June 12, 2020

When times are fearful, we can pray “Lord send the fire, that Pentecostal power!” Pentecost is not a day, but a season in the life of the church. Pentecost comes to Christ’s church for Christ’s church to serve everyone in the world. On the day of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to His church. This church, the ark of salvation, had existed from the foundation of the world, but now the Holy Spirit came to all Christ’s friends, not… Read more

June 11, 2020

Some things we cannot control. Other people decide differently than they should or things just do not go the way we planned. We fail because we called “heads” and “tails” came up. Sometimes, however, we fail having almost won. A battle won, yet a war lost. Why? A lack of persistence can squander gains. In our lives, in societies, lives and nations can fail when exhaustion appears. To finish a job requires a will to keep moving forward, but we can become weary of… Read more

June 10, 2020

What to read this summer? This week two helpful books stood out. One was the excellent biography US Grant by Ron Chernow. We find why this great, though flawed man, may have been underestimated for the last one hundred years due to his assault on the Klan and support for civil rights following the Civil War. Grant’s thoughts on Robert E. Lee and his “helpfulness” after the War are too little known and worth the read to see them in context… Read more

June 9, 2020

Cure the bite of the “tarantula!” Disharmony is a bad sign in the soul or the body politic. Visible, superficial disharmony, may point to more serious issues.  Just as fever is sometimes a sign of the underlying disease, so disharmony is (usually) not the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Symptoms must be noted as they help diagnose deeper disease. Nobody would want to treat only the symptoms while ignoring the disease, yet too often this is what we… Read more

June 8, 2020

On Winning and Losing  Losing is no virtue, but then neither is winning. The Soviets conquered the Baltic states before the Second World War, but this win was immoral and part of a deal signed with Adolph Hitler. The brave people in nations such as Estonia lost and that was not good as losing began a brutal Soviet occupation. Eternally, however, the tyrants of the Soviet Union lost their souls for the price of victory. Defeat in a good cause… Read more

June 7, 2020

Mickey Mouse is ninety-one. I suspect that with jazz, Lincoln, and scientific advances, Disney animation will be remembered as a cultural gift from America to the world. Other nations do animation well, see Japan, but America was the Columbus of animation. Others may have done it first, but after Disney, nobody could ignore it. Mickey Mouse paid the bills for Walt and his creative crew of geniuses to innovate. As a character, he was popular globally, though partly as a… Read more

June 6, 2020

A visit to the tombs of the Hapsburg dynasty is a review of a large part of European history: There are fresh flowers in front of the tomb of Franz Ferdinand, emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The crypt is full of the bodies of his ancestors and the monks still watch over the Hapsburg dynasty, but it is Franz Joseph that draws attention. Marie Theresa, an earlier Empress with healthy self-esteem, has the grandest tomb, but it is overdone. Her… Read more

June 5, 2020

If you wish to keep thinking systems cannot be unjust, do not read Dickens. If you must continue assuming decent people cannot be ground down by poverty and become overwhelmed by vice, stream the musical and do not read Oliver Twist. Wait! Do not, under any circumstances, watch the musical before reading Oliver Twist.  This is not due to spoilers, Dickens can handle those and still keep our attention, but due to how badly the musical gets the book. The book is… Read more

June 4, 2020

Sleep sometimes hides from me and I find words soothing. They distract me from my cares and allow me to unwind. Many nights the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle have given me rest, but now I have a new favorite: The Pickwick Papers. This use is not an attempt to insult the book, but to praise it. The Pickwick Papers will stand close attention, I am sure any number of doctorates have been earned by it, but it does a… Read more

June 3, 2020

  Margaret Thatcher makes pygmies of many of our present leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. She was brilliant, but not from the normal elites. She was the right leader at the right time, working twice as hard to break through the Old Boys networks, to help defeat the Evil Empire. Even my generation glosses over how marvelous the smashing of the Soviet Union was in the 1980’s. Thatcher, Reagan, and Blessed John Paul applied external pressure of just the… Read more

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