Showing posts from September, 2015

Netflix and Education

You can learn a lot from Netflix.  It has a number of good documentaries and fine films. 

However, it was pushing a show called Still Game and I took a look.  I had a flashback.

In 1997 I went to Scotland for a couple of days during a longer trip to the UK.  My traveling companions were going to Paris; I went north, and we would meet back up in London. (I'm surprised it all worked out as it did.)  After getting off the train, I haled a cab and jumped into one of those cute little black sedans, very Bentley like.  The driver spoke to me and my response was "WHAT?!"

It was so odd--I knew he was speaking English, but I didn't understand a word of it.  (I was in Edinburgh, by the way).  He detected my American accent and adjusted his dialect to something understandable, and we got on quite well, as he had been to the states to, well, play golf. 

That was my experience watching that show.  At first I thought maybe the joke was that their accents were so thick no one could…

I am a Christian But -

A Video by this name has gone viral, as has reaction to it. Since I am moving off Facebook, I'll not bother to post there about it.  That's what I have a blog for.

I am reminded of all the sermons I have heard that said, "You can't say 'No, Lord"" in the same breath.  Putting a qualifier or contrast on "I am a Christian" negates the first part.

The point of the video is to distance oneself from those whom the speakers feel are objectionable in some way.  One woman says, Christianity is all about love and acceptance, except, apparently, of people you disagree with.

The speakers are arrogant, have an agenda, misrepresent the faith, don't even mention following Christ.  They pretend to want to be about what Christianity positively promotes, but they do  not even say that.

It amazes me how people so worried about sexual freedom issues in Christianity don't seem concerned about what is going on with Christians in the rest of world, only thei…

Home in Scripture

Christian songs speak a lot about "going home." In fact, one of my favorite old hymns is "Going Home" because the music is so haunting.  But what does the Bible really say about home?

The home in the Bible is culturally a place for hospitality, privacy, protection, and Bible teaching. This is not a simple division; it says a great deal that we have missed in modern American culture.  As a place of hospitality, we are supposed to welcome; as a place of privacy and protection, we are supposed to exclude a lot more than we do (mostly media, I think), and as a place for Bible teaching, we have to engage in meaningful conversations with children and spouses as well as others.

Home has great emotional meaning for us; it is more than what Robert Frost said about it, as the place where they have to take you in ("Death of the Hired Man").   Below I have listed key verses in the New Testament on HOME.
 John 16:32
32 "But a time is comi…

Mindfulness and other problems of modern living

Last night on 60 Minutes Anderson Cooper was interviewing the guru of mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Although I have not read any books on this subject, I am mindful of it (sorry) because a former professor in the doctoral program would have us do his exercises in breathing and being aware of one's body, etc.  I thought they were okay but that I needed much more than a pause to listen to myself breathe.

As a Christian who desires and is committed to thinking in a thoroughly Biblical (do not translate that as Western, European, American, or modern) way of thinking, I do not feel I need mindfulness training but I do need meditation, prayer, reflection, and journalling. Mindfulness strikes me as egocentric; prayer is intercessory, for others.  Meditation, Biblically, is centered on the objective word of God, not one's breathing or being.  Journaling allows us to take feelings and impressions from one level of the brain to the conscious level.  Reflection allows us to look back on a…

Nala the Pit Bull

For well over four years now we have had a pit bull in our home.  I have become acquainted with the breed through her and through neighbors who have had them--in fact, the last two neighbors in the house next door had pit bulls, in a county where they are, to say the least, discouraged.  She may be a mix but most people tag her as a pit bull immediately.  Most people say she is beautiful (which I have no doubt) and occasionally some act afraid.

She is loyal.  As soon as I get home in the evening she is by my side.  The other little dog is that way, too.  They may miss me or just be tired of my husband.  She is always hungry.  She has, as my son says, "an opinion about everything."  She is bossy, pushing my posterior out of the car when we go to walk, demanding treats, expecting to get on the bed, pulling me back to the car when we have only finished half the walk.  We have discovered a creek near where we walk and she plops in it.  She is the smartest dog my husband ever had…

Facebook Ethics Question

Scenario:  You have a friend, A.  A has a friend, B.  When you respond to something A posts, B addresses you and attacks you personally.  You do not know B from Adam's alley cat.  What to do?

How to Make Banana Pudding

Recently I was at a work meeting where the caterer provided banana pudding.  The person in charge, who is not American or Southern, said how good this caterer's banana pudding is.  It was ok. "It's not as good as my mother's," I had to opine, and another woman there said that banana pudding in Alabama was a priority.  The caterer's bananas pudding was institutional-tasting pudding, scanty wafers, and some hidden bananas.

I was reminded of a colleague from China who teaches cross-cultural communication.  She said that when international students come here, they hate macaroni and cheese and think it's gross.  "It's because they are eating that crap out of the box, not my mother's!" I said, opining again.  She also said that after six months they liked it, probably because they are poor college students and that is all that is available.

That is the anecdotal prelude to my recipe here for banana pudding.  We came in possession of some banan…