Monday, December 08, 2014

A Better Christmas List


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A Strange Little Poem in the Adventist Review - 1889


Judge Not
A Poem
2/1/1889   Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald
This journal does not give the author...but says "-- Selected"

An internet search gives the author as Major Harry Larkyns.

He was an English entrepreneur and theater critic in SF...and became involved with a married woman, Mrs. Flora Muybridge.  He possibly was the father of her son.
He was shot in Napa County, CA., Yellow Jacket Mine 7 miles from Calistoga, Oct 18, 1874 by the jealous husband, Mr. Eadweard J. Muybridge. (He was a pioneer in photographing movement and early cinematography.  Father of the motion picture, he is credited with the first film ever...of a running horse in 1878, showing a galloping horse lifts all 4 feet off the ground at the same time.  He also developed the first type of movie projector.)   The trial was very famous and in all the papers.  He was found not guilty in this crime of passion (justifiable homicide) regarding his wife. Later, he sent his wife away and sent their son to an orphanage. 

A movie on Mr. Muybridge is immanent, release name of "Eadweard".  A later movie is forthcoming, "Flying Horse", staring Benidict Cumberbatch in 2016.  The story was recently produced as a stage play in Prague, titled "Human Locomotion."  A BBC special about Mr. Muybridge is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Awo-P3t4Ho.   A museum of his original photographs is in Kingston, England.

This verse was found in Harry Larkyns personal affects, apparently penned just days before his death.    It is reproduced in a couple of Masonic books.  One of the titles is "Who Can Tell?"  

Odd.  

 7 years later, this poem appears in the Seventh-day Adventist journal Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, without his name.  Now doubt they didn't want the good poem associated with such a nefarious and notorious author.

The Internet Poem is listed here.  There are a few minor changes in the Adventist Review version...and they are indicated by striking out the original red text and adding the green text.

I just find it interesting that the good old Review would print the poem of a murdered philanderer. Perhaps it was passed on to them as "-Selected" and they did not have the internet to do such research.

OKW

The Poem

"Judge Not"  (Review Title)
or    "Who Can Tell?" (Other Title)
by Harry Larkyns


How do we know what hearts have vilest sin?
                        How do we know?
Many, like sepulchers, are foul within
            Whose outward garb is spotless as the snow
            And many maybe be pure we think not so.
How near to God the souls of such have been
What mercy secret penitence may win -
                        How do we know?

How can we tell who have sinned more than we?
                        How can we tell?
We think our brother has walked guiltily,
            Judging him in self-righteousness.  Ah, well!
            Perhaps had we been driven through the hell
Of his untold temptations, we might be
Less upright in our daily walk than he -
                        How can we tell?

Dare we condemn the ills that others do?
                        Dare we condemn?
Their strength is small, their trials not aare not few.
            The tide of wrong is difficult to stem
            And if to us more clearly than to them
Is given knowledge of the good and true,
More do they need our help, and pity too -
                        Dare we condemn?


God help us all, and lead us day by day!
                        God help us all!
We cannot walk alone the perfect way;
            Evil allures us, tempts us, and we fall
            We are but human, and our power is small;
Not one of us may boast, and not a day
Rolls o'er our heads but each hath need to saypray,
                        God bless help us all!

Ellen White and Christmas

Here is a little study sheet I worked up in preparation for a sermon on December 6, 2014 at the Antioch Church.   Happy Reading.


Ellen White and the Holidays
Relevant Readings Relating to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years
Articles by Mrs. Ellen G White, Listed in Chronological Order
Pertaining to the Holidays...During the Holidays

Collected by Elder O. Kris Widmer, MDiv
December 1-4, 2014, by thumbing through the facsimile reproductions.

Locate Online at:  www.whiteestate.org

The White Estate has prepared one document on this topic (in 1962/1989), compiled from parts of 5 articles, indicated by a box.  This compilation document, available on line, is titled "Ellen G. White statements related to the observance of Christmas and Holiday Gifts." The chosen articles are printed in the order from the articles below numbers:  12, 7, 16, 4, 10.  It should be noted that the compilers left out her retelling of the nativity story from RH 12/9/1884, paragraphs 13, 14 and the first 5 sentences from paragraph 15., inserting an ellipse (...).  (Beware, the ellipse!) A more complete picture of her thoughts on the observance of these holidays can be found by reading widely and completely the following items, and I strongly suggest the articles in italics.

1.    RH Dec 17, 1872 - The Advent of the Christ
2.    RH Dec 24, 1872 - The Advent of the Christ 2
3.    RH Nov 21, 1878 - Holiday Presents
4.    RH  Dec 11, 1879 - The Holidays
5.    Manuscript Release 21 - 1880 pg 222 et al   "How Shall We Celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas?"  Partial Manuscript
6.   RH Jan 4, 1881  "The New Year"
7.    RH  Dec 26, 1882 - Holiday Gifts
8.    RH  Jan 1, 1882 - A Happy New Year
9.   ST Jan 3, 1883  "The Old Year and the New"
10.        RH Jan 29, 1884  "Sabbath School Reunion at Healdsburg, Cal" - a recounting of how Ellen White spend a New Years Eve...at the Healdsburg College (now P.U.C.)
11.        RH  Nov 18,  1884 - The Coming Thanksgiving
12.         RH  Dec 9, 1884 - Christmas is Coming
13.        RH  Dec 16, 1884 - The New Year
14.         RH  Dec 23, 1884 - Thanksgiving Sermon of EGW: Transcript from sermon given 11/27/1884
15.        RH Dec 14, 1886 - The Old Year and the New
16.         RH Extra Dec 11, 1888 - The Inestimable Gift
17.         RH Dec 17, 1889 - Christmas Address to the Young (a MUST read)
18.        RH  Dec 24, 1889  "The Work of Preparing for the New Year"
19.        Manuscript 24  Dec 25, 1889 , published in This Day With God (TDG) entry for Dec 25.  Ellen recounts a Christmas Eve spend at the Battle Creek Tabernacle, speaking at 10:30 p.m., then returning home to a late dinner with her nieces son and his family.
20.        RH  Dec 9, 1890  "Christmas Gifts"
21.        RH  Dec 23, 1890 "An Appeal to the Churches" - this article, while not about the holiday's specifically contains the key ideas she expresses in other articles:  Jesus left glory for you.  Give to Others, Take a soul inventory at the new year.
22.        RH Dec 15,  1891  "The World by Wisdom Knew Not God."  : In this article, at Christmas time, she expresses in Paragraphs 7 and 8 the ideas of the gift of God in coming in Christ to the world.
23.        RH Dec 12, 1892 - Christ Our Hope: Paragraphs 4-7 seem to be build on the idea of Jesus coming to the world.  John 3:16 quoted.  Jesus is the "best gift of heaven" and "the heaven-sent gift."  Good holiday words.
24.        RH  Dec 19, 1893 - Represent Christ in Self Denial: Paragraph 4 stresses not going in debt for gift giving and Paragraph 5 encourages  not spending money on holiday amusements.
25.        RH  Jan 2, 1894 - Look not everyman to his own things. - This seems to reflect her thought about holiday generosity.
26.         RH  12/18, 12/25, 1/1 - Our Duty to the Poor and Afflicted
27.        RH  11/26/1895  Appeal for the Southern Field:  Continued  12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 12/24 - This is quite the holiday appeal for people and funds to help with the blacks in the south.  "Christ left his high command." is the reason.  Christmas words for sure.
28.        RH  Nov 10, 1896  "A Test of Gratitude and Loyalty"
29.        RH  Nov 24, 1896 "The Right Use of God's Gifts"
30.        RH Dec 1, 1896 - "The Right Use of God's Gifts"  Pt. 2 
31.        RH  Dec 8, 1896  "God's Claim on Us"
32.         RH 12/25/1900   "How Much Owest Thou?" - Paragraph 1 -"Tis the Holiday Season"
33.        RH Dec 3, 1901 - Robbing God
34.        RH Dec 10, 1901 - Robbing God, Part 2
35.        RH Dec 17, 1901 "Bring an offering unto the Lord."
36.        RH Dec 23, 1902 "Think on These Things."  "Another year has almost passed into eternity..."
37.        RH 11/15/1906  "Christian Liberality"
38.         RH 12/27/1906  "Shall We Celebrate the Holidays?"

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Poem - I Was Wn Alcoholic...And You Cared For Me.

 
I Was an Alcoholic, and You Cared For Me.
O. Kris Widmer

Idea: September 2, 2014  
Blog Published:  September 3, 2014
Recalling a helping incident


Jesus came by
our church,
and was here
for 5 whole hours.

Odd that it is
a Tuesday.

I recognize him immediately.
He can't fool me none -
in that get-up of
dirty boots,
grimy shorts and
filthy shirt,
It's Him alright.

I see the wounds
on His knuckles.
and a scar on his chest.

5 feet 6 inches
53 years of age
Red Hair (like mine) - unkempt
Blue Eyes (like mine) - bloodshot
Fair Skin and Freckles (like mine) - Sunburn.
Reading glasses

I thought He was safe
in heaven, But no,
he is very much
stuck here on our earth
in our area,
in a bad way.

He is living out of his white van, now.
The son of man has no place
to pillow his head.
And with a stuffing-falling out pillow
at that!

He lost nearly everything.
His first wife left him after four years.
His next wife left him after twenty.
His business has tanked.
He downsized from four vans to one -
            from ten workers to none.
His house was sold -
            from inlaid flooring to plywood flooring
He says He must to sell His boat
by the fifteenth.

It's all gone,
All on account of the drinking.

What's that...you say Jesus didn't drink.
Well, He does now!

During these current last days...
He finds work where he can -
yard work mostly; Mow, Blow and Go!

Once, He was quite
the contractor.
Painting, Drywall,
Flooring (His specialty)
He shows me
the pictures on his I-pad;
$260,000 a year.
Really!?

Now here he is
confused,
skin lesions,
slow movements,
sh-sh-schlurrrrrrred speech.

I offer him
non-perishable groceries
from the charity pantry.
He accepts.
He has a propane,
hibachi-style stove to cook on.

He hasn't shaved
for a few days.
He hasn't showered
in a few more.

I offer him
the use of His church's shower
and to do a few loads of laundry
in the appliances normally used
for communion towels
or potluck table clothes.
He accepts, again.

It is clear
nothing in His van
or on his person
is clean;
He searches for all the stray
towels,
socks,
shorts and
shirts.
"Yes, the blanket.
Let's wash that too."

I wait for Him
to get it together.
Then, we go
downstairs.

Jesus and I
stand and talk,
walk and talk,
sit and talk -
Not in some green rose garden
on an ethereal dewy evening;
But rather, in the janitor's room
of the church basement.

We have plenty of time,
There are four loads
in that solitary washer,
that is slow to fill,
and the joy we share
as we tarry there
is pretty amazing.

He changes -
while I look the other way -
into the shorts and shirt
from the first load,
now dry.

Finally, His laundry is finished,
loaded.
Then, He thoughtfully looks in my eyes
"Thanks for all you've done."
I wish Him God's blessing.
"Take care of yourself."

As he drives away,
I realize how much I learned
about Jesus today!

He doesn't wear
any underwear
and He never has.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Baseball Haiku



O. Kris Widmer


September 1, 2014


pass the garlic fries
Timmy just retired one more
give that man a K

Freakish deja vu'
San Diego no hitters
splitter in the dirt

keeping us informed
Dave and Jon, Kruk and Kype speak
outs, strikes, pelotas

September 2

nine men on the grass
each smacks their gloves deep pocket
pitcher grabs two seams

fifteen-day D.L.
He appears abled-body
but something is torn

swing of the bat.  Crack!
I can't tell where it's going?
I shout anyway.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Life Sketch - John Muniz

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John Paul Muniz
August 27, 1964 - March 27, 2014

John Paul Muniz was born August 27, 1964 in San Francisco, California.  He passed away suddenly at his home in Pittsburg, California on March 27, 2014.
He is survived by his mother and step father, Corrine and Lee Lefler of Antioch California and by  the 6 children of the blended family formed when his parents married.  Jennifer Khan and her husband Najim of Watsonville, California; Yvoonne Betancourt of Antioch, California;  Chris Lefler of San Francisco; Ernie Lefler of Washington State; Dina Dianus of Pittsburg, California, his twin sister who was just 5 minutes younger then himself; and Robert Lefler of Antioch, California.
He is also survived by Marisa, Jamie and Antoinette, his nieces and nephew.



When John and Dina were born, Corrine was working in San Francisco doing office clerical work as well as working for a phone company.  After Corrine married Lee, the family moved out here to Eastern Contra Costa County.
John went to elementary school here in the Antioch area, and then middle school over at the Adventist school in Pleasant Hill.  He went one year to Rio Lindo Academy in Healdsburg, California, and then completed High school at Antioch High.   He went on to earn an AA degree in electronics from Diablo Valley College.   His most recent employer has been Smile Business Products, servicing copiers and other equipment all over the bay area.
As a very small boy, John has a penchant to wander off.  Dina remembers him one time taking off on his tricycle...up a freeway on-ramp.  Janeen's Dad had to rescue him...and administer some warmth to his back-side.  On another occasion, he and Dina decided to go for a walk about on a family visit to Los Angeles.   They had no clue where they were going...at the age of about 4 or 5.  Dina turned back...but John didn't.  He kept going and going.  Fortunately, Dina told Ginger...and the police were called.  John got a ride back in a squad car!
As an older boy, he was baptized into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  His older cousin, Janet Cloud, saw to it that John and Dina were taken to church and Vacation Bible School and Pathfinders and other church events.  He, along with his twin sister, were baptized by Elder Leon Hulse.  He enjoyed reading the Bible through out life...and lived his faith in God by being kind to his family and customers and careful in his work.
John was an avid sports fan...enjoying loyalty to the San Francisco Giants...and then the A's.   He didn't just follow wins and losses...but he could tell you details about the team.    Dina said that there were many years she did not spend their birthday together, for John was off traveling in the country, visiting a city for a baseball game.  He was able to attend every ball park for a game for the American and National Leagues of Major League Baseball. It's lamentable that he died just four days before the first game of this year's season...and would love knowing that the As' and Giants are off to good starts.
As an adult, John experimented with his own home made beer, learning the processes and crafting his own brews.  His work, along with his brother Robert, won awards in some of the beer contests in which they entered.
He was able to enjoy the benefits of being a home owner, as well as being a "family man"...not a family of his own...but he continued to enjoy the relationships of his mom and dad, as well as his siblings.  He loved attending the picnics and other family holiday events.
John has a good memory, and would claim to know what happened on various dates from his past.  If he didn't know...perhaps he would make something up that would be entertaining.  His mom remembers him saying funning things...and making her laugh.
Dina remembers when they were sharing the house, enjoying dinner together to classic rock songs on the radio.  They played a "guessing game" where he would quiz his sister on who, when, what album the song was by.  John usually knew the answers.  His knowledge of any subject he cared about was truly amazing.
Robert says that his brother John always looked out for him.  They shared a room and bunk bed together in their childhood, and a close brotherly friendship through out life.  There were camping trips together and many other fun times.
It is a shock to his family that he passed away so suddenly of apparent cardiac arrest.  He will be greatly missed.  Still, we celebrate his life and honor his memory today...and commit his body to the dust from which we all are formed...and his spirit to God who gave it.
            God, by His sovereign grace, has laid John to rest.  He has entered the temporary sleep of death.  Soon, Jesus will come and call him forth to everlasting life in heaven and on the earth made new.  It is the reality of the truth of the resurrection of the dead that gives hope and comfort to us today.
            Our lives have been enriched because we have loved and have been loved by John Muniz.  He has been a Son, Brother, Cousin, Nephew, Uncle and Friend! He enriched the lives of so many people and he will be truly missed.  We place our hope in the "Blessed Hope", the resurrection and the reunion that awaits us all in heaven.  May God bless us with His comfort and His peace this hour.