Monday, March 31, 2014

Too Much Competition

I don't usually attempt relevancy but it will be April Fool's Day, and the smarty-pants low hanging fruit brigade will be jape-ing and tricking all across the Interwebs and why shouldn't I join in?

Personally, I think April fool's traditions derive from those of us who have been "tricked" or fooled by Mother Nature who has made us believe that Winter is over...until we intake breath for that first sigh of relief and discover we have taken in a mouthful of snow. Spring? ZAP!!!WINTER!!!!

But fools. I was commenting at another site today about the Vegas legend of Colonel Tom Parker, the boss of Elvis, seen in his later years, night after night plugging coins into slot machines, pulling the idiot stick on the side.
He should have had more money than any one-percenter you could mention, and there he was, keeping the casino doors open by contributing.
Why do people gamble?
Why do people cheer for sports teams?
Why do people choose "American Idols" or "Survivors" to champion?
Why do people back a long shot?
Because, even if it's only for a moment or a day, they want to feel like winners.
It's a sad comment on our culture that we have to seek vicarious victories through game shows
or sporting events to not feel like losers.
The truly sad do as Colonel Parker allegedly did, throwing their retirement into gambling machines.
Do you know the average top jackpot of most electronic gaming machines? One thousand dollars. Just a high enough goal to seem within reach for the average gambler-he or she may not think they could hit a BIG payday, but $1000.00 seems possible. And there goes the rent.
"Las Vegas was not built on the backs of Winners." -Ray S.
Next time you go to buy a couple of scratchers, ask yourself if you wouldn't rather have a cup of coffee. Restraint and wisdom can make you a winner irregardless of 'feelings'.
"Gee Doug," you might slyly mention-"you sure seem to know a lot about gambling."
That's why I don't gamble. I am a winner in Life, because of what Christ did on my behalf.
Although I do have 'favorite' baseball teams, I don't paint myself in their colors and my self esteem is not tied to their win/loss record. I just enjoy the sport.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

This I Recall...

"This I recall to mind, therefore I have Hope."
I've quoted this verse so often that I won't finish it here again-if unfamiliar, just google it.
Hope is the big word in that sentence, the one which makes the sentence mean what it does to me.
I HAVE Hope. No matter what I face, or how dark these days might be...I have Hope and am journeying 'Over a pathway bright with happiness'.
It doesn't come from trusting in my own very weak 'strengths'. It isn't about how strong or smart or capable I am. I have abilities and strengths and all of that ready to be utilized.
I guess I should finish the verse above, as what I recall to mind is the reason I have Hope:
"It is of the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
 They are new every day;"
The last part of the verse is not about Hope, but a thank you right to God:
"Great is They faithfulness."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Job Interview

...joined in progress:
Pope:  Well, Mr. Obama, your resume was very illuminati...I mean interesting-it
looks as if you have nearly brought your country to the brink of disaster, in just a few short years.
Obama: Thank you, your Grace.
Pope: We looking for a world leader who can captivate the entire global population, 
a Man who can be all things to all peoples-for our Muslim brothers the 12th Madhi, to the 
Buddhists the reincarnate Buddha, for the atheists simply a Man who can wipe out any thought of God.
Do you feel that you are up to that challenge?
Obama: Well, Pontiff, I...{drones on about himself for 35 minutes}...and I am also a {75 more
minutes} and am but a humble servant.
Pope: Riii-ght. Well, we will be seeing a few more candidates and are looking to make a decision
by the end of the month. Do you have any questions for me?
Obama: Just one. Will there be any opportunity for advancement?
Pope: Not really. I'm afraid that Anti-Christ tops out the pay scale. Thanks for coming in today.
Obama: Thank you, your Grace.
Pope: You're welcome, Mr. Obama; oh-as you leave, could you send Mr. Putin in?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dining At His Table

"5    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;     You have anointed my head with oil;     My cup overflows." Psalm 23:5

One of the most well known passages in the Bible, the 23rd Psalm, is so beloved because it speaks of
how one's trust in God is rewarded-we who belong to Him have a Great Shepherd Who guides our steps, looks to our protection and comfort and blesses us.
Verse five speaks of His 'preparing a table'-of God caring for the physical needs of David, of me, of every one of His children.
That doesn't mean that we won't sometimes starve in this troubled world, only that He will meet all of our needs.
Along with the physical needs met, He also meets our spiritual need by putting His Spirit within us who are His children-"have anointed my head with oil"-Anointed is Christos, or Christ. Those who have that anointing are Christian."The Anointed One" is a title of Messiah, and Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
Our response to God for providing for both our physical and spiritual needs?
"My cup overflows". The blessings of God fill me up, fill my life and I am grateful to God for all that He is, all that He does, and for making Salvation available to even such sinners as I am.
Before that salvation, when I read the 23rd Psalm, it was foreign to me, it was not mine and I had no
right to think that its blessings from God were for me.
But now my cup overflows. 
"6    Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,     And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:6

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Now It's Getting Personal

I know that I seem very focused on current events in these posts, but these are stressful times, historic times, and this is my time, my generation. I touch and am touched by what happens around me-if I see problems, injustice, wrong being committed...I will yammer on.
Back in 2001 I asked my Lithuanian friends what it was like to grow up in a country that had just recently broken away from the Soviet Union. They told me that their parents had a very rough time of it, once the Baltic states had won their freedom, but that they, the first free generation, had never known Communist rule.
News today reports that Vlad Putin, having secured part of the Ukraine, is now turning his attention towards some few Russia-loving partisans in Estonia who are being discriminated against.
Let's call sturgeon eggs by their name: Putin wants to rebuild the USSR, and right now the world is too weak to stop him. Any pretense that Putin uses to invade countries are mere echo's of Hitler's
desire to build a thousand year Reich.
And now my friends are in peril. This is unjust. This is wrong. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

As Sparks Fly Upward

6    “For affliction does not come from the dust,     Nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
7    For man is born for trouble,     As sparks fly upward.
8    “But as for me, I would seek God,     And I would place my cause before God;
9    Who does great and unsearchable things,     Wonders without number.
10    “He gives rain on the earth     And sends water on the fields,
11    So that He sets on high those who are lowly,     And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12    “He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd,     So that their hands cannot attain success.
13    “He captures the wise by their own shrewdness,     And the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted. 

Job 5:6-13

Let's attain a bit of perspective, friends. All the suffering which man inflicts upon his fellow man, whether it's Vlad Putin invading a peaceful country or a nurse practitioner encouraging a young woman to have an abortion-all troubles Of Man comes From Man.
True, nature sometimes does wipe out/destroy lives, such as the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, but that is Nature doing what Nature does under the aegis of God. There is no wickedness, no sin in those occurrences.
But a tsunami of terror unleashed on the world by Man working for his selfish purposes? 
Such as Vlad Putin attempting to resurrect the USSR?
Great sin, much trouble because of greed/selfish desire.
Was Russia in danger?
Did Russia fear for it's existence?
No-whatever excuse, it is merely Man seeking to have MORE.
To the detriment of the rest of the world.
But God is watching, and God will frustrate the plotting of the shrewd, so that they cannot attain success. This has been the case since Nimrod tried to unify the world against God in Babel.
We have not as yet had the entire world held by any tyrant because God frustrates every Hitler and Napoleon who attempts to be a modern day Nimrod. 
Warning-in the book of Revelation it speaks of a world tyrant who WILL hold the entire world in his wicked power...for a short time. And then Christ will return and defeat all of His enemies.
"11    So that He sets on high those who are lowly,     And those who mourn are lifted to safety."
may not be an explicit mention of the "Rapture",  the 'catching up' of those who belong to Christ, but this idea is there:
10Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
Bottom line: Man doing evil to Man will someday no longer be "how the world works". That we are still breathing air in 2014 is due to the Grace of God. Every proud tyrant cast down is due to the Grace of God. Every tyrant now in power will someday lose that power, his treasure and his life and stand before God. 
That is Justice. By the Grace of God.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring. Renewal. Breathe.

Someday in the next five months we should have green grass again. This is the day
that the Lord has made-let us rejoice and be glad in it. With so much terror and strife and
conflict and all of that unbalancing our lives each day, it is easy to forget that God has it
all under control, that He is working His plan and that we will reap the benefits of that plan.
May God richly Bless you today.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Eli5 to you, John? Okayfine

See the lady.
Her name was Irma.
She was mean.
She helped run concentration camps for Hitler.
She tortured and killed people, and loved doing bad things.
How old was she when she was captured, tired, convicted and hanged?
Why am I writing about this bad lady?
Right now the US Secretary of State John Kerry has delivered an ultimatum to Russia to back off from Ukraine by Monday or there will be "harsh sanctions".
Harsh sanctions?
Irma Grese would have had John Kerry crying like a baby inside of two minutes... and he thinks his
talking tough to Putin and Russia will somehow win the day?
She was evil, a true believer in the Nazi cause. She died a true believer.
Kerry couldn't dominate a marshmallow while holding it over a roaring fire.
I would have believed Irma Grese if she had threatened me.
Kerry? Miss-step number 295,678 by the Obama Administration.
(I don't think Russia will blink.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Burfday Webso

Yah yah ARPA/DARPA. The gentleman pictured above is  Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented
a wonderful, beautiful thing called the "World Wide Web" 25 years ago.
He appeared on reddit today doing an 'Ask Me Anything' web que and ai, and it was intreresting
to hear from a pioneer who established a trail on which we all still journey.
Going back, I've only been on the WWW for 14 years-I bought my first computer in 2000 after
a few years of watching "Tech TV/ZDTV" on the satt dish. I soaked in as much information about
computers as I could while saving towards my first purchase, a Compaq 20G model from
I now have three working computers and a PS3 and a "smart TV" all networked to venture out onto
the WWW for my education and enjoyment.
I appreciate what Sir Berners-Lee has done for humanity; this WWW integrated world in which we live is still taking baby steps. 25 years from now the world might see 'OUR' WWW as
archaic as Civil War pictures.
Here's a thought: when Christ returns and rules the world from Jerusalem, if there is any WWW left,
if we still have web browsers and sites and stuff...I'm thinking that they will be God honoring, as all of the world will honor and pay tribute to Christ.
No porn. No websites idolizing celebrities. No factious hate-mongers spewing vitriol via the Web because we will all be living under His rule. His Rule. 
There will be no need for parental controls, no malware or virus attacks-there is much good possible on the WWW and I hope that it will still be available in the Millennium. I would miss dog/cat pictures.
It just occurred to me that I might not be writing blogs then. That would be fine, as I know that our existence will be Praising God and, although I can do that on the WWW...I would prefer to worship and praise God in His Presence. I will happily give up FDW and FerDW for that opportunity.
But that is future. Today, 25 years into the WWW, I add my 'thank you' to millions of others whose
lives have been impacted by the work of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Thanks muchly.

Monday, March 10, 2014


I was watching a TV detective procedural, which led to a thought, which led to this post.
Why Death and Life? Why are we drawn to stories, fake, made up stories...where people die on purpose and the purposers are sought and caught by the end of an episode?
Why must it always be murder/death? Have we become so inured of everyday lesser evils that it takes someone dying to touch us, to elicit an emotional response?
I have a guess.
The hard true fact of someone dying is Eternity staring us down. We blink.
So we love false stories of murder mysteries which allow us to vicariously experience others facing death, noting how they deal with pains, emotions, how they cope.
Discovering the murderer-that is the main focus of police procedurals.
We identify with the good guys, at least most of us do. We love heroes.
And we hate death. We also hate those who kill, who end lives for their own selfish purposes.
We want justice. 
God is a God of Justice. No murderer will ever escape His sentencing.
When a Hitler or Stalin or Kim Jong-un goes into the wholesale murder business, whether or not they ever stand in front of a human Judge is immaterial. They will answer for their crimes in God's courtroom.
This is a hard thing to write, but
so will all who have not been granted Salvation through Christ.
I love happy endings-I would love to see you in Heaven. May God extend His Grace to you.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Death Day! Death Day!

Yuppers. I just had a bit o cake, and will consume a chunk of candy in a little while.
Comic hoax or not, saw today that someone has nomed Vlad the Imputin for the
Nobel Peace prize. Fingers crossed!
The title of this post might not make sense to the unenlightened. And everyone else.
One and a half great artists met their fate on March 5th-Patsy Cline in 1963, John Belushi
in 1982.
I count Belushi as half a great because he tossed away Life in selfish drug abuse. That's pathetic.
Roughly 1/365th of the world's population all through history has died on this day.
Roughly because why? Why not exact? Class?
Firstly, because Leap Year  Feb 29ths throws off the approximations. Right?
Number dos: The Flood. 99.999 percent of the world's population wiped out in a short few weeks.
Today across the interwebs there are plenty of pix of "Ash" from "The Evil Dead" meant to
represent the pagan contrition memorial AKA "Ash Wednesday". I may be low, but I don't sink to that level.
Happy Death Day, citizens! Those clued in are now rolling their eyes. 30

Monday, March 03, 2014

70 Years A Slave Nation

Short and sour-already, before the world has a chance to catch its breath from being rocked back on its heels by the invasion of Ukraine...Russia is already demanding surrender.
Ukraine, the Baltic states, Poland-who will be safe from Russia's over-reach?
Hitler claimed that he needed to protect Germans living in Sudetenland from oppression/subjection by non-Germans.
Russia is supposedly looking after the interests of  Ukrainians of Russian descent who are somehow living in mortal fear of Ukrainian non-Russians. The big meanies!
China just gave Russia it's blessing-big shock there, right? I'm thinking that this coup has been in the works for quite a while. Russia didn't just ring up China after the Olympics and say, "Brothers-we must act to protect our Russian population being held prisoners in Ukraine! If it's okay with you, we will go and rescue them!"
This couldn't all be a dirty trick to take over countries which earned medals in the Olympics just to boost Russia's count, could it?
"Your Gold is now OUR Gold!"

At the collapse of the USSR former satellite states had to fend for themselves, learn to build their countries. They have done quite well, but now we realize that Russia was merely fattening them up to consume them again.
As I write these things, I recognize the problem that many in our country will have to contend with-Liberals may have to agree with me, with 'my' side against the Communists they have always admired.
It was easier to demonize Hitler, as he was some kind of right winger, right? (Wrong. Leftist to the rotten little core of where his heart should have been.)
But Putin? Why would such a lovely guy start such a horrible war?
The former Soviet Union was never a collective of like minded states. They were slaves. 70 some years they were in subjection to the Russians who ruthlessly ruled not by the ideal that all men are 
created equal, but that the State above all.
Pray for Ukraine. We are watching history, and it is a rerun.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Once More, With Feeling

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

We can all agree that this IS a day. Whether you agree or not, it is a day that the LORD has made.
A day of sadness. Funerals. Russia invading Ukraine. War on the horizon, chaos getting in our faces.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Because sadness fades. The grave is not the end. Wars will cease, and what we perceive as chaos is in
fact God working in ways which we cannot comprehend.
I chose this picture of a young woman working on a bomber in 1942 because the image is striking.
She lived during wartime, and did what was necessary. We may see full blown war soon, and we will
do the same.
Here is something that non-Christians have a hard time 'getting': no matter the circumstance, Christians know God, receive His blessings AND His corrections while rejoicing in the day which He has made.
Some days are tougher than others. Some decades are tougher. But God is in charge, and all will be right in the world eventually, when this prayer, "Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" is fully answered. Amen.