Archive for December, 2009

Although John the Seer reserves pride of place among the human virtues for that costly quality that we unjustly but necessarily abbreviate as ‘perseverance’, he is sure that the future does not flow from human exertion or construction. Rather, it is the doing of the Lord’s own generosity.

The eschaton is, before all else, gift.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Yet its singular and super-human provenance does not for one moment render this, God’s future, antisocial, individualist, or otherwise constrained.

No sooner does the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flood out from the place of deity itself than it courses through the city’s streets. It is the life-source of a most urban reality. What is more, it irrigates the tree of life, now standing inexplicably on both sides of the river, so that its leaves might heal the nations.

Reference to the twelve kinds of fruits is not to be missed. YHWH’s gifted eschaton remains decidely Israelite in its instrumentality. Jesus’ instruction that ‘salvation is of the Jews’ persists, in John’s visionary economy, through and beyond the end of history. Yet it is not in any restricted way for the Jews. Rather, it heals the nations.

No specifying adjectives are any longer licit. No grammatical restrictions, with their formative grip upon the reality we imbibe, are tolerated. The nations stand unconditioned, for the riverine course of YHWH’s provision now drenches every one and all.

Were we to read a few clauses further in, we would stumble upon John’s laconic, pregnant sentence that ‘the curse will be no more’. For now, we swim over our heads into the river that appropriates streets upon which we no longer need to busy ourselves sorting things out, breaking up fights, scratching for bread.

Wet, we dive, we laugh. Faintly, we remember hints at our earlier scrabbling about but, as we come up for air, they fade away. They were not large enough for this wet, resourced, healing current.


Read Full Post »

Endless and ever-growing imagery for your iPhone home screen.

Art, in pursuit of fresh delight, imitates life.

Read Full Post »

Because I’ve grown to trust the Costco buyers, I didn’t hesitate to snag this gizmo online when my furtive attention fixed itself upon the need to secure the slides and photos our family had accumulated.

Many hours of digitization later, I have no regrets.

I rock with delight as I discover slide-bound memories one at a time in the process of scanning them into the iPhoto library of my MacBook Pro. iPhoto or the software that comes with the PrimeFilm PF7265Ou permits the rescue of legacy-rich but tragically underexposed (or overexposed) slides.

I could hardly be more enthusiastic about the value of this product. You can go upscale and secure greater control of your images, as a friend urged me to do. Or, you can tread the economical path and come away, as I have, one very happy scanner-camper.

Read Full Post »

Not for nothing do the terms ‘climax’ and ‘climactic’ figure importantly in multiple spheres of human endeavor.

One learns, in this life, to wait and to anticipate. One learns to long. Life educates one to grasp, white-knuckled, hopes and desires that a more prosaic mindset might counsel one to abandon.

A sober-mindedness stands behind such counter-cultural, stubborn hope. Despite appearances, such unyielding refusal to cave to the way things are is more truthful than the cynical compromises we are urged to make. One sees, out of this stubborness, possiblity that has become invisible to pragmatism’s intoxication. (more…)

Read Full Post »

As bearers of bad news go, AT&T’s myWireless iPhone app is a particularly handy one.

WIth a few taps, you can work out just how much you owe and even pay it if you’re feeling well-disposed towards the official iPhone monopolist du jour. The app also allows the conscientious—or bill-fearing—user to track his or her usage in the relevant categories.

If you have to pay this much to keep the amazing iPhone up and running, it’s a least cold comfort to have the painful details so easily available.

Read Full Post »

Our two Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not particularly determined chewers. Yet every once in a while, always while no humans are home, the Spirit of Chewing visits our abode. Havoc ensues.

After trying all manner of cheaper alternatives, we settled upon the Orvis TouchChew Dog’s Nest bed, one oval the other rectangular.

Problem solved. Rosie and Sammy love their new beds—although their embroidered names have not proved to them persuasively which dog belongs in which bed.

Better yet, the Chew Spirits have fled, frustrated—nay, vanquished!—from the neighborhood.

Read Full Post »

Clearly a reflection upon the creation narrative of Genesis 1, the ‘hallelujah psalm’ that is numbered as the psalter’s 148th brings all of creation into its doxological vortex.

As is customary with biblical praise, the psalm deconstructs reigning mythologies that pose as unquestionable depictions of reality. Sun, moon, and stars—for example—are not merely stripped of their purported power over human beings. That much is already accomplished in Genesis 1. Here, the matter is taken a step further: they join in praising YHWH, and this for an interesting motive: ‘for he commanded and they were created’. (more…)

Read Full Post »

We’re a family of dogs, cats, people, and multiple stories. Peace and harmony depend on each of us staying where he or she belongs.

Enter the Orvis Hardware Door Frame Containment Gate. We use this exceptionally well-built pet gate at the bottom of the stairs that lead from the ground floor to the second. Dogs belong below, cat above, people on both.

The product is sturdier than anticipated. WIth a little practice, those of us who enjoy movable thumbs are able to let ourselves through the gate with a full load of laundry in one arm and just one hand for gate operation. Over the years we’ve owned many ‘dog gates’. This one is the best.

Read Full Post »

For mostly sentimental reasons, I have an attachment to HP printers. I do wear them out with some predictability. When the time came to replace my recently defunct all-in-one model, I moved up to the wireless version of the OfficeJet 6500.

After a frustrating start, during which it seemed I had joined the legions of (user-group-savvy) customers who were frustrated with an initially slow wireless connection, I have settled down to a life of tranquil satisfaction with my 6500.

I use the scanner and printer regularly, though not the fax feature.

The first thing to note is the exceptionally low price of all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax units in general and the low barrier to entry into the world of HP quality. Simply put, you get enormous capacity at a very low price. Now the business model has evolved in the direction of hitting you hard for printer cartridges, so there is a sticker shock to be suffered, albeit a delayed one.

The OJ 6500 produces truly fine print quality. It sets up and meshes well with my MacBook Pro. I have not had paper jam issues, which strikes me as an improvement on previous generations of printers and all-in-ones.

Aesthetically, I find the mostly-black-clad unit to be quite handsome.

I can’t imagine a potential buyer with home or small-office needs going wrong with the HP OfficeJet 6500. Pay the premium for the wireless version and you won’t regret it.

It just does what it says it does, providing quality at a very modest price.

Read Full Post »

The biblical drama bends an ear to the ground, straining to detect the cry of innocent blood spilt into the soil by callous hands who seem too often to have got away with murder. The biblical anthology’s meta-narrative squirms and frets before the unresolved dilemma of the innocent victim, his voice muffled if not snuffed out, his death too often unobserved. A bullet in the head in some Polish wood, a prisoner’s last breath given up while even his guard is too bored to notice, the hasty grave-mound hoed out in some forgotten field.

Yet the first assassin—a fratricide, no less—learns in the book of Genesis’ Ur-drama that the blood of his murdered brother cries out from the soil into which it has flowed. Flood narrative and Torah ritual prescription both reckon with the enduring value of human life, blood standing in as visual, liquid condensation of the life for which it is essential. One barely gets started in the gospel narratives of Christ’s passion before the impact of innocent blood once more jolts the conscious. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »