23 January 2012

not a game

“When Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall just after the second drafting, he was approached by a woman on the street.  The woman said, ‘Mr. Franklin, what manner of government have you bequeathed us?’  And Franklin said, ‘A Republic, madam—if you can keep it.’

“The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few.  We are strong, and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen.  Whether it’s to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in the State of the Union address, speak out!  Ask those questions.  Demand that truth.  Democracy is not a free ride, man, I’m here to tell you.  But this is where we live.  And if we do our job, this is where our children will live.  God bless America.”

The above is a quote from the movie Fair Game (2010).  It comes near the end, as Ambassador Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn) addresses a lecture hall full of young people.  The lies he refers to are, of course, the lies used by the Bush White House to justify the invasion of Iraq.  Because Wilson exposed their lies in the New York Times, his wife, Valerie Plame (played by Naomi Watts) was in turn exposed as a CIA officer.  This was yet one more crime committed by a dishonorable administration. 

Fortunately, the movie isn’t simply about airing political grievances.  (Sean Penn has done a bit of that!)  It also educates about nuclear proliferation.  Go to www.takepart.com/fairgame.

16 January 2012

hello, Aidan

Having a blog named “Dr. Sheltie,” I feel compelled to give an update on the four-legged front. 

The timid little fellow in the photos is Aidan.  He is the Shetland Sheepdog puppy we brought home today.  He was born on October 24.

His predecessor in our household, Duncan, began barking with the celestial canine chorus three months ago.  On the ride home this morning, I assured Aidan that he is in no way a replacement for Duncan.  He has to be his own dog!

06 January 2012

rise and shine

My wife and I returned from our trip to Tennessee yesterday evening—the twelfth day of Christmas.  I was able to “rise and shine and give God the glory” this morning, the day of the Epiphany of our Lord.

Here are some fun facts about Epiphany.  In Matthew’s gospel (2:1-12), which has the story of the visit of the Magi, we’re never told that there are three of them.  The idea of three likely arose because three gifts are brought to the young Jesus.  We’re also never told that they are kings.  That idea likely comes from poetic passages in the Old Testament, such as Psalms 68:29 and 72:10 and Isaiah 60:3.

These extra tidbits to story are legendary in nature.  Still, I like the hymn “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as much as the next person! 

(The image is “Adoration of the Kings” by James B. Janknegt)

01 January 2012

new years, new journeys

Today, my Presbyterian wife and I worshiped with our Episcopalian sisters and brothers while visiting my mother in Tennessee.

I am reminded of this date 25 years ago.  I was traveling to Lakeland, Florida to attend the Assemblies of God college there.  I had spent the previous night (New Year’s Eve) at a Valdosta, Georgia motel.  I set out on the morning of New Year’s Day to resume the drive.  My ‘69 Impala would eventually give up the ghost in Florida.  It set out on its own journey…

At the beginning of this new year, blessings of grace and peace be with you all!