Monday, December 18, 2006

don't forget to breathe

Sunday morning began with a really strong cup of coffee. I was short on sleep, and there's nothing more embarrassing than nodding off during the sermon in church.

Especially since I was reading today's Bible text this morning. The second chapter of Matthew isn't too difficult for reading -- no awkward names like the Old Testament or long involved sentences to trip up the unwary.

What some people don't think of the first time they have to do this is that you have to read the passage aloud a couple of times. It's not the same reading it over to yourself. You need to be aware of how the words feel as they emerge from your mouth.

For example, in today's text, Matthew 2:1-12 I needed to pick a spot to breathe in the ninth verse, otherwise I would end up having to hurry through the last few words. And it's a good idea to practice getting the right speed; while reading too slowly can sound tedious, if you get rattled you'll probably speed up and gallop through the text with indecent haste.

Something that I often have trouble with is what to say when I finish reading the Bible in front of the congregation. Some people have a little formula that they recite after the reading, but I didn't feel comfortable with it.

After some thought I settled on a simple declaration "So it is written." I used it this morning; I'll see how I feel about it next time my name comes up on the roster.

I was so tired that I slept for an hour on Sunday afternoon until it was time to tune in for the Coodabeens radio show.

My sister however didn't nap. She was busy working on her Christmas cards for this year.

You see, I'm quite happy to buy a card, sign it and post or give it to the person in question. Julie however spends hours creating a personalised Christmas card that expresses her personality and the ambience of her home and animals.

This takes a lot of work. Sometimes days at the computer and the printer. In one extreme case she didn't finish working on the cards until Christmas Eve afternoon and spent the evening driving around hand-delivering them to all her friends' mail-boxes.

There can be times, I think, when too much determination can be as bad as too little.

Old Time Radio shows that I've been listening to this week:

Barry Craig, Phil Harris, Wild Bill Hickok, Hopalong Cassidy, Fibber McGee & Molly, Family Theatre, Hancock's Half Hour, Hollywood Barn Dance, Weird Circle.

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