Monday, October 26, 2009

I am troubled when people speak with such certainty.

Our knowledge is always imperfect and hazy.

Even well meaning Christian people deeply disagree about what is right in any particular situation. Even when we come close to God’s viewpoint on justice, we find that when we claim to speak for God, we can’t help inserting a few lines of our own.

But to act justly there must be a willingness to embrace those who differ with us, who disapprove of us. When people disagree —what is called for is a broader view of thinking about things. The ability to change perspectives, the willingness to reason from the other’s point of view, even to see ourselves as they see us.

What is needed is the sensitivity and desire to seek out and listen to others and, if necessary, to re-adjust our own viewpoint as we take into account their perspective in hopes that our conflicting ideas of justice might converge.

Otherwise the harder we struggle against the injustice done to us, the blinder we become to the injustice we do.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The Locavore movement is increasingly important in the United States and elsewhere as interest in sustainability has become more prevalent. Those who are interested in eating food that is locally produced, not moved long distances to market, are called "locavores".

In the early 1970's when I was growing up in southeastern Ohio we were all locavores.

Today I had the pleasure of cutting up my own pig. My pig was raised by a friend and farmer who took good care of it all summer long. No antibiotics, no stress, just apples, pasture and grain. As natural as it can be.

I know that my pig (that I split with my neighbor) was killed humanely and since we processed it, I know how it was processed. We cut the roasts, hams, bacon, chops and even ground the sausage. We wrapped everything and it is now in the deep freezer in the garage. The hams and the bacon we are taking to Barre, VT to Vermont Smoke & Cure to be smoked. The Smoke & Cure guys have been here for over 20 years and do a great job.

Tonight, I took a chop and pan fried it with salt and pork rub from Urban Herbs and it was tender and delicious. Now, I know that not everyone can do this or would want to do this but for me it was a privilege and I am grateful for the opportunity.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I like trains. I enjoyed HO scale trains when I was a kid. In 1984 I took the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles and back. It was a fun way to travel and see the country. There are three more trains I would like to ride some day - my "bucket list" of trains.

The Rocky Mountaineer - Across Canada -

The Blue Train - Across South Africa -

The Ghan - Across the middle of Australia -

I liked sharing meals with people I did not know, watching the scenery roll by, reading while traveling at eighty miles an hour and the whole idea of traveling in a relaxed fashion.

"Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas, we return!" - E. M. Forster

Friday, October 09, 2009

15 years since a New England Fall

It has been 15 years since I spent an Autumn in New England and I am enjoying this one for all it's worth.

In a number of ways I feel reborn with the coming of Fall. I recognize that most people reserve these feelings for Spring, but for me, Fall has always represented thoughtfulness, rebirth and morning.

Maybe it is the theological notion that in dying to ourselves we are reborn again. Perhaps it is the fact that the trees demonstrate a beauty and grace that is only seen in the changing and falling of the leaves.

Elizabeth Bowen wrote, "Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day."

I am thankful for this morning season where every tree is a bright bouquet against a blue sky.

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