Friday, October 30, 2009

Fright night continues from Washington D.C.!

It is Friday, October 30, 2009 and I welcome you to a soggy start for Halloween eve. I drove through some water over the road in at least three different places this morning. One good thing about coming in early is that you don't have too many other drivers to compete with. There's nothing like having one of those jacked up trucks hit water on the road at about 60 MPH when everyone is creeping along trying not to drown out their cars. They are entitled to buy what they want and I suppose with the poor gas mileage and the jokes they get climbing into those monstrosities, they need to show them off occasionally. Did you hear the one about the government sponsored incentive program called the cash for clunkers campaign? They did promote the selling of nearly 700,000 new cars BUT experts now tell us that only about 150,000 of these were cars that would not have been sold already by natural attrition during the same time period. Therefore, the 3 billion dollars you and I paid cost us $24,000 per legitimately eligible vehicle sold instead of the maximum $4,500 that we were promised.

Yesterday the House of Representatives unveiled their official version of the health care bill and it is projected to cost around 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years. It is hard for us to imagine what 1 trillion dollars would even look like. It's enough money to pay the mortgages of every home owner in the United States for 14 months. It is a "1" followed by 12 zeroes. I don't want to ruin your Friday but consider the cash for clunkers program as an overlay for how government spending typically works out. Let's be kind and say they only miss this projection by a factor of three instead of five and calculators would begin melting all over the planet. I've never said that we didn't need reform in our nation's health care system. I think it is ludicrous that we do not have insurance competition across state lines but every state has its own insurance commission and its own bureaucracy, therefore, common sense reforms are ruled out of order before we can even get started.

Supposedly the recession has now officially ended because of an uptick in financial growth for the last quarter. The people I talk to every day have not been officially invited to any celebrations since they continue to lay people off and don't have a clue as to where their business is going next year. The millions of unemployed certainly are not excited about a growth number based almost entirely on printed money spent by our government that has not produced any prospects for them or their families. I will admit that President Obama inherited a mess from the previous administration and that's how our system works. At some point and time the new folks are going to have to stop blaming everyone other than themselves and stand up and be counted as those chosen to lead. Using this difficult time to implement a government take over of our way of life is the greatest threat we have faced in my lifetime. The other evening I heard folks calling into a radio program where they were expressing their disappointment in the vote they had cast for our current President. Most said they had bought into his theme of hope and change but now having seen what this means, they wished they could have a 'do over'. That 'do over' won't come until another three years but we can seek God's help and return to Him as the true Leader of each of our lives. That would be a powerful response in seeing America return to her roots! Amen. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I will try to have something more cheerful to write about next Monday. ..........More later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conversation starters.

Welcome to Thursday, October 29, 2009. We have been fighting a losing battle with meeting our rainfall targets since last spring in this part of the country. However, I think we are trying to make it all up in a matter of weeks. We had a huge rain this past Monday and are expecting more of the same today and tomorrow. Since many folks are stuck inside during the rain, I thought I would share a list of supposedly the current most popular topics that can be used to get a conversation going. I thought they were very interesting and they do reveal some detail and depth when someone responds. Therefore, just for the record, I’ll give the questions and then I will surprise myself along with you as I attempt to answer them.

1.Who is the most interesting person you ever met? 2. Where in the world would you most like to visit? 3. What has been the most life-changing experience you've ever had? 4. What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done? 5. Who's had the biggest influence on your life? 6. What thing that you haven't yet done would you most like to do? 7. What is the best quality you've inherited from either of your parents? 8. From which person have you learned most in your life? 9. What historical figure do you most identify with? 10. What kind of music do you like?

1. There is absolutely no way for me to answer this question. Too many to name and I wouldn’t know where to start. Several names come to mind but I will have to get back to you on this one. 2. This one is easy. I have always wanted to spend some quality time in Israel and still hope to do so before I leave this life for the next. 3. Anyone who has experienced salvation through Jesus Christ has to make this the only true answer to this question. Everything else would pale in comparison. 4. On a whim, I once drove from Texas to Colorado just to get a fresh breath of air. 5. This is another one that has so many candidates. My mom, of course, her dad who was my grandfather, my wife, her dad who was my father in law, and a huge number of others, therefore, this is another incomplete answer. 6. It is related to number two but in general to be able to travel at will and to be able to visit far-flung places would be very high on this list. 7. Work ethic and perseverance. 8. Okay, another impossible single person answer since I’ve been blessed to have numerous mentors that have contributed so much to my life. 9. The immediate name that comes to mind is Robert E. Lee. He was a brilliant general, a strong believer in God, and a man of integrity and honor. 10. Okay, you have pegged me as being someone who can’t really do well in summarizing. I love many types of music from sacred to Cajun, from bagpipes to big band, from classical to easy listening, and on and on and on.

There you have it. Good questions with my not so good answers. But they are my answers. You have yours and I have mine. I suppose that’s why they are called conversation starters. See. You learn something everyday! Have a blessed day. Amen. I’ll probably still be trying to sort out these answers in my dreams tonight. ….More later.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It never seems to be what we thought it would be!

This is Wednesday, October 28, 2009 and I bid you welcome to the thoughts that vortex and swirl their way around my mind drain. People are so funny, don’t you think? We usually have Chinese take out at least once a week. The other evening I stopped by and got our regular and I overheard one of the waiters asking the delivery guy to go by a Domino’s Pizza and pick him up a special deal they were currently running. The driver was eating his restaurant provided meal and must have asked him why a pizza. The waiter responded by saying one can only tolerate so much fried rice. That struck me as being not only funny but so typical of how we all operate. Have you ever wanted something so bad but after finally getting it, within a short period of time, you became tired of it? Our four-year old grandson Alex has loved bananas since he was an infant. We always tried to keep them on hand for him. I suppose they have become like too much fried rice to him now because he doesn’t even want to talk about them anymore.

I’ve told this story before but it’s worth telling again. We were all at a big Thanksgiving meal many years ago at my in-laws' parsonage. One of their Church members named Webster along with his family were there as guests. He is a really funny fellow to begin with but after eating a big plate of turkey and dressing he commented that he would love to eat more but he didn’t want to have the ‘cashew thing’ happen to him again. The ‘cashew thing’? He went on to say that he grew up fairly poor and he always longed for the day when he could have all the cashews he could eat. He even dreamed about them. He finally left home and joined the Air Force. When he received his first check he went out and bought a full pound of cashews and sat down and ate every one of them. He said he has never wanted another cashew since that day.

So often we fall for a “If I could only have……” fill in the blank pursuit in our life. That greener grass is green for a reason and it’s often because it grows on top of a septic system. But that doesn’t keep us from seeking the dream job, the dream house, the dream relationship, or the dream vacation, and it goes on and on and on. I would imagine having the company provide your meal each day was very appealing to the young waiter but after months of fried rice, pizza sure sounded like a better alternative. Jesus put it this way: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the life God has given to us, it only works the way it should when we have Him and His ways as our first priority. This is good advice to any and all who will heed it, beginning with that most needful trinity of all…, myself, and I! Have a blessed day. Amen. ……More later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No one said life would be easy.

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to October 27, 2009. Surrounded by uncertainty, every single one of us are subject to the developments that often, without warning or notice, envelop our lives. Dealing with life’s surprises and especially the discouraging and disappointing can really wear on us. As I so often try to deal with challenges, I am reminded of what might be the toughest calling we have on our lives as believers. This has to do with how we respond to adversity and uncertainty as we seek God’s help. Here is a Holy Spirit inspired insight from the Apostle Paul, who knew a ton about adversity and hardship, and what he had to say about the demeanor and attitude we should have: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 from the New American Standard Bible) When we are all tied up in knots and there’s a fire raging in our belly we often desire rescue and relief but we actually need truth as the basis for us being able to carry on. Just so you know, this verse is much easier to read than it is to put into practice!

We also have these word pictures from our Savior: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.” Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34, from the New American Standard Bible).

These truths are not frivolous and fun like the Bobby McFerrin song: “Don’t worry, Be Happy.” The verses reflect the truth of God’s Sovereign Presence and His provision in all facets of our lives, in the good times, the in-between times, and also during the bad. It’s not about us figuring out a way to artificially stir up our courage or finding a way to distract us from the reality of the troubles we face. It has to do with faith. Faith is believing and having confidence in God, regardless of the circumstances, and when we exercise faith in Him we are able to experience the peace that goes beyond human understanding. (See Philippians 4:7) The knowing and practicing of these truths creates dynamic tension against our natural panic inclinations as each of us are called upon to deal with the hurts, pains, and issues that accompany this life. Jesus said that us worrying about it will not change it; therefore, we should, instead, seek God early and often to help see us through our distressing circumstances. We can also pray for each other since we are all in this together. Amen. …..More later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Plugged back in and re-energized!

Welcome back to the wonderful world of my whacked out attempts to be witty and wise. It is Monday, October 26, 2009 and I have returned from a wonderful four-day respite. Often you hear that all good things come to an end or we’re friends to the end but this is the end my friend, but to me, while I greatly enjoyed my time away, it is always wonderful to be back in the saddle again (think Gene Autry) at the old keyboard click clacking away. I thought I would do a little bit different style of show and tell for you on my first day back. I think you will catch it as I proceed. By the way, how in the world are you doing, anyway? I do hope you and yours are up, going, and thanking God for His blessings.

Here is a photo of a wonderful place. I have no idea where it is but it looks like one of those great serenely beautiful spots. We, however, did not see anything like this while we enjoyed our time off. The next shot was taken at the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. This is one of my favorite spots on earth. I believe it is special land that God has always favored and I believe it figures prominently in the end times that we are currently living in. It’s hard to contemplate all the world’s history that centers in and around this spot on the globe. Jesus actually walked there and before Him, His Jewish ancestors played out their lives in this very territory. Oh, by the way, we didn’t jet over to Jerusalem for a get-a-way last week but it is a remarkable site to study and think about.

Finally, here’s another photo from an exotic location we also didn’t visit last week. You do know how I love the cold or at least you know how I love talking about how much I love the cold. It remains to be seen how I could function if I was stuck in a seriously cold place for an extended amount of time. But no cold place for us last week. I know the big question is building: What exactly did you do with your time away from work last week? We did some yard work. We did go and visit my mom and dad and were able to get her new internet device going. We enjoyed some wonderful fellowship with my folks, my brother and his wife, my wife’s sister, my sister, and our nephew Shelton. We did this that and the other but what made it special was that we did what we did …. TOGETHER. I have said many times and will say it again: Next to my salvation, the greatest blessing in my life is my wife and family. Spending time with her will always trump all other attractions. We ran here and there, we got some things accomplished, we laughed a lot, and we enjoyed what the experts call: quality time together. People always imply how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful woman as my wife. What? They think I don’t know it? I said, “I do” many years ago and I still “do” today! Now back to the real world, but give me a day or two to regain my footing. Okay? Have a blessed week. Amen. …..More later.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I bring you greetings and salutations on this Wednesday, October 21, 2009. I am going to take the next couple of days off and add them to Saturday and Lord’s Day Sunday to see if I can rest my overwrought gray cells. My wife is off this week taking some time she has to use before the holiday season begins. She and I will be hanging out together. This is a very brief hiatus and I’ve decided to shut down all blog operations until this same time, same station, next Monday, October 26, where I will try to have some unscrambled thoughts for a change, Lord willing. We have plenty of home improvement jobs to occupy our time off and we will be doing some of them or none of them or something entirely different, or nothing at all, or maybe a really great idea will occur to us as we evaluate all the choices we have.

Whatever we decide to do or not do, I don’t want us to become overtaxed in our trying to relax so much that we end up being tired from the evaluation process. Just joking. We are planning at least a one-day trip to visit my folks over in Louisiana. My mom’s internet appliance went belly up a few weeks ago and I’m going over to install a newer model. Of course being off makes it harder when I exchange one workday routine for my stay at home routine because they are very similar. What I need is a lazy day routine but I would have to research that subject and determine which one would be a best fit and that would take time and effort and pretty soon I would be exhausted from getting ready to get ready to relax. When a computer gets all messed up you can wipe everything out, reload from scratch, and start over. That might be a good option for clearing my mind but I may not have a valid set of files to reload from!

I’ve arranged for someone to cover my class this next Sunday but I’m also already working on my lesson for the following Sunday’s study. I studied several so-called weekend get away packages and they all seemed to end up with one result, as my grandfather would say: Too much sugar for a dime. I love a Jacuzzi as much as the next person but I’m not too keen on renting one along with a room for a few days that ends up costing as much as having one installed in my home. Sure, that’s the very kind of thinking I should be trying to dismiss. Right? Right! Go for it! Walk on the other side of the street for a change! Let down your guard for once! Be a free spirit! Hey, you talking to me? You know, I might just do that very thing. Instead of getting up at 3:30 a.m. I might wait until 4 a.m., or really go crazy and make it 4:30 a.m. Instead of putting enough Community Coffee to make 14 cups with only 10 cups of water, I’ll bump it up to 16 cups instead. The possibilities are endless and I can feel the excitement stirring even as these early over the top ideas come to mind. Think about it, it could be worse. You could be me! I leave you with a prayer that you and yours will be blessed by the Lord and I do look forward to seeing you again next week. Amen. ……..More later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When the going gets tough, it can get tougher still!

Hello folks out there in the relatively new but rapidly growing world wide community known as Bloggerville, I welcome you to Tuesday, October 20, 2009. If the economy is doing so much better as reported by the Administration, then I wonder why so many folks near and dear to us continue to lose their jobs, or those looking for months can find nothing, or how the outlook at the street level is so gloomy. I was in a management course one time where the visiting professor told us that if you mess with the graphs long enough you could find something that will make it look like all is well. To some 16 million plus Americans who are out of work it certainly looks like someone is messing with the stats when they report that happy days are here again.

I can identify with being unemployed, or more specifically, underemployed for some 18 months. I know what it means to use up all means of savings, equity, and making painful adjustments to keep the home fires burning. But I was blessed because we never went without and we did not experience the loss of property and other valuables like so many have and still are even as I write this blog. We have a growing number of people in our local fellowship of believers who are experiencing this time of testing. And, while this particular geographic area of our country has suffered far less than others, the trickle down has made its way and is beginning to take a toll on folks each week. What was hoped for seemingly has fizzled and now the reality of a very long and protracted time of recovery seems to be inevitable.

I’ve seen the look on these men’s faces. I’ve seen that same look in the mirror. How low can one go? For the man, head of his home, the designated breadwinner, I can think of nothing more devastating than not being able to fulfill what he believes to be his God given calling on his life. However, it is exactly when we are flat on our back and have nowhere else to look but up, that is the time when God moves and works in our hearts. I can’t help anyone with making sense out of the statistics that say things will be all better soon, however, I can with certainty and personal experience point us all to the God who cares, and to His provision even during these difficult days. It’s not a mind over matter situation; it is a faith in God and a reliance upon Him that will see us through in experiencing His promise of never leaving or forsaking us! Amen. ….More later.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Only 433 days until Christmas!

Good Monday morning and greetings friends and neighbors on this October 19, 2009, where we celebrate the fact that there is only 433 days until Christmas 2010. I thought I would inform you of that future date in case we end up having to skip the regular festivities this year due to the arrival of Obama Scrooge and his plan for us all! Okay, just joking, because we have something much more important that we remember at Christmas time and that is the arrival here on the planet, in the flesh, of God’s One and Only Son, Jesus the Christ, born to the Virgin Mary, and placed in a manger. And, as they say, that was only the beginning because He is God’s provision that culminated with His Death, His Burial, and His Resurrection which He accomplished on behalf of God’s created but fallen human family. That’s why we can celebrate victory instead of defeat regardless of the recession, the times, or the evil deeds that define this current generation.

I heard a sound bite from President Obama’s visit to New Orleans last week. He proclaimed that he was committed to implementing improvements that would make certain that no storm of any kind would ever again destroy a city like New Orleans. Remember when he said before the election that deciding the right and wrong of abortion would be above his pay grade as president? Well, let me just say that his response regarding abortion was a total rejection of what God has to say about that issue. But his ridiculous promises made to those still trying to put together the pieces from Hurricane Katrina, are well above his or anyone else’s pay grade because whether it is a worldwide flood (Noah), a Red Sea to cross (Moses), or the impenetrable walls of Jericho that come tumbling down (Joshua), there are some areas one might best leave in God’s Hands! There is a reason that insurance policies still have as a cause: An act of God.

My wife has recently been responding to my daily blogs with that inquiring minds want to know kind of attitude. Where do you come up with this stuff? Whatever made you think of that? How in the world did you decide to comment on that subject? She should see the ones that never make the light of day! But, good questions and just let me say that while they are not above my pay grade, coming up with reasonable answers is kind of like trying to nail Jello to the wall. In the end it is all about what is on my mind each day and I pass on these random musings knowing on any given day it will not be everybody’s cup of tea. The good news is that like a broken clock that always tells the right time at least twice per day, sooner or later there might just be a seed planted that brings forth a desire to contemplate and do more thinking, or it produces a little encouragement, or perhaps even a chuckle now and then. From my little fingers on the keyboard it all has to do with living life and it always produces tons of variety and since my favorite cake of all time is spice cake, well, you figure it out! Here’s a thought about making my blog useful every single day: Print it out and use it to line your birdcage! Have a blessed day and a productive week. Amen. …More later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Who is fact checking the fact checkers?

Good Friday morning to one and all on this October 16, 2009. Most of us are aware that stuff is flying all around us every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Some of what we read and see is factual while much has all different types of shading and reporting in order to prove up a particular viewpoint, while some is just downright false, period, end of story. One of the insidious things about the blogosphere is how quickly information gets distributed and how near impossible it is to get the Genie back into the bottle when trying to correct lies and distortions. This is not a right or left issue or a Democrat versus Republican problem. It exists all over the spectrum with one small spark igniting a huge wildfire of inflammatory reporting that actually has no basis in fact. I have many philosophical, moral, and fundamental disagreements with the current administration in how they view the world, how they design policy, and how they operate our government. However, I am just as incensed when people fabricate stories about this administration in order to prove their political point just like I would be if it were an administration that I was more aligned with.

There are some noted fact checking sources that I use to try to have at least some balance in trying to be informed with as much truth as possible. However, it's interesting to note that even fact checking sources are made up of people and no matter who you are, we all carry our own biases and beliefs and sooner or later it shows. An example would be where the previous administration was shown to be very much manipulating the facts to serve their interests and a source called them out on it, as it should. Yet, in the calling out of one administration versus another you detect a difference in how they are called out. One is implied to be intentionally misleading while the other may be given the benefit of the doubt. See what I mean? Are we a messed up people or what? Supposed objective analysis comes forth but it is reported with a tone and inference that favors one side or the other. So much for the heralded non-partisan watchdogs who supposedly help to keep everyone honest. In this fallen world depending on the truthfulness of fallen people is something very difficult to do.

What we end up with is a competition among watch dogs. One news source quotes from their independent fact checking resource while another knocks that source in favor of its own. Over time we have discovered that often we end up appointing foxes to guard the hen house. I receive emails all the time that are filled up with outlandish and slanderous claims that inflame the passions of people who are like minded but without any actual proof of the genuineness of the claims being made. Those emails have been sent, forwarded, and forwarded again, sometimes millions of times. People we oppose because of our differences in core beliefs are made out to be everything from murderers to child molesters without any substantiation. I don't know about you, but I reject this type of unproven charges reported as fact from any and all sides, period, end of story. The Bible does speak about truth telling and we are all called to have integrity in the words we speak. The Bible also speaks against tale bearing and gossip where slander is committed. Character assassination via lies and insinuation as a tool against our enemies is wrong in the eyes of God. May we all be aware of this incessant blight that inflicts our communication and discourse today. Amen. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I will be thinking about something, Lord willing, for early on Monday morning. .....More later.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thinking about threats on a Thursday, (Real or Imagined)!

With all the flu and virus scare going on I wanted to share some insight into how God created the human body to function in this fallen and polluted world. This is what I have for you on this Thursday, October 15, 2009. Excerpt: How many species live on or in the human body? The short answer is about 200, including 80 in the mouth alone. But that is to belie the sheer industry of the microbial entrepreneurs that inhabit our beings. The total number of bacteria excreted by the body every day ranges from 100 billion to 100 trillion. Every square centimeter of human bowel is home to around 10 billion microbes. Some 10 million organisms occupy every square centimeter of flesh. The most densely populated areas of the human body are the teeth, throat and alimentary tract, where the concentrations are increased by a thousand compared to bare skin. But while such figures seem huge, it has been calculated that the amount of bacteria on the skin of the average human would be the same size as a pea. That is to say nothing of the common parasites found on the human body. The follicle mite, found on every individual, spends its days harmlessly munching dead skin cells. Which is less than can be said for Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that invades the brain and multiplies until the host drops dead. (Question and answer copied from a November 5, 2005 article in the UK newspaper: The Independent.)

So much for running and hiding from creepy crawly things that are a part of our existence on a 24x7 basis. The good news is that the Naegleria fowleri mentioned above very rarely attacks a human being but when it does it is almost always fatal. This amoeba lives in warm fresh water and gets into the human brain through the nose. Less than 2 people per year die in the United States from confirmed cases of this deadly invasion. This would be considered to be a very insignificant statistic, unless, of course, you or someone you loved was the victim. UPS moves somewhere around 13 million packages per day with a lost ratio of only .0001 but that’s still 1300 lost packages per day and it would become much more statistically significant if it was our package. Death odds are based on actual statistics. There’s a website published by the National Safety Council (NSC) that provides the annual odds and the lifetime odds of dying from some 200 different events.

These cover an unbelievable range of events from the odds of dying from a dog bite to be 1 in 9 million for a year and a lifetime odds of 1 in 115 thousand. Contrast that to the odds of dying from a fireworks discharge at 1 in 75 million for a year and a lifetime odds of 1 in 952 thousand. I know some of you can hardly wait to check out these stats. They can be found at: We live in a world filled with myths, false assumptions, rumors, and some very ingrained fears that really have little to no basis when it comes to their actual threat. It always helps to be armed with the facts and the greatest source for truth about life can be found in the Creator’s Book, The Holy Bible. The fact that I have a very slim chance of dying from a venomous snakebite will likely not make me any less wary of these slimy creatures. However, the Bible truths that tell me I need to recognize myself as a helpless and hell bound sinner deserving the wrath of a holy God, and further informs me that to avoid this just penalty I must turn to and call upon the only remedy provided by God, that being my trusting in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who came and died for my sins, is something that carries a 100% outcome certainty as to where I will spend eternity, regardless of what event takes me out of this world. When it is all said and done this is the one statistic that matters most for us all, not only in this life but in the one that is to come. Amen. …..More later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We all need an "Ol Roy" in our life!

My old buddy is back and I am certainly glad. It is Wednesday, October 14, 2009 and I am happy to report my back-talk buddy is here and ready to deal me some misery. Roy is a senior guy here in our company. Since we have been slow he has been taking some time off to get caught up on his ‘rat killing’. Our operational review meetings have been missing his caustic comments that always gets everyone’s attention and makes our time together a happening event. Yesterday was his first meeting in the last three months. I decided on an early strike approach trying to gain from the surprise factor. I told everyone I was so glad to have WOR back with us. Everyone knew this abbreviation stands for ‘Waiting On Roy’. Each week that’s how we indicate the reason we are running late on any particular project by using the WO and then adding the initial of the guilty party. I threw that one out but he chose to respond with only a fixed, cold, hard stare.

I then offered to the group my explanation for why he didn’t move to Montana, which is the place he always talks about going to when he retires. I told them he had finally checked out my concerns for his health and found that no matter where he would choose to live he would still be a minimum of two hours away from the nearest Medicare clinic. This brought a small groan that slowly turned into a moan and then the color in his face flashed as he snarled out that he didn’t know why I was always jawing about his need for Medicare since I am the one who goes to the doctor all the time. Heeeeee’s Baaaaaack! We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when the genuine Roy showed up. Silly? Listen, we are here each day for most of our waking hours, therefore, shouldn’t we enjoy it as much as we can?

Roy also dearly hates it when I speak about how much I’ve missed him and how really great it is to have him back. As I was leaving I announced how good it made me feel just to see him sitting at that desk again, only half awake, and sometimes, stone cold asleep, but there, at that desk, and we are all better off for it. He has forgotten more than I will ever know about the metal fabrication business but he’s a neat old dude, and he knows I respect him so much, even though I love to pull his chain. He considers me to be an office boy who can’t do much more than shuffle papers and I often accuse him of having to study for a blood test. And so it goes. Forth and back. Back and forth. But there’s just something that makes it seem right. Welcome back Ol Roy, glad you brought your old ugly self back to where you belong. Now you folks go and have yourself a great day and share a laugh with someone - - today! May God bless. Amen. …..More later.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't mind that whimpering noise, it's just my hip bones trying to get some attention.

Hello friends and neighbors, it's Tuesday, October 13, 2009 and I am sure there is something we all can be praising God for today! We had two out of three of our grandsons to stay with us this past Friday night and a good part of Saturday. MiMi and Poppy greatly enjoyed our time spent with Jimmy Jr., and Alex. Brady was also supposed to be there but they had a bunch of scheduling issues and he ended up not coming. When we asked the two where they wanted to go to eat Friday evening they responded that a place with a playground would be their first choice. Therefore, we took them and our fallen arches to the golden arches so they could knock themselves out. Jimmy no longer cares that much about the climbing and all of that. He did go climbing one time to be with his brother but soon he was over at the video game kiosk and Alex wanted someone to accompany him inside the climbing sphere.

As I read the sign I noticed that parents were welcome to play also, therefore, I agreed to climb with Alex. Okay. It's been a while since I have been climbing on a gym set and I will assure you it is not quite as easy as it looks. I did make it over the hills and through the woods to the top of the unit where we could ride down the tube slide together. He thought it was great. MiMi observed all of this and decided she wanted in on the fun. I cautioned her but could not deter her from climbing. It's one of those things you have an instinct about but I do applaud her determination. She got up to the part just before the slide and was suddenly struck with a case of onset claustrophobia. She had to come down immediately and Alex was left to explain to those there: "It's just too little for MiMi." What is that saying? Out of the mouth of babes but I certainly withheld any additional commentary, because, you know how it is, when the situation more or less speaks for itself it's best for one to keep their distance. One much younger mother was knocked down that we were even willing to try it.

On Saturday morning I was up early. The boys were fast asleep and MiMi was enjoying her slumber time. I brewed up a full pot of extra strong Community and dragged a chair out on the driveway to enjoy the cool. It was around 60 degrees and there was a good breeze and a little mist was in the air. It reminded me of those early fall days when my grandfather and I would be up early preparing to go to the woods to bag a few squirrels. Those were some enjoyable times. In my mind's eye I could see PawPaw Mac swigging down his last swallows of Seaport Coffee and then we would be on our way. Memories. That's what we build when we spend time with our children and grandchildren. That's what they will remember. I hear it occasionally from my boys. And someday we will hear Little Jim reminding Alex about the night MiMi and Poppy climbed up into the jungle gym and how much fun we all had. Of course that little episode brought forth some choice noises from Poppy's arthritic hips but that's a few pains well invested. Amen, grandparents? I hear you: AMEN! See you next time. ........More later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another loud one in a series of wake up calls!

Good morning and welcome to a brand new workweek on this Monday, October 12, 2009. I am still reeling from the announcement last Friday that President Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize. He had only taken office two weeks before the deadline for nominations! In fairness to other nominees, this would technically mean they had only his campaign promises plus two weeks of performance to evaluate before awarding him what is thought to be one of the most prestigious awards in the world. My neck is about worn out from the double takes! You must be kidding! It’s interesting how the committee made the award and also immediately began to campaign for why it was not rigged. This, in my opinion, would never be necessary if the person being recognized clearly deserved the award. As Shakespeare wrote in his play Hamlet, “Methinks thou protesteth too much.” I am telling one and all, we had better pay attention to these unprecedented times in which we are living!

Many have portrayed this award as a final slap in the face to President George W. Bush, since President Obama has what they have called to be a refreshing global perspective instead of an America first viewpoint. I have many things that disappointed me about our previous president but his standing up for our country and our values and our way of life is not on that list. Think about it folks, if this was the reason for giving President Obama this award, then to me, this award really has been reduced to nothing more than a political statement as opposed to something recognizing great merit and accomplishment. But I fear there is more to it than this. While I am not a chicken little, sky is falling type of person, I will tell you at times I have trouble knowing whether these headlines are coming from newspapers or from the prophecies found in The Revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded in God’s Holy Word. I keep remembering that passage from Acts where that renowned king made a speech and the people hearing him said it was not the voice of a man but rather it was the voice of a god. God did not take that lightly. (Read it for yourself, Acts Chapter 12) Amazing!

I don’t know how it feels to be tasered. I’ve seen it done on the Cop shows and in training clips. I think they hit a person with about 60,000 volts and it usually gets their attention. Day after day these reports hit and they are to me like being hit by lightning. Have we all become so immune or so conditioned that we respond only with our trademarked: “Oh well."? I think it should drive us all to our knees because we see daily what God calls perversion not only being promoted but it is also being permeated into our laws. Meanwhile, the world faints from its exhausted applause for those perpetrating these ungodly acts and for the most part we who are believers remain frozen in our complacency. I don’t know where all of this will lead but I am aware of God’s decrees and I am very much aware of His response when He has had enough. (Read it for yourself, Romans Chapter 1) I plead with us all to seek God and His intervention while we still have time. Amen. …..More later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trust but Verify!

It is good to greet one and all on this Friday, October 9, 2009. I do hope you are well. Here in our area we are expecting a big bad weather front beginning around noon. We could be in for a very bumpy ride for a few hours as the sweltering summer time temps collide with much cooler air. Sweltering is not an exaggeration. Yesterday morning I checked the local reporting station and it had us at 81 with a feels like of 88. That was before daybreak! By 6 p.m. today we are supposed to be in the low sixties with some fifties forecasted for tomorrow. My eldest son and I were visiting about this last night. He loves the cooler weather like I do but over the years he has developed the same skepticism about those who do the weather predictions. We forget they are actually sales people who need you to stay tuned and have a reason to keep watching. By teasing this weather event or another, they do their thing but never have to be held accountable for anything they said. That's when my feels like nearly blows a gasket.

Does it seem like the hype over the swine (pig) (H1N1) flu is a little over the top? In Great Britain they claim one particular drug company is trading in fear mongering while charging $10 for the vaccine which cost them $1.60 to produce. Here in the states I read that some 40% of parents are on the fence about whether to have their children given the shot. I also saw where they are expecting a production level of somewhere near 300 million doses, therefore, we do know there is a whopping amount of money involved. This administration is certainly pushing it for all it's worth and we've been conditioned over time to be manipulated by coordinated drives designed to get us to do what they want us to do. Since us old folks who do not have a special condition are in the low priority group, I suppose we have a little more time to evaluate the situation. And, that's exactly what we should do! Read, study, listen, and do our very best to make an informed decision, because whether it's forecasting the weather or trying to stir up demand for a vaccine, we need to always look for the profit motive involved.

I'm not saying we should live in a morose state of distrust to the extent that it causes us to be downcast and disagreeable all the time. I've met people like that and they are not very pleasant to be around. I'm talking about doing our best to get the facts. Asking questions. Getting advice from a variety of sources. I heard last week about a Church that may end up having to sell their building and property because a supposed friend of the Pastor had included some questionable terms buried in their original loan papers. This loan was arranged by a man thought to be a trustworthy friend but this potentially devastating outcome could easily have been avoided had the Church leadership sought outside review and counsel regarding the transaction they signed. I've been there and done similar things myself, more than once. It was President Reagan who said about the treaty with the Russians: "We will trust but verify their compliance." My first choice is typically to believe what people tell me and to consider them to be honest until proven otherwise. However, when it comes to our government, advertisers, and sadly, our modern press, we need to look before we leap, and my advice is to lean heavily on the verification activity! Okay, that's enough gloom and doom to usher in our Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. But it just might give us all something to think about. May God bless you all. Amen. ...More later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Clueless in Cut-N-Shoot

Hello again and welcome to this edition of my news, views, and opinions. It is Thursday already, October 8, 2009. This has been a very busy week thus far for me. I can't say I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off but I have been rather occupied with this, that, or the other. My wife is much better and will try to return to her job this afternoon. She is always my biggest fan of the blogs that I put together. She loved the one I wrote last week about her leaving me home alone. She also thought the one yesterday about me becoming so skittish was a laugh out loud story which she did to the extent that it caused her sore rib cage to ache. She has had a rough last few days so anything that brings her a smile is a worthwhile effort. I did tell her that I might send her doctor a thank you note for the cough syrup he prescribed along with a request for another bottle. This stuff not only got rid of her horrible cough but it knocked her out like lights out and we have spent some very quiet days together lately. I'm joking about getting her on drugs but that stuff does work wonders!

The blog I wrote about President Obama's famous trip to Copenhagen to seal the Olympics for Chicago was a current event that she had missed entirely. I run into folks all the time who really don't keep up very much with what's going on around them. I am so fortunate to work for a wonderful man who owns our company. He often tells me that he rarely has time to get any news but he has found a solution. He sits for a few minutes and has me tell him about the stuff flying all around. I know that might be a compliment about me being tuned in but I often wonder who is better off. Those who can go for days without ever seeing any news and really have no problem living that way may be better off than those of us who are being constantly bombarded with the relentless second by second news flashes from all over the world. I plan my departure each morning around a national radio news cast that comes on at 4 a.m. Nothing wrong with that but there may be something wrong when I feel badly because I missed that newscast and may fret a little about it. Man, two minutes late, wonder what they were talking about?

My wife and I were talking the other day about how we are able to stay in constant contact using our cell phones. While she was on her trip to Florida I could keep up with her at any moment of the day. When our youngest son was born her mom had come to stay with our other two boys while we were at the hospital. We left her there with them in a foreign place to her and I don't think we even thought about or had any idea what she would have done had she needed to contact us. We were an hour away at the big hospital and she was there with our boys. We didn't even think about it. Now days if we can't reach someone at any moment on their cell phones we begin to worry about what might be wrong. Well, that's kind of how it works with those of us who are news junkies and political wonks. The 24 hour news cycle now gives us instant access to all things happening within the last few seconds and we can plug in at any time to find out about it all. And, plug in we do! I do admire those who are not plugged in, don't worry about being plugged in, and have no plans to do more plugging in as they go forward. That reminds me I haven't checked the online newspapers yet to see if anyone I've ever known has passed away. I better run. See you next time and may God bless us all! Amen. .....More later.
PS: For those who may not know, Cut-N-Shoot, is a nearby tiny Texas town known mostly for its beer joints and car wrecks on Saturday nights.