It seems these days every new news cycle brings up another scandal, real or imagined. As Christians, we know this world is evil but it’s still disheartening to see so many rocks kicked over in so many high places, revealing the corruption beneath. It’s a useful reminder, though. Our hope is not found in any politician (of any party), nor in pundits or those whose fame and fortune are celebrated by society.
In Christ alone, our hope is found.
In anticipation of Tuesday’s quincentenary of the Protestant Reformation, my favorite modern take on one of Martin Luther’s most beloved hymns:
The one thing to remember about this hymn is that it is diminished by the modern practice of only singing selected verses. If one only sings the first verse, it ends on a note of despair — a dilemma that is only solved by the second verse!
I usually keep these light, as a break from the week of pointing out all the ills around us. In this case, though, I think every American should see this press engagement held Thursday by John Kelly. I have never seen a better explanation of what goes on when our country loses a servicemember — the enormous institutional effort to support the family and to honor the fallen. Sadly, as the highest-ranking military officer to lose a child since 9/11, retired Marine General Kelly knows this process all too personally. Even more sadly, he easily points out how little direct experience the press has with it by only accepting questions from reporters who have also been there. Was that a political move? Yes, but also a personal one. And let’s not forget this was originally politicized by a Democrat who thought she had another way to bash Trump. In reality, what she did was attack a president who had no obligation to make a phone call but chose to anyway.
Two parts of his statement are worth highlighting, because in them he expresses the frustration many in our military (including me, while I was serving) feel:
On the politicization of absolutely everything: “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that call. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred.”
On the nation our military defends: “They volunteer to protect our country, when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required.”
The entire video is worth your time and consideration.
Some of the best music from Gladiator.
Why stop at one when you can build a playlist? Enjoy!
(Notes: Let the player keep going; there’s a few seconds between each one. And no, I can’t do anything about commercials.)
Nigel John Stanford is back, having programmed himself a new band:
In case you missed it, his videos are always interesting.
Something a little different this week, since there’s been a lot of serious topics of late. I recently mentioned (and added a link to) The Babylon Bee satire site. The site has plenty of content so I don’t catch all the ‘articles,’ but fortunately a friend highlighted this one for me:
Church Oblivious To Number Of Metallica References Pastor Getting Away With
Citing their apparent ignorance of anything having to do with the Los Angeles-based thrash metal band, pastor Cliff Blackburn of Lancaster Baptist Church expressed his amazement Monday that nobody in the congregation had caught on to the fact that he has been cramming as many Metallica references into his sermons as humanly possible for the past five months.
“I started out subtle, with one sermon about hypocrisy called ‘Holier Than Thou,’ and another one about evangelism called ‘Hit The Lights,’” Blackburn explained to reporters. “After that, I started getting more overt. A few weeks later, my lesson about addiction and habitual sin drew heavily from ‘Master of Puppets.’ When nobody picked up on that, I decided to see how far I could push it.” (Read the rest here)
I confess: I’m a fan of classic Metallica music (especially The Black Album). There must be something genetic to it, because the Middle Musketeer can play half their repertoire on guitar. So we had a great fit of laughter together reading the Bee’s post, after which we tried to build on it. We decided the fictional pastor should continue with a message about how for Christians “To Live is To Die,” and how saving grace means not having to worry about “The Four Horsemen” just before Christ returns “…And With Justice For All.”
On a separate humorous note, all three of the Musketeers and I laughed till we cried when we saw the meme below — a response to the story of Delta flying in and out of Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irma hit. (You either get it or you don’t; not going to explain it here, but it was another bonding moment with the kids.) 🙂
In short, I’m not always as somber in life as when writing about serious issues here. Now go have some laughs before we pay attention to the world again. God gave us the gift of humor — use it!