Monday, March 31, 2014

"Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery - there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair." Rick Warren, Pastor and Author

Well hello there. Good to see you again. I was just thinking about how that today feels a whole lot like Monday and it turns out to be just that here on this last day, the 31st of March, 2014. The country blue grass song that says life is like a mountain railroad pretty much hit it squarely on the head. Ups and downs, curves and valleys, but in that song the writer also says that we as believers can hang on because of the Engineer who is in control of our train. I don't know about you but I need to be often reminded of this truth. If we are not careful our trainload of 'worries and whys' can at times slow us down and stall our progress. In essence, folks don't have to tune into a TV show dubbed reality to get a full dose of it in their own lives each and every day. There is good news here. That Engineer from the train song is able. We are weak, He isn't. We can't know everything, He does. And, probably the greatest truth of all is that He has promised to never leave us nor to ever forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Romans 8:31-37, and Hebrews 13:5) I think I hear the Conductor calling and it's time to get on board that Glory Train. Amen.

How about a funny little story to try and add some humor to the beginning of our Monday? I know the old joke where you say, "Based on your prior contributions you certainly have proven that you can add about as little humor as anyone." Sorry to let you down but I've heard that one before. But, I did think this one was good for maybe half a chuckle. ~ A cop pulls over a couple for speeding. He walks up to the driver and says "I clocked you going 80 miles per hour sir." "Impossible officer!" says the driver, "I had my cruise control on 60." The wife then chimed in, "Don't be silly dear, this car doesn't have cruise control." As the officer began writing the ticket the husband growls to his wife, "Can't you just keep your mouth shut?" The wife smiled and said, "You should have known better when the radar detector went off." The cop responded, "A radar detector eh, that's illegal." And he began writing a second ticket. The man was ready to explode, "You idiot woman, didn't I tell you to stay quiet?" At this, the officer leaned into the car and asked the woman, "Ma'am, does he always talk to you this way?" She smiled and answered, "Oh heavens no, it's only when he has been drinking."

I know that you know that words are a big part of my world. I'm into catch phrases, idioms, figures of speech, and clever sayings. I am impressed by those that carry a message in them, as well as those that are just a little on the silly side. ~ A person with a good attitude can even enjoy the scenery during a detour. ~ Ever notice that people who show up late seem to be so much jollier than those waiting for them? ~ Mastering your diet is really quite simple: It's a matter of mind over platter. ~ A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor. ~ Question: If you shoot a mime, is it really necessary to use a silencer? ~ One advantage to getting older: Your gray cells are down to a manageable size. ~ On that one, I will take my leave for today. But, not to worry, Lord willing I'll try to be right here on this station come tomorrow morning. Lord willing. May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Friday, March 28, 2014

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.” ― Robert Frost

I've looked around and best I can tell we can start wrapping things up because we are on our way to completing another work week here on this Friday, March 28, 2014. The other day I was listening to some classic clips from Groucho Marx as recorded and used in the days when radio was king. Groucho was Jewish. He joined a country club in Hollywood and was informed that he, as a Jew, would not be allowed to use the swimming pool. Groucho responded by asking if his young daughter could at least wade up to her knees since she was only half-Jewish. He had a very sharp intellect and a quick wit but one must wonder about, in the midst of the joke, how much pain he felt along with so many others dealing with this type of overt discrimination. That was a sad time in our nation's history. I listen to Groucho because his improvised one liners appeal to me. Here's a few to get your Friday off to a running start: ~ Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? ~ I have nothing but respect for you …and not much of that. ~ Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. ~ Room service? Send up a larger room. ~ Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others. ~ He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot. ~ I never forget a face, but in your case I’d be glad to make an exception. ~ A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five! ~

Folks, that 1964 Bob Dylan song captured it correctly, "The Times They Are a-Changin." Right before our very eyes. I still find it hard to believe what you hear when you tune into a local AM radio program supposedly offering 24x7 sports coverage. At any given time you hear just about anything and everything other than sports. The stuff being talked about at times has to be borderline obscene. They talk as much about cheerleaders and strippers as they do football. It's like tuning in to an out of control college frat party. It's the same thing for ESPN. They are now a factor in the appropriately named culture war and they have a person on staff, (hired away from the New York Times), who actually attempts to push and promote their idea of what the social agenda should be. He recently said that if folks who like sports are tired of hearing about the social stuff, well, they had better get used to it because there's more on the way. He used the term, 'In your face.' Go to the weather channels/stations and you get the same stuff. They promote whatever version of political correctness they embrace. How did this happen? Well, for one thing, most of these outlets are all owned by mega conglomerate media companies that have the means and the wherewithal to pursue their politically motivated agendas. I suppose the idea is one of saturation and group-think where people by exposure and osmosis become puppets to their TV and Radio masters. I think the foregoing comments might require an opinion stamp but then again most of my blogs would need that designation.

You can't say you miss out on variety when you pay a visit to the ole blogger ranch. I think I've heard that it's supposed to be the spice of life. Whoever came up with that one had likely not read the type of variety I offer up. I'm sure some would prefer that I exercise my right to remain silent but with nearly 1800 blogs floating around out there, there's little chance of that happening, at least in the short run. I do thank all of you who tune in each day. I also appreciate your indulgence and the words of encouragement I receive from time to time. Someone out there is actually landing on the public version from time to time. Based on the stats, that would be some 118,000 page views thus far. I didn't say they intentionally landed on them but a hit is a hit and maybe someway or somehow something may jump out at them to help them along life's way. Or, at the least, to give them a smile. Another week and another bushel of words sent to make their way out onto the worldwide information highway. They no doubt get tired. We all do. You take care. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I will do my best to catch up with you again, next time. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

To drink the Kool-Aid: A reference to those who drank to their death in the 1978 Jim Jones, Jonestown mass suicide. It has now become a metaphor for those who blindly buy into and adhere to a particular philosophy, perspective, or political system.

The power of words continue to show themselves to be just that each and every day. It's Thursday, March 27, 2014, and as I mentioned the other day the words are flying all over the place in the Russian press. Their mainstream press is actually portraying, literally, their President Putin as the knight in shining armor doing battle with the dragon they call the West, mostly meaning America but also including the European Union. That's keeping the national fervor stirred to a fevered pitch. For now. Sadly, that stirred up emotion will not put food on the table and it will not improve the plight of the overwhelming majority of the Russian people. I point this out because it's so easy to see. Yet, the exact same thing goes on in our own land. It may be called spin, talking points, propaganda, or rhetoric, but it goes out to the masses, often targeted to certain groups. Sadly, we have reached a point in our history where it is difficult to get a reporting of the straight forward facts on just about any subject or event. That includes all sides. Why? Because that which is at stake is of the utmost importance. Power. Whoever gains it can use it to accomplish their own purposes and that is what is at stake. My way of looking at it as it relates to getting the straight story, and I do hate to be cynical, but, I pretty well see it all as needing to be taken with a grain of salt, from all sources. We need not laugh at the Russian people because we have many people here in our nation who have been offered up a steady intake of Kool-Aid and they gladly continue to drink it. It might be the Obama flavor, the Democrat flavor, the Republican flavor, the Libertarian flavor, or a mixture of all of the above. Here's the deal: The only source I know of that can always be trusted is to partake of that which is provided in the Word of the Lord. Amen.

I suppose that was stuck in my craw and it just had to come out. Let me help you decipher that one. Here's an explanation from the Ask website: "The expression 'that sticks in my craw' refers to something that really annoys you. A 'craw' is the throat of a bird. If something is stuck in a craw it is something that cannot be swallowed (like something that is annoying!)." I am very much aware that as I sound out and sound off on how I see things many immediately think I am setting myself up as the master of truth. Nothing could be further from the actual truth, but I am aware that if anyone questions or challenges these Kool-Aid held beliefs they are branded as trying to be holier-than-thou or superior in some way. Sorry. That will not work. I only point people to the Source of Truth. I consider myself to be the proverbial beggar that attempts to show others where they can find bread. Yet, I well understand this accusation because it is not new, and if someone is unwilling to have it said about themselves, they might just best keep their mouth shut.

Let me see if I can move on. I thought this one was worthy of at least two chuckles out of a score of five: ~ A professor was traveling by boat. On his way he asked the sailor: "Do you know Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Geography, and Physiology?" The sailor said no to all his questions. Professor: "What in heaven's name do you know about the earth? You will die of illiteracy." After a while the boat started sinking. The sailor asked the professor, "Do you know swiminology and escapology from sharkology?" The professor said no. Sailor: "Well, sharkology and crocodilology will eat your rear-endology, your headology and you will dieology because of your mouthology." ~ Here's an anonymous quote to end our time for today: "A person's most useful asset is not the head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen, and a hand willing to help." Don't give me that look. I was surprised when I read what was on today's menu too. Take care. Enjoy your day, and, may God add His blessings to it. Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.” ― José Ortega y Gasset, Philosopher (1883-1955)

It's Wednesday, March 26, 2014 and I need to do what our President seems to do quite often, a reset. He's busying himself in resetting just about everything, from our relationships with most of the world's leaders to daily delays and changes to Obamacare. My reset is more of a restatement of the facts. I appreciate folks who express concern about the hours I keep, since I am admittedly an early riser and all of that. However, the date and time stamp on my blogs are not reflective of the actual time they were done. I typically always try to exclude that information when I copy my published blog over for emailing. But occasionally it slips through and people think I must be a night owl. I'm not. That time stamp comes from the Blogger utility I use and it is operated from out on the West Coast, therefore, it's two hours earlier. I copied one earlier this week that had 2:58 a.m. on it. My wife even sent me a note of concern. That was actually 4:58 a.m. here in the Bible Belt or Central Time Zone as it is called. Meanwhile, don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate any and all sympathy expressed towards 'my condition' and let me just say that 'my condition' is vast enough to need any and all the support it can get. Or something to that effect.

I was thinking the other day about things that were a part of our lives growing up that we no longer use or for the most part even think about. I suppose most of us are glad we no longer have cigarette ashtrays sitting around. I don't miss the party line phones where folks would snoop in on your calls. In fact, in a growing common situation, many folks no longer even have a primary phone. Just a cell number. Nothing else. You don't see that many clothes lines anymore. I can remember finding them at night when I was running through the yard. Talk about an abrupt stop! It would, as they say back home, knock the breath slap out of your body. There's also not so many of the big attic fans around. I can remember the one at my granddad's house that sounded like a propeller from a WW2 bomber. Us boys slept in a room just off to the side from where that fan was mounted in the attic. It was loud and it also created quite a bit of vibration. In many ways it was soothing as we allowed it to rock us to sleep. Sadly, my grandfather was a very frugal man and when he got up to go to the bathroom, usually around 10 p.m., the fan was switched off. There we lay, still and hot. Nothing but crickets to serenade us. We surely missed that sound. In fact, we missed it so much we got to where we weren't able to go to sleep because we were on edge trying to anticipate him turning it off. See what I had to endure. Next time maybe you won't chuckle when I mention 'my condition'.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not lobbying for many of those things from my version of the good ole days, although, I do think some things were pretty decent. Family was a part of how things worked and not just our immediate family. Community. Face to face conversations. Visiting. And, while I know technology has brought us many labor saving conveniences, back in the day we definitely operated in a low tech world but one where we lived with a sense of belonging. Last Saturday when I drove over to Louisiana I had five passengers with me. The vehicle we used was fully equipped with enough electronics to power all the smart phones and DVD players required to keep everyone totally oblivious to the road trip. I'm not sure they even knew we were moving down the road. Consequently, it was a peaceful journey, forth and back. Everyone with their own ear bugs. Everyone doing their own thing. Good for the driver I suppose, but when it carries over into every minute of every day of life, well, I'm pretty sure this type of isolated/insulated preoccupation will produce a bill coming due one day, and it might just be sooner than we think. Meanwhile, those of us who recognize what's at stake, we might do well in trying to impart some of those values that were handed down to us. Just a thought. See you next time and until then may God bless one and all. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." (NIV)

New day here on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, but some folks haven't rested that much. They are relentless and they do not intend on letting up until they get what they are looking for. No. I'm not talking about Putin and his Russian thugs, although that statement could apply. I'm actually talking about those who are working 24x7 trying to bring down the Duck Dynasty brand. As best I can tell the franchise is alive and well as they continue to do pretty doggone good, still dominating Cable each week and doing so in an environment where they are being constantly attacked. Last week I read one of the big TV trade magazines doing their drumbeat of doom in saying that the Robertson clan are being taught a lesson in how hate doesn't pay. Hate? C'mon, surely by now they can do better than that. It's only hate because they don't like what these people stand for. Here's a man that cares enough about others to share the truth from God's Word and the anti-truth lobby sets out to destroy him and his family by branding them as haters. Calling them names will not change thus says the Word of the Lord. Since these folks identify themselves with God, I would think they will be okay, no matter how it all plays out. (Just for the record, I'm following this as closely as I am primarily as an observation of our culture not because I am their biggest fan, although, I do watch their programs.)

In my wife's family, all four of the children produced a total of eight sons. They didn't have any girls in their family until our eldest son's first child, our Tiffany, was born. She was the first daughter in the family since my wife was born. Last Saturday as the eight sons stood around talking I found it interesting what they were talking about. One theme had to do with the challenges associated with growing older. Hello? These are the same dudes that we have on 8 MM video wrestling out in the yard like there was no tomorrow. These are the same fellows who did stunts on their bikes and ran and played until dark thirty every time they got together. Now they are talking about aches and pains and failing eyesight. The bicycles are now bifocals. The wrestling is now the waistline. And, so it goes. The circle of life. The fact that we all were able to be there, one more time, well, let me put it this way: That was nothing short of a shout of praise to God who has brought us all this far. Amen.

The Malaysian authorities have announced their conclusion based on an information model that the jetliner is officially crashed into the Indian ocean. Sadly, with their track record of misinformation, I'm sure many if not most remain skeptical. I did see a headline that said global warming was making it more difficult for them to locate the plane. I didn't read the article. And, just for the record, I've pretty much had enough of the global warming scare stuff to last me for a long time. Remember the Y2K debacle? That's something they knew a lot about. It was something they could touch and feel but what they thought would happen didn't. How much was invested? Nearly one trillion dollars. I'm not saying we don't have problems that need to be addressed but if history serves as a guide, we should be real careful before we commit trillions of dollars. Solar was the way to go. One area bought into that in a big way. Yuma, Arizona has seen the solar industry go bust and are now experiencing an unemployment rate of over 26%. Fossil fuel is dead. That's what was said. Today, Midland, Texas is enjoying a resurgence based on new technologies used for recovering oil. Their unemployment is 2.6%. Again, I'm not saying we don't have problems that need to be addressed but we sure do need to think long and hard before we bet the bank. As you hear so often, that's just me, and I'm just saying, if you know what I mean. I think you do. Take care and have a blessed day. Amen.      ....More later.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." ~ Desmond Tutu

Lock and load and get ready to rumble! Not really. It's just me and I do offer up a big howdy to one and all on this Monday, March 24, 2014. We are just back from Louisiana where we had a reunion of my wife's siblings and their families. It was the first time we had one of these since before Mom and Dad Rawles passed on to the other side, I would guess easily some twenty five or more years. Two of the the kids who used to run around at gatherings like this now now have grandchildren of their own. Blood. That's a powerful connection and it was wonderful to see everyone and to recall those who are now enjoying their heavenly home, but while here they had made a powerful impact on our lives. That could be seen as children of children of children reflected the values handed down to us all. I give credit to my sister-in-law Dorothy, (born 18 months earlier but considered to be a twin to my wife), for hosting, and for all those who worked so hard to make this a true time of family, fellowship, feasting, and fun. We all left having said it was a blessed day for us all. We thank God for it. Amen.

I did see that clip from Los Angeles of those two news anchors diving underneath their desks when the earthquake hit last week. It was funny. It almost looked like a staged skit from the Carol Burnett Show. Yes. I laughed, but I did so with understanding. I happened to be in a much stronger earthquake than that one at a computer conference out in San Diego many years ago. If you ever experience one, well, it helps you to be able to appreciate just why they sought cover. I found myself explaining to the wife about all those studio lights and equipment, and how, if they had fallen, it would have posed a serious threat. I will never forget being in this huge hotel ballroom when a 5.9 hit and when it did it not only rattled everything in the room, but it also rattled every person in the room. It's a weird feeling and one that I would never want to go through again. Of course at the time most of the attendees were not from California, therefore, we had no clue as to what was going on. We thought a huge helicopter had either crashed or landed on the roof above us. But, that clip was still funny. Especially so when you are 1600 miles away.

You know by now that I find it hard to resist a good headline. That's the purpose of a good headline. Right? It entices you to read more. Here's a current one that got my attention: Amish Buggy Sought in Pennsylvania Hit-and-Run. The story wasn't bad either. They are looking for the driver of the Amish Buggy that actually ran into the left side of a Honda CRV twice and then left the scene of the incident. The good news? No one was hurt. Twice? I think maybe the Amish fellow had been too long sipping on the communion wine, but that would be conjecture on my part. I'm sure the police are confused at this point. You know. As confused as an Amish electrician. Get it? Oh well, never mind. I could help the police. They should be looking for a kid who is so out of it he stays in the bed past 5 a.m. Or maybe, find the kid that is being defiant to his parents and when they try to correct him, he says: "Thou suck!" Get it? Oh well, never mind. I better stop while I am behind because it's clear that I won't be getting ahead on this one anytime soon. Take care. And, may God add His blessings to our day. Amen.   ....More later.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"I was born to chew the fat, where others will button their lip." (unatributed)

We did it again. We made it to another Friday. This one turns out to be March 21, 2014, and I say thanks to each one for showing up here at the ole blogger ranch. This is where we pull us up a chair and sit for a spell, enjoy a cup of hot black and strong Community, and generally, just chew the fat. That 'chew the fat' has come to mean conversing forth and back. Those trying to come up with an origin are literally all over the place. Some date it as far back as the 1500's but it no doubt has some connection to when meat was cooked for long periods of time making it very tough. Thus, folks would sit around and gnaw or chew the fat as it were. But, in our case we are doing the conversation forth portion here and at times the back as well when I do answer for the reader. I do enjoy the feedback I get and especially those where folks have enjoyed a hearty laugh or two. They often indicate how it would be nice to have more of those types. And, while I am never opposed to trying to accommodate this type of request, I am, for what it's worth, limited, because each day you get my version of WYSIWYG. That actually is a technical acronym in the computing world and it has to do with editing and presenting information, as in, What You See Is What You Get. In other words, whatever it is that percolates to the finished page each day is whatever I happen to be able to unscramble from all those gray cells who I find mostly acting like they are playing Wheel of Fortune and I'm not always sure whether I am Pat, Vanna, or one of the quirky contestants. Okay. Pass me some more of the fat and let's get on with the chewing.

I think the stuff that is best for a laugh is when we happen upon an unintentional funny. Like the road sign that tells us the road is wet when it rains. Maybe it's the beauty contestant on national TV who came up with this jewel: Question: If you could live forever, would you and why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,.." Or, maybe one of those high paid star basketball players, "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." Politicians are great sources for coming up with good ones from time to time. In a congressional race here in Texas a number of years ago, here's what one candidate had to say, "That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it." Sometimes they actually come to you in the mail. Here's one from the welfare department in South Carolina: "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1st because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."

My point? Look around. There's a whole lot of funny in the world around us if we are inclined to see it. And, it's okay to have your own little laugh party even if other folks don't get it. There's actually scientific papers written on the mental processes involved in what makes something funny to one person but not to another. Age they say has much to do with it. I'm sure I find jokes about old people a whole lot funnier today than I did forty years ago. I saw a book title that said this: 'You Might As Well Laugh Because Crying Will Only Smear Your Mascara'. That sounds like a pretty good metaphor for trying to see the humor in life, at least, as best we can. Sure. There are times when we are sad. There are times when we grieve. Those are not fun or funny. However, much of life is filled with the antics of us all and they produce a non-stop edition of America's Funniest Videos. Maybe instead of stopping to smell the proverbial roses, we might just get a boost from finding something to laugh about, and even better if it is out loud. Uh huh. That, my friend, will do a body good. Take my word for it. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I'll try to mosey myself back onto the front porch come Monday for another visit. May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." ~ Albert Einstein

I choose Door Number 92 on the left. Thanks.
Hello one and all, welcome to today's visit here on this Thursday, March 20, 2014. I never thought I would be so excited. I suppose it must be somewhat like those who love to play slot machines. You anxiously await the outcome. You are hopeful and then BAM!...there it is. I'm talking about the number on that little meter I use to measure my blood glucose. Any time that little dude spits out a number of 100 or less I'm ready to do my version of the Monster Mash. No. I do not know how to do that little dance but I do remember the song. This upcoming summer will usher in my 7th year of making pin cushions out of my fingers. It seems like only yesterday that I saw 60 years of southern fried flash before my eyes. And, by the way, I do not get to be that excited about the 100 or less that often. But I'm certainly not complaining because with the help of medications, some restraint and control on my part, and by God's grace, I've been able to somehow keep it within what my doctor still calls, 'Excellent Control'. I write about this occasionally because I want to encourage those who have similar struggles. And, make no mistake about it, it is a struggle my friend, but I've found that getting used to just saying no is likely my most effective tool. Easy? Don't even get me started on that one!

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the support of my wife and family in this long running medical series. She helps where she can and many of the grandchildren have picked up on the stuff that I should probably leave alone and they are good to remind me of it if I begin to migrate in that direction. I actually appreciate all the help I can get. I also want to make it clear that this is not a dominating factor in the life that God has given to me. It is something that must be dealt with 24 by 7, but, it's not the center of attention or even something that we talk about that often. I know that this could change over time, but believe me, I am very thankful to God that thus far it has been predominately a background issue. A very unwelcome one but given the plight of so many dealing with this insidious disease, I consider myself to be blessed beyond measure. Some have said that perhaps this came along to cause me to focus on those areas that would end up keeping me around a wee bit longer. That may be true but I do wish they would express it to me at some other time than when they are chowing down on a giant ice cream sundae. Joking only.

Now that we have covered that one, let's all take a deep breath and move on. All nations have their spin doctors working overtime these days. It's interesting to take the time occasionally to see how the rest of the world is reporting some of the same stuff we get here. There's no doubt that Mr. Putin is up to no good. He is making the West look timid, weak, and anemic in how we are responding to his incursion into Ukraine. However, in Russia, he is able to spin his actions as a way of standing up to America, Great Britain, and the EU, as a sort of hero taking on those who have belittled the Motherland, so to speak. Coming off the Olympics, he now has stirred nationalism to where his popularity is soaring even though Russia is in the ditch big time in nearly every economic or quality of life measurement. He flexes his muscle and we, thus far, have responded with our version of spin barking but no bite. It appears inevitable that he will end up with a new country as his prize. Meanwhile, the folks over there are enjoying their opportunity to mock our leaders for a change, as they see it. One last little footnote. The President sent Vice President Joe Biden over to the region to let everyone know that we've got their backs. I'm sure they will all sleep well now. Enough said. I've said it before and I will say it again, these are some strange times we are living in folks, strange indeed. Yet, we have God on the side of His own and that gives us the gumption to get up and go each day. Amen.  ....More later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"I actually think of being funny as an odd turn of mind, like a mild disability, some weird way of looking at the world that you can't get rid of." ~ Calvin Trillin

"If you live to be 100. I hope to live to be 100 minus 1. So I never have to live without you." That would be a quote from no less of a recognized philosopher than Winnie the Pooh himself. I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense but it no doubt does express some sentiment and that was what I was looking for to get us started here on this Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Those expressions of friendship and commitment are special. I'm not as sure about this one: "If I was trapped in a blizzard with everyone I ever knew, loved, or cared about, I would totally eat you last." I saw one card that had a family of ducks on the front standing in the rain. The inscription said, "Rain or shine, you quack me up!" One birthday greeting had this to say, "The older you get the better you look, that is, unless you are a banana." I guess there are some that are just downright mean. One was to a dad and it read like this, "To a man that no one would want to see anyone turn into..." Obviously that was not a mushy one. And finally, here's some advice that someone offered up, probably intended for us guys: "When buying a romantic card, buy two, then hand write the caption from Card A underneath the inscription on Card B and pretend that you know how to write such sweet things." Who said my blogs were of little educational value?

Last Saturday morning I invited my wife to accompany me upstairs to scrub the numbers on our tax return. She first wanted to know exactly what kind of scrubbing we were planning on doing. I did my best to assure her it was only a figure of speech. I actually wanted to work through all the inputs to make certain I had gotten all the numbers correct. She reminded me that if history served as a guide, we actually don't work that well together especially on something like doing a tax return. We climbed the stairs and went to work. We did find some areas that needed to be corrected. There could have been a moment or two when some tension could have been detected had there been a test of the air in the room, however, it was very small indeed. We started up the stairs owing one amount but when we came out of the office we had added $700. She announced that she was pleased that it was correct. I announced that it was what it was and she returned to her rat killing and I went on with mine.

When we were doing the taxes we went over all the Santa business we conducted for last season. This reminded me of some of the events we were a part of. The boys in this photo are brothers who actually saw me greeting them at the door at our local fellowship for at least three years. They were a part of our children's Bible club ministry on Sunday evenings. Most of the time they gave me a hug. The subdivision where they live engaged us to come and do our Santa and Mrs. Claus routine and they showed up appropriately attired in their jammies. Here's the funny part. They didn't have a clue. They were mesmerized and transfixed and never grasped that the one they were pouring out their wish lists to was the same fellow that greeted them each Sunday evening. I later sent their mom a note and to my surprise she had not recognized me either. She did say they were captivated by Santa and she felt like they were caught up in the love they felt. Sounded good to me and I do enjoy seeing the photos and remembering, even if they never know it was the real me. Have a good rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"To keep your marriage brimming With love in the marriage cup Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up." ~ Ogen Nash, Author

She can still surprise me. I'm talking about the lady I've been hanging out with for the past 50 plus years. It's Tuesday, March 18, 2014 and I am glad you showed up again for our little sit down visit. The other day when I did that little ditty about the chicken crossing the road, well, I never expected to hear her response to that famous question. She sent me an email with this jewel: The chicken was a hen so she knew what was on the other side and that's why she crossed the road. I don't even know where to start with that one. I sent her a message and told her to check the photo and she would find that it is a rooster, not a hen. I'm beginning to wonder what they are talking about in those Bible studies they do. You know the ones. They huddle behind closed doors, watch a video, then talk it all out. Next thing you know they are talking about a hen crossing the road because she knows what's on the other side. Who ever heard tell?

That particular blog has generated quite a bit of conversation. My mom gave me her input on the subject. She said she didn't understand why so much attention was focused on the chicken. Her observation was how that chickens are not the only ones that cross the road. What about ducks? You see people all the time waiting for the ducks to cross. You know. The mama duck with all her little duckings following after her. Last Friday evening we met at an eating place with some Church friends. One of the questions of the evening was about the chicken crossing the road. It must have influenced by menu selection because I ordered the chicken fried steak sandwich. I may live to regret ever bringing up that subject. I heard another angle that said the chicken crossed the road because his analyst said he needed to take more chances, and if he ever wanted to get somewhere he had to get out of his comfort zone.

Here's a good one for our self absorbed society. According to a new study just released, folks taking so many photos of themselves (called selfies) for posting on social media sites have brought about an increase in plastic surgeries. It works like this. A person, (men, women, boys and girls), take a selfie and after it is posted they are unhappy with how they look, or perhaps unhappy with some of the comments made about how they look, and that prompts them to try and improve their appearance. To get the full impact, you can insert the sound of the plastic surgeon's cash register ringing. In my situation, I suppose I have to dance with the face that brought me and live with the comparisons I hear to Santa and Uncle Si. It's Uncle Si season at the moment. I imagine that would greatly increase if I started wearing camouflage. But, then again, people would be calling me a 'wanna be' or a copy cat and that might cause me to withdraw and become a recluse and I would end up being unwilling to even consider ever crossing the road again. Living life in these tough times is not for the fainthearted. Okay. Enough foolishness for one day. You do this: Take care of yourself and remember to remember to thank God for His love and care. Amen.   .....More later.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Within forty years of their arrival in the Plymouth colony, the first white settlers were afraid their children had lost the dedication and religious conviction of the founding generation. Ever since, Americans have looked to the next generation not only with love and solicitude but with a good measure of anxiety, worrying whether they themselves were good parents, fearful that their children would not turn out well." Kenneth Keniston, US Professor, Human Development, quote made in 1977

You found it. It was tucked away in that inbox of yours, or perhaps you were looking for something important out on the internet and found my portion of puffed up prose for this day, Monday, March 17, 2014. Whether you like it or not, you have been categorized, analyzed, studied, and much is known about you, with or without your participation. Find your niche: Born between 1883-1900: “The Lost Generation”, those who fought in World War I. Born 1901-1924: “The Greatest Generation”, or the G.I. Generation, or Flaming Youth, includes those who grew up to serve in WWII.  Born 1925-1942: “The Silent Generation”, also known as Depression babies because of the impact the Great Depression had on their lives. WWII babies, Post-War generation, Seekers, and The Lucky Few. Described as hard working, silent, fatalistic, cautious, indifferent. Born 1946-1964: “Baby Boomers”, a large group born after World War II, in a time of increasing affluence. Boomers think of themselves as a special generation, very different from any that came before them. Many boomers feel they helped change the world. Born early 1960′s- early 1980′s: “Generation X”. Gen X’ers refer to those born after the Post WWII baby boom ended. No definitive dates are given for this generation. Born late 1970′s or early 1980′s to early 2000′s: “Generation Y” or “Millennial Generation”. Gen Y’ers or Millennials have no precise dates for starting and ending of this generation, but it is the generation following Generation X. (This was taken from an article written by a blogger who culled information from Wikipedia for his input. There are numerous charts that likely would be slightly different.) That's what we call an editor's note and since I am the chief writer, editor, and bottle washer here at the blogger ranch, I thought I should clarify that.

I know there are some gaps in those listed and I suppose that could give someone a complex, as if anybody needed the added pressure of feeling like they had been dropped through the cracks. My reason for putting this information up was to talk some about how it is used. There's a huge body of research behind these statistics and they are not necessarily focused on making sure folks are healthy, wealthy, and wise. Our market based economy dictates that you need to know your customer and what products you can develop and sell to them. The wife and I often laugh at the advancing age related products that seemingly dominate some of the programs we watch. Hello? They know who are the likely people watching that particular show. They know they might just need some help in the hearing area or relief from arthritis, and the list goes on and on. Does it work? Obviously it does, to the tune of billions. How many products do you have in your home that are tagged As Seen on TV?

The last comment I have is concerning the current youngsters coming up. Much has been written about how they lack a moral foundation, a sense of reliability, and in general, lacking in ambition. We've got all these previous generations that tend to be looked up to because of their accomplishments. I heard an editorial the other day about us thinking seriously about where this current up and coming so called messed-up generation came from. Whose children are they anyway? Who is it that turned them over to the media to raise? Who is it that failed to pour into them the values said to be so important? It was one of those 'go look in the mirror' type of assessments. The fellow doing the editorial said he had witnessed some kids at a fast food joint trying to get their parents attention. Both parents had their heads stuck into their smartphones and were oblivious to the tugging and calling, so, after a few minutes, the kids left with a dejected look having not been able to pry mommy or daddy from their gadgets. I thought it was important enough to share and maybe it is a wake up call for us all. A little sobering if you ask me. But you didn't, and it's time to get on with the next piece of pressing business, you know the one I am talking about. Today. Get out there and Get-R-Done! May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Birthday to our Kyleigh!

Rodeo Girl!
Welcome once again to our daily get together. You might be better off if you've had at least one cup before you tackle whatever it is that follows this greeting or warning as the case may be. Joking only. It's Friday, March 14, 2014, and I bid one and all a hearty hello from here at the heartland blogger ranch. We always feel good about a shout out to our grand kids. This Sunday will be our Kyleigh's 19th Birthday. She is a college girl who gets her spring break and her birthday all in the same week. (Almost. I am aware that Sunday is the beginning of a new week but I think you get what I was trying to convey.) Kyleigh is the eldest of our youngest son Rodney and his wife Mitzi. She dearly loves friends, family, and I believe shopping would be in there somewhere as well. We look at her and see so much potential and we do pray that God will continue to lead, guide, guard, and protect her life. Have a great one Kyleigh! Love, MiMi and Poppy

You might as well. Laugh that is. In this case, a confession is in order: "My name is Yours Truly and I am a diabetic." I am not alone. Millions of other folks have the same problem. It's truly one of the run away diseases that mark our times. You may have to look long and hard to find something humorous, but they are out there: ~ An anxious woman diabetic called in and told the nurse that she thought she had taken in too much sugar that day. The nurse asked if she was lightheaded. She irritatedly responded saying absolutely not, she was a brunette. ~ One fellow walked into a bakery shop and asked the baker what he had that was safe for a diabetic. The baker informed him that he could purchase anything he wanted but he didn't advise him putting any of it into his mouth. ~ If life gives you lemons make some lemonade. If life gives you diabetes, don't make lemonade. ~ I know these are lame but they are not that easy to find. Most internet sites tease with a promise of a funny joke about diabetes but then give you this warning: "There's really nothing funny about diabetes. Period." I've pretty much learned that one on my own. Give me some credit for trying.

We conclude another week and I don't think anyone can say we haven't touched on our fair share of subjects. My wife often sends me an email asking where in the world do I come up with this stuff. I tell her if I knew the answer to that question I could probably eliminate about half of those high powered mood altering drugs that I take every day. Wait just a minute. That was only a funny response. For the record, I don't take any of the aforementioned mood altering drugs but perhaps if I did I could do a better job in answering her question. But it has been a good week and I do hope you can look back and see that you've accomplished those things on your 'to do' list. If not, you can forward them to next week and get a running start come Monday. Until then, I bid you warm wishes for a good Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." Washington Irving

You can stamp yesterday completed and get ready for a brand new Thursday, here on March the 13th, in the year of 2014. I tell you this missing airplane is certainly mysterious. That aircraft was nearly 250 feet long with a 200 foot wingspan. There were 228 folks on that flight and so far, nothing. No sign. No debris. Nothing. Everyday the plot thickens as yesterday's theories evaporate. (The great hope yesterday about a spotted image on Chinese satellite now appears to have not yielded any positive results according to news reports from this morning.) My heart goes out to the families. I read about one of the Americans on board. He is a 50 year old IBM executive. His family knows that he is likely gone but until they can find the plane, well, they are hoping against hope. Parents love their children. Folks are connected to their families. Those scenes from the airport in Beijing were heart wrenching. Those waiting on their loved ones are rightfully beside themselves. They are hurting. Sometimes we need to think about how that every person on the face of this earth carry some very common traits as being a part of the human family. Grief is one of those we all share in. They shed real tears just like we do. They need the One that the Apostle Paul called the God of all comfort, just like we do. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) Amen.

I'm not only worn out but the adjustment knob on our cooling/heating unit here at the office is showing plenty of wear and tear. Put your winter clothes away. No. Get your winter clothes out. Repeat every other week. Let me see if I can help you understand this conundrum. On Tuesday we nearly hit 80 and as I sit here this morning we are back again to the 30's. Here's the deal. We've got the time change adjustment making its presence known and we have this yo yo weather pattern that even makes groundhogs everywhere want to run and hide. And as far as the switching of the clothes, that's no problem for me because I suppose other than the jackets, I'm pretty much of an all season fellow. In other words, I don't have any to switch out. The wife and I went to a viewing at the funeral home the other evening for a wonderful lady. She made an 84 year run here and was known for showing up wherever she went with an overflowing heart of love, sweetness, and encouragement. Now that's what I call a good testimony. Yet, even at that viewing, many of the folks milling around were talking about the weather. All I can say is that it must be an unusual situation we find ourselves in. Here's what I like to do. Leave the door open and turn the heat up. What? Report me to what agency? Come on now. I don't do it that often and it does make the hot, black Community taste even better!

I'll end today with some plausible answers to that most compelling question we've all had to deal with from time to time: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Kindergarten Teacher: To get to the other side. Plato: For the greater good. Aristotle: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads. Timothy Leary, (LSD guru): Because that's the only trip the establishment would let it take. Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it. Ronald Reagan: I forget. Captain James T. Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.  Management Consulting Firm: Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Our firm, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), a system we developed, we helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. This helped the chicken to align its mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution thereby helping the chicken to change to become more successful. Martin Luther King, Jr: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question. Moses: And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road.'' And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing. Richard M. Nixon: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did NOT cross the road. Jerry Seinfeld: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway? Bill Gates: Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Chicken '98 will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads. And finally, a drum roll would be appropriate: Hamlet: "To cross, or not to cross, that is the question: - Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous side; Or to take arms against a road of troubles, And by crossing end them?" (Excerpted/Adapted from a funny piece written by David Madore in 1999, that I found out on the internet.) See you next time and may God bless each one. Amen.   ...More later.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." Lao Tzu, Ancient Chinese Philosopher, 6th Century BC

Hello my fellow cranky, restless, and jet-lagged readers. That's what the experts say happens to us when we are in the midst of making the transition to the daylight savings adjustment. It's Wednesday, March 12, 2014, and this is what I am fussing about today. In a recent article, a sleep behavioral expert writing in the New York Times contends that our body's clock system is not designed to take on this type of sudden shock. She contends that even one hour of lost sleep affects many areas of functioning – decreasing motor function, memory and mood. The title of her essay was: Switching Takes a Toll on Health. However, others who wear the credentialed badge of expert have different opinions. In that same forum here's the titles being put forth by others: Saving Daylight Wastes Energy ~ Keep Daylight Savings Time Year-Round ~ The Spring Time Change Saves Lives ~ and this last one, The Economic Toll of Lost Sleep. I only know that last week I got up at 3:30 a.m., and this week I am getting up at 2:30 a.m in order to keep my same schedule. I am reminded of this each time I get in my car because I didn't change the clock. I suppose we all end up having to deal with it because doing otherwise would likely create even more stressful chaos. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we can always complain!

When will people ever learn the language of the south? I actually thought it was a requirement in order to buy and sell in these parts. But, alas, it must not be. I was at a fellow's business the other day. I knew he was not necessarily southern born and bred, however, I figured he would have caught on by now. He seemed a little over stressed so I asked him about the guy who used to be there helping him. I said, "Hey man, whatever happened to that tall drink of water you had to help carry the load?" He looked at me with this puzzled look and more or less communicated a big fat "Huh?" I continued, "You know, the tall red haired boy that was here helping you load stuff." Finally he caught it. "Oh him? Yeah, he went back to school and I haven't found anyone to replace him yet." Don't they teach kids anything in school anymore? It makes it tough just trying to communicate. You do know what I mean Vern? Right? Right. Good.

Okay. I agree. I seem to be all over the page today and I'm not finished yet. How about those TV commercials where they have the guaranteed super weight loss tonic followed immediately by the high definition close up ad for the PayDay candy bar? Is anyone paying attention to these mixed messages? Or, you have the NASCAR race sponsored by one car maker but won by a different car maker with the winning car in victory lane with a trophy that has the other car maker's name on it. Wow! You may be right. I would be better off if I didn't notice things like that. I suppose things like this make up the conundrums we all have to deal with in this life. Yet, we can be sure of those things that God has promised, and I'm not so certain about anything else, except maybe for death and taxes. That last part was only a joke so please don't send me a verse that is supposed to straighten me out. Consider that it would most likely take a whole lot more than that, but, that's another story for another day. Take care now, you hear? And, may God add His blessings to your day. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On blogging: “In a sense who you are has always been a story that you told to yourself. Now your self is a story that you tell to others.” ~ Geoff Ryman, Science Fiction Writer

Here we go again. "Another day, another dollar." That's what the saying we often use evolved to say. It actually comes from an original quote dating back to 1897 that gave it this way: "More days, more dollars." One thing we all can agree on is that it does take a heap more dollars and often more work days to make it in these challenging times. I believe it was back in the mid 1960's when one dollar was still worth one dollar (100 cents). Today it's somewhere between 70 and 80 cents compared to that standard. That's my economic lesson for today, on this Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Since I often major in what could be termed as useless trivia, let me give you some more. A fellow by the name of Justin Halls is credited with inventing the first personal blog back in 1997. The name blog had not been used yet and his was called a web-log. Calling it a blog came on the scene in 1999. I didn't start mine until 2007, therefore, you can hardly call me an early adopter. I wasn't able to nail down a precise estimate of the number of personal blogs that are being posted today, but, we do know that it is in the high hundreds of millions, if not even more. This means that I feel very privileged to have my circle of readers who take of their time to work their way through my meanderings each day. Thanks. I am well aware there are other choices. At least hundreds and hundreds of millions of them.

I tell you, these elected trough feeders who supposedly represent us all, well, they are about to get on my last nerve. Nearly every day you hear and see a seemingly endless stream of fake, trumped up crocodile tears being poured out over the lack of comity at work in their trying to reach consensus and compromise. Activate: Gag reflux. That word comity has to do with practicing courtesy and considerate behavior toward others. The lament goes like this: "We need comity. What happened to our comity? Back in the day, comity ruled our work." I'm not sure history will bear out this supposed blight on how things have changed, but, I do know what has replaced it. Comedy. As in slapstick, silly stuff, and out and out stupidity. Many of them are pretty good at their stand up routines. I mean they can actually keep a straight face when delivering their fawned outrage over the outrageous shenanigans being perpetrated against them and their party. Their counterparts then try to one up them in a series of knock knock jokes that make those of us hearing it want to throw even more vegetables at the stage. Am I growing more cynical each day? Well, I'm not sure about that but I can tell you this: I stopped laughing a long time ago.

If you aren't clear exactly all that I was trying to communicate in the previous paragraph, consider yourself to be fortunate. I find myself often scratching my head after reading something I have written. This far into the process I suppose I've decided it comes with the package. In the midst of all the hypocrisy emanating out of the political realm, as a child of God, we still have more blessings than one could shake a stick at. That's how they used to say it back home. That more than you could shake a stick at has been in use at least since the early 1800's. It has to do with increase, more, an abundance, both negatively or positively. You could have more problems than one could shake a stick at, or you could have more blessings than one could shake a stick at. My point is that having God with us as we make our way forward doesn't guarantee the absence of troubles, but it does provide the certainty of His presence and His power to help us along our way. That's where the the more than one could shake a stick at comes in. Just so you know. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I am satisfied with it." Grandma Moses, Painter, (1860-1961)

Hello and welcome. It's a good day to celebrate. Something. Anything. Everything. I read that somewhere so I thought I would share it as a way of getting things kicked off on this back-to-work Monday, March 10, 2014. Reading that did remind me of a really good verse from Jeremiah that might help us all as we go about the this, that, and the other that will make up our day. "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:24) That obviously is from the old King James Bible but I like the way it uses the 'glorieth glory'. We live in a world where there's a whole lot of glorying going on folks about a whole lot of stuff. However, the inspired text from Brother Jeremiah would have us to know that on any day, every day, no matter what day it is, you do have something to glory in if you know the Lord God of heaven and He is your heavenly Father. Now that would be an appropriate matter for celebration, and I'll go ahead and speak for all of us by adding my own Amen to that. Amen.

It's okay to know the difference between being a small fish in a large pond versus being a large fish in a small pond. Or, let me put it this way. It's also good to know the difference between being a pygmy among giants as opposed to being a giant among pygmies. Confused yet? Don't be. I typically don't work with a net but today I am using one, so don't worry. I said all of that to say this. The other evening I was privileged to spend some time with a man I had never met. We had a specific reason for meeting and once that was dealt with we commenced to talk forth and back about a subject near and dear to both our hearts. The Bible. This fellow is a legitimate Bible scholar and before we knew it we had exhausted over two hours dealing with theological issues, challenging passages, and other related topics. I had figured no more than 30 to 45 minutes to take care of our reason for meeting. I was actually past my bedtime when I got home, but to me, it was nothing short of exhilarating. Oh yeah. I was also once again reminded of the truth expressed by the Apostle Paul in his letter written to the local fellowship of believers meeting in Rome, Italy: "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen." (Romans Chapter 11, Verses 33-36, where Paul uses quotations from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Job.)

The fellow I met with holds five earned college degrees. He is a practicing attorney, a preacher, an adjunct professor at a Bible college, and a man who does his best with God's help to lead others to Christ. You see, he fully appreciates that all of his studies piled on top of each other really adds up to zero unless one knows the Lord and uses what God has given to them to give back honor and glory to God. I've got 25 years on him, therefore, I know enough only to participate in the conversation, but, I enjoyed it. You can tell? That's okay. It reminded me of those days spent sitting out in the yard with my father-in-law, just talking, forth and back, about the Bible and our thoughts on certain passages along with discussing his more than 45 years of preaching, pastoring, and following the Lord. It also reminded me how much I miss getting the opportunity to have this type of interaction. Now you have been included to a certain extent and I promise to move on as we continue to keep on keeping on in this journey that God has privileged us to travel, together. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen.     ....More later.

Friday, March 7, 2014

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Life's merry go round has once again stopped on this spot where we find ourselves today, a good day, it's Friday, March 7, 2014. I think we all know how important communication is to the health of any enduring relationship. I was reading a pastor's blog the other day and he included this illustration as a way of demonstrating how easy it is to lose touch: "Yesterday we had a power outage and my PC, TV and games console shut down immediately. It was raining (pouring, actually). I couldn’t go play golf, go target shooting – nothing – so I ended up talking to my wife for about an hour and a half. She seems like such a nice person." That would be way too funny if most of us didn't have a gnawing sense of how easy something like this could happen. That's the way it works at home. It's also the way it works with God. This reminds me of a song written by Mosie Lister and made popular by one of the greatest ever of the country music crooners, the late Gentleman Jim Reeves:

How Long Has It Been

~ How long has it been since you talked with the Lord And told him your heart's hidden secrets? How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease? How long since your heart knew no burden? Can you call him your friend? How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?

How long has it been since you knelt by your bed And prayed to the Lord up in heaven? How long since you knew that he'd answer you And would keep you the long night through?

How long has it been since you woke with the dawn And felt this day is worth living? Can you call him your friend? How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you? ~

I tried that little funny story about the husband talking with the wife on one of the guys here at the office and he busted out laughing. We laugh because there's a kernel of truth there and we all intrinsically know it. Now. Whether we do anything about it or not, well, that, as they say, would be mostly in our corner. Even more so as it relates to our time spent with God. It's been another interesting week where I've been so busy watching so many different things seemingly going in all directions, that it causes me to wonder sometimes if I haven't overloaded my observation mechanism. I do my best not to be repetitive but I know to a certain extent it's unavoidable. We all have a basic viewfinder through which we focus in on things and that does show up in whatever it is we talk or write about. That being said, it doesn't keep me from trying to keep it fresh as best I know how. I do hope that you will enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I will do my best to find myself hanging out at the same address come Monday. You know. Accessible via a search, keystroke, or from an email coming soon to an electronic mailbox near you, or something like that. May God bless. Amen.  ....More later.