YES, I AM still here at my window on Main Street, and I want to tell you about a remarkable program I saw on satellite TV last weekend.
I watched a lot of TV because I was at daughter’s house trying to be of help while she recovered from a visit to the doctor’s office and hospital which required her to lay flat on her back and not move for 24 hours. Something to do with sticking a needle into her spine. But enough of that. I can’t talk about it — it gives me the shivvers.
So, while she slept and recovered I went into another room and surfed the channels looking for something interesting to watch.
I found JBS. Jewish Broadcasting Service. They had a 2-part panel discussion. The topic was “Noah’s Flood & Climate Change.”
The panelists for the Noah half of the program were all clergymen: (1) a Jewish rabbi who immigrated here from Buenos Aires, Argentina; a Catholic priest who was a retired college president; and an Imam who was Muslim chaplain (teacher and leader) on a Christian college campus.
They talked about the story of Noah in each of their religion’s ancient tradition. They also mentioned a couple of very similar stories in the ancient history of cultures outside of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
It is almost shocking how many stories we share within the traditions of our religious cousins. The panelists respectfully explored the meaning of the Noah story, and whether it was literally true or liberally based upon an actual event in the far, far past, or just a tale with a moral.
The world’s three great related religions — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — wouldn’t have so much trouble getting along if not for the extremists in each branch.
I didn’t stick around for the second part of the program — the discussion of climate change — because I had noticed that it was almost time for a repeat showing of a Curse of Oak Island program on another channel. The Oak Island team might come up with a tiny yet incredible piece of the puzzle of the Money Pit. I’ve written about this before.
As I fiddled with the TV remote control I remembered my all-time favorite book, ‘The Source,’ by James A. Michener.
It is a piece of historical fiction about the evolution of religion and the development of civilization from the time of cave-dwellers up to today. Central to the story is how we all got to the belief in one God, owing to fictional communities which developed around a small spring of precious water trickling out of a cave (which is the source, see?).
Michener showed us how much civilizations in the Middle East and each of the three major religions owe to the societies which developed around that small but reliable source of water.
It is my favorite book; a hardbound copy given to me by my late wife after I lost my first copy. I have read it perhaps a half-dozen times, and I am going home tonight to begin reading it again.
I don’t loan the book. That’s what happened to my first copy. But I bet the library could get one for you to check out if you’re interested (and I would like to hear your opinion).
Nowadays, more people are familiar with Michener because they’ve seen ‘Centennial,’ a wonderful TV series about a fictional town in Colorado based upon his book of the same name.
‘Centennial’ and ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ and ‘Sayonara’ and ‘Hawaii’ and other Michener books are great, but they come in just a little ways behind ‘The Source.’ My humble opinion.
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ARTICLE IN southwest Arkansas’s daily newspaper was headlined: ‘Astronaut craves salsa, surf after a record 11 months aloft.’
This U.S. spacewoman, named Christina Koch, landed in Kazakhstan, Russia, after 319 days in space. She’s glad to be ‘home’ and is looking forward to some earthly treats. She mentioned chips and salsa, and swimming and surfing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bad news, Christina, there is no such thing as surf in the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf has lots of great oysters and shrimp and delicious fish, though.
She’s a smart lady — has degrees in electrical engineering and in physics, but she don’t know nothing about surfing.
Gulf waves don’t lift surfers; they gently kiss the sandy shore.
Now, chips and salsa she understands. She said she couldn’t have chips in space because teensy pieces of chips would get loose without gravity and would clog up expensive, vital equipment.
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THE INCREDIBLE and Mostly Unbelievable Adventures of my distant kin, Uncle Parry Normal: Uncle Parry once spent just a little time in the pokey on an Indian reservation because he tried to use some carwash tokens at a toll road in Oklahoma. The problem was that the tokens were traced back to some that were pried from the control box at the only working car wash in Broken Bow.
Unfortunately, there was a crowbar on Uncle Parry’s front seat when the cops looked in the window of his car. He had stopped for a nap on an access road on the Indian Nations Turnpike. Uncle Parry swore that the crowbar wasn’t his; he was just keeping it for a friend.
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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Grunt and Groan. Lots of people associate them with professional wrestling.
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HE SAID: “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil … I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life.” Moses, Hebrew leader
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SHE SAID: “Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” Margaret Mead, anthropologist and author
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby