Archive for July, 2018

Most mornings do not bring peril.

But for some people—this writer numbers himself among them—and for all threatened peoples, morning arrives with the scent of danger. Before my feet hit the floor, a thousand potential disasters have stomped briefly on my soul.

A beginning is by nature an imperiled moment, a tender shoot extinguishable by the crush of a single boot. Anything can happen in a beginning. Fear tilts perception’s scale to the narrow downside of all eventualities. The day needs little encouragement to break darkly.

A prayer in the book called Isaiah knows that morning is cousin to trouble. It may or may not bring shattering things, but it might. The mere possibility is enough for fear draw itself erect to whisper or to roar. Only YHWH is sufficient for such things.

O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. (Isaiah 33:2 ESV)

Because Israel knew real danger, it knew also the fears that dress up in that costume. Because the danger was real, the fear of it was a force with which the nation must reckon.

That reckoning came, for at least a circle of tender hearts within the wider nation, in the form of prayer that YHWH might bare his arm and—when necessary—swing it violently against all dangers, real and perceived.

YHWH was needed in the crisis, necessary in the true time of trouble, for YHWH alone could save his people when flesh-and-blood barbarians were in fact upon the gates. He was needed, too, in the morning that insinuated that this day—just maybe—could be the darkest day.

Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. (Isaiah 33:2 ESV)





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51dfwX1VqUL._SS300_In the final moments before an overseas move, my wife announced that our Queen mattress and boxspring required a mattress bag.

Fingers flew on the keyboard and—thanks to the choice-reducing effects of the Amazon’sChoice badge—we were soon in possession of this Cresnel mattress bag. It worked great.

We did a fair amount of manhandling of the bagged mattress from house to pickup truck to storage unit. There was, just between us, even a little dragging involved. The bag held up very well under the physical stress and the bad moods.

Next time this happens to you, don’t waver about going with this economically-priced and sturdy product.

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517Fm+BOPgL._SY180_We bought these brightly-colored luggage tags when we were moving some of our personal effects from the USA to Colombia, leveraging the availability of cheap, used suitcases to get the job done down and dirty.

I’ve clocked too many business miles, and so am awash in complimentary luggage tags from the likes of United Airlines and American Airlines. They fall off.

These do not. They ain’t pretty or sophisticated, but they’re garish and strong. ‘Just what we needed.

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This may not be your one-size-fits-all dog bed. It’s a bit lightweight for that.31PPnBYaIIL._SS300_

But it is as excellent product for the dog on the move. By way of example, we drove our mid-size Whipador ‘Rhea’ from Pennsylvania to Miami on a two-week road trip, then shipped her in a dog crate to our new home in Colombia. Here, she’s got a plush bed on the floor of our bedroom, but still uses this AmazonBasics Padded Pet Bolster Bed as her day-time crash. Plus, we can move it outside to our patio if we’re going to spend an extended time out-of-doors. She follows it wherever it goes and finds it a great mobile couch/bed.

I don’t know when Amazon introduced its AmazonBasics moniker, but it has proven very reliable to us. This product is one example. The price is certainly right, the materials are excellent, and it rolls up and carries in couple of seconds.

Rhea’s black fur eventually means some strong-armed learning, so we wish it came in a darker color. But you won’t go wrong snagging the Bolster Bed for your dog’s part-time lolly-gagging.

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31kEtZTvobL._SS300_Don’t overthink this. Good pencils, cheap.

You have other things to worry about.

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I clocked 58 years before I discovered clean glasses.51D0F8VxU7L._SS300_

Don’t be like me. Buy these.

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Identity comes crawling-slow.41fzQdFUfSL._SS300_

It took us years to figure out the gene pool of our lunacy-to-therapy-dog rescue animal, the pride of two Pennsylvania nursing homes and favorite doggie of children on two continents. Then, one unsuspecting Saturday afternoon, Mr Google and YouTube made it all crystal clear in the space of about 13 minutes: Rhea is a Whipador!

The undeniably Labrador Retriever characteristics blend effortlessly with the elegantly curve back half, the madly playful figure-eight runs round yard and house and municipal park, the thin rather than broad face. We would have loved Rhea no matter who her parents are, but now we are 99% sure she is half Labbie and half Whippet.

So we bought this cup.

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