Monday, August 30, 2010


I long ago used up my time ranting about the fact that Nashville has no truly good Mexican food (Tex-Mex food like that found in Abilene, Texas).  This is another rant about the lack of good hamburgers here.    The best burger I ever ate was at Mr. Fry's Cafe in Hamlin, Texas , my hometown.  The buns had been buttered and heated on the greased grill so that the edges were nice and crispy.  The meat was freshly ground, hand-shaped and cooked to medium -well.  It was served open so that I could add as much or as little  mayo, mustard, catsup as I desired. (Don't you hate it when the mayo-m-c drip from the hamburger on your blouse!)  The tomatoes provided were home-grown, thick and wonderful.  The fresh lettuce and onions were crisp.  The cheese was custom fitted for the bun (again, leaky cheese drips are horrible) and the whole creation fit into my two hands without requiring that it be cut in half before I picked it up.  Where are such creations today????  Of course, part of the joy of these burgers was that we high schoolers got to leave campus for lunch and walk with our group the two blocks to Mr. Fry's.  Alas, Mr. Fry's is no longer there--and can't be found in Nashville.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Women's Equality Day

Today is the day that the 19th Amendment was certified giving women the right to vote. It is the 90th anniversary of this history changing amendment. Young women looking back can scarcely believe that there was a time when women could not vote because of their gender.

Tennessee was the final and deciding state for ratifying woman suffrage.  Historian Howard Zinn has written in his book, A People's History of the United States about "the countless small actions of unknown people that lie at the roots of the great moments of history."
On August 18, 1920, it all came down to one lone vote in the Tennessee House.  The youngest member of the House ,Rep. Harry Burn who had voted against ratification in an earlier vote changed his mind.  He had received that morning a telegram from his mother saying, "Hurrah and vote for suffrage."  With his one vote, women were given the right to participate in governing the U. S.

Today I honor those women who stepped out and marched, wheedled, made speeches, and sent telegrams for this right.

I can only hope that women's equality in churches will someday be celebrated, and young women reading church history can scarcely believe that women were denied the use of the gifts God showered upon them by
mind-closed, self-absorbed men.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coolness reigns!!

It is 82 degees outside at 5:13 p. m. and it seems that fall is on the way!  Thank you , God for relief from the heat wave that summer brought and for restoring the Tennessee I thought I had moved to.

Sheryl shared a photo of Maddie's first day in safety patrol.  So proud of her--made me think of the days I enjoyed in various uniforms:  The bright green uniform of the Hamlin High School Band, the pristine white coat of the CSO (Campus Service Organization at ACU  (no longer an organization there), the brown and beige of  a Kojie NuNu, and others I have probably forgotten.  Being in such organizations brought a sense of belonging and unity to my life at the time, and I enjoyed every minute of the hard work involved.  I hope such good times are in store for Maddie, Ella and Sam as they grow.

Thank you God for your instruction and emphasis on community life both out of and in the church.  You know what we need every hour of the day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is the 12th anniversary of the marriage of Brandon and Sheryl.  How time flies and yet still manages to bring us great moments of joy.  I am so thankful that the marriage is still strong, that the children are healthy and smart, that there have been mostly ups rather than downs, that Sheryl is my daughter-in-law (who could ask for a more understanding, more beautiful and talented one?), that I have managed to be a mostly non-interfering mother-in-law, and that happiness abounds.  Thank you God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taps and Reveille

I have been at the bedside of three people whom I watched give their last breath:  my mother in 1976, my husband in 1991 and Dorothy Thompson (Doris Colvett's mom) in 2010.  It is an awsome thing to be in the presence of one who is slipping from this life to another. 

The observer cannot help but wonder just what happens in that instant--is there really a bright light, the sound of angel's wings, Peter welcoming at the gate?  The Bible says virtually nothing about the time.  Stephen fell asleep.  Peter wrote about putting off his tabernacle, Paul said that the time of my departure is at hand.   The only time the word dead is used is with qualification:  the dead in Christ, the dead which die in the Lord.

So it is life's greatest mystery.  We don't talk about it much and go to great lengths to avoid it.  Yet the odds are great:  100 out of 100 die.

I like the account of Winston Churchill's funeral.  There were stately hymns in St. Paul's Cathedral and an impressive liturgy.  When the benediction was said, Churchill had arranged for a bugler high in the dome of St. Paul's to play "Taps", the universal signal that the day is over.  But when that was finished, there was a long pause and a bugler on the other side played "Reveille", the signal of a new day beginning.  And that is exactly what death is for a Christian--Taps and Reveille.

My favorite epitaph is that of Benjamin Franklin which I was privileged to see in Philadelphia:

                                                           The Body of
                                                      B. Franklin, Printer
                                           Like the Cover of an old Book
                                                      It's Contents torn out
                                         And Stript of its Lettering & Gilding
                                                    Lies here, Food for Worms
                                                    For, it will as he believed
                                                         appear once more
                                          In a new and more elegant Edition
                                                         corrected and improved
                                                             By the Author.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taking the Bible Seriously

Yesterday Jerry Masterson, one of our elders, spoke on treating the Bible seriously. He stated that the Bible we have is, of course, not the original one, but that:

somebody wrote it
somebody copied it
somebody decided its content
somebody gathered it
somebody translated it.

It is historically connected to its time and not ours, it was not written to us, and it cannot be interpreted the same way in all its parts (poetry should be viewed differently than the law books, etc.).  We are free to interpret it to our times, however, we should avoid absolutism, accept the unique authority of the Bible as the earliest and best witness of God .

Of course, the rub is in the interpretation.  This sermon would have heretical years ago, but was a refreshing breath of air Sunday.  Thanks, Jerry.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Reading the Bible

Here's a geat quote by Eugene Peterson about the Bible:  "You can't reduce this book to what you can handle; you can't domesticate this book to what you are comfortable with.  You can't make it your toy poodle, trained to respond to you commands."

If you haven't read Peterson's book Eat This Book about the Bible, I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Purple Musings about Reading the Bible

I love purple, hence the change.  Wish I knew how to decorate further.  I have seen blogs with flowers, vines, etc.  But am still a novice.

Our teacher Sunday morning said that Christians must read the Bible today with new eyes--how would that play out in my fellowship which is often hidebound and closeminded?  Did he mean there are actually new things there to see?  Did he mean that God is actually adding new ideas to the Bible?  Did he mean we should actually read the Bible with contemporary eyes as did Eugene Peterson?  Did he mean the Spirit would help us in our myopia?  Did he mean there are new contexts we should see?  Or that the Bible changes meaning in different eras? Hmmmm....

Which do you prefer The Message, KJV or New International?  Any of those preferences might change how one would answer the above questions.  Oh, I know there are other versions--these are the ones I am more familiar with.  The Cotton Patch Bible never caught on with me.