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SERMON: Mightier Than The Sword

We have heard it said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Of course, in an actual sword fight we would rather have another sword! The purpose of the pen in this quaint expression is that of diplomacy and reason versus brawn and force. It represents a strong contrast between the written form of persuasion and power of eloquence versus the wielding of a finely honed killing machine.

One similarity they actually share is that they are both meant for specific purposes only. One item is for writing and committing thoughts to paper, while the other is for the sole purpose of killing. More...

EDITORIAL: The Way To World Peace

Two things cause unnecessary violence in this world: ignorance and evil.

The first cause occurs when someone doesn't understand a situation which is causing him/her anger; he/she thinks that another person has done something in a way that that person actually hasn't, or the initial person is confused in some other way, and therefore he/she acts violently without just cause.

The second cause comes about when a person who is angry about one thing or another lacks moral discipline, and therefore acts violently without just cause-knowingly.

Meanwhile, our world today is full of seemingly intractable sources of unnecessary violence. The Middle East is one now and has been for centuries. More...

OPINION: Church And State

I want to address a philosophical problem which pertains to the principle of the separation of church and state.

The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The idea here is that people have a natural right to practice, or to not practice, whatever religion they choose; the state has no right to impose any religious conception on the free people of said state. Now, I understand the importance of this principle. More...

GOOD NEWS: Our Office Aquarium

Like many a home and office, we, too, have an aquarium (formerly known as a fish tank) with salt water fishes of many varieties and colors.

Salt tanks are really only for the fish techie since knowledge and hard work are what keeps the mini ocean bottom scene going.

Many salt tanks have clear, clear water, some ocean fish and what appear to be white ocean thingies. These are actually bleached dead corals.

We opted for the more beautiful (and costly) live coral, live anemones and the fish who, in nature, live among them.

Most tanks (ours included) feature a population which has never existed in nature: a fish from Thailand, another from the Maldives and corals from the Philippines and Florida. A smorgasbord of species chosen for their ability to get along. More...

nonFICTION: Barnacles and Bedlam, Part 41

That evening Les Peters, Hank Rhoda, a welder and seaman, and I visited the Casino Assyrio in the heart of Rio night life. It was only 9 P.M., and we were among the first guests. An orchestra entertained with typical Brazilian music, the inevitable boomboom of the big drums, joined with the harmonics of the tambourines, kettle drums, trumpets, trombones, and saxophones. After we ordered drinks, three Brazilian belles approached our table and offered to join us. When the waiter brought our drinks, the girls ordered cocktails. Losing no time, the waiter brought a pitcher of what appeared to be fruit juice and poured it into their glasses. More...
ADVICE: Dear Angel

My husband and I are in a completely loveless marriage. Every other week he seems to need a little 'relief' and I, as they say, 'lie back and think of England' until it's over. We sleep in separate rooms, my idea because of his snoring but he seems to prefer it also.

We have two children in their early teen years and I (and he) pretend we are staying together for the sake of the children, which is true, but the bottom line reason is that we live in a community property state and, if we divorced, splitting everything half and half means there isn't enough income for two households.

More...

"It is not difficult to fool an easily fooled person but it is very difficult to prove to those people that they have been fooled."

Kingsley-Miller

"When it becomes more difficult to suffer than change -- then you will change."

Anonymous

"With God, what is terrible is that one never knows whether it's not just a trick of the devil."

Jean Anouilh

"The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his way."

Josh Billings

"Of all the advantages which come to any young man... poverty is the greatest."

Josiah Gilbert Holland

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

The Holy Bible

"Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can."

John Wesley

"Nature gave us two ends: one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then, man's success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most."

Robert Albert Bloch

"Tradition is the reason for doing something you can no longer think of a reason for doing."

Stephan Pastis

"It is almost impossible to think of something sad when you are smiling broadly -- I emphasize, broadly."

Kingsley-Miller



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