Looking Back at Some Thoughts on Entering January, 2019

The months slip by so quickly soon we will be staring 12/31/22 in the face. I thought it might be worth recalling from the non-COVID-19 world of most of ’19, some reflections on New Year’s Eve 2018/2019.

I awaken to Auld Lang Syne playing through my thoughts. The song began as a poem by Robert Burns in the late 1700s. The phrase means days gone by. But I look to 2019, a new year, a new day, a new beginning.

An old rite for the new year begins in Pasadena, the Rose Bowl parade. The streets are filled with those beautiful, flowered floats, exquisite horses and bright, bright sunshine.

But the New Year is more than our beautiful things. There are personal changes to experience.

I resolve to be more mindful, more loving, more thoughtful. I intend to walk gently bathed in the light of God’s love; to slow down and smell the roses.

May the sweet aroma of life’s richness fill your days.


How often do we hear the word wonderful? It is recurrent for most of us. That’s a bit like the word love. Is it not?

You got up this morning. So did I. We are complex creatures. We eat, we sleep, we dream. Today we awoke on a day of wonder.

It is wonderful for many children who are awakening to Christmas gifts beneath the tree. It is a day of smiles and laughter for them, laughter that is musical for us. It is a day on which many of us hope to see the world through the eyes of a child, so full of wonder.

I ponder why on some Christmas days gun-toting adversaries that had been at each other’s throats stop the mayhem. I question why it is the day where most commercial businesses close. No gym today, even for those who can’t seem to stay away. Even McDonald’s closes its doors. Employees are actually paid for not working. The commerce stops in its tracks.

What’s this all about? It is about a child of wonder born over 2000 years ago. Worth a moment’s reflection. Don’t you think?

H. Robert Rubin, Amazon, best selling memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?

Toward a Theology of Psychological Disorder by Marcia Webb, MDiv, PhD, a Book Review

Thomas Aquinas focused at times on how faith and reason walk together. In that vein Christians were essential to Western civilization’s development of hospitals and universities.

And so as one degreed in theology and psychology, Marcia Webb, MDiv, PhD, opines how the Scriptures point to the importance of deeply healing the soul. The soul is the psyche in Greek. She amplifies the central role of wise counsel in that process, particularly that of the behavioral therapist treating mental disorders.

Dr Webb notes that tribulation is a shared challenge in a broken world. She further enunciates how those with mental disorders have their own particular kinds of tribulation. Dr. Webb provides some history of the stigma of mental illness that has added to the challenge.

In yet another area of interest, the author writes about the links between mental disorders and creativity. It is an ever fascinating area of research.

In this work four of my favorite topics come together: neuroscience, theology, history and psychology. To those who share similar interests this is an illuminating work. Allow Dr Webb’s experienced, well referenced view to shine a light on your perspective. It will not disappoint.

H. Robert Rubin, Amazon, best selling memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?

The Stirring Charger Victory

Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers have very little in common other than being NFL quarterbacks. Patrick is in his early twenties and Philip is in his late thirties. Patrick is not a classic, pocket passer. Phil is.

Philip’s wheelhouse is the pocket. Patrick’s wheelhouse is all the territory behind the line of scrimmage.

Patrick Mahomes reminds me of current tennis players in that they now, as this has evolved, hit both from the side and face forward. Likewise Patrick can throw in the classic manner sideways but also in this new technique, face forward. This means with his blinding speed for a strong, 230 “pounder,” he’s an escape artist behind the line of scrimmage. He has numerous options. In his case Yogi Berra’s words are repetitively true that, “It isn’t over till it’s over.”

Philip has a somewhat awkward motion he’s had since he tried to throw the ball as a child. But his accuracy is unbelievable, particularly on the deep pass. I believe that relates to the enormous strength he has given his size. He also has tremendous touch for a man that big.

The thing they share, but only Philip got a chance to demonstrate it last night in KC, is their unbelievable ability under pressure. That’s because Patrick was kept off the field as much as possible and Phil was there in the crucial, pressure-filled, last, several minutes gunning for the winning touchdown. He hit the mark with a TD pass but the score left the Chargers two points short of victory. Phil then delivered (as a “riverboat gambler” along with his coach, NOT  going for the one point kick to tie) the completed pass in the end zone for two points and the win.  With four seconds left on the clock, even Patrick Mahomes couldn’t deliver the winning score.

H. Robert Rubin,  Amazon, best selling memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?


What makes me smile?

A beautiful sunset.

A beautiful sunrise.

The laughter of children.

Being with my adult son and daughter.

A day in the life filled with my wife’s joy, good friends and good food.

How precious are those moments?


And to you all, a hearty holiday season filled with smiles and laughter and warmth.

Some thoughts for the Christmas Season

It is a time of the year when in some ways time stops. Beautiful hymns drift across the airways. Troops stop fighting on the 25th. Kids are filled with joy from the good food, good friends and good gifts of the season. A variety of events occur unlike any other time of the year.

Is it all a pagan rite in the midst of a godless universe? Are we all living a myth who believe this holiday celebrates the ultimate gift of the incarnate God walking the face of the earth, entering history?

It is the statistical improbabilities that reinforce my faith, particularly in this unique season. My spouse and I attend a fellowship group every Sunday night. We study Scriptures and pray, both of which meet a need for each of us that is quite deep.

On the last Sunday before our Christmas break, 12/2/18, we studied the part of the New Testament Book of Acts that took place in Malta, that small ancient locale just south of Sicily. One professor I listened to called parts of it in 2018 a trip into the Middle Ages. It is a fascinating place where major events still occur as happened for Stalin, Churchill and FDR when they met toward the end of WII.

I have been blogging like this for about three years. Over 1500 people have viewed my blogs all over the world, never Malta. Suddenly over a blog completely unrelated to Malta, a view took place from Malta hours after that Sunday night group. I believe the good Lord was reinforcing our belief in Him and that we were in the right place at the right time. Noel.


One of the occasional mysteries of life is longevity. Genes you say. My mother lived several years longer than both of her siblings. Good healthcare you say? At one point and it may still be true, the oldest person on earth was a Holocaust survivor.

The bell shaped curve has these tiny ends on the bell, the exceptions to the rule. Your doc says you have a 90 % chance of survival. But if you are on the end of the bell and don’t survive the illness, your chances were 0 %.

Death is a horrible thing. Even if one follows every bit of scientific prevention to this point, 40 % of the world’s cancer is of completely unknown origin.

That same scientific method has demonstrated the effectiveness of prayer. Perhaps that is an alternative the non-prayerful should consider. May God bless you every one.

To Be Known and Loved

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

So many older couples snip at each other even in public. It certainly isn’t easy to get old. People lose: vigor; cognition; hearing; hair; taste buds; fully functioning lungs; balance; non-ringing ears; the pace of digestion and soft, unwrinkled skin. It is far from an easy process for men and women alike.

In addition it’s hard for any two people to live together. Little things get on one another’s nerves. Neither one can listen at the superficial anddeep level constantly, particularly on a twenty four hour schedule.

At retirement, if one achieves that paradigm, it is completely new to both spouses. Ever since the two people dated they likely never had a situation where there were no kids and no jobs to get their attention. Someone once said something akin to, couples marry for richer or poorer, but not for lunch. These are the reasons why from my own view holy matrimony should be on a journey towards holiness.

In theory if two people stay together for decades they may well have that priceless knowingness Keller refers to where they both stick around. At a very deep level, they may well love each other similar to the way God loves. They need to progress towards that deep level. How valuable is that? As Tayari Jones put it in her book, An American Marriage, “Love is always hard and always worth it.”

Some Thoughts Entering December

I am sure glad to be breathing. I particularly like to breathe out, a totally relaxing habit when stretching, lifting, biking and power walking.

I need to transcend the day’s serious concerns. I do so writing, reading and moving, (breathing as noted).

Now could be a dead zone in the off season of my favorite sport, tennis. It is an enthusiastic zone as I thank God I have a diverse set of interests when I read and write: Christianity, Judaism, neuroscience, psychology and history.

I love good fiction as well. If you haven’t read East of Eden by Steinbeck, it is the finest piece of fiction I have ever read. Steinbeck thought it was his greatest novel. It is worth your time in 2019, if overlooked.

My interests keep me busy spurring my curiosity. It killed the cat. But, at 73+ and counting I am hoping for a few good years.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and Amazon best-selling author, whose books are available at Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?