2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year – 2015

scribe.2Yep, there will be another year of Blogging, deo volente. Here are some topics

  • Matthew part 2, we will resume a series in Matthew in January, picking up the story in chapter 14.
  • Family Life in the Bible – a series of messages from Mothers Day to Fathers Day.
  • Some things on church unity and diversity as Bethany is becoming a more focused Multi-Lingual ministry incubator in 2015.
  • Various serendipitous topics.

Thanks for checking in.

Recapitulation – Hosea 11:1

candleIt is not so strange really that I was not able to find a Christmas song or even a poem on the connection between Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:15.  The escape to Egypt is not usually a feature in our Christmas celebrations. the nature of the fulfillment is a challenge.  Hosea speaks of the nation and Matthew speaks of Jesus – how can that be a fulfillment?  It is because Jesus life is a sort of recapitulation of the History of Redemption.  There was a first Adam and a Second (Romans 5), there were shepherds and the Shepherd, there were kings and the King.  The temptation of Jesus was in the desert just like the testings of Israel (Matthew 4).  So I put together this piece called:


Adam, born of dust and Breath

            Jesus, of Mary and the Spirit.

Adam brought death.

            Jesus bought life.

 Building a tower to the stars

            Nations began to babble.

Abraham counted the stars

            And blessed the nations.

A star pointed the way.  

             From Babel to Bethlehem.

 A shepherd became king

            faced a giant with a sling.

He built a nation like no other

            And taught us to sing.

Shepherds came to see

            A Shepherd among sheep.

He is King and Lamb

            Who rules by love and word.

 Abraham’s kin found refuge

            Then slavery in Egypt

Moses brought a staff

            To lead them to a new land

Jesus in danger

            escaped to Egypt.

Israel and the Son

            Called out of Egypt.

 Lambs and bulls slain

            To atone for men

Until a Lamb was slain

            For all of them.

They made a tent that led

            Through the lands ahead.

The Word came with glory

            That dwelt in a tent of flesh.

 What happened before,

            Has happened again.

First early then late

            Events recapitulate.

Darkness will end

            In the glory of the One.


David Carlson – 12/11/2014

“Frankly” – A Parable on Race

biscayneYears ago my brother and I traveled in the back seat of the family car, a 1962 Chevrolet Biscayne 4-door.  Of course mom and dad were in the front seat, and we were sharing the back.  Sharing the back seat on this trip from our home town in Washington State to the big wide state of Montana turned out to be an epic adventure.

By mutual agreement, we stayed each on our own side of the rear seat bump.  But after a time, things started to happen to break the peace.  My middle name is Eric, and somehow that became Earache.  I never saw the humor in it, but by older siblings thought it was hilarious. “Well,” I thought, when the first Earache comment happened, “there has to be something to do with my brother’s name.”  

His name is Frank, and it always annoyed him when people started a sentence with “Frankly…”.  So, I said, “Frankly, I don’t care for that nickname, Frank.”  And so it begun.  Between the Cascade Mountains that divide Western and Eastern Washington State and the distant prospect of Spokane, several more Earaches and Franklys were heard.

As we approached the Rocky mountains, I decided to step up my game.  I remembered my sister’s phrase: “Franky Panky Stinky Stanky.”  I laid that marker down around Coeur d’Alene.  As we rode higher into the mountains, the temperature in the back seat was getting hotter.  

About this time Mom looked back and said that we should tone it down.

So we were quiet. Then I broke the silence. About every 10 minutes I would just say, “Frankly.”  Or “Stinky”.  Or “Stanky”.

The subtlety of the delivery was such that I was never heard in the front seat, but it was very clear what I was doing in the back seat.

At about the 25th saying of “stinky stanky” there was an explosion.  We had driven now about 500 miles and we were nearing Missoula, Montana.  500 miles was the family driving limit in those days.  And 25 “stinky stankys” whispered across the back seat was my bothers limit.  He launched himself across the divide and let me have it.

I cried out with great surprise and innocence, “What is wrong with you?”

My dad looked around and said….

Now here is the question.  Who is at fault?

My brother clearly took the conflict from words to fists.  Should we look just at the part where he launched himself across the back seat at his sweet younger brother?  Or should we look at the whole lead up of the 500 miles of back seat shenanigans, where I do not look so sweet and innocent?

Some look at the events of Ferguson, MO by only focusing on the 90 seconds of a confrontation between a police officer and a young black man.  Others see that this 90 seconds was part of a longer story with many provocations that came before.