Posts

Thankful for the LIght!

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Aren’t you thankful for light? I know I am. Especially this time of year as here in the U.S. Northeast the mornings are getting brighter and the days longer. It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning. More pleasant to walk the dog. And it’s so much better at the end of the day, giving opportunity to do more outdoor activities or at least not feel like it’s time to go bed right after dinner.  I can’t imagine living in one of those places where they have up to 24 hours of darkness during their winter months. (Nor would I enjoy the 24 hours of daylight they receive during their summers!). I can’t even think about not seeing the sun rise. I can’t imagine having the sun go up and down in the horizon so quickly that the middle of the day is like the middle of the night. After all, light energizes us. Light gives life. Without light there can be no life.  Today the church I pastor, Shrewsbury First Assembly, begins a Bible reading plan through the Gospel of John that will take us into East

Shining Like Stars!

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I have an app on my phone that, when pointed at the sky can give to me the names and locations of the stars, planets, and constellations. Of course, during the day I can’t see any of them. For example, it shows me that this morning Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, and Venus are all together just above the eastern horizon. And, it shows the stars that are currently in the sky above me. However, because it is daytime none of them are visible to my eye. On the other hand, at nightfall the stars and planets are able to shine in such a way that they become visible to the eye.  You know how it is, assuming a clear sky, the darker the sky the brighter the stars shine—and in greater abundance. Living in suburbia close to a major city as I do just naturally limits the number of stars I can see at night. But when I go to the mountains as my family does each summer, the sky becomes star-filled to an extent I just can’t imagine back home. Even the Milky Way becomes visible. And the abundance of shooting st

Are You Tired of Waiting?

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None of us likes to wait, myself included. In fact, I caught myself doing it the other day: The microwave had 3 seconds left and because I couldn’t wait any longer, I hit cancel and took my food out. I then said to myself, “What’s wrong with you? You couldn’t wait another 3 seconds?” I guess the answer was, no I couldn’t. I had gotten tired of waiting, albeit for probably two minutes and 30 seconds!  It’s crazy, but I couldn’t wait another 3 seconds! In a day in which so many things come to us so instantaneously (think of that Amazon package arriving the next day!), our patience for waiting has ebbed to an all-time low. You can sense how edgy people behind you and in front of you are getting on the supermarket line, as they wait to make it to the register. If you don’t move immediately on the green, the car behind you will not just tap their horn, but lay on it. And should the waiter take a bit longer than expected, we can’t help but get a bit annoyed.  (I guess I’m really talking abou

The Tasteless Dragon Fruit!

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Over the past month I have twice bought a dragon fruit (in Spanish called, “pitaya”). Each time I expected to taste a fruit that has a slightly sweet yet mild flavor. I read that it tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear. But each time, I ended up with a piece of fruit that was tasteless. In fact, they didn’t taste good at all. Obviously, I was disappointed. Neither one was what I expected it to be.  I’m not sure what the problem was with the dragon fruit I bought. Were the ones I bought bad? Do they normally have little taste? Is it a problem with how they are harvested and then shipped to the U.S.? When I’ve been in Nicaragua I’ve had pitaya (dragon fruit) gelato and smoothies made with it. And each time it was delicious. But such has not been my experience with the dragon fruit I’ve bought here. Here, I’ve only gotten tasteless dragon fruit. The end result is, I will most likely not be buying any dragon fruit anytime soon,  Unfortunately, there are a lot of things in life tha

Family History

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The past couple of weeks I’ve been doing a bit more research on my family history, reviewing pictures and documents I have on hand as well as through searches on Ancestry.com.  And I’ve learned some things about my family that I didn’t know. For example, I learned the exact town from which my Greek grandparents came; I can even find it on a map (and hope to visit it some day). I’ve learned the names of the ships some of my relatives came over on and some of the places where they lived between their homeland and their arrival in America. (I didn’t realize that not all of them came directly to America.)  I’ve found names of relatives I did not know existed. And I’ve read about some of the circumstances that drove them from their homelands—mostly war and poverty.   My father’s parents came from Greece, separately—they were married in NYC in 1919. My mother’s side was Jewish coming from Europe. Her maternal side came from what today is western Ukraine, but was then Austria/Poland/Galicia.

What Time Is It?

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As a tennis fan, I’ve been following closely the Australian Open which is coming to a close this weekend. The difficulty is, Australia is 16 hours ahead of our time here on the US East Coast. Thus, I’m constantly trying to calculate the times of the matches and/or what time it will be here when they are playing over there. After all, when their day is coming to a close, ours is just beginning. A match that begins in the early evening over there, ends up in the middle of the night over here. The end result is, I get to watch very few live matches.  And I’m constantly asking, “What time is it?”  Any of us who have traveled between time zones know we are constantly trying to figure out how our time in the place where we are relates to the time back home.  After all, you don’t want to try to call your wife or office when it is 3:00 a.m. their time. It reminds me of the old song by the group Chicago “Does anyone really know what time it is?” Of course, Einstein had his theory about time: th

The Bigger Bird Feeder!

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During the winter, I love having a bird feeder set up and filled with bird seed to attract all the different kinds of birds that are around during our winter months—finches, sparrows, chickadees, juncos, woodpeckers, cardinals, etc. Thus I have a bird feeder in my backyard where I can see it while I’m drinking my coffee or having my breakfast in the morning. The only problem is, as one person told me when I first got my bird feeder, “Once you start feeding the birds, you’re under moral obligation to keep on feeding them.” That’s something that has kind of stuck with me. Thus, I’m constantly out making sure the bird feeder is well stocked.  To help with that, I recently replaced my bird feeder with one that is quite a bit larger. Rather than hold two scoops of bird seed (which is actually about 1 ½ cups per scoop), this newer and larger one holds over four scoops of bird seed. That means, less trips out to the bird feeder for stocking purposes. It also means, the birds get to eat much m