Friday, 25 June 2021

The Quotable Joan Chittister

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” 
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (Another great read)

📖 📖 📖

A dear friend of ours recommended another book. While we ordered it, all I’ve seen thus far are little snippets that my better half shares with me. I will get my turn with it when she finishes reading it.

In the mean time, I will catalogue these little nuggets she shares here so as not to lose track of them. This will be an ongoing blog post, a work in progress, that I expect to come back to time and again. Stay tuned.

Meet the quotable Joan Chittister.

💬

We can’t bear mystery, we can’t abide the beneficence of the unknown. We “define” the nature of God, the substance of the Holy Spirit, the persons of Jesus. We dogmatize the unknown and we excommunicate people who dare to wonder. I find it very hard anymore to abide the dogmatizers though I sometimes admire the sincerity of their “faith.” Or is “faith” simply another term for the compulsion to know, and the willingness not to think.” (p.37)

💬

“I don’t pray,” people say to me. And I say back, “Neither do I. I just breathe God in and hope somehow to learn how to breathe God out as well.” (p.46)

💬


In A Perfect World

 



In a perfect world

every home

would have a dog,

and every dog

would have a home.

Friday, 18 June 2021

The Other Side of Aging

hu-mor-ist n. 1 a person with a strong sense of humour. 2 a humorous talker or writer; a person who tells or writes jokes and funny stories.

👀

Anyone who has known me for a while would probably tell you that, in may ways, the word humorist describes me rather well. You don’t have to look far in this blog to see evidence of that fact. I’m OK with that as there are plenty of worse things that I could be called (and sometimes have been called).

Someone shared this cartoon with me the other day and I am still chuckling at it. Poor old guy; it was an honest mistake, I’m sure. At least he made her some tea.

Now that my better half and I are somewhere north of 60 years of age, we see the humour in jokes like this more and more often. We can laugh at them, because we have started to be able to relate, and in doing so, have learned to laugh at ourselves. Fact is, we’re not getting any younger, so we might as well enjoy life the best that we are able and laugh at aging’s little peculiarities.

Though my eyes are no longer what they once were, thanks to a decent pair of tri-focal lenses I can still  see reasonably well. Having said that, I have discovered that reading small font books is getting a little more cumbersome, and I have even found myself sometimes reaching for a magnifying glass. Likewise, reading on a computer screen often necessitates zooming up to 125% to take the strain off the old eyes. However, I am not complaining. I am confident that I can still tell the difference between my wife and a pumpkin in the vegetable patch. That’s a good thing, right?!

Hearing is another of those little aging peculiarities. It is one thing when couples call to each other from different rooms or floors in the house. Anyone could miss half of those conversations. It is a little more embarrassing when the same thing happens while sitting at the same table. It is also sometimes quite comical. By way of example, I asked my wife recently what day it was. She replied, “Thursday.” I responded, “Well, what would you like to drink?” In all fairness, Thursday and Thirsty sound a lot alike. It was an honest mistake.

So here’s to getting older. Here’s to the freedom of no longer caring what others think. Here’s to poorer vision and questionable hearing. Here’s to retirement and pensions. Here’s to playing with grandchildren, and to giving them back. Here’s to skinny dipping in the backyard (if we want to), and thereby getting the neighbours to pay for all of the new privacy fence.

And finally, here’s to my dear wife of forty years. I’d marry you all over again, Sweetheart. I’m looking forward to celebrating our 100th birthdays together. However, I may need to ask your help in lighting a Cuban cigar to go with our celebratory glass of scotch whiskey. 😉

Postscript: In sharing some of these musings with my father, he replied: “There is an alternative to aging, but I doubt that we would like that more.” That’s great! Humorist? I guess I come by it quite naturally. 😄

Photo Sources: Unknown

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tinnitus: Another Joy of Aging?

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. While no doubt true about many things in life, this picture really resonates with me. Tinnitus, the very word even sounds painful. Puns fully intended. 😉

But seriously, it is no fun. The older I get, the more I seem to hear (this time, no pun intended) of others who have also discovered this fairly common side effect of aging. To make things worse, there is apparently no known cure. Through audiologists I have been learning that there are some treatments which may help, but a cure has yet to be discovered. In other words, we simply have to learn to live with it. Lucky us!

To learn more click here:

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Covid Testing: Then and Now?

“The more things change,
the more they stay the same.”
(attributed to Alphonse Karr)

While that quaint saying may be true of many things, who knew that Covid nasal swab testing would turn out to be one of them?! Hilarious!!

😄😄😄

“There is a time for everything … [including] a time to laugh.”
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4)

Photo Source: Unknown

Friday, 11 June 2021

The Other Side of Pet Ownership?

Have you ever heard it said that some people look like their pets? I suppose one would have to be careful with that kind of thinking. Not everyone would take kindly to being told that they look like a dog (ha-ha).

Recently my dear wife suggested that maybe we should consider a Miniature Schnauzer as a potential breed for our next dog. I quickly put two and two together and wondered if she was trying to tell me something. Does she like Miniature Schnauzers because they remind her of me, or because I remind her of them? Hmm.

I guess it makes sense. We’re both pretty grey. We’re both bearded. We’re both often grumpy looking. We’re both miniature. Well, three out of four is not bad.

👀 woof  😉

Monday, 7 June 2021

There Are Worse Addictions



“When I get a little money
I buy books;
and if any is left,
I buy food and clothes.”
attributed to Desiderius Erasmus


Seems logical to me.
😉

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Do You Have A Favourite Book?

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.”
Margaret Atwood

I just discovered a new literary genre. Well, it is new to me anyway. What genre is that? I am speaking of biblical fiction. To be honest, I had never even imagined such a thing existed. The words biblical and fiction were never something I considered in the same sentence before, much less as a style of writing. However, as the old mantra says, You can’t knock something until you’ve tried it. While I used to think of that only in terms of food, apparently it applies to reading as well.

Who knew?! 😉

Today I finished reading yet another two of the plethora of Ted Dekker books, and the first two that I would call biblical fiction. What can I say? I am now a believer! (Pun fully intended; ha-ha). I could try to tell you what this amazing story is all about, but I am afraid that I just would not do it justice. Instead, rather than reinvent the proverbial wheel, I would really encourage you to click on these two links to learn more:

A.D.30

A.D.33

If you are already a Ted Dekker fan, then you already know that he will carry you away in a story like few others can. If you are not yet a Ted Dekker fan, then I have only two words of caution: (1) His books are not easily put down. As I alluded to on this blog post, I recently went through two other Dekker books, 800-pages total, in just 7-days. (2) Be prepared to very quickly find yourself needing to create more shelf space in your library to accommodate your new favourite Christian thriller and biblical fiction author. Consider yourself warned. With that said, I will also say goodbye for now, because I suspect you’re anxious to connect with your favourite bookseller. 


Closing Thought:

Someone once said, “Asking a bookworm to name their favourite book is like asking a mother to pick a favourite child.” Peace and Blessings, friend. God is good. 😊 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

My Night Shift’s Silver Lining

“I complained of having no shoes,
until I met a man who had no feet.”
(Anonymous)

You know that it’s going to be a long day when, after going to bed about 9:00pm, you’re lying awake at 12:30am and unable to get back to sleep. *sigh* Oh well, rather than toss and turn and disturb my bride’s sleep, I decided that, as I often do, I might as well get up and make the best of it. Someone once said that, “behind every cloud is a silver lining,” or something like that. It wasn’t long before I started to see that this sleepless cloud too had a silver lining.

It had a silver lining in that I could get a good soaking of water into the front lawn after a couple days of seeing the mercury in the +35C range. Before another hot day, I could almost hear the shrubs and trees sing out their songs of thanksgiving to the artificial rain of the sprinkler.

It had a silver lining in that, sitting on the deck with a coffee, a good book and this man’s best friend was once again bearable in the cooler morning air. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining of the heat. We did, after all see a cold snap not too many months ago that took us down to a chilly -55C. Furthermore, in light of a recent discussion with my Dad, he made mention of remembering a +51C when I was a young pre-teen. No, I am not complaining of our current +30’s temperature.

It had a silver lining in that I’ve long since discovered that the wee hours of the morning are really my favourite time of day. No, not at 12:30am specifically; that was a little earlier than usual. However, in my humble opinion, there is nothing quite as peaceful as a meditative and prayerful 3:00am when the house is quiet as everyone else still sleeps. That sweet time before the phone’s annoying ring announcing another crisis, before the endless notifications of yet another email requiring my attention; simply heavenly! The only sound I heard was a light snoring as my beloved fur baby fell back asleep on the deck. I am sure she appreciates the cooler morning air too.

So here’s to my night shift’s silver lining. Peace.  

Friday, 4 June 2021

Our Great Betrayal?

 

Jesus once asked, “Who is my brother?” (Matthew 12:48). Strange how such a simple question can become so confusing and subjective for so many of us. Equally strange how religious doctrines, even Christian ones, can often seem to justify polar opposite understandings of those four simple words. Who is my brother? Who are our brothers?

My purpose in writing this is not to add yet more to the plethora of writing that already exists on how to LOVE one another and what our responsibilities are (or should be) to our fellow man. I am not here to try and justify my doctrine as opposed to the understanding of others. Obviously the human race has been plagued by sin since the days of Adam and Eve. Sad, how the very next generation already saw one man murder his brother.

When I am tempted to point fingers at what I perceive to be another’s doctrinal error concerning _____ (you fill in the blank), I remind myself that the Bible also says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). That includes you and me. Which brings us back to the need for LOVE.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

(1 Corinthians 13; The Message)

So where do we go from here? I suppose that is something we will each have to decide for ourselves. Personally, I am done with questioning and arguing the doctrines of others. The way I see it, that is a private matter between them and God. I believe that I am simply called to LOVE no matter where they come from doctrinally. The bottom line is, God LOVES me! God LOVES others too! That is the crux of the Gospel message. If we believe that, then that makes others my brothers and my sisters. Something to think about. Peace.

The person who refuses to love,

doesn’t know the first thing about God,

because God is love.

(1 John 4; The Message)

Quote Source: Revise Us Again, by Frank Viola (p.96)

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

To Burger or not to Burger?

Meat Your Heart Out
😋

I have a confession to make. I am a burger snob. I love a good burger. Note the key word: good. Others that don’t rate as high I only eat if I have to, you know, as opposed to starving to death. Then again, based upon my girth, I could probably stand to miss a meal or two … or ten. Oh well, life’s too short to eat rice cakes.

This past weekend my better half suggested that homemade burgers and fries needed to be on the menu again. I didn’t need to be told twice. Hmm, Burgers! Hmm, Meat!

I may be biased, but my homemade burgers are second to none. They are about a 1/3-pound patties, half beef and half pork, with various other spice secrets that I won’t get into here. They are smoked over applewood on a charcoal grill/smoker. Condiments to taste, but I always prefer a good Mexican Pico de Gallo as opposed to the usual boring ketchup. Like I said, Will’s Burgers are second to none!

Double Tino’s Special
Generally speaking, I don’t much care for most fast-food franchise burger joints. I am sure that I’ve tried most of them at one time or another in my 60-plus years. Granted, some are better than others, but many are just gross. Sorry, there is no nice way to say that.

There is, however, one exception. Sure, I know, everyone has their favourites, but my favourite take-out burger joint is none other than Tino’s in beautiful Medicine Hat, Alberta. Tino’s has been around for over 50-years, established way back in 1967. My own personal go-to favourite is their Double Tino’s Special which includes, beside the two beef patties, a beautiful slice of ham. With the addition of the ham, it almost qualifies as a triple burger in its own right. Amazing!

Oh, and I almost forgot. A trip to Tino’s is not complete without one of their killer milkshakes. Your only problem is going to be choosing your flavour from the plethora of options. I have never seen so many choices!

Though I don’t live in Medicine Hat, I am fortunate that my business regularly takes me to that small city, and when it does, it is hard to not stop by and say hello to the good folks at Tino’s.

To Burger or not to Burger? Silly question.

😉

Visit Tino’s on Facebook.