Category Archives: Appearances

Appearances – deceive

Blake Griffin plays basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team.  That’s his career.  He seems to want a second career as a pugilist.  This past Tuesday he was suspended four games for punching a “team staff member”!!  Aren’t his battles between opposing players between the stripes on a basketball court?

Since he’s presently on the disabled list, the suspension begins once he returns to play.  By the way, the injury he received the last of January—resulting in a 4-6 week recovery—came from an altercation in Toronto.

Here’s the kicker:  the team fined him $859,442, which it will donate to charities in L.A.  But not to worry.  He won’t have to take a loan to buy groceries or keep his plush digs.  His 2016 salary comes to $18,907,725.  If Judy’s calculations are right, the fine is a mere 4 ½% of his gold mine.  San Diego U-T, 2/10/16

The outrageous salaries paid to pro athletes leaves them free to indulge their violence and any other anti-social act, including punching girl friends in the face or dragging them to their cars, or driving inebriated.  Since all they pay is a fine—which doesn’t weigh an ounce compared to the tons of dollars owned—they’re not compelled to practice self-control, let alone self-denial.

If they should instead be suspended for WEEKS, not GAMES; MONTHS, not WEEKS; or a SEASON, not MONTHS, that would get their attention.  It would also seriously puncture their bloated salary.  Of course, don’t count on that.  More W’s and few L’s constitute the bottom line of all pro sports.  Even human decency and responsibility aren’t as important as the Corporation’s bottom line.

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Appearance – can deceive

Though the 20 boats carried on the Titanic could have saved something less than 1200 persons, almost twice that number sailed in her.  Another problem occurred when filling the lifeboats.  It came from the capacity a lifeboat could carry being loaded “at the rail,” some 70 feet above the water.  That significantly differed from loading them at dockside, or even in drills.

The perils of loading the craft 70 feet up, relying on block and tackle to lower it put great stress on the block and tackle.  Some officers loading topside considered it dangerous to load each craft more than half of its rated capacity.  Since all the ships’ boats were lowered from their “upstairs” positions, that precaution guaranteed disaster for a lot of people.  Their experience revealed a difference between Quantity and Quality of lifeboat safety.

A distinction never observed in Jesus Christ.  No difference exists between his quoted ability to save from sin and his actual ability; between his apparent and his real ability.  Nor does the condition of the sinners make a difference.  Nor the condition of the church.  Nor the condition of the marriage.  He can save to any necessary extent any situation, relationship, or individual.  No one, no situation, no relationship, etc. is ever lost because God suddenly has no resources to go higher or lower

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem – Part III

It’s hard to understand how small things can have enormous consequences, but:

‑‑No more than 5,000 men on each side fought the Battle of Quebec on the plains of Abraham, yet the outcome of that battle decided the political, economic and religious fate of hundreds of millions in North America.

‑‑One cold December night in l955, a black named Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  That single refusal, by that one lady, led to the active boycott of the bus company, to the emergence of the civil rights struggle, to fame for Martin Luther King, Jr. and an awareness of black power that didn’t get the name for l5 more years.

‑‑Luther  nailed  95  theses  for  debate  on  the  church  door  at Wittenburg, Germany,

October 3l, l5l7.  He wanted a debate.  He got a complete revolution.

‑‑Dante nearly wrote his Divine Comedy in Tuscan, an obscure dialect that few understood.  Instead he wrote in Latin, a language universal in Europe at that time.  By that small margin his work escaped oblivion and became a Catholic classic.

‑‑In the fall of l94l German and Russian forces fought a small scale, really accidental, battle at Mga, in northern Russia. But the consequences were enormous.  For that single engagement precipitated the encirclement of Leningrad, leading to a disastrous 900 day siege.

‑‑On the morning of July l, l863, outside a small Pennsylvania town, Confederate scavengers went looking for food and clothing. They encountered a Union patrol and engaged it.  This small skirmish catapulted the two armies into a full scale conflict that neither wanted just then.  But the Battle of Gettysburg proved the key battle in the South’s struggle for independence.  From that point it was obvious it must fail.

‑‑In San Antonio, Texas is an old adobe mission called the Alamo.  It’s unpretentious and unlovely. “There’s nothing to it,” one visitor said, having seen it firsthand.  The place itself isn’t important, however.  What happened there immortalized it. l83 men chose to stand by, not surrender, an idea.  That stand electrified the country, galvanized opposition to Mexico and inspired 900 soldiers as they attacked Santa Ana’s army at San Jacinto.

Things aren’t always what they seem in this world.    – End of Part III –


Things: aren’t always what they seem – Part II

You wouldn’t think it would turn out this way, but:

‑‑The land that gave Christianity its birth—and in which the apostles labored so diligently and fruitfully—is now one of the most discouraging mission fields in the world.  The same is true of all the area where Christianity went first, with the greatest success.

‑‑While Hitler was incarcerated in Landsberg prison, all he did was write a book‑‑a harmless enough avocation—or so his jailer said, for it kept Hitler out of mischief.  WRONG.  As Robert Payne wrote, he didn’t know the danger in the book.  For in Mein Kampf Hitler outlined his plans to conquer the world.

‑‑The single personality in the North during the Civil War who insisted that the South be defeated was President Abraham Lincoln.  When John Wilkes Booth took the President’s life, he thought he had done the South a favor, ridding it of its most ferocious enemy.  Yet Booth’s violent act irreparably harmed the South.  For, while he proved the South’s inveterate foe in war, no one in the North was more conciliatory towards her in peace than Abraham Lincoln. With his removal, no one stood between the South and the radical politicians who wanted her brutalized.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

I know this is hard to believe but:

‑‑Czar Alexander III of Russia had such powerful shoulders, arms and hands that he could take iron pokers and bend them double—and take horseshoes in his hand and twist them apart.

‑‑There once was a little duck—a Japanese duck.  But this Japanese duck happened to be in an American POW camp in Ofuna, Japan.  The POW’s shared their food with the duck.  At one time it had broken a leg and a POW splinted it‑‑and the duck survived, though it thereafter walked with a limp.  At every morning roll call, the prisoners would stand at attention in a straight line—and find their duck limping along to get in formation too, always at the end of the line. When the POW’s bowed to the Emperor, the duck would watch their heads bow—and then it would bob its head in obeisance.  It all seemed incredible to the POW’s that a birdbrain like a duck could have such intelligence.

But things aren’t always what they seem.  – End, Part II –


Things: aren’t always what they seem

We have sayings that indicate our surprise, delight or limitations.  One such saying is “things aren’t always what they seem to be.”  Another is “dynamite comes in small packages.”  And a third is “you never know how a thing will turn out.”  The saying I’ll repeatedly refer to now is “things aren’t always what they seem.”

You wouldn’t think it, but:

**Very little snow falls in the heart of Antarctica.  The temperature is so low that it contains very little water vapor.  The heart of Antarctica is not unlike the Sahara in terms of precipitation.

**The Battle of Bunker Hill in the Revolution, where colonial soldiers soundly trounced British veterans, was for a long time considered such a disgrace for America that no one would accept responsibility for it.

**An American defeat in the Revolution assured French recognition of our infant nation.  The Battle of Germantown first brought together the massed armies of Britain and America.  When the French Foreign Minister heard details of the battle, he felt elation.  Having previously advised against supporting the Americans, he now changed positions.  “Nothing has struck me so much as General Washington attacking and giving battle to General Howe’s army,” he wrote.  “To bring troops, raised within a year, to do this, promises everything.”

Things aren’t always what they seem .       – End Part I –