Thursday, December 31, 2015

Old lady learning. . . slowly

              Image result for technology

I am feeling so. . .techie.  Today I unsubscribed to maybe 10 e-mails I never read, and am pretty sure I never signed on to, changed a few passwords, learned to recharge my husband's FitBit and I finally used my MD's message portal so I can look at the results of my exam on Tuesday. But nothing, nothing, feels as nice as a book and a #2 lead automatic pencil.  It seems I'm not going to be able to fix my LiveWriter, a blog publishing application developed by Microsoft which I just love and use for blogging.  It is no longer being supported.

On to the i-pad mini I got for Christmas.

Avoid palm oil if possible

I always buy Krema Peanut Butter, but today picked up a "natural" jar of Jif and read the label. Well, yes, if by natural you mean palm oil and sugar. Krema is just peanuts. Also Krema bought Crazy Richard's and that name now appears on the jar.

Facts About Palm Oil (from the Krema site) or why you should read labels:
  • All ‘no-stir’ natural peanut butters use palm oil in place of hydrogenated vegetable oil to stop the natural oil separation.
  • Palm oil has been referred to as the “cruel oil” for its negative impact on the environment, animals and our health.
  • Palm oil is high in saturated fats.
  • Palm oil harvesting destroys the rain forest in Indonesia and Malaysia and threatens many endangered animals.
  • Palm oil’s major use is in soaps and lotions.
  • Research shows that palm oil increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Stealing is stealing, no matter which century

Today I was reading an article about how King Henry VIII confiscated (stole) all the monasteries' land and wealth in England, making about 8,000 people in religious orders homeless, plus destroying the culture and economy built up around them, all in the name of redistributing the wealth. Libraries with wonderful manuscripts were destroyed.  Some got very rich, like the King and his buddies, then the small middle class who got some of the land, but the poor got very little, in fact by the King destroying those who had fed, sheltered and nursed the poor, they were worse off. No one says there weren't abuses, or that the original owners weren't misusing their donated wealth (rich living, lots of servants, etc.), but it is always the poor that is worse off in these government grabs of property, whether by kings or presidents, dictators or czars.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Behavior can alter path to dementia

I won't go into detail--if you have a computer you can google it--but I read about 2 exciting advancements for Alzheimer's and dementia yesterday. More and more research points to your behavior assisting your own body systems to fight this scourge. Check out these proteins, BDNF and VEGF. They protect your brain, and are increased with good social support (is this a reason to party?), a lower calorie diet, regular exercise and good heart health. Make 2016 the year you're kind to your brain.

Check the link (partial article)

One of the gifts in this research is donation of brains of nuns and priests. The Religious Orders Study enrolls Catholic nuns, priests and brothers, from more than 40 groups across the United States. Participants are without known dementia and agree to annual clinical evaluation and brain donation (some in the Chicago area also agree to donate, spinal cord, nerve, and muscle). Now that's a way to have both eternal life, and to continue to serve in the temporal life.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

On December 26, 2014

'I'm on my way to Indianapolis to see my sister-in-law @[100008325398968:2048:Jeanne Poisal] on my exercycle.  So far I've gone 13.2 miles beginning Thursday.  I don't have a fit bit or chart, I'm just jotting down the mileage. See you in a few . . . it's 178.4 miles.'
I started out to "cycle" to Indianapolis a year ago to visit my sister-in-law Jeanne. That's a stationary bike, of course.  It never left my office. Now I've gone over 1900 miles, so I guess I'll have to go see sisters-in-law Debbie and Kate in California (2,253 miles), and high school friend Tina, and cousin Barry and wife Rose. If Blogger Paula is home, I'll stop for one of her famous cupcakes. I lost 35 pounds by the end of June.  Eat less, move more: that's the name of the plan.

Map from Columbus, OH to Huntington Beach, CA

First cousins, twice removed

We have quite a few twins in the family now.

Sarah Strauss's photo.
Happy 17th birthday to my first cousins, twice removed, Daniel and Phoebe, my cousin Gayle's beautiful grandchildren. 

Great nephew Caleb has twin daughters Hallie and Kali, two years old, granddaughters of our niece Joan and husband Dan, great granddaughter of Jeanne and Bob.
Caleb Poynter's photo.

And niece Kari and husband Greg have twins Breeanne and Brody, also two. Sister Debbie is their grandmother.

St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 1

What, then, are You, O my God-what, I ask, but the Lord God ?
 For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God (Ps. 17:32) ? Most high,
most excellent,
most powerful,
most omnipotent ;
most piteous and most just;
most hidden and most near;
most beautiful and most strong, stable, yet contained by none;
unchangeable, yet changing all things;
never new, never old;
making all things new,
yet bringing old age upon the proud without their knowing it (Job 9:5);
always working, yet ever at rest;
gathering, yet needing nothing;
sustaining, pervading, and protecting ;
creating, nourishing, and developing;
seeking, and yet possessing all things.
You love, yet do not burn;
are jealous, yet free from care;
You repent, yet do not suffer;
are angry, yet serene;
You change Your ways, leaving Your plans unchanged;
You recover what You find, without ever having lost it;
You are never in want, while You rejoice in gain;
never covetous, though requiring interest.'
That You may owe, more than enough is given to You;
yet who has anything that is not Yours?
You pay debts while owing nothing;
and when You forgive debts,
You lose nothing.
Yet, O my God, my life, my holy joy, what is this that I have said ? And what does anyone say when He speaks of You? Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that even they who say most are like the dumb."


My own translation (by Edward Bouverie Pusey, public domain) uses the thy and art and shouldest,  which isn't that difficult, but I looked for more current English.  Then I rearranged the spacing; looks like a nice poem or liturgy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Science in the Bible

Dr. Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist, says there are 25 different creation accounts in the Bible. Job, for instance, has more scientific detail than the Genesis account. Job is likely the oldest book of the Bible and it predates the book of Genesis by 500-600 years. He also says there are 200 accurate scientific theories in the Bible some not developed until the 20th century. The chances of that are ten to the 300th power. I'm listening while riding my exercycIe. I love science.


Unfortunately, there's probably no area that causes more dissension among sincere Christians than creation and the Bible. Just scanning the list of articles by old earth and new earth advocates I see there are many who don't like Ross. But nowhere in the Bible do I see that Jesus told us to put our faith in the Bible, but in him. And it looks like all along that range of beliefs they believe in Jesus.

Looking at the older creeds

When a member of our church moved to the west coast a few years ago, she donated a lot of her books to the library, which then put most of them out for “free” to anyone who wanted them. Some were rather difficult or scholarly, but just perfect to sit on my shelves, unread. So I’ve been looking at “Creeds of the Churches; a reader in Christian Doctrine from the Bible to the Present,” ed. John H. Leith, Anchor Books, 1963.

At our Lutheran church, generally we say the Apostle's Creed every Sunday at the liturgical service, and on special times, like Christmas, we brush off the Nicene Creed; and occasionally the Athanasian Creed. The history of the creeds is really fascinating, and so far superior to some of the current, trendy “home made” statements of faith, or mission statements churches sometimes say today. Non-denominational, or "spiritual but not religious" Christians just have no ideas what they owe to these leaders of a thousand years ago who battled heresies, Muslims, and bad Popes.  Particularly impressive is the Fourth Lateran Council. Also it’s interesting that it took 1200 years to sanction the word transubstantiation even though the idea is clearly stated in Jesus’ words in John 6:53-58 and had been the practice for over a century.

“The fourth Lateran Council, the 12th ecumenical council (1215), generally considered the greatest council before Trent, was years in preparation. Pope Innocent III desired the widest possible representation, and more than 400 bishops, 800 abbots and priors, envoys of many European kings, and personal representatives of Frederick II (confirmed by the council as emperor of the West) took part. The purpose of the council was twofold: reform of the church and the recovery of the Holy Land. Many of the conciliar decrees touching on church reform and organization remained in effect for centuries. The council ruled on such vexing problems as the use of church property, tithes, judicial procedures, and patriarchal precedence. It ordered Jews and Saracens to wear distinctive dress and obliged Catholics to make a yearly confession and to receive Communion during the Easter season. The council sanctioned the word transubstantiation as a correct expression of eucharistic doctrine. The teachings of the Cathari and Waldenses were condemned. Innocent also ordered a four-year truce among Christian rulers so that a new crusade could be launched.”
There were some excellent rules for the church/clergy in 1215--could be used today, like providing for the education of the poor, especially future priests, modest dress and behavior for clerics, priests couldn't be judges (separation of church and state), all Christians had to confess their sins at least once a year and take communion at least once, if a priest revealed a confession he would be banished to a monastery,  incompetent people couldn't be appointed, a cathedral or church couldn't be without a pastor for more than 3 months, (compared to a widow and ravenous wolves attacking the people), and for some reason were not to hunt or fowl or keep dogs for that purpose.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Long form journalism and wordy blogs

are a thing of the past.

Now that I've tried blogging and posting to Facebook using my i-pad mini, I can see why people are using shortcuts and no sentence structure.  Today I learned how to turn it on and off and upload a photo to Facebook.  But I'm back at the computer so my fingers can stretch a bit.  Increasingly, the ordinary person is dumping their computers when using social media.
Norma Bruce's photo. 

This is the photo I posted on FB a few minutes ago.  First I took a photo of myself in the mirror, or maybe it was my finger.  I'm a little awkward at this. I had to delete that one and the 6 "burst" behind it--can't hold the finger down too long.

This is our replacement Lazzy Bear from Christmas 1986.  Our first one was stolen in a home break-in--imagine someone stealing a stuffed bear--but they were very popular that year.  My friend Nancy got me a new one.  We still put him out every Christmas.

First try on my I-pad mini

This is not comfortable. It's creepy, like typing with bandaged fingers.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The church of climate change

Some of my friend, particularly on Facebook, are atheists. I just deleted their names from this post, even though they are proud of it. That's how I am about "human caused climate change." We atheists (on that religion) are called "deniers." Yes, indeed. I live where there used to be a glacier. There are beautiful homes and walls in Ohio built with stones brought here from Canada long before people or equipment burning fossil fuel. I don't know exactly what to call their theology and ecclesiology, or if Algore is still high priest, but politicians have their hands in the collection plates. And they are so phony in their concern.  Hundreds will waste millions of gallons of jet fuel just to get to the communion rail at the same time. Neither party is safe from proselitizing, and they like to sing those happy clappy 7/11 songs and raise their hands and swing and sway for non-existent gods.

The media are the holy scribes. 

They will demonize you as heretics.

Don't expect a debate, you're a non-persons.

And boy, can they whine!

The Ferguson effect--violence is on the increase

Murders and shootings have spiked in many American cities—and so have efforts to ignore or deny the crime increase.

The Brennan Center’s report, “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis” confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing.

"St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, at a news conference in July after his nephew was slain, made a poignant plea: “We march every time the police shoot and kill somebody. But we’re not marching when we’re killing each other in the streets. Let’s march for that.”

Trying to hide the rise of crime

Holly she bears a berry

           Image result for holly wreath
Someone asked me about the pre-Christian images in many of our Christmas traditions--holly, mistletoe, trees, the timing with the Winter Solstice.  To simplify, I said the early church used them as evangelism tools to explain the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord, and the people instead of having their heads chopped off the way the Muslims evangelized Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe as warnings for infidels, got to keep their favorite traditions and their heads.  Don't fear them, embrace.
The voice squad
Now the holly bears a berry as white as the milk,
And Mary she bore Jesus, who was wrapped up in silk:
And Mary she bore Jesus our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly.
Holly! Holly! Holly!
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly!
Now the holly bears a berry as green as the grass,
And Mary she bore Jesus, who died on the cross:
And Mary she bore Jesus our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly.
Holly! Holly! Holly!
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly!
Now the holly bears a berry as black as the coal,
And Mary she bore Jesus, who died for us all:
And Mary she bore Jesus our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly.
Holly! Holly! Holly!
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly!
Now the holly bears a berry, as blood is it red,
Then trust we our Saviour, who rose from the dead:
And Mary she bore Jesus our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly.
Holly! Holly! Holly!
And the first tree that’s in the greenwood, it was the holly!

Humility is the queen of virtues

“. . . no one seems to know what just happened [decision of Supreme Court on same sex marriage in June 2015]. This wasn’t the legalization of a behavior—for the legal barriers to homosexual conduct were torn down decades ago. The rights to cohabitate, to share insurance benefits, tax status, and even call each other spouse—without discrimination—are hard fought gains that were achieved before last Friday. A new right has not been created, rather the Constitutional right for the rest of us to think and speak our minds, and to hold our own counsel has been severely curtailed. The right to do something impossible can’t be achieved, not by any court, only the right to demand everyone else be supportive of this masked ball, with legal penalties for refusing to join the dance. We’ve only lost the right to object.”

“. . . Christians shouting the word “sin” at something out there have failed to use this most powerful weapon we have by the Holy Spirit to counter forces beyond our human skill or strength. When an obstacle is too high, too strong, too wide for you to go over it, it is best to adopt humility and go under it. If language against a sin that’s been called a blessing can only draw fire and fill you full of verbal bullet holes, then use the stance that saints have long used in more trying circumstances and under worse governments: the language of humility. When saying, “You are sinners!” just won’t do—and I think this is one of those times—then freely speak the truth and say, “We are sinners and have failed God, but we’ve been found by Him and are happy to be new creatures in Christ.”
Humility: Queen of  Virtues

Friday, December 25, 2015

It's possible I'll still be here for the next full moon on Christmas Day--2034

"The Metonic cycle is the lunar cycle in question. After 19 years, the lunar phases are repeated on nearly the same calendar dates. It was discovered around 432 B.C. by the Greek astronomer Meton (although some believe that the Babylonians knew about it before he did). After 19 years, the lunar phases are usually repeated on the same calendar dates. 

According to the cycle, a Christmas Day full moon should have happened 19 years ago, in 1996, but it didn't because the Metonic cycle is only approximate and the number of leap days (four or five) in a period of 19 years can give rise to a discrepancy of one day.

In 1996, the full moon fell not on Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve. And in this particular case, adding 19 years to 1996 saw a jump of one day, moving the full moon to Christmas Day in 2015.

Interestingly, if we use the Metonic cycle going backward from 1996, we also jump forward one day to Christmas Day in 1977, which was the last time we had a full moon on Christmas Day.

Now, if we add 19 years to 2015, we find that the Metonic cycle will work perfectly with no one-day jumps — so the next time a full moon will occur on Christmas Day will be in 2034. But that will work only for the 48 contiguous states, because for those living in Alaska and Hawaii, the moon will officially turn full before the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve.

Peggy A Rozak-Doncevic's photo.

Unfortunately, although I saw the moon last night, it's either too cloudy or too early to see it now.
Update:  We went out later, saw the moon, and took a few photos. See you in 2034!

A politically correct Christmas

Jay Leno once made this comment about politically-correct Christmases: "The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."

Things are festive at our son's home.  He says "the fat man" (Santa) brought him new floors and living room suite.  Until recently, he had 3 cars.  One caught on fire when he was on the way to work and he was miraculously warned by a passing angel to get out of the car; the other he sold to someone driving by his home who just happened to like that model BMW.  So he decided to spruce up his place.  Our daughter and son-in-law have also made some recent investments in their lovely home with repainting the first level, new windows, doors and blinds.  But I don't have a photo of that (I think she sent them, but probably are on my other computer).

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner here and then went to Lytham Road UALC for the 7:30 service (traveling by full moon), earlier than we usually do  because we're all getting older.  Music wasn't quite the same (Celebration service style instead of traditional), but still had some traditional carols with a more upbeat chorus group and less organ.  But my goodness, that pianist is good.  Plays like my sister, and you just don't get better than that.

And it's back to church on Christmas day for 10 a.m. service at which we will serve Communion, and then out to our son's home in Canal Winchester for dinner and opening gifts.

Friday Family Photo--Christmas 1965

We were living at 911 W. Charles in Champaign, Illinois. It was a brick Dutch Colonial.  I'm wearing a blazer that my mother made for me for college--I still have it.  Bob probably still has that cardigan.  And we still have some of the furniture. This was our second home.  We kept the house on White Street and rented both apartments.  One apartment paid that mortgage, and the other paid the mortgage for Charles Street.  Both houses had nice hardwood floors, because 100 years ago, that's what houses had.  We didn't install wall to wall carpet, but bought carpeting made to fit the rooms on White St., then took them with us when we moved.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Puns sent by my son

How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it. 
Venison for dinner again? Oh deer! 
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Typo.
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
When chemists die, they barium.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
Broken pencils are pointless.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A theasaurus.
I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
All the toilets in New York's police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
Velcro - what a rip off!


* Black Lives Matter, All Lives Don't Matter.
* College should be free and all student loans cancelled.
* Medical treatment should be free.
* To become an American Citizen just show up here.
* The economy sucks and after 7 years in office, it's not Obama's fault.
* The Middle Class is shrinking and after 7 years in office, it's not Obama's fault.
* The Average Family income is dropping and after 7 years in office, it's not Obama's fault.
* Black youths have over a 50% unemployment rate and after 7 years in office it's not Obama's fault.
* Hispanic youth unemployment is over 35% and after 7 years in office, it's not Obama's fault.
* 50% of the Population is paying 100% of all the taxes and they are still not paying their fair share.
* Everyone who votes Democrat will work less, make more, get more time off, spend more time with family, pay less taxes, and get more government subsidies.
* Everyone else does it, so should we, regardless of the results other places.
* Government wants more money to squander on promises already broken.
* The word "Progressive" is less cringe worthy than saying you're a Liberal.
* When America grows up, we want to be Norway, Sweden or the Netherlands.
* There's a quagmire in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East and Obama's retreating from the area has nothing to do with the situation.
* Republicans want dirty air, dirty water, oil spills, trash on the streets, polluted oceans, old people without medical treatment and dead, young people without educations being paid the lowest wages possible, starving children, don't believe in equal rights, were responsible for Jim Crow Laws and not Affirmative action.
* Snowden and General Petraeus broke laws for releasing and not securing secret documents but Hillary Clinton shares no responsibility.
* Marijuana cures all diseases.
* Marijuana smokers are being imprisoned for smoking a joint.
* If elected, everything will be rainbows and Unicorns - just like with Obama.
* Hillary Clinton does walk on water.
* Cheaters do prosper.
* People often cheer stupidity.
* There are only two candidates given a voice in the Democrat Race.
* Hillary and Bill Clinton were born poor Black Children.
* All the qualifications needed to be President is to be a woman.
* Evil looks like anything white, rich, successful and productive.
* You will receive a participation trophy in life.
* Agreements of any kind should be signed and committed to even if the other agreeing party doesn't live up to its obligations.
* Everything is still Bush's fault.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And this is the best woman for the job?

Hillary said in an Iowa Townhall, 'I Wouldn't Keep Any School Open That Wasn't Doing A Better Than Average Job'. How does that work? Once she had a new number of schools, tested those kids and teachers, wouldn't she have a new mean to work with, and then have a bunch of schools not performing better than average? Wouldn't she be closing schools in primarily minority and poor neighborhoods or schools with a lot of special needs kids whose children haven't had the advantage of 2 parents, or educated parents or have had physical and mental challenges? I know we have a Department of Education (b. 1979, Jimmy Carter) which funnels tax money through its bureaucracies, but isn't education a responsibility given to the states and local governments? 

Really, folks. You want her in the White House telling your school to close?

Image result for average school

Down the rabbit hole with musician Eric Wyse

The other day I purchased at Marc's for $1.50 a Christmas CD, "Log Cabin Christmas; 20 songs of the season performed in simple folk styles."  It's really lovely, and quite relaxing.
So in deciding to mention it on my blog, I needed to do a little research.  I chose the name of one of the producers, Eric Wyse, because the rest of the production, musicians, and location stuff didn't look too promising-- Barbour publishing, licensed from Classic Fox Records, made in the USA (in Uhrichsville, Ohio).

What a find.  Wyse is a song writer and pianist, and I'm not sure about how much production he does on the side, but I've enjoyed listening to his Christian music.  These are called "rabbit holes" when you get an idea and it takes you to places you didn't know you needed to go.  From his home page:
An accomplished keyboardist, songwriter, church musician, and record and video producer, Eric Wyse will complete 19 years of service as Organist/Choirmaster (1994-2001) and Director of Music/Organist (2001-2013) at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee June 2013. In September,  he will begin a new position as Director of Music/Organist at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, SC.
As a pianist, Eric has recorded the best-selling  "Reflections" series of solo piano music with sales in excess of 200,000 units. His organ work was featured on the worship project "City on a Hill - Sing Alleluia".
He is best known, perhaps, as the co-writer of the modern hymn, "Wonderful, Merciful Savior," written in 1989 with his wife, Dawn Rodgers. Recorded by numerous Christian artists including Selah, Phillips Craig & Dean, Kari Jobe, Anthony Evans, Kathy Troccoli, Travis Cottrell, and Clay Cross, the song received a 2002 Gospel Music Association Dove Award nomination for “Inspirational Song of the Year”. It appears in many new hymnals, including Rejoice Hymns (Majesty Music, 2011), Songs for Worship and Praise (2010, Taylor Publications), The Baptist Hymnal (2008, LifeWay Worship), Hymns for a Pilgrim People (GIA/NAACC, 2007), and The Christian Life Hymnal (Hendrickson, 2006). Other songs written by Eric include "Lamb of God (Angus Dei)" recorded by BeBo Norman and Mark Hall & Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns) and his setting of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father in Heaven", which is gaining acceptance in churches across the country.
An award-winning producer and consultant in recording and video production, Eric has worked with a variety of artists, including Keith & Kristyn Getty, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, CeCe Winans, Amy Grant, Donnie McClurkin, and Hee Haw’s LuLu Roman. In 2007, he produced a critically acclaimed full-length London recording of Handel's Messiah with British conductor John Rutter, featuring The Cambridge Singers & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
 And even after researching it, I still have no idea who the musicians are for this CD.  I do think that is an oversight. They are good. So, after wandering around that rabbit hole, I decided to look at Uhrichsville, Ohio, a town I'd never heard of.  What I found was a wonderful Christian publishing company, named Barbour.
Faithfulness to the Bible and Jesus Christ are the bedrock values behind every book Barbour's staff produces from its 115,000-square foot facilities in Uhrichsville, Ohio. When the company's unit sales reached fourteen million in a fiscal year, Martins commented, "I'm really excited about that figure. That's fourteen million Christian books - not fourteen million hamburgers, or fourteen million cars, or fourteen million computers. It's fourteen million books sharing the message of Christ!"
What a fun search. And all for $1.50 from a remaindered supply at Marc's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back to the drawing board

About 8 years ago I was in a writing group with an adorable, really precocious kid about 11. Years go by and we friend each other on Facebook and more years go by and it turns out he's now in college and an active protester at his university saying the same dumb things we all did at that age. I don't know if he's a "snowflake," yet but he's definitely listing to the left.  He shared a poster of demands on his Facebook page. I had to correct the spelling of two words, one of which was "proffesors." Couldn't resist.

Music theory song

Hoping for some new books for Christmas--on my Nook

I recharged my Nook the other day and handed it to my daughter with some suggestions for Christmas of multi-volume books I'd like to have around, but not on my bookshelves due to space, like the early church fathers. I'm not a digital book fan, and probably only have 5 or 6 loaded. But I've also found some good audio on YouTube. "A large video collection of classic hymns, contemporary Praise and Worship songs, and the works (audio books, devotional readings, and sermons) of men greatly used of God, such as: Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, and many more, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life." Listening to Eusebius History of the Church this morning. Sponsored by a group called "Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons and Audio Books." 

Despite all the crap and dirt, the internet is also full of treasures.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The earliest Christian creed

There was no Bible to direct Paul on his missionary journeys or to guide his letters to the converts.  He had to tell them what he had been told in the period of time between his Damascus Road experience (about 4-5 years after the resurrection) and the beginning of his ministry.  This was a time when the disciples of Jesus were able to school him in the truths of the gospel until he was ready to go out on his own. They gave him this creed. Also, Paul’s letters were circulating before the four Gospels. He teaches using a form of a creed--a statement of belief--which had been taught to him.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

That Christ died for our sins
According to the Scriptures
That he was buried
That he was raised on the third day
According to the Scriptures
And that he appeared to Peter
And then to the Twelve.”

1 Corinthians 15: 3-5

He preceded that statement of faith by reminding them that this is the gospel that saved them, otherwise their belief is in vain.  And also ours.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cute puppy, hold him close

Sally his owner says: ". . . he was diagnosed with a very rare disease called CMO, CranioMandibular Osteopathy. We expect him to outgrow this by age 12 months. He is doing consistently well on 1/2 tsp. colloidal silver each day. The vets have no treatments to offer." 

Fresh take on old verse

"During the Christmas season I think often of that extraordinary verse in Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. The Son is not born; the SON eternally existed and is GIVEN. The CHILD is BORN and entered our time." - Ravi Zacharias

HT Pastor Dave Mann, UALC

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Housing for the poor

The nation’s leading housing agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reported in April 2015 that more than 7.7 million very low - income families have “worst case housing needs ”because they do not receive government housing assistance and paid more than half of their monthly income for rent, lived in severely substandard housing, or both. But how can that be? There are at least 160 federal programs at 20 different federal agencies providing assistance and affordable housing for the poor! $270 billion in 2012. There are block grants to states, special deals for mortgages, vouchers for rent assistance, thousands of regulations on special housing projects—you name it—and there are eager government employees making a good living helping the poor. If you’ve wondered why government won’t do much to lower the costs of health care by taking over insurance, just look at how government takes care of the poor who need housing.

I slipped His fingers, I escaped His feet

I heard this lovely poem recited at the end of a very complex lecture on theology and history by Charles Craigmile, but without attribution.  I googled the first line, and found it is often attributed to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, but kept looking, and found it in one of his addresses from 1940.  It is so lovely.  Some say the name of the poet doesn't matter, but she does. The Sheen source attributed it to Elizabeth Cheney (b. 1859).
"I slipped His fingers, I escaped His feet,
     I ran and hid, for Him I feared to meet.
     One day I passed Him, fettered on a Tree,
     He turned His Head, and looked, and beckoned me.

    "Neither by speed, nor strength could He prevail.
     Each hand and foot was pinioned by a nail.
     He could not run or clasp me if He tried,
     But with His eye, He bade me reach His side.

    "For pity's sake, thought I, I'll set you free.
     'Nay -- hold this cross,' He said, 'and follow me.
     This yoke is easy, this burden light,
     Not hard or grievous if you wear it tight.'

    "So did I follow Him Who could not move,
     An uncaught captive in the hands of Love."

         -- (Attributed to) Elizabeth Cheney (in a Sheen address found on a blog)

But I kept looking (it's a librarian thing) and found a version with a  different message attributed to Cheney--more evangelistic, perhaps more social justice, but without Christ's words. Neither poem provides the truth of the resurrection. The poet Cheney is best known for a small poem about birds and anxiety that appears on plaques. So perhaps the Sheen version and the Cheney version are not one, but different treatments of the same theme.

 Whenever there is silence around me
By day or by night—
I am startled by a cry.
It came down from the cross—
The first time I heard it.
I went out and searched—
And found a man in the throes of crucifixion,
And I said, “I will take you down,”
And I tried to take the nails out of his feet.
But he said, “Let them be,
For I cannot be taken down
Until every man, every woman, and every child
Come together to take me down.”
And I said, “But I cannot bear your cry.
What can I do?”
And he said, “Go about the world—
Tell every one that you meet—
There is a man on the cross.”

Elizabeth Cheney

Incidentally, not only is there a modern Elizabeth Cheney (daughter of the former vice president), but there was an English Elizabeth Cheney in the 15th century who because of her two marriages was the great-grandmother of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard, three of the wives of King Henry VIII of England, thus making her great-great-grandmother to King Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her first husband was Sir Frederick Tilney, and her second husband was Sir John Say, Speaker of the House of Commons. She produced a total of nine children from both marriages.

Isn't the internet amazing? It's not often you can get a 15th century royal, a 19th century poet and a 20th century priest worked into the same article.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lectures on the Church Fathers

This morning while exercising I listened to lecture 8, St. John of Damascus, series on Early Church Fathers, held at St. Mary's Summer School in Lake Forest, IL in 2014. The lecturer, who is not a priest or deacon but a business man, is so good, I listened to all 8.  Then I find there was another series in 2015, which I'll have to look at.

The lecturer Charles H. Craigmile holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy, with minors in Latin and Greek from the University of St. Thomas, an MA in philosophy from DePaul University, and an MBA from JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.   Charles has also completed three-years’ course work toward a graduate degree in Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.  Over the last 25 years, Charles has taught Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) programs across the Chicago area and led summer programs in recent years at Church of Saint Mary in Lake Forest. He is President and CEO of Revenova, LLC, the leading Cloud based Transportation Management Application built on the platform. Previously, he was President and CEO of Forseva which he sold to Equifax in 2014.

The summer 2015 series:

#1 Framework for Catholic Social Teaching:  Faith, Morals and The Universal Call to Holiness
Tuesday, June 23rd (Grotto)
#2  The Dignity of the Human Person as the Foundation of Catholic Social Teaching:  Secular and Catholic Perspectives
Tuesday, June 30th (Stuart Community Room)
#3 Human Sexuality Part One:  Authentic Love in Truth
Tuesday, July 7th (Stuart Community Room)
#4 Human Sexuality Part Two:  Authentic Love in Truth
Tuesday, July 14th (Stuart Community Room)
#5 Medical Ethics:  New Technologies and the Promotion of Human Dignity
Tuesday, July 21st (Stuart Community Room)     
#6 Core Principles of Catholic Social Teaching on the Political Economy
Tuesday, July 28th (Stuart Community Room)        
#7 Catholic Social Teaching and Public Policy:  Core Principles’ Application to Contemporary Policy

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Emperor Constantine did not found the Catholic Church

 Jimmy Akin refutes the claim made by some Christian Fundamentalists that the Emperor Constantine founded the Catholic Church.  He did however allow them to be "tolerated." He didn't make Catholicism the official religion of the empire.

Did the Emperor Constantine found the Catholic Church? | Catholic Answers

Who were the Church Fathers? | Catholic Answers

Who were the Church Fathers? | Catholic Answers

Don't panic, all you Protestants and non-denominationalists.  We share most of these. And probably all their ideas if they died in good standing with the church

Stop demeaning the Trump supporters as ignorant and uneducated

I was watching the huge crowd of Trump supporters last night as he was being interviewed by O'Reilly. Don't underestimate him by demeaning his supporters (of which I'm not one). They were all ages, genders, ethnicities, incomes, education (it's not cheap to go to those expensive tourist towns to hang out at political events) and all thoroughly fed up with the antics of both parties in Washington. The Republicans don't keep their promises to return us to good values and the Constitution, and the Democrats keep their promises to run up the taxes, regulations and drive us away from the Constitution.

We don't have RA, but these are good tips

13 tips for anyone who is getting up in years, or feeling some stiffness.

New on my Nook--Eusebius

"If Herodotus is the father of history, then Eusebius of Caesarea (c. A.D. 260-339) is certainly the father of church history.  He was the first to undertake the task of tracing the rise of Christianity during its crucial first three centuries from Christ to Constantine.  Since no other ancient author tried to cover the same period, Eusebius is our principal primary source for earliest Christianity and his Church History is the cornerstone chronicle on which later historians would build."  Introduction, "Eusebius: The Church History," c. 1999, 2007, 2011 translation and commentary  by Paul L. Maier, Kregel Digital Editions, Grand Rapids, MI.

I've downloaded a "sample" which seems to be 72 pages.

I've had my Nook about 3 years, and haven't done much with it. I thought I'd put some titles on a list and hand this puppy over to my daughter, who loves this stuff. (She bought it for me for Mother's Days a few years ago.)

Review at "Dr. Paul L. Maier's award-winning translation Josephus: The Essential Works, now has a companion volume in a brilliant, word-for-word translation of and commentary on Eusebius's great Church History. Beginning with Jesus of Nazareth and ending with Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor in the early part of the fourth century, Eusebius presents a panorama of apostles, church fathers, elders, bishops, heroes, heretics, confessors, and martyrs. Key features in this new translation include more than 150 full-color photographs, maps and illustrations, an informative introduction to Eusebius and his works, commentaries on the significant historical developments addressed in each book of The Church History, and four indexes listing persons, places, and subjects cited, as well as photographs and illustrative material. This flowing, contemporary English translation remains faithful to the original Greek text but liberates Eusebius from previous outdated and stilted works, creating a new standard primary resource for anyone, lay or professional, who is interested in the early history of Christianity.
Christianity Today:  "There is no book more important o understanding the early church than Eusebius's The Church History.  And there is no edition more readable and engaging than this one."

Bacon or lettuce on that?

Are they pulling my leg? ""Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon," said Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. "Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken."

No more lettuce on my BLT!

From masters to heads to . . .

According to R.R. Reno (First Things, Jan. 2016) Princeton has agreed to rename "masters" of its residential colleges to "heads" to protect the crybullies from feeling unsafe. One alum recommends changing "heads" to "asses" so as not to marginalize that part of the body, and to more aptly describe their role.

Is anyone in charge here?

Yesterday I came across a slick brochure advertising IF:Gathering 2016, which seems to be an ecumenical live gathering with lots of high tech underground and over reach--blogging, twiitter, Pinterest, tumblr, etc.--supposedly reaching about 400,000 women for the last event as reported by Christianity Today and Huffington Post. The brochure made no mention of the ministry or resurrection of Jesus which always gives me pause in publicity for massive "Christian" events. Is that to be "seeker" friendly, or was it an oversight by the proof reader? No theology, Christology, ecclesiology, or any isms or ologies that I'm familiar with that point back to the New Testament church. Just lots of good vibes and emotion, plus some social justice links to well known Christian groups. "A fresh, deep, honest space for the next generation of women to wrestle with essential questions that plague their generation." I can find no "authority" or church leader higher than the woman (and her husband) who organized it. I'm feeling my age today--and the multitude of events I've seen come and go in the last 40 years. Thoughts? Have you attended one of these?

Where are the adults?

They need to start hiring adults to be teachers in this district. "During a world geography lesson on Friday about world religions, including Islam, teacher Cheryl LaPorte had students complete an assignment that involved practicing calligraphy and writing a Muslim statement of faith, also known as the shahada, which translates as: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." Students were also reportedly shown copies of the Quran." Parents are unhappy; school board saw no problem. If it was a geography lesson, why not write the name of their city? Or their own name? Students also got to dress modestly with a scarf like Muslims. Patrick Madrid wondered what would happen if the assignment was to dress like a Carmelite nun (they still wear the black and white habit) and write "Jesus is Lord." I think someone would be fired, don't you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Vanilla Lemon Chex Mix

Read this for the instructions; not difficult.  Great for a holiday party. 

  • 5 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • ¾ cup Vanilla Baking Chips
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

After the Ball, the PR agenda for normalizing homosexuality

 It wasn't just the book "After the Ball" which normalized homosexuality in our culture. It was the other 99%.

"It should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention over the course of the past 25 years that the strategies proposed by Kirk and Madsen have been all too successful at normalizing homosexuality—or, at least, the idea that a homosexual “orientation” is perfectly natural.  (Homosexual practice, on the other hand, has been kept discreetly under wraps.)  But as successful as this marketing of the gay brand has been, it could not have made much headway if Americans had not already been predisposed to it by the long development of what sociologist Philip Rieff called the “therapeutic culture,” a culture rooted in affluence, consumerism, and perpetual rebellion against the old communal culture and its system of moral demands.  In the therapeutic culture each individual is liberated to pursue his own desires, convinced that he is the self-created agent of those desires, or, as Stephen L. Gardner has so aptly put it, the “demi-god of his eros and ambitions.”  Within such a culture, sexual desire has gradually become detached from its place in the natural order, and sexual “identity” elevated to an almost sacramental status.  Facebook, surely a bellwether of our free fall into mass narcissism and incoherence, now offers some 56 gender alternatives to traditional male/female sex identities, and each of these implies one or more modes of sexual satisfaction.  Of course, most Americans are boorishly indifferent to this bewildering array of options.  Nonetheless, the unending Sexual Revolution has made deep inroads in Middle America.  Consider the sex-toy industry.  David Rosen at estimates that global profits in sex accessories now approach $15 billion annually, much of which is generated by U.S. sales.  Who is buying all those naughty products?  Well, it seems that a whopping number of them are purchased by middle-class American women."
Jack Trotter, Conservatives and the Gay Agenda

The IRS is at it again!

 What could be worse than the IRS being in charge of your medical records?  How about crushing with a burden of paper work every organization you donate to? And not just demanding donor lists for conservative groups like they did to conservatives during the 2012 campaign.  This could also hurt you Democrats who have a heart for charity. The IRS has proposed a new regulation that would require 501(c)3 charitable organizations to collect social security numbers of donors who donate $250.  Mega death organizations like Planned Parenthood would have no problem with this, or the Clinton Foundation which has accepted millions from foreign donors while Hillary was Secretary of State.  But the little church around the corner?  Your local dog breed rescue group?

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Cor. 13:13

So easy even a librarian could do it

Glenn Beck resettles Iraqi Christians in Slovakia

As I’ve said before, I’m all for resettling Christian refugees from the Middle-east. I think I read somewhere that so far, 53 Christians have been admitted to the U.S. even though they are facing genocide—we’ve probably admitted more Muslim terrorists than that. However, how to support this? 
Last night Glenn Beck showed video of his organization (Mercury One) taking 149 Christians out of a refugee camp in Iraq (I think they’d been in the camp 2 years). They contacted 11 countries, including the USA, but only Slovakia would take them. Iraqi Christians are probably descended from the apostles or someone who knew them, as are other Orthodox Christians, so it shouldn’t be an impossible job. They had their last mass with their priest, said good-bye to friends and family, and flew off to a new country, new language, new customs. It was really heart wrenching. 
These were not peasants, they are educated people with careers and homes, now all ripped away. Iraq has been their people’s home for centuries. Their community had a good life in Iraq (as I recall from pre-war days, they were protected by Saddam Hussein who was a secular Muslim). ISIS was threatening to behead them right up to the end, in fact, the first flight was delayed due to intelligence they might be attacked. (Several times Beck mentioned that ISIS was killing the handicapped, although I haven’t seen that report elsewhere. He has a physically challenged daughter, so he’s always very sensitive to that.) It was like watching the frantic flights out of VietNam after U.S. renigged on the treaty agreements. 
Anyway, we had talked before about who could we trust with money to do this? Mennonites? Brethren? Lutheran? Any of the groups we’ve supported in the past? No, plus they all cooperate with World Council of Churches for world relief, which if you’ve ever read their documents is very pro-Muslim (I saw that even in the 1970s). Beck had tried to raise $10,000,000 to do this with listener/member donations, but instead raised $13,000,000. So we knew where to send our help. God bless people like Beck who take enormous risks (he was also Iraq with the camera crew and all the people it took to organize this).
Incidentally, he said a crew from 20/20 went along to film it, but I don’t think he really trusts the MSM to get the story right. We’ll see if it gets more than a few minutes on another news show. It has been reported on Fox and in some Christian on-line publications.!