Ring Out!

A neighbor died this week. He was a fixture at St. Olaf Church, a small country church with a congregation of less than a hundred. Every Sunday, for many years, John would ring the church bells for the beginning and end of services. It was something small he did that not everyone noticed, but was part of the worship.

Next week someone will take up his role, but no one will do it better.

Ring Out

John’s hands gripped St. Olaf’s bell tower rope,
Sounding God’s message of forgiveness and hope.
A practiced cadence and years of measured strokes,
His special gift; a heartfelt call he shared with prairie folks.

Ring out the sound of salvation; Ring out God’s loving call
St. Olaf’s tower won’t be silent; John’s soul will toll for all.

                                                  -Clarence Holm

Behold The Anti-Vaccers

flat earth

– Clarence Holm

If Galileo told you the world is round would you believe him? The Flat Earth Society still doesn’t believe in a spherical world. No matter how much proof you find supporting the idea of a round world, for instance satellite photos and spacewalks, nothing bends their beliefs or their “facts”.

Even though they are mocked and ridiculed this group keeps attracting new members.

Now long after the Flat Earther’s had spewed their alternative science, a “new” idea is enticing a following of unconventional zealots.

Behold the Anti-Vaccers, the millennial’s artificially intelligenced science substitute! Like the flat earthers, no amount of scientific evidence will dissuade their vaccine induced fears.

But unlike the flat earthers, anti-vaccers (AV) cannot be described as quaint crackpots, who are mildly entertaining but relatively harmless; the AV crowds refusal to participate in medical programs is causing the resurrection of diseases that I thought were dead and buried. All of a sudden, because of these rejects from a science academy, my children are at a risk of being exposed to things like measles, smallpox or even polio. All because of one discredited 1998 English study.

I guess the only solution would be to find a place like Australia to send them all (AV) to, so they can follow their own rules.

It’s too bad that I don’t believe in the flat earth concept, because the other side of the world might be a good place for them.

The Hopes and Dreams of Youth

– Clarence Holm

I just finished reading “I Am Malala” and I ashamed!

23% of the world’s population or over 1.5 billion people adhere to the Muslim religion, in one sect or another. Yet even though our media is full or articles about them, I knew almost nothing about them. I had suspicions and reservations, but most information I had was from 30 second sound bites.

It could be that most of the articles dealt with fear. Fear of a group that does not believe in the same values we do. Fear of a group that reportedly wants to impose their religion beliefs on us. Fear of a region that seems bent on our destruction!

That is why Malala Yousafzai’s book is so refreshing. It is a story of a young girl growing up in a Muslim country with all the hopes and dreams that are surprisingly similar to the dreams my daughters had shared with me. Through her book, I learned about the Muslim religion as seen through her eyes. She shared how intertwined her life is with religion, politics, and her tribal heritage. Through her eyes I saw how similar my daughters were to her, even though their circumstances were so different.

I was amazed by how she came to accept her role in life and the risks her goals entailed; her steadfast belief in her God and his purpose, which allowed her to function at a level that would have paralyzed most.

It took a 14 year old girl to open my eyes to a region that has hopes and dreams. That despite intolerable conditions, their lives go on and flourish.

To my children

Consider the world around us…

-Clarence Holm

I can’t help believe that God must have created a book, much like the thesaurus, that provides him with the infinite variations of life and thought that surround us. When one considers the vastness of the universe and realizes that it is just one of countless variations, I am awed.

To me, it would be incredible to believe that life survives without a supreme will. It is impossible for something as beautiful and intricate as music to exist and yet it is less complicated, by far, then the events that created the air we breathe.

To those that say there is no God, that we are a cosmic accident and we exist as the result of a fortuitous coincidence, I say you are deluded. For me the simplicity that surrounds us is proof of a controlling hand that put in place the events that allow us to succeed and yet have free will.