Welcome to RaMbLeS, a collection of weekly musings on life and Scripture. It all began in 2005 on Google’s blogspot as the aBeLOG (a name now recycled), a semi-autobiographical devotional that attempted to keep well-wishers abreast of my activities as I relocated to Scotland for a few years. Since my return, I’ve continued my RaMbLeS, and here’s its most recent incarnation on Homiletix, as random reflections usually based on current news articles and travel experiences and whatever else takes my fancy!


March 28th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


With the world teetering on the brink of an abyss from the pandemic of COVID-19, what can we do?

Of course, wash your hands, keep your distance, and, above all, trust your God. Of course!

How about a bit of fasting and prayer?

This week a seminary colleague drew my attention to the World Evangelical Alliance’s call for a “Global Day of Prayer and Fasting,” for today, Sunday, March 29, 2020.

Fasting and prayer are traditional spiritual disciplines that the church has…   Read more →


March 21st, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 4


How things have changed in a matter of days!

Writes a correspondent for the Associated Press:

It did not come all at once, though it came quite rapidly. As had happened in other lands, there was no explosion, no invasion other than a microscopic one that nobody could see. There was no fire, no flood, no famine. There were no barbarians at the gates. … The weather was the same weather. The streets were the same streets. The emptiness fell bit by bit, piece by piece ….…   Read more →


March 14th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


The other day a strange thing was heard inside the surgical operating room of King’s College Hospital, in London. The strains of Mahler and Gershwin.

On a violin! Played by a patient! While undergoing surgery! For a brain tumor!

Dagmar Turner, 53, a former management consultant from the Isle of Wight developed a malignancy on her brain’s right frontal lobe, close the area controlling the fine movement of her left hand.

The good lady, Ms. Turner, and her surgeons wanted…   Read more →


March 7th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


You might have to think twice before you call someone a “rat!”

“Harm to Others Acts as a Negative Reinforcer in Rats” announced researchers from the Netherlands in Current Biology last week.

Apparently, rats avoid harming other rats! They have—wait for it!—empathy!

The scientists trained 24 rats of both sexes to push two different levers to get a treat, until the animals developed a preference for one lever. Then these sadomasochistic investigators (!) turned…   Read more →


February 29th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Apparently it is dangerous to walk on U.S. roads these days. Pedestrian fatalities roads have increased by more than 50 percent over the last ten years. This, while deaths of people riding in cars, trucks, and other vehicles remained essentially unchanged. So said an analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Association looking at federal and state data.

There were 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019, an increase of 5% over those in 2018. This is the highest number of such…   Read more →


February 22nd, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Clive Wynne, founder the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, and author of Dog is Love (an obvious play on “God is love”), makes an interesting case: your dog loves you!

Wynne, an animal psychologist, began studying dogs in the early 2000s. Early on, he believed that to ascribe complex emotions like love to dogs was to commit the sin of anthropomorphism. But he’s since changed his mind.

Now pigeons are smart: they can identify different…   Read more →


February 15th, 2020| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


A corpse was brought in by a couple of women to a branch office of Old Mutual Insurance Company, somewhere in in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The body in question was that of Sifiso Justice Mhlongo.

The late and bereaved Mr. Mhlongo had funeral plan insurance, but Old Mutual refused to pay out without proof of death.

So Ntombenhle Mhlongo and Thandaza Mtshali took the body of their uncle, the aforementioned Mr. Mhlongo, to the insurance company’s office.

Ms. Mhlongo…   Read more →

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