bmurray-groundhog350

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties

because it’s COOOLD out there today!

That’s right, rodent lovers!

It’s Groundhog Day!

…When Chekhov saw the long winter,

it was a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope;

and yet, we know winter’s only one more step in the cycle.

And standing among my friends and family,

and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts,

I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

-Adapted from “Groundhog Day”

empty-bldg_sm.jpg

No one has been around in a while. People pass by it every day on their way to some place else and hardly give it a thought. Even those who were frequent visitors have forgotten how to get here. Occasionally someone will stop by, perhaps hoping someone will be home, and they think about the owner. “I wonder what happened to him?” they ask, “he just up and left.” The weeds are growing up all around, in and out of the old rotting siding. The windows are now bare and dark and stare into loneliness. It has been said that once, all sorts of interesting people would come into the warm and inviting living room, grab a beer, sit by the fire and join into the conversation; or they would just stop by and sit on the porch swing and listen. Now the voices have grown cold and hollow and the only thing you can hear are the echoes of once glorious parties – the laughter, the music, and the joy. And the sadness. It’s all in the building somewhere if you listen hard enough.

 

You imagine all sorts of exciting things the owner must be doing – he’s traveling the world in search of some great adventure. Or he’s helping those less needy than himself with self-sacrificing love. Or he’s traveling a great and glorious journey of faith, discovering who he is or should be. But then you realize that the building you are standing in the middle of isn’t abandoned, it’s just neglected out of laziness and apathy, and that makes you cry just a little bit; but just a little bit, and then you move onto your next destination where the conversation and friendships still warm your heart. Your footsteps echo on the wood floor and you open the creaky wooden door slowly as if you really don’t want to leave, but it’s cold and drafty in here and there really isn’t much reason to stay. Looking back one more time into the dark room you notice, just maybe, a very slight glowing ember in the fireplace, and you smile. Just maybe…

B~

I was reading my friend Chris’ blog, and he had a list of five songs that “defined” his life. It made me think of this post I had written in March of 2005, so I’m reposting it again because I’m lazy. The original post was in response to a post from a twenty-something pup who listed his music and it was the music of HIS generation.

It got me thinking about the music of my life, music that would define who I am and I found that a very difficult task. Of course a life is not “defined” by music, but the music is a reflection and description of how we perceive ourselves at the moment – what experiences we are going through now, and in the past, and how those experiences impact our awareness of who we are or want to be. (more…)

And then there is this: a website selling sainthood! You, too, can become one of the 144,000 saved from the Tribes of Israel. But hurry – there are only 142,621 places left.

Amazing. Not that someone is actually doing this (I’m becoming more and more cynical every day), but that there are people actually buying it.

B~

[B~ note: Ed G had a good point – we can keep up with the Tribes right here:

  1. Levi 321
  2. Joseph 214
  3. Reuben 145
  4. Zebulun 143
  5. Benjamin 112
  6. Judah 101
  7. Simeon 78
  8. Asher 77
  9. Issachar 68
  10. Gad 65
  11. Manasseh 54
  12. Naphtali 1

Check back often and see how your favorite Israel Tribe is doing.]

I’m sitting here at work, the day after the 4th of July, and I’m pondering a few things.  I hate when that happens as it doesn’t happen often.  But here I sit in my office at the college with absolutely nothing going on but our usual rain soaking.  Nothing is going on because we are normally closed on Fridays during the summer months and since the 4th fell on Wednesday this year just about everyone took today off (silly me).  So here I sit, drinking my green tea and reading blog after blog.  And pondering.  Pondering is an actual word meaning, among other things, to “chew over, think over, meditate, excogitate, contemplate, muse, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, or speculate.”  The root word, as far as I can tell, was probably taken from Ponder Texas, which isn’t that far from here and has a population of 507.  With a population that small I’m guessing there’s not that much to do but ruminate.  I always thought that ruminate was something Captain Jack Sparrow would do quite often after a night of frolic and rum, but it’s not – it means to ponder. (more…)

Chili’s – Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie
(1,600 calories, 78g fat, 950mg sodium, 215g carbs, 6g fiber, 19g protein)

Romano’s Macaroni Grill – New York Cheesecake w/ Caramel Fudge Sauce
(1,610 calories, 96g fat, 960mg sodium, 169g carbs, 1g fiber, 21g protein)

P.F. Chang’s – Great Wall of Chocolate
(2,240 calories, 89g fat, 376g carbs, 20g protein)

Denny’s – Oreo Blender Blaster
(895 calories, 46g fat, 280mg sodium, 112g carbs, 2g fiber, 16g protein)

Johnny Rocket’s – Apple Pie a la Mode
(1,190 calories, 75g fat, 875mg sodium, 114g carbs, 6g fiber, 108g sugars, 12g protein)

On The Border – Border Brownie Sundae
(1,380 calories, 80g fat, 450mg sodium, 163g carbs, 8g fiber, 17g protein)

Romano’s Macaroni Grill – Tiramisu
(1,000 calories, 64g fat, 160mg sodium, 89g carbs, 1g fiber, 12g protein)

Read the story here  and get alternatives.  Yum.

B~

First of all, let me say that I am NOT a proponent of people changing churches because “they are not getting fed.” Or in other words, THEIR needs aren’t getting met. I would like to think that I’m beyond that in my search for a new church home, but who am I kidding…it’s always about me. I’m as much of a consumer as anyone else, and churches today don’t feel much different, it’s just another “product.” Sadly, we don’t go to church to give something back or to worship, we go to get something out of it and if the “product” doesn’t live up to it’s packaging we move on to someplace else that can give us what we want. And if nothing ever meets our criteria for what we consider a good church, then we will keep moving around hoping to find that “perfect” church until we become nothing more that church hoppers. (more…)

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