Monday, October 31, 2016

Julie never knows what to cook for the mummies in her closet. Scott soars on the tail of a kite ...



... which is harder than you'd think since he's dressed as a gargoyle. Together they go to unexpected places on the trail of The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. Episode 145 of A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Halloween

Halloween, Grandma Moses
via WikiArt
You know, I've never been a Grandma Moses fan. However, I do love this painting because of all the little details of what the community is doing for Halloween. And that made me take another look at more of her paintings. Along that same line of thinking, I actually can appreciate them more now. Go to the link to see more of her work. And take a look at this one up close. Very enjoyable and Halloweeny.

Friday, October 28, 2016

"My marriage works and I'm going to tell you why."

This is a great reminder of the real priorities of our marriages. Thought I'd pass it along.
Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about a term that’s become popular in reference to marriages. People are always asking, does (or will) this marriage “work.”

Everyone seems to speak like this, including couples themselves. But to think of marriage as something that does or does not “work” is to fall into the frenetic spiral of functionalism and utilitarianism that so characterizes our a materialistic world.

We don’t “make a marriage work.” We simply make a marriage. And, if I may, here is how it “works.”

  1. My marriage works because my wife and I are different. This seems obvious, but it’s actually quite difficult to accept all this statement implies. We are different because each of us is unique and unrepeatable, both of us made in the image of Christ. We are different because I am a man and she is a woman. We are different because our bodies are different, because we enjoy life differently, because we listen to others and to God differently. We caress with different styles. What we think and even what worries us and stresses us is … different.
He's got six reasons and each one was good. Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Genesis Notes: Covenant Renewed

GENESIS 9-10
After all that Noah has endured and all that he has seen God do it is pretty disappointing to watch him get drunk and act just like a regular person. I always accepted it as part of Noah's human nature. However, there is a deeper lesson to be seen here.

I'll add that it took me watching the movie Noah to realize that wine wasn't invented until after the ark landed again — so we can soften our judgment of Noah. Though the commentary below still holds true in thinking of how we feel about flawed heroes.
Did you feel disappointed when Noah, a man so bright in faith and obedience, succumbed to drunkenness, which led to something even darker? In the bleak wasteland of a world given over to evil, Noah seemed like a man we could trust. He looked like a hero.

Why is it so difficult to accept flawed heroes? Is it because all humans long for a perfect human, one who will not disappoint us and let our dreams die? Ever since Adam, we have been looking for one who won't botch things up. We want to see a human be all that God meant for us to be.

The characters of the Old Testament, like Adam and Abel and Noah, begin to prepare us for just such a Person. Even though humans in the story until His arrival disappoint us from time to time, we should never let their humanity sour us or tempt us to be contemptuous of them. We must never forget that God's promise in Gen. 3:15 to defeat His enemy through humans means that step by step in this battle, God's work will have a human face on it. This is the magnificent condescension of God to man. It is also God's resounding confirmation that He did not make a mistake in creating him. God knows very well what weaknesses beset humanity. Nevertheless, He works relentlessly to make sure that someday our dream of human perfection will be a reality, not a dream. To be a Christian means not being squeamish about human beings doing divine work. This is especially true for Catholics, because sometimes our Protestant brethren protest that we have too many "mere humans" in our understanding of redemption. We have Mary, "just a woman," as Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church. We have a pope, "only a man," who sits in the line of Peter and holds the keys of the kingdom. We have saints, men and women who are "just like us," to serve as our examples and advocates in their lives as God's friends. When this charge is raised against us, we should bow our heads, give thanks to God, and smile deeply in our souls. A "human" Church? Exactly.

I always loved the rainbow as a sign of God's promise to man. I never thought of it being a so called "risky" move on God's part until this reflection pointed out how man has a tendency to worship God's creation instead of the creator Himself. Certainly I never saw it as affirmation of the sacraments but that is pointed out as well.

Dankgebet nach Verlassen der Arche Noah, Domenico Morelli
Man, weakened by sin, has the potential to miss the messages God gives him. Was it possible that men would see the importance God attached to that beautiful rainbow and begin to worship it instead of God, Who created and used it? Certainly. We know for a fact that men regularly worshipped what God created instead of the Creator Himself. Nevertheless, God took that risk in order to communicate with man in a truly human way. As the Catechism says, "In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols. As a social being, man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others, through language, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God." (CCC 1146) In our human lives, we make use of natural and social symbols all the time. In fact, we can't imagine life without them. God, in the rainbow, joins Who He is and what He does to an element in nature that will have meaning to mortals. We call these actions "sacraments." Scripture is full of examples of God working this way among His people. The culmination, of course, is the Incarnation-God taking on the most profoundly human form of communication, flesh, to reveal to men Who He is. The sacramental nature of Catholic life is deeply rooted in this biblical truth about how God works among men, glimpsed first in the beautiful bow in Noah's sky. [emphasis added]

All quoted material is from Genesis: God and His Creation. This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Back from the Dead Cemetery Walk

Perhaps it goes without saying that it’s held in the dark. You must reserve tickets for the free event in advance and then groups of 8-15 people are let in at a time, greeted by a lantern-carrying grave digger who welcomes the participants and sets the stage for what they’ll encounter. During the approximately 40-minute walk, many familiar people show up, like St. Therese of Liseux, St. John de Brebeuf, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. John of the Cross, St. Gianna Molla, and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). There are souls in purgatory, two young children from heaven, and even a Screwtape devil. Sometimes these characters even know participants by name, which enhances the personal experience, and provides an extra surprise.
I'm not into haunted houses but this? This I would do in a heartbeat.

This is in Maryland so if you're near there give it a try. Read more at Bringing Back the Dead ... Catholic Style.

Worth a Thousand Words: Souvenirs

Souvenirs by Karin Jurick

In which we encounter deserted mansions, flying bullets, dancing, and arms about each other.

Chapter 5 of Oh, Murderer Mine by Norbert Davis is ready for your listening pleasure at Forgotten Classics!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: For president, Abram Lincoln

For president, Abram Lincoln. For vice president, Hannibal Hamlin
via Library of Congress
Print shows a large campaign banner for Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and running mate Hannibal Hamlin. Lincoln's first name is given here as "Abram." The banner consists of a thirty-three star American flag pattern printed on cloth. In the corner a bust portrait of Lincoln, encircled by stars, appears on a blue field.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: The Green Parasol

Guy Rose, The Green Parasol, c. 1909-1911
via Arts Everyday Living

Lagniappe: Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings, where huge stone gods loomed above. Dust shifted in a strange downpour of tears from their eyes, tears made of sand and powdered rock.

The boys leaned into the shadows. Like a dry river bottom, the corridors led down to deep vaults where lay the linen-wrapped dead. Dust fountains echoed and played in strange courtyards a mile below. The boys ached, listening. The tombs breathed out a sick exhalation of paprika, cinnamon, and powdered camel dung. Somewhere, a mummy dreamed, coughed in its sleep, unraveled a bandage, twitched its dusty tongue and turned over for another thousand-year snooze ...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Genesis Notes: Symbolism in Noah's Story

GENESIS 6-8
In that glorious way that Scripture has, the story of Noah and the flood work on more than one level. There are worlds of symbolism therein as the early Church Fathers found. Genesis: God and His Creation elucidates for us.

Noah's Ark, Tecamachalco Church in Puebla, Mexico
via SMU

THE ARK AS THE CHURCH
The Fathers of the Early Church saw the ark as a figure of the Church. "God ordered Noah to build an ark in which he and his family would escape from the devastation of the flood. Undoubtedly the ark is a symbol of the City of God on pilgrimage in this world; that is, a symbol of the Church which was saved by the wood on which there hung the Mediator between God and men-Christ Jesus, Himself a man. Even the measurements of length, height, and breadth of the ark are a symbol of the human body in which He came ... The door open in the side of the ark surely symbolizes the open wound made by the lance in the side of the Crucified-the door by which those who come to him enter in the sense that believers enter the Church by means of the sacraments which issued from that wound." (St. Augustine, De civitate Dei, 15, 26; quoted in The Navarre Bible: Pentateuch, Princeton, NJ: Scepter Publishers, 1999; pg. 70)
THE NUMBER SEVEN AS REMINDER OF GOD'S COVENANT
The number seven should remind us of the hallowing of the seventh day of the first creation, which became a sign of the covenant God made with all creation. We are to comprehend that God is undertaking a re-creation of the earth and even of man himself, in a sense. He wants to renew the covenant. We should not mistake this for just another attempt to get things right. Rather, we are to absorb from all the details that evoke the creation that it is God Who desires to free man from his problems. God's unrelenting initiative in seeking to restore man to his original destiny is unequivocal proof of His love for us. The enormity of God's persistent love should rise up above all the details of man's early history as the sun rises in the morning sky. We dare not interpret any of it apart from the illumination of that bright light. Behind, above, beneath, before, and throughout everything is the glorious love of God for mere mortals. "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Thy Name in all the earth!" (Ps. 8:9)
MOVING OVER THE FACE OF THE WATERS AS RE-CREATION
"In the beginning," the earth was without form and void, and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2). To read in Genesis 8:7 that "the wind" of God, which is His breath, the Holy Spirit, is blowing over the earth helps us to recognize the beginning of the re-creation. The repetitive use of language from the original creation story teaches us that God's original plan for the universe and for man was a perfect plan. That is why the re-creation scenes in Scripture, wherever they appear, always use language from the original one. God doesn't keep trying out new ideas until something works. He is determined to make His original plan work, no matter what rises up to derail it. No fault can be found with the plan. Human history will reveal where the problem lies.
THE DOVE AS THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Church helps us to see the Holy Spirit as the dove that looks for habitable ground. In the days of Noah, it was dry earth that the dove sought and finally found. The appearance of the dove with the olive branch was a sign that a new life for man on the earth was about to begin. At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descending on Him in the form of a dove is a powerful sign that finally the soil of the human soul will be fit for the presence of God's Spirit once again. Is there any thought more beautiful than this?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Well Said: The Church is something alive ...

The Church is something alive, a force at work; but many pious people seem to believe, or pretend to believe, that she is simply a shelter, a place of refuge, a sort of spiritual hotel by the roadside from which they can have the pleasure of watching the passers-by.
Georges Bernanos
via Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South
by Ralph C. Wood

Worth a Thousand Words: Ceiling Fresco by Salvador Dali

Ceiling Frescoes by Salvador Dali at Palace of the Wind, Dali Museum
taken by Barcelona Photoblog
I love the way that Dali gives us unique perspectives that turn us upside-down.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Vanity

Vanity, 1907, Frank Cowper

Lagniappe: Distressed Jeans

She wore the kind of distressed jeans they distress by rubbing money on them and a T-shirt that said HELLO, RUST BELT! in what looked like real rust and probably cost #300.
Timothy Hallinan, Crashed

Blogging Around: "Never Give Up, Never Surrender" Edition

Clinton's Campaign Team and a "Catholic Spring"

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.” – Sandy Newman, president and founder of the Voices for Progress, in an email to John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign for President.

In response, Podesta — a Catholic — tells Newman that structures have been put in place to work toward that end. A headline in the Washington Post would suggest that the line of thinking in these Wikileaks-obtained emails was mere joking, but the conversational back-and-forth appears to be in dead earnest.

It also seems shockingly ignorant.
If you haven't heard of the email leaks about a disturbing exchange which shows an ignorance of Clinton campaign heads about both Catholicism and religious faith in general, you can read basics at The Washington Post. It also shows a sophomoric sense of humor. However.

For a thoughtful analysis and response, read Scalia's piece.

Interfaith Group Asks US Government to Reject Report that Stigmatizes Religious Americans

A letter to Barak Obama, Orrin Hatch and Paul Ryan was sent by a widely diverse group of religious leaders representing Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, the Church of Latter Day Saints, the African Methodist Church, Evangelicals, Krishna Consciousness, and many more. They were responding to troubling statements in a report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
The Commission asserts in its Findings that religious organizations “use the pretext of religious doctrines to discriminate.”

What we find even more disturbing is that, in a statement included in the report, Commission Chairman Martin Castro writes:
“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
Read the whole letter. This is important.

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.

It's been a troubling last few days with a couple of stories about targeting Catholicism and freedom of religion. Luckily, this Sunday's readings are perfect for the situation. They're all geared to encourage and remind us to pray (while we do all we can) and to trust God.

In fact, it includes one of my favorite parables, about the judge who delivered a just decision because he was afraid the widow would "poke him in the eye" (specific translation from the Greek which is often toned down in different translations). Makes me laugh and recall that we often forget Jesus' sense of humor.

I was greatly inspired and encouraged after hearing commentary from two different sources.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Well Said: Five Peas

There were five peas in one shell: they were green and the pod was green, and so they thought all the world was green; and that was just as it should be.
Hans Christian Anderson, Five Peas From a Pod
Who knew? Hans Christian Anderson foresaw social media.

Tacos of Tomatillo Chicken with Wilted Greens and Fresh Cheese

It's what was for dinner a couple of nights ago. Delicious! Recipe is at Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen.

Worth a Thousand Words: Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon

Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon, Anders Zorn, 1897

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Una Muchacha

Tom Roberts, Una Muchacha, 1883
via Wikipedia

Well Said: Who is the most holy?

It is not those who commit the least faults who are most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love, who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves, and are not immoderately apprehensive of tripping.
Francis de Sales

Genesis Notes: Noah and the Flood

GENESIS 6-8
The last study looked at how the people cleansed in the flood had a clear choice between right and wrong. This brings us to the other question my girls asked when little, "What about the poor animals? It isn't fair to them." True enough and a question that always tugged at my heart strings also. When I read why the animals had to be included the light bulb really went on. This explanation ties in with things I've read in other sources (notably Peter Kreeft's work) which talks about the universe being created for man.

Noah's Ark (1846), Edward Hicks.
For animals to be included in the cleansing of the earth suggests the inseparable relationship between man and the rest of creation. The dominion God had given him has real meaning - when man goes down, so does all the rest of the earth. This helps us to see clearly how all the elements of creation led up to the creation of man. He was not just one player among many. Without man, the rest has no meaning. (Genesis: God and His Creation)
The other question that comes up every time in this classic tale is just how the animals were collected in the first place.
Many have wondered how this animal kingdom roundup happened. Did Noah and his sons spend years collecting all the animals? In reality the creation, along with Noah, was doing just as God had commanded. There seemed to be no problem gathering the animals. God took care of the details of that job while Noah was doing his part by building the ark. Often we do just the opposite of Noah. We worry about details over which we have no control, while neglecting specific areas (such as attitudes, relationships, responsibilities) that are under our control. Like Noah, concentrate on what God has given you to do and leave the rest to God. (Life Application Study Bible)
I also liked reading this description of the size of the ship, which boggles the mind. It's bad enough to build a regular boat with no visible hope of water to float it but what God asked Noah to do seemed preposterous if you didn't have faith.
... Picture yourself building a boat the length of one and a half football fields and as high as a four-story building. The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide -- the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders. This huge boat was probably built miles from any body of water by only a few faithful men who believed God's promises and obeyed his commands. (Life Application Study Bible)
This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Ornamental Typography

Via BibliOdyssey

Lagniappe: Faithful even in their infidelity

... according to the characteristic modesty of a Frenchman, Albert had quitted Paris with the full conviction that he had only to show himself in Italy to carry all before him, and that upon his return he should astonish the Parisian world with the recital of his numerous love-affairs. Alas, poor Albert! none of those interesting adventures fell in his way; the lovely Genoese, Florentines, and Neapolitans were all faithful, if not to their husbands, at least to their lovers, and thought not of changing even for the splendid appearance of Albert de Morcerf; and all he gained was the painful conviction that the ladies of Italy have this advantage over those of France, that they are faithful even in their infidelity.
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
I'd forgotten that Dumas has a sly humor like this. He made me laugh twice in this brief bit.

A Movie You Might Have Missed #59: Chuck Norris vs. Communism

A documentary about the magic of film and the power it has to change lives.

Chuck Norris vs. Communism

As good as its name and you've got to admit it — that name is pretty darned good.

I had no idea that bootleg, dubbed video tapes were ever available in communist Romania. Certainly I didn't realize they were a widespread source of information about the West and inspiration for how life could be.

That's the subject of this documentary which is a well told tribute to the power of story as well as a previously untold chapter of the fight against communism.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

In which we fix Carstairs breakfast. And find out more about Heloise and Handsome Lover Boy.


Chapter 3 of Oh, Murderer Mine at Forgotten Classics podcast.

Rated G for sassy girl teachers, Handsome Lover Boys, gigantic Great Danes, and deceptively pudgy detectives.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Europa, Discover Life Under the Ice

Europa
via my husband who recalled Will Duquette featuring these on Facebook
From NASA/JPL Visions of the Future, a wonderful series of "what if" travel posters.
Astonishing geology and the potential to host the conditions for simple life make Jupiter's moon Europa a fascinating destination for future exploration. Beneath its icy surface, Europa is believed to conceal a global ocean of salty liquid water twice the volume of Earth's oceans. Tugging and flexing from Jupiter's gravity generates enough heat to keep the ocean from freezing. On Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. What will NASA's Europa mission find when it heads for this intriguing moon in the 2020s.

Well Said: None of the virtues are simple.

"Dealing with him was distasteful," she said. "He was similar to some of our donors. Outwardly quite charming, but I don't value charm. There are other qualities I value, such as perseverance and honesty." My face must have change. She smiled again. "You have a right to disbelieve that, after what you've heard, but honesty is a complicated virtues."

"I always thought it was one of the simpler ones."

"None of the virtues are simple," Margaret O'Connor told me. "Only the sins."
S.J. Rozan, Concourse

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lagniappe: Still like that.

"Lydia. You're still like that, huh?" He shook his head, smiling. "You're still like that."

I wasn't completely sure what it was I was still like, but I knew I was still like that.
S.J. Rozan, China Trade

Two Mysteries by S.J. Rozan

China Trade 

(Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #1)
by S.J. Rozan

Lydia Chin is an ABC (American Born Chinese) living in New York's Chinatown with her mother. She's also a private investigator and we follow her on a case tracking down stolen porcelain from a small, private Chinese museum. Thus we get first-person insight into life in Chinatown, Chinese gangs, Chinese mothers (and brothers) and many other details of daily life in this unique environment.

Lydia often partners with Bill Smith who provides both brains and muscle to complement Lydia's own particular skills. The partnership contrasts work well both for mystery solving and as a story telling device.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and was interested to see that the next book is one of Bill Smith's cases, told from his point of view. So I dove right in.


Concourse

(Bill Smith & Lydia Chin, #2)
by S.J. Rozan

I now understand why people say that the first book about Lydia Chin and Bill Smith was good but this one blew their socks off. Yes. It is a powerfully written book, from Bill Smith's point of view this time, and one that somehow has a different feel and style. The mystery is similarly labyrinthine, it is filled with interesting characters (some we loathe and some we love), and it held my interest the entire way through.

When Bobby Moran's son is killed working in his security firm, Bobby hires Bill Smith to investigate. Bobby was Bill's mentor and Bill knew the victim growing up so this one's personal. The murder was during a run-of-the-mill assignment at an elegant retirement home that is in the middle of a badly deteriorated neighborhood. With Lydia Chin working backup, Bill wades through the clues while additional murders pile up.

Interestingly, we get a nuanced look at urban blight which ranges from the victims to the exploiters to the non-profits trying to help. Not what I expected from investigating a murder in a senior community, but it was really well done.

Prayers for Family in Hurricane's Path

My mother, sister and BIL (haha, his name is Bill too) are in Melbourne, Florida, in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

They're hunkering down at Mom's place and hopefully will have the cheerful hurricane party experience that my husband recalls from his Houstonian childhood experiences.

Please keep them in your prayers.

As well as all of those in the storm's path, like Bridget!

St. Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, pray for them!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lagniappe: Trembling Inside

Mike's widow, to whom I'd said a few clumsy words, sat by the coffin. She was quiet, but she seemed to be trembling inside, like a teardrop.
S.J. Rozen, Concourse

Worth a Thousand Words: The Avenue

Claude Monet, The Avenue, 1878
via Arts Everyday Living

Genesis Notes: Left Behind

GENESIS 6-8
Now Genesis brings us to a character who even the smallest child is familiar with, Noah and his ark of animals. When the girls were little and we would read picture books of this story they always were saddened by the animals and people left behind. Truth to tell, I was saddened by those pictures too. I never had a good reason as to why they got left behind. That's because I hadn't yet looked below the surface of Genesis. Get ready to look into Romans for some help with this subject in a way that relates directly to life today.


Noah mosaic

When you read the account of the Flood, realizing that everyone except Noah's family died because of God's judgment, did you ever have a twinge of wondering if that was fair? After all, if some human civilizations developed away from the covenant-keepers, thus becoming intensely evil, perhaps we want to say that they didn't know any better. Maybe we think they never really had a chance to live their lives the way Noah did.

St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans (1:19-25), helps us to understand better just exactly what was going on among men whose lives were given over to wickedness ...

Here we see that St. Paul says that anyone who lives on the planet Earth, whether he lives among covenant keeping people or not, knows enough about God to live in the right way. Why? Because God has revealed Himself in His works. Looking around at the world in which he lives, a man is capable of recognizing that (1) there is a God (2) He is powerful (3) He deserves to be honored and thanked (Rom. 1:20-21). When a man chooses not to act on what he knows to be true, he suppresses the truth. It isn't that he has been deprived of it-he simply refuses to live by it.

When that happens, things go downhill fast, as St. Paul tells us (Romans 1:28-32) ... This is a description of what happened in the early history of man and what continues to happen when men, like Cain, know what is right to do but refuse to do it. When that happens, the most merciful thing God can do is to punish man. It is often only when men are faced with suffering and death that their autonomy crumbles to ash, and they are willing to cry out to God, Whom they are finally ready to acknowledge as the only One who can help...

The people swept away in the Flood were not necessarily eternally lost. Their death was a temporal punishment until Christ preached to them the message of redemption they needed to hear. Those who were merely ignorant surely responded with great joy. But those who, like Cain, had hardened their hearts through sin, might well have had the same reaction to Christ as Cain had to God — "Thanks, but no thanks." We should never worry about the justice and fairness of God (see CCC 632-635).

When they get to why the animals had to be included the light bulb really went on. This explanation ties in with things I've read in other sources (notably Peter Kreeft's work) which talks about the universe being created for man.
For animals to be included in the cleansing of the earth suggests the inseparable relationship between man and the rest of creation. The dominion God had given him has real meaning — when man goes down, so does all the rest of the earth. This helps us to see clearly how all the elements of creation led up to the creation of man. He was not just one player among many. Without man, the rest has no meaning.

The other question that comes up every time in this classic tale is just how the animals were collected in the first place.
Many have wondered how this animal kingdom roundup happened. Did Noah and his sons spend years collecting all the animals? In reality the creation, along with Noah, was doing just as God had commanded. There seemed to be no problem gathering the animals. God took care of the details of that job while Noah was doing his part by building the ark. Often we do just the opposite of Noah. We worry about details over which we have no control, while neglecting specific areas (such as attitudes, relationships, responsibilities) that are under our control. Like Noah, concentrate on what God has given you to do and leave the rest to God.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Movie You Might Have Missed #58: The Search for General Tso

Who was General Tso, and why are we eating his chicken?

The Search for General Tso

This feature documentary explores the origins and ubiquity of Chinese-American food through the story of an iconic sweet and spicy chicken dish.

Incredibly enjoyable. I knew a lot about Chinese food in America already and this still held my attention. When they did the profile on Springfield, Missouri's Chinese specialty of Cashew Chicken I knew these people had done their research. I spent many formative years in Springfield and you just weren't living if you hadn't had some Cashew Chicken recently.

It is just as described, delightfully insightful, bringing out all the important elements without dwelling on any of them so long that the story gets bogged down.

Worth a Thousand Words: Le Journal des ventes

Le Journal des ventes, Georges de Feure

Lagniappe: A dozen scientists and engineers

Confine a dozen scientists and engineers to a seemingly endless desert of hard-packed sand with no recreational diversions and, inevitably, they will design and build a golf course.
P.J. Tracy, The Sixth Idea

Julie plans to use the flu ... Scott heads to Pomeroy's ...


Julie plans to use the flu to her utmost advantage, as it is a disease with endless possibilities. Scott, his wig and gown a complete disgrace, heads down to Pomeroy's for some plonk.

Episode 143. Rumpole. Of the Bailey. A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.