I know that some mainline Protestant denominations (including the one where I work) are still trying their best to promote the Common English Bible (CEB), but the more I read of this Bible, which came out back in 2011, the less I like it. Several months ago, I had this verse brought to my attention:
Those born from God don't practice sin because God's DNA remains in them. They can't sin because they are born from God. (1 John 3:9, CEB)
Oh my, this is such an awful rendering of that verse! "God's DNA"? What, now?
The Greek word in question is σπέρμα (sperma), which (as you may have guessed, is pretty similar to the English word "sperm." Now obviously, they weren't going to translate the verse as "God's sperm remains in them." They want to sell a few copies, at least. Most other translations say something along the lines of "God's seed is in them," which seems a bit more tactful. But using the word DNA? That just seems ridiculous to me. What's more σπέρμα, or some variant thereof, appears a few dozen times in the Bible, but this is the only verse where the CEB translators rendered the word as "DNA." So it's inconsistent at best, completely anachronistic at worst.
I've complained in the past about the CEB's use of "Human One," rather than "Son of Man." That one still grates on me, even though I understand the linguistic/theological choice behind it. But the DNA thing is just...weird. And don't even get me started on their use of the word "divvy" in Psalm 22...
I don't generally rant against particular Bible versions, but the CEB was the go-to Bible in our church for quite awhile. It actually looks like the pastors have been leaning back towards the NRSV lately, which I think is a good choice. And I don't think the CEB is completely worthless. I just don't think it will ever become a standard choice for my personal use. Thanks for reading.
Yes, it's here, among the Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, and Justice League trailers... the new trailer for Season 4 of the BBC's Sherlock. It raises a lot more questions than it answers, and there are too many action sequences for my taste, but still, it's Sherlock, so I'm excited.
Yesterday I turned 47. I know, it's not a milestone or anything. I mean, I suppose it means I'm officially in my "late 40's," whatever that is worth. And sure, it means I'm within spitting distance of the big 5-0! Anyway, I just thought I'd take this opportunity to look back over the past year.
This time last year, I was beginning to prepare for my new church job at Grace UMC in Mt. Juliet, after 8 years at St. John's UMC. I was excited about the new opportunity, of course, but I had no idea what it would be like. I'm happy to say, it's been one of the greatest spiritual and musical times of my life, and it's still growing and developing. The staff is a dedicated, tight knit group of people, and the congregation has been friendly and welcoming. My daughters absolutely love it there, which makes me even happier. Good times all around.
Another musical chapter of my life came to an end, though. After thirteen seasons with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, 4 1/2 of those as Assistant Director, it was decided that my position would no longer exist. I was disappointed at first, of course. After all, the Chorus has been a big part of my life for most of the time we've lived in Nashville. I've had some wonderful musical experiences singing with that organization, and I learned a tremendous amount in my time as Asst. Director. But there is no rancor in my departure, and I'm looking forward to having more flexibility in how I schedule my church music. And so, life goes on.
Meanwhile, my daughters continue to grow, and continue to amaze me all the time. I was never sure, before our children arrived, what kind of father I would be. I think I'm doing okay, even though God knows I've made my share of parenting mistakes. Main thing is, I love my kids, and I love seeing then become who they're meant to be. I guess that makes me a successful dad. I hope so.
And so, here I am, 47 years old and--dare I say?--happy. It's not all "shits and giggles," as they say, but honestly, there are quite a few giggles along the way. Is life an adventure, a circus, a voyage, a vale of tears? Oh, it's all these things, and more. It can be messy, but it can be delightful. May I continue to enjoy a few more decades, God willing, and keep a smile on my face much of the time. Thanks for reading.
Sometimes it can become all too apparent how quickly time passes: such as when you look at pictures of your kids when they were much younger, when you see a friend whom you haven't seen for a long time, or as it did for me today in a sad way. I realized today that I hadn't seen my friends, the Weingands, for well over a year, perhaps more like two years. We used to go to church together, and then I got my church job at St. John's UMC, and the Weingands began attending a Lutheran church up near their home in Hendersonville. When I got my current church job in Mt. Juliet, almost a year ago, I fully meant to phone Claude and Margie to tell them. I knew they would be very happy for me. And then, what with one thing and another, I never got around to it.
So today I thought, I haven't talked to Claude and Margie for quite some time. So I called them, and when I got their answering machine, I left a message saying something along the lines of, "Hey, Claude and Margie, I haven't talked to you for a long time...just wanted to touch base, so give me a call when you get this message!" But then I thought, they're not young people (they're older than my parents), so maybe I should look them up online. That's when I happened upon Margie's obituary...from August 14, 2015. It had been almost a year since she had passed away, and I had no idea! All those times I had meant to call them, and I never did. And I had just left that phone message to the two of them: a message Margie would never hear.
I was able to leave a brief remembrance of Margie on the website for the funeral home that had handled her arrangements, and as I typed it, the tears began to come. Margie was such a sweet woman, she had been so kind to me and my family. She had been so impressed with my two daughters the last time we had visited them, a summer or two ago. (I still can't remember exactly how much time has gone by since that last visit.) She had passed away, her church had done a memorial service in remembrance of her, and I had never known she was gone. Since our last visit, weeks had slipped by, weeks had turned into months, and months had turned into at least a year...maybe two.
Thus this blog post. It's kind of a way for me to purge the regret I feel at not having been more vigilant in maintaining my friendship with the Weingands. I hope I get a chance soon to talk to Claude, to tell him how much I appreciated his dear, departed wife, and to make clear how sorry I am that I didn't know of her passing. In Margie Weingand's memory, I offer this brief prayer from the Book of Common Prayer:
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day
I'm gradually collecting all seven volumes of an illuminated Bible called St. John's Bible. So far, I have both volumes of the New Testament, and the Psalms are on the way! You can read more about the St. John's Bible at its official website. All the original calligraphy was done by hand, and the artwork is stunning. I'm including a brief gallery below, with some pictures of some of the artwork. The seven volumes of the series are as follows:
Today, I discovered a website called Typatone, that assigns musical tones to letters typed into it, thereby making anything you type into a musical composition of sorts. Just for fun, I typed the text of the first verse of the Gospel According to John, in both English and German, just to hear what it would sound like. The results are rather lovely, I think...
[The following is re-blogged from a Tumblr user with the handle wisdomfish.tumblr.com. It's a nice, concise guide to some of the best Bible search engines on the interwebs.]
If you are looking for access to the Word of God, you will find that there are a number of options for reading the Bible online. You can find full-text Bibles, as well as different versions.
(Source: accreditedonlinebiblecolleges.org, via wisdomfish)
I was going through some old blogs, and stumbled on this story Su wrote just over three years ago. This was originally posted on my Daddy's Little Girls blog, shortly after it was written. Very entertaining!
The Adventures of Su, Lucy and Cory Posted by: corybanter on 18 July 2013[The following is a book in three chapters that my daughter Su dictated to her cousin Grace, and read to all of us when we were up north for my brother’s funeral.]
The Adventures of Su, Lucy and Cory
by Su and Lucy
“My dear mom, I wanted you to get everything you wanted.”
One day there was a little girl named Lucy.
Then Lucy got bored. Then she wanted to take an adventure.
And that’s when all her troubles began. She went far away to a camp of all sorts of bad guys.
The bad guys chased her almost to the danger pit.
Then she had to jump over all the red balls of the danger pit. Each red ball of danger had a different danger.
One made her swim through a lot of water, and the other one made her walk through a lot of fire in only a few seconds of time.
The next danger were crushers that could crush people flat. The next danger made her escape the many cars that were trying to hit her.
Then she had to go through the cold with no shoes on. Then she had to walk through the desert with no food for 7 days. Then she had to walk through the desert with no water.
She tried to go home and she got some water on the way and some food and some shoes and some clothes. Then she got to her family and they loved her very much and she never saw those adventures again and they lived happily ever after and never got in trouble again…until Su came along.
One day there was a little girl named Su.
Then Su got bored and she wanted to take an adventure. And that’s when all her troubles began.
First she had to swim through 3 miles of water.
Then she had to go to the jungle of traps. Then she had to swim in 4 miles of water.
Then she had to swim through the oil ocean. Then she had to swim through the poison ocean.
Then she had to go to the danger zone. And she almost got crushed!
And she never saw those dangers until Cory came around.
One day there was a big man named Cory.
Cory got bored and he wanted to take an adventure.
That is when all his troubles began. Then he went far away to a whole camp of bad guys. And the bad guys chased him far away, almost to the danger pit.
All the red balls of danger had a different danger. He had to jump over all the red ball of danger.
Then he had to escape the many trains that were chasing him. Then he had to go through the trap jungle. Then he had to try to get through the B stamper.
Then he had to swim through the oil ocean. Then he never had to see those dangers again.
Who doesn't love the sound of a theremin?
Wait, did someone say, "What's a Theremin?" Well, first you can go to the repository of all human knowledge, Wikipedia...and read this article. Then you can watch this video of someone actually playing a theremin:
And now that you're familiar with what a real theremin sounds like, you can waste all kinds of time playing this virtual online theremin. (No, you don't get to wave your hands in the air, but you can make some pretty interesting sounds!) You may thank me later...
After playing around with a revamped Corybanter blog on Tumblr for awhile, I wasn't happy with how things were working. Tumblr is great for posting pictures or links to music, but for a text oriented blog like mine, it wasn't working for me. So I did a little research, and decided to wipe my virtual slate clean. Tabula rasa, as they say in Latin! Therefore, on this eighteenth day of the month of July, in the year of Our Lord two thousand and sixteen, I present to you the brand new...
(Are those trumpets I hear?)
Weebly seems to have been the blogging platform that has been the easiest for me to arrange the way I want it, so here I am! And there's good news...links to all of my old blogs--the old Corybanter (on Tumblr), and Willy Wigglestick, and Baker Street Babble, and Daddy's Little Girls, and Dallas: the Poetry of Alice K. Howell--can be found on this new blog on their very own page. Simply click on the "My Old Blogs" link in the upper right hand corner menu!
Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the new blog.
(adj.) wild and frenzied; from Greek κορυβαντες (Korybantes)