The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 21, 2018
Anyone need a little respite from all the noise of this week? Ho-o-oly cow!
Welcome to the table where no political talk is allowed today. If you’re like me you’ve had enough of that in the past several days to last a lifetime. Instead, we’re going to focus on the feast that awaits us as we enter the very best time of year here in the heartland. This is the time for fresh tomatoes, green beans, and other delicacies from the garden. And, of course, our mouths water for the most wonderful treat of all…
This weekend, the church where my wife serves as choir director will serve close to 2000 people at their annual corn roast supper. They have discovered that this, my friends, is the secret to church growth, indeed the secret to the abundant life Jesus promised us.
I love sweet corn. It truly is better than sex! I’m not lying! All across the Midwest tonight, a husband and wife will finish what husbands and wives do, and the wife will ask the husband: “How was that?” And, if the man is honest, he’ll say “Well, it wasn’t sweet corn, but it was nice.”
• Garrison Keillor
And pray what more can a reasonable man desire, in peaceful times, in ordinary noons, than a sufficient number of ears of green sweet corn boiled, with the addition of salt?
• Henry David Thoreau
…roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.
• Rex Stout
boiled or roasted is still a Corn.
one went through the hot waters the other through the Fire.
Still The blessed Word.
• Marie Tornyenyor
Look, I made a commitment to corn 17 years ago. Sure, I’m a man. I like to go to a barbecue and see beans that I like: baked beans, red beans, black beans, big plump garbanzos. But in the end, I always come home to my sweet, sweet corn.
• George Lopez
Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep;
And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep.
• Benjamin Franklin
Catherine Pepinster reports that the Church of England is planning to include more rigorous psychological testing of those wanting to become priests. In light of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, this is one measure the CoE is planning to incorporate, beginning later this year.
And what kinds of psychological pathologies are they especially on the lookout for? One of the leading issues they hope to address is narcissism among prospective ministers. Pepinster writes:
In the book “Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do about It,” researchers R. Glenn Ball and Darrell Puls estimate, based on their 2015 study, that about a third of ministers in one mainline Protestant denomination in Canada showed signs of a narcissistic personality. Narcissists often come to apprehend God as a rival, not a loving presence, and eventually may see themselves as God.
Francis said narcissism can give pastors “a confidence in their own ability to the disparagement of others,” and a tendency to see “the black side of others rather than the contribution people make to the church. There is a temptation to bully and demean.”
A few strange news stories over at NPR:
- A bigger-than-life statue of actor Jeff Goldblum appeared in London this week and has become a viral Internet sensation.
- A guy asked the Tennessee woman out on a date. They took her Volvo, and when they stopped at a gas station, he fled with her car. Worse – her godsister texted that she had been asked out by the same guy, who was now sporting this really nice Volvo. WREG-TV says these women worked out a plan. Faith arrived at the other date. She got her car back. He got arrested.
- One of the subway lines Vienna, Austria’s subway reached high temperatures of 95 degrees this summer, so the transit company has thus far handed out 14,000 deodorants.
- For those unfamiliar with Chicago, it is considered next to criminal to fix your hot dog or Brat with ketchup. How serious are they? A writer took a picture of a sign on Chicago-area expressway that said, “No texting, no speeding, no ketchup.”
- One thing that went viral this week: an abandoned couch in Florida. It didn’t seem like an extraordinary couch. It was left on a sidewalk, as couches tend to be. But then people started adding things like curtains, a plant, coffee table, rug. Now this couch has its own hashtag, #TheCouch.
And now, a musical moment of respite to help you recover from the chaos and noise of the past week…
America’s religious communities are failing children with chronic health conditions such as autism, learning disabilities, depression, and conduct disorders.
And they have been doing it for a very long time, suggests a just-published national study following three waves of the National Survey of Children’s Health.
The odds of a child with autism never attending religious services were nearly twice as high as compared to children with no chronic health conditions. The odds of never attending also were significantly higher for children with developmental delays, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders. However, the study does not provide data for specific types of religious communities, such as evangelicals.
Sanctuaries were much more sympathetic to children with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, or vision problems. Those children were as likely to be in the pews as children with no health conditions.
But children with conditions that limit social interaction, who are often excluded from other social settings and have the greater need for a community of social support, were most likely to feel unwelcome at religious services.
Some soothing pictures from The Atlantic to calm the stress from this past week…
Extremely rare video footage has emerged of a tribe member who has been called the “loneliest man in the world”.
The 50-something man has been living alone in the Brazilian Amazon for 22 years, after the last members of his tribe were murdered.
The shaky video – filmed at a distance and released by the Brazilian government’s indigenous agency, Funai – shows a muscular man cutting a tree with an axe.
The footage has been shared around the world, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Why was he filmed?
Funai has been monitoring the man from afar since 1996, and needs to show he is still alive to renew a restriction order on the area of land he roams, in the north-west state of Rondonia.
The area – spanning around 4,000 hectares – is surrounded by private farms and deforested clearings, but the order prevents anyone from entering and endangering him.
Some favorite recent Babylon Bee headlines…
- Joel Osteen Reminds Viewers that Opinions Expressed on His Show Are His Own and Do Not Reflect Those of Jesus Christ
Sweet, sweet corn on the cob — the end.