Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Those in the Grandstand

I still remember the vivid impact that the stained glass windows had on me when I worshipped at the Highland Baptist Church in Louisville for several months. This church found that its old, clear windows were cracked and badly in need of replacement. Before surging ahead with swapping the old for the new, same style, the members had a conversation and decided to put in some coloured glass.

“These windows were installed in 1971-72,” I quote from the web site article, “and are an artistic expression of the church's gospel. The windows, beginning with those closest to the pulpit, follow the spectrum of the rainbow in their colors - red, gold, green, blue and violet: enveloping the worshipers with the colors of the rainbow, reminding the believers that they are the objects of Covenant love.”

“The ten windows around the bottom of the nave take up the theme of Hebrews 12:1, ‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.’ They depict the Apostles and representative saints who have preceded the Church of the present.”

“The gleaming stained-glass windows of Highland Baptist Church remind us that we continue a living tradition beginning with the saints of the Bible. At Highland, too, we are heirs to a strong heritage, from the 27 people who formed the church at a house meeting in 1893 to the hundreds of members today who gather here regularly for worship, study, fellowship and other gospel work.”

“The story of Highland Baptist Church is told in a new book, “The Cloud of Witness,” produced by the History Task Force with text by Peter Smith and photos by Bill Luster, both Highland members and experienced journalists. Copies are $29.95 by contacting Betsy Neill in the church office.”

Each Sunday when I worshipped in that beautiful sanctuary I loved looking first at the central window of the victorious Lord. Then as my eyes slowly swept down the sides of the church there were the greats of the Hebrew story—Rachel and Esther, Samuel and Jeremiah. Further down were some characters from the church soon after its birth—Andrew and Thomas, Dorcas and Lydia. Then providing a sense of connection with the church down through the centuries were Augustine, Hus and Wesley and then the more recent Baptist figures of Hubmaier and Rauschenbusch. Then John Oncken, Lottie Moon and a host of others—sixty men and women of faith.

These images gave me a sense of being surrounded by a great congregation of worshippers who though dead were still speaking and more alive than ever. It is an inspirational truth that puts your life in perspective and urges you on, the same way that athletes are clapped on by those in the grandstand.

Image: One of the stained glass panels—Ruth.

Source: Highland Baptist Church web site

O When The Saints

This season of the year and on 1 November the Christian Church is celebrating All Saints day. Writing on the theme of what has been called ‘the communion of the saints’, F W Boreham tells this story:

“I am irresistibly reminded of that fine entry in Grant Duff's Notes from a Diary. An old priest was trudging home through the deep snow after early Mass in a tiny Irish chapel on the morning of All Saints' Day. A man stopped him to ask, with a suspicion of irony in his voice, how many had attended Mass on such a morning. A twinkle came to the eye of the little priest and his face literally shone. ‘Millions!’ he replied, ‘millions! millions!’”

“He had been celebrating at Mass the fact that we are encompassed about by a countless cloud of witnesses! We do not need to wait for All Saints' Day to enter into the felicity of that uplifting thought. Those whom we have loved and lost awhile are never far away. For them the illusion of distance has been shattered for ever.”

F W Boreham, Boulevards of Paradise (London: The Epworth Press, 1944), 59.

Image: ‘Millions, millions, millions’

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogger Problems

Blogger.Com which hosts this and my other web sites has been having problems of late.

This has been causing everything to go slow, make posting erratic, impossible and often photoless.

Hopefully transmission will be better in the next few days.



Image: Some of the different forms of transport around here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blessing Your Coming and Your Going

It was Al Gore who said: “Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo.”

Edward Abbey must have known much about the ups and downs of travel of all kinds when he penned this Prayer for Travelers:

"May your trails be crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds, May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you --- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls."

Good traveling!

Source: Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

Image: 'where tigers belch...'

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Devil and God in the Detail

There’s an English idiom that says: “The Devil is in the detail.” By this it is meant that sometimes the small things in our plans and schemes and often the things we overlook are the things that can cause serious us problems.

Pope Benedict found this out in his recent well-publicized speech. It was an incidental quotation that caught him off guard when he brought the wrath of the Muslim world down on his head. He tripped on the detail, some example that was not central to his entire address. It was only a mere footnote to his thesis.

But the devil is not always in the detail. The author, Saul Bellow says in his book Ravelstein (p2…I won’t put it in a footnote!), “I have always had a weakness for footnotes. For me a clever or a wicked footnote has redeemed many a text.”

I have just finished Kiran Desai’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Inheritance of Loss. One of the reasons why she is such a colourful and interesting writer is because of her attention to painting the fine detail.

As one of her reviewers [Gary Shteyngart] observes, “If god is in the details, Ms Desai has written a holy book. Page after page, from Harlem to the Himalayas, she captures the terror and exhilaration of being alive in this world.”

Geoff Pound

Image: Kiran Desai.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Grounded in the Local Soil

I was working with people from an organization in Indonesia recently. The coordinator of my visit showed me the logo they have created. It is a colourful picture of a rice plant growing out of the field. He said, “We have it on all our literature to remind our people to serve where they are planted and the importance of doing things that are authentically Indonesian.”

When we hear words such as ‘justice’ and ‘human rights’ it is easy to think of these activities in a vacuum. But they mean nothing unless they are grounded in the soil where we live.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made this statement recently in a similar vein:

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world," she repeated [Eleanor] Roosevelt's words, as if reciting a most beloved piece of scripture. "Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.... Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

Source: Lisa Suhay, ‘Human Rights Begin at Home’, 23 October 2006, CS Monitor.

Image: Rice plant (not the actual logo but close!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Give God Room

On the first night in their new room, my two little sisters, Sharon, 5, and Judy, 4, were afraid to go to sleep. After Mom tucked them into bed together, she assured them several times that they'd be safe."Remember," she finally said, "God is with you." As Mom left, she overheard Sharon say, "Move over, Judy! Let God sleep in the middle."

Source: Marilyn Drappeaux, Lake Andes, South Dakota. Today's Christian, "Kids of the Kingdom."

Image: Shift Over

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Boreham Books Borne Again

Birth of Boreham Books
When F W Boreham’s writing took off internationally he received practical help from others. Although Hodder & Stoughton sent him a rejection slip, Boreham was undaunted and his bundle of essays to C H Kelly, Publishing received a more promising response.

C H Kelly (later to become Epworth Press) said they would publish the proposed volume of essays, on a royalty basis, if FWB himself would place an advance order for 300 copies at half price. “But what would a man do with 300 copies of your own book?” wrote T Howard Crago (Boreham’s biographer). The idea was unthinkable!

Try With A Little Help From My Friends
That night, as Boreham was about to drop his negative reply into the letter box he ran into Robert Morris, a well known bookseller in Hobart. He mentioned to him the contents of the letter in his hand. Mr. Morris saved the situation—and Boreham’s literary future. He would be glad, he said, to take the 300 copies at half price, and was sure that he could arrange with Robertson’s of Melbourne, to take at least 1,000 copies at that figure. So the letter was never posted and four months later The Luggage of Life was being unloaded on hundreds of eager readers and being praised throughout the religious world.

Boreham Revival
Michael Dalton and I are looking at reprinting some of F W Boreham’s books and publishing The Best Stories of F W Boreham. Just as FWB received help from Mr. Morris to launch his career we are asking for financial help to kick start a new edition of Boreham books to reach a new generation of readers.

We are looking for sponsorship for two publishing projects: Lover of Life (formerly The Man Who Saved Gandhi) which deals with the important story of how he was mentored by J J Doke and The Best Stories of F W Boreham. I have recently reread all of Boreham’s books (a Boreham book marathon) and have scanned scores of stories prior to making a final selection. This book will contain the best stories Boreham told and be attractive for new readers and prove we are sure to be a great resource for teachers and preachers.

Gentle Prod
Take this as a gentle prod. If you can make a financial donation follow this link to the F W Boreham on Mentoring site for further information and details about sending your gift.

Geoff Pound

Image: 'A gentle prod'

Taste and See

There’s something new on the supermarket shelves in the UAE. We have recently seen the launch of Camelicious—camel milk—which is available now in UAE supermarkets in 250ml, 500ml, 1 litre and 2 litre containers. They have been working on this project for the last 20 years and have now smoothed out all the humps they had encountered in production, manufacturing and marketing.

We have bought some Camelicious. It is sweeter and sharper than cow’s milk and sometimes it possesses a salty taste.

The marketers are highlighting the nutritional value of camel milk. Apparently it has ten times more iron than cow’s milk and three times the amount of Vitamin C. Experts are saying it is high in antibodies and will help fight diseases like cancer, HIV/Aids, Alzheimer’s and Hepatitis C.

Beauticians have said that applying camel milk to your skin does wonders as it contains some anti-ageing properties. It is a little to expensive to bathe in it but it is something different to put on our cereal.

I am still a little uncertain about this new product. Looking in the mirror the other morning I thought my jowls were drooping. Someone also commented on my deep voice and when I touch my neck I can feel a little bump emerging.

Geoff Pound

Image: Camelicious

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The River Has Its Bend

I usually am stimulated when I read the articles posted on The Baptist Studies Bulletin and I commend this web site to you.

In the recent posting Walter Shurden writes of Peter Randolph who was a Baptist preacher (1825?-1897) in the USA. I will let Shurden tell the story:

“Randolph was a slave for the first twenty-seven years of his life. Having spent his slave years in Prince George County, Virginia, he spent his years of liberation primarily in Boston. After his liberation, he travelled extensively, preaching the gospel and acting on behalf of African Americans.

Unschooled, he learned to read and write basically on his own. He wrote two books. He wrote the first volume in 1855, and he entitled it Sketches of Slave Life. Don’t read it after dinner, because it will sour your supper! One recent reader of Sketches said, “This book impacted me physically.” Another could not hold back tears. Another had trouble even continuing the book. Read it and you will understand these responses. You can read it in less than an hour.

Peter Randolph called his second book From Slave Cabin to the Pulpit: The Autobiography of Rev. Peter Randolph: the Southern Question Illustrated. It was first published in 1893. Read it and you will be struck by this ex-slave’s courage to confront. You will be inspired by his incredible hope and belief in justice. Given that white Baptist Christians in the South overwhelmingly blessed the evil of slavery, their descendents today will probably be amazed at the fact that Randolph stayed within the Christian church generally and the Baptist denomination in particular. (And many of us turn our backs on church with such giant cynicism and for such petulant reasons!) You will be awed by his gratitude for friendship. He had many, many friends…

Maybe the most incredible lines in the autobiography appear in the last chapter: ‘The river has its bend and the longest road must terminate. As I look backward and take a retrospective view of my past toils and sorrows, and the vicissitudes through which I have passed, I FEEL THAT I HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR (p. 131, online edition; caps and bold are mine).’ Thankfully, for us, his gratitude trumped his understandable anger.”

Image: ‘The river has its bend’

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Convenient Truthteller

I am yet to see the popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, based on the lecture by former US Vice President Al Gore about global warning, but on a flight to SE Asia this week I read an interesting article about its origins.

It concerns Jeff Skoll, a co-founder of eBay and Canada’s youngest billionaire who is turning Hollywood upside down financing activist films, like An Inconvenient Truth, and making them box office hits.

Skoll is a softy spoken man who, instead of hoarding his wealth, is seeking to get people involved in world issues with ‘participant movies’ that challenge people to get involved, as well as leading a raft of philanthropic ventures.

How did this self-confessed, aimless drifter get involved in such worthwhile causes? Skoll identifies two triggers. His father Morton came home one evening and told Jeff and his older sister that he had a terminal illness. “That brought home to me that we don’t know how much time we have, and you really need to maximize the opportunities you have to accomplish the things you consider important.”

He decided he wanted to write stories that would get people involved in bigger issues in the world,” he said. “But I wanted to become financially independent in order to write. This led me to an entrepreneurial path that culminated in eBay.”

Source: David Gritten, ‘The Thinking Man’s Mogul’, Open Skies, October 2006, Issue # 223, Dubai, UAE.

Image: Jeff Skoll

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting Use To Being Alive

The Russian novelist, Andrei Makine, has lived in France since the1980’s and writes superbly about the Stalin era and its aftermath.

He has a telling account in his novel, Requiem for the East. It concerns Pavel who is returning from the Second World War, getting used to Moscow with life being reasonably normal, but with memories of his involvement elsewhere in the war, memories that cannot be avoided.

Makine writes of Pavel: “He was still living in the days when after a battle soldiers would pace numbly up and down among the dead, getting used to being alive.”

What a powerful phrase that is. So many people are very much alive, but alive with the constant threat of abuse, or rejection, or failure, or never being understood, or pain, or approaching death, or distracting wealth, or addictive power.

This is living, but what kind of living?

Geoff Pound

Image: Andrei Makine

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Teaching People How to Live

The Jewish novelist Chaim Potok said that from a very early age he always had wanted to become a writer. But when he went to University his mother said:

“Chaim, I know you want to be a writer but I have a better idea. Why don't you become a brain surgeon? You'll keep a lot of people from dying; and you'll make a lot of money.”

Chaim replied, "No, mama. I want to be a writer."

This conversation was rehearsed each vacation and every time it would go the same:
“Chaim, I know you want to be a writer, but listen to your mama. Be a brain surgeon. You'll keep a lot of people from dying; You'll make a lot of money."
Each time Chaim would reply: "No, Mama, I want to be a writer."

These exchanges continued until finally his mother exploded:
“Chaim, you are wasting your time! Be a brain surgeon. You'll keep a lot of people from dying; You'll make a lot of money."

Chaim angrily replied:
"Mama, I don't want to keep people from dying! I want to show people how to live!!"

Geoff Pound

Image: Chaim Potok

Monday, October 09, 2006

Names and Memories

In Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved, there is this poignant statement about the central character:

"Everybody knew what she was called, but nobody anywhere knew her name. Disremembered and unaccounted for, she cannot be lost because no one is looking for her, and even if they were, how can they call her if they don't know her name? Although she has claim, she is not claimed." (Chapter 28, p274).

After she is gone, Beloved is forgotten. Except for small moments of memory, she disappears. Her story is unknown and untold because she has no identity. She fades away as if she never existed; there is no one who loved her, knew her, or belonged to her, to prove her existence.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Losing Perspective

Winston Churchill used to tell the story of a British family that went out for a picnic by a lake. In the course of the afternoon the five year old son fell into the water. Unfortunately none of the adults could swim and as the child was bobbing up and down and everyone on the shore was dissolving in panic, a passerby saw the tragedy of the situation.

At great risk to himself he dived in, fully clothed, and managed to reach the child just before he went under for the third time.

He pulled him out of the water and presented him safe and sound to his mother. Instead of thanking the stranger for his heroic efforts, the mother snapped peevishly at the rescuer and said, “Where’s Johnny’s cap?” Somehow in all this commotion the boy’s hat had been lost.

It is sometimes easier for people to nit-pick over little things, grizzle and wrangle over mere trivialities and forget to be grateful for the positive things that have happened to us and our loved ones.

Geoff Pound

Image: Winston Churchill

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Worth of a Single Person

John Claypool tells of this story in the writings of Albert Camus.

The leader of the French liberal political party—a man recognized nationally for being the champion of the underdog, always challenging big government, big business, always taking up for the little person—happened to be walking one evening after work by a river, close to his house. A young girl came paddling by in a canoe. She hit something, and the canoe capsized. The girl was not a good swimmer, and she began to sink and cried out for help. She came up twice, and then the third time, she disappeared. The water became very, very smooth, and she was drowned.

The man called the authorities in due time. They pulled her bloated corpse out of the water. He went home and couldn't sleep that night because, great liberal champion that he was, he found himself asking, "Why did I do nothing to help that girl in trouble? Was it fear of the water?" No, he had learned to swim years before. Did he feel incompetent to rescue her? It's one thing to swim; it's another thing to be a lifesaver. No, he realized that he had even trained in lifesaving as a young man. Why had he done nothing? he asked himself. The answer he discovered was a deeply disturbing one. He realized he had done nothing in that moment because there wasn't a crowd to witness his actions. There wasn't a television camera to take what he was doing out to all of the country.

He had allowed himself to get to the place where it was only humanity that he cared about, not individual human beings. He no longer saw the trees, he only saw the forest.

Claypool concluded, “This is a temptation that those of us who live in the city are very vulnerable to. There's so many of us, and we're so crowded together, that it can get to the place where a single person is simply not worth our disturbing ourselves to do something.”

Source: John Claypool


Image: Albert Camus

Friday, October 06, 2006

Candlesticks of Forgiveness

The musical, Les Mis, is based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserable, In that musical, there is a wonderful story of a convict who was a hardened, mean man and had been in jail for ten years, doing hard labour in chains.

He was finally set free, but he had a convict card. He couldn't get a job; he couldn't even stay in a hotel room. He went to a bishop's house. The bishop let him stay over night. In the middle of the night when everyone went to sleep, the convict got up, stole a silver candle stick and crept out of the bishop's house and took off through the woods.

He was caught. He was caught by the French policemen. They came in the middle of the night, woke up the bishop and said, "We've got him, this lying, conniving thief. We've got him. This time we are going to put him away for life."

The bishop turned to this man cowering in chains and said, "That's no thief. That's my guest, Jean Valjean, but I gave him two candlesticks, not one. He forgot one." He reached in a drawer and gave him another silver candlestick. The police had to let him go.

That experience of forgiveness for something he had done wrong, that unfair act of forgiveness seeped down inside of Jean Valjean. He kept those candlesticks for the rest of his life as mementoes of what the bishop had done.

Source: Told by Philip Yancy on 30Good Minutes.

Image: Candlesticks

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Condensed Life

No Time For Reading
Dale Roberts, North Carolina College Career Counselor, is plotting a dream which illustrates the fast pace of modern life.

He asks, “Have you experienced the thrill of intellectual accomplishment, the deep and abiding sense of achievement that comes after reading one of the great classic books of Western civilization? Me neither.”

The problem with those great books is they are so-o-o-o-o lo-o-o-o-ong. Those guys had way too much time on their hands.

Long Book Simple Plot
Take "Romeo and Juliet." What happens, really? Two Italian teenagers fall in love, but their families hate each other. Things don't work out, and they both end up dead.
I tried reading shorter classics, like "The Old Man and the Sea": An old guy goes fishing and hooks this humongous fish. It's hard to catch, but he catches it. On his way home some sharks eat it. They told me this Hemingway guy wrote short and to the point. Wrong!
I looked for versions of classics that wouldn't waste my time. I tried the Reader's Digest condensed Bible, but I got bored reading about the Nine Tribes of Israel and the Seven Commandments. I tried Cliffs Notes - still too long.

New Book Range
Then it came to me: I'll publish my own library - "Great Book Cards of the Western World." The cards are 3-by-5 inches - just the right size for pocket or purse.

Some forthcoming entries:
"Moby Dick" - A guy named Ahab is hunting a white whale when he falls in the water and the whale bites his leg off. He goes crazy and tries to find the whale and get even. He finds the whale but the whale sinks his ship and Ahab gets killed.
"The Grapes of Wrath" - During the Depression, the Joad family in Oklahoma loses their farm and falls on hard times. They pack up their stuff and drive to California, but things aren't so great there either.

I'll also do nonfiction: "The Prince" by Machiavelli - Look out for Number One. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and usually that's enough. Watch your back.

Inspiration in Dozen Seconds
You can read each of my book cards in 10 seconds. Just the thing when you're in line at the supermarket or stopped at a red light. My first series of book cards will include 100 titles. Readers can buy them individually. If they buy all 100, I'll throw in a diminutive bookcase.
After I publish the first series of books, I might do a bigger project: a book-card edition of the encyclopedia.

You got a minute?

Source: Dale Roberts, ‘Backstory: Great Books Reduced to a Pinhead’ CS Monitor, 22 September 2006.

Image: Moby Dick

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Age With Creativity

Patricia Brown has written a fascinating article on a new style retirement community in Burbank, California.

Fostering Self-Expression
In this colony Suzanne Knode from Apartment 406 has written a comedy movie in which the leading lady is a downstairs neighbour, 81 year old Ms Nichols from Apartment 125.

Brown reports: “With the understanding that not everyone wants the old-school model of golf course retirement, the colony offers artful self-expression: a digital film editing laboratory, a theater, drama classes and studios open for inspiration 24 hours a day.”

Discovering Your Picasso
“This is a place where amateurs discovering their inner Picassos in retirement can commune with working pros like Charlie Schridde, a painter in his 70’s from the ‘cowboy impressionist’ school who resembles the grizzled trappers of his canvases.”

Model for Creative Aging
“The colony, was recognized last month as a model for creative aging by the National Endowment for the Arts, represents a profound shift in thinking about aging. In 2001, a study co-sponsored by George Washington University and the N.E.A. found that people 65 and older who were regularly involved in participatory arts programs reported fewer doctors’ visits and less need for medication and were less prone to depression.”

“Residents appear frequently as guests on “Experience Talks,” a weekly radio program on KPFK that is produced by More Than Shelter for Seniors, the nonprofit organization that conceptualized the colony.”

“The show, which reaches 250,000 listeners, features interviews with celebrities like Andrew Weil, the alternative health guru, and Studs Terkel-like celebrations of the residents themselves, the most recent a tribute to Buck Page, one of the country’s last singing cowboys, who released a CD not long before his death a few weeks ago, at an effervescent 84.”

Life Coming Back
“The colony, Mr. Freedman said, ‘is a new hybrid that moves beyond that to actual creativity, to growth.’ He added: ‘It’s not just writing memoirs and harvesting the past. It’s about producing new insights and work that is not only personally interesting but enriches the lives of neighbours.’”

“The new Burbank colonists include Gene Schklair, a retired dental surgeon from Chicago who is now sculpting full time. Before moving to the colony, Mr. Schklair and his wife, Glorya, both 75, spent a year backpacking around the world after he contracted a serious illness, from which he has recovered. ‘You see them come in with dead eyes,’ he said of new arrivals, some of whom are art appreciators rather than artists. ‘Then, the life comes back.’”

Finding Yourself
“A typical week finds a blues singer performing at the Tuesday barbecue, a novelist offering a manuscript for dissection in a writer’s workshop, and a buff 72-year-old coach teaching how to prevent falls. ‘The same neurons fire whether you’re writing a short story that may or may not be great or whether you are writing Ulysses,’ Mr. Carpenter said.”

“Like a challenging painting, life at the arts colony has become an exercise in perspective. ‘You meet yourself,’ she said. ‘You find out who you really are.’”

Source: Patricia Leigh Brown, ‘At New Rentals, the Aim is to Age with Creativity’, New York Times, 10 September 2006.

Image: Charlie Schridde in his living room and art studio at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, home to writers, sculptors, actors and other artists.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Accepting Forgiveness

In a famous court case in the United States a man was tried and found guilty and sentenced to death.

His lawyers worked hard to get the man a reprieve and eventually they were successful.

With great joy they went to his cell on death row and they showed him the reprieve and to their amazement he refused it.

It then became a famous legal debate.

They studied it carefully and they came to the conclusion that a reprieve is no more than just a piece of paper until it is personally accepted.

Geoff Pound

Image: Legal eagle

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blind Comment

I'm a counsellor who helps coordinate support groups for visually-impaired adults. Many participants have a condition known as macular degeneration, which makes it very difficult for them to distinguish facial features. I had just been assigned to a new group and was introducing myself.

Knowing that many in the group would not be able to see me well, I jokingly said, "For those of you who can't see me, I've been told that I look like a cross between Paul Newman and Robert Redford." Immediately, one woman called out, "We're not THAT blind!"

Image: Paul Newman

Source: From AndyChaps "The Funnies"

Brought by way of Sermon Fodder

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Student or Attender of Lectures?

Once someone was talking to a great scholar about a young man. He said, “Someone tells me that he was one of your students.”

The teacher answered devastatingly, “He may have attended my lecture but he wasn’t one of my students.”

There is a world of difference between attending lectures and being a student.

Geoff Pound

Image: Students?