Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty'.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to August 30, 2016. As you well know, the folks who do their best to keep the highways repaired are always behind. That's here in our own country. I read something last week that made me laugh out loud. (Not lol.) It seems there is a border crossing in Russia that is so bad that vehicles often are damaged just trying to drive through. This presented huge problems to those trying to get their goods into the country. This included the major illegal black market moving of goods brought into a nation to resell to a people starved for basic foods. One of the largest of these illegal operations has to do with fresh fruit. Here's what happened. The roads were so bad, the criminals all got together and paid to have them fixed. Now, how in the world do you like that? This could end up being part of the solution to our pothole problem. You do know that I am kidding, however, with all the issues involving governmental waste and corruption, it may end up being something considered. Of course here in our state, we have toll roads on steroids as the answer to financing road construction. One particular politician who was first elected to the state house and then the senate and is now one of the most powerful leaders we have, well, when he went to Austin he said something had to be done about this runaway toll road system. He talked about the difficulties it posed to those who aren't able to afford to pay the tolls. Guess what? A few years later he said that it appeared there would never be another roadway built in our state unless it was a toll road. There you go. Now the poor people need a GPS, which they can't afford, to make their way through the maze that constitutes what's left of non-toll collected roads. I often hear the term organized crime bantered about but I'm not exactly sure who best carries that moniker. You know. If the shoe fits.

I say that as someone knowledgeable on the subject. We very recently put a toll road tag on the wife's car. I resisted as long as I could because I consider it to be in some ways a case of highway robbery. Pun intended. (We already pay highway taxes, etc.) But now we can sail along to our destination lighting up those collection sensors as we go. We were on one the other day to go across the metroplex for an event and it dawned on me that the automatic toll collectors are set up to collect money. You knew that already? I'm talking about the spacing. Since the new toll roads are unattended it gives the revenue optimizers the opportunity to maximize the flow of traffic. Right? Think again. Revenues! Now that we have that toll road tag, what's next? Could my flip-phone be in danger of losing its role in making and receiving calls? I get a little weary of folks thinking I must be a walking museum of early telecommunication devices. "Hey, mommy, look, that old fellow has some kind of toy phone." Toy phone my foot! I can call Timbuktu on my toy phone if I want to. Yep. It is a real place. (According to Wiki, Timbuktu is a historical and still-inhabited city in the West African nation of Mali, situated 12 miles north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali. It has a population of over 50,000.) I could call there. Just so you know.

I know some probably think my life is mostly like a human version of Trivial Pursuit. I would likely have trouble arguing one way or the other. I've always been inclined to observe things. Even as a little somewhat precocious kid I noticed things and processed them. That's how I know I have several volumes locked up that were filled up before my dad passed away in January 1954. As Ralphie boy would have said it, "One of these days Alice, one of these days!" I think some shrinks call them suppressed memories. Occasionally, something seeps out. I remember my older brother Jimmy and I going with dad by car to visit his people over in Georgia. Our food was in a brown grocery paper sack. Jimmy and I took turns trying to sleep on the back seat. I can remember trying to lay down on the floorboard but it had that big hump and it stayed very hot. I can't be sure that I remember all the cousins we saw because I've seen too many of the photos. That's always the question. Is it a real memory or is it based on the photos you've seen? Oh well, I would like to say there's more to come but we can only wait and see. Just think, I might even have something new to report on. Now that would be something. Have yourself a wonderful rest of the day and I will see what I can come up with for our next visit. May God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. .....More later.

Monday, August 29, 2016

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." ~ 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15

Welcome one and all where we will see about getting back to our Monday duties, here on this August 29, 2016. The gullibility of people sometimes slays me. Metaphorically speaking, of course. There's this mega rich mega prominent black preacher who previously had come out in support of The Donald. This must not have gone down well in his wide circle of influence. What could be done? Last week he reported that God had come to him and personally apologized for sending him mixed signals about supporting Donald Trump. While his blind supporters all hurt their hands applauding, I see the image from the old TV Gunsmoke series of the snake oil salesman come to town. When I read his comments about God apologizing I will have to admit that it stunned me just a tad. Just when I think maybe I've heard it all, bam! ... there they go again. Now. Let me be perfectly clear. (To quote Richard Nixon.) This is my assessment. My thoughts about it. Yes. I am obviously opinionated about it. Am I making fun of the people that follow a charlatan like this? I hope not but I feel very sad for their situation. Do they have the right to follow this guy and applaud whatever he says? Absolutely. At the same time, I do hope I have the right to have an opinion about it. You see it differently? Join the club where we all get to express the way we see things. You can't get more American than that! (I actually said that last sentence in my head using my very bad John Wayne voice.) Amen.

I think we all have witnessed those who rail against this, that, or the other, but they actually end up when they themselves face hard times seeking relief from the sources they previously castigated. I heard a great example of this the other day. It involves a mountain of cheese. Literally. It seems that production of cheese by dairy producers in the United States has set records during the last five years. However, the world market has stumbled and demand is way off. This leaves a huge backlog of cheese inventory that is currently having to be stored. The cheese producers have a solution to help offset some of their losses. They are asking the US Government to step in and buy a huge amount of their stored cheese. These are the same people who lobbied feverishly for the government to get out of meddling in the cheese production business during the last farm bill that was passed. How soon they forget and how soon folks who loudly called for the free market to be allowed to work can change on a dime and now see themselves as victims. Believe me, I'm not beating up on these folks because it pretty much works that way with most of us. Here's how it goes: Others are needlessly on the dole sucking up our hard earned tax dollars until we find ourselves in the ditch. See what I mean? You have to admit, us humans are a funny lot.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, we were blessed to not need government aid. This doesn't mean that we didn't receive a huge amount of support. HUGE! Our family came to our rescue. Our local fellowship of believers stood in the gap. We were given a home to live in while ours was being rebuilt. We had folks bringing us food. We had people praying for us locally, nationally, and even from far away places on the globe. We had insurance, therefore, we did not qualify for FEMA services. That too was a blessing. My point? We were not special because, we, unlike so many others, were not eligible for governmental support. I humbly submit to you that we were blessed with the support that did come to us. Blessed indeed. Abundantly so. We did not make it through the recovery on our own. I believe the wife and I consistently gave God the glory for all He provided to us through the means we experienced. He certainly deserves the honor and glory for it all. Would I have felt bad were I to have been eligible for these government support provisions? Absolutely not! That's what the laws passed regarding disaster relief are supposed to provide. Here's the truth: The line from an old song the wife and I used to sing comes to mind, "I can't even walk without You holding my hand." Okay. That's one of those for what it's worth vignettes. May God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. ...More later.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints." ~ Samuel Johnson, (1709-1784), made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.

It's Friday, August 26, 2016, and it's hard to think that I've already made a full work-week after spending 10 days away from my home away from home. I bring you greetings from my little corner of the world to wherever you happen to be. I recently watched a video presentation on Facebook from a young pastor who gave his thoughts regarding the biblical view regarding the believer's relationship with government. He shared all the pertinent verses that show God's sovereign influence in how governments are formed, changed, and new ones come into being. He talked at length about the dialogue Jesus had about paying tribute to Caesar. Here's the text as presented in the Gospel of Mark, "They came and said to Him, 'Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay or shall we not pay?' But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, 'Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.' They brought one. And He said to them, 'Whose likeness and inscription is this?' And they said to Him, 'Caesar's.' And Jesus said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they were amazed at Him." (Chapter 12:14-17, from the NASB) I'm very familiar with the variety of passages he shared, however, he went on to talk about the exceptions, those being when government directly attempts to force one to violate the clear and express will of God. Got it. But, he wasn't finished. He quoted from another commentator in saying that when we complain all the time about our government we set ourselves up to potentially commit two different sins. One has to do with presenting claims that deny God's sovereign control over all things including the affairs of government. The second is when our complaining encourages others to follow suit. That hit me pretty hard. I'm still digesting it. I do know that I typically always add the disclaimer about knowing God is in control, but, I may need to think some about the potential for developing a complaining spirit. Food for thought. Maybe just for me. Just sharing. (One of the telling things about the New Testament texts has to do with the well-known corruption and abuse that helped define Roman rule. This is the government referred to in passages that say we must obey the laws and pay our taxes.)

Having delivered my sermon, maybe I should set up a GoFundMe account where people can make donations. You know. Receive an offering. Just so you know, that was not my intention. I've learned when something hits me, it might just have something to say to others. That's why I put together that first paragraph. Time to move on. I'll try to tell this next little story as sharing facts, not so much one where I am complaining. You think what? I could be on shaky ground playing word games? Good point. Here's the deal. They are doing it again. This past Wednesday I was up a little earlier than my usual early get up and go time and I made my way onto the main roadway that I travel each morning. It was 3:30 a.m. Not a car was stirring, not even a Mazda. (Think: Creature stirring, not even a mouse.) In other words, the roadway was empty. That should have made it a very easy commute. Right? Just hang on Bucko while I give you the straight scoop. I caught every light. Me, myself, and I sitting there. Waiting. Right turn. Left turn. All directions. Me. Waiting. Some of you are probably thinking I could have used that time to reflect upon the greater issues of life instead of being slightly agitated. Every light? Give me a break! Truth is, I ended up sitting at my workstation at 4:05 instead of my anticipated 4 a.m. You might recall that according to the article I shared earlier this week, the 4 a.m. hour is considered the most productive hour of the day. For some. Sorry, this paragraph didn't live up to that billing.

One guy on Twitter said he hated his job because the people there were so dumb. He said he watched a new lady water an artificial plant for three months and is still too stunned to tell her. Another lady wondered out loud whether she could demand a trial by combat instead of the job she has. When asked what the best thing was about his job, one guy said the only thing he could think of was that his chair swiveled. This next one was morbid indeed. This fellow said that if he died and went to hell, it would probably take him a week to realize he wasn't at work anymore. Another commenter said she hoped they knew that just because she showed up today didn't mean she intended to do any work. Interestingly enough, the sounding boards where people tell why they hate their jobs typically have been invaded by people who wish they had a job. These folks tell those haters they would love to change places with them because they are desperate to find work. Let me go on record as saying that I don't know that I would ever use the word love in describing a job, I am, however, most thankful and feel blessed to have a job, a place to come and make contributions, and I know that while there are days when things may not go as I might want them to go, I come away with a sense of God's provision for my life. And, to underline the point, we have people walk into our workplace many days who say they are willing to do anything, even at the lowest level, to try and help support themselves and their families. I thought that might be a good way to end our week together by highlighting what it means to have a thankful heart. It is good for whatever ails us. Take care. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I will do my best to catch back up with you come next Monday. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fictional character, Dr. Emmett Brown: "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" quoted from the 1985 movie: "Back to the Future"

Good morning and welcome to my version of current events or maybe it's a written exercise depicting my show and tell for today, on this Thursday, August 25, 2016. I've mentioned this before but it is still amusing. To me, anyway. I often keep my phone on vibrate to keep from annoying people when it rings. I keep my phone in my shirt pocket. I suppose since the doctor has now christened me into the federation of the elderly I notice that I occasionally have a momentary muscle spasm but it signals itself in the same way my phone does when it vibrates. That's right. I have attempted to answer my own spasm before. I thought you might get a kick out of that one. Let me see. The election campaign continues. Donald Trump is currently trading Twitter insults with the media stars of the Morning Joe show because he doesn't like their comments about him. It's pretty ugly stuff. His wife is saying she might sue a number of media outlets for some of the reports they have done on her. Defamation. Good luck with that one. I saw where they have discovered another 15,000 previously unseen emails from the Hillary Clinton archive. Information overload. So much has been said about her potential failing health, she decided to prove that she was doing just fine. How? I read that she went on the Jimmy Kimmel show and right there in front of millions of people she did something that should silence any concern about her physical stamina. She opened a jar of pickles. There's a meme floating around on Facebook that warns parents. The gist goes like this: If you feel your conscience will not allow you to vote for the Donald or for Hillary and you end up voting third party or for a write-in candidate, you must be prepared to tell your children how you allowed Hillary to become our president leading to our nation becoming a complete police state. I think they wanted the reader to think North Korea. Now that's what I call a warning. Just a few of my drive-by hit and miss notices for you to consider.

The other day after the volleyball games were over our daughter-in-law told us an interesting story. Their high school team has two girls already committed to scholarship deals, one to Clemson and the other to Baylor. The girl going to Baylor at times dominates the field of play. She spikes the ball so hard, a return is typically useless. A particularly animated coach of one of the losing teams came by where the parents were seated and said in passing that their team really has only one player. He said that to the wrong person. Our Mitzi informed him in no uncertain terms that all the girls work hard to see the team achieve success. He wouldn't leave it alone. Finally, she told him that it must be really embarrassing since according to his estimation her team only had one player but yet that single player caused his entire team to go down in defeat. That little story reminded me that it is always best not to mess with a Mama bear. I've seen the wife spring into action when one of her own was being attacked. I remember my mom getting stirred up. I had my arm twisted while at recess at school when I was maybe 6 years old. I came home with a limp arm. They ended up putting a cast on. When we got home from the doctor, mom dragged me over to the house of the parents of the boy who twisted my arm. She gave them a stern lecture. There's a lesson here, one more time: It's best not to mess with a Mama bear.

I saw an article in Tuesday's online version of the Wall Street Journal reporting on why 4 a.m. is the most productive time of the day. Since I am a committed early riser, I was, as you would expect, drawn to that teaser in the headline. Most of the people triumphantly talking about all they get done in the early hours before dawn were business executives. That would not be me. I did keep the same early hours when I was, by some estimations, at least a facsimile of a business executive. Maybe I was a business executive wanna-be or one with training wheels. The point this article was making had to do with the fact that when distractions are eliminated, huge amounts of productive work can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. I cannot report great productivity on my part these days because of my early schedule but I do typically work on my blog early in the morning. I try to stay one day ahead, therefore, if today is Wednesday, then early this morning I would be publishing Wednesday's edition and already working up the Thursday one. I also work on my Bible lessons. And, yes, I do prepare for the work day, checking emails, and catching early phone calls. I suppose I saw a thread of vindication in that story for those of us who get on with it while it is still dark-thirty as they used to say back home. I know. It doesn't work for everyone. Just sharing. Not shaming. Please don't ask the wife what happens to me around 8 p.m. each evening sitting in my recliner, or perhaps better put, reclining in my recliner. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless. Amen. .....More later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"I get home 20 hours before the first class. So I'll be in physics at 8:30 a.m," said Virginia Thrasher, the winner of the first gold at the 2016 Games, the 19-year-old having little time to bask in her air rifle gold medal win.

Simone Manuel after winning a gold medal in swimming.
Good morning. It's already Wednesday and this one takes up space on the calendar marked August 24, 2016. I read an article about how the North Koreans were the most efficient team in terms of the number of athletes winning medals at this just completed Olympic games. They sent a very small contingent and won a total of 7 medals. I wondered about their incentives. You know. They live in a country where on any given day at any given time you can be locked up and executed for real or imagined/invented crimes. Their athletes may not want to return home unless they have something to show for their efforts. Compare that to the two most winning countries, the United States and Great Britain. China, with a very repressive governmental system, actually finished third in the total medal count. The two most free nations ended up with the most medals. I'm not saying that is conclusive but it sure sticks out. I'm not sure what the final ratings will show but many of the early reports have indicated a huge falloff since the last summer games in London. We were somewhat slow to make it 'must see' but many of the personal journeys were compelling and the wife and I did end up watching quite a bit of the games. There still exists some of the so-called Olympic spirit and when you see a particular athlete who has sacrificed so much and they win, seeing their tearful response is worth the price of admission. I suppose that means the commercials that pay for it all, but, I typically change the channel when the commercial comes on. It's my own Olympic game of eye, hand coordination.

I notice that online sources are taking a different approach to some of the pop ups they flood your system with. The online Houston Chronicle page now issues pop-up ads that give you the option of shutting them down but they now feature this line: 'No thanks, I'm not interested in saving money right now.' It didn't bother me in the least bit to click that button but I can't remember one with that kind of message. Think about it. They can only get more intrusive as we move forward. 'No thanks, only an idiot like me would ignore such a great deal.' 'No thanks, this once in a lifetime deal which is a no brainer is of no interest to me.' 'No thanks, my children will live to regret what a fool I am.' See what I mean? The first time I read that one about me not wanting to save money it did make me pause. For maybe a fraction of a millisecond. I just wonder how many people will see a pop up like that and it will cause them to check out what they are selling. They might just be offering some used clapper devices that allow you to turn on your lights by clapping your hands. I never got on that bandwagon when they were popular but then again, I suppose I just wasn't interested in saving money back then.

My doctor reminded me to schedule my five-year colonoscopy. That's always something to look forward to.  I called the office of the gastroenterologist that has my records. I was reminded that I first must have a consultation with her. Her first available consultation to talk about talking about the procedure is October 12. There's no way to even guess how long before the next date available for the actual procedure. I hear a lot of forth and back about health care rationing as we move forward. It seems to me, at least in our area, that system is already in place. That is especially true if it involves any type of specialty.  Could it also be that it is because this procedure is covered by the old people insurance we have? Just thinking out loud. That would have to be a part of the mix. As my doctor put it, "In dealing with the elderly, there is the risk-reward that has to be considered." In this case, it could be the profit outcome. But, I will try not to lose any sleep waiting for that particular procedure. It's just interesting when you hear someone describe their ailment and how serious it is and then they say the first available surgical date is four months away. I'm still trying to figure out how I even qualified myself to be included in any discussion of the elderly. My doctor seemed comfortable with it. He certainly didn't know exactly what I was thinking about it. Maybe next time I will share my thoughts with him on the subject. That's right. There's no telling when I might be able to schedule a visit to talk about scheduling a visit for that conversation. I know. You guessed right. Facetious. But, with some underlying angst thrown in for good measure. Take care now. You hear? May God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“The best times we’ve had on earth are usually with those we love.” ― Van Harden, Author

Uncle Waymon, yours truly, Aunt Elwanda
CyFalls High School girls volleyball team, with Santa
The pertinent question when one returns is: What did you do on your vacation? That's one I'm thinking about on this Tuesday, August 23, 2016. We left our area on Sunday, August 14, and took our own good time in driving north of Dallas to Plano. On Monday morning we dropped in on my Aunt Elwanda and Uncle Waymon. They are both in their early 90's. When I was a kid they invested their time into my life and I've always made them aware they have had a significant role in who I am today. On Monday afternoon we visited with my sister JoAnn and later had dinner with her at a local restaurant. We did a lot of reminiscing about the good-old and the not-so-good-old days. We were torn about trying to make a memorial service for a lady in Louisiana who has been more like family to us for well over 50 years. She passed away on Sunday and her service was Tuesday. She was the mother-in-law to the wife's sister. This lady's daughter was driving the pickup truck with about five girls in the cab the night I came face to face with my destiny. That 'destiny' girl sitting on the passenger side took both my breath and my heart away. Face to face. The rest, nearly 55 years later is still being played out as I speak. To go or not to go. That was the question. We decided to do our best to make the service. Up at 3 a.m. Tuesday, the 16th, my 70th birthday, we drove literally through some unbelievable rainstorms but we made did make the service. Barely. It was a wonderful tribute to a lady who had well lived her 92 plus years. We returned to Plano Tuesday evening, a total of 9 hours of driving. On Wednesday, we toured the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the Campus grounds of SMU. It was interesting but, to us, not as impressive as George H. W. and even the LBJ Library. We relocated from Plano to out near Grapevine, Texas. On Thursday we toured that little place which has one of those restored downtown areas filled up with little shops selling down-home and homemade products, mostly imported from India, China, Taiwan, and other far-flung places. On Friday we moved again to Allen, TX, where we spent the day watching our granddaughter's high school team play volleyball. At the end of their third game, our daughter-in-law asked the girls to pose for a photo with Santa. Now that photo with the CyFalls high school team was not only a keeper but it's also a real joy. On Saturday we made our way through intermittent heavy rain storms back to our neck of the woods, our stomping grounds, the homestead, our version of home, sweet home. On Sunday I was back in my place teaching my Bible study class and in the afternoon it was my privilege to bring a short devotional at a memorial service. Busy, but all and all, it was a time of refreshing and relaxation. And, we are thankful. Amen.

After my salvation, at 70, these are my second greatest blessing.
I did have a great birthday. The Saturday before we left we had 18 of us meet up at a restaurant to celebrate me making to 70. It was a wonderful time. The folks in the eatery slipped up behind me and put the proverbial sombrero on my head, without me knowing it, and they began singing and the wait staff lady put the whipped cream on my nose. Okay. I had no choice but to go along. Many of you know that something like that is not my cup of tea. However, the family got a big kick out of it and I can only say how blessed I felt to have that group there with me to mark the occasion. I do appreciate the gifts and the cards they gave to me. This past Sunday morning my Bible study class surprised me with a birthday greeting. They gave me a Keurig along with a couple of boxes of my favorite flavor of Community Coffee. That unit will go in my upstairs office where I can enjoy cup after cup, without having to come back downstairs, while doing my lessons and other stuff. Their card was so very special. Such wonderful comments. Way too kind. But, what a blessing to have people show their love and respect. I'm way more blessed than I deserve, and no one knows that more than I. I think that's enough, not only for today but for several, however, I will likely see you come tomorrow morning, Lord willing, of course. May God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Whoopi-ty-aye-oh Rockin` to and fro Back in the saddle again Whoopi-ty-aye-yay I go my way Back in the saddle again..." 'Back in the Saddle Again' by Gene Autry

Good Monday morning and welcome. It's August 22, 2016, and I am b-a-a-a-c-k! So to speak. I am happy to report that when I showed up this morning I discovered that I still have a workstation and my computer still works. We had ourselves a remarkable ten-day break, including weekends. I'm not sure whether I should be pleased that so many people thought I needed a break, but we certainly were blessed with the time we were allowed to enjoy. I did something yesterday that was a great challenge. I was asked to bring a message at a memorial service for a 44-year-old man who had taken his own life. He was a cousin of our youngest son's wife and I struggled with what to say. At the end of the day, I only had one message to the 150 gathered to mourn his passing, and that was to bring comfort from God, not from me, from His Holy Word, directed to the living. As I say, it was a very challenging experience but God helped me through it and gave me the word that I believe He would want those who attended to hear. I ask that you would please say a prayer for this family as they make their way forward in dealing with this tragic loss. I so much appreciate those in my Sunday morning Bible Study, for my sweet wife, and others who were interceding on my behalf as they became a part of this ministry of helping those dealing with such great grief.

We covered quite a bit of territory during our time off but we mostly enjoyed being together. We were always in close quarters and for the most part, we were able to not get on each others nerves. For the most part. There's always those moments but I'm glad to report they were few and far between. When we returned home last Saturday afternoon the wife immediately set about making a huge pot of homemade stew. We had some great meals while we were away but there's nothing like getting back to home cooked meals. She had asked me what I preferred and I told her whatever she chose would be perfect. And, it was perfect, along with a big pone of homemade iron skillet cornbread. That reminds me. I gave my diabetic blood checking device a week off and I now need to reengage his services. Eating out as much as we did might have caused him to go into some kind of panic. You do know I am kidding. Right? We will really never know. My instinct says the numbers would have been significantly above my normal, but, it is now time to get back on a more disciplined program.

It may take me a day or two to get my moorings but I am thankful for all the blessings God has provided. Some people think Christians have mostly a happy go lucky experience in life. I am sorry to disappoint, but that is not how it has worked in my life, and that's not how it is working even as I write today's edition. We, as believers, always have people and situations that burden our hearts and minds. However, we know that God knows and He can be counted on. His promises can be depended upon because they are HIS promises and we have His word on it. We are a needy people living in a needy world. No election is going to solve the greatest issue we all face. That is to know and walk with God. I do have one confession to make. That lady voice that told us where and how to go, well, she, along with the GPS satellite, utilizing the wife's smartphone, did get us to where we were going. That lady voice did get on my nerves, more than once, but, we did make our destinations. When we were locating the school where our granddaughter was playing volleyball in Allen, TX, that lady voice carried us through this neighborhood and that neighborhood, but, as we came to the end of our journey the wife proudly announced, "Look, it's the school, just like we were told." Okay. So, I was a doubter, but, I think I did detect a condescending tone a time or two, but, I confess, the lady voice knew what she was doing. I've said it and now it is time to move on. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen. .....More later.