Thursday, August 31, 2017
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Yesterday was a long day at work. Not only are we working all out to get a new exhibit up for our Thursday opening, but yesterday was the university convocation and the president's reception for faculty and staff. The convocation makes for a long day because it's a lot of boring speeches. The president's reception is not bad because it always has good food but it means I'm at work an extra two hours.
Thursday will be another long day. I'm sure there will be a lot of last minute stuff to do before the opening reception. Then there will be a reception from 4-6, followed by a lecture. I don't mind the reception, but I dread the lecture. The lecture is on a small part of the new exhibition and is something I am not the least bit interested in. It will be another long day.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I watched the Moon around the House
by Emily Dickinson
I watched the Moon around the House
Until upon a Pane—
She stopped—a Traveller’s privilege—for Rest—
And there upon
I gazed—as at a stranger—
The Lady in the Town
Doth think no incivility
To lift her Glass—upon—
But never Stranger justified
Like Mine—for not a Foot—nor Hand—
Nor Formula—had she—
But like a Head—a Guillotine
Slid carelessly away—
Did independent, Amber—
Sustain her in the sky—
Or like a Stemless Flower—
Upheld in rolling Air
By finer Gravitations—
Than bind Philosopher—
No Hunger—had she—nor an Inn—
Her Toilette—to suffice—
Nor Avocation—nor Concern
For little Mysteries
As harass us—like Life—and Death—
And Afterwards—or Nay—
But seemed engrossed to Absolute—
With shining—and the Sky—
The privilege to scrutinize
Was scarce upon my Eyes
When, with a Silver practise—
She vaulted out of Gaze—
And next—I met her on a Cloud—
Myself too far below
To follow her superior Road—
Or its advantage—Blue—
Monday, August 28, 2017
If you've not seen the season finale, read no further. I have to say that through most of the finale, I was somewhat underwhelmed, but the ending really got my attention. Cersei proved to be as devious as ever, but probably the stupidest person in the series. I have little doubt that she will get hers in the end. As with every great scene this season, the dragons proved to be the show stopper. The show proved that a dead dragon makes a very deadly enemy. Now we wait and wait for the next and final season. I've heard it could be up to two years away.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”—John 3:16-18
Everyone is searching for that one thing which will provide a meaningful and happy life. And that’s because God has created us with a need and desire for meaning and purpose as well as love and acceptance. Of course, the world holds out many options of things that will make you happy like financial success, social status, the approval of others, a good job, education, friends, marriage as well as having children. However, none of these options truly satisfy the deep needs of the human life.
Pascal, the French physicist and philosopher said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which can only be filled by God through His Son, Jesus Christ.” Every human being has this emptiness inside them, that something is missing and the reason we feel like something is missing is because something is missing! And what’s missing is Christ Jesus living in us. It’s in Him that we find a meaningful and happy life and it’s there that your search for happiness ends.
We all want happiness. If we can’t find it through money, we’ll try education. If education doesn’t do the trick, we’ll turn to friends or marriage. As long as there’s something to try next, the search continues. But when you have all the money you need, or a wonderful family, or social status or whatever it may be and you’re still not happy you begin to wonder, “What’s this life all about?” And often, asking this type of question is what prepares a person’s heart to respond to the love of God and receive Jesus Christ into their life.
Now, think back to when you first placed your faith in Jesus, what did you respond to? Was it the same love that motivated God to send His Son? Of course, it was God’s love for you. And because of God’s great love 1 John 3:1 says, “See, how great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” You become a child of God, unconditionally loved, fully pleasing, absolutely accepted and complete in Christ. And so much more is your inheritance!
Adapted from a sermon by Pastor Bruce Willis.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Monday, August 21, 2017
The Michael Jackson song says, "It don't matter if you're black or white." Since Barack Obama became president, racism has surged in America. With the election of Donald Trump, racism has come to a head. He has empowered those who are most racist. It is his greatest crime as president. America is made up of immigrants and people of different races. It is probably the most diverse country in the world. It's our blessing and our curse. There will always be those who believe that America should be dominated by the white race, they will always be wrong. America's original motto was E pluribus unum, Latin for "out of many, one." It remained the de facto motto until 1956 when an act of Congress changed the motto to "In God We Trust." The fact is though that our Founding Fathers chose "out of many, one" as our motto because they believed it took many different people to make one great nation. They may not have believed that included African-Americans at the time, but I believe they would today. America made a great mistake when they allowed slavery to exist on this continent. America has not had a perfect history with minorities, far from it, but no country can claim to have perfectly treated minorities. We can be better though, and we need to rid ourselves of a president who lends credence to and empowers racists.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. - 1 John 5:4
Faith Is the Victory
by John H. Yates 1891
Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.
His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav’n.
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring name.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
A Lazy Day
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
The trees bend down along the stream,
Where anchored swings my tiny boat.
The day is one to drowse and dream
And list the thrush’s throttling note.
When music from his bosom bleeds
Among the river’s rustling reeds.
No ripple stirs the placid pool,
When my adventurous line is cast,
A truce to sport, while clear and cool,
The mirrored clouds slide softly past.
The sky gives back a blue divine,
And all the world’s wide wealth is mine.
A pickerel leaps, a bow of light,
The minnows shine from side to side.
The first faint breeze comes up the tide—
I pause with half uplifted oar,
While night drifts down to claim the shore.
Monday, August 14, 2017
My parents were supposed to come visit me this fall. I wanted them to see how beautiful Vermont is at that time of year. A few weeks ago, my mother informed me that they were going to North Carolina instead. When I asked why they weren't coming to see me, she replied that they didn't have time. My feelings were terribly hurt, but she doesn't seem to care. Even when I tried last night to tell her that she'd hurt my feelings, she just said goodbye. I guess she didn't want to hear it. She may not care but that hurt my feelings even more. Why do parents treat us this way? One minute she wants me to move home because she says she misses me and the next she won't come to visit because she doesn't have the time. I just don't get it. My parents are both retired. They have plenty of time to do what they want, but I guess seeing me is not what they want.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
Pursuing sexual wholeness is a radical act of justice. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the church has a problem with sexuality. Many of us can quote the statistics and cite the scholarship. We can tell heart-rending stories of hurt and anguish as we wrestle with death-dealing, conservative theologies that keep many of us suffering in silence.
And yet the prophet Micah begs us to consider what the Lord requires of us.
The Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon, a black womanist theologian and ethicist, suggests that misunderstandings about sexuality send more people to the grave than any other issue. If there were one aspect of our humanity we wrestle with the most, then it is being in our very blessed and yet problematic bodies. From the time we are born until the day we leave this earth the pressing issues of our existence seems to be what do we do with our bodies, how do we treat the bodies of others, and what in this relating is good?
Beloveds, we have a problem with embodiment—plain and simple. When we survey the social-political landscape and we point our eye to prevailing issues of immigration, education, poverty, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, fair housing, and transgender visibility, it becomes crystal clear that we have an issue with our flesh, and with the very embodiment of humanity. And when we are honest, the church in general, and the black church in particular, has not been the most helpful, nor the most truthful, nor the most kind, nor the most just in dealing head-on with the very true reality that we are embodied spirits and inspirited bodies.
This is why my sisters, brothers and siblings, I suggest that sexual wholeness—the coming together of being sexually faithful and faithfully sexual—is a justice issue.
The question, then, is what do we need to do if we are going to be Jesus-loving justice workers in the world?
I am so glad you asked. The prophet Micah helps us by giving us three simple yet profound considerations:
1. Do justice. "Do" is a word that conveys our intentions for completing an action. And so, as Dr. Cannon would say, “Do the work your soul must have.” This means that we must engage in the living, working, and sharing of life that makes us come alive. And then we must ground that work in the character of God that is just.
2. Love kindness. The art of being kind is often lost on ourselves. And so to love kindness is to stop and take a moment to care for yourself even as you care for others. In fact, Dr. Cannon suggests that in order to be a justice worker in the world, we need a disciplined devotional life.
3. Walk humbly with God. Move in this world with awareness that our connection to God is experienced in our relationship with others. How can we rightly relate to others if our walk with God is not right-sized? Dr. Cannon suggests that, in order for us to ethically relate to others, we must see the imago dei—or the image of God—in ourselves and others.
Therefore, Beloveds, engage in the work of becoming sexually faithful and faithfully sexual.
Do this work knowing full well that it is what the Lord is requiring of you.
Because pursuing sexual wholeness is a radical act of justice.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Looking back on this week, it's been a long week. I have several projects I'm working on at work, and they seem to be never ending. They will get done though, I just need motivation to finish them. These projects are not the most exciting things that I work on, but they have to be done, and I will get them finished eventually. Thank goodness it's Friday, and I have the weekend to look forward to.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Benjamin Lemke once went by the name Benjamin Bradley. He was a popular performer in the mid-2000s for companies like Falcon Studios and Buckshot. He also posed the underwear company Ginch Gonch.
In a sad turn of events, Lemke has found himself in middle of a fight for his life. He’s dealing with his second bout of Non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma.
Lemke has a large metastatic tumor in his neck that is growing larger and has begun pushing up against his jugular. In addition to that, he has developed several cavity lung lesions. As a result, he has been in and out of the hospital for the past month.
His partner, Alfred Robles, has started a YouCaring fundraising campaign to help cover Lemke’s expenses.
“He currently has exhausted all funds for cancer treatments, and we have maxed out all credit cards paying for his medical expenses and covering his health care needs,” Robles writes.
So far, Robles has raised about $8,600 of his $12,000 goal.
“If you have ever met or known Benjamin, you have been touched by his upbeat, loving, one-of-a-kind personality,” Robles says.
Here’s wishing Lemke a full recovery.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
I've gotten hooked on a new-to-me television series, Broadchurch. It's a great British mystery series. Once you've seen a few episodes, you'll be hooked. I'm currently watching season two on Netflix, but you can catch all three seasons, including what's aired of the third season on the BBC America app. I have a Roku TV that I love and BBC America is one of the app channels that you can access and watch shows on demand. Anyway, here's a teaser for the series:
When the corpse of an 11-year-old British boy, Danny Latimer, is found bloodied and dirty on an idyllic beach, a small Dorset community becomes the focus of a police investigation and media madness. Out-of-town Detective Inspector Alec Hardy gets the point position over Detective Sgt. Ellie Miller -- who feels the job should have been hers. Now she must engage in an efficient working relationship with taciturn Hardy. Slowly, more members of the community of Broadchurch are drawn into the investigation, with a telephone engineer drawing great attention when he admits to a special connection to the case. While dealing with so much unwelcome attention, Danny's family tries to cope with its grief. When a suspect is named and charged, the ensuing trial sees the defendant promising to expose more of the townspeople's secrets.
Thanks, Susan, for talking me into watching this show.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Silence again. The glorious symphony
Hath need of pause and interval of peace.
Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease,
Save hum of insects’ aimless industry.
Pathetic summer seeks by blazonry
Of color to conceal her swift decrease.
Weak subterfuge! Each mocking day doth fleece
A blossom, and lay bare her poverty.
Poor middle-agèd summer! Vain this show!
Whole fields of golden-rod cannot offset
One meadow with a single violet;
And well the singing thrush and lily know,
Spite of all artifice which her regret
Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!
Monday, August 7, 2017
If you have not watched the latest episode, read no further. There may be spoilers ahead.
Holy hell, last night was intense. The attack on King's Landing/The Loot Train with the dragon was marvelous. No wonder there was no preview description before the episode.
Each previous episode has left me feeling down. The defeat of the Greyjoys and the Dornish, then the defeat of the Tyrells, ending with Lady Olenna's death. They left you feeling helpless, but last nights episode gives you hope.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." - Mark 12:28-31
Below is a statement from Believe Out Loud. While it sums up their mission, it also sums up what I am trying to do with my Sunday posts on religion.
Since the advent of the modern gay rights movement, Christians have raised their voices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. We have long looked at discrimination in our culture and wondered how is this injustice consistent with Jesus’ message to love our neighbors as ourselves?
Throughout the years, we found support with other like-minded Christians. Together, we gathered to study, pray, struggle and grow while embarking on a mission to make our churches and communities reflective of the inclusive love Jesus teaches.
Today, forty years after the first openly gay man was ordained in a mainline Christian church, we are a diverse, thriving rainbow representative of the entire Christian faith. We are moms and dads, city dwellers and farmers. We are middle of the road, strictly sidewalk and off the beaten path. Different but alike, we find unity of purpose in our Christian faith: to spread the joy and justice of LGBT equality.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
I don't know what happened overnight, but cooler heads prevailed yesterday. The office seemed to go back to normal. It was so much better than on Wednesday. People were actually talking to one another and were in a cheerful mood. It may have been that the audit went well, or just that cooler heads did prevail. I think it was a little bit of both. My boss is off today, so things should be fairly quiet in the office today. I have a few special projects to do, so my head will be down and I will be busy most of the day.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
There is so much tension at work. My boss and our secretary are at odds with each other and it has all of the rest of us on pins and needles. My office sits between their offices, so I am smack in the middle of it, exactly where I don't want to be. I'm just keeping my head down and doing my work. I hope tomorrow is a better day, though I doubt it. We have some kind of insurance audit tomorrow which I am not part of, thank goodness. So we will see what happens. I'm just praying that there is less tension in the office tomorrow.
The picture above has nothing to do with the post, but I think it's cute. The cat looks like Isabella, so I call it Darth Bella.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
by Willa Cather
Where are the loves that we have loved before
When once we are alone, and shut the door?
No matter whose the arms that held me fast,
The arms of Darkness hold me at the last.
No matter down what primrose path I tend,
I kiss the lips of Silence in the end.
No matter on what heart I found delight,
I come again unto the breast of Night.
No matter when or how love did befall,
’Tis Loneliness that loves me best of all,
And in the end she claims me, and I know
That she will stay, though all the rest may go.
No matter whose the eyes that I would keep
Near in the dark, ’tis in the eyes of Sleep
That I must look and look forever more,
When once I am alone, and shut the door.