Bats, the Furry Fliers

Bats, the flying mammals, are fascinating creatures that inhabit human folklore in mostly inaccurate fashion. Walking across the campus of Emmanuel College one day, I saw a crowd behind one of the buildings. A large colony of bats had made their home in the attic, which had been fumigated to drive the furry fliers out. They were flopping around on the ground, sick and dying. I scooped up as many as I could into a box and took them home, where some survived and some did not.

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) wrote a short ode to the bat in 1878, and I found it on Behemoth, a website magazine about a big God and his big world.

The bat is dun, with wrinkled wings
Like fallow article,
And not a song pervades his lips,
Or none perceptible.

His small umbrella, quaintly halved,
Describing in the air
An arc alike inscrutable,—
Elate philosopher!

Deputed from what firmament
Of what astute abode,
Empowered with what malevolence
Auspiciously withheld.

To his adroit Creator
Ascribe no less the praise;
Beneficent, believe me,
His eccentricities.

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In Memory of Poly,
a Gopher Tortoise

Poly was just four years old when she came to live with the Lesters in 1964. Dr. Lester was teaching high school biology then in Orlando, Florida. One of his students brought him the baby gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), probably in hopes of mercy at grading time.

Poly lived for 30 more years as a wonderful pet, never damaging furniture, never noisily waking the family, and never making messes (she lived in a terrarium). She always seemed pleased to receive her usual diet of fresh lettuce, but her favorite food was dandelion flowers when in season.

Although she spent most of her life in a terrarium, she was often taken outside for walks around the yard (the kind of walking Dr. Lester liked to do). When Dr. Lester was in graduate school at Purdue (1967-70), Poly had the run of the entire two-room apartment in which Lane and Gail and their two children lived. Her most cramped enclosure was a shoebox, but she only had to endure that during a flight from San Diego to Orlando.

Although Poly lived in Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado, and Virginia, almost all other gopher tortoises are found only in Florida and Texas. They live in very dry country where there is little or no standing water, getting most of their water needs from the plants they eat. Gopher tortoises escape the hottest part of the day by digging deep burrows, and the Creator has given them shovel-like front feet for the job.

Poly died in 1995 of undetermined causes and is greatly missed by the Lesters (Dr. Lester, especially). When a favorite pet dies, it is easy for Christians to wish that pets might receive a special dispensation from the Savior and get to join their friends in heaven.

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The Lone Ranger and the Hurricane

I remember the day an episode of “The Lone Ranger” was coming on the radio. It wasn’t just any episode; this one would tell how the Lone Ranger became the hero he was, how his faithful Indian companion Tonto joined him, and even how he got the great horse Silver.

Since this was in the 1940s, radio was the daily entertainment medium for children and adults alike. Although radio today is mostly music and talk shows, before television it was rich with drama of all types and for all tastes.

As a youngster I had my favorites, but now I can only remember “The Lone Ranger,” the serialized story of a former Texas Ranger who had donned a mask and dedicated himself to defending truth and justice in the Old West.

Although the particular episode about the beginnings of my hero’s adventures was something special, what makes the memory stick in my mind is its being scheduled for the same night a hurricane hit my home town of Miami, Florida. One of the usual effects of a severe storm is the loss of power in the affected area, and my neighborhood was no exception.

What to do? It was unthinkable that I would have to miss this crucial episode. Here the memory is a bit fuzzy, because I don’t know how I talked my parents into the solution to my problem.

I got to hear “The Lone Ranger” that night, but I did so on the radio of our family car parked out front in the midst of the howling wind and rain.

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Hurricane and Hummingbirds

n 2017 Hurricane Irma blew through Georgia and brought with it a lot of destruction. It also brought to our home a flock of hummingbirds. We’ve had a hummingbird feeder for years, but the little guys have only come one at a time to feed. Immediately after Irma blew throaficionadosugh, we started to see a bunch of birds at the feeder. We eventually bought a second feeder to meet the demand. Here’s a short video of the feeding frenzy.
 

If you're looking for peace for yourself, be sure to drop by our home page before leaving us. The Web surely is loaded with content about every conceivable topic. The foregoing is an article we hope will be interesting for peace lovers and those who are interested in peace articles.

Christian Idolatry

The title above may seem like an oxymoron, but please stick with me and I think you’ll see it’s appropriate.

There is an email going around the Christian Forwarders Network (I just made that up) which relates “a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry.” In a conversation with a Muslim imam, Mathes asked, “Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?”

Mathes’ question above reads like a powerful challenge, but actually it is rather trivial. It doesn’t matter who I would rather have. What matters is Who actually exists and Who is actually the Creator, Judge, and Redeemer.

There is a strain of idolatry in Christianity where we feel free to decide what qualities a god should have, and then we attribute those qualities to the God of Heaven, whether or not we have any Scriptural basis for them. As an example, there is the oft-repeated claim that if I were the only person on earth, Christ would have still come and died for me. That sentiment seems very nice and godlike, but there is little, if any, support for it in God’s Word.

Even more commonly, we praise our Heavenly Father for all his omni‘s: omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience… did I leave any out? And then there are the alls: all-loving, all-merciful, etc. Well, I suppose our Calvinist brothers wouldn’t include all-loving, because there is that matter of the non-elect. There is more or less Scriptural evidence for each of these, but we often do not allow ourselves to be limited by what Scripture teaches.

The essential point is that God is real, and He has real characteristics, whether or not they are all exactly as we think a god should be. All we know about God is what He has chosen to reveal to us, and we should be humble enough to worship Him for what He has told us about Himself and not make a “golden image” in our minds of what we would prefer.

If you're interested in peace for yourself, be sure to look at our home page before leaving us. The Web certainly is full with articles about every conceivable topic. Here is a post we expect will be of interest for peace enthusiasts and those who follow peace news.

I Know What You Should Do

Seth Godin wrote the following on his website:

I know what you should do\r\nActually, I don\’t.

I know what I would do in this situation, but I\’m not you.

I know what your customer should do, but I\’m not her.

I know (and you know, and we all know) what we would do in a given situation, but that\’s not the same thing. Continue reading “I Know What You Should Do”

If you're concerned about peace for yourself, please visit our home page before leaving our site. The Web surely is full with help regarding every kind of subject. Here is a post we thought might be of interest for peace lovers and those who are interested in peace stories.

What Are You Against?

Jon Acuff has a blog I respect, Stuff Christians Like, and this post was Reacting to Anne Rice. Jon said Christian bloggers are required to respond to Anne Rice’s recent bombshell, so here goes. Continue reading “What Are You Against?”

If you're concerned about peace for yourself, please drop by our home page before leaving us. The Web certainly is full with information about every conceivable field. Here is a post we expect will be of interest for peace lovers and those who are interested in peace stories.

Pro-Life? What Age Are We Talking About?

Most Christians, and many other theists (God-believers), consider abortion to be the murder of babies. And perhaps as many (or more) are opposed to the euthanasia of the elderly as murder of those at the other end of the age spectrum. These believers would consider themselves firmly in the “pro-life” camp. Continue reading “Pro-Life? What Age Are We Talking About?”

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Hope for Saint Luke

Holy Gospel Mark 6:45–56 Immediately [Jesus] made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. And after He had taken leave of them, He went up on the mountain to pray. Continue reading “Hope for Saint Luke”

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The Parable of Roast Rump of Goat

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ Continue reading “The Parable of Roast Rump of Goat”

If you're interested in peace for yourself, we hope you will drop by our home page before you go. The Internet certainly is full with content regarding every kind of field. The foregoing is an item we expect will be interesting for peace lovers and those who are interested in peace news.