Monthly Archives: December 2018

Pic of the Day

Out with the Old

Tomorrow starts a new year filled with hope and great expectations. The past year has been one of ups and downs. Throughout most of the year, I was searching for a job. Every time one looked promising, it didn’t work out. There was a great deal of hope and disappointment. Finally, as the tenure of my old job was coming to an end, my new boss created a new job for me. It came with a significant raise in pay and benefits. It also means that I will travel the country next year with our museum’s traveling exhibition: Naples, Florida, Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. I hope in all of this travel, I will also get to fit in some more time in Montreal. I do love visiting Montreal. Also, with the help of a lesbian friend of mine, I am getting more involved with the gay community, such as it is, in Vermont. I’m hoping things there will progress. Maybe I will even meet a nice man. So as I look ahead I see great things. I know there will be ups and downs. There always are, but my hope for the coming year is that there are more ups than down. I hope the same thing for each of you.

My New Year’s Eve will probably be a quiet one. My preacher yesterday talked about taking inventory of our lives and getting our priorities in the correct order in the new year. Maybe I will reflect on the inventory of my life. 

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? 

What are your hopes for the coming year?

Pic of the Day

Second Chances

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

     and all that is within me,

     bless his holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

     and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

     who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,

     who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good

     so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness

     and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,

     his acts to the people of Israel.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,

     slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always chide,

     nor will he keep his anger forever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

     nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

     so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

     so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,

     so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame;

     he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;

     he flourishes like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

     and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

     and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,

     and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the LORD, O you his angels,

     you mighty ones who do his word,

     obeying the voice of his word!

Bless the LORD, all his hosts,

     his ministers, who do his will!

Bless the LORD, all his works,

     in all places of his dominion.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Psalms 103

With the new year, we often think back on the old.  We attempt to think of resolutions to help us correct our flaws, and hopefully, give ourselves a second chance in the new year. We are blessed to have a God who grants second chances.  In fact, He grants an infinite number of chances.  This is good news because most of us mess up the second chance fairly quickly. One of the amazing facets of God’s character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

How many times have any of us done something really stupid, and realize it right after, or right in the middle of it?  Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything right, wondering why you bother trying as you’re going to fail anyway?  I’ve had instances when I really didn’t mean to hurt someone, yet I did, and I didn’t know how to set it right.  I must admit, I’ve experienced this on more days than I want to admit. It just seems like no matter how hard I try, things just don’t seem to work out, or not that often anyway.  Yet, in each instance I look to God for guidance, and he shows me the way.

Just as God is patient and forgiving, He wants His children to be patient with and forgiving of others. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). He gives us second chances, and we must give the same to others. Jesus gives a stern warning to those who refuse to forgive, saying that if we will not forgive others, God will not forgive us. If someone is truly repentant, then we are obligated to forgive.  Matthew 18:21-22 says  “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Forgiveness, however, is not the same thing as reconciliation. Many people struggle to find the balance between showing mercy and enabling a harmful person to continue harming. We should forgive everyone who wrongs us, just as Jesus forgives us. Forgiveness is between our heart and God’s, removing any barriers that non-forgiveness brings. When someone continues to unrepentantly violate another person’s boundaries, a wise person learns to set firmer boundaries.

Giving someone a second chance means we give him another chance to earn our trust. But that does not mean we instantly forget what experience has taught us. Trust must be earned over time, and we are foolish if we give trust prematurely. We can have a loving and forgiving heart that also practices wise guardianship over our lives.

When we have wronged someone, we have no right to demand another chance. But we should work to earn another chance by continued demonstration of repentance and change.

God does everything possible to draw us to repentance, offering forgiveness and second chances (2 Peter 3:9). But if we continue to reject Him, the offer is withdrawn and, at death, there are no more chances (Hebrews 9:27). God’s grace is our model. We can offer second chances to others until a healthy relationship is no longer possible.

In this new year, we should try to emulate God more.  Just as he gives us second chances, give others a second chance as well.  Maybe that someone deserves even more than a single second chance, then offer them more chances as long as they are attempting to do what is right.  However, if that person is continuously hurting you, then forgive them and walk away.  Just because someone has hurt you, it does not mean that it was intentional.  Give them that second chance, just as God would give you a second chance.  Yet, when it is intentional hurting, sometimes it is best to just cut ties.  It is often difficult to do so, but it is occasionally what is best for both.  Sometimes, it’s easy to just cut ties, but evaluate the situation.  Could you help that person more by giving them a second chance?  If so, then that is what god asks us to do.

Let God give you a second chance in the new year, and resolve to be a better person. Also, try to give someone in your life a second chance, maybe they truly deserve it.  I hope each of you has a blessed and happy 2017!

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Nipple Play

Pic of the Day

The Gospel of Luke

Tonight, my mother and I are going back to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to see The Gospel of Luke. When my mother first told me about The Gospel of Luke it sounded really good. I thought it would be a play about the Gospel of Luke, but the description actually says, “Actor Bruce Kuhn performs the Gospel of Luke with the passion and surprise of an eyewitness account. In a compelling ninety minutes, the tale comes alive with the urgency, fervor, and humor of someone who was there.” I had not originally realized it was a one man show. I knew it was in the Octagon Theater which is the experimental theater. Octagon shows are always hit or miss unlike those on the main stage. So with a little bit of trepidation, I’m going to the play; however, everyone I know that has been says it’s wonderful but unlike anything they ever expected.

What I’m most looking forward to is before the play, we are going to my favorite restaurant in Montgomery: Charles Anthony’s Restaurant at the Pub. It used to be this little greasy spoon tucked away in an out of the way corner of the Montgomery Mall. Even then, the food was delicious. When the mall closed, the restaurant moved out to east Montgomery and changed from a little greasy spoon pub to a beautiful upscale restaurant. I already know what I will be having: seafood gumbo, house salad, grilled rainbow trout, and creme brûlée. It’s the meal I always have and it never disappoints. Their creme brûlée is purely orgasmic. It’s the best I’ve ever had. I get to eat here about once every 5-10 years, so it’s always a special occasion.

So that’s my night for tonight. Of course my afternoon will be spent watching the Auburn v. Perdue game at the Music City Bowl. I’m hoping the Auburn wins. War Eagle! Tomorrow night will be the Alabama v. Oklahoma game for the NCAAF playoffs. Roll Tide!

Pic of the Day

It Was Good

As a general rule, when I go to a theater or something like it, I usually have some big, tall, bald man sit in front of me in block my view. I was surprised last night when a very cute guy (with a nice butt) came and sat in front of me. I was actually surrounded by good looking men. However, I did get to watch the play and only focused on them before the play, at intermission, and after the play. The play itself was excellent. I thought Maria was a little stiff at first but she warmed up as the play went on. The others did very well. The Mother Superior kind of stole the show, she was quite good and an excellent singer. I will say Maria sang well from the beginning, even if her movements were stiff. Overall, I give the Alabama Shakespeare Festival a solid A for their rendition of The Sound of Music.