"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Stop the Turkey!"


Around Thanksgiving I was walking down the street minding my own business when I heard a noise behind me. People around me were looking behind me with strange expressions on their faces. I turned to see what was going on. I saw a man rapidly approaching, running in fact, with a huge ax yelling what sounded like, "Stop the turkey! Stop the turkey!" As the man got nearer, it became obvious that he was actually yelling, "Chop the turkey!" not "Stop the turkey!"

When the man got alongside me he began to swing his huge ax wildly at ME, all the while yelling, "Chop the turkey!" I began to bob and weave, duck and dive, to avoid the razor sharp double blade ax as the lunatic tried to chop ME.

By the time bystanders got the police and they were able to taser the man into submission, I looked like this!


(Actually, none of this really happened. I just made up this story as a response that that inevitable question, "Did you get a haircut?" that people always ask one who has just gotten a haircut. Of course, since I had such a stupid answer for such a stupid question, no one asked. Not wanting to waste the story, I'm saving it here.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Reflections on the Election


Although I was thoroughly impressed with Barak Obama before I knew anything of his biography, it is true that similarities in our life adventures draw me even more to support him because of the broad cultural experience he brings with him and the dramatic way his life expresses the American ideal.

Obama was born in Hawaii and spent most of his youthful years there. My wife was born and raised in Hawaii and my daughter was born there. I, personally, feel more at home in Hawaii than in any other state of the union. The multi-cultural life in Hawaii is a good basis for a president who wishes to lead and represent a nation of diversity. I gotta geevum fo' da kine local boy.

Obama's father came from Kenya in East Africa. Just out of college I lived in Tanzania, Kenya's next door neighbour and at that time fellow member of the East African Community. I visited Kenya often. Barak Obama is African American in the truest sense. My two sons were born in Zimbabwe. They, too, could be called African Americans by geography of birth. Africa is in my family's blood. My daughter and older son did their secondary schooling in Kenya. The sense of identity many in Africa and other countries feel for Barak Obama opens doors for him to lead on the world stage in a unique way.

These are some of the reasons I feel a special affinity for Obama in addition to the attraction to policy positions and philosophical positions that agree with mine. This affinity will strengthen my support of him even when we disagree.

Transitional Symbol

Obama, for me, is also a transitional symbol. I welcome the change in the USA that his election represents.

I remember when the only contact I had with non-white Americans was in the cotton patch. In the fall when the cotton was ready to harvest, schools closed and we all went to work picking cotton. Blacks and whites shared the labour in the fields but not the same water bucket. We were side-by-side in the field and some conversations and superficial friendships were possible. But we went back to separate schools when the cotton was harvested and used separate bathrooms and water fountains in the towns. When the white churches held revivals in the small southern towns, they knocked on every door to invite folks. White people were invited to the revival. Black people were invited to visit the local black church. (That never quite fit into my understanding of God. When we sang "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight" I took it literally.)

I remember when my high school was integrated. A neighbouring school wouldn't allow our pep squad to attend the basketball game when we played in their gym. Our black players could come. We were all very frightened and ready to fight for our team mates. We "joked" about which of us would be hanging from the flag pole after the game. But we were seriously afraid.

I could tell more horror stories of what life was like back then. There were times when there was a double risk for those who crossed the colour barrier. One could be attacked (physically and verbally) by both white extremists and black extremists whose only point of agreement was that we must be separate.

The election of Barak Obama and the beauty of his family on the stage at his victory speech was like a fresh wind rejuvenating hope after the dark despondency brought on by his predecessor. For many of us the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the beginning of what seemed to be a never ending nightmare.

Barak Obama's election may, just MAY, be a symbol that change really is coming. Sam Cooke, you sang about it. You were not a dreamer, you were a prophet.

Barak Obama and Zimbabwe

The election of Obama brings my mind back to my adopted home of Zimbabwe (where I wish I were). Obama's election highlights one difference between the USA and Zimbabwe that plays a role in causing the USA to overcome difficulties while Zimbabwe is self-destructing. It's a simple difference in attitude and law (but one that some Americans are loosing sight of, making them more akin to Mugabe's party than the American Founding Fathers). It is the practice of inclusion rather than exclusion.

Obama's father was not a US citizen. But Barak Obama was born in the USA, and even if his mother had not been a citizen, he became a citizen by birth. A Zimbabwean friend of mine studying for his PhD in the USA had a son born here. His son is a US citizen. He is eligible to become president of the USA. The French recognized the significance of this attitude when they presented the people of the USA with the Statue of Liberty. The USA builds upon the gifts, skills and aptitudes of those whose parents chose the USA as home. And the USA is a better country for this inclusivity.

On the other hand, my sons were born in Zimbabwe and their birth certificates clearly state that they are not eligible for citizenship. Not only that, Mugabe has actively tried to drive out others who were born in Zimbabwe. Second, third and even fourth generation Zimbabweans whose ancestors came from Malawi, Moçambique, Lesotho and other countries are denied citizenship and efforts have been made to repatriate them to countries they have never known. As a result Zimbabwe is losing many who could be contributing to the betterment of the country. Many who love Zimbabwe and would sacrifice to build the nation have been forced to leave in order to survive. Many of the brightest and most skilled are now building other countries and will probably never return. The brain drain will leave the country with only the least qualified as the building blocks for recovery.

Barak Obama is a symbol of what can be accomplished when a country practices inclusivity. He could not have risen so high in Zimbabwe. I'm thankful his father chose to study in the USA rather than in Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sarah Palin a Muslim?

Steve Hayes at Notes from underground has come up with a great analogy.

"If I've seen it once, I've seen it dozens of times, people claiming that Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a Muslim. That's about as convincing as saying that Sarah Palin is a Muslim because she's the governor of Al Aska."
Unfortunately, such stupidity is contageous and too many Americans have weak or non-existant immune systems. The confusion of the little lady who was corrected by McCain in the oft replayed clip is more common than we wish to acknowledge. Who knows who will become confused and think Al Aska is an islamic state since it is bordering on Russia like all those "istans" that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Song of Obama and Other Irishmen

This is just TOO funny. If one drop of black blood makes a person African American, then a drop of Irish blood should make him Irish American. Obama meets O'Hara, O'Reilly and the rest of the clan.

Thanks to Thin Places for finding this and posting this where I could find it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

High Politics

On the way to work one day last week, I stopped at a traffic light behind a vehicle with a political bumper sticker high up on the back window. My eye drifted down to the license plate and my mind linked the letters on the license plate to the high bumper sticker. As a product of the 1960s, the humour of the juxtaposition of the two overcame me. I had a small point-and-shoot camera in my lunch bag beside me. I immediately began digging to find the camera and get the shot. Just as I got the camera out, the light changed. I was able to grab a poor shot as the vehicle pulled away.

Here is the High Politics shot of the week:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dr. Jonas' Blog has the following post:

Interesting Comparisons

A former student emailed me the following this morning. It is probably a bit of an exaggeration but is nevertheless still an interesting read.

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight....

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim. Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard Law School and you are unstable. Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience. If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian. If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife (WHILE SHE WAS FIGHTING BREAST CANCER) and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

That pretty well sums it up!

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Change" McCain Style

The story is told of a WWII POW camp commander who told the prisoners one day that they would be allowed to change their underwear for the first time in six months. The prisoners began to cheer until the commander began to point from one prisoner to another and say, "You change with you. You change with you."

That is "change" McCain style.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cry for Zimbabwe

A defeat for justice? Or a case of Solomonic wisdom? Or a triumph for violence and fear?

Read the tragic news: Cry for Zimbabwe

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quote for the Day

"There were more violent quarrels in our deeply religious home than in the home of a gangster, a burglar, or a prostitute, a fact which I used to hint gently to Granny and which did my cause no good. Granny bore the standard for God, but she was always fighting. The peace that passes understanding never dwelt with us. I, too, fought; but I fought because I felt I had to keep from being crushed, to fend off continuous attack. But Granny and Aunt Addie quarreled and fought not only with me, but with each other over minor points of religious doctrine, or over some imagined infraction of what they chose to call their moral code. Whenever I found religion in my life I found strife, the attempt of one individual or group to rule another in the name of God. The naked will to power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn."

--Richard Wright
Black Boy

Monday, June 02, 2008

Political Hardball

Political Hardball

The playoffs for the Democratic (National) League championship to decide who would play the Republican (American) League champion in the Political Baseball World Series has proven contentious.

Team Clinton batted first in the opening game and scored a run in the top of the first inning. A light mist was covering the field. As Team Obama came in to bat it began to rain and continued to do so resulting in the game being called off.

When game one was replayed, Team Clinton scored a run in the third inning and Team Obama scored one in the fourth and one in the eighth, winning the game 2-1.

Game two went to Team Clinton who scored 5 runs in the sixth inning while Team Obama scored 1 run in the fourth and 1 in the ninth. Team Clinton won 5-2.

Team Obama won the third game 9-4, scoring a run in each inning. Team Clinton scored all four of its runs in the ninth inning.

Team Obama also won game four 7-5. They scored 1 run in the first inning, 2 runs in the fifth, 2 runs in the sixth and 2 runs in the eights. Team Clinton scored all five of their runs in the ninth inning.

Team Clinton won game five by a score of 6-1. Team Obama opened the scoring with a run in the first inning but Team Clinton replied with 4 runs in the fifth and another two runs in the eighth.

Team Clinton claimed that the series was tied 3-3 since they had won the opening game 1-0. Team Obama argued that it was 3-2 in their favor since the opening game had been called before they had an opportunity to bat. The commissioners of Political Baseball ruled in favor of Team Obama leaving Team Clinton fuming.

Game six was vigorously contested by Team Clinton. Four Team Obama batters reached first base after being hit by pitched balls. Ultimately Team Clinton was victorious, winning by a score of 5-2.

Team Obama took game seven by a score of 5-3. Team Clinton failed to even the score in the top of the ninth inning, but insisted that Team Obama bat in the bottom of the ninth, even though they lead on the scoreboard. They argued that the game must be played out since in the remaining half-inning, Obama players could suffer injuries which would prevent them from achieving victory against Team McCain of the Republican League in the World Political Baseball World Series.

Team Clinton put out a press release stating that they should represent the Democratic League since they had scored more total runs than Team Obama. When informed that it was games won rather than total runs that decide the winner of a series, they replied that their superior total run scoring showed they were the stronger team. Moreover, they had made more double plays than Team Obama indicating that they were also a better defensive team. If they had been allowed a designated hitter as Team McCain was in their playoff, Team Clinton would have won game four since it was the strike-out by their pitcher that ended the game before they could win. They had been robbed of the run they scored in the aborted first game and should be allowed to apply it to their total score. They also scored more runs in big innings than Team Obama. For all these reasons, according to Team Clinton, Team Clinton should go to the Political Baseball World Series rather than Team Obama.

At last report, Team Clinton planned on fielding a team at the Political Baseball World Series, even if it meant locking Team Obama in the dressing room before the game.


(From the Sentinel-Record newspaper in Hot Springs, AR.)

Each must sacrifice according to what he is willing to give.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hillary Clinton has claimed that the situation with Michigan and Florida delegate counting in the Democratic Primary Election is like the election in Zimbabwe where votes are not counted. This is the most outrageous thing she has done yet. There is NO comparison between the two situations. I lived in Zimbabwe for 16 years and it became home for me. I suffer daily over what is happening there. Lives are being lost and a great country destroyed due to the power hunger of one man, Mugabe, and his minions. In Zimbabwe it is those who follow the rules who lose, not those who flaunt the rules.

On second thought, maybe there is a parallel. Hillary Clinton more closely resembles Robert Mugabe than Morgan Tsvangarai in her effort to attain power. Mugabe is the one who changes the rules, ignores the rules, lies, and does whatever is necessary to attain and maintain power. Just what we see Clinton doing.

Early in the election season I had high regard for Clinton and thought she would make a great president with Obama as vice president. However, her true character has been revealed in the manner she has sought the nomination. She has disqualified herself by my standards of decency, integrity and honesty.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

God's Sense of Humour

A friend, who is a missionary in Pemba, Mozambique sent this story. I don't know if it's aprocryphal, exaggerated, true, or great fiction. It is a great story in any case. 


This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me to no end. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day.

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went 'boing!' and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, 'Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,' and went on about his business. A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food.

This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, 'Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?' She replied, 'You won't believe this,' and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, 'Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it.'

She told the pastor, 'I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.'

Lesson learned: Never underestimate the Power of God and His unique sense of humor.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stupid signs

These are
TOO funny. Check out these signs at Stupid signs at dave cross online.

Where is God in the Storm?

Jim Evans makes the following observation in the column ,Where is God in the Storm? at Ethics Daily.

God is where God is always found--standing beside the weak and the broken, comforting those who have lost everything.

Somewhere a preacher is calling down the wrath of God. But God is not there. God is in devastated cities and crushed villages, binding up the wounds of hurting children.

Why is this insight so often missing in our churches and in the hearts, souls and minds of those professing to be Christians?

Thank you for posting this, Jim.


From Peace Takes Courage:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Politically Correct Church Membership

Martin Marty gives guidelines for being politically correct in church membership. This is especially good advice for politicians.


by Martin Marty

This spring a certain Christian layperson has been criticized for not exiting his local church when he disagreed with something his pastor preached.

The experts on the subject have been, as far as I can tell, media personnel who never go to church, do not know what sermons are for, and have not experienced lively congregational participation; people who value fidelity very little and church hopping and sermon shopping very highly; those who have political stakes in their judgment; and people who pay no attention to the contexts of messages.

Less vocal are church members who are unsure when to advance toward the pulpit in appreciation, when to back away, or when to finally head for the door, slam it and shake the aisle-dust off their feet.

To help them, we offer this little gamelike guide, suggesting where they should sit in church to indicate affirmation or negation. Arrange your pieces on a hypothetical board and play along. Begin in your regular pew.

1. If the preacher offers the prosperity gospel, announces that you can serve both God and mammon, and uses as sermon text the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal:

Move ten pews forward and up your pledge.

2. If the preacher is not wearing a United States flag over her robe:

Back up 15 pews.

3. If the preacher avoids all controversial topics and lulls everyone to sleep:

No responseremember, you are asleep.

4. If the preacher uses scripture to affirm that all acts by the United States military in all wars have been and are just:

Move forward ten pews and smile. This is getting good.

5. If the proclaimer of the gospel announces good news to the poor, healing and hope:

Move up two pews, but tentatively. As a Christian, you should welcome that kind of message, as long as it is sufficiently vague.

6. If the preacher blasts secular humanists, Islamofascists, rappers and anyone other than standard-brand heterosexuals:

Move up three pews and volunteer for the committee to extend your preacher's call.

7. If the preacher finds that liberals and conservatives, blacks and whites and others, including himself, fall short of gospel-rooted living:

Stay where you are; ambiguity is confusing.

8. If the preacher includes a few seconds of strident and edgy language that will make a controversial sound bite at the next congregational assembly:

Be sure you've recorded it; it will be good ammunition when you are drawing the conclusion that you've had it and don't really belong in this congregation. But stay where you are so you don't look suspicious.

9. If the preacher asks those who are without guilt to pick up a stone to throw: Head toward the back pew in a hurry.

10. If a few angry words from the preacher can make you forget how she visited your dying mother, greeted your children as friends and urged you to work for justice with mercy:

By all means, leave. But admit ityou miss the community, the challenge and the gospel. It's lonely out here, and all you will hear of your former pastor from now on are sound bites.
from The Christian Century

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Car Show

Here are some more photos from another car show. Additional photos will be added as I process them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Know when to hold them, know when to fold them"

The line from a Kenny Rogers' song, "know when to hold them, know when to fold them" applies to politics. One needs when to change directions and when to hold steady. George Bush and his flock are confused with this issue, saying that "to pull troops from Iraq would mean that those who died there, died in vain." They don't realize that compounding a mistake does not undo the mistake or transform it into correct action.

Hilary Clinton also needs to learn "when to hold them and when to fold them." She has passed the point where continuing to fight for the nomination can have any positive effect. She is only deepening the divisions in the party and country by her antagonistic campaign. It is time to "fold them." Her inability to see that is a fault that disqualifies her from the presidency in my opinion. We don't need more years of Bush stubbornness and blindness to the consequences of the inability to change course -- even in a female incarnation.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I Can Identify With This

A few years ago I spent a few weeks filling the pulpit for a friend while he was away studying. There was a young lady in the congregation who had Downs Syndrome. One morning before the service she came to me and said, "I really like your messages. They put me to sleep."

I guess at least one person got something worthwhile from my efforts.

(Cartoon from Church Mice.)

Friday, May 02, 2008


It appears that if we like
MOTS, we can vote for Hillary or McCain. Hillary will give More Of The Same Republican-style dirty win at any cost politics. McCain will give More Of The Same Bush War policies and welfare for the rich.

I don't want MOTS. If you don't like Obama, vote Ron Paul. At least he'd do things differently.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Different Kind of Observation

Here are some fun observations. Last Saturday my son, Luke, and I went to a corvette show here in Hot Springs, AR. We had fun shooting photos. I'm processing them now and have an album in process at Adobe's new Photoshop Express web site. More photos will be added as I process them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Baptist Group to Boycott

Here is a bit of satire, a spoof, that sounds so plausible that someone is bound to report it as true. If it used a denomination other than baptist, I'm sure SBC folks would be circulating it in chain e-mails.

Read and laugh: Baptist Group to Boycott

Monday, April 07, 2008

Money Where The Mouth Is

Isn't it ironic that Hillary Clinton, whose main campaign talking point is the need for universal health care, failed to pay the health insurance for her campaign staff? Other things (ads and donuts?) apparently were more important.

If she doesn't budget for her campaign staff's health insurance sufficiently, why should we think we can trust her to budget and pay for the nation's health care system?

Just curious.

Bush Alikes

George Bush
: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.


Hillary Clinton: I dodged sniper fire in Bosnia.

Hillary Clinton: A mother without health insurance died after being denied hospital treatment.

John McCain: The surge is working.

If you want Bush over easy, vote for John McCain.

If you want Bush lite, vote for Hillary Clinton.

If you want the truth, vote for someone else.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Howie Luvzus' Easter

Found this picture on Howie Luvzus' blog. I've really liked his blog. Now I worry about the old boy. His sense of humour is as bad as mine.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Picture is worth a thousand words

Sepherim has posted a magnificent photo which speaks the truth so loudly. View it HERE.

Master of Science in Taxation

Heard a promo on the radio by a local institute of higher learning announcing a new degree. It's a Master of Science in Taxation. Now, there's something severely wrong with a society that has a tax system so complex as to justify master's degree level study. I'd worry about the mental health of anyone who willingly sought the degree or taught the courses. It's sick.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Missing In Action

I saw a great bumper sticker yesterday. It had an outline map of Texas with a large "W" in it. Beside it was this message: "Somewhere in Texas a town is missing its village idiot."

They should get him back next January.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time, Time, Time

This past weekend we had an hour stolen from our lives.

"Wait!" you say. "That hour wasn't stolen, only borrowed. We'll get it back in the fall."

You're right. It was only borrowed. However, remember that "time is money." When money is borrowed, it is repaid with interest.

That means that in the fall we should set our clocks back one hour and fifteen minutes (including interest). Let's see, in four years -- that is in the next leap year -- we'll have moved back in time one hour. Then daylight savings time will get us back to real solar time. Maybe by then the nimnuls who voted this extension of daylight savings time will realize the stupidity of their action and do away with daylight savings time altogether.

The rationale for daylight savings time was that it would save energy. In reality we just burn the candle from the other end. If you want to have more daylight after work, go to work earlier!

Until then, let's just get our hour back with interest this fall. All in favour say "aye."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding

Read the article at CNN.

Bush continues his support for torture. Bush continues to flaunt the U.S. Constitution. Bush continues to ignore international law.

Perhaps Bush and Cheny should submit to waterboarding so that congress can gain answers to questions regarding potentially illegal conduct by the administrative branch of government. Bush supports waterboarding. He denies that it is torture. Let his actions prove his convictions.

How long will it take to restore the integrity of our nation's government? How long will it take to regain the trust of the world, much less the respect of the world?

George Bush will be reviled in history as the man who toppled the United States of America and created the slide to destruction matched only by the decline of the Roman empire.

I am sickened by what a sick man has done to our nation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Which Hillary?

Which Hillary Clinton will show up at the debate tonight? The amiable on from the last debate or the angry one from the stump in Ohio? She seems to have a Chuckle and Chide personality these days.

Now I'm concerned that if she were to become president, we would worry which personality would appear in meetings with world leaders. Would Chuckle meet with those who agree with her and Chide encounter those who disagree? That's what we've had for the past seven years.

We're told that we just need to get to know the real Hillary Clinton. I agree.

Will the REAL Hillary Clinton please stand up!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yes, WE Can!

The essential difference between Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton is found in their use of the first person pronoun.

Listen to Hillary and you hear the first person singular used over and over. "I will . . . " "I have . . . " I - I - I.

Listen to Obama and you hear the first person plural pronoun. "We can . . . " "We are able . . . " "Yes we can!" "Si, se puede!"

The second person plural pronoun is also used differently. Clinton says she will do things for you. Obama says he will enable you to do things.

Maybe this is the distinction that should shape how we vote.

When I hear a sermon, I respond more positively to the preacher who speaks of "we" rather than the one who always says "I" and "you." Maybe that is why I prefer Obama.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bulletin Bloopers

I love strangely worded things with distorted meanings.
The Christian Century website presents the following bulletin bloopers:

• The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

• Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

• Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quote for the Day

"If the Lord Jesus Christ has washed you in his own blood and forgiven you all your sins, how dare you refuse to forgive yourself?"

-- Francis MacNutt quoted by Brennan Manning in
The Signature of Jesus

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quote for the Day

". . . it is neither wealth nor poverty that keeps men out of the kingdom --
it is pride."
-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Above the din the Father cries out: 'You go to church every Sunday and read your Bible, but the body of my Son is broken. You memorize chapter and verse and honor all your traditions, but the body of my Son is broken. You recite the creed and defend orthodoxy, but the body of my Son is broken. You hark back to tradition and press forward toward renewal, but the body of my Son is broken.'"

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quote for the Day

". . . to be a nominal Christian is more dangerous than to be no Christian."

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Monday, January 21, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

Barak Obama's speech at Martin Luther King, Jr.'s church in Alabama.

A Man for THIS Season

Thanks to Letters from Bagdad for bringing this video to my attention.

Compare the experience of Obama to that of Clinton as you view this and decide who has virtual experience and who has real experience -- and what kind of experience our country needs.

Quote for the Day

"A Russian starets once said, 'If you pray for humility, be careful. Humility is learned through humiliations.'"

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quote for the Day

"One wonders why Christians today get off so easily. Is it because unchristian Americans are that much better than unchristian Romans, or is our light so dim that the tormentor can't see it? What are the things we do that are worth persecuting?"

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Today we need small bands of people who take the gospel at face value, who realize what God is doing in our time, and who are living proof of being in the world but not of the world. These 'base' communities or neighborhood churches should be small enough for intimacy, kindred enough for acceptance, and gentle enough for criticism. gathered in the name of Jesus, the community empowers us to incarnate in our lives what we believe in our hearts and proclaim with our lips."

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Friday, January 18, 2008

Quote for the Day

"I will allow no man to drag me so low as to make me hate him."

-- Booker T. Washington quoted by Clarence Jordan in
Sermon on the Mount

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quote for the Day

"The surest sign of union with the crucified Christ is our forgiveness of those who have perpetuated injustices against us."

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quote for the Day

"It won't work, either, to hire out to Mammon and give a tenth of your wages to God. Not even if you raise his cut to a fifth, or a half."

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quote for the Day

"What if I should discover that the least of the brothers of Jesus, the one crying out most desperately for reconciliation forgiveness, and acceptance, is myself? That I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved, what then? Will I do for myself what I do for others?"

-- Carl Jung quoted by Brennan Manning in
The Signature of Jesus

Monday, January 14, 2008

Quote for the Day

"People who are right are usually in the greatest danger of being a nuisance."

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quote for the Day

". . . the fundamental secret of Jesus was his sovereign respect for human liberty. He never tried to make people virtuous against their will."

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quote for the Day

"But Jesus didn't tell his followers to love their enemies because love would or would not work. The idea probably never occurred to him to raise the question of whether or not it was practical. He told them that they should do it 'that they might be sons of their spiritual Father.'"

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Quote for the Day

"If our vocabulary dwindles to a few shopworn words, we are setting ourselves up for takeover by a dictator. When language becomes exhausted, our freedom dwindles -- we cannot think; we do not recognize danger; injustice strikes us as no more than 'the way things are.'"
-- Madeleine L'Engle
Walking on Water

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Obama Must Confess

The time has come for Barak Obama to confess. He must confess that he does not have the experience of Hillary Clinton. He has NEVER been First Lady of the United States. He has NEVER been First Lady of Arkansas. In fact, he has never held any position based upon his spouse's office.

While Clinton was observing in the White House and the Arkansas State House, Obama was serving as an ELECTED member of the Illinois legislature and working the streets with the people as a community organizer.

Clinton claims great international experience because she has wined and dined with highly placed international government figures. Obama, on the other hand, has only lived among the common people in diverse cultural situations.

Obviously, the outsider looking in has much greater experience and understanding than the one who only participates in the daily life of average people. The unelected observer has more "real" experience than the elected participant in government. Clinton has told us this based upon her vast experience.

Which kind of experience does this country need? Earned hands-on experience or spectator experience bestowed by marital status?

Quote for the Day

"One meets the Father on one's way
back from being reconciled with his brother."
-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quote for the Day

"We cushion the risk and remove the danger of discipleship by drawing up a list of moral rules that give us security instead of holy insecurity."

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Monday, January 07, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Jesus said that the foremost sign of discipleship would be our love for one another. 'A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another: (John 13:34-35). His teaching is unequivocal here. we would be known as his followers not because we are chaste, celibate, honest, sober, or respectable; not because we are church-going, Bible-toting, or Psalm-singing: We would be recognized as disciples primarily by our deep and delicate respect for one another, our cordial love impregnated with reverence for the sacred dimension of the human personality.
However, in an arrogant gesture of one-upmanship, many preachers today have decided that Jesus' standard for discipleship is inadequate for modern times. The new criterion is orthodoxy of doctrine coupled with the way we interpret the Bible. 'Right thinking' is the new norm for determining what a Christian is worth. In these parlous times we do not shrink from splitting up fellowship, local churches, and even denominations over the form of worship, the songs we sing, or the method of interpreting a Bible passage."
-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Absolute loyalty to Jesus and his kingdom is the Christian's fast."

-- Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Friday, January 04, 2008

Quote for the Day

"If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If he wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that."

-- Dominipue Voillaume, quoted by Brennan Manning in
The Signature of Jesus

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quote for the Day

"No one has a right, however, to call on men to change their ways
unless he has a more excellent way to offer. Forsaking the wrong way is only half of repentance; accepting the right way is the other half."
--Clarence Jordan
Sermon on the Mount

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Quote for the Day

[the scribes and Pharisees] would try to make the tree good by making its fruit good; he [Jesus] would make the tree good and let the fruit take care of itself."
-- Clarence Jordan Sermon on the Mount

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Quote for the Day

"A Christian living in the world but not of the world is a sign of contradiction to the compromises that many within the Church have settled for. The disciple of Jesus will be made to look and feel like a fool. Yet, fools for Christ formed the early Church. And as that tiny band of believers grew, the world witnessed the power in such foolishness."

-- Brennan Manning
The Signature of Jesus