Thursday, March 31, 2005

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (31mar05)

Traditional folk tunes are performed to accompany the typical contradance -- a term which means: a) continental dance, b) country dance, c) counted-step dance, d) counter dance.

Weekly History Quiz (31mar05)

The cause of King Philip’s War (1675-76) was: a) French privateering raids against British shipping, b) British privateering raids against Spanish shipping, c) an assassination in Belgium, d) European settler expansion in the American colonies.

Weekly Amusement (31mar05)

A burglar looked up from reading the society news in the daily paper. “Tonight we’ll hit the Barkley house,” he announced to his partner. “The Barkleys will be at Town Hall to receive a citizenship award. They’ll probably be gone a couple hours.”

“Are you out of your mind?” his partner protested. “The Barkleys keep at least three German shepherds indoors.”

“Yeah, that’s the beauty of my plan!” replied the first miscreant, tapping his skull smugly. “Think about it: The dogs’ll be barking so loud, none of the neighbors will hear us break the window.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Of Power Rangers, Boys & Men

Two small boys at our church’s Easter breakfast were more interested in the toys they’d brought along than in the food their parents had set hopefully before them. Not recognizing one of the well-worn figurines beside their plates, I asked what it was.

“Power Ranger,” answered the toy’s owner. “Didn’t you have Power Rangers when you were a little boy?”

Then a frown of concern clouded his face as he stared at me. He revised his question: “Were you a little boy?”

(I’m trying to remember. I think I was. . . .)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Seeing Jesus

To Christians who are challenged by nonbelievers to prove He is Who He says He is, my recommendation is to smile, shake their hands if they will permit you to, and just assure them, “I love you.” Then pray for them. Until their own sins and foibles bring them face to face with Christ and with His offer of atonement, they aren’t going to “get it.” They haven’t an inkling how bad they truly are, how badly they need the Saviour. If you attempt to explain to them that they are inherently bad and need a Saviour, you are bound to offend them. It’s been said you can never understand how dearly, divinely loved you are until you understand how horribly bad you are . . . and vice-versa. You’re bad. You’re really bad. You’ve done lots of things you wouldn’t like for the general public or your closest intimates to know about. He’ll love you anyway and forgive you forever -- but only if you ask Him.

Oswald Chambers, in his classic My Utmost for His Highest, wrote: “Jesus must appear to your friend as well as to you; no one can see Jesus with your eyes.”

Monday, March 28, 2005

Canadian Acoustics

Jian Ghomeshi spent the winter trying to determine the “50 essential Canadian popular songs” of all time for CBC Radio. The recently produced “50 Tracks,” derived from tens of thousands of audience letters, calls and debate, is especially inspiring to me, a folkie from way back, because . . .

. . . topping the list is “Four Strong Winds,” probably my very favorite contemporary ballad of the 1960s. It was recorded by Ian and Sylvia in 1963 and quickly was covered by many prominent folk groups.

Just as delightful to me were the No. 4 ranking of “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers (1981) and, two places below it, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” by Gordon Lightfoot (1967). The late Stan Rogers would receive my vote for best songwriter of all time, while my lasting admiration of Lightfoot’s work goes back to about the time of “CRT.”

Canadians clearly have a deeper appreciation for non-raucous, meaningful acoustic music than us Americans. Surprising to me is that of all the superb songs crafted by Rogers, “Northwest Passage” was picked as the favorite while none of his other masterpieces made the list at all. “Passage” is truly deserving, but had I voted, I would have included 4 or 5 other Rogers songs along with it among the top 10 or so. Also interesting is that two other Lightfoot ballads did make the list: No. 10 “Early Morning Rain” (1966) and No. 25 “Sundown” (1973). But . . . where was Lightfoot’s classic “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald?” Nowhere to be heard.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jutland: Victory or Defeat

It might be considered a draw, since neither side creditably could claim outright victory and the navy which retreated suffered far fewer losses than the one which "held the sea."

The Battle of Jutland was fought at the height of World War I, on the afternoon and night of 31 May-1 June 1916, in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark. The British, commanded by Adm. John Jellicoe, had the material advantage with 149 cruisers, destroyers and other vessels. German Adm. Reinhard Scheer could bring only 110 ships against him. From about 4 in the afternoon until the early hours of the morning, the two mighty forces maneuvered and engaged in a sequence of bombardments, some of them prolonged and bloody. The British suffered from faulty communications and intelligence. Scheer, realizing he was outgunned, succeeded in withdrawing with a sense of honor and order. Notably, he’d lost 11 ships and about 1,500 sailors; Jellicoe had lost 14 vessels and four times more men than the Germans.

Scheer had accomplished what he could but had failed in his purpose: to loosen the blockade of Germany’s North Sea ports. For the remaining two-and-a-half years of the war, Great Britain and its allies basically controlled the seas.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Jack London, Surfer

You may find that label more than a little bizarre, if you’re familiar with the life and the century-old works of the popular author. While he’s best known in the United States for The Call of the Wild and White Fang, London acquired a particular following in Marxist countries for his sociological, anti-industrial critiques.

Surprising, thus, was London’s enthusiastic 1907 journalistic account of surfing -- “a royal sport” -- at Waikiki Beach. He not only observed surfers while on vacation in Hawaii; he joined them. London described his brief ride as “ecstatic bliss.” The Next Wave, a history of the sport, judged that “London’s colorful piece about surfriding is often credited with reviving Hawaiian surfing enthusiasm and stimulating overseas interest in surfing.”

London died young at 40 in 1916, a year before the Russian revolutions.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (24mar05)

Folksinger/actor Harry Belafonte, winner of an Emmy, Grammy and National Medal of Arts (and made famous with his 1956 “Banana Boat Song” recording), was born in: a) Harlem, b) Jamaica, c) Cuba, d) Atlanta.

Weekly History Quiz (24mar05)

British mariner Sir Francis Beaufort in the 19th Century lent his name to the Beaufort Sea, which is a nook of the: a) Indian Ocean, b) Atlantic Ocean, c) Arctic Ocean, d) Mediterranean Sea.

Weekly Amusement (24mar05)

Veterinarian: “What seems to be wrong with your horse?”
Rancher: “Hay fever.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dining Late

Don’t do it -- at least, not very often. That recommendation is included in various trains of dietary thought worldwide. The late Strom Thurmond, who served in the U.S. Senate until he was 100, attributed his longevity to basic eating routines: large breakfasts and very little food consumption after midday. Agricultural families traditionally take their largest meal at lunch -- the meal we called “dinner” when I was growing up on a hay farm. (What many of you call “dinner” was what we called “supper.”) In many countries renowned for their cuisine, such as Italy, folks may consume substantial portions of high-calorie, high-cholesterol foods, but usually not at night.

Modern generations of Americans, on the other hand, are in the habit of dining out or ordering in at night. Enjoyable . . . and quite unhealthy.

To quote “Poor Richard” (Benjamin Franklin): “Eat few Suppers, and you’ll need few Medicines.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Cape Horn

Mariners have feared it for at least five centuries. The dreary, cold island cluster at the southern tip of South America is a stormy region of treacherous currents at the meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Explorers, traders, whalers, sealers and naval crews all have dreaded “rounding the horn.” In prolonged gales, it took some vessels days, even weeks to make the passage. Hundreds of ships went down struggling against the elements.

Interestingly, the term “Cape Horn” does not signify any part of the “horn” shape of South America. It was given its name by a Dutch navigator, Willem Cornelis Schouten, believed to be the first commander to successfully round the cape in 1616. (Magellan a century earlier traversed between the islands and mainland.) Schouten simply named it after his birthplace in The Netherlands: Hoorn.

Monday, March 21, 2005

America's Lost Presidents

Are you aware that technically, the United States has had not 43 presidents but 45? If you’ve never heard of Thomas W. Ferry and David Rice Atchison, it’s little wonder; neither man did much while serving as the nation’s chief executive. But each was, literally, “president for a day.”

Ferry, a senator from Michigan, was president pro-tem of the U.S. Senate on 4 March 1877. That was the day President Ulysses S. Grant’s term in office officially expired. But it was a Sunday. Grant’s successor, Rutherford B. Hayes, refused to be sworn in on God’s holy day. Ferry filled in until Monday.

A similar and wholly bizarre scenario had played out 28 years earlier. “Sunday president” David Rice Atchison of Missouri was too exhausted to even pretend to be president. The Senate had been in session late Saturday night, compelling Atchison, the president pro-tem, to sleep through Sunday. When Zachary Taylor took office on Monday, Atchison realized he’d not only had nothing to do but nothing to remember on his day as America’s leader.

FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY: Before running for president in 1848, Zachary Taylor -- a career military officer -- had never voted.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Boots & Glue: Early Postal Methods

Did you know . . .

. . . the typical “mailbox” in early rural America might consist of nothing more than a secret knothole in some landmark tree at the side of the road near the farmhouse? Mail-bearing stagecoach drivers knew the deposit locations of residents along their routes. So did trusted neighbors who, by mutual agreement, brought out mail from the post office in town, when convenient. The “post office” in those generations often was the public house (tavern). Town dwellers had designated cubbyholes for their own mail in a desk or cabinet of the pub.

Some farmers provided boldly conspicuous mail receptacles. A common device was an old boot tied or nailed, open end facing outward, to a post or tree at roadside. In appreciation for the stage drivers’ service, a few of the farm folk put crude water troughs beside their “mailboxes.” This not only demonstrated their thanks but provided an incentive for the rushing drivers to stop and deliver their mail (on those rare days when the farmers had any).

Postal stamps weren’t used in America before 1847. Originally, stamps had to be glued to the letter. If you had only a 10-cent stamp (bearing George Washington’s image) and you needed just 5 cents postage, you were allowed to cut the stamp in half.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Candlelight Reminiscence

Probably I should explain why I intend to kill my cousin. Roger four days ago had a brain tumor removed and now is in therapy to restore some of his motor functions. When I visited him in the hospital, his first words were, “Hey, Danny.” Only relatives and school chums of old -- fossils -- still call me Danny. (Name's Dan.) Roger’s wife and several unknown friends were in the room, ears keenly attuned. The second thing he said was, “Do you remember the wedding?”

I knew straightaway which wedding he meant, although I’d seen Roger only once since high school, almost 40 years ago. At my older bother Paul’s wedding, I was one of the two ushers assigned to light the spiral candelabras on each side of the altar, and I caught my tuxedo sleeve on fire because the wedding director didn’t bother to tell us to start lighting at the top. I’m forever known to the extended family, apparently, for my role in the candlelight wedding.

Hmmm. Roger was feeling squeamish because they’d given him Pepto-Bismol before his salad supper. (We’ll deal with hospital room cuisine in a separate blog sometime.) Perhaps it's time to revive the good, old-fashioned family letter.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (17mar05)

Daniel Decatur Emmett, organizer of America’s first minstrel show and composer of “Dixie,” was born in: a) Louisiana, b) Massachusetts, c) Georgia, d) Ohio.

Weekly History Quiz (17mar05)

Franklin Pierce was president of the United States during the: a) 1790s, b) 1820s, c) 1850s, d) 1880s.

Weekly Amusement (17mar05)

The groom at a wedding banquet rose to toast his young wife. He prefaced the tribute: “Honey, I need to make a confession. Before we met, I spent many happy hours in the arms of another woman . . .” -- the bride paled, her father’s face flashed fire and everyone drew in a collective gasp -- “my mother.” The toast was completed amid peals of laughter and poignant appreciation for the young man’s wit and maternal respect.

An elderly man at the gathering thought it particularly clever. Several months later, celebrating his golden wedding anniversary at a similar banquet, he rose and turned smiling to his wife, glass upraised. “My dear,” he began, “I have a confession to make. Before I met and fell in love with you all those years ago, you should know there was another woman in whose arms I spent many a happy hour. . . .” And for the life of him, he couldn’t remember how the line ended.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Man Who Would Be Champion

More than a century before Bobby Fischer caused a sensation by winning the world chess championship from the Russians (1972-75), another American claimed the honor . . . sort of. Paul Morphy, a young lawyer from New Orleans, won the first American Chess Congress in 1857. He then went abroad to conquer the best players in Europe: Anderssen of Prussia, Lowenthal of Hungary, Harrwitz of Germany. But the man he dearly wished to encounter, British champion Howard Staunton, kept him waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting. At length, Morphy gave up and returned home.

A pioneer of positional strategy, Morphy offered the advantage of a pawn and first move to any world-class player who would challenge him. None did. He withdrew from play, became reclusive and battled depression for the remainder of his short life, dying in 1884 at age 47.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Undead Sea

It’s called the Dead Sea, but the great lake on the River Jordan, at the border between Israel and Jordan, isn’t quite dead. It’s true fish can’t survive in it, but microbes can. And it’s alive with history and scientific mystique.

In the Bible, it’s referred to as the Salt Sea, for it is, indeed, seven times saltier than the oceans. It’s believed the tragic biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah lie at the bottom of the lake. Today, it’s the site of health resorts. Visitors seek not only its mineral benefits but the unique sensation of its buoyancy. Not only can you float in it quite easily; some maintain it’s virtually impossible to drown in the Dead Sea.

One final factoid: It’s the lowest body of natural water on earth, its surface more than 1,300 feet below sea level.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Gregorian Grace

Something about Gregorian chants touches my soul like no other music. About 30 years ago, I made one of the smartest purchases of my life when I bought a five-LP set of chants. I don’t listen to them frequently -- perhaps once a month. I find them especially meaningful at the very beginning of the day, especially if it’s still dark and rainy or cold. But they’re always meaningful, no matter the time or season.

Meaningful? Since I don’t comprehend Latin (although I managed to pass a high school course in it), I have no idea what the chanters are singing. Doesn’t matter. The music is meaningful anyway. Hard to explain. . . .

Our teen-age daughters pretend they don’t know what those naughty rock-and-roll idols of theirs are singing about. “We don’t pay attention to the words. We just like the music.” I’m convinced they know better. However, in listening to my chants, I have to admit the children make a valid point. A listener can derive value from music for music’s sake. I don’t know what the chanters are singing about (I think we safely can assume it isn’t satanic). I just like the music -- and the spirituality. It brings to my mind the need for Christian discipline (as I envision the monastic lifestyle of the early chanters), the fine merits of simple arrangements (chants typically are sung in unison) and the beauty of ancient melody.

Chants ("plainsong" church music) originated during the time of Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) at the end of the 6th Century A.D. He composed chants to serve as part of Roman Catholic liturgy.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Jigs & Gigues

Most of us folk musicians think of Irish traditions at mention of the word “jig.” A jig is a lively tune in 6/8 time (and a corresponding dance) with centuries of legacy throughout the British Isles.

Interestingly, the court of Louis XIV (the “Sun King,” who reigned for 72 years until his death in 1715) in France popularized a form of it as a slower couples dance. They called it a “gigue.” From there, it made its way into the works of J.S. Bach and other revered composers. The “gigue” was the concluding movement of some of their suites.

I suppose that’s one of the things that comfort me about music -- everything's connected. Or should be. . . .

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Way of Death

Administrators of legal justice have devised lots of ways to execute capital criminals. Common in modern times are lethal injection, electrocution, gas -- and still, in some countries, hanging. In the military, firing squads and gallows have been favored during recent centuries.

In ancient times, the grim reapers of justice used more brutal and gory methods: stoning, burning at the stake, beheading and impaling. Sometimes the condemned was drowned . . . or hung on a cross to sag torturously and, ultimately, suffocate. Which brings us to the Easter season.

Jesus’ crucifixion is history’s most famous execution. His sentence was carried out under Roman law by Roman soldiers. Other civilizations in antiquity who used crucifixion included the Carthaginians, Persians and Egyptians. In the Roman Empire, the condemned always was scourged beforehand, then was required to carry all or part of the cross to the designated scene of execution. Roman citizens were not crucified -- only slaves and conquered subjects. That’s because crucifixion was deemed not only a particularly excruciating way to die, but a shameful way. Roman citizens -- even wrongdoers -- deserved more dignified treatment.

Some crucifixion platforms were shaped like the capital letter T, with no headpiece. In Jesus’ execution, it’s universally assumed the commonly recognized cross (lower-case “t”-shaped) was used. Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the beams. In some instances, the limbs were simply tied. Ultimately, it mattered little. Death usually occurred after the victim’s strength ebbed and the body collapsed, so that the upper skeletal frame cut off respiratory circulation.

Constantine the Great, who became a Christian, abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in 337 A.D. Today, Christians know that crucifixion was not only a medium of death . . . but of life.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (10mar05)

The term “troubadour” is from the French Provençal word trobar, which means: a) to dance, b) to sing, c) to find, d) to sleep.

Weekly History Quiz (10mar05)

In 1793, the first manned balloon flight in North America ascended from: a) Boston, b) Charleston, c) New York, d) Philadelphia.

Weekly Amusement (10mar05)

A teacher summoned a student’s parents to a private conference. “Let me guess,” the father ventured acerbically as he sat down. “You’ve caught her cheating.”

The teacher raised a brow. “With grades like hers? I believe cheating is the least of our concerns.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Musical History Interlude

Probably my favorite folk instrument is the cittern. It has 10 strings (in 5 paired courses) and best can be described as “shaped like a mandolin, but the size of a guitar.”

One of the interesting things about it is its name -- particularly, the resemblance between the word “cittern” and the names of other stringed instruments from different parts of the world and different periods of history. For example, the kithara was an ancient Greek instrument, a form of primitive harp or lyre. More recently came the European zither and guitar, later the Latin American cuatro. Of course, India offers the sitar.

So, what does one do with this comparative information? Well, since kithara recordings are difficult to come by (and zither music isn’t exactly in great demand these years), I suppose one must imagine what the hit songs of, say, the year 50 B.C. might have sounded like.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Grumbling miners called it Dry Diggins. One of the first mining camps established in California’s western Sierra Nevada hills, it began in 1848 soon after the discovery of gold near the American River. By the end of the following year it had acquired an even more appropriate name: Hangtown.

A patriarch of an oak tree stood beside the camp’s main road. Miners were a rowdy lot who took upon themselves the administration of law and order when things really got out of hand. They lived in poverty, but rope was cheap and the tree was handy. Beginning with the triple hanging of three accused murderers (who’d been flogged so violently they couldn’t speak in their own defense), the tree was put to regular use for several years. Thousands were lynched in Hangtown, according to some accounts.

By 1854, the mining site had become a respectable municipality with permanent means of prosperity. Its citizens gave it the name it bears today: Placerville. Recognizing a good tourist draw, enterprising business folk cheerily commemorate the Hangtown years with historic monuments . . . including a hanging dummy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Nero the Executioner

It’s a marvel how time alters history. Take Nero, generally considered by historians until the late 20th Century to have been “Rome’s worst emperor.” A typical assessment from The Illustrated World History, edited by Hammerton and Barnes (1935): “Nero was one of the few emperors who seem to have completely deserved their evil reputation.”

Historians today tend to give him a more sympathetic review. Some doubt Nero metaphorically “fiddled while Rome burned.” They point out that he had the city rebuilt -- and instituted fire safety measures -- after most of it was reduced to ashes in 64 A.D. They wax skeptical of Nero’s reputation for particular atrocities against the early church. (Nero was ruler at the time of the apostle Paul’s execution. It was said he ordered the bodies of Christians to be used as torches.)

Nonetheless, few can dispute that Nero displayed sadism enough during his dreadful reign. His fellow Roman leaders perhaps feared him even more than the Christians. Many were killed for plots or rivalries, real and imagined, against the emperor.

The nadir of his insanity was the killing of his own mother, who’d denounced him for an illicit affair. Nero subsequently divorced his wife, had her executed, and married his mistress Poppaea Sabina. Poppaea had little time for royal marital bliss; Nero kicked her to death and took a new wife (whose previous husband he’d had executed).

It ended in 68 A.D. The Roman senate successfully deposed him and, pursued by the army, Nero committed suicide.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Vidocq, Early Detective

In developing Mysterious Expeditions (my other blog -- and conducting various researches into crime and police history, I find Francois-Eugené Vidocq to be one of the most intriguing real-life characters in the realm of detection. Vidocq created the Sureté, the premier Parisian detective bureau, and served as its chief beginning in 1810.

What makes Vidocq especially interesting is his pre-police record: He himself had been imprisoned more than once for petty theft and other crimes and was renowned for his jail-breaking. He persuaded Napoleon’s government to let him earn an honest living by apprehending the criminal element with whom he was so intimate. This he performed extremely well; in a single year, working with a force of only a dozen regular detectives, he caught some 800 miscreants.

Vidocq enjoyed personal friendships with literary greats of his time, including Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac and Victor Hugo. Certain memorable literary characters -- police and criminals alike -- are thought to have been based on the person of Vidocq.

In later life, Vidocq was fired because of alleged involvement in a sensational theft. He formed a private police agency, which quickly was abolished by a wary French government. Some believe that to Vidocq belongs credit for organizing the world’s first detective agency -- a point which might be contended. Long before the era of Vidocq, either as an official or private police chief, law enforcement organizations in France and elsewhere employed spies to ferret out criminals. These were, in key respects, forerunners of today’s undercover agents.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Lapping Sand

North Carolinians are called “tarheels.” Georgians are called “crackers.” We South Carolinians are called “sandlappers” and we aren’t sure why.

After serving more than 15 years on the editorial staff of Sandlapper: The Magazine of South Carolina, I’m still waiting to learn the definitive, firmly documented source of the word “sandlapper.” All we have to date are a couple of casual mentions in historical records (none of which holds much prospect of being a “first reference”) and numerous explanations handed down for generations among families and communities. Only this week we received a letter from a resident of another state who insisted the explanation she heard from her father in South Carolina many years ago is “absolutely accurate” -- although she produced no written documentation for it at all. Others contend their explanations (which are quite diverse) likewise are ironclad.

The most obvious theory is that the term refers to the sandy beaches where lie so much of our state’s history. It could refer to waves, to birds or to people. A recent proposal is that wounded Patriot soldiers fell face-down in a coastal Revolutionary War battle; the British derided them as “sandlappers” -- but the Americans rose up and won the day, after which they proudly bore the nickname.

We also have an extensive district of sandhills which have spawned a line of speculation about that word. A 19th-Century stagecoach traveler in the western part of the state described in his journal a “piney-woods sand lapper” spitting tobacco juice (this interesting user of the vile leaf, incidentally, was a woman). Other possibilities range from famines (nothing but sand to eat) to taunts arising from intrastate athletic competition.

Have you a theory to share? Please do! Contact: or

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Weekly Folk Music Quiz (3mar05)

The difference between the guitarrone and the standard guitar is: a) tonal range, b) size, c) style of play, d) all of these.

Weekly History Quiz (3mar05)

Babylon was a powerful ancient port city on the River: a) Tigris, b) Euphrates, c) Dan, d) Danube.

Weekly Amusement (3mar05)

Question posed by a fourth-grader: "If a vegetarian is someone who eats only vegetables, is a humanitarian someone who eats only people?"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cell Phones: The Contrary View

“Give me your cell phone number, and I’ll call to learn where you are at 2:30.”

My friend was only seeking to arrange an impromptu business meeting, but he missed the point. When I’d told him I expected to be in transit this afternoon, I'd meant in transit. Translation: out of contact. You know -- like in the old days, the 1980s and ’90s.

I’m convinced cell phones are horrific distractions to drivers (who are fast zeroing in on your bumper before they suddenly, mercifully reorient themselves to where they are -- behind the steering wheel of a two-ton vehicle at 70mph). But safety aside, I dearly treasure my drive time. With dogs, teen-agers and the world’s most obnoxious eclectus parrot in our house, my drive time is approximately my only quiet time. The last thing I want in my car is a telephone.

But I didn’t chuckle. I didn’t smirk. I didn’t gloat over the unique mobile tranquility I enjoy and he forfeits. I just said, “I’m sorry. I don’t have a cell phone.”

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Psalms & Beatitudes

I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace. I will boast of all His kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together, and exalt His name. -- Psalm 34:1-3 (TLB)

Blessed are the meek. . . . -- Matt. 5:5 (KJV)

Make me meek.