Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

Dancing in the Rain — June 15, 2022

Dancing in the Rain

Summer weather is stalling here in the Pacific Northwest. A day here or there. Maybe two. Yet we are still waiting for warmer days.
 
Weather predictions of an atmospheric river brought in rain showers last Friday. The large magnificent rhododendron blossoms we had watched open didn’t last long. Intermittent heavy rain showers changed them quickly.

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On Kindness — June 1, 2022

On Kindness

So many divisive incidents constantly bombard our lives and hearts these days. I won’t write out the long list I’m thinking of as I don’t want to bombard you with them. In thinking about a post this week, I wanted to address the kindness we should offer each other and strangers. If I had written that post, it would have been so long no one would read it. Continue reading

Reblog: Gun Control vs. Self-Control | Mitch Teemley — May 26, 2022

Reblog: Gun Control vs. Self-Control | Mitch Teemley

Gun Control vs. Self-Control

 
Reblogged
I would be surprised if the events in Uvalde, TX, two days ago were not in your minds and hearts. My admission to you is that I don’t have the wherewithal to write such a post as I’m too angry. I would likely head off in the wrong direction. So, please read Mitch’s post and take to heart his words and opinions. He is one of the most faith-filled bloggers I have the pleasure of knowing.
 

Two days ago, an 18-year-old murdered nineteen children and three adults in Texas – just ten days after another 18-year-old shot thirteen people, ten fatally, in Buffalo, NY. The New York shooter was a known racist, while the Texas shooter had no record of violence and no known ideological agenda. But the two shared one chilling trait:

Madness.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 says, “There is a malevolence that infects the human race, and the same destiny awaits them all. For their hearts are full of evil — madness is in their hearts while they live, and then they die.” When we fail to find what we’re meant to live for, the festering madness Ecclesiastes speaks of can emerge, offering something to kill for.

Every time there’s a mass shooting, the gun-control debate is revived. “Guns kill!” “Guns don’t kill, people kill!” Versions of the latter will, no doubt, echo at the National Rifle Association convention in Texas tomorrow (just four hours’ drive away from the mass murder site). And while it’s true that no gun ever killed anyone without a human pulling the trigger, it’s also true that no human ever killed anyone by pointing their finger. Nevertheless, both statements are half-correct:

Guns kill.

And so do people.

Therefore, any real solution must address both issues.

Guns kill. The U. S. Constitution was written at a time when rural self-protection, hunting, and citizen’s militias were central to society. But the Founders clearly did not envision the culture—or weapons—of today. Will vastly improved gun control stop people from killing? No. But it will diminish it. And diminishing human chaos is the best any law can hope for.

People kill. It has always come down to Self vs. Other. Cain slew Able because Able had something Cain wanted. The highest moral codes have always striven to check this madness, to promote selflessness over selfishness. But when accession to moral codes erodes, anarchy ensues. When the ethics-driven Roman Republic became the power-driven Roman Empire, truth faded: Sports and arts devolved into spectacles in which human beings were raped, tortured and murdered for entertainment. The masses believed in everything, and the cognoscente believed in nothing.

“Madness is in our hearts.” Modern culture is undergoing a sea change like that of ancient Rome, only it’s happening far more quickly. Former civic values—duty to God, family, country and community—have become outmoded, replaced by duty to Self alone. Can the trend be reversed before we dissolve, like Rome did, into chaos?  I honestly don’t know. But I do know this:

For it to happen, families, schools and communities would have to recommit—deeply—to teaching civility, character and selflessness, to modelling not what to kill for…

But what to live for.

“Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the
meaning of life, but as those who do.”

~Ephesians 5:15

 
Spring’s Arrival — May 24, 2022

Spring’s Arrival

I love spring! Her vibrant colors cast against the blue sky (yes, even here in Oregon) and the warmth of the sun are energizing. The sounds of birdsong filling the air lift the spirit. The scent of flowers as they waft through the air is satisfying. The world around me feels fresh and new!
 
And then there’s Daylight Savings Time. You can either love it or hate it or, according to my daughter-in-law, you can take a neutral stance. I’m still pushing my way through the fog left from setting the clocks forward.
 
Don’t forget the pollen we’re blessed with this time of year. Allergy sufferers around here have been complaining for weeks. At our house, that means two of us going through Kleenex at a rapid pace. And all the while, wishing it would go away at a rapid pace.

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Hope Is Alive! — May 19, 2022

Hope Is Alive!

In March, we began year three of the pandemic and hoped for a return to normal. From afar, we watched the destruction of Ukraine and its people by Russia. In Portland, many people struggled with the continuing crisis of homelessness. Crime is on the increase with shootings almost every night of the week. And in Oregon, we are experiencing another surge of new Covid cases. It seems one thing begins to improve and another pops up somewhere nearby, in the country, or in the world.

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The Elusive Maggie — May 9, 2022

The Elusive Maggie

Last Friday we had scheduled a vet appointment for our cat, Maggie. As usual, Maggie took up her place on the end of the sofa in our family room. We sat down to breakfast and our morning devotional and prayers. When I got up from the table, I took note that Maggie was still napping on the sofa.
 
Some 25 minutes before we had to leave, I didn’t realize Bob had brought in the pet carrier from the garage. Nor did I notice that Maggie was gone from her post on the sofa. Suddenly I heard Bob ask where Maggie had gone. Who knew?
 
Getting Maggie into the carrier hasn’t been a problem before. This time it wasn’t going to hold true.

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