Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day Later But Not Late

 This is not a picture of my hometown, but it's close. Lots of trees and open boulevards, flag high against a blue sky. I love it.
My town isn't very prosperous-most of the good jobs died out a few decades ago- but a comfortable
living can still be made, and there are many 'small businesses' which flourish in the atmosphere of moderate
This isn't our cemetery either, but it is a good stand in for what we have. Yesterday my family and I made it to the gravesites to put flowers, remember good times, and honor those who have gone ahead.
Today I walked down to City Hall to pay a bill, which took all of five minutes. I bought a few cookies at a favorite bakery/cafe; walking back I sat in the park which has a bandshell; the city band performs every Thursday evening throughout the Summer. It's a good thing that I like the music-I live only a block away.
In simple: I am Blessed to live where I am, wherever I am. I have a home, family and church family, two cats and a rusty truck sitting in a tidy little garage.
But if I were in prison, or were sitting in a flipped over car with everything broken but the radio...I would still be Blessed. It isn't about what I have, but to Whom I belong. I love this little town in part because this is where God has placed me for His own good purposes. To know God makes every place sweet. It makes Life sweet.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Decorate. Remember. Honor.

Things mean what they are agreed upon to mean. What started out as "Decoration Day" after the Civil War where the graves of those who had died in battle were decorated by family transmorphed into Memorial Day.
Memorial Day has also changed, honoring those civilians who also gave their lives in service-police and firemen. Which is fine and honorable.
It is now becoming a memorial in which the graves of all who have passed are decorated by family and that is fine with me also; I believe that such honor for family in no way diminishes the respect and honor due those who died in battle during wartime.
Tomorrow is THE day, and I plan on attending the Memorial in my town. I went today to spruce up the gravestones of my family, and my sister is bringing flowers.
The smiling guy above was my father, in the Army during the Korean War but  he never saw battle.
Decorate. Remember. Honor.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I feel like such a fool.
Please disregard everything written on this blog in the past nine years.
Pope Frankie just went all vox domini on us, announcing that even athiests are redeemed and bound for Heaven, as Jesus saved EVERYBODY!
Wow-talk about no free will, right?
Hitler is up in Heaven right now. He might not be sitting right next to Moses (you know what I mean), but he made the cut because there is no cut.
If everyone gets in no matter what, is there anything left to drive good behavior? Without fear of hell and damnation, what is there to stop you from disobeying the Ten Suggestions? Can't call them commandments anymore-nothing to back them up.
"Or what?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Please Screw Up Your Life...Um...Responsibly

Is that picture beautiful or what?
It all ties in, kindasorta, so hang on.
I've yammered before about the high cost of things which actually impair or destroy a person's life, but
recent examples have brought it back to mind, and what is a blog if not the disclosure mechanism for what is on our minds?
I'm standing in line at the grocery store a couple weeks back and the guy in front of me buys two cartons
of cigarettes. One hundred and seven dollars. They were different brands, so he was probably buying one
for his wife, but still: one hundred and seven dollars.
Taxes, of course, will vary the price in different places, but even if they were free, the cost to a person's
health longterm can be huge.
"Please Drink Responsibly" is found on alcohol products. I drink responsibly. I drink coffee and tea and soda (alcoholics love to point out how bad for you soda can be) and sometimes milk. No alcohol.
But it isn't only what we ingest that can destroy our lives-any addiction can be debilitating. Gambling, for example, can empty a wallet quicker than Jack Robinson.
My house is old, like 1893 or so old. It had carpet... in the kitchen. Which is never a good idea. I tried shampooing it, to no effect, and I finally had enough and have now gotten rid of the carpet and am in the process of taking up the old linoleum that you see above.
I could only afford my house because it was a foreclosure; given the topic of this post you can infer the
reasons why.
"Feel like a winner when I'm losing again." Ol' Gord had it about right.
"So what, Doug?" you might say. "A person lives his or her own life-if they destroy it, that's nobody's business."
Sure, that would be true...if we all lived independently of one another, untouched by each other's lives,
but we are all connected. Even if I never touch alcohol, it impacts my life as it destroys the lives of those around me.
Just a guess, but I'm pretty sure that there will be no addictive destructive life destroyers in Heaven.Maybe the baseball games will by sponsored by (sugarfree) bubblegum companies. If there are still companies.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reverse Order _____ Omissions

10~"17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
No problem with that, right? Isn't that how you live your life? Not being jealous of your neighbor's wealth or stuff?
9~"16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." 
Isn't that at the heart of your moral code? Isn't your honesty uncompromising?
8~"15“You shall not steal."
This is tied to your honesty, right? You wouldn't steal a grape at the grocery store. You wouldn't stoop to theft.
7~"14“You shall not commit adultery."
Easiest one on the list-
6~"13“You shall not murder."
Almost as easy. You value human life-you wouldn't kill anyone period.
5~"12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land~~"
Aaannndddd we have our first omission. Of course you honor your parents-this is like commanding you to
take an umbrella if its raining.

Okay, that's enough. 
Each of these commandments are probably part of your moral makeup, what makes you who you are.
Each is solid and good, and will help you to live a good life. You could build your house on that moral high ground, and do fine.
But in following these precepts you will only please yourself. Your neighbor might appreciate that his or her's stuff is safe around you, but beyond that he has his own hash to chop up.
The omissions, beginning with that which is missing from number five above, are all about pleasing God rather than yourself.
As I said, you could live a good life on that moral high ground. And fail eternally, end up in hell.
These aren't just moral good ideas found on the back of a cereal box. They came directly from God, and  the omitted parts are all about honoring God.
You didn't come up with your moral code, God did. He built us, He made you. 
Read the rest of the list yourself, starting with that is missing from number five above.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Flunked Retirement

Not me personally, but I saw an old gentleman at the store today wearing that message on his hat.
I had just been visiting with a couple of my former co-workers-one happily retired and one not so happily
looking for work. We had all been heaved overboard from the corporate ship in January.
I have been avoiding political stuff, but please excuse a general statement: jobs are disappearing, the economy is hurtin for certin, and things will probably get worse in the next few years. I blame the present
administration, which I believe has hurt the country and the world with its policies. Counter productive just about nails it. Thus endeth the political stuff.
Anyway, the world in which we live will keep turning, and I don't see anything improving in great measure until Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom, ruling the Earth from Jerusalem.
Until that Day, we will abide.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Your Opinion Counts!

At least, you hope it does. Just was reading an article about a recently departed film maker, Mike Gray, who had written the screenplay for "The China Syndrome" amongst many other life trophys. His opinion about Nuclear power was powerful, in that that one movie chilled the construction of nuclear power plants in this country for decades.
Ol' buddy redneck Albert Gore's chicken little global warming act is his opinion magnificated and oratollated by a geek chorus of fellow travellers. Still just an opinion. It's made him richer, so I can't say that
no one has benefited from his fear mongering.
'Fear of clowns' carries more weight than fear of climate change.
Here's my point. Just because you assume that your opinion is valid, madmen and regular fools with that same confidence are 100% wrong.
I don't even trust that my opinions about things are 100% right, because I am 100% human which means there is room for error.
You knew this part was coming. God's opinion is the only one that matters. When Christ returns, all contrary opinions will matter as much as 1990's teacup fashions. At least, that's my opinion.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This Is The Day

"24    This is the day which the LORD has made;     Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
 Psalm 118:24

I can't tell you how much these seventeen words have meant to God's people. They have been sung, memorized, put on plaques and gravestones. Just the reminder that we walk around not in happenstance or accident, but in God's Creation is a sermon all in itself. That we are to rejoice and not mope our lives away is the fitting answer to the first part of the verse.
Be glad.

Monday, May 06, 2013

God Should Move Hypocrites To The Back Of The Line

You don't have to be a genius to appreciate most things in life, but believe me, it does help.
Just the other day I was sitting in my lazyboy, having just put down a book, and it struck me:
I am happy. I appreciate all that God has given me, including a nice house, two four legged roomies,
and all the rest. Happy. Go figure.
That's not to say that there aren't things in my life which make for unhappy-we are each a mixture, and the
bad can show up as often as the good. But, in essence, happy.
One unhappy maker: hypocrites. Was in the presence of such a piece of work the other day, and it does
tend to set the teeth on edge but you know what?
Hypocrites get what they deserve, for as we sow, so shall we reap. I'm not in daily contact with the hypocrite from the other day, and that makes me, you guessed it: Happy.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

God Mend Thine Every Flaw

                                            "America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
                                            Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

Don't dig out your bibles, friends-the words above are from America The Beautiful, which some of us sang
at the county court house just a few minutes ago.
God mend America's every flaw...may take a while. But it will happen, and that is why I'm such a cheerful charlie to this day.
Just like compound interest, compounded sins upon sins upon-you get the idea-mark this country along with the rest of the world for Judgement.
The greatest sin that God will judge? Idolatry. Sounds kind of old fashioned, right?
Idolatry. Worship of anything instead of God. It made number one on God's list:
" 1Then God spoke all these words, saying,
2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3“You shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:1-3

This doesn't apply merely to Jews and Christians, as God is the God of all Creation, everyone and all that you know. He is your God, too.
And He will mend the every flaw of His Creation as He sees fit: Returning to rule the nations with an iron rod, putting an end to all troubles, sin and flaws.
Until that day, we stand our ground, live as peaceably as we can in the middle of a corrupt idolatrous world,
praying for our nations, that they will be humbled and will seek God and His guidance, His Grace, His Salvation. And what is good for a country is also good for a person. That is my prayer today.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Elected Without Apology

Sure, sure, no history lessons needed, looking backwards is a waste of vision, and this isn't your first ro-diddy-i-o.
Thessaloniki, Thessalonia, Salonica...however you have heard of it, there it is on the map above.
Paul's first letters in the New Testament were to believers in Thessalonia, who had heard the Gospel from Paul and his crew and been moved by God to seek His Salvation.
Newbie Christians, (the only kind around in those days) they had questions and Paul had answers from God for them.
One point that Paul makes is that they were indeed in Christ because God had chosen them:
"2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 
3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 
4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;"

holding it right there, friends-God does the picking and choosing.
He decides who gets to go to Heaven, and who end up in hell.
The reason I'm covering this ground again is simple: I pray for friends and family to be saved, I pray for others such as President Obama to be saved, knowing that it is God's decision. If God says no, it is no.
I would love to see everyone I care about make it to Heaven. I'm selfish that way-I want those I love or even just like to be with us in Heaven. I might someday be rubbing elbows with those early Thessalonian
saints on Paul's mailing list. That will be cool. I'd love to see you there.