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Ever Ask a 90 Year-Old Pie Plate to Tell All It’s Seen?

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Ever Ask a 90 Year-Old Pie Plate to Tell All It’s Seen?

Well, it lets in the breeze, Keeps out the flies, When my Momma’s coolin’ Some apricot pies. (The Old Screen Door, Joe Pat Hennan) “She was allowed to see this place, one that would likely be ruined by the 21st century as time went on… places like these were extremely hard to find these days. A world of wood-burning cookstoves and the waxy smell of Paraffin, laundry hung out to dry, rusty steel bridges over streams that reflected the bright blue skies, apple pies left out on windowsills… “ (Smog City Rebecca McNutt) Simple things. Where have they all gone? …

The Trouble With Labels… We Love Them Too Much

So, I was reading a devotional this morning and the writer made an innocuous statement about being a “Christian.” I don’t know why, but once again I reflected on why I don’t particularly like labelling myself as a “Christian.” I prefer to call myself a “Believer.” What’s up with that, you may ask yourself. It’s all about labels. I’m in… you’re not. Too often I hear the word Christian thrown around like it describes some sort of exclusive club, or clique, and only the anointed few get past the security guy at the door. “Sorry Bob, if you ain’t got …

Prayer Soaked Walls

So, I’m sitting in the dim, muted, light of our little church. The church is empty. Quiet, except for an occasional swishing of the wind outside. Light flares through the stained glass windows on either side of the pews and does little to brighten the space. Thanks to the virus pandemic this sanctuary has been empty for weeks. The organ sits mute. Probably wondering where its friend John has gone. I’m at the church for some minor Junior Warden errand that surely could have waited. I think I just wanted to stop in and see how church was feeling, after …

Return to normal right now? For us… NO. Here’s why.

Well the Governor of our state, Arkansas, has re-opened the place. Restaurants, salons, barber shops, gyms, and perhaps churches. The re-opening urge is in fact sweeping the states, urged on by protests and yes, ugliness. Selfishness abounds. Protesters armed with automatic weapons in the Michigan Senate chambers. Michigan legislators actually wearing bullet-proof vests. Huh? Stillwater, Oklahoma rescinding their order requiring masks in public places, three hours after it went into effect, as retail employees were threatened with physical violence by citizens. One employee was threatened with a gun. This is selfishness on a grand scale. I saw a protester on …

Covid-19 “War is Hell”

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot, nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, and more desolation. War is hell.” ― General William Tecumseh Sherman So, we roll into another week. A week that looks to the casual observer, much like the previous week and the one before that. They all begin to merge into an amorphous mass of discomfort. But for the thousands and thousands who name themselves victims, or caregivers, or health workers, or first responders, in our current crisis, it is much more than that. …

Little did we know…

Little did we know… On Ash Wednesday What a phrase. “Little did we know” It lies at the very heart of the concept of uncertainty. What a blessing though. Think for a moment how disconcerting your present might be, if you did know the future. Such was our state of awareness on February 26, 2020. Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. Little did we know how different our world would be at the end of Lent. Easter Sunday, 2020. Who could believe such a change awaited. Six weeks and a few days. Doesn’t sound like much time, really. …

President Trump Downplays Brain Injuries Suffered by US Troops in Iran Missile Strike. A Mother, Sister, and Son strongly Disagree!

Donald Trump claimed that the US “suffered no casualties” from the Iran missile attack, which was a reprisal for the US drone strike assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani. But a spokesman confirmed 50 injuries had occurred. Questioned later about reports of brain injury, Trump downplayed their severity: “I heard that they had headaches. And a couple of other things. But I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.” Michael Kaplen, the chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council said that he was “shocked at the ignorant statement” made by Trump. …

Whose God is best? Mine? Yours? A Manifesto about God and my faith—Part 2 The Catholic Kid

    “Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”  —Thomas Merton   So, raised a Catholic. A Latin Mass-serving altar boy. Old school Catholicism, to be sure. Meatless Fridays, fasting after midnight to get communion on Sunday, going to confession. Scary Catholic school principal. A big nun who gave licks over her desk with a spatula. You had a choice with licks. Coach Hart, with his holed paddle, or Sister Mary Ernest, and the spatula. Easy fifth grade decision. Coach Hart every time. Catholic confession – a dark process for a kid. The dark confessional …

Whose God is best? Mine? Yours? A Manifesto about God and my faith—Part 1

God. Wow. There’s a word. What does it make you think? Who does it make you think of? Your God? Our God? My God? I know who, “my God,” is. It’s the Christian God of America. Why? Cause that’s the God I grew up with. The God I was born into. The God of my birth. The best God. Right? But what if I had been born in India? And grew up with the God of Hinduism. OK, what if I had been born in Iran, and grew up with the God of Islam? How about being a Japanese kid …