Saturday, March 10, 2012


As of March 18, 2012, 
all further posts on the aBeLOG, 
hereafter renamed RaMbLeS, 
may be found on Homiletix.

With this, the 341st issue of the aBeLOG, things are going to change.

It all began five-plus years ago, when I was “fixin’” to go to Scotland for doctoral work. The aBeLOG would serve as a means to keep well-wishers and friends apprised of my goings-on and antics.

All along, however, I had wanted homiletix and the aBeLOG to be a preaching-focused endeavor, dealing with issues pertaining to homiletics and anything related to homiletics. The time has come to move in that direction.

In a few days, I’ll be switching from Google’s Blogspot, where the aBeLOG has been hosted all along, to another site. [If you come back here towards the end of this week, I’ll post a link to the new location on top.]

Also, the aBeLOG will revert to its original intention of functioning as a preaching blog.

But I’ve so gotten to love what I do here, with my whimsical devotionals on this location, that I plan to continue my weekly output. Same time, but not same place.

And same style, but new name: RaMbLeS, reflecting my meanderings both in matters geographical (BTW, this is being posted from Istanbul, the erstwhile Constantinople, where I'm investigating kebabs, whirling dervishes, and the relics of John Chrysostom) and issues theological.

I am hopeful this is an evolution for the better. Gives me more focus and provides me another venue for venting on subjects related to preaching.

I am thankful, though, that one “Thing” does not change: God.

But You, O LORD, abide forever,
And Your name to all generations.
Psalm 102:12

Time, being a creation of God who created all things, has no effect on him.

Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment …
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
Psalm 102:25–27

His nature is immutable. He ever was, is, and ever will be God!

For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:5

And from this love, I will never ever be separated.

For I am convinced that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38–39

His promises are everlasting. And so we live with hope unshakeable …

… looking for the blessed hope
and the appearing of the glory
of our great God and Savior,
Christ Jesus,
Titus 2:13

Indeed, God is unchanging!

Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923

See you next week, same time, … different place!

Saturday, March 03, 2012


Commission Regulation (EC) No 2257/94 of the European Union, aka the “bendy banana law,” lays down minimum quality standards for bananas. It went into effect on Jan 1, 1995.

Green bananas should be green and unripened, fit for human consumption, not rotten, clean, free of pests and pest-caused damage, free from bruising or any “foreign” smell or taste. It should be at least 14 cm long () and 2.7 cm thick (). And—get this—the regulation mandates that bananas not have an “abnormal curvature.” Hence the “bendy banana law.” I am surprised they didn’t mandate a particular color for the banana, though, truth be told, bananas do come in a variety of colors.

Popular commentary on this law has derided it as an example of needless European bureaucracy.

The “bendy banana law,” indeed! (Apparently there is also an injunction in force against overly curved cucumbers!)

But how about this most recent pontification from law-makers on the other side of the Atlantic?

Last November, EU officials concluded, after a 3-year investigation, that water does not hydrate! They failed to find evidence of this fact that has been undisputed for millennia. Water does not hydrate. So producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making that “dubious” claim, and can face two years in jail if they defy this edict.

One MEP (Member of the European Parliament) spoke for many when he declared, “This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

The EU is not alone in this asinine endeavor of over-intrusive law-making.

Did you know that in the US, you could be in violation of the law if you impersonated a member of the clergy?

Whoever, being in a public place, fraudulently pretends by garb or outward array to be a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Acts 1965, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 273, p. 381; Code 1975, §13-4-99.)

One of my favorite laws in ye olde State of Texas:

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, That it adopt the Bluebonnet song as the State Flower Song. (Acts 1933, 43rd Leg., p. 930, H.C.R. No. 24.)

I’m still trying to figure out what a “State Flower Song” means.

If you had any doubts about God’s laws, though, you can rest easy.

So then, the Law is holy,
and the commandment is
holy and righteous and good.
For we know that the Law is spiritual.
I joyfully concur with the law of God
in the inner man.
Romans 7:12, 14

God’s laws are for our good, for our well-being, for our alignment to the demands of God, for our conformity to the image of Christ.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
restoring the soul. …
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes.
They are more desirable than gold,
yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey ….
In keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7–8, 10–11

God’s laws? Worth keeping!