AUGUST 2015

man sunbathing

SENIOR YEARS

Smile and the world smiles with you; snore and you sleep alone.

If your mind goes blank be sure to turn off the sound.

If you can’t thank God for what you have, thank Him for what you escaped.

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” - Mark Twain

YOU ARE A SENIOR CITIZEN WHEN:

  1. You ask to speak to the manager and you find yourself complaining to someone no older than your last grandchild.
  2. You feel more at home in antique shops than in electronic stores.
  3. You check out your food at the grocery store and the bagger asks if you need help putting it in your car.

BRYN ATHYN HISTORY FROM BRYN ATHYN POST

October 5, 1944 The meeting of the Bryn Athyn Church on Friday evening, turned out to be a very pleasant affair. There was much humor in many reports that were given especially that of the seating at the Cathedral….It appears that there are but 547 seats and 153 have no assigned seats. It was voted that those coming late lose their priority rights to the pews. Mr. Donald Rose took the occasion to make a humorous speech to the effect that he enjoyed sitting in various places, behind pillars, etc. and that he enjoyed seeing a new face occasionally.

VARIOUS ITEMS

  1. While reading my McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book, the 1870 revised edition, I looked at lesson 32 where I learned that the letter “b” is silent after the letter “m.” Examples are lamb, comb, crumb, thumb, etc. I guess that the reference is only for words which end in mb because I now think of the word ambassador wherein the “b” certainly is pronounced. So the McGuffey’ book needs to be made more clear and I am wondering whom I should contact to make appropriate corrections.
    Also in this book there is a pictorial alphabet. For example there is the letter “B” in the upper and lower cases and a picture of a boy sitting on a chair reading a book. The letter “G” is for girl and there is a picture of a girl playing with her doll. (I think that image might be broadened today to have a girl playing with a doll while looking at her computer.)
  2. PHRASES:

    a. TO REST ON ONE’S LAURELS This means to be content with one’s achievements and to not make efforts to have more success. The phrase comes from the ancient custom of giving poets (and others) a laurel (evergreen) to wear as a crown as being symbolic of their excellent writing. Hence also is the phrase “poet laureate”, first given in the 17th century to the English poet John Dryden.

    b. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON This refers to something which happens very rarely. It comes from the unusual occurrence of the moon appearing to be blue. An example of this happened in 1883 when there was a great eruption of volcanic ash on the island of Krakatoa in Sumatra and the moon appeared to be blue.

EDITORIAL OPINIONS – VARIOUS ITEMS

  1. Last June I visited an edifice in Bryn Athyn. I talked with a lady there who noticed that I was a bit depressed. Later apparently she informed a man in this same building of my emotional state. And also apparently, at least to me, he speculated that the best way to contact me in my, as it were, mental hiding place, was to yell at me. Indeed when I went to this building again, while standing about six feet behind me, he roared out my name, “RICHARD” like a bull elephant bellowing. It did shake my emotional system, as his voice exploded behind me. (I wonder if he would use the same tactic of standing behind his wife and yelling if she was in a mild depression perhaps due to some bodily discomfort.)

    Why did he yell at me? I think that he was trying to be super-manly to impress the lady who had informed him of my minor depression. Also I think that he blew hard to impress himself that he was a real man. His lengthy history with alcoholism may have left him with a chronic state of low self-esteem and he was over-compensating for it by yelling at me. You know, now in my senior years I am not very tolerant of such sophomoric behavior. The best I can do is to forgive and avoid him.

  2. Daily I walk around the local park and often have unusual experiences. Recently I saw a blonde girl, about 3 three years old, singing to herself as she walked with a dog along Woodward Drive. I engaged her in conversation until her mom came running around a turn in the road carrying another child in her arms. She appeared to be in a state of panic probably caused by noticing that her daughter was nowhere in sight in the park, but it all ended well.
  3. Also recently I saw a box turtle with orange and black markings on the shell. He/she was moving down the road beside the curb which was an insurmountable barrier for him/her. So, grasping the back part of the shell, I lifted the turtle onto the grass of my front yard. And I think he/she nodded a thank-you.
  4. Recently as I walked down Woodward Drive, a boy and his dog approached me from behind. They seemed unaware of my presence. They walked on by me – the boy walking on top of the curb and his dog walking obediently on the road. A boy and his dog and me, an old guy – my youth is gone but my heart is youthful. I still like walking on curbs.
  5. Consider a sentence in our society’s literature written by a minister: “Personally, I would encourage a same-sex couple who wanted to solemnize a commitment to their relationship to pursue that goal.” Well, about a year ago I wrote in Sunshine an editorial revealing my understanding of gay men that most of them were born that way – it’s in their DNA. However personally I find their actions to be beyond disgusting for they are outside the realm of uses. If I may be blunt – the transferring of reproductive fluids into an area of elimination of bodily waste is totally useless. No good comes of it and its uselessness stinks of hell. This beloved activity of gay men is not in accord with the Lord’s will, for His kingdom is one of uses. Rather such actions of gay men are in the world of permissions. And they are no way doing what the Lord wills, nor should any man having the title of “minister” encourage such a life style to be solemnized, that is, to be officially recognized by a formal ceremony of marriage. Further, many gay men, it seems to me, suffer from intellectual snobbery. They don’t have a female wife to turn her husband’s natural love of self into a love for her, thus saving him from conceit in his own intelligence. Yes, saving him, as the Lord wills.

QUOTATIONS

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” - Robert G. Ingersoll

“Sometimes even to live, is an act of courage.” - Marcus A. Seneca

“To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” - Mother Teresa

“Some folks are wise, and some are otherwise.” - T. Smollett, 1721-1771

“Hope is one of those things in life you cannot do without.” - LeRoy Douglas

Juliana H. Ewing (1841-1885) once wrote this about a man: “His eyes were bright with intelligence and trained powers of observation; and they were beautiful with kindliness, and with the well-bred habit of giving complete attention to other people and their affairs when he talked with them.”

“Every day is a fresh beginning – Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain – And [in] spite of old sorrow and older sinning – And puzzles forecasted and possible pain – Take heart with the day, and begin again.” - Susan Coolidge, 1835-1905

“Not more than I can bear I know – Thou, dearest Lord, wilt on me lay – And I can learn of Thee to go – Unfearing on my way.” - Harriet McEwen Kimball, 1834-1917

PRAYERS

“Here, Lord, is my life. I place it on the altar today. Use it as you will.” - Albert Schweitzer, 1875-1965

“O Lord, give us more charity, more self-denial, more likeness to thee. Teach us to sacrifice our comforts to others, and our likings for the sake of doing good. Make us kindly in thought, gentle in word, generous in deed. Teach that it is better to give than to receive, better to forget ourselves than to put ourselves forward, better to minister than to be ministered unto. And to thee, the God of love, be all glory and praise, now and forever.” - Henry Alford, 1810-1871

“O Lord, never suffer us to think that we can stand by ourselves, and not need thee.” - John Donne, 1573-1631

“Teach us, good Lord to serve thee – as thou deservest – to give and not to count the cost – to fight and not to heed the wounds – to toil and not to seek for rest – to labor and not to ask for any reward – save that of knowing that we do thy will.” - Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556

IDEAS

True knowledge gives you the tools to recognize what you know and what you do not know.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.

Sometimes people just need a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

QUOTATIONS

“The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it. Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death.” - Patrick Henry

“Take from us, O God, all pride and vanity, all boasting and forwardness, and give us the true courage that shows itself by gentleness….” - Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875

“My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” - John F. Kennedy

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work truly is our own.” - Ibid

IDEAS

Aggressive, angry talk lowers you in the esteem of your listeners.

Often the problem is not to learn but to unlearn.

Nurture friendships.

Being honest about little things is a big thing.

A PRAYER BY FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1182-1226)

O MOST high, almighty, good Lord God, to Thee belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing. Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures, and specially our brother the sun, who brings us the day; fair is he and shines with a very great splendor; O Lord, he signifies to us Thee. Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, which he has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be our Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us, and humble and precious and clean. Praised be Thou, my Lord, for our brother fire; he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong. Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, who doth sustain us and keep us, and bringeth forth divers fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for His love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation. Praised be Thou, my Lord, for our sister, the death of the body, from which no man escapeth.

Praise ye and bless ye the Lord, and give thanks unto Him and serve Him with great humility.