Tuesday, July 31, 2012

There's a lot of static on the line and I can't hear myself that well this morning.

Sometimes even the Community has trouble helping to fire up those connection thingies that cause my brain to operate at a capacity level required to get these characters sprayed onto the electronic page. You know: Slow as pure cane syrup left out on the porch on an ice cold morning. This is Tuesday, the 31st and last day of July, in this fast moving year, 2012. Maybe I need to figure out a way to mark my brain left and right so I know which side to use. I often give that advice when someone can't seem to get things going in the right direction: "Didn't you mark your hands this morning, left and right?" It's funnier when it's them instead of me. Thanks to those who asked if I was okay last week. I know my writing seemed to be a little on the down side and I had a slightly abbreviated blog last Friday. Some noticed and wanted to make sure I was okay. They had no doubt remembered once again what my grandfather always said, "Is that boy ever going to stop talking long enough to come up for some air?" It is a good thing that other people care enough. I know most of us like to think we can go it alone but let me give you a little insight. That's not how God wants us to operate and when we do it that way it can get pretty lonely. But, at the moment, I am pretty much all alone, it's just me and my thoughts, and they are not being very good company this morning.

I've watched some of the Olympics off and on. Someone mentioned to me their favorite part was the medal ceremony at the end of each final event. I sure hope they enjoy hearing the national anthem for China because they are off and running in the gold medal category. Again. That also happened in 2008. The US had the most medals with 110 but China was second with 100 but they won 51 gold medals to our 36. I must tell you that I have some trouble hearing commentators talk about someone being past their prime at age 29. That really makes me feel young. The tape delay deal with national coverage is a little off putting as well. Those of us who use computers all day will hear about winners as they are scrolled and flashed across the page all day long. When we get home we tune in to see the actual event but we already know the outcome. That might not be bothersome to some but it is a huge let down for me. Some folks say you need to blot out any information about the games so that you can still see it again for the first time. Because of all the competing networks and the internet, that's much harder to do today than it was just a few years ago. But, it's still good to see our flag raised on the podium as our national pride swells within us and gets exercised a little. I think we all could use more of that kind of exercise. What say you?

I did get a few of those gray cells to cooperate but to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want to compete on Jeopardy today. In fact, I feel like I am trapped in some of those he's so dumb jokes. He's so dumb he's about as sharp as a marble. ~ He's a few peas short of a casserole. ~ He's missing a few sunflower seeds from his trail mix. ~ His receiver is off the hook. ~ He has a photographic memory, but no film. ~ The gates are down and the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming. ~ He took an IQ test and the results were negative. ~ He's not the fastest hamster on the wheel. ~ He's depriving a village somewhere of an idiot. ~ He donated his brain to science before he was done with it. I think you get the gist of what I am trying to convey, therefore, I won't punish you anymore. In fact, I think it was time to say goodbye some time ago but like that Energizer bunny, I had to keep on trying. My advice is that we all go out there today and do our best with God's help to accomplish something, and in so doing, that we would seek to please Him in the doing of it. Amen.    ....More later.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cantankerously conflicted, but continuing to continue on.

Hello out there to those who are connected via the world wide internet highway. That's a very fast highway with a whole lot of traffic, so be real careful how you drive your access device. It's Monday, July 30, 2012. Some folks are puzzled as to why I am not strongly decided as to my vote for the upcoming presidential election. It's pretty simple. What does or does not violate and/or contradict my core values? I look at the African American Church who have traditionally stood up for the biblical standards reflected in issues like marriage, homosexuality, and abortion. This year the majority from that community pretty much have said they are willing to put these aside in terms of their support. That's big folks. Very big indeed. I am well aware of the lesser of two evils approach to choosing elected officials. I am also familiar with either holding your nose or wearing a clothespin when you go to pull the lever. However, my continued dilemma deals with this battle raging inside my spirit. It may work itself out before November or I may have to be the non committed vote which I will be informed immediately how that this type of vote will go to one or the other candidate by default. I heard a young teacher the other day saying he wished we could just start over. I told him that our system has become corrupted to the extent that while I also think that not a bad idea, but with all the gimmicks in place, it's only a wishful thought. We will have to see, my friend, we will have to wait and see.

You have one candidate who has pretty much turned upside down most if not all the traditional values we have embraced since our founding. The other candidate is a true believer in a cult/pagan religion that while they tirelessly call themselves Christian, it certainly is not the same as found in the Holy Bible. Their efforts to mainstream themselves is working to the extent that when a prominent preacher recently called them out, he was roundly criticized, even by those within the conservative faith community. But, let me be very clear. I will recognize the authority of, and pray for whomever becomes the President of our nation. I believe that is a clear tenant established for believers in the teachings from God's Word. I will also fully participate in the election process even if it is to cast a no vote or to write in another candidate. That is also a right given to us in our form of government. Maybe I will be able to sort all of this out as I pray about it and seek God's best for our country. But the struggle is one that I believe is worth having.

I thought you might enjoy a little political dialogue with your breakfast this morning. Not so much? So let's change the subject. How's the world treating you these days? What about the weather? And, just how are you doing anyway? Did I hear you correctly? You said fine. Right? Fine would probably jump out without even a blink of our eye because we have knee jerked that response until it operates on auto pilot. It's okay to be feeling fine. In fact, I love that Southern Gospel song, "I'm Feeling Mighty Fine." It is one of my all time favorites or as the kids today say, one of my favs.  I leave you with the chorus, and when you say 'fine' and it connects to these thoughts, well, you would be blessed beyond what this world can see: OH, YES I'M FEELING MIGHTY FINE, I'VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND ~ DON'T YOU KNOW I WANT TO GO, WHERE THE MILK AND HONEY FLOW. ~ THERE'S A LIGHT THAT ALWAYS SHINES, DOWN INSIDE THIS HEART OF MINE ~ I'VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND AND NOW I'M FEELING MIGHTY FINE. Have a great Monday and may God bless each one. Amen.    ...More later.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Find you some funny wherever you can, even on a Friday!

Okay. Let's see if we can turn this into a funny Friday edition on this 27th day of July, 2012. I know that most everyone knows that we have some pretty funny named towns in America. But, it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of some of them and perhaps be able to chuckle as we do.

Yes. There is a town called Boring. It's located in Oregon. There's also a Why, Arizona that should never be confused with Whynot, Mississippi. Some folks are probably excited about visiting Disco, Tennessee while others prefer a trip to Loafers Glory, North Carolina. I doubt I will ever be in Handsome Eddy, New York or Loveladies, New Jersey. Husband, Pennsylvania is not too many miles southeast of Pittsburg. No one would want to miss out on a visit to Sweetlips, Tennessee which might help them if they had just come from Lonelyville, New York. There's a Condemned Bar, California and a Cranky Corner, Louisiana but I'm not sure they are places I would be interested in seeing.

If you are into food related towns, there's an Oatmeal, Texas; Sandwich, Massachusetts; Pie Town, New Mexico; or one that might be more to your liking, a Greasy, Oklahoma. I didn't even mention Lick Skillet, Tennessee. You might like Brilliant, Ohio or Do Stop, Kentucky. Maybe Wealthy, Texas, or Fame, West Virginia would be of interest. We all could take a break in Happyland, Oklahoma. Yep. We do live in a funny land, don't you agree? Y'all take care of yourselves and Lord willing I'll do my best to be somewhere listening for my name come next Monday. Amen.

I do want to give a shout out to our daughter in law Sherrie, married to our eldest son, mother of three of our granddaughters, and grandmother to our great granddaughter. Chris and Sherrie have had a lot on their plates over the past year but we thank God for them and their testimony during some pretty challenging times. Happy birthday Sherrie and may God bless you, on this, your special day. Love, mom and dad.                      ......More later.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Saying: "The best use of time is to devote it to something that will outlast it."

Welcome back. I do trust that you are well today, on this Thursday, July 26, 2012. I read the death notice of a fellow the other day. He was married to a lady that I once had a date with when she was just a young teenager back in 1961. It was our first date. We had a wreck. I was in a borrowed car. We made it. The car didn't. Obviously, it was not a very good way to start off a relationship. And, that pretty much ended it. I'm sure her mom who was pretty much like my mom made it clear, "You will not go off with that boy again." Who could blame her? She and her husband enjoyed a long marriage, some 46 years. He was a preacher. They stayed right there in that little town where we grew up. Cancer claimed his life. He was well respected and I had noticed over the years that his name showed up as the minister at many funerals. I sent a note of condolence in the online guest book from myself and my wife with a sentiment that God would bring comfort to each heart. The good news for that family is the testimony of changed lives that he touched while making his sojourn here on the planet. It also puts people like me, (and you), on notice that as the country song says, "Ain't it funny how time slips away?" Amen.

None of us like to think about the fact that each day we live moves us closer to that departure appointment we all have in our future. It seems this has been a reoccurring theme for me of late. My visit with my brother in law, my visit with my doctor, and seeing time slip away in the lives of others, well, perhaps I needed a reminder of what I heard growing up. "Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last." That line became famous as it was often used as sermon material and as a way that faith based folks would encourage one another in their walk with the Lord. The line was lifted from a poem by a Missionary named C. T. Studd, 1860-1930. It pretty much sums it up because as the old preachers used to say, "You never see a hearse with a U-Haul behind it." This doesn't mean that we should be depressed or downhearted, it's just a reminder that we are all traveling at the speed of life and we need to appreciate what really matters along the way.

I know. Some days my writing can trend towards things that we all would rather not think about. That's why it clearly is my thoughts expressed in my daily blog. I was told one day by a faithful reader that the good thing about my daily visit is how that in one way or another I try to point people to God and His provision through Jesus Christ. I'm glad they noticed. There is a reason I do this. While I may not have it together on any given day and I may be all over the page, so to speak, I do know the Source of strength that can help us to make it, one step at a time as we deal with the life He has given to us.  Believe me, my daily blogs are not intended to be an intimate sharing of any and all thoughts I have. I'm just not put together in a way that would allow me to share a dear diary approach to my day by day living. However, I do attempt to hit the high points and maybe the low ones as well. That's because it does reflect the fabric of life. Thanks for tuning in and may God bless each one. Amen.               ......More later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I report, I decide, and then what?

Yes. It is Wednesday, July 25, 2012, and I send out a hearty hello to one and all. I am glad to report that I survived my wellness examination. And, just for the record, they did too! I want you to know that I was on my best behavior. I actually attempted to use the most positive wording I could think of. "Since you specialize in the treatment of diabetes, where do you see my program going in the future?" After all, he does specialize in that area and it was the number one reason I chose him as my primary care physician. I know that for those who have diabetes I have been blessed to be able to control it as well as I have. Especially compared to others. And, make no mistake about it, I feel very blessed about this, very blessed indeed. However, while I am not complaining, I must tell you that compared to others does not really help me to focus on where I am in terms of making progress. This is why I do my best to be actively engaged as opposed to just sitting on the sidelines. My understanding is that this disease never takes a break and never sits on the sidelines.

I shared that little replay with you because I want to encourage everyone to become informed and involved in their own health situation. For us older folks, the system is designed to limit. What am I talking about? Just that, limit. Limit the time they take. Limit the resources they use. And, the big one, limit their costs. Not yours. Theirs. This means if you are to get the most out of your participation in the medical system, you have to hit the ground running. In an advantage plan like we use they give you the time allotment as part of the appointment. And, based on my experience, I can assure you they will make it shorter if they possibly can. I am not negative about all of this, just trying to share the facts as I see them. Often the time is shorter when you and I fail to interact fully with the opportunity we have. When you are with your doctor it is not the time for the 'don't ask, don't tell' approach. I think that's enough of a public service announcement for one day so I will try to move on.

But you do know how it is. Old people and their ailments. Right? But it does give us something to talk about. Speaking of that reminds me of some people who just seem to share more information than is really necessary. Maybe it's all the medical talk shows on TV. It happens even when you are trying to eat. Hearing way too much in the way of graphic and gory details is really hard to listen to when you are eating. What's up with that anyway? Busted this or that with fluids spewing here and there does not really compliment one's dinner, if you get my drift. I had a recent experience like that and I not only lost my appetite but I'm not sure I could have stood up right away because of how weak and wobbly my knees were. Maybe it's generational. I know when we were growing up there were things you never mentioned at the dinner table. They were off limits. Breaking those rules could have serious ramifications. Like a good swat and if it was thought to be too egregious, you even lost access to the meal being served. That did make us think twice before we shared any questionable comments at the table. It is a different world folks, a different world indeed. Have yourself a wonderful and blessed Wednesday and until next time, may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Open wide and say ahhhhhh.......

Hello friends and neighbors. It is good to see you again. Welcome. It is Tuesday, July 24, 2012, and I am going to see my doctor this morning. I can only imagine how excited he will be to see me. I understand that several of the staff call in sick when they see my name on the schedule. Now you do know that is a big joke. Right? They don't call in sick, they just double up on their Valium and hope for the best. Maybe they know that I show up without having had my Community. That's another reason I try to get there early. The sooner they finish, the sooner I can get some of that start-the-day nectar. I will have to settle for the drive through variety but it will have to do. Then I will await the verdict. In today's world you no longer get a phone call. It's all done electronically.  The office will send me an email to tell me I have my test results available for review on the online system. I then log on to that system and it will give every iota of every detail from the labs. I then have to look up most of them on the internet to make sure I know exactly what they are reporting. That typically will give me some areas to work on until my next appointment. What a cycle? But, as I near that sign post marked 66, I do realize it is a part of something much more important than a cycle, it reflects the circle of life and I am thankful to have the availability of the medical assistance I have.

That fasting deal is tough. Or is it? We typically fast every night anyway but when we are instructed to do so, well, it just seems to be more difficult. The note they sent me said I could have plenty of water and they recommended it to me. Thank you very much. It's a mental thing I suppose. When we are told no or not to, everything inside of us wants to rebel. I believe the Bible has something to say about that. Our natural, fallen condition causes us to arrogantly resist any imposition that isn't of our own choosing. But, when it comes to our health, we typically bite the bullet and just get it done. I guess that self interest does take over and we end up doing as we are told. That doesn't mean I will sit quietly during the examination. I have many thoughts, comments, and questions that I want to talk to my doctor about. Sometimes I get the idea they have my diabetic treatment plan on auto pilot and I just need to get a better understanding of where we are and where we might be headed. I am to a large extent a results oriented person, therefore, I do want to know about the things we can do to slow the progress of this unwanted tyrant that invaded my body some five years ago. What's that? Now you know why they double down on the Valium. Maybe so, maybe so.

The massacre at the movie theater in Colorado is sad beyond belief and it puts a knot in one's belly just hearing the details. Details. I suppose there is no such thing as restraint in today's 24 x 7 news cycle. The competition to get one more microscopic piece of information has turned this tragedy into a news coverage marathon. I do support freedom of the press. I do support the free flow of information. But, I also support the need for grieving on the part of so many families. The gunman is front and center and I suppose if he was tardy one day while in kindergarten we will know about it, in fact, it could end up being the lead in exclusive on the next national newscast. I did a scan of the world newspapers for Saturday and while I couldn't read any of the actual printed material displayed from Russian to Arabic, I will tell you that this story with pictures from the scene were splashed all over the world. Literally. Then we have the gun control people along with the gun rights people all screaming to the top of their lungs. It's a mess folks, it's a mess. But, at the end of the day, there are real people who were killed. They have families. There are real people who were injured some in severely critical condition. They also have families. This is a game changer for every one of those families and my heart goes out to them. May God help them all and may God help our messed up nation is my prayer. Amen.         .....More later.

Monday, July 23, 2012

These politicians are like we were when we were boys. They are looking for some good mud that will stick when it is thrown.

Monday has arrived and I am once again off to see the wizard, so to speak, as Dorothy told her traveling companions. For those still scratching your head, think: Wizard of Oz. It is Monday, July 23, 2012, another start to a beautiful week here in our work neighborhood. Some 50 years ago I worked my first job. It was for my uncle in Florida. Long days and hard work, six days per week in the summer of 1962. That's a long time to be in this labor business folks, and I'm thankful to still be counting. But I will let you in on a secret: Some days are more pleasant than others. And that's the truth brothers and sisters, that is the truth! On balance, I've had many many more good days than bad. However, that doesn't take away from some really bad ones. I still wince when I think about some of those that are so memorable because they officially exceeded the proverbial whatever can go wrong scenario. Those do stick with you. Again, I'll just be thankful that for the most part I have been blessed, and I can put a period behind that. I do not take it for granted and I do not take it lightly. Amen.

Okay. Don't say I didn't tell you. We do need to hold on to our hats because the blow back winds from the current political campaigns are going to give us all a bumpy ride. I read the other day where one campaign is accusing the other campaign of foul play. It seems they had used their opponent's own words in one of their ads. You know. Verbatim. I thought that to be pretty funny. It was one of those where he did say exactly what was in the ad but he meant something different. Therefore, the other side should not have used that exact quote. Now to me that is hilarious. "You cannot use my words against me. Why? Because it would not be fair. That's why." That was my imaginary quote but it did bring a chuckle in an otherwise very dismal and disheartening time for our nation. I suppose it's why some call it the silly season. My thought is more along the lines of it being the insanity season. But, as the song used to say, we've only just begun. I predict that before it's over we will all be playing old John Wayne movies just to avoid the paid political commercials.

You may have noticed that I didn't name any names. That was intentional because I am 100% certain that all of the above and more will be interchanged by both sides before it is all said and done. I know some of you think I am a cynic, and I could lean in that direction. But, in reality, I see no white horse ridden by a legitimate hero coming to save the day for us all. That doesn't mean I am down and out because I remember how that the Jewish people for the most part were looking for that kind of hero when Jesus of Nazareth showed up. Because He didn't fit their idea and He didn't do it the way they wanted it done, they rejected him. This means He was the answer then and He still is today. It also tells me that instead of joining the mudslinging brigade on either side, we who know the Lord God of heaven need to be on our knees praying for Him to intervene. I watched some of a lengthy interview the other day with former President George W. Bush. He said he felt comfortable with history taking care of what he did and didn't do during his time in office. He believes that when all the facts come to light people may still not like him or his decisions but they will be fully aware of why he made them in the way he did. I actually believe that will be how it works. As for the here and now, we who know the Lord can only do what we can do. Go out there every day and seek to live in a way that brings honor to our Lord and touches other people with His love. Amen.        .....More later.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Big wheel keep on turning!

Good morning everybody. Thanks for showing up here at the old blogger ranch where we all just like to sit for a spell and visit. It is Friday, July 20, 2012. How's that busy life going that you have there? You know. The one where the rule is to burn the candle at both ends. I actually have never burned a candle at both ends but it's obvious that it would tend to use the candle up more quickly than if you only burned it on one end. I suppose that is what is implied and I did not take the time to give you some insight into the origin of that saying. But, I do know that I have been tagged over the years with that saying, many times. I plead guilty, especially for a large part of my life where I spent far too much of my time in being about as busy as one can be in things that really, for the most part, when it is all said and done, didn't amount to a hill of beans. Most people involved in that Gerbil wheel lifestyle don't see it that way, they just keep that wheel turning. I thank God I have learned there are endeavors that do count for time and eternity and they are worthy of our pursuits. These are the ones pursued out of love for God and caring for others. Finding the balance is difficult but doing something about breaking that candle on both ends burning cycle is worth the effort. Take it from me. Been there, done that!

I didn't even mention last week on this very day we had a Friday the 13th to contend with. Just joking. Guess what? I can tell you what happened last Friday the 13th? Some really wonderful things happened in the lives of some people. Some really bad things happened in the lives of others. Many had a really good day. Many had a really bad day. Others had what they might call a same old, same old kind of day. Yes, there was laughter and yes, there were tears. That's how it goes as we count our days. And, that pretty much is how it will go UNTIL that Day comes. That's the Day when our Savior will return to make all things right. The Apostle Peter said there will be some who scoff at this coming Day. They will report that things are going on just like they always have gone on. He said those people willingly forget how it was in the days of Noah when the flood came. The folks back then were going about their busy lives without heeding the warning that a day of judgment was coming. But that Day did come! The door of the ark was closed and the floods came. (See 2 Peter Chapter 3) Therefore, whether it be Friday the 13th or any other particular day we can always look up because one day soon He will come back just like He said He would. Amen.

Another one of those kinds of weeks folks and it has been so good to have y'all along for the ride. Come to think about it, most weeks are like that, for all of us. Thanks so much to those who have been praying on behalf of our brother in law and his family. It means so much to know that people care enough to pray. Prayer is a most remarkable provision that God gave to us so that we can connect ourselves into His resources from which flow the things we stand in need of. I am often hit with this challenge, "Since God knows all things, why pray?" That's a real easy one. We pray because God has both made a way for us and invited us into His very throne room. (See Hebrews 4:16) It is God who chose prayer to be an integrated part of the unfolding of His will. Jesus, God the very God in human flesh, spent much of His time in prayer while He was here on the earth. That's good enough for me. Amen? Yes! Amen! See you next time and may God bless.    ....More later.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Try holding your breath because this will only hurt a little. How many times have we heard that one?

It's Thursday, July 19, 2012, and the impact of the recently signed into law Affordable Care Act is already being felt. My eldest son told me the other evening that his health insurance coverage for him and his family provided through his job is being increased by 25% effective immediately. That will put his health care coverage at over $2,000 per month. The mandated no cost preventive screenings required in the new law are obviously not free to the people performing them. These kinds of promises where everyone gets something for nothing reminds me of how my grandfather used to warn me. He would say, "Son, that sounds like too much sugar for a dime." And, my guess is that we have not even begun to see the kinds of serious cost burdens, that, will have to be covered by someone. I am not against trying to provide services to those who cannot provide for themselves. But I scan the British newspapers and I can tell you there is a steady flow of horror stories based on their socialized government run healthcare system. For thirty years we taxpayers subsidized turning corn crops into fuel, called Ethanol. Last year that subsidy went away, some 6 billion dollars. Studies indicate that Ethanol now provides 10% of the fuel consumed in our nation. At what cost? Billions upon billions spent previously along with the impact on our dining tables from the associated increase in all the edible corn related products. (Corn syrup, corn oil, kernel corn, corn on the cob, corn flakes, to name a few.) That's only the tip of the iceberg in looking at what happens when government meddles in trying to manage and manipulate markets. Ethanol wouldn't even show up on the radar screen of something as massive as healthcare. Better hang on folks, we are in for a ride!

It is good to be back with you today. Yesterday I ran over to Alexandria, Louisiana to visit with my ailing brother in law. It was a turnaround trip which I used to do without even feeling it. Not anymore. The bones have a way of letting you know. They can be loud at times. But, we had a wonderful visit. It was just like old times. He greeted me like he has for the past 48 years, "Hello, brother in law, what time did you leave from over there this morning?" I had over two hours of one on one and we pretty much got caught up on all the important things in life, like NASCAR, the Saints, the Cowboys, the Rangers, the Astros, the Texans, the Rockets, and other related subjects. They have hit upon a regimen of drug therapy that has freed him from any pain and as he said, "I feel great, I'm eating good, but I have no air, none whatsoever." This is because of his lungs barely working at all. I was able to share a prayer with him and then we were on our way for the 230 mile return where I got back in time to teach my Wednesday night class and enjoy the fellowship of some of the sweetest people around. Thank you Lord for providing for us as we go here, there, and other places, and thank you Lord for the grace you are showing to our brother in law. Amen.

One thing my brother in law and his dear wife are blessed with are friends. Folks they go to Church with have flooded the place. I think he said he had some 40 visitors on Tuesday. There's people he used to work with at Fort Polk. There are his hunting and fishing buddies. And, of course, his family. One of the things this drug regimen has allowed him to do more of is one of his most favorite things in the world. TALK. He dearly loves to visit. He loves to communicate. He had really struggled in that area until they came up with this current treatment option. Now that's what I call a blessing folks. And, when you feel blessed you don't consider yourself to be lucky. No. We look up and send our thanks to our great God who provides for us, even something as special as helping us to do the very thing we love, something like talking. I suppose I still have my job here. The locks haven't been changed. I can still access my computer so I am off and running again. I do hope and pray that we all will think about the things we take for granted that God provides to us each day. I know a fellow laying in a hospital bed over in Louisiana who can tell you that he feels blessed indeed, very blessed. You have a great day and Lord willing I'll try to get something scratched up for tomorrow. Amen.    ....More later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The reality of life includes having to say farewell, for now.

Hello again. It is Wednesday, July 18, 2012. My wife left Sunday after services at our local fellowship to go and be with her sister and their family as our brother in law Charles continues to be very critical. I am thankful she was able to go. Her and her sister are so very close and I am thankful she retired when she did because it gives her so much more flexibility. It is always different when she is gone. I suppose it works that way after nearly 48 years. The routine as far as schedule is concerned stays somewhat the same but it's very obvious that something is out of sync, missing, and maybe even a little awkward. My wife grew up in a preacher's home. She is used to ministering in all kinds of situations. And, her entire family are close and they are there for each other when needed. Thinking about this current challenge has been tough. On me. I think about them and their children. I think about our children. Our three boys and their two boys are close in age. We as believers have a longing to be at home with our Savior while at the same time we sense how difficult it will be to say farewell to those we love. May God be with them all as they seek His strength at this time. Amen.

Thinking about my life in the context of its limitations makes me aware that I've not always made the best use of it. I'm not talking about that famous list called the Bucket List of things I want to experience before I kick the bucket. I don't have a problem with folks who have adopted this approach as part of their creed but for me, it's more of me having not used to the fullest potential the advantages and opportunities that God has given to me. Most of that is water under the bridge and really there's no getting that spilled milk back into the bottle. However, there is one thing that I can do something about. It's called today. It is very easy to be paralyzed by the past in how you should have, would have, or could have. When we allow the past to occupy our thoughts and our time we rob ourselves of the potential we still have to make a difference. I think that is really what most of us would like to leave behind. An influence for good and a positive difference in the lives of others. Beginning with our families. I suppose all of this reflection on life has put me into a contemplative mood. But, it is a worthwhile consideration and one that I think we all need to do, from time to time. And, the Scriptures do emphasize the today aspect of life where we use all that God has given to us for His honor and glory. Amen.

I read about a lady in Michigan who says she kept the corpse of her close friend with her for 18 months so they could watch NASCAR together. I sure hope that's not how you define a true fan. But, it does seem that she also continued to cash his social security checks, therefore, I suppose there might have been more to it than just car racing. I'm surprised I haven't gotten any emails about this news blurb. But I will go ahead and set the record straight. I do watch NASCAR. In fact, this past weekend I watched the Nationwide race on Friday evening, the Truck race on Saturday night, and the Sprint Cup race Sunday afternoon. I also watched the preliminaries. I don't do that all the time. And, believe me, I can just as easily miss a race if I have something else to do. My main complaint is the commercials and those covering the races. There's like maybe a dozen sponsors who buy time on these races and their commercials run over and over again. Some of the same sponsors are on all the races. Evaluate what they are selling and you pretty much get an idea of who they think might be watching. By the way, that prized 25 to 49 age group they target for marketing purposes left me out a long time ago. (Is anyone else ready to explode the next time you hear about the 5 Hour Energy Drink?) As for the commentators, there are some that make me turn the sound down real low just so I don't have to hear them talk. My biggest pet peeve is to have someone explain something in detail that even a child can see and understand. If all of that added together along with me listening to NASCAR on my satellite radio makes me a fan, well, all I can do is quote ole DW, "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Let's go racin boys!". (I know, it's girls too but you can quote it the way you want to.) Have yourself a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.      .....More later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Better look before you leap....to conclusions!

Okay. So I got yesterday's date wrong on my blog. But it happens. Know what I mean? I have from time to time suffered from that ailment that writers have, you know the one where you sit in front of a blank page with no ideas that might end up being written about. The not so good news. I have never allowed that malady to keep me from throwing something out there, and that's what I am up to, this morning, so, welcome, here on this Tuesday, July 17, 2012, and I do believe that is the correct date. The recent Supreme Court ruling on the healthcare legislation caused several news outlets to preemptively announce the wrong decision. Notable news channels like CNN and FOX actually led with the wrong verdict. Talk about embarrassing, but getting the facts wrong on headlines is not new. One of the most famous was from the Chicago Daily Tribune when on November 3, 1948 it boldly announced: Dewey Defeats Truman. That was a presidential election and they had it exactly wrong. Harry Truman won that election. Even further back, when news came of the Titanic's sinking many newspapers anticipated better results and headlined how that most of the passengers had been saved. You might recall a few years ago how that the death of Bob Hope was announced in the US House with a tribute even though he was still very much alive. It seems the Associated Press had been working on his obituary and it accidentally got released. Mr. Hope had a great laugh when told about the report of his death being announced, none other than on the House floor. It just goes to show you: You can only believe what's written in the funny papers. And, by the way, with all the stuff being flung about on Facebook and via emails, it would behoove us all to check it out before we add our names to the distribution list.

I can always point people to God's Holy Word as the Source of truth but today we have many who report what it says differently than the clear meaning given. The wrong headlines can be corrected but when someone is given a false interpretation of what God says, well, sometimes the outcome can be tragic, even eternally so. I am not saying I know with 100% accuracy everything the Bible talks about. What I do know is that if you do want to know with clarity and certainty, especially as it relates to the issues of life, right and wrong, and matters that impact eternity, the truth can be discerned through study and prayer. One thing is crystal clear, God through His Word will not lead us into wrong because He is the essence of truth. Here's what Psalm 119:160 says: "The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever." We can get our facts messed up. We can report them erroneously. However, when it comes to the ultimate Author of our Bible, God Himself, as it says in Numbers 23:19, "God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn't change his mind. When he says something, he does it. When he makes a promise, he keeps it." (God's Word Translation, 1995) In a world where getting the facts sorted out is typically in the eye of the beholder, we would do well to be reminded that God's Word is there for us. And, I commend us all to it and to its truths. Amen.

I read with sadness the report of the death of a American billionaire lady over in Great Britain. She was in her mid 40's and married to a Swiss billionaire. Both of them inherited their money. Now he is being detained until the cause of her death can be determined. One fact is undisputed. They both were addicted to illicit drugs. Woefully so. And, for many years. This was confirmed by their families. This does seem so incredible, not necessarily surprising, but incredible that people who, as the world would put it, had it all, would end up in this type of tragic situation. I've already heard folks saying it just goes to show you that money cannot buy you happiness, and while that is true, it doesn't seem to dampen people's clamoring after it. I hear people talking about how they are aware that the facts regarding lottery winners indicate mostly heartache and ruin, but yet, they say they would still like to give it a shot. I know of one situation where a young woman received a rightful large financial settlement but had to essentially go into hiding as a result. Too many outsiders trying to get hold of her money? No. It was her family and friends trying to get hold of her money. The Bible makes it clear that money is not the problem. In fact, many might be surprised how much is said about financial matters in the Scriptures. But, one thing is clear, loving money to the extent that it controls one's life typically leads to destruction. (1 Timothy 6:10) Okay. See what I mean? I fought the blank page and it lost, not necessarily because I've written great prose but I did get something posted, and, that was my original intent to begin with. Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.        .....More later.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I told you we had some water in our area.

It's Monday, July 16, 2012. Welcome. I know that many of you think I am very prone to exaggeration. Often that interpretation is very accurate. Typically, it is for comic effect. But when I was talking about how out of control the flooding was last Thursday, I was not kidding. The photo is from one of the entry points into the subdivision where we live. That's why I had to make a big drive around to get home Thursday evening. Thankfully, we are on high ground, and we have never experienced flooding from rising water, however, we did experience flooding one year when we had a pipe burst behind our fireplace. It did quite a lot of damage before we got the water turned off. I wanted to share that photo because in our area we have a group of volunteer firefighters that really do care. They went to work during those rains and performed a number of rescues right there in our area. I believe some 10 homes were flooded. I heard the testimony on the radio of a gentleman that lives a few streets down from us. He was very broken up. He said they had worked all their lives to have a nice home and nice things but now it was all ruined. My heart goes out to him and so many others, as well as my deep felt gratitude to those who put aside their other duties and braved the elements to help. A couple of those volunteers grew up in our Church. Seeing them at work in some photos was cause for me to thank God for them. Amen and Amen.

The molestation case at Penn State University is about as horrific as it gets. Joe Paterno is dead. He's the lucky one. Three other principals lost their jobs but I listened to those from the board of trustees and the one thing I didn't hear was anyone being held accountable. They knew about the investigations but did not provide any follow up. In other words they looked the other way while young children were being attacked. Why? They did not want the bad publicity. They did not want any financial ramifications. I would have thought they would have all resigned but they didn't. A sad situation my friend, a very sad situation. I also noted that the 2 billion dollar loss by the big bank J P Morgan Chase has now become a 5 billion dollar loss. It was thought to be a huge lapse of oversight and responsibility at 2 billion, but, the head of the bank is considered to be a rock star in the banking world, therefore, he gets to also keep his job. He's so influential he provides advice to our treasury department. Yes, folks, status and prestige as the world judges, counts, but, no amount of explanation can account for such wrong. In the Penn State case, the lives of dozens of children were ruined. In the case of the big bank, shareholders and fee payers will, in one way or another, have to essentially pay for the greed and avarice of those plotting their get rich quick schemes. Again, it is a sad situation my friend, a very sad situation.

Gutter. That's what they are already calling the political campaign for President of the United States. Gutter politics. President Obama came out of the Chicago approach to winning elections. That approach is similar to how the mafia operates. Eliminate your opponent. Do and say whatever it takes to destroy your adversary. That's the Chicago way. Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me. It is well known and well established. As for Mr. Romney, well, he has a past record of how folks with connections thrive. That typically is not anything new but in an election where emotions are running high, these types of business dealings offer opportunities for the Obama team to portray Mr. Romney as being completely disconnected from the reality of most folks in America. But, when you think about it, there has always been a disconnect from those who are mega wealthy contrasted to average Americans. I happen to see pretty lavish behavior going on with the President and his family since he took office. I don't begrudge him these perks that all presidents enjoy, however, I would also say that very few of his fellow citizens, many of which who are struggling, would ever even dream of the way travel, leisure, and consumption of tax payer resources are being pursued. Gutter. Yep. That's what we have and the forecast is for 100% chance of more of the same with it getting dirtier and dirtier as we get closer to November. That should give us all something to look forward. NOT! Meanwhile, let us thank God for His provisions and do our best to live as He would have us to. Amen.           .....More later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"How High is The Water, Momma?" Johnny Cash

Good morning and welcome to flash flood territory. It is Friday, July 13, 2012, and you are right, I am the fellow who recently was ardently seeking for a few rain drops. Well, praise the Lord, we have gotten that and much more. Yesterday morning I came in to work in a rainstorm. I don't think rainstorm does it justice. It was more like a avalanche of water. I couldn't see well enough to see well enough to know if I had a place to pull over or not. I'm not making this up. I now know what it feels like to drive a vehicle by using the Braile system because that is all I could do, feel my way along, period. Forget about seeing the road. When I finally reached my turn off, I nearly fell out from the sheer exhaustion, but, I did take the time to give praise to God for having made it. I was more than happy to wade the ankle deep water to open the gate. And, while I know there have been some issues with flooding, we have been in need of rain, therefore, I am thankful. I remember writing several blogs over the past few years about driving in the worst rainstorm ever. Well, guess what? Just when I thought there couldn't be one to top that last one, yep, it was a doozy folks, a real doozy. I will not soon forget what that racing metaphor means, because yesterday was one morning when I really was: Up on the wheel!

I am thankful. Here I sit, sipping on some day old Community that is super hot, black, and strong. I am snacking on some instant oatmeal. I cut up a few dried apple pieces and threw in one of those tiny boxes of raisins. Then I poured some of that powdered milk in, added a pack of Splenda, a little water, zapped that little bowl for about 2 minutes, and bam!, there you have it, something that almost passes itself off as being breakfast. I was talking with an old timer the other day and we were lamenting one of the great tragedies of our time. Most eating places no longer serve home cooked grits. We didn't tear up but we both agreed that calling something a Big Breakfast without homemade grits should be against the law. I told him the last time I was in an IHOP that I do believe they brought me a bowl of instant grits. We both just hung our heads. You think maybe that was a little over the top, do you? You must not be a grits aficionado. I've been at conferences before up east where everyone raised an eyebrow when they heard me ask if they had homemade grits. Most of the time the answer was no. Those folks from that part of our land seem to think that grits are mostly associated with poor people and I say Amen to that, and while you are at it, could you spoon me up another big helping because I have some butter just waiting to climb on. Yum yum.

In a few weeks I just might be writing again about our parched earth around here. Not today. I will tell you this. Our yard is really enjoying some relief these past few days. Last year's drought was deadly. And, the proof is still all around us. Nearly every day I see crews out working on tree removal, especially along the road ways. We live in an area known for trees. That drought decimated the tree population. In all things we give thanks, not because things are always pleasant, but because God is with us, regardless of the weather or the storms in life. Being His child means that He will never leave or forsake us. That is a good thought to end this week. I do pray that you will enjoy your upcoming Saturday and that Sunday, the first day of the week, will find you in the Lord's meeting place, where you can hear from God in a special way, along with other folks. Until next week I'll try to keep my socks wrung out and the Community going. Y'all take care now, you hear? May God bless each one. Amen.         .....More later.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Even my doctor refuses to see me.

Hello folks, it is Thursday, July 12, 2012. I am not going to the doctor this morning for my annual physical check-up. They called me on Monday to let me know that he would be out of the office today. Well. Whoop-dee-doo! My prior doctor had these notes stuck all over the wall about all the dire consequences of not showing up on time, being charged if you didn't call, and other threatening notices. I always got the first appointment and still had to wait! Maybe I should have put my own note on his wall. I did get there early. I was ready to go. I was the only patient scheduled at that time. First in line, but, I still had to wait. Even after I wrote a nice letter to him and his staff thanking them for their help and telling them I was moving to another medical coverage, they still sent me an angry form letter about not showing up for my next appointment. Time for some of that Angry Birds game, if you know what I mean. The email I received from my current doctor simply said my appointment was cancelled by my provider. I suppose he would be the provider in this situation. And, oh by the way, you will need to call and set yourself up with another appointment, at your convenience, of course. I know. The sarcasm is thick and creamy this morning but that's just the way it is, but I will try not to let it ruin my day.

I was all primed and ready to have my little forth and back with my doctor. You know. If you don't get personally and directly involved in an interactive way in your personal healthcare these days, who will? Now I will have to de-prime and then get ready to be re-primed for my next visit. No wonder we meet ourselves coming back at times.As you can tell, the good thing about all of this is how that I have learned to not take it personally. You wouldn't have guessed that from the way I have been carrying on? I thought I was being rather calm about the whole thing. It has been reset for the 24th so that should give me plenty of time to get my thoughts recollected. If he tells me why he wasn't able to be in the office it will probably be a very reasonable explanation. It usually works that way. Like the time the fellow didn't show up for a presentation he was supposed to make at the company I worked for. The comment was made that he might better have a really good reason for standing us up. He did. He was dead. They found him laying on the bed in his hotel room with his presentation in his lap. Massive heart attack. No doubt helped along by unreasonable people who expected him to always be where he was supposed to be without ever being a second late. At least he had a good excuse. Right?

I would ask for prayers on behalf of our brother-in-law Charles. This is my wife's sister's husband. He is in the hospital over in Louisiana and not doing very well at this time. He's been in for several weeks and may be there for a while longer. It's his lungs. They are hardly working. We go way back with these folks. Some fifty years. Charles is a fellow who has always lived up to the Louisiana slogan of the state being a Sportsman's Paradise. Always active, always outside, fishing, hunting, doing yard work, staying busy. Now he struggles for the next breath. We know God knows all about it and we are seeking His best for Charles and the rest of this wonderful family. There are others we are also praying for each day. The prayer list is long. Maybe as we get older we better recognize the frailty and fragility of life. That inscription on the coffee mug is so true. We do recognize the plight of others but certainly challenges take on new meaning when it is ourselves or someone very close to us. Many times it changes our point of view. Knowing that might help us to be a little more understanding even when your appointment gets highjacked. Just joking. I've already said it doesn't really bother me that much, hardly any at all, in fact, why am I still even mentioning it? Now, you go out there today and have yourself a good one, and don't forget to thank God for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in the future for us all. Amen. .....More later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Big Bang revisited.

Welcome one and all. Today is Wednesday, July 11, 2012, and I send out a big howdy to everyone tuning in for today's episode. My wife is a huge fireworks fan. She prefers to see them in person but will settle for watching them on TV if she has to. They now have a show about those who design and execute those huge fireworks displays. It's on the Weather Channel and it's called Pyros and it is pretty interesting. There's a lot more to it than folks might imagine. The wiring and the layouts are very involved. They all connect into a computer system and that's how they become synchronized with the music. These people have to deal with things like unexpected weather problems, issues involving parts of the system not working properly, and a host of other things that come up as they prepare to entertain. They are paid handsomely to do all of this. It requires skill and ability. It is very high tech. Knowing all of this makes it interesting to read about what happened last week out in San Diego at their planned 4th of July fireworks display. Instead of the 20 minute program they paid for, due to a glitch in the system, it lasted exactly 20 seconds. Talk about the Big Bang! In this case I think they are calling it the Big Bust. And, for them, it wasn't a theory, it became an embarrassing reality. The fellow representing the fire works company said they felt terrible about what happened or didn't happen, but those thousands who showed up were in no mood to be forgiving. It just goes to show you. Sometimes failure is not only an option but it demonstrates just how embedded it is in the fabric of life.

Things do not always go the way we think they will. I read about a lady who retired and looked forward to continuing her collecting pursuit. Sadly, one day while she was away, her house caught fire and burned, taking with it the 1500 Barbies she had spent a lifetime collecting. We just never know. You probably heard about the plane that took off but was disrupted by an elderly passenger who was blind and only spoke French. He became disoriented and began swinging at everyone around him. They rerouted the plane to a different city and the people on board ended up losing a full 24 hours before they finally made it to their destination. No one could have expected to be in that situation. We just never know. I've been re-routed a few times on airplane trips but never with that much excitement. They are very sensitive to what is said at airports these days. One flight last week was delayed due to a casual comment made to a flight attendant. He simply asked if the crew had been out late partying the previous night. That was enough to shut down the plane and have all the flight crew tested for drugs. After they completed that process they continued the flight but they kicked the fellow off who had asked the question. You just never know. These are some strange times we are living in folks, strange indeed. I know the Elvis image doesn't match the commentary but I like it, so I stuck it there.

It reminds me of how I used to make excuses when I messed something up. I would tell my grandfather that it was not what I intended. He would then ask if that was true, then what did I intend. We all start our days with expectations but they rarely go exactly like we think they will. That's why we need to have the Unseen Hand helping us with each and every step we take. I am one to talk. I can get caught up in the heat of the battle or the challenge of the moment about as quickly as anyone. But, when it is all said and done, it is our faith that facilitates our confidence as we do deal with the ups and downs that dog our steps. We are not alone. That's right. Those thousands of other drivers did not get on a conference call and agree to figure out a way to impede your progress and mess up your schedule. That lady at the counter did not see you come through the door and decide at that time to get some small detail wrong on your order. I read a few weeks ago about a fellow who became so enraged with a messed up food order that he drove back around the place and hit the accelerator, lost control, rammed the side of the restaurant, and ended up nearly destroying his expensive truck. He sure showed them, didn't he? We might laugh about that but basically we can do the same thing in our minds as we encounter life's unexpected mishaps, if we are not careful. One thing I've noticed, there are plenty of opportunities for each of us, every single day, to see our own little 20 minute fireworks display go up in a second, and the results are always hurtful to all involved, and especially to ourselves. Okay. I think I've used up my daily quota of keystrokes. May God be with you until we meet again. Amen.   ...More later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When a wreck occurs during the race, well, that's just racing. When it impacts your driver, well, somebody needs to answer for that one!

It's Tuesday, July 10, 2012, and I bid you welcome from here at the old blogger ranch. I try not to be as intense as I used to be when watching a sporting event on TV. I try. Occasionally, I let one slip up on me. Last Saturday evening I was watching the summer NASCAR race from Daytona. The driver I follow, Jeff Gordon, had some temperature issues early on that kept him a little timid in the early stages. About half way through he became much stronger and was running up front. He was running third, minding his own business, when his team called him into the pits for tires and refueling. As he was slowing down to go into the pits, he got caught up in an accident that had suddenly occurred behind him. Now that just infuriated me. Rarely do you ever see a driver get into the wreck behind them when they are slowing down. He was beat up and banged around but got back into line at about 30th. With just a handful of laps left he patiently was making his way back up towards the front and then at the very end, another big crash that took out multiple cars. Jeff somehow continued driving and crossed the finish line 12th. When I went to bed I had trouble falling asleep. That's a sure sign that I was overwrought. A good reminder. Don't take stuff like a car race so serious and get out of the kitchen, early, if it begins to get too hot. I should have.

Now you know one of my faults. What's that? You didn't know I had any. You have not been paying much attention is all I have to say. That Bible verse that says we are to confess our faults to one another, well, in my situation, that might just end up having to be done as a series, with episodes each week to get caught up. This up coming Wednesday evening I plan to be teaching from Hebrews Chapter 12. That's the passage that speaks about our lives as believers using the metaphor of a distance race on foot. The writer tells us we are to run our race without being loaded down with weights. Those weights have to do with the baggage we carry from the things we allow into our life that shouldn't be there. He talks about laying aside the sin that so easily besets. Every person has something that fits this category. Oh. It might not be one of what we think of as a biggie like the old saying, "I don't drink and I don't chew and I don't go with the girls that do." But, from God's perspective, any and all sin is big. It could be hatred, malice, envy, anger, or even something as obscure as indifference. You know. The not doing of what God would have us to do. But, at any rate, no foot runner in a race in his right mind would load up his backpack with 200 pounds of extra weight and then go out and try to win the race. How then is it that we are to run? Lay aside all those things that would hinder, and most important of all, eliminate distractions by keeping your eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Amen. (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

We can get caught up in an event without even noticing it. We have watched a number of the Olympic finals for choosing the Americans who will represent our country in Great Britain later this month. We are not huge fans of diving, swimming, gymnastics, track, and other events. Then why in the world would I be straining to help someone get to the finish line? How silly is that? Me, sitting in my recliner, leaning forward to help them gain that final reach. We are the same way when we watch American Ninja Warrior. We are for the competitors as they attempt some very challenging obstacles and we end up trying to help them with our grunts, groans, and strains.That, I suppose, is a part of the human condition. It actually even impacts the wife who usually is fairly neutral about sporting events. Her thoughts about my driver when she sees me upset is that he should immediately retire from the sport typically worded: "Why doesn't he just quit?" I try to reason with her. I tell her he is only in his early 40's and he is, like, making millions of dollars each year, and he continues to be one of the most popular drivers in the sport, and he is still capable. That's how it plays out at our house. It may play out differently at your place. You may feel that way about The Wheel of Fortune. I know some folks who call themselves Wheel watchers. They have a special credit card connected to the show that somehow entitles them to some prizes if their number comes up. They would schedule emergency surgery around watching that program. See what I mean? We are a quirky bunch aren't we? Yours might be different than mine but we all have them. Have a great Tuesday and may the Lord bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Mama's and the Papas: "Monday, monday, can't trust that day Monday, monday, sometimes it just turns out that way...."

I am aware of the Monday morning blues syndrome. I see it quite often but since it has never been that prevalent in my own personal  experience, I still find it hard to understand. It is that dreaded day for so many, Monday, and this one happens to land on July 9, 2012. I am well aware of those who begin their party time Friday evening and run it into the final hours of Sunday. That would make anyone's Monday difficult. However, that's not the right answer for all of those who drag in. It has something to do with mindset. Back to work Monday during these tight employment times should be a cause for celebration. Yet, I see them every week. They can be seen stumbling and sleepwalking their way to the time clock. Many of them carry in their hands one of those super sized drinks that contains enough caffeine to ignite a bonfire. Unfortunately, they will need some help getting the can open. Sure. I know that not everyone is a morning person. But when you are not a Monday person and also not a morning person, I suppose that's a double whammy in trying to get yourself up and going. Those of you who know me are mumbling right now. I do hear what you are saying. If I didn't get up at 3:30 a.m. each day I could maybe understand a little better these kinds of challenges. That may be true but just so you know, I have plenty of my own to deal with but thankfully Monday or morning are not on my list, that is, not at this time.

I said I didn't understand. I am sure not criticizing or condemning because I've been around long enough to know that things you thought you would never do, well, they have a way of doing a boomerang on you and then you end up with a huge plate of crow to eat. There's a lot of theories about where that figure of speech or idiom, 'eating crow', came from. It may have originated in ancient times because the crow was grouped with other birds that ate the rotted flesh of dead animals and people. Therefore, eating crow would have had a very unpleasant ring to it, like maybe a meal of fried buzzard. It is found in print in the early 1850's as part of a humorous story about a farmer who claimed to be able to eat anything. At any rate, it has the connotation of being humiliated after being proved wrong where someone had taken a strong position. I suppose it is akin to eating humble pie. Now that one typically involves having to apologize after being discovered as being wrong. It also dates back to medieval times where it was a real pie. It was a meat pie thought of as being inferior because it was made out of animal innards, especially deer parts, the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys. Yum yum. If I thought long enough I could probably remember a time when both of these pies were on the menu after one of my classic mess ups. No. I am not going to think long enough to share one of those with you. But, trust me. I have been there and done that.

I grew up in a small rural town. In some ways, Andy Griffith's portrayal of Mayberry reminded me of my hometown. In some ways. His death last week caused many to reminiscence about that wonderful show. I think most people realized that things don't always work out the way they did on that program. I heard Andy in an interview a few years ago talking about how that his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor did forever typecast him into the hearts and minds of millions. He said that while he was able to play off his upbringing in a small town, he was an actor, and in his opinion, he was not as good a person as Andy Taylor. Who could be? When he would play a role of a bad guy he said his mailbox would be stuffed with letters begging him not to ever do that again. His fans wanted him to always be their hero. I grew up among characters. Some I can recall and a smile immediately comes to my face. Similarly, that show was great because of the variety of characters we saw each week and how we learned to know and love them. I suppose we all enjoy an escape from that reality that grips our days and that's exactly what Andy's show did. It allowed us to take a break in a fun and wholesome manner. I still watch it from time to time. And, even though I've seen most of them more than a few times, I still laugh because it's still funny. I do hope you will have a great Monday and Lord willing I'll see you tomorrow here at the old blogger ranch. Goodbye for now and may God bless. Amen.        .....More later.