Jesus loves me, this I know...

Hindsight 2020

What appears to us at first useless or injurious, contributes in the end to our felicity. And often when we believe God ceases to act for us, it is then that He is forming plans which are hidden from us; and which in being developed, work our deliverance from this or that adversity; and procure us such blessings as we could not have dared to hope for.

–Christopher Christian Sturm, Sturm’s Reflections on the Works of God, 1834

I read this passage for the first time on January 11, 2014. I read it that day and it inspired hope; Lord, may this be true of the difficult season I am going through?

I’ve returned to re-read this same passage every January 11th since. Six years on, I say without a doubt: It’s true! Marvelously true! I recognize it more clearly every year, looking back. God is so good! And I am grateful!

All the stuff what I like.

Irony

I am studying Psalm 27, reading Spurgeon’s commentary with my WhatDaFunk playlist rockin’ in the background—James Brown at the moment.  

He’s singing ‘Shake your moneymaker.’ I realize I’m bobbing my head to the beat. Shaking my head. My moneymaker. I mean, it’s not making me much money, but have you seen my ass? That ain’t gonna make it rain. 

So here I am, shaking my moneymaker. 

All the stuff what I like.

Purple

I arrived at that point, the time when you realize life is too short to sleep any longer on a lousy mattress. I’ll spare you our history of mattresses, other than to tell you we began our marriage thirty-plus years ago with a top-of-the-line, full-motion waterbed from WaterBed City! Bon voyage, newlyweds! 

Arrival at that point comes with a price tag. And sticker shock! When did buying a mattress become like buying a car?

We tried them all. Landed on a mattress called Purple. We like Purple.

Side note: Grabbed myself a new Serta Copper pillow to go along with our new Purple mattress. Copper and Purple go surprisingly well together, methinks.

 

Did'ya blow?

They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our …

A real conversation, in a local pub, not long ago…

Q: My friend asked, “What would you do?”

A: “I’d start by punching that pastor in the mouth!”

But first, a childhood recollection—

Larry’s dad was a jazz drummer. He had a day job. But every weekend he was off gigging somewhere. One of his drum kits was set up in the house. Going over to play at Larry’s was a lot of fun. And loud. 

That’s not the way his dad played, though. Every now and again the old man would come in, sit down at the kit and show us his skills. He was all jazz, smooth and with delicate touch. I was like, ‘Isn’t the point of drumming … percussion? Feeling it? Like thunder? But Larry’s dad was gentle. And damn talented. Larry wasn’t bad, either. He could play along to Harry Chapin and Jim Croce records. 

“Have you ever seen The Jazz Singer?” Larry asked me once. “Al Jolson?” 

He told the story—a young Jewish musician was disowned by his traditional Jewish family for wanting to be a jazz singer. “It was something like that for my dad,” he said. “My grandfather expected Dad to be a Cantor. Dad did that for a while. Until my grandfather learned he was sneaking out to play in jazz clubs with other jazz musicians.” 

He explained that his grandfather was very devout in his religion; his religion taught you should turn your back on apostates. Cut and dry. 

Larry had living grandparents, at least as far as he knew. And I guess that’s the point—he didn’t know. Larry’s dad’s music came at a tremendous cost; his family of origin had written him out. 

Fast forward forty years. I’m having a beer with a friend. His daughter just came out to him. He went to see his pastor. The pastor advised my friend to “draw a hard line in the sand,” to disown his daughter … “until such a time as she repents, of course.”

My friend asked, “What would you do?”

“I’d start by punching that pastor in the mouth!”