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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

When We Tolerate Hate (Tell His Story)



 The thugs with torches soon will come
for the despised Jew.
Next they'll take the Muslim,
and then they'll turn on you,
for we thought we should tolerate 
the thought with which we disagree,
even that embracing hate,
ignoring history 
that should have taught us discernment 
had we the wit to hear
without this misplaced sentiment
that long has been held dear,
the notion that beneath the skin
evil men are yet our kin.

Sylvia knows evil first-hand. She was abandoned to die with a broken leg and a dead puppy in her womb in a July Texas field.

  In the absence of music (Blogger won't let me link a video on my phone), here are a couple of things pictures of Sylvia, my blog's public face, on an ice-cream run.




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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Gimli's Lament


Yes, I am an imposing person.

Not, unfortunately, Dwayne-Johnson-imposing.

With a height of 68 inches and a shoulder span of 28 inches, I look a lot more like Gimli

Athletics always were my thing,
a kind of comforting home port,
and I had a lot to bring
to most every contact sport
with its grunting and its sweat,
anxious doctor standing by,
but I say in truth I've yet
to see dudes messed up to die.
We all did this for its sake
'cause dames did not stand by to see
faces mashed, hear femurs break;
at the beach they'd rather be,
but when you're wide as you are tall
you just don't do beach volleyball.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is LIMIT.

Not feeling too well this morning, do may I offer a haiku?

Limitless skies of desert winter
surrender to warm haze
of spring.

Sylvia's short and wide too. She doesn't mind.



Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Taxing Times (Tell His Story)


 Render unto Caesar 
that which belongs to him
even when your empty freezer 
is looking pretty grim,
even when you don't agree
with your taxes' ute'lization,
'cause you've a mansion they can't see
as your final destination.
So simmer down effrontery,
go ahead and dial it back
even if the country 
is down the wrongest track,
and lift your heart and soul and eyes 
to His love, the greatest prize.




Music from the Bellamy Brothers, with Jesus Is Coming

Sylvia thinks all tax revenue should be spent on ice cream.

For her.

But she'll share.

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Tears Of Captain America



I'm on oxygen now

So, it seems is my poor, belaboured country, the last Gulliver, set upon by Lilliputians.

If everything is possible
then nothing can be true,
then Styx is therefore crossable
for liberty is through.
If every fancy truly matters
and virtue is just taste,
then our Constitution's tatters,
and it was all a foolish waste,
the courage and the discipline
attending that which we held dear,
so pass the nitroglycerin
and run it into Lincoln's ear
to get behind each Rushmore face
and blow the thing to outer space.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is COMPLICATE. I'll keep it simple.

Republicans and Democrats
and Independents too
are haughty proud elitist cats,
nothing like me and you.
Term limits might have done the trick
way back in the day,
but those in power now will pick
a Xeroxed protegé.
The Founding Fathers roll their eyes,
and pour another gin,
for it is no surprise,
the trap that we are in,
accepting betters' simple tales
gifting us with complicated fails.

Five minutes, just. The last couplet was hard.

Music from Aaron Lewis, with Am I The Only One?

Sylvia is there, too. In almost any other country, she, an ailing Pit Bull, would have been left to die.

Not here.



Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Easter Hangover (Tell His Story)



Sorry this is a day late. Had some technical difficulties, and now need to be on oxygen much of the time.

 Easter Day has come and gone
and Jesus Christ is risen,
so why'd you think you still belong
in the same old prison?
He didn't suffer for your right
to a hurts-so-darn-good wallow,
which would make Good Friday night
a little hard to swallow,
so please don't ask JC to fix
that which He made new.
Old dogs, they can learn new tricks,
and Bubba, so can you,
so ditch the teary altar call
'cause you already have it all.

Come join the linkup with a favourite post, and say hullo to your neighbour!

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Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Sasquatch Beautification Project





The other day Barb was combing her hair in preparation for church, and I said, "Oh, it's the Sasquatch Beautification Project, eh?"

So I had to write the poem below as penance.

It's better than a full-body cast.

I have come to the conclusion
that eyes are privileged to see;
Barb must be optic delusion,
none can be lovely as she.
I thought that she was pretty hot
on the morning that we met,
a feeling that I'll truly not
be able ever to forget,
but now I am forced to say
that the years exert a cost
on all others every day;
compared to Barb their cause is lost,
and their envy makes them green
beside cutest Sasquatch I have seen.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ALREADY.

So have your dried your hair already?
C'mon, c'mon, you gotta go!
Just stand right there, still and steady,
and I will let the dryer blow,
but hey, there's lots of sparks a-flyin'
and the thing seems really dead,
but I know your hair needs drying,
and I have just the thing instead!
I'll just fetch my tanks and torch
and my trusty heating tip.
They're right out there on the porch,
I'll get them in and then let rip
and start you out upon your day
with hair that's dried the redneck way.

Three minutes thirty, and you're telling me you've NEVER done this?

Music from The Charlie Daniels Band, with The Legend Of Wooley Swamp

Sylvia is glad I didn't need a body cast. Bites don't heal well beneath plaster.


 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Joy Of Sects (Tell His Story)



 There's Baptists and there's Nazarenes,
and Holy Rollers too.
There's Jesuits (the Lord's Marines!);
which one of them are you?
Are you feller bilong Pope
(that's Nugini Pidgin)?
Just where do you place your hope
in this Café of Religion?
I know, I know, our hope's in God,
and not in man-made scaffolding,
but we're human, and we're flawed,
and need a set of rules to bring
us to that mighty Throne of Grace
with courage left to see His Face.


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Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Burden Of Forgiveness


 It's the hardest thing I've had to do,
the least appealing job to face,
to gird myself and stand next to
who wronged me and offer them grace
through forgiving in Your presence,
through a willingness to love,
not because that is my essence,
but I must choose to rise above
the hates that were all I could see,
that choking fetid dumpster fire,
for something that's transcended me,
for the dousing of the pyre
that its hot smoke may not affright
the purity of Heaven's light.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is BLAME.

I blame those whom I must forgive,
and hold them to a strict account
for making life harder to live,
for I'm called to the full amount
of seeing sin inside of me,
and knowing that I am no better
than those whose faults I clearly see,
whose brotherhood becomes a fetter
to make be stand up by their side
in the palace of the King.
I really would prefer to hide
and let God do His thing,
but I have to be prepared
for a judgement that is shared.

Four minutes and YUCK! I hated to write that.

Music from the Traveling Wilburys, with Handle With Care

Sylvia's forgiveness requires ice cream.




Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Don't Be Yourself (Tell His Story)



I once set out to find myself, but I wasn't there.

Good thing, too.

Don't let yourself define you
(I can hardly make this clearer!).
You have just got to see through
that image in the mirror,
for it's a most worldly thing,
a creature of a grasping greed,
obsessed with status and with bling,
and bowing to the septic need
to stand apart from God the Maker,
a clay idol on its own
for whom time will be undertaker
before the beast is fully grown,
so look on through the looking glass
to the place where saints and angels pass.

Music from The Killers, with Human

They're maybe the most British band that isn't British.

Sylvia doesn't need to know herself as long as there's ice cream.





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Thursday, March 14, 2024

Do You Want To Be Healed?


 


Do you want to be healed? asked Jesus.

That of course begs the question, Why do you want to be healed?

For most people it's probably a no-brainer. They want to pick up the threads of a ruined life, kinda like Job.

But I'll wager that many don't really think past the miracle, to exactly what they're going to do with that outpouring of grace.

It's kind of like the lottery. A lot of winners wind up broke after a year, because they really had no idea what they were going to do with that windfall, and on-the-job training doesn't seem to work too well.

So if you're asking for a miracle, when all seems lost, and hope has gone...are you ready to receive it?

I don't think God keeps a scorecard, dispensing or withholding the miraculous on the basis of preparedness, so, no, being ready isn't going to help you get what you want.

It'll just make what comes after so much more worthwhile!

So throw your heart and your dreams down the years. Throw them in courage and faith, and maybe, just maybe God will hand them back to you on the other side of Grace.

And if that's not His will, you'll have journeyed in hope.

Is it a miracle you need,
the hand of God for which you wait?
If so, you must plant the seed
for that unknown harvest date.
Don't just sit with arms upraised,
tears on cheeks and mind in neutral.
Sure, the Good Lord should be praised,
but you will find your praise is futile
if you do not have a plan
that projects your heart on ahead.
Don't despair, just understand
that it's not just for lament Christ bled,
but also for the stalwart few,
who, being healed, knew what to do.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is HURRY. I'll be quick.

Hurry up, fulfill your dream,
and then move on to another
so it will always just seem
that you're outdoing your brother,
for this life's a competition
of cool virtues and hot sins,
and culmination of the vision
is he who dies with most toys wins.
Toss a buck for the collection,
let people think that it's a ten,
for on serious reflection
you'll find now has come to then
and you'll find on fun you've spent
every last benighted cent.

I have no idea where I was going with that, but hey, it's under four minutes.

Music from Glen Campbell, with Rhinestone Cowboy

Sylvia regards ice cream as miraculous enough.



Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Pistol Packin' Jesus (Tell His Story)



 

From Luke's Gospel, chapter 22...

36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

The Bible has a lot of sections that are puzzling (read Revelation lately?), but hearing Mr. Turn The Other Cheek suggest that it's time to buy a sword is in a class by itself.

There's any amount of commentary.

Some think it's heavy irony.

Some say that Jesus, knowing he was reckoned among transgressors, wanted to seal the deal by having the Apostles dress up as terrorists. (Presumably, two swords would be enough proof to convict Him.)

Many call this passage figurative, with swords as symbolic of the strength they'd need to endure the coming trials (remember, this scene takes place at the Last Supper).

There are problems with each of these interpretations.

Previously, Jesus had sent the Apostles out in pairs, with only the clothes they wore. But now, with His death imminent, He's telling them to take precautions. The purse bit is there, and it doesn't sound like irony.

As for lending credence to His criminal reputation, He wasn't arrested for leading an armed revolt. So was that suggestion an Oops on His part?

As for a figurative interpretation, this device was usually used in parables, and not in this kind of context.

But hold on...what about Turn The Other Cheek?

There are those who think He meant, turn the other cheek when struck, take one more blow, and then punch out your opponent.

Though it's tempting, and seems to go with doing two miles with someone when one has been demanded (two miles, not twenty), it doesn't seem consistent with His other teachings.

And cutting back across the aisle, He didn't tell the centurion whose servant He healed (and whose faith He highly braised) to find a job with Oxfam...as He advised the rich young man to do.

And then again,.He knew Peter had a sword at the Garden of Gethsemane (I mean, He's GOD, yeah?). He didn't tell Pete to leave it at home. He just said that it was not...or no longer...the time.

So I'm left puzzled.

What about you?

Just what kind of sidearm
do you think Jesus would carry?
A 44 to cause alarm,
homage to Dirty Harry?
He said go ye and sell a cloak
if you have got two
and buy a sword...was this a joke,
or was He quoted true?
It's really hard to reconcile
with Turn The Other Cheek,
but He didn't call for change in style
from the centurion who'd seek
his servant's healing and relief
based solely on his own belief.

Here's Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, with Pistol Packin' Mama

Sylvia doesn't need a gun. Her teeth do the job. Besides...no opposable thumbs!





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Thursday, March 7, 2024

The Reality


 Why did they not want me, God?
Was it something that I did?
Or was it that I may be flawed,
and that they would be rid
of the love I held within,
all that I had to give?
Was, for them, my heart a sin?
Why'd they not let me live?
And God held me much closer still,
and said He didn't know,
that it had been part of His will
that I'd be born and grow
and learn to laugh and learn to play...
and then He had to turn away.

Let this be an engraving
upon your Christian heart,
dedication to the saving
of those who stand apart
and weeping watch the great parade
of life go passing by.
For them the party is charade
for they are marked to die.
They are merely in the way,
an inconvenience,
but you can do much more than pray
with the best intents,
so rise and carry home the fight,
and roll back their coming night.

Under three minutes.

It was Barb writing the second sonnet. She didn't want to claim credit.

I can't think of any music to go with this

Neither can Sylvia.



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Do You Believe In Miracles? (Tell His Story)


 

As you light the votives,
is your faith a fraud?
Do you doubt the motives
of Almighty God?
Do you feel that miracles divine
have forever passed,
and that the Mets of '69
surely was the last?
Or will you wait, though sad and broken,
yet knowing you were not fed lies,
with your heart wounded but open
to the glory of the skies,
that the God of Three Cross Hill
may show you some wonders still?

Music from Mike And The Mechanics, with All I Need Is A Miracle

Sylvia counts ice cream as miraculous.



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Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Saddest Words Of All


 

The cancer thing is rough and horrible, and I don't want to write about it today.

Still, it does leave room for thinking, and regret.

The saddest words were ever spoken,
words that flaming hell portend
illume a grace that has been broken,
and chill the soul, 'a former friend'.
What fell road led to this place
in which we see fellowship killed?
Can we still not find a trace
of love, or has the heart been stilled?
What is it, that is worth the fight
that comes between what should be whole?
Why pick we Egyptian night,
and let it fester on the soul
when we might yet chose to forbear
insult, and still consent to care?

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SUFFER. Can you suffer through another sonnet?

Will you bow, and choose to suffer
through an insult meant to wound?
Will you let God be your buffer,
when you've wept enough, and swooned
into the arms of black despair,
into the vale that floods with tears.
Will you let Him find you there,
let Him shield you from your fears?
Let the pride go out and pass,
let surrender be your all
that you may lay the looking glass,
and with fresh eyes behold the wall
behind which for years you have hidden,
and to surmount you now are bidden.

Three minutes thirty.

Barb does say I make her climb the walls, sometimes.

Music from The Sandpipers, with Come Saturday Morning

Come bearing ice cream, and all insult is forgotten.