Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This

...but I like Tim Tebow. God bless him and his mom too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Technical Issues and Two Men from Massachusetts

So my internet connection decided to play with me and cut itself off...on an election night, no less. Thank God for AM radio and the Geek Squad at BestBuy.
Barrels of ink have already been spilled over Senator-Elect Scott Brown's (R., MA) victory over Martha Coakley on January 19th. Listening to the radio that night as he gave his victory speech, I thought of another "Miracle" that was capped off by an ordinary guy from Massacusetts: The famous "Miracle on Ice" at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York in 1980. Thirty years ago next month, Mike Eruzione, captain of the U.S. hockey team, scored the final goal in America's semifinal against the U.S.S.R. The score put the U.S. up 4-3 with ten minutes to play. If you've never seen (or heard) Al Michaels' call of the final seconds of that game, get yourself over to YouTube and hear it. If you have, listen to it again.
Eruzione's goal put the U.S. over a team that many at the time considered unbeatable. The Soviet team had won the hockey gold medal in 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976. However, as that game proved, no one is unbeatable. Even Democrats in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For the lost sheep, a good song

Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I've come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wand'ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.

Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be;
Let that grace now like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

Oh, that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in the bloodwashed linen, how I'll sing Thy wondrous grace!
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry; take my ransom'd soul away;
Send Thine angels soon to carry me to realms of endless day.

-"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing", verses two through four, #686, Lutheran Service Book

As far as I know, this is not a Lutheran hymn, but it's one of my favorites. Whether it's played by a handbell choir or belted out by a congregation, it's simply sublime.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This is a year that should come to mind when thinking of the epochs of history. 1066, 1492, 1620, 1776, 1860-5, 1914, 1939-45, 1989, 2001. These years speak of beginnings of epochs. History itself does not end; it simply moves from one moment to the next. The moment of 1453 is a foundation on which American history finds its deepest roots. If the dawn of America was Columbus stumbling upon a New World, then what happened nearly forty years previously was the waning moon before the sunlight.
On May 29th, 1453, the Ottomans conquered the Byzantine capital city, Constantinople. The inevitable fall of the empire had been coming for a long time.
Constantinople sits on a strip of land between the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents. Its place in geography, as well as that of most of the Byzantine Empire, were what made it so susceptible to enemies.
Once Constantinople fell, the trade routes used by western Europeans on their way to the Orient were closed. To get to the exotic East, made famous by Marco Polo (originally from Venice, once a Byzantine province) their only directions were south or west. The Portuguese had begun sailing south along the coast of Africa early in the 15th century. However, sailing around Africa was not a viable choice. Its coast was too long, ports were too few (then, as now, travelers needed a decent amount of rest areas), and if an adventurer made it through the stormy southern tip, there were pirates and other dangers to contend with in the Indian Ocean.
So the Europeans headed to the West to reach the East. The history of the Western Hemisphere is the result of their choice, brought on by the fall of the Byzantine Empire.
Constantinople still stands. Its name now is Istanbul. The flag flown there is the Turkish flag. It is red, with a star and a waning moon.

The Lion in the Wizard of Oz asked the right question

And he received the correct answer. When I think as to why I did not begin this blog sooner, I think of the Cowardly Lion's question, and the answer:



Sunday, January 10, 2010