Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fascinating Reading #T

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

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

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

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

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invited the man to come dine with him, blatantly lying in saying that an angel had given him a word from the Lord which superseded the direction the man of God had received from God.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

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

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

Doubt God and disaster will follow.

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

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lies, damn lies, and statistics,

 to borrow from Mark Twain.

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

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

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

How carefully do you read the stuff you read?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Four

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

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Three

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

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

Here you may read the story in its entirety.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can take the heat,

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

--Bob Warr


Saturday, July 22, 2017

New Toy

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Two

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

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

Read "Burrell's War" here.

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

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

Read about the Pink Elephant here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dad's Strawberry Roan #T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business life  (to be continued)

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

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

County Fair Time, 2017

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

 This little piggy wears her heart on her shoulder.

 The merchants displayed their wares.

The kids submitted their projects for judging.

And a good time was had by many.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --One

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

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

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

Full story here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Four-letter Words: Y and Zed

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


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

Please, take a breath.

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

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


For the ultimate four-letter word I have chosen


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

zest (n.) relish, gusto, piquancy.

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

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

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



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Second Time Around

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Interpretation of Scripture

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

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

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

God is faithful

 Image:  Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama

Friday, July 7, 2017

Four-letter Words: W and X

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Conversation with Random People --20

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

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

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

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

"I think I could say the same."

"My wife was killed in a boating accident."

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

83 and Fuzzy

    Image result for highway 83

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

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


Tuesday, July 4, 2017