Saturday, January 31, 2009

Two Bowls

I sit here today, Saturday the 31st of January, between two "super" events. Tomorrow is Super Bowl XLIII, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. Tell me, does anyone else have trouble with Roman Numerals besides me? I always have trouble translating them into the numbers I understand, having to think about it forever before I come up with the right number. I'm okay up to thirty or so, but after that my dense brain takes a while to process and figure it out. So, without checking this in a book or anything or hearing anyone say it, I do believe this is the forty-third Super Bowl. Am I right? And why don't they just say that in the first place?

The first picture above is the winner of another Bowl, which was held in our area yesterday. The guy you see pictured is John Squibb, who has been given the title "Super Squibb" after wolfing down 203 chicken wings in the 2009 Wing Bowl. (There's the word "super" again.) Now you folks are going to have to bear with me because I'm going to be very negative. I think this Wing Bowl, and all eating competitions that we hold in this country are a national disgrace. There, I said it. First of all, we've been listening to report after report telling us about the horrible economic state our country is in. As an aside, I do want to say that things are bad, but America has been through hard times before and we can come out of this if we do it the right way. But that's another story which I'll leave alone for now. I read a good article about that topic recently which really encouraged me. Read it if you have time.

But it's not just the state of things in our own nation that turns me off so badly when I hear about these eating contests. I wish the money that is spent on the food and whatever expenses go along with them could be sent to one of the countries in this world, like Zimbabwe, where people are starving. Or send it to Feed the Children or some other group that helps feed children who are hungry in our own land. It's for that reason also that I would label such competitions as disgraceful.

I posted the two pictures above because these two events have something in common: chicken wings. A lot of chicken wings are eaten at both. For the Super Bowl, it's a traditional food at all the parties that take place for the big game. So one of the current worries is that there are enough wings available for that purpose. I saw an article about that also. I hope you won't think me inconsiderate if I say that's the least of my worries for our country.

And to say more about the Super Bowl, things are pretty quiet about it here in my area since the Eagles and Giants aren't in it. Last year I was so excited, as you may remember, because of the fact that the Giants were not only in it, but won it. Now I don't care as much, but I think I'll root for the Steelers, since they're not too far away from us and I'm more familiar with them. We always tape the big game and look at it on Monday. I REALLY enjoyed it last year.

The big news about tomorrow is we get to go to church and worship our SUPER great God. And about "wings?" Here's a good verse to leave with:

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Psalm 36:7

And the refrain from one of our favorite hymns:

Under His wings, under His wings, who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide, safely abide forever.

Have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lifting Arms to God

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

~ Joyce Kilmer

I love trees. We live in a neighborhood with lots of them, this once having been a wooded area before our development was built amidst the tall oaks and others. I'm always sad when one is cut down, usually worrying that it was the home of some squirrels or birds. I'm kind of silly that way. I'm a little melancholy tonight for several reasons, among which is the fact that every day it seems I hear of more of my brethren who are going through one kind of trial or another. Such was the case tonight--I just heard of another one. So I've abruptly changed from what I was going to post and while looking outside at the falling snow, this familiar poem that we all know came to mind. I don't even know what I want to say; I just wanted to post it.

Well, I will say that I'll learn a lesson or two from trees: They look at God all day and lift their arms to pray. Probably in the morning, snow (and ice) will be lying on the bosoms of the trees in and around my yard. They'll keep lifting their arms to God, though. I pray the same for my several hurting friends who are struggling through their winter storms.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Ahhh, I needed this. You folks know what I weakness I have for these creatures. Look at the reaction of this little fella, a Golden Retriever puppy, at the news conference about his breed once again having the distinction of being the most popular dog in America for the eighteenth consecutive year.

Another news item: I just learned something about Barney, the Bush's infamous White House Scottish Terrior (Neesie and I are fans of his). I just heard that he recently bit a reporter. I can't give any further details about this, but if it's true, it looks like he's more on top of things than a lot of people. Just kidding (sort of). Hopefully, he'll enjoy his remaining years in Texas and he and his family will mostly be among people who love them.

Now, don't you feel better?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So we have come to this momentous time in the history of our country. I've been thinking for a couple of days about what to say, and nothing has seemed appropriate or right. But I can't let this day go by without saying something. I just cannot let this day before noon go by without saying how terribly I will miss the man who has been my President this past eight years. He's like a family member, sometimes frustrating and/or irritating me as family members often do, even though we love them. I'm very thankful for his service to us all, even to those who speak so ill of him. So it's hard. And I have to look to the future and pray for those coming in. I must, because it's what the Lord would have us do. And in the meantime, I'm going to pray for my own heart and do my best to be a good citizen in whatever way possible.

May I exhort all of us to pray diligently for our nation and for those who will now be in leadership? It's the will of the Lord that we do, you know.

But mainly I want to say to all of us that we should rejoice because the same One who has always ruled is still on the throne. And we worship Him alone. No earthly ruler--only Jesus. So rejoice today and in the days to come.

Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore;
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore:

Jesus, the Saviour reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When he had purged our stains
He took his seat above:

His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o'er earth and heav'n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv'n:

He sits at God's right hand
Till all his foes submit,
And bow to his command
And fall beneath his feet:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

~ Charles Wesley

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sanctity of Human Life Day

In one of his final actions in the White House, President Bush on Thursday declared Jan. 18 to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”

“All human life is a gift from our creator that is sacred, unique and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world,” reads the presidential proclamation.

Well thank the Lord for that, at least.

The entire article can be found here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Tips #3

I only have a moment, but couldn't resist this. For those of you who are tempted to go out and get a star named for someone you love, maybe you better think again. It's been my understanding that all the stars already have names. Besides, perhaps you can save the money for something else.

A couple of verses from this morning's devotions:

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Isaiah 40:26

He [the Lord] telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Psalm 147:4

Hope to get by to visit some of you later today!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sneaky Nutrition - Hot Dogs and Spaghetti

Yep, we're having a very humble meal tonight, and we all better be thankful for it. Actually, this is a favorite at this house--I have a couple of hot dog lovers here. I like the combo too. Well, even though they are not considered to be one of the healthiest foods around, I still decided to make this a sneaky nutrition post. Where's the nutrition you say? I know, I'm pushing it a bit, but at least I use turkey franks to cut down on the fat. But there's plenty of nutrition in the pasta. I've been using the whole grain of late and the brand depends on whatever I have coupons for and/or is on sale. This time I have Barilla thin spaghetti, but there are others to choose from. In one serving, you get six grams of fiber, along with significant percentages of iron, phosphorus and magnesium. That's not bad, right? And listen to this: someone at a cooking demo said to put a couple of carrots in your sauce to sweeten the taste a bit. So, if you happen to eat a couple of chunks, a little bit of Vitamin A won't hurt matters either.

So that's our dinner and I'm getting quite hungry. If you ever decide to have this meal, don't forget to serve with spinach or broccoli for the Vitamin C and other good stuff. Now, THAT's rather healthy after all.

If you have any healthy, humble meal combos you'd like to pass on, please do!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

He Leads Us for Another Year

"The land whither ye go to possess it is a land of hills and valleys and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" (Deut. 11:11-12).

I like the Streams in the Desert devotional today. It speaks of the well known fact that we are standing on the verge of the unknown. There is a new year stretching out before us and we are going in now to possess it. Isn't that quite a thought? There are, in every year, hills and valleys and never can we expect everything to go smoothly. As we go in to possess this year and whatever it brings, my prayer for each of us is that we will never lose sight of the fact that it is our God who leads us in the year ahead, as He did in the year that we're journeying out of. Some of us have experienced the valleys and they have been deep ones. Some of us have had somewhat of a difficult time climbing the steep mountains. But He has been leading us, yes?

May you take the hand of your merciful, compassionate, and loving Lord through the days of 2009 and have the full awareness in your heart of hearts that He is leading you and me through each second, minute, and hour.

He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.

He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o'erclouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.
--N.L. Zinzendorf