Good to welcome everyone on this Tuesday morning, July 5, 2011. It is time to get back into our regular routines and see if we can somehow catch up from the long holiday weekend. There are times when I feel just like old Charlie Brown from the 1959 hit by the Coasters. I can still hear that bass line ringing in my ears: "Why's everybody always picking on me?" Last Friday I had one of those senior moments that just riled me to no end. There was this meeting of the American Diabetes Association and they had some new study results to share. Here's the headline: "Diet soda may be making you fat." Am I wearing one of those 'hit me' tags on my back, or what? They studied a group of 474 people, aged 65 to 70 for nearly a decade. (I'm beginning to think they group these folks together based on my birthday!) Those who drank diet sodas grew their waistlines 70% more than those who didn't ingest the low calorie drinks. They can't be totally sure exactly why this happened. Maybe the diet drink drinkers would follow their beverage with a snack loaded up with calories. Or, maybe the can said it was zero but when the brain saw that artificial substitute, it did a number on the drinker and the resulting chemical response ended up expanding the belt size. They also included some stuff about mice and other details but to tell you the truth, those of us fighting diabetes, we do get weary at times. I suppose I will soon be reduced to those styrofoam substitutes called rice cakes and bottled water but only if the rice cakes and water have been tested to make sure they are what they present themselves to be, and it goes on and on and on. What next? Reading reports about medical findings can be hazardous to your health? I don't drink that many diet sodas and as you can tell it hardly bothers me at all, bothers me at all, bothers me at all!!!!!
I am home alone for the next few days as my wife visits her sister over in Louisiana. Her sister is recovering from surgery and my wife took her biscuit making skills learned at about six years old over there to share with those folks. I was laid up in the recliner most of Sunday afternoon watching this that and the other when I wasn't sleeping which is hard to track when you wake up every once in a while and wonder why the show is on because you typically would never be watching it. In bed fairly early Sunday evening and up very early Monday morning I began watching a variety of historical programs related to our country's founding and history. I suppose one of the great things about our nation is its diversity. Diversity in experiences, in its people, in its history, and in the tremendous challenges she has faced. I watched a very interesting interview with the author of a new book on the President William McKinely assassination. This author focused on the President and a very in depth examination of the man who killed him, Leon Czolgosz.This man born to Polish immigrants came under the influence of the anarchist movement which sought to destroy the government. Yes, folks, our nation's history is messy. Our freedoms are such that we have seen way too much violence but it more or less has come with the territory of a people who can go where they want to go at anytime they choose. This includes those with criminal motives. I also watched with interest a series of programs about how our states got their shapes. Each one had to do with politics, of course, and with influence and power. Looking at a map, it does appear to be a hodgepodge arrangement but they also reflect our independent spirit and what defines us as citizens of our respective state as well as our great nation. Good stuff Maynard, if you know what I mean? There's some question about the 'good stuff Maynard' phrase origin but I've been using it for some time and can't be sure when I started or where it came from. Good old American slang. You have to love it!
I've often commented on the fact that we are all flawed. This is a fact coming out of the fall of man as recorded in Genesis Chapter 3. It impacts every man, woman, boy and girl ever born on our created planet. Looking back in history we will always find those failures in the lives of folks that got up every day and went about the business of building our great nation. A recent poll indicated that those who are very left and liberal in their viewpoints typically are less proud of the founding of our nation. They like to point out the moral failings as they see it in the lives of those that many of us revere. I don't think we need to back away from the facts as we know them. A huge part of this angst has to do with slavery, and the actions of those with wealth and power. Obviously we do not live in a perfect world and we as Americans are aware that we did not have perfect people as our founders. What is most ironic to me is how that the people who despise our founders and our founding, it is precisely because of those they dislike that they live in a country where they are free to express even their negative opinions. I make no excuses for any of these failures in the past or the present, in the lives of others, and in my own life as well. That makes it even more amazing how God worked through these flawed folks to hand down to us these United States of America. I am one who is fully aware of these issues, but yet I remain proud of those who were instrumental in the freedoms we hold dear today. May God bless their memory and may God help each one of us to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. Amen. ......More later.