Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Apostle’s Creed, part 15

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,
  and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.

   from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

And there it is. The final insult (pun intended? who knows?) Yes, the idea of sin is an offense; the need of a savior is an offense; the inability to do something to merit God’s grace is offensive. Christianity has so many strikes against it, what with being so offensive to the sensibilities of mankind. But this! This is the last straw! The idea that God actually judges sin is just inconceivable! After all, God is the Father of all, and loves everyone (well, everyone that we approve of, that is, but that’s a whole ‘nuther post.)

Sorry, World. As much as you want to makeover God in your own image, the Bible still says that God is committing the judgment of all things into the hands of His Son. And, as Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?”

Yes, He will. And that scares the crap out of them. Well, and us, for that matter. For we all want mercy and not justice. We cry out, “No justice! No peace!” But we don’t really mean it. We don’t want God the Son to exercise judgment; heck, we don’t even want God the Father to judge us, either. What we want is God the Santa Claus to spoil us and say, “Well, I guess they’re all pretty good, when you get right down to it.”

As much as the suggestion that God will actually conduct any kind of ‘judicial review’ is troubling, it is downright alarming to consider that Jesus not only had no problem with proclaiming God’s judgment, but warning His listeners that such talk was as serious as a heart attack. After all, it wasn’t just some misguided religious zealot who said,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt. 7:21-23)

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This Day Had To Come 

  

Every pet owner knows that The Day will come. That’s the nature, if you’ll pardon the pun, of the beast. We are going to miss the Library Beagle. 

Love ’em while you got ’em.

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Matinee Monday: Abbott and Costello

curtains

Today’s Matinee Monday writes itself. There is no more well-known comedy team than Abbott and Costello. The short, fat Lou, simple-natured and simple-minded, always being manipulated and conned by his street-wise friend and hustler, Bud, were a staple of American comedy for nearly two decades. They paired as a team in 1935, and their humor was honed in America’s burlesque houses. Before formed as Abbott and Costello, both worked with other partners, and their previous experiences made their partnership a natural pairing. Bud Abbott was a natural straight man, feeding laugh lines to his previous partners, and Lou Costello was a natural funnyman and clown, always getting laughs. Their pairing was meant to be bringing together the quintessential straight man and top banana.

They first appeared on radio in the late 30’s, but it was their first movie, Buck Privates, that thrust them into stardom. Between 1941 and 1958, they made 26 films together. As well, were on radio, first with Edgar Bergen and Charley McCarthy, and then on their own radio show. In the 50’s, Abbott and Costello transitioned into television, with at least two different programs.

Okay, that’s all well and good. The bare bones, if you will. But what everyone knows, everyone loves, is the one routine for which they are famous, Who’s On First? Considered by many to be the greatest comedy routine/sketch every performed, “Baseball”, as they referred to their sketch, is part of the American culture. It is so popular that it is on continuous loop at the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, NY. The duo performed Who’s On First? hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, over their careers, and were able to expand or shorten their performance according to time strictures. Their performance of the skit in the movie The Naughty Nineties is considered the definitive version of Who’s On First? If you listen closely, you can hear stage hands laughing in the background.

http://www.teachertube.com/video/abbott-and-costello-whos-on-first-53466

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Addressing The Sexless Marriage, part 4

frustration

(This is the fourth of a six-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5, and part 6.)

(For the purpose of pronoun simplicity, I am writing the posts in this series to refused husbands. Wives, if you are the one who desires more sexual intimacy, please keep reading, because I believe that pretty much everything I am going to say will apply to your situation, as well.)

In my two previous posts, I presented two versions of The Talk™, both written by a poster on The Marriage Bed forum. I spoke of the necessity of knowing ahead of time just what your boundaries are, just what you feel is acceptable or unacceptable in your marriage. In preparing his Shot Across The Bow, Job29Man decided that  sexlessness would not make-or-break issue for him; he promised his wife that he would be in the marriage whether it was sexless or not. But he did tell her that her actions of neglect were damaging to the heart of their marriage. For his wife, Job’s version of The Talk™ was enough to break through to her heart, and bring about a change in the direction their marriage was heading.

For others, it might not have been enough. In the situation of another man that I know of, the wife’s preference for celibacy trumped any need to improve her relationship with her husband, and she opted for divorce. He did not have to initiate divorce proceedings over his sexless marriage; his statement that celibacy was no longer an option for their marriage was enough for her to initiate separation and divorce on her own.  Continue reading

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Addressing The Sexless Marriage, part 3

frustration

(This is the third of a six-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5, and part 6.)

In my last post, I presented a version of The Talk™ known as The Shot Across The Bow. In that post, the writer, Job29Man, tells how he approached his wife with his concerns that their marriage was becoming sexless. In preparing that speech, Job had done some of the hard work ahead of time, as I recommend that you do.

Today, I’m going to present a different version of The Talk™, but before I do, I need to address the fact that, today, there seem be many barriers to having a decent/good sex life in a marriage. (Remember, I am writing to Christian husbands and wives, so if these don’t apply to someone who strays through my blog, due to Google, c’est la vie.) Continue reading

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Matinee Monday: Harpo Marx

curtains

Alright!  Harpo!! Arthur Marx, the youngest of the family, joined his brothers in the family singing act, in vaudeville. In one of his memoirs, Groucho says that Harpo became the “silent one” because he wasn’t very good at learning dialog. However, you have to consider the source; after all, Groucho is also the source for the obviously false story that Margaret Dumont was so staid that she never got any of the jokes.

In the Marx Brothers movies, Harpo was silent, never saying a word. His character, with baggy trench coat, battered top hat and curly wig, was a perfect translation of the vaudeville clown. Majoring in pantomime and great sight gags, accompanying his attempts at communication with whistles and charade, Harpo delighted audiences with his child-like behavior and outrageous antics. And always, he was able to bedevil Groucho, and sometimes, even his partner in crime, Chico.

Away from the studio, Harpo, who was a second-grade dropout, liked to spend his time sitting in on the Algonquin Round Table, America’s answer to Britain’s Inklings. Harpo says that his main contribution to the Round Table was providing an audience.

Like his brother Chico, Harpo was musical, playing the harp in every Marx Brothers movie. The fascinating fact about Harpo is that he is self-taught! He saw a picture of an angel holding a harp at a five-and-dime store, but couldn’t find anyone in vaudeville who could teach him how to play. The story is that he learned to tune and play it himself, and it was years later that he learned that he had done it wrong. When he hired teachers to learn the correct way, they were fascinated by how he played, and spent more time watching him than teaching.

Here is an example of Harpo’s skill, from the 1939 film, At the Circus. Enjoy:

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The Apostle’s Creed, part 14

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

   and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.

This line of the Creed has its basis not in the Gospels, but in the Old Testament. In Psalms 110:1, we find an interesting verse, written by David, King of Judah:

The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

In the three synoptic gospels, this verse is used to confound Pharisaical cross-examiners who were testing Jesus and seeing if they could find something with which to discredit him. This verse was understood by the Jews to refer to the coming Messiah, who would be a descendant of David. Jesus asked them how David, who would be the progenitor of the Messiah, would refer to one of his descendants as “Lord.” (Adonai) After all, The LORD (JHWH) said to my Lord (Adonai)…. How can one of David’s descendants be God?

And it is this verse that got him crucified, at his trial before Caiaphas. The trial had not produced anything that was a killing offense, but Jesus ended it all by claiming to be that Messiah who would be sitting at God’s right hand.

But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” (Luke 22:69-71, my emphasis)

This Messianic claim, and the Christian claim of divinity for Messiah,  is part of the New Testament record of Jesus. In Acts 2, Peter uses it in his Pentecost sermon, and later, as an old man, he writes of Jesus “who has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God.” Paul cites this claim in his letters to the Ephesian and Colossians. Fives times, the writer of Hebrews refers to Psalm 110 to demonstrate the Messiahship of Jesus.

And we have the testimony of Stephen, the first martyr, who, as he was dying by being stoned, cried out:

“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:56)

Standing there, acting as the officiator for this execution with the authority of the Sanhedrin, was a young up-and-coming religious leader-to-be, Saul of Tarsus. He was eye-witness to Stephen’s testimony of seeing Jesus at God’s right hand, and told this, late, to his faithful traveling companion, Luke, who included it in his history of the Apostles. To me, this is as close as it gets to a first-hand account. So, I have no doubt as to where Jesus is, and what He is doing, interceding for you and me.

Jesus, second person of the Trinity, sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.

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Candles #4

candle

Well, I’ve come across another person who makes me think that the world might not be as close to Perdition as I am usually prone to believe. My daughter pointed me to the inspiring story of Jason Brown, who walked away from a successful NFL career to become a farmer. There are millions of farmers, but what Jason Brown aspires to do sets him apart.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/former-nfl-player-farms-for-good/

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Addressing The Sexless Marriage, part 2

frustration

(This is the second of a six-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6. As well, after some feedback, I did a follow-up post to this, entitled The Shot Across The Bow, Reloaded, which has more information.) 

(For the purpose of pronoun simplicity, I am writing the posts in this series to refused husbands. Wives, if you are the one who desires more sexual intimacy, please keep reading, because I believe that pretty much everything I am going to say will apply to your situation, as well.)

In my last post, I finished by saying that I would start discussing The Talk™, the sit-down, face-to-face, cards-on-the-table discussion in which the spouse who is dissatisfied with the intimacy in the marriage lays it all out.

The first question to answer is if The Talk™ is needed or not. In approaching The Talk™, history and circumstances come into play. If your marriage is only a few years old, and much of the ‘blame’ can be attributed to a new-born or two, and if the wife is good-hearted and generous, then The Talk™ could be nothing more than a “Hon, we need to look at our marriage and see where we can improve.” If, however, refusal is deeply entrenched, then The Talk™ may be the only way out of it. Continue reading

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The Little Tweet That Could

Having been a teaching librarian for 33 years, I am pretty tech savvy for someone on Medicare. However, due to the help and urging of two internet friends and fellow-bloggers (yeah, it’s your fault, Chris and Bonny), I have been learning and expanding my blogging and social networking skills, even to the point of getting a Twitter account. And yesterday, something happened that took me completely by surprise.

In case this hasn’t come across, I am politically conservative. In fact, I think Attila the Hun was a pinko. So it should come as no surprise that, occasionally, I will use my Library Coot twitter account to make a political statement. In addition to several Christian marriage bloggers, I have ‘followed’ one guy on Twitter who is known for political commentary.

Yesterday, bright and surly in the morning, this guy re-tweeted a Vox.com post by a liberal commenter who said, “America has Hillary Fever!” Of course, being not only red-blooded, but also Red-State-Blooded, I replied to the guy with the comment, “Yeah, I’d say we’re all pretty sick of her”, and promptly forgot about it.

Several hours later, when I checked my Twitter account, I was surprised to find that the tweet was being ‘favorited’ and re-tweeted. Eventually it was favorited twelve times and re-tweeted twelve times. One person did the Shot/Chaser meme, juxtaposing the Vox tweet with mine.

The real surprise was finding out that my little tweet appeared on Twitchy! In case you’ve never heard of it, Twitchy is the only Twitter “news aggregation” website, and posts news articles originating on Twitter. And, since it was started by the conservative Michelle Malkin, Twitchy is very conservative, as well. I checked to see if Twitchy had an article about the Vox tweet, and sure enough, they did. And what do you know? The Library Coot, your friendly curmudgeon, is one of the tweets that they included in their news article.

So, forgive me if I’m a little proud of the Little Tweet That Could. After all, it got Twitchy-ed.

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