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February 11, 2021 Where Has the Week Gone?

family making breakfast in the kitchen

Then life takes off faster than going down a zip line at a thousand miles an hour.

Where has the week gone? I could use that for the day, week, or month…and come to think on it, in some cases the year. This week our oldest grandson turned twenty-eight. What a shock. The biggest shock is that in a few days our youngest son will turn twenty-eight.

And yes, where have the years gone? Both of those young men ought to still be youngsters. But they aren’t and oddly enough, neither Old Fuzzy nor myself are youngsters anymore.

There are all sorts of funny memes out there and one of them which is not just funny but very succinct is the one that says: I knew I would get old I just didn’t understand how fast.

You know, you begin life looking forward to growing up and being an adult, determining your own future and whatnot. You get to the part of life where you find your life-partner and you get married, begin your family…then life takes off faster than going down a zip line at a thousand miles an hour.

The older people always tell you ‘enjoy your children while they’re little, while they are growing up, while…’ and the next thing you know the old people were right—you look and those rascally children have grown up and are on their way into their own life.

They say to treat your parents well, and the way you treat your parents is the way your children will treat their parents. It would be simple to try to lump everyone into one Tupperware bowl, but it doesn’t work that way. Each set of circumstances is different.

There is much to be remembered from the song “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

Habbakuk 2:

2  And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Joshua 1:

9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Esther 4:

14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

You Have Memories

silhouette of man standing on mountain cliff

On social media we get these wonderful notifications of “You have memories with…” and it lists people that generally I do have memories with, but—

I’m sharing this poem. I did not write this but it expresses so many truths. It says so many things poignantly. This is for all of us who have lost at least someone or maybe someones.

A Goat Rodeo

You don’t just lose someone once.

You lose them when you close your eyes each night.

And as you open them each morning.

You lose them throughout the day.

An unused coffee cup.

An empty chair.

A pair of boots no longer there.

You lose them as the sun sets.

And darkness closes in.

You lose them as you wonder why.

Staring at a star lit sky.

You lose them on the big days.

Anniversaries.

Birthdays.

Graduations.

Holidays.

Weddings.

And the regular days too.

You lose them in the ordinary.

Paperwork.

Household chores.

Routines taken for granted.

You lose them in the familiar.

A song they used to sing.

The scent of their cologne.

A slice of their favourite pie.

You lose them in conversations you will never have.

And all the words unsaid.

You lose them in all the places they’ve been.

And all the places they longed to go.

You lose them in what could have been.

And all the dreams you shared.

You lose them as you pick up the broken pieces.

And begin your life anew.

You lose them when you realize.

This is your new reality.

They are never coming back.

No matter how much

You miss them or

Need them.

No matter how hard you pray.

They are gone.

And you must go on.

Alone.

You lose them as the seasons change.

The snow blows.

The flowers blossom.

The grass grows.

The leaves fall.

You lose them again and again.

Day after day.

Month after month.

Year after year.

Time marches on, carrying them further and further way.

You lose them as your hair whitens and your body bends with age.

Your memory fades.

And the details begin to blur.

Their face stares back at you from a faded photograph.

Someone you used to know.

You think you might have loved them once.

Long ago.

Back then.

When you were whole.

You don’t just lose someone once.

You lose them every day.

Over and over again.

For the rest of your life.

Monica Bobbitt

Galatians 6:

“2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil 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.”

On Our Plate

planet earth

… we are actually standing on a globe that is hurtling around the sun…

Today is exceedingly hot. And it’s possible the heat will be around for a day or more. I’ve already had a snooze. When my head keeps banging on the keyboard I feel justified in changing where I’m sitting.

We had family visiting this Father’s Day weekend, and so there is that. We ended up with thirty-two people for lunch on Father’s Day. Prayer is such a wonderful thing—we were all peaceable, entertained, and fed.

In a family our size and with some of our temperaments I rely much on prayer. After all, there is quite a Celtic streak in our bunch and as I’ve read lately: “I’m Celtic. We don’t keep calm. We run naked into battle, with a sword and axe, screaming at you.” And there’s that.

Confession here, Old Fuzzy and I are too old to run into battle, but we could scream at people… I guess.

 As we trundle down life’s crazy road there are many times we feel we have things figured out. At our age Old Fuzzy and I should have things figured out… but we don’t.

So, what’s in the soup today? We are thankful. Yesterday I was very slow. I’m thankful that today I’m not as slow. I am also thankful for the words of Jesus that tell us:

“Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. I should try to prepare for tomorrow but not worry.

As the scriptures say in Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

Another thing to be thankful for is the omniscience of God. So many beauties surround us day in and day out. If you can imagine that even as we believe we are sitting in our chairs or working at our work we are actually standing on a globe that is hurtling around the sun and it’s all speeding through the dark universe toward… well, we aren’t sure what.

This is the day the Lord hath made and we should get right with God since we don’t know what tomorrow holds. There’s that.

Psalms 19:2 “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Been There Done That

orange mason jar in body of water

Depending on what we are considering, in order to believe that fallacy one had to skip childhood.

It seems to be the way of the world no matter what age a person lives in, but there is no end to the odd things you hear. For instance here are some things I came across just lately.

*There’s no absolute measure of wrong. Simply what we thought vs what they meant.

Depending on what we are considering, in order to believe that fallacy one had to skip childhood. Even a child knows this isn’t true. Often the younger a child is the more sure they are absolutely of right and wrong.

“Isaiah 43:1  But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.”

Because God created us, he set bounds and there are some things that are right and some things which are wrong. God also gave us his laws. In this sense, God created the standard which created good versus evil. Or as it says in “Isaiah 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.” The first of God’s laws were written on tablets of stone and now we have laws written on our hearts.

“2Corinthians 3:3  being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.”

*The world is smaller than we think. Again this is partly true, but only comparatively. If you compare this world with other ‘worlds’ there are some larger and some smaller. If you’re walking around the globe or bicycling it is a large sphere. Taking a jet plane shortens things up quite a bit and indeed, the world is smaller than we think.

“Isaiah 43:2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

The real opportunity and challenge is to get much better at recognizing truth and fabrication. Quite a few years ago I read an article that claimed ‘information is increasing at’ it claimed at an astounding rate. But how were we to know that information wasn’t there all along and no one knew about it?

When I was a child we learned about many inventors, scientists, and historical figures. Some of these men were amazingly brilliant. The scientist Sir Isaac Newton is one of them.

It is said that Newton remarked at a time close to his death, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

Within the vast ocean of knowledge and information, one thing we seem to lose sight of is when we compare an ordinary life span to eternity it is very short. None of us will live forever no matter how smart we are, or how much we know.

Some people say we can’t know what comes after death. They say it’s a guessing game, yet…

We all know how much better the world would be if everyone would live their lives in conjunction with not just the ten commandments but those commandments as Jesus gave them according to the New Testament.

And of course, it is better to live your life as if there is a God, being in a right relationship with him, and find out there is no God. You’ve had a good life. Than to live as if there is no God and find out there is a God and you’re about to be judged accordingly. Not only has your life been lacking, but you will now face judgment in your death.

Act 17:

23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you.

24  The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25  neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26  and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;

27  that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

That’s What I’m Talking About

man sitting on a hood of a school bus

Signs are up at many of the small schools in our area for school bus drivers.

The job can be demanding and frustrating. It’s a job that breaks up your day.

“Matthew 18:1  In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Since the routes begin early in the morning with the morning route finishing before nine o’clock and the afternoon route begins in the middle of the afternoon on a normal day. And then there are days when it changes and afternoon has an early out.

Sometimes the children are a challenge as well as the time challenge. All in all, driving a school bus has good and bad sides to it. If you can find a separate job with the flexibility to work around a school schedule and get your bus kids to follow the driver’s and the school’s rules, it’s less harrowing.

A few weeks ago several school bus drivers in this small community turned in their resignations. Not so much for anything, just happenstance. For a few years now Old Fuzzy had talked about retiring from driving.

Somedays it was related to unruly children, some days it was because it breaks up a daily schedule, some days it was Old Fuzzy isn’t a spring chicken anymore.

But every year there have been reasons to stay. He’s picked up some kids all through their school years beginning with the preschool program and even witnessed their graduation.

“Matthew 18:2  And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them,”

Many of the preschool children would get on the bus and stop and give him a hug. Indeed, to many of these children the only constant figure in their lives was their bus driver. He’d pick them up morning and evening, greeting them by name as they boarded the bus.

On certain holidays he would buy small presents and some of them would return the favor. In short, as I mentioned he has been one of the few constants in their lives. Some of them have been traumatized when their parents divorced, or worse they weren’t married and everyone just moved around.

“Matthew 18:

3  and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me:

6  But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.”

At times like these, I’m speechless. As difficult as it may be to grasp, there aren’t words to articulate the depth of anguish when I view the cheap price tag placed on the young and vulnerable.

Back in the early ’70s when it became a woman’s right to kill their child in the womb it could have been predicted that all life would become cheap. Not just children but all human life is cheap. We still see bleeding hearts out there for puppies, kittens, and many other small, young life forms, just not for baby humans or human life.

We can credit our social media for allowing us access to different opinions. This last week someone put it quite succinctly “I don’t think the party that spent the last 3 weeks crying because they may not get to abort kids anymore has any right to lecture us about saving kids. Kaitlin Bennett”

When there is a tragedy, as the meme pointed out then the people advocating for gun control stand on the dead bodies and do just that. They lecture us on saving children. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter, shout out your abortion.

There are so many tragedies and we aren’t aware of them. The current wide-open border and all the sadness that is caused by it including human trafficking and child trafficking. Sorrow upon sorrow, yet what’s to be done? When people don’t follow the law it hurts more than one person.

“Micah 6:6  Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old?

7  will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8  He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Standing In the Gap

girls and boys playing football on the field

In my generation, we played many games… As a child, we were always moving at least when we were awake.

The story is told about my oldest brother-in-law when he was a young man helping his dad sort cows. His father stationed him in a spot telling him to watch the cows, meaning don’t let them get past him.

Somehow that message got mixed and as a cow or two finagled past the young man his dad was unhappy that he had allowed them to pass.

“Oh,” he said, “I thought you wanted me to watch them, but you want me to stop them?”

Two things happened there… or didn’t happen. Communication wasn’t good, and the cows weren’t controlled. And so life happens many times and in many ways.

In my generation, we played many games. Some of these games were hide- n-seek, blind man’s bluff, statues, tag, Mother may I, Annie, Annie Over… I’m sure there were others besides kickball, softball, and kick the can. Those were the outside games.

As a child, we were always moving at least when we were awake. Many decry the current generation which often is seen as the generation that constantly has their faces imbedded in their phones or electronic devices. As one person put it, “I’m glad I had a childhood before technology took over.”

And so it goes. We have so much technology it shouldn’t be difficult to communicate but who are we communicating with? Not only that, but WHAT are we communicating?

I fear for us. Not just for this generation but for the next generations. We need more fathers in homes. Our experts are admitting that the lack of fathers in homes is one of the biggest problems our society is facing.

I remember when feminists came to the conclusion “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” There are so many wrong ideas in the feminist movement and that is one of them. Empowering women hasn’t solved all the problems of the world either.

I read often of women throughout history, who’ve done those things that they weren’t supposed to do. The ones who flew the airplanes, wrote music, were influencers in science and astronomy as well as those who helped their men on the battlefield. Women who were authors, doctors, teachers, and many more accomplishments beyond what I’ve listed.

We act as if this was shocking in the times when it happened, but really, I think WE are just surprised. I think we don’t know that it was shocking then, and I’m not sure anyone cared then as much as we do now.

Women in those days still ran their homes, still gave birth to children, and cared for their men and their families. But they didn’t do it alone. Under the feminist banner, women can act and live like immoral men and that’s just fine. Except it isn’t.

We look around at the violence taking place in our society with horror. There has been a new hue and cry out there as people look around and realize many of these insane whackos are boys without fathers, and homes without God.

Like the teenage elephants that haven’t had the benefit of the older bull elephants to keep them in line, we are now seeing what homes without fathers produce. At what point will these experts realize it doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes a father and a mother and a stable home environment.

Most people are still looking for as some term it “their soul mate”—both men and women. This is just a guess, but I would say that over half the population would settle for the right one man one woman ratio.

That brings us back to children and fathers. In the beginning, God made them male and female and instructed them:

“Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,”

After arrogant know-it-alls have spent a hundred years tearing apart the fabric of our society telling us all sorts of stupid things, we find that our ancestors did have a number of good answers. Now, the problem is like Hansel and Gretel trying to find their way back home by following their bread crumb trail, our bread crumbs have been devoured by the wild birds and it’s almost impossible to follow the trail back to those good answers.

As a child, another childhood game we used to play was Red Rover, Red Rover. If you’re not familiar with this game there are two opposing groups standing several yards apart. Each group holds hands tightly. The chant goes, “Red rover red rover send… right over.”

The one side picks a person from the opposing group who is supposed to run as hard as they can and try to break through the tightly held hands of the other group. After that point, I don’t remember what the reward was if they broke through or the punishment if they didn’t.

I know they do this trick back and forth until someone wins. As with many childhood games there doesn’t always seem to be a big treat or reward. Just winners and losers and lots of running and exercise and laughter.

The real point wasn’t what you won, but that your team had to stand together. Your team had to hold tight and not let the other guy through your defense. The point was to stand strong, and stand in the gap.

“Joshua 24:

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:”

Making It Count

man with beard wearing brown headscarf

If ever there was a

Time for every house

To be a house of prayer,

It is now.

When I began this piece on Monday I had a definite idea, but it got sideswiped.

My mind being what it is, that’s not difficult to do.

So, where did the idea come from and what does it mean to make it count? In some ways, it could go with the scriptural idea of running a race. The idea of finishing the course. Doing our best in all that we do.

Many is the time that I’ve tossed my washcloth from the tub the few feet across to our sink and thought “make sure you throw it hard enough it doesn’t fall short.” Or at other times I’ll take aim at the trash can and throw something away with the same thought of making sure I’ve made the effort count, of not coming up short.

“1 Corinthians 9:

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

There are those times when I’m conscious of doing my best to make it count. Yet, there are the other days of my life. Far more of those days of my life when I do what needs to be done without much thought. The days that are like being on autopilot. On those days I don’t think, I just act and hopefully, I do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

We have said many times, “Pray as if all depends on God and work as if it all depends on us.” No matter, either way, we need God and we need much prayer.

After the tragedies we have seen in the last few weeks a meme that was on my feed was front and center in my mind.

If ever there was a

Time for every house

To be a house of prayer,

It is now.

The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas hadn’t happened when I began this post. That wasn’t what prompted these thoughts. I’m guessing that all of the facts about that disaster will never be known. That level of ineptitude didn’t happen without agenda.

Howbeit, the off-duty officer was sitting down for a haircut when he received a message from his wife who was a school teacher at the school where the shooter was. The officer grabbed his barber’s shotgun and drove quickly to the school.

He and several other officers evacuated children to safety, and he eventually shot and killed the shooter—but only after 19 children and two teachers were killed.

People are saying the border patrol officer who rescued children and dispatched the shooter should be hailed as a hero. Rightly so, but I’m afraid for the hero. A few years ago there was a church shooting and an armed citizen stopped it from worsening.

That private citizen from a few years ago, as far as I’m aware, was allowed to pick up his life and move on. This new hero is a current border patrol officer. I’m concerned that some of the people in charge won’t take kindly to their plans being thwarted.

But, again, this post isn’t about the catastrophes of this life. It isn’t about the inequalities of life. It’s about making it count. Most of us, we are thankful, will not be called on to run interference for these types of calamities. But day by day we face challenges mostly unrecognized by each of us.

Those challenges are what life is about. Jesus in one of his parables gave us the admonition to count the cost.

“Luke 14:

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

Years ago I read an article concerning a missionary in a communist country. In order for the missionary to go into that country, he had to have a sponsor from the country. The person who acted as the sponsor had to sign an agreement that if anyone preached the gospel the sponsor would be thrown in prison for the rest of his life.

It wasn’t a secret that the sponsor knew the speaker was coming to preach the Gospel. That was the intent to preach the Gospel to the common people. Even though to do so the sponsor was signing his life away. He knew that he would be imprisoned for the rest of his life

As the missionary spent the time preaching, the response from the sponsor, the man signing his life away was, “Make It Count, my friend, make it count.”

“Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Useless Information

close up photo of an aluminum foil

So, even useful and good information if not used becomes useless in the hands of those ignorant and unwilling to use it.

I need a file folder marked Useless information in order to keep this information from infiltrating the important information. I’ve used my useless information as conversation starters because often it’s interesting, but ‘If you can’t do anything with the data, it’s never going to be information.’

For instance, Virginia Hall was an American journalist in Paris who made it on to the Germans’ most-wanted list during WWII for her ability to help in the French underground.

She had a prosthetic limb (which she named Cuthbert) that she would hide information in. When she became a wanted person, she would disguise herself as an old woman with a cane and sit on the train station platform tripping German soldiers as they passed.

You see how it works, unless I can use that information, although it is interesting, it will remain useless.

And here’s another thing we will acknowledge *When you do something that everyone else is doing, you’re likely to get what everyone else is getting. Or as we many times say, keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

This is also useless information if when you see this you smile, nod, and go back to doing what you’ve been doing and getting what you’ve always gotten. So, even useful and good information if not used becomes useless in the hands of those ignorant and unwilling to use it.

I’m wondering about this gem *It’s hard to have insiders if you don’t have outsiders. In my world, there are a lot of outsiders and very few insiders. Not only that but the insiders are dwindling…

Bible—at one time it meant Book of books. Now there are a number of different meanings. However, to me it will always be the Book of books. It gives us useful information, information on how to love ourselves and our neighbors as well.

As I’ve seen written lately, God has had a law in place for thousands of years that tells us how to treat one another and live on this earth. This is hardly useless information.

Now, of course, the problem is God can tell us how to do what needs to be done, but just as when we smile, nod, and go back to doing what we’ve always done, we will get nothing except useless information.

The scriptures can give us above all else heaven and salvation. It can give us peace, prosperity, goodness, and forgiveness. It can be a light to our path and a shield to our head, but if we don’t heed and do what it tells us we make it void and useless—for now.

Biblically speaking we can do nothing against God. As Jesus said to Saul/Paul on the way to Damascus, “Do you find it hard to kick against the pricks?”

(“Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”)

We can ignore God, we can kick against his Word and his will, but we only hurt ourselves. This idea doesn’t acknowledge that God as our heavenly Father loves and wants only our best. Yet, like an errant child, God will allow us our free will.

Ultimately, the most tragic thing is that not only do those who smile, nod, and turn away deny themselves the comfort in this life of the blessings from God, but what they reject now will judge them on the last day. This is hardly useless information either.

“John 12:

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

All the Ones Who Didn’t Help

two man hiking on snow mountain

When we focus on the ones who didn’t help, we’re undermining our work. It’s a distraction and a disservice.

Walking on by. We live in a world where many things are on display. Things we would just as soon not see are on billboards, advertisements, public videos, and news clips.

We can view the inhumanity of people to their fellow humans. I wonder how some people can think and do the things they do. I ponder over these things, yet the difficult question is how. How do they get by with the things they do?

“Ecclesiastes 8:

11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:”

There is where part of the problem lies. Wicked people don’t see punishment for their wickedness. If they received punishment for evil immediately they wouldn’t be so apt to perform their ungodly behavior.

Yet we see people who walk on by and do nothing when a bad thing is happening. In one video it is set up as a child is walking down a street and an adult comes from behind and grabs them as if abducting the child. In broad daylight, they drag the child off while other pedestrians walk on by. The fellow passersby do nothing, they say nothing as the child is drug off.

Who knows why—Perhaps they don’t care. Perhaps they’re afraid to speak up. Perhaps it’s simply easier to pretend they didn’t see anything. It appears to be the old don’t get involved syndrome, you might be required to put forth some effort.

Not every situation is like that. Thankfully some people do get involved and some make a difference in the right direction. Life is a series of events, often moving from one scene to another.

As the poet says:

“Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44644/a-psalm-of-life)

Of the few things that are certain in this life, that we all will pass from this life is the most certain, yet it is the one thing most people deny either in thought or indeed.

As one recent meme phrased it, “What we need to be concerned with is not that we all will die, but location, location, location.”

Our focus should be not on who helped and who didn’t help. Those are givens. A good idea to remember is to find what helps. When we focus on the ones who didn’t help, we’re undermining our work. It’s a distraction and a disservice.

In finishing the race we need to do as the Apostle Paul in Corinthians: “1Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

Throw away all the nick-knacks that stand in our way and run the good race.

“Galatians 3:

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Celebrate Life

man s holding swords clip art

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished, tone and tint.” General Douglas MacArthur

I’ve just been informed of this advice for if you’re over 35 “—Better go pee before you leave, pee when you get there, pee while you’re there, and pee before you leave…” An answering comment was “Wait till you’re over fifty.” My comment is, wait till you’re over sixty.

Life is ever-changing sometimes for the better and sometimes just changing. One thing that is certain is change.

In 1962 General MacArthur was honored by West Point with the Sylvanus Thayer Award. After accepting the award, he gave a speech to the graduating cadets of the beloved school from which he too had graduated. The most famous part of the speech was this:

“The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished, tone and tint. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears, and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ears, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory, always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and reechoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of The Corps, The Corps, and The Corps. I bid you farewell.”

I don’t know if MacArthur wrote his own speech or if someone else wrote it. I don’t even have a copy of the whole speech, only this excerpt. What I would say to this excerpt is that it is very poetic, very beautifully, and wonderfully written as it pulls at the heartstrings.

These images conjure up the battles General MacArthur was involved in during times past. They call forth from the shadows of yesterday the dreams that were, the memory of wondrous beauty and mournful mutter of the battlefield.

Many of these images I can identify with in our spiritual battles. Although not always on a physical battlefield, nonetheless, the battlefield is real.

“Ephesians 6:

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;”

The secular world is attempting to downplay the role of good and evil in our world. Things that at one time were boldly declared to be sinful and wrong, are now, if not with approval talked about quietly and allowed as personal freedom. No one dares council someone for fear of “hurting their feelings.”

No, I don’t believe in casting the beam out of a brother (or fellow earth traveler’s) eye so I can throw the beam out from my own. I do believe in honesty though.

Honesty is so annoying. It’s right up there beside hypocrisy. Going along to get along is comfortable. Honesty means speaking up and moving out of our comfort zone.

Hypocrisy says I know we both have glitches, but if you pretend I don’t have any, I’ll pretend you don’t have any, and we’ll all be contented in our sins.

Secularism is “Without God”. Secularists want all of us to view the world as they do. Without God there is no right or wrong, no good versus evil, and if anyone can do anything without consequences then you’re fine and I’m fine, and let’s just be cool.

Everyone can do their own thing, but that doesn’t work well without self-discipline. —And some things are wrong, just plain wrong.

As of now, the shadows are lengthening for me. And the twilight is here—for me. The thoughts I would close with are not “The Corps, The Corps, and The Corps.”

My admonition would be, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Ephesians 6:10) … And having done all, to stand, stand therefore… (6:13&14)”

Where Do You Go For Truth

silver cross pendant necklace on brown wooden table

“John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

It has been several years now since our last Vacation Bible School. The theme of the lessons that year was the I AMs of Jesus. I’m embarrassed to admit that off the top of my mind I can’t remember the exact number of I Am that there are. I think I stopped at seven or eight.

On my “news watch list,” I get a number of odd offerings. Some of which I don’t know how they become part of my suggested list. I would say it has to do with the variety of subjects I research and whatnot.

I will put out a disclaimer. I don’t recommend to everyone that they watch all of the weird things that come up on their feed. Some people are drawn into apostasy by some of these kooks and led astray.

I do praise God that I have not been enticed, however, I do pray often against such a thing. As the song says “I’m only human.”

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

This article isn’t written to blow smoke, the threat is real, and we are in the last days. These deceivers have been around for many years. There were all sorts of charlatans written about in the New Testament and Revelations and false prophets in both the Old and New Testaments.

The particular video that came up to me was someone who had spent years in the translation area of scriptures. He had come to realize all of the secret nuances hidden in the scriptures that, I believe he said, were also reflected in the different cultures and their passed down stories.

Some people believe that I personally am a conservative. Some people think that my mind is set in its ways. They believe that I don’t change my opinion nor do I have an open mind.

They are only half right. Because I look so much younger than my ageless age people don’t understand. That is written tongue-in-cheek, of course, but…

They don’t understand that most of these kooky ideas have been around for ages. There are very few of them I haven’t seen in one form or another through the years. Some are just childish stories, most of them are blasphemous, false religions.

This idea seems to not fit here, but it has to do with the video I watched. In this country we have a satellite broadcasting out into outer space, welcoming space aliens. We pay for this contraption whether we agree with it or not.

I heard tell of all those sci-fi movies my sister went to in the 1960s about aliens coming to this world (and even back much earlier to the War of the Worlds). I’m thinking I don’t want to send out a welcome mat till I know who, what, when, and where we are welcoming. Are we stupid or what?

Do I believe in other worlds with life on it in our universe? Yes—but what I believe doesn’t change the truth one way or the other—could be yes, could be no. It also doesn’t have anything to do with what the scriptures tell us, nor about how God deals with us, what he expects from us, and his plan of salvation.

Here are some of my thoughts on the video I viewed. I’m not throwing shade on this man’s qualifications, but he isn’t the only qualified translator through the ages, however, he’s the one who found all these nuances?

And he’s going all the way back to the Creation account to tell his new truth. There have been many Bible scholars and translators. When he calls the God of the Old Testament a monster, I shake my head. That falls into the idea that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are different or that God has changed.

When this man tells us that we don’t know who Jesus is/was I’m not impressed with his knowledge. It is true, we can study for a lifetime and not truly understand Jesus, but that isn’t what he’s saying.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  (John 14:7-9)

More than one question comes to me and I scratch my head when the man in the video says Jesus is trying to ‘distance himself from God,’ Did this person read the scriptures or did he only translate words?

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  (Matthew 7:9-10)

In this passage Jesus is not chastising God for the serpents that plagued the children of Israel in the wilderness.

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.(Numbers 21:6-7)

There was a particular reason for the serpents in the wilderness and they accomplished that purpose. The example in Jesus instance was of a different aim.

So where do we go for truth? The Bible is true. But not some ‘new and modern revelation’. If it’s taken ten thousand years to get to a new, nuanced revelation, it’s taken too long. Too many people have lived and died without help and without hope for too long.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Sooner or later, the story you tell needs to be true.

“Hebrews 13:

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.”