The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 27, 2019 — Politics free edition


The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 27, 2019

Today’s Brunch is a “politics free” zone. We had enough of that yesterday, as you can see in the action shot above, taken from yesterday’s comment section. So today, just relax, laugh, and tend your wounds.

• • •

No politics — well, except maybe for this…

A dark horse presidential candidate has come out of nowhere: Larry the Cucumber. He shot to fame almost immediately after his promise of giving everyone a water buffalo.

“When I am president, everyone will have a water buffalo,” he said at a campaign speech. “Yours may be fast, and mine may be slow, but the important thing is that we’re achieving total equality when it comes to water buffalo possession in this nation.” Cucumber admitted he doesn’t have a plan, however, for where he will get them. “Where will we get them? Uh… I don’t know. But everyone will have a water buffalo!”

From The Babylon Bee

Larry could win the evangelical vote, but these pop culture standards never will…

• • •

Here at the Saturday Brunch, we proudly serve…

SOURCE: The Church Curmudgeon

• • •

Bob Dylan Set to Release “Even Slower Train Coming” Album

After turning 75 this week, legendary folk-rock artist Bob Dylan has decided to go back into the studio and remix some of his classic albums so they will appeal more to people his own age…and also to Mennonites.

Mennonites have always appreciated Dylan’s nasal voice, and have imitated his signature sound in their church singing. Dylan, it seems, is finally capitalizing on his popularity with the conservative religious group, by re-releasing his seminal Christian rock album “Slow Train Coming,” this time at half the tempo.

“In addition to slowing it right down, I’ve also eliminated drums and electric guitar. It’s basically an a cappella album – Mennonites love that stuff,” said Dylan from his Malibu mansion. “For decades people thought that Christian music thing was just a phase. But now the gospel train is back, and it’s slower than ever!”

Label execs are enthusiastic about the new speed, and believe it can appeal to more than just Mennonites.

“We kind of feel that Dylan can be the new Chris Tomlin, but, like, you know, slower,” said Columbia rep Marilynn Bouton. “If we can get his songs sung in worship services, this album’s gonna sell like hotcakes. He’s really hit on an untapped niche–and that is Christian songs sung really really really slow.”

Dylan’s label has also sent thousands of clothespins to American churches. An accompanying letter encourages church worship leaders to affix the clothespin to their noses to replicate that unmistakable Dylan sound.

From The Daily Bonnet

Unfortunately, it will probably end up looking and sounding like this…

What would Brother Martin say?

• • •

And more on church music…

HOUMA, LA—Local churchgoer Herb Patterson took a knee in protest Sunday morning as the worship band added a chorus into classic hymn “Before the Throne of God Above.” (SOURCE: The Babylon Bee)

A recent survey performed by CCLI confirmed that AC/DC’s hard rock classic “Highway to Hell” is more theologically accurate than 96% of the songs that most worship bands play on any given Sunday. (SOURCE: The Babylon Bee)

SEATTLE. To avoid problems with lyric slides, an innovative church printed out songs and compiled them Into a book, placing them around the room so that anyone can grab one and sing along. (SOURCE: The Babylon Bee)

• • •

Recent Odd News Stories…

REUTERS. A Lithuanian couple won the World Wife-Carrying Championship for a second time in a row in the Finnish town of Sonkajarvi on Saturday, triumphing in a contest where men complete an obstacle course with their wives slung over their shoulders.

REUTERS. A French inventor failed in his attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard on Thursday when he was knocked into the water as he landed on a boat-mounted refueling platform, his technical team said.

An In-N-Out burger mysteriously appeared on a Queens street over the weekend despite the nearest restaurant being over 1,500 miles away. Lincoln Boehm posted a picture of the perfectly wrapped ‘Double Double’ burger after discovering it near the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station on Saturday.

Montreal’s Annual “Just For Laughs” Festival…

Left: The duo of magicians Panachés on their Castelet voyageur; Right: Colorful installation and plastic laugh. (Joannie Lafrenière for NPR)

Left: A magician (duo Panachés) on a bike; Right: A contrasting duet, Les sumos du Japon. (Joannie Lafrenière for NPR)

Left: Pablo, a giant marionette dances and plays with ballerina Atharina; Right: Monsieur Gazon prepares to juggle fire on a unicycle. (Joannie Lafrenière for NP

Montreal’s annual Just For Laughs festival is best-known as a showcase for current and future stars of stand-up comedy. Not as well known to people who’ve never been here is that laughs of all kinds can be found outdoors, for free, throughout Montreal’s cultural district, the Quartiere des Spectacles. Professional musicians, magicians, acrobats, jugglers, puppeteers — the outdoor performers’ punch lines don’t need words. That helps, since Just For Laughs/Juste Pour Rire is a bilingual festival for both French and English speaking performers and fans. The outdoor side is also family friendly so the streets — closed off to cars, not clowns — are crawling with kids.

“This year I told my team that I want people to laugh at every 15 feet,” says Patrick Rozon, Vice President for all content — indoors and out — for Juste Pour Rire, the Francophone side of the festival. He says what happens outdoors is just as highly programmed as what happens inside the comedy clubs.

From NPR

• • •

It sounds like a movie…

David Glasheen has lived for over two decades on Queensland’s Restoration Island. (Photo: Aubrey Comben)

David Glasheen built a multi-million dollar mining company in Australia. Then he lost it all in the stock market crash of 1987. Then his marriage broke down. His life was dramatically transformed and began spiraling out of control.

Then one day a friend happened to mention remote Restoration Island in far north Queensland, 2500km from Sydney. David Glasheen arrived there to see it for himself 22 years ago, and he has never left. Glasheen has survived ever since by catching his own fish, trapping rainwater, and eating veggies from his garden and fruit from four native fruit trees he planted. Once a year he travels to Cairn for a big shopping expedition. He keeps food in a small solar-powered freezer or in freezers on friends’ boats.

He has developed good relationships with commercial fishermen in the area and welcomes locals from the town of Lockhart (about 40 km away) for company. Other than that, it’s just Glasheen, the dingoes and crocodiles.

David Glasheen in his shack on Restoration Island

Glasheen is getting ready to turn 76 years old, and he broke a hip earlier this year. But he has recovered, and he lives, he says, by “managing danger” each and every day.

More than anything else, David Glasheen says that Restoration Island did exactly that for him. In fact, Glasheen says he’ll see out his final days on Restoration Island.

“I live in heaven — why would you leave heaven?” he says. “I’m literally born again by being up here.”

The “Millionaire Castaway” (the title of the book he has written about his life) has had a lot of sadness and conflict in his family, including a child who took her own life several years ago. David misses his family, he says, and hopes to do more traveling in days to come to begin connecting with them again.

An annual shop provides the chance to stock up on supplies like rice and pasta. (Photo: Alvaro Cerezo)

Solitude and the challenge of living day to day in these circumstances proved to be David Glasheen’s salvation at a time in his life when he could have easily ended it all.

“I was one of the very, very fortunate people that instead of maybe committing suicide, which a lot of people would have done, I found this place.

“This island has restored me in every which way I can imagine.”

It’s the stuff of dreams, fairy tales, and classic adventure novels. David Glasheen is living it.

May grace and peace be with him.


100 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 27, 2019 — Politics free edition

  1. 🙂

    Their other lovely burger is a lamb burger: “16
    5oz. of ground seasoned lamb, made in house and garnished with fresh mint aioli, lettuce, tomato, red onions and guinness cheddar cheese”

    or if you prefer vegetarian: “our new veggie patty made from roasted portobellos, button mushrooms, barley and parmesan cheese on a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato”

    For reference- The Yard & Flagon in Saskatoon


  2. We were connected with a Haitian church in the Dominican Republic, and the pastor decided to book a flight on January 1st, 2000, because it was cheap. Really cheap. Nobody dared to fly on that day.

    Problem was, the Dominican government and industries had the simple and fool-proof plan for Y2K: do NOTHING, and wait to see what happened. So the planes didn’t fly on January 1st. Oh, they probably could have, it turned out, but better safe than sorry. Not sure if my pastor friend got re-booked right away.


  3. Not sure if your remark was tongue-in-cheek Clay, but they would be the equivalent of wild dogs and alligators.


  4. No, they don’t avoid any Churches, these people are ‘shunned’ and treated with contempt . . . . they need ministry as much as those who point the finger at them

    remember the Gospels where Our Lord brought people together, people who normally would not have sat down at the same ‘table’ but He did this to help us see a better Way, Senecagriggs

    find a Church that knows how to care for Our Lord’s sinners and you will find a Church where ALL the people are asking ‘Lord, be merciful to us’ because they know that they are all sinners whom Our Lord came to save, and no one points the finger, but everyone prays the ‘mea culpa’ when they consider the reasons for the crucifixion of Christ

    find that Church, Senecagriggs and visit for a while . . . . . it will be a place of peace for your soul


  5. We need to distinguish, when discussing Y2K, between discussions of obsolescent computer software and pseudo-religious hysteria/grifiting. There was legitimate reason for concern about the former. It only related to the latter in that gave the latter credibility among the credulous. This is in much the same way that “scientific creationism” was creationism propounded by a guy in a lab coat, making it seem scientific to people who didn’t understand science.


  6. Randy, go read some of Thoreau and Emerson . . . . wander into the enchantment of Wordsworth . . . . and if that’s too much over-the-top for you, come down and take a look at Chief Seattle’s speech . . . . .

    Wordsworth’s immortal words alone may help raise your consciousness:

    The World Is Too Much with Us

    “The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
    It moves us not. –Great God! I’d rather be
    A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
    So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
    Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
    Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.”

    that photo of Mr. Glasheen in his boat evokes more me the great Proteus ‘rising from the sea’ 🙂

    ah, literature . . . . it opens us worlds and images that stay with us and become a part of our response to new happenings . . . . those images live in our imaginations’ memories until something comes along to startles them to life again . . . . or maybe those images were within planted in our human DNA from the beginning??? I like to think so. . . . . . memories from great ancient days in a place where we knew no discouragement for a time 🙂


  7. You should venture out more. When was the last time you visited an Episcopal church or a member church of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship? Judging books by their covers is tricky business. It likely you have LGBTQ member or two in your own congregation. Cheers!


  8. the new ‘scripture’ ?

    no, just the ancient, and still sacred Scripture that says:
    ” speak to the earth, and it shall teach you: and the fishes of the sea shall declare to you” (Job 12:8)

    So we ask the Earth? And it speaks to us, this

    we hear the breaking of giant Antarctic ice shelves, the caving of northern glaciers, the dying of life in the oceans, the rising water levels, we experience the increasing intensity of storms, we feel the increasing number of ‘record temperatures’ across the globe as it gets warmer and warmer and warmer

    and whole species begin to die off, but we don’t take notice, even though they are like the ‘canary in the mine’ and in their dying, they tell us ‘be warned’, ‘be warned’ but we do not hear what we do not want to hear, and so they perish

    There is a lot of prophecy in sacred Scripture and the hardest for us to swallow and digest is that which asks us to wake up and be humbled, probably the two very things that might save the planet’s life and ours with it here on Earth? 🙂

    we have choices, and IF in time our descendants will say: ‘the old ones had choices’ , will what they say will be as a curse on our foolish ways? Twelve years it is said left for us to decide, but I thing the clock is ticking faster than that as we see things compounding before our eyes in real time. . . . .

    the wisdom of sacred Scripture . . . . . we were warned, why didn’t we listen?


  9. I want an island too! It looks so nice, I wonder what he means by “managing danger”?


  10. And then there was the Blood Moons. New hysterics need to be whipped up for profits when the old ones have run their course. I wonder what will come next?


  11. Oh, and also regarding the Babylon Bee stuff…

    Of all the secular albums I owned when I became a Christian (and I owned, and still own, quite a few), the ONLY one I tossed was AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” I just couldn’t figure out a way to get around that song and still consider myself a believer. Which I remember now as being unfortunate, because that album was loaded with great songs.

    Ironically, my current Christian self might not see a problem with owning it these days….LOL…


  12. In 1999 I was the bookkeeper for a plumbing contractor – and on our government jobs, we had to provide a notarized certificate from our supplier that the PVC pipe and fittings were Y2K compliant. Talk about government run amok….

    Fortunately, the church I was attending at the time did not go over the edge with wild predictions of doom. If they had I would have left that church immediately.


  13. Around here the Congregational (UCC), and the Episcopal churches are popular with LGBT, in fact it’s not uncommon for the pastor or priest to be gay.


  14. No refrigeration? I could support “never frozen,” but I’m not willing to risk food poisoning, thanks. Been there, done that, didn’t like the results. When the manager gets there in the morning, I want whatever is being cooked that day to have been in somebody’s fridge overnight.


  15. VERY good quality. That’s where I normally go for high-quality fresh burgers & fries, as In-N-Out is always jammed.


  16. But the East Coast chain Five Guys is starting to make inroads out here on the West Coast. Much less crowded than In-N-Out.

    I’ve seen In-N-Out drive-thru lines not only going completely across parking lots, but extending onto and clogging streets, once even gridlocking the nearest intersection.


  17. Helicopter gunships packing chemical-weapon “stingers” and piloted by long-haired bearded Hippies! Know your SCRIPTURE!

    P.S. “SCRIPTURE(TM)” had become one of the most-overused words in Christianese back in the Seventies.


  18. Two-three years after Y2K, I saw straggler copies of Christian Y2K Armageddon books on the “Inspirational” racks at eateries along Route 101.

    The one I best remember had some sort of End Time Prophecy tie-in and prophesied that Bill & Hillary would use the Y2K disaster to declare martial law and proclaim themselves Co-Presidents for Life.

    All in all, typical weirdness.

    “Oh the more it changes
    The more it stays the same;
    And the Hand just rearranges
    The players in the game…”
    — Al Stewart, “Nostradamus”, 1973


  19. Chaplin Mike, After reading the comments below I realize I should have shaken my dour mood and gone with the flow of a light hearted , entertaining article. As others have said , thanks for the good mix . I will check in now and then especially on Saturday. We all have enough serious issues to deal with and need to enjoy some feel good and interesting stories. Thanks for the reminder. Keep on dreaming.


  20. No, you’re playing wrong. It’s okay to say the locusts in Revelation are actually helicopter gunships fulfilling End Times prophecy, but not that passages like the one you cited mean we should take care of the earth and our fellow human beings now. Understand? If you don’t learn the rules, you can’t play anymore.


  21. Robert, I don’t typically use it. Only when I’m trying to belie my elitist tendencies and prove myself to be a “man of the people.”

    Indiana is a land of transplanted southerners, however, and I hear it regularly.


  22. Where did you learn to say y’all, CM? I always thought that was solely a Southern thing, but my wife, who was born in Indiana and spent her first years there and in nearby Midwestern states, uses it, and says she learned it growing up there. Since her mother is originally from Texas, I’ve always assumed that she learned it that way, but my wife insists that other Midwesterners say it. I’ve always been skeptical; is it so?


  23. From the intro:

    “So today, just relax, laugh, and tend your wounds.”

    I thought I was clear, but such is the world of blogging and commenting. This community can be the like the voles and moles that burrow tunnels across my yard. All y’all are hard to whack sometimes!


  24. Yes, if Scripture is only applicable to the things it directly literally speaks about, it’s really convenient isn’t it?


  25. So seriousness is banned today, along with politics? Wish I’d known, I would not have made a couple of my own comments.


  26. Seneca, you insist on dragging us into the political/social/ecclesiastical wars this morning! A pox on seriousness today! I ban you to your own Restoration Island!


  27. From what I can see Robert, you don’t find many LGBT people in the pews of ANY churches; except for the Metropolitan Churches which are not exactly flourishing themselves.

    It appears the great majority of LGBT people tend to avoid churches of any stripe.


  28. Since I missed the open Mike yesterday, I’d like to put this here. Starting early next year I want to do a 50th anniversary reread of Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy. I picked this up as a Tolkien-addled adolescent in 1970 and it did indeed scratch that itch very well. If possible, I’d like to find the original Bantam Books edition.

    LeGuin was a treasure, loaned to us all too briefly.


  29. Aw Randy, where’s your romantic spirit? Your spirit of adventure? Of course the Robinson Crusoes of the world are selfish twits. So am I. Can’t you let me at least dream of his libertine ecstasy for one Saturday morning?


  30. Robert, to clarify , you were not being critical , I was. You were stating a fact you were aware of. You are a better person than cynical me. It is all in the reporting and slant. Man cannot manage a large fortune. Family appears dysfunctional . He retreats to an island he has no entitlement to. He lives off he grid with help from the grid but gets good press.. What would he do if 100 families with dogs and children want to live on the island?


  31. I’m sure you won’t find many LGBT people in the pews of a LCMS church;. the church has already purged most of them, due to resolutions like the one you cite. They know they’re not welcome there, why would they go? Well, maybe if they’d been brainwashed into believing that practicing their sexual orientation is a sin, they might…So the LCMS won’t have to do much compassionate ministering to LGBT people, and I’m sure it is perfectly fine with that.


  32. About the future generations: They are on their own. God will work it out,

    “If one of you says to future generations, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about the kind of world they will inherit, what good is it?” – what I think James would say today.


  33. Personally, some of my favourite burgers are not from any chain. Like the Elk burger from my local pub. Well, my favourite local pub, there being 4 pubs and a microbrewery (under construction) within 4 blocks from me.

    Anyway, the Elk Burger is beautiful- their description: “5oz. patty of lean ground elk meat with sautéed mushrooms, melted brie, lettuce, tomato and mayo”….


  34. It was not my intention to be critical of Glasheen, only to point out that he’s not the only hermit, although his backstory and living environs are obviously interesting and different.


  35. We don’t have In-N-Out in my region, but we do have 5 Guys, though I don’t know much about them, that they specialize in hamburgers, for instance. Now I’ll have to make it a point to try them.


  36. I knew it was satirical, and though I’ve never read it I’ve heard of The Daily Bonnet before, since I live in Lancaster, PA. But I wondered if there was any germ of truth it might be based on. After all, Mennonites/Amish are humans like everybody else, and they like and do some things the rest of us might think out of character for a sectarian group. For instance, they are fierce competitors in baseball, and during the winter they take charter buses to Florida to watch professional baseball training camp.


  37. Luther denomination update: Missouri Synod

    The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod overwhelmingly passed a resolution reaffirming its traditional, biblical stance on gender identity and sexual orientation, while also calling for churches to “minister compassionately” to people who identify as LGBT. [ last couple of days it appears.]


  38. A round of applause to Chap Mike for a grand and glorious Brunch this morning. This one has to rank in the top five. I appreciate all the work you put into it. The creative energies required to keep this place running and its quality high while also working a demanding job prove you are a special person. Thanks again.


  39. The Daily Bonnet is a Mennonite satirical news site from the heart of the Bible belt, Steinbach, Manitoba. Apart from the names of local and international celebrities, all characters and situations presented are entirely fictitious.

    I know it’s hard to believe.


  40. I worked for IBM Global Services on the Lucent Technologies (formerly part of AT&T) account, and programming changes for Y2K took more than a year in our one humongous distribution system alone. Only God knows what other areas and companies did. The big innovation, multiplied by thousands of programs, was changing an MM/DD/YY format for month, day, and year to an MM/DD/YYYY format. Of course, In many parts of the world the change was from DD/MM/YY to DD/MM/YYYY, but I don’t want to confuse you.


  41. And yet here I am this gorgeous Saturday morning – at least where I live – working away. I say I actually HAVE survived all that I mentioned.

    About the future generations: They are on their own. God will work it out; in His amazing and often incomprehensible [ to humans ] way.

    Temporarily, I suspect the future generations will choose servitude to the Ivy League elites who will demand all their money to save the planet but will actually only enrich themselves. That’s my prediction.


  42. Robert , Good point. Every major city and even small ones have people like Glasheen, we call them homeless What if 100 or 2000 people decided to join Glasheen on the island?.. Sounds like his life was and is a mess . He is not doing any favors to the environment of the island but at least he in not in a box in front of the downtown church, so it is romantic? He certainly is not living like Ben Gunn. Every good recluse needs his solar power freezer. Where did he get the boat and motor.? Where do the dingoes get their food and water?


  43. Robert, have you ever thought of ordering your hamburger minus what you don’t want on it. Most places will do that and add extras if you want them. In and out are simply the best and you should try. All fresh no refrigeration made daily.


  44. Hey, there was lots of money to be made. Why pass up an opportunity to fill the coffers, even if you’re smart enough not to fall for the nonsense you’re selling yourself? After all, there are lots of not-so-smart folks out there with money to spend at the behest of religious leaders they trust.


  45. I love burgers, have since I was a kid, but a burger is a burger. I don’t like the sloppiness of the modern burger, too many extras are added and you can’t even hold it all together, much less fit one side into your mouth without spilling all kinds of stuff out the other side. This defeats the original handheld beauty and simplicity of what is perhaps my favorite food. If the burger in the picture above is typical of an In-N-Out burger, it has way too much slip-sliding-away stuff on it for my liking.


  46. Even Ligonier Ministries and the Sprouls, who you would THINK would have been smart enough to know better, got in on the act. That was another major stepping stone in my path out of the Reformed subculture…


  47. “the Meadow Party nominee for President is… BILL THE CAT!”

    “HE’S DEAD!!!!”

    “Yeah, well, so was Hubert Humphrey.”


  48. If you haven’t eaten an In-N-Out burger, you don’t know that you’re missing. Some of the best food I have eaten are at places that don’t all that special. The best BBQ comes from dives.


  49. Y2K was such a bunch of hooey, made up by fearmongers who sold lots of books and made lots of money by stoking panic. And I remember how Christian leaders participated; for instance, James Dobson repeatedly visited the subject as an imminent threat on his radio program, with guest “experts” explaining what could happen and how bad it could get, and sometimes connecting it with End Time scenarios. He and other Christian “leaders” joined right in with the general hysteria. But Jesus said, “Fear not.”


  50. We have hermits here in PA, but they don’t live on islands. They live way off the grid in abandoned shacks in the midst of undeveloped and inhospitable wildernesses. Their lifestyles obviously aren’t as idyllic or Edenic as Glasheen’s, but it’s what they choose.


  51. “To avoid problems with lyric slides, an innovative church printed out songs and compiled them Into a book, placing them around the room so that anyone can grab one and sing along.”

    *Picks up printed book of church songs*

    What are all these dots with the weird little flags on them?



  52. Personally, I’d love to hear a remake of “Ain’t Gonna Work on Stoltzfus’ Farm No More”.


  53. Now that I’ve seen what an In-N-Out burger looks like, I wonder what all the fuss is about. It doesn’t look like anything special.



    I have survived: Y2K, Global Warming/Global Cooling/Climate Change, peak oil (5 times), and at least 8 Storms of the century. I’m on a roll.


  55. I forget the lead up but the answer is:

    My shack, your shack and a bungalow

    [Shadrach, Meshack and a Bednego]


  56. When the Meadow Party wins in 2020 I will petition President-Elect Cat to nominate Mr. Larry for the office of Secretary of State. The world will be a much better place…


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