Affronted by Fronteds

Writing, Write, Person, Paperwork, Paper

Pixabay

Frequently, I look on with dismay

Barely perceiving what they’re trying to say

Totally overwhelmed by adverbials fronted

Often, making me feel my grammar is stunted

Regularly, they precede an action to follow,

Their artificial use, I find hard to swallow

Frequency,  place, time, or manner

Rapidly throwing them in, can make you stammer

Whatever happened to simple nouns and verbs

In our grammar?

 

Padre

 

Ismism

Handcuffed, Arrest, Oppression, Racism

Pixabay

I have studied at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Centre for Holocaust Education at UCL Institute of Education, and taken part in several courses and workshops from the Holocaust Education Trust, and Yahad-In Unum.  Through it all one mantra introduced to me by Professor Yehuda Bauer has stuck with me: “There is only one race – the human race”

One of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of my role as an educator is the teaching of ethics.  Here again, ideas of “the other” are a major concern.  It is one of the early exercises that I engage in with my students is an attempt, to isolate “who is the other?” within the class.  When gender, gender identity, height, weight, eye and hair colour, and a vast array of other distinctions are considered – the only possible answer is “everyone.”

I often shock some students when I comment that there are no such things as black people or white people.  All humans are actually on a spectrum of brown.  Yes, very light or very dark in some cases, but nevertheless – brown.  Objections are countered by a simple experiment of having students place their hands on a sheet of white paper.

But in society today we still have to deal with racism, sexism, classism, ageism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia and so many more.  Isn’t it time we begin to show our dislike of something sensible like the “isms” themselves?

 

Padre

 

 

Another Auction Annual: Alliteration Experiment

 

Another auction annual –

Bargains, bringing buyers back –

Carrying cold cash,

Dream deals desiring.

Each expert examined everything

For fabulous finds.

Gazing glorious goods

Hands hasty hiked

In indicating interested intent.

Joining jealous jostling –

Keeping calm key.

Last lot –

Masterful move made

Nonchalantly nodding

Others outbid!

Perfect purchase, proficiently planned.

Quest – quickly, quietly

Realised, resolved, reached!

Slight smile signifying satisfaction.

Today’s triumph total!

Undeterred, unrelenting,

We will watch, we will wait.

NeXt – Year – uZ!

 

Apologies at the closing fudge.  This was a form experiment.

 

Padre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Faith To Live And Die For

Stoning of Steven – Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

A few weeks ago I spoke on the topic of faith.  In that message I noted the centrality of faith in the Christian life.  The Apostle Paule wrote,

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13).”  Faith can be defined as a belief in which one has total confidence.  But scripture calls us to an even higher level of expectation.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”

I have on several occasions had students who remarked that the Hebrews passage is “stupid.”  I usually respond with asking why they see it that way.  I usually receive a reply along the lines that, “if you haven’t seen it yourself, how do you know that it wasn’t just made up?”

To this I reply, “No one knowingly dies for a lie.”

Jesus said,  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”   He stated that He was the path to salvation.  He also knew that that path would require Him to die as a sacrifice.

If we look at Jesus’ temptations in the desert, we see in the third test, that Satan gave Him “an out.”  He said if Jesus would worship him, he would give the peoples of the world to Jesus.  Jesus’ death wouldn’t be necessary.  Jesus however refuses the temptation, He was prepared to die to fulfill His mission (something that if He had made it up He would not have done), and He also refused to buy into a huge lie that Satan was worthy of worship.

Remember, you don’t die for a lie!

Peter in Acts 2:22 and following capsulises the Gospel by saying that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.  But then he adds that Jesus is risen, and that he (Peter) is a witness.  His testimony is firm.  But “what if he made it up?”

In Acts 4 Peter is arrested, and ordered by the authorities (the same that had killed Jesus) to not speak the Gospel again.  His response is to question,  “Who should we obey?”  Should he obey God, and tell the truth, or cave in to the treat of those in power?  His action is one of confident faith.  Something many would not do, especially for a lie.

In Chapter 5, Peter is arrested again and beaten for the message.   Would you be beaten for a lie?  Maybe/maybe not, but Peter holds firm.

In Acts 7 Stephen filled with the Holy Spirit speaks of the same Gospel.  He then to express its fulfillment when he said he could see Jesus at the Father’s side welcoming him, even as he is being stoned to death.  He died, and for the truth.  He not once hesitated in his testimony, even in the faith of death.  You don’t die for a lie!

Chapter 9 shows us Saul, an enemy of the Gospel converted by an encounter with the resurrected Lord.  He surrendered a promising position in the Jewish hierarchy, to speak boldly the experience of his encounter.  Would he give up reputation, and position for a lie?  But that is not all.

2 Corinthians 11: 16f summarises Saul, now known as Paul’s payment for teaching the Gospel:

“Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

To top it all off tradition tells us Paul was beheaded in Rome. Just as James had been beheaded by Herod for the Gospel.  Tradition says Peter crucified upside down, and his brother Andrew sideways, while Bartholomew was skinned alive and Thomas impaled.  The other Apostle James was stoned John boiled in oil but survived.  Each died, or was prepared to die for the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Not one recanted. 

Decide for yourself, does the gospel sound like something Steven, Paul, and the Twelve “made up?”

With that knowledge before you.  In what do you put your faith today?  Is it something worthy to live and die for?

 

Padre

 

Buffet

Rice, Sushi, Japan, Seaweed, Japanese, Fish, Raw

Pixabay

A sushi buffet, I heard them say

Brightly presented upon the tray

Prawn, and salmon, and so much more

Tasty eating seemed in store

But then it became clear, it had been there all day

So I got me some melon, but from the fish – stayed away

 

Padre

 

 

The Fair

Elkhart, Indiana, In, County, Fair, 4-H

Pixabay

 

I travelled down to the County Fair.

Amid livestock and produce –

To check out the fare.

Some lovely aromas met me –

Of roasting fowl,

But to my disappointment it tasted foul.

 

Padre

Saturday Mix – Double Take, 1 February 2020

 

“The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.”

Our homophone sets this week are: fair, fare and foul, fowl

Under Construction

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Sagrada Família

Maria Antonia’s Photography Challenge for 2020 includes a prompts for “Under Construction.”  Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia fits the phrase perfectly.  The Basilica was originally the brain-child of Josep Maria Bocabella i Verdaguer who, in 1866, wanted to create a religious site to honour the Holy Family, and especially Joseph.  Construction began in 1882.   Since then the project has been linked to Antoni Gaudí who took over as architect in 1883.   The construction has had several setbacks, not least being damage during the Spanish Civil War, and a fire in 2011.  But, the work continues and plans are now in place to finish the project in 2026.

Under construction

It seems always to be

Since Gaudi took over in ’83

It’s had some problems

With wars and some flames

But the project goes on-wards

With scaffold and cranes

The site is beautiful –

Though its style’s a big mix –

I can’t wait till it’s finished –

In twenty -twenty and six

 

Padre

 

 

 

Static Interference

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The scroll of the screen continued even after she closed her eyes.  What made it worse was that it wasn’t the IM chat with her friends that was invading her mind’s eye, but adverts from the side of the screen.  Why were these annoying posts, which she generally scrolled past without a second thought, so prevalent in the dark of her room?

Forget about the subliminal messages in the movie theatres of the 1970s trying to sell you Coca Cola, no this was something newer and even more invasive.  Rustext, developed by scientists working for Putin’s security services to sway political outcomes in the West, was now for sale to commercial interests and they were bought by corporations with a fervored gusto.   And why shouldn’t they, seeing that the sales emails sent to marketing departments around the world were laced with Rustext?

Now that’s static, I mean strategic, interference.

 

Padre

 

First Line Friday: The scroll of the screen continued even after she closed her eyes.  

Home Philosophy Kit

The Thinker, Rodin, Rodin Museum

Pixabay

I was trying to come up with a suitable gift for a truly amazing young woman.  I first met this lady over a decade ago when she was a struggling single mum with little or no support system.  My wife, Dianne took her under her wing and the friendship followed.  Far from being a stereotype, this young lady has not only entered and graduated from university, but is presently enrolled in a postgraduate course in philosophy, and is considering a career in education.  If this is not impressive enough on its own, I need to add that she has suffered from a chronic illness since she was about fourteen.  I am always impressed by her positive attitude, and willingness to go the step beyond to make her life, and that of her daughter better.

As I said, I was trying to come up with a suitable Christmas present and the idea of a novelty “Home Philosophy Kit,” struck me.

I spent a little bit of time constructing it, but it includes a 3D model of The Thinker (“The Philosopher’s Stone”), a small set of balancing scales (“The Balance of Probability”), a double headed coin (“The Ethical Dilemma Coin”), an inflatable set of antlers set up as a ring toss  (“The Horns of a Dilemma”), and a disposable razor (“Occam’s Razor”).  The set was boxed up and the following instruction sheet attached:

Home Philosophy Kit

Say welcome to your new home philosophy kit.  Once it is completed you will have everything you need to become the most profound thinker on your street.  So let’s begin.

 

Your kit contains:

  • Philosopher’s Stone (some assembly required)

 

  • Ethical Determinate Coin

 

  • Set of Horns of a Dilemma

 

  • Balance of Probability (with easy to follow Mandarin instructions)

 

and

 

  • Occam’s Razor

 

Step one is to assembly your Philosopher’s Stone.  If you have difficulty, weigh the possible pieces on your Balance of Probability.  If still uncertain go for the best two out of three with your Horns of a Dilemma.  If it all becomes too much for you, you can consider applying Occam’s Razor, but before you do you must get two tails flip results on your Ethical Determinant Coin.   Once assembled, use the items in the kit to solve all of life’s big questions, like “What are we going to have for dinner?” and “Is reality over-rated?”

I was pleased that she appreciated the gift, and I hope it gives her a little bit of a diversion from her studies. As a side note, this lady is not only the inspiration for this kit, but inspired the character Maya in my Dunes Wars novels.

 

Padre