Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Category Archives: Whimsy

Prairie Spring

A few days ago we still needed to run the furnace in the morning to make the house comfortable. Today we have to try to cool it down. The temperature at 11:00 am is 30° (86°F).

We had a long winter and a slow spring. But now we hear birds singing at 4:00 am and I was hearing the serenade of a brown thrasher as I ate my breakfast. Chris was almost despairing of seeing the swallows this year, this is much later than their usual first appearance. This morning they are back!

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

I haven’t cut the grass yet, the lawn is green but hasn’t grown much because of how dry it is. Little yellow flowers have appeared on our lawn and I enjoy the splash of colour. The scent of lilacs will soon be wafting through the air. Our neighbour’s house has disappeared behind a wall of green leaves. In a few days we won’t be able to see the highway from our house. It is half a mile away and last summer was the first time that the trees on the west side of our acreage had grown dense enough to block our view.

We are enjoying the beautiful weather, farmers around us have been busy the past two weeks and most of the crop is now in the ground. Now we are hearing the old flatlander lament:

We sit and gaze across the plains
And wonder why it never rains.

For the past three weeks the long range forecast has promised heavy rains 7 to 10 days in the future. It’s like a mirage, it keeps moving and we never get closer. One of these days it will surprise us.

The art is in knowing what to remove

Michelangelo, when asked how he managed to create such a lifelike sculpture of David out of a block of marble, replied “I just removed everything that was not David.”

Chaim Potok, who wrote novels such as The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev, said something much the same: “I think the hardest part of writing is revising. And by that I mean the following: a novelist has to create the piece of marble and then chip away to find the figure in it.”

Yearning for more red rhubarb

Image by Di Reynolds from Pixabay 

What is a yard in Saskatchewan without a couple of rhubarb plants? But this yard did not have any when we moved in 13 years ago. Ten years ago I bought one plant from a garden centre and planted it in a back corner of the garden. It grew, but never produced enough stalks that we dared cut any for eating.

I finally had to admit that I had planted it too close to the trees. They were thriving, the rhubarb just surviving. Last spring I dug deep to get all the root and transplanted it to a more open area. We didn’t expect much the first year after transplanting, but the rhubarb surprised us. It loved the new location and produced enough for us to have a few good desserts from it.

And was it ever good! In other places where we have lived we planted rhubarb that promised to be redder and sweeter than the old-fashioned rhubarb and could barely discern the difference. This stuff is different. Well, you can’t exactly call rhubarb sweet, but it is much less bitter than others. We look forward to treating ourselves to more this summer. Now I wish we had two plants. But how can I find another plant like this when I have no idea what variety the first one is?

Half-baked writing

If I remember correctly, this happened 40 years ago when we moved into our house in Fullarton, Ontario. This was before the days of 220 volt plugs, I had to hard-wire the kitchen stove. Then wed put a couple of frozen pizzas into the oven to feed those who helped us move.

Pretty soon we were all sitting down, chatting and waiting for the pizzas to cook. It seemed to take a long time. I checked the oven; it was only warm. What was wrong?

I flipped the breaker, pulled the stove out, looked at the connections and decided I had fastened the wires to the wrong terminals. I unscrewed the clamps, switched the wires around, tightened the clamps, pushed the stove back into place and turned the breaker on. The aroma of cooking pizza wafted from the oven and soon we could have our lunch, just a little later than planned.

Well, I never pretended to be an electrician. I do pretend, however, to be a writer, though still in the learning stage. Half-baked writing has no more appeal to me than tepid pizza, and I’m sure readers feel the same. That’s why I am still studying how to get the connections right in my writing so that the story flows as it should.

Why reverends should refrain from making public policy pronouncements

Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, in a recent speech to the British parliament, was highly critical of Canada for over-ordering Covid-19 vaccines. He said that we have five times what we need in the pipeline.

The view from this end of the pipeline is quite different. The pipeline ran dry the week before last and the proportion of people vaccinated so far is much less than many other countries. The vaccines are supposed to start trickling out of the pipeline again next week, but there are great uncertainties about how long it will take to receive enough for all of our population.

The Canadian government has no plan to vaccinate us all five or ten times, nor to stockpile more than we need so other countries cannot get what they need. They are just trying to get enough, from whatever source they can. They have ordered from a number of different companies. Many of those vaccines are not even approved as yet.

I don’t want to seem disrespectful of the Most Reverend Mr. Welby, but I wish he would have shown a little more respect for the facts.

Planet Earth: Future Haze

I think my wife has a kindly way of cutting through the swirling fog of prophetic teachings.

Christine's Collection

As I sat down to write more about the subject of pre-millennialism, I asked my husband how he remembers this and that. So he’s handed me several books on the subject of prophecy. About a weeks’ worth of reading. 🙂 Prophecy is so complex and so much could be written, but I’d really like to keep this simple for those of you who are interested in reading it.
Let’s start in the dim distant past….

The Dormant Pre-millennial Doctrine Starts to Grow

According to Dave MacPherson in his book, The Incredible Cover-Up – © 1975 by Logos International – there was some pre-millennial thinking in the US colonies before 1830. It did rise somewhat during the mid-1800s with currents blowing in from a mini charismatic revival in Scotland and England, together with J N Darby’s teachings. It really began to take hold during the Civil War and by the 1870s…

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Pookie the Policeman

There are five residents in this house, two humans and three cats. The humans are seniors and two of the cats are getting close to that stage of life. The third is a kitten, a bright-eyed, affectionate, fearless and hyperactive bundle of fluff.

Experts say that cats are capable of more than 100 vocal sounds. Angus, our oldest cat, uses them all. Pookie, the second oldest, hardly uses them at all. He showed up on our doorstep almost ten years ago, just sitting there and staring at the door. When I opened the door, he walked in. He seems to believe in telepathy. When he wants out he sits and looks at the door until one of us gets up and opens it. If he’s desperate he will reach up and tap one of us on the arm. When he’s outside and wants to come in, he sits by the door and stares at it. That always works for him, though sometimes he has to wait awhile.

It’s a mystery to me how Pookie communicates with the other cats. He’s not a scrapper, he doesn’t ever make much noise, but they know not to mess with Pookie. Tuffy, the youngest cat, often jumps on Angus and they start wrestling. Nobody gets hurt, but it can get noisy at times and sometimes they chase each other through the house. It looks like Angus enjoys it, up to a point, but it’s a little like a 10 year old boy always wanting to wrestle with his grandfather.

Lately Pookie has taken on the role of policeman. Several days ago Tuffy and Angus were noisily wrestling on the living room floor. The disturbance awakened Pookie and he came to investigate. He didn’t make a sound, yet they stopped their scrap and looked at him. First he fixed Angus with a glare and Angus slunk off to hide behind the recliner. Pookie then fixed his glare on Tuffy, who slunk off in the other direction.

They were at it again this afternoon. Pookie came along as they dashed down the hall. Pookie sat down on the dining room floor and waited. Tuffy came strolling back, on a path that would have taken him in front of Pookie, then veered off and went behind him, Pookie eying him all the time. Tuffy walked over to the couch, reached up and started scratching on the arm. Pookie walked over and gave him a swat. Tuffy stopped, walked away and lay down on the floor. A few minutes later all five of us were enjoying a peaceful Sunday afternoon nap.

14 things you (probably) didn’t know about Christianity, but really should – Premier Christianity

Nobody gets to heaven by being good, faith is not a blind leap and there’s much more evidence than you think. Andrew Haslam clears up these and other common misconceptions about Christianity

Source: 14 things you (probably) didn’t know about Christianity, but really should – Premier Christianity

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ

This is the first of a series of articles about the kingdom of Christ that my wife has written and posted on her blog. I have written on the topic from time to time, but I feel she has summed things up more clearly than I have.

Christine's Collection

For the most part I like to keep my writing brief and easy to read, but now I feel the urge to do a few posts on a subject thoroughly hashed over by Christians for ages:
What is – and where is – the Kingdom of Jesus Christ?

This topic may not interest a lot of my readers, but I’ll tag these posts Prophecy so you can follow them if you’re interested in what I have to say on this subject. I want to look at some of the prophesies and the theological potpourri we’ve waded through in our day, hoping to shed some light and not spark too much heat. But before I start, I’ll give you some of our background so you’ll know…

Where I’m Coming From

Outside of weddings and funerals, my family rarely darkened a church door. Mom F was a believer and packed me and…

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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

The title is quoted from lines that Alexander Pope wrote 300 years ago. In popular culture only the first line is remembered, with knowledge substituted for learning, as I have done above.

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

Both of my father’s parents died of acute indigestion. At least that’s what their death certificates said. My grandfather died in 1912 and my grandmother in 1927, in the doctor’s office. Such was the state of medical knowledge 100 years ago that chest pains were attributed to indigestion. Doctors, and most of the rest of us, know a little more today. Still, my doctor told me of a man in his examining room with chest discomfort who said, “All I need is a big burp, doctor.” The doctor knew better, this man was having a massive heart attack, and treating it as indigestion wasn’t going to save his life.

Nowadays, medical information is just a mouse click away. Some of it is good, some not so good and some is downright dangerous. Some folks choose to believe the advice that best suits their inclinations. Alexander Pope didn’t know about the internet, but his words are very fitting. A few sips at this fountain of knowledge is intoxicating, making us feel that we are experts, knowing more than the professionals. That intoxication can be deadly, for ourselves, or for someone who takes our ill-informed advice.

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