I may no longer believe a word they say, but I can take great comfort in the hymns I learned in childhood.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
No merit of my own I claim,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On what is my hope built?
Continue reading My hope is built
I came to belief in astrology by a very strange route.
Sometime between 1985 and 1995, I became aware that, for years, roughly once a month I had faced a personal crisis; and some of these were pretty severe.
Continue reading Why I believe in astrology
There is a certain futility to talking about
people you never talk with.
Continue reading The liberal “we”
(Adapted from a letter to my brothers dated 06/22/13.)
For a while, I’ve wanted to tell you about a couple interesting guys in my world, Keith and Rodney.
Rodney is an older guy. I’m pretty sure he’s the same fellow who, years ago (~2000-2003) I nicknamed “Stinky,” which needs no explanation. He often got on the bus that I was taking to work at that time. If he is the same guy, his life has drastically improved since those days. He’s clean-shaven now, well-groomed, clean, well-dressed. He stays at the Baltimore Rescue Mission. He’s at the library almost every day, hangs out for hours in the Wi-Fi café studying books about topology. He also typically carries a French-language Bible.
Keith is a big, husky guy. Works for a temp agency 10 hours a day unloading trucks of foodstuffs and liquors throughout the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia). With that work schedule, he only stays at the mission on weekends. During the week he sleeps outside on the sidewalk — much too dangerous for me to do, but he can handle himself. He displays no interest in getting his own place, though I should think he could if he wanted. At the mission, for fun he reads the newspapers’ financial pages — in detail. Markets, mergers, debentures, all that stuff I don’t understand, but he likes it.
Keith never talks about religion, but he’s got an e-Bible on his phone and spends a lot of time studying that, also.
The serotonin levels of the members of a community profoundly affect the degree of harmony and prosperity (shalom) in that community. Continue reading Serotonin and society
Ethnic differences don’t all need to be A Problem.
A certain woman has struggled for some years with alcoholism. I have followed her case because she’s close to me and because I am, after all, an alcoholic myself.
Continue reading Two Jews, three opinions
Are thorns happy?
Friday, December 1, Bounce showed Steven Seagal’s Above the Law.
He always plays opposite some eye candy, a term I learned from a Doonesbury strip about Uncle Duke’s presidential campaign. In Above the Law, it was Sharon Stone. In On Deadly Ground, it was Joan Chen, a Chinese actress cast as a Native American, with no real function but to look nice and follow him around.
“Eye candy” isn’t a mere phrase. I saw again that when I see a pretty woman, such as Stone in that scene, I get a sweet taste in my mouth. This is a physiological reaction, and potentially raises lots of questions about how we respond to beauty — or ugliness.
Related: For us.
I have much the same reaction whenever I see a rose.
Which recalls my interactions with that rose bush in the garden. Continue reading Why do roses have thorns?