And earlier in the day, I visited a great-grandma living with her daughter and the daughter's elderly but friendly dog and two elderly, very smug, self-satisfied cats. If we're to compare one human year to seven dog years, and to eight cat years, then a fourteen-year-old dog is equivalent to a 98-year-old person, and a nine-year-old cat is equivalent to a 72-year-old person, so the dog can say to the cats, 'Bless you, children'.
Later, at a leadership session, I taught two class periods on history. If we learn the motivations and reasoning behind certain actions, then see what results those actions led to, we can pursue or eschew the same motivations and reasoning, depending on whether we want those same or similar results or don’t. Many people don’t take time to learn history’s lessons, and the results are manifest.
On Sunday in two services, two people receive Holy Spirit baptism. Also, in a teaching session, I taught on creation of human beings—what it means to be in God's image, equality of sexes at creation, the Sabbath and whether or not we should observe it, and other interesting facts from Genesis 1-2 and texts referring back to that.
The morning service, at a well-established church, contrasted strongly with the evening service at a new branch church.
During lunch time, I introduced the pastor's grandkids to the great rap song, 'Chicken Salad (W)rap', lyrics composed by yours truly.
After this came a long drive because of a detour to visit Seneca Falls National Historic Site for Women's Suffrage (or whatever the exact title is). While eating lunch there, I read the official report of the conference (minutes of the meetings, etc). Many times they refer to Scripture—they are Biblically literate and refer, too, to Blackstone's classic commentary. Today we also have a wide variety of commentary, some of it much more scholarly than others, and we would benefit from familiarity with longer-lasting, classic scholarship it would benefit on the texts.
That evening, I taught from Genesis 2.
I also visited the house that Herman Melville lived in when he wrote his early adventure novels. Of course, if this is all he'd written, he'd be a minor American writer. Moby Dick makes him major.
The Hudson River Valley is loaded with history. I visited Thomas Cole's studio. He founded the Hudson Valley school of painting—the first distinctively American painting style. So they can call him Ol' King Cole! I went with Bishop Wells of Stottville, NY.
At the Stottville youth class, I spoke on God's will's nature and finding it by:
- the Word
- daily Spirit-directed life.
I spoke in the Sunday AM worship service on temptation of Eve, of Christ, of ourselves--its nature and overcoming it.
Before leaving Stottville, I visited Olana, home of Frederic Church, major painter of the Hudson Valley school of painting, the first American group of painters. The house is very tasteful, but has a little too much Middle East influence in decorative arts (he visited the Middle East after experiencing several deaths in the family.
From Stottville, I took a long drive, along the way visiting:
1. the site of the school where taught the original teacher on whom Washington Irving's 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' is based, and the prosperous Dutch farmhouse near the school.
2. Kinderhook, where Johnny Burgoyne dined after losing the Battle of Saratoga; where also Benedict Arnold came after being injured in battle, and while medics nursed his injuries, he nursed his grudges until he changed sides; where Martin Van Buren was born in his parent's home above the tavern they ran; where not far away he apprenticed in law; where nearby also is the church he attended and where he signed his first receipt.
3. Stockbridge, where lies the Norman Rockwell museum. I bought a couple of prints for my sister and one for me. Merry Christmas!