Thursday, May 31, 2012


When Solomon was chosen by God to be the heir to David's throne, God promised to give Solomon anything he asked for. Solomon's request was that he be given wisdom. That was a wise choice. :)
Solomon became known far and wide for his wealth, his construction projects, but mostly for his wisdom. The Book of Proverbs is mostly a collection of his words of wisdom, although it is speculated that he was not the only contributing writer.
After reading a few chapters, one gets the feel for what constitutes a proverb. It is experiential distilled wisdom, compressed experience, and truths stated in few words so as to hold ones attention. They are often unexplained and one wonders just how much of the knowledge that is imparted is culturally based. They certainly provoke thought, and often with pithy word pictures and sometimes annoying brevity.

Impressions: In preparing for a speech one day, I spent a lot of time browsing through a joke book. At first, every joke contained humour and it was a fun experience. After a while, I became very discriminating and actually found humour in very few of the anecdotes. Although The Book of Proverbs is not a joke book (it does have some great humour) the principle is the same. Taking it at one sitting results in some desensitization. This held true for the Psalms as well. Having said that, I found myself sitting up straight quite often as I read something that 'hit home'. Perhaps pondering a chapter a day for a month would be most helpful.

Readability: 5 stars (in small doses)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My sister, a cat lover, posted this very funny photo and caption on Facebook a while back. I found it particularly amusing because it reminded me of a cat we once had, whose name was Jasmine. She too was a white cat. I don't think cats are even supposed to be white, but that is another topic.
Our Jasmine was a pear shaped animal with a tiny head and front shoulders, and a bulging tummy with wide hips. She was an extremely wary and distrusting animal, avoiding people, especially me. We were the second owners and we heard through the grape vine that she had come from an abusive situation where there was a nasty canine and another dominant cat harassing her continually. We could not and would not provide therapy for her so we left her alone, and she avoided us. My dislike of Jasmine grew as the months passed. We were feeding her and keeping her protected from those that would abuse her, and yet she gave nothing in return, not a purr, a meow, or a jump onto a lap to keep one warm on a cold winter's night. When she walked into a room where I was sitting, she would give me a wide berth and never lose eye contact. The slightest move on my part would send her scurrying into a corner or under a sofa. I never once raised my voice to her or did anything to hurt her. We simply grew more and more distant. She had "man issues", without a doubt.
Then one day, this poor brain damaged cat did a stupid thing. She tried to jump onto the clothes dryer. She was fat and out of shape and probably thought she was a normal cat and that this would be easy. She only got her front paws onto the top of the dryer and because there was no purchase for her claws, she slipped back down to the floor and landed on her hips, breaking one of them. We are not totally heartless, so we took her to the vet and the prognosis was not good. After a quick administration of euthanasia, she slipped into that big litter box in the sky where she is probably being harassed by the other cats.
I remember her, but I do not miss her.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Book of Psalms

The Book of Psalms is probably the most widely read and highly treasured of all books of the Old Testament. It is an inspiring collection of poems, hymns and prayers that bring comfort, hope, and guidance to Christians of all denominations and it is a revelation of the aspirations of the human heart.  
The writing is eloquent and like classical music, can lift the soul. No matter the concerns of the heart, whether joy, sorrow, anger, rebellion, or fear, there is comfort in the words and ideas expressed by the writers of the Psalms.
Impressions: There are 150 chapters and I do not recommend reading them all at one time. This is a book to be referenced as it does not have a timeline, a plot, or really a beginning or an end. One can pick it up anywhere and be blessed whether reading a few lines, a chapter, or several chapters. Taking several  months to read and study and meditate on the words would be of greatest value.

Something noteworthy is the evidence that the writers were still under the old covenant in that they really prayed down a curse on their enemies. There is no hint of loving those that persecute you, or turning the other cheek. Great value is found in living righteously, pleasing God, and asking protection from foes. The value, then, in reading those passages that ask for retribution on the enemy, is that we re-define our enemies. They are not persons, but perhaps a sickness that is stealing a loved one, or sin that is sapping our very lives. These passages then take on great significance and are a great help.
Readability  5 stars (in small doses)    

Monday, May 28, 2012

Southern Gospel

Last weekend busylizzy bought a pair of tickets for a concert the following Friday evening. It was a Southern Gospel Celebration, something I am not terribly keen on, but it was being held at our church and my good friend Jim Goodwin is a bass singer in one of the groups. After the two familiar groups, the Young Street Vocal Band, and the Watchmen Four, I noticed a really big, tough looking dude at the back of the church just standing there and looking on. Then, he started walking forward, toward the stage. Then there were three other HUGE guys coming from different directions and as they gathered on the stage, I thought I was seeing Dog the Bounty Hunter's top four most wanted. They looked very rough, very large, Hawaiian or Samoan, and I was quite taken by surprise. You see, I had worked all week and was not really in tune with what was happening that night. And then they began to sing and I was picking my jaw up from the floor. These guys are very good. How a bunch of former drug dealers and gangsters who have done time got into Southern Gospel music I do not know. They only spoke very briefly about themselves. They let their music do the talking.
I like surprises of that nature. I would definitely go see them again.
Oh, they are called  Keepers of the Faith Quartet.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Job is a very righteous and wealthy man whom God allows Satan to test. What results is a treatise on why bad things happen to good people. After losing all his possessions as well as his family, and then being afflicted with boils, Job is in severe mourning when his three friends come to give advice. The consolation turns into accusation and all three are rather accusing in their assessment as to why Job is suffering so. And then, in steps a fourth accuser, a young whipper-snapper who claims to be more wise than his elders. Finally, God steps in, and with a series of questions, humbles Job, and the result is restoration of Job's health and his wealth is doubled. His family is also restored and Job ends up with more blessings than ever before.
The book is written in a very eloquent poetic style and is full of imagery both theological and philosophical in nature.

Impressions:  It seems that God was trying to prove a point to Satan and Job was the object lesson. Job stayed true to God even through horrendous circumstances when Satan was sure that Job was only righteous because of his wealth. This is a hard lesson for us to learn. Is God the center of our lives through thick and thin or is our love for Him dependent on what he is doing for us at the moment?  

Readability: 4 stars

Saturday, May 26, 2012


This is the second Old Testament book that is dedicated to telling the story of a Jewish woman in the midst of an aggressive male dominated culture and society. The story is intriguing, with great characters, suspense, action, and a plot worthy of a modern day novel. King Xerxes is powerful and rules 27 provinces from India to the Euphrates. His lovely Queen Vashti refuses to be at his beck and call so he fires her and searches the land for a new queen. The exiled Jew, Mordecai, has a cousin who was orphaned and he has raised her like his own daughter. He puts her in the running for the new queen with great success.
Esther must have indeed been very beautiful and beguiling as she is able to talk the king into actually saving all the Jews across his great territory. There is also a villain, Haman, who gets what is coming to him and then some. In the end, Esther and Mordecai become the two most powerful people in the nation, next to the king, who they have wrapped around their little fingers anyway.

Impressions: It is quite incredible the way Esther not only saves the Jews from extinction, but is able to arrange for an epic retribution against the Jew's enemies, seeming so over the top. What incredible influence and power she had over the king! One clue, however, is that she begged for the king's favours after buttering him up at day long feasts and while he was "happy with wine". It would seem that a man's downfall has, more than once in history, been strong drink and a beautiful woman. But God can work with that too.  Throughout the Old Testament, God has used some unconventional ways to preserve the 'remnant'.
Readability: 5 stars 

Friday, May 25, 2012


Nehemiah was a captive in Babylon when he heard that the Temple back in Jerusalem was being rebuilt, but the walls around the city were in disrepair. He pleaded with King Artaxerxes to let him go to the city to undertake the re-construction project. With the Kings blessing, he goes and gets the job done. The surrounding peoples were threatening to attack so Nehemiah organized every worker to carry weapons with them at all times, or have helper/protectors at their side day and night. In the end, he gets it done and there is great celebration. There is again, long lists of names and genealogies.

Impressions: The righteous and fervent prayers of Nehemiah accomplished great things. God is more than willing to intervene with his "mighty hand and outstretched arm" to any and all who call upon his name and honour Him through obedience.
Readability: 3 1/2 stars 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The Book of Ezra is a record of the remnant of Israel coming out of the Babylonian exile, returning to Jerusalem, and rebuilding the temple. It continues the theme of God preserving just enough of his people to get a fresh start. (50,000 compared to the 1.6 million of King David's time. It is interesting to note that these figures that are given usually refer only to men of fighting readiness.) There is much celebration and praise as the foundations, and then the walls of the Temple, are restored, with the expressed permission of the Persian kings.
Impressions: There is always forgiveness, and then new hope in the restored blessings of God. We can never stray too far from him, that he will not find us and bless us when we turn back to him. 
Readability: 3 1/2 stars   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1 & 2 Chronicles

The 1st and 2nd books of Chronicles repeat much of the material in Samuel and Kings, but are also a supplement, with some new material and a slightly different emphasis in places. They are books of genealogy from the days of antiquity, emphasizing the enormous historical scope of the book as it reaches from Adam to the establishment of the Persian Empire and the exile of the Nation of Israel to Babylon.
Again, the words bear witness to the fundamental correspondence between an action and its outcome. It reveals God's desire to bless those who wholeheartedly worship him and to curse those who resist him. 
Impressions: It is difficult reading what seems to be the same information, so many times. The genealogies are particularly tough and one tends to gloss over them quickly. The brief history of each king is, again, a lesson in the responsibility of leadership and the importance of knowing the history of the people you are leading. The up-side is reading about the restoration of the temple (it happened many times) and the joy and celebrations that ensued and the blessings of the Lord that followed. Unfortunately, most kings "did what was evil in the sight of the Lord" almost always amounting to the worship of other god's.    
Readability: 1 star    

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

1 and 2 Kings

King Solomon settling the dispute over who is the true mother of the baby.

I am now 1/5 done with my project of reading through the Bible. As the name suggests, the Books of 1st and 2nd Kings chronicle the history of consecutive kings since the death of David, Israel's greatest king ever. Solomon gets us off to a great start as he is a wise and wonderful leader, accomplishing world renown with his building projects, wisdom and accumulation of wealth. Unfortunately, he also accumulates a very large number of wives and concubines and this becomes his undoing. After a very detailed description of the construction of the temple and his  own palace, the book gets down to a blow by blow accounting of the kings that followed Solomon. Some good, some bad, but overall, there is a steady decline in morality and faithfulness to God. The individual stories of each king contain grim and sometimes gory anecdotes that explain why each king is either good or evil. The prophets Elijah and Elisha make dramatic appearances (and exits), and their exploits make for some interesting reading.  It is becoming apparent that the leadership is no longer hearing God's voice either on their own or through his prophets. To emphasise the decline, the last few words of the 1st book speak of King Ahaziah, who "did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father, Ahab." The 2nd book ends with good King Josiah, but soon after his reign, Jerusalem is destroyed, as is the temple that Solomon built, and the people are taken into exile in Babylon. God is simply 'fed up' with his people.  
Impressions: Again, it so apparent that bad decisions result in calamity and misfortune. God's assessment of Israel being a "stiff-necked people" way back in the book of Exodus, proves to be true even as time goes on. Instead of being a nation set apart, they continually become enculturated by the surrounding tribes. Hmm. Sounds like us today.
Readability: 4 stars

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Book of 2 Samuel

The Book of 2 Samuel carries on with the life story of David, after Samuel's death and during and after the kingship of Saul. There is a political seesaw battle for power over the kingdom's of Judah and Israel. The story is full of battles, both against the Nation's enemies and also against each other in civil disputes. David is shown in a negative light in terms of his leadership, at times, and also in his personal life. But it also shows his steadfastness in honouring God, repenting of his wrong doing, seeking the Lord's face in all things and giving God credit for everything he is and has. If David truly was a "man after God's own heart", it shows again that it is not perfection that is required, but faithfulness and adoration toward God. The highs and lows of David's life are very evident, as Psalms will again display later in my reading.
Impressions: The life of God's chosen nation was one of constant change. The onus for faithfulness now falls on the leadership as opposed to the population in general, or so it would seem. There was constant war and threats of war. Where on earth did all these Philistines come from? As the book ends, there is a list of warriors who belong in the Hall of Fame, showing just what an important place war played in their lives. But more than that, this is a story of a young man called by God to fullfill His purposes in the story of God's people, who endeared himself both to his subjects as well as to his God.  
Readability: 4 stars  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sad/Happy Day

Our onamental plum tree in full bloom.

I got an envelope in the mail a few days ago and was reluctant to open it. It was one of those government envelopes but not the usual tax notice, medical services plan, HST remittance type of envelopes. Was it a notice for an impending audit? Dare I open it? What it was, was Big Brother keeping tabs on me. But, instead of wanting something from me, he wanted to give me something. I had been meaning to inquire about this issue for some time, but it either slipped my mind, or I was in denial.
I have now read all the documents and their attached explanations and am ready to fill out the forms and submit my application for .... (drum roll) OAP!  For my non-Canadian readers, that is Old Age Security, a pension that I am entitled to as an old geezer who has lived in Canada all my life and paid blood, sweat, and tears in income taxes and myriad other taxes since I was 18 years of age.
Not all who qualify for this benefit deserve it, but we live in a compassionate, generous, and highly socialistic country, so come one and come all, and collect your pogey.
I was at the movies a while back and was shocked and amazed and pleasantly surprised to see that I qualified for a half price movie even before OAP. One of my favourite restaurants wants to discount all my meals. They were all warming me up to the fact that in a few more months, I will be OLD so I had better get used to the idea.  

"Day by day nothing  changes, but, looking back, nothing is the same"  C. S. Lewis

Saturday, May 19, 2012

1 Samuel

When you think of children's Bible stories, you have to go to the book of 1 Samuel. They had to be sanitized a bit before they got into the children's story books, but these are great tales of Biblical heroes and villains. Starting with the calling of Samuel as a young man, the narrative progresses to the anointing of Israel's first king, Saul, and then on to the story of David, and how God chose him to replace Saul who was disobedient. Then there is the story of the friendship of David and Jonathan and the exile of David. David wins acclaim from the Israelites but Saul is out to get him. The story reads like a classic novel. I was reminded so often of the historical figure Genghis Khan when I was reading about the battle strategies and all the in-fighting of the armies. It made me wonder if Genghis had read the early books of the Bible at some time.

Impressions: These people are larger than life. They were rough, courageous, and tougher than nails. David was blessed by the Lord because his heart was in the right place and in all he did he wanted nothing more than to please the Lord. When in doubt, he always asked God what to do and what should be the sign. Many were the times that he could have taken things into his own hands, but his biggest concern was to be obedient.
Readability: 5 stars  

Friday, May 18, 2012


In the midst of the sin and violence of the previous book of Judges, comes a breath of fresh air in the story of Ruth. It is said that the book's purpose is to set up a genealogy for David, to show that he comes from a line of decent and even pious people. Indeed, at the end of the story the line to David is drawn out explicitly. But it also shows that during the time of the Judges there were Israelites who were following God's ways and leading healthy and productive lives. There is also the angle that Boaz is a type or foreshadowing of Jesus the coming redeemer, who also came from the line of David.  One certainly gets this sense when Ruth throws herself at the mercy of Boaz and Boaz responds in love and redemption, even marriage.
Impressions: A calming and pleasant change from the previous books and a sense that in spite of the heavy handed laws of the land, there was community and compassion, and a sense that not all was lost during difficult times.
Readability: 4 1/2 stars  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bang for the Buck

No doubt these graduates look glum because they have just incurred an average of $50,000.00 in student debt and there is no guarantee they will get a job.

In recent years there have been huge transfers of money into the higher learning institutes and the education system in general and yet there is a common knowledge that the quality of education is deteriorating, university graduates are burdened with student loans, and that a degree is no longer guaranteeing a good job.
In spite of this troubling trend, politicians are still mouthing the great feel good mantra, "We need to invest more in education".

The Program for International Student Assessment just released their findings. They gave tests to 15 year olds in 65 different countries. The US spends more on education than almost any other country so you would naturally expect them to come out on top, right?
China-Shanghai came in first, China-Hong Kong second, and Finland was third. USA spends 15 times as much as China in terms of 'education investment' per student!
Even domestically, there are huge aberrations. Washington DC spends for times as much as Idaho yet has inferior test results.

Yes, we need more investment in education, but it is not money that is lacking, it is understanding and wisdom as to what an education is and exactly how it is delivered.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Book of Judges

Samson's last hurrah!

Although not all of the promised land has been delivered into the hands of the twelve tribes of Israel, each tribe has been allotted its inheritance and they are getting on with life. There are still skirmishes with Philistines and the like, but generally all is going well, at least until the people rebel against God. He then appoints a judge over them, a godly and wise leader who directs them back onto the straight and narrow. (Twelve judges in all.) We have Old Testament heroes depicted in this book, such as Gideon and Samson. After each judge, there seems to be about 40 years of peace, one generation, until someone carves an idol or adopts some pagan practice and the troubles begin once again. By the end of Judges the Israelites are in a worse condition than they were at the beginning, with God's treasures used to make idolatrous images, the Levites (priests) corrupted, the tribe of Dan conquering a remote village instead of the Canaanite cities, and the tribes of Israel making war on the Benjamites, their own brothers.
Impressions: The history of Israel is rich in characters and stories. Without further research and degree in Old Testament studies, it is not always easy to understand the behaviour of the people and their leaders. However, it is clear that God demands total allegiance and as he so many times promised, when He does not get it, things go badly.
Readability: four stars

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Crossing the River Jordon on dry ground during the flood season, reminiscent of the Red Sea crossing.

In the book of Joshua, the narrative continues where it left off in Numbers. Joshua has been ordained by Moses and takes over leadership of the nation of Israel. He turns out to be a Godly and very capable leader and army general. At long last, the people cross the Jordon River into the promised land. The first part of the book involves spies, battles, war tactics, and plenty of death and mayhem. The last parts of the book really bogs down in legal and geographical information as the law is again reiterated and the boundaries of the inheritance of each of the tribes is described in detail.
For the most part, the people are finally on side with God and obey him to the letter. When there is one exception, a battle is lost and the guilty parties are put to death, willingly it seems. As the Lord promised, Israel's enemies 'melt' before them. The twelve tribes of Israel take the promised land from its inhabitants in a very forceful and decisive manner.  
Impressions: God is really driving it home that he wants his people to be "set apart". There is zero tolerance for adopting any culture from their enemies, be it religious or social. We, today, are distracted and influenced by our own culture way beyond what Israel was. Has God changed in his patience? No. There is a new covenant. Were we still under the law of Moses, we would all be dead men walking.
Readability: Up to Chapter 12,  4 1/2 stars. Beyond chapter 12,        1 star 

Monday, May 14, 2012


I spotted these two snails racing up a tree stump and it reminded of an old joke.
A government worker was spotted stomping on a snail with the heel of his shoe. A fellow worker witnessed the deed and asked, "What did you do that for?"

The reply: "That thing has been following me around all day!"

Sunday, May 13, 2012


My journey through the Bible is well on its way and I have just completed reading the book of Deuteronomy. Moses has led the people of Israel to the banks of the Jordon River and just before the people cross to the promised land, Moses gives them a review of where they have come from and how they got there. He then gives a detailed review of the laws that were handed down to him from the Lord himself.
The admonition to "Love the Lord your God and keep all of his commandments" is repeated over and over. The blessings of doing so are made abundantly clear, as are the dire warnings of the consequences of failing to do so. There is a double motivation in all that is recorded here, a very positive up side and a very scary down side.
Moses is then, at age 120 and still very vigorous, taken up to the mountain where he dies and is buried in an unknown place by the Lord himself. "Never was there a greater prophet in all of Israel."
Joshua is commissioned and as the book ends, the nation of Israel is about to cross the Jordon to the land flowing with milk and honey.
Impressions: Like little children we often need lessons pounded into us before we learn. Repetition is key in teaching, and basically, that is what the book of Deuteronomy is. It is clear that the Lord wants our undivided attention and love. Again we see how onerous the 'Law' is and how insane rules and regulations can become. The purpose in all of this is to help us keep our eyes on God and turn away from distractions and those things that displease Him. 
Readability: three stars    

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Butt Out

A while ago, I read that the #1 litter item on our streets was cigarette butts. I found that difficult to believe because fewer and fewer people are smoking these days. So, as I was walking home from my downtown errands yesterday, the issue came to mind and I thought I would see if I could detect any butts on the sidewalk or on the curb and maybe count them, just out of curiosity, as I was walking. I was amazed at what I saw when I took the time to really look. In fact, the passing motorists must have wondered why I was slowing down and looking so intently at the ground. In a one block section of a busy street, I counted 256 butts! When you realise how much it rains here, and how often the street sweepers clean the gutters, this is amazing. I stopped counting but as I turned the next corner, I am sure that there were even more on the next block. A bit of research showed me that the average price of one cigarette is around $.46 so the amount of wasted money on only one city block is $117.00! Now, who is going to get out a map to determine how many city blocks there are in our town, multiplied by 4 (sides) multiplied by 117? 

Friday, May 11, 2012


Oh boy! I knew this was going to be tough at times.
We start this book off with a census. The men who are battle ready are counted according to their tribe, and there are 603,550 of them. The tribe of Levi are not counted as they are assigned to the care and management and guarding of the tabernacle and all its accoutrements. After that it is much like reading the Tel Aviv phone book with breaks to catch up on the latest Government accountants ledger sheets and the Superstore's inventory lists. There is a reason you do not hear sermons from the first few chapters of the book of Numbers.

But, it gets better. The people see the promised land for the first time, but do not get to enter it due to fear and unbelief on the part of the spies. As a result, God prevents them from entering it for another forty years. Then there are rebellions and some dramatic showdowns. The Israelites forget so quickly that God is in charge that it makes the head spin.  There are skirmishes with outlying tribes and Israel wins them hands down. But it is not until Aaron and Moses die that the promised land is finally occupied.

Impressions: God does not put up with disobedience. People see miracles and still rebel and have unbelief in their hearts. Trusting in the Lord and obeying Him is a sure-fire recipe for success in all things. He most certainly shows up when he is called upon.
Readability: 2 1/2 stars  

Thursday, May 10, 2012


The law is now passed down to the Israelites from on high, but if one thinks that the Ten Commandments covers it all, think again. This is one tough book to get through as it lays down the rules, regulations and protocol for the many different types of offerings that the Lord required of his people. There is the burnt offering, grain offering, fellowship offering, sin offering, and guilt offering. There are rules for the priests, definitions of clean and unclean foods, purification after childbirth, rules regarding infectious skin diseases, mildew, (yes, mildew) discharges, sexual relations, punishments for sins, and rules about the Sabbath which included a Sabbath for the land. And then there are the feasts: Passover and unleavened bread, Firstfruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. The concept of the Year of Jubilee is also introduced. 

The impression is one of being overwhelmed. How on earth the people kept this all straight is beyond me, and yet, if they did not follow everything to the letter, often the consequence was death, or at least being cast out from among the people. 

The Old Testament points to a Saviour, a saviour from sin and death, and just as importantly a saviour from the law. And yet, when Christ came, he was expected to be the saviour from the oppresive ruling Romans. 
Readability: 1/2 star   

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Watch This

I recently received a wonderful gift from busylizzy, this beautiful Skagen watch. So it was with this watch in mind that I perused a news item that highlighted some of the world's most unique and expensive wrist watches.

There were some very unusual and even outlandish watches featured, but the above watch was the world's most expensive. Owned by kings and queens and popes, the price on this item got me wondering how to compare value with mine. So here is the choice. You can purchase one of these, or with the same amount of money, you can purchase 29,629 of mine. When the battery runs out unexpectedly, and you need to know what time it is, personally, I would prefer to have 29,628 back up watches instead of one dud. I will not be purchasing one of these Patek Philippe Platinum World Time watches  any time soon, due to the above practical consideration.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The nation of Israel, a captive people under the thumb of the Egyptians, prepares for freedom under the leadership of Moses. As the book of Exodus opens, the wonderful story of Moses unfolds. It is a remarkable journey that the people take, under his leadership, and a remarkable transformation that Moses undergoes as he changes from being a reluctant spokesman on behalf of God to the Pharaoh, to someone who adamantly advocates for his people before a ticked off God. The story goes from the miraculous to the mundane. The narrative really bogs down in the rules and guidelines for dispute settlements, and becomes almost unreadable when it comes time for the blueprints of the Tabernacle, the Ark, and the priestly robes to be revealed.

The impression is that God is very involved in the details and has a very distinct and unusual plan for these people called the Nation of Israel. It is also very evident that these people are, as God himself put it, "stiff necked". They are stubborn and go their own way as soon as the going appears to be getting a little rough. As you read, you wonder when these folks are going to 'get it'. You do not cross God, or disobey him, because the penalty is death. He is training them for the end game, even though it is a ways down the desert path. And, finally, the law (laws) are many and onerous. One's life would have had to been wrapped up in the law just to be aware of when and when not it was being kept or broken. Things have got to change!  
Readability: three stars

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wrong Hat

I was going to take my hat on Saturday when I went to walk around Mill Lake. I looked at the calendar and thought I might take a simple baseball cap. Then I looked at the thermometer and thought I should take my warm felt hat. When I actually got there, what I needed was a very warm, windproof rain hat. I almost froze, then got soaked from a sudden shower, and then the sun came out and I dried off. By the end of the walk, my jacket was over my arm and my glasses were still full of rain drops. Next week maybe a sun hat will be in order. But I will not count on it.
 When it comes to May weather around these parts, this is old hat.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I am off to a great start and have just read Genesis.

The Bible is really the story of the Gospel which can be easily explained in four parts. Creation, the Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. It is interesting that the first two parts to the grand story of God working with his creation, humanity, is contained within the first few chapters of the first book. We have little record of what it was like in the Garden of Eden, but after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, we certainly get a good handle on what it was like afterward.

It is apparent that the chosen of God had not had any rules and regulations put down because they were all over the map with their dysfunctionality. And yet, there seems to have been some sense of what pleased God and what did not. The patriarchs and their descendants, of the nation of Israel, were no angels, and yet, time and time again God would assure them that they were destined for greatness and he would lead them and bless them.

The narrative is very careful in documenting the lines of genealogy and even without following it on a family tree diagram, one can see that there were a lot of Hillbilly, Redneck, Ozark type happenings going on.

Impression: God can and does work with jerks.
Readability: 5 star 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Bible


I am going to assume that I am like a lot of Christians in that I have read many portions of the Bible many times, there are few scriptures that I have never read, and I have never read the whole Bible, chronologically, from cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation.
Because I now find reading so easy and efficient with my Kindle, and because I have downloaded a complete NEV version of the Bible, and because I have always wanted to do it, I am now going to attempt this project.
I thought that I would treat the books of the Bible like I do other books I read, and give them a review as I complete them, here on this blog. This not only makes me accountable, but gives me motivation to pay attention.
The words and stories are there for everyone to read, so my reviews will consist of impressions that God will, hopefully, put on my heart as I read His Word.  

Friday, May 4, 2012


Last Sunday we strolled around the local swamp and as usual, photographic opportunities were in abundance. But only because I did not have my camera with me. We saw a huge Blue Heron on a log, having a standoff with three turtles, the size of dinner plates. And then when we stopped to rest our weary legs, we had a little family of geese swim right up to us and start grazing on the shore, only a few feet away from our park bench.  Had I brought my camera, this would not have happened.

Fast forward to Tuesday and I swung by the swamp with my camera after a trip to the bank, hoping I would see some more of the same. The little lake is now full of these Canada Goose families as all the eggs must have hatched in the last few days. They are everywhere and one cannot help but get at least one good photo. Mind you, one has to brave the hissing and posturing of the mama who is very protective.

These guys are cute only for a few days, and the ugly duckling stage kicks in.

The cold wind was worth braving for a few good photos.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Glasses

I decided not to go for these discount glasses at "Lenses R Us".

I had my eyes tested just after Christmas and have been hanging onto the new prescription for a while, waiting to fund just the right deal on the right frames and lenses. The last time I got 'progressives', they were only available on larger frames, but now the new technology allows for the lens to be smaller and more stylish.
I got them two weeks ago and am still reluctant to wear them. They are very difficult to get used to. The old 'progressives' made me search up and down for the sweet spots, until I was accustomed to them. These new ones are causing me to cast my glance from side to side to find the sweet spot. The distance vision is very narrow indeed, but the reading distance is an improvement.
Tonight I picked up my new single vision glasses for work, reading and computer. They are excellent.
No more excuses for shoddy workmanship on the job.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another Sleepover

Liam is so much fun. We love having him stay overnight. With proper handling, little boys can be very sweet and also very sweet smelling.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Double Double

The guests had all arrived and it was time to wake the sleepy Lion from his nap. And then, a big warm hug from mom.

 Time for celebration. Keith and Chad have birthdays so close that it worked best to have a double celebration, especially because Chad's mom was under the weather and had just put Nate's big sleepover party behind her the night before. The flares were just at their last sparks when I got this photo in, Father and Son, sharing a birthday and a beautiful Lemon Cheesecake.

Chad getting a big hug from Uncle Murray.

Proud to be eleven years old.

'Best buds' for life.
Happy Birthday Chad and Keith. We love you both very much!