Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Birthday to a man of distinction!

It's Friday, July 31, 2015, and we can now look to close the book on this 7th month of the year. It's gone by pretty fast as I see it. Tomorrow, August 1st, Lord willing, the wife and I plan to get up early and journey over to Louisiana to honor dad on his 85th birthday. A couple of months ago dad received a very special honor in the Church they attend. A group of ladies had put together a quilt of honor to reflect upon dad's service to others throughout his lifetime. After speaking about his service as a retiree from the US Army, retiree from Federal Civil Service, his Volunteer Fire Department work, his long tenure and subsequent retirement from the local town council, and his devoted service to the Church and to others, they wrapped that quilt around him and prayed over him a prayer of thanksgiving. We didn't know about that honor and so we were not able to be there but we do understand very clearly the reason for it. Dad will soon mark his 38th year as being the Patriarch of our huge blended clan. We thank God every single day for him and for his loving support of our mom, and for his wonderful care towards all of us kids, and grand kids, and great grands, and the great great grands, and there may even be some great great greats too. Happy Birthday dad, we love you.~Marilyn and Al~

I suppose the battle jokes about men and women will always be a part of the cultural dialogue. I read one the other day that advised on how to get your man to do sit ups. They said try putting the TV remote between his toes. Then I saw one that asked how that women were like police cars. The answer said they make a lot of noise and let you know when you are doing something wrong. Those that mention how that men will not ask for directions are legendary. You know. Moses stayed lost for 40 years because he wouldn't stop and ask. Or, the reason Dorothy got lost in OZ was because she had three fellows helping her find her way. One quip advised bachelors not to look for a lady at the laundry mat. If she can't afford her own appliances how will she ever be able to support you? When little Johnny came home from school he asked his mom if he really had descended from apes. She told him she couldn't be sure because she didn't know his dad's folks that well. One man told the other fellows that his wife had given him 100% sound advice. It was 99% sound and 1% advice. Okay. The beat does go on. Here's some help in how to read these. If you laugh at all, make sure it's when you are either alone or it's one that hits you. Just trying to keep the peace folks.

The other day I went to fetch our lawnmower. The wife had taken it to a fellow across the way to tune it up and service it. The traffic was horrible but I finally made it. She already had the check made out. The fellow who worked on it was an eccentric. His elevator had not been to the top floor in years. But one thing he was clear on. Cash only. No checks. No negotiation and he made it clear that he would hold the mower for ransom. Weird. I left and went to a local convenience store to use that in-store ATM. I had not used one of those things in probably 15 years. I couldn't figure out how to make it work so I left and drove back across the way to our bank and got the money. Then back to the mower guy and got the mower. I was able to talk to him about the Lord. Well, on Tuesday I received an email from our bank. Someone was charging against our debit card. The ATM strikes again! We cancelled the transactions and my card. A very bad experience but it does remind us all of how easy it is to have our information compromised. They restored our funds and reissued my card. Pretty disturbing stuff but at least I did get to witness some to that one very odd fellow. Do have yourself a great weekend and especially in gathering with others at the meeting place set aside to learn more about God and to honor Him through praise and worship. May God bless. Amen. See you next time.   ....More later.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"I think America's food culture is embedded in fast-food culture. And the real question that we have is: How are we going to teach slow-food values in a fast-food world? Of course, it's very, very difficult to do, especially when children have grown up eating fast food and the values that go with that." ~ Alice Waters, Amercian chef specializing in organic cuisine

Here we are again and it's Thursday, July 30, 2015, and I'm hoping that one of those widely scattered pop up showers will pop up and scatter itself on our place this afternoon. A great missionary in the Philippines wrote a piece the other day where he did a little bit of a tongue in cheek update. They minister from a sailing vessel. They had been out for weeks. As they approached a larger port he began to report on a glow in the distance. A light. A beautiful sight. One they had longed to see again and there it was. Their hearts beat high with expectation as they neared port. The object of their desire was shining ever so brightly. The Golden Arches of McDonald's. He then went on to describe the double quarter pounder he was anticipating. It was a very cute story. I can identify. Back in the mid 1990's we spent some time in the United Kingdom, mostly in Scotland. After a week touring Scotland where we enjoyed all the sights and sounds we began our journey back towards Manchester, England where we would connect for a flight back to London and then back to the states. While in Scotland we were treated to wonderful menus made up of their local cuisine. A week of them. We enjoyed it all but we also knew there was a McDonald's in the big mall in Manchester. We could hardly wait. We took very little time to get settled in our hotel before we hurried over to that mall. It was not 100% the same as here in the states but it was close enough. Close enough indeed!

I know it may sound trite but life really is about making a difference. This week we lost a dear friend and soldier of the cross. He was 80 years young and leaves behind a legacy of faith and action. In many ways he was a throwback of sorts in that he really did say what he meant and he meant what he said. When I think of his life I think about his hard work on behalf of his family and on behalf of his Lord. I think about the word integrity. He was a character but a lovable one who had an impact on our family. We thank God for Bro. Carl and the example he lived out before us all. Also there's this couple we served together with one time when we were members of the same Church. A couple of weeks ago they loaded up a big bus and headed to camp. Junior kids. This was their last time to make this trip since they are handing off the torch after forty years of serving children. That's right folks. Forty years. I think of Ruth and Wayne and I immediately see genuineness and a selfless life. When their daughter announced this change in their ministry on Facebook the testimonies began to pour in. One by one, from those young and those now much older, accounts of how these two people had been the heart and hands of Jesus in their life. Here's my take: What a privilege to know people like this and what a challenge to us all to follow their example.

I suppose we all have our own thoughts about our own personal faith hall of fame. No one who reads my blogs would need to reminded that my grandfather, Paw Paw Mac, would be one of the standard bearers on my list. I thought about the late football coach Bum Phillips' response when asked if he thought running back Earl Campbell was the greatest of all time, "I don't know if he's the best, but it won't take long to call the roll." I feel that way about so many folks who have lived out their faith in the life that God gave to them and in so doing they impacted my sojourn here on the planet. No. They, for the most part, were not people who gained a lot of fame or fortune but they took what God provided and they multiplied it through their testimony that was actively demonstrated to any and all who came in contact with them. I'll not start naming names and I don't think putting them in any order really has merit. I've said all of this to remind us that you and I are no doubt thought of by others as to our influence and impact on them. May God help us to do our best to make that influence and impact a positive one that not only helps them but brings honor and glory to God. Now that, my friend, is a goal worthy of us all. Amen and Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants." Benjamin Franklin

Hello Americans and welcome to where you get to participate in the hashing out of all things consequential or not consequential, but, we do try to include a fairly broad sweep of topics for consideration. It's Wednesday, July 29, 2015, and it's good to have you on board for today's ride. There's a whole lot of stuff that needs fixing in this old world. They're pretty sure that lady folks suffer from claustrophobia more than men. That can't be right. Maybe they can figure out a way for men to experience it more often to level the playing field. That would make it more fair. Over in the United Kingdom they've discovered that kids with lots of money who are not that bright have a much easier time of it compared to some who are exceptionally smart but are poor. I'm not trying to be a smart aleck but don't you think that you or I could have figured that one out? I can also tell them that based on what I've observed during my time here on the planet is how that particular distinction will hang on as life moves forward. Those with contacts and resources will typically have some advantage over others who are less able to have the same. Not always. But as a general rule life does pretty much unfold that way. What's that you said? Maybe I should send them my contact information? They wouldn't really care about anything I have to say but that's a nice thought. Thank you very much. It may not have been meant as a compliment? Oh. I see. Thanks anyway.

Another area that is of concern has to do with the disproportionate influence this universal selfie craze seems to have on ladies as compared to men. Researchers say they are in the early stages of studying this cultural iconic behavior but thus far they think it may cause ladies to worry about their clothing choices, their hair, their makeup, and the number of times they have to change up everything. It's still early but they think this may be having an unbalanced impact on the female sex. Those little smart phones now take studio quality photos and those sending out pictures of themselves, well, they have to make themselves presentable if they are going to circulate those photos. I'm still trying to process this one. You have the device. It has capabilities. All your friends use those capabilities, therefore, I suppose there's this great powerful influence that causes young ladies to have to respond by sending out photos of themselves. I know guys do it too. But according to this study the young ladies are the ones who are being manipulated. Maybe they should force the technology companies to come up with apps that will make any photo taken to immediately cause the subject to look like a super model, regardless of how they look or what they are wearing. Just a thought. I don't think I can get a patent on it but I'm just trying to help solve some of these great divisive issues. I do what I can folks. I do what I can.

Yes. I do know this is not a laughing matter for those who become addicted to this kind of unhealthy behavior. However, I'm not sure what government involvement could do to curb or correct these kinds of problems. I'm sure studying all of this and publishing reports keeps a lot of bureaucrats gainfully employed, therefore, we might as well get ready for more of the same. Maybe the parents could do something. Wow! That's a novel concept. I would think that to be the best solution to many of the issues of our day. But, anyone my age are ruled ineligible to contribute to the conversation because essentially we are past it, so to speak. You do know what I'm talking about. It's like: You've had your turn now get off the stage. I don't know about you but I've felt that sentiment many times. When I was growing up the older folks were looked up to because there was a respect for their age, experience, and wisdom. Today we are often made to feel like we just don't get it. To be honest, there's plenty of times when I'm okay with me not getting it. I know this is not how God intended it to be. Don't believe me, check it out for yourself. Here's an example: "You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:32) Take care. Have a wonderful day and may God add His blessings to it. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance” ~ Jane Austen, (1775-1817), British novelist

Good morning class and welcome. It's Tuesday, July 28, 2015, and let's just cut to the chase. Here's one I had not heard. "It's hotter than a big black car with no air conditioning filled up with large ladies all wearing turtlenecks." Or, maybe this one. "It's so hot the chickens are laying boiled eggs." This little ditty might require a passing thought or two. "It's hotter than one of those Rolex watches you buy from the fellow on the street corner." Okay. It's hot. Very. But that's what we have come to expect. Right? In the good old summer time and all of that. I continue to be interested in the Facebook postings by those who represent Christmas joy to children of all ages. The photo is of a fellow who has long portrayed St. Nicholas in one of the Christmas markets in Germany. Here's the posting that accompanied the picture: ~ A special message from Christkindlmarkt's long-running St. Nicholas, Charles "Bud" Berge: "I thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support as my journey on this Earth nears its end. I am looking forward to a new beginning. Godspeed and love to all." Signed: Peace, love and joy, - Charles “Bud” Berge – St. Nicholas ~ I showed it to my wife and her response was that she hoped his new beginning would be with Jesus. That's the drive by commentary from my very own resident PK, (preacher's kid).

I'm not sure he was waving hello or goodbye when he made the photo but it did well in reflecting the farewell sentiment expressed. Let me see. Where was I? Yeah. I'm a little surprised that no one wrote me asking me to please clarify my thoughts and feelings about Donald Trump. That's a big joke. You know. Laugh out loud or maybe giggle or maybe just break into a slight grin. If I had abbreviated that for you it would have been: 'That's a big joke. LOLOMGOMJBIASG.' That's why I tend to stay away from those themed abbreviations. I know they have become integrated into the language of the day. My wife says I don't use them because I do next to nothing with texting. I would have to look them all up anyway and I don't see that as a good use of my time. What? You are so right. Don't try to find LOLOMGOMJBIASG. What can I say? I like to personalize my communications. Truth be known I am just poking fun. Feel free to use those little abbreviations, emoticons, or anything else that floats your boat, until the cows come home. LOLOMGOMJBIASG.

Facts are often much more difficult to comprehend than fiction. During the building of the Hoover dam, 112 men lost their lives. The first one to die was J. G. Tierney on December 20, 1922. The last man to die did so 13 years later to the day, December 20, 1935. His name was Patrick Tierney, the son of the first man who died. In 1974 a man in Bermuda was killed when a taxi hit him while he rode his moped. One year later the man's brother was killed when riding the same moped. It was the same taxi and the same passenger was riding that had been in the taxi when the first man was killed. A South African astronomer, Danie du Toit, gave a speech on how life is uncertain and death could come at any time. Upon completion of his speech, he sat down, popped a peppermint into his mouth and promptly choked to death. He was 49. Those are the facts. What could be more certain than that? "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16) When we respond in faith to that truth we will be ready for whatever happens, no matter what! Amen.   .....More later.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"The highest compliment one can give a writer is not to say that one wholeheartedly agrees with his observations, but that he provoked - really, forced - difficult thinking about consequential matters and internal questioning of one's own assumptions, often without quick or clear resolution." ~ Glenn Greenwald, American lawyer, journalist and author

 *** Happy Birthday to our daughter-in-law Sherrie. We thank God for her and her family. Our Chris, and their daughters Tiffany, Brittany, Stefani, and their granddaughter and our great grand Madelyn Joy are also true blessings to us all. We pray that God will continue to bless Sherrie as she continues to serve Him and others. Amen. ***

It's Monday and time to get on with another work week here on this July 27, 2015. I saw a fellow who posted this one and it reminded me of some old timers that I grew up around. This fellow happened to have been visiting Ireland. He asked one of the locals who was sitting on a bench smoking a pipe what was the fastest way to get to the next little town. The fellow looked up at him and simply asked, "Are you walking or driving a car?" The visitor responded, "Of course, I'm in a car!" To which the old fellow nodded and said that would be the fastest choice. We are all people. And, people are funny. We all have our little idiosyncrasies. I saw a fellow the other day that was posting some very positive slogans. One in particular announced how much he loved Jesus. The very next one was a photo of a large amount of currency rolled into many little rolls. The caption said that if one were to forward that to someone else they would be receiving the money in the photo within a few days. I'm not criticizing that fellow at all. Just observing. I do know that I can spot the other person's quirks a little quicker than I do my own. I know I probably riled some folks last week in my comments about Donald Trump. For those who think he might make a good president I wanted to let you know that he did say in an interview that he would likely change his tone when he becomes president. He said he did have a sophisticated side that he could demonstrate. I read that and thought it might make someone feel a little better about how he might conduct himself later. (One would only hope!) Just passing it on, for what it's worth. That's what I do.

I had a couple of mishaps in last Friday's blog. No. Not the subjects covered but the words used or not used. There's not much that can be done about the subject matter. I left out an important word or two and I think I might have put in one that shouldn't have been there as well. Sorry about that. In all fairness I did announce at the outset that my body had returned from Louisiana but my mind, well, that may have been anybody's guess. I did have them pointed out to me and I do appreciate those who notice. They know how serious I am about trying to at least get it on the page as correctly as I can. I'm not talking about content, interest, or anything like that. Just the accuracy in dotting the 'i's' and crossing the 't's'. Let me see. I think the senior moment excuse has been much overdone but I do remember one a former pastor used to offer. He said that maybe his head went out on him for a moment or two. Sounds good to me. Very plausible.

The other day when I was visiting mom and dad I observed all the trouble they were having in trying to get mom's medications delivered. The coverage they use insist that some meds be sent in the mail or by delivery service. That's the only way the insurance will cover. When something goes wrong and the meds don't arrive that triggers a huge mess of dad trying to figure out what happened and then all the time it takes to get it straightened out. In the meantime, they don't the critical meds they need. In this last instance he finally got their doctor to issue an emergency prescription only to have it rejected because the insurance folks said the missed shipment was now on its way. I think dad said he was on the phone for nearly 7 hours trying to get all of this straight. I could tell they were both in a tizzy trying to work through the maze of entangled bureaucracy. My point? This is how it goes for the elderly and in my opinion it's a crying shame. I know this. You don't have to be old to get caught in these endless phone call sessions trying to solve issues with healthcare. In their case they seemed at least to be at peace with the fact that this is how it works. I would complain to someone but you and I both know that it would take another 7 hours with little to no chance of change. On that note, be thankful if you haven't had to deal with that situation yet. Yet. And, know that I'm proud of them at their age in them still being able to hang in there. Take care. Have a good one. And, may God bless one and all. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Senator John McCain's response to Donald Trump: "Many men and some women who served and sacrificed and happened to be held prisoner. To denigrate that service in any way is offensive to veterans."

I did make it back. My body did at least. My mind may still be on its way back from Louisiana. The good news is how we made it without a problem with the wife's car. For that and so many other things we are thankful. It's Friday, July 24, 2015 and I bid each and everyone a very hearty hello. I did a drive by to say embrace my mom and dad. That's always a great blessing. They do have their challenges but thanks be to God they are still able to function on their own. The media is really playing up Donald Trump's run for the nomination for President. They love the stuff flying forth and back between him and the other 15 folks who have thrown their hats into the ring. He has hit a nerve with his comments on immigration, gun rights, and other topics that certain people respond to. I'm not a John McCain fan. I don't care for his brand of politics. However, anyone who attacks his record as an officer who served during the Vietnam war, well, I reject their attacks and them as a candidate, out of hand, period. McCain not only served but was shot down over Vietnam and suffered some of the harshest torture reported during is five years as a prisoner of war. Donald Trump says he wouldn't even be a war hero had he not been shot down. Donald Trump says he prefers those who didn't get captured. Donald Trump didn't serve. He received multiple deferments from his draft board. My take is that he has plenty to question Senator McCain based on his record in the Senate. His attack on a recognized war hero is an attack on all those who were captured and suffered in all wars. That's the way I see it, therefore, Donald Trump has disqualified himself, in my opinion. (Full disclosure requires me to say I did not serve either and I was subject to the draft during that time. Once we started our family I did receive a draft status change that was a type of deferment. I would never attack the reputation of those who did serve including some of my best buddies who died in the war.)

There's also the question of character but after this episode I'll not comment further. Who would I like to see become our next President of the United Sates? No name comes immediately to mind. Of those who have announced I am drawn some to Dr. Ben Carson, an African American Doctor who openly confesses a need for our nation to be guided by the Godly values we once treasured. I hear the chorus singing already and I know the tune all too well. The words go like this: "He doesn't have a chance, he doesn't have chance. You would be wasting your vote." I've always thought that to be a very shameful response to people following their conscience. The good news for me is that if he were to be my choice it will not be my first time to waste my vote but I don't see it as wasted because in the past I voted what I believed in my own heart is the way God would have me to. When one does that, they cannot do any better to honor the freedoms we hold dear. I think I hear God Bless America playing in the background so I best move on down the road.

Now for something a little different. What's a person's odds of being struck by lightning and survive? What's a person's odds of winning the lottery? Peter McCathie, a Canadian, can claim that he has done both! He was hit by lightning as a 14 year old while on a boating trip. He and a co-worker recently won a million dollar lottery. I know what you really want to know. What are the odds of those two things occurring in a person's lifetime? One in 2.6 trillion. Now you know. I sure hope he knows the Lord because God has made it clear: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36) I too have had a close call or two that made me aware of God's providence and His provision. It's always a good thing to recognize His working in our lives. Speaking of that I do hope you have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. Lord willing I will hanging around at a electronically produced blog near you come next Monday. Until then, may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

“Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” ― Joni Eareckson Tada, The God I Love

Now we turn the page and find ourselves on this one, Thursday, July 23, 2015. The federal government has been studying the words used in the workplace. They have determined that when men supervisors use the word 'good' when complimenting another man it has one meaning. When the men supervisors use the word 'good' when complimenting a woman it has a different meaning. Different in that it really does mean good when used with a man but not as good when used with a woman. We can see this coming. That's not fair. We need to educate men on making sure that when they say good to another woman it has to be the same good they use when talking to a man. I used to wonder out loud is there any end to all of this but I'm pretty sure there's not an end. I'm not saying that treating anyone other than the way they should be treated is right but when I read stuff like that I have to wonder is there any end, oh, but I've already answered that one. These people will not be satisfied until every person is identified as a victim of some sort for some reason. I can tell you right now that I'm a victim. I know the culprit all too well. That would be me, myself, and I, and he's the one I need to be working on. Every single day. All day long.

People are pretty much the same. Our youngest son posted the account of a young man who worked his way through college by cleaning up-scale homes. What he found in those homes left him with a prayer that he might not place his future hopes and dreams in wealth and prosperity. Illicit drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs and all kinds of other things was enough for him to see that money is not everything. I've been reading some pretty gut wrenching items posted by those who play Santa. Some have dreaded diseases. Some have lost their spouses. Some are selling off their stuff because they can't make their mortgage. Some espouse religious and political ideas that are scary to me. Others come across as being filled with hatred for those who hold office today. We have very dear friends who are going through seasons of challenge and distress. Their problems weigh heavy on our hearts. My point is that we really are all a part of the exact same family. The human family. Flawed, exposed, and in need of a restored relationship with our Creator. It is that relationship that keeps many of the folks who are struggling going. All are separated from God but when one places their trust in God's answer to this commonly shared need, that being trusting in His one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the Cross. "....for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Romans 10:13) It's as simple as that. It really is. Amen.

We do tend to fret over how things go sometimes. Right? When many of you read this I will be on my way over to Louisiana to fetch the wife's car. She left it the other day because it was having a problem and she didn't trust driving it. Since then we've had someone check it out and it is now running and I'm going over there to drive her back. Last Saturday we replaced our washing machine with a used one that had a warranty. We are going to need the warranty. It's a dud. It looked really great but it is a dud or lemon or piece of junk. You can choose the one that best fits your own idea. This week we had the garage door fixed where it had been damaged from a run in with a car. (Lesson: Always make sure the door is up before you back out.) The wife's sister is a widow. She's having trouble with her dryer at home. While she's been here with us she received a call saying her huge deep freeze had quit working. It was probably caused by a power outage/surge. Fortunately, those there were able to move all of her food to another freezer nearby. The two sisters were recounting all of these different inconveniences forth and back and my sister in law made a statement about how these were very trivial when we think about the blessings in our lives. Perspective. Rooted in the big picture. Grounded in faith. Something we all can learn from as we continue our journey as fellow strugglers here in this sojourn that God has given to us. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jesus speaking: But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' "And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? ~ Matthew 16:2-3

Hello one and all. It's Wednesday, July 22, 2015, and I bid you welcome. I know some might have thought yesterday's sermon on us living in the end times was way over the top. I use the word sermon loosely. It was actually mostly just sharing what God has to say about it. The speed of light metaphor I used was of particular importance because of some very recent events. I'll not deal with all of them but one in particular speaks to the degradation we are experiencing and the lack of any sense of morality on the part of our collective national conscience. I'm talking about the taped conversation with one of the leading abortionists in our country. This lady who is also a doctor was explaining the process they undergo as they harvest body parts of aborted babies for resell. She went into great detail how careful they are not to damage the high demand organs. They use the latest technology to guide the abortionist's hands. That same technology has been long fought by the baby killing crowd as they have tried to keep states from showing the prospective mom what the child looks like in her womb. Instead they use that technology to carefully kill the baby without damaging the high value parts. She was drinking wine the whole time this conversation was going on. The overwhelming response on the part of our liberal news media has been to blame the people who taped this discussion. Get it? They will not even discuss the facts of what evil was bantered around by this highly esteemed officer of Planned Parenthood. It doesn't get much more shameful than that! I did see one liberal voice at the Washington Post speak out and he said he was worried that this approach to harvesting body parts could lead to a further deterioration in the value of human life. You think? I say this lady's flippant attitude about the killing of unborn babies and the selling of their organs is a remarkable sign of the times we are living in. You draw your own conclusions. I'm fairly certain one can still do that. I may have to check and get back to you on that one.

Raised on a farm, they know how to cook it up homestyle!
Okay. I will rest my case. For now. I'm not attempting to be an alarmist folks but who would have ever thought these things could become a normal part of a business enterprise in our one nation under God? One good thing that has happened as a result of my sister-in-law coming to visit has been the outstanding meals we've been enjoying. That reminds me. Does anyone know where I misplaced my blood sugar monitoring device? You know I'm joking. Right? The Rawles twins brought back with them from Louisiana a treasure trove of fresh produce. They also brought back a large ice chest of stuff out of my mom's freezer. I'm sure there's no theological background for the hog-heaven metaphor, but, I will tell you the intended effect of that saying has been well exercised over the past several days. I'm not going to share all the different menus but needless to say Mom and Dad Rawles handed over some mighty fine cooks to their sons-in-law. They also gave us women of faith and character. Good job to them and may God bless their memory. I think my diabetes doctor would also thank them for the business. Now, you do know I'm kidding on that one. Right?

I think I see a hand in the back. Yes. May I help you? You have a question? Why does it seem like I always find someone to blame for my problems? Okay. Was that question for me? Good. You folks always want to bring up the personal responsibility angle so let me just say this. I take full responsibility for sharing the truth as I know it including giving credit to those who have helped me to achieve the status I now enjoy. I'll leave it there. Okay. What now? You don't think what? You don't think that makes any sense. Good. Now you are catching on. Try to get in your mind that tune it's my party and I'll cry if I want to and then substitute it's my blog and it is what it is. I didn't say it would work very well. You do know I'm just having a little fun. One thing we can do as we consider all that God has done, is doing, and what He will do in the future, is to respond to Him with a heart filled with adoration, gratitude, and humble worship. That will be a good prescription for us all. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matthew 25:31-33)

Well, well, another hot day is already underway and if we don't get some of that afternoon plus or minus 20% chance, well, we will continue to see an increase in the brownout on our lawn. But, as I am often reminded of what our late dear neighbor Ellis used to advise, "No cows are going unfed because of the grass in your yard." Perspective. I suppose it always helps to keep it all in perspective. Hello again and welcome to Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Speaking of perspective I hear a lot about how that we as Americans are polarized perhaps more so than anytime in our recent history. One of the meanings of that word has to do with being divided into sharply opposing factions. I see this division being magnified in the midst of these huge shifts in culture as new laws and policies are being implemented. On the one hand there are folks who are absolutely ecstatic over the changes that are sweeping our land. On the other we have those, like myself, who cannot help but cringe when we think of how God views our national direction. Overjoyed and ecstatic versus a sense of loss and mourning. That would be sharply opposing responses. Those mourning know that we've always had flaws but we have never flaunted immorality and rebellion against God and His word as we are seeing it today. The slope is no longer slippery, it is moving faster than the speed of light. Polarized? We really have little choice. Why? That speed of direction is going in the direct opposite pathway as we understand thus says the word of the Lord. I believe there is plenty of room for love, caring, and for prayer but no room for neutrality or compromise. Yes, we are a divided people but it behooves us who object to make sure when we stand in opposition it really is based on what we know to be God's truth. Amen.

As our pastor continues to remind us, we should not be surprised at these developments. Perhaps startled by how quickly it all has come to fruition, but, when we consider what the source of truth tells us, these things are a part of how God will accomplish His ultimate purpose. The Apostle Paul when writing to his trusted helper and fellow planter of churches, Timothy, gave this inspired prophetic word: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2nd Timothy, Chapter 3, Verses 1-5) Some may take refuge in saying we are not in the last days yet. Are you sure? Here's my take on the last days. We've been living in the last days since our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ ascended back into heaven. The Bible says these things will come in the same way a baby comes when the mother reaches the point of giving birth. Why hasn't He already moved to bring an end to all this calamity? One simple reason as we are told by the Apostle Peter, "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." (2nd Peter 3:9) There's still time. For some. And, you and I are called to stand in the gap. Amen.

Some read that list of behaviors mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy and respond by saying it's been that way all along. Things are not really that different today than they have been in the past. While in general that may be true, there is an escalation of enmity towards God that will trigger His implementation of His final plans for His created earth and His created human family. In the same passage quoted above from the Apostle Peter, he reasoned with inspired insight that dealt specifically with people and their questions about these matters. In fact, this is so crucial, I want to share the entire Chapter 3 ~ Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. ~ Sorry about the length but it was on my heart, therefore, now you have, not my word on it, but the very word of Almighty God. Take care and may God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"No one knows when a robot will approach human intelligence, but I suspect it will be late in the 21st century. Will they be dangerous? Possibly. So I suggest we put a chip in their brain to shut them off if they have murderous thoughts." ~ Michio Kaku, American Physicist

Today is Monday, July 20, 2015. Hello folks. It's me again. The real me. I've not considered having a robot write my blogs for me. Not yet. Don't laugh. They just had one that passed what they called a self awareness test. You know, like a human would take. And, specially designed units will soon be picking the fruits and vegetables that end up on our tables. Robots. One big reason some people support folks coming into our country is so they can do jobs like those on farms. I guess an army of robots will be cheaper. What will become of all the folks who make their living doing that type of work? Good question. Don't get to feeling so comfortable with what you do because many other jobs are also being considered. Sounds like a science fiction movie? Believe me, we are living it and it's not make believe. Some futurists are concerned about how this will play out over time. A few are predicting an eventual near take over of life by these electronic programmable clone inventions. To our knowledge we haven't had any packages delivered to our house by a flying robotic machine like a drone but they are being tested. Why would they use drones? Trucks, drivers, handling time, delays, and a whole host of other considerations likely make flying little machines around a whole lot cheaper. It may not work exactly like it does in an episode of The Jetsons but it certainly will be different. Again, what are all these people who are currently employed going to be doing? And, what kinds of jobs will be available for those coming of age? There's only so many humans required to maintain the vast hoards of robotic workers who will be doing the work. I thought if you have run out of stuff to be concerned about you could spend some time thinking about this one.

I still believe in a capitalistic profit motivated system. I do not believe in one that has lost any and all respect for fairness and morality. In my more than 50 years of being a part of the labor pool here in our great nation I've seen this system at work up close and personal. I've seen it work well with growth and prosperity as its outcome. I've seen it at its worst where people were hardly even considered to be human beings. Instead of accepting this model regardless of how it is pursued as our only hope, we need to look seriously at what God has to say about how business should be conducted, how people should be treated, and the implications of not doing it His way. God is not against people making a profit. God is not against people having wealth. God's instructions for His created human family include rules of conduct for management and for workers. Believe me, I am well aware this is a foreign if not laughable concept for most of those involved in the business enterprise of today. I will say this about that. If those of us who are called by His name would begin to practice these God given instructions it would radically change the environment we currently live in. Just believers, those who own businesses, manage for others, are those who are worker bees, if we would begin to function based on thus says the word of the Lord it would be amazing. Something for us all, including yours truly, to think about. Amen.

The wife came home. She brought her sister with her. We are having a wonderful time of us all being together. I always try to keep stuff straight at the house when the wife is gone. Try. This time I had to be even more careful because I knew we would have a guest when she returned. I did my best to do my duty. You know. Cleaning up after myself. What? Shouldn't I be doing that all the time anyway? What is with you people? I didn't show up for a round of heckling on a Monday morning. But it does impact the way you do things. Each activity requires a decision tree. Let me see, if I do that it will require a plate and eating utensils and maybe even a pot. Then you have the clean up and the putting away of the evidence. In essence, I had to answer this pertinent question: If I do this what will be involved in making it appear that it didn't even happen? At times it meant not doing it at all, (lunch meat and bread will work), because the effort to clean up was not worth the investment of my time. You really do think my life is an easy one. I can tell. At any rate, I am so glad they are able to enjoy their time together. The plants all survived. The house passed inspection. God is good. All the time. That's one thing we all can count on. Enjoy. And, may He add His blessings as we continue our journey here. Amen.   .....More later.

Friday, July 17, 2015

"So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." ~ George Orwell

Good morning folks and welcome. It's going to be a good day. Not because it's Friday, July 17, 2015, but, if all goes well we might just bust the 100 degree mark today. (The feels like was 107 yesterday just one degree from the issuance of a heat advisory.) It's about time if you ask me. All that messing around with cooler temps and rain. It almost had us thinking we were going to have a milder than expected summer. Well, excuse me! I apologized to our A/C system for making it work so hard especially as old as it is. If I listen closely I hear it groaning at times. I can understand. Car out in the sun for hours. Get in and get ready. The steering wheel is literally too hot to touch. Ouch! For those of you who love hot weather, I do hope you are satisfied. The car air conditioning system is also overwhelmed. It takes some time for traveling in it to become bearable. I was thinking the other day about how much of all of this discomfort reflects our mindset. We grew up without air conditioning. I can't remember ever hearing anything on the news about some kind of heat alert. Now most of us have come to believe we will expire almost immediately if we go for seconds without that cooled air blowing on us. I'm not sure what we knew about it when I was a kid but I do know it wasn't on our radar screen so we didn't give it a second thought. Global warming? Oh yeah. That's probably why we all have become such wimps. It's as good of an excuse as any I suppose.

I know. I know. Some of you think I've waited since last summer to complain about the heat. Duh! I may not have done that well in science but I do believe that's the way it works. The deal announced with the country of Iran has some people really happy. It might not be worth the paper it's written on in terms of limiting their nuclear ambitions but the sanctions are going to be lifted, therefore, they can start pumping vast amounts of oil into the market. Hip hip hooray! They just might blow half the middle east off the face of the earth but gasoline may stay lower because of their volume. Sure. I'm being sarcastic. That's what I do a lot of. Okay. Here's my simple way of looking at it. They are without equivocation the recognized largest sponsor of terror groups around the world. So. Let's give them an infusion of billions of dollars so they can use it for ...... humanitarian purposes. They've never used any of their resources on that before but I'm sure they will start now. Right? Too cynical? You betcha! While our folks are toasting each other for this grand achievement the people in Iran are in the streets shouting death to America and burning effigies of our President. I think I may have figured out something. They said they would bring change and they have. Up is now down. Down is now up. Therefore, we may well find ourselves upside down!

I have to get that stuff out of my system now and then. You wouldn't won't to read about me being one of those strange cases of spontaneous combustion. Don't laugh. There's quite a bit of research and forensic studies that have been devoted to a field of inquiry dealing with spontaneous human combustion. They don't have any firm answers as to why a small number of people literally explode from the inside out for no apparent reason but they do have many hypotheses. I read some about it and it gave me a headache. You can Google it and read it for yourself. There is a fairly long article on Wiki. Here's a clue: One of the common denominators over the years in many reported incidents was the amount of alcohol found in those studied. Maybe that's why they call it fire water. Just joking. It can be hard at times to extricate myself from the web of nonsensical thought I have woven. When that happens it is best to say so long for now. Enjoy your Saturday. Do your best to show up at the meeting place where folks gather together to seek to honor God on Sunday. That will do us all some good. Amen. .......More later.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Urban Dictionary. You can't make this stuff up. An expression said in response to an an unbelievable fact or piece of news.

Reunited with their real brothers.
Good morning and welcome. It's Thursday, July 16, 2015, and it's a good day. I wanted to start with something that was very amazing to me. Just when you think you've heard of just about everything under the sun then you read one that just knocks you down. Over twenty four years ago two sets of identical twins ended up in the same hospital in Bogota`, Columbia, South America. Now get this. They were accidentally switched as infants and sent home with parents who raised the two sets of twins up as being non-identical fraternal twins. Through an uncanny set of events they have been recently reunited with their respective true twin. Their story is a long one. I know someone out there may want to read it. You can find it by Googling "The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogota`". Amazing. (My wife read the story and you can ask her, it's an emotional and captivating personal account.) One set raised in the city very middle class while the other was raised in the hard to believe just how primitive in the hard to get to back country. An essay chronicling this saga was published in the New York Times Magazine. Can you imagine being raised with a twin brother who is not really even your brother at all? Like I say, I've bumped into some strange stuff but this one might take the cake. At least for now. Four boys who love each other as brothers and now they have discovered their real brothers to love as well. Four boys and that one might just get four Wows!!!!

The wife and I cannot deny that we are moving on down the road. That 70 MPH sign is also a very near and present coming event for us as an age marker. Occasionally we get a glimpse into how things will be if the Lord grants us more time in our sojourn here. As most of you know I was able to not take any medications for nearly 60 years. Mr. Diabetes showed up and that changed. As the kids say, Big Time! I'm not complaining because the two handfuls I take each day help to keep Mr. D. somewhat under control. The other evening I had my handful ready to swallow and I felt one of them hit the top of my barefoot. I had dropped one. It rolled away but I quickly spotted it and picked it up and all was well. We both laughed. In about an hour she was handling her handful and as she put them up to her mouth one jumped out. She took the rest of them. She couldn't find the one that fell. She had no way of knowing which one it was. She finally went and fetched the flashlight and there we were down on the floor looking for her wayward pill. It was the baby aspirin. Laugh again. Might as well because I have a feeling that it will get even funnier as we go forward.

I suppose it will be different when the laughing stops. Hopefully that won't happen anytime soon. She would have even more to laugh about if she knew some of the stuff I get myself into. That's why I often mention to you that I share only those things I choose to write about. As the old saying goes, "There's plenty where that came from." At least I can laugh at myself. There are situations where it takes me a while to do the laughing part. In the heat of the battle it may not immediately be so amusing. I've also found there are those around that will remind you of your missteps. That's why I try to follow the admonition from yesteryear, "Loose lips sinks ships." You what? You think if there's more stuff I'm not sharing it makes the stuff I do share seem pretty far out already. That's one way of looking at it. Let's just change the subject and see if we can move on down the road. Maybe tomorrow I'll come up with something that will even surprise me. It could happen. It could. It really could. Until then, may our Great God add His blessings to our day. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."-- Henry David Thoreau

Here's one for you to think about. What if you only had 24 hours to live. What would you do? It's Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and that's a hashtag question (#IfIOnlyHad24HoursIWould) that was put up on Twitter the other day. It received many responses. Some attempted to be funny while others were a little more serious about it. Here's a sampling of some of the postings: ~ Take as many selfies as possible. ~ Fly to the place I was happiest in life. Sit there with my fave poetry, drinking whiskey and listening to Chopin. ~ Take out a loan, buy a corvette and see how far I could get down route 66. ~ No doubt spend it on hold with Verizon Customer Service.~ Stop eating kale and only eat donuts. ~ Spend it with my in laws because it would be the longest 24 hours ever. ~ Chuck more wood than a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood. ~ Spend them with my kids. ~ Ask for forgiveness and forgive those who hurt me...hey, I can do that right now. Ok, I'd eat all kinds of tacos!!! ~ Visit a foreign country like maybe Texas. ~ What would your answer be? There's actually something akin to this in the Bible. The Old Testament Prophet Amos was inspired to challenge his people with this word from the Lord: "Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel." (Amos, Chapter 4, Verse 12) I didn't see any responses that mentioned God but we all know that we do need to be ready at all times. Amen

Okay. I do enjoy reading some of these hashtag deals. They are like a distraction. I do notice something. If one is put up that requires a little thought you get very few young faces on their Twitter handle. For instance, one the other day was coming up with sitcoms in Medieval days. Stuff like instead of Happy Days it would be Happy Knights, Are you being severed? instead of Are you being served? Are you smarter than a crusader? instead of Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Instead of Leave it to Beaver it would be Leave it to the Beheadings. Stuff like that. Dozens of them. However, no young faces. They are all over anything about games, music, or the latest pop stars. Maybe the word Medieval stumped them. I will agree that the Inquisition and other forms of torture and conquest are not necessarily that interesting to poke fun at, they are, however, a part of our history, and while I'm not altogether clear on the 100% overlay, we do know that in one way or another, the quote does have some application: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." This quote is typically identified as having been spoken by Sir Winston Churchill, however, it cannot be found in any of his actual preserved quotations or his written archives. Here's a certain source, "Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  That excerpt is from the 5 volume work, 'The Life of Reason' written by George Santayana and published 1905-1906.

Those archivists who are Churchill experts can come up with speeches where the theme included some thoughts that reflect this sentiment, but no direct quote. And, the sentiment itself has been around since humanity has breathed air on the planet. We see it played out time and time again in the Bible. In fact, just last Wednesday our Bible study looked at the influence that Joshua had on the nation of Israel and how that his contemporaries and their children were faithful to God. The next generation, however, did not grasp all that God had done and soon they turned their backs on Him and began serving false gods. The consequences were catastrophic. Like I say, the concept is as old as time itself. I don't have to point at others when it comes to identifying with those who are slow learners. I've exercised that option enough in my own sojourn here to know that as a reality, up close and personal. Right now our nation may also be entering into a very forgetful period and the consequences could be very serious. Just a few thoughts thrown out for your consideration. Take care now, you hear? See you next time. Lord willing. May He bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” ― Mark Twain

Welcome once again to the place where we make it up as we go. It's Tuesday, July 14, 2015 and I want to start off with a follow-up from several weeks ago. See there. You didn't know that I actually keep up with my own stories, did you? You might remember that I thought it interesting when I shared how a respected BBC reporter tweeted out the news that Queen Elizabeth had passed away. The BBC was actually doing a practice run for when that sad occasion does take place. When stuff like that happens there always has to be an investigation. Well, they did one, and the results are in. Here's the headline: "BBC Report Concludes ‘Grave Error in Judgment’ Led to False Report of Queen’s Death". You think? I'm not a registered investigator or anything like that but I do believe I could have written that conclusion within minutes of that errant tweet. I wanted to keep you up to date on this unfolding situation. You know. They are our cousins over there even though they do talk funny and all of that. Yeah. And, they also drive on the wrong side of the street. That always gives them the opportunity to make the big joke when the unknowing American bloke walks to the wrong side of the cab to get in. I should know. It happened to me once. Maybe I should have reminded the cabby which side of the family won the war.

Most of you know that I have my daily struggle in doing what I can to manage my diabetes. Nearly everyday there's a new study or new drug or new wrinkle regarding this plague that grips so many of us in today's world. I read one from a respected source concerning new findings about the impact diabetes has on brain function. Please! Since it does greatly influence blood flow and since blood flow is essential to healthy brain function, well, it seems that folks who deal with Type 2, (that would be me), over a long period of time can expect to experience bad stuff as it relates to gray matter shrinkage and connectivity issues as well. I always like it when the folks they study are about my same age. That makes it all the more applicable. Thank you very much. In the meantime I will try to keep at it. I started to say I will continue to do the best I can but most of us know we could do better. Right? I will tell you this. It's not something to take lightly.

Then and now!
The recent computer glitches that shut down United Airlines and the New York Stock Market are troubling indeed. Untold numbers of folks were inconvenienced by these issues. Having spent time in the computer services business for many years and being responsible for a 24x7 worldwide network, I can understand how something like this could happen. Could. It shouldn't but as we witness on an all too frequent basis, it does. In both of these huge infrastructures you have to know they have backups to the backups of the backups. Single points of failure are not acceptable. Yet, it did occur and it has once again led to much speculation and head scratching. The feds are happy happy that, according to them, it didn't involve any cyber attacks. Too happy if you ask me. We will likely only ever know what it is they decide they want us to know about exactly what happened. I hate it when we have to be so skeptical of everything coming out of just about everywhere. Bottom line, it does tell us how exposed we are. Vulnerable. And, according to all we know right now, we did this to ourselves. Just think what our enemies might do when they break into our systems. With that thought I will say so long for now. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, July 13, 2015

“Don’t rub noses with a shark. It may be the last dental appointment you ever have.” ― Jarod Kintz, Author

It's just me. I was going to say I come with a word from the lonesome dove but my understanding is that moniker is already taken. Hello and welcome. It's Monday, July 13, 2015. There's been a larger than normal amount of shark bite incidents this year and in particular off the cost of North Carolina. This has coincided with the highly promoted annual cable TV show, Shark Week. Sharks are high on the list of fears that people have. Much of this has to do with the amount of publicity these incidents get. Here's a sub topic headline I saw on the NY Times website, "You are more likely to win Olympic gold than be a victim of a shark attack." Statistical probabilities do not make the young teen feel better about the recent loss of his arm, but, it does help to shed light on whether this shark phobia is worthy of so much hand wringing and concern. Based on the five people who die annually as a result of a shark attack you are more likely to die from obesity, lightning, texting while driving, death from a hippo attack, an airplane crash, from a volcano eruption, shopping on black Friday, falling out of your bed, falling coconuts, hitting a deer on the highway, from a tornado, jellyfish attack, dog bite, ants, or a roller coaster wreck. Having that empirical data should help you to come up with a new nightmare. Just sharing.

I often comment regarding the pros and cons associated with social networking sites like Facebook. The wife and I enjoy keeping up with friends and family. That's more or less our exclusive use. Others use it to market stuff. I applaud people who want to work from home as they engage their entrepreneurial spirit. However, and you knew I had a however coming. Right? However, it is interesting to see how many of the products they promote are in direct contradiction and competition to some of the products their friends are pushing. I also enjoy seeing folks adopt an improvement activity of some type. One recently started an exercise program which is great. Sharing that is good because I assume it includes some accountability. After a short time exercise becomes very very important. Next comes the promotion of exercise as a way of life. I'm not being critical but it's amusing. Here they were being a more or less anonymous couch potato and they have now transitioned to an evangelizing fitness guru. Interesting. I enjoy it. And, I watch. You can observe a lot when you do that. But, you knew that already. Right?

I know I can mangle the language about as well as anyone and you likely notice some of my more egregious mishaps. I do try hard. Wrong. Not for the mishaps. I still like to see other people's 'close but no cigar' postings. Here's a few from Twitter. ~ "I'm a force to be record with just watch me shine! ~ "Please help. I'm having flashes. I can't be going through mini-pulse at 21 can I?" ~ "A lot of people on Twitter are like posting their Altar Eagle." (alter ego) ~ "If my followers are so alliteryte, maybe they should just read a book." ~ "I told the yogurt shop lady I was lacktoe intolerance but she didn't seem to care." ~ "Laugh all you want but I would rather have sellulight than be so skinny." ~ "My mom makes too many cakes and cookies. I might get die of beaties." ~ "That's heavy man. So soobliminol." ~ "She is the best. She is the apidimi of what a woman should be." ~ "Faithfulness is the key to long jeverdy." ~ "They act fake because they have low self stream." ~ "How was Paris? Did you go to the Ifold Tower?" ~ "Some go with natural birth others do the sea sexion." ~ "They say he's crazy and might consider sue aside." ~ "The valid victorian at my school was a pot head." ~ "I'm no Willy Wonka. I don't sugar code anything!" ~ You may think these were made up. They may have been but they were linked to by the BBC. Let's hear a collective hurrah for spell check software! Or maybe we should support bringing back word definition, grammar and spelling as subjects in school. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?" ~ Author Unknown

It's Friday, July 10, 2015, and I am happy to send out a hearty hello to one and all. The wife's going to Branson had to be cancelled. Her sister is having some complications from her recent cataract surgery, therefore, the wife will be heading over to Louisiana next week to be with her sister when they do the other eye. That hopefully will help resolve her problems. I may have figured out why my right hand has been acting up lately. It could be from waving it so much as my wife leaves the premises. I couldn't resist that one. Yes. A drum roll would have been a nice touch. You think what? It would be a good idea for me to keep my day job. Thanks for the advice. Speaking of the traveler in chief in our home, after she found out about the trip being cancelled she called and told me she had some good news for me. How would that be good news for me? That's right. She reads my blogs too. I mentioned earlier about that knock down delicious lunch she cooked up last Sunday. It was good. She thought so too. This must have encouraged her. I came home from work the other evening and she had another wonderful spread being finished up. Cornbread dressing, English peas, fresh cucumbers in vinegar, homegrown tomatoes, yeast rolls, and iced tea. It was ever so delicious. I enjoyed it greatly. The next morning my fasted blood sugar was 91. When you figure out how that could have happened please let me know. You remember that walk down memory lane I mentioned the other day, well, with this additional culinary delight she sure made that lane well traveled this week.

Summer Santa gathering.
I continue to be inundated with notices on all the Santa Claus activities that are ongoing. I never guessed there were so many Santa associations. Local chapters, district, state and national, and many of these fellows have known each other for years. I obviously have led a somewhat sheltered Santa experience. The ten formal groups I joined on Facebook have produced a lot of information for me to peruse. It has also produced a huge number of friend requests. I've accepted most of them. Why? Think about it. How in the world can you say no to Santa? He is, after all, the keeper of The List. The main formal paid membership organization I joined has about 1500 members. It is called the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, (IBRBS). I read one posting where a long term Santa was contemplating his work going forward without Mrs. Claus. She has recently taken her last sleigh ride to her heavenly home. (Figure of speech. Please don't send me any theological clarifications. Thanks.) He was obviously sad. He also was sure of one thing. His daughter had no interest whatsoever in becoming the assistant Elf. My point? Life can be challenging folks. Even for someone who does their best to bring joy to boys and girls of all ages. Who knows? Maybe he will find a dating site for Santas who are looking for a Mrs. Claus. Nothing surprises me anymore.

I don't know if there is an official complaint department and since I'm not one to complain, I'll just use my readers as a sounding board on this one. I see so many little cartoons posted that may bring a smile to some, but, it could be the source of pain for others. I've seen the one above several times. It typically is accompanied by some very cutting remarks. All that laughing out loud and stuff like that. Don't people recognize there are some of us who are very sensitive? Making a handbag out of her husband? Please! That hurts on some many levels. Okay. I'm just pulling your leg. I've used that little image before. I like it so I tried to come up with a story to go with it. Nothing more than that. I've probably used a few cartoons along the way that could have been borderline at best. That should do it for the week. I don't have a full week of being all alone at home. Just a few days. When she returns her sister will be accompanying her for a visit. You never know what might happen when those twins born 18 months apart are together. We always enjoy Dorothy's visits. During my alone time perhaps I can do some research on old fashioned home cooked meals and their positive impact on fasted blood sugars. Maybe not. I do hope you have an enjoyable Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. I'll see what bubbles to the top for the next episode. It will be like a coming attraction. For you. For me also. May God bless. Amen. ...More later.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"I feel too discombobulated to quote wisely." Bronson Alcott, letter to his daughter, Louisa. Bronson, (1799-1888), was a writer, teacher, and educator. His daughter Louisa became famous as the author of "Little Women".

I feel a little like I just got off one of those spinning rides that as a kid I would pay ten cents to ride at the parish fair. That's right. Parish fair. Louisiana. It's a historical deal dating back to when France and Spain ruled. The territories were divided into sections reflecting Catholic parishes. In 1807 the legislature officially adopted this designation to represent what would constitute counties in other states. Back to the spinning ride. I'm not really dizzy. I'm just spinning around trying to grab hold of something to share on this Thursday, July 9, 2015. Don't get me wrong. There's any number of subjects I could talk about but I actually do attempt to consider my audience when I write. Don't act surprised. I could write everyday about the political shenanigans that impact us all, locally, at the state, federal, and, yes, even globally. While I do share political stuff at times, it is not the primary focus of our visits each day. Human interest. I suppose that's kind of sorta what I shoot for. Observational commentary. You know. Describing something I observed or something I participated in. Story telling. With and without embellishments as the situation demands. What have we learned today? I will not be able to answer your question regarding what county I was born in. See. You actually do learn something everyday. Paw Paw Mac was right. Again.

He also used to say this about me: "Son, you look as if you wake up in a new world every minute." That could well explain the spinning situation. No wonder I learned to love the word discombobulated. No. You will not find a photo of me beside that word in the dictionary. That does bring up a good point. What is it that we really want to be remembered for? We lived by neighbors once and they were near and dear to our hearts. They were special. They were older and both have now gone on to their reward. I used to describe them to others by saying you would find their picture beside the word neighbor in the dictionary. What word would I like my picture to be beside in the dictionary? (It's just a thought exercise. I'm not planning on messing around with Websters so please don't report me.) The folks who were our good neighbors weren't promoting themselves to get some type of recognition. They were being. Being what? Being good neighbors. There's a lesson in there somewhere. Maybe you see it too.

It had to happen. Sooner or later. I just read where a fellow carrying one of those extension rods or selfie sticks was killed by a lightning strike. That's the gadget that allows you to put your I-phone on it, hold it away from you and take a wider angle photo. The lightning hit the stick and then him. They didn't share his last photo. There's also another tragic report nearer to home. About 100 miles away from us, near Orange, Texas, this fellow decided to go into a lake for a swim. People warned him not to do it because of the alligators. He did it anyway. Before he jumped in he loudly challenged the alligators. I'm not sure if they heard him but I am certain they killed him. He had been drinking. (Update: They found the 11 foot alligator that did the deed. Dead. Good. Not so fast. You have to have a permit in the state of Texas to kill an alligator. They are now investigating it as a revenge killing. I suppose the alligator didn't need a permit to do what he did. Just say'in.) I know I've done some pretty dumb things and dodged a bullet more than once during my sojourn here on the planet. That's why most of us know firsthand the sentiment, 'But for the grace of God.' The fellows I grew up with including me were pretty good at daring one another to do things that seemed exciting. Like hanging out of a car window in a vehicle that's speeding down the highway at 90 miles per hour. Or, stripping down and diving into a dark lake from a boat in the middle of the night in freezing weather. Too many others to even think about. Those made for good stories back then. Today they make for realizing if not for the grace of God my stupidity could have ended in tragedy. Therefore, I really can't be too quick to join in the finger pointing. I end up being thankful. Just thankful. That's all. May God help us all to make wise decisions with eternal consequences in mind. Amen. ....More later.