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While on travel over Easter weekend, an airport gate agent, after exchanging pleasantries mentioned that “any day that I am breathing is a good one”!

A bit of snow recently, but it has quickly disappeared.

Palm Sunday: reflecting back, and to the future

Walking around Rome a short while ago, I pondered the words spoken by Christ (Luke 21) at this weekend’s Palm Sunday service:

5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

I pondered this while strolling past the Arch of Titus:


It was constructed in c. AD 82 by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’s victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70).

The south panel depicts the spoils taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. The golden candelabrum or Menorah is the main focus and is carved in deep relief.[9] Other sacred objects being carried in the triumphal procession are the Gold Trumpets, the fire pans for removing the ashes from the altar, and the Table of Shew bread.[8] These spoils were likely originally colored gold, with the background in blue.[8] In 2012 the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project discovered remains of yellow ochre paint on the menorah relief.[10]

Palm Sunday.

The Mysteries of Airline Routes, Overflight Fees and Delays

Great Circle Mapper is a useful tool to find the shortest distance between two points on earth.

I recently flew Santiago-Toronto and was curious about our route and subsequent delayed arrival.

The shortest distance is illustrated below (notwithstanding winds, overflight fees and other considerations):

The route flown on the evening of 11 January, 2018 (Air Canada 93):

The lengthy departure taxi and subsequent route lead to a delayed arrival, misconnections and several days of lost luggage.

Air Canada service, other than the delay and repercussions was fine. I’ve asked them about the route and if they choose to avoid overflight fees, which, observing the path, would seem to be the case.

26 February 2018 AC93 route snapshots:

A bit of scripture while reflecting on Martin Luther King Day

I listened to a few messages on discipleship as we approach Martin Luther King day:

The first, John chapter 1, via Rev. Mary Froiland:

The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

The second, via Rev. Mark Jeske was based on Romans 15:

5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews[b] on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Seek ye first yourself”…..

Cal DeWitt (8MB mp3):

“We read the admonition to us to seek first the kingdom of God, and all these other things will be added unto you.

Today’s message, on the airways, on television, in blogs and tweets is “Seek ye first yourself and all these other things will be added unto you.”

But the gospel says no, that has it backwards.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and then all these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)”

DeWitt’s message is also available on youtube (about 5 minutes into the video link).

I found Mr. DeWitt’s remarks quite worthwhile.

A written version of Mr. DeWitt’s remarks should appear here in the near future.