Monthly Archives: November 2019

November 29 – Still The Same Little Kid, Really?

I haven’t seen any of the installments in the “Up” series, but I think I will.  The premise, the story told by the series, is this: Every seven years since 1963 film maker Michael Apted has checked in with a group of fourteen now 63-year olds, a random group, all from the U.K., and all seven years old when the series began. The original 1964 film was called “7 Up,” the 1970 episode was “14 Up,” the 1977 installment “21 Up,” and you get the point.  Wikipedia has a long entry on the project. This NPR review of the just-released “63 Up” provides a sense of the series.

The premise of the “Up” films is to test the old Jesuit adage, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” As we watch the fourteen grow older and travel through life we wonder, are we essentially who we will be by the time we are seven? In the trailer for “63 Up” one of the fourteen says, “I’m still the same little kid, really. Probably all of us are.”

Yeah, I think I’d like to watch the films.

I wonder if I’m still the same little kid, really, I was in 1964. (See my junior high yearbook photo above.) Continue reading

November 15 – A Common Grace Hat Trick

Snow, lots of it, fell across the Midwest this past Tuesday.  Planes flying out of Saint Louis and Chicago, Indianapolis and Des Moines, were slow getting out of their gates and delayed getting into the sky.  By evening time flights all over the country were experiencing ripple effect delays.

The plane United Airlines was going to use to for Flight 856, 8:00 p.m. from Newark to Dulles International in Washington D.C., had started the day in Saint Louis, and by noon was already hopelessly behind schedule.  Try as they might, they just couldn’t make up for the lost hour or so.  By 2:00 in the afternoon, United posted an hour plus delay for 856 from Newark to Dulles.

Our Brazilian friends Michael and Sara and little Augusto were booked on United 856 to Dulles where they would connect to 861, a long overnight to Sao Paulo.  The original itinerary had given them an hour and 20 minutes to make the connection.  The delayed itinerary made that connection iffy at best. Continue reading

November 8 – The Good News in a Battered Bible

If you are a balcony sitter and lost your glasses case, I think I know where it is. Check the Lost and Found bin in Heritage Hall.

And to the person who lost their well-worn ESV Bible, it is there, as well.

And to that person who lost their Bible, no scold implied.  In fact, thank you.  Thank you, anonymous Bible reader for the example you have set.

I found the glasses case on one of my rounds of the church and took it to the Lost and Found bin in hopes that it might be reunited with its owner.  That’s when I saw the Bible, alone at the bottom of the bin.  Apparently lost by its owner and found by some Good Samaritan, it, too, had been taken to Heritage Hall in anticipation of a happy ending to its left behind ordeal.

All of us make trips to the Lost and Found from time to time.  We lose jackets and umbrellas, diamond rings and old eye glass cases. And sometimes Bibles are left behind.  That’s just the way things are. Continue reading

November 1 – Why I Love Saint “I Don’t Know”

Happy All Saints Day.  While Protestants tend to be minimalists when it comes to the saints and their days, we do well to remember our bond with Christian brothers and sisters in all times and all places.  For all the saints who from their labors rest…thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.

As minimalists, then, we don’t have to worry much about patron saints, keeping track of their days and their feasts.  But on this All Saints Day, 2019, I think I’ll declare Barnabas my patron saint for at least the day.

When we first meet Barnabas in Acts 4, we learn that his given name is Joseph and that the leaders of the early church give him Barnabas – Son of Encouragement in Aramaic – as a nickname.  Living up to his nickname, we meet Barnabas again in Acts 9 when he encourages the church to welcome their one-time arch enemy Saul of Tarsus into their fellowship as a follower of Jesus now called Paul. Continue reading