Saturday, 3 February 2018

The sudden death of the Revd. Allan Rogers has left me reeling.

At about 8:30 this morning (3rd Feb) I and others received a text from the Revd. Ted Copland (former Rector at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL) with the news of the sudden death of Allan Rogers, a fabulous Deacon who served the parish so well.

Later in the day I got this more official notice from the current Rector at St. Boniface.

It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the death of our parish deacon and friend, The Rev. Allan Rogers.
Allan died suddenly and peacefully at his home Friday night, February 2, 2018.
He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on January 18, 2003, recently celebrating his fifteenth year of service at St. Boniface Church. 
Please pray for Allan as he goes from strength to strength in the nearer presence of God. Pray also for his family in their grief; his mother and father; his daughter Sandy and her spouse Rebecca, and his sisters Melinda and Rita. And pray for us.
Plans for a service to be held at St. Boniface Church will be announced.


Allan (aged about 68) was a faithful and passionate servant of the Lord Jesus, and of the Church.

He was devoted to his wife Holly, and stayed tenderly faithful to her throughout the the many long years of her affliction with M.S. (She died about five years ago.)

He was tenderly ardent in his love for his daughter Sandy and her spouse Rebecca.

Allan loved the Lord and the Lord's people.

And he was my good friend.

We'd get together every two or three weeks at his home or mine for a glass or two of Scotch (Allan), and a glass or two of wine (me).

We'd pour out our souls the one to the other,  about our faith, our hopes, our joys, and our disappointments.

It was a holy friendship.

When I had my first stent surgery (May 2017) Allan visited me in the hospital where I was confined overnight.

When I had my second stent day surgery (Jan 2018) Allan prayed with me the night before.

I loved and trusted Allan so much that (with his consent), I appointed him as the Executor of my Will, and as my health care Proxy,  with a durable power of Attorney. 

Those offices can be replaced by someone  else.

What cannot be replaced is the  tender friendship which accrued to my boon. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

Ground Hog Day in Florida Tee-hee

Florida silliness via my friend Barbara F.-C.

**Just a wee correction -  there is no such thing as a Palm Tree.
Palms are palms, they are not trees!

** (Not a critique of Barbara. She simply re-posted the picture  unaltered)

Thursday, 1 February 2018

For Sale (at a bargain price).

I am not on eBay, so let's call this poveBay.

I am a (usually) honest vendor.

The Background.

This afternoon I was clumsy and let a table knife slip into the wee gap between my oven and the counter.

I had to pull the oven out to recover it.  I found the knife (and a butter knife which I had forgotten that I'd lost).


Some will remember that in October 2017 I  lost a lower jaw partial plate.

I searched high and low. 

I even called my trusty handyman to open the trap under my bathroom sink in case it had slipped down there.

All to no avail. 


So I had a new one made (at a cost of $800 - insurance payment, and $100 - my payment).

Guess what I found under the oven today.

You've got it!  The missing partial.  I have no idea how it got there.

It's now on sale.  

(Best offer before Feb 7th secures it).

My Dentist will be highly amused about this. So am I!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

My mother had a pure soul

My mother had a pure soul.

Swearing, or bad language was forbidden in our home.

Bloody was off limits, as it was thought to be a shortened form of the oath "By Our Lady".

Bugger was a very bad word because of  its connection with (what was then a crime in the U.K.) buggery.

Damn was forbidden.  It's short for damnation, we were taught that God alone can damn people.

Even the common British expletive "strewth" was questionable  because there's chance that it derived from another oath - "God's truth".

None of this was bad.  I confess that I use coarse language, to my shame.

But Mum could get frustrated.  No wonder, with nine children, some of them being rambunctious.

At those times she would utter "God speed the plough".

This confused me.  As a child I thought it had something to do with her East Anglian heritage, but that made no sense, for her father was a fisherman, not a farmer.

Whether or not Mum knew it "God speed the plough" derived from a Ploughman's song.  It's not clear if the song derived from the 19th century, or from much earlier.

You can read about it, and listen to it here:

(Note that only the first verse is original, the others were added much later)

Victorian God Speed the Plough Mug

The sentiments of the song remind me of "Linden Lea", which I first sang when I was about 11 years old.  Here is an  arrangement by Ralph Vaughan Williams:

Linden Lea
William Barnes

Within the woodlands, flow'ry gladed,
By the oak trees' mossy moot,
The shining grass blades, timber-shaded,
Now do quiver underfoot;
And birds do whistle overhead,
And water's bubbling in its bed;
And there, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea. 

When leaves, that lately were a-springing,
Now do fade within the copse,
And painted birds do hush their singing,
Up upon the timber tops;
And brown-leaved fruits a-turning red,
In cloudless sunshine overhead,
With fruit for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea. 

Let other folk make money faster
In the air of dark-roomed towns;
I don't dread a peevish master,
Though no man may heed my frowns.
I be free to go abroad,
Or take again my homeward road
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

This'll bring 'em in (or excuse my cynicism).

On my way to visit Donna C. or Bob L. I pass the Northminster Presbyterian Church (on North Lockwood Ridge, near University Parkway in SRQ).

The parking lot is filled to overflowing on Sunday mornings, so I suppose that the Church is "doin' O.K."

Northminster has a fancy outdoor sign. It often announces the title of the next Sunday's sermon.

Today it read:

Theological Amnesia

Boy oh boy, that's guaranteed to attract the spiritually hungry who have no church connection. (My tongue is in my cheek).

What does your Church sign say?  

Is it designed for "the faithful?"

Or is it in any way attractive for the seekers, the skeptics, or the non-believers?

Monday, 29 January 2018

Raining on my Parade

It rained in SRQ yesterday (Jan 28th), our first significant rain since Hurricane Irma (Sep 2017).

I discovered that Mr. Perfect ( a.k.a. Zion) does not like rain.  So I took him to my local "Plaza" where there is good walking space under cover, and various plant areas where a good dog can have a good pee.  It worked out well.....

.....  but as we passed a dog grooming business which has a ceramic dog on a low shelf by the window, Zion became obsessed. He saw it as a real and very passive friend.

I had to drag him away!

Yes, it's Zion on the left, and the ceramic dog on the right (behind a window).

Hope springs eternal in the canine breast.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

"You'll have to change Zion's name - it's too Jewish"

So said my neighbour Mrs. Butinski one day last week. We were chatting with another neighbour so all I said was "Zion is also used in the Christian tradition".

But I could not let it go. I saw her the next morning and blindsided her by asking "when did you last go to Mass?"  She is a very lapsed Catholic. She shrugged as if to say "it's so long ago that I can't remember".

"Well" I said, "you probably should go to Mass to learn how Zion is also used in Christianity".

Then I asked "Did you like M. and S. (two Jewish neighbours who have now moved away) or were they too Jewish for you?"

Of course she said that she liked them. So I had to ask her what she meant by too Jewish.

I went on to say that I did not ask for her opinion about my dog's name, neither did I value it.  Then I added "and I found your words to be deeply offensive".

We do not have to dig deep to uncover antisemitism. It is utterly reprehensible.


Mt. Zion, Jerusalem.


It was probably a Canaanite/ Jebusite hill fortress (Tysion?) which King David conquered, there to establish his royal palace. 

1. It is lauded in the Psalms. Psalm 87:2–3 

 “The Lord loves the gates of Zion / more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. / Glorious things are said of you, / city of God.”

2. Following the destruction of Jerusalem by the 

Romans, and the teaching that "Christianity" had 

replaced Judaism,  "Zion" becomes the name for the 
new and heavenly Jerusalem.

We have not come to Mount Sinai, says the apostle, but “to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). Pete refers to Christ as the Cornerstone of Zion: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).

(Hence Christian hymns such as "Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, City of our God", or "We're marching to Zion, the beautiful city of God".

3. In the Mormon tradition  at the Millienium  "Zion" will be the name of a physical City to be established in Independence, Missouri (the first home of Mormons before persecution and violence drove them west-ward to Utah).

(Hence "Zion Bank" and  "Zion National Park"  in Utah)

4. "Zionism" is the name of a movement envisioned by the Austrian Theodor Herzl in 1897.  He was a secular and "assimilated" Jew who became utterly disturbed by the anti-semitism (ever present in Austria), and by the Dreyfus affair.

Herzl dreamed of a Jewish homeland in Palestine (hence "Zionism")

( Before I get torn about "Zionism", plrase note that I am creating a historical narrative, not a political comment!)