September 1, 2013, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 17
Ps 81:1, 10-16 or Ps 112 Jeremiah 2:4-13 or Sirach 10:12-18 or Proverbs 25:6-7 Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 Luke 14:1, 7-14
J Nichols Adams
I have always loved the Kentucky Derby. From the time that we lived in Louisville I have followed it every year. So I read recently that in many ways, the Kentucky Derby is such a big party. And one thing that defines a great party is who comes. "If you're the kid who can get Justin Bieber to come sing at your Sweet 16 party, you're going to be at the top of the heap," says Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University.
That's a big reason why the Derby and related events such as Friday night's Derby Eve parties in Louisville try to get as many celebrities as possible to attend. This year's Derby (2013) boasted a number of inarguable entertainment stars, including country princess Miranda Lambert, who has said this will be her bachelorette weekend before she tied with Blake Shelton, who also was expected to be in attendance; Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice star Kate Walsh; and from the world of sports, reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
But in recent years, the rap on the list of celebrities attending the Derby has been that it's a group of D-listers who pale in comparison to the film and music royalty who used to turn out for the race and its related events. Haters hark back to A-List visitors Jack Nicholson and Sylvester Stallone, who would sit in Churchill Downs' Skye Terrace trying to pick a winner with the same skill as most of the people crowded around the paddock. The naysayers contend that recent years' rosters of reality TV stars and models can't possibly measure up to those big names. Are they missing the point?
Go to the supermarket and scan the covers of the tabloids, and you'll see some of the same people who have graced the red carpets at recent Derby’s, including Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Hugh Hefner and his Girls Next Door. When football and VH1 star Terrell Owens drove up to the red carpet at last year's Derby, you might have thought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had just arrived, judging from the cheer that went up from the crowd. It was cheering the Owens of The T.O. Show, which was filming his Derby visit, as much as his bad-boy image in the NFL.
So, has the definition of celebrity changed?
"It's not that it's changed, but there are more openings," Thompson says. Most of those past Derby’s took place in an era of three to six TV channels in most living rooms, a handful of movie theater screens in each town and a much more narrowly defined pop-music hit parade.
Now, with a much larger pop-culture landscape, including hundreds of cable and satellite stations, reality shows giving a wider variety of people a shot at their 15 minutes of fame, and the growing influence of the Internet, a lot more people can be credibly defined as "celebrities." And rosters of Derby guests in the past few years have boasted many of those stars, including the late Anna Nicole Smith, one of the first stars, but definitely not the last, to arrive at the Derby with her reality show in tow.
Access Hollywood executive producer Rob Silverstein says that the definition of celebrity definitely has changed and that sometimes reality stars such as the hard-partying Jersey Shore crew, which has not been to the Derby yet, attract media attention for a big reason.
"They're more accessible and more fun," Silverstein says. "True celebrities like established movie stars are a lot more guarded. But a star from an MTV reality show can be a lot more unpredictable and willing to play along." That makes for better TV and print copy.
In a way, he says, the reality stars help make life easier for movie stars because they satisfy the public's and the media's appetite for celebrity. "Harrison Ford can concentrate on making movies because he doesn't have to cater to the press," Silverstein says. That, he says, is why supermarket magazines these days are often dominated by people from Teen Mom and Jersey Shore.
But is the reality-TV A list comparable to the movie A list, or are we grading on a curve?
"I would never put a reality TV star above a movie star," Silverstein says. The
Derby is not a destination for marquee movie stars, Thompson says, but that doesn't mean it can't be or that it adversely affects the image of the Run for the Roses.
"I see the Derby as a pageant of style and refinement, a place where, if I was there, I'm afraid I might do something wrong or say something inappropriate," says Thompson, who clearly has never been to the infield.
And for all that D-list slagging, the Derby did have Queen Elizabeth II in attendance four years ago. Of course, she might not have been as fun as Snooki. (http://www.kentucky.com/2011/05/06/1730903/is-derbys-a-list-hollywoods-d.html#storylink=cpy) Parties in our world are seen in terms of who was there. The culture sees a party totally in terms of the rich and famous. What a difference from the way Christ sees a good party?
September 8, 2013, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 16th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 18
8 or Ps 1 Jeremiah 18:1-11 or Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Philemon 1-21 Luke 14:25-33 J Nichols Adams
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September 15, 2013, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 19
Ps 14 or Ps 51:1-10 Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 or Exodus 32:7-14 1Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-10 J Nichols Adams
After a camera lost on Maui nearly six years ago ended up in Taiwan, it didn't take long for Hawaii News Now to track down its owner.
Lindsay Scallan of Newnan, Georgia never imagined that she would see the precious photos from her past again. She snapped them during her Maui vacation in 2007, but lost her new camera during a night scuba dive in Kaanapali.
"The seas were really rough. There was a lot of sand stirred up. It was hard to see," said Scallan.
Scallan returned to the beach the next morning, hoping the camera had washed up on shore.
"But of course, we didn't find it, so at that point I just gave up. I was pretty disappointed because I had all my vacation pictures on there. Plus, the cost of the camera," Scallan said.
The Canon Power Shot was in a waterproof case and it drifted thousands of miles to Taiwan. A China Airlines employee discovered the camera on a beach last month. The airline asked Hawaii News Now to help find the owner seen in many of the pictures. Once the story hit the airwaves and the internet, Scallan's friend sent her a link.
"I just was floored that it was my camera and it was all my old pictures and it was amazing. I just couldn't believe it had floated so far, so long ago and the memory card was still intact," said Scallan. China Airlines has offered to fly Scallan to Taiwan to be reunited with her camera, but she isn't sure if she can take time off from work since she just started a new job a week ago. "Brought back some good memories, and some pictures I'd forgotten I'd taken. It was great. I'm curious to see what else was on there," said Scallan. (http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/21781525/owner-of-camera-lost-on-maui-in-2007-found)
September 22, 2013, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 18th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 20
Ps 79:1-9 or Ps 113 Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 or Amos 8:4-7 1Timothy 2:1-7 Luke 16:1-13 J Nichols Adams
There is the famous one about Joha the Trickster the guard at a lunatic asylum. All the lunatics had been taught that when Hitler arrived to visit the asylum, they had to salute him by raising their hand. When Hitler arrived, all the lunatic inmates raised their hands. Only Joha the guard, did not raise his hand. Hitler got angry: "You! Come here! Why didn't you raise your hand?" "Am I crazy?" Joha said to him. (Matilda Koen-Sarano Folktales of Joshua, Jewish Trickster [Kindle] Locations 2115-2117)
September 29, 2013, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 21
Ps 91:1-6, 14-16 or Ps 146 Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15 or Amos 6:1a, 4-7 1Timothy 6:6-19 Luke 16:19-31 J Nichols Adams
Though the Pharisees were rivals of the Sadducees, they managed to set aside their differences on one occasion—the trial of Christ. It was at this point that the Sadducees and Pharisees united to put Christ to death (Mark 14:53; 15:1; John 11:48-50). While the Sadducees ceased to exist after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Pharisees, who were more concerned with religion than politics, continued to exist. In fact, the Pharisees were against the rebellion that brought on Jerusalem's destruction in A.D. 70, and they were the first to make peace with the Romans afterward. The Pharisees were also responsible for the compilation of the Mishnah, an important document with reference to the continuation of Judaism beyond the destruction of the temple.
Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees earned numerous rebukes from Jesus. Perhaps the best lesson we can learn from the Pharisees and Sadducees is to not be like them. Unlike the Sadducees, we are to believe everything the Bible says, including the miraculous and the afterlife. Unlike the Pharisees, we are not to treat traditions as having equal authority as Scripture, and we are not to allow our relationship with God to be reduced to a legalistic list of rules and rituals. (http://www.gotquestions.org/Sadducees-Pharisees.html#ixzz2a5H2dxYm)
October 6, 2013, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 20th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 22
Lamentations 3:19-26 or Ps 137 or Ps 37:1-9 Lamentations 1:1-6 or Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 2Timothy 1:1-14 Luke 17:5-10 Stan Adamson
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October 13, 2013, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 21st Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 23
Ps 66:1-12 or Ps 111 Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 or 2Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c 2Timothy 2:8-15 Luke 17:11-19 Stan Adamson
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October 20, 2013, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 24
Ps 119:97-104 or Ps 121 Jeremiah 31:27-34 or Genesis 32:22-31 2Timothy 3:14-4:5 Luke 18:1-8 Ed McNulty
If you want to stress perseverance in your sermon, here are two good quotes from famous people of two different centuries, the 18th and the 19th. Samuel Johnson said, “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” Certainly the widow had no strength or power, but did she ever have perseverance!
Henry Ward Beecher’s somewhat humorous statement might be applied to both characters in the gospel passage: “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is, that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.” As you can see, these could apply to both the judge and the widow.(Hannah Ward & Jennifer Eild, ed. The Doubleday Christian Quotation Collection [New York, 1997] pp148, 162)
October 27, 2013, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 25
Ps 65 or Ps 84:1-7 Joel 2:23-32 or Sirach 35:12-17 or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 2Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Luke 18:9-14 Ed McNulty
No Extra Material
November 3, 2013, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, 24th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 26
Ps 119:137-144 or Ps 32:1-7 Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 or Isaiah 1:10-18 2Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 Luke 19:1-10 Donald Denton
Yet another example from my clinical practice of such desperation-spawned courage is a partner who recognized that his ‘partner’ was playing golf all the time while he carried their partnership. My client found the desperate courage to assemble the $1 million sufficient to buy out the dysfunctional golf-playing partner. The business continued to flourish while the golfer wound up divorced and living a good-for-nothing and lonely life.
November 10, 2013, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 25th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 27
Ps 145:1-5, 17-21 or Ps 98 or Ps 17:1-9 Haggai 1:15b-2:9 or Job 19:23-27a 2Thess 2:1-5, 13-17 Luke 20:27-38 Donald D Denton
Three sub-themes can be examined: the nation’s and military’s lack of preparedness, the brutality of the weather and combat, and the uneasy armistice which is still periodically broken by the Democratic Republic of North Korea. Thus while open warfare has ceased, the peace has been tense. American service personnel deployed to South Korea view it as a hardship tour, which opens the potential for the preacher to recognize the sacrifices of the spouses and family members of service personnel in addition to the military member actually deployed there. Restoration on the Korean Peninsula is still a long way off although it is much improved for the South as a result of both the war and the armistice.
November 17, 2013, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 26th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 28
Isaiah 12 or Ps 98 Isaiah 65:17-25 or Malachi 4:1-2a 2Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19 Bruce McQueen
I have left my wife at the airport
flying out to help our daughter
whose baby will not eat.
And I am driving on to Kent
to hear some poets read tonight.
I don’t know what to do with myself
when she leaves me like this.
An old friend has decided to
end our friendship. Another
is breaking it off with his wife.
I don’t know what to say
to any of this – Life’s hard.
And I say it aloud to myself,
living is hard, and drive further
into the darkness, my headlights
only going so far.
I sense my own tense breath, this fear
we call stress, making it something else,
hiding from all that is real.
As I glide past Twin Lakes,
flat bodies of water under the stars,
I hold the wheel gently, slowing my
body to the road, and know again that
this is just living, not a trauma
nor dying, but a lingering pain
reminding us that we are alive.
(Larry Smith, The Writer’s Almanac, with Garrison Keillor, [8 Nov. 2008])
Faith. Trust. Triumph. "I trust Roselle with my life, every day. She trusts me to direct her. And today is no different, except the stakes are higher." Blind since birth, Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.
Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers collapse into the earth. It’s the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. Thunder Dog illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us. (Michael Hingson , Susy Flory Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero) The power of one man’s faith in his dog give us an easy way to see how much more powerful our faith in God can be for each of us.
November 24, 2013, Christ the King Sunday, Solemnity of Christ the King
Luke 1:68-79 or Ps 46 Jeremiah 23:1-6 Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 Bruce McQueen
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