Archives 2021

And We’re Still Looking

graffiti covered car wreck stuck in road

It’s a hard sell. I’m sure with my record of all the gobsmacked dumb things I’ve done no one would confuse me as a genius but…

Funny challenge: Only people with high IQ can spot…and why do we search so diligently? Are we hoping to prove we are smarter than the average Joe, or just want to prove we aren’t dumb?

It’s a hard sell. I’m sure with my record of all the gobsmacked dumb things I’ve done no one would confuse me as a genius but…

However, when I come across such challenges I stop just to see if maybe there is some redeeming strand in me that might explain why I do such odd things. Maybe my desk is a mess because I’m a genius. Maybe I have difficulty finishing projects because of a high IQ. Maybe…none of it makes any difference.

I still need to clean off my desk and finish my projects and stop making—or looking for excuses. We don’t need excuses. Life is complicated and what can any of us offer? Is it an excuse or a reason?

If for example we are late for an event and the lateness was something out of our control, likely that’s a reason. —On my way to church this morning I was waylaid by an unexplained renegade train. That would be something unexpected and out of our control.

And those things do happen. But we must be careful we don’t end up as the saying goes, ‘Life is hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.’ Or the offshoot that goes something like Life is hard, often because you’re stupid. So, first off, we know we aren’t really stupid so don’t do stupid.

As some of my readers know I follow a fellow by the name of Seth Godin. Each day he sends out a short—usually very short—encouragement.

Today’s lead-in was as follows: “So many missed opportunities. Decisions not made, errors in judgment, opportunities lost.” And it carried into the idea of what we focus on in our lives.

This is an odd juxtaposition. Because we do get tied up over the missed opportunities, wrong decisions, etcetera there are too many other things which we should focus on but we miss them. Too often because we are still looking at the mistakes we’ve made.

His point is well taken that we focus on things we can’t change, or things that are minuscule in comparison to what we should focus on. Mr. Godin finishes with: “One is thousands of times more expensive than the other, and the amount of effort in each is the same, but our minds focus on the one where we feel like we had more responsibility. Which causes us to focus even more on the wrong sort of decision in the future.

The roads not seen almost always matter more than the potholes we hit along the way.”

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

All That You Are

symmetrical photography of clouds covered blue sky

“Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,

Consider the idea…a human body is 98% water…? In researching, the facts say it depends on which part of the body we’re talking about, but it is usually from 60% to 75%.

Another idea I’ve garnered from Seth Godin is: “If we ever saw precisely how much freedom of choice we have if we were willing to sacrifice convenience for it, we’d be paralyzed. But if the choices we’re making now aren’t helping us live the way we choose, it might be worth taking a hard look at why.”

There are a couple of grammatical changes I would make—in the first part of the sentence I would add “freedom of choice we have if we were willing to sacrifice convenience, and I think part of our problem is that we are not willing to sacrifice…” —And then what I’ve wanted to focus on is the last sentence there ‘if the choices we’re making now aren’t helping us live the way we choose, it might be worth taking a hard look at why.’

We are bearing down upon that time of the year called New Year’s Eve when people like to look forward and do some of those resolution things.

First off, since almost the beginning of 2020, our lives have been turned upside down. People were told to isolate themselves, and then the year continued to disintegrate into chaos.

Like the skit from the old Hee Haw show, that’s good, no that’s bad, no that’s good…or maybe just a rerun of the title, ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly—that has been our 2021 year.

For a brief shining moment, people of all walks of life had some spare time. In some ways, it worked contrary to the major plan. Especially in America, where people are a wee bit different than most of the world.

Freedom is precious and not easily sold or given away. Yes, many of our freedoms have been eroded. Someone (in authority?) makes a new rule and we peons scratch our heads and wonder, but we do comply…that’s how they erode our freedoms little by little.

Now that we’re being pushed into a corner we peace-loving people have been pushing back. It hasn’t worked well for the J-6 people. No one seems to be able to get them released, but murderers are set free every day.

No, I’m not condoning rioting and vandalism in the nation’s capitol, but people that are charged with ‘parading’ in the capitol? That means they were let in, walked around taking selfies (foolishly), and walked out, doing no damage and harming no one. In some cases, they were seen praying before exiting.

Then there were the parents who finally saw what their children were learning in their curriculum from public schools. This has been a traumatic revelation. A revelation showing that the horror stories that have been reported from schools around the nation were much closer to home than anyone wanted to know.

Of course, this exposure demanded a response from anyone who loved their children and especially anyone who believed in morals and morality.

Back in the 1980s when homeschooling became a possibility and an issue, this immorality and corruption was the cause of many Christians to homeschool. In two of his books Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness, Frank Peretti addressed the problem of corruption in education and in government. These are not new issues.

I don’t know why so many people took so long to address this evil. Those of us who chose a different path of teaching our children were excoriated as if we were bafoons, backward idiots, and anti-everything that was wonderful about our country.

We could, to this day tell society a few worthwhile things, but most of society is still playing the ‘I don’t want to be weird’ card. Like most everyone concerned about the jab.

Their speech usually starts with, I’m not antijab, why I’ve actually had it myself and you should as well, but…

They do end it with the idea it should be freedom of choice, however, they often state a few erroneous ideas. There has been pushback with childhood immunizations. Few people actually (if they can obtain them) read the handout that comes with them. As some have said, any procedure that has the possible side effect of death and being maimed, ought to have an opt-out button.

Big pharma is the main immunized body here. They can’t be sued for damages caused by their product. Even then, some people have brought cases and some have won their cases. So to imply that the childhood program is safe and effective is to bend and ignore facts.

Okay, so back to the sentence ‘if the choices we’re making now aren’t helping us live the way we choose, it might be worth taking a hard look at why.’

So, how and why has much of this dilemma come about? I do know, but I don’t know. Here are two reasons that I’ve said more than once: One fact, there are only so many hours in a day. Fact two, to do more than one thing at once is to do nothing.

We became too busy. An acquaintance told me of her family in which the first five children did well. Their mother was at home when they came home from school, and that was normal.

Then the father decided after the second five children came along—other women went off to work and his wife could as well…

The second five children fell apart. The mother wasn’t there and neither was the dad of course—he still worked. Who would have thought?

Fair share isn’t just for the rich and paying taxes. It’s also for husbands and wives. We don’t want those people at home being slackers and parasites. They need to be doing their ‘fair share.’ Where does the fair share end, or for that matter begin? It begins in jealousy and ends in jealousy, anger, and sometimes in rage.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”(1 Peter 3:7)

“Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,

2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Measuring Up

backlit cemetery christianity clouds

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
(Titus 2:1-3)

The article catches my eye with—If you sell your time as the measure of the work you do…

Whoa—in our modern-day world don’t we all sell our time as a measure? A few years ago some of the grandkids’ neighbors’ mom ‘went to work’ and some of the grandkids were explaining to me, ‘our mom doesn’t work.’

No, they weren’t explaining to me that their mom was lazy, they of course meant that their mom didn’t bring in a paycheck.

At that point, we had a come-to-grandma moment. For years I’ve been irked by the idea that a stay-at-home mother ‘doesn’t work.’

I do take issue with mothers who sit on their bum all day and watch T.V. or are on their phone all day, never cook, never take care of the home or kids.

Those kinds of mothers are out there and many of them garner a paycheck but not in an honest method. They give the good mothers a bad image. We could call them deadbeat moms just like the fathers we call deadbeat dads.

We know there is a lot that goes into being a good parent, whether it be a mom or a dad. And, no matter, if we admit it or not being a traditional stay-at-home mother is work.

Measuring up? Our current society isn’t measuring up well. Psychologists tell us families need to sit around the dinner table and talk as they used to do ‘in the good ole days.’ Children are growing up without the proper discipline and we are reaping the benefits.

There are many who ask the question, what has happened to our homes and families? We’ve seen the crumbling of our society since it is not just acceptable for women working outside the home, but almost mandatory.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but—feminists, some say, believe the option for women to remain in the home and be ‘just’ wives and mothers should be taken off the table because that’s where many/most women would like to be. Due to the bullying influence of the feminists, they have made it almost taboo for women to ‘just stay home.’

I can tell you this, there are so many things wrong with feminism that if feminism opposes something that in itself should be a proponent for what it opposes.

Back in his day, G.K. Chesterton asked the question, why is it better for a woman to take her time and talents and sell them to an employer (man) whom she doesn’t know and owes no allegiance to rather than to stay at home and love and care for a husband (whom she does voluntarily love and owe allegiance to) as well as family she has brought into this world?

The inconvenient truth is that the reason things became a tradition the way they did wasn’t because of a nebulous ‘patriarchy’, but because that’s the way they often work best.

Women are the ones who get pregnant, grow, and carry the child until birth. After birth, they are the ones equipped to suckle and nurture the infant and so forth. And for men to be the strong protector was the natural result as well.

As with the breakdown in our education system, I’ve more than once said, in order to fix the education system go back to where it worked well and use that system.

The same with our family breakdown and whatnot, go back to where and what works. Stop trying to tell ourselves we’re new and modern and don’t need traditions. If it ain’t broke don’t broke it.

Back in my day, I had determined to keep working for two years after marriage then I would quit my outside job when we started our family.

Chance had it that I started our family early—right after marriage as it were, so I quit working outside the home after a few months.

It seemed logical I would stay at home with the kids, since someone had to raise them it was reasonable that it would be me.

“Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity…”

Tale of Two People

belief bible book business

Job 32:6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.

7) I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

8) But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

9) Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

I’ve been on both sides of the question here. As King David says, “I have been young, and now am old;” Psalms 37:25. And I can attest to the fact that sometimes in youth I had a bit of wisdom, and now in old age I have too much folly.

I won’t even address the idea of ‘great men (or women) being wise and understanding judgment’. Most of us struggle and find we can also agree with some of the ‘great’ authors in history such as Charles Dickens:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

— Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities

And that is the Tale of Two People that lies within each of us. Some moments I can be patting myself on the back because of some incredible accomplishment, only to discover on the other side of the scale an unbelievable faux pas.

And so it goes around. A great writer, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, a Russian by birth, suffered under the Soviet regime, was expelled from Russia, and eventually returned. One of the passages he wrote reads:

“(T)he line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

As the old Indian is supposed to have told his grandson, There is a battle of two wolves inside us. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. The one that wins? The one you feed. (Cherokee Proverb)

And so it is. We do hear of those in our society who are evil, working wicked and heinous deeds such as Jeffrey Epstein and his associates. These roots, conspiracy or otherwise, appear to run deep throughout our world.

When we devalue one part of our society we devalue all of it. This is only part of why abortion is such a hot topic. When preborn children are devalued the value of born children is lessened.

When the value of children is diminished the value of all people diminishes. All people, not just a nebulous ‘young and old’, lose their value, but put your own name in there. You and I are devalued in the phrase all people. At one time children were a necessity because who would be our future?

As the ancients understood, well-raised children were what gave a man and his family standing in the community: “Proverbs 31:23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land”. 

As scriptures admonish us we must guard our hearts, lives, and actions. Viktor Frankl, a celebrated Austrian psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor is reported as saying/writing “There are two races of human beings, the decent and the indecent.”

So, there is that—And Jesus Said:

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Say It Again, Sam

man with beard wearing brown headscarf

How many in this world live each day as if they will never die, as if there is no God…

Where were you when the world stopped turning? The question asked in the Alan Jackson song about that fateful September 11, day so many years ago.

One sad unavoidable fact is that for all people of this world one day the world will stop turning, and that happens every day. Lives end sometimes in victory, sometimes in defeat, yet they end.

There is a story, which I cannot confirm one way or the other—the story that as Thomas Paine lay dying he repented of his writing of ‘The Age of Reason’, a treatise on deism. The idea of an ambivalent god who is somewhere out there, who doesn’t really care about the world he created.

According to the story Paine repented and wished not to be alone as he was slipping away.

There are other similar stories of prominent people who espoused wicked theories during their lives, yet at the time of their departing to the next realm, they repented and quaked in fear, as they were stepping out of this life and into their next life.

There is a video of a now believer who had a similar experience but was granted a second chance. As he was slipping down into the next sphere he talked about how there was such a presence of evil and the demons were taking him deeper, when he remembered a time when he was a child and the Bible songs and he began to call on the name of Jesus and plead for that second chance and it was granted to him.

How many in this world live each day as if they will never die, as if there is no God, and not caring about or seeking a relationship with God? They don’t espouse deism exactly, nor do they advocate wickedness per se, but as Jesus has said,

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Matthew 12:30)”

With that thought, those who aren’t living for and with God are against him. Where will these poor souls find themselves on the day their world stops turning? At least those who made wicked choices purposely, made those choices purposely. These others, sadly enough, won’t be prepared.

They are like starving people living in the midst of a land of plenty. The gospel is everywhere around them. Servants of Christ are available and willing to help these non seekers, but because they aren’t seeking…they aren’t finding.

We recognize our responsibility as Christ’s servants to seek the lost and perhaps bring them to the Lord. The lost also have to understand their need, and many times they don’t.

Our world doesn’t always end by terrorists in airplanes, often our worst enemies are ourselves.

Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 

49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 

50 Hath not my hand made all these things?”

Memory Is

My computer is an enemy agent trying to throw me under the bus…I explained to her…

My memory has not been very reliable and as I age it can be a real liability. Back in the day when I grew turnips in the garden and put them in the freezer, I remember pulling a container of what I thought was sliced apples out of the freezer for pies. In the rush to freeze things I had told myself, I don’t need to label that I will remember what it is. Back to the apple slices…they look a whole lot like frozen turnips but those two items are really not interchangeable.

Creamed turnips with cheese are tasty but not creamed apples. On the other hand, apple pie for dessert is tremendous, but not turnip pie.

Today is cold outside looking like it could snow. I had a theme for this post, but memory is not bringing up the title. I wish I could listen to a bit of Christmas music but memory is not bringing up how to start my player…memory—it is what it is for better or worse.

On Friday, November 26, 2021, I did get my second book ‘As A Lovely Song’, published— first the ebook then the print book followed. Today I received my copy of the print book and it looks very nice.

The cover is similar to the first book, except it is red with gold patterns and drama masks and has blue pansies instead of the red/white roses. And still, I wonder where is God taking me with all of this.

Yesterday I was placing an order with my ‘herb and spicery’, company. For an unknown reason, I was not having success finding my bulk items and decided to use the chat/help feature.

My helper, Jennifer, and I were attempting to understand what the access problem was. I knew what the problem is and I told her what it is. My computer is an enemy agent trying to throw me under the bus…I explained to her how I had just published my second book and my search tool will under no circumstances allow me to search for and find my book.

It will ask stupid questions such as, ‘Did you mean As a Lovely Song done by westphal (instead of by Donevy Westphal) or the other choice is donkey westphal. I told her that was just pure malevolence right there.

Jennifer was aghast they would do such a thing, and right there looked up on her end, my books, which she could find, and apparently ordered one for herself, and pledged to tell all her friends about the book as well.

I can hope she does, and it goes viral because I’m just not going fast or furious here in my present state. I can pray for good reviews since so far all I have for reviews published is one on Amazon. At least it’s a four and a half star, and those who have commented to me on whether they like it or not have been at least four and a half or more (on a scale of 1 to 5).

Of course, not everyone likes the same subject or style, so to each their notion…I labor on with the next novel.

At this point on the next novel, the title is ‘All of My Tomorrows’, and is kind of the end of the three parts in the series. I began a prequel to this series several years ago about Mac and Amanda, but that’s another story…

And some years ago I started a series on Gene’s Story, but it is unnamed and I’ve left Gene in a barn in France during WWII.

I don’t know how far we’ll get on this, as I look around me, I know, and I’ve been told not to write anything controversial, but…

I can’t look around and not believe Jesus should be coming in the clouds at any minute. We can’t stand much more of the clown show that’s playing out around us as we’re being set up for a one-world government that controls our every thought and every move.

It is ironic how these themes have been written on and published in a number of books, talking about the great re-set, and how it is supposed to be implemented, yet if someone from a different level of society talks about the same things some of the authors of the aforementioned books look down their nose at the peons and call them conspiracy theorists. Ha, ha, what has happened to Snowden and Assange? Alex Jones and the list is growing longer.

Yet, as believers in Christ, we know from where our help arises.

Psalms 140:1 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 

2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. 

3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. 

4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. 

5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 

6 I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 

7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 

8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. 

9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 

10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 

11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. 

12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. 

13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Sunshine and Shadow

photography of clouds during dusk

“Hebrews 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin…”

Monday gets a bad rap. How many memes, jokes, and whatnots picture a sad-looking animal dragging their tired body into work, melodramatically declaring to the world, It’s Monday…

I don’t know if that speaks more about Monday or if it says something about Saturday and Sunday. And if the work week started on Tuesday we would be giving Tuesday grief. And that says a lot about us as people.

As we were driving to Sunday worship yesterday I was thankful for our modern life. We spent most of our morning dressing and getting ready for our journey. After which, we put a few things including ourselves loaded up into the warm van, and travel the twenty miles to the church house.

When we arrive the church building is warm, the restrooms are working and we proceed into the warm auditorium.

Our congregation is at present small. It waxes and wanes depending on season and weather, and other variables, but…

I wonder, in comparison to the Laura Ingles Wilder times what that generation would think of us in our comfortable lifestyle. If we went back a hundred years to nineteen twenty-one our life would look quite different but the change to the Little House time period would be even more stark.

Even in my lifetime, our current building has gone through a number of changes. There have been times when we have arrived at a building that had no heat, or times when the water wasn’t working. Thankfully, I don’t remember ever not having electricity.

When I was first acquainted with the congregation fifty-four years ago the pews were benches from an old railroad stop—No padding, but they did have backs. I was baptized in November of the year and there was no heated baptistery. It wasn’t quite like ‘going down to the river to pray’ but it was purty close to it only we did have walls.

Now we even have not just central heat, but we also have central air conditioning. Many things have changed in our fifty years. Some good, some things are just changes. We’ve lost some dear friends through death or moving away, but I’m reminded of the scriptures in Hebrews where it says:

Hebrews 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”

I sometimes picture our small congregation with an invisible cloud of witnesses. There would be the four widows that were the only ones left at one point, yet instead of folding and closing the congregation up, they continued with the help of the Hickman congregation from forty miles (at least) away.

After a doorknocking campaign in the area, there was a slow renewal, with a few people being added year by year. Some of our gone on before, or moved away witnesses would be Belle, Helen, and Joyce, Philip and Muriel, Larry, the Messersmits, Orrin and Marge, Sam and Ruth…and so many more…the cloud of witnesses—and that’s only part of the known cloud.

Since Old Fuzzy and I sit toward the front of the auditorium I envision another cloud of witnesses—the heavenly host of angels present sitting in the pews behind us.

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 

3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 

4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”

The Lifeguard On Duty

green lifeguard tower on beach

What book are you reading? This question reminds me that we all must fill our reservoirs or we run out of what keeps us writing.

I don’t get to them as I would like to—but I have several groups that I enjoy following, even if it’s a rare occasion that I actually get them read. Today I read the short message sent from Seth Godin. He’s almost always short, as in a line or two short.

Not quite as short as a Hiku but close to it. The message went like this, some days you may not be the best prepared in the world, but if someone is drowning and you’re the lifeguard on duty you’re the one that goes in.

At Thanksgiving dinner, this year I was retelling a story told to me about an old preacher friend. It seems Mr. Nolan was in the hospital for some reason or other, and as was Mr. Nolan’s habit he was practicing a sermon he had prepared.

One of the nurses complimented him on his lesson, but wondered why he was preaching to someone when no one was there listening.

The old preacher’s response was, ‘Oh, well no one listens to me anyway.’

But one thing that could be said is that he never gave up. This reminds me of my morning Bible reading in Ezekiel:

“Ezekiel 37:

1) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 

2) And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 

3) And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 

4) Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 

5) Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:”

We live in a beautiful world full of good…it can also be said we live in a dark world full of evil. Both are flowing around us. We here in the middle of nowhere read or hear on the news the reports of those who are shot and live in fear in the inner city but…

We live in a world where at times even the living of this world are also the dry bones—they aren’t listening. Like the lifeguard on duty and Mr. Nolan, we go in anyway.

“2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

Like the old gospel preacher used to say, ‘That means we preach it (the Word of God) when they like it and when they don’t.’

Questions, Always Questions

father and child having fun

A few years ago, at a legislative coffee, a question was asked of the legislators ‘What is the greatest threat schools face today?’

In scrolling through some posts the other day there was a picture of a small boy being tossed into the air as it were by his father. We’ve seen this game of tossing the child up and catching them. It’s great fun, although mom’s often protest with the words, ‘not so high.’

The problem in the picture I saw was that as the child is flying upward someone was erasing the father out of the picture from underneath. In effect, it’s as if the child in the picture is in freefall with no one to catch him when he comes down.

A few years ago, at a legislative coffee, a question was asked of the legislators ‘What is the greatest threat schools face today?’

The simple answer given by the older legislator was, ‘The absence of fathers in the home.’ The startled response by the person who asked the question was, Well, I didn’t see that one coming…

Is it only in this ‘civilized’ country of today that fathers have been erased from families as unnecessary? This has been the case until at some recent point the experts realized that homes without fathers are messed up.

Far too long our country has attempted to remove the male figure from our society and label masculinity as toxic. Our government has been replacing men/fathers with its self—Paying women to remain single and have children ‘out of wedlock.’

it was a win/win situation for the government daddy. Women have children, and then turn the children over to the state to indoctrinate them while the women must work at a job to make ends meet and we all pay higher taxes in order to provide free child care and more education.

Men were only necessary for impregnating women then they could disappear. This worked as well as the elephant project that removed the older elephants from the family and left the younger elephants to grow up without adults.

When the bull elephants came to their teenage years they began terrorizing the communities. At that time it was discovered that the young elephants needed the older males to teach them how to behave.

Now the experts are admitting that fathers are a very important piece in the family for both sons’ and daughters’ physical and mental development. Studies show that people who first get an education, get a good job, then marry before beginning a family are much more likely to succeed.

When Young Fuzzy was taking piano lessons his last teacher used a twist on the saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ Because if you practice something wrong and continually practice it wrong, no matter how much you practice it—it will always come out wrong. The phrase should be perfect practice makes perfect.

Of course, no human being is perfect, not men or women. Only God is perfect. We see many families struggling today for different reasons. The main reason is how far most people have rejected God. If we don’t honor God we won’t honor one another.

God is the author of humans and families. The farther we get from God and his plan on living and life the more problems we have and the more difficulty we will have to put our lives in order. The more distant we drift from God our lives become more disorderly and chaotic.

James 4:

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.