Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Final Summit

I thought it was……
I am fan of Andy Andrews but I regretfully didn’t find his book “The Final Summit” the final principle or final answer to save mankind. His fable about David Ponder having a summit with past great world leaders was good
reading, however he was quite correct in that even their accumulative wisdom couldn’t come up with the solution …. Let’s be serious what kind of
solution to the salvation of mankind is ‘do something.’ There have been plenty of times when most of us, not knowing what to do, did something, then wished we had done nothing.

We’re introduced again to Gabriel the archangel who has anything but angelic characteristics [what is an angelic characteristic aside from carrying out God’s instructions] and yet character is one of the main considerations.
How many angels, on a mission from God are going to take offense because
Their station in the hierarchy of angels is not respected; or how many angels
Have the ability to take on human characteristics. If this was just a read for entertainment or pleasure I could over look these things, but obviously
Andy has an agenda, and with an agenda one must be extremely cautious
in developing characters, and making unsustainable generalizations.

After their third guess in the book I thought I had found the one principle, ‘love others.’ That seems to be the main message that Jesus brought with him, and the same message he left his disciples. It appears to me to be the height of human arrogance to think that we, in our own wisdom, can find the
solution to get civilization back on track. Perhaps sticking with a couple
principles to influence our society might be better than trying to find that
‘one’ that eclipses all others; particularly when that ‘one’ found is devoid
of the very essence that makes us different from the rest of God’s creation.

This book was free from the Thomas Nelson booksneeze.com bloggers
Review program; and no conditions were made on its review. ANDREWS, Andy. ‘The Final Summit.’ Nashville, Tenn. 2010, ISBN: 9780785231202

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day - In Remembrance

This memorial day worship we will begin with Communion. The last Monday in May was set aside as that day when the whole nation would remember those who had given of their lives in keeping us a free nation. There are many different ways in which this day will be celebrated; to those in warmer climate's it may be trip to the park or to the lake with a picnic on the grounds; others will gather for family reunions with family members coming together who haven't seen each other for a long time; yesterday my mother and I visited the family grave sites and purchased flowers for those who still didn't have any .... it will be a day of remembrance!
Communion is about remembrance - remembrance that 2,000 years ago a rough hewn rabbi from a small notorious town in the foothills of Galilee was crucified on a cross,freely giving his life so that we might have the privilege of accepting the gift of salvation - now that's something to celebrate - to remember every day - every moment. Its not coincidence that this memorial celebration was initiated at supper time, that the symbols by which we remember are in eating bread and drinking wine. Everyone has to eat and drink, what better time to remember than through this seemingly daily ordinary activity. Oh yes, this coming Memorial Sunday we will remember, we will celebrate, then we go forth to complete the covenant, to make the gift a noun rather than just a memory. I can't wait...............

Monday, May 23, 2011

Poor Harold Egbert Camping

The president of an American Christian radio station that spans more than 150 markets in the United States, control the flow of millions of dollars, was wrong again. In 1994 he had predicted the end of the world, and when we were still left he said that his math had been wrong - personally, I believe it was much more than a mathematical calculation gone astray. Despite the fact that Mr. Camping was wrong, I believe he represents far more believers than will ever admit their lives are not being lived as though tomorrow, or even today, could be their last. Oh, we make allowances somewhat for accidents, but over-all we don't really believe the world is going to end very soon. Yet the issue is not when the world is going to end, but when will my life here expire?! There is a subtle 'security' if you will in knowing when the end is upon us; then we can prepare, then we can get out house in order, then we can plan how our final goodbyes are going to take place; not knowing when the end is going to come is far less appealing, hence we ignore the whole issue, at least as much as possible. If Mr. Camping has done anything positive for us in his last failed prophecy it should be that he has reminded us how blessed and fragile every moment we live is - sadly I'm afraid the church, Christ followers, have chosen to focus on the error of his prediction, rather than the warning. Its not the date, its the intimacy of our relationship with the Creator.
Most of the comments I heard this past Sabbath were that if Jesus told his disciples that he didn't even know, then how can we.[Matt.24:36] We must remember that Jesus was also giving his followers a warning that its wasn't about time its was a relational issue. There was a laizze-faire attitude every time this verse was recalled. Let us not forget that Jesus did give them some signs to be aware of, that would point to the end of times .... and all these calamities of nature, which have certainly been compounded in the decade, could definitely point to a coming of the age when Christ returns. I've never been especially interested in prophecy, and sorely lack expertise in it for a minister of the gospel; but I can't help but recognize nature's unrest. A man who suffered in the tornado that ripped half of Joplin, Missouri from the map yesterday, commented that before the tornado his dog had alerted him to coming disaster and probably saved his life....could it not be that nature, and the animals God created are much more in touch with coming events ..
I know, now you think I'm sounding like Mr. Camping; nonetheless, regardless of what you may think, I think nature's groanings [Rom.8:19]'For creation waits in eager anticipation for the sons of God to be revealed.' v.22 We know that the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time..' nature's groaning have a design to them.
The murder mystery musical that spoofs detective stories may not be that far off when it proclaims, 'something's afoot.' Something is afoot and only the foolish in heart refuse to acknowledge it, regardless of how far into the future its pointing.
There I've said, now I can be 'officially' proclaimed a nut!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Andrews' Raiders

I read this book in just a few seconds over 2hrs. Its the story of the great train heist by a band of Union soldiers during the Civil War ........ although the attempt was unsuccessful, the early stages of its success is quite a read. I had heard about it before, but finally decided to read the story. A little less than half the twenty some men that tried to steal the Confederate engine the 'General' were finally hug, while over half of them finally made it back to the Union lines is quite a story, plus all of them were first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. When most of the Union raiders where being transferred from Chattanooga to Atlanta in boxcars, the engine on the train was the General, go figure; another strange quirk of history. As I was reading the book memories concerning it began to float back into my mind. I remembered that in the County Historical/Genealogical Library there were copies of books, and newspaper articles, about this raid .......... then I remembered that out at the County Historical Museum [in my home town] there was a whole gallery dedicated to this Raid. Books, articles, huge pictures of different phases of the raid, etc.. So on my way out of town, from visiting with mom, I stopped by the museum, and asked the director about it and she told me that the Union engineer, William Knight, who finally escaped to freedom through the Underground Railroad was a resident of a town in our county - matter of fact I have an uncle and aunt living there, and used to have more relatives in that very town. My, my, this world is getting smaller.
FEUERLICHT, Roberta Strauss. Crowell-Collier Press. New York, New York. 1963
ISBN: [I can't find one; unless this is it, though I'm suspecting it might simply
be a local library number] 31348000208245
Crowell-Collier is a subsidy of The Macmillian Company, New York.

Lost and Found

Yesterday afternoon I was about 25min. from home on a 2hr. trip back from visiting mom in Ohio when I received a phone call from my aunt that mom had lost her purse and thought she had left it in my car. First of all mom was never in my car, and second she had had her purse when we went down to grandma's house where my aunts/uncles are holding a rummage sale to sell gram's things. Gram B. is in a nursing home. To make a long story just a tad shorter, I waited in a mall shopping center, praying what to do, when my aunt called back and said my uncle had searched gram's house, my mom's car, and mom's house and they still couldn't find it..... so I told my aunt I was turning around and would be back to mom's in about an hour and half. After about a half hour I called mom's house, and my uncle answered. They had found mom's purse tucked away under the sink at Gram's house. Evidentally she had placed it there so that no one at the sale would run off with it..................and finally uncle D. found it.
Of course when I got home Mom said she had told them it was there all along, it was just pushed back into the recesses of the cabinet; and so I tried to calm her down, she was quite shook by all the commotion she had caused, and yet she did at least begin to talk about some measures that need to be taken, that she hadn't prior been willing to consider - I think it scared her, a whole lot more than she will admit. So we went over to visit Gram again, who was quite shook by the affair also.
Well every day is a new day, and I am earnestly going to try call mom every single day early in the morning as she's getting started ......... time will tell. Truthly I never thought I'd be at this stage with mom, but better she than dad; he would have really been an over-the-top challenge. God is good, and I really prayed hard, as was my aunt and uncle over God helping them find the purse - and He did!

sexy eyes peek thru.....................

How in the world did this email get through my spam filter? 'sexyeyes'peeked through and got on my regular email list - now, despite my curiosity, I'm not opening the email up ... but its leading line reads "Look up your HoopUp tonight." Yah, right I'm at the end of the church year, a ton of things to get done, my mother can't remember the last thing she did ten minutes ago, and they want me to get a HookUp - why me?ha.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Suspended Sex

I've just been informed that both teenagers having sex on the charter school bus have been suspended.

Sex on a School Bus

A Ohio mother reports that a charter school has banned her daughter from her eighth grade prom or picnic because this 14 year old girl failed to report two of her classmates having sex on a school bus and for changing her seat [I suppose they would have much rather she got out her cell phone and taken pictures]. So because this teenage girl was first of all, undoubtedly embarrassed and/or afraid of repercussions, she at least told her mom when she got home. So, I'm wondering here why the school is taking issue with this young girl than with the boy and girl who were having sex - bet they didn't want to offend the offenders - now in this day and culture that does make sense I guess. And of course, the bigger question - the elephant in the room [oops, I mean the bus] where is the chaperon at, or was there one on the bus? I'm rarely one for taking people to court, goodness we don't need another frivolous trying up of the courts, right Sherm? But on this matter, I'm all for the mom suing the pants off the school [I love the pun; maybe suing the pants off a school means taking down the lawn sign announcing who they are?], or at least threatening them enough that there is a 'PUBLIC' apology. There is an immoral message being sent to this young teenage girl by the school. I'll anxiously being looking forward to more on this case - and I hope there is either more to it, or we've been misinformed.

Its Now Okay to Forget the Hippocratic Oath!

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that there are now a group of obstetric-gynecologists who are refusing to doctor women who are overweight but otherwise healthy. This causes me to wonder if I can now refuse to let anyone worship in our church who does not have the 'right' sins, oh good people to be sure, they just don't fit our perspective of who the gospel wants to save and help!
Some of the reasons given are because their exam tables and other equipment can't handle people over a certain weight .. now come on, could we at least make an attempt to be credible, although I think in light of the Hippocratic oath this whole issue is being very unethical. So, we have now come to point 'equipment determines who or who doesn't not get medical attention' and we thought Obamacare was so terrible. Another reason was that they were trying to avoid obese patients because they have a higher risk of complications: something going wrong, more risk of getting sued ... everything is more complicated with an obese patient. Now according to this, I'm really frightened because medical attention might be based on not the chances of my survival but the chances a doctor might be sued .... and if his chances of being sued are great, the possibility of my being doctored decreases.
One ob-gyn official said that ultrasound machines aren't as clear with obese women, and make it harder to treat them ... yah, so??? HOwever I'm really puzzled by a statement from the American Medical Association in their evaluation of this situation, 'Physicians can decline service to whomever they choose for any reason - including personality conflicts - as long as it's not discriminatory, i.e. race, gender, sexual orientation or infectious diseases........... my mother didn't birth a genius, but neither did she raise an idiot [contrary to public opinion], some legal beagle somewhere is going to figure out half of those reasons you can't refuse medical treatment were just met by refusing to care for obese women [my guessing is that women do not fit any longer into the category of gender or sexual orientation]. Evidentally the Hippocratic oath is being interpreted as the Hypocratic oath??!

Felt kinda' sorry for......

The room was all prepared for area pastors to come to the annual volunteer chaplaincy program. There were all sorts of cold drinks, orange juice and coffee. Some delicious cherry turnovers and a huge bowl of fruit; the speakers were all confirmed and the hospital chaplain was cheerfully prepared to greet each one - there were all most a dozen volunteers who said they would be there ......... but as the minutes passed by there were only two of us from the community. Evidently it was not a good time for the conference, and so a half hour into waiting the two of us were regretfully dismissed by the chaplain, as his assistant was making calls of cancellation to the scheduled speakers - maybe in the fall. I'm not throwing stones at my fellow brothers/sisters, in ministry, there are always last minute interruptions; and had the chaplain not personally phoned me last Friday, I would have forgotten it also. I guess its just that I know the disappointment when you've gone to a lot of time and energy to plan something and hardly anyone shows up .... but he put on his clergy face and was a good sport about it - maybe in the early fall sometime?!
I think another concern of mine is how this will appear to the hospital staff that was going to be involved in it; I'm sure that each speaker had spent time in preparing for their individual 15 minute presentations - though the sessions appear brief the information they share is vital to effective hospital chaplaincy and relations...well perhaps grace will prevail. Oh, I did get my annual TB shot, and in my paranoia looked away, now I'm glad the lady didn't give it to me after she finds out the conference was going to be cancelled, after the scheduled starting time ... I'm always a little scared of people that either give shots or cook my food if they've just discovered some negative news.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Once Upon A Town

Last Tuesday night I was searching for something to read in the historical fiction genre at the Library. I wasn't having much luck and was about to go home empty handed when my eyes feel upon an interesting title, 'Once Upon A Town' by Bob Greene. Now Greene is an interesting author who sometimes ventures out into the oft forgotten; and in this book he does.
Greene takes us to a little known town, and even lesser known historical incident. NOrth Platte, Nebraska. At the beginning of America's involvement in the WWII there was the constant transfer of men in training and assignment moving from one coast to another by rail. This got my attention because of my mother's family history of working on the railroad, and the fact that all these military trains ran through the little known town of North Platte, and would stop there for about 10/20minutes to take on water for the steam engine.
One day the townspeople heard that a military train was coming through with boys from Nebraska going to their assigned places, and the woman thought it would be nice to make up little baskets with apples, chocolates, etc. to give each boy. Well, the train wasn't filled with soldier boys from Nebraska - they were from Kansas - but the ladies passed out the baskets anyway; figuring this was their way to contribute to the war .............. and from that the idea was birthed to meet every military train and make available to every soldier boy a canteen of goodies and home cooked foods. The depot was renamed the North Platte Canteen; and while the train was taking on water the soldier boys flooded the canteen, all the food was free, there was even a piano where some of the boys played and danced with the local girls there helping out - even some marriages later came about because of this enterprise. I don't want to tell you too much because then you won't read the book..... but for five years, regardless of the weather, and every day those five years, no holidays missed, over 6 million soldier boys visited that canteen. This is an incredible story that will probably never be repeated in the history of our great country ... and Greene gets in contact with many of the survivors from both the town and soldier boys, especially touching are the memories of soldiers who had that experience! If the author hadn't written this book it would have been a piece of Americana that shows how people come together, how they sacrifice; one soldier said that they were aware many of those who gave to them were sacrificing their own food rations for them. Its an incredible story which reaffirms the goodness of our country that often gets overlooked because of political and cultural greed. ENJOY
GREENE,Bob. Once Upon A Town: The Miracle of North Platte Canteen. 2002, HarperCollins Publisher, New York, New York. ISBN: 0060081961

Wicked Divas

This past friday night the 'good wife' and I went with some good friends to the symphony. Every year for Christmas our oldest daughter and son in law buy us tickets to the symphony and opera; last year we watch a ballet, which was fantastic, and this year we went to the presentation of 'Wicked Divas'. This was a night of specials from women who were major figures in stories; and Julia Murney & Jennifer Laura Thompson, singers from the New York presentation of 'WICKED' were there to sing most of the songs ... and they were absolutely wonderful. Song selections came from 'Gypsy; Carmen; Chicago; My Fair Lady; Ragtime; The Phatom of the Opera [my favorite]; Conga;
Symphonic Sounds of Diana Ross; Titanic; Spamalot; Wizard of Oz; and of course a number of songs from Wicked. Their closing number was just wonderful, and they received such an ovation that they did another special from Wicked. It was truly a really wonderful time. Before that we had eaten at an Italian restaurant called Tre Cuzini. I had linguini with mussels, small neck clams and shrimp - it was everything the word delicious means!

Monday, May 9, 2011


I hadn't checked my spam file for a couple days so there were 134 messages awaiting for me to open them ..... one of the file titles that got my attention was 'WE'RE OVERSTOCKED!' - now that insinuates a pretty good deal .. and true to its title if was offering Amazon Kindle3's for only $8.76. So I thought what a hit dad [and/or grandpa]could be this Christmas if I gave all the kids/grandkids a Kindle3 for Christmas?! ..but alas, keeping true to my disciplined nature [ha! ha!] I didn't open any of the 134, and simply clicked the delete button, and watched as my opportunity to be a great person went off the screen. Maybe tomorrow there will be spam I just can't refuse ........... like Amazon Kindle3 for .88 each???

attachment to Family Treasures

Well, I finally finished cataloging all the Funeral Book of my great, great grandma! There were 27 obituaries of family members close to her; there was also the upcoming newspaper announcement of a granddaughters wedding - and then a newspaper account of that wedding ... in a funeral book, go figure. There was also the announcement of a birth, I haven't figured out the genealogical lines of this? As I commented in the earlier article, this book is incredible .. there is a listing of everyone who was present at the funeral, a complete listing of everyone that gave flowers. Now the neat thing about all these lists, is that except for a couple of pages where people signed their names, these lists are in the same beautiful handwriting, for example: the list of those coming to visitation is in their own handwriting, but the list of those at the funeral, which is a lot longer - completely opposite how things happen today, is in the same handwriting. Perhaps this means that there was someone making the list as people appeared?! There are some pictures of a favorite grandson in his military uniform, the ship he was on, and a handwritten post card by him back to my great grandma who inherited the book. There are some other handwritten notes, most of them barely legible anymore. I'm further convinced that this book was merely passed on to my grandma, and no other notations made because there are no obits of my great grandma or great grandpa; the only thing about my great grandma was
the original railroad health insurance card she had and also her original social security card - both of which are in excellent condition. In the earlier article I mentioned the unusual pages titled: 'MOTOR CARS DONATED', so now that I'm done cataloging the book I'd like to record the other pages here: a couple of 'poem' pages spread throughout; a MUSIC page; IN MEMORY OF page; FAMILY RECORD page; SERVICES & OFFICIATING on the same page; SERMON NOTES, which is blank; a page with the BEARERS, the casket bears names and towns where they lived!; FINAL RESTING PLACE page, including date,hour and year; REALTIVES attending, this page is full; FRIENDS WHO CALLED, these are five pages where people signed; FLOWERS, six pages filled with names; then the MOTOR CAR pages; then NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS pages; concluding with pages of poems.

I am really impressed with what a big, communal event a funeral was; and in many ways I am saddened by the demise of experience. Hardly anyone likes to view a dead body, but there are so many psychological, communal and family benefits to a funeral.
I've also noted that fewer and fewer people will drive their cars to the side of the road as a funeral passes by - I think this says a lot about the demise of our social culture. I try to go to the side of the road, to turn my lights on, when a funeral passes by, if I can't I at least turn my lights on to acknowledge the passing.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

'Old Fashioned Hymn Sing!'

Last night, Saturday, myself and a couple of people from our church family went to the First United Methodist Church for an 'old fashioned hymn' sing. It was sorta fun as the leader would ask a question, such as 'whose the oldest one here?' 'who drove the furthest to get here' 'who has the most family pictures in their wallet' etc. etc., then that individual would pick out one of their favorite hymns.
There was a high school teen there from our church family and her favorite hymn was 'Amazing Grace,' and she was hoping that someone would ask for it to be sung. I was wishing the woman would ask who was the youngest, then she could have requested her favorite hymn, but that ended up not being necessary - and we sang her hymn.
Thinking about Jessie and her favorite hymn, I was reminded, old hymn's don't die because of time changes, because of contemporary musical styles, old hymn's live on and on, even into the hearts of the youngest of every generation because of the message that they bring ...
~amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
~once was lost, but now found
~how precious did that grace appear
~tis grace has brought me save thus far, grace will lead me home
one can't help but realize that the author of thiss eternal hymn of praise [John Newton]had experienced that grace he wrote about first hand. Two quick thoughts come to mind, first we're not teaching our kids about the scriptural truths in these hymns, and consequently we ourselves are losing the joy, the grace and the help that
comes from sharing them. It doesn't matter how updated the music is or isn't the words are a symphony themselves - and this sounds resonates so powerfully when it is sung a capella!!
ENJOY this Sabbath.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family glasses, etc.

The garage sale that my aunts and uncles were preparing for, alluded to in my previous article,happened while my 'good wife' was home visiting mom. They invited her to see if there was anything she would like to purchase before the public sale. She purchased a circular coffee table, some luggage and ALL the things in grandma's china hutch. When I talked with grandma about it this Thursday afternoon she informed me that all the glassware, which was quite a bit, all came from my great grandma - the same one that owned the Funeral Book I talked about.
I have no idea what the 'good wife's' plans for these things are, although I think there is going to be a Memorial sale, and many of them may find temporary lodging there; but whatever, its kinda neat to have them for a spell. While transporting them home [which is a two hour drive one way], I drove extra careful .... and am so proud of myself, not one crack in all that fragile stuff!

A Priceless Family Treasure

My grandma [Mom's mom], 97 and of sharp mind, and living in a nursing home in my hometown, directed her kids to sell her household stuff. Some family artifacts that she had she specifically directed to family members; knowing how much I love family genealogy, and about the only family member that is always asking her to share about the past she directed that her mom's funeral book about her grandma be given to me. That would be the funeral book of my great, great grandma, on my grandma's maternal side.
I didn't even know it 'existed,' and when my mother gave it to me Wednesday when I got home - I almost cried ...........I couldn't believe none of my aunts or uncles wanted the book! It is a family treasure trove!! I'm about half way through carefully cataloging the numerous newspaper, personal and funeral card attachments in it. The attachments in the book are held there with straight pins - not staples, that's how old this book is.
It's a tedious labor of love because some of the articles have notes written beside them in the funeral book, so I must be very careful to mention them; and some I've had to look up on family charts, and still don't know where they belong on the family tree. There are many in the family who are somewhat familiar with grandpa's side of the family, but this is grandma's side. This book, thus far, appears to be the funeral book kept by my great grandma, for all the notes are by her; matter of fact I'm beginning to speculate that maybe my great grandma did most, if not all of it, and my grandma just got the book passed on to her. Thus far I've counted almost 30 pins holding article's in the book.
This book is from the first Funeral Home in my hometown; it precedes the two that are there now, and even they are now under one owner. The cover title is 'Cherished Memories.' I came across two interesting page titles that I've never seen before, if any of you have, I'd love to hear about it .... the title to those pages is 'MOTOR CARS OUR FRIENDS DONATED,' is that not unusual or what?! Well, back to my adventure - I may have something further to report later.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Dead Beat:: Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries

Early in the book the author refers to 'obituaries' as gardens of emotion. They are meant to help grieving people begin to heal and even laugh. They are meant to bring fellowship and bonding through a mutual friend/family member from in the past. Obituaries are those strange vessels through which we are reminded of our fragile existence, and that none of us escape death, so what memories are we creating through our living for those who will read our obituaries.
I truly did enjoy this book, although a lot of it was dull, but then there have to limits to how exciting obituaries can be, even if reading them becomes a have-too. I was not aware that there is a whole sub-culture out there that indulges in obituaries far past just reading them. There are people who save them, and make scrap books out there; there is serious newspaper competition. The author talks about when the N.Y.Times created its 'Portraits of Grief' following 9/11. Of course there were those who criticized it, but by far and large it had a positive impact as it focused on the daily lifestyles of those who had lost their lives. It also helped to create a sense that the 'ordinary' person can have a huge impact on one's community without being in the spotlight, and thousands congratulated the Gray Lady for her sensitivity to these subjects, and for taking the time to care and print.
Overall this book was a great read, and I am glad that I read the book. It has given me a whole new perspective, not only about reading obituaries - which often have hidden 'obit codes' that are fun to discover, but also about being more observant and letting people know how I appreciate their lives before they become an obit.
JOHNSON, Marilyn, New York, N.Y. Harper Collins, PUb., 2006
ISBN: 9780060758752
[I really need an editing and proof reading department for this blog spot!!]

While we're on the subject of death, I recently came across an article on the internet: 'Will Osama bin Laden's death save Barrack Obama's presidency.' I have no answer or political opinion about that; but I do know that Osama's death has certainly raised a lot of controversy - and a lot of it I suppose is very much needed. For the Christian community definitely needs to tread lightly upon this issue, and realize that it is an opportunity to 'reach out' rather than 'rejoice.' Monday I briefly mentioned Osama's death in this blogsphere, and receive an excellent comment from Sherm. Sherm then referred to me an excellent blog about this subject, if you have the time you need to follow up on that blog - it was excellent.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Day! May Day!

The NY Daily News reminded us that both Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden, two of the worlds most sought after evil men share an anniversary - this on could down in the 'Dead Beat' book I mentioned - they were both declared dead on May 1st. A day that is
in some cultures highlighted as the beginning of summer, it is certainly becoming a day of judgment for so evil doers. Maybe all the Hitler and Laden' wanta be's will stay holed up on May 1st at least.

What's in a Name - today Spam.

Since I haven't surveyed my 'spam' file for a couple days before I delete it, there are nearly a hundred items there .... and a few of them are about an insurance called Cobra. Now I admit I'm really ignorant about this insurance except that I guess its insurance that people who are suddenly out of employment can take to keep up their coverage [ooh, being covered by a cobra isn't exactly a cozy feeling], although I guess its an extremely high rate - if its' got any government link's that's no surprise ... But I was just thinking why would name a health insurance COBRA .. are those who gave it its name aware of what a cobra is - one of the worlds most poisonous snakes. Maybe its a subtle signal, watch out for this insurance. One of the those spam invitations even suggested there are options; do these options have anything to do with how much venom you have to take to be fully or adequately insured ... or how long are these options effective before the full force of the venom kicks in, breaks the bank and you're left again without coverage?
Well, I've already spent too much time on this spam; but it was fun - later.

A Dead Beat

This is almost a companion article to the one I wrote earlier this morning in theme of 'death.' It is not my habit to talk about books I'm in the process of reading, I much prefer to critique them after-wards - but alas temptation has once again hooked its claws into my mind.
A week ago while perusing through the library's new books shelve I came across a most interesting title to a book, 'The Dead Beat: The Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries'
...and I'm certainly enjoying it. Let me say upfront if you find obituaries somewhat boring, you probably would ditch this book before finishing the first chapter. However I'm finding it delightful and can't wait to share it with you. Matter of fact I'm paying a lot closer attention to the obituaries in our little town paper and have thought about writing my own. Now that births [catch the pun there] many problems, how do I write my own obit without sounding prideful? what is the proper amount of humility without failing to broadcast my many virtues? will my family/friends yield to the temptation to change some of it? where can I store it so I don't forget where I placed it, yes even in computer files ... these questions rather than helping to pave the way are only tiring me out - guess I'll just wait to start tackling them for another day, if I live that long! Now that's a terrible thought because then my obit will be totaling in the hands of others????

Sipping Arabian Coffee with Virgins

Well, the news has informed us that chief 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed in a million-dollar compound only a few hundred miles from a Pakistani Military Center. I'm not really sure how I feel about this situation; true in human terms of understanding 'justice has been done,' as President Obama said. But what justice? None of the those killed in the twin towers have been brought back to life, and though there may be an emotional, even psychological relief in surviving family members, which I don't begrudge them, I earnestly pray that healing can come from it, there are still many unanswered questions. Will this strengthen al Quaida resolve to continue to sow seeds of chaos and murder? Will it be a major psychological blow that will dampen their future efforts and save lives? How do we, who proclaim to be disciples of Christ reconcile this with our message of hope to ALL people? For many of my Christian brothers/sisters this is a no brainer, but to me it remains an open question. On a lighter note, and somewhat sacrilegious, I am wondering if Mr. Laden is now sipping Arabian coffee with virgins in that netherland the Islamic faith believes exists after death ... my fear for him is where he now is, there is no coffee of any nationality and certainly no virgins of any manner waiting on him; matter of fact he's probably wishing he hadn't taken religious zeal quite so seriously, stayed in his father's house .. and maybe considered the message of the missionary's they had so fervently vanished from their homeland?!
We can't be certain of life here on this planet, but we can definitely be certain we
are going to die ... and therein lies the issue of our taste for drink and companionship!
Have a great day.