Monthly Archives: July 2015
I’m not sure who originally said it. It’s attributed to a number of people, from Napoleon to an ancient Native American saying. Irrespective of where it came from, I like it, “If the horse is dead, dismount.”
You can apply this saying to a number of situations. You crank the car battery until its dead. You stare at the exam question and still don’t know the answer. You call and leave messages and they don’t call back. If the horse is dead, dismount. Continue reading
Growing up in the country, I had a lot of animals as “pets.” Many of them were caught and kept overnight and released the next day including a muskrat, opossum, fox, owl; a variety of salamanders, frogs, turtles, toads, as well as a number of stray cats and mongrel dogs.
I tried to love the cats and dogs equally but only the dogs reciprocated. My dogs Tiger, Sam, Cleo, Kimo, Rosie, each had their own personality, temperament, and disposition. Some were incredibly affectionate while some seemed to have a little cat in them. Continue reading
If you take a class in public speaking, you will be given the advice to never use the word thing. There is always a better noun. Think of it.
But the thing is, sometimes it’s hard to find a better word. “Thing” fits the context perfectly.
Other words that work equally well include gizmo, thingamajig, whatchamacallit, contraption, and widget. My spellchecker is happy with all of them. Continue reading
Social issues, and the solutions to social issues, seem as old as humanity. The Old Testament economy is replete with policies for the poor. In some places God directs his people to give the poor special consideration, “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 23:22). At other times the poor must be treated like anyone else, “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:15).
In a lengthy letter to Warfield M. Firor, dated March 12, 1950, C. S. Lewis thinks out loud about social issues. How can a “rising tide raise all ships” and how can all be equally well off? He theorizes by writing,
The education you receive in a good Bible college and seminary is indispensable in preparing you for pastoral work. You don’t want to enter the ministry without a sense of church history (ecclesiology), proper biblical interpretation (hermeneutics), and an orthodox understanding of God and doctrine (theology).
But no school can prepare you for the challenges faced in the average church. Challenges concerning decision making, finding out what topics are controversial, color schemes and moving furniture, and those age-old questions about where Cain’s wife came from and what happens to a pet when it dies? Continue reading
My family and I lived for a couple of months with an elderly widow in an old Southern farmhouse. The location could have been a set for To Kill a Mockingbird. Long, straight, tree-lined dirt driveway with a majestic white house at the end. Rolling fields out back where, during an evening walk, you would see turkey and deer.
The home had been in the family for generations but the son of the current resident decided it was time to move his mother in with her sister, board the place up, and sell. Continue reading
If you ask someone about taking care of an aging parent, you might want to be prepared to hear a very complicated and painful story. Sometimes the transition isn’t all that bad. The parent enjoys good health and clarity of mind and the children have the time and resources necessary for whatever comes up.
But at other times, difficult decisions need to be made quickly. Part-time or full-time care? Stay at home, nursing home, or move into your home? Divide responsibilities among siblings or have it all fall on the shoulders of one child? Further complicating the matter are issues such as finances, logistics, and the insurance policies of the parent.
There are no easy answers and no two cases are exactly alike. No one can take care of someone 24/7. It’s a matter of doing the right thing for everyone. Continue reading
We are all familiar with the conversation. It’s been repeated since December, 1843.
“You don’t believe in me,’’ observed the Ghost.
“I don’t,’’ said Scrooge.
“What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’’
“I don’t know,’’ said Scrooge.
“Why do you doubt your senses?’’
“Because,’’ said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!’“
Sometimes we don’t even believe our senses. Continue reading
Dr. Warfield Monroe Firor was about as good a friend as one could want. He graduated Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and remained at Johns Hopkins for his residencies in both neurosurgery and surgery becoming a faculty member and resident surgeon.
Dr. Firor also had a cabin in the Rocky Mountains. He would often ask C. S. Lewis to visit him and stay at the cabin where they could ride horseback and fish together. Lewis was never able to accept his invitation though they did enjoy a visit once in Oxford in 1949. During the war years Dr. Firor was very generous in supplying the Lewis family with numerous hams and other food items. Continue reading
The overly optimistic think bad things never happen while the overly pessimistic think they happen all the time. The rest of us have a pretty good handle on it: there will be good times and there will be bad times. Some chalk it up to Karma, some say bad things come in threes (though where they start and stop counting is always a mystery), and others attribute it to fate or luck. Continue reading