Category Archives: Life in general

In the Wilderness

BWCAOur canoe trip began from our outfitter’s camp near Ely, Minnesota.  A canoe, two fishing poles, and three backpacks sat on the boat dock, along with our waterproof map.  After my son and I gave our canoe a test spin, we put the packs into the canoe and slipped off into the BWCA.  Our map had a disclaimer in the lower right corner, ‘Not for navigation purposes.”

That’s not a very comforting realization – “not for navigation purposes” – because the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is millions of acres of pristine wilderness.  It is only trees and water as far as the eye can see, and there are no convenient road signs to direct you.  Portages from one body of water to another are often obscured or hidden by the distant tree line, and we could only steer to approximately where we thought the path would be.
Continue reading In the Wilderness

Jephthah’s Rash Vow

Jephthah's DaughterJephthah made a rash vow.

In the heat of battle Jephthah asked God to help him win a battle against his enemies, the Ammonites.  As a thank you gift, Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first person who came out the door to welcome him after the battle.

Huge debates arise over whether Jephthah meant a literal burnt offering on an altar or something less costly.  Some speculate that Jephthah expected a mere servant or perhaps a household animal to come out of the door.  We’ll never know the answer to that question. Continue reading Jephthah’s Rash Vow

Ray Rice, My Friend, and Health Supplements

Ray RiceBaltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice got caught.  The video of his violence against his then fiancé, now wife Janay Palmer has offended every compassionate person that has seen it.  Evening news has been consumed with the story, and it is everywhere on social media.

As it should be.

Ray Rice is a metaphor of our times.  He stands for anyone who objectifies another human being and turns them into something else such as a punching bag, an object of abuse, or something to be taken advantage of sexually or in some other way.  While the violence of Ray Rice is not to be diminished, I would say the doorway into that violence is objectification. Continue reading Ray Rice, My Friend, and Health Supplements

Things Bella Taught Me

20130903_181810Bella thinks she owns us. And we enable her megalomania.

Proof of her self-consciousness is her voice. On the end of the couch, Bella gave her low-muffled “grrr” as if to say to Bev, “Get out-of-the-way, I want to lay between you and Dad.” Later, sitting upright on the floor, she gave her really shrill yippy bark as if to say, “You’re not paying attention to me; quit what you’re doing now.”

The thing that really slays me is her stare. Large brown eyes and long eyelashes saying, “Will you play with me?” I’m a sucker for that, and that is what caused a recent visit to the chiropractor. Continue reading Things Bella Taught Me

Good Grief

David and BathshebaMiddle Eastern houses had flat roofs which were usable living spaces.  One day King David (1040-970 BC) was strolling around on his palace roof when he noticed a neighbor lady bathing on her roof. Her beauty captured his attention, and he stared lustfully at her body.

“I must have her,” he told his servant, and the servant was dispatched to deliver a “the-king-wants-you-to-have-an-audience-with-him” message. You couldn’t say “No” to the king, so “Bathsheba” put on her finest make-up and dress and left with the servant.

From the beginning, King David had lecherous intentions, so he plied Bathsheba with wine, delicious food, and his full attention.  “Let’s adjourn to my bedroom,” he said, Bathsheba’s inhibitions thoroughly anesthetized by the wine and luxury. Continue reading Good Grief

The Responsibility of Influence

InfluenceThe young adult was walking through a local store wearing a t-shirt with a simple message – “Not a Role Model.” No other images, just the words standing out in bold type on his chest.

It wasn’t too long ago that NBA great, Charles Barkley made that phrase popular.  Barkley was known for his inappropriate behavior including on and off-court fights, breaking a man’s nose during a fight after a game with the Milwaukee Bucks, throwing a man through a plate-glass window after being struck with a glass of ice, and mistakenly spitting on a young girl in March 1991. Continue reading The Responsibility of Influence

Do not trust these deceptive words.

Samuel 01Ancient Israel believed they had carte blanche with God’s approval.

Not unusual.  Especially among nations that are enjoying a modicum of political and financial success.  “God bless America” we hear so often in political speeches, implying that we have a special dispensation from God.

Ancient Israel’s mantra was “the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord,” as they looked proudly at the gleaming place of worship they associated with God’s dwelling place.  “Nothing bad could happen to us because we have the temple of the Lord” was the upshot of  this phrase. Continue reading Do not trust these deceptive words.