Friday, February 27, 2009

Clear Skies in South Texas

The clear sky, the bright sunshine and the reduced wind speed resulted in a rather warm February day here in Edinburg. We scootered into town to purchase some bulbs, some cards and some meat. We came back home and immediately turned on the AC, as it was 102 degrees at four p.m. (Officially 100, but the thermometer hanging in the orange tree said 102, and I'm going with that.) It is now 9:20 and 76 degrees. How wonderful is that?!

The accompanying picture was taken a few minutes ago with the little point-and-shoot digital camera. Venus and Luna putting on a clear-night show.


Certainly one of America's premier writers, John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902. It is almost beyond imagination that there exists an adult American who cannot name at least one of his works. And most have read and/or seen a dramatic portrayal of one or more of his works.
Honoring literature and reading
and Nobel Prize winner, John Steinbeck.

John Steinbeck 1902 - 1968 RIP

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Country, rock-a-billy, plain ol' good pickin' and singin'.
Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932. BBBH disrespectfully refers to him as "Johnny One-note" but I know some good singing when I hear it.
The Man in Black has "walked on down the line;" and I miss him. But fortunately thanks to technology we can still hear his baritone renditions of some of the best tunes ever penned.

Johnny Cash 1932 - 2003 RIP

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

Dis be your las' day to pigout afore Lent. Get some munchin' on. We den have six weeks to contemplate the mortifyin' of the flesh to suffer wid the Savior afore da crucifixion.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Of Art and Life

Oh, winnow all my folly, and you'll find A grain or two of truth among the chaff! So sang Jack Point in Yeomen of the Guard.
Betimes it may indeed take a boatload of folly to produce that grain of truth.

Curiously, Point was the only character left unmated and unfulfilled, as I recall. But life is not always skittles and ale.

It has been many years since I saw a performance of any G & S show. Light opera is entertaining, fraught with plot twists, ironies, comedy and yes, folly. Yet how much of art imitates life? Or does life imitate art?

Yeomen of the Guard, libretto by W. S. Gilbert. Jack Point costume by Percy Anderson, 1919.

El Shaddai

This morning the congregation sang "Trust and Obey" and "All the Way My Savior Leads Me."
The choir presented a nice rendition of "The Old Rugged Cross." A ladies quartet sang "I Come to the Garden."
Pastor Jose's fourth sermon in his series 'The Names of God' presented God as El Shaddai, God the Almighty, omnipotent and All-sufficient.
The scripture lesson was from Genesis 17: 1 - 6, in which God speaks to Abram, who is 99 years of age, and tells him he is to be the father of nations. Abram, who is too old, who is dead to fatherhood, laughs. But God is He Who Gives Life. As it says in Romans, chapter four, "What God has promised, He is able to perform."
So, what must we do to receive the promise? First, we must be entirely dependent on God. Psalm 91:1 - 2: He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
And we must be obedient. Disobedience blocks God's promises to us.
So, position yourself to receive the promises by being dependent and obedient.

George Washington

"First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." --Henry Lee, in Washington's funeral oration.

George Washington was born February 22, 1732. He is considered to be the paragon and exemplar of civic virtue. Washington was one of our nation's great heroes and an outstanding President. He is remembered with respect and love to this day, 210 years after his death.

George Washington 1732 - 1799
Portrait by Rembrandt Peale
An earlier post on this topic:
String Too Short to Tie: The Father of Our Country

Friday, February 20, 2009

100 Blog Posts

I have observed that many of the more-recent to the blogosphere have hosted a little celebration upon the posting of their one-hundredth blog. I am apparently lacking a creativity gene, or something, so I don't have any cool ideas for a party. I don't have any junk to give away as prizes in a contest and frankly I don't want to be bothered carrying a package to the post office. And you wouldn't want any of my junk anyway.

So I'll dance a little dance --[whew, pant, huff] --back now. That's my celebration.
I was looking through the index list to see if I could determine what this whole STSTT thing is really about. Preponderance of labels fall to culture, faith, and entertainment. The rest suggest a potpourri or mishmash of just about whatever pops into my head.
I was thinking earlier today about my youth. You know, those days in which there were two parents, two and half kids, a dog at home and a mile walk through the snow or rain to school. A benevolent dictatorship, not democracy, ruled the home; and a perhaps far less benevolent dictatorship ruled the classroom. But now I'm sorry I've gone back that deep into my memory.
Should I keep this up, or should I write "Case closed" to this project? Please opine; but you don't get to vote.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. --Rom:14:17

Whoopin' and Hollerin'


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February Weather

This was a rather amusing day, and all due to the weather. Or the forecasting of the weather.

At home, when the meteorologist hugely misses a forecast, it may go something like this.

Tomorrow expect snow accumulation of less than half-inch.

And on the morrow we get winds of 50 mph, ten inches of snow and drifts five feet high.

That is a miss.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, yesterday's forecast, for today went like this.

Cloud cover until about noon with a high of 94 by four p.m.

Today, the cloud cover did not break and the high for the day was 84.

Now that is a miss.

But meteorology is a tough business in some parts of the country.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh, Please

February 17, DTV Day. No, wait. That would be June 12.
Three frames of mind on this topic.
1) The technophiles are livid. We want our bandwidths!
2) The technophobes are clueless; or, alternatively, want to take hammers to everything electronic.
3) The procrastinators, the hopelessly helpless who, no matter what or when, will be unprepared and worse, expect the gummint once again to "solve" their problem for them.

Personally, I can hardly wait because I want to hear the yowling when it finally comes to pass. How long will it be before 27,652,371 viewers are screaming that the audio is out of sync and the video in little cubical chunks is horrid and they were much happier watching "I Love Lucy" in black and white, and on and on. And that they want the gummint to fix it. Yesterday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Universal Monday Holidays

When I was a lad, February had Lincoln's Birthday on the twelfth and Washington's Birthday on the twenty-second. Both days were highlighted on the calendar, but neither was a federal holiday. Some states observed one, some the other. The state I grew up in equitably observed one then the other in alternate years.

Now we have uniform Federal-employees-get-the-day-off Mondays. The unfortunate part of this is not that we have holidays, but that the focus is lost and we wind up honoring everyone, which is to say, no one. What exactly is February 16? Well, it is two days after Valentine's Day; it is neither Washington's nor Lincoln's birthday. Wait! wait! It is John McEnroe's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mac. Look, you can pick your own car! Seriously.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Notes

I didn't go to church this morning in the interest of the health of the attendees. I did not want to pass the germs from the collywobbles I'm suffering. As I am told, "Leave it alone and it will go away in about seven days, or see a doctor, who can cure it in a week." I've chosen the first course of action. But it's not fun.
So, instead of a sermon outline or analysis, I offer some quotes from some preachers, teachers and the Word of God.

"The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite! Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning." - A.W. Tozer, Spiritual Authority: The Word and the Testimony, 1950

"I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow out and say, I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you". - A.W. Tozer

"Whoever, for whatever reason, denies the finality of the biblical revelation and insists upon a continuing revelation having the same authority as the sacred Scriptures has shut himself out from the name of Christian! He is simply not a Christian in the scriptural and historic meaning of the word." - A.W.Tozer, Renewed Day By Day Vol. 1, April 16

"For false Christs will arise, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect." - Matt. 24:24

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." - Matt. 7:15

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world." - 1 John 4:1

"In seeking to understand any passage in Scripture, one rule must govern: whatever the Bible declares, the Bible itself (not some outside authority) must interpret. It is from the Bible that we learn the gospel, about the church Christ established, about discipleship and the responsibilities, authority and power He has given to His own. Therefore, it is to the Bible that we must look to understand these things and the Bible is understandable." - Dave Hunt, Authority And Responsibility, The Berean Call, April 2000

"Neither shall you allege the example of the many as an excuse for doing wrong." - God (Exodus 23:2)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Greeting Card, Chocolate, Flowers Promotion Day

Did you get something for your Sweetie? Today is the day.
This is the year's first commercial holiday. Get out there and stimulate the economy. Should you happen to stimulate your loved one too, so much the better.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Happy day to all you trisadekaphobes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A. Lincoln

Two hundred years ago today, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. It is virtually universally agreed that he was the greatest president this country has ever had. It is highly likely that he shall always be the greatest man who has ever been president.

There have been over 16,000 books written about him. Yet there are many unanswered questions regarding his life and his work.

We honor him because he was a true American, worthy of honor.

A. Lincoln 1809 - 1865 RIP

Photo: National Archives

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A New Morning in America

Good morning, America.

These are the guys who are going to fix the economy. With a little help from the 535 genii in the Capitol, of course.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Strolling, February 10

A walk around one "square" of our park. Thermometer at 85 and breeze at 20 - 30. Back in the AC to share this 'trip' with you.

Neighbor across the street to the north --and from the North.

Then a few steps farther north.February roses and petunias.
Then across the street.Right turn and a few steps more.
Back to the south, a few steps north of our back side.Behind and to the south a few steps.And back 'home' again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat, the New Year for Trees, is the date when the sap begins to flow in Israel’s trees. This year, the holiday falls on Monday, February 9, 2009.
--from The Jerusalem Post

I did not know that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Border Fence

Yes, that is the Rio Grande lower left and the "wall" upper right.
Do you have an opinion?

Picture taken from bridge at Progreso, February 4, 2009
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In the Wild

This afternoon we visited the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande River a few miles
south of here. This is a 20000+ acre preserve in a riparian thorn forest which was purchased by the US and established as a preserve in 1943. It is home to many sorts of wildlife, including over 400 avian species. We had a very enjoyable walk observing flora with which we are not familiar and a diverse display of fauna, mostly birds on this day.
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The Lord is Provider

The congregation sang "Face to Face Will I Behold Him" and "At Calvary." The choir presented a lovely rendition of "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
Pastor Jose delivered the second in his series "Knowing God." Today God was presented as "Jehovah-jireh" the Lord Will Provide.
The scripture lesson was from Genesis 22, the story of Abraham's journey to "a place to which God directed" to sacrifice his son Isaac. But it is noted that when Abraham left his servants with the donkey to wait for him, he said I and the boy are going up into the mount to sacrifice to the Lord, and we will return. This was certainly an expression of Abraham's faith, his willingness to do as God commanded and yet with the belief that God would provide the sacrifice.
Hebrews 11:17 - 19, God is the provider in the midst of crisis or tragedy. He provides a way out.
God's greatest provision was His own offering up of the Life of His only begotten Son as a propitiation for our sins. Romans 8, the gift of God is eternal life. The wages of sin is death, but Jesus paid the debt for our sins. John 1:12, we have the right to become the children of God when we believe on the name of Jesus Christ.
We have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we may address God as "Daddy," an intimate relationship indeed with the Almighty Creator of all things!
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Friday, February 6, 2009

Ninth Wedding Anniversary

Nine years ago on this day, I stood at the altar and watched as my beautiful bride-to-be came down the aisle on the arm of her eldest son. We looked longingly and lovingly into each other's eyes as the preacher said, "Blah, blah, blah, blah... blah" Then, "David do you blah blah blah blah? and I said "I do." Same deal for JoAnn and I heard "I do."
We have each had the privilege of the other's loving companionship for these nine years. We laughingly hope for a twenty-fifth anniversary someday, fully cognizant of the fact that we should have started this liaison a long time ago if we really expected that to materialize. But that was not even a dream or desire long ago, for we had each had the joy of a loving marriage to another until death did its parting thing.
We are truly grateful to each other and live in praise and thanksgiving to God who gave us the joy of finding our love together.
Happy Anniversary, JoAnn. Thank you.
Love, David
[Please note that this is not a wedding picture, but rather one of JoAnn on a birthday six years after the wedding. I don't have wedding pics stored on this drive.]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mexico! Ole!

Today we went to Mexico. Crossed as pedestrians at Nuevo Progreso.
The Pharmacia took most of our cash; but the ultimate rewards are a savings of about 300 bucks and delaying the fall into the donut hole.

Walked through the shops and jostled, and were jostled by, the people in the streets. Had lunch at "Canada"--a good meal for a reasonable fee, and in nice surroundings with white cloth napkins.

Visiting and laughter with our Minnesota friends on the ride to and from completed a good day, what with the sunshine and eighty degree weather being hard to beat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jo's Favorite Artist

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Norman Rockwell. Beloved Beautiful Better Half holds his work in high regard; and in fact he is her favorite artist. Whatever else you might think of him, he was a truly talented artist and he had a great sense of humor. America is a better place for having enjoyed his take on life in these United States.
BBBH has a large collection of "prints," for the most part from calendars but that's ok. A significant number of them grace our stairwell.
The Rockwell exhibit came to Indy a couple of years ago and had a run of several weeks at the Children's Museum. We went; she was enthralled and I had a great time. Took lots of pictures in the area where it was allowed. Unfortunately I can't show you any of them because they are all stored on a hard drive at home.
There was a display of life-size interactive models of some of Rockwell's paintings into which one could insert himself for some great shots posing with the characters in the tableau.

Thank you, Norman Rockwell. And thanks to the "Saturday Evening Post."

Norman Rockwell 1894 - 1978 R.I.P.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

The groundhog comes out this morning had better have his sunglasses, his beach umbrella and a good book. 'Cause he's gonna spend the day kickin' back and catchin' some rays. I too.

Oh, yeah. He's gonna see his shadow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Out of Bondage

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus I come, Jesus I come,
Into thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into thy health
Out of my sorrow into thy wealth
Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus I come to Thee.
[Congregational hymn]

Pastor Jose selected Exodus chapter three for the scripture lesson on which to base the first in his series, "The Names of God."
While we may see somewhat of the power and magnificence of God in His creation, it is only in study of the Bible that we can come to know God in an intimate relationship.
In the scripture lesson, Moses asks God who He is and His reply is, "I AM THAT I AM." He tells Moses to go to the elders and say "I AM" sent me. God presents Himself as JWHW, or Jehovah as we represent it in English. That is, God is a personal God, involved in the affairs of people. He sees our problems and helps provide solutions. He is a God who cares for people. (v. 7,9,16) Jehovah redeems; He is a deliverer. (v. 8, 17)
Sin has gotten us into a terrible problem from which we cannot extricate ourselves. God rescues us. He Saves.

[Painting by Arnold Friberg]