It’s a Miracle! It’s a Miracle?

The first, and most famous, church potluck was unleashed…

Only one miracle—count ‘em, one—occurred in each of the four Gospels.

Matthew. Mark. Luke. John. You do your own laborious Biblical research, but you’ll come to the same conclusion as me (and everyone else). Only the feeding of the crowd has parallels in all four Gospels.

Was the feeding a miracle?

Answer A: We don’t know. The Gospels are not neutral, facts-only-ma’am history books. The accounts were biased and written two or three generations after Jesus’ ministry. That’s like me giving details about my grandfather’s childhood. We have no idea what happened.

Answer B: It’s completely true. After all, darn it, this is the Bible! If it’s in the holy scriptures, then every sacred, infallible word explains all that’s necessary. ‘Nuff said.

I live between those two answers. And I have an imagination. Continue reading →

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Healed and Broken

Will you still respect me when I recall how I once spent part of a summer vacation?

I fear not.

Within the course of a summer week, my wife and I binge-watched a season of 24. As you probably recall from that now ancient TV series, each episode represented one “real time” hour. The actions begin and conclude during a single frenzied, fractious day (which takes twenty-four shows to resolve).

In order to keep the plot’s velocity at breakneck speed, there was a dump truck’s load of unbelievable scenes. An example? Two different characters shot themselves to cover their duplicity with the bad guys. Apparently, in the fictional world of caffeinated thrillers, a bad guy’s so-called friends won’t suspect deceitful actions if he’s bleeding after the firefight.

Ouch!

No worries, it’s only a flesh wound. On to the next adventure! Continue reading →

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Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between

What is one of the ways to easily expose me as an old guy, an aging baby boomer?

We still get a daily newspaper tossed onto the driveway.

My wife likes Sudoku. Not me. I ignore those sneaky numbers.

My reading is often “professional:” I regularly browse the obituaries.

As someone who has written (unpublished) novels, the “obits” represent a treasure trove for names once popular. Even if the facts were spare, an obituary confirms that a name was used when a Roosevelt or Coolidge occupied the Oval Office. Names that I’ve included have also been purloined from people I’ve met. Add a friend’s first name to another’s last name! Some successful novelists provide contests for naming a character. Bid high, have your real name in a best-selling book, with all the money headed to charity.

Obituaries once represented a Plan B. I usually knew when a parishioner died, but not always! Regardless of how well I visited folks (known as Plan A), I couldn’t read minds or see the future. Visiting Jane Doe last month never guaranteed I’d hear about her heart attack two weeks later. Nor did it guarantee out-of-town family members would call the church to let anyone know. Continue reading →

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