We joined together on Christmas Eve for worship services, and I introduced the idea that I don't need any elf on the shelf, I have better things to keep me good,
First, I have "Darth Vader on a Radiator." Why does this keep me good? Think of Darth Vader's favorite quote: "Luke, I am your father." Well, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and because he loves me, I want to be good.
I also have a "Cop on a Mop." Good police offices help to teach us right from wrong, and when we make a mess of our lives, help us to clean it up. To me, that's Jesus! I don't need any elf on a shelf, I have Jesus to help me be good, and then get the mess cleaned up when I mess up.
No elf on a shelf for me! I have a "Bird on the Word," the Holy Spirit!
No elf on the shelf for me, I have, "A Pup on a Cup!" And this is our sacraments given to us to remind us of God's love.
I've been pondering the tales of the apocalyptic annihilation of the honey bee, and how humanity's future is tied to this critical pollinator. We're entering the 10th anniversary of what's been called, "Colony Collapse Disorder."
As far as I can tell, we're still keeping honey bees. Beekeepers are resilient, and lest we think these mysterious deaths are something new, the first remarkable loss of honey bees that defied all explanation occurred in 1869. It's happened off and on since that time.
In the wake of my pondering, I've been listening to an audio recording on CD of Dean Kootz's thriller, "The Good Guy." (Random House Audio, copyright 2007)
Toward the end of the book, as the evil has been defeated, a government agent opens the door to some of their secret tactics to control the populous. Not surprisingly, they used fear.
I quickly reflected upon our last year, or so, thinking how the the GLBT community turned Kim Davis into a celebrity, how Ferguson fueled a movement that led us to believe every police office is nothing but a trigger-happy racist, how San Bernardino invigorated the blame on Republicans and the NRA, and how every Syrian refugee is now working as undercover terrorists.
While Mr. Kootz's book is a work of fiction, consider the conversation between the evil, government agent, "Wentworth," and our protagonist, "Tim," and the woman he sought to protect, "Linda," from a contract killer. Consider the "news" we are spoon fed each night on the television, or every time we open our browser. Is this world as bad as we think, or have we allowed our imaginations to skew our perceptions until we follow like sheep?
Excerpt from, The Good Guy, a Random House Audio book by Dean Kootz, copyright 2007.
Wentworth: “Our country, Tim, must make certain concessions.”
Wentworth: “We cannot be what we once were. In the interest of prosperity, there must be less of it. Too much freedom assures less peace.”
Tim: “Try selling that at the ballot box.”
Wentworth: “We do sell it, Tim, by inciting false fears in the people. Remember Y2K? All computers would crash at the stroke of midnight. The collapse of high-tech civilization. Nuclear missiles would launch, uncontrollably. Thousands of hours of TV news and uncounted miles of newsprint sold the Y2K terror.”
Tim: “It didn’t happen.”
Wentworth: “That’s the point. For a long time now, has not the news been nothing but doom? Do you think that just happens? Electric power lines cause cancer, but, of course, they don’t. Most everything you eat will kill you, and this pesticide and that chemical, but, of course, people lead longer and healthier lives, decade by decade.
“Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go.”
Tim: “Which is where?”
Wentworth: “To a responsible future in a properly managed world.”
Tim mulled the phrase, “responsible future.”
Wentworth: “The people elect mostly fools and frauds. Just wait til, oh say, the threat of the asteroid impact builds in the years ahead. You would see unthinkable sacrifices quickly embraced by the people as we united the planet to establish a massive, asteroid deflection system in deep space.”
Linda: “Is there an approaching asteroid?”
Wentworth: “There could be.”
Grant F. C. Gillard writes from Jackson, Missouri, where he pastors the First Presbyterian Church and tends around 200 bee hives.