October 25, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 1.4.14

RamblerWelcome to the first Saturday Ramblings of the new year. If this is your first visit to the iMonastery, Saturday Ramblings is the time each week for us to do some light housekeeping. We sweep up all the scraps from the week and, tossing them together, we call them Saturday Ramblings. So grab a cup of coffee, get your pipe and slippers, and let’s get ready to ramble.

Esquire magazine has announced its Best Dressed Man for 2013. And the winner is … Pope Francis. Yes, even though he has shunned the fur-lined cape and the fancy red shoes, this pope still dresses pretty snazzy, at least according the Esquire.

Best dressed or no, there are some wealthy Catholics who are not too happy with what the pope has to say about the accumulation of money and capitalism in general. In certain evangelical circles, you would never ever make the money people mad by what you say. I don’t think it is the same in Catholicism, do you? Or at least not with this pope.

Have you been following the story of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who went in for a tonsillectomy and, tragically, has now been declared brain dead? You can read the details here. Where do you stand in this? Is it time to pull the plug, or should the parents go on fighting and believing for her healing? What do you think?

Noah’s Ark in Brooklyn? That is where you will find Torah Animal World, with more than 350 species of animals. All stuffed, of course. But the Ark may soon have to be on the move if the TAW doesn’t come up with a million bucks to keep it open. As the preacher says, “Don’t make me holler, and don’t make me shout. Just turn them pockets inside-out.”

Andrew Hamblin doesn’t keep his snakes in a museum, and they aren’t stuffed (except, of course, after a nice meal of fresh mouse). He keeps them in his church, which is a violation of the law in Tennessee. So he is on his way to face a grand jury. Think that will be a part of his “reality” TV show?

There are five biblically-themed movies planned for 2014 (not including the new version of Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage). Jonathan Merritt says this should make 2014 “the year of the Bible.” Or at least on the big screen.

And then there is the mayor of Flower Mound, Texas, who has declared 2014 to be the “Year of the Bible.” This is not setting well with some in the suburb of Dallas. What sayest thou: good move or bad move on his part?

And we can’t start the new year without first looking at lists of things from the previous year, can we? For instance, the top ten biblical archaeological finds of 2013. Too whimsical for you? Then how about the top ten Bible verses YouVersion dished up? (And no, John 3:16 was not among them.) Still not serious enough for you? Ok then, here are the top ten church signs spotted in 2013. Now we can start 2014.

Finally, this will be my last Saturday Ramblings column. I have shared with you how that I have struggled with depression. I’ve decided that I need to marshal my energy to fight this best as I can this year. So I am stepping down as publisher of InternetMonk as of today. I have had a great time visiting with you for the last four years. I remain humbled beyond belief that Michael and Denise Spencer counted me worthy of carrying on the tradition they started with this site. But to be honest, each of the writers we now have—Chaplain Mike, Lisa Dye, Martha of Ireland, Mike Bell, Damaris Zehner, and Adam Palmer, are all much better than I. I want you to encourage them and continue to share great comments with one another. If you don’t, well, don’t make me turn this Rambler around.

For my last Saturday bonus video, I want to share with you a song by my favorite group of all. Who is that? Well, you’ll just have to click here and see. Want to see more? Good. Here is more. Enjoy.




  1. Doubting Thomas says

    God bless you, Jeff, as you do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Your ramblings are my favorite thing to read here. I’ll miss you.

  2. I’ll miss the Saturday Ramblings and the homilies. Have been blessed by everything – even though I’ve only commented a hand-full of times. God bless you!

  3. I will also miss the Saturday Ramblings, they were one reason why I came back to Internet Monk every day. I will miss your contributions to I Monk .God bless and good health.

  4. Best of luck to you, Jeff! If you can, do try to keep in touch!

  5. I will miss reading your posts. I spent years in a dark night, glad you are taking the time you need to heal. Thank-You!

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    I’m really gonna miss your Saturday Ramblings, Jeff.

    Come back when you can, OK?

  7. Best wishes Jeff. God bless you in this difficult time

  8. Prayers and best wishes for you, Jeff…I will miss your Ramblings and other writings.

  9. GQ? Seriously….?

  10. You are an honest and good soul….praying His peace for you!

  11. That Other Jean says

    I’ll miss your contributions to Internet Monk, Jeff, but I hope you’re able to win your struggle with depression. I also hope you come back when you’re up to it.

  12. I’m sure that Jahi’s parents and the rest of the family find what’s happened not only shocking but difficult to process. It is very traumatic when a child’s life is abruptly cut short. No amount of reasoning as to the cause will ever quench the sorrow.

    • Has anyone ever come back from brain death? I feel for those parents, but I can’t comprehend their grief, its just too much for me.

      • The problem is that “brain death” is not a neatly defined term. There’s varying scientific opinions, and varying theories on how it should be measured. It’s not as simple as looking at the brain and seeing a flat line.

        So yes, by various definitions of “brain dead,” people have come back. It actually happens a lot more often than you would think.

        • Can you reference some of this? Today in most of the US there is a fairly decent definition. Involves multiple tests, some of which many folks would not want to be in the room.

          • There’s some stuff to start you thinking in this Terry Gross interview:


            But I would recommend reading Teresi’s book in whole. Even if you end up disagreeing with his concerns, he provides a lot of stuff to consider, and goes along with neurologists to see what, exactly, they do to make these decisions. And it’s written in an engaging style.

          • I’ll look into it.

            I heard a talk about the issue years agoby a doctor involved in such decisions where he described the typical process. It was way more than looking at a few lines on a chart. One of the test involved putting a flood of cold water in someone’s ear which in a “normal” person would induce a strong involuntary reaction as it totally confused the balance response system tied to the inner ear. And the comment was you didn’t really want to see this if you were emotionally involved with the patient.

        • OK. I read the NPR interview with the book author, Dick Teresi, and the transplant surgeon, Richard M. Freeman.

          I think the book author has it all wrong. Just like the YEC debate, many of us are applying 6000 years of “common sense” to science that doesn’t fit into that box.

          If you don’t have a beating heart or working lungs (or a mechanical replacement) yest you will be dead in short order. So for 1000s of years if your heart stopped you could be called dead.

          But the reverse isn’t really true. You can be dead (lack of MEANINGFUL brain function) but have a beating heart and working lungs. I suspect that until the last 100 years in the first world, most people with a dead brain gradually starved their organs to death due to lack of nutrition.

          The doctor even addresses how or language doesn’t work well. During the interview T. Gross kept mentioning putting people back on life support. But the doctor corrected her and made the point it was really organ support. Not “life” support.

          What this really has to come down to is what is death. To me it means your brain no longer support the consciousness of the person who inhabited the body. (And I know this is an incredibly awkwardly worded sentence.) Basically from a Christian point of view, is there a soul still there?

          I guess I disagree with your point about brain dead people coming back. The biggest issue to me in this area is a large lack of understanding of what death means. Christian understanding or secular.

      • Dr. Neurobrain says

        No, no one has ever come back from brain death.

        It does not happen more often then you think. It doesnt happen at all.

        The few cases that are claimed otherwise were misdiagnoses.

        This case has had three independent diagnoses reach the same conclusion. This is not a little girl anymore.

        It is a corpse.

  13. Jeff, I’ve loved your homilies and writings and ramblings. Your presence and words will be missed.

  14. That “Noah” preview makes it look like he’s some kind of superhero, like “Noah, Superman of the Ark.”

  15. So I am stepping down as publisher of InternetMonk as of today…..

    First of all, I’ve been around this site for a good number of years, you will be sorely missed. Your blogs have contributed much to the conversation as a person who knew Michael and as a person who has shared his faith journey. A part of this site will go away with your leaving and I will miss that.

    I have enjoyed watching you discover the Catholic faith, and I hope you continue into its depth learning and experiencing..

    I hope to that you take time with those things that bring you up, like walks in the woods, a good retreat, spending time with those you care about or just singing with a good song from the early seventees. And of course if you are traveling look us up, like Ted with all those fishing boats (Keep thinking of Murder She Wrote’ or the Wreck of the Edmund Fritzgerald, or even A Salty Dog (Procol Harum) when I think of Maine/boats/lobsters….

    Anyway I digress… take care of yourself there Jeff, since anyone with the name of Jeff must be alright (wink).



  16. I’m sorry you’re leaving although its for the best of reasons. Depression is a bitch. Try beatingthebeast.com if you need company.

  17. Christiane says

    Jeff, I will miss your wonderful Saturday Ramblings posts . . .
    sounds like you need some time for yourself these days, and most of us, if we are honest, have all experienced a bit of depression in our lives, and we do know how fierce a trial it can be at times . . .

    here’s to better days for you going forward

  18. Marcus Johnson says

    Words can’t express how much you’ll be missed, Jeff, or how much we’ll appreciate you coming back when you’re ready. Be well.

  19. Blessings, Jeff, and may your 2014 hold better days for you. Thanks for all your contributions to this site.