Archives For Culture

In 1863 the Irish hymnwriter, Charitie Lees Bancroft wrote the hymn Before the Throne of God Above. The hymn was comprised of six verses. I want us to focus in on the fourth verse.

Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

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Meeting George Strait

June 7, 2014

straitToday is the day for the final George Strait concert. He will be performing at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas at the age of 62. It should be some farewell as The Cowboy Rides Away.

Strait has 44 #1 songs on his resume and has sold more gold and platinum albums than anybody except for Elvis and The Beatles. While I am working, I have my Pandora set to the George Strait channel.

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84We are going back to 1987 for this movie review. Recently I was scrolling through the listing guide for television when I noticed a movie that top billed Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench. That list piqued my attention. When I saw that it was a movie was put out by Mel Brooks film company, I almost passed it by. I did not have any interest in an unknown cousin of Blazing Saddles.

I am so glad that the Anthony Hopkins appeal to me overruled the Mel Brooks disinterest. This movie was well worth the time and I highly recommend it.

The movie will not appeal to those who need explosions, chases, sex and violence in their flicks. It will certainly appeal to those who are Angliophiles and bibliophiles. In the opening scenes set in post World War II, Helene Hanff (Anne Bancroft) searches for out of print English Literature books in the bookstores of New York City. Hanff eventually writes to an antiquarian book shoppe in London manned by Frank Doel (Anthony Hopkins).

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The modern era lost a great poet this week with the passing of Maya Angelou. Like other artists in history, Angelou used a medium to communicate a message to her audience. Her medium was primarily in the forms of poetry and prose. For the most part, her message communicated hope to her audience.

But as Christians, we must be wise in considering the message. Does it reveal truth? We should consider the messenger, but don’t let the message pass untested because of our admiration for the messenger. The same is true of the medium. Just because we might love poetry, does not mean that we turn an uncritical eye to the poem.

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West Pam Beach VA Hospital

West Pam Beach VA Hospital

On this Memorial Day, I begin by expressing my sincerest gratitudes for those members of our armed forces who have paid for our liberties with their lives. From the beginning days of our nation’s history until today, we have asked men and women to lay down their lives. They deserve our highest honor.

Several days a week I am at the VA Medical Center in my area. I often see veterans who are without limbs and with other injuries with which they have lived. They also deserve honor.

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When the Reformation was in full swing in Zurich in the early 1500′s, the plague struck. The Zurich pastor, Ulrich Zwingli, ministered to his ailing people. While doing so he contracted the disease and was near death. However God granted him health by healing him of this deadly disease.

When the disease first struck the city, Zwingli wrote the first four stanzas of what is called The Plague Hymn. When he became sick, he added four more stanzas. Finally he added the final four stanzas after he was healed.

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When the plague struck Zurich, Switzerland in the early 16th century, Ulrich Zwingli ministered to the sick and dying. This kind of ministry was part of what he believed to be the role of a true shepherd.

Because of the contagious nature of the disease, Zwingli contracted the disease. His body began to waste away. At this point, Zwingli wrote four more stanzas to what is known as the Plague Hymn.

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