America – pulling a nation back together…

November 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-14-2016-jfk-jr-photoMy Fellow Americans: Devastating hurricanes, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the end of WWII, Lindbergh’s 1st flight across the Atlantic – while there is much that divides us, there have been times throughout our history when both triumphs and tragedies have inspired us to lay down our weapons and to unite as one. While these times of mutual good will are typically short-lived, they often act as a reset to help center us on that which binds us together. We need such a time!

It is was with the current atmosphere of angst as a backdrop that I was moved by an under-the-radar prayer found buried on page 11 of an issue reporting the assassination of President JFK. His death, airmailed via television directly into the living room of nearly every home in America, brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike and unified us around shared grief.  May a day come when such unity of spirit flourishes without the inspiration of deep sorrow, tragedy, or war. As another assassinated President once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Abraham Lincoln).” It is time for us to lay down our weapons. Much is at stake.blog-11-14-2016-prayer-jfk

They put it in print… Execution bar set a little too low?

October 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-10-24-2016-alleged-executedInteresting wording for historic headlines always get my attention. We recently discovered an 1865 issue of the “New York Day-Book” which has at the top of the front page: “Execution Of The Alleged Conspirators…”.  Makes one think: shouldn’t they be determined to no longer be “alleged” before they are executed?

If we only new just how close… But what we don’t no won’t hurt us…

July 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-7-21-2016-Letter-KHave you ever tried to be ind to someone or to treat them like an ing? Does your house have an itchen and do people need to nock before they enter?  Have you ever seen a football player run back an ickoff for a touchdown or a boxer ock-out his opponent with a single punch? Thanks to the impassioned early 19th century arguments in defense of keeping the letter “K” in our alphabet, the answer to all the above is an emphatic “no”. Of course we are left with the tension created by  “know” vs. “no” and “knew” vs. “new”, but such stressors are a small price to pay for being able to get down on one knee to propose or to greet a loved one with a kiss. I for one are sure glad we ept it! The complete article may be read at:  The Port Folio, May 23, 1801.

True? Muhammad’s pledge of protection for Christians…

July 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-5-12-2016-Muhammad-CovenantWe recently discovered a report from Syria in the New York Observer, September 29, 1881 which had an interesting article discussing the existence of a document, signed by Muhammad, which provided for the protection of Christians. The article in its entirety is shown through the link. One website states:

“During our research  with the Greek Orthodox Church, we have located numerous documents hand signed by Muhammad granting permanent protection to Christians and to their churches. These documents have been in existence since the original order given by Muhammad in 628 ACE. We have located several recent documents which sustain the original charter of rights. We question why are these mandates not known to the Muslim world? Why does the media avoid reporting these critical religious instructions?”

Can anyone comment on the authenticity of this covenant as described in the NY Observer?

“Dear Daughters, Welcome to summer…”

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A well-known “letter” has been making its rounds for many decades which was supposedly written by a young female college student to her parents, updating them on the recent events that had befallen her. While the letter is fictitious, it certainly encourages us to keep perspective when hearing bad news concerning loved ones. A (modified) form of the letter is as follows:

Dear Mother and Dad:

It has been three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay.

Well then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed by now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those headaches once a day.

Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory and my jump was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Dept. and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.

Yes, mother and dad, I am pregnant. I know how very much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am now taking daily.

I know you will welcome him into the family with open arms. He is kind and although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know that your oft-expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his heritage and religion are different than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do. His family background is good too, for although I’ll need to learn my place when I visit, I am told his father is one of the most respected men in his village and is often called upon to help keep order when those from his community step out of line. 

Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you there was no dormitory fire; I did not have a concussion or a skull fracture; I was not in the hospital; I am not pregnant; I am not engaged. I do not have a communicable disease, and I am not dating someone from a culture which is oppressive to women. However, I am getting a D in sociology and an F in science; and I wanted you to see these marks in proper perspective.

Your loving daughter,

(unsigned)

It is with the heart of this letter in mind I present a copy of a recent rather-lengthy text my wife and I sent to our young daughters:

Dear Daughters,

As you know, the summer season is nearly upon us and your annual quest to find swimsuits your mama and I are willing (if even reluctantly) to allow you to wear in public is upon us. We know this is about as challenging and frustrating as finding a “mama acceptable” evergreen tree at the start of each Christmas season. Need I say more? However, this year, as your loving parents, we’ve decided to alleviate your stress by purchasing matching suits for all of you. While they have yet to arrive, we were able to download a picture of the ad for the style we selected from the online catalog at AuntieAmysAuspiciousApparel.com:

Blog-6-23-2016-Swimwear

Okay, we didn’t purchase swimsuits for each of you, but we’re considering doing so next year. Please keep the above in mind as you begin your quest. I’m sure we’ll be pleased with your choices.

Love,

Mom and Dad

 

PS  A special thank-you goes out to the Public Ledger, Philadelphia, June 15, 1893, for this most wonderful advertisement. It’s a bit unsettling to note the ad appears in an issue containing an article on Lizzie Borden.

 

Full Disclosure: My wife and I are blessed to have 5 daughters with whom we never need to fight this battle. Thank you!

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

May 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the United States perfect? Certainly not. Our forefathers did not sacrifice time, security, and in many cases, life or limb for the sake of a perfect system of government. Their hope was to establish a government for the people – which would provide the opportunity for all to pursue happiness in an environment free of governmental oppression and steeped with a host of inalienable rights. For some, “all” meant everyone. To others, “all” was defined quite narrowly. Still, even those who had a broader view understood the benefit of compromise – for the purpose of establishing a system which would have enough flexibility to adjust to their broader view of “all” over time. We know now the great advancement in this regards only came through a Civil War; however, it came. A perfect system? No. The best system ever constructed by man? Absolutely.

As we contemplate the great sacrifice paid by many to create and preserve this “best system” under God, the New York Tribune dated July 7, 1854 help us to capture the tension and need for growth that was evident to many in the 1850’s. Allow a negro to become a member of Congress? Could this be possible? Those who knew Frederick Douglass certainly thought so. Please enjoy:Blog-5-30-2016-Frederick-Douglass

A simple reflection on Memorial Day…

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Memorial Day – a day/weekend set aside in the United States to remember and give thanks for those who gave life and limb so we might have the freedom to enjoy what our Founding Fathers called “self evident inalienable rights” which had been bestowed on us by The Creator. In times of peace and abundance it is easy to forget the great cost that was paid by so many – that others might be free. It is with thin in mind I was struck by a March 20, 1861 issue of the Western Christian Advocate from Cincinnati, Ohio which provided details of General George Washington’s famous “Prayer at Valley Forge” (see below). The link above provides access to the full text of the article. Please enjoy (and appreciate) a blessed Memorial Day Weekend.Blog-5-26-2016-Washington's-Valley-Forge-Prayer

What would it cost today?

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently came across a large advertisement for a newly built home in a Helena, Montana newspaper from 1892 (see below). After viewing the sketch of the home and reading the details of the listing, I immediately wondered what it might cost in today’s dollars. Thanks to the internet I found an easy-to-use inflation calendar, entered the needed data, and voila! I couldn’t have been more wrong. Just for fun, respond to this post with your guess, and then give it a try. I hope you have a better sense of the impact of inflation on the value of the almighty dollar-over-time than I.Blog-4-28-2016

What did they do to false prophets? 1929 predicted to be a banner financial year…

April 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-6-2016-Stock-Market-1929-Good-NewsHow ironic… In what was to become known as the worst financial year in U.S. history, it is interesting to read  The New York Time, January 3, 1929 front page article headed: “Stock Market Opens 1929 With Buying Rush; 5,413,610-Share Day Stirs Hope of Big Year”. Could they have been more wrong? It sure is good this NY Times writer was not graded as a Hebrew prophet – or he/she would likely have joined the throngs who brought about their own demise in late October of the same year during The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Publius Lentulus’ 1st century description of Jesus Christ…

March 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The February 3, 1787 issue of The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser contains an 18th century translation of a letter self-described as being from Plubius Lutulus’ [Publius Lentulus’] to Caesar Tiberius (reg. 14-37 AD) which supposedly provides a contemporaneous description of Jesus Christ. Historians have spent countless hours trying to discover whether or not the letter is authentic. After more than a century of research, since there does not appear to be record of a Lentulus serving as Governor of Judea (which this letter suggests), most have come down on the side of it not being legitimate. Sadly, a 15 minute dig into the Bible could have saved them a considerable amount of energy.

The letter (see below) indicates the appearance of Jesus, with his long flowing hair, was quite a sight to behold. However, 1 Corinthians 11:14 makes it clear his hair could not have been long, and Isaiah 53:2 states: “He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.”  End of discussion. Case closed.

Thankfully, whether or not Jesus is God’s Son… the Messiah… the deliverer of all who might believe, according to the Bible, is not dependent on such works of man. He either is who He says HE IS, or he is not who he said he was – and the proof will be in the pudding. Still, the letter does make for interesting reading. Happy Easter.Blog-Easter-Jesus-Christ-Description

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