Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The weather outside is frightful

...but I have my Digital fireplace on the TV and the fire is so delightful!
And since I am working from home, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Sovereign hand of God in time and space

I was thinking about my father today- how an army dentist somewhere in the early 1950’s encountered this young man with horrible teeth- the result of poverty, non-chlorinated well and spring water and no dental care- and determined he should have all his teeth pulled and be sent to Newfoundland rather than Korea. Thus my sensitive father was spared the horrors of war and a relatively smooth ride in his army career, which also taught him his trade. He returned to his home unscarred, unlike many who were sent to war. I attribute this to the hand of a sovereign God who wanted to bless me with a father who didn’t have to overcome the emotional trauma, or worse, that might have resulted in a theater of war. He used that unknown dentist to change the path of Dad’s life. Now just multiply that simple encounter with the “series of intersecting incidents beyond our control” Benjamin Button speaks eloquently, if mysteriously of. This will drive one to worship. A God who is in control is good news for postmodern man.

Movie Review

Just saw the Curious Case of Benjamin Button this evening. The first thing I note is the liberties the screenwriters took with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story. The infant Benjamin bears no resemblance to the bearded articulate old man of the story. The results are an appropriately lush embellishment of the original which it bears little other resemblance to than its title.

Jonathan Edwards wrote in his Resolutions this ninth entry: "Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death." Chances are this didn't make the top ten of your New Year's resolutions, right?

This film will force you to think about the meaning of life. That holy place is where this movie took me. In spite of its failure to rise to the greatness it held potential for, I believe it is important in the fact that it highlighted the impermanence of real life in a cosmetic world dominated by youth culture. It raised important questions which it ultimately left unanswered, but hinted at- intimations of eternity, and of heaven are present in the various characters Benjamin encounters along his descent into infancy. Benjamin is different, and difference insures loneliness, but also drive him to seek connective relationships.

The sets are gorgeous, the effects are transparent and believable. From the tale of the blind clockmaker (I took this as a veiled, if inappropriate reference to God) to the blustering artist/tugboat captain/naval commander we see types and lessons to be learned. Yet in its concern for becoming maudlin, it seems to have retreated too far from affect. Benjamin is so serene in most cases that his bouts with doubt are hard to identify as real. The story is told against the backdrop of the emerging hurricane Katrina that repeatedly reminds us of the transcience of life in the wake of nature.

I was taken back to the question Forrest Gump powerfully asked- some people think life is predetermined and others think we are floating like a feather on the wind- this film adds a powerful third perspective from Queenie, Benjamin’s mother. She insists the hand of God is in everything. Benjamin is a miracle and it is in no small part the power of her love that is the most redemptive thread of the movie.

It is also a film about hope and the power of making choices to make our lives better and to be willing to start over if necessary rather than succumbing to the droning of life. In this aspect it was very much in the mold of Fitzgerald, but in my opinion it does not descend into the self-made man “lifted up by his own bootstraps” syndrome. This is a strong, evocative film that was a pleasure to escape into for almost three hours. Life is lived in time and we must spend it wisely for we can never recover it. These hours were not wasted, and it will provide fodder for many more good conversations at home. With Edwards, we can see life’s impermanence as a galvanizing force rather than a paralyzing one. Both of the key characters had to deal with this in their lives. So must we all.

Another installment

So far we've come up with 429 old sayings our parents were known to use on a consistent basis. I have a theory that this is in part the reason why Earnie and I are very strong analogical thinkers. Anyway it's just a theory...

I also note that I cannot think of many of these idiomatic/axiomatic sayings that have been created in the past fifty years. They all seem to have emerged over the mid 19th to early 20th century. Other than "jump the shark" I cannot think of many new ones out there. Or am I just getting old?

200. Like a bull in a china shop
201. Tippecanoe and Tyler too
202. They are as thick as thieves
203. He’d rob you blind
204. My get up and go just got up and went
205. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
206. That thunder is just God’s tater wagons turning over
207. He’s drumming up trouble
208. Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
209. About as useful as a screendoor on a submarine
210. That and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee
211. What this country needs is a damn good depression
212. There’s light at the end of the tunnel
213. A penny saved is a penny earned
214. A penny for your thoughts
215. Children should be seen and not heard
216. Like a wiggle worm in hot ashes
217. Like two peas in a pod
218. Goes together like peas and carrots
219. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians around here
220. You couldn’t suit her if your life depended on it
221. Like a bat out of hell
222. Like rats off a sinking ship
223. Better get while the gettin’ is good
224. Batten down the hatches, full steam ahead
225. Don’t take any wooden nickels
226. Not worth a continental
227. Not worth a grain of salt
228. He didn’t have one thin dime
229. It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game
230. Finder’s keepers, losers, weepers
231. When you fall off a horse you have to get back in the saddle
232. It can be here today and gone tomorrow
233. There’s nothing worse than a welcher
234. Don’t be an Indian giver
235. Remember in life there are no guarantees
236. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve
237. He couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag
238. He’ll soon be pushing up daisies
239. You’d better knock on wood
240. Always a day late and a dollar short
241. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
242. He hasn’t got the sense God gave a goose
243. He hasn’t got the sense God gave a woodpecker
244. You bet your bottom dollar
245. Down to the last pea in the dish
246. He hasn’t got a pot to pee in
247. Better make hay while the sun is shining
248. I declare as I live and breathe
249. Bless my soul
250. Bless her little pea pickin’ heart
251. Monkey see, monkey do
252. That’ll happen when pigs fly
253. What's that Thingamabob
254. That's a Dooma –flotchey
255. No its a Thingamajig
256. It’ll be a cold day in hell when I apologize
257. She’s driving me nuts
258. Jumpin Jehosaphat!
259. Great minds think alike
260. He has one screw loose
261. She is in a snit.
262. One wheel's loose and the other’s draggin
263. My wagon’s draggin’
264. That's the long and the short of it
265. One card short of a full deck
266. Sweeter than candy
267. Too old to cut the mustard
268. Heard anything worth repeatin’?
269. Keep this girl fed and you’ll never have any trouble out of her
270. She’s a Jabberwocky
271. He’s a blabbermouth
272. Not for love nor money
273. It takes two to tango
274. Two’s company and three’s a crowd.
275. Now the fat is in the fire
276. Out of the frying pan and into the fire
277. I am fair to middlin’
278. Take an old cold tater and wait
279. I don’t give a hoot nor a holler
280. That’s a fine how do you do
281. There’s another fine mess you’ve got me into
282. One time shame on you the second time shame on me
283. Now ain’t that a crying shame?
284. The world in going to the dogs
285. The bigger they are the harder they fall
286. Don’t toot your own horn
287. Friends are few and far between
288. He’s lost his marbles
289. Out of sight out of mind
290. You’re going down the wrong track
291. Better late than never
292. A stitch in time saves nine
293. Never look a gift horse in the mouth
294. I’m so busy I met myself coming and going
295. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
296. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from here
297. Better you than me
298. Over there down yonder
299. Way down yonder in the paupau patch
300. She’s high as a kite
301. She’s skinny as a rail
302. Go take a hike

The sayings we grew up with...

This is a work in progress, as we keep thinking of new ones. Earnie's folks, especially her Mom, had a saying for everything, and sometimes she even pulled the old switcheroo and combined sayings in funny ways, We called those Jennyisms. Here is the first installment, as the list grows longer...

1. Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.
2. He is true blue.
3. A man’s word is his bond.
4. He has more ….than Carter has liver pills
5. He has more ….than Carter has oats.
6. Lord, have murder.
7. He is as good as gold.
8. Good gravy!
9. No grass grows under my feet, big boy.
10. For Pete’s sake!
11. Crooked as a barrel of snakes.
12. She looks like a million bucks.
13. More fun than a barrel of monkeys.
14. Me and Old Willie will get er done.
15. See you later, alligator, after while, crocodile.
16. He is the salt of the earth.
17. Once in a blue moon.
18. He was deader than a doornail.
19. I’m going to hit the hay.
20. Glad you got to talk to me.
21. We’re on an even keel now.
22. I’ll give you a nickel if you’ll get me a cup of coffee.
23. Every man puts his pants on the same way- one leg at a time.
24. Don’t ever do anything in the dark you’d be ashamed of in the light.
25. If you have one good friend in this world consider yourself blessed.
26. The only thing you can take with you is your character.
27. Two heads are better than one.
28. Glad to see your back.
29. You make your bed and then you have to sleep in it.
30. Have a little who shot John? (liquor)
31. Good night and good riddance!
32. Good night, Irene.
33. Trust is the hardest thing to get and the easiest thing to lose.
34. I was all dressed up and no place to go.
35. You sure are all duded up.
36. She is putting on airs.
37. He is cute as a bug in a rug.
38. Look what the cat drug in.
39. That’s as bogus as a two dollar bill.
40. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
41. He come by it honest.
42. Like falling off a log.
43. Like a needle in a haystack.
44. A day late and a dollar short.
45. That went over like a lead balloon.
46. Pride goeth before a fall.
47. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
48. He’s a chip off the old block.
49. Like water off a duck’s back.
50. Like a duck on a junebug.
51. Do you know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin.
52. Age is just a state of mind.
53. If you have a roof over your head and food to eat and you are warm, then you are rich.
54. Time is something you can never get back so spend it well.
55. One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go!
56. My dogs are barking tonight.
57. She was pollyfoxing around.
58. He is a gadabout.
59. She is up to no good.
60. That was a boneheaded thing to do.
61. No point in beating a dead horse.
62. No point in crying over spilled milk.
63. This thing is bass-ack’ards.
64. This thing is jerry rigged.
65. Dam the torpedoes, full steam ahead!
66. Mama is having a hay- henhorrage.
67. Mama is pitching a hissy –fit.
68. Cute as a button.
69. Playing with a deck of 51.
70. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
71. He is meaner than spit.
72. That’s like spitting in the wind.
73. He was tighter than a drum.
74. If the good Lord’s willin, and the creek don’t rise…
75. He spends money like its going out of style.
76. Naked as a jay-bird.
77. If you don’t have anything good to say don’t say nothing.
78. Like a pig in a poke.
79. Go fly a kite.
80. Kick off your shoes and set a spell.
81. Make yourself at home.
82. If you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time.
83. For pity sake.
84. Going to hell in a handbasket.
85. No point in beating around the bush.
86. He is as drunk as a skunk.
87. Last but not least.
88. Champagne taste on a beer budget.
89. Mama is throwing a conniption fit.
90. He is an acid head.
91. She is two faced.
92. Mercy me!
93. That’s the icing on the cake.
94. Happy as a tick on a hound dog.
95. It’s raining cats and dogs.
96. She was nervous as a cat.
97. So poor he didn’t have a pot to pee in.
98. That’s like the pot calling the kettle black.
99. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
100. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
101. Here today and gone tomorrow.
102. He’s rolling in gravy.
103. What you see is what you get.
104. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
105. I am plumb tuckered out.
106. She is as blind as a bat.
107. Playing cards till the cows come home.
108. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
109. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
110. Just put one foot in front of the other.
111. She’s been around the block a few times
112. Better safe than sorry
113. God works in mysterious ways.
114. I was between a rock and a hard place.
115. Bless her heart!
116. My goodness gracious sakes alive.
117. Famous last words!
118. We’ll be sure to alert the media.
119. Rise and shine!
120. Top o' the mornin’ to ya!
121. My goodness gracious sakes alive!
122. Beware the red-eyed monster (jealousy)
123. He was like a flash in the pan.
124. I had to rob Peter to pay Paul.
125. As I live and breathe!
126. Pretty is as pretty does.
127. He got too big for his britches.
128. The jig is up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vast Lefty Conspiracy

I knew something like this would happen...

It Thrills my Soul

For the past dozen-plus years since we left Dallas, we have been the beneficiary of prayer support from a group of ladies and other friends from our former church. I cannot express (but I'll try) my appreciation when we get a prayer letter from the Mary Lou's. These are now ten ladies who meet weekly for prayer. This is the sort of prayer that avails much- persevering prayers of the righteous sustain us and our life. We stay in contact with these folks and take encouragement that they have not forgotten us though we labored in their midst so many years ago. I also hear on a regular basis from dear friends the Gotts who are ever in our corner. I don't know where we would be without the prayers of our friends. We need all the help we can get!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On the Downside

FInished Comprehensive exams and now it's up to the evaluators... I actually had a weekend (remember those?) before making contact on my prospectus. Back to work and creating a learning portal as of today! Thanks to all who have been praying for the process!