Month: November 2008

  • General Thanksgiving—A Proclamation

    WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

    NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

    And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

    GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

    (signed) G. Washington

    Wow, what if a president talked like this today?

    ||||||  lynard

  • Quotable

    “It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools — friendships, prayer, conscience, and honesty — and said, Do the best you can with these. They will have to do. And mostly, against all odds, they’re enough.”

    This is one of my favorite lines from Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.

    ||||||  lynard

  • Jury Jujubes

    Do you think it weird that everyone eligible in our household has been called to jury duty in the last year?

    ||||||  lynard

  • Former Futuristic Films

    A few years ago, my teen son, L,  was taken by Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey—a film  released in 1968 at the height of the space race. It requires an acquired taste. The first word spoken is a half hour into the movie—and even then, there is very little dialogue.  One older friend of mine told me that the film was designed for acid-droppers. But the film was intriguing to my 21st century son because of its questions of exploration and space and, most importantly, the role of computers. L is a poet and in some ways 2001 is a visual poem. The score for the movie is a symphony and the images are profound—nevermind that the plot is slower than molasses.

    Because L liked 2001, we decided to rent Soylent Green a couple years later. This movie is poetic in different ways. It is about an overpopulated earth, where the people survive in a controlled community on “soylent green” food. Yum. Not. If you want to see a classic film (1973) with Charlton Heston, I recommend this wild science fiction proposition. Could we, as a society, get to this place?

    Beyond Soylent Green is Logan’s Run, made three years later, but also focused on a futuristic controlled community. The setting is the 23rd century, and everyone is encouraged to live a hedonistic lifestyle until they turn 30. At this point, their life clocks blink and they are encouraged to seek “renewal.” No one really knows what happens at renewal, but everyone thinks it must be wonderful. The population crams into a  Greco-Roman type amphitheater to watch the renewal process. One scene that struck me as prophetic was one where people could go to have facial and other plastic surgery. A computer monitor shows clients how they will look with “laser” surgery—a scene that is not so uncommon now.

    The interesting thing is that Logan’s Run is based on a novel from 1967, in which the society supports recreational drugs, but sends in the police for cigarette smoking. How could the author have foreseen the climate of the 21st century?

    Logan’s Run is being remade, supposedly for a 2010 release. I hope they base it more on the book than the 1976 movie.

    All these movies make great conversation starters regarding life origins and the issues of right and wrong. You must be discerning in watching them, though. Logan’s Run, which I saw first on TV actually has significant nudity during the snow/ice scene. Parents of teens would want to edit. Did I mention that Farrah Fawcett is in this flick in a supporting role?

    Are there other science fiction flicks that you found profound?

    ||||||  lynard

  • Traveling Thoughts

    1–When I go to other cities, I never fail to be amazed (for at least three seconds) as to how many “out-of-state” license plates I see. (“Wow, there are a lot of Illinois plates at this Chicago Target!”) I know. I know. But I am a real brunette.

    2–Why don’t people who are native English speakers or who at least have good diction give the routine emergency instructions on domestic plane flights? (“In kehs of cabin de-pressization, an ossygen mass….”) They inevitably pick the flight attendant who has the worst speaking skills to use the lame sound system…. Does this build my confidence in flight?

    3–Don’t leave your boarding pass in the little TSA plastic bin with your shoes when you walk through the metal detector. It will prompt hard, probing questions, like “What is your first name?” “…Um…Brunette?”

    ||||||  lynard

  • Michael Card

    Last night, we saw Michael Card in concert. He had 7 stringed instruments (mandolins, banjo, guitars), a piano, an accordion, a pipe of sorts, a baby grand, and a fellow musician as a backup. He played his right-handed guitar left-handed, mindboggling to this righty who likes her thickest deepest strings at the beginning of her strum.

    I had forgotten what a wise teacher he is, in addition to being a versatile musician. Sometimes his recordings are too much the same sounding for me—and very soft. In concert, the music is more raw, the emotions likewise. The lyrics, however, are the same—profound.

    Listening to his Hidden Face of God today, I found this quote about the album in a Christianity Today interview:

    “We can’t worship God without recognizing our woundedness. We have a
    worship revolution going on in the U.S., but we’re not worshiping.
    There is no woundedness in it. True worship celebrates God’s worth, and
    without experiencing woundedness, you don’t know his worth. You don’t
    have that experience of God’s presence over God’s provision. You
    experience his worth in the wilderness, not in the picnic grounds. ‘Amazing Grace’ says, ‘I once was lost, but now am found.’ Without that
    acknowledgment of loss, what do you have to worship him for, unless
    you’re just worshiping feeling good? Lament is the lost language of
    worship.”

    Card is not a lightweight Christian thinker. The Hidden Face of God is a an album about brokenness, silence, and loneliness, but begins with an invitation, a droplet of light in a dark place:


    If you are wounded, if you are alone,
    If you are angry, if your heart is cold as stone,
    If you have fallen and if you are weak,
    Come find the worth of God
    That only the suffering seek.

    (Chorus)
    Come lift up your sorrows
    And offer your pain;
    Come make a sacrifice
    Of all your shame;
    There in your wilderness
    He’s waiting for you
    To worship Him with your wounds,
    For He’s wounded too.

    He has not stuttered, and He has not lied
    When He said, “Come unto me, you’re not disqualified”
    When your heavy laden, you may want to depart,
    But those who know sorrow are closest to His heart.

    In this most Holy Place
    He’s made a sacred space
    For those who will enter in
    And trust to cry out to Him;
    You’ll find no curtain there,
    No reason left for fear;
    There’s perfect freedom here
    To weep every unwept tear.
    ****Come Lift Up Your Sorrows****
    by Vance Taylor and Michael Card

    ||||||  (six guitar strings)  lynard