After a day at the fair

Tuesday was a free day for seniors at the 4H fair in Goshen and since all three adults in this household qualify, we went to the fair.  An added attraction was the granddaughter who was showing heifers.  She did well.

The Old Fool had memories of pushing Rhoda on a wheel chair through the fair a year ago.  He went to the small animal barns where he knew she would have wanted to go and enjoyed sheep, rabbits, poultry and goats, especially the goats. 

Molly, kid, and Martin, 1st. Tampa goat

Rhoda had been raised on goat’s milk and her Papa gave her and the Old Fool a bred nanny goat as a gift on their way home from their honeymoon.  We had goats while on the farm in Pennsylvania and for the first ten years that we lived in the parsonage in Tampa.  We raised our children on goat’s milk.

When we moved from the parsonage we bought raw goat’s milk from Matt, an Italian who loved his goats.  A county judge came to Matt for goat’s milk.  Matt reminded the judge that it was illegal for him to buy raw goat’s milk.  The judge promptly negotiated with Matt for the purchase of a goat.  Next, the judge said that he would pay Matt to care of  his  goat and would come regularly to get the milk from his goat. 

Matt told The Old Fool that a pudding made from the blood of a goat was one of his favorite foods.  He was a Bible-believing Baptist and The Old Fool thought Matt should know that eating blood was forbidden by the God who inspired the Bible.  The Old Fool took the Bible seriously and he could not eat blood.    

If Matt and The Old Fool  had known their Bibles better they would have known that it was also written therein ‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.”  (Leviticus 3:17) The Old Fool did not know that the Bible discriminated against the eating of fat.  He ate fat with a clear conscience.  He was as guilty as Matt.  

Now the Old Fool knows that the Bible should not be taken so  seriously.  As the Spirit moves him, The Old Fool will write more about the Bible and how to take it seriously, but not too seriously.  The faith and knowledge of The Old Fool keeps evolving.

The Old Fool came home  from the fair with a bit of goat meat to eat.  There were more goats raised for their meat than for their milk on display at the fair.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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6 Responses to After a day at the fair

  1. Miriam Showalter says:

    I have to wonder what the Old Fool thinks of the Gracie Allen quote that so often graces a web site or bulletin in the United Church of Christ (in which this young fool holds membership): “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” Does it speak to evolving in our ability to take the Bible with a healthy level of seriousness?


    • The Old Fool likes the quote, but wonders if God is the one who is responsible for the comma. If we insist that God placed the commas in the Bible we are likely to take the Bible too seriously.

      • The Old Fool likes hearing from young fools, especially this one.

      • Miriam Showalter says:

        It’s helpful to hear the Old Fool’s thoughts. I would not have thought of the comma as having that effect, so I’m glad I asked! 🙂

        Perhaps context is important here. In the UCC tradition, the comma represents the concept of God still speaking, not limited to the cannon of scripture, to text itself, or to any particular theology or doctrine. God-still-speaking means that we can perhaps learn more about God through listening and observing than we can through reading and espousing, and that no one has the whole story, with a period at the end. So I like commas in that context, because I am an older and older fool and it seems that time makes me less certain of things and more open to change.

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