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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, January 30, 2024

I'm A Racist (Tell His Story)

 I'm Mongolian, and white people smell funny.

Can't tell them apart, either.

Fortunately, Barb is an Indian (don't EVER say Native American), so I can kinda pick her out at Walmart.

And my genetic world is different; someone once said, Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.

To me, that's idiotic. Life is the cycle of seasons and years, not Great Men and Great Events.

I don't understand white people. I avoid them, but I know this is wrong, and I have to do better. I have to be open to learning, and maybe the first step is to steel myself not to cross the street when I see Caucasians coming 

What about you?

Sylvia doesn't have this problem. A dog's a dog, except for Chihuahuas, who are something more than minor gods.

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Question

These have been, physically, the worst of days, and can beg the question, Why?

Am I cursed, or worse, forgotten?

Or is it something else, something whose boundaries I cannot see?

I am tempted to complain
about the turn my life has taken,
to shout at God that He explain
(after, of course, He doth awaken)
exactly what He meant by this;
was my life so really wrong?
Did I make His Bad Guy list?
Was the smell of sin so strong
that He had to hold His nose
and turn His holy head away?
Or was it, maybe, that He chose
this dread place by my side to stay,
weeping with me in the dust,
tears on His cheeks that show His trust?

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is FAR.

I feel so very far from life,
locked into these bitter days
of pain, exhaustion, endless strife
that stays and stays and stays and stays,
but somehow I was made for this,
and know that I cannot return
to a place of peace and bliss;
no, the fact is I must burn
and smell of smoke down to the bone
here in this refining fire,
choosing this place to atone
for my wallowing in mire
of sin that I with joy embraced,
a soul whose core's through flame replaced.

Man, I hate introspection. But at three minutes flat, truth is truth.

This scene from The Chosen gives me a lot of comfort.

Nonetheless, sometimes Sylvia wants to bite God.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Got Church? (Tell His Story)

Got church?

Got cliques?

Got nutcases?

Got valium?

The cliques that make it seem like junior high, the worship team that's absolutely determined to alienate the older members of the congregation, the music minister who figures church music goes downhill from Gregorian chants, and the hardcore vegan meal organiser...

...and their kids!

It's enough to make one want to be a stylite...you know, those monks who lived on top of pillars.

My pillar's taller than yours!

Yeah, well I have less room so I'm more holy!

'I get more wind here!'

Long pause.

'Yo' mamma!'

It can be seriously tough to deal with a church family...

...uh, oh, hold the phone...


That's really what it's all about. If you're really a Christian, you're a sibling of Jesus.

And all of those exasperating irritating maddening doofuses are...

...oh, NO!

Your brothers and sisters.

But hey, all that delicious sibling rivalry, it's not behind you!

You get to play it out again, with pastor and spouse as Dad and Mom!

And you can, once again, hold your face until you turn blue!

You threaten to run away from home!

You may be tempted. You may be driven to the edge of reason.

But however much you think of leaving, don't.

They're family.

And besides, you get to give someone else the reason to want to run away!

Sylvia suggests mixing peyote in with their ice cream. Down, girl!

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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Parable Of The Sower

 And now my feet are swelling,
and there is a fearsome cough.
It feels like God is telling
me, son, time to get off.
I can see His point of view;
He's after all, divine,
but leaving ain't what I will do
for it is not my time.
There are things that are worthwhile
even if it's getting rough,
and as for going out in style,
for me that is not near enough
compensation for my going
when there are seeds left for sowing.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SAY.

I think I shall choose not to go,
for I would really rather stay,
so what to do, hey, babe, I know,
let's go dancing, whaddaya say?
Let's go to the Grand Palais,
underneath the mirror ball,
'cause disco is the bestest way
to speak and understand it all,
to translate feeling into motion,
to show the style that never died,
to disabuse folks of the notion
that polyester shows no pride,
and as I strut across the floor
I am Travolta to core.

Four minutes! Ok, messed up the rhyme scheme, but in the Five Minute Friday spirit I shall let it stand.

Or dance!

My apologies to those whose comments have gone unanswered. They are appreciated, very much. It's just very hard to collect my thoughts to write.

Music from The New Radicals, with You Get What You Give

Sylvia says that if you get ice cream, you should give it to her.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

How Can I Keep From Singing? (Tell His Story)

Meet our 2024 calendar dog, Buddy Mercury, the Singing Beagle. A rescue, he taught himself to play the piano and sing along with himself.

How about you? Do you play an instrument, or sing? How does music play a part in your life?

Music certainly has a role in the Christian faith, starting with what can be taken as song in Genesis (Genesis 2:23):

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The Psalms are both song and poetry; an excellent example is Psalm 146:2.

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

And Jesus sang with His Apostles, as recorded by Matthew (Matt. 26:30).

And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.

Music's important. Participatory music is really important.

This, from Revelation 5:

 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Now over to Buddy Mercury.

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Thursday, January 11, 2024

One Word To Rule Them All

Happy 2024, everyone! I hope y'all's had a wonderful holiday, and are ready to do it to it in the coming year.

I spent the past couple of weeks sipping mai-tais on death's bright tropic shore, but am still here. Barb confided that the last time she saw my doctor he told her I was ten years past my sell-by date. He was completely baffled.

Don't know what to make of that, so I won't.

Do you do the One Word thing for the coming year? Here's mine...

is the word that I will pick
for a year that seems ferocious.
Don't know if the word will stick,
sounds quite stuck-up and precocious,
but I think it's pretty slick,
and so now it has my focus,
and there you have my party trick,
conceited and loquatious,
and though I'm dumber than a brick
my appetite's voracious
for words that make me look real fine,
not just your av'rage Frankenstein.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is PATTERN. Hokay.

There's a pattern to the fabric,
houndstooth, herringbone, and twill
on clothing stuffed up in the attic
that I don't wear, and never will
because they really make me look
like the veriest of squares,
and that thought doth leave me shook,
for you should really be awares
that I'm a hippie to the core,
headband to my sandaled feet.
Being normal's quite the bore,
so if you drop by you should greet
me with 'Namaste!' and peace sign,
and watch eyes roll in wife of mine.

Three minutes, and truth is truth.

The 'praying hands' above were printed on an old Ender 3 3D printer which I got at scrap value and rebuilt. It took awhile to get it running but it's fun. The filament is an Ender PLA+ 'rainbow'.

Music from The Youngbloods, with what I hope can become a retro anthem for this sadly divided land, Get Together

Sylvia thinks ice cream is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but she shortens it to woo-woo-WOOF!

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Problem We Wish Would Go Away (Tell His Story)

 There are some questions that just seem to defy answers, and one of them is particularly important to those of us who live in borderlands.

What do you do with the illegal alien?

Some say deport 'em all, some say make them citizens immediately, and most of us just wish the problem would go away.

But the problem has a name, a face, and a heart, and a Father in Heaven.

Some are looking for opportunity, some have evil intentions, and some are desperately fleeing an unspeakable horror.

What might the Bible have to say?

Well, in Leviticus 19:33-34 we find...

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Hmmm. That makes me a bit uncomfortable, a responsibility I don't really want.

Let's try again.

Deuteronomy 27:19 says,

Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

That doesn't help me ignore the issue, either.

Another shot at it... maybe the New Testament will be more reasonable.

Paul said, in Galatians 3:28,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And that brings us 'round to everyone having a Father, and a Saviour.

I am not comfortable with that, but I suspect God doesn't care about my comfort.

He cares about my soul, and about making me truly His heir, right alongside Jesus.

Scary stuff.

To break the serious mood, here's Genesis, with the very non-PC Illegal Alien

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Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Help Stamp Out New Year's Resolutions! (Tell His Story)

 So it's another year, a seeming fresh start, and time to make some resolutions!

Which will be broken forthwith, leaving us feeling pretty miserable about ourselves, our character, our apparent weakness of will. The resolution broken breaks part of the year. (It's hard to measure, but some say that a quarter of all new year's promises Gail in the first week, half are done by the end of January, and less than 10% make it through the year. Your milage may vary; mine is worse.

But what if...it's not us?

What if that kind of oath taking itself is the problem?

After all, didn't Jesus Himself say, in the fifth chapter (verses 34-37) of Matthew's gospel,

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

And so, a resolution, even one sworn in the privacy of the heart, is a problem.

There's history to this; the Babylonians would make promises to their gods on the new year, which, if fulfilled, would bring blessings. Likewise, the Romans sacrificed to the two-faced God Janus (one face looked ahead, the other looked back), and believed that living up to new year's promises, along with touching his sculpted faces, would bring good fortune in the year ahead.

And, yes, that's where 'January' comes from.

The pagan roots of new year's resolutions, then, may be the heart of the matter. It's a turning away from God to a muttering of incantations, a worship of the calendar, and a descent into, as Kipling put it, 'our loved Egyptian night.'

There's clearly nothing wrong with making a decision to follow a better path, but it's a decision that has to be made afresh each day. There's just nothing special about January, and a lot wrong with tying turning over a new leaf to a specific day.

Music from the late, great Dan Fogelberg, with Another Auld Lang Syne.

Sylvia doesn't do calendars.

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