Last night we went to a little beer and wine joint
to see and hear a 15 piece modern jazz band.
The decor was Early Dumpster,
and we were the oldest people for miles.
A girl put white bracelets on our wrists at the door,
in case we escaped.
A lot of the young guys wore long baggy tee shirts
and ankle length shorts, like Charlie Brown.
The girl in front of us had the US map tattooed on her back,
in case she got lost.
They were a small but friendly group.
Empty heads waiting for information.
You could look into their eyes and see that nobody was driving.
There were no seats, so we stood on the cement floor
We bought a couple of beers
and put cotton in our ears for safekeeping.
The echo in the room rolled all the sound into one big lump,
so I can’t judge the music with any fairness.
Much of it sounded to me like the mental hospital orchestra
rehearsing “Flight of the Bumblebee”.
I know the band is excellent, which only makes me feel dumber.
They rehearse at this little bar where they charge fans to get in.
a guy armed with an electric guitar was allowed to play for free.
They should have made him an offer to leave.
He assaulted the strings for an hour on the same three notes,
without letting go of a single musical idea.
The best part was when he got his thumb caught in the strings.
He eventually stopped, shook the saliva from his guitar, and left.
The patrons drifted back into the room for the next band set.
All in all, we did enjoy the experience.
Sometimes I just complain to be funny.
This morning is like Old Home Week.
I’m old, I’m home, and I feel weak.
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
When you read the story of the New Testament Church, you tend to get caught up in its explosive growth and amazing miracles. But here’s a component you shouldn’t miss: ‘No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…There were no needy persons among them…those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money…and it was distributed to anyone as he had need’ (vv. 32-35). You say, ‘If I just had more money I’d be happy.’ You might feel more secure and have fewer worries, but you wouldn’t necessarily be happier. In the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers looked at what distinguished quite happy people from less happy people. One factor consistently separated those two groups. It’s not about how much money you have; it’s not about your health, security, attractiveness, IQ, or career success.
What distinguishes consistently happy people from less happy people is the presence of rich, deep, joy-producing, life-changing, meaningful relationships. Social researcher Robert Putnam writes: ‘The single most common finding from a half-century’s research on life satisfaction, not only in the U.S. but around the world, is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections.’ But you can know a lot of people without really being known by any of them, and end up lonely.
Those folks in the New Testament Church got it right: it’s in sharing with one another spiritually, emotionally, financially, and relationally that you achieve your highest level of joy.
Prayer Heavenly Father,
thank You for putting into my life people I am able to share life with.
People who know You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by
Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and author of WORD Bible Studies.