  Hans stopped the car, leisurely hoisted himself from the vehicle and ambled over to the combatants.

"Hey!"  Only upon hearing him speak did the boys turn to see a pair of black jack-boots and blue striped trousers beside them.  Only then did the beating and smacking stop.  The officer took a shoulder in each hand and lifted the guys to their feet.  "Get in the car.  In the front seat.  You're not under arrest."

They complied and Hans walked around and got into the car as well.

"Aren't you supposed to be in school?"  No answer.  "I asked you a question."

"Yes, sir."  Feebly.  "Yes, sir."  Also feebly.

"Now I am going to drive you over to the station.  You can't show up at school looking like that."  In the locker room each boy was given a towel and washcloth.  "You want to beat each other?"  Freylingheusen said.  "Knock that dust and dirt off each other.  And don't get carried away; the fight is over.  Then get washed up."

Hans got the boys back into the cruiser and drove them to school.  The three of them went up the walk together.  Not in the best interests of Darren and Clifton was the fact that the third-graders were  on the playground.  The officer took the lads to the principal, Miss Garst.  "I hope you will excuse their tardiness.  These boys ran into a bit of difficulty but everything is all right now.  Right, fellas?"

"Right."

 "Right.  Thank you, sir."


 ©2017  David W. Lacy

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jezebel, Elijah, and the Lord Almighty

Elijah had engaged in a contest with the prophets of Baal, built an altar, made the offering and doused it thoroughly with water, called down fire from God.  The sacrifice, the altar, and the water were consumed.  Elijah slew 400 prophets of Baal.

Jezebel sent word to Elijah that she would do to him as he had done to the prophets.

He ran.

Skipping way ahead (catch up by reading I Kings 19), we hear the Lord telling Elijah, "Go stand on the mountain, for the Lord will pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
 Then the Lord gave Elijah instructions.

How often do we expect the Lord to respond to our prayers in a spectacular way, in a mighty wind, so to speak?  How often do we sit awaiting an earthquake to move us to action?  Neither was the directive of the Lord in the fire, but in a gentle whisper!

Are we attuned to the Lord such that we can hear his whisper?

Do we respond in obeisance and obedience?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Four-letter Words

The term "four-letter words" has painted a huge boatload of English words with a tar brush.  It is true that there is a handful of four-letter words that are scatological, sacrilegious, and disrespectful.  We should know these words in order to avoid using them.  Okay, every twelve-year old boy knows them, anyway, but we need not be stuck in the prepubescent stage of our lives.

Meanwhile there are tens of thousands of perfectly good and useful four-letter words in the English language.  I propose to present a few of these select four-letter words that brighten or enhance our lives and our ability to communicate one with another.  If I have the stamina for it we may go through the alphabet looking for such words.  But meanwhile let us start with the best four-letter word of all:

 love.

As with many English words, this one can function either as a noun or a verb.  This is not a thesaurus or dictionary, nor do I propose to write such for there exists a plethora of such volumes.  We all have a construct of this word and recognize the deep emotional, spiritual, and intellectual power it evokes.
Sad the person who does not experience and receive love.  Even sadder the one who does not practice love toward others.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love."  I Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) 

Remember, too, that Jesus summed up the law in two commandments.  Both were to love.  First, God; then our neighbors and ourselves.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pineville Retribution

Clifton was a bully but he was not without a crude and shrewd intelligence.  It did not take long for him to figure out who it was who got him into trouble over the yo-yo incident.  Confronted, Darlene did not deny her involvement.

Clifton:  I will make you sorry!

Darlene: Let's get it on!

Clifton:  All in good time, Baby.

Darlene's blood was about to boil, but she let it pass.

Clifton told his older brother, Louis, about this terrible, awful, mean, wicked girl who kept threatening him.  Louis said, "I can straighten her right out."  Clifton grinned.  "Thanks, Brother."

The Pratt's front doorbell rang shortly after five in the evening.  Mrs. Pratt answered the door to find a large angry woman and a twelve-year old boy standing on the porch.

L. A. Woman: Is this where Darlene lives?

Samantha: Yes. How may I help you?

L.A. W.:  How?  Just look at what that wicked vixen did to my Louie!

And there stood Louie, right eye purple and swollen, left cheek raw with claw (?) marks.

Samantha (turning toward the interior of the house):  DARLENE! Come here at once.

Darlene shows up at the door, stands beside her mother, grasping her skirt and looking up, her baby blues all innocence.  Louie's mother looks at this slip of a girl, turns to her son and says, "Is this the girl that beat you up?"

"Yeh, Ma.  That's her."

Ma turned with a roundhouse swing and walloped her son across the cheek.  "You let that little thing beat you up?  I'll show you what it means to get beat up!  Now get to the house. 'Scuse, me, Ma'am.  We'll be getting along now."


 ©2017  David W. Lacy