Category: Scripture

Supercentenarians of the World–Live Long!

On January 31, 2011, Eunice Sanborn, widely believed to be the world’s oldest person, died in Jacksonville, Texas at the age of 115–bless her heart. She handed off the baton to Besse Cooper, 114, who was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee on August 26, 1896. Bless her heart too.

And let’s not forget to bless Frank Buckles while we’re at it. A veritable pup in comparison–he turned 110 on February 1st–Frank is the sole remaining US veteran of World War I, the Last American Doughboy (what cohort of uber-humans, pray tell, comes before The Greatest Generation?).

When the three of them, squirming, grunting, caterwauling little bundles of joy and raw, “FEED ME!”… Read the rest

Good “Gettin’ Around” Vision

“What do you want me to do for you,” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

–Mark 10: 51

Like Blind Bartimaeus, all Marta wanted was to be able to see. She was no whiny yuppie who would be satisfied with nothing less than 20/20 post-LASIK. She just wanted good enough.

Good enough to see the faces of her family, especially the grandchildren. Good enough to take in the vibrant green of the Guatemalan countryside and the eye-catching reds, blues, oranges and yellows of the local marketplace where her friends would gather to sell their handcrafted wares.… Read the rest

Señor García’s One-Stop Shopping

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

–Matthew 7:3-5

I once had a war hero sitting in my exam chair who had survived all manner of jungle ambushes but was dying from an inoperable brain tumor.… Read the rest

Doyouseemenastrees? Reflections on Mark 8:22-25

(This is Part 2 of a series on our recent trip to Clinica Ezell in Montellano, Guatemala. Part 1 can be found here. The following are remarks that I delivered to the HTI Eye/Ortho Team on March 17, 2010 during evening devotional).

First off, thank you Cameron for having my back tonight. He loaned me his Bible after I forgot mine.  I didn’t want to stand up here and scroll through my Bible app on my iPhone–I thought that would look, uh, “unprofessional” (pointing to my Bama ball cap and scrubs).

I just want to clear up one more thing before I get started.… Read the rest

Waiting on the Crumbs From Steve Jobs’ Table

I had a Close Encounter of the Creepy Kind with my iPhone this week. This has caused me to pause and reflect on our relationship with all our bright and shiny electronic doodads.

It happened last Sunday as Eyegal and I attended early service at a local Episcopal parish, as is our habit from time to time. It was the First Sunday in Lent (Note to my Baptist and Church of Christ friends: Lent is a 40-day period of repentance preceding Easter. It is part of the church calendar, which is actually pretty official and has been around a long, long time–like, several centuries before the founding of the United States–and has more on it besides the date of the Ladies Retreat and the next church-wide potluck.… Read the rest

We All Bear the Mark

“Have a nice weekend,” I called out to my technician last Friday shortly after 4:00 PM. “Off to get a haircut. It’s getting a little out of hand,” I chuckled. I patted the top of my crown where a shock of unruly hair shot straight up, trying in vain to press it down flat. I looked like Einstein after sticking his finger in a light socket.

When I stepped outside, I heard the sirens in full, 360 degree surround sound. From every direction came the warbling wail; if the sun hadn’t been shining I would’ve sworn there was a tornado on the ground.… Read the rest

Getting a Grip: About Mark Ingram’s Gloves

ou6zpsNumber One Son and I had just been discussing what could possibly be on the palms of Alabama’s new Nike Pro Combat player gloves, and it didn’t take us long to find out.

We knew that the Crimson Tide was among several teams that would be receiving the new gear, which featured a particular avatar representing the “spirit” of each team, but Bama’s was missing from Nike’s preview website.

But when Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Mark Ingram scored his first touchdown in the BCS Title Game against Texas, he flashed the new gloves toward the camera for all the world to see.… Read the rest

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

–Genesis 3:19

and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12:7

The first time I remember hearing the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” was when Princess died.

Princess was a pet cat, circa 1968-approx. 1971. I don’t remember that much about her other than she was gray, and I don’t recall having a particular fondness for her, although I’m sure I liked her well enough.… Read the rest

Rosa to MLK to JRB–Justice Rollin’ On Like A River

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

–Amos 5:24

Regular readers know him as JRB. He’s a Harding grad like me and the most prolific commenter on this blog, the one whose fervent man-passion for his beloved ‘Dores and his meticulous command of the King’s English often get him into a scrap or two with my Bama-lovin’ alter ego, Mike the Redneck.

And through the power of the written word, a cell phone speed dial and a few blessed opportunities to break bread together, he has become one of my best friends and confidantes in the world and the “little brother” I never had.… Read the rest

On Living A Quiet Life And The Ninth Commandment

Several years ago, I was asked to sign a petition in support of then Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and his campaign to have the Ten Commandments displayed in the Alabama State Courthouse.

I declined. Not because I thought the the Ten Commandments were something to be ashamed of or that Judge Moore might not have a few good points in his defense, but mainly because a) it was illegal under the law of the land and b) I felt that he was intentionally using the issue to score political points for a later run at public office. In my opinion, that was unseemly behavior for a Christian and in marked contrast to Paul’s admonition to live a “quiet life” and to “mind your own business” in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.Read the rest

Color Me Audacious

Recently, during a Bible class at my church, the teacher, a man in his early 30s, said something to this effect: I wish we could return to our 1950s morality.

I immediately thought: Which 1950s morality are you talking about? The black and white, warm and fuzzy, cut and dry predictability of Ozzie and Harriet or the black and white Jim Crow laws and state-supported racism which consigned a significant portion of our Southern population to second-class citizenship, public lynchings and other various and sundry travesties of justice?

And what year were you born in? 1975? What could you possibly know about “1950s morality?”Read the rest

A 9:11 of a Different Kind

I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

–Ecclesiastes 9:11

Last Friday, 39-year-old Darren Spurlock was having a delightful lunch with his wife Kelly and their two young sons, Ben and James. It was like any number of such lunches that were no doubt occurring at the same time; family members meeting working Dads and Moms at various bistros throughout Huntsville, sharing some laughs, making plans for upcoming vacations, eating outdoors and basking in the warmth of the early summer sun.… Read the rest

Want Respect? Earn It

I was 28-years-old when I graduated from optometry school and finally gained that long sought after title of “doctor.” No more “scut work” for me, I thought. “Let respect flow like a river, and money like a mighty stream” was my motto.

Oh, if only it had been that simple. We moved to Nashville where I started a residency in ocular disease at a large ophthalmology clinic and referral center near Vanderbilt. One of the first patients that I saw in the clinic there stared at me in disbelief when I walked into the room and declared, “And what high school did you just graduate from?”… Read the rest

A Good Life

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps-what more can the heart of a man desire?”

– Leo Tolstoy.

Read the rest