Archive for November, 2009

He smuggled himself in

Perhaps it’s because I’m spending significant amounts of time studying  “Prayer Book Hebrew” these days, anything Jewish speaks to me the more so. And perhaps its because we don’t have many more years to learn from living people about the dark days of World War II, that the stories, long untold that are just coming out, are the more poignant.

Ifn you haven’t already read this one on BBC  Magazine you should.  The story of a young British Soldier who actually smuggled himself into Auswitch, and managed to help save a young man’s life with ten packs of British Player Cigarettes.  Rarely have “coffin nails” been used to such good effect.


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Freed At Last


Hit all your favorite news outlets for the details.  But yes, something to praise God for on this date.

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More from my mother-in-law

My mother-in-law tells of the time she was attending a Bible Study at a friend’s home.  The couple were Christians, he was the organist at their church, but their marriage was falling apart- the home was filled with constant bickering and argument.  “I can’t understand it,” said the lady,” We can go to church, have a wonderful time in the car on the way home, laugh together and joke and minutes after we walk in the door at home we are at each other’s throats.”

Mom said, I could feel the spirit of conflict in the house.  They decided to pray through the house- livingroom, master bedroom, child’s bedroom. . . When they came to the steps to the basement Mom said, “What’s down here?”  “Oh, another woman rents the downstairs, but she’s different, I think she might be into the occult.”

Then said Mom, “We will bind the spirits and forbid them access to this upper level.” So they put a spiritual bar across the entrance.

The fighting and bickering stopped immediately.  And the couple moved to a different place not long afterward.

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Tales from my Mother-in-Law: Sanctified Fumes

I have been blessed with a godly Mother-in-law.  She’s into the middle third of her eighties, still drives a hot little red car, faithfully attends Sunday Services (2) and the Wednesday night prayer meeting, and volunteers once a week at a Christian outpost in the vanity fair of West Edmonton Mall.  She also has a goodly fund of God stories.

Last Thursday, I asked her to refresh my memory on the details of a couple.

A few years ago, in 1949, she and her husband were Bible School students.  That summer, between semesters he was working on his mother’s ranch and they were staying with his sister, Mary, about a mile out of Barons, Alberta.  One week-end they went up to Calgary to attend a missionary convention.  As they drove into the parking lot for the evening service Dad glanced down and noticed that the car would need a fill-up before going home.

Well, they went into the meeting and were moved by the speaker, a missionary from Cape Verde.  When the offering plate was passed Dad leaned over to Mom and said, “Let’s not stop for coffee after the service tonight, let’s just go straight home.”  With that he proceeded to empty his wallet into the offering. He didn’t even keep a dime out.   It wasn’t until afterward, when he got out to the car, that he remembered the state of the gas tank.  Mom didn’t have any money with her.  What to do?  They decided the only thing to do was to try to drive home.

Sure enough, just about the time the lights of Claresholm appeared on the horizon, the car sputtered and they coasted  to a stop on the shoulder. Dad went out and made a perfunctory check under the hood, but he knew the problem. No gas.  They sat for awhile. It was a pretty cool August night and Mom started to shiver, then shiver some more.   Finally Dad leaned forward and tried the key. To their surprised relief the car started up and ran smoothly.  They drove the rest of the way home and went to bed.

The next morning Aunt Mary, went out and took the car to go to Barons for the mail.  She only made it as far as the gate before the vehicle quit.

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Aren’t people who agree with us delightful?

Ah- I’ve been indulging in peaking into the blogs of strangers again.

Now I regularly exercise a hobby horse called “Sabbath Keeping”, and yesterday I found this little bit of fine reinforcement.  So I’m encouraging you to push six days of the week and honor the seventh. (The Kiddilump Connection is encouraged to view an hour and half long stretch of highway driving as being within the limits of a Sabbath’s Day’s journey, however.)

Anyhow- this lady writes:

“Today I was on hold on the telephone, trying to reach a hospital-based doctor.  And I was subjected to multiple advertisements of the exemplary services of said hospital.  And although I was gratified to know that if I ever reach 550 pounds, there is a jumbo MRI that will hold me, and that their breast imaging is second to none, I was speechless at the concept that… drumroll please… I can have brain surgery today and return to work tomorrow. Is that a good thing? . . . .

C’mon people… can the world spin without us for a day, or even a week?  Can we rest just because God ordained (and commanded) it, and it feels good?  Can we see the benefit that comes from seeing that we are not essential to the sun rising and setting.  Really… do you want to be responsible for such things?”

and the post gets better.

Of course, I was also reminded of the saying: . . . “Canadians are just like Americans, minus the guns, but with health-care!”  It means we are not subjected to equally enticing ads when we call our local hospital. May it continue.

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Books I have actually finished- Part two

The other book that has been occupying my time is a Magpie pick;

“Mistakes Were Made,(but not by me)  Why we Justify foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts.” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

This is a fascinating look at the psychology of self-justification, though a little un-nerving when it hits close to home.  It is wonderfully readable, and free of jargon.  If it does use a “psychological term” it also unpacks it in clear ordinary English and illustrates it with wonderful life examples.

Today I was reading in Romans, in Monsignor Knox’s translation again, when I came to the statement, “I am not ashamed of this gospel. It is an instrument of God’s power . . . It reveals God’s way of justifying us. . .”

And I thought.  Yes, we all have this drive to be just, to be a “good” person.  It has been hard-wired into us.

The problem is when we take on the burden of justifying ourselves.  Mortals were not engineered to carry Divine loads.  When we try to do God’s work for him all sorts of breakdown occurs.

I harvested a slew of good quotes and short passages from this book, for future use, and I’ve stored them on a Page called, Mistakes Were Made.

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Books I have actually finished- Part One

I’ve made a commitment to read more.  After all, having started blogging I need something to blog about, right?

One of my rules of thumb is to read books my daughter recommends to me. We share similar tastes. So this Sunday, after church, and dinner, I settled myself down in the rocking chair with “My Sister’s Keeper”, by Jodi Picoult- a Janet pick.  And I read on, and still on, until long after the day grew dark (actually not that difficult these days), until I reached the final page.

Take the dynamics of a family with a special need child. Make that need leukemia, with recurrent crises, and hospitalizations. And then jack up the tension with a 13 year old who was biologically engineered to be a donor for her older sister. And then, shades of  John Grisham, have that child ask a lawyer to sue her parents for control of her own body.

“What happened last night?” When Anna goes mute, I lose my patience.” Listen if you are not going through with the lawsuit. . . Because I’m not a family therapist or your best buddy; I’m your attorney . . . . So I will ask you one more time: have you changed your mind about this lawsuit?”

I expect this tirade to put an end to the litigation, to reduce Anna to a wavering puddle of indecision.  But to my surprise, she looks right at me, cool and collected. “Are you still willing to represent me? she asks.

Against my better judgement, I say yes.

“Then no,” she says, ” I haven’t changed my mind.”

Rated PG13, but well worth reading, as a page turner, and for the moral dilemmas of love it works you through.

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