Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Mind!’ Category

Here is a photo of a Grunow All Wave Superheterodyne radio from the mid 1930’s. My dad has one almost identical to the one seen here.

I remember the day my dad bought that radio. I was maybe twelve years old when he called me and said, “Go get in the truck. We’ve gotta go pick something up.”

It was summertime and I remember riding in his 1966 Ford pickup out into a rural part of Scottsboro that I had never been before. We had the vent windows pushed out, allowing the wind to cool us without blasting us out like a full blown rolled down window will do. (Vent windows were awesome!)

We arrived at our destination and walked out to an old shed where a man was waiting for us. Into the shed we went and followed the man through a maze of mostly just old junk before turning the corner and seeing the radio. Dad handed him some money and the two of us carried it back to the truck, loaded it and headed home.

I thought the radio was neat, but I was more interested in modern technology… like cable tv! The cable company had just ran the service through our neighborhood and after having three channels on the antenna, we now had about thirty! I couldn’t believe there were thirty channels on the tv! We’re talking about 1978 here; My brother had an Atari video game with a joystick and one red button and we had thirty channels on the tv!

When we got it home, I helped dad carry the radio into the house and place it next to his bed. He plugged it in and… just as the man promised, it lit up and began to crackle. The dial was interesting. It lit up white, green and red and had different bands you could adjust the needle to and pick up the police band, regular radio broadcasts… and one of them allowed you to select what country you were interested in tuning in to!

“Dad, does this thing really pick up other countries?” I asked, suddenly a little more interested in ancient technology.

“That’s what it says… I guess we’ll find out soon enough.” He answered.

Dad left the room and came back with a small piece of cable, a small metal post and some antenna wire.

“I’m gonna go under the house. You stay here and listen for me.” He handed me the cable and the antenna wire. “There’s a hole drilled in the floor right here behind the radio. When I call you, thread that cable down in the hole to me.”

A few minutes later, he called and I fed the cable down. “Now send one end of the antenna wire,” he said and I poked the wire down in the hole, letting it slip through my loose grip as he pulled the slack.

A little later, he came back to the radio and started working at the back of the radio.

“What are you doing, dad?”

“I went under the house and drove that metal post into the ground under the floor here and wrapped the metal cable around it and now I am hooking it to the ground post on this radio.”

“Why do you have to do that?”

“Well, I don’t guess you have to, but it will protect it from lightning and probably make it work better.” He worked silently as I watched for a minute more and then said, “Now, I’m gonna connect the antenna wires,” pointing to where they connected. “Then I’m gonna run the other end up to the tv antenna and see what all we can pick up.”

Well, we didn’t need it for tv anymore, so… why not.

Dad took his ladder, climbed up on the roof and connected the wire while I just stood and watched. Then, we went back inside to see if the old Grunow had any life in it.

Dad turned the switch, the lights came on and the crackle was now a low, warm tone. Dad turned all the knobs and dials and… unbelievable to me, picked up stations in several foreign languages, ham radio operators, local country radio stations… I was amazed! It had WAY more than thirty channels and I was hooked on it for the next several hours, slowly turning the dial and checking out what all was coming  at us over the air. It was amazing!

I thought about that radio the other day and couldn’t shake the thought that before we got it, all of those signals were coming at us already, but we had no way of listening to them. It seemed to me to represent our relationship with God.

God is speaking, but are we listening? Are we plugged into the power source of Jesus like the radio was plugged into the wall? Are we grounded in the truth of his word like that steel cable? Can we survive a lightning strike without it? Do we lift our hands in worship to him like that antenna stretched out to the sky, trying to capture the signal? Are we even tuned to the right station to enable us to hear what He is saying to us?

There are a lot of signals out there… There are a lot more than thirty channels on the cable; there are a lot of schools of thought; there are many pairs of itching ears… searching for something new under the sun… but I think deep down we all know, the old way is better.

Let’s tune in to God.

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Hello, I’m Bob the Tomato…

Fans of Veggietales will not need any explanation as to who Bob the Tomato is, but everyone will probably be wondering why I would post something along these lines. Well, here goes!

A couple of years ago, I had a dream.  In this dream, I was talking to someone at our church about how much we had grown spiritually as a body and the conversation went as follows:

Friend –     “You know, I was just thinking how God has planted us all here together and, though the church has been in its infancy and struggling the past couple of years, I can see how we are all finally beginning to take root!”

Me –           “You really think so?”

Friend –    “Absolutely! Just look at how many of us have been searching for our place and matured and put down our roots and really are starting to blossom. Who knows what kinds of flowers God has planted each of us to be.”

Me-           “Yeah, I guess you’re right!” I said, smiling.

Just then, my “friend” had a change of expression. He or she seemed to be reeling, thinking maybe he/she had said too much, The happiness faded into a smuggness. The facial expression became one of contempt as he/she said, “Well, what kind of flower do you think you are?”

I didn’t even think about my answer. I said, “Oh, I’m not a flower… I am a tomato plant!”

It didn’t register with me until a while later when I was at church (for real this time) and told a different friend (not the one in the dream!) about what I had dreamt. Rather than a smug or condemning look, this friend smiled and said, “You know, most people think that a tomato is a vegetable, but it’s really a fruit.”

When you think about it, a tomato grows on a vine, like a grape… it even has a skin like a grape, so I guess it is fruity, but it sure feels like a vegetable. A few weeks back I even posted this on my facebook status: “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing NOT to put one in the fruit salad!”

So, what was the problem with the friend in the dream? I mean, does everyone have to be a flower? If so, I am in trouble. Tomato plants do have little yellow flowers on them for a season, but if that little yellow flower is compared to a rose… well, guess who loses? I’m glad that there are flower gardens, vineyards, orchards, and vegetable gardens that bear the types of “fruit” that they are designed for. Hopefully, nobody ever expects an acorn to produce a watermelon!

So, in the world of fruits and vegetables, do you think the vegetables say, “Hey fruits! He’s supposed to be one of you… you guys take him!” Do the fruits call back, “No, he is clearly a vegetable, you guys keep him over there!”  Does it really matter? Shouldn’t the tomato, having no say in the matter, just be the best tomato it can be?

Here’s another thought: Not everybody likes tomatoes. I know, what a terrible thought! How could anyone not like tomatoes. They are delicious… that is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to share the same opinion as me!!

What I get out of the dream the most is that maybe I can be a little bit of it all. Sometimes a tomato has flowers… a tomato sure is good on a hamburger or in that garden salad… or it can be, strictly speaking, a high faluting fruit by pedigree and scientific classification if it so chooses!

So, to sum it all up… Hi, I’m Bob the tomato. I’m a flower, a fruit and a vegetable: Maybe I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

What say you?