Welcome to the first Saturday Ramblings of the new year. If this is your first visit to the iMonastery, Saturday Ramblings is the time each week for us to do some light housekeeping. We sweep up all the scraps from the week and, tossing them together, we call them Saturday Ramblings. So grab a cup of coffee, get your pipe and slippers, and let’s get ready to ramble.
Esquire magazine has announced its Best Dressed Man for 2013. And the winner is … Pope Francis. Yes, even though he has shunned the fur-lined cape and the fancy red shoes, this pope still dresses pretty snazzy, at least according the Esquire.
Best dressed or no, there are some wealthy Catholics who are not too happy with what the pope has to say about the accumulation of money and capitalism in general. In certain evangelical circles, you would never ever make the money people mad by what you say. I don’t think it is the same in Catholicism, do you? Or at least not with this pope.
Have you been following the story of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who went in for a tonsillectomy and, tragically, has now been declared brain dead? You can read the details here. Where do you stand in this? Is it time to pull the plug, or should the parents go on fighting and believing for her healing? What do you think?
Noah’s Ark in Brooklyn? That is where you will find Torah Animal World, with more than 350 species of animals. All stuffed, of course. But the Ark may soon have to be on the move if the TAW doesn’t come up with a million bucks to keep it open. As the preacher says, “Don’t make me holler, and don’t make me shout. Just turn them pockets inside-out.”
Andrew Hamblin doesn’t keep his snakes in a museum, and they aren’t stuffed (except, of course, after a nice meal of fresh mouse). He keeps them in his church, which is a violation of the law in Tennessee. So he is on his way to face a grand jury. Think that will be a part of his “reality” TV show?
There are five biblically-themed movies planned for 2014 (not including the new version of Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage). Jonathan Merritt says this should make 2014 “the year of the Bible.” Or at least on the big screen.
And then there is the mayor of Flower Mound, Texas, who has declared 2014 to be the “Year of the Bible.” This is not setting well with some in the suburb of Dallas. What sayest thou: good move or bad move on his part?
And we can’t start the new year without first looking at lists of things from the previous year, can we? For instance, the top ten biblical archaeological finds of 2013. Too whimsical for you? Then how about the top ten Bible verses YouVersion dished up? (And no, John 3:16 was not among them.) Still not serious enough for you? Ok then, here are the top ten church signs spotted in 2013. Now we can start 2014.
Finally, this will be my last Saturday Ramblings column. I have shared with you how that I have struggled with depression. I’ve decided that I need to marshal my energy to fight this best as I can this year. So I am stepping down as publisher of InternetMonk as of today. I have had a great time visiting with you for the last four years. I remain humbled beyond belief that Michael and Denise Spencer counted me worthy of carrying on the tradition they started with this site. But to be honest, each of the writers we now have—Chaplain Mike, Lisa Dye, Martha of Ireland, Mike Bell, Damaris Zehner, and Adam Palmer, are all much better than I. I want you to encourage them and continue to share great comments with one another. If you don’t, well, don’t make me turn this Rambler around.