The Norwegian Lady at Virginia Beach, a Limerick..

There once was a lady from Moss

whose faith had been shaped by the cross.

With God’s love she did cope,

as the anchor, her hope

Her faith, hope and love came across.

There stands in Virginia Beach a statue, donated by the citizens of Moss, Norway; a statue memorializing the dangers of the sea. Many ships have been shipwrecked on the American East Coast during the ages, and the seas have always been treacherous. Before telegraph and radio the women waited for their husbands safe return from their journeys, whether it had been a long journey to America, or just a fishing tour on the North Sea. I can still remember from my childhood’s Sweden how my great aunt Hanna sat, looking out the window with a perfect view of Skagerrak, watching the ships go in and out of Gullmarsfjorden. She was always the first spotter and sent a message to the town: “En, to, tre, hurra, no kommer Majblomma fra Gullholmen.” (One, two, three, Hooray, now is “Mayflower” coming in around the nearest island.) Their lives were full of waiting and longing, and with that, a deep faith. “Everybody” went to church, fearing God, the faith was dark but deep, well anchored in God’s word.

Which brings us to the importance of being well anchored. On the U.S. east coast  nor-easterns and hurricanes come up the coast, and during these, sailing ships have to cut sail and throw anchor to stabilize the ship. If there are no solid rocks, only sand, the anchor does not hold and the ship drifts helplessly closer and closer to land, and runs ashore where the storm finally breaks it up.

Watching the statue this old hymn came into my head and reminded me of the importance of being securely anchored.

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

 

Potica, a bread for life and celebration, a Limerick.

Potica, now cherished in Rome.

Slovenia is really its home.

So the Pope was all right

to Melania’s delight;

that nutcake fits Donald’s genome.

Visiting the Vatican, President Trump, his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka had a meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis. The meeting started out tense, but after the half an hour private one on one audience, the President and the Pope emerged all smiles. President Trump said: “Thank you. I won’t forget what you said.” Later  he tweeted: “Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world.”

The Pope, smiling broadly  even cracked a joke with Melania Trump. His Holiness the Pope asked Melania (in Italian): What do you feed your husband? ‘Potica?’  Melania laughed and answered in Italian “Potica, si, … yes”, the perfect answer. After all, Melania is fluent in six languages: Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, German, English and conversational French. The Pope is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Ukrainian and Piedmontese  and, of course, Latin.

The mike feed wasn’t all that great, so many newspapers got it all wrong. The Guardian(UK) thought Melania responded “Pizza”. Huffington post seemed to indicate the Pope suggested that Trump looks like he’s filled with yeast, milk, butter, eggs and lots of nuts. Washington Post got it all wrong and called it an awkward exchange. The Pope and Melania understood each other perfectly in Italian, but the interpreter (interruptor) had to mistranslate Potica to Pizza. The Pope loves Potica, and it is the traditional cake for Christmas and Easter in Slovenia, Melania’s native country. It was the perfect small-talk.

Speaking of nutcake, or more properly nutbread it is really much more healthy if you mix in nuts or almonds with the bread as a substitute for shortening. We used to live in Lancaster County, where Ephrata Cloister is located. Once visiting the cloister we took a tour of the graveyard and noticed the brothers and sisters lived long lives, most reaching their 70’s, a rare occurrence in the 1700’s. They lived an ascetic life, sleeping six hours a night in two three hour shifts on a 15 inch wide wood bed with a wooden block as a pillow. They ate only one meal a day, vegettarian, but … it was rich in nuts, walnuts, black walnuts, Chestnuts, Lancaster County is rich in nuts. My wife tried them all in breads and cakes, also almonds, filberts, pecans, but not macadamia nuts, and no cashews.

Life is wonderful.

 

President Trump’s first foreign trip for peace, salaam, shalom; a Limerick. (Update 1)

Arabia, Israel, Rome;

then Belgium and Sicily, Home.

Donald Trump has the strength

and he talks to great length:

Bring peace, and salaam, and shalom!

This I call a welcome peace gesture!

Shalom! President Trump meets with Benyamin Netanyahu who said:

“I … look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region — because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. That’s where we see something new and potentially something very promising. It won’t be simple. But for the first time in many years — and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime — I see a real hope for change.”

Then it was time to lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Credit (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

NYTimeswreath

Off to Bethlehem to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas made no concessions and will continue to reward the families of “Martyred” terrorists when their sons have killed Israelis.

NYTimesAbbas

Over to Rome to meet the Pope. Melania is again getting properly dressed for the occasion.

The audience with the Pope started out tense, but at the end all were smiles.

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After meeting with the Pope President Trump said: “Thank you. I won’t forget what you said.” Later  he tweeted: Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in our world.

PopePotica

After the private audience the Pope was all smiles and even cracked a joke with Melania Trump. His Holiness the Pope asked Melania (in Italian): What do you feed your husband? ‘Potica?’  Melania laughed and answered in Italian “Potica, si”, the perfect answer. After all, Melania is fluent in six languages: Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, German, English and conversational French. The Pope is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Ukrainian and Piedmontese  and, of course, Latin.

The it was off to Belgium to meet the King and Queen. Melania Trump was again dressed in a bluish grey dress and coat, a color perfectly suited for the country of Belgium.

Will the rest of the trip bring forth peace? Tomorrow is NATO and then off to Sicily and G7. Keep praying.

Different strokes for different folks. Who’s bowing now? A Limerick.

Melania, no hijab in Riyadh

was greeted as equal, I’m glad.

For King Salman shook hands;

bowed to western demands.

Obama submitted, bowed down. Sad.

Three pictures say it all: The 81 year old and in frail health, King Salman Himself welcomes President Trump and his wife Melania as Air Force 1 arrives.

Compare this with 2016, Apr 20.President Barack Obama is greeted by Ambassador Joseph W. Westphal, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as he arrives. No royal welcome at all.

A few years earlier Obama showed his true colors: The gesture of submission. Times change and elections have consequences.

The source of wisdom according to Job. Look up to the sky.

20 “From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:20-28 (NKJV)

These are the words God gave Job, originally written in old Aramaic, before Moses wrote the Torah. We do not know much about him, but this we know: Before the law was given, God revealed Himself in his creation and how the environment works. Job even knew and wrote about his redeemer: “I know that my redeemer liveth“, and his language and images are from nature in all its form.

This is where it hit me. Even in this, the oldest book of the Bible they grasped the source of all wisdom: Fear God and shun evil. Truth comes from God and is manifested in His creation, even in the way water vapor plays a role in keeping the earth not only watered, but in ecological balance and prevents the earth from overheating no matter how much damage we as humans do to it.

Let me explain. If there was no water the earth would be a dry planet with the average temperature much colder than today at the poles, but warmer near the equator. The night would be more than 100 degrees colder than the day and no life would be possible. With water the oceans act as a stabilizer, and at sea there is really not much difference between day and night temperatures. What does matter is if you are in the sun or in the shadow. In the winter you welcome the sun, but in the summer “All sun makes a desert” as the Arabic proverb says. Thanks to clouds there will never be a risk of the earth overheating, or even get warmer than it was 6000 years ago during the Holocene peak temperature between the ice ages.

People living in the country side can and do look up to the sky to see what the weather is going to be. When they see the cumulus clouds (the fair weather clouds) form they know it is going to be a pleasant morning. Those clouds reflect up to 300 W/m2 of the sunlight back into the sky, heat that would otherwise warm the air.  This is a major reason the earth will not be overheated. Yes, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and keeps the earth at an optimum temperature for plant growth and as long as there is enough humidity to produce clouds. The best example is the monsoon in India.  Springs are unbearable hot. The air is dry and temperatures can reach 120 degrees F during daytime. Come summer the monsoon arrives,  thunderstorms roll in and temperatures return back to the low 90’s, still uncomfortable because of the humidity, but the rains water the plains and produce a rich harvest.

People living in cities seldom make the connection that the clouds are the major temperature governor of the climate. In the tropics it works nearly perfectly, and as long there are clouds the amount of CO2 does not matter much, in fact a doubling of CO2 will heat up the earth much less than one degree.

Yes, people living in the country can see daily how the clouds work and keeps the earth from overheating. People living in the great cities are experiencing the urban heat island, it is getting warmer and warmer, and they are more likely to believe climate change leading to all kinds of catastrophes.

In short, next time you see a cloud forming in the sky, thank God for arranging everything so beautiful. If you see a thunderstorm, thank God, but get inside, if you are expecting a hurricane take precautions, if you are expecting a tornado take cover, but above all, in everything give thanks, for this is is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If you are interested in a more technical explanation read  https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/10/thanks-to-clouds-the-temperature-governor-is-alive-and-well-on-planet-earth/