Faith and Stuff

Ever wondered why “gentile” and “gentle” are so similar? It's not a coincidence – both come from the same word, meaning family (“generation”). But with opposite mindsets! In the courts of Europe, “of the family” meant one of us, someone noble, someone you can trust – a gentleman, in fact. But in Israel, “of the nation” meant one of THEM, an outsider – some “guy”. Either way it's sad how we lock our earthly companions into classes.

... and make assumptions! S. went to the Christian car showrooms this month, taking her two small sons to share the experience of choosing a new car. As she walked in, the two young salesmen said “The toilet is across the road, Madam, at Tim Horton's!” She responded loudly “Oh – they sell cars there?” (Not knocking the car-lot – once you've been there, you'll never buy anywhere else. Honesty is amazing!)

Car lots are fun. Two guys in two cars drove in. The second waited for his friend to park, looked at the result, and yelled loudly out of the car window “My mother couldn't park any better than that!”

Meanwhile the world cruises gently downhill. In Canada 88% of all antibiotics are fed to cattle - yes, healthy cattle - "to make them grow healthy". Wonder why bacteria are now resistant to almost all our drugs? 25% of white American males have committed a violent crime by age 18. The last vestige of old-fashioned family disappeared from our home: the sewing machine is long gone, but now even the box of needles and threads is no longer on the sewing-table – we just buy new. Dairy Queen suddenly started being “out” of flavours, to our surprise, and the girl explained sadly that it's closing down, to make way for condominiums.  Dairy Queen?  Close?

But there are fun times. The German word for banknote is “geldscheine” - literally gold-shine. S. took the kids up the “tallest building in the world”, among huge crowds, and tried to persuade them to walk on the glass floor panel. It's quite safe, look at me, she said, jumping up and down heavily on the glass to show them ... and then noticed the crowd had melted away, she was alone in an empty space 6 feet wide! That's FAITH – not just knowing something, but being willing to act on it, risk your life on it.

Children often have faith. During supper the parents decided to go for a family bike-ride as it was a beautiful fall evening. At dessert they suddenly noticed the toddler, K, had disappeared. Not in the washroom. Nor the playroom, nor the bedroom. Panic. Finally they found him sitting quietly in the garage, in his little sidecar attached to Daddy's bike, happily waiting for the bike-ride. Go Daddy, go!

Grandpa rode N's huge new motorbike, just to prove he could. N's faith wavered, and he leapt into the car and drove around the block to check – but the old guy was doing fine.

Love continues. Our family had an adoption party to celebrate the arrival of our three grandchildren – and the photographer got quite tearful at the wonderful thing being done for these children. Turns out she too was adopted, into a very happy home.

Luck continues too. Our student W got a prescription, and we took it to the pharmacy JUST before her medical insurance ran out ... and it would have cost $500!  Drug companies must be doing OK.

And music is getting better again. Until the 50's songs were sold as sheet-music, and then single records (78's, then 45's). So people bought great songs. Then the “album” came along, and people bought great artists (like the Beatles), but you had to take whatever songs they put on their album, and quality went way down. (“Let It Be”? “Revolver”? Come ON.) But now, praise the Lord, you buy your music on-line, and you buy individual SONGS again. Watch what happens ...

Ever hear someone argue that God can't be a “Person”?

We have a creature, Ben (a yellow lab), kind, patient and stupid. We have a toddler K, not speaking yet, quite similar in some ways. They're both creatures! Sure, K is way more than a creature, in a way Ben can hardly imagine, but nevertheless with huge similarities. And K has a sister T, voluble, bright as a button, totally different - but they're both children. And a mother S, wise, caring, sensible – hugely more than either child - but still a human. Can you see God to be one step further up, hugely MORE than S - but still a person?

I think I see why no-one really understands the clock change, "Daylight Saving Time". It's because we always talk of changing the CLOCKS. But clocks can't change – we live by them, 8 o'clock is 8 o'clock, whatever your clever talk. It's like saying the sun doesn't go round the earth – any fool can see that it does!

So think of it this way. In summer there's more daylight. We don't like being woken up by sunshine at 5am. So we set the SUN to come up later, by setting our clocks later ("forward"). And in winter we don't like getting up in the dark. So we make the sun get up earlier – by setting our clocks earlier ("put the clock back"). Any help?