Posted in Great Books, Great Quotes, Hope, Inspiration, Justice

A Prayer for the Overthrow of the Wicked

While reading a news article about Trump’s ham-handed actions as the leader of the free world, I was reminded of the Psalmist’s description of “the wicked”. The description of “the wicked man” are so similar to the characteristics most appalling in Trump. Note the frustration of the psalmist. It reflects my own frustration and concerns with the current president. I frequently find myself asking: “Why Lord? Hello! Anyone up there listening to me?

Why, LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.

He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.

His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”

Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?

Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.

The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Psalm 10 NIV

Posted in Civil Rights, Dreams, Great Books, Inspiration, Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. are as relevant today as they were during the 60s Civil Rights Movement. Here are a few that have inspired me especially since the 2016 election. A call to action is demanded of citizens who recognize a foreign government intervening in our election is nearly as bad as having war break out against Russia.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” – Martin Luther King

Posted in Books, Family and Friends, Great Books, Hope, Humor, Love

A Timely Story of Love and Devotion

Grace Me With Your Presents by Pippa Franks
Grace Me With Your Presents

Grace Me With Your Presents is a heartwarming story full of humor and yet intensely emotional at times.

The impetus for the turbulence in Grace’s life is her daughter leaving home to attend university. Not long after Grace learns her beloved Aunt Jemima has been hospitalized due to a broken hip. Adding insult to injury her aunt is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Eventually it’s decided that Grace is best able to drop everything to provide support while her aunt recovers. However, this means leaving her husband in London to attend to her aunt’s needs.

The citizens of Eskton amaze Grace when they eagerly sign on to fix up her aunt’s home which has begun to tumble down around her aunt. That’s the positive side of life in a small town. The less than helpful and more often than not annoying aspect is having everyone in town up in her business.

The people she encounters have some challenges of their own. It seems amusing at first to consider a vicar with an obvious alcohol problem. Upon learning why, it becomes understandable and yet unfortunate that he believes secrecy is the answer.

A farmer, George, is a closet cross dresser. His closet conceals the trappings and secret of who he is in total.

The secret that Grace has held close to her heart for many years eventually is revealed and what a secret it is! How can she be open and honest with family and friends all the while keeping this secret closeted from others?

I laughed with Grace. I cried with Grace. I yearned with Grace to have her greatest wish come true.

To learn more about the author you can find her on Facebook, her blog at http://pippafranks.blogspot.co.uk or her Amazon author page.

 

Posted in Authors, Dreams, Great Books, How To, Humor, Writing

Write the Next Great American Novel

imageFor those who have dreamed of writing the next “Great American Novel” here are two tongue-in-cheek offerings which offer tips on getting that checked off your writer’s bucket list.

Jim Berle details  How To write the next Great American Novel
Below are bullet points from his essay.

  • Move out of Brooklyn.
  • Drop out of school.
  • Stop writing at Starbucks.
  • Adultery is passé.
  • Avoid using a child’s POV.
  • Stop wasting time on the Internet.
  • Don’t listen to anyone’s opinions.
  • Stop drinking and doing coke.
  • Enough with the anti-heroes already!
  • Never stop writing.

He concludes with:

“Everything in the world is trying to distract you from getting something on the page. Our own doubts about everything we do is crushing. Don’t let it crush you. No one has any idea what they’re doing. And even J. K. Rowling once lived in her car and her next book will probably be no good anyway. The Great American Novel is inside you, I just know it. Especially if you’re Canadian. Like the David statue in the stone, it’s up to you to release it. And then leave it on a window sill or the M train so I can steal it and take all the credit for it. Even the greatest writers died horrible deaths terribly alone. Try to enjoy it.”

Visit Jim’s web site for the full article. He’s sharp as a tack and funny besides.

From Huntington Post, Ester Bloom offers her two cents worth on the subject. Some suggestions for accomplishing this feat are surprising including:

  • Be a dude, ideally dead.
  • White and privileged is good.
  • Being a drunk is helpful
  • The only acceptable city settings are New York or Chicago.

You can read her article here.

Posted in Authors, Books, Dreams, Great Books, Great Quotes, Life, Pain

Shakespeare’s Hamlet Musing

To be, or not to be, — that is the question: —
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? — To die, to sleep, —
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, — ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; —
To sleep, perchance to dream: — ay, there’s the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death, —
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, — puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know naught of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet, Scene I