Taste

Tastes differ

“Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? My soul refuses to touch them; they are as loathsome food to me” (Job 6:6-7 NKJB).

I have always been familiar with the truism that everyone’s tastes differ, but until I started traveling widely I had not appreciated just how universal that is, or how widely it applies. Yes, some like pie better than cake, some have a sweet tooth whereas others don’t, but aren’t some tastes universal? After all, Job has a point – the white of an egg just has no flavor, right?

I know one individual who will not touch the white of an egg – never has, even from childhood. But it was much later that I learned that there are others who will not eat the yolk, and not just for health reasons. They prefer the tasteless (to me, but not to them) white. Continue reading “Tastes differ”

Kites

Kites, fights, and the kingdom

“But Jesus called them to himself and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all” (Mark 10:42-44 NKJV).

The sport of kite-fighting may be, so far as I am aware, unique to South Asia and near-by regions. In other countries flying kites is a leisurely activity of spring where participants and spectators enjoy mild weather and the beauty of colorful kites playing in the breeze. No so in South Asia. There youths will gather and compete in attempts to cut the strings of competitors’ kites by flying their own into them. The last kite flying belongs to the winner. It can be a fierce and even ruthless contest. Continue reading “Kites, fights, and the kingdom”

Welcome Home

Welcome home

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24 NKJV).

The U.S. Immigration Service has made a recent change which I like very much. On at least some flights into the U.S. from Asia (and maybe other continents as well) one now clears customs and immigration at the port of departure rather than upon arrival in the U.S.

When I cleared that process in Doha, Qatar on a recent flight, the U.S. immigration officer who stamped my papers looked up and smiled at me and said, “Welcome home.” I must say that was a surprisingly good feeling. Though I was still facing a 15 hour flight, for legal purposes I was already on home soil. It felt really good. Continue reading “Welcome home”

Wind in the trees

Give the winds a mighty voice

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NKJV).

For the past couple of months I have been in Bangladesh. It was spring here when we arrived, and is now officially summer. As elsewhere, spring is a time of moderate weather and, generally, some wind or breeze. Those breezes typically lessen as summer arrives. Continue reading “Give the winds a mighty voice”

patches

Tear it out

“If the priest examines it, and indeed the plague has faded after washing it, then he shall tear it out of the garment, whether out of the warp or out of the woof, or out of the leather” (Leviticus 13:56 NKJV).

Most modern readers of the Bible avoid the book of Leviticus, arguing that it is only a list of obsolete rules that no longer pertain to us, and besides, who can understand all that strange language? Though I agree that much of the reading is tedious at best, I believe there is much of value to be gleaned from its regulations. Continue reading “Tear it out”

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Visual aids

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).

There is nothing like teaching an audience which does not speak your language to make one appreciate the value of visual aids. Some things just don’t translate very well. Some English words or concepts don’t have an exact equivalent in other languages. When that happens, the speaker and the translator must resort to other means in order to communicate adequately. Continue reading “Visual aids”

Election Violence

What form of government?

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1 NKJV).

The sight of burned out motorcycles lying half submerged in a pond and ballot boxes smashed with their contents torn and stomped on is not a ringing endorsement of democracy. Yet these were scenes depicted in the newspaper the day after local elections in Bangladesh. The motorcycles belonged to candidates and their supporters from one party who were attacked and beaten at a polling place by thugs hired by the opposition. Continue reading “What form of government?”

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Breaking out of the box

“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'” (Acts 15:1 NKJV).

I recently had my computer to crash while outside the U.S. Though I had printed instructions as to how to possibly correct the problem, they were quite involved and technical and I did not feel qualified to attempt them, especially since I feared that an error might cause irreversible damage. So I took the computer and the instructions to several local technicians hoping to find one who either knew the procedure or could follow the instructions with confidence. Continue reading “Breaking out of the box”

Observations

Confusion

“And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:6-7 NKJV).

As I watched a mechanic and his helpers pull and replace the motor on the college van recently, I had one more occasion to feel resentment at the people of Babel. Continue reading “Confusion”

Observations

Observations

It has been another interesting week. It began on Monday as we watched Robi the mechanic and his two helpers put a new (rebuilt) engine in our school van, here on campus under a mango tree, with no winch or hoist – just a pipe and a rope and several strong backs. Who said there are no more shade tree mechanics?

The old engine was removed and stripped down on Saturday, a new one was ordered Sunday (yes Sunday is a business day here) from Dhaka, delivered overnight and installed and running by 3:00 p.m. Monday. Continue reading “Observations”