Brothers worldwide have flooded me with requests to report on how Mr. Claus is doing on his Bible study. Or at least you never know when they may start.
I am happy to say he has been doing very well. Ever since that recent Watchtower on beards he is enthused. He drinks in information during each study – he’s a very eager student. And he loves the meetings. It’s even a little annoying. If the speaker makes even the lamest attempt at humor – say, he makes some crack about the microphone being too high or too low for him because the previous speaker was a giant or a pygmy, Mr. Claus will burst out with an earth-shaking ‘HO! HO! HO!’ which is beginning to get on everyone’s nerves.
In fact, he can be so disruptive that the elders asked him (and me – keep him company) to sit in the second auditorium. As we entered that room, he said to me that the elders were ‘bad.’ He’s very judgmental that way, always trying to separate the good from the bad.
Lately I have become concerned. He canceled his study for tonight. A ‘prior engagement,’ he said. Of course, I nosed around until I discovered what he intended to do. And I didn’t like it! Surely, it’s a violation of Bible principles! Of course, a new student progresses at his own rate or not at all – it’s completely up to him. But I will help him see how he can better please God.
“Of course, you do what you like. But you are making such good progress, and I know you want to move forward, so I will tell you things that haven’t yet come up in your study, and you can incorporate them as you wish,” I began.
“So, you really are going to fly throughout the whole world in a sleigh pulled by animals that don’t normally fly, through frigid weather, and slide down millions of chimneys (at your age and girth!) with presents in the middle of the night? That is clearly an extreme sport and disrespects the precious gift of life!”
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Starting with Prince, a fierce and frolicking defense of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A riotous romp through their way of life. “We have become a theatrical spectacle in the world, and to angels and to men,” the Bible verse says. That being the case, let’s give them some theater! Let’s skewer the liars who slander the Christ! Let’s pull down the house on the axis lords! Let the seed-pickers unite!
Thirty years ago I studied the Bible with a refugee from Czechoslovakia who adopted me like a grandson. I used ‘The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life’ in English, she in Czech. Several times she mentioned that Jehovah’s Witnesses in her country were the most crude and backward (she said ‘ignorant’) of people. Several times she mentioned that her book was a terrible translation. What was amazing was that it was a translation at all. Our people at the time were denied education. The regime saw to it they were fired from their jobs. If they subsisted, they did so because they had picked up shoe repair skills or somesuch. Time and again they were sentenced to prison. Upon release they were sentenced again.
One fine Christmas Day, my wife was out driving. Our three or four year old daughter was in her car seat.
"Mom, let's stop at Wegmans so I can get a free cookie." It's a child-friendly policy Wegmans then had. (do they still?) Imagine - a free cookie just for showing up!
"Honey, we can't, Wegmans is closed today."
Wegmans closed? How is that possible? "Because today is Christmas."
My wife kept driving along and thought of all the other things she meant to do that day. Presently from the back seat came a low ominous epithet:
There is a local brother given to conspiracy theories..
He's a fine brother. I like him, as does everyone else. He keeps it under control. He never mentions it from the platform. At least, not during prayer.
How can one resist not ribbing him? God will understand.
I got the ball rolling myself, then sent several brothers his way. "Make up a conspiracy theory about the Supermoon. Doesn't matter what. Mention in passing that you heard about it." How long till he knows he's been set up?
I'm worried that the visit of our circuit overseer may distract some from their practical joke duties. It's hard to find good help today. I didn't include the C.O. in my plot. He's already charged with counseling the same brother about taking the trapezoid shaped parking space, making it unavailable for me to park there when I show up in my trapezoid car.
No names, please, should you comment. I'll take it down. And post something worse about you!
Jehovah continued speaking to Ahaz: "Ask for a sign from Jehovah your God; it may be as deep as the Grave or as high as the sky."
Isaiah then said: "Listen, please, O house of David. Is it not enough that you try the patience of men? Must you also try the patience of God?"...Isaiah 7:10-13
My wife thought the best way to picture this passage is to think of a petulant child trying the patience of a parent: "This is SO tiring! Can't you, for once, just do as you are told?"
photo: Gary Thomasen
Don't trust them. They do nothing but make trouble.
'Here Tom, here's where you can buy wheels with snowtires mounted for your Fit! Isn't that a good idea? Just think how safe the missus will feel!'
Well, sure...anything for the missus...I bought them.
Who would think the stupid things require a non-standard socket to attach the lug nuts....not standard, not metric...something else entirely! I never knew there was such a thing.
And if you can get your head around that, what about the special 'hub adapters' required for each wheel?! Of course, they supply all those things, but I've yet to remember them when taking my car to the shop for seasonal tire change.
It's not aggravation to Brother Bugatti. Such exasperating picayune stuff is the elixir of life to him! He thrives on it, like a hurricane gathering strength over warm water!
And this year changing the tires...someone had lost some (not all) of the hub adapters. Me? The tire shop? Brother Bugatti? Who knows?
Ah, well, if I must, I'll just buy more. Yeah...good luck on that! I don't remember where I ordered the things from. The likely source Brother Bugatti suggests is a no-go. "Don't you keep your paperwork?" he asks...he has paperwork for every car wash he's driven through since he was 16! No...not after two years...I don't.
Ah...wait. Here's the box from Gorilla Automotive. Yes...the wheel company does carry that brand. No, they won't sell them to me separate without proof that I bought them there...liability issues! Today I'll call Gorilla directly. I just hope the CEO isn't Harambe, who took a leave of absence three months ago and hasn't been heard from since.
I've never owned mounted snows in my life until Brother Bugatti came along. Nor even snows after seventies...All weather-tires work just fine. What was I thinking?
Mounted snows on all four tires are safer, says Brother Bugatti. Well, so are tank treads!
photo: Lothar Spurzem