Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Birthday to our baby boy, Rodney Darrell!

Today is a special day for us. It's Friday, February 27, 2015, and we are thinking about and thanking God for our youngest, Rodney Darrell, born 44 years ago today. I chose that particular frame because he has become somewhat of a devoted outdoorsman over the past several years. He is an avid hunter and also enjoys fishing. He includes the kids in his outdoor activities. He's also the all around sports dad for his children in their athletic endeavors. He and his wife Mitzi are busy people. Much of their time is spent doing their best to groom and develop the children God has given to them: Kyleigh, in college, Lexie, in middle school, and Brady Darrell, in elementary. Happy Birthday son and may God continue to bless is our prayer. Love, mom and dad.

As for all that political stuff from yesterday, I didn't mention the fact that you have every right to come to your own conclusion. I am close to people who see some of the same things I see but they interpret them differently. I'm not going to disconnect from them because we don't agree on everything, even if they are about as wrong as they can be. It's a joke folks. Don't get all huffy. And, by the way, we all can be wrong at times. I certainly don't see things today as the world looked to me, based on the environment I was in, as a child and youngster growing up. I read this interesting quote: "Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing."  (Philip K. Dick, (1928-1982), American writer, essayist, and philosopher)

So, what can we do about it? As always there is a source of truth that we can always depend on. God and His word. Everything else is iffy at best, including our own thoughts and interpretations. This has been some week. Busy. I try always to be thankful for being able to actively participate in a busy week. With all the technological prowess at our finger tips that supposedly saves us so much time, why in the world do we end up being so frazzled? Me thinks maybe the labor saving gizmos may not be so effective in the labor saving arena. They give us added capabilities that end up adding to our schedule. But, that would just be my gut check view of how it may be working. Whatever our situation, if we are too busy for taking time to visit with our Lord, we are just too busy, period, end of story. Therefore, I do hope you will have a wonderful Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and if all goes according to plan I will try to be in my place, once again, come Monday morning. May God bless us all is my prayer. Amen.  ....More later.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

“I believe in true love. But my opinion is tainted, because I also believe in Bigfoot, aliens, and in the existence of honest politicians.” ― Jarod Kintz, Author

Okay. Today is Thursday, February 26, 2015, and I think it's about time. I've held my peace long enough. I've done my best to withhold my thoughts but it's time to share them with my readers. I do not know what goes on behind closed doors at the White House but someone is not advising our President very well. He cannot bring himself to call those attempting to terrorize the world for who they are: Islamic Radicals. When three Muslim students were killed here in our country the President immediately made a statement that no one should be harmed because of their faith or the way they are dressed. In that particular case, thus far the authorities are yet to link the man who did the killing to anything connecting to the students being Muslim. Yet, the world reported on a recent video of the brutal execution by those calling themselves the Islamic State or ISIS. These were 21 Egyptian Christians who were murdered and the majority of the world's news sources stated clearly they died solely because of their professed belief in Christ. The world. When commenting on this butchery, the President could not bring himself to mention the fact they were Christians, merely referring to them as Egyptian citizens. He also indicated the attack by terrorists on a Kosher Deli in Paris was a random event that could have happened anywhere. This was despite the fact that the terrorists themselves had made phone calls indicating they were going to kill some Jews. I am not one who goes around trying to dig up dirt on the President. But, even to a lay person, these things should be concerning to us all. Surely, someone in his circle can make him aware of how this comes across. If so, one is left to consider the fact that he is comfortable with how he responds to these sad events.

Since I am on a roll, let me mention a few other things. Having taken over our nation's healthcare system, having decided by fiat how immigration will be managed without regard to the laws of our land, they now are moving closer and closer to a federal takeover of the internet itself. Yes. I know. They are doing it supposedly to make sure the little guy gets a fair shake in terms of response and data storage. Why is this dangerous? Read again that first paragraph and think about how it might be when folks who write things that go out on the internet and they do not please the regulators of the information highway. This potential, over time, could begin to have a chilling effect on free speech. They tell us this could never happen. Those telling us that are a part of the same administration who said you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor and your healthcare costs are guaranteed to be dramatically reduced. There's always a thought-to-be good reason to do something that often leads to huge unintended consequences, however, I'm not so sure how unintended they might be, given what I have observed in those pushing this new federal bureaucracy. I am not done but I am going to leave it at that and let you think about it and come to your own, hopefully, informed decisions on these critical issues that face our nation.

No. I don't need to take a time out to get my blood pressure back under control. I would much rather deal with my personal disagreements with the current administration based on policy as opposed to personal. The personal attacks I see posted here, there, and everywhere regarding the President, his wife, and his family do not reflect well on those who do the posting. Many times they are clearly cruel and mean-spirited. They also often include racial undertones. I know we all have our faults but I see these personal attacks at times juxtaposed to postings by these same folks speaking about spiritual values and love for all people. What a disconnect folks. What a disconnect! Therefore, I recommend that we stick to the facts, as best we can determine them. That's not easy to do. And, I might add that those on the other side of the aisle have their own games to play. I know. I said I was going to leave it at that but now I have written another paragraph. You should know by now the pen is mightier than the promise. Or something like that. Pray for our leaders including those in the highest levels of our government. Pray for our nation. Pray one for another. And, pray for revival. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” ― Willa Cather, (1873-1947), Pulitzer prize winning author who wrote novels about frontier life.

"I woke up this morning feeling fine, I woke up with heaven on my mind." Those are lyrics from a well worn Southern Gospel standard, but, when you think about it, that's a pretty good way to wake up. What say you on this Wednesday, February 25, 2015? I'm glad you took the time to stop by today. I suppose one of the ways I became interested in story telling was from the rub off I got when I saw others practicing the art. I heard many a tale standing outside of the Church building where the fellows were getting the last puff or two from their cigarette or pipe. Many times the lead line would be, "Did you hear about?" Then there would be the retort, "That ain't nothing, let me tell you about..." Then there was that bunch who hung out at the downtown barbershop. (Downtown is definitely a figure of speech here because there wasn't much to it.) Some of them pretty much hung out there all day long like that was their job. My grandfather's assessment of those fellows was pretty harsh: "Not fit to kill." They also did a lot of story telling. Then there was the hardware store and it had a heater in the corner where you could hear some good ones. I mostly was a listener because it wasn't proper for younger folks to speak when the older ones were telling their tales. Come to think about it, I can't recall very many young guys, if any, beside myself, who spent any of their time standing around listening to all that stuff. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. You do know I've been trying to figure that one out for a long time.

Okay. Most of you know that the world we live in is in a pretty big mess. This is not a pessimistic half-empty view, it's reality for everyone to see. Wars and rumors of wars permeate the news. The reason I mention this is because of several people asking me if I thought the current state of affairs were connected to the Biblical descriptions of end time events. Much of these inquiries have to do with Israel and how that it seems the world, including the leaders of our nation, are slowly but surely opposing the Jewish state. My answer is this: Yes, and I don't know. I believe we have been living in the last days since Jesus ascended back into heaven. It was then that the angelic declaration rang clear: "They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) Therefore, every single day puts us closer. These recent developments certainly point us to the truth that God does have a timetable. I think it to be a good thing that we recognize all events as being a part of His plan, in one way or another. There is some good news here. The Apostle Peter answered the skeptics who mockingly challenged the prophesied calamitous end of all things. Here's how he put it in perspective: "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) As the song says there is still room at the cross for any and all who will come. Amen.

Okay. Now it's time for me to do a flash back 'I told you so' reminder. Back during the Clinton administration, our nation cast an official vote in the United Nations Security Council against Israel for the first time in our history. I made the comment that once there was a first time, this made it possible for more to come. Look at the progression since then and make up your own mind. This is why we should always be ready, and always be looking up, for our redemption will one day, (in the twinkling of an eye), be realized in its ultimate fulness. What a day that will be! These inquiries made to me have been within the last few weeks which tells us that all current events or under the Sovereign control of our Great God. Believe me, while I love observing and telling stories, the truth is that which God has revealed to us, and we can always count on it. Period: Beginning, during, and at the end of the story! Now that you have my input on these times that we are living in, let's get out there and make this day count for time and eternity. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"A characteristic of the normal child is how he or she doesn't act that way very often." ~ Author Unknown

Handful on purpose!
Good Tuesday morning here on this February 24, 2015. The other evening when I stayed with our eldest in honor of the women of faith shindig, well, I forgot to mention the handful on purpose that became a surprise blessing to me. When I arrived there and knocked on the front door, well, well, well, here comes our little great grand Madi girl to welcome me. She was there on a surprise visit to her Maw Maw and Paw Paw and her Great Grand Poppy could not have been more happy to see her. I had been exchanging notes with her mom, our granddaughter Tiffany, about when we might be able to schedule her to come and visit us. We missed her at Christmas time and we were not able to be at her birthday party, so we had begun to be ready for the great grands to spend some time with that girl. She is a little character. At five, she has more energy than you can shake a stick at. And, she is funny. She is the youngest in our clan and the closest we have to the pitter-patter of little feet. At any rate, the wife and her sleepover gang enjoyed all their special time together, you know what I'm talking about, all that lady bonding stuff where they all bawl their eyes out, and, when you think about it, I didn't do so bad either. In fact, I kind of thought it turned out to be a pretty decent women of faith conference.

Back in the day I always wanted to do the pen pal thing with someone from some far flung place across the globe. I never got around to doing it. Today we have Facebook. I have a number of running dialogues with some interesting folks from the Philippines. They are native missionaries there and we stay in touch using the private message feature. While I have never met these people in person, it is very heartwarming to converse with them as they share their day by day dealings. One of the things we all know is how that everyone, no matter where they are from, face issues and challenges in their lives. Illness, financial stress, family concerns, and a host of other situations impact their day just like they impact ours. In addition to that messaging opportunity, we also have a sizable family messaging set-up so that we can keep in touch with our greatly distributed clan. When a prayer request is identified within our family we can let everyone know about it using this utility. I know there's plenty of bad stuff that gets posted on Facebook. Some of it ought not to see the light of day. Much of it is posted by people who should know better. (My opinion.) At the same time there are the positives that can be experienced, like the ones that I mentioned, that I am very thankful for.

I know many of you who read my blog are prayer warriors as well. I am seeking prayer on behalf of my wife. She will be undergoing some surgery at the end of next week to repair some gastroesophageal reflux problems that have bothered her for many years. The surgery itself is called routine. However, with my wife, she has an inherited gene system that rarely ever meets the definition of routine. We are thankful they have a surgical procedure mapped out and we anticipate her full recovery and then she can go back to eating those things she loves perhaps better than most. Like a big plate of sliced homegrown tomatoes. That was one of the first on the list to quit and one of the last she finally had to set aside. If all goes according to plan she will be in the hospital overnight and we appreciate your prayers on her behalf. This lady is a remarkable woman. Since her retirement from her day job, she has flung herself into a variety of ministry oriented endeavors. God has blessed as she has reached out to many different folks. I hear about how that folks who are together for a long time begin to resemble each other in their elderly years. So far, best I can tell, she has no interest in having a beard so I doubt seriously we will ever favor each other that much. Sorry to disappoint but we have to go with the flow. You too? I thought so. Do the best you can with it and Lord willing I will see you next time. May He provide is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you." The Apostle Paul writing to his young assistant, Timothy. (2nd Timothy 1:5)

Here we go again. You know. The merry-go-round of life. This time it stopped and as we pause to catch our breath we find our location to be Monday, February 23, 2015. Our local fellowship where we attend services has an active teen ministry. They have recently set up their own Twitter account and they are currently advertising for folks to follow them. They are promoting their Twitter account on their Facebook page. I was looking at their Facebook page and one of the first photos was the one above. That was the evening last December we showed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus to have individual photos made with all the kids, of all ages. They were all amped up in preparation of a hayride and going to see Christmas lights. That photo reminds me of some of the truly rewarding stuff we get to do. I look at these kids and I see in them the future of our work and ministry. These are the ones who one day will be leading and singing the songs, playing the instruments, (many are already doing that), running the sound system, ushering, receiving the offerings, taking care of the nursery, teaching the lessons, maybe one or two will be preaching the message, and hopefully a good number will be doing outreach on behalf of our Lord and Savior. It's all about doing a hand off of our faith and practice. I look at that photo and see a fellow who was a young teenager when we first began attending back in 1976. He gave his heart to Christ, married a girl in the Church, and has been a faithful man of God for all these years. Today he is a grandfather who continues to influence his children and grandchildren for the Lord. He coordinates our worldwide mission program, volunteers wherever he is needed, (literally anywhere), and is one of the recognized and respected leaders in our fellowship. See what I mean? That's how it works. And, it's also about having a great time like they did on that particular festive occasion.

I need to give a shout out of thanks to my eldest son and his wife for allowing me to do a sleepover last Friday evening. (They live about 45 minutes to an hour away.) The reason I left home was because of the huge Women of Faith conference in Houston and my wife played hostess to a carload of ladies who had come from Louisiana to attend the conference. I called it a women of faith slumber party in our home but I'm not sure they cared for that designation. At any rate, these conferences are a big deal. How do I know? For one thing, they cost big bucks just to get in to have your socks blessed off.  No. They don't advertise people getting their socks blessed off. I do tend to adlib now and then. They have music worship leaders and typically high profile women speakers. These ladies present Biblical truths along with the books, cds and dvds they market. Of course that's just my outsider viewpoint. I understand that a few men do attend but may I just say this about that, I'm not interested in being one. Thanks, but no thanks. In the end, they had a good time, and if they got their money's worth, they should end up being better ladies, wives, and servants of the Lord. I'll be checking that out and I'll keep you posted on any discernible results. Just joking. (I better be!)

I was reading some insightful comments that the young hip kids wrote about their definition of 'old people'. Some commented about the 'old people' smell. That, by the way, is a reality. According to medical experts the chemical changes in the elderly do produce a unique odor. The precise basis for this is not altogether understood but on that one, there's at least some data to back it up. As far as the other things they said, well, some were pretty mean, but a few were amusing. ~ Old people are kind of scary. I sure hope I don't end up like the ones who ride the public bus. ~ They are the funniest kind of people who can be seen playing bingo and saying silly things. ~ They are people who came from the dinosaur age and they get some kind of sadistic pleasure from crushing the skin of your cheeks between their fingers. They also love to scream at anyone who sets foot on their lawn. ~ Some are good. They know how to make the best cookies and they can take a joke. Others are bad. They are always criticizing everything and everybody. ~ They are nature's simulator for the zombie apocalypse. Be careful, they may be non lethal and slow but they will attack in large numbers. Just like the zombies. ~ That gives us all something to think about. The age of old people was guessed to be anyone past the age of 30 and up. Here's an interesting quote from Jim Fiebig, "Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone." With that, I bid you a great rest of the day Monday and Lord willing I'll see you next time. Take care and may God bless. Amen. ...More later. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Brittany!

It's Friday, February 20, 2015. I missed any comments on last Friday regarding the fact that it was the 13th. I did hear a number of thoughts about it being bad luck and all of that. Since we know that's all a bunch of nonsense, we move on, knowing that God is our Provider, each and every day. But, it is good to have this time together, and I do hope you and yours are well. Tomorrow we celebrate another grandchild birthday. It is our Brittany's 24th and we thank God for her. She is a hard worker and a take charge person. We used to have all these kids in and out of our house and now they are mostly out, but, never out of our hearts, and our prayers. Happy Birthday Brittany and may God add His blessings to your special day. Amen. Love, MiMi and Poppy.

Another Mardi Gras has come and gone. I'm glad I didn't have attending as one of those things on my bucket list. Oh, that's right. I don't have a bucket list, but if I did have one, it would not have been on it. No. I am not against folks having a list of things they want to experience before they kick the proverbial bucket. If having one floats your boat, then I say go for it. I suppose I am more locked into being able to get up and go everyday, trying to stay focused on God and His working in my life, enjoying time with my wife and family, preparing Bible lessons, experiencing a good night's sleep, having a reasonable blood sugar number, enjoying our extended family of believers, and, writing a good blog now and then. Too short term? Well, I can remember many years ago telling some of the guys that worked for me who were moving way too slow that they should carry a mirror in their pocket and take it out and blow on it every once in a while to see if they were still alive. As best I recall, that little suggestion was not universally appreciated. Maybe I need to do the same thing for myself, however, in the meantime, those things I mentioned above are keeping me quite occupied. But, thanks for asking, anyway.

You think what? That I must love to be contrary? That's not the first time I've heard that one. I suppose we all have to be good at something. You do know that I am kidding. Right? We are all unique. Different. One unattributed saying goes like this: "God broke the mold after He made you. Your DNA is unique. Your thumbprint is distinct. You were born as an original; don't die as a copy." While that is true for every individual, I am constantly aware of the calling on my life to be mirroring Christ in my day by day living. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write this to the local community of faith meeting in Rome, Italy: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2, New King James Version (NKJV)) That, my friend, will fill up a whole bunch of my To Do lists from now until that time you hear me singing the old Southern Gospel classic: "Goodbye World Goodbye." Enough said, but that doesn't mean I won't be back, Lord willing, of course. Take care, enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and may He bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ...More later.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"A good forecaster is not smarter than everyone else, he merely has his ignorance better organised." --Anonymous

Hello Thursday. It's February 19, 2015 and I welcome one and all. Sure, it's a little on the chilly side, but, let us all pause and be thankful the weather people were wrong again. No. I do not delight in knocking the weather forecasting folks. It's just one little tiny thing that is a tiny little pet peeve of mine. Last week we were told at about this time we were supposed to be experiencing some low to mid twenties, you know, wrap the pipes freezing temperature type weather. Thus far, we haven't hit those original projections and I am glad about that. We have disclaimers on just about everything these days. Why not have one that can be played before the weather forecast? Here's how they typically lead into their talking points: "This is what will be happening over the next several days." People take action based on these projections. Maybe they could play the theme from the old Dragnet series and use my modified take off on the one they always included with that show: "Ladies and gentlemen, the forecast you are about to see is the truth as best we know it, given the fact that it could change even as you are viewing it. Because of this, the names of the presenters have been changed to protect their identity and to hide their guilt." You think maybe I should trademark that one just to protect any future royalties? Not a bad idea. I'll think about it.

Maybe that's why many of them use good looking ladies. Distraction, distraction, distraction. You remember: "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." You do know that I am just joking around. Or, at least to some extent. Some. Maybe not much more than a jot and a tittle. (Look it up.) Okay. Let us move forward. Or, maybe more applicable, let us move on. I will say that I found it pretty interesting in watching the Weather Channel long time reporter Jim Cantore go berserk over the thunder-snow, four or five snow lightning strikes in a row while he was on the air. He acted like a kid who just bolted out the door of the school to play in the snow. He couldn't stop jumping up and down. He said people could have their $500 million jackpot but he would rather be a part of a real thunder-snow event any day of the week. I heard someone suggest that maybe he should be fired for being so unprofessional but it seems his video out on YouTube has gone viral and people love it, and him. Just Google his name if you are interested in seeing a weather person get all giddy. At least he's into his work, so to speak. And, he was definitely correct in predicting snow because it was coming down like crazy.

I do have respect for those who do their best to provide weather planning information to us. Perhaps it is all the hype and other stuff that surrounds the weather presentation business that keeps me a little uptight. And, it does make a good conversation topic since the old saw is true, 'everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.'  A lady I went to school with more than 50 years ago put up this little revelation on her Facebook page the other day: "Yes I am a senior citizen.....I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up and I'm beginning to realize getting old is not for wimps!" I well remember when someone saying something like that would have produced a smirky shrug of indifference. However, time marches on, and when I read that one I could immediately identify with the sentiment. I know. I would say one could repeat over and over again that you are only as old as you feel, but, sadly, I think that was her point, and that is the point. Here's one to cheer us all up: "Today is the oldest you have ever been, And, the youngest you will ever be again." I have no clue how to explain that one but it sounded good so I threw it in there for good measure. Take care and may God bless us all. Amen.  ...More later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Time is a game played beautifully by children." ~ Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher, 535 BC – 475 BC

Time marches on. At least that's what they tell me and I have reason to believe, based on first hand experience, that this is a true statement. There's plenty of songs over the years that express that sentiment as well. It's Wednesday, February 18, 2015, and since I have no paint at the moment to watch it dry I thought I would talk about time and how it changes us. Last Sunday the wife and I sang a duet during the worship time at our local fellowship. One of the teenagers told her grandmother that we made a cute couple. The grandmother told us about that and it seemed to perk up the wife in particular and she commented that it had probably been a while since we had been called a cute couple. I told her that maybe we should go back to those days when we wore matching sweaters. She may have grunted but I got the idea that maybe that would be moving in the wrong direction. The photo above is of three fellows, school yard buddies and playmates, if you will. The top row was made in 1956 when the three of us were in Mrs. Fitts' 5th Grade Class. The bottom row was made last November at our 50th high school reunion. Time marches on. The wife said that had I not been wearing the beard I probably would have looked the best of all of them. Hello? I'm still trying to figure that one out. I guess it's like we've always heard, it's better to Ho-Ho-Ho than to cry. Or something like that.

So the story goes like this. There was this preacher fellow who had a particular issue with alcohol. He preached against it and found a way to include his disdain for it nearly every time he was in his pulpit. While most of the congregation agreed with him, there were some who thought his focus on that one activity was way over done. They concocted a plan. They had a little party and invited the preacher. They served up some fine food and also included some melon balls. Those melon balls were delicious but they had also been soaked in a strong fruit brandy. The preacher really enjoyed those melon balls. The folks who had invited him were delighted to see him picking out the seeds and putting them in his pocket. They thought that was real funny. But, maybe he just wanted some souvenirs. I read another little ditty where the older person was telling their friend they couldn't figure out why their kids get all hot and bothered when she asked them to come over to her house and take a selfie of her. I'll let you think about that one for a while.

No. I don't think it's a slow news day. But, I've found that my commentaries dealing with current affairs are best doled out in small dosages with some distance between them. And, it's good to remember that one of the keys to leadership is to look back now and then to see if anyone is following. (I understand that was an even more critical issue when one was leading the Calvary into battle.) I've worked with a few folks during my sojourn who really thought of themselves as being a great leader. They really did. Unfortunately, what they thought does not answer the question. Results. And, the thoughts of those being led because that's where the results come from. My mom who is 90 was telling me about how they had went out to eat with some long time friends. She said while they love them dearly she's not sure it's a good idea to do it anymore. Even though they all wear hearing aids, she explained that dad and his buddy cannot hear or understand each other. And, she and her dear friend cannot hear or understand each other. I thought the fact that they still went to dinner together, even with those limitations, was a pretty neat thing. If only I had not had the beard. Who knows? Y'all have yourself a wonderful day and may our Great God add His blessings to it. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Hello friends and neighbors, it's good to have you along for the ride on this Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Since yesterday was a Federal holiday, I had a really good commute into work. That's a joke. There's only a few of us nut jobs headed for work and out on the road at 3:45 a.m., on any day, holidays included. The afternoon trip home was probably helped since the schools were out but it was pretty much a regular day here at the ole blogger ranch. Yesterday celebrated our history. I took one of those online 8th grade American history tests. It had thirty questions and said that over 90% of those taking the test fail it. It had some pretty hard questions. I missed four. According to them, that put me in the tip top of those who take it. One of my misses was just a dumb oversight. The other three I missed were very obscure, (to me), and all I could do was guess. I can take that test result and put $3, (or is $4 now?), with it and buy myself a cup of that stuff they call coffee down at that place that everyone seems to want to be seen with one of their cups. Not me. I know. Different strokes and all of that, but, I must tell you that when it comes to the stuff they peddle, I just don't get it. Sorry. But, I don't. I mean it. I really don't!

I'm not incriminating those who patronize that store or any other as for as I am concerned. It just seems to me, but, I think you have my thoughts about it pretty much understood, and as always, I may not be right, but I am always unanimous in my own opinion, and from where I sit, you know, the view from here, I'm never wrong. That's a joke so please don't send me a note about the dangers of arrogance. Speaking of which, while the President's seemingly out of place comments at the recent National Prayer Breakfast about the Crusades, the Inquisition, and slavery all got a whole lot of attention, he had some other things to say that kind of fell under the radar. He did a little lecture on being humble and the need for humility on the part of those wielding power. That, my friend, is a reach. Not that we all are not in need of humility, but, this President should really think about how that he might want to think about practicing what he preaches. Even his closest associates have spoken about his overwhelming sense of self importance, his thin skin, and his arrogant spirit. That's why his thoughts on the subject of humility did ring quite hollow. I thought I would pass that on, just in case you missed it. They now have an acronym for that: ICYMI. (In Case You Missed It)

I read the other day that 450 people in our country die each year from falling out of bed.  This got me to thinking. I know. That's always a worrisome situation. I did a little research and I will put these in the category of Did You Know? ~ A man was killed by a canon ball fired in his honor. (1794) ~ A lawyer accidentally shot and killed himself in court while demonstrating with a pistol how the alleged victim may have accidentally killed himself. (1871) ~ People died by drowning in molasses after a factory explosion. (1919) ~ A beautiful lady riding in a car died when her long scarf came loose and got tangled in a moving tire on the automobile, breaking her neck. (1927) ~ A man collapsed and died from a massive heart attack and stroke just after reading his own obituary that had been published by mistake. (1940) ~ A rock singer was killed when he was electrocuted onstage by a faulty microphone. (1970) ~ A man laughed himself to death while watching a British TV comedy. (1975) ~ Two different young men collapsed and died after going berserk after setting the high score on a video game. (1981, 1982) ~ A man ran against a glass window in a high rise to prove that it would not break. It didn't. But it popped out and he fell to his death. ~ That was just a sampling of those I read about but I will save you any further morbid contemplation. It just goes to show you there's a lot of different ways to go, but only one way to go to be with the God who loved us enough to send His one and only Son to die on the Cross that we might be saved, eternally. That way is to simply put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. That was thrown in to try and salvage something positive from our visit today. Take care and Lord willing I will see you next time.   .....More later.

Monday, February 16, 2015

"I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent." ~ George Washington, founding father and first President of the United States of America

Good morning. I welcome you to the President's Day episode here on this Monday, February 16, 2015. Being the President of these United States is no easy job. Today we can all be thankful for our founding President, George Washington. (His actual birth date was February 22.) From all that I have read, he really did believe in God's hand of providence in helping our nation to get its start. He and his legacy has somehow been able to weather the critics who have pretty much done everything they could do to try and tarnish his reputation. Today's special emphasis on our form of leadership in our country gives each of us an opportunity to pause and pray. This is the Word of the Lord to us: "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." (1st Timothy 2:1-2, New Living Translation) I can assure you that when the Apostle Paul wrote that to his young helper Timothy, those ruling over the people were not even close to being Godly, yet, God wanted those called by His name to pray for them. That should encourage us all to do the same, not only today, but on a continuing basis.

I recently read a posting from a dear man who is married to his young wife and mother of their children who is undergoing cancer treatments. He has written quite a lot about their experiences and has penned a book documenting their journey. His recent posting was one where he was doing some introspection. He was questioning himself. His stated goal throughout the process is that God would receive any and all honor and glory. He was trying to ferret out any of his own personal motivations that might not be in keeping with that goal. Things like, 'Did I really want to be thought of as a good writer? Did I want to be recognized? Was it truly all about Him?' Those were some gut wrenching questions. I, at times, have some questions of my own. The other day I saw four pages of Google hits where my blogs were referenced by others. Many had just the images I had used and they had stated my blog as the source. A number had used a portion of my writing that attempted to make a spiritual point. Some of these were from far flung places like India and the Philippines. While I might question my own motives, this thought came to me: If God can speak through a donkey, (and He can and He did), then He certainly can use something that reflects His truth, (even if it came from me), to accomplish His purpose and He can do this in whatever way He chooses. (You can read about the donkey in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 22)

I do want my writings to honor the Lord. I also want to bring a smile as I share my views on life and talk about my experiences along the way. There's also all the other stuff I write about. Maybe I don't really have an overarching goal in mind. It may be a hodgepodge of all of the above. At any rate, there's a whole bunch of them cataloged with today being the 1,983rd edition. That puts me 17 away from 2000 and once we get there I will try to figure out if I have worn out my welcome with all the stuff I've slung on the electronic page for these nearly eight years. But, we will see about that when the time comes. Until then, I must be thinking about number 1984 which will be the next coming attraction. As always, I do appreciate those who follow along with me. If it comes off like I think my life has been rather remarkable, well, it's the only one I have, so I suppose to me it is. And, since the number one song on the day I was born was 'To Each His Own', maybe it all fits. Or maybe not. Or, maybe: Who cares? I know someone who does. He cares for us all and I hope you will join me in thanking Him for His love, mercy, grace, and His daily watching over us. Amen.   ....More later.

Friday, February 13, 2015

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." The late Charles M. Schulz, beloved cartoonist who did the Peanuts Comic Strip

Good morning folks. It's Friday, February 13, 2015, the day where most of our little ones will be handing out little cards to their fellow class members. I shudder to even think about it. I can remember doing that when I was a kid. Handing a little girl a card that asked her to be my Valentine caused my little flushed red cheeks which I wore everyday to glow like the aftermath of an atomic explosion. I'm not sure those activities were good for my development but I can remember that most of the girls had no problem participating. And, to add insult to injury, I do believe they enjoyed my glowing face. No wonder I'm so messed up. As it relates to my own beloved Valentine, well, I never get tired of telling people about my love for her. We've been together officially for 50 years and dated for nearly 3 before we married. Had I met her any earlier she would have been one of those little girls I was handing out cards to. Don't worry, she's seen that glow plenty of times. The night I asked her dad's permission to marry her was one of them and then our wedding night. We were all crammed together into the living room of that tiny parsonage with standing room only. It was very cold outside and they had the wood stove cranked up. I was nervous already but when I get too hot, well, even in the old 8 millimeter film I look like my face could explode at any moment. The bottom line is how these were all worth it and today I continue to consider myself to be the most blessed man on the face of the earth. Amen.

Fortunately, they didn't make us do square dancing in the school I attended. I may not have been here today had they laid that requirement on me.You thought I was much more well rounded than that? Think again Bucko! But, we get to where we are and we deal with it as best we can. And, yes, I am thankful for the things that God has helped me to overcome or to accomplish as I have made my journey through life. I could fill in so many blanks that begin with: I would have never thought that I could have _______________. There may have been times when I wrongly thought it was because of how wonderful I was. Thankfully, God has allowed me to understand clearly that He and He alone has been the source of my ability to function in the life He has given to me. This means that when we are able to achieve or use a talent or ability, then God gets the glory. The writer of the earliest text in the New Testament dated perhaps before AD 50, the Book of James, the likely half brother of our Lord, he was inspired to say this: "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." (James Chapter 1, Verse 17, quoted from the New American Standard Bible) But, don't ask me to square dance because that's not one of the gifts I've been given.

This has been an interesting week. I've had afternoons where the air conditioning was needed. I've had mornings where the heater was required. I've driven in some fog so dense that I really was, at times, concerned if I was going to make my destination. I did make it and I am thankful. It took a while for the white to leave my knuckles from gripping the steering wheel. They are expecting more snow up in the Boston area. They already have had over five feet in the last two weeks and are now anticipating up to two more with a couple of new storms coming in. That reminds me of their neighbor New York City, home of the liberal voice of the world, the New York Times. Last February that noted bastion of progressive thought ran an article stating that because of climate change we would be experiencing the end of snow. I just hope the folks up there in that region who are digging out have some of those old newspapers to help get the fire started in their fireplaces. I'm just passing through and looking here and there, and making a few comments along the way. I sure wish everyone a wonderful Valentines Day tomorrow and a great Lord's Day Sunday where we can gather to show love to He who is love. (1st John 4:8) Take care folks and I will commit to doing my very best to show up next time. May God bless us all. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.” ― Jess C. Scott, Author

Hello and welcome. Truth these days has become a rare commodity. Once you leave the Bible itself, well, you really do have to be able to sift through the chaff of what passes itself off as factual information. This is what I thought about as I began to think about thinking about something to share with you on this Thursday, February 12, 2015. This recent episode of outright fabrication put forth time and time again by what many reported to be their most trusted news person, Brian Williams of NBC News, calls into question the matter of trust that we have in our sources for information. Having admitted to telling stories about his experiences in a war zone that were not true, now every story he has ever reported is being fact checked. His eye witness accounts from New Orleans during Katrina are under particular scrutiny. Many of the personal events he has written and talked about from his early life are also being questioned. Bottom line, he is in a whole heap of trouble having been caught lying. (Before this situation came about Mr. Williams was listed as the 23rd most trusted person in our nation. After last week in a new poll he has dropped to 835.) He may not make it back into his regular reporting chair and even if he does he will likely never regain the high level of trust that he once enjoyed. He never enjoyed that from me. Why? Because I'm so smart? Not even close. It's because I do try to check things out and I can tell you that he and the rest of those involved in what is called the mainstream media are never unbiased in their reporting. I say it again, once you leave the Bible, you better be prepared to check things out. (I did read yesterday that Mr. Williams has been suspended for 6 months without pay.)

Mr. Williams does have his supporters. From professionals to his associates, all kinds of proposals have been floated in attempting to explain how this misremembering might have occurred. A cursory review of some of the questionable accounts coming out of the examination of his earlier reporting tells me that he and his many apologists have much more 'splainin to do'. With everything that has been done life can end up seeming not to be fair. A university study indicated that of the 100 top grossing films from 2014 only 12% had a woman in the lead role. Furthermore, their review of 2300 actor portrayals indicated that women were more likely to be cast in supporting roles of caring while men were more likely to get into fights. We are not movie goers so I really have little to add but this all seems kind of silly to me. Women being kind and supportive. Men being aggressive and combative. Wow! That is a weird deal. I am laughing but according to the article I read it has many people really stirred up. To many it's probably not a laughing matter, but, sorry, I'm still laughing.

I had a conversation recently with a young man. I asked him why he was so down in the mouth. (A look of sadness and discouragement.) He told me he had to be living the most boring life one could ever imagine. That gave me an opportunity to tell him a little story. I told him about a fellow who recently came back to work for our company. He had left about four months ago. This fellow had talked endlessly for days about this great opportunity and all the perks and benefits he would enjoy when he took this new job. I told this young man how that I heard what the man was saying but my experience told me it would never be what he thought it would be. The fellow was caught up in a dream of his own making. That grass looked so green over there. It didn't take this fellow long to realize the grass was green because it was on top of a septic tank, and, oh by the way, the new job didn't smell so good after all. He is now back here and glad to be back. My advice to the young man was that he look around at the blessings that he enjoyed in his present circumstance and be thankful for them even as he continued to prepare himself for what God had for him going forward. He acted like I had encouraged him. That was my intention. I've been that fellow looking at the greener pasture so I wasn't just telling him something I had only observed. Maybe he will avoid those hard learning experiences. I pray that he will. Take care and I'll catch back up with you next time. May God help us all is my prayer. Amen. .... More later.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" ~ Albert Einstein

What day is it? I just threw that in on behalf of that camel on the commercial. He couldn't be with me today. Hello once again and welcome. It's Wednesday, February 11, 2015. I have a friend whose mom is dealing with the advancement of diabetes as it wreaks havoc in her body. Now on dialysis three times a week she finds herself dealing with complications galore. This situation and others like it resonate with me because I am a diabetic. I do a lot of reading about the research going on that's focused on this worldwide epidemic. There are some really promising research underway. There's one in particular that has shown great results in early studies in Great Britain. It is a synthetic probiotic that deals with the blood glucose issues before the pancreas becomes involved. It has shown itself to be effective in both Type 1 and Type 2 simulations. The hold back? It's all been done so far in lab rats. However, human testing is to begin soon. I, for one, am thankful that God has given to us those who have the training and acumen to pursue these types of potential remedies. Meanwhile, I do have a small victory to report. For the first time since starting treatment I recently posted five consecutive below 100 readings on my fasted blood sugars. It would be really good if I had a clue as to why, but, that does not keep me from being thankful. Amen.

For those who are not impacted by this disease, you most likely don't connect into that paragraph so well. That's okay. You are likely dealing with stuff that I know very little about. I think that's more or less how it works. Sadly, with the number of folks being diagnosed with diabetes increasing each year at an alarming rate, I fear that most of us will know something about it all too soon. Those Bluetooth ear pieces make talking on the phone easy. There's also voice activated units that allow hands free driving as well. I saw an older lady the other day driving and she was talking to beat the band. The thought came to me that maybe she was talking to herself. But, because of all these technology tools, who would know? I do quite a bit of rehearsing as I drive around. Sometimes I am working on a song and at other times I'm working on a lesson of some kind. Folks look at me and most likely think I might be older but I am fully engaged with the latest and greatest technological innovations. They go home and tell their kids about seeing a senior citizen on top of the technology game. Who knew? I didn't.

I heard some teenaged boys at our local Church talking about some of the sights they have witnessed when they were at the big box store. Observing people and situations at this particular store chain has become almost like a national sport. With the amount of traffic they experience each day at each location, it's no wonder that some interesting folks patronize their establishment. I am in the store closest to us usually at least once a week and I can attest to the fact that you often do see some memorable sights. Let me be clear that I also know I could be the person someone spots and could become the person of interest to someone observing me. The other day I was there and I saw a fellow who was busy getting his stuff. He was very focused on the task at hand. He had a full page of items. When he located one, he would literally snatch it off the shelf, slam it into the basket and then he almost angrily attacked the list with his pen to cross it off. He was definitely a man on a mission. He didn't tarry. Once he found one item he literally ran looking for the next one on his list. He looked like maybe he was an accountant, but then again, what does an accountant look like? Maybe he had been sent to the store against his will. Hey, it could happen. It may have happened to me before. I can't be sure, but it's possible. Have a good rest of the day and I'll try to come with something for tomorrow morning. May God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds." The late Red Skelton, famous comedian

Hello and welcome. I'm stewing up something here. You can count on it. We find ourselves parked in this spot and it's marked Tuesday, February 10, 2015. The other day when I shared with you the song that was popular on the day I was born, well, that has stirred some interest. I received a request from you know who and she wanted to know exactly what song was on top on the day that she was born. I did the research. I found the information. I called her and told her that she should always be careful what she asks for. She wanted to know. I dutifully reported my findings: On April 23, 1947, the number one song in the USA was a tune presented by Ted Weems and his orchestra. It was written in 1931 but not made popular until 1947. The title: 'Heartaches'. I even found a sign to go along with that theme. I'm not saying it would be her sign, just, a sign. Any further comments or conclusions regarding this matter would not seem to be in order. And, as I have always heard, discretion is the better part of valor. I know she will be glad to know that I didn't mention the different times while we were dating that she made me painfully aware of the title of her birth song. But, I find it unproductive to even think about mentioning it here. Can anyone see her? Is she smiling? Or not?

I listened to an expert the other day describing how people decide if something is true or not. While empirical data does influence to a certain extent, preconceived notions typically are the most influential. He gave as one example the recent allegations about cheating charged against the New England Patriots football team. He said a majority across the country believed there might be something to it. However, in and around the Boston area it was overwhelmingly rejected as being either trumped up or based on jealousy. They had their minds made up. He went on to say that if someone really dislikes a particular politician, they are, by a large margin, typically inclined to believe any slanderous charge made against them. I thought about this way of viewing things when I listened to a call the other day on the black radio talk station. The caller said he had studied the Superbowl outcome closely. And, he had some conclusions. His thinking said that Russel Wilson is a young black quarterback. He's been in the league for three years and this is already his second Superbowl. In this game, he as a black man was on the verge of greatness, but, a white head coach, and a white offensive coordinator called a play that robbed this young black quarterback of his opportunity to enjoy the greatness he deserved. That assessment even left the host stunned. About all he could say is, "Come on man!" The other thing the expert mentioned was how that we easily recognize this ridiculous trait in others while ignoring it in ourselves. I thought it was a good reminder for us all of how easy it is for our foregone conclusions to play against our need to objectively seek out and weigh the facts. Something to think about.

I guess you heard the people who make Smuckers jams and jellies are attempting to buy out a mega pet products company. I heard a business reporter making a joke that I thought was amusing. He wondered if the Smuckers commercial would now say, "With a name like Kibbles and Bits, it better taste good!" Okay already. I didn't say it would bring forth an uncontrollable outburst. But you could humor me with at least a chuckle. Last Friday was Go Red for Women Day. Everyone was supposed to wear read in support of heart healthy behavior for women. While I didn't get the memo and I didn't know anything about the promotion, I ended up wearing a red shirt and a red cap. I suppose being in the know by accident makes everyone think I am on board and up to date. When I opened up Twitter Friday morning it was nothing but a sea of photos of people with their red on. I felt right at home but it took me a while to figure out why. The story of my life I suppose and I am still trying to figure it out. Not the red. I got that one. My life. Joking only. I think. Take care and have a good rest of the day. May God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, February 9, 2015

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes." -- Frieda Norris

Good morning and welcome back to that place where I am often prone to say it's where the rubber meets the road. That little idiom, rubber meets the road, is intended to convey this is the place of the main point, where you can find the moment of truth. Example: Training is great for an athlete but the race is where the rubber meets the road. Or should that be where the athletic shoe hits the road? Maybe it is made out of rubber. At any rate, as you can tell, I have once again inflated the importance of my little visit here each day. It's Monday, February 9, 2015, and we find ourselves right smack dab in the selling-of-love week, you know, Valentines. (Spending expected to exceed $13 billion, with a 'b'.) I thought about asking you know who if she thought the statute of limitations has run out on our Valentines purchases after 50 years. It certainly hasn't run out on our love. We do our best to remember to tell each other that every single day. I was listening to one of those radio sports channels the other day. I'm not exactly sure what demographic they are shooting for but they were hyping some glow in the dark lingerie from the PajamaGram folks. The more I thought about it, well, it might be a good substitute for some of the night lights we must have to find our way around when we have to get up in the middle of the night. Go ahead and laugh. You know you want to. It's okay. Look around and make sure no one sees you, then bust off a good one. It will do a body good.

Recently I saw an article with a current photo of the model Twiggy. It was snapped while she was out walking. They called her frumpy looking. She is now 65. She was not wearing make up. The gist of it was to question how this person was once the face the world sought after in terms of an ideal beauty. Hello? Doesn't everyone know about something called the aging process? I'm not trying to be overly sensitive here, but my word folks, if God grants us the years, we certainly are going to end up looking different than when we were 50 or more years younger. I read a quote the other day that said a truly wise man would never wish himself to be younger again. I know some folks weather the journey better than others. Often, health and even the challenges faced can make a difference in our appearance. And, I'm not saying we shouldn't do our best with what we have. The late Dr. Adrian Rogers said when addressing the issue of ladies wearing make up that every old barn needs a coat of paint now and then. I will admit at times I have trouble with how younger folks go out of their way to show respect for my white hair. "Me? You talking to me?" But, think about it, it's a blessing and one we should never be ashamed of. (Genesis 25:8 "Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.")

To be honest, I sometimes surprise myself with the things I write about. I am, after all, my first audience. Maybe that's part of the enjoyment I get from these daily visits. There are days when I sit down and have absolutely no ideas to work with. Next thing I know I am proof reading stuff that's causing me to scratch my head. I started to say it keeps me young but that my friend would be very hard to prove. I don't know if we had any rubber meets the road for you today but it wasn't for a lack of trying. When I use the word trying I typically include that my wife often says that I am very trying. Insert laugh here. Okay. That's going to have to do for today. I'm still working on the 'To Each His Own' and it's connection or lack thereof to the 'It is what it is'. Stay tuned. See you next time, so in the intervening time period, or meanwhile, or until we connect again, make sure to make the best of the day the Lord has given and may He add His blessings to us all. Amen. ...More later.

Friday, February 6, 2015

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” ― Aristotle

New York commuter train crashes into car, killing at least 7 via

That is correct. I am on Twitter. I follow twenty-eight different twitter feeds, nearly all of them are news oriented. The tweet above illustrates something that bugs me a little. There are times when the reporters rightfully need to report some very gut wrenching and often very sad news. It may be just me but it's hard to grab hold of some scary bit of news with a smiling face glaring at you. I know. I know. The photo accompanies their Twitter account but it just seems out of place to me. That was something that was bothering me so I thought I would share it to get our day started on this Friday, February 6, 2015. Yes, I am aware that it is very easy to criticize. Theodore Roosevelt had this to say: "It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things." I couldn't agree more but since my visits with you are mostly just sharing, I do think pet peeves are fair game. I'm not saying folks should have a sad face to go along with their sad subjects but it was something I noticed as being peculiar to me. It may be the close proximity of the face to the story. Just me. Sharing. No one else. Just me.

Have you ever gone into an establishment, in this case a restaurant, and the service was so good it made you wonder if maybe you were dreaming? I think we all have been conditioned over time to expect mediocrity when it comes to service. The wife and I were in a food establishment and the fellow waiting on us was very impressive. He knew what to say and he knew how to say it. I was thinking maybe we were being filmed or something and it might be some sort of prank. I noticed him waiting on a table near us. Exactly the same. We enjoyed the meal but we talked as much about the young man and his making everything so nice. Sure. He did get a big tip and while that might be a part of his motivation, his excellent attitude showed up big time and we appreciated it. The other day I was in a business where many people were waiting to pick up items in Will Call. The lady working that part of the area was about as pleasant and professional as anyone I have seen lately. She was engaging but also efficient. She had a smile and a bounce in her step. You got the idea that she was glad to be there and very pleased to be assisting those who had purchased items from their company. Isn't it interesting how a good attitude makes everyone involved to have a better day? It's not something I see everyday but it's very much appreciated. 

I often wonder why, after all these years, that I still stop on the 'Andy Griffith Show' when I am flipping around looking for something to watch. I've seen every episode more than once and there's no telling how many times I've seen some of them. Yet, they still have an appeal. One of the things that the late Andy Griffith said was how that the comedy was different in that it didn't come from telling jokes to each other, it came out of ordinary circumstances in life. Sheriff Taylor was the original designated funny man but when Don Knotts showed up as Deputy Fife, well, he became the focal point of the comedy, and Sheriff Taylor played the straight man. What came out of this duo is some of the best family wholesome entertainment ever envisioned. Andy thought the best example of why the show was funny could be seen in this dialogue between Sheriff Taylor and Barney. This was the show where Barney had saved up $300 and was ready to buy him a car. ~ Barney: The last big buy I made was my mom's and dad's anniversary present. Andy: What'd ya get `em? Barney: A septic tank. Andy: For their anniversary? Barney: They're awful hard to buy for. Besides, it was something they can use. They were really thrilled. It had two tons of concrete in it. All steel reinforced. Andy: You're a fine son, Barn. Barney: I try. ~ In my way of looking at it, it's hard to improve on stuff like that. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I'll be on the lookout for something to share come next Monday morning. May God bless one and all. Amen.  ....More later.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Humans and weather are the two most upredictable things in life." (copied, but unattributed)

Some people can be quite funny. Just because we flirted with highs in the low 80's last week, we had some people new to the area asking if our winter was over for this season. Now that's a good one. My response: Wait until mid April and I'll give you a more definitive answer. Maybe this past Sunday was a down payment for their learning. We topped out at a 77 balmy degrees Sunday afternoon and woke up to a stiff wind Monday morning. I arrived at work to deal with a 36 degree reading and with the wind howling it produced a feels like of 28. Hey, I know it's all over the page but I'll take it any day compared to the huge front end loaders scraping up snow that we see in other places. With that as a lead in, I bid you welcome once again for our visit, here on this Thursday, February 5, 2015. I'm glad I haven't put up my winter clothes yet. That's a joke. I actually only add a jacket and maybe switch out my cap for one of those wool beanie/toboggan thingies when it's really cold. Except for some short sleeve shirts, the rest of the time my wardrobe is about the same, year round. I've never been one to worry too much about what the fellows here at work might think if they see me wearing white after Labor Day. If you don't have a clue about that one, well, ask your parents or maybe your grandparents.

Our youngest, Mr. Rodney, he posted on Facebook the number one song in the country when he was born and mentioned the irony. It was one by the Osmonds, 'One Bad Apple'. That caused me to try and figure out the big song from when I was born. That was way back in 1946 so it took some research. The one that was topping the charts back then was a tune entitled 'To Each His Own' by a singer named Freddy Martin. There's more. That particular song was recorded by five different groups and all of them charted in 1946. At least two of them hit number one. I've read through the lyrics and it is a very romantic tune. Coming out of the war years I can see why it may have been popular. It was pretty mushy stuff. Here's an example from the chorus: ~If a flame is to grow there must be a glow, To open each door there's a key, I need you, I know, I can't let you go, Your touch means too much to me~ That might explain a lot. No wonder I fell so hard for that sweet little gal nicknamed 'Lil Bit'. You know the one I'm talking about, the one with the angelic face. Come to think about it, I believe that tune just might be the one you hear every time you accidentally land on the Hallmark Channel. Don't get all hot and bothered. It's just a joke and I made myself laugh again.

I'm not against the Hallmark Channel. And, I never actually protested against Muzak, you know, the elevator music you heard nearly everywhere you went. That was back in the day. The Hallmark Channel reminds me of Muzak. But, I only use the Hallmark Channel as a foil or a prop. It's a type of literary device, hopefully done in good taste for a good purpose. Produce a smile now and then. No. I am not attempting to elevate my writing to a level of it passing itself off as literature. I'm just explaining the rationale behind the joke about that mindless mush they play over and over and over again on that certain channel. Joking again. Sorry. Just illustrating my point. That 1946 song says to each his own and I wonder if that is similar to the thought that says it is what it is. I'll try to figure that one out and get back to you later. Meanwhile, enjoy the day. Thank God for it along with the blessings that He has bestowed on us all. I'll leave you with this little Irish ditty as a way of saying farewell for today: ~ May God grant you always... A sunbeam to warm you, A moonbeam to charm you, A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you. ~ Amen.    ....More later.