Monday, January 25, 2010

Before all things

One of my favorite Bible verses is this:

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This verse is found in the first chapter of Colossians, verse 17. In this chapter, Paul prefaces his letter to the Christians of Colossae, a city in ancient Greece. The Christian Colossians are said to have been in error in their beliefs. Paul feared they were heading toward ways of worshipping that would reduce Christianity to a legal system and obscure Jesus.

The verse is part of a statement of beliefs--a testimonial prayer for the believer’s life. It proclaims the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the supreme power and love of God, who redeemed us from darkness and emptiness through Jesus. It means God created the world and everything in it, and that he is in control of it all.

That gives me hope and a sense of security, even when it may appear that our lives are falling apart. Because God is love, I know I can depend on him. That doesn't mean he will keep me from being hurt or sick or from making dumb decisions. But it does mean that when these things happen, I will still be able to find a center of peace, a cool oasis in the desert. All will not be lost--even if all is lost.

The little drawing comes from this site:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

LBJ's Daughter and Me: Trivia

Here is a bit of trivia from around 1965: 

I graduated from UT Austin with (rather, at the same time as) Lynda Bird Johnson, oldest daughter of Lyndon Baines and Lady Bird Johnson. I saw her in her cap and gown just before the ceremony, walking down a wide sidewalk that extends a long way down in front of the UT library. She was surrounded by secret service agents, also in caps and gowns. They were looking about suspiciously. They reminded me of a flock of blackbirds.

LBJ and Lady Bird were there in the audience, of course, and I had a good view of them. My parents were there, too; it was a relatively small summer graduation outside on the “mall.” Apparently, the Johnsons had asked that the speakers pay no particular attention to them, as nobody even introduced them.  

LBJ had the world’s longest ear lobes.

I borrowed this picture of the Johnsons from this site:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Carpe Diem and Tattoos

“Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” means “seize the day and place little trust in tomorrow.”  Apparently, this Latin phrase is quite popular these days as a tattoo.  An Internet search of Google Images shows a large number of inquiries about it and many pictures of designs featuring it.

I have a young friend, in her thirties now, whose small butterfly tattoo grew to huge proportions when she was pregnant. But she really wanted to rid herself of the two-inch flower on her ankle, so she underwent five laser treatments to have it removed.

She learned several things:

1. Tattoo removal is painful and expensive. As the picture above shows, the inks/paints are deeply buried in the skin. This article describes removal options and gives other interesting information.

2. Getting a tattoo can be dangerous; tattoo artistry is not regulated and is often unsanitary. You can get hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases from dirty needles.

3. Some tattoo artists use metallic inks, even automobile paint, for their designs. Metal-based paints can cause pain and burning during later MRIs.

My friend moved away from the city where she was having the removal treatments. Now the flower tattoo looks like a bruise, and she is happier with her ankle that looks more like the perfect one God gave her.

Seizing the day is good. However, while you might enjoy your tattoo today and even for a few years, you can trust  that a time may well come when you will wish you had seized it with less permanent means.