Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Dauphin Island: Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Shell Mound

After exploring the west end of Dauphin Island, we explored further, and found what we were really looking for – the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. It was even better than we had imagined. You drive in and park, open your doors, and it smells good, like salty sea fresh air and pine trees together. They have walking trails that are beautifully done; even ramps and areas for people in wheelchairs, special areas for picnics out just a short walk.

The trails are clearly marked, and have great signage.

A very short walk takes you to a lake area, with an overlook and lots of soft shell turtles poking their heads out curiously:

At one point, AdventureMan laughed and said the long needle pine has decorated this smaller tree for Christmas:

We know we will be coming back, so we saved the longer hikes for another, cooler trip. 🙂

Dauphin Islanders have put a high priority on protecting their sea and bird life. They have bought up several parcels where the wildlife is protected and free.

We found the Shell Mound park, and it is magnificent. There is a road lined with trees dripping with Spanish Moss, and there is more wild lantana than I’ve ever seen in one place before. The butterflies are crazy about lantana, especially this orangey kind, and there must have been a thousand butterflies, just in this one small area; it was like butterfly heaven. Most of the butterflies we saw were Gulf Fritillaries or Sulphers, but AdventureMan says he also spotted a BuckEye. It was magical, just watching them flit so happily from blossom to blossom.

We are already thrilled we came to Dauphin Island, but . . . there is more to come!

September 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Education, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran to Isolate Iranians from the Internet?

Engaget publishes the information that Iran intends to isolate Iranians in Iran from the global ‘net. Makes sense to me . . . if I am running a country where I don’t want my people exposed to what is happening in the rest of the world, when I want to create my own perceptions of reality, if I don’t want people adopting ways contrary to my own beliefs AND I have the power to enforce it . . . But does anyone in the world truly have the power to isolate a population?

It seems to me that the quickest way to encourage people to find a new way to do something is to try to make it impossible for them to do it. Forbidding access incites clever minds to find work-arounds . . .

So what kind of “Spring” happens in a country where strict fundamentalists have already taken over . . . ?

Iran announces plans to create isolated local internet system, fate of global access unknown
By Sean Buckley posted Sep 23rd 2012 6:07PM

Iranians have been having trouble accessing YouTube, Gmail and other Google services for some time now, but their digital world may be growing even smaller — Iran announced today that it plans to shuffle citizens onto its own domestic version of the web. Reuters reports that officials plan to connect citizens to the national information network that’s currently in use at government agencies. Iran hopes to complete the transition by March of next year, and is already taking steps to isolate its population from certain international services. “Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice,” an Iranian official added, noting that the ban would commence in “a few hours.”

Some locals, such as the Iranian Students’ News Agency, are attributing the ban to recent protests sparked by a trailer for an anti-Islamic film on YouTube called Innocence of Muslims, but the government has made no official comment on the reason behind the ban. The state isn’t clear on the fate of the global internet in Iran, either — although it has talked about creating an isolated national network before. Here’s hoping the new network will be a compliment to the Persian web, and not a substitute.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Blogging, Interconnected, Iran, Leadership, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Technical Issue | 2 Comments

Dauphin Island: Birder’s and Vacation Paradise

You’ll see them leaning into the gale, wind whipping their hair, their rubberized hoodie, the reporters on CNN and The Weather Channel who make waiting for a hurricane seem like exciting stuff.

“Here it comes!” they will shout, as a super tall surge-enlarged wave crashes over the highway, and they can barely keep on their feet.

They always seem to be on Dauphin Island.

Dauphin Island seems to have a bull’s eye on it. It is the target of many of the hurricanes that roar into the Gulf of Mexico, and it took a beating in the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill, effects of which are still resonating throughout the Gulf. (of Mexico)

The weather is cooling. It doesn’t seem like much, temperatures in the high 80’s or even hitting 90°F, but low humidity and lower night temperatures make it seem bearable, even delightful. Friday night, AdventureMan suggested we take a short road trip, get up early and get to Dauphin Island while we could still get the morning light.

We actually didn’t hit the road until 0800, but hey, it’s Saturday. Traffic on I-10 is light, and we breeze through Mobile and exit to the Dauphin Island parkway.

Once you get on the parkway, it is a beautiful drive. I could hear the beat and echos of the True Blood theme song, you pass lowlands, and wrecked houses, almost every car on the road is a pick-up truck and you feel like you have drifted a hundred years or so into the past. You take several bridges, one over the Fowl River, before you get to the big huge long bridge that connects the mainland with Dauphin Island.

(Foul River from Wikipedia:
Fowl River is a 14.4-mile-long (23.2 km)[1] brackish river in Mobile County, Alabama. It originates near the Mobile suburb of Theodore and then splits into the East Fowl River and the West Fowl River. The East Fowl River discharges into Mobile Bay south of Belle Fontaine.[2] The West Fowl River discharges into the Mississippi Sound east of Coden.[3] It was named by the original French colonists as the Riviere aux Poules, which can be translated into English as Fowl River.[4])

(I just had to put that in because I needed to know where the name Fowl River came from, as opposed to say Foul River. I always thought Poules were female chickens, but Chicken River doesn’t sound very fearsome, and after all, a chicken is a fowl.)

When we got to the big long bridge going from mainland Alabama to Dauphin Island, AdventureMan said “Now there is a bridge your Mother would love.” He is right. My Mom loved the bridges in Pensacola, and she would really love this bridge:

As you get close to Dauphin Island, there is a beautiful estuary area, with wading birds of all kinds, herons half-hidden by tall grasses; it is a lush paradise.

We zipped out to the vacation rental areas to see . . . well, you know, what we could see. I hate to think of myself as a Lookie Lou, but I wanted to see what the island looked like. It looks a lot like Santa Rosa Island, where Pensacola Beach is, except less developed, and cozier. Almost every house on the west end of the island is on stilts, so the water surges can just wash right under them and cause less damage. Some of these houses are family houses. We saw a lot of houses on Dauphin Island where it looks like people live year round, and many more where it looks like the whole family comes out for weekends.

I saw one house I loved, a huge house, actually maybe two or three houses, with a huge screened in sleeping porch in the center. I could imagine all the families gathering and all the cousins getting to sleep on bunks on the sleeping porch, telling each other ghost stories and then hearing sounds as their excitement kept them from going to sleep. Finally, lulled by the sounds of their parents conversations and laughter, they drift off . . . .

The roads were barely cleared, tons and tons of sand heaped along the sides where it has been scraped to make the roads minimally passable. It’s only been a couple weeks. Other than the heaped sand, we didn’t see any major damage from Isaac.

The only downside . . . and it is a major downside in my mind . . . is the constant blot on the horizon of the offshore drilling rigs.

Let’s see, you have this beautiful paradise-like island, full of bird life and wild life and undersea life, and you line the shallow nearby waters with drilling rigs? Rigs for which the safety standards are not enforced? Dauphin Island was hit hard by the BP Oil Spill, and stands frail and vulnerable against repeated attacks by nature and by man-made catastrophes.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I Want to See How they Handle the Israel Problem.”

AdventureMan zipped left across three lanes of traffic and into a parking lot.

“What are you doing?” I hollered, hanging on for dear life.

Jordan Valley restaurant has a new sign up, a big map of the Middle East, and I want to see how they handle the Israel problem,” he answered.

That explains everything. No, really, it does. We’ve been married for a long time, I know what he means.

“Very clever,” we both agreed.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Interconnected, Language, Middle East, Pensacola, Political Issues | 1 Comment

Teachers’ Expectations Evoke Life-Changing Achievement

Yes, this is a long article from National Public Radio, but it’s important. I want you to read it, and if you have the time, go to the website – you can click on the blue type above – and listen to it yourself, because it is life changing for us, and for how we treat our children, too.

Do it at a time when you have time to listen. It caught me by surprise, but I was so enthralled, I stayed for the entire segment. Children with the greatest challenges can succeed, if they are nurtured and mentored. Any child can be a success; there are no losers. This is powerful stuff. 🙂

In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.

The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal, who in 1964 did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco.

The idea was to figure out what would happen if teachers were told that certain kids in their class were destined to succeed, so Rosenthal took a normal IQ test and dressed it up as a different test.

“It was a standardized IQ test, Flanagan’s Test of General Ability,” he says. “But the cover we put on it, we had printed on every test booklet, said ‘Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition.’ ”

Rosenthal told the teachers that this very special test from Harvard had the very special ability to predict which kids were about to be very special — that is, which kids were about to experience a dramatic growth in their IQ.

After the kids took the test, he then chose from every class several children totally at random. There was nothing at all to distinguish these kids from the other kids, but he told their teachers that the test predicted the kids were on the verge of an intense intellectual bloom.

As he followed the children over the next two years, Rosenthal discovered that the teachers’ expectations of these kids really did affect the students. “If teachers had been led to expect greater gains in IQ, then increasingly, those kids gained more IQ,” he says.

But just how do expectations influence IQ?

As Rosenthal did more research, he found that expectations affect teachers’ moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more.

“It’s not magic, it’s not mental telepathy,” Rosenthal says. “It’s very likely these thousands of different ways of treating people in small ways every day.”

So since expectations can change the performance of kids, how do we get teachers to have the right expectations? Is it possible to change bad expectations? That was the question that brought me to the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, where I met Robert Pianta.

Pianta, dean of the Curry School, has studied teachers for years, and one of the first things he told me when we sat down together was that it is truly hard for teachers to control their expectations.

“It’s really tough for anybody to police their own beliefs,” he said. “But think about being in a classroom with 25 kids. The demands on their thinking are so great.”

Still, people have tried. The traditional way, Pianta says, has been to sit teachers down and try to change their expectations through talking to them.

“For the most part, we’ve tried to convince them that the beliefs they have are wrong,” he says. “And we’ve done most of that convincing using information.”

But Pianta has a different idea of how to go about changing teachers’ expectations. He says it’s not effective to try to change their thoughts; the key is to train teachers in an entirely new set of behaviors.

For years, Pianta and his colleagues at the Curry School have been collecting videotapes of teachers teaching. By analyzing these videos in minute ways, they’ve developed a good idea of which teaching behaviors are most effective. They can also see, Pianta tells me, how teacher expectations affect both their behaviors and classroom dynamics.

Pianta gives one very specific example: the belief that boys are disruptive and need to be managed.

“Say I’m a teacher and I ask a question in class, and a boy jumps up, sort of vociferously … ‘I know the answer! I know the answer! I know the answer!’ ” Pianta says.

“If I believe boys are disruptive and my job is control the classroom, then I’m going to respond with, ‘Johnny! You’re out of line here! We need you to sit down right now.’ ”

This, Pianta says, will likely make the boy frustrated and emotionally disengaged. He will then be likely to escalate his behavior, which will simply confirm the teacher’s beliefs about him, and the teacher and kid are stuck in an unproductive loop.

But if the teacher doesn’t carry those beliefs into the classroom, then the teacher is unlikely to see that behavior as threatening.

Instead it’s: ” ‘Johnny, tell me more about what you think is going on … But also, I want you to sit down quietly now as you tell that to me,’ ” Pianta says.

“Those two responses,” he says, “are dictated almost entirely by two different interpretations of the same behavior that are driven by two different sets of beliefs.”

To see if teachers’ beliefs would be changed by giving them a new set of teaching behaviors, Pianta and his colleagues recently did a study.

They took a group of teachers, assessed their beliefs about children, then gave a portion of them a standard pedagogy course, which included information about appropriate beliefs and expectations. Another portion got intense behavioral training, which taught them a whole new set of skills based on those appropriate beliefs and expectations.

For this training, the teachers videotaped their classes over a period of months and worked with personal coaches who watched those videos, then gave them recommendations about different behaviors to try.

After that intensive training, Pianta and his colleagues analyzed the beliefs of the teachers again. What he found was that the beliefs of the trained teachers had shifted way more than the beliefs of teachers given a standard informational course.

This is why Pianta thinks that to change beliefs, the best thing to do is change behaviors.

“It’s far more powerful to work from the outside in than the inside out if you want to change expectations,” he says.

In other words, if you want to change a mind, simply talking to it might not be enough.

7 Ways Teachers Can Change Their Expectations

Researcher Robert Pianta offered these suggestions for teachers who want to change their behavior toward problem students:

Watch how each student interacts. How do they prefer to engage? What do they seem to like to do? Observe so you can understand all they are capable of.

Listen. Try to understand what motivates them, what their goals are and how they view you, their classmates and the activities you assign them.

Engage. Talk with students about their individual interests. Don’t offer advice or opinions – just listen.

Experiment: Change how you react to challenging behaviors. Rather than responding quickly in the moment, take a breath. Realize that their behavior might just be a way of reaching out to you.

Meet: Each week, spend time with students outside of your role as “teacher.” Let the students choose a game or other nonacademic activity they’d like to do with you. Your job is to NOT teach but watch, listen and narrate what you see, focusing on students’ interests and what they do well. This type of activity is really important for students with whom you often feel in conflict or who you avoid.

Reach out: Know what your students like to do outside of school. Make it a project for them to tell you about it using some medium in which they feel comfortable: music, video, writing, etc. Find both individual and group time for them to share this with you. Watch and listen to how skilled, motivated and interested they can be. Now think about school through their eyes.

Reflect: Think back on your own best and worst teachers, bosses or supervisors. List five words for each that describe how you felt in your interactions with them. How did the best and the worst make you feel? What specifically did they do or say that made you feel that way? Now think about how your students would describe you. Jot down how they might describe you and why. How do your expectations or beliefs shape how they look at you? Are there parallels in your beliefs and their responses to you?

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Education, Experiment, Family Issues, Parenting, Social Issues, Values | 4 Comments

Libyans Say “Sorry” In Counter-Protests

I was living in Qatar, and the Libyan ambassador’s wife had invited me, along with several other women, to morning coffee. It’s what people did. I was sitting between one of my Libyan friends and my good Iranian friend, and I started laughing. I said “Oh, what is this good little American girl doing sitting between a Libyan and an Iranian?” and then we all laughed. We weren’t Libyan, or American, or Iranian, we were just women who liked each other; we got along.

We were all religious women. Not the same religion, but all believers in the Abrahamic tradition. I felt more comfortable with them than I felt around non-religious women. We had a lot of fun together, and we liked each other.

It breaks my heart when bad things happen, and I know how good these people are, and that the people on the attack have their own agenda which has nothing to do with Islam, or Christianity, and everything to do with power. If they prevail, I fear for my good friends.

This article from USA Today made me cry this morning. Ambassador Stevens was loved, and these brave people are risking their futures to tell us so.

Libyans express sorrow over killing of Americans
by Donna Leinwand Leger, USA TODAY

Hours after learning of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death, the Libyan Youth Movement transformed its Facebook page into a tribute to the slain diplomat. It changed its cover photo from “Free Libya” graffiti sprayed on a Tripoli wall to a somber photo of Stevens with the tag “RIP Christopher Stevens1960-2012.”

“As North America wakes up, dread washes over me. What a rough night. I’m sorry for the horrible day the world is about to face,” the administrator of the Shabab Libya page wrote. “We are sorry.”

As anti-American protests swept across North Africa and the Persian Gulf, a counter-protest of apology emerged. Photos of Libyans carrying hand-lettered signs condemning the violence and expressing contrition for their countrymen appeared on Facebook. “Sorry” became the trending mantra of Libyans on Twitter.
At one counter-protest, an unidentified man carried a crude sign phonetically written in English with blue marker on lined notebook paper, “Sorry People of America this not the Pehavior of our ISLAM and Profit.”

Another sign in red, white and blue read: “Chris Stevens wasa friend to all Libyans.”

On Facebook, one group formed The Sorry Project, designed to collect thousands of personal, written apologies from Libyans. Its profile photo is a man holding a sign, “USA. We are sorry. We are sad.”

“We Are Sorry,” the group wrote on the page created Sept.11. “We would like show that as Libyans we do not support on the actions committed by these criminals. USA, we are sorry and we will say it one thousand times over. Our apologies will never be enough, but the Libyan people will always be grateful for you since you were the first to stand by us in our fight for freedom and hopefully you will continue supporting us.”

One commenter, Hajer Sharief, vowed to avenge Stevens’ death by rebuilding a “new civilized democratic Libya.”

“We promise, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail,” Sharief wrote. “This is the way real Libyans will pay you back Mr. Ambassador Chris Stevens.”

At the ceremony Friday outside Washington to repatriate the remains of the four American victims, President Obama acknowledged Libya’s internal conflict.

“I know that this awful loss, the terrible images of recent days, the pictures we’re seeing again today, have caused some to question this work. And there is no doubt these are difficult days. In moments such as this — so much anger and violence — even the most hopeful among us must wonder,” Obama said. “But amid all of the images of this week, I also think of the Libyans who took to the streets with homemade signs expressing their gratitude to an American who believed in what we could achieve together. I think of the man in Benghazi with his sign in English, a message he wanted all of us to hear that said, ‘Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.’ “

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Biography, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Faith, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Middle East, Political Issues, Qatar, Values | | 4 Comments

The Ick Factor

Today I got this in my Intlxpatr e-mail:

Nice to meet you,

Am miss Jane,interested in you,and wish to have you as my friend, for a friend is all about Respect,Admiration and love passion also
friendship is consist of sharing of ideas and planing together, i intend to send you my picture for you,if you reply me.
thanks from Jane.

Ummm . . . “Jane” . . . I don’t need your love or passion, and I don’t want do do any ‘planing together’. I don’t want your picture. I will not reply you.


September 16, 2012 Posted by | Blogging, Mating Behavior, Scams | 2 Comments

In Honor of the Instruction Challenged

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) —
‘Do not turn upside down.’

On Sainsbury’s peanuts —
‘Warning: contains nuts.’

On Boot’s Children Cough Medicine —
‘Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.’

On Marks &Spencer Bread Pudding —
‘Product will be hot after heating.’
(…and you thought????…)

On a Sears hairdryer —
Do not use while sleeping.

On a bag of Fritos —
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary.
Details inside.
(the shoplifter special?)

On a bar of Dial soap —
‘Directions: Use like regular soap.’

On some Swanson frozen dinners —
‘Serving suggestion: Defrost.’

On packaging for a Rowenta iron —
‘Do not iron clothes on body.’

On Nytol Sleep Aid —
‘Warning: May cause drowsiness.’

On most brands of Christmas lights —
‘For indoor or outdoor use only.’

On a Japanese food processor —
‘Not to be used for the other use.’

On an American Airlines packet of nuts —
‘Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.’

On a child’s Superman costume —
‘Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.’
(I don’t blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw —
‘Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.’

****Blessed are the cracked: for it is they who let in the light*****

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Communication, Humor | 2 Comments

Arousal Trumps Ick Factor When Women Have Sex

First, who funds these studies??? LOL, how do they think up the test criteria? Found this morning on AOL News/Huffpost:

How Arousal Overrides Disgust During Sex: Study

Sex may be one of life’s great pleasures, but it also involves a lot that normally might gross people out — sweat, bodily fluids and body odor, for starters.

A small Dutch study, released Wednesday, set out to identify the psychology that leads women to willingly, and even enthusiastically, engage in sexual activities despite the ick factor. The results, published online in the journal PLoS ONE, indicate that arousal overrides feelings of disgust and facilitates a woman’s desire to do something that a woman who is not aroused might find flat-out repulsive.

“Women [who] were sexually aroused were more willing to touch and do initially disgusting tasks,” study co-author Charmaine Borg, a researcher in the department of clinical psychology and experimental psychopathology at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, told The Huffington Post.

Borg and her colleagues separated 90 female university students into three equal groups: one watched “female friendly erotica;” one watched a video of extreme sports meant to get them excited, but in a non-sexual way; and one watched a video of a train, meant to elicit a neutral response.

The women were then given 16 tasks, most of them unappealing. They were asked to take a sip from a cup of juice that had a large (fake) insect in it, to wipe their hands with a used tissue and to take a bite from a cookie that was sitting next to a living worm. The women were also asked to perform several sex-related tasks, like lubricating a vibrator.

Women in the “aroused group” said they found both the unpleasant tasks and the sex-related tasks less disgusting than women in the other groups. They also completed the highest percentage of the activities, suggesting that sexual arousal not only decreases feelings of disgust, but directly affects what women are willing to do, the study shows.

Daniel R. Kelly, an associate professor of philosophy at Purdue University and author of the book “Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust” who was not involved in the study, explained that disgust is an “extension of our immune system” that helps prevent people from getting infected by making them wary of things, like bodily fluids, that potentially carry disease or make people vulnerable.

“Disgust is an emotion,” he explained. “What it’s there for, primarily, is to protect us against eating things that might poison us, or coming into close physical proximity to things that might carry infections. That’s its mission.”

David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas Austin and author of “Why Women Have Sex,” called disgust a “huge issue for women.”

“Women show far more disgust and especially sexual disgust, than men,” he said.

Buss concurred with Kelly that the findings are evidence of what “is very likely an evolved psychological defense.”

“It helps to protect women from having sex with the wrong men, such as men who might communicate diseases, men who show signs of a high ‘parasite load,’ men who have poor hygiene and so on,” he said.

What is interesting about the new Dutch paper, the two experts agreed, is that it suggests the mission to avoid the potentially “dangerous” parts of sex takes a backseat when women are aroused. “Sexual arousal can override disgust,” Buss said.

That not only suggests a potential reason why a woman might engage in behaviors that she wouldn’t if she weren’t turned on, it might also provide insights into how low-sexual arousal feeds sexual dysfunctions in women, the study’s authors argue.

“These findings indicate that lack of sexual arousal may interfere with functional sex, as it may prevent the reduction of disgust and disgust-related avoidance tendencies,” Borg explained, saying she hopes the findings prompt further research in this area.

September 15, 2012 Posted by | Experiment, Family Issues, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Women's Issues | 2 Comments

Psalm 55; Old Wisdom for Today

I’ve always liked this Psalm, from today’s readings in the Lectionary. It captures the worst betrayal, that of a friend, with whom you have shared meals and confidences. It captures the dichotomy of diplomacy, when one speaks with words ‘soft as butter’ which are, in truth, as steely as drawn swords. It captures the curse of the violent, those who cause strife and bloodshed and who die young.

Psalm 55

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God;
do not hide yourself from my supplication.
2 Attend to me, and answer me;
I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught 3by the noise of the enemy,
because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring* trouble upon me,
and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, ‘O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
7 truly, I would flee far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness;
8 I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
from the raging wind and tempest.’

9 Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its market-place.

12 It is not enemies who taunt me—
I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
I could hide from them.
13 But it is you, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend,
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
we walked in the house of God with the throng.
15 Let death come upon them;
let them go down alive to Sheol;
for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

16 But I call upon God,
and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem me unharmed
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
and do not fear God.

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
and violated a covenant with me*
21 with speech smoother than butter,
but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
but in fact were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden* on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

September 15, 2012 Posted by | Books, Character, Faith, Interconnected, Lectionary Readings, Poetry/Literature, Relationships, Values | Leave a comment