Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the category “God”

Retreat! Retreat!

retreat1WHEN I SAY “RETREAT” I’m not saying it as if the attack has failed and we are advancing to the rear. No. This is “Retreat” meaning withdrawing from our usual surroundings to participate in a time for reflection and resuscitation on a more spiritual plane. It’s a good thing to do every so often.

Our retreat is at a facility on the shore of Lake Michigan near the town of Holland, Michigan.

For five days we will be thinking about our past and allowing our future to present itself. Prayer, contemplation, and sharpening our perspective on life are a large part of the retreat.

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Throwback Thursday – Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff

Throwback Thursday 1From September 2015

Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff

TinyTownTHE TV HAS BEEN FILLED TO OVERFLOWING this last week with every moment of the Pope’s visit to the United States. Regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, this was a Big Deal for millions of people.

I tended to listen to it rather than watch it all. I could do other things and still take it in and I would not have been able to sit and watch the Tube for that many hours.

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A Lesson In Living

week1SOME WEEKS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. This is not a week I could classify as one of the “better” weeks.

We have had some nasty weather lately that has brought down some tree limbs. I still have volumes to learn about how to properly do a Ponytail. My wife, the lovely and seriously Southpaw, Dawn, is still dealing with the discomfort and frustration of a broken left arm – and we’ve had two members of the church pass away.

This week is one we would just as soon forget, but life won’t let us do that.

You have to stand up and deal with it as it comes. You can deal with it well, or you can deal with it poorly, but you can’t pretend it isn’t there. It is what it is.

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Adjusting The Focus

Food5NOW THAT WE ARE HOME, after almost two months in Ireland, there are some things that are obvious only now. We were perfectly comfortable there and had no “When do we go home?” moments. The one exception might be when it comes to food. It was a case of “Close, but no cigar.” It’s just a case of liking the things I’m familiar with.

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Returning

luggage_large_1xAs you read this we should, and I emphasize “Should,” be home in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “You have a ton of junk mail waiting for you.”) and dealing with the stresses and strains of jet-lag and culture shock. Hopefully our luggage has arrived with us, but I always feel a bit cynical about that.

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A Tasty Dream

ASHE HAD A GREAT IDEA LAST NIGHT.

We were having dinner, polishing off some leftover roast as “Pork Manhattan.”

For the first fifteen minutes there was complete silence as we stuffed our faces – then my wife, the lovely and entrepreneurially minded, Dawn, unleashed a thunderbolt of an idea.

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Looking For Ourselves

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(being written on April 21st)

 

TO QUOTE MADELYN KAHN IN ‘BLAZING SADDLES,’ “I’m tired.”

While travel is wonderful and inspiring it can also be flat out exhausting – and I’m not the one doing all the driving. We will be in our next location for two weeks in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. Two weeks will be most conducive for both I and my wife, the lovely and sabbaticalizing, Dawn.

Time for reading, writing, contemplating one’s place in the universe, looking to both the past and the future, and taking things at a slower and more restorative pace. This applies to both of us.

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New Shooter Comin’ Out!

Today’s blog was inspired by a posting about Albert Einstein that was put on Facebook by an old college friend who is still alive. Thanks, Glen.

Dice 1

ACCORDING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN the most important question that we, as a species, can ask might be, “Is the universe a friendly place?”

If the universe is “friendly” as Al says (to mildly paraphrase), then we should be ready to be inundated with interstellar welcome wagons, coupons for free ‘this and that’ from a mall in Alpha Centauri, and Motherships full of door-to-door Alien contractors offering free estimates on roof repair.

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Throwback Thursday – March 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

An Open Letter To God

God in sistine chapel

DEAR GOD,

I DON’T USUALLY TRY TO SPEAK WITH You in such a public manner, but I just feel that this open letter might be the best way today. I hope that this is OK with You. Here goes.

God, I don’t want to interrupt You as You go about keeping the Universe in order and all that other stuff that You do, but I have a question – it’s a request actually – call it a prayer if that might help it to get Your attention.

Don’t You think that this winter has gone on long enough? I know that what we have gotten here in Terre Haute (French for “Snow Blower) is nothing compared to what has fallen on Boston. Those poor folks have really been given the fuzzy end of the lollipop this year. I know that You’ve probably heard from them, so I’ll leave that alone. I am asking strictly about Terre Haute.

This past Saturday we got about seven inches of snow. Have you ever looked at our driveway? It is nigh on impossible to navigate in that much snow. Our driveway is bad, but it ends at our little side street that never gets plowed. Spring is the city’s preferred method of clearing the side streets. While the main streets are quite passable, getting to them is a task. I’m driving a small Toyota that looks upon anything above two inches as Yeti Country. Thank God, er –  You that my wife has an SUV with 4-wheel drive. Without that vehicle I think we might be faced with the specter of starvation, or at least coffee withdrawal.

I know that You’re a busy Deity and I know that You are omniscient, omnipotent, or one of those “omni” words that I don’t remember, but I gotta tell You – I’m “Omnifrozen.” This has been a very cold winter, and now we get blasted with heavy snow? True – I don’t shovel snow any more. I figure that is why You invented teenagers and guys with snow blowers – but this just doesn’t seem fair.

So – all I’m saying is that You have made your point – we all need to get 4-wheel drive vehicles. I’m sorry, but they don’t come cheap. If that wasn’t Your point I’ll have to do some thinking on it and I’ll get back to You.

In the meantime, can we have some warmer temperatures and no more snow? I know that Punxsutawney Phil said six more weeks of winter, but let’s be honest – who really listens to a big rodent when it comes to weather forecasting – other than those people selling Punxsutawney Phil T-shirts?

In conclusion, Dear Lord, can You cut us a little slack on this ice and snow business? Speaking for myself, I would be eternally grateful, and I know that most of the other Hautians around here would be too. We are beginning to feel put-upon and that’s never a good thing when it comes to the collection plate, if You get my drift.

Well, that’s about it God. I hope you can help out on this matter – and if it’s not too much – can You do something about that silly Designated Hitter Rule in the American League?

OK, I’m done. Thanks for listening.

Amen.

What Can A Person Say?

Noir Sax PlayerSOME DAYS THERE’S NOTHING GOOD YOU CAN SAY.

We were in Texas for Christmas and New Year and less than three weeks later we were back. This time it was not for a celebration or holiday. This time it was for a funeral.

A phone call on a Saturday with the news that a niece had passed away – very suddenly and unexpected. And on Monday we start on our way back to Texas.

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Am I Religious?

God 1

WHAT KIND OF A QUESTION IS THAT TO ASK? Before I’ve had my coffee even? After all, what makes a person “religious?”

If there was to be a survey taken I couldn’t accurately predict the outcome. Yeah, well, maybe I could, but it wouldn’t really matter.

You see – God and I have this arrangement. Actually, it’s the same arrangement He’s made with all of us. All that God asks of me is that I give Him a respectful nod for who He is and what He has accomplished and that I try to get along with the guy who lives next door. I mean, is that too much to ask? I think not. It is simply worded without any “whereases,” “wherefores,” and “party of the first part” stuff to gum up the works. Neat. Clean. To the point. No trap doors. I think it all boils down to, “Don’t be a jackass.”God 2

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Report Card Time

HERE WE ARE AT THE END OF THE YEAR. In many ways it has been a good year, but in other ways it has been, to quote Queen Elizabeth – an “Annus Horribilis.” That’s what she said.Report-Card

I take it to mean a horrible year. Of course, my skills in Latin are limited to what I recall from my eight years at St. Marys Catholic Grade School – and that translates to, “Sit up straight, be quiet, and get a good education.”

In homage to the Little Sisters of the Right Cross I will give this year, 2015, its very own Report card.

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The Longest Night

candles-vigil

The Christmas Season, with all of the lights, incessant holiday music, and family gatherings, is not a universal time of joy.

Modern life can be isolating, keeping us apart from our families, neighbors, loved ones, and the larger society. It can hamper our sense of belonging.

On December 21st the First Congregational Church of Terre Haute (That’s French for, “We are a small church, but a large Family.”) will join with churches around the country to conduct a special service for those of us who are feeling isolated and grieving the loss of what once was.

The Longest Night service is there to remind us that, no matter what our personal circumstances, we are never truly alone. There is a loving God present and with us wherever we may be, holding us in an embrace, comforting and caring. Our feelings are real. The Longest Night service is there to help each of us share and understand what we feel.

From the Bulletin of First Church about The Longest Night:

 “For many, Christmas is a bittersweet time of year. It is a time for remembering people and events that are no longer part of our lives. The celebrations around us often remind us of what we’ve lost. The anguish of broken relationships, insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health and isolation of grief make us feel very alone. We need to acknowledge our sadness and concern. We need to know we are not alone. We need to feel God’s presence during this season.”

The Longest Night Service will be at 6 PM on December 21, 2015 at The First Congregational Church at 630 Ohio Street in Terre Haute.

There is a place here for you.

Sunday In The Park With Dogs

news_3456[1]THIS PAST SUNDAY MORNING was different than most Sundays, but an absolute delight nonetheless.

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A Trip To Baseball Heaven

Baseball HeavenABOUT ONCE A YEAR my wife, the lovely and totally major league, Dawn, and I take a trip to go see the beloved SF Giants play a few games.

This year we are in St. Louis to catch a three game series with the Cardinals. Last year we were in Cincinnati, which was very nice, but it is hard to beat St. Louis when it comes to putting on a baseball game.

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Take My Sermon, Please

PulpitJUST ABOUT EVERY SATURDAY my wife, the lovely and officially Reverend, Dawn, sits down and writes her sermon for Sunday’s services. She starts planning each sermon days or even weeks ahead of time, but does the actual typing on Saturday. It is a lot of work. She doesn’t get up there and wing it on Sunday morning. It takes her a lot of preparation time and it shows in her sermons. Just ask anybody who hears her.

This past Saturday she was busy working on her sermon when I announced that I was heading out to St. Arbucks to work on this blog.

“I’m going to attempt to be somewhat creative,” I said.

“Me too,” she answered. “I’ll tell you what – how about it if I do your blog and you do my sermon?”

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What A Wonderful Idea

20130702_184921I WAS REALLY STUMPED about what I should write about for today’s blog posting. There were plenty of crazy stories in the news – like the guy who was arrested for trespassing when he was discovered sitting naked in the middle of a pig sty, incredibly drunk. His only explanation was, “I really like pigs.”

No, I didn’t want to use my bandwidth trying to understand that.

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Holy Hilarity Sermon 4/12/2015

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For today I am posting the sermon delivered by my wife, The Rev Dawn, this past Sunday for “Holy Hilarity Sunday.”

It is worth reading, my friends.

HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED and thought about why you love the things you love? 

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An Open Letter To God

God in sistine chapel

DEAR GOD,

I DON’T USUALLY TRY TO SPEAK WITH You in such a public manner, but I just feel that this open letter might be the best way today. I hope that this is OK with You. Here goes.

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