Good Morning 6-18-18

In one of the stranger passages in Torah this week we read about the ritual of the red heifer. In Numbers 19 Moses and Aaron are instructed to have the people of Israel bring a red heifer without defect and upon which a yoke has never come. Now when we say a red heifer with no defect, no blemish, that means there could not be even a single white hair anywhere on the animal. That’s odd enough, but also in a society where animals were meant to work, this heifer was not to have ever done any work. No yoke … Continue reading Good Morning 6-18-18

Good Morning 6-17-18

In a Father’s Day tribute on his website Nehemia Gordon describes the day he said Kaddish for his father. Gordon, one of the foremost Hebrew scholars and linguists, was on tour with his mission partner Methodist Pastor Keith Johnson a few years ago talking and teaching about the sanctified name of God. Gordon’s father, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who had lived in Chicago his entire life, had been in ill health for a number of years when the diagnosis came that he was dying. His father wanted to die in the land and so he made the trek, aliyah, as … Continue reading Good Morning 6-17-18

Good Morning 6-16-18

There was a nice man who lived in a small town. This man was goodhearted. He owned his own business and had many friends, however, he had a nasty problem:  he loved to tell stories about other people. He really couldn’t help himself. If he heard something about another person he would tell his customers and his friends and neighbors. He was a talented storyteller and he could make even the most mundane story interesting and juicy because he tried to embellish it a bit or give it his own special slant. People were quite entertained. While in the back … Continue reading Good Morning 6-16-18

Good Morning 6-15-18

America’s Got Talent is the Arthur Godfrey Show for the modern age. The acts that appear there are mundane and fantastical. Ordinary people shooting for a moment of fame and hopefully, a million dollar prize. The four judges vote yes or no and if you get at least three out of four, you are saved to perform in the next round. The judges are also given one opportunity each to hit the “Golden Buzzer” sending the act directly to the live show. This past week a group of young men from the Chicago area who called themselves “The Future Kingz” … Continue reading Good Morning 6-15-18

Good Morning 6-14-18

Election season is upon us with force. Primaries are heating up across the land and elections earlier this week have been the subject of the political pundits in the news. Amid all the noise there is a growing swell of populism. Populism is defined as being the support for the concerns of the ordinary people. While it all sounds quite wonderful—who doesn’t, as an ordinary person, want someone to champion their cause—there is within the movement a danger to the future of freedom. Jan-Werner Muller, author of the book What is Populism?, says populism is the politics of anger. Indeed it … Continue reading Good Morning 6-14-18

Good Morning 6-13-18

Have you seen the documentary about the person who tried eating only fast food for a month? It’s called “Super Size Me” and depicts filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eating only McDonalds take out for 30 days. As a result of his 5000 calorie per day diet—the equivalent of about 9 Big Macs per day—32-year old Spurlock gained 24 pounds, suffered mood swings, an unhealthy increase in his cholesterol, and a 13% increase in his body mass index. When his little experiment was over it took him more than a year on a vegan diet to lose the weight he had gained … Continue reading Good Morning 6-13-18

Good Morning 6-12-18

History is an interesting thing. If you look back over history and study in particular the rise of nations there tends to be a four step pattern that emerges. 1) There is an untenable situation. 2) Some sort of revelation or guidance is received. 3) There is action or labor that occurs. 4) The new nation emerges. Look at the American Revolution. 1) There was an untenable situation in which the settlers of this new land could no longer tolerate taxation without representation. 2) A group of men got together and crafted a declaration that provided revelation or guidance to … Continue reading Good Morning 6-12-18

Good Morning 6-11-18

Yesterday I spent time with a friend manning a table at a fundraiser for mental health awareness. Specifically, it was about depression and suicide. Though it was planned months ago, the event was particularly timely as there have been two celebrities recently who have taken their own lives. That coupled with recently released statistics showing suicide to be the second leading cause of death for individuals between 10 and 34, points out that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Overall, the latest numbers reveal that death by suicide increased 28% between 1999 and 2016. In fact, in … Continue reading Good Morning 6-11-18

Good Morning 6-10-18

I grew up in the 60’s and early 70’s. I saw the Watt’s riots on the news and the “peace” demonstrations where young men burned their draft cards. Before the #MeToo movement prompted celebrity women to wear black on the red carpet (oh the audaciousness of it all!), I watched on the evening news as Women’s Liberation activists burning their bras. I am old enough to remember with clarity the assassination of a President, the brother of that President, and a prominent Civil Rights Leader. The Vietnam War was the focus of national concern with sit-ins and protests against it … Continue reading Good Morning 6-10-18

Good Morning 6-9-18

Some years back I wanted to encourage a young gal I mentored, to channel her artistic talents. I called a local friend and water colorist we know, Jerry Raedeke, to get advice on the kind of water color paints and paper to get her. Jerry assured me that any kind of water color paints would work fine. The secret was in getting the right kind of paper. Then I asked him if we might be able to pay him for a lesson or two just to get her started. His response was incredibly touching. He said, “No. You can’t pay … Continue reading Good Morning 6-9-18