Today is January 2, 2017.
Some good advice from Isaac Asimov, who was born on January 2, 1920. “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
Yeasayer – a person with an optimistic and confident outlook. Are you a yeasayer for 2017? Am I? Only time will tell.
Today is Happy Mew Year Day For Cats Day. I realize that sounds a tad redundant, but that’s what it says. I just thought it was cute, and, being a cat lover, myself, couldn’t resist it.
Today, we are observing the New Year’s Day holiday. We have the day off from work. It’s the last paid holiday until Memorial Day. Once again, I would like to have a serious conversation with whoever thought it was a good idea to put ALL OF THE HOLIDAYS IN THE LAST HALF OF THE YEAR!! It’s a long, dry spell between January and June, friends. (I do realize that Memorial Day is in May, but it’s the last Monday in May, so it might as well be June.)
I was going to post a special blog entry about 2016 celebrity deaths, but it was going to take too long. There were so many, and wading through ones that I had never heard of or didn’t really have any impact on me, was taking way too long. But I thought I would recap some of the more famous/important people that we lost last year. It really began on December 31, 2015 when Natalie Cole passed away. The announcement was made on January 1. So here we go:
Natalie Cole, Pat Harrington, Jr., Otis Clay, Angus Scrimm, David Bowie, Monte Irvin, David Margulies, Brian Bedford, Rene Angelil, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty, Dale Griffin, Mic Gillette, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Bain, Abe Vigoda, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson, Frank Finlay, Joe Alaskey, Maurice White, Dan Hicks, Daniel Gerson, Donald Thorin, Vanity, Antonin Scalia, George Gaynes, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Harper Lee, Umberto Eco, Douglas Slocombe, Sonny James, Lennie Baker, Tony Burton, George Kennedy, Gil Hill, Pat Conroy, Nancy Reagan, Richard Davalos, George Martin (Beatles producer), Robert Horton, Keith Emerson, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Steve Young, Joe Santos, Ken Howard, Joe Garagiola, Earl Hamner, Jr., Burt Kwouk, Garry Shandling, Jim Harrison, James Noble, Patty Duke, Ronnie Corbett, Gato Barbieri, Erik Bauersfeld, Merle Haggard, Leon Haywood, Blackjack Mulligan, Tony Conrad, David Gest, Doris Roberts, Les Waas, Victoria Wood, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, Guy Hamilton, Prince, Lonnie Mack, Michelle McNamara, Papa Wemba, Billy Paul, Madeleine LeBeau, Afeni Shakur, William Schallert, Nick Lashaway, Gene Gutowski, Bill Backer, Darwyn Cooke, Jane Little, Emilio Navaira, Guy Clark, Morley Safer, John Berry, Alan Young, Nick Menza, Jeanne Parr, Beth Howland, Angela Paton, Jan Crouch, Muhammad Ali, Bobby Curtola, Theresa Saldana, Gordie Howe, Christina Grimmie, Anton Yelchin, Janet Waldo, Michu Meszaros, Ralph Stanley, Alvin Toffler, Buddy Ryan, Scotty Moore, Pat Summitt, Michael Cimino, Noel Neill, Garry Marshall, Tim LaHaye, David Huddleston, Pete Fountain, Barry Jenner, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, Lou Pearlman, Matt Roberts, Toots Thielemans, Steven Hill, Juan Gabriel, Gene Wilder, Jon Polito, Phyllis Schlafly, Alexis Arquette, Edward Albee, W.P. Kinsella, Curtis Hanson, Jose Fernandez, Arnold Palmer, Steve Dillon, Janet Reno, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Leon Russell, Gwen Ifill, Holly Dunn, Sharon Jones, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Ron Glass, Grant Tinker, Greg Lake, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Craig Sager, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Michael, Ricky Harris, Richard Adams, Barbara Tarbucks, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher.
I wasn’t counting (and I had to consult more than one list, because the first one just stopped in the middle), but I’m positive that there are close to, if not more than two hundred names in that list, and I left out a bunch that I didn’t recognize. Some of the names I’m not familiar with, but I know the work that they did, like screenwriters and composers for TV and movies. Others hurt my heart deeply, such as Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and Carrie Fisher. Also, I may have missed some, too. These lists are all selective. Some include people that others omit, and vice versa.
Moving along . . . if you remember the Christmas Eve oven saga, well, we have a new oven being delivered this coming Saturday (January 7). It’s an LG brand. I didn’t even know they made ovens. We also ordered an “Instant Pot” pressure cooker last night. I’ve heard enough reports about those things in the past week that I really want one. Later today, we plan to go visit C’s step-dad, who is still in the hospital. Then tomorrow, it’s back to work, until March, when we take PTO for my birthday weekend.
54/91 (If you’ve been reading for a while, you know what these numbers represent. I’m not going to type it all out any more.)
Psa 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Psa 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Psa 57:9-10 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psa 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
(From The President’s Devotional)
Mat 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
“In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less,
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.”~~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
We are frail people, all of us. “The greatest among us is nothing more than sin stitched together. The least among us is not much worse, and maybe a bit better.” We are alive and well, only by the grace of God.
When we realize these things, it makes us “more holy, special, worthy of care.” We are not wretched; rather, we are recipients of the pure grace of God. This knowledge should cause us to be more kind to people, less quick to judge. And it should make it easier for us to love.
“Dear God, let me know my fellow man through your eyes, and through the lens of love. Remove the plank of judgment from my eyes that I might see. Amen.”
Father, you know that I have long struggled with this very topic, that of judging. I pray, along with Joshua, that you would help me see all people through your eyes. Make me sensitive to the part of the story that I cannot know. Take the log from my eye, that I might see truthfully and compassionately into the hearts of all people.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Grace and peace, friends.