WINGSPREAD E-zine for December, 2016

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
December, 2016                                                                                     James Hurd      

 

Contents

  • New blog article: The Game My Mother Taught Me
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article: “The Game My Mother Taught Me”

 “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?”

The clock nibbles away at the afternoon. It’s Sunday and I’m a fidgety ten-year-old sitting on our living room couch. We Fundamentalists embrace a strict set of biblical doctrines, and a list of forbidden “worldly” practices—practices especially prohibited on Sundays. I can’t go to the movies or read the newspaper. Can’t ride my bike out of the neighborhood….   Read more here: https://jimhurd.com/2016/12/05/the-game-my-mother-taught-me/

Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: Henri M. Nouwen (1992-1996). Dutch priest. Powerful devotional writing that shows great transparency and vulnerability. Read by millions of Catholics and Protestants alike. Books: The Return of the Prodigal Son, The Wounded Healer, In the Name of Jesus, Genesee Diary).

Words of the Month

Scening: Think motion pictures. A “scene” is a place where an un-interrupted series of actions takes place. Temporarily label each scene in your manuscript and make sure you’re signaling to the reader where she is in the story. This also helps you keep chronology and transitions straight.

Tagging: Temporarily use colored print to reveal the anatomy of your manuscript.

Normal print for narrative, story. Should be over half your piece. It’s what engages the reader.

Green for reflections about the narrative, and descriptions of people, places, etc. Limit this.

Orange for dialogue. Use lots of this.

Grey for “backstory”—explanations of the story; previous happenings—eliminate this, limit this, or feed it to your reader in small bits and pieces.

Answers to quiz for November

  • Before I realized it, I had driven much further into the desert. (Use “farther” for distance)
  • He noticed a large stain in the rug that was right in the center of the room. (Stain or rug was in the center?)
  • The dog aggravated the little puppy. (Irritated. “Aggravate” means to make worse)
  • He had shone how not to fly the airplane. (Shown. “Shone” is past tense of “shine”)

 New Quiz for December. Correct these sentences:

  • You should vote, irregardless of your political preferences.
  • Today they have less workers than formerly.
  • Caribou smells good like a coffee shop should.

Writer’s tip of the Month: Use descriptions (of places, people, things, weather) but limit them to a few essential details, and tell your reader only what they need to know.

Book and Film Reviews

Foreign Correspondent. 1940. An early Alfred Hitchcock film. American triumphalism. (three stars)

This Changed Everything. 2016. A video documentary on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (2017). Excellent, three-program set, narrated by David Suchet.
(five stars)

George Herbert (1593-1633), The Complete English Poems. Penguin Press: 2004. Great, insightful clergyman with a magic pen. (four stars)

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

 Quotable quotes

   Both optimists and pessimists contribute to aviation.  The optimist invents the airplane; the pessimist, the parachute.

   Aviation training: Death is just nature’s way of telling you to watch your airspeed.

♠    Venison for dinner again?   Oh deer!

♠    England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

♠    They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a typo.

♠    I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic.  It’s syncing now.

♠    I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

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Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

The Game My Mother Taught Me

“Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?”

The clock nibbles away at the afternoon. It’s Sunday and I’m a fidgety ten-year-old sitting on our living room couch. We Fundamentalists embrace a strict set of biblical doctrines, and a list of forbidden “worldly” practices—practices especially prohibited on Sundays. I can’t go to the movies or read the newspaper. Can’t ride my bike out of the neighborhood.

“Why don’t you work on your Bible memory verses?”

I decide to give it a try. I find my yellow cardboard Velveeta cheese box and riffle through the dozens of little square cards. I’ve written a verse on one side with its reference on the back. Fundamentalists take the Bible seriously, and this box is my own idea. I’ve memorized perhaps 100 cards, and I’m working on more.

But I soon lose interest. “Mom, what else can I do?”

“Why don’t you read your King Arthur book?”

I find the big hardback, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I love the pathos of the wounded knights that crimson the grassy sward, with a beautiful maiden trying to staunch the flow. I wonder if I would have the courage to do the great deeds they did. Probably not.

“I’ve already read most of it.”

“Well, why don’t you play in the orange grove?”

We kids would spend hours running between the orange trees; building living spaces underneath the thick branches; creating lakes, islands, dams, and rushing rivers with the irrigation water. Orange fights were the most fun. We had one rule—don’t use hard oranges, only rotten ones lying on the ground. Mother discouraged orange fights, but we waged many illicit wars.

“It’s too hot. Besides, there’s no one to play with.” On Sundays, my parents discouraged me from playing with my neighbor, Jerry. My sister Virginia was visiting a friend. Mary was playing with her dolls.

Mother lays her dishtowel down. “Why don’t we play Authors in the breakfast nook?”

I tell her, “I’ll get the cards!” I love this game. They’re still in the original box that has a colored picture of Mark Twain on it.

We shoehorn ourselves into the tiny breakfast nook that protrudes from the front of our kitchen. With a bench on each side of an oilcloth-covered table, our whole family squeezes in here to eat all of our meals. The pale green board-and-batten walls are punctuated with two screened windows that open onto the small front lawn. I look out and see sparrows rising in random gusts above the bird feeder.

I dump the cards out, shuffle them, deal four each to Mother and me, and put the rest in the draw pile. A Massachusetts clergyman’s daughter, Anne Abbott, created the Authors game at the beginning of the Civil War. Each card has a color picture of a famous author, such as Louisa May Alcott, James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I look at my cards. One has Mark Twain’s picture and the title The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. At the bottom appear three additional titles by the same author: Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and The Pauper, and The Mysterious Stranger. Each title evokes a world. Who was Tom Sawyer? Why did the prince hang out with a poor boy? Who could the stranger be? I long to share these adventures.

I need to collect all four Mark Twain cards. “Mom, do you have Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain?” (Mother always insists we name the author when we ask for the card.)

Mother says, “No, but do you have Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson?”

I reluctantly hand over the card. She hands me a plate of sugar cookies. I help myself to a couple and wash them down with lemonade squeezed from real lemons. Then she asks, “Do you have Idylls of the King by him?”

“No. Do you have The Tempest by William Shakespeare?”

“No. Do you have Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens?”

“Yes.”

When all the cards are played, we each count the complete four-card sets we’ve collected. She has five sets. I win with eight.

When I was ten, I’d never read any of these Authors books, but the mere titles conjured up vast worlds to explore. When I later encountered these books in high school and college, they seemed like familiar friends.

I never dreamed that playing cards with Mother would give me such a rich gift. Simple game, but Mother used it to suck me into her love of literature—a love I’ve cherished all my life.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for November, 2016


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
November, 2016                                                                                            James P. Hurd   

 Contents

  • New blog article: “Flying Corozalito”
  • Writer’s Corner (puzzlers, tips, books)
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article: “Flying Corozalito”

I landed the mission Cessna 180 at Corozalito and walked into the tiny grass-roof house where Wycliffe Bible Translators Florence Gridell and Mariana Slocum lived and worked. A small Chol Indian woman followed me in, laid her precious newborn baby girl on a rough wooden table, and cried out for Florence—“Doña Florencia; ayùdame, por el amor de Diòs! (Florence, help me, for the love of God!)” Florence took the baby in her arms but it was too late—after a few minutes the baby stopped breathing. It was 1968.  Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2016/11/04/flying-corozalito/

(*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the month

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957). English novelist and essayist, a friend of C.S. Lewis, a Christian, and a member of the Inklings writing group. The lead in her detective novels is Lord Peter Wimsey, complemented by Harriet Vane. These novels include The Nine Tailors, Gaudy Night, and Whose Body?

Word of the Month:   Craft essay. An essay about writing. Good writers make a thousand decisions about their work. In a craft essay, they talk about this process.

Answers to October’s Quiz of the Month

  • Jake said, “I’m going out on the back porch to rest a while.” (adverb: awhile)
  • For some people it always takes more friends, less enemies, more excitement, more money, and more renown, whatever else it might take, to make them happier. (Place the last phrase earlier in the sentence)
  • We had a great day, it was unforgettable. (“comma splice”make two sentences)
  • The dog’s wound laid bare it’s internal organs. (“its.” Use “it’s” only as a contraction of “it is”)

 New quiz for November

Correct these sentences:

  • Before I realized it, I had driven much further into the desert.
  • He noticed a large stain in the rug that was right in the center.
  • The dog aggravated the little puppy.
  • He had shone how not to fly the airplane.

 Tip of the Month: Ensure vs. insure vs. assure. Insure means a financial guarantee. Ensure involves personal effort to promote an outcome. Assure means to inspire confidence. “He assured me when he said that he will ensure that we insure the building.”

Some of my favorite verbs:
ape (imitate)
botch (fail)
bristle (react angrily)
cameled (to ride a camel)
cauterize (cover over, paper over, gloss over, a matter)
conjure (create out of nothing)
crimsoning (bloodying; using –ing to change noun to a verb)
disembowel (eviscerate, render lifeless, destroy)
eclipse (surpass)

Some of my favorite metaphors:
borne by silent sails across the seas
thermals that waft our sentences to higher altitudes
sentences corrugated by excessive underlining
sticking my oar in the water (a daring beginning)
returning to the swamp from which it crawled (fitting end of an evil plan)
a poison which, unnoticed, poisons everything it touches
drinking spiked Kool-Aid (approving  of a disastrous plan)

 Book Reviews
C.S. Lewis, Pilgrim’s Regress. Eerdmans, 1992. A takeoff on Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Lewis wrote this soon after his Christian conversion. Many allusions will be unfamiliar to the modern reader.

Strunk & White, Elements of Style. (4th Edition) Pearson, 2000. A lovely little book that goes beyond commas and capitalizations to unveil the secrets of a gripping writer’s style.

Subscribe to this free E-zine

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Quotable quotes

   “Do you think a woman will ever occupy the White House?”
“Are you kidding? I’ll believe that when the Cubs win the World Series!”

   The first five days after the weekend are the hardest.

    I childproofed my whole house, but the kids still get in.

   Ban pre-shredded cheese–make America grate again.

   Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore—it’s too crowded. (Yogi Berra)

 Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  

How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

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Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Flying Corozalito

I landed the mission Cessna 180 at Corozalito and walked into the tiny grass-roof house where Wycliffe Bible Translators Florence Gridell and Mariana Slocum lived and worked. A small Chol Indian woman followed me in, laid her precious newborn baby girl on a rough wooden table, and cried out for Florence—“Doña Florencia; ayùdame, por el amor de Diòs! (Florence, help me, for the love of God!)” Florence took the baby in her arms but it was too late—after a few minutes the baby stopped breathing. It was 1968.

The woman wrapped up her precious bundle. When we walked outside I felt the heat and smelled the steaming jungle with its rotting vegetation. Florence told me, “We need to get to Mexico City. If you can fly us out to the highway at Salto, we’ll arrive just in time to catch the bus up to the capital.”

I agreed, and grabbed my spring scale to weigh up the women’s baggage. I told her, “With this heat and humidity we can’t carry more than 200 kilos.  I’ll have to take Mariana and the baggage out to Salto, then return to pick you up.”

Mariana and I climbed aboard the plane, and I taxied out to the end of the 300-meter airstrip hacked out of the jungle with the help of the Chol Indians. We took off, and at best angle of climb barely cleared the treetops at the end. Then I made a fateful decision. “Mariana, I think we should go back and pick up Florence.” I reasoned that we would save time by making only one flight to Salto rather than two. So I circled back and landed the second time in Corozalito.

Florence boarded, and we taxied to the end of the airstrip. She told us, “The mother already took her dead baby back to the village,” I thought about Florence and Mariana—fifty-ish, unpretentious, always wearing blouses and skirts (never pants), dedicated to the Chol people all around them. Every day they passed out pills, taught health classes, delivered Chol babies, and buried the dead. I thought about their brave work, thankful that Mission Aviation Fellowship could provide them air service.

For this second takeoff, I got out and pushed the tail of the plane back into the weeds so I could use every inch of the airstrip. The relentless sun rose hotter and hotter, and I felt sweat running down my spine. I noticed I was breathing heavily and my clammy hand clung to the throttle. Did I make the right decision? Do we have enough margin of safety? A little proud and overconfident, I hesitated to change my mind again.

I applied full power, released brakes, and the plane hurtled down the airstrip. We accelerated well, and as we rotated I willed the airplane into a climb. The engine sucked in the hot, humid air, doing its best. The trees loomed larger and larger.

Soon the highest tree branches filled the windshield—then we shot over them.

After flying the ten minutes to Salto, I unloaded the passengers and cargo and then checked the landing gear, half expecting to find twigs or pine needles caught in the wheel struts. I took off with a troubled mind and flew home to the MAF base in San Cristobal.

That evening, I scoured the inscape of my mind, wondering why I had talked myself into making that second takeoff with no margin of safety, a takeoff that jeopardized precious lives, all just to save twenty minutes. Instead of listening to the voice of my better angel, I had made a poor decision.

I said a humbled prayer—“Thank you God that yet again you refused to give me the consequences I deserved.” Mercy.

Wingspread Ezine for October, 2016

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
October, 2016                                                                                        James Hurd      

CONTENTS

  • New blog article: “A little rebellion in 100 words”
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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NEW BLOG ARTICLE: “A little rebellion in 100 words”

 Every weekday I would drive my immaculate metallic gold 1953 Ford—dual chrome pipes, nosed, decked, and hung—into Orange High School’s dusty, potholed, student parking lot. It got dirty….  Read more here:  https://jimhurd.com/2016/10/11/a-little-rebellion-in-100-words/ 

(*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)

 WRITER’S CORNER

Writer of the Month: David McCullough. (Truman; John Adams; 1776) He is recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Great background research on his historical biographies and great detail.

Word of the Month:   Movie-making. Highlight all the parts of your piece that you could make a movie of. (I’ve actually used a highlighter to do this.) This is what gives the piece life, keeps it moving, and this should constitute at least fifty percent of the piece.

Farther vs. further. Farther: use only for distance. Further: use for “in addition” or in the sense of extending. “Further, I propose we seek a location farther from home.”

Quiz of the Month: What is wrong with these sentences? (Answers next month)

  • Jake said, “I’m going out on the back porch to rest a while.”
  • For some people it always takes more friends, less enemies, more excitement, more money, and more renown, whatever else it might take, to make them happier.
  • We had a great day, it was unforgettable.
  • The dog’s wound laid bare it’s internal organs.

Tip of the Month: Where do you put stuff? First, don’t put the beginning of your story at the beginning. Start it just before or just after the climax; then go back and provide the context. Keep the narrative flowing. Second, if you must provide lots of backstory (explanatory detail), sprinkle it in small doses amidst the driving narrative. Third, don’t tell your reader any more than she needs to know. Last, save the best paragraph, the best sentence, for the end.

BOOK REVIEWS

Lorraine Eitel and others. The Treasure of Christian Poetry. Fleming H. Revell: New Jersey. 1982. A compilation of some of the best Christian poetry in English from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Includes poems by: William Wordsworth, John Milton, George Herbert, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and many others. My favorite compilation of Christian poetry. (Disclaimer: All the editors taught at Bethel University.)

David McCullough. The Wright Brothers. Simon & Schuster, 2015. The dramatic story of the courageous brothers who solved the problem of flight. Historic photos.

SUBSCRIBE FREE to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

BUY JAMES HURD’S WINGSPREAD: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/    (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

 QUOTABLE QUOTES

   I was always taught to respect my elders. It’s just getting harder to find them.

   Just one question for teachers: Would you enjoy being a student in the class you teach?

   Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.   Cyprian, 3rd African Bishop

   Remember, God’s will was for John to be exiled, Paul to be jailed, Jesus to be executed. Why do we assume God’s will for us is to have a great job, a happy life, and a large bank account?

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Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

A little rebellion in 100 words

Every weekday I would drive my immaculate metallic gold 1953 Ford—dual chrome pipes, nosed, decked, and hung—into Orange High School’s dusty, potholed, student parking lot. It got dirty. One morning Larry, Ron, and I mounted a protest and all parked over in the paved faculty lot. At noon, Larry and Ron went out to move their cars back. I didn’t. Principal Townsend called me in and said, “Move your car.” I moved it. The next year he paved our student parking lot and awarded me the Outstanding Student Medallion. I never found out why.

Fundamentalist Sundays

It was 1950, and for our family, Sundays were different than weekdays. We were Fundamentalists—conservative, baptistic, churchgoers who took the Bible literally and eschewed the outside world. Without question or debate, every Sunday we went to church. Our house had only one bathroom, so we boys had to get in there before 7:00 a.m., jump in fast and then jump out. Dad lit the gas flame on the water heater about one-half hour before bath time. I filled up the tub and lay there steamy and soaking, ignoring my sisters banging on the bathroom door—“Jamie; are you done? We need to get in there!”

Mother said, “When the water heater gets hot, be sure to turn it off so it won’t explode.” I gazed at my young self in the huge vertical mirror that hung opposite the sink, and harbored visions of flying shrapnel bloodying my naked body.

We always dressed up. Mother would put on a black hat with a black ribbon and half veil, black low-heeled shoes, and always dark hose (no shaved legs.) I think the hat and veil were a hangover from pre-war customs, because women under 40 never wore them. Mom and the girls always wore dresses well below the knee. Even in summer Dad wore a suit, white shirt, and tie. He was president of the county-wide Christian Evangelism organization, and on his lapel he always wore his cross-and-crown CE pin. I usually wore a collar shirt, slacks, brown shoes, and a little brown sports coat with matching pen and pencil in the pocket.

We drove to church in our black 1939 fastback Ford, a car which Dad bought just after World War II. Mom carried Mary in her arms while Dad drove. Virginia and I sat in the back seat, or sometimes I stood on the front bench seat between Mom and Dad. No seatbelts or child seats. We drove eight miles to church—down Cambridge, turn right at Fairhaven, cross the tracks and go south on Santa Clara to 17th Street, west on 17th Street to Edinger Street, then left. We parked near the little white church with its squat bell tower sitting on a sandy lot. It had no air conditioning. Knotty pine walls lined the auditorium, and in both corners above the platform, Scripture verses were painted on white boards. “He that hath the Son hath life…” I memorized them.

Sunday at Silver Acres Church was an extended affair. Opening Exercises started in the auditorium (we never called it a sanctuary). Age-graded Sunday school followed—Sunday school was big at Silver Acres. I sat in Mrs. Wallace’s class, fascinated. She would place the cloth figures on her “flannelgraph” board: “Here is Jesus, and here is Peter and John getting into the boat.” Then we went back to the auditorium for Closing Exercises.

After a short break the church service began with Pop McIntosh up front in his suspenders, leading the singing and waving his arms to keep time. Brother Cantrell’s 40 minute sermon, the morning’s highlight, always came last. He used to say, “Sermonettes make Christianettes,” and, “If you’re looking for a church to join, we are Fundamentalist, Bible-believing, independent, unaffiliated, non-denominational, pre-Tribulational, and pre-Millennial.” I thought, If you understand all that, you deserve to be baptized!

Most Silver Acres men worked blue collar. Dad carpentered for forty years, Ben was a mechanic, Cliff sold lumber, Earl ran a gas station, and Mr. Zanstra milked dairy cows. Regular, unpretentious, Godly people. They and their wives became my surrogate uncles and aunts.

Purity—that’s what we were after. The liberal theology of “Modernist” churches alarmed us, along with the general decay of American morality that began in the 1920s. Brother Cantrell said, “You need to live a life separated from both the polluted world and from the Modernists.” Modernists, which included Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Episcopals, had different doctrines and they didn’t believe in inerrancy.  Brother Cantrell warned us against Modernists such as Norman Vincent Peale and Harry Emerson Fosdick. He taught passionately about the virgin birth, atonement, pre-tribulational rapture, and inerrancy—arcane doctrines I learned thoroughly by the time I was ten. And his certainty fired us up—the Bible was self-explanatory, and its teachings were fixed for the ages. It contained doctrine you could take to the bank.

 

 After church ended, we would drive home to a huge meal. Although we rarely ate rich meat, I never suspected we were poor. On weekdays we would eat hamburger and “organ meats”— tongue, heart, or liver. But Sundays were special. We ate roast beef and potatoes, green beans, and sliced tomatoes, with ice cream for dessert.

On Sunday afternoons, peace reigned. Dad would take a nap. No playing in the neighborhood. No radio. We couldn’t read The Santa Ana Register. We were never allowed to go to the movies. No friends over, unless they were Silver Acres friends. No weekend trips away. Once my friend Jerry asked me, “Wanna go on a camping trip with us?” I asked Mom. She said “You can’t go because it’s over Sunday.” Jerry went to a Modernist church (Methodist).

We did play some in the two and a half acres of orange grove behind our house—pulling a wagon up and down the rows or organizing illicit orange fights. Back in the house we read, played checkers, or played Christian music on the Victrola (a wind-up phonograph player with big 78 RPM records). I read Power, a take-home pamphlet from church. Sunday afternoons were quiet, peaceful, home- and family-based. I read good books and learned lots of Bible verses.

After supper we all piled back into the Ford and drove to church for “evening services.” Pop McIntosh led singing—Power in the Blood, At Calvary, The Old Rugged Cross, Jesus Saves; plus Gospel choruses—I’ve Got a Home in Gloryland, Deep and Wide, and Do Lord. I loved these songs and knew them by heart. Dad and I played our clarinets in the church band. I hoped that my platform performance impressed Linda, who sat in the front row.

Our family was a little island, separated from our non-Fundamentalist neighbors. The unworldliness of Fundamentalism turned me in toward family friends and family values, kept me home-centered, secure, and it kept me from the world. As I grew up Fundamentalist, I felt a strong foundation under my feet, a circle of people that cared about me, a set of sturdy, Bible-based beliefs that inspired me. I felt part of a larger family that cared for and protected me. I got saved when I turned five and baptized when I was twelve.

 

Today, I hope I’ve rejected the narrowness, intolerance, and holier-than-thou attitudes I acquired in my childhood. I try to embrace a more generous orthodoxy that makes room for Modernists, Catholics, and others.

And yet I still feel like a dried-out drunk at an AA meeting—“Hello. I’m James, and [it’s like confessing a sin] I’m still [sort of] a Fundamentalist.”

WINGSPREAD E-zine for August, 2016


“Spreading your wings” in a perplexing world
August, 2016                                                                                      James Hurd

 Contents

  • New blog article: Get Thee Behind Me Satan—and Push!
  • Writer’s Word of the Week
  • Book and Film reviews
  • Favorite quotes
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying

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New blog article: Get Thee Behind Me Satan—and Push!

You’re kidding yourself! No—really. We all are. What to do?

 In self-deception you’re both the deceiver and the deceived—you talk yourself into a lie. But SD is so frequent that you don’t even notice it.

Examples abound. I tell myself I can indulge my lust and still have high morals. Although I’m all for good nutrition, I tell myself it’s OK to eat lots of sugars and fats. (Anyway, next week I’ll start my diet.) When I was a pilot, I convinced myself I could beat the odds and fly through bad weather–a practice I condemned in other pilots….

Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2016/08/05/get-thee-behind-me-satan-and-push/

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 Writers’ Word of the Week:   Forward Lean
Forward lean means that your writing keeps the reader reading—it pulls the reader onward by tension, unanswered questions, puzzles, unsupplied information. Be a good writer—use forward lean.

Book and Film Reviews

Ecclesiastes: The meaning of your life. Hea Sun Kim and Mary Lou Blakeman. How understand the most realistic, but pessimistic book of the Bible? Kim and Blakeman help us unravel the writings of Qohelet and his observations on “life under the sun.” 1995. 129 pp.

Tender Mercies: Some thoughts on faith. Another gem by Ann Lamott. Honest, transparent, memoir-ish. Makes you love her, and gives you faith to face the craziness of life. Anchor Books, 1999. 272 pp.

Key Largo. A historic black-and-white Bogey film with army veteran Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) and war-widow Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall), set in hurricane season in the Florida Keys. Bad guys have taken over the hotel. The hurricane comes. Will Bogart again save the day? 1948 1 hr 41m

 Favorite quotes

   If you want good answers, you must learn to ask good questions.

   I hate it when I go to the kitchen looking for food and all I find are ingredients.

♫   I was so sick of semicolons that I lapsed into a comma.  Lynn Truss

♫   Ah synonym rolls! Just like grammar used to make.

   Quote about Amish life:  “If you admire our faith, strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit, build your own. If you admire the simple life, cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself.”

♫   “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.”  Oscar Wilde
[I hear you, Oscar!]

 Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here http://jimhurd.com/home/
Sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/ (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)
See NEW pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

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Get Thee Behind Me Satan—and Push

 

 

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
Robert Burns

You’re kidding yourself! No, really–you are. What are you going to do about it?

 In self-deception you’re both the deceiver and the deceived—you talk yourself into a lie. But SD is so frequent  you don’t even notice it.

Examples abound. I tell myself I can indulge my lust and still have high morals. Although I’m all for good nutrition, I tell myself it’s OK to eat lots of sugars and fats. (Anyway, next week I’ll start my diet.) When I was a pilot, I convinced myself I could beat the odds and fly through bad weather–a practice I condemned in other pilots.

St. Paul feels my pain: “…what I do is not the good I want to do.” (Rom 7:19). Vintage SD—no big deal, really—except when it leads to disaster. In dating, SD can lead to sexual immorality and a broken heart. In nutrition, SD can lead to frail health and an early death. In aviation, SD can lead to a fatal accident.

Where does SD come from? It comes from my split will. My “will” is not single; it’s more like a food fight among dysfunctional members of a board. The voices of reason get out-shouted by the short-sighted members who favor easy-feel-good over hard-but-better.

What to do?

  • I need to tell myself the truth, to admit that I’m a sucker for SD.
  • I need faithful people around me to correct and warn me (for example, an accountability group).
  • I need to remember: God is true; I’m not.

As St. Paul says, “…the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). Not my SD “truth,” but God’s.

WINGSPREAD E-zine, July, 2016


“Spreading your wings” in a challenging world
July, 2016                                                                                            James Hurd  

 Contents

  • Subscribe to this E-zine
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • New blog article: Eden: No Walk in the Park
  • Writer’s Word of the Week: head-hopping
  • Book and Film reviews
  • Favorite quotes

 Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here http://jimhurd.com/home/ to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You’ll receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/ (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)

See pics related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying here: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

 

 New blog article: Eden: No Walk in the Park

I remember walking away, looking for Adam and telling myself, Wow, Eve! You got scared by the big green snake, but he really talked sense. I ate the luscious fruit and I didn’t die. Anyway, God loves me so much I’m sure one piece of fruit is no big deal with him.

Shortly after we had arrived in the park God said, “Enjoy, celebrate, but don’t eat any fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or you’ll die.” (Adam and I referred to the tree as “the TKGE.”)

So I asked Adam, “If God loves us, why would he deny us good fruit?”

 Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2016/07/01/eden-no-walk-in-the-park/

(*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)

 Writers’ Word of the Week:   Head-hopping
Switching narrators among several characters. Changing Point of View. Be careful with this one; you’ll confuse your reader.

Book and Film Reviews

The Monuments Men. A 2014 film. Matt Damon, Bill Murray. Directed by George Clooney. The frantic scramble to recover stolen Nazi art at the end of WWII. ♥ ♥ ♥

 Casablanca. 1942 romantic drama of love, war, and escape. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergmann.    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Michael Phillips, The Baron’s Apprenticeship. Bethany House. 1986. 272 pp. A re-telling of a favorite George MacDonald story. A young boy discovers his true identity and his true love.    ♥ ♥ ♥

Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir: A practical guide to the craft, the personal challenges, and ethical dilemmas of writing your true stories. 2nd Ed. The Eighth Mountain Press: Portland, OR. 2002. A master memoirist unveils the secrets of her craft.    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Favorite quotes

♫   Synonym: A word used in place of a word you can’t spell.

   “Britain [or the U.S.] does not have permanent friends or permanent enemies; she has permanent interests.”

   Some people can’t punctuate their way out of a paper bag. Lynne Truss

  I asked our marriage counselor if she wanted to meet only with the innocent party, or should I come along too?

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Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.