Archive for September 2015

THE BIRTHDAY DAY

September 29, 2015

The family is around me on my birthday.   Daughter and Cooper from California.    Son is present,  and close.   They all told me I can choose to do anything I want to do on my birthday.  And they would go along with it.

I started the day the way I wanted to.

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A beautiful day with summer flowers still in bloom.   A meeting with God my Creator Who wishes to commune with me.   And has provided a unique and profound way,  found only here. . . .

He made me.   I want to give me back to Him.   And I did, this morning.    The morning of my birthday.

Second on the list of doing “anything I want to do”  was a trip to our Planetarium.

planetarium bldgWith the big Blood Moon scheduled for the night,   the Planetarium was a natural choice.

We saw a pretty neat program about a trip through our solar system.

 I took a screen shot of the ceiling while we were waiting for the program to start.    But we had to turn off our cell phone cameras during the awesome wild ride through the solar system.    Cooper loved the Planetarium experience and sang along with some the background music.

Next,  time for dinner.

 Anything I wanted for my birthday dinner?    An Old Chicago pizza!

Then home for a home-decorated cake —

 You would not believe how delicious this cake is!   Chocolate, yes;  but a deep, dark, rich, moist chocolate that all came together just perfectly.   I can make some pretty good chocolate cakes — but this one is the best-tasting I can ever remember.        Son was the baker.   (I don’t know who all were the decorators.)

The day ended with one more activity of my own choice:   A trip to our local corn field — in the deep dark night.    We stopped in the middle of a narrow country road and got out of the car with our binoculars, and the moon was already reddening.

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Had to use a flash to get this photo.   We were stumbling around in the dark and  couldn’t see our hands before our faces.

I left my “good” camera at home —

 But that’s our very own Blood Moon.     I know there is some significant timing involved here,  the fourth Blood Moon of a tetrad of Blood Moons, and all falling on a significant Jewish holiday, with a history of significant world changes whenever this coincidental timing has happened before.

But — the outcome is in God’s hands.  He may surprise us with . . . nothing much.    It’s up to Him.

We were out there in the corn fields for an hour and half.   Awesome experience.

Awesome birthday.

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GIFT

September 29, 2015

Whew!       It’s been a wonderful birthday this year.

The best “gift”   was not given as a gift, I think,  but was a wonderful insight that came up during a class discussion.

sup burning bush

We were studying the name God gave for Himself to Moses.    It is a name to think about.  A name that we found it difficult to even begin talking about.    A name so profound that it will instruct for the rest of our lives and for all eternity.

And then a lady began to tell us of her experience with such things.    She told us about sitting on the sandy beach of Lake Superior.  At night.   With some good friends.    The sound of the waves lapping against the shore.    And the heavens filled with stars, so bright and close.

Not much needed to be said,  just the feeling of awe with the heavens pressing down.

sup night skyShe made us feel we were out there with her on the beach at night with the stars deep and close above us.    And she reminded us of the wonderment and awe and the certainty that a great Intelligence designed and created it all for purposes known only to Him, and that we have a very, very, very small existence under these heavens but we’re part of that great vastness.

And then —  she said something that took us even deeper into that Eternal Intelligence.   She said she used to enjoy this experience whenever she could,  and we understood, because some of us have been outside under the tremendous night sky and felt the vastness of space. . .   and then she said that “this class”  — meaning our class and the goodness and faith of the people in it — has made her apprehend the great Vastness beyond even all this,  a beautiful,  bright,  holy vast Goodness that is God,  just beyond and above and all around all the incomprehensible vastness of space . . .

We walked out of class that night with an ineffable sense of the Great I AM that introduced Himself to Moses.

I AM.       No adequate words.     I AM.   That origin of all that exists.    Life.   Love.   Joy.

We are all “gifted”  with our lives that are just a tiny part of this Immensity.

We all “am”  because of the Great I AM.

To know this is the best gift.

KITCHEN: A PLACE TO LAY ME DOWN

September 26, 2015

Okay,  just a few photos.   There are four things that need to be finished by the workmen,  but they’re coming back when they have the “parts”  —  that is common,  and I now have “places”  upon which to lay the debris of my life:  keys,  purse,   mail,  coffee cup,  half-eaten…things.

Here it is —

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A bit lighter.   Still kind of pretty.

And the new sink,  the “business end”  of the kitchen —

 Now,    all the proportions and sizes are just a tiny bit “off”  from what they were before.   All the counter tops were raised by a half inch or maybe more.   The new sink is two inches deeper.   This makes me feel  small when I do things in here!   Takes some getting used to.    Nobody but the homemaker who spends much of her time in the kitchen would notice these things.

The biggest change?    As I said before,  my counter tops are white.   Were white.  A lot of family history happened on those white counter tops.    Now . . .    not quite white.   They’re kind of that pretty shade of tan in the center of the photo.  Matches the new wood at least.  Will I like it?    How long before I really, really like it?

Here is a bit of a miracle —

 Dishwasher.   Just a new dishwasher.    Not quite a necessity for me,   but I’ll use it and appreciate it.   That’s not the miracle.   The miracle happened a few hours after it was delivered to my kitchen — and the delivery men drove away.   Of course.  They are not the installers.

Son was going to be the installer.    I had to leave for class shortly after Son arrived. — He had full confidence that he could install the dishwasher and make all the connections.   (He’s done it before.)     I had full confidence in him too.

I’m glad I wasn’t home to see all the things that happened during the installation !!!     But Son was unshaken.

And for the first time since this whole new-kitchen process began,  when I came home and saw that new dishwasher ready to go,   I felt unexpectedly  happy and joyful, relaxed and relieved.

It’s over!

See the date?

 One day before my birthday.

I’m on my way to the airport now to pick up Cooper (and Daughter)  for a week-long visit.

 His bed is ready,  stegosaurus and all.

Deo gratias.

COUNTING ON COUNTER . . . TOPS

September 23, 2015

There are certain things you want to be able to count on.

And one of them is having your counter tops where they belong in your kitchen.    I can’t believe how many times I’ve tried to put down a cup or a glass,  car keys,  the mail,  whatever, just right down where they temporarily “belong” in everyday life.

And there have been on counter tops around her for a few days.

It’s getting downright ugly —

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No place to put anything.   And most shocking of all —  no place to get things from!    Things just “aren’t there.”

I’ve got good guys working for me –

And outside too —

But sometimes I’m even locked out of my own kitchen, or what’s left of it  —

It’s amazing how many times I count on my kitchen being the way it always is.    How many times I walk through and need to just rinse off my hands.     No sink.      I just need to use my big kitchen scissors.   No drawer.     I need to just get a big glass of . . .     not there.

My kitchen will be patched up soon.      Looking like new, I think.   At least,  that’s the plan.    I’m not so good at “new,”   but I think it was past time for an update.

While my life has been disrupted,  I’ve had time to think of all the other things we count on in life,  but the most important always comes down to people and relationships.

You count on your friends being there for you once in a while — and they count on you being there for them, friendly-like,  willing to smile, to accept,  to listen, to help sometimes.

You count on your Mom and Dad being there FOR EACH OTHER as you’re growing up.       Otherwise, there’s a deep wounded place inside you  that never works quite right,  never feels quite right.

You count on your “whole world”  being there for you,  whenever you need it or parts of it:  you can always get those books you were meaning to read;   you can always get that training or education you’re planning on doing;    you can always make those personal self-improvements you know you should.

You want to count on God being there, so you can get to know Him better “some day.” .  You can always be praying,    not for something “big”  but just to communicate with God,  adore Him,  worship Him,  honor Him, as you know a created being should.

He’s always there.    He’s the One who is never “under construction”  and “unavailable.”

SEASONS AND CELEBRATIONS

September 22, 2015

Might be some trivia here.   Interesting information. Knowledge that was common to what was once Western Civilization.

When we go to bed tonight in this Summer season  we will wake up tomorrow morning in Autumn.    We will have experienced the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun’s rays are directly perpendicular to the equator of our earth.

solar revolutions make seasons

Around and around we go.   Around the sun, that is.

Right from the beginning, mankind has figured out (or been told)  that the “lights in the sky”  are an aid to keeping track of the seasons.

solar system orbsCold weather coming,  hot weather,  hunting season,  the fishing will be good, planting season,  harvest time.    Lunar calendar.  Solar calendar.    The Ancients conducted their commerce and business by the season, sometimes roughly by the “month.”

“Before Julius Caesar”  —  pre-Julian —   the Romans had a diagram of the different months:

The fasti antiates

The fasti antiates

The Romans also divided each month into sections.

solar roman month

But the four seasons of the year remained a very important way to divide the time of the year.   From the earliest time of Christianity,  the first early Christians honored the beginning of each of the seasons of nature by special days of fasting and prayer.    These days,  Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the first week of each of the natural seasons are known as the Ember Days.

Each season has qualities of its own, and it reminded Christians that it’s time to take stock of our own “qualities.”    How are we doing, spiritually speaking?    What old habits should be dropped as the old season passes away?  What new good qualities should we be working on as the new season begins?   What are our duties in the coming season?    What characteristics should we be developing?    Serious business!    Prayer and fasting!    The new season reminds us of very private and internal issues.

Ember Days bind us to the rhythms of the planet and help us  to acknowledge God as the Creator of the world and of our part in it.

solar slant

I have a feeling that those who respect these Ember Days have a deep understanding of human life.

And those who keep the Ember Days have the joy of taking part in the loving care of this Created world.

FOOTBALL PROGRESS – WEEK TWO

September 22, 2015

I’m not a guy, okay?   I just enjoy football.     (While I knit.)       I enjoy how the game is played.

I don’t enjoy watching Jay Cutler get hurt.  Again.     And the Bears losing.  Again.

But here’s a repeat photo of the Bear I’m working on while I watch the game.

 That was Week One.

This is Week Two and I’ve enjoyed more games.   I’ve watched the Packers smack and the  Unluck of Andrew Luck,  and I’ve made more progress on the Bear —

 The back of the sweater is done and almost two sleeves.   The owner of this sweater will be arriving from California in three days.

There won’t be enough football games before then for me to finish the sweater,  but that’s okay.   It’s a good thing for him to see the progress.   Sweaters don’t just “come off the rack” in stores.    They don’t have to.    It will be good for Cooper to see a work in progress.    He’s in pre-Kindergarten, after all.

He’s kind of a Work In Progress himself.

And a Raiders fan.     Sigh-h-h-h-h-h.

A FAMOUS TORTURER GETS SOME PUBLICITY!

September 22, 2015

It’s called “Product Placement”  — you place a product or face in front of cameras, and you don’t say a word.  The image will do the talking — or rather the insidious whispering — for you.

It is said this “Famous Torturer”  enjoyed going into his prisons at the end of his day to watch his prisoners being tortured.   They lived in those foul, dark prisons for weeks, sometimes months,  every day in fear and in pain from the tortures they endured — and in terror that another session of torture would soon come.

Which it certainly did,  until they died.    No relief.  No care.   No change, until death.

And this “Famous Torturer” felt stimulated,  aroused, strengthened,  vindicated in some insane way by watching the tortures being done.    It was torture, not just for “information,”   but for the savage meanness of it.     Want some photos?   No.  use your imagination.   Every time I do that  —      . . .  No   —      These are real men, young men,  fathers, brothers, sons —   bodies mangles and abused.

This “Famous Torturer” was an important part of the revolutionary movement that overthrew governments in South America,  Argentina, specifically.    Cuba.     He was the Mass Murderer and Chief Executioner for Fidel Castro during the Cuban “revolution.”

The Leftists will tell you “If you want an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.”    The Famous Torturer broke quite a few human eggs in his torture prisons and in the “labor camps”  that he set up for Fidel Castro’s new socialist democratic paradise.

What ever became of this man?    This Famous Torturer and Mass Murderer?

HE BECAME A HERO!

Che photo  He became a hero to two or three generations of “children”  who were told he was a “freedom fighter”  for the Left!

It is said that very, very few who wear his image on their T shirts even know his real story.   They just blindly believe he must be a good guy — even though “he had to break  a few eggs.”       History has been kept hidden from university and  high school students.

But a T shirt instead.  It’s cool!

poster che guevara

So, you might ask,  why am I going on about this “hero”  of yesteryear?    I don’t often like to throw harsh things into The Spruce Tunnel.      (The martyrdom of Christians is ultimately a good thing, and not senseless brutality for an evil cause.)

Here is the reason.   The reason is Silence.    Cowardly or Misguided Silence.   I don’t know which.

Silence — which allows Product Placement to further the Cause of the Socialist Revolution.

che poster

Yes.  A Procession and a “Mass” by the marxist-trained pope —  with the image of Che Guevara  always in the camera’s background.   The marxist-trained pope from Argentina said not a word of rebuke;  not a word of admonishment to distance the Christian faith from such an evil hero.,

I said the  effectiveness of Product Placement, whether in marketing or political propaganda, is  well known.  And the less said about such image placement,  the better for the message.    Silence.   Tacit acceptance.

We have three whole generations now influenced by the revolutionary leftist radicals who want to “Transform”  the world.   The “Transformation of America”  is what was inflicted upon unsuspecting Americans a few years ago.  A Fabian sort of revolution, so far.

Che Guevara was stopped in his tracks in Bolivia.

But the socialist revolution goes on.      It goes on,  fed with our ignorance of history,  our freedoms fleeing.

BEHEADINGS AND CRUCIFIXIONS — AND MEN YOU SHOULD KNOW

September 20, 2015

A terrible blog title ––  but I like to meet reality head on.

And I’d like you to “meet”  a young man.   Not yet 20 years old.

Ali-Mohammed-al-NimrHis name is Ali Mohammed al-Nimr.     He’s not a Christian,  but he’s a living soul,  and he’s the “wrong kind of”  Muslim according to the Muslim sect that controls the area of Saudi Arabia where he lives.

He has been sentenced to death by crucifixion.   His uncle will be crucified this week,  and this young man’s crucifixion will probably happen not long afterward. *

Of course all the “international appeals”  have been made.   By all accounts, there is no evidence for the charges presented to the Muslim-type court,  but there is evidence of his being tortured until he signed a false statement of guilt.

There are no knights in shining armor,  no Crusaders,   to rescue him.     Christian men don’t . . .   don’t . . .  don’t take up arms to help victims of . . . you know.   At least not in great enough numbers to change the situation in whole regions of the world.   Not enough Christians to spread Christianity . . .   There is a very small group of Christian men who are doing this on their own;  removing an Ocean of Terror with a thimble.

Not that they shouldn’t try.

Here are the names of two such Christian men:  Louis Park and Brett Royales.      And just a very few others.  They’re training Christian groups in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight off Muslim oppression.

And here is a quotation from one of them:  **

“I’ve been given a skill set. I’ve honed it over the years. I can’t sit home and watch what’s going on here — the atrocities, crucifixions, rapes, sex slaves, people being driven out from their towns. It’s unacceptable to me, so I’m here to do what I can to get people back in their homes and protect their way of life,” Royales told Radio Free Iraq.

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

book title

It’s a good and worthy thing to read the Roman Martyrology each day.        Martyrs have been recognized and remembered   since the earliest days of Christianity.    Knowing their examples does two things:

  1.    Remembering them honors them and   can perhaps encourage us to hold on to the Faith.
  2.    Remembering their lives and deaths helps us to keep in mind that life is serious and death is always near;  and we must be ready to choose death rather than give up our Faith – so be sure you’re in the right Faith!

Here is the book I read, pretty much daily:

book frontI show that only because I want you to know where I’m getting some information from.    The names and short remarks given for each day are all actually corroborated by history and by contemporary accounts.  ***    We know their experiences to be true to actual life.

Lately, in that book,   there have been a lot of martyrs who died by crucifixion and by beheading.     There are two  historical times when this happened:  Under some Roman emperors;   and under Islamic rule in parts of Europe and Africa during several phases of history.

Hilaire Belloc warned of a third phase coming up, beginning at the end of the 20th century,  but I’ve already written about that here.    You can google his warning  too.    His warning was written for us,  for us who are alive today.

The Roman Martyrology is a witness to times of Beheadings and Crucifixions.    It doesn’t seem that that the book has been finished yet.

Look again.   Remember Ali.   Remember the uncounted other current and contemporary victims.   And the ones to come in the near future.

Ali-Mohammed-al-Nimr

The last book of the Bible says:   Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.    —     Apoc 20:4  (Rev.)

These are past, present, and future martyrs, gathered together in heaven.

Bar Cross in middle

If you’d like to read one of the articles about this young man . . . click link.

**  Here is their article . . . click link.

***     The Roman Martyrology arose out of historical times and can be confirmed by historical writings,  unlike “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”   which was written strictly for propaganda purposes  — and much to my surprise,  when I studied history in the university,  discovered that the stories in this book were either false,  they never happened,  or the stories were so biased as to not resemble contemporary accounts.     When I was very young, I had thought it was a “true book”   —   but I began to question its motives a well as its veracity as I began to learn more about history.  

KITCHEN SHUFFLE

September 20, 2015

Seems like this time last year I had to move all the contents of my house into the kitchen (and garage)  so that the new carpeting could be laid down everywhere else.

SAMSUNGNow,  I have had to move the contents of my kitchen into other rooms of the house.

It’s taken several days, and my bedrooms are completely unusable.   New counter tops and new cabinet wood.   I’m okay about the new cabinet wood,  it will lighten up the kitchen,  but I’m already missing the color of my counter tops.  I like that  white color.   I’m not sure I want a change.    Forty years of rolling out cookies for kids;  making colored playdough;    kneading bread dough, warm and soft under my hands;  chopping vegetables into little pieces for a healthy and hopefully good-tasting soup;    not to mention all the “scientific experiments” those counter tops have seen — and never a stain!

When those counter tops go,   a lot of my life goes with them.

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At least I get to keep the brick splash board.    It matches the brick fireplace area on the other side of the kitchen near my computer area.

But . . .  a lot is going to be changed around here.

 I won’t be “gone.”   My kitchen won’t be “gone.”   My life won’t be “gone.”

But it just feels a little empty now,  the night before.

A KITCHEN UH-UH

September 18, 2015

Uh-uh.   This didn’t work.

I’m usually pretty good in the kitchen.   I can cook well enough to please myself;  and I love to “feed” people.    I’m a Swede.   Swedes invented the word smorgasbord.

But sometimes I get into something I just wish I hadn’t started.   Yuck.

Son had brought over a bucket of newly-picked tomatoes from his garden to show me the product of his green thumb and his garden construction project;  but since he works long hours,  I kind of took possession of them,  and said there were so many, I’d try making tomato sauce – or something – so they wouldn’t go to waste.

I’ve never done this before.    Knowledge of processing newly harvested food and canning it  or whatever was never passed down to me.   Along the right-hand column of this page, down towards the bottom,  is Hilda Larson,  my great-grandmother.  She would not be impressed with my attempt to preserve this tomato harvest.

I thought if you  “blanched” the tomatoes,  the skin would just “peel right off.”    It doesn’t.    You have to work on the skins to get them to come off.  Everything gets covered with tomato goo.     And then there are fibrous parts inside and the seeds are firmly attached to those fibrous parts – and to each other.    You don’t know that if you eat a raw tomato.

I think I wasted exactly one-half of the tomatoes while trying to skin them, and I still don’t know what to do with all the seeds that made it into the second pan.

I think I cooked it down to a sauce-like consistency.

I think I flavored it with the right herbs and spices.

I think it’ll work if I freeze them in plastic containers.

I think I’ll be able to use them later in pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and in casseroles.

I think I won’t do this again.

MARTYRS, THEN AND NOW

September 16, 2015

“There are many different forms of martyrdom.”   I’ll probably start a few more blogs in the future with that sentence,  but for now I’ll be writing about “the usual”  — giving up your life because of your faith in Christ.

I’ve missed a lot of important dates on the Church’s calendar.   Not in my private life,  but here in The Spruce Tunnel.   They’re actually important dates, and I’m sorry I haven’t shared them with you.   So today,   I’ll look at the man who is on our calendar today:  St. Cyprian.

cyprian 258 ad

He lived a while ago.     He lived in North Africa,  priest and bishop,  witness to Christ,   shepherd of his people,   scholar, writer.     (d. 258 Anno Domini.)

Of course, he attracted the attention of his Rulers (the Roman government).   Uneasy about their power,  they regarded Christianity with suspicion.    The Emperor Decian and the local governor under him,  Paternus,  ordered all Christians to make a “patriotic act”  of sacrificing to idols.  These were gods that most of the Romans didn’t even believe in anymore.

Nevertheless,   St.  Cyprian must refuse an act of sacrifice to the cultural gods,  sham ceremony or not,  symbolic or not.

The result is his arrest, torture, questioning….    Then he was taken to the nearby Mediterranean coastline of northern Africa,  Carthage area.     And beheaded.

cyprian

North African coastline.   Beheading.    Beheading a Christian just for his faith in Christ.

We’re all familiar with the long line of men in orange jumpsuits, marched along this same coastline,  with men in black behind them, carrying knives,   forcing them down into the sand,  and  then beheaded.      Just for their faith in Christ.

Cyprians today

These modern martyrs were simple, law-abiding employees,  and gave no one any trouble.    They were just Christians.

Recently an African man spoke out and said that he recognized his friend among the orange-suited men photographed in that line.   He said:  I know him!     He was not a Christian then,  but he watched as  his Christian friend was arrested, jailed, tortured, and killed, and all the time would not give up his faith in Jesus, Who died for him.    He would choose Christ too, even if it meant his death.

This man witnessed his friend’s courage and steadfast faith and said he wanted that assurance in his own life.  He wanted that strong faith and love for God;  and so he became a Christian.

And so this man became part of the “line-up.”

cypr skull

St. Cyprian’s feast day is shared by St. Cornelius who lived during the same time.    He was elected to be pope in around 250 A.D., although political turmoil around Rome gave him a rocky start to his position.

cyp corneliusThe chief controversy in the Church during his time involved the question of what to do with people who denied Christ when they were arrested because they  were so afraid of torture and death;  and then when the danger was over,  should these  people be allowed back into the Church,  no questions asked?    Could  they re-enter the Church?    Should they?    Ever?

It wasn’t an idle theological question.     St. Cyprian chose mercy for these people, after sincere repentance and a period of penance.   St. Cornelius backed him up.   A few years later St. Cyprian would be martyred.   And a few years after that,  the pope was arrested:   St.  Cornelius would join St. Cyprian and  many others in martyrdom.

Many, many others, even down to today, along the northern coast of Africa.

We’re not finished with our martyrdom,  there, here, then, or now.

St. Paul wrote to us Christians:   If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.   (I Corinthians 15:19)

Yeah.   It’s not this life that we must save.    If we live only  to try to save this life of ours,  we’ll lose the everlasting one in the next.   That’s what Christ told us.

Martyrs are not “miserable.”

SMALLER ISSUE THAT’S REALLY NOT

September 16, 2015

This really isn’t a small issue,  but it takes up only a small, tiny, minute part of our attention.

Unless you have a radiation detector, like I do.

It was a nice, rainy evening a few days ago,  the kind of rain that is good for lawns and gardens.   I don’t know what made me curious about that rain.   Maybe it had just been awhile since I last checked the radiation that “rains”  down on us during a downpour.

I have my detector set for Counts Per Minute.   20 – 30 Counts Per Minute is normal, everyday background radiation.    Someone wrote that 5 – 20 is normal.    My kitchen is usually around 15 – 18.       My outdoors is usually 20 – 35.

But when I heard all the “clicks”  coming from the meter, I knew something was different.    Again.   This rain was bringing down the Fukushima radiation from the high upper atmosphere right onto my back deck.

I repositioned the meter.

Then I decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to be standing out there, getting soaking wet by that . . . rain.

I’m going to re-do my sidebars here on this Page.    I’m thinking of getting rid of the Fukushima news links.  The government has removed some of the charts, too.   Who wants to read about this anyway?      Who wants to read of all the dead fish, whole schools of fish gone;    sick seals and polar bears;  the “desert” places in the Pacific Ocean;  the poor starfish who get that “virus”  because their immune systems are so weakened, and then they just melt apart;   the cancerous lesions on the delicious Pacific coast salmon?

Recent headlines described animals and birds along the Pacific coast that were acting “disoriented”  and “delirious.”    Right before they died.     Larger sea fish and mammals are showing signs of starvation.     Some species have NO babies this year.

Inland,   in the Western valleys,  in Colorado,  in other areas where dairy cattle feed on grass — the organic “grass-fed” cows —  the grass has measurable amounts of elevated radiation . . . .

“Small issue” — because it gets only small attention.    We won’t fully know the effects for a few more years yet.

But we can’t stop the process.   The cores  (coriums)  have melted into the earth, in a real-life China Syndrome, and no one knows how to stop it.    The only thing the governments can do is say “We don’t see any danger here.”   The Japanese leader who eats Fukushima food live on television is now dying of cancer.

The process will stop in about a half a million years.   But how many other nuclear power plants are there?    How many of them are built along coasts and along  fault lines?    100 % of them are leaking.  Leaking into the ground water.    The water tables nearby are contaminated with tritium.       Most of them leak into the air, some at regular intervals for venting purposes.

And we’re building more nuclear power plants in every country.

Such a “small” issue.

SMALLER ISSUES – WIN A BEAR, LOSE A BEAR

September 14, 2015

Many, many, many hours of football during these last three days.   An unadmitted “many.”      I do this only in September, then I’ll watch less, probably.

Of course, the “home team” doesn’t always win.

bearsBut a lot of happy time is spent hoping.

And I spent the game “growing” another bear:

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Oh, well. . .   that was tonight too.     But I think in a few weeks Cooper will have his sweater all done.     It will take maybe three weeks of games.

Football puts time into perspective.     How long does it take to do tiresome, routine household chores?    Scrub the kitchen floor –  one half-time!     Do all the laundry —   six commercial breaks.     Pay a  bill, get it ready to mail — one commercial break.     Prepare a meal — two or three commercial breaks.      Get the dust off of . . . something —   less than one commercial break.

When there’s no game on,  I remember this.

It’s all in  the perspective.

SMALLER ISSUES – THE GARLIC SANDWICH

September 14, 2015

Okay.   This is health.    Not so much a “small” issue,   but smaller, at least, than why we have the Ten Commandments and how they keep societies strong and stable like in the last two posts.

A few times the subject of “my favorite breakfast”  has come up, only to be met by raised eyebrows.   I feel I need to explain myself.   So recently,  I actually got a question with the raised eyebrows:  what do you mean “a garlic sandwich”?

So here’s the recipe.

Start by picking out some garlic cloves.  Maybe just two if it’s your first experience:   Many thanks to my good friend for surprising me with some garlic grown IN HER OWN GARDEN!      (A small miracle to me since I’ve tried – and failed – to grow my own garlic.)  Apparently home-grown garlic comes with “stems,” as you can see.

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Then thinly slice the garlic cloves.  Very, very thin slices.

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A sharp knife is such a joy to use.

Next, warm the slices in a pan of olive oil with  a little pat of butter.    Make sure it’s real olive oil, not the common grocery store kind which, we’ve discovered, is not exactly olive oil.    Olive oil is a food.   Pay enough for it.     Real.  Cold-pressed.   Extra-virgin.

The small amount of butter is so you can see when the oil is hot enough to sizzle.   That’s too hot.  Cool down the pan until the butter no longer sizzles.  Turn off the heat,  and then add the garlic slices.

 That’s the most impatient part for me.   Watching the slices gently heat up.    Sometimes you’ll have to turn the burner back on again, but just for a short while.   30 seconds maybe.   Hot enough to heat up, but not so hot that the garlic will turn bitter or sharp.   I’ve had the best luck when I’ve just walked away because I’m too fidgety,  then I remember the garlic and come back in twenty minutes or so, but five minutes may be enough time.   Nice warmed cooled garlic slices.

I used to crush the warmed slices with something flat and hard because crushing garlic releases the allicin — but isn’t that what teeth are for?    So I skip that step now.

Next,  toast some bread.   I use a flax and millet bread — that’s what the black dots are —  because modern wheat is not so good for us anymore, and I just feel better without wheat inside of me.   No, I don’t have gluten problem.  I have a wheat . . .  dislike.

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Pour the warmed olive oil and garlic slices over the toast.    The oil will soak in wonderfully.    Use a knife or spatula to spread the soft,  warm garlic into the bread.

Then “close”  the sandwich and cut into four pieces.

 There’s a reason for that.  As you come to realize how good olive oil is for your body,  you’ll use more and more — and the small pieces of sandwich help control the dripping.   At least the whole thing isn’t dripping all over you.

I’ve never eaten one of these things without licking my fingers when its’ gone!

Garlic kills bacteria,  viruses, and fungus.   (fights colds and flu.)   It’s a great anti-oxidant.    Anti-inflammatory, I think.     It thins the blood, so watch your aspirin intake on the day you eat this.     It keeps all kinds of “bad things” away.    And the olive oil will keep you full and satisfied for a long, long time.

Gute apetit!

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Tip:     don’t eat this just before you go out to do errands.

“RIGHTLY DIVIDING” THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – 21st CENTURY STYLE

September 14, 2015

(I don’t think we’ve fully entered into what historians will call the “21st”  century — it does not yet appear what the full consequences of the 20th century are.  But I’ll go by the calendar.)

judge agreeableJudges deserve respect.  Of course they do.    But if the man who is appointed to be judge knows nothing about civil law,  ethics,  a just society,  and the objective  and unchanging principles of human philosophy,  he has, then,  only popular opinion to be  stand on.   Or: “He is being responsive to the changing times,”  which, of course,  means he has only popular opinion to stand on when making his “decisions.”

Popular opinion is not a benign force.   It evolves out of the power some people have to influence others,  and  money that exchanges hands to create that influence;  and it produces confusion, unrest,  discontent,   changeableness,  servitude,   loss of choices, and eventually loss of freedom.

And someone or someone’s agenda is usually behind the development of some “popular opinion.”

Judges left(I don’t lean that way.)

Listen to an American Supreme Court judge writing about a matter of supreme moral importance:    “The core of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe,and of the mystery of human life.”       (Justice Kennedy) 

Yep.  Pretty much covers every topic that might come up.

You get to define things the way you want to.   (Except if you disagree with these people.   No tolerance for you if you disagree.  And, as Kim Davis found out,  no freedom either.    She will never be a quiet, anonymous citizen again.   She will always be watched by the media “in case” she acts against popular opinion again.  She will never be really safe.   The most vile, the most horrid, the most pornographic and violent threats have been made against her.    )

Again — this is what you have to believe:  every man for himself,   every man his own god,   and there is no way to discover objective moral standards that keep our society safe and strong:         “The core of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe,and of the mystery of human life.” 

Here is what another American Supreme court judge commented on that (majority) opinion:   This “mystery of life” principle kicks the struts out from under the rule of law and makes it impossible to resolve conflicts of rival moral visions — except by imposition of power.     (Justice Scalia)

No.   Way.   To.  Resolve.  Conflicts.

“Except by imposition of power.”

That would be “power over you.”   There is no appeal if you’re on the losing side of the conflict, unless you have enough to offer the ones who are currently in power. 

“Imagine a world where there is no”   Ten Commandments?      No.    Better we should all be “rightly dividing”  the meaning and application of an objective set of Commandments that transcend human intellectual invention.

That’s a lifetime of humble work.

“RIGHTLY DIVIDING” THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – 16th CENTURY STYLE

September 14, 2015

“Good thinking” —

10 Com Add One More

The Ten Commandments:  Good thinking!

God gave “thirteen statements”  there in Exodus 20, which mankind has arranged into Ten Commandments, having always understood that “ten” is the number that indicates emphasis for something that has to do with God and man.  (“How many times should I forgive someone?    Seven times?”     Jesus says, ”  No, seventy times seven.”)

I’m done listing the Ten Commandments here, and observing what would happen to our world if there were no Ten Commandments.    “Imagine”  there was nothing to restrain ourselves – or our leaders!

“Rightly dividing”  (from the KJV) usually is taken to mean having a proper understanding of Scripture and knowing how to properly obey them.

But I’m going to be literal here, for a purpose.    The “thirteen” commands of God were divided into ten commandments from a very early time in Christian history.   The saints and scholars and theologians and doctors of the Church have always referred to one commandment or another by using this arrangement.

If the numbering is made to be different,  say by a group of people who rebelled against the Church,  then that means that their followers will be a bit confused when a Commandment is referred to,  but the new reader finds that that particular Commandment doesn’t match what the writer is talking about.

This is an effective way to cut people off from their past!

You do that because you want to put into place a new version of the past.   “He who controls the past controls the present;  he who controls the present controls the future.”       Although that may not have been a slogan of the 16th century,  its principle was well known and effectively used to disrupt the continuity of society.

So who has the authority to rearrange the Ten Commandments?  As the cartoon shows,  only God can create the Commandments.   We could create some . . .   but we would do the job badly and not completely, and we would make a complicated mess out of it.   (78,000 pages just to delineate US tax code?   An eight-foot stack of papers just to make health control “fair” in our country?)

Who is the authority for changing the numbering?  Who is the authority for emphasizing one part of a  commandment over another?    Who is the ultimate authority . . . for anything?        It’s important to think about things like “ultimate authority” because these Commandments,  revealed to us,  have a bearing on the moral climate that we live in today.

(Do you really want your husband cheating on you?   Do you really want your daughter sleeping  with her current boy friend, with all the subsequent worries and heartaches?    Do you really want your government  “shaking you down”   –   taking your money without your consent — to financially support a hostile group of Third World invaders?     Do you really want to hear blasphemy and vulgar language wherever you go,  along with the accompanying lack of respect for anything sacred or honorable?   Do you really want institutional murder of the innocent to be a matter of national policy?     Do you really want to live in a media world of deceit and propaganda?    Do you really want to pay higher prices, to make up for the business theft is so prevalent?   . .  .)

There is no more comprehensive guide to good social behavior that the Ten Commandments.      “Blessed is the nation”  whose king and citizens are subject to  Divine Law.

In the next post,  I’ll “rightly divide  the Ten Commandments” using two opposing voices in today’s political climate.

TIME FOR GREEK HISTORY?

September 12, 2015

“Greek history” ?

                                          

                                               NOT QUITE !!

greek historyFootball season is underway  and the Spartans of Greek History move over for the Spartans of MSU!

It’s been a long, long wait — but I woke up today with the television telling me it has eight channels of 3 or 4 football games each!!    I can be “busy” until long after midnight today!

RBs, LBs, TEs — oh, all the rest.    Touchdowns.   Passes.   Tackles.    Stats.   Scores.  Analyses.      Favorite quarterbacks —

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Of course, as usual around here,  my attention will be divided.

Unalloyed pleasure?      Can’t do that.     Can’t just “sit there” and watch the game.      I have to be “accomplishing”  something.   Sort of “divided attention.”        That’s the plan.     There’s the chart —

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Each game I’ll make more and more progress, and a little guy named Cooper may have a little sweater sometime around mid-season.

 

If the Spartans play well I won’t have to deal with too many dropped stitches.

It will be a busy day here today, with a little NASCAR sneaked in between plays.

Tomorrow we start the schedule all over again — with the NFL!

bears

I do hope your Fall is going to be as fun as mine.

A COWBOY DOES THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

September 7, 2015

Oh, you know me.   I love to drive across the Great American West!

I love each issue of my Cowboy magazine!   Here’s my newest issue:

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The soft, firm  voice of Clint Walker (Cheyenne)   still sounds in my head:

Cheyenne on a horse

I liked his plain simple talk,  no extra words,  just saying what he means to say;   and always that quiet strength and certainty in his voice.     I admired that during my formative years.

Yup.     So it’s a “natural”  that I should listen to how a cowboy would talk about the Ten Commandments.     I found this many years ago;  glad I saved it all this time.

The page says:   “Folks in Texas have trouble with all those shalts and shalt nots in the 10 Commandments;   folks just aren’t used to talking that way.  So some folks in West Texas got together and translated the King James  into King’s Ranch language — and here we have the Ten Commandments Cowboy Style.”

  1. Just one God
  2. Honor yer Ma and yer Pa
  3. No telling tales or gossiping
  4. Git yourself to Sunday meeting
  5. Put nothing before God
  6. No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal
  7. No killin’
  8. Watch yer mouth
  9. Don’t take what ain’t yours
  10. Don’t be hankering for yer buddy’s stuff

Yup.   that’d about do it.

cowboy at prayer

That page with the Cowboy 10 Commandments goes onto say:    “I sure can’t  think that here in America it wouldn’t hurt to post these anywhere —   even in a courthouse.”

“IMAGINE” – NO TENTH COMMANDMENT, NO CONTENTMENT

September 7, 2015

Following each Commandment, we’re “imagining” a world without religion,  without any reason for any of the Commandments,  without any reason to hold on to the wisdom of the past — because the “modern world”  is so wise and important,  you know.  We can do quite well without God.

Bar Cross in middle

So, now, no 9th Commandment, which had told  us not to covet (desire)  the things  our neighbor has, and certainly not to act on that covetousness.

Coveting happens within us, and it’s there that our desires make us restless until they’re fulfilled.  Our desires make us feel unfulfilled!      Imagine a world in which we always have unfulfilled desires that take up our thoughts and attention and our energies.    Always a restless, nagging,  niggling feeling that we “need” something.    We’re doing without.   There’s something we should have.

Imagine a world in which there are ubiquitous  messages  telling us we should have more or we should want this or that,  and no matter how disruptive those messages are,  “wanting more”  is “good”  for our economy.    How else could we sell the abundance of trivia that is produced.  How else could we sell the latest and most insignificant improvements on the material goods that people already have?     How else to keep people working, working, working,  and thinking about money — so that consumers’  desires can be met?

No wonder so few people take time “to smell the roses.”

Imagine a world in which there is no time for intangible goods and impractical activities.   A world in which all our thoughts and plans and activities must lead to some practical result.

The Bottom Line rules.    Because if you take your eyes off the Bottom Line,  you’ll not be able to obtain those things which you covet.

Quantity or Quality in life?   

Coveting has the answer!

But God, knowing us well,   says:  “Thou shalt not covet.”       “Thou shalt . . .  just relax.”    “The lilies of the field take no thought wherewith they shall be clothed;  they neither toil nor spin,  and yet God has arrayed them    (in clothing)  greater than the golden, bejewelled robes of King Solomon!”

Coveting cancels out our sense of God’s loving care for us and teaches us that  there is no God who loves and cares, and we have to take care of our own interests.  No room for God?

Then coveting is your answer.   It is a good motivator.

And a cruel, exhausting slave master.

TENTH COMMANDMENT – AND CONTENTMENT

September 5, 2015

Here is another Commandment about the dangers of coveting –  wishing you had something that someone else has.   

The Ninth Commandment was all about fostering a climate of human love,  honoring and respecting other people and their lives, self-sacrificial love that makes families possible — and makes them happy!  (“Leave their wives alone!” the 9th Commandment says.)

This Tenth Commandment, however,  is about objects.   Things.   Property.

Who owns what?    Who has something you want?

10 babies Who’s got a better one?

Who’s got a bigger one?

10 little carGod is Good and wants what is good for us.   He wants the best possible life  for us.    He teaches us that “godliness with contentment is great gain.”    Great gain!     It’s to our advantage to be content with what we have.

And so He says: “Never mind.   Never mind what you don’t have.  Never mind if someone has something bigger, better, newer than you have.”

Don’t covet the belongings of your neighbor.   Be content.   Be at peace.  “Life does not consist in the abundance of things that a man has.” **

That’s it.

Bar Cross in middle

*(I Timothy 6:6)

** ( Luke 12:15)