Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuck In The Middle With You (contemporary pop song)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today, our visit may be a bit lengthy as I would like to share a current reflection with you by Skip Moen, and my comment to it posted on his website.

I also have some "exciting news" to share with you on the writing front!

-October will be a "banner month" for me in terms of publication opportunities. I have two separate stories appearing in two separate anthologies!

The first is titled, Living Sacrifice, from an anthology titled "Thirty-one Days of October" by Shae Hamrick and Glenda Reynolds that will be available through Amazon on or about October 1st.

The second is a Christmas Anthology titled, More Christmas Moments, #3, by Yvonne Lehman, due to be released in late October and also on Amazon. My story there is a family account titled, No Room In The Sky.

I will keep you posted about both of these works as they would make good gifts for yourself or others you know, who enjoy fiction and or reflective pieces.

Last week, I posted a concerning item here from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and its noted stance on cultural issues of the day. Related to that in the broad sense, is the following by writer Skip Moen and my comment to it.

By Skip Moen | September 27, 2016 | 1
And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” Acts 23:9 NASB
Nothing wrong – Most Christians read this story of Paul’s defense without understanding anything about its implications. That is the result of ignoring what the scribes actually say. Instead, Christians tend to read this as a justification of Paul’s faithfulness. But a closer examination reveals something rather startling. The scribes of the Pharisees actually state that in their opinion Paul remains a full-fledged Pharisee! They do not object to his declaration that Yeshua is the Messiah. They do not object to his claim that God has poured His favor out on the Gentiles. They do not denounce Paul for rejecting Torah. In fact, they state that Paul is free to believe Yeshua is the Messiah, God has called the Gentiles and Torah is still completely relevant. They agree with Paul, or at least they do not oppose Paul’s views. As far as they are concerned, Paul can go right on proclaiming the good news of the kingdom under Yeshua and remain a Pharisee. As far as they are concerned, Paul might really have had an encounter with an angel or some divine spirit and it’s OK with them.
A careful reading of this event yields two crucial conclusions. The first is that being a Pharisee does not mean rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah. In other words, the strict observance of the Mosaic revelation is not incompatible with the Messianic claims of Yeshua. That statement alone should forever settle the spurious “law vs. grace” argument. Pharisees knew that men did not earn their way to God. They had just as strong a view of the necessity of grace as any contemporary “grace only” preacher. But they also knew what God demanded—Torah.
The second conclusion is just as powerful. It is this: we do not have to agree in order to belong to the Kingdom. Certainly there were many among the Pharisees who did not accept Paul’s claim that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah. But it didn’t matter. The important point is that it didn’t matter to them. This is not about Paul’s acceptance of those who rejected Yeshua as Messiah. This is about their acceptance of Paul’s disagreement. It’s OK for Paul to have a different view.
“Judaism is a culture of conflict. There’s an old saying in Hebrew: ‘Without debate (argument), there is no learning.’”[1] This implies tolerance for difference. In fact, it relishes disagreement as the only true way to learn. If we all agree, there is nothing more to discover. Better to have a community of differing views than enforce a uniformity of presumption. This event demonstrates the tolerance of the Pharisees toward Paul and this should cause us to ask, “How tolerant are we of those who have a different view of God’s work among me?”

1 Comment
David Russell on September 27, 2016 at 7:28 am
Hello Skip and others,
The question of tolerance comes with another question: Where do we draw the line theologically on what we will tolerate, live with?
I see the following as the “elephant in the figurative living room.”
Is it one thing to differ on our interpretation of the angelic prayer for peace on earth and good will among humankind, and another to understand LGBT issues within the confines of Judeo-Christian parlance, or God having maternal traits contrasted with being referred to as mother God or what I’ll call degendered?
Is Christianity today guilty, as some allege, of racism and sexism?
I can permit, tolerate, co-exist with you without having to buy or agree with your theological understanding and vice versa. Is there room to present my theological view in the congregation if it differs from the denominational ethic? Generally speaking, no!
I may do so privately with others but not publicly.
A culture of conflict would be a welcomed addition to Christianity today rather than a culture of conflict leading to splits and formations of groups where uniformity and peace at any price is the order of the day. Truly worth thinking about!

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us always.

Mellow Roc

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review of Blog and Did You Hear The Latest?

Hello Grafted In Readers,

For those of you who may be new to my blog, there are three areas of interest that have come to be featured.
-Health Issues: As a result of having been a professional medical transcriptionist from 1998 to 2013, a mini-stroke survivor last winter, and personal interest in general health, I try to bring items of interest to our attention be it diet, weight loss, general maintenance, or a particular condition experienced by the population at large. That will be our focus this post.
-Faith Issues: These go under the umbrella of what is termed Hebraic Roots or Jewish roots. Abraham is the father of the Jew, Christian and Muslim faith(s.) The church at large ignores culture and customs that would enrich one's faith commitment.
-Occasional Story: As a writer of flash fiction mostly, I occasionally post something recently written that may be entertaining to those who enjoy reading in that genre. I have been in three anthologies over the past three years, published one novella in 2012 and will be in three more anthologies beginning with "Thirty-One Days of October" being released on or around Oct. 1, 2016 on Amazon.

Health: Blockage of ears from earwax. According to information from the US Mayo Clinic, signs or symptoms of blockage from earwax can include earache, feeling of fullness in the ear canal, cough, dizziness and ringing in the ears. These too may signal a condition other than ear blockage and in any case, should be addressed by one's healthcare provider. Typically, children receive a general ear check during a office exam. The healthcare provider can use a device such as a curett for removing earwax from patients be they young or older.

There is much to hear in our world, and may we be able to appreciate many of the sounds around us.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be known by you and me today and always..

Comments or greetings are appreciated.

Mellow Roc

Monday, September 19, 2016

In The Palm Of His Hand (acoustic song, Alison Krauss and the Cox Family)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is September 19 in my corner of blog land. Historically, my wife and I left for our honeymoon twenty years ago today which we had in North Carolina. On the way home we spent the night in Nashville so as to attend The Grand Old Oprey. Now we are helping our granddaughter get off to a good start in kindergarten!

On the health side of things, recently the Mayo Clinic newsletter, Housecall, featured a short piece on eye dilation. This is a procedure that is done for the purpose of examination. Eyedrops are administered that cause the pupils to widen. This makes it easier for the qualified eye doctor to view the back of the eye in more detail. There are several factors that can be detected via this procedure. They include diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure and macular degeneration.

-On the reading front, I am halfway through a lengthy novel titled, On Beauty by Zadie Smith. It was published in 2005. The story is of a middle-aged married couple in New England who have one daughter and a son in college, and a younger teen living at home. The husband/father is an academic who is trying to repair his marriage of thirty years after having a brief affair. The story is well-written, but a bit lengthy in my opinion.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence sustain you and me today and always.
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Time After Time (Song, Cindy Lopper)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

I do appreciate your readership and time, and hope many of these posts are informative and or thought provoking for all of us. If you have been around my blog a while, you may recall last December I had a mini-stroke. Though much of my speech has returned, and endurance is improving, keeping active is something that requires commitment on my part.

A recent edition of "Housecall", the Mayo Clinic newsletter, offered some helpful tips toward staying active. Key exhortation, Do something.

-Exercise to give yourself the gift of energy and improve sleep.
-Focus on the future, maintaining health, is your reason for exercise commitment.
-Vary activities. Exercise alone and with others . Walks, biking or swimming for example.
-Take an exercise class at a fitness center.
-Drive less and walk a little more.
-Gradually work your way up to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Final thought: "Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy." Mayo Clinic.

Next post will feature either a short story or poem by yours truly. Thanks again. If you want too, leave a comment, okay?

Mellow Roc
Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Sept. 13 in my corner of blog land. I found some fitness tips for us to consider in a recent "Housecall" newsletter from Mayo Clinic. These are good reminders for all of us to keep active.
-Exercise to give yourself the gift of energy and perhaps improved sleep.
-Focus on the future as your commitment to an exercise schedule.
-Vary activities to fight boredom. Join an exercise class, walk, swim or cycling.
-Choose enjoyable exercise activities. Some parks have stationery bikes in sheltered areas. You can take in the park scenery while putting your feet to the pedal.
-If time is an issue, take short walks throughout the day.

"Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy." Mayo Clinic Experts.

On the next post, I will be sharing a recent poem or short story with you.

Thanks for dropping by; your readership means much!

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be your portion today.
Mellow Roc

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mosquito Maladies? No Thanks!

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Monday, Sept. 12 in my corner of blog land; still mild as we slowly transition from summer to Autumn. Our friends in the UK are transitioning from Spring to Summer.

One thing is of immediate concern for both sides of the equator: the Zika virus. Recently, "Housecall" produced by Mayo Clinic in the USA, ran a short piece or update concerning this condition. I highlight the facts below.

-The virus occurs in tropic and sub-tropic parts of the world.
-Symptoms: headache, rash, red eyes, mild fever, general discomfort.
-Zika virus is transmitted by the mosquito, worldwide.
-Neurologic conditions such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barr syndrome can result from Zika virus.
-Prevention: Vaccination pending, but take precautions so to reduce mosquito inhabitation and likelihood of mosquito bites.

Kevod Yeheveh, The Lord be with us indoors and outdoors on the journey.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe leaving a comment!
Mellow Roc

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Messianic Jewish Artists (Marty Goetz)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Sept. 8, Thursday, in my corner of blog land.

For those who keep record or observe the Appointed Times, we are in the month of Elul. This period leads to the high holidays and end with the observance of Feast of Tabernacles and the conclusion of the current Torah cycle and beginning anew.

For those who are new to this and not so new, I would encourage you to feed your soul by listening to some music by Jewish believer, Marty Goetz. You can find his songs on YouTube.

In Particular, "Those Who Trust In The Lord" and "Lamb of God" are two of my favorite by him.

Trust, grace, faith, righteousness, justice, holiness, and sacrifice are not terms or concepts that are exclusive to Protestant and Catholic Christianity. They go all the way back to creation. So, over the next few days enjoy some Messianic music and even try an online service called Chavah Messianic Radio. You might enjoy some of what you hear!

God be with us in this time and season,

Mellow Roc

Lamb Of God (song by Marty Goetz on YouTube)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Yiddishe Mom or Mamme (various Artists)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is September 6, Tuesday, in my corner of blog land. Our granddaughter begins her first day of kindergarten today! On Wednesday, my wife and I celebrate 20 years of marriage! We had special occasions over the weekend to do this, and glad we have been married two decades!

I posted on Facebook the question, What do Will Howard, Belle Baker, Sophie Tucker, Tom Jones, Connie Francis, Itzhak Pearlman and Neil Sedaka share in common?

Tucker and Baker were among the first two Vaudeville singers to record "My Niddishe Mom or Mamme" in the 1920s. Neil Sedaka recorded a version in English and in Yiddishe during the mid 1960s, and Tom Jones has performed it on occasion throughout his performance career. There are said to be versions in Spanish and also a Jazz version. Itzhak Pearlman has a solo violin version backed by the Israel Philharmonic orchestra. The composer is said to be Jack Yellen. I heard the version recorded by Pearlman and it is nice, respectful, middle eastern in musical arrangement, and was surprised to find this song has had a long history by several artists.

During my last post, I mentioned reading, The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy. A simple summation of this novel is that it's about the workings within the Turner family, mother, dad, thirteen siblings. There are ups, downs, joys, and sorrows throughout this novel set in Detroit from post WWII to perhaps 2010. I recommend it highly! One quote which I'll paraphrase, A woman without options is a woman waiting for a man to ruin her.

I wish you Kevod Yeheveh this September day and always. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to say hello!
Mellow Roc
David Russell