Friday, January 31, 2014

"In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." ~ George Orwell

Hello and welcome to where we will be observing a sense of celebration here at the ole blogger ranch because it's Friday and that means it will typically be followed by Saturday and Sunday, Lord willing, of course. Celebration is too strong of a word but I thought it might get your attention here on this last day of January, the 31st, in this brand new year of 2014. While I didn't catch the first part of the President's state of the union speech because I had a Church meeting to attend, I did catch much of it in real time, and watched his opening portion of remarks the next morning. While I have always thought President Obama to be an excellent speaker, it seems to me that he comes across these days as not really being all in for the things he talks about. This is me talking, not the news media stuff or the various factions doing their readouts. Even though most political folks use the teleprompter to keep their remarks on track, he just came across to me as someone doing his best to read a well written speech. The most effective part to me came with his recognition of the wounded warrior sitting up in the balcony. That extended applause was a legitimate response on behalf of a grateful nation. I thought the President's tying of America's grit and determination to the personal courage and fighting spirit of this soldier resonated throughout those halls and across America. (I know many are complaining about this hero being used as a political prop, however, the way I see it, I'll not let that diminish in any way the genuine respect and admiration I have for him and his service.) The speech ended and as the saying goes: At the end of the day, we are left to deal with what I believe to be the bad policies being pursued by this administration. Nearly 65% of Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction and I didn't hear one single thing from the podium Tuesday evening, that, in my opinion, will in anyway whatsoever change that sentiment for the positive. As for an increase in the wrong direction, we will just have to wait and see.

Did I not hear from those who thought it was wonderful? I did. They are entitled to their opinion. I have given you my two cents worth on the matter, unadjusted for inflation. That 'two cents worth' idiom has been around for a long time. It came over with those who spoke the King's English where it was said to be 'my two penny's worth'. While there are numerous ideas about where it might have come from, one that I like goes like this: "I said a penny for your thoughts, but I got two penny's worth." That's what I like to think about the sharing I do here at The View From Here. Value added, so to speak. Sure. I am fully aware that it does come down to the eye of the beholder, but, thankfully, we are still able to express freely our viewpoints. That is, unless you make a film that is critical of the President, or you choose to associate yourself with the Tea Party movement, or other types of expression, you might just end up sitting on the other side of the table from an IRS investigator. But, let's hope these things we are reading about are not truly intrusions on our freedoms. I would say it's time for us all to pay very close attention. Very close indeed!

The coldest day for Houston ever officially recorded was on January 18, 1930, where it hit 5° degrees. We've lived in this area for some 45 years and we have personally seen a number of low teen days where pipe bursting was the norm. We've also seen huge limbs coming off of our pine trees that sounded like crashing explosions when they fell. Those were not things we read about or saw on TV. We know firsthand what it's like to be without power during an ice storm. We've dealt directly with these cold weather results. More than once. So, we know that while some folks have dreaded the cold we've had the last few days, it could have been much worse my friends. Much worse. And, I don't think it has been cold enough yet to kill off many of the bug species we would like to say goodbye to. We can always be thankful that we have warm clothing and warm homes as we wake up each day and go about our business. Wait a minute. This just in. It's supposed to be in the mid 70's today but I don't think I'll put away my mittens just yet. Enjoy this balmy reprise along with a great Saturday and Lord Day's Sunday and I'll try my best to show up for my shift here somewhere around the same time come next Monday. May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." — attributed to Abraham Lincoln, (This attribution is highly debated with scholars very divided regarding its origin.)

Welcome one and all to today's place holder. That means you can read this while you are waiting to do something important. It is Thursday, January 30, 2014, and I do bid you a hearty welcome. One of the ways you find out how little some folks know is to read some of the questions they put forth on Facebook. From the rising of the sun until the end of the day these folks are asking about everything. I mean everything. Public and private. Everything. It makes you wonder what would have happened to them had they been trying to make it in life without a sounding board like Facebook to figure out how to change a light bulb. I am aware that the Bible does say that one has not because they ask not, however, these folks have taken that admonition to the extreme. And, the things folks admit to can really floor you. One young lady couldn't get her truck doors open during the freeze up. She poured hot water but to no avail. She waited. Came back and poured more hot water. Still no luck. She finally figured out her problem. The doors were locked. I think I would have kept that one to myself. I really do.

The jokes about our local government's over reaction in view of the weather event have saturated the airwaves, social media, and other forms of discussion. Most of it has been good-natured and in some instances, perhaps deserved. No one is more thankful than I that we did not have the huge ice event that could have occurred. I believe when we look at the total chaos that has befallen our friends and neighbors over in the Atlanta area, perhaps some overkill here can be forgiven. Children stranded on school buses for 12 plus straight hours is an unmitigated disaster no matter how elected officials try to spin it. They did almost no preventative sanding before the event and when they began, folks were already stranded with no where to go. I will be surprised if every elected official that had anything at all to do with what happened there ends up keeping their job. Meanwhile, we can continue our joking but also be thankful that we avoided that same challenge and that we were most likely very much more prepared had it occurred. That's my cold weather analysis, at least as it stands at this moment.

Our Sunday morning Bible study class continues to work our way through The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. As the end of this world as we know it nears, I believe the Bible clearly shows how that things are going to get tough for those who try to live by and stand up for biblical truth. That's not a fairytale Henny Penny 'sky is falling' type of projection. Look around folks. Last week the governor of one of our largest states pretty much made it clear that people who take their faith seriously in standing against policies they believe to go against God's clear teaching, well, they are not welcome in his liberal thinking state. Sure, they later attempted to spin what was said, but it is true the enemy is working overtime to isolate and marginalize all people of faith, while at the same time staying busy in indoctrinating our children through education and media to buy into the trashy hedonism that defines society today. That's not my opinion. That's in the Book and we would all do well to take heed. May God help us as a nation to wake up is my prayer. Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation." Edward R. Murrow

I bid you a bitter good morning. No. I am not bitter, but they tell me the weather is bitterly cold. I suppose the word bitterly applies since it does connote unpleasantness, stinging, and harsh. I actually didn't find it to be any of those things but I'm trying to keep up here folks, just keeping up. All of this is taking place here on this Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Hello and welcome. Okay. I knew that someone would spot it. My title yesterday was supposed to be a joke. It's about me being from an area where folks thought a subdivision was a math problem. Well, it turns out they would have been correct in thinking that but I doubt they would have known about it. The Encyclopedia of Mathematics actually has an entry on Subdivision. It is a page long and it has to do with a geometric simplicial complex. How did I find out about that? Well, I actually do fact check my work from time to time and even though it was intended to be humorous I wanted to let the purists that may be lurking in the shadows know that I was aware of the subdivision geometric connection. The use of the word aware may be a huge overkill because it's more that I saw it on a page and read some about it with absolute no understanding of any of it whatsoever. Furthermore, I knew it was an area way over my head when I saw that it was partially based on theories of combinatorial topology espoused by Aleksandrov, and, of course, translated from the Russian. Of course.

I love to read a descriptive phrase that jumps out at me. Here's one I read where the writer was talking about country music singer Marty Stuart and his band... "they’re as hot as bacon grease poppin’ in granny’s gravy-sizzling iron skillet." We watch these guys perform on RFD-TV and we know they are excellent musicians, however, I immediately thought of my Granny Mac's, my Mom's, and my wife's gravy-sizzling iron skillet(s). Now that is a word picture a country boy can understand and I am thankful it still gets portrayed around my house, typically, several times a week. I'm not big on putting gravy on my cat head biscuits but I will assure you that on that issue I'm in the minority around my house. Our boys and many of the grand kids dearly love their biscuits with gravy which can only be properly made with leftover bacon or sausage grease. Now I've done gone and made myself hungry. To think that it all began with one sentence from a music review. How do you like that? Guess I will have to settle for a little package of those gummy fruit flavored snacks. This concludes another sad chapter in the story of my life. Just joking folks.

I am well aware that our family by instinct and inheritance got the eat-to-live versus the live-to-eat somewhat mixed up along the way. We do love us some home cooked meals and I have a well documented history of blood sugar readings to prove it. Another joke. I had no way of knowing my wife was going to become a fabulous cook when we got married. She took what her mom had taught her and added this, that, and the other from my folks. While it didn't happen overnight, she worked at it and it came sooner than anyone might have expected. I think about her learning to make biscuits and cornbread from scratch when she was just a wee little girl. I wonder how many ladies there are who even know where to begin to make homemade biscuits from scratch. I taught myself how to do it by watching her. They don't come out like hers but they will do in a pinch. Maybe I've hit upon a foundational principle for would be great cooks. Start with homemade biscuits. I'm talking about those that are individually squeezed off and hand rolled and put into the iron skillet. (See skillet above.) No biscuit mix or cookie cutters allowed. That's how we roll. No pun intended. I'm still hungry. Take care and may God bless us all. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where I came from, folks thought a subdivision had something to do with a math problem.

Hello and welcome once again to my long running assault on words emanating from my little corner of the mind boggling blogging information highway. (I was actually looking for a way to use boggling blogging together.) It's Tuesday, January 28, 2014 and I am thankful to be able to greet you once again. I cannot deny my upbringing and my heritage. Folks that live in any particular area grow up with their own slang. I used to listen to radio programs from all over the world. I often enjoyed listening to a call in talk show program broadcasting from Brisbane, Australia. I will tell you this: Those Aussies do have their own version of slang! But, we all end up being engaged in word play that characterized the world around us from the perspective of the area where we lived. Here's a sample from my Louisiana rural upbringing: Being too big for your britches meant someone who thought too highly of themselves. Someone who couldn't sing a lick was said to not be able to carry a tune in a bucket. Someone in high cotton was a wealthy or prosperous person. The use of the word right as a qualifier: "That fellow is a right good ball player." You need that like you need a hole in the head obviously refers to something for which there is no necessity. A person considered to be not so attractive was said to have fallen out of an ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way down. I didn't say everything was kindhearted, but, it was a way of using words to communicate and often they did paint a colorful picture.

One of the things we learn as believers is to discard thoughts, ideas, and sayings that do not reflect the love and heart of our Savior. I will not deny the amount of slang I was exposed to growing up that was in many ways based on hate. Those kinds of thoughts can become ingrained. It takes effort and God's help to rid ourselves of these degrading kinds of images portrayed in slang. This is part of our growing in the grace and admonition of the Lord. In fact, being around people who claim to walk with the Lord but who use these kinds of hateful colloquialisms, well, there's a big disconnect somewhere folks. I'm not looking down on them but I do know we all need to project wholesome words if we are to reflect the change that Christ has made in our life. Even as I write this, I am reminded of some of these idioms and figures of speech that are not only incorrect, perhaps racially insensitive, and even mean spirited, but more importantly, they are totally outside the boundaries of how God would have us to conduct ourselves. This tells me we never can remove them from our memory banks but we can reject them and refuse to use them in our desire to influence a lost and dying world. Amen.

First of all, I had no idea that this would be what I would be sharing today, but, I am typically surprised along with everyone else. I will tell you this. Unlearning or better put, un-practicing stuff is one of our greatest challenges in attempting to live the life that would be pleasing to our Lord. Part of this is realizing our need to unlearn some things. It's not always the other fellow. Mark Twain had this to say, "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." How true this is in the way that most of us see it. But, we can change. We don't have to stay the same. Easy? Not really. But with God's help it can be done and it is worth it because of the potential for good that can come out of a changed life. Okay. What's that? No. I do not have a 1-800 number for you to call for a tape from today's sermon. Thanks for asking, anyway. Now, we all have our own fish to fry and that has to do with the day that is before us. Do your best with God's help to make it count for time and eternity. Amen.     .....More later.

Monday, January 27, 2014

"How Cold Is It? It’s so cold, even polar bears can’t handle the polar vortex! Multiple news sources reporting from zoos across the country that polar bears are curling up and staying inside with their snuggie and a cup of cocoa in front of the fire!" (copied)

Okay. It was very cold last Friday morning. I said it. It was cold. It was icy cold. The streets were iced over. I actually defied by own stubbornness by staying home and waiting for it to clear some. I didn't get to work until 11 a.m. Watching all those folks slipping and sliding and, sadly, some beating and banging out on those icy roadways was very scary indeed. Our eldest works in Pearland and he said he saw cars and car parts littering his commute in. The below freezing is not a problem but the sleet and ice, well, they will get the best of almost anybody, often without warning. Some folks were stuck on a major access bridge for more than two hours waiting on it to be cleared and safe. I am thankful that I was able to drag my old self out of bed this morning and make it to my home away from home, here at the ole blogger ranch, on this Monday, January 27, 2014. The local news media did have their moment to shine as they did wall to wall coverage of the winter weather event. Facebook was also lit up with play by play of how folks were coping. Some kiddos were able to play in the snow while others just got to get a handful or two, and that's not something they get to do around these parts very often. I even saw one exchange on Facebook where an African American lady was complaining about it being called 'black ice'. Sometimes folks just seem not to have enough to fuss about, if you know what I mean. If you liked last Friday I understand we have more on the way.

I sometimes wonder about my better half. She hosted a granddaughter slumber party last Friday evening. She went all out. Food, fun, fellowship, and chick flicks. She had asked them what food they wanted as the main course. They came back with homemade cornbread dressing and homemade lasagna. She accommodated with a large pan of each. The men and boys were relegated to the upstairs. I worked on my lesson hand out for Sunday and operated mostly out of my office. I did get a phone call from my sister JoAnn with mostly good news from her most recent testing related to her chronic leukemia. This was an answer to prayer and we do thank everyone who has been faithful to pray for her. One really great benefit from the MiMi slumber party was having our granddaughter Tiffany Marrie along with her daughter, our great grand, Madelyn Joy. Madi girl just turned four and based on what I heard wafting up the stairs, well, she was the life of their party. Tiffany grew up enjoying way too many to count sleepovers here in our home and seeing them here together, well, my allergies must have kicked in or something because my eyes kind of misted up. That tends to be an affliction that I suffer from more as the years roll on. Funny how some things plague older folks, isn't it?

We have one of those fake flickering fire place insert thingies. It even has the crackling sound effect. It does not put off any heat but it somehow makes one feel a little warmer just seeing and hearing it. Talk about the power of suggestion! You can back up to that little machine all day long and it will only be the thought that makes you feel warmer. That reminds me how that things are not always what they seem to be. The old preacher used to recommend that a boy surprise his intended before her face is made up and she was still in her hair rollers. You know. Truth in advertising as well as a version of what you see is what you get. I did see my intended without makeup many times and I also saw her in hair rollers many times. It didn't change my feelings for her one iota and I have forty nine years and counting to prove it. I do hope that you will go out there and make the best of this day, as in, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) Amen.   .....More later.

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you." ~ Saint Augustine

Come on down! Yep. I'm talking to you. Let me check that name tag. It says Friday. Well hello and welcome, because it is good to see you on this January 24, 2014. I'm always on the look out for a good explanation of exactly what it is that I do each day when I sit down and share using this blogging utility. I read one remark that said those who are personal essayists are typically all over the page with there often being no rhyme or reason to the subjects they cover or touch on. That sounds like something I can identify with. I also read this little quote that I like very much reflecting upon the relationship I envision between myself and those who read my stuff: "The charm of the familiar essayist depends upon his power of giving the sense of a good-humoured, gracious and reasonable personality and establishing a sort of pleasant friendship with his reader. . . ." A. C. Benson, 1922, 'The Art of the Essayist'. I didn't say I always hit that mark but I do think in many ways that's what I aim to accomplish each day. Of course I have a personal connection to many of my regular readers. Many are what we call back home blood kin and others are kin by His Blood. The accidental tourist that visits through no fault of their own, well, they will have to make up their own mind.

I have received several comments concerning the recent scientific research I shared that pointed out that we older folks have some valuable brain produced outputs, that while they may take a little more time to process, they end up not being as tainted as once thought in this youth obsessed culture. Some will immediately think this is sour grapes on my part, but, in reality, it's actually more about God's plan for how people and societies should function. Those who know me well will appreciate I'm not campaigning here for older folks to get special treatment, but, rather, it is important for us all to realize what God has communicated regarding this subject. The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates Leviticus 19:32 this way: "You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old. Fear your God; I am Yahweh." Want to know what happens when we fail to practice this, not only in the world in general, but also within the community of believers? Here's how you can tell: Look around, watch the news, pay attention.

That should do it for today and for the week. I'll leave you with a few groans just to show you that I know how to find them. I know where they live: ~ I tried to catch some fog. I mist. ~ Jokes about German sausage are the wurst. ~ A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran. ~ I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time. ~ How does Moses make his tea? He-brews it. ~ I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me. ~ I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down. ~ I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words. ~ I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me. ~ A cross-eyed teacher lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils? ~ I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me! ~ Broken pencils are pointless. ~ What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus. ~ England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool. ~ I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest. ~ I took the job at a bakery because I kneaded dough. ~ Velcro - what a rip off! ~ Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy. ~ I'm glad I'm not where you can throw something at me. But, maybe, just maybe, one of them brought a smile. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist." ~ Stewart Alsop

We meet again and it always seems to me that it begins right here, where X marks the spot, better known as The Blank Page. It can be quite intimidating as it stares back at me, but, sometimes you just have to jump in there with keystrokes blazing. You know. The take no prisoner attitude. Or something like that. It is good to greet you on this rather cool start to the day here on this Thursday, January 23, 2014. It seems to me that it was only 23 days ago when we were talking about embracing the new year. It does get away from us folks because the old adage is correct, it waits for no one. That's why we have to get up each day and do what we can if we are going to make it count. If not, we can easily end up with a pretty severe case of the 'should've, would've, and could've' regret syndrome. Maybe it is a phone call that needs to be made, or a visit, or a service that can be rendered to someone in need. Or, like in my case, some keystrokes that need to be rounded up and sprayed onto the electronic page with the hope of encouraging us all. Not feeling very encouraged? That's okay. Maybe a nap would help. Sounds good to me.

Let me clarify. There are times when the nap should not be implemented. I had one of those the other day while waiting on a traffic signal to change. As much Community as I take in one would think that nodding off would be next to impossible. I was sitting there patiently. I fell asleep. That's right. As in, asleep at the wheel. I'm not talking about day dreaming here. It was more of a snore city type of a sudden onset sleep attack. However, I was fortunate. I was more or less parked, and the good folks around me were kind enough to let me know that my chosen place to take a rest break was unacceptable since they had places to go and people to see, so to speak. Once I saw how concerned they were for me, I immediately floored my accelerator while trying to figure out exactly where I was. The best thing to do when something like that happens is to put distance between yourself and any of the remaining eye witnesses. I would like to say that I embellished this little story but it pretty much reflects exactly what happened. It was one of those wake up calls, pardon the pun, that we all get from time to time.

Please don't send me your 'how to stay awake' tips because I think that little experience was enough of a shot across the bow to get my attention. I do, however, appreciate the concern. I can usually anticipate this drowsiness and interrupt its progress. I often sing when I feel this coming on. And, in that particular incident I suppose loud horns could be considered a form of musical accompaniment. Okay. I think we all have learned something through my little episode and now it is time to get on with the day that God has privileged us to live. The one we are dealing with at the moment, in the here and now. One thing that can help is to always be on the look out for God instituted opportunities that show up in your day. He works that way. Think about it. Sometimes it's not coincidence, it's a God-at-work situation that can bring honor and glory to Him and a blessing to yourself and others. And, it might also just help you to stay awake. May God bless us all is my prayer. Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"It is no use to grumble and complain; It's just as cheap and easy to rejoice; When God sorts out the weather and sends rain - Why, rain's my choice." ~ James Whitcomb Riley

Well, well, we meet again. It's Wednesday, January 22, 2014, and I do bid you a hearty welcome to our time together for today. This past Monday was a national holiday, Martin Luther King Day. School was out. The temperature hit 76 degrees Monday afternoon. As I drove home it was uncanny. Folks were everywhere in their summer, mark that, their summer attire. Joggers, walkers, bicyclers, stroller pushers, ball bouncers, skate boarders, name it. One park that I passed must have had a dozen or more families crowded around enjoying the wonderful clear and sunny day. Message to those who may have missed it. It's still January folks. January. But, it's good they were able to enjoy such a gorgeous day. We have a forecast for well below freezing temps coming for Friday and Saturday to round out our week. You know the old saying already, and it certainly applies around these parts this week, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it'll change."

Who said we couldn't find something to talk about. We do live in a scary and dangerous world folks. The upcoming winter Olympics to be held in Russia has nearly everyone somewhat nervous. There's already been some terrorist bomb attacks in the province where they will be held and more attacks are being threatened. While this has become a part of doing almost anything in the world, it's even more worrying when we send our competitors into a country where we are not fully able to guarantee their safety. No doubt the Russians will do absolutely everything within their power to make sure nothing happens on their watch, but, I read of some new and troubling developments nearly every single day. It makes one wonder why any country would even want to host such an event since it presents such a strategic target for the radicalized elements to go after. At the same time, I suppose we cannot be cowered by those who seek to destroy our way of life. When we do that, they win.

Here's a newsflash for us older folks: "Brains of the elderly slow because they know so much." That's the teaser from a recent article in the London Telegraph reporting on some newly published research concerning brain functioning of older people. Essentially, this new research indicates the brain of the older person does work slower but not because of any impairment. It is slower because of the amount of data collected and stored. Hallelujah! I now have a legitimate excuse folks. The hard drive in my head is so full of stuff it takes me longer to process things than those who have less information to work with. That's exactly what they found in their study. The researchers also put forth some ideas about how the cognitive testing done might well favor younger people since they do not have a lifetime of collected data to wade through. How do you like that? On a computer one can clean up their data files and delete those they no longer need. I wouldn't suggest doing the same for the files stored in the brain, therefore, instead of slow, you can now call me, contemplative. Thanks. May God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also voiced support for his embattled constituents: “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV," In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."

Are you ready to get on with it? Well, here we go again, and we open up our little calendars so that we can synchronize our schedules and find that we have come to Tuesday, January 21, 2014. I'll do my best to not to do what one fellow did. He called everyone together, told them to open their calendars, and then announced they were there to simonize their calendars. Words matter folks. Maybe he was thinking about a clean start. I noticed how the MSP (Mainstream Press, my abbreviation.) gleefully reported the big dip in ratings for the opening episode of the Duck Dynasty series. They pulled in 8.5 million viewers as opposed to over 11 million people for their season opener last year. This gave the MSP another opportunity to once again erroneously paint Phil Robertson as a hater of homosexuals and black people. I'm no prophet but my prediction for the year is how this will become an obsession and relentless theme for the MSP throughout this season. The show may have taken a dip but needless to say, for cable reality programs, there are no equals. On that same night where the MSP were gloating over failure and decline, Duck Dynasty dominated all of cable for both the two new episodes and all of the reruns for the night where the show saturated the ratings placing 7 of their programs in the top 15. Just so you know, I thought the two new programs, which were the only ones I watched, were pretty good, but, unlike the MSP, I'll not hide the fact that I do carry some bias when I evaluate my viewing choices.

I enjoy reading the play by play comments that people make on Facebook during the televised football games. Typically, it's the only sport where people tend to do this. They actually talk to the people involved in the game. Like: "Hey, nice call ref. Hope eye surgery will help your vision!" Or maybe: "Way to go man. You do a great job of making a lot of money but when you get the ball, you stink up the joint." I suppose it shows why the NFL dominates all other professional sports in our country. There's an assumption that most of the folks on Facebook are watching the same game, therefore, they will understand the comments. Right? What about folks like my mom who mostly watches the Hallmark channel? I never see her making a comment like: "Way to kiss that girl man, good job!" I do have a theory about the movies they show on the Hallmark channel. Every single one of them has exactly the same script and plot. They are just played out with different actors and in different settings. Same. Exactly. I think they may even use the same music. How do I know about what goes on regarding the Hallmark channel? Good question. I can assure you that you can come to this conclusion just passing through. Just passing through. Picking up speed, just passing through.

I think that will be enough to give us some food for thought, or, if not, maybe you can use it as canon fodder. You know. Another iteration of my own little version of the ready, fire, aim brigade. One thing about hanging out with our dear Brother Milton, he is about the most 'in the moment' thankful person you will ever see. His brain was damaged due to the catastrophic trauma he experienced. It left him with hardly any consciousness of the present or short term memory. God has given him not only a sense of peace about his current condition but also a whimsical sense of humor along with this uncanny perception of thanking God on a moment by moment basis. He may not remember if we prayed over the meal even though he did the prayer, but he will not eat a bite until someone assures him the prayer was said. He may not remember anything noteworthy about their journey from Louisiana to our home but he will tell you that he remembers and is thankful for his most recent ability to draw another breath. We are all still learning from the testimony of this dear man of God and perhaps that's one reason God spared his life. I know one thing for sure, I still need a whole lot of learning. Amen.       .....More later.

Monday, January 20, 2014

“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” ~ Eva Burrows

Good morning class, it's my pleasure to welcome you back. I hope you are all prepared and ready because today is Monday, January 20, 2014. We were so blessed to have our dear Brother Milton and his wife Glenda come for a short visit this weekend. The wife's sister, Dorothy, brought them over and we have had us one great time of fellowship. Brother Milton is a walking miracle as we understand the meaning of that word. Several years ago he was given up for dead several times after suffering a massive heart attack and stroke, but, God had other plans. His life back then was defined by a long list of what he would never be able to do again. God had other plans. He became my brother in law back in 1964 so we have sojourned together in this life for more than just a few years. In fact, he married off his sister to yours truly. His first wedding and mine too. He has been able to preach again on occasion and when I read his name in an obituary as being one of the ministers involved, the tears well up in my eyes. Why? God had other plans for this wonderful couple and we give Him the honor and glory for it all. Why? It's pretty obvious folks that He and He alone has done this great work! Amen.

I suppose that being absentminded, forgetful, or distracted can produce surprises at times. When you have your mouth all set for some old fashioned oatmeal cooked up with some raisins, well, ending up with grits in the bowl was not what I had in mind. That old fashioned tag doesn't really apply since we're talking microwave cuisine here. The instant packages were about the same size and they were in the draw at my desk close together. That's not all. It's also interesting to go somewhere only to find out that it was not where you were supposed to go. When I heard the place mentioned I immediately thought of the other place so I went there instead. That made for an interesting set of conversations forth and back. It can be really challenging to pull off the 'I meant to do that' when you obviously don't have a clue. While some folks are asking the great 'Why am I here?' questions, I suppose I'm more focused on a particular location at any given time. Many of you know all too well exactly what I am talking about.

One thing about me. I usually devote the same amount of energy to doing a task, regardless if it turns out to be the right task or not. My experience is consistent. There's no bigger mistake than when you go all out but it ends up being the wrong place, the wrong activity, or the wrong outcome. Typically, there's not too many folks standing around saying 'at least he put his heart into it', if you know what I mean. And, we still are learning. Like, make sure you don't put the instant cereal packages close together in the drawer. And, make sure you double check your destination before you leave, not after you arrive. See there. I started out the day by addressing you as my class and I now have delivered some important rules that will help us all as we go along life's way. Now I am left to ponder whether that was exactly what I intended or not. I'll keep working on that one and Lord willing maybe the big 'C' as in clarity will show up for tomorrow's session. Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.    ....More later.

Friday, January 17, 2014

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'." Erma Bombeck

Whew! I woke up this morning and discovered that it is Friday. That's a little good news for you on this January 17, 2014. Since hardly anyone writes checks anymore, I suppose the transition between one year to the next is no longer as big of a deal as it once was. I can remember, back in the day, always having to check and recheck to see if I had written the year correctly. Now, thanks to the electronic world we live in where 110 million people can have their private information stolen just by shopping at Target, we no longer have to worry about that date thingy. And don't be surprised if you see me using that 'back in the day' moniker more as we journey forward. I believe it not only comes with the territory but for most of us, it is well earned. I know the identity theft deal is no laughing matter. I used to joke about how that if someone stole mine they would be so disappointed being me, however, we all know that it can become a nightmare in a heartbeat, and, sad to say, it continues to spiral out of control. (Conservative estimates put the cost at over $200 billion per year.) They tell us that in Europe they have implemented a much better electronic card system that greatly reduces the exposure compared to the cards we use here in the states. Why don't we have it here? It cost too much money from the card issuer and the retailers point of view. It's always about the money folks. Always.

I now have a new cell phone. It was either a Christmas gift or a 49th wedding anniversary gift from the wife, I can't remember which, but it has brought a sense of tranquility to an otherwise anxious world. I mean that old one I had was pathetic. Most of everything you needed to be able to see had worn off. The duck tape was a nice touch but it embarrassed nearly everyone, except for me. That little worn out phone in many ways was a metaphor for yours truly, you know, kind of like a comfortable but nearly worn out pair of jeans. The new one is all shiny with bold features. It supposedly is waterproof, rugged, and industrial strength. I'll probably be really glad I have it with me if I ever go into a nuclear power plant. And, my new phone is capable of doing all kinds of things even though its operator is not. It came with the Amber Alert feature preset. That's nice but the wife wasn't as impressed at 2 a.m. in the morning. I suppose I'm not the only one getting used to my brand new phone. (As a disclaimer, let me add: Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.) 

How many times have I told you, being me is no easy job? (No wonder I have to get up so early.) You've bound to have picked up on that one by now. You may think I've worn out a few psychiatrist couches over the years. It's really not as many as one might think. In fact, the number is zero. Are you happy now? Maybe the famous bard was onto something: "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." (William Shakespeare) Milton Berle said, "Laughter is like an instant vacation." Given all the funnies I so often inadvertently bring to my day, perhaps I'm the one with frequent flier laughs. Or something like that. It is Friday so make the best of it, enjoy your Saturday, and Lord's Day Sunday. The chuckle head blogger will do his best, Lord willing, to catch back up with you, come next Monday. May God bless each one. Amen.  .....More later.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"I want to force the other drivers to find a way past me." ~ Jeff Gordon

Happy Thursday to one and all, on this January 16, 2014. I know most of you are aware that I often make my own feeble attempt to write satire. Some folks appreciate the humor and others, well, not so much. The wife conceded how the little ditty I wrote about changing the channels on my satellite radio while driving would have brought a smile to many, essentially, she thought it not to be very funny at all. See what I mean? Maybe it was that time when she reminded me that I had veered over into the other lane with an 18 wheeler bearing down on us. That was just a figure of speech as a metaphor to represent her concerns voiced at different times. She even has a problem with me riding on those little bumpety bumpety bump thingies that warn you about getting out of your lane. I've tried to explain that someone needs to try them out from time to time, and after all is said and done, they are there for a reason. Pretty straight forward and logical as I see it. She did, however, admit to a little laugh about the punch served at the Sunday School party but for the rest of it, to her, it wasn't even close to being one bit plum funny. I've been around long enough to know when she interjects the 'plum' word, it's time for me to tread lightly. That's why, as you can tell, I've pretty much stayed quiet about the whole thing.

Our Sunday morning Bible study time has been spent recently working our way through the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Many people steer clear of this great text because they feel only specialized experts can handle the text. That has always seemed odd to me. The letter itself was addressed to seven local New Testament called out assemblies or congregations. These congregations all had locations where they met. That's the recipients of the letter. That would be folks like ourselves with pastors, elders, and deacons serving alongside regular members. The message of the letter brings consolation and hope to those who serve the Lord faithfully regardless of the difficulties that may be involved. Sure, there are many symbolic images portrayed in the visions that God gave to the Apostle John. And that is why many people run from it. It's clear that with God's help given through the promised enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, these texts were relevant to common ordinary servants when they first received it and heard it read, and it is relevant to common ordinary servants today. It is the only writing in the New Testament that has a specific promised blessing for those who take in its message: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 1, Verse 3)

I do not mean to imply that this study is easy because it does require diligence to evaluate the symbolic images that portray the reality of the coming ultimate victory as well as the judgments that will characterize the end times. It's purpose is to encourage and motivate faithfulness in the daily living of those who name the name of Jesus. It also sets before us the certainty of the judgments that, not if, but that will come to those who reject the salvation freely given by God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes. It is a sobering message but one worth taking in and making its reality a part of the truth we live by. Okay. That should end my little sermonette for today. I commend you to your own individual searching out of these great truths. Take care and make the best of the day we have before us, remembering to give God the glory for it all. Amen.      ....More later.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." ~ Michael Jordan

I don't have the camel with me but it is that day where he walks around reminding people about it in that most annoying commercial. That's right. It's Wednesday, January 15, 2014. I mentioned yesterday about the 1700 blogs I've written in this forum since 2007. I will admit that it is a lot of sharing. Gunsmoke only ran 635 episodes in its twenty year run. But, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting up each day and seeing what happens to make its way from my little pea sized brain to the electronic page. I know that during this long run I have been prone to be somewhat repetitive but when you think about it, my life has only so many reruns stored up. After all is said and done, it's the only life I have, so there you have it. Some have made the point that me doing them each day is likely a type of therapeutic outlet for me. There's maybe something to that but I have always enjoyed writing as a way of communicating, therefore, this daily visit has been a way of me doing that. And, perhaps more important than anything, I have always attempted to include a word of encouragement and truth from God that can help us all along our way. At the end of the day, that alone makes it worth doing, along with you getting to laugh some about my thrashing around adventures as I pursue the life God has given to me.

I know it is still early on with the new healthcare law but thus far it seems there's much confusion about the status of sign ups, and the impact the law is making on those seeking medical help each day. One thing is clear. The government wants to know everything about each individual's medical situation, period. The local employer is responsible for gathering this information. Even if you are not signing up, they are still required to collect exhaustive data about how you take care of your medical needs. That seems to be an overkill especially when folks like myself and my wife have coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan. Earlier this week the feds released some early demographic data on those who have signed up thus far. This information says that the younger folks are not rushing to get coverage. The middle aged and older folks reflect the largest groups signing up and for those who have, some 4 out of 5 qualified for government subsidy. The design, to make it affordable, requires a very large number of younger healthy folks to pay the freight of their older and sicker fellow citizens. It's a big mess. That might sound less than technical but it's my take based on the testimonies of folks talking to me about their personal experiences, and what I've found in my own attempts to contact my medical providers. Obviously the system is overwhelmed at this time and I'm not sure it will get better. But we will see. Stay tuned.

Local employers and small businesses are being advised by their chosen insurers on how to handle the requirements imposed by the new law. Based on my contacts with a variety of folks, "Houston we have a problem." The insurance companies advising businesses have different interpretations of the law. Hello? That's why I am giving my early professional analysis in saying it's a mess. I thought I should clarify that. I know that laws are made to be changed, updated, and improved, or as some would have it, repealed. If there ever was a candidate for improvement, this one wins, hands down. But, that's just the way I happen to see it. Having the government take over everything pertaining to our lives goes against the principles upon which our nation was founded. While the number is debated, some believe that $15 trillion has been spent since President Johnson declared his war on poverty. Sadly, the statistics do not reflect great progress at all in eradicating poverty and certainly the lack of progress is astounding when considering the monies expended. I know. Instead of the bubble or trickle up, I more or less combined a volcano and avalanche for today's edition. Don't blame me. I didn't know about it either until it was done. Have a good day and remember in the midst of all this wailing and gnashing, God is still on His throne, and His plan and purpose continues onward. Amen.     ....More later.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Men don't care what's on TV. They only care what else is on TV." ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Good morning for the 1700th time. That's quite a few keystrokes I've left hanging around out on the grand worldwide information highway. If this was a video game I might get some free tokens or something. I know. That's likely not how video games work anymore but I can't know everything about everything. Sorry. It is good to say hello and welcome on this Tuesday, January 14, 2014. I've watched some football in preparation for the much over-hyped Superbowl, however, it is good to know that testing is underway at Daytona. You didn't know that? Well, I'm here to tell you that it was going on this past weekend. They call it the preseason thunder testing for NASCAR. Instead of waiting all year, NASCAR has what is arguably their biggest race of the year, first, that is, the Daytona 500 which will be run on February 23. I was busy switching forth and back from the football game during commercials, and that my friend, is enough to be a workout for your arthritic fingers. From gospel music to NASCAR to the football playoff game and back. If it was a favorite song, I stayed with that for a few minutes, and whichever one had no commercial running typically won. No. I am not interested in that device that skips commercials because I already have one and it's had lots of use. Me!

I will tell you this. If anyone ever needed a remote control device for their satellite radio in their car, well, I would be that person. I don't have to worry about being distracted by the cellphone, but, trying to change the channel on my little satellite device, well, it has caused me to hit a few culverts and I do have a scratch or two on my fenders. As they say back home, ''That's not good." It also gives my wife plenty to complain about. While she was away as a youth sponsor for a winter outing, I came into the garage where she usually parks and hit her step ladder and a couple of other things because I was switching forth and back between a couple of stations on the satellite. I wasn't happy about it because it appeared to me they had too many things in my way. I had no idea I would be dealing with an obstacle course just trying to get in my driveway. I know. It's not funny, and I have made a commitment to only change the station when it is safe, or if the coast is clear.

I did learn an important lesson. Never hit the step ladder in your own garage or they will wonder what kind of punch was being served at the Church class party you were coming home from. That's just a joke so don't write me. And, yes, I am going to be more careful with my changing stations while driving. I'm sure the wildlife on the roadways will be glad to hear that. Poor critters, they actually don't have a clue which way to run these days when they see me coming. Maybe that's why so many of them just stand and shake their heads when I pass by. You do know I'm mostly exaggerating for effect. Right? Mostly. Okay. Not entirely. I didn't say I couldn't use some improvement here. Last time I checked we all could. I will work on it. I promise. Now for the 1700th time I feel very comfortable in pointing us all to the Lord God of heaven who provided us a way, through the finished work of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, for each of us to be made right with Him. You can count on that. May God bless each one is my prayer. Amen.  ...More later.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Work is a necessity for man. Man invented the alarm clock." ~ Pablo Picasso

You can relax. It's only me, and I only dropped by to say hello and wish you well on this back-to-work Monday, January 13, 2014. I was going to talk some about the history of the use of the idiom, 'on your mark, get set, go' and it's corresponding 'ready, set, go', but, while there's plenty of references and background information, there's no clear consensus when they were first used. We all know they are typically associated with sporting competitions, especially those that involve racing. Therefore, I will not use it to help get us started today even though you are more than welcome to do so if it offers some additional motivation. Some of my days seem to be more defined by the 'ready, fire, aim' approach but I will let you figure that one out. It is good, however, to be, as some often say, vertical, and able to function. It's not necessary to dwell on the alternative unless someone might prefer the horizontal as a choice, like maybe as in: sleeping in this morning. One of these days I might just check that one out because it's always instructive to know what people mean when they speak of such things. My grandfather always thought folks who slept in were more like a bunch of lazy dogs all laid up. Maybe that's where my internal early wake up alarm came from. Does anyone know of a hot line number that could help me to deal with this discovery? You do know I'm only joking. Right?

In case you missed it, I believe myself to be a thoroughly conservative person depending on how that term is defined. I am not a hater. As an observer of the news cycle, one would have to be totally tuned out and clueless not to see how the mainstream press functions. I am not a New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fan. He is identified as a Republican and currently has himself in a big mess over the closing of some lanes on a busy bridge that created havoc. The mainstream media have literally gone crazy over this development. Literally. They can't get excited about the IRS scandal, our people being killed in Benghazi, abuses of power within the current administration all over the place, the fact that the employee participation in the workforce is nearing a 40 year low, and any number of other seriously important issues. As it relates to these matters, there's no there there as far as they are concerned. However, because Mr. Christie calls himself a Republican and because he has aspirations for higher office, 'Katy bar the door!' (They just can't contain their love for Hillary who is the beneficiary of all of this.) Don't believe me. Please. Check it out for yourself. And, I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported....but I ask this: Doesn't these other issues which are even more significant warrant at least the same?

Again, I am 100% for holding elected officials accountable, and if there has been wrongdoing within Governor Christie's administration, then he should answer for it, period. I just find the both obvious and odious double standard to be rather sickening. Well, well, now that I have that off my chest I'll see if I can regain my composure here. To be honest, my blood pressure probably didn't increase at all because we have learned this to be the norm and I was just reminding us all of how it works. And for those of you who think I mostly get my input from Fox News or the well known screamers on talk radio, let me assure you that I believe most people are more than capable of discovering these things without those sources. I know that's how it works for me. But enough of that for today because we all have our own fish to fry, so to speak. Therefore, I commend you to trust the Lord for He is in control, over all things, and yes, that includes our nation. Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life here on this second Friday of the brand new year, January 10, 2014. Best I could discover, that 'first day' quote may have been coined by a 1960's group devoted to drug rehabilitation. One fellow commented that it is a universal truth for every day except one, that would be your last day. I suppose on that day it could be updated to say, 'welcome to the last day of the rest of your life'. I know you are so very pleased that I cleared all of this up. I appreciate you appreciating me for appreciating the need to provide this important information. You know. Like the song. "I was looking back to see If you were looking back to see If I was looking back to see If you were looking back at me." That 1954 song was written and sung by Jim Ed Brown and his sister Maxine, who, later, along with their younger sister, Bonnie, became known as The Browns. It is a good song, by the way. You can call it up on YouTube along with several of their other big hits. We have an older fellow in our Church who grew up living in the same little town with The Browns in Arkansas. He actually dated one of the girls when he was in high school. Is it a small world, or what? No. This is not national useless trivia day. I would never want to limit my sharing of stuff to just one day a year!

They have something on Facebook called throwback Thursday. This is where people put up images of themselves or others from their past. This is an interesting feature that shows how folks have changed. Looking around the world we live in often makes me feel like I'm mostly living a throwback life so to speak. I'm not talking about the proverbial Mayberry good old days mentality. I'm thinking more about the way in which our world functions today. We are fast becoming a very coarse society where life unfolds in an almost profane way. I'm also not talking about them, you know, those out there, somewhere. I'm thinking about me, myself, and I, and all of us that name the name of Jesus and how that we are in many respects playing the game by the world's rules. I suppose in one way it seems that we are surrounded by brokenness, inside, outside, and all around. Yet, the reality of our life in Christ informs us that we are called to live differently, even in a dark world. The Apostle Paul spoke some about this in his letter to the local fellowship of believers meeting in Colossae, (Epistle to the Colossians). The Amplified Bible reports Chapter 2, Verse 8 in this way: "See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah)." No one said it would be easy folks but may God help us to be a light that does brighten the corner where we are. Amen.

Yeah. I know. That's tilted a little towards the 'heavy' stuff for a Friday, but, it is something I have been, continue to be, and no doubt will do more of in the future, and that is to find myself wrestling with these types of issues. The old man still at war with the new man, if you get my drift. (Romans Chapter 6) But, we are not without hope, because we are also told that victory can be achieved because, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1st John 4:4) That's a truth we all need as we continue the journey God has appointed us to travel. I do hope you've had a productive week. They say that last Monday, being the designated official back-to-work and end-of-the-holiday, is the saddest or most depressing day of the year. That's supposedly because of the jolt back to reality where all the holiday bills must be dealt with, and the daily grind must be once again pursued. I didn't know about it so I suppose I'm thankful I didn't feel down and out on that designated saddest day. Who said being ignorant doesn't have some benefit? Just joking. Now is the time for us all to wrap up today, enjoy our Saturday, and honor our great God by meeting with other believers on Sunday. That's not such a bad prescription. If you ask me. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen.      ....More later.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy Birthday to our Brady Darrell, 8 years old today!

First things first. Today I pause to join in the celebration of our grandson Brady Darrell's 8th birthday. You've heard of daddy and his shadow, well, may I introduce you to our Rodney's little shadow, Brady. I'm sure Rod scratches his head sometimes when he thinks just how much Brady is like he was, and is. Brady is a remarkable young fellow who enjoys life. His dad was always the life of any party and Brady is able to hold his own as well. He's well taken care of by Rodney and Mitzi and his sisters Kyleigh and Lexie. We do love this boy and pray God's blessings upon his life. Happy Birthday Brady from your MiMi and Poppy.

My old stomping grounds this past Monday from central Louisiana.
Rise and shine and give God the glory...glory! That's one of the lines from the children's song and it's not a bad way to get us going here on this Thursday, January 9, 2014. I would suppose there are a whole lot of folks living in our great land who would just as soon not be hearing anything more about 'walking in a winter wonderland'. Those who have been cooped up for days with snow and ice surrounding their world, well, they are ready to sing a new song. Perhaps they would rather be humming 'In the Good Old Summertime'. I can remember growing up in Louisiana how excited we were as kids, when, we would on very rare occasions have snow on the ground. It was so much fun. We ran and played and had ourselves a ball. However, we soon learned the limitations of our jeans and jackets as they were not well suited for the cold and wet. Our shrieking for joy eventually turned to shivering as we ran out of socks and new layers to replace the wet ones. That's how it goes in life folks. All our hopes and dreams here are temporary at best, but we, like Abraham, are looking for that place of perfection, our heavenly home, that eternal city whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10) Amen.

While serving in the Obama administration, former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel gave us this memorable quote: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." There's a new crisis in the making that obviously has many folks in a panic. Recent news reports indicate there could be a shortage of Velveeta Cheese leading up to and including the time when the Superbowl will be played. What is this world coming to? I suppose we in our household are fortunate since we don't typically use Velveeta in making a dip, but given the amount of news coverage devoted to this subject, I suppose there are plenty of folks who do. Maybe the government can come up with a plan to help alleviate this potential disaster. That might improve the President's sagging poll numbers. Think about it. No one should have to live without their Velveeta Cheese dip. My personal advice: Don't pay any outrageous price for a black market processed cheese product, especially if it is being sold out of the trunk of a car. If you should get your hands on some, make certain it has the following ingredients: "Milk, water, milkfat, whey, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate; contains less than 2% of: salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color), and cheese culture."

Okay. That's my public service notice for today and I know everyone will benefit by me keeping us all informed. Or something like that. For those of you thinking about writing your member of Congress, please don't. The reporting like this is a huge crisis is very real, but my take on it is all in fun. Got it? I hope so. Now, get out there and have yourself a really great day and whatever you do, don't forget to give God the glory...glory. Amen.  ....More later.