Friday, October 10, 2014

Time traveling

A few days ago my daughter called to get my recipe for wassail punch, a favorite family drink we love to make during both fall and winter. As a hostess, she undoubtedly wanted to have the heady smell of spices wafting throughout her home, recreating the warm, happy feelings she associates with the beverage.

Just weeks ago, summertime globetrotting photos filled Facebook profiles and pages, but now, in spite of misleading high temperatures, we are well into fall. And so begins the season of time traveling. Without boarding a plane or driving a car, we will begin traveling back in time to ordinary places and bygone events, back to old feelings turned nostalgic yet made fresh through familiar smells.

Monday, October 6, 2014

"One nation under God": A plea for humility

On March 14, 2007, a headline in our local newspaper read, “Congressman is highest-ranking elected official to admit that he does not believe in God.”

Why, I wondered, after almost 35 years in public office, did Representative Pete Stark decide to disclose this? Was he trying to win the $1000 prize offered by the Secular Coalition for America, a group held together by the “far-ranging philosophies” appealing to him?

The article continued, “Stark gives confession,” aligning himself with 46 other prominent public leaders who considered themselves “nontheist—a group that includes atheists, agnostics and other types of secular humanists.” So, what we have here is a “Stark” contrast. For Christians, the verb “confess” connotes admitting one’s faults or repenting for having broken laws put in place by a Superior Being, even God. Christians are under further obligation to “confess God’s hand in all things.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Some things should not come in the form of gifts

When we were married, every bridal registry seemed to include two must-haves: a crockpot and the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook with its signature red-and-white plaid cover. Convinced both were kitchen essentials, I was crestfallen when we received neither as wedding gifts. Thirty years ago gift cards were not so commonplace. Had they been, we might have been given some, and I might have felt perfectly comfortable buying myself a crockpot and cookbook. Instead, it took me years to bring myself to buy either one.