Sunday, December 29, 2013

Coming Clean Five Months Late

Back in August, this showed up in the mail
one day, and I mistook it for a birthday
card. I read it twice before I noticed the
$ sign….  :-) 
Confession: Despite the subheading on my blog, I haven't been a quinquagenarian for almost five months now.

Yup. I'm officially a sexagenarian and will be for the next decade.

Oh, hush. You think I can't hear the giggles and snickers and yuck-yuck jokes springing to mind?! Most of them sprang to my mind a year ago when I began pondering how I would handle the transition from quinquagenarian to sexagenarian.

The only place I foresaw a problem was here, on my blog. I mean, how many times do you hear someone say they are a trigenarian or a quadragenarian? Obscure words are obscure for a reason.

Some of us, however, like obscure words. And, as I have written elsewhere, Quodlibets and Quibblings of a Quinquagenarian sounds a whole lot better than Feisty Frothings of a Freaky Fifty-something.

So now what? Simpering Snippets from a Silly Sexagenarian? 


Quodlibets: Musically, it's two or more pieces of music played simultaneously in counterpoint, usually in a whimsical way, as in the clip below where the Canadian Brass Quintet play Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" together.  Quodlibets also are theological or philosophical point of discussion, topics I often present in counterpoint to other lines of thought -- like the joy of new white socks or the parable of the gas can. Quodlibet is Latin for "what pleases," and the topics vary according to what pleases me at the moment.

Quibblings: To quibble is to gripe, grouse, or grumble about trivial matters . . . OR to make a play on words, to pun. Guilty on both counts. Just read my TWO posts on the differences between shards and sherds.

Quirky: Unpredictable, "weird in a good way" (according to the Urban Dictionary but which I couldn't get to link), peculiar, idiosyncratic. You get the picture.

Quinquagenarian: Someone between the ages of 50 and 59. Which I am no longer.

Quasi: Seemingly; apparently, but not really.

My newest favoritest prefix.

For at least the next decade.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Jesus' Birthday -- Today and Everyday

This really happened.

Maybe not on exactly this day or with these particular animals present.

It is unlikely that the garments worn were this pristine. Nor do we know who arrived exactly when or in what numbers.

What we do know is that this really happened. A Jewish baby was born sometime during the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. He grew up and was crucified sometime during the reign of Tiberius Caesar.

He claimed to be the son of God; more, he claimed to be God. He said a person's response to this claim would determine that person's future for all eternity.

As C.S. Lewis put it, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (Mere Christianity, 1952)

Some people argue Lewis's logic.

Their arguments tend to hinge on the question of whether anything outside this natural world can be proved to exist -- proved using the scientific method, that is. One group has even offered a "million dollar challenge" to anyone who thinks he or she can prove any kind of supernatural occurrence. The parameters and protocols are set by the group.

The logic here escapes me. Isn't this a bit like using a microscope to study a galaxy -- only magnified exponentially. The galaxy, after all, exists within the same realm as the objects studied by the microscope. Still, the analogy seems valid. To study another existence, surely we would need tools from that existence.

All I can say is, I know what I was before I said "Thy will, not mine," and I know what I am now. I know where my thoughts and plans and motivations were leading me. . . and I know where His thoughts and plans and motivations have brought me. Someone today looking at me from the outside may see only the imperfections yet to be sanded away and not notice anything of what has already been done because they have no frame of reference of what I was before. I was dead. Now I am alive. That is a supernatural act, one which cannot be proved by the protocols of the scientific method.

All I can say is, this really happened. It happened for me. It happened for you. It happened for each and every one of us -- whether we believe it or not.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen -- and gentlewomen and boys and girls in all places, in all times.

Friday, October 25, 2013

More on George MacDonald & Dan Hamilton

Oy -- my last post was almost a year ago! One of these days I will catch up with myself....

In any case, someone just asked about the original titles of the George MacDonald books edited by Dan Hamilton (see previous post). Here they are; the Hamilton editions are on the left, and the original titles are on the right. Keep in mind, however, that even during MacDonald's lifetime, different editions sometimes had slightly different titles. I have found The History of Gutta-Percha Willie, Working Genius listed as just Gutta-Percha Willie.

The Parish Papers:
     A Quiet Neighborhood / The Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood
     The Seaboard Parish / The Seaboard Parish
     The Vicar's Daughter / The Vicar's Daughter

The Last Castle / Saint George and Saint Michael (Follow this link to Peter Kazmaier's discussion of the conflict between the two "just warriors" in this book set in the time of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.) 

The Prodigal Apprentice / Guild Court (I believe)

On Tangled Paths / Weighed and Wanting (This link leads to a discussion of whether Hamilton's edition should be considered a translation or not: .)

The Elect Lady / The Elect Lady

Home Again / Home Again

The Boyhood of Ranald Bannerman / Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood

The Genius of Willie MacMichael / The History of Gutta-Percha Willie, Working Genius

The Wanderings of Clare Skymer / A Rough Shaking

These books are available through Project Gutenberg. And here is a site devoted to scholarly writing about George MacDonald's work: North Wind Journal