Mysteries

Here are a few of life’s unanswerable questions, mysteries to which I have no insight. I’m sure you can add to the list. In fact, I wish you would.

1. How do they get the candy coating on the M&M?
2. Why is it called squash?Squash yellowcrookneck
3. What is “fat-free half and half” half and half of?
4. Do giraffes get hit by lightning with greater frequency than other animals?
5. Do they form the butter into a stick before wrapping it?
6. Why do highly paid professional basketball players ever miss a foul shot?
7. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
8. Why are hot dogs always shorter than the bun?
9. For that matter, why do hot dogs come ten to the pack, and buns 8 to the pack?
10. Why does the Virginia Polytechnic Institute go by the initials VT instead of VPI?
11. When does a flashlight ever ‘flash’?
12. Why are smoke detectors pre-programmed to signal dead batteries only at 3:00 AM?
13. Why does someone who believes in the goodness and sovereignty of God worry?

Random Demographic Observation

Sunday and Monday gave us a rare opportunity to re-visit the city we lived in for 25 years. It was a delightful visit giving our son his longed-for opportunity to spend some time with the friends he has missed so much, and Barb and I to see a few (only time for a few!) of our own.

Returning to a place where I lived for so long made me notice things I took for granted while living there. As I drove around town, I noticed trailer park after trailer park, as common in Bradenton as palm trees and people who come to a dead stop to turn right. It struck me that I can’t recall seeing any where I now live.

That says something, but I’m not sure what.

Love Is Poured Out

I was reading this afternoon a wonderful but little known book on marriage with the pleasingly provocative title Naked and Unashamed by Bill Mills of Leadership Resources, International, a dear friend and model of Christ-like leadership.

As Bill gently and wisely lays out the Biblical notion of submission, he reminds us of this:

It is the law that is measured out. It is the law that always asks the questions, “How far do I have to go? How much is enough?” But love never asks these questions because love is never measured out. Love is always poured out. (page 60)

That is so wise, and meshes so well with the previous post that I determined to try your patience with one more post today to share it with you.

J. R. R. Greenwald

To write a book about God, if your name is not John Frame, requires you to author it not as ‘Bob’ or ‘Jim’ or whatever your name is, but to author it with initials. Note these:

The Holiness of God, R. C. Sproul.
Knowledge of the Holy One, A. W. Tozer.
And the all-time best Knowing God, J. I. Packer.

I long ago concluded that I could not write such a book for, among other more formidable deficiencies is the simple fact that I am, simply, Randy. I am Randall to the IRS and to the phone company, but Randy to everyone else.

I ruled out many years ago using my initials. “R. R. Greenwald” sounds like a car trying to start with a nearly dead battery. It lacks the pop of a ‘J. I. Packer’. So the book will remain unwritten.

It has occurred to me recently however that ‘R. R.’ does have some precedent not in theology directly, but in literature. If I could get someone to loan me a ‘J’, ‘J. R. R. Greenwald’ doesn’t sound half bad.

Tapping In

On a Thursday a few weeks ago, I had started my work day at about 6:00 AM. At 7:00 PM after a 13-hour, non-stop day, an opportunity opened to attend a Bible study at a nearby college, the invitation coming from the students themselves. I was so tired, I turned down what would have been a great opportunity. But I was spent.

What did this holy man of God do instead?
A) devoted himself to an hour of prayer or
B) popped This Is Spinal Tap into the DVD player to watch 90 minutes of brain-relaxing absurdity.

Yes, it was ‘B’.


This is Spinal Tap parodies the lives of aging rock ‘n’ roll bands (and contrary to what people think, Spinal Tap was NOT a real band). It was innovative for its time, inventing the ‘mockumentary’.

This is one of those movies that is funnier when I think about it later than when I actually watched it. I’ve laughed louder at the 18 inch Stonehenge and the disappearing drummers more SINCE seeing it than I did WHEN I saw it.

Comedy, and especially satire, depends so much on the familiarity of the audience with certain nuances of the subject matter. I didn’t get all the jokes, but it was a great way to rest the brain after a long, long day.

I love lists of movies, but I’m often puzzled by them. This is Spinal Tap is listed as #29 on the American Film Institutes’ list of 100 funniest movies.

It strikes me that in culture there are certain canonical answers to certain questions, answers which are expected but which do not necessarily reflect the studied opinion of the answerer.

So, who was the greatest writer in the english language? Shakespeare, of course.

What was the greatest movie ever made? Citizen Kane, clearly.

And what were the funniest movies ever made? Among others, clearly, This Is Spinal Tap.

Another Life Mystery

The attached picture is found under the illustration on the outside of a box for a small refrigerator. If you can’t read the print, click on the picture and it will enlarge.


I am not going to say that this is senseless. I’m sure that there was a good reason for putting the warning there. But like this previous post, for the life of me I can’t figure out what ELSE a picture would be used for besides illustration. Anyone got any theories?