Sunday, July 31, 2016

153 Fishes

Beautiful and I enjoying the breeze as we sit in the sun room reading and discussing the twenty-first chapter of John's gospel.  We see Jesus's disciples about 100 yards offshore in a "small ship" engaged in a futile attempt to make a catch.  Jesus, standing on shore, tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat.1  They caught so many fish that the boat would  not draw the net.  John told Peter, "It is Jesus," whereupon Peter, who was naked, put on a cloak and belted it.  Then he stepped into the sea and other of the disciples in a nearby boat went to the aid of the first in dragging the net to shore. was near a bed of coals on which were cooking fish and bread.  "Bring your fish," he said.  Peter drew the net filled with "great fish," even 153 fish.  Here Beautiful and I had a discussion about the significance of the number 153.  We'll have to cogitate on that a bit more.2  

Jesus said, "Come and dine."  Then follows the conversation in which Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?"  At the third questioning Peter was grieved and Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."  Then we hear Jesus say, "When you were young you dressed yourself and walked wherever you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another will dress you and take you where you don't want to go."

At our age, we observed, this requires no explanation or interpretation.  We get it.

Then the greatest two-word commandment of Christ:  "Follow me."  And we have arrived at the crux of the message.

I was reading Pastor Pete Wilson a few days ago.  He observed that all Christians are followers of Jesus, but we do not all walk in the same path.  Beautiful and I were discussing this.  I believe we grasp his point in that we all have different offices, different paths, in the same mission, namely "Go and make disciples."  But she observed that the paths all converge before we pass into our eternal reward, for "Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads into life everlasting."

She nailed it.

1This was Christ's third appearance to his disciples following his resurrection.
2We have studied this scriptural curiosity a bit more and found that many Bible scholars have puzzled over it, some proposing ideas or theories concerning the importance of the number 153 but there seems to be no widely-held belief on the subject 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

More about Aging

The mind says, "Yes, you can,"  and still ya
Hear your body say, "Do it and I'll kill ya."

"Listen to your body." --My physical therapist.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

When is Old!? #T

I believe Dad was 55 years of age when I first realized he was "getting old."  Dad was athletic and very quick.  I was standing on the sidelines watching him as he played softball with a group of teenagers.

One needs to understand that in his teen years baseball was his passion and he even dared to dream of a career in the sport.  His reflexes were amazingly fast, and he also considered professional boxing.  Now here he is on an August afternoon exercising his skills on the ball field.  Dad came up to bat.  He let the first pitch pass, and the umpire called, "Strike one."  My father shifted his position slightly in the batter's box and when the second pitch came he swung, made contact and laid the ball neatly in left field between the third baseman and the fielder.

Dad headed for first base.  As I watched I realized his step was slower than I remembered it to be, and with a sinking feeling I realized that Dad was old!  Not so old, however, that he failed to beat the throw to the bag.

I am now some twenty-seven years older than my father was when I realized he was old, yet until today I had never encountered that realization in myself.  Oh, yes, I have aches and pains, and yes, I know I move slower than I used to, but old?  Of course not.

But today I stopped near the front door of the DG store, dismounted the bicycle and set the kickstand.

I saw a sporty red car park on the opposite side of the lot.  I headed toward the door of the market, shuffling along in my Tim Conway "old man" gait and before I reached the door the young lady who had parked the car hurried around me to "get the door."  Yep.  With extended arm she opened the door stepped back and with a smile indicated that I should pass through.  A young woman holding the door for the poor old man.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Teleporting Jesus #T

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

Last week's lesson was from the sixth chapter of John.  We looked at the account of what has become known as "The multiplication of the loaves and fishes," or "The feeding of the five thousand."  Reading a few more verses we come to a no less miraculous action of Jesus, but one that is seldom discussed.  I call it "The teleportation of the ship and crew."

As I was growing up with Wes as my best friend, I often heard his mother who was an avid Bible scholar and a teacher in a Bible college speak of travel by teleportation in the Heavenly Kingdom.  It seemed to me that her opinion was that in Heaven one will merely think the thought and arrive at the destination he or she desires.  I have often thought this was a neat concept.

But as many times as I have read the Gospel of John it was only this week that it struck me that there is scriptural support for the concept.  And you may take your ship with you.  Certainly we are aware of the many instances in scripture of a celestial being appearing on Earth:  Lot's visitors; the emissary to Abraham; the angel who wrestled with Jacob; the fourth person in the fiery furnace; Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration; Gabriel's visit to Zechariah; the angel to Mary; and other instances.

Now in this account we see earthly inhabitants and material objects* being teleported, for the scripture says that as Jesus came to the disciples across the water that as soon as they took him into the boat they arrived at their destination!  They had been rowing against a stormy sea for "twenty-five or thirty furlongs," Jesus stepped into the boat and boom! they were in their home port.

Transported through the space-time continuum by the grace and power of God!

Certainly no matter the state or the storm we find ourselves in we can be transported into peace and security by the power and grace of The God who Loves us!

Do note, though, that the account tells us that the boatsmen took Jesus into the ship.  Just so we must take Christ into our lives.  God will not force his will upon us; we must accept Him and yield our will to His.

*Other instances in the Bible in which God used teleportation may be found in Acts 8:38-40 where Philip baptized a eunuch, disappeared and reappeared many miles away; in Luke 24 Jesus vanishes and appears; and other examples.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Little Gem and City Business

Two years ago I showed you the Little Gem building and. . . Well, go look at the article, I'll wait.

Today is an update.  The city did indeed purchase the entire corner and the three building situated thereon.  This is how it looks today.

The Little Gem remains intact.  We are pleased that 
it has been saved.  New municipal offices in the
 The two buildings seen in the background of
the 2014 picture have been converted into City Hall
and municipal offices at a cost of a cool million dollars.

 Facade at the main entrance.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gobron-Brillie Speed

  •  In the early days of the automobile a Frenchman, Louis Rigolly, was the first person to surpass 100 mph on land. Measured speed was 103.56 mph.  This took place in Ostend, Belgium, July 21, 1904. The car was said to have a  15 liter (915 cubic inch) Gobron-Brillie opposed engine.  GB was a French auto manufacturer which built and sold cars from1898 to 1930 when the company filed for bankruptcy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fair Time, '16

Hey, Ma, wanna go to the fair?

Sure, but we'll have to put on shoes.

 Plev-nee, Ma, Plev-nee

 Judgin' the livestock, Pa.

 BBBH always heads to the goats.

 JoLynn thinks this fella got gypped out of his ears.

 Er-a-er-er! These guys were loud!

Tipton's new approach to waste disposal.
I may have more to say about this later.

And that is our visit to the fair, 2016.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Frugal Jesus #T

In John chapter six we read that Jesus and his disciples went over the Sea of Galilee up into a mountain.  There they sat on the ground and a great multitude followed them.  Jesus  looked about and asked Philip where they might buy bread that the people should eat.  Phil replied that a year's wages
would not feed this crowd.

Andy spoke up and said, "There is a kid here who has five barley loaves and two small fish."

Jesus ordered the disciples to make the men be seated.  Then he took the provender from the boy and gave thanks.  He passed it to the disciples and they distributed it to the crowd "as much as they would."

Here Jesus is modeling appropriate behavior for us in that he neglected not to give thanks.  "When they were filled he said unto his disciples, Gather in the fragments that remain that nothing be lost."

Here again Jesus is the example.  His words were not exactly "Waste not, want not," but that is exactly what he is showing us.  Of significance, too, I think, is that in the collecting of the morsels they wound up with exactly twelve basketsful.  Of course they did: twelve disciples present, no slackers today   Each one collected his basketful.

I also think this is worth pondering:  How is it that there was exactly enough leftovers to fill twelve baskets, neither more no less?

How do you use "leftovers"?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Computer

Fun: soaring aloft in a hot air balloon.
Not fun:  Teaching a new computer how you work.

What this means:  This is a very nice computer and it cost me a lot of money.  It doesn't know what I want it to do, and I don't know how to "teach" it to respond to my needs.
Don't suggest lessons.  I sat with a geek-type while he poked keys, swiped spaces, opened this that and the other (which proves it is all there) but can I replicate any of his efforts?  No.  Well, yes.  He showed me where the "ON" switch is located.

Am I frustrated after three hours sitting here?  Maybe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BBBH is home !

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

In the Clouds

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.  Luke 21:25-28 (KJV)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

American Politics

The pot and the skillet had a terrible spat.
They screamed and they yelled and all that.
They gouged and they poked,
Piled up insults, stack upon stack.
When it's over both are still black.

A pox, I say. . .

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vision Returns

The second corneal transplant was four weeks ago.  My right eye which was done five years ago will test 20/25.  The vision in my left eye is gradually improving.  For your entertainment, I tried to simulate my vision in that eye with the camera.

 When I look at the printed page I can now see that there are lines of type but I am not yet able to read them.

 I can now look around a room and identify objects.  Items on my lavatory counter.

This is my coffee mug.  I cannot yet read the logo but I can readily identify the object as "mine."

And of course I don't have to rely on the left eye alone.  There is still that clear vision in the right eye.  You may think that what I see is indistinct but trust me, it is a far cry from blindness.  And binocular vision has already enhanced my life.
And there will probably be continued improvement and there are always corrective lenses.  I haven't worn glasses in a decade, but I could live with that.

Happy eighty-second birthday to me.  U.S. Route 82 marker

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Quick Trip

A drive to Mt. Vernon, IL, a funeral and visiting with relatives.
A night's sleep, a drive home through rain, rain, rain.
Elapsed time: 32 hours, 15 minutes.Condition: Exhausted.

Frame of mind:  Thanks be to God for travel mercies and safe arrival home.

Run Through a Troop, Leap over a Wall

28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
29 For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.
30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
32 For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God?
33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.  2 Samuel 22:29-33, also Psalm 18:27-32 (KJV)

The maze of roads we must travel in this life is blocked by many walls and some of them are guarded by the minions of evil.  In our human frailty it would be impossible to thwart the guards or surmount the barriers of the walls. 

Praise be to God we need not be in this journey alone!  Who is God, save the Lord? Who is our rock, save our God?

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Philippians 4:13

"God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sparrow Revisited

I was reading this verse I wrote two years ago and enjoyed it such that I think not that it is prideful to reprint it today.  Hope you like it, too.

The sparrow stands upon the fence, 
his fight for survival is intense.
Think not that he merely flits around
filling the air with lovely sound.

This bird's every sense is heightened
By each nearby movement he is frightened.
That cat, yon hawk, the monster with machine in hand
Could any one bring his life to end.

Poor bird.  And he must find insect or seed
He is required to fulfill every need.
And that not of himself alone
Nestlings await him there at home

With open mouth and unseemly squawk.
Oh, thinks he, could I only talk
I'd lecture the Maker of this universe.
No, wait, I would doubtless make it worse.

Oh, look! A cricket there!
Snatch it now, say a prayer.
"For what we are about to receive
Make us truly grateful."

 With this little update free of charge: 

Little Sparrow in the yard
I know that your life is hard
In spite of wings on which you soar.
You must always find one bug more
Or seed lying in the grass.

Two years ago did I watch
Your parents in that same swatch
Struggle to feed you as you now tend 
Fledglings there in yonder hedge?
I think so; life rushes on.