Showing posts from November, 2010

Fair Game-- Telling the Truth

My wife and I saw 'Fair Game" on the weekend. It stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. They play the power couple in Washington DC, Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson. And they play the couple very well. As protagonists they are searingly convincing and we cheer for them from the outset.

One blogger writes "The true story of former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband retired diplomat Joesph C. Wilson is told in this thriller/melodrama based on Plame's book "Fair Game: My Life As A Spy, My Betrayal By The White House." Here is part of the review from Publishers Weekly, and I quote [...The problem with this book is that it has been heavily redacted by the CIA—and in parts is almost impossible to read.]" If only it were a true story. It is based on a true story, but there are some real problems.

Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece sa…

Christmas in an American Food Court

I always enjoy the fun of seeing people surprised. And this certainly happened in the US at this food court just a week or so ago. Maybe you will enjoy the video as well.

Beyond that, however, the song itself is one of my favorites. I first sang this in junior high school back in the 1960s at Meadowbrook Junior High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. My parents and I were Orthodox Jews and whenever our choir got to the point in the song (quoting John the Revalator), "The kingdoms of this world have become...the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ" I would simply mouth the word "Christ" and not sing it. I felt that it was a bit of an honor to give the man Jesus, and I wasn't willing or ready to go there.

Things changed for me, of course, when I was 19, and the book of the Revelation from which this quote is taken became one of my favorite books of the Bible.

So much was this on me, that in 1977, when Patty and I married, I wanted this song sung during the cerem…

My own story... from 1971!

I hope you will enjoy the telling in just a few minutes of my personal story, how I came to believe in Jesus, although I was an Orthodox Jew. I grew up in Kansas City in the 1950s and 1960s. A peaceful time which became a turbulent time as hippies looked for peace and meaning. Surprises came to my family again and again...and for the fuller story, I'll be adding the longer version so you can see more details. Here it is Bob longer

Thanks for watching, and commenting if you'd like.

Journeys begin with one step

window jog.JPG
Originally uploaded by bobmendo The reality shows tire me. They feature stories of wayward youth and troubled pasts colliding with hopes and aspirations. The tears and the teary music remind us of 'not yet' dreams which just might be fulfilled if we vote for our candidate or vote someone else off the island.

And one of the tired words overused on each of those shows is the word 'journey.' Simply put a journey is a distance to be traveled or the time required for a trip. I would think the word emanates from the French for 'day' like journal or soup du jour. But let's not digress.

The producers of reality shows wear us down with stories, and the hosts and judges weary us further with epic journeys of their own.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” That quote is attributed to Lao Tzu (Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote "Tao Te Ching" (also "The Book of the Way"). 600 BC-531 BCE)

As I walked i…

Every parent's boast

Every parent's boast
Originally uploaded by bobmendo Some people put their treasures into safety deposit boxes with jewels and important documents. Some put their treasures in their museums and offices in a gallery of artworks that span the decades if not centuries. I have three treasures, and they are not mine, in the same sense of ownership.

I love it when my children ring me or email me. I like it when they notice that I was gone for a few days. I like it that they want to hang out for a round of spades, double solitaire or Jeopardy on TV. We have fun doing crossword puzzles and eating out together. We especially like to share holidays together as a family.

When I was in Michigan 10 days ago, I saw this license plate on a car as I was racing into the rental car return area. And although I was a bit stressed by the lack of time I had misgauged, I had to pull out my camera and shoot this. Although the boast was not originally mine, I can appropriate it.

I have great kids.

Funny to c…

Keeping the Faith

Larry and Averie Alverson
Originally uploaded by bobmendo Keeping the faith. The year was 2000. Ben Stiller, Edward Norton, A story about two friends, a priest and a rabbi, who fall in love with the same beauty (Jenna Elfman). Fun movie, funny gag lines, but not the best of movies. Apologies to Stuart Blumberg who wrote the movie.

Is that what I'm picturing here? A minister, a rabbi and a woman? Good try, but nope. This is Pastor Larry Alverson from Trinity Assembly of God church in Flint (Mount Morris) Michigan and his wife Averie, along with me, of course.

What's with "Keeping the Faith?" Back in 1971, I came to faith in Jesus, the Jewish messiah. And wanted both to keep the faith and pass it on. And I was able to pass it on to my Jewish family, to other friends, and work colleagues, and then in 1972 I was privileged to start a congregation in Lawrence, Kansas, along with some other fellows.

From his website, we read about Larry. "Pastor Larry was born into an ar…

Buds in autumn?

Buds in autumn?
Originally uploaded by bobmendo I enjoyed our walk in suburban Detroit on Saturday. The chill was in the air, the sky was high and crystal blue. Autumn leaves abounded in piles in some yards and in disarray in most. Then above me, on the mighty oaks were buds. Thousands and thousands of promises, in the form of buds. I don't know that I ever really thought about them before that.

This from a nature center information document: "Winter branches are not bare! Winter twigs are studded with jewels. The tip of each branch contains the packaged promise of next year's growth. This package is called the bud.

A tree bud consists of next year's leaves, stems, and perhaps flowers, which are folded, twisted, crumpled, pressed together and covered by a waterproof coating of modified leaves called bud scales.

Buds are small. You have to be close enough to touch a tree to notice its buds. Take time to examine a twig in fall or winter. You will be amazed by the diversity o…

The Tragedy of Forced Marriages and Conversion of Christian girls to Islam


Shah Taj, a fourteen-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan, was on her way to school last year when a vehicle occupied by three men pulled up beside her, grabbed her, threw her in the car and sped off. As frightening as this may seem, her ordeal had just begun. She described what happened: “I was standing at the bus stop. Three Muslims came up to me in a car. They were armed with weapons. They pushed me into the car and took me to a hotel. While there, one of them raped me. Afterwards, at gunpoint they took my thumb impression and my signature, placing them on blank papers.”

“I tried to make noise; but they pointed their guns at me and threatened to kill my father and my brother if I make a noise.” Taj was forced to marry a Muslim man and convert to Islam. They had used her signature and thumbprint to create a document saying she had converted to Islam. Like Shah Taj, Christian girls throughout the Islamic world are being abducted…