Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Since the Son of God has died for me, then the least I can do is live for Him." (copied)

Good morning and welcome to the final edition for the month of March, on this Tuesday, the 31st day in the year of 2015. I know the old saying has something to do with March being like a lion and a lamb. But, whatever it did or didn't do, we end the month today and move forward. This week is an important week for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We remember His final week here on earth as He made His way to the cross, the grave, and to His glorious resurrection. This past Sunday we recognized it as Palm Sunday as it commemorated His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In my class we read about this event from all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We saw how His presenting of Himself as Messiah and Israel's King on that day was a direct fulfillment in specific detail of Old Testament prophecies, especially the one given by Zechariah: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." (That's pretty remarkable if you ask me. You can read it in Zechariah's writing Chapter 9, Verse 9, written nearly 600 years before its fulfillment.)

These truths reflect our hope. We need hope living in the world we live in today. God and His provision has been the only hope for people since the world came into existence, but, it is the ever present reality of 'our' time here that we experience each and every day. Following the current administration's explanation of world events, domestic issues, and any and all questions about their performance in office yields some pretty amazing constructs. Here's what I have gleaned: Up is down, Black is white, Two plus two equals whatever they want it to be, obvious outright failures are actually tremendous successes, and it goes on and on. While the mainstream press spends endless hours explaining how they are not biased, meanwhile, their reporting on these stark absurdities comes off like the proverbial lemmings following each other off the cliff. Sadly, they still wield influence over a majority of our population, who, given the seriousness of the quagmire we find ourselves in, end up following the mainstream lead by shrugging it all off. I told you I had an observational viewpoint and now you have it too. Thanks for allowing me this venting time out.

I am familiar with the punchline: Tell us what you really think. How bad is the situation involving public understanding of what's really happening? I saw a national poll last week that indicated the pop singer Taylor Swift was noted as the woman selected as the most trustworthy female leader. Really? I have nothing at all against this young woman, but, does this tell us something or not? I don't rest my case, but, it does give us all something to think about. I do realize that I can easily become that caricature old man screaming at the kids to get off my lawn. That's certainly not my desire. I do appreciate the fact that I view things from a different perspective while at the same time whatever the facts are, without regard to what we are told, those facts are true for us all, no matter what our age might be. It's like the truths found in God's Word. They are challenged everyday. They are ridiculed. They are attacked. They are neglected. And, they are rejected. All I can say is this: That doesn't change one iota their veracity and the reality of their impact on this life and the one that will follow. I think I've sufficiently moved my blood pressure up a notch or two, therefore, I will say so long for now along with a prayer for us all and for our nation. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, March 30, 2015

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

Good morning and welcome. It's Monday, March 30, 2015. I suppose it's good to start out by sharing some good news. Dad was in the hospital for four days last week. I was very torn. The wife needed me and at the same time I felt like duty required me to try and help mom and dad. But God worked it all out. Here's the deal: Mom stayed with dad around the clock. They actually made it pretty good. The staff at the hospital really did all they could to take care of the both of them. And, I am so thankful for family nearby who could check on them and help keep us all posted. Dad has been fighting some bladder infection issues for some time, therefore, he needed some drug therapy that could only be administered via an IV. They are home now. We praise God for that. Dad has some decisions to make regarding additional treatment options. We are praying about that. Dad is a very private person. I've tried my best to honor his privacy while doing word of mouth to our family members and to those who are a part of our local fellowship of believers family. Those developments, I suppose, did add some to the stress last week. But, here we go again. I did read some contrarian views about stress. These scientists believe that stress is good because it stimulates and activates a response. In their way of seeing it, boredom and being completely tuned out is more dangerous. I should be doing good then. Right? That is only a joke. I'm doing great. I can feel it in my heavy bones.

No crime is acceptable. Yet, reading a headline that says a 350 pound man held up a pizza joint in Long Island, NY, well, it at least makes some sense. Then we had the one last week where these three would be robbers had their plan underway but one of them sat on their cell phone and accidentally called 911 and the police dispatcher heard all the details of what they were up to. After a short chase they were captured and arrested and their names were added to the dumbest criminals list. I suppose some days it just doesn't pay to get up. You know, as in, crime doesn't pay. Then you have the really great get well card. A Pennsylvania man received the card after surgery and it had a lottery ticket included. You guessed it. It became worth $7 million. I would imagine the patient is doing much better now. In the not so well planned category, the Australian authorities conducted a national disability conference but it was learned that it was not wheelchair accessible. Oops.

I read an obit the other day that said the fellow had started out his working life as a mule skinner. I knew that meant he worked with mules but I had never really known much about the 'skinner' part. When in doubt, check it out. It seems that people who did drive mules or mule teams were expert with the use of the whip. At times they would break the skin ever so slightly either to get the attention of the mule or maybe to dispatch a pestering horsefly. The term used by the more educated folks for the same job was muleteer. Really? I don't know why but mule skinner sounds better to me. My point, if I have one, is how interesting it is to read about the life experience of folks who did jobs that no longer are a part of our conversation. At any rate, it was of interest to me, therefore, I decided to make it a part of our visit today. You can delete it from your recollection if you so desire. You do have my permission to do so even though you don't need it. Of course at my age the forgetful function tends to be operating without encumbrance and it tends only to let me know about it when I try to find something in one of those filing cabinets up there in that gray cell library world. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about. Until next time, may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play." ~ Heraclitus, Philosopher, (535BC - 475BC)

Hello folks and welcome. Yesterday marked three weeks from the wife's initial surgery. She is still dealing with a fair amount of discomfort but we are thankful for the progress she is making. It is Friday, March 27, 2015, and it is good that we have this forum for a time of fellowship and visiting. I wanted to explain why I changed the font for those who receive my blog each day by email. I enlarged it for some who have trouble reading the smaller print. I know it can be a little awkward to navigate but that's the reason I changed it. I thought I might invent a new abbreviation: JSYK (Just So You Know). However, I Googled it and found that it's already established and in common use. The story of my life. I am good at inventing things that already exist. I worked with some people one time that owned a number of patents for oil field related products. I've seen them come up with an idea, build a prototype, and be all excited with high fives all around. However, when they did a search of the US patent database they found several products that were very similar to their brand new idea. This meant changing their device materially if they were to be able to be granted a patent. Let me give it a shot: IWTLYKJICYMI, I wanted to let you know just in case you missed it. I Googled that little buddy and it said it didn't match any documents. The next time you see that one in use you will know who came up with it.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and my buddies and I would try to come up with a coded messaging system. We first had to come up with an alphabet and then we would attempt to pass notes written in this unbreakable code. Some of the guys I hung out with had very poor handwriting. Therefore, they already had an unbreakable code. At any rate, the code was good for playing cowboys and Indians or other types of war games. We didn't have any computers or computer games, therefore the games we played had to be played outside. You know, with whatever weaponry we could locate. I've told you before about using the dried out striped watermelon rind as a helmet. Natural camouflage. The problem with that is the flies didn't always know that it was completely dried out. We always knew it was going to be a good day if we happened upon a stick that really looked like a gun. Don't get me wrong. Some of the kids did have toys that were realistic. But, not enough for everyone. Sounds too violent to you? Really? Here's something you can do: Grab hold of one of those little handheld jobs and see what kind of war games our little ones are playing today. The only blood and guts we could come up with was to fake it. Check it out. Oh yeah. One more thing: We had fun!

This has been some week. But when I think about it, most of them are. One evening after a very long and protracted day I went to bed early. The wife said I never moved, all night long. She had trouble sleeping because she didn't know if I was okay. No moving. No snoring. No nothing. That's what you call t-i-r-e-d tired folks. But, I'm thankful that God gave me that good night's sleep, that is, if I could remember anything about it. Some keep telling me it's the added stress from concern for the wife. Maybe. I do know that I will be glad when she is back to her 100% bubbly self. And, with God's help, she will get there. I notice that hand up in the back. Could you speak up please? You wonder why no politics this week? Good question and I'm glad you asked. You will not be surprised to know that I will have much more to share later in response to your very good and well timed question. The theme will be 'Can things really get worse?' Sorry. But what I see is what you get when you tune in to The View From Here. Until then, enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and Lord willing I'll see you come next Monday morning. Amen.    ....More later.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nutritional Slogan: Your body keeps an accurate journal regardless of what you write down.

I am trying. No. I'm not talking about how the wife says I can be very trying at times. I'm talking about working on my weight and dealing with my diabetes. I am trying. It's not always easy. This is my lead in for today, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Welcome one and all. The other day I was out on the road and I stopped at a chicken joint. I told the fellow I wanted one chicken breast, one coleslaw, one small unsweetened iced tea, and no roll. He got very stirred up and pointed out that I could have two pieces of chicken, two sides, a roll, and a drink for only ten cents more. I told him I knew that but I didn't want the other stuff. I then explained why I had ordered the way that I did. He had what appeared to be a light bulb moment and suddenly he was very impressed. I had mentioned to him the wife would have been proud of me. He ended up encouraging me. I was telling the guys here in the office about it and one of them said the fellow's initial reaction is why America is losing the battle against obesity. I'm not sure about that but I do know there was a time when the second option he offered would be the one I would have gobbled up. Figuratively and literally. You do know exactly what I mean. Right, Vern?

Don't even think about getting worried about me becoming one of those food police people. In my case I'm going to do my best to stay with the good foods that I have long enjoyed but I'm going to do so with as much moderation as I can muster. And, I can tell you from experience that the moderation mustering endeavor is not always successful. Knowledge. It's a powerful tool, therefore, me knowing about me and my situation becomes a strong motivator in the food choices I make. I remember a primary care physician I used for about twenty years. He wasn't really my primary care because they only called them your doctor back then. (I believe it was less expensive before they became primary care physicians.) I was in his office one day and I made the comment that I knew he was going to tell me that I needed to do something about my weight. He said his way of looking at it was that I would do something about it when it became an important issue to me. I guess I've hung around long enough to see the wisdom in his words. I need to find that information about folks who have extraordinarily heavy bones. I can remember a time when that kind of data came in handy when explaining your weight. Stay with me Vern. Okay?

I still like the little old lady nurse who works with my current primary care. I responded with alarm when she announced my weight. I protested. I told her it certainly wasn't that when I weighed at home. She very politely asked me what I wanted her to write down. Who said the era of the customer-is-always-right is no longer being practiced? I think the slogan from the heading on today's episode pretty much nails it. Regardless of what I write down, and no matter how much of a factor I determine my heavy bones to contribute, well, my body it keeps its own records. And, those are pretty much the last word, so to speak. Oh well. I have enjoyed my little tip toe through the food patch for today. That reminds me. While we were in the hospital the programming on their cable service was so poor we ended up watching mostly food programs. This seemed odd even to the staff since the patient was on nothing but clear liquids. Life can be hard to explain at times. It reminds me of a quote from the famous chef, Emeril Lagasse, "I had these recipes that say do this, do that. Who MAKES these rules?" Take care, enjoy, and may God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." Lin Yutang, Writer, (1895-1976)

Hello and welcome. Whoever came up with that slogan, 'there's no place like home', nailed it. Oh, don't worry. I'm not thinking about a movie or TV show. That sentiment has to be as ancient as the first family recorded in Genesis. Home is where the heart is and we were so happy to be back home even after such a short time away in the hospital. The wife actually slept through the entire night, something she had not been able to do in weeks. It's Wednesday, March 25, 2015, and we are still in a thankful mood for the slow but steady progress we are experiencing. When we checked out of the hospital I made a couple of trips to the car to load up all the stuff. We got home and I discovered that the blanket and pillow I had used to sleep on the couch had been left behind. They could have the blanket. That pillow is 25 or more years old and I called up there and let them know that I would be there to fetch it right away. It's one of my three feather pillows. It takes three because they tend to shrink over time. It's back in its place now and all is well. I thought about how that pillow was most likely older than the nurses we had helping to care for the wife. But, those little feather jewels still work for me, and I am so glad to have them. Yes I am aware they are way past their discard-by-date along with them greatly exceeding their statute of limitations. When I leave for my final journey home they can either be thrown out or put in the ground with me. Along with one of those old quilts. Sounds good to me!

Yes. I am aware of the truth for those of us who are believers. Absent from the body, Present with the Lord.  (2nd Corinthians 5:8) I will one day close my eyes in death and immediately awake in that place of abode that Jesus said He had left here to go to prepare. (John Chapter 14) This would mean that putting my pillows and an old quilt in my final earthly resting bed would have to be symbolic only. That's okay. It would still be a good reminder of how I had been blessed with good rest during my sojourn here. Too morbid for you? Sorry. But, think about it. The reality of our faith means that this truth is more real than the breath we have in our body today. We can be sure of it because we have God's word on it. And, after all is said and done, if in this life only we have hope, well, we are quite a miserable lot. (my rendition of 1st Corinthians 15:19) Perhaps if we had these guaranteed and certain outcomes as a more normal part of our conversation here, we would not see them as being scary or morbid. Just a thought. The other day when I denied trying to be preachy, the wife sent a succinct response: Good Sermon.

She helps to keep me grounded. And, I always try to tell her that I appreciate her input. I also often get her to fact check my accounting of a particular incident, typically, after the fact, but, I always can go back and correct it, if necessary. Speaking of sermons, here's some thoughts gleaned from tidbits about those who wear the title of Preacher. ~ The pastor stood up and told the members that he had good news and bad news. He said the good news was the fact that there was plenty of funding for the new building project. The bad news was the fact that the money was still in the pockets of the members. ~ Another pastor related how that he was on an airplane when they hit some very turbulent air. The passengers began to be very nervous. It kept getting worse. Even the flight attendants were worried. They had noticed that he had reverend by his name so they came and asked if he would do something religious. All he could think of was to take up an offering. ~ I didn't say they were that good. Just sharing. Sharing only. Take care, and may our Great God bless each and everyone. Amen. ...More later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." ~ Henry Ford

I know I have been missing in action but I'm glad to say I am back, here on this Tuesday, March 24, 2015. I know some are wondering how the wife is doing. Here's how it all happened. After getting everything up and going here at the office on Friday morning, I left around 7 a.m. to take the wife for a much needed consultation with her surgeon. It had been two weeks and she was still not able to keep anything on her stomach. We saw the doctor a little after 9 a.m. and he decided she needed to be admitted to the hospital to try and find out what the problem was. No beds. Zero. All filled up. Therefore, we went to the ER and waited about 6 hours for an ER bed and finally into a room at 7 p.m. Early Saturday morning they did an endoscopic procedure where the attending physician was able to open up the passage way some that had been tightened by the original surgery. Then to recovery, then back to the room. She did great. At first. Then on Saturday evening she became very ill again. We thought we knew the problem. As long as they gave her the anti nausea medication through the IV, she could tolerate it. But they gave it to her by mouth and we were back in the ditch again. This meant we had to stay an extra day. Bottom line we got home mid Monday morning. I slept on the couch in her room each night and I do believe she is now on her way to being able to benefit from the surgery. One thing we are reminded of, she is a very popular lady. She has been on the receiving end of much attention since her surgery. Nearly everyday there are new cards to open. So many are praying. Many visits. Floral arrangements. She gets a lot of calls. Calls and texts. She is beloved. I'm not sure what it is about her but she's always been able to get close to folks. Thanks for your prayers. We are cautiously optimistic as we restart the recovery process.

About the time I think about thinking about a different phase of my life, you know, the R word, as in stay-at-home retired, well, I begin to begin to get some uncomfortable impulses. I just don't know how I feel about making that decision. I did read last week about a man over in Louisiana who passed away at age 97. He was an active pastor and in having a pulpit ministry up to the age of 95. I suppose he was one of those who believed in the life long calling. My thoughts about it all have nothing to do with my concern over what I would do with myself. I think I could find more than enough to occupy my schedule each day. I heard a fellow being interviewed that talked about how that after he retired he still had a place to go for the day to help out a couple of times each week. On those days he got up and left just like he was going to work. According to him, his wife was greatly benefited by him not being under foot on those days. There's a lot to think about but for now I will just keep on doing what I'm doing while occasionally pausing to look back, look side to side, and maybe even trying to think about what's up ahead.

I admire folks who are committed to their work. The other day in one of the most intensely foggy mornings I can remember, I was out and about and came upon a sign indicating that a survey crew was working. Surely not. I could barely see the tail lights of the vehicle in front of me. Yet, there they were. They were right there on the side of the road in the process of putting together their equipment and getting ready to get on with their project. I couldn't help but wonder what they would be able to see through that transit instrument they use. But they were there. They were in their place, so to speak. I think a better choice would have been to wait until the fog burned off but I did admire their attitude. I am not picking on the younger generations (yep, sad to say, the plural is required when you get my age), but, based on my daily observations, many of them appear not to have a serious concern about being on time, or being where they are supposed to be, or in general, being committed to anything at all. I know there's a need for balance and all of that, but, how about some old fashioned gumption to get the job done? We need that in every area of life!

Sorry about being a little discombobulated. It has been quite the roller coaster ride the past few days. God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil." (Ecclesiastes 4:9, ESV, English Standard Version)

Yesterday marked two weeks since the wife's surgery. She is some better but still dealing with a constant state of feeling nauseous. We will be seeing her surgeon this morning for a follow up. Thanks again for all the prayers and support. It is Friday, March 20, 2015, and I'm definitely showing some wear and tear from having my help mete incapacitated. It's not that she requires that much because she really doesn't. It's the way in which our whole way of life gets altered when things don't function like they normally do. Little things. Medium sized things. Big things. They all take on a different dimension when things are out of whack. The wife is not one to practice restraint and I know I will be doing my best to get her to pace herself as soon as she is able to get up and move about. I keep reminding her about the full recovery time being six to eight weeks, or longer, depending on the individual. At the same time I am reminded of so many we know, so many near and dear to our hearts, who have had to make the transition to being alone after having lost their spouse. Ours is a temporary situation while the others require long term adjustments that are difficult at best. My heart goes out to them, in our family, in our Church family, and those we are acquainted with that have this challenge in their lives. One thing I do see as a consistent principle in the Scriptures is how God reveals a special place in His heart for those dealing with that circumstance. May God help and heal is my prayer. Amen.

I suppose if you are into observational commentary like I am, the longer you hang around it's the longer you have to see and analyze things. One thing I can tell you as both an observer and participant is that texting while driving may be the biggest threat to safety while out on our roads in my lifetime. It is insidious. I see it every time I am out and about. It is not restricted to age or race. I do know that even talking on a mobile phone while driving can be a distraction but I am 100% convinced that people who text while driving are asking for it. And, that might not just be for themselves because it's all the other folks in and around them who are at risk. I literally see it almost every single time I go out. Just last week I had this young lady, maybe college age, who actually nearly ran over me twice because she had her mobile device firmly planted in the middle of her steering wheel. She first pulled over on top of me to get into a turning lane. Once she turned she got into the wrong lane for accessing the on ramp to the freeway, therefore, she jerked her vehicle on top of me the second time. Here's the deal. When I got beside her she was totally oblivious to what's going on. She didn't even know anything because she was typing into her phone. I'm no campaigner but this one is headed for the big time and while I'm not a believer that government can solve all our problems, there does need to be some type of law enforcement action, before it's too late, if that's not already the case.

The fuddy duddy view from here!
What's that? Do I feel better now? I do but let me tell you what worries me the most. Our children, grandchildren, and their children. That's my big concern. Let's face it. Around this bonkers crazed metro-plex, it's already dodge ball time just to get out on the roadways. You need your A Game every time you show up. If this texting while driving continues unabated with no constraints I can't even imagine how much more dangerous it will be for those learning and joining as new drivers. But, that's just my old fuddy duddy view of things to close out our week together. You never know what a day might bring. Last Sunday I had my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes all laid out along with my lesson materials ready to go. Instead, I spent the better portion of the day in the Emergency Room. I appreciate those who scrambled to cover for me. Here's my plan for this week: I'll go through the same routine and be ready just like before. Being intentional about showing up for worship of the Lord with God's people is my suggestion for us all. But, you knew that one already. Take care and I'll be hoping to see you next time on this same station, Lord willing, of course. May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"God doesn’t want people to do what they think is best: he wants them to do what he knows is best, and no amount of reasoning and intellectualizing will discover that." ~ Henry T. Blackaby, Christian Author

Howdy folks and welcome. We open up the package with our name on it and find that it is addressed to us along with this notation: Thursday, March 19, 2015. That would make today a gift. I know. That's an old cliche but there's truth in knowing that every day, in fact, every heartbeat is given to us by our Great God. It's not that easy for us to remember to treat these routine everyday blessings as gifts, but, I've been around folks who are no longer able to fully engage them and they certainly know how much of a treasure they are. Being reminded is the first step in doing something about it. I'm talking about me, myself, and I. We all know that being busy is not the answer. That was how it went with that busy lady Martha in the Bible. She was a buzzing beehive of activity but she had failed to appreciate what her sister Mary recognized. That was the Gift who was in their very presence. She was frustrated because Mary wasn't joining her in being busy. But Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus to hear what He had to say. I suppose that if we are too busy, even doing good things, to listen to what Jesus has to say, well, we may need to rethink our schedule and our priorities. In fact, I do know that doing just that is a good idea for each of us, including me. Amen. (Read about it in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 10.)

I know. That's a whole lot easier to talk about than to find ourselves doing. And, we have many obstacles that detract from what we would like to find ourselves doing. You know. Life gets in the way. A greeting card caption writer had this sentiment: "If each day is a gift, I'd like to know where to return Mondays!" That account about the sisters included an assessment of their choices where Jesus said that Mary had chosen the good or best. Choosing the best for ourselves and those we are close to can be the most challenging. I am often reminded of a big round table surrounded by loud professionals who were doing their best to impress each other with their filled up schedules and their personal stories about long hours and sleep deprivation. I was the leader in the meeting and on that particular day it just went all over me. I stood up and told everyone in the room to shut their Daytimers and no more talk about who is ruining their health the fastest. What a way to live! Or maybe not. Choices. Doing what is best. Some food for thought on a Thursday.

I don't think I am transitioning into a preachy mode. It certainly is not the me looking down on anyone else mode. I can assure you of that. But, we are in this thing together and at my age I feel a need to share some of what I have learned, much via the hard way. Even so, I'm still in the slow learner category and I surprise myself at times how true that is. One old preacher friend used to call us fellow strugglers and I believe that best describes our journey here. In my case, knowing the source of most of my troubles is key to me being able to make progress. It's real difficult to fix something if you don't know where it is broken. That's why the old song nails it for me: "It's me, it's me, it's me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer." I heard a report the other day talking about people beginning to shape their children for college beginning in the 3rd and 4th grades. They choose subjects, musical instruments, and outside activities based on a plan to get their kids into the best learning institutions. That's all well and good, but, I sure hope, at the same time, we all are reminded of the most crucial preparation anyone could make: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Gospel of Mark, Chapter 8, Verse 36) There's no need to send in your offering to cover the weight of the postal money order. Just think. Who knows what might be on the agenda for tomorrow? Take care and may God bless each one. Amen.      .....More later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"When I was 21 years old, I had a job playing Santa Claus in a shopping centre in Sacramento. I was rail thin, so it's not like I was a traditional Santa Claus even then. I had a square stomach; that was the shape of the sofa cushion that I had stuffed into my pants." ~ Tom Hanks

New dress code! (taken 3/17/15 @ 5 a.m.)
Man! I know. For those who get my blog via email, I am aware that I misspelled the word cylinders in the title of the first one I sent out. Maybe I am losing it. But, as someone a long time ago pointed out, it only goes to show you that I too am both human and fallible. To tell you the truth, I do hate it when I make it so obvious. It is Wednesday, March 18, 2015, and I do bid you a hearty hello. It's become a hit and miss situation as I attempt to get myself back into the groove, so to speak. I really celebrated St. Patrick's Day. I wore red. I wasn't attempting to be difficult, I was wearing my new uniform. Red. I did get several questions about why I had failed to honor the green but that's not such a hurdle to deal with. You see, I recently ordered me up 5 red shirts and a dozen red caps. The wife said people will think I'm wearing the same clothes everyday. We have had a few around here that did that very thing and after a while it made you wonder if those clothes would stand up in the corner by themselves. (Think: Pig Pen from the Peanuts Comic Strip.) In fact, I'm pretty sure they were not in class the day they covered why using deodorant is a good idea. Why all the red? You are real funny, aren't you? In fact, so funny, I only have this to say about that: Ho Ho Ho!

Best I can tell, no one fixed the world's problems while I have been preoccupied with my better half. Seems like the headlines could borrow from the old Hee Haw Show. You know the mournful tune the dudes laid around singing: "Gloom, despair, and agony on me... Deep, dark depression, excessive misery... If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all... Gloom, despair, and agony on me." A whole lot of the tension tends to be centered in the Middle East, and in Israel in particular.  I'm pretty sure that folks who have read or studied the Bible are not that surprised about this being how things are developing. Our Savior shared some insights into this final chapter of world history before He went to the cross, was put in the tomb, and resurrected. These are word pictures He shared from what it called the Olivet discourse, as found in Matthew Chapter 24. You can read the entire chapter and get a better feel for God's dealing with His chosen people in the end times, but, here's what He said as found in verse 21: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be." People have been saying this for a long time. That's right. Truth is, one day it will be just as He has revealed it to us. Amen.

Taking care of the wife the last few days reminded me of those vows that she and I shared so many years ago. I may not have paid that much attention to them on that cold night in December of 1964 but those words indicated how that I made a covenant with her and it involved a lifelong commitment. "....from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith and myself to you." One of the things you learn if God grants you the years and the time together is what those words actually mean in our day by day living. You think about things like that as you sit beside her as she is struggling with sickness and pain. The other thing I am reminded of is the treasure that God has given to me in having her as my wife. I read a lot of the Facebook tributes folks make to each other on special occasions. It has become popular to say that your mate is your best friend. I'll have none of that. My wife is my wife. It is an elevated category of distinction in and of itself far beyond best friend status. After all, when the Apostle Paul wanted to show the husband's responsibility in the marriage, he said we were to love our wives the way that Jesus loved the Church and gave Himself up for the Church. (Ephesians 5:25) Doing that will keep me busy until the cows come home, and even after. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's good to be able to say hello again!

Update: I figured out how to fix the computer. Did a system restore back to last Thursday and it actually worked. Surprise. Surprise. I'm always happy to get something done without having to call in assistance. I know they mean well but they often convey a message like the one my wife says I give to her: "What have you done now?"

Good morning and welcome. I seriously considered marking my hands this morning to make sure I got off to a good start. You know. Right and left. Or left and right. I report, you decide. However, I decided to go without the marking and see what happens. It is Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (St. Patrick's Day) I wasn't able to be in my place yesterday due to needing to be with the wife. She has done better but is still having a pretty rough go of it. Our middle son Jimmy is coming this morning to sit with her. If my blog turns out looking differently today it's because I had to do a work around to get it going this morning. I am operating in SAFE mode because I can't get it to load up correctly with my profile. That's never a good sign. You know what I mean. Right? You are not at work and when you return you can't log into your computer. It is good to be here with you today and I do hope you and yours are well. We feel so blessed and are so thankful for all those who have called us, sent cards, texts, emails, and visited the wife while she has been ailing. She is very beloved by so many.

We spent Sunday in the emergency room with some dehydration issues with the wife. Those are always interesting places to be involved with. The folks there were ever so nice but most know how it goes. They are usually always short handed and the RN we had was being pulled in all directions. Once they had some fluids and meds into the wife and had done a catscan to check out the surgery, well, we were ready to be released but they were too busy to handle the paperwork. Finally, the nurse came in and apologized profusely for running late. She said it was even more of a zoo than usual and while she didn't go into detail it sounded like it had something to do with the kinds of cases they were working. She looked pretty frazzled  and we ended up trying to console her. In the discussion we talked about us being in the Santa enterprise and she was delighted. We gave her one of our cards and she said that it made her day, so, there you have it. It really doesn't take much, does it?


Okay, unlike most days, I will be brief today as I am still trying to figure out what in the world is wrong with my little computer. Thanks again for your prayers on behalf of the wife. We do greatly appreciate each of them and each of you. May God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Kyleigh from your MiMi and Poppy!

Okay. It is Monday, March 16, 2014, and I am sending out a greeting today to our granddaughter Kyleigh. It's her birthday! She is the eldest daughter of our youngest Rodney and wife Mitzi. She is a college student and a wonderfully talented young woman. We thank God for Kyleigh and send our love and best wishes for a most wonderful birthday. Love, mimi and poppy.

The wife had a little set back over the weekend with some serious vomiting. She became dehydrated so we spent 6 hours in the ER yesterday, but we are back home and restarting the program. I am staying with her today and I know she appreciates everyone's concern and prayers.

Now for today's edition which should have been published last Friday but because of a major malfunction, (a disconnected signal between the brain and the operator), we now have Friday's today and hopefully things will be better next time. Interested in what should have been seen today? Sorry. You will have to go back to Friday to catch that one. Confusing? Me too.

Sorry. While it is technically TGIF, it's also the 13th. Friday, March 13, 2015 to be exact. I get a little confused with these supposed special dreaded days. (This makes the second Friday the 13th this year and one more comes up in November.)  It's been somewhat overcast here, therefore, I don't think I saw my shadow this morning, if that helps. (Too early, and still dark, with the time change and all of that.) I think at times I am a researcher at heart. Over the past couple of years I've been hearing this question 'What does the fox say?' Recently a mom on Facebook talked about how that her boys had taught their baby sister to sing this question. Okay. Enough already. I did some checking around and found out it comes from a song. I found the song on YouTube. It talks about all the animals and the sounds they make but they have trouble coming up with the sound the fox makes. They use the lyrics to guess at a number of different sounds that might be made by the he or she said fox. The song itself is rather silly (to me) but it became a viral hit. You know me. I did some further study and found an actual recording cataloged by Cornell University. It recorded the sounds of some real red foxes. It was recorded on June 23, 1966 in Ontario, Canada. Now, if and when someone asks me if I know what the fox says I will do my best to impersonate those yelping sounds I heard. According to the researchers they thought the closest lyric in the song to the recorded sound was: "Jhacha-chacha-chacha-chow" They have the letters behind their names, so who am I to question their interpretation. What? Do I have any idea what those sounds actually mean? Maybe it's 'Come home, come home, it's suppertime.' I don't have a clue! You people are never satisfied. Right? Bob Dylan, the singer, is quoted as having said one shouldn't criticize that which they can't understand. I probably should add that to my list. I'll think about it.

Our Rodney and his crew.
I see lots of activities in motion as families work on their Spring Break plans. In our state, Spring Break is different weeks depending on the location and school district. Our youngest son and his family left on Thursday, the 5th, for a week at a resort area in Mexico. Based on their photos and their postings, they had themselves a wonderful time. That got me to thinking. Growing up, I suppose we had an Easter break but I don't remember it being a time where folks planned trips and stuff like that. At the same time I don't necessarily think we missed out on anything. It wasn't on our radar screen. And since we didn't have any plans, therefore, we did whatever it is we did, and it was likely very enjoyable. I can't come up with any deprivations that may account for the way I turned out. You know. We all are programmed to try and find something or someone to blame for any outcome we might not be pleased with. Sorry. I come away from my childhood thinking how blessed I was to be brought up in a Christian home and how that I was always well fed, clothed, and loved. I also made my own fun. Believe me, I could usually find things to occupy my time. Those would have been things of my own choice and my own doing and I think that will be about all I should say about that. (Many of those recollections are best left in the proverbial Al Gore lock box!)

Another work week has come and soon it will be gone. I've enjoyed spending time with those who read my stuff each day. We will officially finish the week tomorrow, Saturday, the last calendar day of the week. I hope you will enjoy it. Then, Lord willing, we get to start a brand new week. That's called Sunday. I like to tag it as Lord's Day Sunday since that's when we traditionally meet with other like minded believers to worship the Lord, study His word, and to build each other up in the faith. Since that is the first day of the week, I think getting it kicked off by showing honor to the Lord is not a bad way to go. Yeah I know. I say that a lot. It's like a broken record, so to speak. I'm in good company. Here's what the Apostle Paul said to the local assembly of believers meeting in Philippi, Greece: "Therefore, my brethren, rejoice in Our Lord; it is not tedious to me as I write these same things to you, because they protect you." (Philippians 3:1) Some things are worth repeating. I think you know exactly what I am talking about. Have a great one, be safe, and know that God is our strength as we continue our journey here. Amen.  ...More later.

Friday, March 13, 2015

An elderly woman called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car had been broken in to. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: "They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!" she cried. The dispatcher said, "Stay calm. An officer is on the way." A few minutes later, the officer radios in. "Disregard." He says. "She got in the back-seat by mistake." (copied)

Good morning and welcome back to the real world adventures from the geriatric brigade. The wife was still ailing some, so the other evening I stopped by to pick up a family fish dinner from the fast food fish joint for our Wednesday evening pot luck supper at our local fellowship. When the young man tallied it up I asked if he was going to give me the old people's discount. He said he would if I wanted him to. I asked if he could tell that I was entitled to it. He said perhaps he could but he had been instructed not to give the discount unless it was asked for. At least I didn't have to show my driver's license. That's the way the cookie crumbles in my world and I do bid you a big ole howdy on this back-to-work Monday, March 16, 2015. I wasn't upset at all with that young man for following instructions. I know my wife wishes that I would. Here's how it goes. She opens the cabinet in the kitchen and announces that she knows I have opened a box. She declares that tidbit based on the fact that, according to her observations, the box was literally ripped open and will never be able to be properly closed again. Why all the details? It wasn't a hit and run accident. No wonder we now have 22 plastic containers with lids on them that require needle nose pliers to open. Maybe I need one of those light bulb coming on moments. Preferably before I rip open a box of cereal.

When I think of all the things I could have been good at it makes me wonder why I never pursued them. Things like opening boxes properly. Learning about how fitted sheets work. Discovering why it's against the law to remove those tags on a mattress. Maybe I could have learned why being patient cannot be acquired with a snap of the finger. There's so many others but I think you get the idea. We all live with those things we wished we would have learned, would have worked on, and those that we could have become effective in doing them. It's like that famous scene in 'On the Waterfront', the 1954 movie starring Marlon Brando. That movie was loaded up with great actors. Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, and Rod Steiger, to name a few. I suppose we all can identify with Marlon's character Terry when he pronounces a summary of his life: "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley." I had thought of that quote and that's what got me started on this paragraph and I did want to use it and that's why the rest of it doesn't make much sense. So, sue me.

On my way home the other day I listened to an old time radio program on my little satellite receiver. It was the Red Skelton Show from February 17, 1942. They were making jokes about the recently instituted Daylight Savings Time. It had been put in place to help save electrical usage as part of the wartime effort. (The history of daylight saving is pretty interesting. It officially began in our nation in 1918 in support of WWI and after that it has developed into what we have today. More information can be found at: timeanddate.com.) Red said you could tell you were on daylight savings if when you got up in the morning it was darker than when you went to bed at night. I can identify with that one as I use my little flashlight to unlock our shop building here at the Company. It was just beginning to be less needed and then we changed the clocks and I was back in the dark again. But, as you can readily tell, being in the dark is nothing new to me. Maybe that's why I don't open boxes the right way. Being in the dark makes it harder for me to see how. She does read my blogs. Let's see if she buys that one. Then we can move on to fitted sheets. Until next time, may God watch over us all is my prayer. Amen. ...More later.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Dave: "HAL, I won't argue with you anymore! Open the doors!" HAL: "Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." Quoted from the 1968 movie, 2001: a space odyssey

You had to know this would be coming. I've waited a long time to use this one. Today's edition could be called, '2001: a space odyssey'. Get it? Okay. Here's the breakdown. It's the 2001st edition and all of them cataloged do take up a lot of space and since I'm the one doing the writing, well, it has been somewhat of an odyssey or adventure. Regardless of that less than applicable reference, I do bid you a hearty hello and welcome to our time together for this Thursday, March 12, 2015. I am very happy to report the wife is on the mend. She is making slow but steady progress each day. I told her the other evening that I was afraid her Tim Conway old-man-walking impersonation might become habit forming. I've read through those liquid diet suggestions and I think we might have found a couple of items she had not known about. For instance, oatmeal. She was very excited when I announced that one. Sometimes in life it doesn't take much to improve our outlook. However, it will be a fairly long trek to the six weeks that typically defines when she might be able to return to a regular diet. Meanwhile, I'm pretty much tied up on things like trying to figure out how fitted sheets actually work. I turned them dudes every way but loose before she finally had to give me some instructions. Who knew? They actually have to go on a certain way.

There's sure a lot of nonsense floating around out on the internet. You cannot trust everything you read and see. I suppose Abraham Lincoln was never more correct than when he made that famous statement, "You can't believe everything you read on the internet." See there? You learn something new everyday. We do have to do our fact checking if we are to maintain some sense of reality as it pertains to stuff on the internet. Everything from doctored photos, political shenanigans, to fish stories of all types that have been manipulated for an audience that has a seemingly insatiable appetite for sharing these kinds of frauds. Some are more obvious than others. Like these headlines: ~ Cannibal eats missionary and gets taste of religion. ~ Lady decides to have only three children after hearing that one out of four are Chinese. ~ Man injured while raking his leaves. He fell out of a tree. ~ Shotgun wedding ruled case of wife or death. ~ Thief who stole a calendar gets 12 months. ~ Moses proved that one can succeed even if they start out as a basket case. ~ One legged waiter hired at I-HOP. ~ Okay. I know they are bad but some days it's about all I can come up with. No. I do not know if they have an app that throws vegetables at the person telling bad jokes. You will have to check that one out for yourself.

When we left the hospital the other day, a sweet little old lady volunteer brought the wife downstairs. I suppose they had run out of wheelchairs so they had this chair looking thing that was mounted on wheels and that's what they used to transport her. The little old lady looked like she needed to be pushed. The wife said the pusher hit every crack, every bump, and every undulation that caused her to wince in pain. When they got to the bottom floor the volunteer lady asked the wife if she had had surgery. She said she didn't know about the surgery but when the wife told her I think she understood all the moaning and groaning. I will say this about that. Those volunteer people, most of whom tend to be older folks, they inspire us all in the work they do to assist folks dealing with all kinds of medical issues. The surgical waiting area was what you might expect. Crowded. But, those two older volunteer gentlemen had everything under control. They were consummate professionals and made the experience much easier to deal with. No telling what they did in their working life but their example is one that we all could learn from. Including me. You folks have yourselves a wonderful day and may our Great God add His special blessings to it. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached." Mike Huckabee

Who would have ever thought that back in 2007 I would still be at it. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and it turns out that I am he, as well as, yes mam, today represents the 2000th episode of this long running series. Thanks for showing up on this notable day, on this March 11, 2015. This summer will make it 8 years of my Monday through Friday hunting and pecking on the old keyboard. I've obviously been dedicated to doing it or it would have gone, in fairly short order, the way of the buffalo. Within the blogosphere world that's the typical outcome of most blogging start ups. I am well aware of the arguments about quantity versus quality, but, there's also the purpose to be considered. I started out with the idea of it being The View From My Pew but changed it before beginning to publish to The View From Here. Believe it or not, there are quite a number of blogs that carry both of those titles. So much for originality on my part. Here's what I said about this in my very first published blog from May 7, 2007: "However, I call this blog The View From Here because when it's all said and done, it's the way I see it. You most likely see it differently but that's what blogging is all about. We can speak from our viewpoint, our way of interpreting all the things we have to deal with, and in general, the viewfinder through which we see the world, and especially our world.  One final thought in this opening monologue: I know that without God as the foundation of my life through my identity with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there would be little hope in all the ups and downs encountered in this journey called life."

That was 1,999 blogs before today's edition but that sentiment is exactly what I think I have been up to throughout our time together. My greatest fear is that over time I could have become so predictable that my observations not only could have become rote and repetitive but I could be close to producing the 'B' word, as in boring. That's the primary reason I would even entertain the thought of closing out our time together each day. Meanwhile, I will continue throwing up keystrokes until I have time to ferret out a decision. In some ways it has become a part of me but as I stated that's not the driving consideration. I obviously enjoy doing it. I never look at it as a chore even though at times I have done my fair share of staring down the blank electronic page. You wondered what accounted for those days where you went away scratching your head. Well, now you know.

I've met some really neat people along the way via their comments. I do have a loyal reader community and I appreciate each and every one for your patronage and your encouragement. I've never added any advertising or connecting websites, yet, my little blog, spinning out there somewhere on the worldwide web has had nearly 140,000 web views since we started. I sure hope some of what I have shared about the Lord may have ended up in fertile ground because we know that's how He is able to bring forth a harvest. Thanks again for showing up each day and join me in thanking God that we have had this time together. We will see where it all goes from here but know in advance, regardless, I commend us all to God and His love, mercy, and grace. Until next time, may He bless us all. Amen. ...More later.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Man was designed in a way in which he must eat in order to give him a solid reason to go to work everyday. This helps to keep him out of trouble. God is wise." ~Criss Jami, American poet, essayist, and philosopher

Routine. I suppose after all these years I must admit that I do operate best within 'my routine'. I know. I know. I've heard that old adage, being in a rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out. Somehow, to me, the routine and the rut are not necessarily the same, although, I remember as a kid going back into the deep woods to hunt where staying in the ruts was about the only way you could get to where you were going, that is, without bogging down. What's that got to do with the price of tea in China? I believe that's the correct idiom to use in response to an irrelevant subject. Okay, here we go again, another day of irrelevant subjects, and these land on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Routine. It works for me. It has to do with rhythm and repetition. My sleep cycle adjusts to whatever the routine I am following. Nearly every day, regardless, I awake at 3:30 a.m. and make the determination which routine am I following. If it is the work week I hit the floor. If it is the weekend I turn over and sleep for a couple more hours. Then I engage in the weekend routine. No. I do not think I am one of those people who would fall apart if they didn't have a set schedule. I would just invent a new routine to accommodate me falling apart. Or something like that.

I don't know if I have ever heard a song by the group In-Sync. I suppose it would not have been as catchy if they had named it Out-of-Sync. But, we all are aware when things are just a tad off. The other night I had a very vivid and weird dream. It was strange. One of the oddities was how that I remembered every bit of it the next morning. I typically only remember bits and pieces. It was one of those that kept me scratching my head throughout the day. If there were symbolic images to decipher, well, I had a pot load of them to consider. That will kind of throw you off a little, but for me, I have to choose what to do about it. Go to a shrink. No thank you but there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Or, file it away and move on down the road. That's what I usually try to do. It wasn't particularly scary but just very odd in the oddest sort of way. What's that? Maybe if I shared some of it, you could help? Good try. But, I've already filed it away, except for those flashes that keep coming back to me. I think I hear the tune from the Twilight Zone playing in the background. (Just kidding.)

I was reading some observations about how things have developed since President Obama took office. He inherited a big mess. There's no doubt about that. However, in the judgment of many, things are in many respects even in more of a mess today. Some have conjectured that it is certainly a good thing for him that he was awarded the Pulitzer Peace Prize before he did anything because I don't think anyone believes we are more peaceful in the world since he took office. I know it's in the eye of the beholder because I do hear those who can't stop praising him for any and all things he is associated with. They are entitled to their opinions but none of us are guaranteed to our own version of the facts. (That is I suppose as President Clinton might say, it depends on the meaning of facts.) I tend to think the general category of 'a big mess' is my assessment, but, that's just me. You know me. The fellow with the occasional vivid weird dream. Here's my advice: You get out there and do what we as Americans still have the right to do: Form your own opinion. Take care and may God bless each one and may God bless this great nation that He providentially gave to us. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, March 9, 2015

No need to fear, it's only little old me.

Good morning and welcome back, to me, you, and to the any and all that happen to drop by. It is Monday, March 9, 2015, and I am sitting here at my workstation after having been gone for four days. I can tell my little computer missed me. I'm not sure how but it just seems like it did. The wife is doing well. She fought an allergic reaction to the anesthesia for the first three days but that is much better now. We thank God for her progress and for everyone who has prayed for her. She sure does have a lot of folks who love her and I suppose she does exemplify the Bible verse that says if someone is to have friends then they themselves have to be friendly. (Proverbs 18:24) She has been behaving herself and following the strict dietary rules set forth by her doctor. I did notice one thing at the hospital. They are now being run by children. I never saw so many kids doing different things. What's that? They are not that young but I am just getting older? Oh, now I get it. And, thanks so much for reminding me. Do join us in expressing our gratitude to our Great God for His provisions. Amen.

Today we are having ourselves a saturated rain event in these parts. We are under a flood watch and there are indications all around that some localized flooding could occur. I always try to think about the summer months when we are all breathlessly anticipating some rain as we deal with things like today where the water is literally standing all around. I know. You cannot store up the rain water for later months but it is still refreshing to know that our ground is being nourished, you know, in an inundating sort of way. I've pretty much been tuned out for the last several days of hibernating at the house with our patient. Driving in to work this morning listening to the news made it pretty clear that things are pretty much the same, chaos, chaos, and more chaos. Here, there, and everywhere. That's why we all need to find somewhere other than this world for our confidence. My belief is that we must trust in Someone, the Lord our God, because I'm not sure this old world is on its way to getting any better. Not being negative just giving you the facts as I see them.

Okay. It may take me a day or two to get back into the flow. I've actually had some requests that I please not suspend my blogging activities as I approach the 2000th episode this week. Thanks to those who find something of interest in my sharing. We will see how it goes. But, first things first. We have today and as for me and my house, we have much to be thankful for. I do hope we all will spend some time thinking about our blessings that God has provided and allowed us to enjoy. Have a great Monday and may God direct our way as we seek Him and His leadership today. Amen.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Join us in thanking God for His provisions!

Greetings to one and all on this Friday, March 6, 2015. Yesterday was a long day spent at the hospital but God has been so good. The surgical procedure went well and while it will take a few days for the wife to get over the soreness, she has done exceptionally well. We are overwhelmed with all the visits, the messages, the calls, and the wonderful outpouring of prayer support on her behalf. Her sister spent the night with her. You know the one I'm talking about. Her twin, born 18 months ahead of her. We've had folks praying around the world, literally, and that means so much to us. I was able to come home and get a good night's sleep and if all goes according to schedule, we hope to bring her home sometime today. Thanks again and may God bless each one. Amen. I will do my best to be back in my regular place come Monday morning, Lord willing of course. ...More later.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Philippians 4:19 " And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Good morning. It's Thursday, March 5, 2015, and I will be brief since we have this surgical procedure for the wife scheduled for 7 a.m., this morning. I will let everyone know how things go as soon as I can. We are thankful for the many who are seeking the Lord on our behalf. Our trust is in the Lord and His provision. Have a wonderful day and may we all remember to be thankful for all that God has given to us. Amen. ....More later.