Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Ditchdigger, A Brothel Owner And The Pope Walk Into A Bar And...

if you are waiting for the punchline, you might be disappointed. Read on, brave souls!
What you have in the picture above is a nice Summer morning on a lake, pic taken from the front of a boat just boating around a bit before breakfast.
Don't be confused by what you can't see-it's there. I know-I took the picture.
It doesn't matter if a person is a Pope, a brothel owner, a ditchdigger or some knuckle draggin' blogger still drinking last night's decaf because it's there:
NO ONE is beyond the reach of God's Grace!
Grace is only Grace because we have to accept it on God's terms-Grace being the unmerited favor of God, Who made it possible for all humanity to be saved.
Pope Benny is the figurehead of a pagan global empire.
God could extend Benny Grace and save him from hell, redeem him from his worthless religion.
A brothel owner, a merchandiser of sin, is considered almost as contemptible as a lawyer.
God could by His Grace redeem that sinner, set him free from the life of sin and bring him into God's Kingdom.
Any ditchdigger,  any lowly cog in a big machine, an unremarkable person who the world would never miss...we all are known by God, created by Him, and what the world counts as unworthy can be precious to God. God by His Grace makes sinners into saints for eternity.
That is Grace.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Dateline: Planet Earth, the same earth you walk around on:

"“We ask actress Leila Hatami be sentenced to one to ten years imprisonment and flogging,” the petition read. “We refer you to article 638 of Islamic Penal Code, which deems punishment for those who commit a sin in public. Leila Hatami, who is a beloved public personality in our Islamic nation, did not observe the proper Islamic attire and intentionally, and with full knowledge of her actions, volunteered to kiss a foreign non-Muslim man.” The group signed the petition the “Student Sisters of Hezbollah.”“Leila Hatami kisses a strange man” ran the caption that many hardline media outlets used to accompany the pictures. The hardline newspaper Kayhan accused Hatami of mocking her country’s culture and used the occasion to recycle the old news about Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning A Separation, shaking hands with Angelina Jolie."

"A kiss on the cheek is quite continental" but...Islam is a girl's best friend?
Yeah, sure, Christianity declares some things sins, too. And assorted pagan alleged Christian churches, such as Catholicism and those Westboro clowns have vented hate/held Grand Inquisitions
killed unbelievers.
But here's the thing:
True Christianity is about loving your enemies, treating your neighbor as you would like to be treated.
If I may state this, a Christian woman kissing the cheek of a man not her husband in a social setting will not, I repeat, NOT bring about a call for that woman to be flogged in public or sentenced to prison for one to ten years.
The moral equivalence crowd may enter with a yabbut:
"Yeah, but not all Muslims are like that."
Very true.
But with billions of Muslims in the world, even if the worst offenders were only one percent of the
total pop, that is STILL quite a few Muslims treating women as possessions and keeping them in
a type of servile chattel-hood.
American women, the type that fought for and won the right to vote in 1920, who declare that they are the equal of any man (which they are) would not put up with that Muslim nonsense here in America.
One last thing-did you note who was calling for Leila Hatami to be punished for the crime of kissing a man in public? "Student Sisters of Hezbollah". That is religious brainwashing at it's worst.
edit~the original article I commented upon is found at "The Daily Beast":

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Repost from Other Dougsite-With Respect

I went out today and watered some flowers.
While we may all be different dots across the political/religious landscape, one thing we have in common is respect for our country, and respect for those who have died for our country.
Seek out an assembly tomorrow if you can. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Playing In Dirt Or, Retail Doug

Driving home from work today, I saw a little girl, maybe four years old, using an old hand whisk broom to make patterns in the dirt on a sidewalk. Good to see that not all kids entertainments are digital electronica.
As a youngster, I had my times playing with dirt, rocks, sticks. Summers are wonderful for such.
Like many a {slightly} older kid, I have taken on a part time job in 'retail' which isn't an area where I have had a lot of experience. But it is fun, and it gives me a little more coin, so plus plus.
Another plus plus plus: I am about to watch my first major league baseball game of the season.
Summers are wonderful for that such also.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Don't Want Justice

I don't want justice. If I have been dealt with unfairly, that's livable.
If I've been at odds, at crossed purposes with someone
I don't ask God for justice.
I ask God for peace.
Those who seem to have nothing but contempt
Who see nothing of worth in me
I don't ask God to punish them~
just  peace.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Choose Your Pitons

Ohh, youth. If I could magically communicate with my 1978 self, I would tell him that his future
is set, and that all will be fine.
If I could magically communicate with the makers of "Noah" I would tell them that their future is set,
and unless they repent, all will not be fine.
And IF I could visit with Mel Brooks, I would simply say "Thank you, Mel."

Saturday, May 17, 2014


With the high and mighty, always a little patience.
The date in the photo is wrong as I didn't care to reset the date after putting new batteries in the camera.
It might be hard to recognize what is in view in the picture-the metal rod still pointing up in the air is a clue.
Here's another angle:
Yup. An old garage with the roof caved in. 80 some years old; actually two garages combined into one, not that any of that matters anymore.
So, you may ask...what happened? Nothing special. Too much snow and not enough shoveling of the roof. As in, none.
Four years ago I was leaving, moving into my own house; as one of my final acts at the old property I reinforced the sagging tresses and covered a hole in the garage roof.
That hole was something. When we moved to the property in 1962 my Dad built a wood stove in the basement of the house. He used rough cement to hold in place large rocks around a steel barrel, and for decades we heated the house with wood from our own land, using a tractor when there was no snow and pulling a sled when there was.
But time gets on and eventually the wood stove was usurped by fuel oil heat, which was just as well as my Dad was no longer young enough to be out cutting wood all Summer.
He did have enough strength left to break that steel barrel out of its rock and concrete overcoat, and he moved the barrel stove to the garage where he would sit and think thoughts.
The stove rusted away, as did my Dad and the stovepipe, and I covered the hole where it had been.
So why, Doug? Why this revisiting of something gone?
With the high and mighty, always a little patience. 
God will humble whom He will as He Wills.
Jesus talked about the foolish man who built a house on sand, and it's fall was inevitable.
He also mentioned building on a strong foundation, and there is no stronger foundation possible than faith in Jesus Christ.
But here's the thing. We are all imperfect builders, and even with a strong foundation, if we build poorly, live poorly, our imperfect structures-that is, our lives-can fail and fall and cave in which is another way of saying that He humbles whom He will as He Wills.
We aren't building for eternity on this side of the grave because, no matter how great our efforts, how fine our is all filthy rags compared to the perfection God has waiting for us.
But please, build well. Please, for your own sake and for the sake of those you love, build your best. Shovel your roof when necessary, which is to say, as you are built on the foundation of Christ, maintain your residence, keep up with the upkeep, build and live well.
Well, and not high. A humble abode, a tent by a river or just enough house to be comfortable on this side of eternity is enough. Your mansion is waiting, so you don't need a mansion now. 
Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The 40% solution

There. That's much better. You have to love a map that looks at the world differently.
People? That see the world differently that you do? Eh...
Those whose nose is in the knows might recognize the title of this post as a riff (riph?) on the Nicholas Meyer novel or the movie based on same which examined Sherlock Holmes predilection for Cocaine mixed in "The Seven Percent Solution".
So...what would be Doug's 40 percent solution?
A conversation where the opposing conversant agreed with, placated, shined Doug on so as to make Doug (me) believe that said conversant was willing to make changes regarding issues presented.
I (Doug) told the conversant during the conversation that I was a student of human nature; we shall see in the next few weeks/months/weak months whether I am right in my estimation that 40% of what I said might make some small positive change, while the 60% silently rejected during the conversation was ignored and forgotten by the time the conversant left.
Why am I so pessimistic?
I'm a student of human nature. People don't change how they operate just because someone talked at them for two hours.
I would love to be wrong. I would love it if 80% or more of the things we discussed came to fruition.
I'll let you know how things work out. Isn't that a neat map, though?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

With Respect

The world is indeed a nasty place. Amongst the most despicable of recent atrocities is the abduction of 276 girls from a boarding school in northern Nigeria.
I may differ with the Obamas in most ways, but I appreciate Michelle Obama adding her voice to those keeping attention on this horrific evil act.
What brings this home to me is that one of the missionary efforts my church has a part in
is a school for girls being built in the Ivory Coast region of Africa. Our school there has seen opposition from those who do not want girls to be educated.
The perpetrators in the Nigerian abduction is allegedly a group called Boko Haram.
So, what is Boko Haram?
"The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad"
Hardcore Muslim terrorists.
Say what you will about Christianity, we encourage education for all, male and female.
You might ask, "Where is God in this? How can He allow such things to happen if he is a loving God?"
God is right where He has always been, and He allows what He does, whether it's en masse abductions or the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire nearly 100 years ago
or the death of a child by accident yesterday...He allows what He does for His own purposes which I,
which we cannot understand.
But there is justice with God. Members of Boko Haram will stand before Him in Judgement, and they will answer for their sins concerning all that they did in their lives.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Getting Church Wrong

Short and sweet as a green persimmon:
There are Christian Pharisees in the church today.
A Christian Pharisee probably started young, being indoctrinated into ‘proper’ conformity, acceptable
rules and behaviors from birth.
Acorns from oaks and little Pharisees from big Pharisees.
Raising up a child in the way they should go is great, wonderful and Scriptural.
But that child so easily imprinted with proper behaviors and attitudes concerning God and Christianity
Is a pagan at heart.
They may be brow-beaten into ‘making a decision’ for Christ at an early age…but what many are actually taught is how to BE a religious pagan and get away with it.
You see, kids don’t have the capability of understanding Spiritual matters, but they DO understand
Rules and right and wrongs and do that and you will be punished or do a good job with this and you will get a prize.
It’s called Legalism, the ‘cause and effect’ simulacrum of true Righteousness.
So the little pudding heads full of legalism grow up to believe that they can make God happy by being good, can make God sad by being bad.
They have two paths ahead-recognizing the futility of a legalistic religion, “IF THEY ARE NOT CHOSEN BY GOD FOR SALVATION, they will be turned off to Christianity and go live their pagan lives.
The other path, “CHOSEN BY GOD FOR SALVATION” is wonderful and good but they might find it hard to leave Legalism behind, as that is all that they have understood about God from an early age.
And so oaks from acorns, big Pharisees having little Pharisees.
So, how can the religious be saved from their religiosity?
God’s Holy Spirit does it all-convicts a person of sin, establishes that there is no hope apart from Christ, and brings the sin struck soul to realize that only Christ’s Righteousness is acceptable to God.
Pray for your kids and unsaved loved ones. Pray that God will work in their lives. Give up on Legalism for their sake and for your own.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

What Has God Done To Deserve Such Prayers?

The somber youth above was my grandfather circa 1922, enlisted in the "Air Service" soon to be re-christened the Army Air Corps and eventually the Air Force. 'Air Force' might have been too grand a moniker as a fast horse could still outrun those open seat kites in 1922.
Why has my grandfather returned to FDW? Prayer.
Specifically, a prayer for those who are now enlisted or have been a part of our country's military, a prayer I joined in tonight at a "National Day Of Prayer" meeting. He was a peacetime veteran, just as I and my father were. I'll tell you about my other grandfather another time.
This was my first "NDOP" in a few years, for reasons about to appear on this page.
I love God, I respect God, and I love to see God honored with the reverence He deserves.
It has bothered me for years to see God namechecked as someone bloviates, using 1500 words when five or six would do.
It comes with the territory of an event such as the National Day Of Prayer-whatever is said must be so covered with verbiage as to render it presentable to the public. it presentable to God?
Are those prayers for God's ears or ours? Am I to consider a person so greatly spiritual because he sings loudly or speaks muchly?
I have a hard time listening to such things done in God's name which I feel glorify the singer/speaker
instead of God. Pharisees come in many shapes.
I do appreciate that God's people get together, stand together. I just wish that such gatherings would honor God more and Man not at all.
So, why did I brave the "NDOP" tonight after avoiding it for the past few?
Curiosity. In my town the event was being held in the renovated movie theater which had been closed for decades. My first dates were at that theater, and we saw some great films, had good times.
I wanted to see how it has been refurbished, and I am pleased-it looks great in there, and in June they begin showing films again. Two blocks from my house, an actual movie theater. Finestkind.
So this will probably be my last NDOP event for awhile. Let me be clear-there were some actual prayers spoken from the heart; not everyone was a Pharisee. God knows who is which.
I did not raise my voice in the meeting, and I stopped singing along when the braying got to be too much. But I will add my prayer here now:
"Lord, humble those of us who need it...and we all need it."