Speaking the Truth in Love

 Ah, civility, where have you gone?  You were one of the trademarks integral to a fruitful society.  You respected your elders, your peers and you wanted to establish an example for those coming after you.  You always saw beyond the nose of your self, including your sense of self-rightness.

You had a sense of restraint that in no way diminished your convictions; in truth, those same core principles were augmented by a deportment and disposition that afforded respect to others, even those with whom you disagreed, however fundamentally.

Harbingers of Holiness

    The little lady likes a prize from the machines at the market.  She got a miniature Denver Broncos hat on her first try that she gave to her Bronco-supporting Daddy.  He was gratified by her thoughtfulness and she was elated by his gratitude.

Pop-Pop had every right to anticipate that the next hat would feature the New England Patriots logo and colors.  Amber made her request, Pop-Pop inserted the requisite quarters, and out popped a hat – It was the New York Giants!  Uuggh!

A House Divided

King William IV of England wrote this memorandum concerning the prospect of national prosperity to his newly-installed government in November 1830:

In order to attain this desirable end, the King deems it very essential that endeavours should be made to prevail upon the Members of the Two Great and Influential Parties in the Country to lay aside the feelings which have so long produced a Spirit of Political Hostility between them … and to unite in the Service of the State those of both Parties whose general character, abilities, experience and Patriotism would offer to the Country the happy prospect of a Government founded upon a secure and permanent Basis.”

Lucy Lacey, RIP

 Her black eyes bore a rich crystal-like lucidity.  She would bathe in the sun with sensuous abandon for hours, with fur engulfed and aglow with its rays.  And, ever sensitive to spiritual presence, the lady would fervently purr on my lap while we prayed.

You will have noticed my accentuation of adjectival and adverbial usage in reference to Lucy, my lovely little feline, an accentuation applied if for no other reason than the fact that I gladly served as steward of her welfare as God gave her breath. 

Aesop Should Have Taken a Horse and Buggy Ride!

  We took the lovely little kiddo on a horse-and-buggy ride.  She was enchanted and her grand-mother and I were also charmed.  Amber’s pleasure was foremost in mind but, finding myself challenged and feeling pedantic, I extracted a point of principle.

Our driver was a fine young man, just up from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia where he worked with Clydesdale horses.  He was personable, engaging and quite honest concerning what he did not yet know. 

We were quite satisfied, though I struggled on one very important count:  I knew a great deal more than did our affable host and very much wanted to share what I knew.  To speak or not to speak became the pressing dilemma of my existential conundrum. 

The Best and Worst of Times

   The Best and Worst of Times 

Charles Dickens wrote of the advance of the French Revolution that it was both the best of times and the worst of times.  It was a time of anticipation, borne along by hope, but it was also a period during which the oppression of poverty and despair abounded.

Christmas affords a similar duality of sentiment, though more a spiritual than a social one.  We are presented with two seemingly alternate expressions of Christmas, the one ostensibly at fundamental odds with the other.

Ten Years Have Passed

September is a sensitive month.  Summer enters decline, children return to school and (for some) ragweed provokes allergic responses.

It began catastrophically and insidiously in 1939, when the Nazis stormed Poland, thereby consigning the world to the 2nd World War.  W.H. Auden wrote:

“I sit in one of the dives/On Fifty-Second Street/Uncertain and afraid/As the clever hopes expire /Of a low dishonest decade:/Waves of anger and fear/Circulate over the bright/And darkened lands of the earth,/Obsessing our private lives;/The unmentionable odour of death/Offends the September night.”

Women in Ministry: Bold or Brazen?

   They carry and nurture our children.  They both beguile and infuriate.  They have stood behind successful men.  They both break hearts and build homes.  They soothe, cook, clean, plan and instruct.  And they put up with men.

One woman was forever memorialized for having a face that “launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Illium!”  The poet was enthralled:  “Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!”  (Truthfully, I think she would have been high maintenance!)

The resurrected Jesus entrusted to women the consummate task of relating to His disciples the blessed fact of His resurrection.  NT scholar and Bishop N.T. Wright remarks here that “This is of incalculable significance.” 



My guy Leo likes to perch himself atop high places, especially the china cabinets in our dining room.  He parades himself as king of the room, proudly preening before the assembled guests.  I don’t really think he would or could hurt a fly.

Let’s hope that, if I was attacked, he would come to my defense!  It is a vicious world, one in which you may find yourself on the receiving end of all manner of attack, whether physical assault, slander or litigation.

Death Be Not Proud

   It leaves utter devastation in its wake.  It has no mercy or discretion.  It is not discriminate.  It comes to rob, steal and plunder, though we have all been duly warned.
Death embraces everyone.  It is the destiny of us all.

It seizes entire generations of youth, like it did during the four years known as the 1st World War.  It grabs huge swaths of populations, like it did during the epic of the Spanish Influenza or the Black Death.  Its day-job is to pick us off one-at-a-time.

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