Bits and Pieces
January 09, 2023
Recycling Material Too Good to let it Die
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dustyrecesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act ontheir dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”- Lawrence of Arabia
On this day in 1964 – Martyrs' Day: Several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag in the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between U.S. military and Panamanian civilians. On that day about 22 Panamanians and four U.S. soldiers were killed. The incident is considered to be a significant factor in the U.S. decision to transfer control of the Canal Zone to Panama through the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.
Deliberating that decision, Sen. S.I. Hayakawa. said,
"We should keep the Panama Canal. After all, we stole it fair and square."
Born this day in 1913 – Richard Nixon, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 37th President of the United States (d. 1994).
His most memorable quotes (to me):
"I'm going to China."
"I am not a crook."
"Let me make one thing perfectly clear."
And more ....
"When the President does it, that means it's not illegal." —in a 1977 interview with David Frost
"You don't know how to lie. If you can't lie, you'll never go anywhere." — giving advice to a political associate
"I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes."
"I urge the Congress to join me in mounting a major new effort to replace the discredited president." —in his 1974 State of the Union address at the height of the Watergate scandal, fumbling a line in which he meant to say "replace the discredited present system"
"This is a great day for France!" —while attending the funeral of French President Charles de Gaulle in 1970
"I'm not for women in any job. I don't want any of them around. Thank God we don't have any in the cabinet.'' — in a taped 1971 conversation with his chief of staff, in which he discussed the political advantages of nominating a woman to the Supreme Court, despite the fact that he personally regarded women as too "erratic" and "emotional"
"Sure, there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too."
"When I grow up, I want to be an honest lawyer so things like that (the Teapot Dome scandal) can't happen."
"It is the responsibility of the media to look at the President with a microscope, but they go too far when they use a proctoscope."
"Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I wouldn't want to wake up next to a lady pipefitter."
"As I leave you I want you to know—just think how much you're going to be losing--you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." —Richard Nixon to the press in 1962 after losing the California election for governor
"I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war."
"Solutions are not the answer."
"Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the g-damned people."
"I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days, I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics." — reminiscing about his life in an audio tape narration at the Nixon Library
"Voters quickly forget what a man says."
The Fellowship of the Table
“The fellowship of the table has a festive quality. It is a constantly recurring reminder in the midst of our everyday work of God's resting after His work, of the Sabbath as the meaning and goal of the week and its toil. Our life is not only travail and labor, it is also refreshment and joy in the goodness of God ... God cannot endure that unfestive, mirthless attitude of ours in which we eat bread in sorrow, with pretentious, busy haste, or even with shame. Through our daily meals He is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day…” (Bonhoeffer, Life Together).
I wanted to share the following public domain entry since it resonated with me this morning. So often, those of us with compassionate and ministry-oriented hearts try to rescue people from struggle prematurely. That is, through spiritual "enabling," our comfort is superficial and thwarts the growth of the person who has to go through the wrestling matches of faith.
Rather than entering into the depths of a person's pain with them and struggling through the ambiguities, we give easy answers and quick solutions. We do not let people develop. We do not let struggle have its redemptive, loving outcome. Mrs. Cowman collected this thought from an anonymous tract prior to 1925 when she published her collection.
Made Perfect Through Sufferings
From "Streams in the Desert" - Mrs. Charles G. Cowman
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" -Romans 8:18
I kept for nearly a year the flask-shaped cocoon of an emperor moth. It is very peculiar in its construction. A narrow opening is left in the neck of the flask, through which the perfect insect forces its way, so that a forsaken cocoon is as entire as one still tenanted, no rupture of the interlacing fibers having taken place. The great disproportion between the means of egress and the size of the imprisoned insect makes one wonder how the exit is ever accomplished at all -- and it never is without great labor and difficulty. It is supposed that the pressure to which the moth's body is subjected in passing through such a narrow opening is a provision of nature for forcing the juices into the vessels of the wings, these being less developed at the period of emerging from the chrysalis than they are in other insects.
I happened to witness the first efforts of my prisoned moth to escape from its long confinement. During a whole forenoon, from time to time, I watched it patiently striving and struggling to get out. It never seemed able to get beyond a certain point, and at last my patience was exhausted. Very probably the confining fibers were drier and less elastic than if the cocoon had been left all winter on its native heather, as nature meant it to be. At all events I thought I was wiser and more compassionate than its Maker, and I resolved to give it a helping hand. With the point of my scissors I snipped the confining threads to make the exit just a very little easier, and lo! immediately, and with perfect case, out crawled my moth dragging a huge swollen body and little shrivelled wings. In vain I watched to see that marvelous process of expansion in which these silently and swiftly develop before one's eyes; and as I traced the exquisite spots and markings of divers colors which were all there in miniature, I longed to see these assume their due proportions and the creature to appear in all its perfect beauty, as it is, in truth, one of the loveliest of its kind. But I looked in vain. My false tenderness had proved its ruin. It never was anything but a stunted abortion, crawling painfully through that brief life which it should have spent flying through the air on rainbow wings. I have thought of it often, often, when watching with pitiful eyes those who were struggling with sorrow, suffering, and distress; and I would fain cut short the discipline and give deliverance. Short-sighted man! How know I that one of these pangs or groans could be spared? The far-sighted, perfect love that seeks the perfection of its object does not weakly shrink from present, transient suffering. Our Father's love is too true to be weak. Because He loves His children, He chastises them that they may be partakers of His holiness. With this glorious end in view, He spares not for their crying. Made perfect through sufferings, as the Elder Brother was, the sons of God are trained up to obedience and brought to glory through much tribulation. --Tract.
Shane Claiborne : We are growing food in the middle of winter!!! As you can tell, my wife is pretty excited. How cool is it that these veggies are growing without any soil, in 20 degree weather, smack in the concrete jungle? If you haven't seen this little video on our aquaponics and urban gardens, you gotta see it: http://vimeo.com/42713166 Thanks to all of you who helped us build it this past year!