Salt and Light

3 Feb

Some Folks Are Not Satisfied With Insulting You

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, found himself on the wrong end of some petty insults and lies last week. A friend shared the insults and the falsehoods about Ed that he had heard. Ed thought his friend might have spared telling him what he heard. “Why do people believe that people want to listen to the mean things others are saying about them?” Ed asked me.

It is hard to decide the motives of our friends at times. Are they trying to help us or hurt us? Sometimes people may not like us simply because we are friends with someone they despise. Jesus warned his disciples that people would insult, persecute, and falsely say all kinds of evil against them because the were followers of himself (Jesus).

Circus

29 Jan

Running Away For More Than A Day Is Overrated

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, agreed with me that some story characters are too good to forget. The world may have moved on from Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Toby Tyler but they captured the dreams of many of us as children. I was saddened to tell Ed that after 146 years the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus will close forever in May.

Many children have threatened to run away from home, and in the past, to run away and join a traveling circus was the ultimate way to do it. Ten-year-old, Toby Tyler ran away from his foster home and joined a traveling circus. Instead of solving his problems, his new employer was a cruel taskmaster. It didn’t matter, though, for the inside look at the people and animals of the circus kept readers’ interest. How many children would ever have Toby’s special friend, Mr. Stubbs the chimpanzee? The boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, fled down the river by a raft, which fed imaginations about another runaway. 

Hidden

29 Jan

Sometimes, It’s Too Dark To See What You Want

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, saw my face by way of Skype yesterday. He said, “If I knew you were looking that bad, I would have phoned instead.” My face does look red, raw and burnt in spots. I will soon complete an eight-week treatment with cream that helps prevent the formation of skin cancer on parts of my face. Like many folks, I have had a couple of spots of skin cancer removed by surgery, and it is an on-going concern to prevent more. Thankfully, it has been very manageable so far. I told Ed not to give up on me as my face will heal again when the treatment ends.

It doesn’t take much to cause us to give up on others. Sometimes, it is because of the way they look, especially if they look contagious. Maybe it is the way they dress or how they act or speak. The color of skin or hair, age, height, or weight can result in a person being ignored or rejected. Thankfully, people can also never give up on others, even if, they can no longer see them or can be certain where they are or if they are still alive.

Hidden

16 Jan

Is It Worth A Few Bucks Or Half A Million Dollars?

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, skyped yesterday eager to talk about an auction he recently attended and his great buys. We both discussed how things could go for too little or too much at an auction. When you’re buying the bidding often goes too high for the money you want to spend, while when you are selling the final bid may be depressingly low.

I shared with Ed the fate of Stan Caffy, a pipe fitter, who bought a copy of the Declaration of Independence at a yard sale in Donelson Hills in 1996. He nailed it on his garage wall where it hung for ten years. After ten years of hanging on the garage wall, his wife took it and some other articles as part of a donation to the Music City Thrift Store in Nashville.

Authority

16 Jan

Popular Names Change Like The Weather

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan recently received the exciting news, that his tribe is increasing. Another grandchild is to be born in August, and already names are being discussed for a boy or a girl. My old neighbor was distressed that the parents are considering some of the most popular baby names from last year. The girls’ names that the parents are considering are Emma, Olivia, and Ava. The boys’ names are Noah, Liam, and Mason.

“Popular names for babies change like the weather, so it is best to call babies after family members. Names like Edward, Wilfred, or Richard for boys; and Ruby, Bertha, or Mabel would reflect our family,” Ed informed me.

Bagpipes

3 Jan

Never Too Late For Auld Lang Syne

A cup of kindness is not what I thought about giving Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan.  It was at midnight on New Year’s Eve when Ed called from Melville. He yelled, “Happy New Year,” into the telephone. He wanted me to hear Auld Lang Syne being played traditionally in the background on the bagpipes.

Ed was not sorry that he woke me up as, he declared, “You need to start the new year right by seeing 2017 in its infancy. It proves you are getting your name in for good health, prosperity, and happiness before the supplies are gone.” It took a while to convince Ed that I needed to hang up, and get my sleep because New Year’s Day was also Sunday and I was preaching in the morning.  For the sake of old times, with Ed being my old neighbor for a decade, we said our good-byes with mutual best wishes for the coming year. Old years slip away and new years come but friendships last as long, as we live.