Easter Observations

A few items of note, brought about by an Easter weekend spent with The Fam:
I believe that there is a Federally-mandated scent that all church restrooms’ hand soaps must contain. It appears to be unique to church bathrooms, as I have yet to smell an analog in any other public dispenser.
Handel apparently wrote “Messiah”‘s bass line in the key of “Doug”, as I was able to perform my annual belting-out this morning with aplomb.
My wife’s birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year – it became apparent to me that this stinks almost as much as having your birthday fall on Christmas Day and certainly more so than having a birthday around Christmas.
It’s a bit of a cliche at this point, but we as Christians expend far too much energy on Christmas and too little on the truly important holiday, Easter.

Well, There Goes My Support For Giuliani

I have been wrestling with whether I could support Rudy Giuliani in the upcoming GOP Presidential primaries and had decided that I could most likely hold my nose and vote for him based upon his Basically Right stances on most issues, but then he had to go and restate his 1989 position that abortion is a Constitutional right and should be publicly funded in an interview with CNN. Reprehensible, absolutely reprehensible.
C’mon, Admiral Painter – run!

A Regular Stand-Up Kinda Goy

Over the course of a Seder dinner, an event filled with history, solemnity and a good deal of tradition, have you ever inadvertently:

  1. Almost choked to death on a sip of grape juice?
  2. Brought your 18 month old son to tears with a bite of matzoh and horseradish?
  3. Poured piping-hot matzoh ball soup down your wife’s back while trying to avoid pouring another bowl down her front?

No? Why do I ask? Well, you see, I have this friend who just happened to…
Umm, well, y’see, it’s like this: I tried to, I mean, he tried to…
Crap. I’m never going to hear the end of this one.

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

Growing up as the son of a Presbyterian minister had its more interesting moments, I can assure you, but one thing that much of my upbringing lacked was an experience in racially diverse congregations. Presbyterians, not known to be a terribly diverse lot, tend to put the “W” in WASP, in my experience (and lest you griefers complain, I’m going to make like an Ivy League admissions officer and ignore the hundreds of thousands of Korean Presbyterians just so’s I can make a point). We’re mainly Persons of Pallor, so to speak, so it was with quite a bit of mirth that I listened to my father relay the following story to me.
Well, before the story, some backstory/serious caveating [if it’s not a word, I just made it one. -ed.]: I enjoy my father’s sermons greatly. I believe that he’s an excellent speaker and, as a child, constantly wondered why those other slackers all had Sunday morning radio shows while my father’s genius reached “only” the people in his congregation. A bit of filial piety, perhaps, but I still believe him to be an excellent preacher. He’s also a very structured one; his sermon “cheat sheets” are nigh-legendary, as they lay out the sermon in its thematic high points and 3 to 5 central tenets, all augmented with conveniently-placed fill-in-the-blanks so that those wishing to do so may follow along in aural and written form. He usually develops a word or phrase that captures the essence of his message and then repeats it at strategic points throughout the sermon, just to make sure that everyone gets the point, I suppose.
Back to the story.
My father recently developed a sermon that he was fairly excited about and one in which he sought to invoke the energy and excitement that is present in so many African American churches by laying claim to one of the stereotypical sayings that abound within the halls of black churches (if movies and TV are to be believed). And so he preached an entire sermon entitled “Can I Have A Witness!” He held forth at length on this point, repeating it each time it was called for in order to draw people in further. He finished the service on an emotional high, then walked down the church aisle after giving the benediction and stood at the rear of the church to shake hands and greet the departing parishioners in his typical fashion.
He was soon approached by an elderly white woman who praised his sermon thusly (and I’m paraphrasing): “Lovely sermon, Pastor, but, and I could be mistaken, isn’t it ‘Can I Get A Witness’?” My father said he just about died of embarassment on the spot, although he was quickly able to recover and have a good laugh about it.
I hear he may follow it up with a very special sermon entitled “Might I Perchance Trouble You For An Amen?”

Someone’s Getting A Fatwa For Christmas

Imagine my total non-surprise to find out that the man behind Dashboard Mohammed, a bobblheaded version of the now-infamous “bomb turban Mohammed” Danish cartoon, is a former United States Marine (Note to the NY Daily News: There is no such thing as an “ex-“Marine, unless they’ve been disgraced. They’re all “former” Marines.). Guy’s gotta have quite a set of, umm, guts on him to go out on a limb like that.
Be sure to snatch one up for every stocking you plan on stuffing this Christmas. *grin*

A “Gideon” Experience

I can’t speak in detail about it, but yesterday offered me some clarity and insight into current goings-on in my life. I completely whiffed on an important step in pursuit of an opportunity about which I already had a great deal of ambivalence and so, like Gideon in Judges 7, it’s all on God now. I’m down to 300 men against 30,000 Midianites, thus I know that if “victory” is to be delivered to me, it’s God’s and God’s alone. It’s actually rather liberating because, should the experience result in a “yea”, I know I’ll have to take it but if it’s a “nay”, then I’ll know that it was never meant to be. Absent yesterday’s experience, this wouldn’t be the case – I could conceivably have credited myself with the “victory” and thus remained unsure of God’s actual plan.
I should know more inside of a week.