Friday, October 21, 2016

“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.” ― G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse

You might recall that Norad tracking radar to let kids know how soon Santa might visit their area. Well, I'm trying to do something similar in tracking this cold front. I need to stay on top of it because they tell us it will only be with us for 48 hours. After that, we go back to the heat and humidity. This means we need to fully capitalize on the 48 hours by doing our best to catch as many breaths of fresh air as we can. Cool air, at that. At last check, we were down to 58 degrees here and that made for a very pleasant ride in with my window down. As you can tell, a smidgen of cooler air is front and center as I sit here with the office door wide open, sipping on my Community on this Friday, October 21, 2016. Lord willing, the wife and I plan to attend the Celtic Thunder concert in downtown Houston tomorrow evening. No. I am not into boy bands. But I do love the Irish music and the great harmonies produced by these singers. We've been following the current group approach on the PBS specials since their American debut back in 2008. Their numerous compilations of songs released on video and CD have consistently ranked high in Billboard sales tracking. We've never seen them in person so we are looking forward to our night out on the town. Literally. The theater is actually just a few blocks from the place I called my home away from home for close to 24 years. (The hours I spent at that place most likely made it close to 40 years.) Back when I worked downtown I could have eaten out an entire week for the current cost of parking. I'll do my best to get ready to enjoy this little adventure and perhaps this little Irish blessing will help. "May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door." (Traditional, unattributed)

My first cousin over in Georgia died of pancreatic cancer last year. He was the son of my real dad's twin brother. The two of us tried over a number of years to piece together some of our family history. For us, it did not go like those commercials on TV where they put in a person's name and suddenly an entire genealogy pops up. My cousin's daughter has now taken up the effort. We have messaged forth and back where I've attempted to share my stuff along with some encouragement. She will need it. I sent her the file I had accumulated. She recently participated in the DNA analysis program offered through the largest genealogical services company. She shared the results with me. Based on her report, we are 100% European and the highest percentage makes us most likely from Great Britain which would include Scotland and Wales with Ireland next in line. The lady I exchanged a lot of information with several years ago who was secondarily tracing our family had located some of our ancestors as far back as Colonial times and had perhaps located the ship some had come over on. She also was working to confirm information about several of our people and their participation in the Revolutionary War and in the Civil War. I pretty much wore myself down trying to uncover facts about our family history but I'm glad that we now have a younger set of eyes to look at everything. I know as a family we are not unique, but, based on my efforts, there seemed to be more mysteries than there were answers. I wish her well and look forward to seeing what she can come up with. You know. We all need a list of those who preceded us. If for no other reason, so that we can blame them for the mess we have made out of things. (Joking only.)

What a week! I'm doing better physically as I seek to overcome that self-inflicted problem that I am not allowed to complain about. I do hate it when my own rules complicate my ability to sound off. The good news is that I can talk all I want to about it as I drive down the road all by myself. Folks spot me all lathered up and carried away and figure I have one of those Bluetooth hands-free smartphones. You know. They think I must be taking care of a business deal or talking to a family member. Not even close! I am well aware there are behavioral studies that report on people who talk to themselves. If they ever decide to use me as a subject, they may want to show up early and stay all day. And, yes, I also know the old joke about it not being a problem until you start answering when you talk to yourself. How crazy is that? Why would I ask myself a question if I wasn't interested in the answer? Yep. They should plan on staying late if they are going to get to the bottom of my problems. I've said all of that just to say how much I have enjoyed our time together this week. It has been therapeutic. I threw that in just to keep you guessing about my psychological status. You might as well be confused too. Thanks for tuning in. I do know this about next week. If the Lord Jesus doesn't come back and call me up to meet Him in the air, I will do my best, with His help, to show back up come next Monday. (1st Thessalonians, Chapter 4) Until then, may God help each one. Go ahead. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

It really is. Thursday. Already? Alrighty! I think it may have slipped up on me but I'll take it. This one is identified as October 20, 2016. I've made it clear that I haven't decided what I will do with my presidential vote this year. While many think that's heresy, it's where I am. However, I do clearly understand Mr. Trump's claims about the system being rigged. It may not be the traditional polling of dead people in the cemetery, although that has always gone on, but, my take says that in general, it's rigged at the very highest of levels. When those who control 80% or more of all media sources pick their choice and then report the news and filter all other forms of coverage based on that choice, well, it turns out to end up guaranteeing an uneven playing field. Rigged. The revelations coming out of these leaked emails should be devastating to the Clinton campaign. They are not. The media cabal has decided since they were obtained illegally they will look the other way. Clinton doesn't say they are not true and the media doesn't say they are not true, but, essentially, they present a 'there's nothing to see here' approach. They haven't acted in that way regarding other leaked information. But, because of their predetermined choice in this election cycle, they have consistently acted to stonewall any negative information concerning the Clintons. Rigged. Back in the day, many elections were determined by the powerful elites operating in smoke-filled rooms. Today we see something slightly different. The political elite, the media elite, and the liberal establishment have joined forces to do what they can to determine the outcome they desire. I can see that. They say it isn't true. They say they are shocked by Mr. Trump's allegations. I would tell them to take their feigned outrage somewhere else. Any thoughtful person can see what's going on. Rigged. Rigged. Rigged.

Just because I at this time do not have a dog in this hunt doesn't mean I can't see exactly what is going on. Let me quickly add, this is not a new situation. There have always been powerful influences on all sides of the political spectrum that have attempted to have it their way in an election. However, this use of the media is so blatant in terms of a capitulation of any iota of journalistic integrity, it makes one want to throw up. Here's an example. The New York Times was gleeful to get their hands on an anonymously leaked portion of Mr. Trump's tax records where he took a huge write off for a business loss. They took that leaked tax information and then attempted to project what it could mean in terms of his later returns. They went to the mat to evaluate and speculate on this leaked documentation. Not so with the continuing saga of Clinton-related emails.  If nothing else, the Clinton emails establish clear collusion between the government, the Clinton campaign, and their media partners. Yet, we do not see any detailed analysis of these leaked documents. Mr. Trump's leaked tax records were deemed to be critical to informing the public. The Clinton emails merited only a yawn. Tell me there's not something rotten in Denmark!

What you have here is another drive-by assessment brought to you by the fellow who beats and bangs the keyboard to produce these daily episodes. It sounds like I am favoring one candidate over the other. I've made it crystal clear that I can not, under any circumstances, vote for Hillary Clinton. However, I am not a Donald Trump supporter. I'm not. I really am conflicted about what I will end up doing. Yet, I can see what's going on. Trust me, there's enough corruption on all sides. But, when you have this unprecedented collusion between all these powerful influences, well, the future begins to be scary. But, I remind us all that it's always scary if we see it without God. He brings the clarity of hope to our vision. As many have said, the day after the election He will still be God and He will still be Sovereign over all things. And, His love for His own will continue. That we can be sure of. That we can base our hopes and dreams on. As I wrote this paragraph a particular couplet from one of the Psalms came to mind, "Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them;..." (Psalm 146: Verses 3-6) I think that settles it. In fact, I'm certain that settles it. Take care and may God bless us all and may He especially bless our nation that we love. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Been there, done that, but then I went back and did it again because I am a slow learner." ~ copied

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday, October 19, 2016. While I may be 70 years old, I am still capable of doing some pretty stupid things. Last Friday I picked up something I shouldn't have. It was way too heavy. Once I got it up I refused to sit it down until I carried it to its destination. That was not very smart. It didn't immediately cause me a lot of grief but on Saturday afternoon I suddenly had the feeling that I had been run over by a freight train. It took me a little while to connect the dots because of the delayed reaction but once I did I had to remember the rule I gave to our boys growing up. You can't complain about self-inflicted problems. By the way, that didn't keep it from hurting like I had been beaten with a tire tool. My wife is always very clear in her assessment. Her analysis, "Stuff like that infuriates me." I told her that I would do my best to not do that one again. You know. The old Hee Haw joke. "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." The doctor responds, "Well, then don't do it!" I am happy to report that I am some better. Some. There's enough pain left to keep my promise to do better very much on the front burner. But, the pain is fading. You know. The medical folks always ask how much pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Where I come from the scale was, it hurts like old billy heck down to a dull roar. The fact that I am getting better makes me thankful. And, yes, I did thank God for that but even though I felt like I should, I haven't apologized to Him for not using my head for something other than a hat rack. (That's how Paw Paw used to put it.)

They tell us that an even stronger cold front will be here by Friday. Yesterday, the high temperature in one location in the general area was 94. Yikes, it's only 12 days until November. I saw that front pictured on the national weather map. It's still some ways off. You can go ahead and pull out a sweater if you want to, but, I think I will wait it out. We hear about conspiracy theories every day in the political world. Well, what about the conspiratorial efforts being put forth by the weather people? They are hawking this one: "We could be in the upper 40's by Saturday morning." I've got a response to that. What about the 'unexpected wind shift', 'the slow down of the system', or 'it ran out of steam before it got here' excuses. Sorry. But, I've been at this a long time. To add injury to insult they are encouraging people to look forward to sitting outside in the cool air while enjoying their coffee. Now they have moved into the meddling territory and they might well hope their projections do come true. If not, we all know what will happen. They will be back in their same slot selling the same stuff next week. Sorry. I just felt like these things needed to be aired again, for the umpteenth time. One site that gave a lot of the technical gobbly gook for why forecasters get it wrong did add an interesting caveat. It had to do with the forecaster doing a little wishcasting instead of sticking to the proven models. Ah ha! Wishcasting. Don't say I didn't tell you. And I add for our enlightenment, my insight, the selling of sweaters and jackets.

That's all in fun because when all else fails we can always complain about the weather and those who do the forecasting. Here are a few weather related funnies from the Readers Digest website to end our time together for today. ~  "As we waited for a bus in the frosty weather, the woman next to me mentioned that she makes a lot of mistakes when texting in the cold. I nodded knowingly. 'It’s the early signs of typothermia.'" Phil Noyes, Yakima, Washington ~ "How hot was it? It was so hot in Beverly Hills, people were frying egg whites on the sidewalk." Comedian Matt Wohlfarth ~ "It’s been raining so much in Los Angeles that the Chia Pet I threw in the garbage is now blocking my entire driveway." Jay Leno ~ "Why does moisture destroy leather? When it’s raining, cows don’t go up to the farmhouse yelling, 'Let us in! We’re all wearing leather! We’re going to ruin the whole outfit here!'" Jerry Seinfeld ~ "Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation." Kin Hubbard ~ I think I certainly prove the last point in my rantings about weather prognosticators. But, that's just me. I do hope you have a most wonderful rest of the day. Be careful out there. Some of that stuff is too heavy. May God bless each one. Amen. ...More later.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

“The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Yep. It's Howdy Doody time so let's get this show on the road. We are working on this day, Tuesday, October 18, 2016. It showed up right after midnight, therefore, we need to see what we can do with it. You learn things when you go to a craft show. I was there to provide free photos with Santa but you can certainly observe a lot if you are watching. One thing jumped out at me. Ladies spend hours walking around, looking, and with little to show for their effort. I suppose they were doing what Granny Mac used to call it, "Pinching the calico." Hours. Where I was set up I had a ladies sewing club ministry right across from me. There were between 6 and 8 older ladies and I heard from them. Often. All day long. I found out what sewing club ladies do. They talk. Let me try to help you understand this. They tell us that ladies are more talkative. They typically speak some 20,000 words per day. Men, by contrast, do about 7,000. I'll be conservative here. Six ladies at 20,000 equal 120,000 words. I had no interest in using up my 7,000, although, they did their best to drag as many out of me as possible. That was interesting. I do admire the work they do. They take donated material and turn it into all kinds of quilts, scarves, doilies, potholders, and numerous other objects. They use the funds to support many needy causes. And, they talk. Women are resourceful. I guess they do listen at times because I read about an older lady who had double paned windows installed in her home. Many months lady the installer called asking why she had never paid the bill. The lady set him straight. She told him the sales guy made it crystal clear that these windows would pay for themselves within the first year. (I was at the craft show strictly as a volunteer from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I didn't peruse any of the venues because I had zero interest in what they were selling. Sorry. I do appreciate our ladies using this program to raise funds for benevolent activities but it's just not my thing. I am 100% sure that I am unanimous in that perspective.)

Craft Person Extraordinaire, Mom Rawles.
My wife was out of town, therefore, we didn't end up with a new thingamabob that we just had to have. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against craft shows and I do know our ladies have raised thousands over the years used to support missionaries and other ministries. I also admire those who brought items to the show. In response to a question, I heard a lady say that she had made every item on display. She was near my station so I can testify to the fact that she had literally hundreds of items for sale. She had been a busy lady. The wife's mother, the late Mom Rawles, was a master craft maker. Her hands were amazing in sewing or in the making of about anything she put her mind to. On top of that, she was fast. I've watched her make things and honestly her hands were a blur. As they would have said back home, "That woman can sew up a storm." And, she could. We still have many examples of her clever handiwork. I'm okay with homemade, but, that doesn't mean I would go to a craft show to find something. The thing that was uncanny about Mom Rawles is how she could see something when she was out and about, and then she would figure out how to replicate it from scratch at home. If you ever stay in our home you will likely have one of her quilts on your bed. Now that is what I call a legacy because her memory lives on as we recall her great talent. And, she could do all those things and still be as Godly a woman as I have ever known. Amen.

I've made it clear many times that I've never been able to use any of those mother-in-law jokes that everyone likes so much. I've heard plenty. You know. Like the fellow who said he had mixed feelings because his mother-in-law had driven his new Cadillac off the cliff. Nothing like that for me. I know I was blessed beyond measure with my in-laws but I've been around enough folks to know that is not always the case. I've worked with fellows throughout my time here that were literally tied in knots because of their difficult relationship with their in-laws. I'm glad to say I've never experienced that. I don't think the wife has with my folks either. My father-in-law was always one of my most ardent supporters and encouragers. Believe me, I'm not bragging. Just stating the facts and along with it, calling it as what it really has been in our lives, a blessing from above. What an encouragement to know that your in-laws are calling out your name to our heavenly Father. My in-laws have gone on to their heavenly home. I do hope they knew how much they meant to me while they were still here. I did try to let them know that. We all should do that. The old saying about giving flowers while they are here is applicable. Thinking about all of these folks gives me a warm feeling of thankfulness. I pray that we all will be able to experience that kind of closeness. May God bless each one. Amen. .....More later.

Monday, October 17, 2016

It's always good for us to pause And think awhile of Santa Claus-- That jolly symbol we revere When we approach the changing year. Behind his beard so long and white, In which our children take delight, There beats a heart from color free Which bids all children "come to me." ~ MARSHALL M. MORGAN, "The Spirit of Santa Claus"

Craft Show Santa
Good to catch back up with you on this Monday, October 17, 2016. I spent this past Saturday reprising the role of Craft Show Santa. The ladies at our local fellowship of believers put on a craft show in October each year. I was there as one of the exhibits, Selfies with Santa. The photos were free, taken by the participants. We did, however, have a collection box for anyone who wanted to donate to our missions outreach. You think it could be a wee bit early? That's true but it was more of a novelty than anything else and I always enjoy getting ready to get ready to bring joy to children of all ages. Even at a ladies craft show. Let me see. It's October, so it should be cooling off. Right? I know there were a lot of fall decorations at the craft show, but, out in the parking lot, the 90-degree temperature had little in common with the autumn theme. It's a wonder Al Gore wasn't outside picketing against global warming. I know he has recently lost quite a bit of weight but for many years he was so heavy he was singularly accounting for his own personal impact on the climate. (The theory goes like this: "Carrying that extra weight means eating more, which means more food has to be produced, packaged, transported and refrigerated, increasing how much electricity and fuel is needed per person. Heavier bodies also need more fuel to move around as engines and motors strain under heavier loads." lifted from the Scientific American website) I don't know exactly how I got off on that one but the good news is that we had a good day at the craft show. I don't know that I have ever uttered anything like that about a craft show. That was Craft Show Santa's comment, not my personal opinion about what happens at craft shows.

I think most people who know me can name my coffee preference. For me, it's Community Coffee as my first, middle, and last choice. You don't have to ask twice to know that is my final answer. I like my coffee hot, black, and reasonably strong. While I appreciate the fact that markets require diversification, I am not fond of my coffee company offering a bunch of disgraceful flavors. Here's what I am talking about: Bread Pudding; Pumpkin Praline; Toasted Hazelnut; French Vanilla; Golden Caramel; Mardi Gras King; and Pecan Praline. To me, this is sad. It may be necessary for profitability but it is still sad. I don't drink decaffeinated coffee. To me, it gives brown water a bad name. I can remember back in the day when asked if I wanted black coffee, I asked if there were other choices. It was understood to be a joke. Not anymore. One fellow said, "Latte is a French word for you just paid way too much for coffee." I agree. Yes. This paragraph is an editorial or opinion piece if you will. You may have a different taste. When I see all those ads for those weird concoctions taking up space on the Community Coffee website, well, it reminds me of a song. It's one written by Irving Berlin, originally recorded in 1932 by Rudy Vallee and his Connecticut Yankees. Since then it has been covered dozens of times by the musical greats. I thought about it. It fits. "Say It Isn't So."

Please don't write me. It's all in fun. You know. Tongue in cheek. That figure of speech has been around since the 1700's. "The figurative idiom means meant or expressed ironically or facetiously. The expression has origins in 18th-century England, and it originally referred to a common facial expression used to express contempt." I did not intend any contempt except in expressing my distaste for the further degradation of the coffee bean. Enough on that subject. Almost. Just now I paused to take a sip from my Santa Claus mug filled with Community 100% Columbia Altura. It tastes so good it makes me want to sing out loud. I know the popular one says it tastes so good it makes you want to slap your momma. I would never even think about thinking about that one. Not even in jest. I think I heard slap your pappy growing up but I can't be 100% sure. Singing. I like singing. There are many songs that mention coffee. Frank Sinatra had a hit with one simply entitled, 'The Coffee Song.' The writer Dave Barry had a comment about coffee, "It is inhumane in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity." See what I mean? I'm not the only one. Do your best, with or without your coffee, to embrace the day the Lord has given to us and to be thankful for it. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, October 14, 2016

My eldest quoting a news commentator, "We may not know who won tonight's debate but we are clear who lost. The American people."

Made it to Friday. That's always a good thing. Welcome. It is October 14, 2016. The other day when I pontificated about typographical errors I actually had a big one in that episode. The space probe was Mariner-1, not Marina-1. I must have had boating on my mind. I actually saw that one flash before my eyes as I hit the send key. But it was too late to stop the presses. It just goes to show you whatever it goes to show you. I read the other day where some leading evangelical ladies are very unhappy with evangelical men for giving Mr. Trump a pass on his long record of objectifying and demeaning women. These are influential women like Beth Moore and I suppose they are sick and tired of being sick and tired of the daily revelations that seem to keep coming. I get that. I can appreciate their concern and their stand. On the other hand, I would be equally concerned if they followed up by saying they will support Ms. Clinton. To my knowledge, they have not done that. We all have to take our own decision but their stand for the reasons they give is certainly in keeping with how our system is supposed to work. As for me, I am still out in left field waiting on some kind of directional signal to help me decide what to do. Sorry. But, that's the truth. I will cast my ballot. I believe I have voted in every presidential election since I became eligible to vote. I have never skipped any part of a ballot but I may consider just sitting out the presidential portion this year. None of the above. That thought came to me as I was writing this paragraph. I said I was waiting for a signal. Food for thought. At least, for me.

I made an exception to my ban on most political stuff because of the stand taken by those believing ladies. I thought their viewpoint was one worth discussing. I have been thinking some about the little quips I used to share that may no longer be applicable. At 70, I'm not sure joking about wanting to find out what I will be when I grow up is still appropriate. It may still be true but the use by date may have expired. Also, saying one is only as old as they feel may have lost some of its luster. One fellow commented that you have moved into the older age when you no longer have an urge to throw a snowball. Here's a truism, ~ "In youth the days are short and the years are long; in old age the years are short and the days long." ~ Nikita Ivanovich Panin  Here's an excerpt written by an older gentleman from yesteryear that we all might aspire to, ~ "Some of you will perhaps be surprised — though not those who best understand that nothing is surprising in the human spirit — when I say that life never seemed so beautiful as it does now, when to many others it begins to be a burden. May God, who has brought me to this age, transport me from this vain mortal life to the true eternal life, as now I prize higher one day of this ripeness than do most young men prize a year of their bloom…" ~ Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), letter, c.1366–1367, translated by Morris Bishop, 1966 ~

I know what some of you purists are thinking. Age is not a number. In fact, it happens to be a word. The other day I mentioned how that people are paying a king's ransom to have their animal companion cloned. In a somewhat related subject, I noticed an outpouring of testimonies, recollections, photos, sympathy and support on Facebook for the recently deceased Bengal tiger who had formerly been the mascot for Louisiana State University, (LSU). I am not anti pets or anti animals. In fact, I've been so conditioned by all the emphasis on protecting Bambi that I've nearly wrecked out more than once trying to dodge a runaway squirrel, raccoon, or armadillo. What is this world coming to? I'm thinking about proportionality here. Nothing more than that. How about it being none of my business? My response, I plead my first amendment rights. You know. My opinion. Nothing more than that. Just food for thought. I think I've slung enough keystrokes for one week. I do hope you enjoy your Saturday and that Sunday, we call it the Lord's Day, will find you and yours joined with other believers at the meeting place to seek and hear from our Great God. This is the blessing the Lord gave to Moses that he was to give to Aaron as an instruction in how the Lord wanted the priests to bless His people. I haven't used it in a while, so I want to leave it with you today, "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26) Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"How do you keep flies out of the kitchen? Put a pile of manure in the living room!" ~ copied

There is a fly on Hillary's left eyebrow.
Here we go again. It's Thursday, October 13, 2016, and I'm continuing to do my best to avoid filling up my blog with political stuff. I did see a number of postings saying that a fly was causing some issues for Candidate Hillary during the debate last Sunday evening. I heard the expression, 'No flies on me' often during my growing up days. The dictionary has this to say about that idiom: "One is wide awake; there is nothing slow or dull about one. For example, She may be new to this field, but there are no flies on her. This slangy expression, which alludes to flies settling on a sluggish animal, was being used in Australia in the 1840s but did not appear in America until the last decades of the 1800s." Since I didn't watch the debate I did not spot this in real time. I understand that once it was spotted, it swamped both Twitter and Facebook. At least someone was paying attention. I thought it was humorous only because of the saying. I couldn't resist. I'll let you think of an appropriate metaphor to improve the caption on the photo. This is not so much about politics but think of it as an entomologic commentary regarding the species Diptera, the study of flies. 

Taking a selfie seems so been there, done that, in today's world. However, believe it or not, a fellow by the name of Robert Cornelius actually made one of himself back in 1839. He took the photo in the backyard of his family's lamp store in Philadelphia, Pa. In order to capture his image, he had to hold his same position between 3 to 15 minutes, depending on the amount of light available at the time the photo was taken. He had to work to get this one made. Before this one was discovered, two were thought to be the first ones taken and they were from the early 1900's. The original to this photo is now in the Library of Congress. It wasn't called a selfie back then. It was designated as a self-portrait. There are many self-portrait paintings dating back to the late 1300's. This tells us that a desire to portray ourselves has been around a long time. Who knows? Some of the cave paintings may include the artist's representation of himself. Now we see selfies proliferating social media. We now have the ability to photographically capture our every mood and disposition instantly sending them around the world. We've come a long way. Or, have we? I think it best for us all to take a few minutes and think about and meditate on this matter. I wonder if back in 1839 Robert asked anyone if they thought his self-portrait photo made him look fat. Just a thought. You might add that to your discussion among yourselves. 

Just how much has this self-capture become a dominant factor in our culture? Writing about this subject reminded me of the photo I shared to illustrate this very point. That's our President along with the First Lady and he is making a selfie with David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The occasion? The funeral service for Nelson Mandela back in December 2013. Many noted how the First Lady seemed unamused by the antics of the trio sitting beside her. The President's defenders say it was the Danish PM who started with her own personal smartphone. Others said it wasn't as if it was a solemn occasion since it was like a big party of sorts, with lots of celebration, music, and it even included native dance troupes. Appropriate or inappropriate? You decide for yourself. While it may not have been the most dignified of presidential moments, it most certainly reflects the Instagram mentality we all live in. I wonder how many selfies we would see if people had to hold perfectly still for several minutes. I'm pretty sure there would still be a few but nothing like what we see today. Please direct any follow-up questions regarding this matter to someone that might have a clue. Thanks for tuning in today and may we all pause and thank God for His provision and caring. Amen. ...More later.