October 18, 2017

Saturday Ramblings 11.27.10

What a feast we had here at the iMonastery. Thanksgiving is a time when we get together for food, food and more food. Mike Bell joined us, even though 1) Canada celebrated their Thanksgiving last month, and 2) it’s hockey season. Lisa and Damaris both brought great looking pies. We didn’t get to eat them, however, due to the unfortunate pie-throwing incident between Joe and Adam. Chaplain Mike may have overdone it on the turkey, though. Just before slipping into a tryptophan-induced coma he was heard to say over and over. “But Thanksgiving should be on the church calendar.” First Lady Denise Spencer just shook her head and made us all do the dishes before we could move on to other Thanksgiving traditions: the ladies watching football and the men fighting over the Black Friday ads from the paper. But never fear—we still have enough leftovers for a heaping helping of Saturday Ramblings.

A week or so ago I wrote on being God’s Fool, and talked about a modern-day St. Francis, Keith Wheeler. Several of you have asked about Keith’s experience in front of a firing squad. I emailed him about this, wondering if he got a blindfold and cigarette. He responded, “No cigarette, or blindfold!  Just a lot of guns and a countdown at 2 a.m. that ended in the guns being scattered all over the place and the soldiers knocked down, then fleeing and screaming and crying like little girls!  It’s an amazing story of God’s goodness!” I still want to hear the full story. Keith also responded to those who wondered if carrying the cross around the world in dangerous places is really what the Lord would have him to do. He said, “You’re right. I may be wrong.  I may even be misled.  I may get to heaven and Jesus might look at me, laugh and scratch his head and say, ‘Son, I didn’t mean for you to CARRY a cross!  I meant for you to PREACH the cross around the world.’  But I think He’ll continue and say, ‘Thanks for trying!’  Jeff, I would rather miss God’s will TRYING to obey, than sit around wondering, analyzing and doing nothing at all.” You can read more about Keith and his adventures on his web site.

Could it be that Catholic colleges do a better job educating athletes than their non-Catholic counterparts? And if so, why? By the way, the school in this article, Xavier in Cincinnati, is my second-favorite college basketball team. Go X!

Get ready for not one but two movies about the Moses and the Exodus. No one will ever take the place of Charlton Heston, but I suppose it’s time for a new Moses to hit the big screen. And that’s not all we will get to enjoy when these movies come out. You are hearing it first in Saturday Ramblings: In conjunction with these movies, someone will come out with prepackaged “manna” that will be sold in Christian bookstores. You’ll be able to choose from white manna, honey-wheat manna, and cinnamon-swirl manna. Think I’m joking? I’ve been in this business too long to think someone won’t try this. Sigh…

In other movie news, Cloud Ten Pictures plans a big-budget version movie based on the Left Behind series of books. I can’t wait. (Loud sigh…)

Last week we told you about how the Catholic Church is looking for a few good exorcists. Well, here is another job churches are having trouble filling: organist. Oh, there are keyboard players aplenty—but they play the digital keyboard, not a traditional organ. So brush up on your organ skills. You can put them to use in your local church on Sundays, and at the baseball stadium during the week.

Another reason we all should move in with Martha in Ireland: Chia Pet presidents. You know, there are times when capitalism is not all it’s cracked up to be. Really, some things are just wrong. And this is one of them.

The Rev. Martin Junge is the first Latin American to serve in as the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. The Chilean theologian will help lead the global church body that represents more than 70 million Lutherans in 79 countries.

Megachurches in the United States are holding their own in these tough economic times according to a report from the Leadership Network. It seems the larger the church, the better it is doing in this economy. Do any of you attend a church where staff have had to be laid off due to the downturn in giving?

The Japanese sometimes accept gifts by saying, “I’m sorry.” Author Margaret Visser says this means, “I am fully aware of my debt to you. I can never repay it.” Read more in this excellent article on the virtue of gratitude.

Skye Jethani is a hero to us here at the iMonastery. Here he outlines his Ten Commandments of Scripture Interpretation. Brilliant.

Birthdays this past week include Alistair Cooke; Robert F. Kennedy; Vice President Joe Biden; Norm “Spirit In The Sky” Greenbaum; Joe “Life’s Been Good To Me” Walsh; Harpo Marx; Marlo “That Girl” Thomas; Golidie Hawn; Bjork; Troy Aikman; Ken Griffey Jr.; Miley “Hannah Montana” Cyrus; Joe Dimaggio; Amy Grant; and twins Barbara and Jenna Bush.

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without turkey. And radio station WKRP wanted to get everyone in the holiday mood by giving away free turkeys. They gave them away in an unusual promotion. You really need to watch the entire thirty minute program, but if you can’t, enjoy this thirty second version of the great turkey giveaway. And don’t miss Arthur Carlson’s words of, um, wisdom at the end. Enjoy today’s bonus Thanksgiving video.

Comments

  1. Great ramblings today, Jeff. Wow on those Chia Pet Presidents! The perfect gift for someone at Christmas. I think I would get the hair growing before I would present it to someone. It would make a better statement. It would say, “I care about you and really want you to immediately see Obama with green chia hair.” 😉

    I like Skye Jethani’s last sentence from the page you referenced for us: “Paradoxes abound in Scripture. If your theology doesn’t allow for that kind of ambiguity and mystery I suggest you try Deism.”

    (You may know the video is not showing on the space allotted for it.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Paradoxes abound in Scripture. If your theology doesn’t allow for that kind of ambiguity and mystery I suggest you try Deism.”

      Or Dispensational Fundamentalism. (A lot of these elaborate theologies — crack open a Dake’s sometime and read the outer columns of marginal notes — all come down to attempts to eliminate all paradoxes and reconcile any and all inconsistencies. No matter how convoluted you have to get to do it.)

  2. Thanks, Jeff for one of the funniest Thanksgiving TV show clips of all time. I miss that show !

  3. “Another reason we all should move in with Martha in Ireland: Chia Pet presidents.”

    You really don’t want to, guys. Our economy has been comprehensively done over by the banks and the Government has lied through its teeth to us about the problem, leading to the IMF and the EU sending over a few suits to “lend” us billions in a bail-out.

    We’re facing an election as soon as the budget has been rammed through (front-loaded with billions of cuts and tax increases) and the natives are extremely restless indeed.

    As for Chia Pet Presidents, we’re looking at a Presidential Election ourselves in a year or so, and although our position is a figurehead (really), a few of the potential candidates have me going “I’d rather vote for a plant in a pot”. Actually, in our upcoming General Election, if you ran the Chia Pets, they’d be elected before any of the current parties in Government (Fianna Fáil and the Greens).

    On to less depressing matters!

    “Could it be that Catholic colleges do a better job educating athletes than their non-Catholic counterparts?”

    I have no idea, but those of us who have been Taught By Nuns (and it really does deserve the capitalisation) owe them an awful lot. Yeah, yeah: rulers across the knuckles and all. (The one advantage of being a girl when Irish schools had legal corporal punishment? The nuns only had rulers. The boys – who went to the Christian Brothers – got the leather) 🙂

    And it’s snowing here! Today! The weather forecast did say yesterday that it would, but usually that means “only in some places for about ten minutes on top of the mountains”. It really did snow when they said it would!

    Okay, by the standards of places where it really snows every year, we’re only getting a bare little shake of flakes, but I’m excited!

    🙂

    • Martha, I only attended Catholic school in the first grade, but I did attend weekly CCD classes. I was unfortunate enough in the first grade to get a half-blind elderly nun with a bad attitude. I was a VERY good little girl and it was only in the first grade that I was made to stand in the corner because she thought I was cheating when I was only asking for help to read the board because even as young as six, I needed glasses. I got them soon after that.

      Sister Josepha. That was her name.

      Taught By Nuns…kind of like the way that A. A. Milne capitalized things in Winnie-the-Pooh: ” A Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water” and “Completely Unsettled” and “Wise and Thoughtful.”

  4. Cedric Klein says:

    As Moses movies go, right next to The Ten Commandments, I’ll put the TNT Moses starring Ben Kingsley. The giving of the Commandments was very similar to the bestowal of the Holy Spirit at the Apostles Pentecost with the Word being spoken by the Spirit-endowed People.

  5. I lived in France for a while with a family whose grandmother only spoke Mandarin. She would watch the Mandarin dubbed version of the Ten Commandments every day at 11:00. It was like watching a dubbed kung fu movie in reverse. Good times.

  6. One of the greatest lines in TV history: “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

    The full version has Les’s on-the-spot reporting (“Turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement!”) sound like the Hindenburg disaster (Oh, the humanity!”).

    Thanks for the chuckle.

  7. Angie Gage says:

    Jeff,

    I think I will jump on your idea of prepackaged manna. I could make the white manna, honey wheat, and cinnamon swirl. However, I want to add a few of my own ideas to this as well. How about Garlic cheese manna, blue cheese manna, sesame manna, gluten free manna, vegan manna, Nine grain manna and Italian herb manna? I see a whole new market here. Of course, the easier thing would be to just go and visit the bread section at any bakery and find all the “manna” you could want. You are so right though, someone will be offering this in some Christian store someplace. What a shame that this will in all probability actually happen!

    While we are at it, could we also include some 10 Commandment Cookies, Red Sea fruit punch mix, and Gold wrapped chocolate calf shaped candy?

    Thanks for you ramblings today. There were just what I needed!

    • Funny, Angie! I can just hear kids saying, “I’ll trade you a Thou Shalt Not Kill cookie for your Honor Your Father and Mother cookie.” Oh, and they come with a little prize inside the package: either a golden calf, or a replica of the tablet that the commandments were written on, or a little Moses himself.

      Interesting reading about the manna that God gave the people to eat in the desert. There is a passage that talks about there being some manna that never decayed but was to be kept to show people in the future what God fed the people. I wonder what happened to that manna?

      • I was going to suggest that the Ten Commandments Cookies could be shaped according to the commandments e.g. a gun for the “Thou Shalt Not Kill!” or a bag marked ‘Swag’ for the “Thou Shalt Not Steal!”

        But then I got thinking about what you’d use for “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery!” and realised no, this was a very bad idea.

        🙂

      • Joanie – Pretty sure it was in the Ark…so, vanished with it.

    • What? No manna-cotti??

  8. With Jesus returning next year, will there be time to complete the Left-Behind movie? Maybe they will have to select actors who won’t be raptured – just in case. Disp-ies represent a relatively small percentage of Christians, but we’re all going to be embarassed by this. Will this advance or hinder the gospel, or who really cares? Just more megachurch-style entertainment for the affluent, suburban evangelical demographic?

    • And dumb ox, if Jesus times his return just right, I won’t have to worry about how I will pay my bills when I totally run out of money we are spending now. Come, Lord Jesus! (But please wait until everyone will be happy to see you. Oh darn, I may still have to pay those bills somehow.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        When The World Ends Tomorrow and It’s All Gonna Burn, don’t expect anyone to make long-range plans or dare anything great.

  9. “As God is my witness …..”

    Cemented me as a fan of the show. Surely one of those laugh out loud and spew moments.
    Of course now I’m showing my age.

  10. One of the best lines in T.V. history…

    “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

    By the way sorry you guys have to keep getting our Canadian leftovers each year. Our harvest comes earlier and so does our Thanksgiving!

  11. manna-pudding?

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    In other movie news, Cloud Ten Pictures plans a big-budget version movie based on the Left Behind series of books. I can’t wait. (Loud sigh…)

    Just the Christianese version of mainstream Hollywood’s mania for big-budget remakes of 20-year-old low-budget cartoons.

    “Just like Scooby-Doo, the Movie, Except CHRISTIAN (TM)!”

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And that’s not all we will get to enjoy when these movies come out. You are hearing it first in Saturday Ramblings: In conjunction with these movies, someone will come out with prepackaged “manna” that will be sold in Christian bookstores. You’ll be able to choose from white manna, honey-wheat manna, and cinnamon-swirl manna. Think I’m joking? I’ve been in this business too long to think someone won’t try this.

    “The difference between fiction and reality is fiction has to make sense.”
    — Mark Twain (?)

    “Stupidity is like Hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the Universe.”
    — either Frank Zappa or Harlan Ellison

    “People are people, and the world is full of tricks and twistiness yet undreamed of.”
    — one of The Whole Earth Catalogs