Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Give Peace A Chance

On a lighter note, this is the 37th anniversary of John and Yoko's infamous "bed-in."

Battle of Cold Harbor

This battle was one of Grant's worst defeats. This happened 142 years ago today.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Bottom Line

This is the best article I have seen to date on the emerging church. I am not for or against this movement because I haven't made a clear decision on it yet. I may never. Here is a quote from the end of the article. Please read the whole article when you have a chance.

As a response to Christianity’s PR problem, Emergent has clearly blurred the lines between church and world in troubling ways. Given their lack of confessional anchors, some Emergent leaders are likely to depart further from biblical standards, even scandalously so. And while history’s verdict on postmodernism remains outstanding, the movement seems likely to shift and redefine itself according to new categories in the coming years. Nevertheless, an opportunity remains for us to be sharpened and shamed by the important issues they are raising, and to bring the rich resources of confessional Reformed theology to the table, for their good and for ours. As sinners redeemed by the sovereign mercy of God, we have precious treasures to steward. The glory and honor of Christ, and the utter lostness of our neighbors who bear His image, demand nothing less.

General Orders No. 11


General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

  1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

    We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

    If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

    Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

  2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

  3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

    By order of


    Adjutant General

    WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

Monday, May 29, 2006

God Bless The Troops

May God bless our troops on this Memorial Day. The men and women of the US Armed Forces should be proud and I am proud of them. I have the day off. They don't. Stay vigilant.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Trek Housing

Wow! I love all things Star Trek, but I am sure I would have to be married to a Vulcan before I could do this to my house. (Meaning my lovely wife of 20 years would not approve!)

It Is The Soldier...

We in this country owe a great debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives so that we could live free. We can start to pay that debt by not forgetting, by remembering what they did and what they stood for.

Listen to these words by Charles M. Province:

"It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Memorial Day

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
---by Moina Michael

While growing up in Indiana, Memorial Day meant the Indy 500 and the beginning of summer. I never appreciated the history of the day or of our military. Many members of my family served in the various branches of the military and many of those saw action. Yet, no one talked about it much, so I never understood the meaning of the holiday.

Four summers ago, I visited Uncle Robert and Aunt Golden on a Sunday. We went to the old church the Rhine family had been members of for nearly a century. Aunt Golden fixed us a huge spread of food (there were only 4 of us) and I admit committing the sin of gluttony that afternoon. I hadn't tasted her cooking in about 25 years. It may be a good thing because I would weigh about 400 pounds by now! Anyways, Uncle Robert showed us around the county. We saw the old farmhouse that his parents lived in and he grew up in. That same house is where my grandparents (his sister was my grandmother) were married and my mother was born.

Then he took us to the family cemetary. It is where several Rhines and Merrills are buried. It is in the middle of corn or bean fields (I can't remember) and is kept up nicely by the county. There are some huge oak and elm trees to shade the area. I took several pictures of the plots. Uncle Robert mentioned that the family used to have a picnic every Decoration Day (May 30) at the site and spend the day cleaning the cemetary and replanting flowers. I think I have missed out on that special event.

Then we traveled to some other cemetaries and he showed us graves of Civil War veterans. These names have become heroes in my eyes. I am sure they would say they did what they had to do or what God compelled them to do.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there is more to Memorial Day than racing, eating and summer vacation. Many men and women gave their lives for us to enjoy these things. I ask that you not forget. Thanks Uncle Robert.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

True Sportsmanship

It is not too often that you hear of true sportsmanship in any sporting event. Darren Clarke has become my new favorite golfer. Golf is supposed to be a gentleman's game with impeccable ethics. Back in the day when I played competitive golf, I played with too many golfers that would try to gloss over rules and regulations. I called a few out on rules violations ans they either received extra penalties or were disqualified. Darren Clarke could "have thanked the little people" for improving his lie overnight when the last round of the Irish Open was suspended. He had an open shot to the green with his improved lie, but he pitched out to the side like he was planning on doing. He came in second. Way to go Darren.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Spring in the Rockies

We finally have warm weather. I mowed the yard for the first time Saturday afternoon and I could have waited another week. The weather is finally hitting the 70's and 80's. Now I can plant some flowers. Just in time for the hail!

Too Much Detroit

Well, the Cavs lost to the Pistons yesterday, 79-61. Stretching the Pistons out to 7 games was a great feat, but they go home with a bitter taste in their mouths knowing they should have won game 6 at home. The Palace in Auburn Hills is the toughest venue for a visiting team to win. It was a grat education for Lebron James. The kid will only get better and that is scary!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

First Customer

Randy wins the door prize for being the first person to comment on my new site. Step up and give Carol a kiss. That should bring you back for more posting!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dipsticks could check caffeine in your cup

Coffee lovers will love this. For those of us who need massive doses of caffeine through the medium of coffee, there will be dipsticks to test the caffeine level of coffee and other drinks. Llamas and camels have something to do with it. Really. I am not making it up. Read it for yourself! At least we can keep Starbucks honest and not try to sell us low-caffeine drinks.

Old-Timers Game?

The Reds and Tigers play a 3 game series this weekend. I have been a Reds fan since Johnny Bench was a rookie. #5 was my favorite player and the Big Red Machine rolled through the 1970's like only the hated Yankees have in other decades. (Sorry about the Yankee reference Randy)

My favorite manager, of course, was Sparky Anderson and he managed both teams to World Series victories. This should be a good series. Go Reds!
Manning: elder statesman

This just in...Peyton Manning is retiring. Ok, in eight years, so he says. I am a life-long Steelers fan and have only followed the Colts since they moved to Indy. I grew up in Indiana and there were no NFL teams. I could have followed the Bengals, Cardinals, Bears and Lions. But I always liked Pittsburgh. So when Manning was drafted by the Colts, they were finally interesting to follow. What a privilege to watch one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. For eight more years anyway.
I love basketball. Mainly high school and college, because the NBA game has become littered with thugs, goons and criminals. Sort of like the old NHL! Anyways, there is a chance that two teams that play like teams and not a bunch of 1 on1 players, could make the NBA finals. Not San Antonio versus Detroit; not Dallas versus Miami. It could be the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Los Angeles...hold on to your hat...Clippers! Yes, the Clippers. The team that started out in Buffalo, then to San Diego and finally LA. The other team. The team that doesn't have Kobe or Phil. The team that plays like a team.

Go Cleveland and Clippers!
I love coffe and this was a poem that my cousin, Randy, found. Enjoy...careful, it may still be hot.

St. Arbucks is a Sacred Place
by Greg Asimakoupoulos

It’s communion… of another kind
where caffeine seekers can unwind
to drink in the sweet ambiance
that St. Arbucks provides.

As congregants both young and old,
we’re seated close and thus are bold
to talk of life (latte in hand)
and taste the mystery.

We lift the cup and share our lives
in honest words that aren’t contrived.
And if inclined, we all confess
our failures and our dreams.

St. Arbucks is a sacred place
where those who run the human’s race
can sip the nectar of the gods
awake to what is good.

It is quite sanctuary-like
where mothers and their little tykes
can find a refuge from routines
while seated near the fire.

There are no stained glass windows there
but those behind the “pulpit” care
about the thirst we long to quench
and “preach” through what they pour.

What Cheers was thirty years ago
is now St. Arbucks. Don’t you know?
A church where we are known by name
and feel like family.

Friday, May 12, 2006

This is a prayer by Cardinal Newman. I hope it will speak to you as it has to me.

God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself, but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory--we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission--I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his--if indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me--still He knows what He is about.

O my God, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I--more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfill Thy high purposes in me whatever they be; work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see, I ask not to know--I ask simply to be used
Well, this is my first post. Many bloggers, I am sure, have written the same first sentence. There will not be a set format, mainly my own ramblings. I do like to write on Biblical-based issues, but also history, current events, genealogy, etc, etc.

The title for my blog, Converging Heritage, may raise a question. The more I check into my family history, the more I see how God has worked in each family. As a general statement, you can say that my family's heritage is Christian in nature. This starts with the Hershey family being labeled Anabaptists in Switzerland during the late 1500's and throughout the 1600's. On the other side of the family, the Wootens have a long line of pastors, evangelists and church workers. These heritages have converged to my generation. I hope I understand what it is I am to do with this convergance.

Until next post...