Monday, March 25, 2019

Feeling Grouchy

"How does that make you feel?"

How many times have you heard that recently? And in what contexts?

Rant alert.

The question might be appropriate in certain settings, as in therapist to patient.  I can't think of another right off hand.  I am hearing the question all too frequently in too many situations where the answer to the question is neither useful nor desirable.  For example, the tv news "reporter" in the field asks the next door neighbor, "What did you see?"  (Fair enough.)  Neighbor replies, "I din't actually see nothin', but I heard the gunshots."  "How many did you hear?"  (Also fair.)  "Three, no four, yeah, I think it  was four."  "Had you heard that the man died?  "How does that make you feel?"
  
What has that to do with the facts of the case?  Who cares?  Shut up, already.



 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

No Kidding

I play a certain word game online.  The price I pay for it is the ten or fifteen second commercial that interrupts the play every ten minutes or so.  Frequently the pitch is for the Audi Q7.  This is wrong on several levels.

The very idea that I would drop sixty grand for an auto is absurd on its face.  Then the clip ends with a distinctively farting sound followed by poot-poot.  You decide.

The redeeming feature is a young woman archer who raises her bow, sights and releases her missile.  Sweet release, she is good.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

An Evening with the Artist


Last evening our local church hosted the Spring dinner for the district Senior Adult Ministries.  We were privileged to have Gary Varvel as our speaker.  Gary recently retired from his forty year gig as an editorial cartoonist.  His last twenty-four years were with the Indianapolis Star and his work was syndicated in newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Varvel told the story of his journey to living his dream, giving full credit to the leadership of God in his life.  He shared three dozen or so cartoons on the "big screen" and showed the trailers for three of the films that he is involved in through House of Grace Films.

This cartoon demonstrates the dream that Gary plans to live in his retirement from the pressure cooker of the newspaper world.  His intent is to spend his life sowing the seed of the gospel as the cartoon illustrates.

It was a very entertaining and worth-while evening.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Spring?

Can it be? Has Spring arrived at long last?












We shall see what we shall see.  Meanwhile,
enjoy this little harbinger of Spring.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Rest in Jesus, Not in the Pew

 
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, 
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Romans 12:2

A Canadian blogger, a life-long Seventh Day Adventist, told of  two older people who were brought up in the church, one who was still faithful to the denomination, one who left.  The latter said, We are happy with our decision to leave; we find great blessing in attending the Anglican Church.  The other responded, You are happy belonging to the Anglican Church because it doesn't demand anything of you-- it's a comfortable pew.

The phrase "a comfortable pew" suggests that some people want the benefits of belonging to a church body, but do not want to be inconvenienced with any requirements, any restrictions that might become onerous in any way.

I grew up in a church that imposed rules for living on its membership.  Some of those regulations perhaps more restrictive than even Jesus himself would have asked.  (Or perhaps not:  He asks our all.)  But the point is that in following the guidelines we were reminded that sailing too close to the world entailed the danger of capsizing in the sea of sin and degradation, resulting ultimately in the loss of our souls.

I believe that in its attempt to reach out to the lost the church today in its effort to be "seeker friendly" is in danger of capsizing herself, for we are taught in scripture that we are to come out of the world and be separate from it (2 Corinthians 6:17); to be not conformed to the world but to be transformed (Romans 12:2)

To seek salvation is a good thing.  Jesus himself said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you."  (Matthew 6:33)  This suggests that it is not a comfortable pew we should seek, but rather the Kingdom of heaven and all that that entails.  A comfortable pew does not give spiritual rest, Jesus does.  "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)  It's in The Book.


Besides, Jesus said all who labor, not all who sit in a comfortable pew.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

La Gata


My sister has a cat, a very pretty cat, long slender neck and graceful moves.  Cookie is a refugee from Hurricane Maria which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017.  It is reported that the cat seems grateful for the largess bestowed upon her, but she does not reciprocate with any kind of overt demonstration of affection. The following is a middle-of-the night creation I "dreamed up" and sent to Ilene a few weeks ago.



I dreamed last night about a cat named Cookie.
I was visiting my sister in the Garden State
Resting peacefully in her guest room
The door a bit ajar; I don't want to fumble with knobs
In the middle of the night.

Somewhere in the wee hours I heard a gentle tap on my door
"David,"  Ilene whispered, "I can't find my cat."
"Don't panic," I replied.  "Flip on the night light."
"The cat's been sleeping with me for the past three nights."
"NO!" the glare of the overhead light hit my sleepy eyes.

Ilene stood, amazed, appalled, moved  toward the bed.
Cat like a flash crawled deep down next to my feet.
"Let her be," I said.  But I could see that Sis was crushed.
"She's okay.  We'll talk in the morning.
"Nice Cookie." I crooned. " La Gata, Senora Gata, duerme ahora."


Image may contain: cat and indoor

Cookie

Monday, March 4, 2019

Puzzle Me This


Lin and Joe gave us a puzzle for Christmas.  For them, as it is with us, a puzzle is sometimes winter entertainment.  As it happens, we received eight puzzles at Christmas and we did not put off doing this one because we weren't excited about it but rather because the people who gave us the other puzzles were often here and "helping" with the selection and construction.  We did theirs first.  Now, on February 28 we have


and Sunday, March 3 at 10 a.m. we have


Thanks Lin and Joe!  It was fun. 

And yes, it is still winter.  Snowed Sunday afternoon and it is colder than bears. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Burning Out in a Good Way

Flameout

I walked out the front door on a very gray day.  Pulling my eye full into the lower center of the pear tree was a lone leaf among the dark greens and mauves and burgundies, a lone leaf that seemed to light up the world.  I stepped closer and observed that this leaf and all its companions are accompanied by hundreds of little pears. The tree at its most beautiful.  The tree just before its bare branches present themselves to winter's onslaught.

I thought how like this lovely tree are the lives of some people I have known.  Like the tree, they flourished in the springtime of their youth, put forth leaves, and flowers, and ultimately produced the fruit, the seeds within a promise of future life.  Then as they aged, their work finished, an inner glow emanated from them, radiating sunlight and cheer in the environs where they had thrived.  And they know, and we all know, that they will soon fall even as the leaves fall.

Imagine, if you will, a world in which everyone developed such beauty, a world in which our demise would indeed be our finest hour!

Brighten the corner where you are!


While the glory of young men is their strength,
    the splendor of older people is their silver hair.
 --Proverbs 20:29 (Names of God Bible)