RC’s Rugs

I gave my place a much needed cleaning this weekend.  This included washing the three hand loomed rag rugs that my father made years ago.  Given their size and composition, I find putting them in bath tub with a little laundry detergent the easiest and safest way to eliminate the dust that seems to accumulate in at an alarming rate.

Hand agitating the rugs gives me time to reflect on RC as he was affectionately know by his initials.  Dad liked to buy things like the loom at farm auctions, the ancestor of ebay. After he acquired a treasure like the loom, he would bring it home and tinker with it.  He decided to make rag rugs with the loom.  I remember he would cut strips of cloth from old clothes then feed them through the strings strung in the loom.  After shifting the mechanism, he would repeat the process.  I was in my twenties at the time and I had no patience for such a mundane hobby.

Years later when my brother and sister cleaned out his house after he moved to a nursing home, I was given my three rugs.  At first I never used or appreciated them.  Then last year when I moved to my new place the rugs seemed to fit perfectly.  Now I have my monthly ritual where I wash my rugs and remember my father working on his loom in our basement.

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Community

When this word came to me for a post, I originally intended to re-read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.  Community is central to Christian faith.  Without life with our brothers and sisters, our faith is dead.

So what changed.  I decided instead to relate the story of our community in action.  Last night our congregation held it’s annual chili cook off for fund raising.  What began as a small gathering fours years ago has grown into building capacity success.  The first winner of the chili cook off was a NYC firefighter, Jim Ryan.  Jim unfortunately succombed to cancer.  Since then the chili cook off has been renamed in his honor.  Some thirty of his fire fighting family show up to compete in our cook off (and win).  Much laughter and good memories are shared.  Jim’s family enjoy keeping his memory alive.

In addition to keeping the traditional definition alive, we also now the value of the fellowship of our community.

We remember you Jim

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Sleep Apnea

I have always been a snorer.  Legendary by some people’s account.  It can affect your relationships.  Lately though sleep apnea has been gaining more attention as the more dangerous aspect of snoring.  When my registered nurse girl friend nurse noticed that I  stopped breathing multiple times during each night’s sleep, I decided it was time to be tested.  A specialist equipped me with a monitor that I strapped on before bed one night.  The monitor has several transducers that detected my breathing and a blood oxygen sensor.  The test came back positive for moderate sleep apnea.  The specialist recommended both a CPAP machine and an oral appliance.  I have been using both with remarkable success.  Bridget is very happy too.

If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea I would suggest that you be tested.  There are health risks associated with sleep apnea.  You might just save your life and your relationship.

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Drugs

I watched a bit of Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger last week.  The scene where the President utters the title of the book and film got me to thinking about how our country’s attitude towards drugs is making the war against the futile.  We really need to change.

In Clear and Present Danger the President unleashes special forces against the drug cartels.  When things go wrong, young men lose their lives, cover ups are put in motion and Jack Ryan must save the day.  I wonder just how close to reality Mr. Clancy treads.

The real problem is not the drug lords, it is the drug users.  Take out one drug lord and another will pop up to take his place.  They are cockroaches and there is too much money to keep them reproducing.  What we must do is change our attitude towards drugs.  Drugs are a lie.  They lie to your body and mind.  If you are sick or injured this is necessary.  Fooling the brain and nerves in these situations surely is handy.  Recreational drug use must be exposed as the real Clear and Present Danger to our country.  In addition to the expense and collateral damage attributed to the war on drugs there all the damage to the drug users, their friends and family, and the community in general.  We must stop using recreational drugs.

Drugs are a lie and a  Clear and Present Danger to our country.

 

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Service

In a moment of frustration my brother said we were born and raised to be slaves.  A bit dramatic but I new what he meant.  Our parents always encouraged and volunteered us for the tough physical jobs.

Also it is a bit ironic given how successful he is and considering I really do not have financial concerns.  We were always told that hard work builds character and is its own reward.

Now years later I was introduced to a book Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.  In Chapter 9 of this book the author writes how service, as described by St. Paul as slavery, builds true Christian humility.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

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Waste

I spent this past week trying to resurrect a train simulator that has lain dormant for for a few years.  Sure it is my job and I get paid to do it.  Still no one else has volunteered or expressed the slightest interest in reviving this million dollar marvel that was state of the art just a decade ago.

It is my calling.  It is what I was born and raised to do.  What drives me?  I hate waste.  My parents were born during the depression.  They were also farmers.  I will write more on those two subjects.

Why do I hate waste?  We spend our precious time and resources toiling to produce goods and services.  This is good.  Whenever I see those goods or services wasted I cringe.  How can we let valuable assets be frittered away in a world that is facing shortages?  We all want to live the good life so don’t waste.

 

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Where are you…

I have been hearing people say that the christian church must “meet people where they are at.”  I have been thinking about what this phrase means.  Here are my thoughts/questions:

  1. Are you soulless?  I am shocked to find that there are so people that believe that they have no soul and that this life is all there is.  Some my question that I put this first, but without a belief in one’s own soul, is there really any need to go further?  Have you lost your belief in yourself or have you had no exposure to the traditional christian church?
  2. God.   Again I am shocked (and I really shouldn’t be) that so many people are so certain that there is no God.  I cannot fathom a universe without God.  I consider myself lucky. Once we establish that there is more to you than this worldly existence, we can begin to address who created you and your relationship to your creator.
  3. Are you lost?  You may know that there is a God and that there is more to you than your human body but you think you are so far away from God that you cannot make it back.

These are the extreme cases but they open the discussion about meeting people where they are at and allowing God to work through the church to reconcile to them.

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