Saturday, November 27, 2021

Prayer of the Day/Collect for 1st Sunday in Advent Yr C


Blessed Creator of heaven and earth: In the midst of catastrophic times due to climate change, we turn to you in repentance of our lack of care for your creation, and hope that even in the worst of times your Son, Jesus comes to us with the hope of a better world; in whose name we pray. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Book Review: David And Goliath

David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, And The Art Of Battling Giants 

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company, hardcover, 305 pages, including: Acknowledgments, Notes, and Index

The Author

At the time of this publication, Malcolm Gladwell has been on staff at The New Yorker since 1996. Prior to that, he was a reporter at the Washington Post.Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He lives in New York. In addition to David And Goliath, he is also the author of other volumes, including: What the Dog Saw, Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point—all are on the New York Times best sellers list


This volume contains the following: Introduction, Part One: The Advantages Of Disadvantages Of Advantages, Part Two: The Theory Of Desirable Difficulty, Part Three: The Limits Of Power. Each of the Parts consist of two or three chapters. 

Brief Observations

In his Introduction, Gladwell makes the case for David having an advantage over Goliath because of his fighting method. David surprised Goliath—and likely everyone else—by his fighting method of using a sling-shot and moving around, rather than using other common weapons and remaining in a standing position against his opponent. According to Gladwell, in addition to traditional weapons and fighting tactics, sling-shots were also periodically used successfully. David then, by thinking and acting “outside the box” utilized what most believed was a disadvantage as an advantage, thus killing Goliath, thought by most to be the better warrior. Most of this volume presents several illustrations of thinking and acting “outside the box.” 

Whether it was Vivek Ranadivé who knew very little about basketball and tried things that no one else even dreamt; or teacher Teresa DeBrito who discovered she had the most fun teaching a class of 29 kids; or Caroline Sacks who would have remained in science if she had chosen to attend the University of Maryland rather than Brown University; Gladwell emphasizes the advantages of commonly held disadvantages. 

The volume covers such concepts as the inverted-U curve, and theories like desirable difficulty. 

In his chapter four, Gladwell’s discussion of Gary Cohn was ethically problematic for this reviewer. Cohn lied about his knowledge of options trading in order to get a job on Wall Street (see especially pp. 122-124). If one lies in order to be employed, will one also continue to lie on the job? Some people who are successful telling lies do continue to lie because they believe that they can get away with it. If they do, they can even lose their perspective, and become unable to distinguish between the truth and the lie. 

The two closing chapters are perhaps the best. Gladwell cites the example of Wilma Derksen and her struggle with and journey towards forgiveness; and Pastor André Trocmé’s courage to put his faith into action by hiding and saving Jews in Le Chambon during World War II. 

Those readers who appreciate and/or are underdogs and misfits shall find this volume encouraging and beneficial. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

A Short Story


He hated every second of Lakeshore Indian Residential School. Not a day went by that he wasn’t abused by a priest or nun physically, psychologically, or sexually. He had been taken forcibly from his parents by a priest and Mounties when he was only 5 years old. The school was 400 kilometres from his home, and he only got to see his parents once a year at Christmastime. Of course he wanted to stay home with his parents, but the priest and the Mounties would always come to forcibly take him back to the school for another year. 

At school, they took away his traditional Indigenous clothing, and punished him severely if he spoke Cree. 

He hated the school so much, that he tried to run away on several occasions. Only to be caught and dragged back to the school. Every day was a day of torture. 

One day, when a priest tried to abuse him for a third time, he summoned all the courage and strength he had and kicked the priest between the legs as hard as he could. The priest fell to the floor and, in anger cursed him. He then ran away again. Tragically, a nun saw him running and was able to send another priest after him, who brought him back to school. 

When the abusive priest cornered him, he punched him in the face and he fell back onto a sharp edge of a desk and was killed instantly.

30 years later, his body was found in an unmarked grave, and all of his family and members of the reservation had a day of remembrance to mourn his death and the deaths of other students who were discovered in a mass unmarked grave behind the school. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June 3rd is World Bicycle Day

World Bicycle Day, June 3, 2021

With the 2021 World Bicycle Day fast approaching, everyone should know why exactly a world bicycle day and acknowledge the versatility, uniqueness, and longevity of the bicycle (over 200 years).

June 3rd was declared World Bicycle Day in April 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes and celebrates this reliable, simple, affordable, and clean means of transportation.

Additionally, the bicycle helps foster environmental health and stewardship. Few devices merit celebration as much as a bicycle. 

Do you have a bicycle? If so, consider going for a ride on June third. 

Click here to read the entire article.