Daily Prompt: Unfurl

Daily Prompt: Unfurl

Daily Prompt: Unfurl

Numerous scenes entered my mind immediately upon reading today’s prompt, unfurl. The flavor of all of them can be … ‘heralded’ by a few scenes:

  • Master and Commander: When the Surprise is disguised as a whaler in order to lure the enemy in, and that moment when they unfurl the Union Jack and let loose their barrage
    Image result for creative commons images last samurai battle
  • The Last Samurai: The samurai forces feign a retreat (signaling with colored flags) and the “modern” army pursues them (away from their advantage, the artillery) into an ambush
  • Image result for War of Hastings

    The Battle of Hastings, 1066, one of my favorites eras: history tells that the Normans also used the retreat ploy to get the Anglo-Saxons to break their line

I’m sure you can see in your mind your own special memories of the proud and valiant unfurling of banners or other pendants. What’s special about them is, I think, the anticipation that has been built up around the momentous event.

It’s a declaration of greatest dramatic effect. A proclamation of all-or-nothing commitment.

I can identify this moment in my own life as July 25, 2008. It was the best and the worst day, the day I tried to quit, the day I was saved for all time.

It was at this point that I began to follow the standard of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With my heart firmly displayed on my sleeve, I began to put on the armor of God.

It is, I think, one of the greatest analogies in all of literature.

armorEphesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

6 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Daily Prompt: Jiffy

Daily Prompt: Jiffy

Daily Prompt: Jiffy

Why do so many of the Daily Prompts remind me of food? The last is the famous, and long-time cornbread brand, Jiffy. It was part of a Saturday even ritual when I was growing up: franks, baked beans, and Jiffy cornbread.

I had a second thought when I saw this prompt, though:

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26

I think of all those questions that can’t be answered in this life:

  • Is there life after death?
  • Where do we go?
  • How real is God, the Creator?
  • Was it all really a grand conspiracy?

Well, I believe that we will grasp all those answers in a jiffy, upon our passing from this world to the next. (Only then, they won’t matter so much to us.) Some ‘jiffy’ synonyms are

(very) soon
in a second
in a flash

We will all know, believers and non-believers, whether or not there is anything or not. If there’s nothing after death, we’ll know it (in a way) because we’ll experience nothing. Either way, I find it comforting.

It Could Never Happen Here?

It Could Never Happen Here?

Is this a good time to throw out a cliche-like quote?

roman statue down“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
– Wendell Phillips

It seems to me that the part that’s not being remembered is not so much how these things get started, but where they invariably end up.

cultural destruction“Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.”
“In a few years, countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed…”
Wikipedia article on China’s Cultural Revolution (1960s-1970s)

book burningNot just for buildings and books, but for far too many people, as well. Groups of people get singled out for ‘Kristal-lization’ or “re-education.” All for the good of all, of course. (Except, of course, those suffering at the hands of the revolutionaries – or the government itself.)

“Mao believed that victimizing these people, as well as other groups of citizens – such as teachers, educated intellectuals, and enemies of the Communist Party (cadres) – was a necessary component to initiate the changes in the Chinese culture that he desired. He believed that those who were victimized either deserved it or became better citizens as a result of it.”

“Large numbers of people perceived to be “monsters and demons” regardless of guilt or innocence were publicly denounced, humiliated, and beaten. In their revolutionary fervor, students denounced their teachers, and children denounced their parents.[96] Many died through their ill-treatment or committed suicide.”

“Many survivors and observers[who?] suggest that almost anyone with skills over that of the average person was made the target of political “struggle” in some way.”
– Wiki

killing fields
Cambodia’s Killing Fields


I think it might not be just a matter of remembering, but possibly never knowing in the first place – by insidious design.

“It’s been my experience, Langford, that the past always has a way of returning. Those who don’t learn, or can’t remember it, are doomed to repeat it.”
― Steve Berry

Then again, it’s quite possible that it doesn’t matter even if we do remember.

I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”
― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Or perhaps, that upheaval might even be a good thing.

stalin statue“Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?”
– Marko Ramius quoting Thomas Jefferson

Regardless, that history repeats is unarguable. And this pattern goes back a long way. Maybe one Son of Man realized this and was way ahead of His time.

34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10

smokeEither way, I’m not so sure I really want to be around when “the **** hits the fan” for real in my own neighborhood.

“Alas, that these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see that last days of my house.”
-Theoden (Theoden doesn’t survive the evil days)

This past weekend, the tweets of our leaders, to me, expressed very similar feelings. So why is one so widely criticized?

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”

fire brigade“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– Nelson Mandela, quoted by Obama

In spite of it all – and from personal experience – I have to believe that all will be well in the end; the Creator already has a way to make everything right.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
– Genesis 50:20

god-anything-possibleBlessings to all.

Daily Prompt: Prickle

Daily Prompt: Prickle

Daily Prompt: Prickle

OK, I admit it. I wasn’t sure on this one. I actually had to look it up. A prickle (noun) is something that pricks (verb). IOW, a thorn.

Next, I searched for an image to go with this post, and had a laugh-out-loud moment when this one came up first:
prickle 1

I seriously went back to make sure I’d included the “l-e!”

Most of the images were, as you might expect, flowers – plants that grow thorns. But I chose another image, one that I found kind of interesting in the search results:

barbed wire

It is, of course, barbed wire. Maybe there was some search meta data linking the two? I don’t know…

Sunday Scrawl #5

Sunday Scrawl #5

13768373_1752273815042908_764435473_nThis is an easy one! This picture is, I’m pretty sure of a London, UK medieval building, with a tower. That reminds me of a song, Towers of London, by one of my all-time favorite secular bands, XTC. (This was before I switched to only Praise & Worship.)

Here it is:

Towers of London (YouTube)

And here are the links to buy the song or the album (from my Amazon affiliate link).

Towers Of London (2001 – Remaster) off of the album  Black Sea


Towers of London
Towers of London
When they had built you
Did you watch over the men who fell
Towers of London
When they had built you
Victoria’s gem found in somebody’s hell

Verse 1:
Pavements of gold leading to the underground
Grenadier Guardsmen walking pretty ladies around
Fog is the sweat of the never never navvies who pound, pound, pound, pound, pound
Spikes in the rails to their very own heaven

Towers of London
When they had built you
Did you watch over the men who fell
Towers of London
When they had built you
Victoria’s gem found in somebody’s hell

Verse 2:
Bridges of muscles spanning so long and high
Merchants from Stepney walking pretty ladies by
Rain is the tears of the never never navvies who cry
For the bridge that doesn’t go
In the direction of Dublin

Towers of London
When they had built you
Did you watch over the men who fell
Towers of London
When they had built you
Victoria’s gem found in somebody’s hell

And I’ve seen it in a painting
And I’ve seen it in engraving
And I’ve seen it in their faces
Clear as children’s chalk lines on the paving

Towers of London
When they had built you
Did you watch over the men who fell
Towers of London
When they had built you
Victoria’s gem found in somebody’s hell