Editor’s Choice – December 28, 2017

As each New Year approaches, Kathy and I receive a
wonderful gift from our long-time friends Larry and
Maridel Engles. The gift is a calendar for the upcoming
year which features twelve of Larry’s beautiful photos
that he’s taken during the prior year. The photo above
is illustrative of his keen eye for capturing a view of
a volcanic peak whose appearance leads those within
sight range to typically say to themselves silently, or
to others verbally “The Mountain is Out.”

Editor’s Choice #945 – National Geographic’s Animal Photo of the Year

A male oragutan peers from behind a tree while crossing a
river in Borneo, Indonesia. Rampant palm oil cultivation
threatens this critically endangered ape, forcing the normally
arboreal species to resort to unusual behavior – such as wading
through crocodile infested rivers – in order to survive.

Bill Writes:
The photo above haunts me every time I look at it, and I’ve looked at it
periodically over the past several days. I don’t know that it will impact you in the ways that it has me, but I’m attaching the link so you can view it full size on your computer screen. When I do so, what I see is a remarkably humanoid creature whose facial expression ‘says so much.’

I initially keystroked a comment for today’s Editor’s Choice on Weds, the 13th,  which is nine days prior to the date of the final entries in Still Faith-FULL It is time to make different choices as to how time will be spent that Kathy and I currently invest in seeking to insure that what I, or she, enter in one or another part of the ‘family’ of offerings that go out via Constant Contact and the website

I am editing my comments on the morning of the 26th, and in reviewing the paragraph above, I realize how much has changed between the 13th and now the morning of the 26th. I wrote the following message on that date:

I will stop blogging, at least through the vehicle of Still Faith-FULL.   A check of the Constant Contact stats, indicates that an astounding-seeming 3,421 separate communications of differing types have been circulated since I first used their services on March 2, 2013. It has (hopefully obviously) been a labor of love on our parts, so I don’t wish in any way to imply that I am whining or regretting the time invested, but I do know that it is now time to use my and our time differently.

A few days later I received an e-mail from a gentleman in Mt. Vernon, OH, which is about 25 or so miles from Mansfield. He asked if I would consider being the ‘pulpit supply’ or ‘transitional’ pastor for Mt. Vernon First Presbyterian Church. Since that time, he and another elder from the congregation have visited us in our home, and this past Sunday a.m., Kathy and I were present for the Christmas Eve Sunday morning worship service.

The elder with whom I’d been in e-mail contact, and who along with another elder had visited Kathy and me in our home earlier in the week, was the individual who led worship and preached. We had a wonderful conversation in our home, and this layperson whose background is in a scientific field, was the worship leader and gave the sermon, doing a masterful job in both roles. But the attendance was sparse, which was made even more apparent in that the sanctuary is a beautiful and large facility.

So, once again, in ways that remain a ‘mystery’ to me no matter how many times I’ve experienced them in my life, there truly is a Spirit of God that moves in remarkable ways to let me know that while I may think or even believe ‘I’m in charge of my destiny,’ there are spiritual realities and forces far beyond my comprehension (even though stories of such appear again and again in Scripture), which remind me to avoid getting smug and content in my self-driven false sense of reality.



Editor’s Choice #943 – Christmas Where You Are – A Message for our Military Away from Home on the Holidays

Christmas For The Troops

“Christmas Where You Are” is a beautiful Christmas song for all
the men and womenof the armed forces serving around the world. Written by Five For Fighting and Jim Brickman, the song is a heartfelt Thank You to those in the military and their families andthey hope it will bring a little holiday joy for Christmas! If you have ever spent a Christmas in the military then you know how special spending Christmas with those you love is.

Editor’s Choice #934 – Ever Heard of a “Rood Screen?”

Rood screen from the chapel of St Fiacre
at Le Faouet Moribihan, France. Note the
dramatic positioning of the ‘two thieves’
described in Scripture as being crucified
at the same time as Jesus.

The rood screen (also choir screen, chancel screen, or jube) is a common feature in late medieval church architecture. It is typically an ornate partition between the chancel and nave, of more or less open tracery constructed of wood, stone, or wrought iron.

The rood screen would originally have been surmounted by a rood loft carrying the Great Rood, a sculptural representation of the Crucifixion.

During the remarkable opportunity for travel and study that I experienced as a 19 year-old in the spring and throughout the summer of 1962, I admit to having felt overloaded to the point of saturation when it came to visiting and touring cathedrals and monastic settings across more Christian traditions than I’ve even imagined existed. The ways we who profess to be faith-filled can translate such convictions into bricks, mortar, carvings, art both simple and profound, challenged most all – if not all – preconceived notions I’d held regarding what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

Such educational opportunities have been extended through the years in many ways, as well as in many settings both here in the U.S. and internationally. Through this exposure I am periodically reminded of just how much I still have to learn.