Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy Birthday to our Jimmy!

Today. It's Friday. Yay! It's also April 29, 2016, the day before we celebrate the birthday of our middle son, Jimmy. He will be 48. Every day Jimmy deals with many different health issues along with a severe bi-polar condition. His quality of life is not always the best. I'm sure many of his hopes and dreams have given way to making it one day at a time. In the same breath, look at the photo, and it's very easy to see that he has many blessings to be thankful for. We do our best to help where we can. Happy Birthday Son and may God provide is our prayer. Amen. Love, mom and dad

Yesterday I shared some about my dad on the day observed as his birth date. Today, I want to mention my mom's dad, my grandfather, or Paw Paw Mac, as he was known to us. Today would have been his 116th birthday. When dad left the scene in January of 1954, we moved to a little bitty rural town in Louisiana where my granddad became the father figure in my life. He was a hard working, simple, sincere, and devoted man to his God and his family. He went to his reward at age 71 but he left behind a legacy of faith and integrity. His word was his bond. He did have his quirks, his blind spots, and he was not perfect. However, he did lay out before me and so many others the example of what it means to be a faithful steward of the life God had given to him. There's no doubt that I am alive today because of my dad. At the same time, if I have been able to somehow and in someway have a testimony for the Lord, then, I know that Paw Paw Mac had something to do with it. I do thank God for his life and his influence on me and so many others. Amen.

It has been pointed out to us time and time again that our family seems to revolve around celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries. That would be correct. Were I to remove these recognitions, along with odes to Community Coffee, from my daily blogs, there wouldn't be a lot of 'there' there. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not talking about substance, just volume of keystrokes. It has been an interesting and busy week for me. When it works like this, I can assure you, I have no problem sleeping at night. Okay. Full disclosure requires that I make it clear that I typically have no problem sleeping anyway, but, add some minimum amount of fatigue, and it makes it even more so. My wife might argue if that would be possible as she noted one early recent morning that she thought that I may not have moved all night. I wasn't unhappy with her analysis. Just thankful. I recently talked with a young man who has a terrible time sleeping at night. They have purchased a special mattress hoping it will help. They had checked out one of those with the fancy controls but it would have cost several thousand. I asked why he thought he couldn't sleep. He wasn't sure. I do know he is not alone. They tell us it is like an epidemic in our culture today. Maybe too much electronic media. Maybe too much stress. Maybe not enough chicken feather pillows. That last one was my contribution. This tells us all that if we are blessed to be able to get up and go each day and then able to lay down and rest each night, well, that is something we should thank God for. Okay. I'm done. What? You thought I had finished a while back but I kept going anyway? Good read. Enjoy your Saturday. Take care to meet up with other like-minded believers to worship and hear from God on His Day, Sunday. Then, join me for another round of 'who knows what' come next Monday. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

"A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." ~ Edward de Bono, Maltese physician, psychologist, author, inventor, and consultant.

Today we have a challenge ahead of us. It's called Thursday and this particular one finds itself identified as April 28, 2016. Today would have been my dad's 93rd birthday, had he lived. He didn't. In fact, he died some 62 years ago. His birthday was April 28, 1923, not 1921 as stated on his headstone. That earlier date was falsified as it had to do with him enlisting himself into the U.S. Army to go off and fight for his country during WWII, at age 16. (We don't know all the details of why he enlisted at such a young age but we do know that times were very tough for him and his family.) As far as I know, we didn't learn about that date mix up from him directly but it became apparent when looking at his birth certificate for him and his twin brother. His brother, our Uncle Walter, also served in the military in WWII, but he went in after his 18th birthday. Uncle Walter had a good long run, living for 83 years. I am thankful for my dad. As a Junior, I carry his name. I only have fleeting images of my time with him but I have been told over the years by those who knew him well that I do have some of his characteristics. For better or worse, I suppose. God only knows about all of these things from the past and how they helped to shape who we are today. Again, I am thankful to God for my dad.

I sure do a lot of contemplation about the past. You noticed? Good. Maybe that's part of the way I have of dealing with things. You know. A type of therapy, if you will. I can't deny it. I recently bought a hardback book devoted to a review of all things pertaining to the year I was born, 1946. I think I paid $5 for it. It is comprehensive at 175 pages. There's a lot of important facts in that book. You may not have known that President Truman's favorite meal was steak and baked potato. While I was getting used to being a newborn, Proctor and Gamble introduced a brand new product to the housewives of America, Tide Detergent. The word automation was coined by a Ford Motor Company engineer. Based on a released study here's the number one qualities looked for in a mate, 'Men - Ambition', Women - 'Ages Gracefully'. As I was coming onto the scene others were going on to their final reward. One notable was Patty Smith Hill, at age 78. She was known for her writing, along with her sister, of the verse, Happy Birthday. The war was over and Americans in 1946 consumed a record 714 million gallons of ice cream. I have always loved ice cream. This next one was not in the book. My mom says that in the month I was born, August, they had a freak cold spell. They had to light heaters to keep me warm. That freak cold spell may have been significant. Could it explain why I have lived most of my life being extremely hot natured? Inquiring minds. I have much more. Did I mention it is 175 pages? You are welcome to borrow it if you like. Well, okay, I was just trying to be nice.

I suppose we all are in search of something. This reminds me of a very important, God-inspired text from the New Testament, Book of Acts: Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Chapter 17, Verses 22-31) Here's my take. God has designed all things and part of His design is that we, His created human family, would seek and find Him. Finding Him is the ultimate outcome of any and all searching in this life. Got it? Good! Take care and may God bless. Amen. ...More later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"I think Shakespeare said it best – To be or not to be. That is the question. And in the big swing of things, there is nothing more important to understand than this. So as you think about this post and let things soak in nice and deep, understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about it. Whether you agree or disagree is trivial. Do you know why? You guessed it: Because things just are. That is how it has always been, and that is how it will always be. Still breathing? Good, focus on that for a while." Lifted from a blog called The Unbounded Spirit, with this subject: There is no Right or Wrong, written by Sofo Archon,

Well, well, here we are again. I'm thankful that on this Wednesday, April 27, 2016, I was able to get up and go and I'm also thankful that I'm able to use this electronic page as a way of visiting with those who stop by. I don't want anyone to think that I've dropped out of caring about the political situation in our nation. While I often speak with bewilderment regarding what I see being played out in front of me, that doesn't mean that I will not do my civic duty to the best of my ability, with God's help. I have often said during this particular cycle that I have given up in attempting to make any sense at all about what we are seeing. That doesn't mean I will not vote or voice my thoughts about this nation that has been a blessing to my family for generations. God only knows. That's my conclusion. He and He alone can take the situation that seems to be made from a script straight from the Twilight Zone and turn it into a stepping stone towards the fulfillment of His ultimate plan and purpose. My trust is in Him. Those who are in pursuit of overturning any and all laws that reflect morality believe they have found their secret weapon. They have the hearts and minds of the most recent two or three generations of our children. Poll after poll indicates that our children, yes, even those raised in Church, do not share their parents and grandparents views about right and wrong. I see it every day. On Facebook. Not their kids. Our kids. This is how we got to where we are and this is why we cannot make sense of our current situation. Chaos reigns whenever there is no vision of God and His Word. (Proverbs 29:18) And, the result is not novel or new as we read in the Scriptures, "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25)

As you have likely noticed I typically don't plan my blogs. I write them. Sometimes I have an idea or thought that I want to develop and that gives me a starting point. Sometimes I just write. It certainly is never my intention to drag us down or to make us feel even worse about the situation we find ourselves in today. I do not see it as hopeless. Not even in the least bit. I do see our need of God and a need to see His revival in our land more and more every day. I recently read the heartfelt testimony of a missionary friend who works in very remote islands. One particular situation got his attention. The people were in abject poverty. Yet, the tribal leaders lived so much better than the poor among them. The leaders constantly abused their power to secure for themselves any food or provisions that could help others. The missionary said it suddenly dawned on him. What could change this situation? Only God and the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ! When people get saved they are changed by the power of God. When leaders get saved they are changed by the power of God. The missionary team ministered to the physical needs of these people as best they could but he came away knowing that only a change of heart brought on by the power of God can bring hope to this hopeless situation. Somehow that testimony resonated with me and it also connected into my thoughts about the needs of our own nation. 

Well, okay. Let me see if I can find something else to talk about. I read a few funnies that might cheer us up. ~ What do you do when you wake up and find yourself surrounded by a lion, a giraffe, and an elephant? Sober up and get off of that carousel! ~ Did you know that for every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness? ~ I heard about a young lady who sent her photo to the lonely hearts club. They returned the photo and said they were not that lonely. ~ A man was charged with murder for killing someone with sandpaper. He loudly proclaimed his innocence, saying he only meant to rough him up a bit. ~ It seems that every story worth repeating ends with the proverbial, "Let us never mention this again." ~ We've reached the age where it is actually easier to forgive your enemies than to figure out how to limit their access to your Facebook page. ~ Failed relationships are like algebra, people end up looking at their X and wondering Y. ~ The military recently discovered a soldier who had somehow become addicted to mustard gas. They called him a seasoned veteran. ~ I did not say these would not stink up the place. But, that's the best I could do, on short notice. I do hope that you and yours will have a most wonderful rest of the day and that we all will seek God and His help, for us, and for this great nation that we love. Amen. .....More later.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Good morning and welcome to Tuesday, April 262016. I am officially culturally out of touch. Yes. I do know who Prince is, or was. I do know he had something to do with purple. But, I couldn't hum or sing a line from one of his songs if my very life depended on it. It is sad anytime someone dies at such an early age. I first read about it on Twitter. Then it was on all the news sites. Then I heard about all the spontaneous memorials popping up all over the country and even some all night dancing to his music. And, bridges, walkways, buildings, and other structures were being lit up with purple. Okay. I get it. This fellow was popular and important to a whole lot of people. Last Friday when I clicked on Drudge to get the headlines for the day, bam! the whole shebang was in purple. One needed sunglasses. I heard an interview from a crowd scene gathered in Minneapolis where one lady said that Prince was her go to music that helped get her through college. Hello? I give that one a big ole whopping Wow! Like I say, I could have picked him out of a lineup because I was familiar with his appearance, but, after that, not so much. He obviously was beloved because folks are still talking about him days after his passing. I know. I said something similar about David Bowie. I suppose that's why us boomers have trouble communicating with subsequent generations. I bet most of them couldn't sing an Eddy Arnold tune or name any of the hits from the Mills Brothers. Gotcha on that one!

I was wrong. I made a bad judgment. Last year I purchased one of those supposedly most powerful 3-inch flashlights to use here at work. I ordered it off the internet. I think I paid $9.95 for it. It was one the military uses. When I got it I couldn't get it to work. I was fuming. I was saying bad things about the company I bought it from. No. I didn't want another one. No. I didn't want a refund. It was not worth my time dealing with it. I just wanted to blacklist the supplier for now until eternity ends, whichever comes first. Every time I saw one of their ads I relived this experience. How dare they? New. Defective. I did my part. However, just for grins, I had recently bought a package of new batteries and decided I would throw one of them into this piece of junk. You already know where this is headed. Yes. It worked great. Greater than great. That little dude lights up a huge area when I'm unlocking the buildings each morning. Here's what happened. I put in what I thought was a brand new battery. It obviously was not a brand new battery. It was a completely used up battery. It looked okay on the outside but it was deader than a door nail. (There's a long explanation regarding the origin of that phrase. Look it up. It is quite interesting.) At any rate, I will have to work hard to un-anger myself when I see that business advertising stuff. It had become habitual to me. It just goes to show you. Well, you can fill in the blank as you see fit on that one.

You may have read about the research into why people have troubling sleeping the first night they are away from home. The experts think they have identified at least one of the main reasons. They believe there is a part of the brain that stays alert when it is in new surroundings. A night watch kind of reaction. Because of this, a person may feel groggy the next morning after being in a hotel for the first night. At one time I traveled fairly often in the work I was doing. I have my own ideas about why I had problems sleeping away from my bed at home. The first was the fact that I like to sleep with the wife that God gave to me. The second has to do with my pillow(s). They are feather pillows. Three of them. Some of them are probably 30 years or older. They are not down feathered. They are stuffed with chicken feathers. That's right. These feathers came straight out of a chicken coop. When I was able to carry my pillows with me, well, the bed linens may not have been exactly to my liking, the night sounds might have been different, but, my sleeping with my own pillows made everything hunky dory. No. I do not need any comments about Linus and his security blanket. I'm way too sophisticated for that. You haven't noticed that when reading my stuff? (Example: I threw that hunky dory in as a literary device.) Well, okay then. Think what you will and on that note I'll just say so long for now and may God continue to provide. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"All I really need is love, but a little candy now and then doesn't hurt." ~ Charles Shultz

Good morning and welcome back. Today is Monday, April 25, 2016. We had us a good time with family celebrating the wife's birthday over the weekend. She felt honored. Good. That was the intention of our efforts. It's interesting how things come out of one's mouth at times. I read where a key Democrat Party official in criticizing the republicans had this to say: "Republicans believe that illegal immigration should, in fact, be a crime." Well, how to like that? This lady holds a masters degree in political science and while she may not be a lawyer, she as a member of congress should be very familiar with the definition of the word illegal. The first line more or less gives the idea: "Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law." That, by the way, is supposedly what they do in congress, make laws. You know. The laws that everyone are supposed to observe and obey. Someone well asked the question: "What part of illegal did she not understand?" I just remembered. Legal or illegal is not so much the issue, votes, that's what's important! How silly of me. Therefore, what we have is nothing more than a case of political pandering. And, in the event that perhaps you've forgotten, I'm just your drive by reporter giving you some facts that I bumped into on my way to doing my blog for today. Again, I report, you can decide for yourself.

You might recall the order I placed for the lime flavored fruit slices. Since I made such a big deal out of it, I thought an update would be in order. They are really good. No. I mean they are really, really good! They are so very limey. They are, in my opinion, five star delicious. One pound. And, yes, I am being careful with them. I think I've adopted a one per day regimen but I would have to do a recount to be sure. That might not work because I don't really know how many there were to begin with. Sorry. I'm not sure what each piece would cost individually but the cost including shipping is around 90 cents per ounce. That's the same unit cost as a package of French's Taco Seasoning but I wouldn't advise eating it straight out of the container. (How did I know that? I looked it up. That's how.) I try my best to go for full disclosure except when it comes to missing Debbie Swiss Rolls. I wonder if she bought the super-sized swiss rolls so they would be easier to find, or, maybe it was to provide a maximum guilt trip just in case someone were to become tempted. As you can see, I have many mysteries that I must deal with each day. One of them is not whether the lime fruit candy slices are worth the price of admission.

Spice Cake
Yes. That little lime candy story is more or less a vehicle designed to bring a smile. It does help when it turns out the little story is also true. I'm already thinking about some of my other favorites for future consideration: Cinnamon; Licorice; and Root Beer. I don't think I have been a huge candy eater over the years but I have been consistent in occasionally consuming the ones I really like. I'm not sure if they played a role in my current diabetic condition but they no doubt are entitled to an honorable mention for their contributions. I also love spice cake and butterscotch pudding. My mom used to make the butterscotch pudding. It was the kind you made on the stove top. She would take those creme filled Vienna finger cookies and line the bottom and sides of a serving dish. After it became chilled, I would eat that dessert and think I had made a journey to a fantasy world, far, far, away. She must have made it primarily for me because as I recall, the other kids didn't fancy it that much. They probably had not taken as many train trips as I had in my dreams to exotic places all over the world. Now you know my sweet weaknesses. Today, because of the ever lurking, never tiring, diabetic evil that inhabits my body, I'm left with my version of the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot always have; the courage to enjoy them in strict moderation instead of wolfing them down: and the wisdom to know the difference. I'm not that unhappy that the other kids didn't care for the butterscotch pudding as much as I did, but, I could get very angry when I happened upon a dish where all the cookies had been removed. They must not have understood the importance of that luscious combination. Worse still, they probably didn't care. See what a tough life I have had. But, I feel better now, just looking at that bag of lime candy slices. Take care and may God help me and may He bless us, one and all. Amen. ....More later..

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Sweetheart!

It's Friday, April 22, 2016, and I bring you greetings from where I am to wherever you happen to be. Tomorrow is a big day in our version of the nuclear family. It's the wife's birthday. I'll not share her age directly but I will say she still looks great for someone who is celebrating her three score and ten minus one birthday. I chose that photo as a way of reminding me of how long I've been blessed to have this lady in my life. (Example: In 1982, I officially had done my best to take care of her longer than her parents.) As they used to say back home, "That girl, she's something else!" And, she was then, and she is now, and so much more. I thank God every day for her and I wish her a most happy birthday along with this tidbit, that, while it may not have originated with me, it certainly is how I see what she means to me, "Baby, you're the greatest!"

Tomorrow is also the celebration of the wedding anniversary for our youngest, Rodney and his wife Mitzi. They will mark 17 years as husband and wife. We thank God for them and for the wonderful family God has given to them, Kyleigh, Lexie, and Brady. May God continue to bless. Happy Anniversary to our children. Our love, mom and dad ~ Amen.

Thinking about birthdays, anniversaries, and marking time, I ran my age through that government longevity calculator again. As of today, on average, people born on my birthday and in my birth year have 15.8 years remaining. On average. What does the on average qualifier tell us? Some live longer. Many live fewer years. Here's how I see it. If I were to make it another 15.8 years as God provides, that's okay with me. If I don't, well, as I sit here being all philosophical, that's okay too. How I will process it all when that day comes for me to sing goodbye world goodbye, I couldn't tell you. However, I do have confidence. Not in my courage or in my ability to deal with whatever might come my way, but, rather, I have confidence in the Lord God of heaven and trust Him to give me the grace to deal with whatever years He grants to me. What should one do with this kind of information? Use it as an additional reminder that our time here on the planet is short and quickly fading. I need, you need, we all need to do our best with God's help to make a positive difference while we have time. Some think any mention of this subject is too morbid to even contemplate. As they say, the last time I checked the death rate is 100%. One thing is clear. Every day that passes brings us one day closer to that time when we will meet the Lord. And, I say Amen to that!

This has been a roller coaster ride of a week for me. Thinking back over the blogs I've written this week, well, they tend to reflect a certain disconnectedness. They've been choppy, at times seemingly incoherent, and perhaps even disjointed. Confessing this allows me to use that favorite assessment word of mine, they've been somewhat discombobulated. I can assure you it was not my intention to try and bamboozle anyone but after it's all said and done, it is me, my stuff, so, what would you expect? As my dear sweet mom likes to quote me when she says, "It is what it is." I know that is certainly not original with me, but it does, in this context, speak the truth. I'm not sure that promising to try and do better will make a lot of difference but I do think a lot about doing better. That should count for something. You do know that I am mostly just joking about all of this because I really do appreciate those who take the time to read what I post each day. Thanks. Now it is on to Saturday. I hope you enjoy a great one. And, then, we have Lord's Day Sunday where we gather together to honor Him. That's always something to look forward to. Take care and may God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. See you next time. ....More later.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Psalm 50:15 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 21, 2016, and I bid you a hearty welcome to our visit for the day. On Tuesday afternoon, the wife made somewhat of an emergency trip over to Louisiana to be with her sister who had become very ill with a virus type ailment. She had to be hospitalized. The trip over there was not without incident since she had to do a long detour due to some water related road closures. Thank God she made it okay and thank God her sister is getting better. I will tell you one thing. In this life, we don't have to manufacture drama because it seems to come calling, typically unannounced. During these past few days, certain images stick with you. While the flooded homes are sad, seeing the live feed of several assisted living places being evacuated was heartbreaking. Seeing these elderly folks with bewildered looks on their faces, many in wheelchairs, being loaded onto the back of one of those high water trucks, well, it brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it's because I am closer to that age than I have ever been before? I certainly hope not. I suppose it has something to do with their helpless condition. Along with their age. The wife and I are living proof that you can recover from devastating storm damage and we will never forget the challenge it presented to us. It will likely be much harder for these seniors. May God bless each one of them as they attempt to cope and recover. Amen.

Rescue via refrigerator!
What? Does that mean I am home alone? Again? It does. You would think I would get used to it. Last Sunday when she returned I told her I was glad that she was home. She simply said she knew that I was. It may have had something to do with how many times I asked when she was coming home. I do hope she gets back before Saturday. That's her birthday. The many press conferences held during this rain crisis were instructional. Federal, state, county, and city officials were there to provide critical information for their constituents. I appreciate the difficult situation these people are in. Something as widespread as this flooding event is not going to be handled to every person's satisfaction. History tells us the fate of elected officials is often tied to how emergencies are managed. Knowing that, they must continue to do the political stuff while also trying to do the rescue stuff. One thing I could do without is all the passing out of accolades to each other. That takes up a lot of time. Spending an inordinate amount of time thanking everyone involved including calling the individual names of those at the federal, state, and local level makes the press conference seem more like a meeting of the mutual admiration society than one that is focused on the serious issues at hand. Just me. I know they know they have to try and keep their jobs. That's how the system works. But, couldn't they cut back a little on all the praise and deal more directly with those impacted by the storm?

I suppose we all look back and think how this has been a strange week. Then we think about life itself and it often seems to be one strange week after another. I've been around long enough to say that's pretty much how it goes. It is true. We really never know what a week, a day, or even what might happen in the next hour. At the same time, we can be sure that we are secure in having God as our Father, Jesus as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit as He who abides within us. It was clear to me from the images on our TV screen that these floods had no respect with regard to neighborhood, race, or class. Million dollar homes were flooded alongside low rent apartment complexes. Sure. The more affluent will likely be able to muster more resources as they deal with the aftermath, but, I can assure us all that it is not an easy ride for anyone. As I drove out of our subdivision this morning I could see many houses that had most of the occupants' worldly possessions parked out on the street waiting for them to be hauled off. I'm talking about huge stacked up amounts of furniture, appliances, carpets, sheetrock, and personal items. Here's what I say. Only God can help you through something like this. We know that to be true. Been there. Done that. I pray that everyone will seek Him during this difficult time of recovery. Amen. .....More later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah." (Psalm 46:1-3)

Finally. I now bring you official greetings from my home away from home, the ole blogger ranch, here at my workplace. When I left here last Friday afternoon I never dreamed I would not be back at my workstation until today, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Our company has been blessed with several large projects and some of them are on a tight schedule, therefore, we will have to hit the ground running to try and get things back on track. Being at home on Monday and Tuesday made me acutely aware of the huge area of devastation brought on by this rain storm. All the major TV stations had crews out on the streets. Water rescues were being executed in every part of our sprawling metro-plex. There were a few instances where folks felt like they had not been responded to. The local county and city officials were forced to defend their responses. Fortunately, there was not a Katrina-like impact, although there were at least seven deaths and over one thousand homes flooded. It is amazing to view live shots of the flooded, deserted streets of one of the busiest commercial areas in our nation. Eerie. Very. It also reminds us all of our need for and our total dependence upon Almighty God. Amen.

The wife and I spent some quality time together during this little-unscheduled hiatus. The use of the word quality might be a stretch but we were definitely together. Maybe it was a preview of how things will go when I pull the trigger and retire - retire. She mentioned that. I received a note inquiring as to how we were faring from a dear brother in Christ. I told him we were high and dry, praise the Lord, and since I couldn't get out of my area to make it to work I had to settle for my wife's version of the grand slam breakfast. All homemade, of course. And, about mid afternoon she prepared a huge supper. All homemade, of course. I went on to tell him that if I was here every day and this is how we operated, it would not be long before I would be looking like the Goodyear blimp. As I was all laid back in my recliner flipping forth and back between the live news flood coverage and reruns of NCIS, she asked me a probing question: "So, do you think this is how it will be when you retire?" I told her that while I couldn't be sure, I didn't think it would be exactly like this, but, the show came back on so I'll have to get back to her later on that one.

We did walk down to the end of our street a couple of times to check out the water levels. Two men were standing there the first time we went. One of them has a large house that was flooded. The other older man told us that what looked to be a tiny object about six blocks away was the top of his pickup truck. It was submerged in water. They went on to say there was also a car in the water but it was completely under and out of sight. That street is the one I take every day. I almost tried it Monday morning. I had been up during the storm and checking the weather reports online. I knew it was pretty bad. When I got up to leave around 3:30 the traffic was busy in and around our street. I knew something was up. I told the wife. They are going round and round. They can't get out. Some of the vehicles were jacked up trucks but they couldn't find a way out. I'm so thankful I never left the house. I mean that. I could easily have been that older man pointing to the top of the roof of my truck. I just thank the Lord for His provision. And, many of you will attest to this being an unbelievable storm in terms of thunder, lightning, and rain. Loud. The whole house shaking. Scary stuff. I remember what Hurricane Ike did. We still have some huge pine trees. But, God was good and we come away praying for others and praising Him for His goodness and love. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"You will miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut." ~ Dr. Seuss

I am still at home this morning because the power has not been restored to our company. We are thankful to be high and dry where our house is located. Some of our neighbors did not fair as well. Our prayers go out to them, to so many others, and sadly, to those who have lost loved ones during this rain event. The photo was taken yesterday on one end of our subdivision. May God provide is my prayer. Amen.
Okay. Now that the tax season is officially over and done with for this year we can get on with the rest of our life. I'm talking about the tax deadline that was last Friday but got moved to yesterday, Monday. (Except for those who were granted an extension and I think that deadline is moved out to October.) Hello and welcome. It's Tuesday, April 19, 2016. I asked about an extension one time. My tax return was a little more complicated back in the day and I thought delaying it would be a good idea. In the process, I found out something. If you ask for an extension you have to pay the estimated amount of what you think you will owe by the regular deadline. When you do file later and it is discovered you owe more, you will pay interest on the amount you didn't initially pay. And, if you have a refund coming based on your estimated payment, well, they will not pay interest for holding your money. Having found out the particulars, I promptly discarded my thoughts of filing an extension. In the case of the IRS, I suppose the saying about how the devil is in the details does make a little more sense. I'm sure we all aware that federal taxes are only one part of our total tax burden. Our total tax load includes all the state and local levies that we must pay. Here's a statistic that got my attention: "In 2014, federal, state and local governments collected a combined total of $4.7 trillion in taxes or an average of $38,317 for every household in the U.S." (Source: That made me wince. What about you?

I can hardly wait!
Lately, I have been craving some lime candy. Sorry. I may be diabetic but that doesn't mean that I check my craving capability at the door. I've spoken before about the nearly total absence of lime candy on the shelf. You can find green but most of the time they are not lime. They are either green apple or sour green apple. I can buy a box of Mike and Ike Original Fruits Jelly Beans and they have true lime jellies inside. I typically pour them out and isolate the lime ones. It's a form of rationing. What can I say? I like lime candies. I have ordered me a one pound package of lime slices candy, (photo above), from These are like the typical orange slice candy but they are lime flavored. Not spearmint. The thought alone makes me shudder. They should be here this week. I will be careful and only eat them sparingly. That's at least my starting goal. The other day the wife made me aware that a Debbie Swiss Roll was missing. She asked if I knew anything about it. The moment of truth had arrived. I thought about George Washington and the cherry tree story. There was no denying the facts in this case. Yes. It was missing. And, yes, I did know something about it. I thought about telling her that someone had left it out on the counter, but, I didn't see where that would get me anywhere, so, I confessed. It was missing and I had eaten it. It was pretty good. I'm not sure it was worth all that drama but as best I recall it was pretty good. (Joking aside, I am happy that she is concerned about my health and well-being.)

The other day I received an email from the professional photographer we've been doing Santa photos with for many years. She said that believe it or not people are already asking about getting on the 2016 schedule. She also indicated she is almost certain they will add an additional Saturday to our schedule. She wanted to know when she could get on my schedule. I told her I typically start putting dates down in August. She also reminded me that for many of her families I'm the only Santa the children have made photos with. I thought about recommending she consider offering something in the summer so people can have their photos in time to use them for the upcoming season. Typically, because of processing, there is quite a delay before they get their photographs. But, then I thought about donning that suit in July I decided maybe I should let things play out on their own. On the membership page for the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, I do see a few of my brothers in red are already busy doing special promotional photos, film appearances, and product commercials for advertising. Others are engaged in running Santa training seminars. Some are developing interactive Skype services where they can engage one on one with children for a fee. Lots of ideas and lots of opportunities but I think I will wait. And, as we all know, it will be here before you know it. I apologize for the lime slice photo that caused some of you to salivate. I just did quite a bit of that myself, just thinking about it. Take care and may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking you are better than everyone else, it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself with anyone in the first place." ~ copied

I'm sitting here at the wife's little laptop here in our home watching the weather and flooding maps. Very serious stuff this morning and I'm taking a wait and see approach. Meanwhile, I welcome you back to where things are somewhat more like they should be on this back-to-work Monday, April 18, 2015. I say that because the wife has returned from her Louisiana visit. Now we can sing that Barbara Streisand tune, "The Way We Were". I actually don't know that song but maybe it should be changed to "The Way We Are" as in back to normal. I like things to follow their normal routine. I know. Some people call routine a rut. And a rut has been called a grave with no ends. Give me a break! Who ever heard tell? I recently read a little ditty posted on Facebook by an old school mate of mine. I think we were in school together from the 3rd grade forward. That was the grade I was in when we moved to that little rural Louisiana town. Here's her funny little story: "I have been to many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport, you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family, and work. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!" I can identify with that little story. Rut indeed! 

Most of us typically run on auto pilot. I can open the gate with the security passcode here at the Company front gate without even thinking about it. What I have trouble with is when I fail to operate automatically and I do think about it. I sit there in my truck looking at that keypad like I've never even seen one before. It doesn't happen very often but it does happen. I've done the same thing at the bank. You know. I've drawn a blank at the bank. I will not even try to guess how many passwords I have scattered around. At one time I was trying to be extra careful with my identity security and I prepared all kinds of variations for Amazon, Ebay, Twitter, Facebook, and numerous other programs and emails, etc., etc. That's a good idea. Right? It is if you can keep up with all of them. The good news is how I typically can find the right combination by searching out my old emails from when they were originally set up. This is another facet of my personal aging experiences. Back when I was a young technician and the master computer scheduler for a large company, people were amazed at how I could keep up with hundreds of jobs along with all of their prerequisites and dependencies. These I kept on file and available for immediate recall from my brain. I've got some news. Not anymore! Now I have to follow the Einstein rule of never remembering anything that you know where to go and find it. So far, it's working pretty well, except maybe when I am sitting at the gate hoping for a burst of enlightenment. (I'm not so sure what the game plan will be when I don't remember it and I also don't remember where to go and find it.)

I find myself being a little agitated about this from time to time, but, I also recognize that to a great extent it comes with the territory and I can be thankful that my recall works as well as it does. I believe my attempts to throw words on the electronic page each day helps to stop even more gray cells from escaping from the reservation. Yes. I am aware of the old saying. It's too late to close the gate after the cows have left the barn. That's the way I heard it growing up. I believe the original usage went like this: "Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted." Whatever the case, we do what we can each day and when we hit a snag I've found that being able to laugh at myself helps. That's not so easy for me but it does help when I can do it. In the past, I've given folks advice in how to deal with their forgetfulness. Write it down. Just do it. It may be time for me to follow my own advice. You know. "Physician heal thyself." (Based on a parable spoken by our Lord as recorded in Luke 4:23) It's just so much more fun to give advice as opposed to taking it. I need to work on that. Maybe I should write that down. Okay. Let me remind us all that our All-Knowing God is aware of the nitty gritty details that we deal with each and every day. He knows and He cares. That you can take to the bank and you don't need a password to access it. Amen. ....More later..

Friday, April 15, 2016

“This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher." (His answer when asked about completing his income tax form.)” ― Albert Einstein

Waiting in line to pay taxes on the very last day.
Good morning. It's Friday, April 15, 2016, and while I know this is a day of concern for many people because of the federal tax deadline, it is still a good day to give thanks unto the Lord. (The actual filing deadline this year is Monday, the 18th because a holiday, Emancipation Day, is celebrated in Washington DC today, therefore, the deadline has been extended.) I know we in this country do a lot of symbolic kinds of things. However, I've just never gotten into that waiting is a long line of cars on the last day to have a postal worker stamp my tax return envelope. In fact, I just can't see any reasonable benefit from putting yourself through that kind of punishment. But, that's just me. I actually feel much the same way about those who camp out at a new chicken joint hoping to get a year's worth of free chicken meals when the new store opens up for the first time. Or, being one of those in the door buster line for a sale of some kind. Everyone is different. Those things are not my cup of tea and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't participate in them for all the tea in China. The variety of 'cup of tea' expressions typically are associated with our British cousins. The 'not my cup of tea' became, over time, a way to describe someone or something that was a pain in the neck. I'm not going to check the origin of pain in the neck because I think I've spent enough time on this already. Without a lot of progress, I might add. One final thought. If you somehow think paying just before midnight is something that rings your bell, and you are willing to wait in line to do so, then, I say get on with it, and enjoy all that comes with it. Meanwhile, I'll say a prayer for you. Joking only.

One of the startling things about political punditry is how it changes when the wind changes direction. There's a guaranteed certain outcome offered up based on expert knowledge. The only problem has to do with how the same commentator completely changes the certain outcome and then gives a guaranteed certain rationale for doing so. I never saw the movie 'Wag the Dog' but I do know its premise. It had to do with a political maneuver to distract the public from a sex scandal by starting a fake war. I'm not wearing my conspiracy helmet today but I often wonder if we are not seeing a similar ruse being played out in real-time during this election cycle. Who are the ones with the most to gain from these fake predictions that are all over the place with such confusing results? When we discuss these matters, my eldest son likes to quote from that scene from the Wizard of Oz: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Something is being orchestrated and I for one am becoming increasingly concerned about the potential finale. That's when I remember how God gave Israel what they clamored for when they demanded to have their very own king. They wanted to be just like the other nations. In essence, they got what they wanted but in doing so they rejected God and His Kingship over them. Let's all pray that God does not give us what we are clamoring for, or even worse, what we deserve. Sorry. I had that on my mind so I thought it might help to get it out there.

There is a time and place for everything. And, since there's no other place around at the moment, I suppose I should bring today's and this week's series of episodes to a close. The experts tell us the best way to close is to share 'one more thing.' Since I couldn't think of anything maybe I could sing that Vanessa Williams song, 'Save the Best for Last.' Sorry. I don't know that song. Now I should ask a question. Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place? Think that one over. The next thing in closing you should do is to tell a story. A funny thing happened on my way to closing my blog today. I can't exactly remember the details but I think it might just be a good one. I'll get back to you. Next, you should use a timely quote, so here goes: "They say I'm old-fashioned and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!" (Dr. Seuss) The last is to call everyone to some type of response or action. Do enjoy your Saturday and do your very best to show up at the meeting place on Sunday to hear from God. There you have it. I included the five tips recommended for a good closing. I took the five tips from the first list I found on the first hit on my Google search. Maybe next week. It could be much better. I have no way of knowing, but it could be. May God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete." ~ C. S. Lewis

This must be the place and I'm doing my best to get everything up and going here at the ole blogger ranch on this Thursday, April 14, 2016. The other evening some of us older folks were reminiscing about this, that, and the other, when one of the ladies made this comment, "Getting old is not for wimps." She has credibility because of all the health challenges she has dealt with in her life. I recently overheard the wife telling her sister how she had needed to work on the top shelves in her closet. She fetched the stool that she has always used. It's one of those with a round top. She said when she tried to climb up on it, she couldn't do it. She told her sister that she used to hop up on that stool and now she can't even manage to climb up on that stool. I interrupted and told her that's why there's a folding step stool out in the garage where she doesn't have to deal with that problem. It is hard to come to grips with age-induced liabilities. I should know. I'm asked all the time if I need assistance. (Must be the white hair and beard.) Sometimes I actually do need help but rarely agree that I do. I end up doing it myself. I end up paying the price. It really gets my arthritis singing some mournful tunes. I typically end up wishing I had let them help me. Maybe next time. Maybe. Probably not. But, maybe.

My wife is leaving me again. Today. She's headed over to Louisiana for a mini-reunion with her older brother and sister. She will be there until Sunday. I will be here. She will be there. I will be home alone. Again. No. I'm not trying to get sympathy here although it does sound that way. I was just working up a sad story in case I need to use it sometime. I wasn't going for the tear jerker. Not yet. Not this time. Getting your reader to feel your pain is a part of effective communications. But, you all know that I am quite capable of muddling through while she is away. In fact, I'm glad they are able to spend time together. Every time we lose another family member it reminds us not only how fragile this life is but it also speaks to how we can't go back and see them again in this life. I know they will have a great time of laughing, fellowship, and feasting. They always do. Maybe I will learn a new hobby while she is gone. Maybe I could learn how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. I know I should know how. But, they didn't play that game when I was a kid. I think my boys may have played it. I read the other day they hold a world championship Rock, Paper, Scissors competition each year. Really? Who knew? See what I have missed out on during my sheltered life. I hope I don't worry too much about it while I am trying to learn the game, all alone, at home, by myself, with no one there but me. Maybe I could learn that song, "Don't cry for me Argentina." Maybe not.

I read an obituary the other day about a fellow who had lived a very full life. He left this life at age 66. The obit included 140 photographs. This fellow had traveled to most places on the planet. He had played golf, hunted, fished, and/or been a tourist seemingly here, there, and everywhere. He was a huge supporter of his college. He had a large group of buddies that were in many of the photos. His story would likely epitomize the so-called American dream. He left behind a lovely wife, a son and daughter-in-law. He had been prominent in the Company he worked for. I don't know these people but I thought the total absence of any mention of his faith, a Church affiliation, or anything spiritual was both noticeable, and sad. They did ask anyone who wanted to remember him to make a donation to the charity of their choice. Those were some of the best photos of a person's life I've seen in a long time. They would give National Geographic a run for their money. My point? While I do not know the condition of this man's heart when he left this life, I couldn't help but remember the words of our Savior when He said, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37) That's what I thought when I read about his life of distinction and I thought it was worth sharing. I am well aware that having a Church affiliation mentioned in your death notice doesn't mean you are a child of God, but, having an active testimony for the Lord is always a good way to say farewell to this old world. Or, that's how I see it. Have a great rest of the day and I'll try to keep the home fires burning without burning anything down. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"No, my friend, I am not drunk. It is that I have been to the dentist and I need not go again for six months. It is a beautiful thought." ~ Agatha Christie's character Hercule Poirot, quoted from her story, The Patriotic Murders

Hello and welcome. It is a good day in the neighborhood and this one happens to find itself being good on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. I've had to spend more time in a dental chair than I like over the past couple of months. I don't like to be incapacitated. Even for a few minutes. I'm hard pressed to give up control. This past Monday I was in the chair for a root canal. It went on, and on and on, and on. One hour and forty-five minutes. I came face to face with the old saying: fit to be tied. The dentist was working on my tooth which had been previously filled but after paying for the filling it was very excruciatingly clear that the problem had not been solved. In case you were wondering, there's no refund or rebate on the filling, just additional charges. Dental offices have become like mechanic shops. They analyze your situation and come back with a printout. You know what I am talking about. A printout with all the things needed to get things back on track. One thing I noticed. They like to use a lot of special characters in their printouts. Their favorite one is the dollar sign, $. At the end of my less than brief introduction to how modern torture is performed, they showed me an X-Ray and told me that one of the files had broken off. What? I didn't break it off. But, not to worry, it is rarely a problem. Rarely. The solution? Let's keep an eye on it because we have lots of paper on hand to do more printouts. I do appreciate the dentist who had his hands in my mouth for over an hour. Thanks for having very small hands. I'm sure that's an extra charge on the printout.

I heard about the fellow who went to see the dentist and it was determined the tooth would have to be pulled. They dabbed some anesthetic on it and pulled it out. It took about five minutes. When he went to pay he was shocked to see a bill for $500. He exclaimed, "Wow, $500 for five minutes of work?" The dentist overheard him and called out with this response, "Hey, we can make it last longer if that will make you feel any better." I know they have improved things some over the years. I had a previous root canal maybe 25 years ago and all I can say is the improvements weren't that noticeable. There's plenty of dental jokes out there. ~ I needed to have a root canal but I lost my nerve. ~ The fellow asked the dentist what he could do about his yellowed teeth. The dentist suggested that he wear a brown tie. ~ One more:  A patient sits in the dental chair with severely fractured front teeth. After discussing with the orthodontist how they will be restored and what the fee would be the patient says, ‘Before you start, I gotta know: Will I be able to play the clarinet when you are finished?’The dentist replies ‘Sure you will!’ The patient replies ‘Great, I couldn’t play a note before!’ Okay. I promise this is the last one and it is a golden oldie: Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused a Novocain injection during root canal treatment? He wanted to transcend dental medication. ~

I am thankful we have professionals who know how to respond when we are needing assistance. I can't get that picture of that file in my tooth off my mind. I'm actually walking around with a foreign object left to live in my tooth. I did look it up. On the internet. You do know that everything you read on the internet is true. You didn't know that? Where have you been? At any rate, I did confirm that it is rarely a problem, as in, not often or seldom. However, when it is a problem it typically requires the tooth to be extracted. The good news is how they can make a new one for you to replace it. I got the idea that one would require multiple printouts. You do know I'm for the most part sharing this little episode to highlight the humorous aspects. That wouldn't explain why the IRS called and asked if I wanted to add my dentist as a dependent. Just joking. After they finished their canal activity it took about five hours for the shots to wear off. I looked my abnormal-normal self to everyone but because of the nagging numbness I kept thinking I was Tim Conway from that famous dentist routine he did with Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett Show. You know the one. If you don't, go to YouTube and find it. I dare you. It is an all time funny segment. That's it for today. Take care and enjoy the life God has given. May He be thanked for His grace, mercy, and love. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

“Upon descending our threaded words on the web by a steep and hazardous precipice of readers requires constant review.” ~ quote from an unidentified blogging expert

Well, hello there, how's it going on this Tuesday, April 12, 2016? Whether you recognize it or not, I do spend time attempting to figure out ways to improve my blog writing. I recently subjected paragraphs randomly chosen from a variety of my blogs to a text analysis utility available on the web. It is very detailed in its review. The good news is the score I saw for Readability. Its stated evaluation range goes like this: 100-easy 20-hard, optimal 60-70. My texts typically fell between the high 50's into the low 70's, therefore, I am hitting somewhere close to the optimal readability on most days. I do seem to be a little high in the words that score in the Complexity and Lexical Density category. I need to learn more about what exactly those mean. It could be the utility program has not been trained in Louisiana slang/colloquialisms and I doubt seriously it knows that much about Community Coffee, Paw Paw Mac, and other prominent similar subjects that appear in my writing from time to time. I do know what some of you are thinking. Just because it is mostly readable doesn't necessarily mean it is mostly worth reading. That, my friend, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And, just so you know, I feel the same way about it, regardless of whether I wrote it or not.

I haven't done any of the Church bulletin bloopers in a long time. These are reported to be lifted from actual bulletins. It doesn't take much of a mistake to change the intended meaning. ~ Additional volunteers are needed for next week's Easter Egg Nog Hunt. ~ Sister Perozzo is recovering from having her wisdom taken out last week.~ Barbara C remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons. ~ Chinese Pizza Supper Tonight ~ During the absence of our minister, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon from John Smith who supplied the pulpit. ~ Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married October 24 here at the church building, thus ending a friendship which began in school days. ~ Let us pray for those who are sick of this church. ~ Next Thursday, there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. ~ Our next song is "Angels We Have Heard Get High." ~ Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM. Prayer and medication to follow. ~ Thank you Lord for the blessings that we are too blond to see. ~ The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility. ~ The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing "Break Forth Into Joy." I hope at least one of these gave you something to smile about.

I caught a really great old time radio program the other day. It was an episode of Martin and Lewis, (Dean and Jerry), originally broadcast on NBC on May 26, 1953. They introduced their special guest. They said the fans were clamoring for bright, shining, new faces, and their guest was exactly that kind of star and she was taking Holywood by storm. They then brought on Debbie Reynolds, who was 17. They did a funny routine that was a take off on Hansel and Gretel, called, Look Ma No Hans. It had some pretty good lines. The announcer was George Fenneman. Some might remember him from Groucho's show You Bet Your Life, which is one of my all time favorites. Debbie Reynolds is now 84 years young. Dean passed away in 1995. Jerry is 90 and George Fenneman died in 1997. That show aired some six months before my dad went to his reward and I couldn't help but wonder if he had listened to it. One of the vague picture memories I do have of him is him sitting at a small table listening to the radio. Entertainment was quite different back in those days and while it might not be a fit for today, I thoroughly enjoy listening as I drive down the road. Okay. We dealt with the readability issue, we made fun of Church bulletin typos, and finished up with a hop and a skip down memory lane. That does make for a blog's worth for today. Enjoy. Remember from Whom all blessings flow. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chorus from the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow: "I sing because I'm happy; I sing because I'm free; His eye is on the sparrow And I know He watches me." ~ written in 1905 by lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel

Good morning and welcome back. Today is Monday, April 11, 2016, and I do hope that you and yours are well. Jesus liked to use birds as a way of describing the Father's care for His own. "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31) I thought about that the other morning when I went to record our water meter reading. (Yes. We have a private well here on the property of our company but the state of Texas requires that we meter the water we use out of our private well and pay a fee each year for the privilege. Just so you know.) On my way to the water well I heard a bird chirping. This bird was really belting it out. It stood out among the other noises that were also clamoring for attention. When I spotted that bird I was surprised. It was a tiny little bird. Very small indeed. But that little dude had a set of lungs and wanted the whole world to know about it. It might have been the daddy bird trying to get a word in edgewise in a family discussion. That tiny bird must have been intimidating to the much larger birds around. They likely heard that huge outburst and immediately scheduled an appointment with the bird doctor to have their chirper checked. According to our Savior, God knows about that little loud chirping bird and He also knows and cares about you, and me. The next time you hear a bird doing its thing, remember these words from our Lord. Amen

I looked through the Google most searched topics from 2015 and I found out something. Based on the top ten in numerous categories, well, I must really be out of touch. I'm not saying I didn't recognize many of the names or subjects but I had no reason to care about 98% of them. It wasn't a complete wipeout because in the Drink category, guess what was number one? COFFEE! The only thing better would for it to have been Community Coffee. In the Dog Question category, the number one trend was: Why do dogs wag their tails? I really didn't care about that question but since I shared it I thought I had better give you the answer since some of you will be biting your nails until you find out. Here it is: "Dogs use their tails to communicate strong emotions such as agitation, annoyance, and anger as well as happiness. A person can get bitten by a dog that's wagging his tail because he read the signs incorrectly. And make no mistake, there is a science to tail wagging." That came from the Animal Planet people. The number one animal searched was the chicken. I have no idea why it was number one but I will share how that I like mine prepared the way my wife does chicken. Hers is genuinely certified finger lickn' good and I'm sorry for you Colonel loving folks but they can get up early and stay as late as they choose but they don't stand a chance up against hers. We didn't go to see any of the top 10 movies listed. (Don't know why the latest Star Wars movie was not on the list. It had almost rolled out of the theaters and we were very late, but we did see that one.) We didn't try to keep up with all the shenanigans of the celebrities that were being sought after. They didn't have a Dull Category but I'm pretty sure I would have found my name on that list. I'm actually not upset about that. I think that would be a good thing. Just me. 

The other day while driving down the highways and byways of life I was listening to a liberal talk program on NPR and the panel was jawing on and on about the political machinations, but mostly they were blasting any and all things conservative. A caller came on the line. I could tell he was an older fellow. I don't know what he told their call screener but I'm pretty sure they did not want to hear what he had to say. He told the host that he could tell the reporters on her program were a part of the problem. The host was not pleased. He went on to say that while they are not directly a part of the political establishment they are all members of the GGT. He then asked the host if she knew about that designation. She was obviously unhappy but allowed him to explain. He said the GGP stood for the Government Gravy Train and he said the folks at the table were all the recipients of the system. They got him off at that point but think about his analysis. He is correctly reading the tea leaves. The mainstream press is a part of the liberal agenda and they are fully integrated into left-wing politics, left-wing causes, and left-wing ideologies. This means they don't have an unbiased bone in their bodies. Why? One of the main reasons is because their livelihoods depend upon them toeing the line. Inbreeding at its worst. I applaud that fellow's courage and his assessment. It sure left them all scratching the left side of their heads. In unison, of course. (I am very much aware how this mutual backscratching is very much a feature of the so-called right as well. The entire system, right, left, up, down, north, south, east, and west is pretty much saturated with corruption. But, the information exchange I heard was an example I thought worthy of sharing.) Have a great rest of the day and may God provide for us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later..

Friday, April 8, 2016

"People who complain about paying their federal income taxes fall mainly into two categories: Men and Women!" ~ copied

It is Friday, April 8, 2016, and I say hello and welcome to one and all. One week from today. That's when the IRS Red Red Robin comes bob bob bobbin' along. You know. Federal Tax deadline. I will likely send my payment in tomorrow just so I can quit getting ready to think about doing it. I will file my return and pay electronically and then we can move on with our lives. I just read where a study concluded the average working American spends more on taxes than they do on food, clothing, and housing combined. Now that's what I call an encouraging report. NOT! The other day I saw a utility program available out on the internet that looked interesting to me. I didn't try it because they wanted me to sign in using my Facebook ID but I did like the sound of it. It's entitled Not Recommended for Me and it purports to be a source featuring an experimental anti-recommendation engine that provides suggestions for things you probably won't want to read, purchase, or watch. How refreshing is that? We are constantly bombarded every day with a seemingly endless stream of recommendations for products, services, and other things thought to fit our fancy. This is how they pay for the 'free' access folks get to social media platforms. They all do it. I know the anti-recommendation website is probably tongue in cheek but somehow having a list of stuff I'm likely not interested in at all appeals to me. Oh yeah. Here's today's question still pending from yesterday: How did tomorrow deliver on its promise? I report. You decide. Thanks for asking.

I know this is a type of piling on but tis the season. Suggested IRS motto: "We're not happy until you are unhappy!" How did all of this get started? Well here's one idea: ~ A doctor, a lawyer, and an IRS agent were debating over whose profession was the oldest. “If you read the Book of Genesis, you’ll see that God took a rib out of Adam to create Eve. That’s a medical activity, so medicine came first,” said the doctor. The lawyer replied, “But if you go back even further, to the first chapter of Genesis, you see that God created order out of chaos. That’s what lawyers do. So the law must have come first.” “Oh, yeah?”, said the IRS agent, “Well where do you think the chaos came from?” ~ One tax consultant said in his experience the only difference between tax collectors and muggers is that muggers do not require you to fill out forms. One contributor posted this advice: End organized crime, abolish the IRS. Another lady lamented concerning her plight: I would dearly love to give the IRS my two cents worth, but after paying my taxes, I need everything I have left just to survive. Okay. Maybe that will help us all to let off a little steam. And, we all know that tax collectors are for the most part easy targets. There is hope. The tax collector in the Bible, Matthew, became an Apostle. He went from being a taker to becoming a giver. A giver of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let me remind us all about the folks who work for our government and in particular, the IRS. While there are bad apples in every crate, no matter what type of employment, I would guess that most folks working for the IRS are just doing their jobs as best they know how. When I was employed by the government in different agencies for a four-year run I noticed many areas that operated in a nonsensical manner. That was no reflection on the people I worked with because the institution itself is inefficient by design. Here I was, a young inexperienced worker, and I could readily see things that didn't make sense. Common sense, that is. Many of those had costs associated with them. Multiply those bureaucratic inefficiencies by a trillion or more and you can see where we are in terms of how our government functions and why it costs so much. That would be my lay person's view of it and it is my opinion this is why so many of us are frustrated each year when the tax people come calling. Well, there you have it, another week of unenlightened but very opinionated thoughts offered up by yours truly. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday where folks gather to worship our Great God, who truly is worthy. Amen. See you next time. Lord willing, of course. .....More later..