Aloha Friday Message – November 26, 2010 – Aloha Friday at last!

1048AFC112610 Happy Aloha Friday …

To our friends in the Central and West Pacific, Good Morning. To our Friends in Zambia, Good night. To our friends on the East coast, Good evening. And to those of you on the West coast, Good afternoon. I have been sidelined by a heavy-duty cold, and am just now getting my act together a little bit. I’m brim-full of helpful chemicals, so while they last I want to write down whatever has been percolating all week.

Today’s scripture from The List of 52 Verses was supposed to be revelation 19:5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” That is certainly a wonderful passage. Everyone the LORD has called by name to be a servant – in whatever capacity – always and forever find great joy in praising God. When we live our lives as if every thought, work, and deed is a prayer offered to God so that we indeed “pray without ceasing,” then our praise is also continues because we “fear” – meaning honor and reverence – God in every aspect of our lives. It’s a good way to roll. Be now, up at the first line of this paragraph, you see the words, “was supposed to be.” That verse, wonderful as it is, has been preempted by two other verses and a song lyric that have insinuated themselves into nearly every waking moment and every meditation. And I am not sure why that has happened; nonetheless, I will share it all with you and see where it goes. Ready?

First the verses:
Col 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

1 Peter 2:12 Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.

And now the song lyric. This is a song I learned in the early 50’s. It was recorded by Dinah Shore, and was pretty popular because of its “misleading: lyrics. Back in the days when I played my 12-string a lot it was part of my standard repertoire. I’ve laid it out here the way I usually sing it. (Click on the title for a detailed history from Wikipedia).

Sweet Violets”

There once was a farmer who took a young miss
In back of the barn where he gave her a …
On chickens and eggs
And told her that she had such beautiful …
Manners that suited a girl of her charms
A girl that he wanted to take in his ….
Washing and ironing and then if she did
They could get married and raise lots of …

Sweet violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets

The girl told the farmer that he’d better stop
And she call her father and he called a …
Taxi and got there before very long
‘Cause some one was doin’ his little girl…
Right for a change and so that’s why he said
If you marry her son, you’re better off ….
‘Cause it’s always been my belief
Marriage will bring a man nothing but …

Sweet Violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets

The farmer decided he wed anyway
And started in planning for his wedding …
which he purchased for only one buck
But then he found out he was just out of …
and so he got left in the lurch
A standin’ and waitin’ in front of the …
of the story which just goes to show
All a girl wants from a man is his …….

Sweet Violets!
Sweeter than the roses!
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with


Quite an odd combination of materials! Well, let’s take a look at the scriptures first. One could sum them up in the First TQM Axiom, “What we do says who we are. Actions speak louder than words.” The authors of those two passages tell us that if and when we live our lives as examples of responsible and civil citizens, we give testimony about the goodness and fullness of God to others who are not believers. In other words, just as in the passage from Revelation, we praise God continuously by being good citizens, good coworkers, good family members, … good and faithful servants. And when we do all of this with in intention of honoring God rather than seeking honor and praise for our selfish gain, then God is blessed (happy) the community is blessed, we are blessed, and all creatures of creation – from the angels, the elders, and the Four Living Creatures to the simplest life forms (even this remarkable efficient virus that is pestering me) – ALL of these praise God endlessly.

How and why can this happen? I believe it happens when we willingly cooperate with God’s plans by following his precepts – one can call them teachings, principles, rules, laws, instructions, or commands – it matters little how we name them. When we live in harmony with his purpose for creating everything, including us, then … life just goes better because everything is connected as it should be. It is that aspect of connectedness that brings us the “Sweet Violets” of life.

In the lyrics of that song, our minds want to complete the implied rhyme. We want the girl to have beautiful legs, not beautiful manners. We want the girl’s father to call a cop, not a taxi. And we want the farmer to find out he was just out of luck instead of just out of money. And yet each time we are teased a bit by the implied rhyme, we find a bit of humor in the way the song takes an turn and keeps going. Finally, in the end, we know what’s coming – Sweet Violets. Beautiful colors, wonderful fragrance, and the reward on knowing all along that it was going to be a happy ending.

That’s sounds a lot like the life of a believer, doesn’t it!? We think we know how tings are going to turn out, and then whoosh! We are on a different track. It happens so often that we begin to anticipate the changes. And all the while we know, “This is going to end sweetly.” And sure enough it does because as we live our lives and willing offer up every “whoosh!” we also end up getting our wished-for Sweet Violets. That sweet fragrance and intense color scents and colors our lives. (Have you ever eaten a fresh violet flower? Am-a-a-a-a-a-ZING!!! Try them in a salad sometime.)

And so beloved, we finally come to the end of this odd recipe, this testimony to the plans of the Spirit. I did not expect to arrive here, but I am glad I did because you are my Sweet Violets, and you flavor and color my life with exuberant praise for our God who created all things through Christ Jesus – including those tender, fragile, and gloriously beautiful Sweet Violets.

Next Friday is the First Friday of Advent. We will begin a series on Ephesians 6:10-18. If all goes as planned, you will receive your copy of the Aloha Friday Message from [email protected] The message will arrive individually addressed to you. In the message you will find a link that will take you Someplace New. Tune in Friday, December 3, 2010 for more news. If you have a FaceBook account, there will also be a link posted on my wall and in my profile.

Until then, I ask you to constantly hold Diane, Ken, and Emi Pierce in your prayers.
They are in Haiti providing medical care to the people who have suffered so much. They are protecting dozens of children from the ravishes of the cholera epidemic, and ask for your prayerful support. Please, do pray for them as frequently as possible.

The economy’s voracious appetite for misery has also effected my own family. My brother, KD, was just ousted from his house through foreclosure – the day before Thanksgiving. We’re unsure how he will carry on from there as he was totally wiped out in the process. Pray for his sanity as he works through this trial. Another brother is down to half-hours at half-wages at super-weird hours without much prospect of things getting better; and his wife was laid off from her job, too. Our baby brother continues to battle his long-term illnesses and is occasionally employed. There are part of my motivation to “pray without ceasing” for everyone who is being ground to bits under the crushing weight of this recession.

And finally Beloved, I urge you to carefully and energetically follow the instructions God has given us through Paul and Peter. Pray for one another, pray for Peace and believe it is imminent, and serve one another as Christ has served you.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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