When the Chosen Become Vulnerable

Once, I confess, the Feds got me.

Did I end up in shackles, accused of poor writing or telling way too many half-truths? Nope. Was it for that little-bitty IRS sleight-of-hand a few years back? Wrong again (and please tell the IRS I’m only kidding). Alas, it’s mundane.

I was summoned for jury duty. Federal Court. The Eastern District in California. Whoa.

Federal Court is different from my local Superior Court. Instead of a citizen lassoed for one week or one trial, the Feds nab you for an entire month. If selected for duty, you’re done with the obligation. (Though who knows how long a trial could last!) If not selected, the Feds are like a bad habit—they keep coming back. Do they want me this week? Or the next? Or the next?

A month can seem a long time. I rarely like to be dismissed, but after a month, I was glad the Feds no longer cared about me!

Another lengthy experience was sitting in the jury room lounge, viewing the “Federal Jury Video” with forty or so other Eastern District denizens. Bring on the popcorn and Milk Duds, it was Hollywood at its worst. For the fifteen loooong minutes, I remained on the edge of my seat, mostly just trying to stay awake. The sacrifices we make to be, er, good citizens!

Jury duty can be like many events in life: wait. Then wait a little more. Continue reading →

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One World At A Time

II Samuel 23:1-7 – Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday – for Sunday, November 25, 2012

“Now these are the last words of David:  The oracle of David, son of Jesse…” (II Samuel 23:1)

Now these are the last words of David . . .

Thus begins the twenty-third chapter of II Samuel. David the King was “the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel.”

David the human was also a fool, sheepherder, petty, virile, vulnerable, devious, brilliant, Goliath-slayer, Uriah-killer, lustful and yet devoted to the “God of Jacob.” Based on the diverse stories of his life, the shepherd-king arguably possessed the best and worst qualities of a leader of Israel.

Anyone familiar with the Bible knows him well. We are astounded as at the heroics of the ruddy-cheeked lad Samuel the prophet blessed as we are offended when the mature David leered through a palace window and craved the pleasures of Bathsheba.

So read what II Samuel claimed are his final utterances before the nation mourned the old king and welcomed Solomon, the new king. Did David declare everything the chapter claimed? Were any of those eloquent (and long-winded) sentences truly what he said before a last breath?

Final words can fascinate.*

Henry Ward Beecher, the 19th Century preacher . . . “Now comes the mystery.”

Grover Cleveland, the American president . . . “I have tried so hard to do the right.”

Robert E. Lee, Civil War general . . . “Strike the tent.” Continue reading →

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