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Wes B

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About Wes B

  • Birthday 05/12/1952


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  • Location
    Johnson City, NY, USA
  • Occupation
    Retired Engineer & Programmer, currently giving my wife reasons to learn patience

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250 profile views
  1. Praying every day... at times like this we realize how powerless we truly are and how much we need God's strength, guidance, and wisdom...
  2. Thanks, very much, Lynn; this is a really wonderful offering. I'm frequently amazed at how many resources you manage to locate, online. Do you have a large collection of websites that you frequent? Have a spectacular network of contacts? I can't imagine how you do it...
  3. Love it!!! I'd been musing earlier (in my own, offbeat way) that I now see further reason why editors like double spaced copy to read... same idea, but yours is funnier...
  4. While the times are severe, this may be one of the best times in our lives to learn how much we need God's guidance and strength. We've lived in an age when it was so easy to presume we were in control and secure, but that was always an illusion. Yet knowing that God's will is perfect, we might learn to accept that whatever happens is always under His control. I think we might find peace in that. (Skip this paragraph if you'd rather avoid other downers not related specifically to us... This is the history buff speaking...) People throughout most of history have had to endure even greater uncertainties throughout their lives. In times without antibiotics, painkillers, or anesthetics, rich and poor alike knew pain in ways most of us never will. In most times, 1/4 to 1/2 of children never survived to adulthood. In some others, half never made it. There was one generation in Europe in which a single lifetime could have witnessed, first a famine that starved a large fraction of the people, then a wave of Black Plague, and finally, a human-caused disaster: The Holy Inquisition. (Imagine all that... in one lifetime...) Yes, our condition is severe, but in perspective, many, many, many people in history would probably trade places with us, and it would be the happiest day of their lives. With God's help, we will get through this. We might lose people we care about, or may succumb ourselves, but if we can learn to trust Him more, we will grow in Him and learn to serve Him better. This has been very hard to express properly, and I'm so very sorry if it's sounded harsh. Yet if we can come through this with greater trust in God, less focus on ourselves, and greater care for others, we will emerge with an unimaginably beautiful gift. It's just really hard to feel it, right now...
  5. I think that as believers we understand that we merely have the illusion of being in control. To those without faith, and who've bought into the illusion, this situation is an especially huge shock. People who would make a mad rush for toilet paper and buy far more than they need, yet leave untouched a very adequate supply of more essential things (like soap...) are truly thinking with their glands instead of their brains. We have a remarkable opportunity. God's comfort and love are available to all, and this is a time when many may be receptive to it for the first time in their lives. We can offer comfort and reassurance to those who are the most rattled, and when they ask us how we can stay calm, we can explain The Source of our hope.
  6. It's a wonderful little book. Since it was originally published in Great Britain, there are occasional "Britishisms" in the points made, and that's probably a plus for any of us in North America. Since we're interested in not being ambiguous (that's the point of the Oxford comma!), it's important to remember that we may have some audience who speak an English that 's only approximately the same as ours.
  7. I think that the whole "show, don't tell" idea is a wonderful helper, but a terrible master. If we mistake the useful advice it is, and turn it into an ironclad law, it probably becomes less useful than it could be. If it helps, perhaps rethink it as, "show when you can, tell when you have to, and then get on with the writing..." I think that captures the real intent of the idea, without going too far. FWIW, i think that telling something like the way you've suggested would be very effective.
  8. Worth much more than two cents, IMHO...
  9. Understood. I'm just trying to (gently) point out the problems we can wade into when we get hung up on sabbath restrictions. For example, one sabbath restriction (in the Old Testament: the only place where sabbath restrictions are given) it is forbidden to kindle or extinguish a fire on the sabbath. Since one use for fire is illumination, those following modern sabbath restrictions will not turn a light on or off during sabbath-time. This opens a huge can of worms... Our observant Jewish friends will unscrew the light bulbs inside their refrigerators, on Friday afternoon, lest they break the sabbath by doing what is equivalent to kindling and extinguishing a flame, simply by going to the 'fridge. It gets worse... There are high-rise apartment buildings in Manhattan, where the elevators switch over to "sabbath mode" on Friday evenings. See, if you push an elevator button, you light a light, equivalent to kindling a flame, breaking the sabbath. In sabbath mode, the elevators continuously go up & down, stopping at all floors, so no one has to press any buttons. I (thankfully & with great relief) believe that the New Covenant has freed us from the complex restrictions of The Law. We can try to make new sabbath restrictions, but if we follow them to their logical conclusions, wild stuff happens...
  10. I suspect you're now getting into Jewish law. In that case, "sabbath day," in Hebrew, Yom Shabbat, begins at sundown on Friday, and ends on sundown, Saturday, and yes, Yom Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Saturday. If you're a member of a "Seventh Day" denomination, you'll likely follow this sabbath restriction. Since people back in the day did not typically stay up after dark, most being dirt-poor, and unable to afford even the feeble nighttime illumination available, they typically went to sleep as soon as night fell. The day was over. While we speak of Sunday as a "Christian Sabbath," I can't think of any New Testament reference to the phrase; there's only a mention that some Christians met on the "first day," i.e., Sunday. Beyond its mention as a day that Christians chose to meet, the absence of mention of a legalism surrounding boundaries might suggest that the exact boundary wasn't considered important. I respect the fact that there are an enormous number of denominations represented here, and some may offer observations very different from my own. I would welcome these as a matter of my own education, and would not argue them, preferring instead to learn more about the rich variations in the Christian faith that we share.
  11. You'll probably get many different interpretations here, and all will be worth considering. It'll probably best boil down to your finding what you're truly comfortable with. If you feel there's a problem there, then it's going to be a problem for you. If not, I would think you have freedom. I would note that we don't really find any comments in the New Testament about our needing to avoid work on the sabbath. Yet if required, this would surely have been a huge deal for the people when it was written. After all, most people were dirt-poor in those days, and losing one day in seven in being able to provide for themselves and their families would have been a great hardship for many. The idea of simply having the luxury to take time off, like we can, was not a common one back then. It was pretty much only required in Jewish law, and unless you were wealthy, it was the only place it happened. However, if you sincerely feel a need to avoid work on one day, then by all means, follow your personal convictions.
  12. Is it possible to offer *two* versions of your shirt? If you offer both a "standard" screen printed version, and a "deluxe" raised vinyl version, then you're buying from her as promised, but giving customers a choice, and letting the market decide which is preferable. If hers don't sell as robustly as the less expensive version, she has the option of modifying her prices to be competitive.
  13. There are a number of readability formulas that give a rough feel for different pieces of writing. One very popular one is the Gunning Fog Index. There are websites where you can paste in a piece of your writing, and get a measurement. In some places, you can get a count of the offending parameters, e.g., words of 3 or more syllables, average length of sentences, etc.. Different publications will use different fog indices, with a Reader's Digest using a more challenging level than, say, People Magazine. Since both of these publications have existed simultaneously for a long time, I'm not sure that a single book, or even a group of books from a particular era, are going to give a good indication. Somewhere though, there will have to be studies on how/if some baseline Fog Index has been changing over time. That would be a good place to start looking.
  14. On the one hand, these are very specialized questions, and a single website might be hard to locate for them. On the other, they're so broad in their specialized areas, that I might write pages, and still not answer the question you need, so some more specific questions might help. As a comparison, if we were to ask what modern European food is like, we'd get a broad difference, just travelling from Germany, through France, and into Spain. We might avoid some regional differences back then by sticking to things that were somewhat common everywhere in the Roman world, like fish, grains, and pulses. Since Paul was imprisoned by very Roman people (even Caesarea in Judea was a "modern" Roman city) he'd face common Roman staples. Bread was flat loaves, rather than what we're used to, and the "cheaper stuff" given to prisoners was barley, not wheat. Meat was reserved for the "rich folk" and special festivals, but would not likely be offered to prisoners. Along with pulses like lentils, and legumes like chickpeas, scooped up with pieces of the bread (don't picture eating utensils), there might be some fish, sprinkled with Rome's version of ketchup, called garum. This was a fermented fish sauce that they put on everything. If a prisoner got some fish, their captors probably wouldn't be making efforts to find the freshest stuff around, and there were no refrigerators. Even the garum might only come out when Paul was in a special interview, like his audience with King Agrippa, in Acts, with Festus as governor. He was only imprisoned a short time under Festus, who was honorable and conscientious, and got Paul up and out to Rome almost immediately after assuming the governorship. In prior years, imprisoned under Felix, who was corrupt and slimy, Paul probably got to eat garbage in prison, but might have gotten a sumptuous meal, when Felix summoned him in interview, hoping to get a bribe out of him. In this situation, there might have been meats, fresh veggies,and sweets indigenous to Judea, like dates and figs. The Praetorian Guard (note spelling) were an extremely elite unit that served as bodyguards, security, and intelligence operations for the emperor. They might have some similarity to Green Beret, but this was also Rome; think of the bodyguards surrounding a mafia Don. They'd be brutal and might be doing all sorts of dirty work behind the scenes for the emperor. Since the emperor in question during Paul's imprisonment was Nero, there could be extreme things going on, for (and perhaps even against!) the emperor. However, they were not just a small group, as they also protected the royal family, and, as mentioned, performed the emperor's dirtywork, for, or against, the rest of the government. There were thousands of them spread about, they had their own specific armor and shields, and their own insignia, making them prominently visible and easy to distinguish from regular soldiers, if you need that.
  15. What an amazing insight! It's exactly like something she would have done. Y'know... I was wondering what about the clip seemed familiar... it was really nagging at me... you got it exactly!!!
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