Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SOMETIMES PAIN IS GOOD

Iguana in Cancun, Mexico.  Photo by Chris Brown.


On one trip to Mexico we took advantage of the shuttle bus from the hotel to the various restaurants.  On one trip back to the hotel I noticed an iguana next to the curb.  As we departed the bus I asked Chris if he would take a picture for me.  He did.  

Today I read a blog written by Jared C. Wilson.  He is a C. S. Lewis fan.  He used a picture of an iguana to illustrate his reference to a boy becoming a dragon.  He talks about how pain can produce good results.  I thought of our iguana pictures.  Here is another one by Chris.  If you would like to read the blog click here.


Photo by Chris Brown.


Another interesting blog I read today was by Justin Taylor.  He points out the differences between the Protestant and the Catholic church.  I can remember as a college student I determined I would not date any Catholics.  But today some Protestants are actually joining the Catholic church.  If you would like to read his blog click here.

A third blog I liked today was about the excuses God will hear on Judgement day.  I thought Jordan Standridge made some good points.  If you would like to read his blog click here.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TO WATCH OR NOT TO WATCH THAT IS THE QUESTION

My aunt Evelyn did not believe that we had a 7" TV.  Here we are watching it.  I think this is in Alexandria at our Jefferson Manor house. Evy is sitting next to Davy and Jay is on the right.



My dad liked to watch TV.  It was a natural tranquilizer for him. My mom hated TV.  She would rather be reading.  The following, I think, is the story of why we had a TV before anybody else in Fairbanks, Alaska:

We lived in California in 1947.  California had TV stations at that time.  Apparently my dad purchased a 7" TV.  I appeared on the Howdy Doody TV show with my Brownie Troop. My mom watched the show and she said that they showed a close up of me.   

Then when we arrived in Alaska in 1950 there were no TV broadcasting stations.  We switched back to listening to the radio. Two years later we moved to Virginia.  In 1952 in Virginia there was at least one TV broadcast station.  We watched "Captain Video" and enjoyed it very much.  I remember one time two neighbors, Beverly Barrett and Rita Raybold came over to ask me to come out and play.  I turned them down so I could watch "my show."  After that I did go out and play with them.  Later I dressed the neighbors and Evy up in old costumes of mine and presented recitals.
Bottom to top Davy, me, Beverly, Rita, and 2 more I don't remember.

I don't remember the names of those five in this picture.  On the right is Evy, Davy sitting below.

  Jay watched cartoons.  I'm not sure how Evy, Davy, or Wayne felt about TV but I know Jay and I enjoyed it like our dad. (Jennifer let me know that Evy liked Seinfeld.  She also liked Mission Impossible as I recall.) My dad and I would bet on how many times Mannix got hit on the head during the Mannix show.  That was an enjoyable dad/daughter time for us. I doubt my mom ever watched the show.  Sarah reminded me that she watched and enjoyed Lawrence Welk. 

Now Chris and I  have cable TV.  We have 24 hour coverage.  I have at least 2 Christian friends who do not watch cable news. I am considering following their examples.  Here is a blog which asks some interesting questions to consider about cable news.  

Here is a You Tube of Springsteen's song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I READ THEREFORE I AM

John Huss

I enjoy reading biographies about Christian missionaries.  After struggling through a Edith Blumhofer biography of Fanny Crosby, (it seemed to twist and turn and was not easy to follow), I switched to those written for children.  Alan Millwright, Sam Wellmen, Janet & Geoff Benge are some of the authors of the "Heros of the Faith" series that I liked.  

Now for the next 2 months, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:  

 (In 2017, 31 October will be a lawful holiday in all of Germany.[19] In order to do this, German states which do not celebrate the Reformation Day annually have passed adequate legislation or made regulations. These states are Baden-W├╝rttemberg,[20] Bavaria,[21] Berlin,[22] Bremen,[23] Hamburg,[24] Hessen,[25] Niedersachsen,[26] Nordrhein-Westfalen,[27]Rheinland-Pfalz,[28] Saarland[29] and Schleswig-Holstein.[30]
In the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be hosting an event to commemorate the Reformation in Washington, D.C.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformation_Day

I plan to read biographies about the reformers.  The Cripplegate blog will be posting short biographies of these men on Thursdays for the next 8 weeks.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A WHEEL IN A WHEEL

One of the acts on America's Got Talent


  As I was reading through the Bible this year I came to Ezekiel 1:15

 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.


This Passage reminded me of the act which recently appeared on the America's Got Talent TV show.  It combined engineering with people who are gifted dancers and tumblers. Maybe the idea for this wheel came from Ezekiel's vision.  According to my study Bible this description represents some of God's attributes -- all knowing and all seeing. You may have heard the folk song written about the wheels:


Ezekiel saw the wheels;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel saw the wheels;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Chorus
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in white?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children of the Israelite's:
Way up in the middle of the air.
Chorus
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in red?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children that Moses led:
Way in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel saw the wheel;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Now Ezekiel saw the wheel in a wheel;
Way in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in black?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children running' back:
Way in the middle of the air.
Chorus
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way in the middle of the air,
Way in the middle of the air.

To me this is all very strange.  The style of writing in Ezekiel is poetic.  He draws us a picture of God that is bigger than anything that we can imagine. All I know is that when we face threats such as the natural disaster of Hurricane Harvey, nuclear war from North Korea, and fires burning in Montana, California, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and others, we have a God who is bigger than any of these problems.  He will hear and answer our prayers for help.   Will you join me?