Thursday, December 30, 2010

Memory: Curse and Blessing

A few weeks ago, I was watching 60 Minutes. Leslie Stahl offered a report about a fascinating phenomenon: Super Autobiographical Memory or hyperthymesia". An extremely rare condition, perhaps only a handful of people in the U.S. have it, these individuals are capable of recalling their lives in movie-like detail including recall of days of the week and and the dates on which they fell. One man could accurately recall the outcomes of football games, even to the point of being able to recall plays.

I remember one individual interviewed talked about how memory recalls would generate the same intensity of emotion as when the even first occurred, for example a break-up causing as much pain as if it had just happened yesterday.

Although evoking such powerful feelings at the recall of a wonderful event would be nice, having to re-experience the intense sorrow generated by past painful events would be torture. There is, in this light, a blessing to not being able to recall pain. There are some events that cause sorrow upon recall, but I would never want to experience again the same initial agony.

The same lady said that, in light of this ability to vividly recall the past with minute detail, she is more careful in what she says to and how she treats people, wishing to not have to forever relive a hurtful word or action.

How fascinating! I wondered: How would this condition of hyperthymesia influence my interactions with people? With my "normal" memory as it is, I am nevertheless bothered by stupid and hurtful things I have said or done in the past, but those are only fleeting twinges of guilt. However, if, like these individuals of the 60 Minutes story, I would forever be "condemned" to fully re-experiencing such embarrassing moments, would my future actions and words be more carefully and consciously dealt?

If I could replay this past week in vivid detail, what would cause me shame and make me wish for a "do over?" What would I wish to repeat or at least be happy about my action or response?

So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. -- Acts 24:16

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

"Atheists Don't Have No Songs" -- Steve Martin

Must be rough for atheists every Christmas season ... everyone else is diggin' on the holiday tunes!

Steve Martin is a hoot!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Luke" Comes in Native Patois to Jamaicans

How wonderful that God's Word now comes to the Jamaicans in their native Patois!  This from the AP via FoxNews (emphasis added):
Jamaicans Using Patois Version of Bible's Luke
During Sunday church services and private celebrations in Jamaica, Christmas week prayers are being flavored with the first patois version of a familiar biblical account of Jesus' birth.

Based on the conviction that Scripture is best understood in a person's spoken tongue, the Caribbean island's bible society has started a new holiday tradition with audio and written versions of the Gospel of Luke in patois, or Creole — Jamaica's unofficial language.

Proponents of the patois versions of Luke argue that since many Jamaicans have difficulty understanding standard English, it is wrong to have the holy book of this overwhelmingly Christian nation only in a "foreign" tongue. A patois translation of the entire New Testament is expected in August 2012, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence.

"The Scriptures have the greatest impact when you hear it in your mother tongue. So this translation to Creole is affirming the Jamaican speaker's language, and it is very, very powerful," said the Rev. Courtney Stewart, general secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies.

Last week, a local radio station broadcast the patois renditions of Luke every morning, and its Nativity story translation is popping up at Christmas parties. Members of a church in Spanish Town, just west of Kingston, have even started to memorize it.

Most of the words in Jamaican patois, like other English Caribbean patois, are English words filtered through a distinct phonetic system with fewer vowels and different consonant sounds. Patois is written phonetically to approximate these differences. Thus, in patois, the English "girl" becomes "gyal."

In the depiction of the Angel Gabriel's visit to the Virgin Mary which foretold the birth of Jesus, the New King James Bible's version of Luke reads, "And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.'"

In the patois version, it becomes, "Di ienjel go tu Mieri an se tu ar se, 'Mieri, mi av nyuuz we a go mek yu wel api. Gad riili riili bles yu an im a waak wid yu aal di taim.'"

Lloyd Millen, pastor of the Cumberland Community Church in Portmore, said his congregants have been "animated and so excited" when they hear him preach from the Gospel of Luke in their spoken language.

"People feel liberated to hear the Bible this way. They say they are able to visualize it better," Millen said.

Nearly all Jamaicans, regardless of class, speak patois — a mixture of English and West African tongues spoken by slaves who were brought to this Caribbean island by European colonizers. It rarely exists in written form.

Some Anglophiles on the island call patois "lazy English" and dismiss it as a vernacular.

On a page of the Jamaica Gleaner's Web site, a critic named Jo Bent said, "Patois is not an official language, it has no dictionary, are we to further confuse our youths when most have not mastered English yet?"

The bible society has launched a public education campaign to win over skeptics in Jamaica.

"Many people are skeptical about the bible translation work until they actually hear it. Then they cease being resistant," said Hubert Devonish, a linguistics professor at the University of the West Indies.
It is, indeed, fortuitous that the translators dismissed the critics and are providing the Jamaican people  the Bible in their own language.  Sniffing haughtily at which are "legitimate" languages and which are not dismisses the intimacy that a good translation can bring to the reader or hearer of the Word.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

YMCA: New York Branch Replaces Santa with Frosty

This was very sad to read today ... (emphasis added)
New York City YMCA Gives Santa The Boot

He's a lost Claus.

A politically correct West Village YMCA has fired Ol' St. Nick in favor of Frosty.

Kids who once thrilled at sitting on Santa's lap at the 14th Street McBurney YMCA's wildly popular annual holiday luncheon will now suffer the icy embrace of a talking snowman and his sidekick, an anonymous penguin, at today's event.

Forget about bringing a list or checking it twice -- Frosty doesn't take gift requests, and doesn't care if you're naughty or nice. YMCA officials, who say they are in the midst of "rebranding" the Young Men's Christian Association to "The Y," defended their decision.

"It wasn't replacing; it was transitioning," said John Rappaport, executive director of the McBurney YMCA. "We realized that change is sometimes good, and that Frosty is a great winter character who would appeal to a broader number of kids."

The decision to ditch Father Christmas came down from McBurney branch administration, not the Y's Chicago headquarters.

A chilly reception greeted the news that the YMCA -- an organization founded to spread Christian values in 1844 -- was replacing the Christmas icon with a secular cartoon character.

"Christmas is not about Jack Frost; it's not about snowmen," fumed Bill Donohue of the Catholic League."We're not talking about some secular organization that has no religious roots. If they can't celebrate Christmas, then they should check out. What a bunch of cowards."
Amen, Brother Bill!  Maybe someone needs to remind the YMCA what their initials stand for: Young Men's CHRISTIAN Association.

I don't know about your local Y, but mine has wonderful banners everywhere with the Y's mission statement, which includes teaching and living out Christian principles.  And the New York City Y then turns around and bans Santa Claus?!?  (I wonder if they've also banned the banners my Y posts boldly and proudly about the place.)  This is a family organization, and Santa is a major family event ... and GUEST in every home!  What brainwashed, politically-correctness-fettered idiots.

Maybe I should complain about "men" being in the name ... I feel alienated as a woman ... waaaaaaaahhhh!!!  (Of course, there is a YWCA ... which I would never bother joining, because I do NOT feel alienated ... only if I choose to so feel ... I love my Y .... let's hope my local branch keeps its wits about them.)

This PC crap has gone too far!!!!!!

Santa's "Naughty or Nice" List - Retailers Who Aren't Afraid of Christmas

Yesterday, I watched a representative on FoxNews present The Liberty Counsel's latest list of retailers who are "naughty and nice."  In its ongoing defense of Christmas, the list helps retailers who love Christmas find the businesses who aren't afraid to say "Merry Christmas" to their customers.  (Remember previous seasons when retailers advertised "holiday trees" instead of  what they actually are -- Christmas trees?)

As you finish up your last-minute shopping, maybe you might want to consider the following info:
American Eagles Outfitters
Banana Republic
CVS Pharmacy
EB Games
The Gap
J. Crew
Old Navy
Plow & Hearth
Polo Ralph Lauren
Tractor Supply Company

Best  Buy (first time on the list!)
Cracker Barrel
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dollar General
Eddie Bauer
Hobby Lobby
Honey Baked Ham
J.C. Penney
Land's End
LL Bean
Mrs. Field's
Target (yeah!  my favorite store!)
Go to this link for more info.