From the Editor

The Holy Week That Was Not

Photo Credit: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/how-did-the-notre-dame-cathedral-blaze-start/news-story/0047a8551efcbe8574ff958c5c641904

As a Christian, Easter is the most significant and sacred day on our calendar. My secular Easter activities are limited, some decorations and yes I do share a few treats and send out cards; but in general, what I look forward to are the services of Holy Week – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter morning.

Kate says that there are some services that should be “no fail” because all the “pastor” has to do is just read the appropriate Biblical passage; like at Christmas. Charles Shultz understood that Linus reciting scripture from Luke Chapter 2 would perfectly capture what Christmas meant and thus created a Christmas classic.

For Easter Week, I want to listen to the story of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12). It feeds my soul to hear “Blessed is He comes in the name of the Lord.” On Good Friday, I want to hear La Siete Palabras, Christ last seven “words” or phrases preached: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46); “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34); “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43); “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46); “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!” When Jesus saw His mother standing near the cross with the Apostle John, whom He loved, He committed His mother’s care into John’s hands. And from that hour John took her unto his own home (John 19:26-27); “I am thirsty” (John 19:28); and “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Finally, on Easter Sunday, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24: 5-6).

What I do not want to hear on Easter week is that Christ was delayed, on his way to resurrect Lazarus, because of piña coladas, nor do I want to hear that Notre Dame is on fire, or that ISIS has murdered over 250 people on Easter Sunday.

The cover photo, on the Facebook page, for That Is All for Now.com is a picture of me sitting on the balcony of Caribe Hilton, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, facing the ocean, while I write; unbeknownst to me, Kate took the picture, and I am glad she did. That hotel was quite an experience, one that perhaps deserves its own post; there is a brief mention of it in the Archives. http://thatisallfornow.com/?p=4809

However, what I did not write about in 2009 and what you may find odd, for me to bring up on a post about Holy Week 2019, is that at Caribe Hilton proudly advertises that that the piña colada was invented by a bartender, at the hotel, in 1950’s. Now, I am not going to debate the history of the cocktail, I just want to say that there is no way Christ, was sipping piña coladas before going to see Lazarus. Yes, you have read my objection correctly.

For me, Holy Week began, at the Palm Sunday service with a woman standing on the “stage” telling us that they did not have palms for us, but it did not matter because we all had palms, on our hands. She instructed us to greet one another with a palm to palm motion, to which she got a laugh. I did not laugh. I did think, for a quick moment, I wish I had known, I happen to have quite a few palm trees in Florida; I could have provided the church with palms, but the lack of palms, was not because they were unavailable or the church was without means; I could have been at peace with those reasons.

The Palm Sunday service continued with a sermon where the pastor not once, but twice said that before Christ went to pray for Lazarus, Christ was drinking piña coladas.

(If you are not familiar with the powerful and victorious story of Lazarus, in the Book of John, chapter 11, I urge you to take a quick peek. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+11&version=NIV )

The first time the pastor made this comment, I was flabbergasted, yet managed to contain myself, but he got a laugh, so he said it again; by that time, I could not help myself and turned to Kate, who was equally outraged. How could the pastor make such a stupid and insulting comment about Christ; and if the pastor needed to have Christ delayed drinking, on His way to bring Lazarus back from the dead, why in the world would the pastor make reference to a drink that had not even been invented, in the time of Christ? It was a terrible Palm Sunday service – not a single mention of “Hosanna”.

It was on Monday that I clicked on a link, sent by Glenda, which informed me that Norte Dame was on fire. I read the story, hoping it might be wrong, clicked on all of my news sites that I have bookmarked, and finally surrendered, turning on the television, to watch this historic church and iconic symbol of Western Civilization burning. Yes, I cried uncontrollably for too long, and then entertained the horror that would unfold if the fire was an act of terrorism.

Before I could fully process what this church meant to me, my grief was interrupted by the insanity of the “yellow jacket” protest, in Paris; people were upset that French citizens and others, from around the world, were pledging funds to rebuild the cathedral. Honestly, I had to step away and try not to think about what awaits a society that does not value its treasures and at the very least respect, acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice and work that birthed such a work of art.

I wrote out the rest of the Easter cards, and decided to look forward to the Good Friday service.

Joy truly enjoyed the Good Friday sermon, Kate said it was 50/50, I did not hear a single one of the seven phrases, and missed them all.

We were given Communion to go, literally handed to us in Chinese takeout containers, which also held “visual aids”, like toothpicks that represented the crown of thorns. Oh my heart ached.

On Saturday, I picked myself up, by assembling Joy’s Easter basket. The only Easter basket I know for certain that I ever received, as a child, was one given to me by Aunt Beverly, I do not remember the basket, but she has told me about it, and I very much believe her. Since moving to New England, Kate and I have tried to have very special Easter treats, usually collected in the weeks before Easter, on our travels, for the Gregan’s and Dieterle’s, but I have never given Joy an Easter basket. Thus I decided I would make Joy an Easter basket, and not just with sweets. Unfortunately, the Easter basket was not enough to salvage the day.

Easter Sunday, the pastor took the stage, in shorts, and literally said: Ladies, keep your eyes up here. It took every ounce of self-control not to walk out of church. He was getting ready to baptize someone in water, and thus was wearing shorts. The lack of reverence and blatant vulgarity was all but unbearable. I turned to Kate and asked her what she thought God must be thinking of us.

We came home dejected and soon learned about the massacre in Sir Lanka. How in the world could that have happened? Why? Why do people feel the need to shed the blood of the innocent? How does murdering strangers who are worshiping the Lord or vacationing with their families or simply doing their job make someone else feel holy?

I was ready for Holy Week to end. The only thing left on my Easter agenda was three undelivered Easter Baskets, which still sat in my office. I took them into the dining room and placed them around my wooden bunnies, along with a little plaque for my niece, who is entirely unmaterialistic, and thus I worry about giving her things she will not want.

Well, the Lord moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to behold; it was three days post Holy Week when I finally got my Easter miracle.

My nephew had told me he wanted a stuffed Pooh, and then a week later changed his mind, and said he wanted Eeyore. We had taken a quick trip to New Jersey during Holy Week, where I found a Disney store and was able to buy stuffed animals for the Easter baskets. I debated between Pooh and Eeyore, finally buying both, deciding I would let him choose; for good measure, I picked up a Piglet, along with the toys for the other two baskets.

Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, I found myself the recipient of a much needed miracle; not only would we be spending the day with my niece and her children, as planned, but we would be graced with visitors who were enchanted by Pooh and Piglet – I had two extra stuffed animals – for two little sets of happy hands!

I am still saddened by the state of “my” church, I am still upset about Notre Dame, I am still shocked by the attacks in Sir Lanka, and now grieving the attack on Passover in Poway, but if Holy Week is about anything, it is about hope. My visitors on Wednesday brought me hope, thank you, and That Is All For Now.

Connected

 Seeing is Believing

 

Tech-016-300x225

 

In a previous article I have written about telemedicine. http://thatisallfornow.com/?p=16757 I appreciate telemedicine, “skip the trip” mindset, which in some cases, can be quite burdensome. There are many people, who have to schedule personal time off from work, for a doctor’s appointment, which usually results in at least a half day into vacation time. Scheduling time for an ophthalmology appointment can be equally challenging.

But did you know that you can have an eye exam in the convenience of your home?

An optometrist by the name of Steven Lee was in a middle of an eye exam when a patient asked him, “why can’t we do this at home?” This question to Steven Lee would change his focus and after doing exams day in and day out, he thought there must be a better way.

Did you know that the eye exam was developed in the 1800’s, and until 1921, there had been little change to an eye exam? But in 1921, the Phoropter, also known as a refractor, was invented. The refractor, is the device that we look through as the ophthalmologist says, which looks better, a or b?

Steven Lee would partner with an entrepreneur, Aaron Dallek and together they would develop the first application that would enable a patient to take an eye exam from the comfort of their home.

They called their company, Opternative and all you need is a computer. Opternative is the first online eye exam that delivers a valid prescription, signed by an ophthalmologist for glasses or contact lenses. The exam consists of images that are displayed on a screen. The user calibrates the test to their screen size by using a credit card as a measuring device, then responds to the images and answers questions to what they are seeing. In total, the eye exam takes ten minutes and costs only thirty-five dollars. https://www.tedmed.com/hives/profilepartner?id=281794

The other problem that Steven Lee would solve with Opternative, would be to help more people be able to see clearly, without the pressure that many of us experience when we go to an ophthalmologist. It is not uncommon to feel as if you have to purchase the eyewear and materials at the eye doctor office. In fact, I personally have felt bad when I just ask for a prescription.

Today, Opternative is not the only business to provide an online eye exam. Warby Parker developed an application called Prescription Check that also provides a virtual eye exam.

Opternative, nor the other online eye exam providers are stating that people should never go and get an eye exam, they are just providing an alternative to address our need to see, rather than waiting years between a checkup.

As always, we need to safely Connect and be aware of the personal identifying information that we provide. Opternative does provide a HIPAA platform and encrypts the data they receive, so check HIPAA status before doing an online eye exam and stay safely connected.

 

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 
 
This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy

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In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

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Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

 


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