- (esp. John 12: 1-8)
- If any of you have ever seen the movie Brian's Song, you should remember the name of Kermit Alexander. He was a cornerback on the San Francisco 49ers football team when, on November 10, 1968 at a game against the Chicago Bears, he went airborne to make a tackle on a lead guard. But the guard went to the ground to avoid the hit leaving Kermit flying straight into Gale Sayers' right knee. The hit ended Sayers' career.
- It is a dramatic scene out of America's mythical past - a Western scene of cowboys, saloons, and gunslingers; a scene of wide-open spaces conquered by fierce individualists, liquor, and true grit. I speak of the scenes in the award-winning movie, Unforgiven, starring Clint Eastwood as Bill Munny, who was "a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition." However, he married, and it is his gentle wife who bears him two children and leads him into a settled and reformed, if impoverished, life where he hangs up his six guns to raise pigs.
His wife's untimely death from small pox crippled him on his road to recovery from his addiction to violence. And so does the arrival of a young gunslinger, the Schofield Kid.
- ("Equus hemionus kulan" - probably you know it as the Onager. Last week a crossword puzzle addict in Britain was really stumped as he tried to complete his puzzle. Although he'd worked these puzzles for most of his life, the name of this animal had escaped him. Finally this fan aged 89 used an internet search to solve a clue about the donkey...")
- (includes several quotes)
- ["Those of us who live in the United States have no experience with royalty or with 'kingdoms' ruled by kings or queens. We have no royal family, so we have to invent our royalty. We had the 'King of Rock'n'Roll,' Elvis Presley. We had the 'King of Pop', Michael Jackson. We had a 'King of Soul', James Brown..."]
- ("You've heard about Irish Alzheimers? It's where you forget everything except the grudges. While in no way making light of the plight of Alzheimers sufferers and their families, the joke does have a pithy truth. Despite everything, we do tend to hold on to negative things emotionally...")
- ("I remember being a little boy getting ready for a long trip with my mom and dad. Mom packed the luggage, dad put it in the car and he looked at the map and drove. ME? I didnât hold the steering wheel, or plan the route. I bought bubble gum. Remember BAZOOKA bubble gum? Me? I wanted to get on the road...")
- "Tillie thought she was known throughout rural Frasier Falls as a bitter old lady. She lived in a big white house that had once been the town's pillared three-story savings and loan. She lived alone and she said she liked it that way. Each weekday afternoon she got her exercise walking back and forth from one window to the other along the front of her big house..." and another illustration
- ("The best church leader I have ever known is not a priest, or a nun, or any kind of 'professional' religious. He is a lay leader and he works in a Church community in a little village in the Amazon, many thousands of miles way from here. He is a truly holy man, exemplary in his personal life. He works hard as the village school-master to provide for his family...")
- ("listen to the way Clarence Jordan paraphrased the it in his southern Cotton Patch version of Luke: 'A certain church member invited him home for dinner. He accepted and went into the church member’s house and sat down. Then a shady lady of the town, who had heard that Jesus was being entertained at the church member’s home, bought a bottle of high-priced perfume...")
- "Every Monday evening at our church we have an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. There is one old fellow I’ll call Bert. Bert is close to 80. He is a gentle man who is the father figure of that AA group. He cares deeply about everyone who attends and since I am around, his care flows over to me..."
- ("Year's ago, my wife's father, a famous preacher and religious leader, came back from a trip to Japan with a new appreciation for the grace of God expressed by the Japanese word, Shabui, which means 'understated elegance...")
- ("When our son turned four it was like a switch flipped in his brain. He suddenly had a brand new rule to follow. If mommy says 'yes,' you have to say 'no'. If daddy says 'don't do it', you have to do it. It's the rebellion rule, and anyone who's ever raised a four-year-old has suffered through it...")
- ("The story is told, how, before he gave a speech, Mr. Reagan would always drink a glass of hot water. Not cold, not warm, but hot water -- so hot that his aides had to wrap the glass in a cloth napkin. Everyone wondered about this odd ritual, until finally someone asked the President why he drank a glass of hot water before he gave a speech...")
- ("It's nice a you to stop by. I been up at the cemetery puttin' flowers on my daddy's grave. Cemetery sure looks nice; last spring they caught some old boys from over to Tipton pushing over the gravestones. When the case went to court, Judge Jeffers give 'em a choice: 30 days at the County farm or fix up the cemetery...")
- ("Let's listen to the words of a young woman in her twenties; she's from Oklahoma. 'My daddy has been the head deacon at Wetumka Redeemed People of God ever since 1987, the year old man Taylor passed on. When he was lyinâ up there in the hospital at Oklahoma City, Brother Taylor kept askinâ for Daddy...")