SubscribeStar Saturday: Baccalaureate Service 2023

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The following is the written version of the speech/sermon I’ll be giving at my school’s baccalaureate service tomorrow, Sunday, 20 May 2023.  It pulls from the Scripture readings that students will make prior to my little sermonette, which are Proverbs 3:1-6, James 1:2-5, Psalm 20:1-5, Jeremiah 29:11, and Psalm 113.  I also include Matthew 11:28-30 and Psalm 20:6 (and probably allude to several other verses that I do not reference directly).

Good evening families, faculty, staff, and graduates of the Class of 2023. You have worked hard to be sitting here today, and in six days you will get to sit again for another ceremony, during which your mother will probably cry and you will hear a dozen or so senior videos with the Trace Adkin’s song “You’re Gonna Miss This” (and probably Bill Joel’s “Vienna”).

But to get where you are today took a great deal of effort and struggle. Sometimes it was your parents doing the struggling, or your teachers, but ultimately, you had to get the work done. Your reward for your efforts is to build upon the foundation you have laid, and while I encourage you all to get some much-deserved rest, your work is only beginning.

While you have learned a plethora of facts, and learned how to perform elaborate titrations in Chemistry, and learned how to dissect a work of literature or a piece of poetry, you have also learned how to live. In learning all of these other skills and facts and figures, you have, in the process, learned what matters in life. And here is the big hint: it isn’t how to perform elaborate titrations in a chemistry lab.

Our purpose in this life is to praise and glorify God in all of our endeavors. Psalm 113 is a model for us: “From the rising of the sun to its going down; The Lord’s name is to be praised.”

“From the rising of the sun to its going down.” That’s a lot! Not exactly an easy task, is it? We are to praise and glorify God in all of our endeavors? Well, yes. Fortunately, we have God to Help us.

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You Can’t Cuck the Tuck IV: They Cucked the Tuck!

It’s been nearly three years since I last wrote an installment of You Can’t Cuck the Tuck, but not because I grew disinterested in Tucker Carlson’s insightful commentary.  Quite the opposite:  his powerful, succinct analysis of our current ills has only deepened my respect for him and his worldview even more.  That he delivers his critiques with mirth, laughter, and good humor only strengthens them.

Sadly, Fox News—an organization that hasn’t done anything particularly interesting since Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld—has embraced cuckery and kicked The Tuck to the curb.  The last vestige of FNC as a truly conservative option in the space of mainstream cable news is now gone.

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TBT: Go to Church

Easter has come and gone, so ’tis the season the stop attending church until Christmas.  At least, that’s the attitude of some folks.  Here at TPP, we endorse frequent church attendance.

Last year I lamented the way our attitude about church attendance demonstrates our skewed priorities.  We’ll bend over backwards (for some people, perhaps literally) to appease our increasingly unreasonable bosses, but come Sunday morning, we’ll lounge about in bed rather than fellowship with other Christians.

To be clear, I don’t think church attendance is a necessary precursor to salvation.  At the same time, a Christian should want to spend that time learning about God’s Word and worshipping Him with other believers.

I certainly don’t feel like it every Sunday.  Because of my extremely busy work schedule, I sometimes catch myself begrudging the long drive to church on Sunday mornings, and the way that it cuts into the day.  But I almost always am glad I went.

Funny how even the tiniest sacrifices and the slightest hardships, once endured, help us improve.  Attending church once a week is not a major imposition.  Now churches just need to make sure they’re teaching the Truth, not watered-down inspirational speeches that I could find on a mommy blog.

With that, here is 13 April 2022’s “Go to Church“:

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Myersivsion: From Years Gone By

What is the connection between Bigfoot and the Shroud of Turin?  Not much, except both involve investigating the mysteries of the science and faith, the two intertwining to reveal a larger picture.

At least, that is my takeaway from this excellent piece from Audre Myers.  In an attempt to salvage my blog’s reputation, Audre earlier this week demurred from submitting any more Bigfoot-related content, but the siren song of the hairy lug is too hard to resist.

As always, Audre approaches the subject with tenderness, curiosity, and analytical thinking.  She also notes that belief in Bigfoot is largely optional and up to you to decide, but belief in Jesus Christ is paramount.  If we can believe in the former, we must believe in the latter.

With that, here is Audre with “From Years Gone By”:

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Lazy Sunday CXCVII: Easter III

Easter is here!  He is Risen!

I’m fortunate to teach at a school that recognizes Good Friday as a day worth honoring, so my Spring Break always coincides with it (actually, we start on Maundy Thursday, which is pretty nice).  I’ve long advocated for a long break at Easter, a la the two-week Christmas Break.  Many countries (especially in Latin America) take two fulls weeks for Easter, paying proper respect to Holy Week.

Wherever you are today, and whatever you are doing, take a moment to thank God for Giving us His Son, Jesus Christ—and know that Jesus Lives!

Happy Easter!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Open Mic Adventures XXV: “Venite, exultemus Domino”

A quick blurb before today’s post:  I’ve released my second book, Arizonan Sojourn, South Carolinian Dreams: And Other Adventures.  It’s a collection of travel essays I’ve accumulated over the last four years, and it’s available now on Amazon.

Here’s where you can pick it up:

Pick up a copy today!  Even sharing the above links is a huge help.

Thank you for your support!



Yours portly is going High Protestant this week.  Readers can thank Audre Myers for that one—she sent me the manuscript for her church’s new chant, “Venite, exultemus Domino,” at some point in the last few weeks, and I’ve been playing around with it on the piano.

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Chapel Lesson – Taming Your Tongue

Last week I was invited to give a brief lesson or sermon my school’s weekly chapel.  Our usual chaplain was due to be out that day, so the associate head of school asked me to deliver a message.

Earlier in the academic year I gave a short talk on listening intently and graciously, so I thought that a good complement would be to talk about the power and danger of our words—our fiery tongues!

I blog daily, and I know I’ve let my waggling tongue (in the form of a digital pen) get me into hot water.  It’s never a good feeling, and I’ve certainly written—and said!—things I regret.

For hot-blooded teens, it’s even more of a problem.  Rather than condescend to them with another jeremiad about “bullying”—such an insipid word—I decided to go directly to The Source

With that, here is my brief chapel lesson from Thursday, 2 February 2023, “Taming Your Tongue”:

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TBT^4: Christmas Eve

Once again, it’s nowhere near Christmas Eve—it’s Christmas Eve Eve Eve this year, and I’m sure the Catholics and High Protestants have some special, esoteric name for 22 December, but I don’t know what it is.  Regardless, I always enjoy looking back at my original “Christmas Eve” post from 2019.

As I wrote at the time:

Christmas Eve is always the most magical, mystical part of Christmas time.  Popular depictions of Jesus’ Birth take place, presumably, on Christmas Eve—the angels bursting into the black, silent night above Bethlehem.  The whole event is supernatural—the Virgin Birth, the Star guiding the way to the manger, the angels appearing to the shepherds and singing.  Tradition has it that even the animals in the manger talked at the moment of Christ’s birth (at exactly midnight, of course).  If the rocks can cry out, singing praises to Him, why not some donkeys?

That scratches the same itch as Halloween for me—another “Eve”—that connection with our Creator, a Being far beyond our comprehension, and a whole other world just beyond our meager vision.  It’s all the more remarkable to consider that that very same God sent His Son as a mere baby to bring a fallen world salvation.  Rather than an aloof, indifferent God, or the disinterested Clockmaker God of the Deists, we have a God who loves us enough that He sent His only Son to die for our sins.

We don’t deserve that, but thank God for it!

With that, here’s “TBT^2: Christmas Eve“:

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TBT^4: O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting

It’s another Exam Week, a welcome respite after two weeks of madness.  Proctoring exams is a pain, but it’s the kind of tedious pain that we’re all used to enduring from time to time.  Fortunately, it’s basically two hours of boredom at a time, followed by frantic grading.  The sooner that’s done, the sooner Christmas Break can truly begin.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how pressure creates diamonds.  I was incredibly, almost superhumanly productive in the two weeks after Thanksgiving because I had to be.  I was putting in twelve-to-sixteen-hour days to get everything done, and while I was exhausted, I felt like a champion.

Then this last Saturday I had an endless day before me, and accomplished almost nothing.  Part of that was recovering from the craziness of the week before; part of it was woman problems (the greatest drain on energy and resources); part of it was the lack of anything to do.  I understand why retirees die within six months if they don’t find something productive to do—I was starting to think that all my endeavors meant nothing (maybe they do mean nothing, but as a Christian I know they do; if they didn’t mean anything, it’s all the more reason to keep myself moving so I don’t have time to dwell on The Darkness).

Anyway, that pressure can create Beauty.  All this pressure has had me thinking about Neo’s comment on my post “You’ll Get Everything and Not Like It“: “I always remember that our soldiers in France in 1944 had a saying, ‘The road home goes through Berlin’. Berlin is on all of our ways home.”  That’s the end of a very long and poignant comment, but those two sentences say it all.

With that, here is “TBT^2: O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting“:

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