Saturday, July 26, 2008

How would you interpret this cartoon?

I saw this in the newspaper a few days ago and it caught my attention. Is this a commentary on the Internet and the wide variety of truth and fiction found there?

At the Knoxville Zoo -- July 19, 2008

A week ago today a bunch of the Hight-Bane family got together at the Knoxville, TN, zoological park. It had been a long time since we had all been in one place at one time, so some Friday evening visiting and a warm Saturday at the zoo were a welcome family gathering.

Below is the group (except me, the photog) that gathered for the zoo tour. That's Ashlee at the left of the wagon, Emma sitting in it, and Kelcee half hidden by Nicholas, who's standing in front of it, with Steven crouching to the right of it. Emma is granddaughter of Kathy's brother, Charles, who is at the right of the group.

Mike and I had a mutual problem: Michelle didn't like our hats! Melinda bought mine at St. Maartens when she was on a cruise in the spring. I think they looked pretty good, and they did a nice job of shading our faces.

Kathy and her mom.

Our grandson Nicholas was running back and forth from Kathy and me to Mike and Kim. Melinda caught him here ready to take off again.

Some bears or other (Barney? What do I know?) were at the zoo that day. Ashlee, Emma, Steven, and Kelcee posed for a picture. Nicholas had other interests. Bears didn't seem to catch his attention.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some Judges are Good

A judge in Tacoma, Washington, responded to a 465-page lawsuit that had been filed in his court. Citing a rule that requires a "short and plain statement" of allegations, the judge penned the following limerick:

Plaintiff has a great deal to say,
But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a).
His complaint is too long,
Which renders it wrong.
Please rewrite and refile today.

From the Indianapolis Star, 7/8/08, p. 2

Sunday, July 06, 2008

SIMO & Trenton, NJ

It's great to be home after more than two weeks away. I departed from Bedford on the afternoon of Father's Day, spending the night at West Broad Street Mission in Columbus, OH. The next day I drove on Penn View Bible Institute, where the Summer Institute for Missionary Orientation would be held through June 27.

In addition to classes and discussions about such missionary concepts as culture shock, cross-cultural communication, cross-cultural ethics, and a host of others, we also made some outside trips. One was on the first Wednesday evening, when we visited a Ukrainian church for their prayer meeting. Another was on Sunday morning, when we attended a black church and heard a good message.

On Sunday afternoon, for a major cross-cultural experience, we went to a Hindu temple.

Hindus have a total of some 330 million gods to choose from. At this particular location they worship one at a stage in his life when he was 11 years, 3 months, and 54 days old (if I remember their numbers correctly). Their worship takes place six times a day. While special music is played, audience members listen to the music, observe the acts on stage, and perhaps bow and pray, as the priests on the stage (depending on the time of day) awaken the god and dress him for the day, feed him, take him for a walk, etc. On this particular day they had a pool of water where they would place the god in a boat and a priest would push the boat around the shallow pool as they took the god for an afternoon boat ride. (No photos when these things are taking place; i.e. during the worship times.) Here's the stage with the pool:

Here are the musicians and singers.
The keyboard (right) has a bellows behind it, so the musician pumps the bellows with his left hand and plays the keyboard with his right. The man in the center sings and plays a set of small cymbals. One or two others, such as the man at the left, play drums. There were actually four musicians during the darshan (worship time), but one drummer left before I could take the picture.

Lest you think that SIMO is all study and learning, we did visit Amy's Frosty Freeze twice to get generous portions of good ice cream. Going to Amy's at least once is on the SIMO schedule, but we generally get there at least twice, and sometimes thrice. Great for the spirit, not so great for the waistline.

It's obvious from this picture that Leroy and Myrtle Adams have learned to share during their 50-year marriage. They had just celebrated their golden anniversary the weekend before SIMO.

Brother Adams and I agreed on a day to appear in Egyptian garb during the class sessions. Part of the international flavor of SIMO was the host of national flags that were flying over the parking lot and the fact that we had a "webinar" session about Hispanic ministry challenges en America even as we wore the Egyptian clothing.

There was even a little time to play! I'm helping distract Daniel DeLong while his parents, Stephen and Yvonne, missionaries with ICHA (International Conservative Holiness Association) in Honduras, are taking notes -- on the class, not on child entertainment!

Following SIMO, I met Kathy at the Philadelphia airport and she went with me to Trenton, NJ, for the weekend. We enjoyed four services with the Guatemalan congregation, had a formal and a couple informal business sessions, and were excited about their plans to reach out to Stamford, CT, to try to start another church among Guatemalans living there. More on this later.

We arrived home on Tuesday evening, July 1, and it's been a race ever since. I think I'm about caught up, though, and getting this blog post done is a certain kind of evidence that there's light at the end of the tunnel!

P.S. -- I've tried to get the font to be the same size throughout the post, but for some reason the commands don't want to obey. I guess they think they're the bosses and not the servants.