December 3, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 7.2.11

One hundred and eight. One. Hundred. Eight. Degrees. I guess I don’t mind the heat so much as the fact that we all have to take turns fanning Chaplain Mike. Anyway, it’s hot here at the iMonastery and we don’t have AC. Reals monks don’t need AC. Ok, maybe we don’t need it but we want it. So we have not done much tidying up around here this week. Be careful where you step, and you’ll need to bring your own fan. Ready? Let’s ramble.

A Mennonite pastor says he does not sing the Star Spangled Banner. I agree with him in principle, but would add another reason: the pop “stars” who mangle it at sporting events have ruined this hymn for me. Please, don’t anyone let Christina Aguilera sing Be Thou My Vision. Ever.

Oh joy. A Pat Robertson sighting. Complete with another “prophecy” of why God is going to destroy the United States. (And it’s not because Mennonites won’t sing the National Anthem.) And of course John MacArthur then has to join the chorus, singing why he thinks America is in for divine judgment. Did anyone bother to tell these guys this weekend is when we celebrate our nation’s birthday?

I guess we are not the only country where the religious lives of our political leaders are scrutinized. South Korea’s president is in hot water for—of all things—praying. Gasp!

Pastors are supposed to be good at comforting others. According to a recent survey, however, it turns out what they are really good at is eating comfort food. Seems many pastors are becoming more than just a little pudgy. Next time you take your pastor out to eat, you might want to mix in a salad bar.

Evangelical, Catholic and Mainline denominational leaders met this week to come up with guidelines for Christian mission. I find three things interesting in this. First, these three groups came together without guns or knives drawn. Second, they all concluded that Christians should not use coercion or deception when witnessing. And finally, that evangelicals are finally being recognized for who they are, not what they are against.

Skye Jethani talks here about the danger inherent in building a ministry or church around one individual. And while his essay is, as usual, brilliant, what I love most is this line: “My genetically tanned, ambiguously ethnic appearance must scream “al-Qaeda!” I get patted down more than Donald Trump’s mane on a windy day.”

We have really covered this topic about all it needs, but I thought one more look at technology in the church would be ok.

Well, ok. We have to look at this story about the use of technology in the church. Who doesn’t want to see a video of B16 using his iPad?

I already don’t like North Carolina because of their license plates. (The airplane was invented in Dayton, Ohio. Get over it.) But now Jesus is appearing in a small town in the Tar Heel state in the form of … kudzu. I guess one person thought of getting rid of the kudzu with a pesticide, but then said, “You can’t blast Jesus with Roundup.” Indeed you can’t.

Celebrity birthdays this week were observed by George Orwell; June Lockhart; Carly Simon; Pearl S. Buck; Chris Isaak; Derek Jeter; Helen Keller; Bob “Captain Kangaroo” Keeshan; H. Ross Perot; John Dillinger; Gilda Radner; John Elway; Buddy Rich; Mike Tyson; Jamie Farr; and Porky Pig.

The greatest drummer of all time was Buddy Rich. Here he is on the Johnny Carson show along with Ed Shaughnessy, the drummer for the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra. You will want to watch this several times. Enjoy.


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  1. Bravo! Buddy Rich rocks! Neil Peart performed a tribute at the Buddy Rich memorial concert back in 2007 (it’s on that U-toob internet thingy).

    • Buddy Rich is stil the greatest drummer ever. One view of the YouTube video “Buddy Rich Drum Solo 1970 – Best Drum Solos” especially the part from 3:00 onward how he controls the snare roll from the center to the edge to the rim and back.


      BTW dumb ox, like the avatar, keep “workin’ them angels….. OVERTIME!!!” my friend

  2. Mr. Poet says

    Nineveh had a founding, too (Genesis 10:11-12). Should Jonah not have preached on that day? 🙂

  3. Singing the National Anthem is fine. But can we at least get the American flags out of our sanctuaries?

  4. Crfields says

    I’m a big fan of the Wright brother story, and I found the comment about the license plates pretty funny. (I live in FL, so no dog in the fight). But that airplane invented in Dayton wasn’t flying anywhere before the Wrights took it to Kitty Hawk. And I can’t see how you could call it an “airplane” before it actually flew. “First in Flight” sounds about right to me.

    Regardless, always enjoy the read. Keep up the good work all around!

  5. It’s not the heat – – it’s the humanity.

  6. Who else got a scare yesterday when did not come up?

    • Cedric – thanks for your concern – we appreciate it. Actually, the site was the victim of a particularly nasty malware attack and in the process of cleaning things up, the site went down. Fortunately, we have several redundant backup procedures in place and, with the help of our web host, we were able to restore the site and get back online late last night.

      It was a very long day.

    • i had a mild panic attack… 😉

      but my post here on this topic about the temperature did not make it. i assume a victim of collateral damage???

      it was definitely not an inerrant revelatory statement of faith or doctrine. just my usual conversational inclusion…

      what a pain though to have to fix/patch/reset, etc. whatever it is you have to do to get up-and-running again.

      • Joseph, collateral damage is a good way of putting it.

        The backup file we used to restore the site just happened to have been created prior to (or during) the time that those comments were posted and just prior to the intrusion that started the chaos.

    • I thought something was wrong with me computer. I Monk is the first thing I look at on Saturday morning before I go to work. I have to have my Saturday Ramblings . BTW how does one post a comment with an avatar. Is there a secret I Monk code or hand shake?

      • Chip, go to gravatar and sign up:

        • Thank you Ted

          • Looks good! And notice how it showed up on your earlier comment too. In fact, any comment you’ve ever made with that email address (at least on any wordpress site) will now have your photo on it. It’s not only a little scary, it could be something you don’t want. Just be aware of that, or use different email addresses for different photos or no photo. Have a great 4th.

    • And when it did come back it had lost a lot of the comments, especially in Saturday Ramblings I think.

      I decided somebody didn’t like us bragging about the cool temperatures in Ireland and Maine. Or some uber-patriot who didn’t like criticism of flags in sanctuaries?

      Happy 4th to all! Let freedom ring.

  7. drove by an Assembly of God church this weekend. They had flags running the whole length of their driveway to the church. You would have thought they were headed to meet the President instead of the Body of Christ.
    my Mennonite Anthem is ‘Praise God from who all blessings flow’ (long version).
    God bless the WHOLE WORLD. peace.

    • My girls have plastered our old Honda Civic with bumper stickers, one of them saying “God Bless the Whole World—No Exceptions”.

      I keep thinking about taking a “God Bless America” bumper sticker and chopping it up to read “America Bless God”.

  8. My favorite Buddy Rich video is with him battling Animal of the Muppet Show.

    Search for the following title on YouTube: The Muppet Show – Buddy Rich vs Animal Drum Battle

  9. 101 in Fayetteville on Saturday…wish i could head to N. Montana.


  10. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Pastors are supposed to be good at comforting others. According to a recent survey, however, it turns out what they are really good at is eating comfort food. Seems many pastors are becoming more than just a little pudgy.

    As I said during the comment threads on Gluttony, it’s because of all those church potlucks. To the point that there are several YouTube videos of extremely fat preachers denouncing some (usually sexual) sin.

    • I guess our church is contributing to our pastor’s downfall, then. We eat together after every Sunday evening service!