Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I don't want to think about Pearl Harbor today.


These two lovely ladies happen to be relatives of mine. They are, from left to right, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter.

I am blessed.

Here are some more lovely ladies (my granddaughter is on the right).


Both photographs were made a few days ago after the annual Christmas program at the school my granddaughter attends.

Two thousand years ago a man named Paul wrote to the Christian believers in the city of Philippi, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." **

He was right.

-------------------------------------

**or something similar. These words happen to be from the New International Version Bible. The King James Version says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Actually that's not what he wrote either. What he actually wrote was "το λοιπον αδελφοι οσα εστιν αληθη οσα σεμνα οσα δικαια οσα αγνα οσα προσφιλη οσα ευφημα ει τις αρετη και ει τις επαινος ταυτα λογιζεσθε" but I don't want to quibble. Paul was still right.

15 comments:

Snowbrush said...

I think you must have written this the day before you posted it… I never remember the day unless someone reminds me of it, but then I don’t think about the anniversary of other tragic days either, days that I actually lived through, like the days my parents died or one of my various dogs died.

Snowbrush said...

Ha, when I commented, I felt certain that it was November 8, but, no, it's the seventh, so I have another day of life that I didn't know I had.

Elephant's Child said...

You are surrounded by beauty.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbrush, no, I created this post today, December (not November, note, perhaps you have gained a whole month) 7th, but when I posted it in the early afternoon I was painfully aware that to my Australian readers it was already December 8th.

In our family, I am the one who knows and remembers all the birthdays, anniversaries, dates of death, and such -- another way in which you and I are different. For example, my wife's parents were married on Albanian Flag Day in 1926 (November 28th), her dad was born on February 15, 1895 and died on August 28, 1983. Her mom was born June 15, 1907 and died September 3, 1986. Our grandson Matthew was also born on September 3rd but not until 1996. I know. I'm a phenomenon.

?Elephant's Child, I certainly am and I am very happy about it too!

Emma Springfield said...

That is not only a beautiful quote but also a timely one. At first I thought the girls were Irish step dancers. Either way they are all lovely young women.

rhymeswithplague said...

Emma, this is a K through 12 private school with about 1200 students. The high school people in the program wore green and the middle school people in the program wore red. It made for a very Christmas-y effect.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thank you for sharing this quotation. It is as meaningful for atheists like me as it is for churchgoers like you. In general, people spend far too much energy pondering upon bad things and worries. We should consider what is wonderful more often.

Shooting Parrots said...

I agree with YP, thank you for that quotation shared on a sad anniversary. It is better to think better than it is to think ill.

Snowbrush said...


“when I posted it in the early afternoon I was painfully aware that to my Australian readers it was already December 8th.”

In a Trump administration, can one be a “real American” and simultaneously care about others, particularly if they are foreigners and talk funny?

“In our family, I am the one who knows and remembers all the birthdays, anniversaries, dates of death, and such -- “

Peggy is better than I, but she rarely mentions the dates she remembers because Peggy is simply not much of a talker sometimes. I can’t even tell you the day on which my parents died although I do know the years and months.

“my wife's parents were married on Albanian Flag Day”

This too sounds suspiciouly un-American, so I am forced to ask how it is that you have even heard of Albanian Flag Day? Is it fair to say that, along with your many profound virtues, you are also a reservoir of trivia?

Snowbrush said...

“Thank you for sharing this quotation. It is as meaningful for atheists like me as it is for churchgoers like you.”

As are the verses about love from I Corinthians 13, as well as, in my case, 1 Kings 19: 11-12: The Lord said to Elijah, “‘Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire the sound of a gentle breeze.” (1 Kings 19: 11-12)

I could go into detail about why this passage means so much to me, but my actual interpretation (as one who, like you, doesn’t believe in the supernatural) is consistent with my latest blog post in that the kinds of actions that make the world endurable aren’t the rare big ones that few of us will ever perform but the numerous small ones that it takes a purity of consciousness to notice and to do.

rhymeswithplague said...

My thanks to all you atheist readers for continuing to find my blog worth reading.

Snowbrush, how it is that I have even heard of Albanian Flag Day should be obvious to someone who has been reading my posts as long as you have. For example, in the post before this one I mentioned "my Albanian mother-in-law" and since it is her country, and her flag, and her wedding day, and her table that I put my feet under on many a holiday, and her daughter that I have lived with for more than 53 years, it therefore follows as the night the day that I might have heard of Albanian Flag Day, don't you think? Perhaps you have been speed reading or just skimming all these years?

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbrush, I love the passage from I Kings 19:11-12 too, although I prefer the earlier translation "a still, small voice" to the more contemporary "the sound of a gentle breeze" -- In fact, I incorporated it into a poem of mine called "And All The While The Far Hyena Laughter" which You can find in Chapter 33 of my billyraybarnwellhere.blogspot.com blog.

Snowbrush said...

"Snowbrush, how it is that I have even heard of Albanian Flag Day should be obvious to someone who has been reading my posts as long as you have."

I know it is going to come to a shock to you, but I would be ASTOUNDED if ANY of your American readers have the least idea when their own "flag day" is or even that they have one, and I strongly suspect that the same is true of your readers from other nations. If I am correct, the idea that anyone—including people from Albania—would know or care when Albania’s flag day is seems very unlikely, but even if some rare Albanian does know or care, the fact that you also know or care astonishes me regardless of how many Albanians are in your life or how often you put your feet under their table. I don’t see your mental accumulation of what I would regard as trivia as either a good thing or a bad thing but rather on the order of an eccentricity.

"Perhaps you have been speed reading or just skimming all these years?”

I skim until I find something that interests me (which trivia very rarely does), and then I not only read it carefully, I ponder it for days in regard to what the statement says about you, my friendship with you, and so forth. Not only am I interested enough in you to read your thoughts thoroughly, I still remember—and think about—things you wrote things YEARS ago. For instance, the many times you told me how much my blog means to you, your occasional expressions of love for me, and your long ago statement that you would always maintain an interest in my blog.

On a less egocentric note, there was your criticism that I couldn’t possibly know whether my belief in evolution is well-founded since I wasn’t personally there to see it happen, a comment that led me to wonder why you were ignoring the fact that evolution is an ongoing process that still exits in our own time. This particular comment also struck me as odd in that you most certainly don’t apply the same standard of evidence to much of anything else in your life but if you did, your store of accumulated knowledge would be very low indeed. For instance, you couldn’t believe in the existence of Albanian Flag Day (that is unless you’ve never been to Albania on the day their flag was being celebrated to personally see it happen) or the marriage of your mother-in-law (you didn’t see this happen either) or the birth of your wife to your mother-in-law. Anyway, I am definitely too interested in you to simply come here, scan rapidly, leave a one sentence comment, and leave. Not only do I read and think about what you have to say, I do the same with your readers (at least insofar as their comments go).

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbrush, I have known that June 14th is America's flag day sine I learned about it back in elementary school. That is the day the Continental Congress adopted the 13-stars-in-a-circle version back in 1777. I also visited Betsy Ross's house in Philadelphia when I was a teenager. What surprises me is that you are not aware of it. I dare say almost every Albanian knows about Albanian flag day because that is the date on which their country became free from the rule of the Ottoman Empire, as important to them as the 4th of July is to us.

Snowbrush said...

“What surprises me is that you are not aware of it. I dare say almost every Albanian knows about Albanian flag day because that is the date on which their country became free from the rule of the Ottoman Empire, as important to them as the 4th of July is to us.”

No, I’m not aware of it, and I don’t greatly care. I suppose that some people fly flags on that day, but it’s not a day like Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, or even Halloween, on which one engages in fun activities. It’s more like President’s Day in which, I guess, some people get off from work, and that’s about the extent of its actual meaning. As for July 4th, I doubt that many Americans could tell you what it commemorates. It’s just a day set aside for fireworks, drinking, and camping, and having had pets that were terrified of fireworks, I came to dread it.

Some of the other memories that I carry from your blog concern your northeast Texas childhood and your Jewishness. I had never known a Jewish Christian, so you stood out early on because of it. I also remember your mother urging you to keep a low profile because she was so afraid of the prejudice you would encounter, and I remember your post about telling the people in your church of your Jewishness (I came away from it wondering if you felt better for having done so, and I also wondered if ever you encounter anti-Semitism in the sermons and Sunday school lessons). You think I just scan your blog. Well, the truth is simply that everything you write about doesn’t interest me equally, so I do scan some of it, and other parts of it, I take to heart. You seem to have an expectation of me that I’m not meeting, and I don’t know what to do about it.