Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Separation of Religion and State
At first glance, this statement almost seems true, but every document from the pacts and founding statements from each and every colony, before we united to become a nation was based on the tenets: of the Scripture, the Word of God, the Holy Bible. These absolute truths were prominently expressed and written down in no uncertain terms, limiting any government from interfering or infringing on the rights of the s, which includes the freedom of speech and the right to worship as they choose.
Every colony has the basis for their establishing foundation the mention of Christian faith and liberty. The document they cite is the Scripture. Our colony of Pennsylvania was established by William Penn in 1682 and although a Quaker, “He avowed his purpose to be to institute a civil government on the basis of the Bible and to administer it in the fear of the Lord.” He also said, “so to serve the truth and the people of the Lord, that an example may be set to the nations.”
When the Continental Congress convened, it was daily opened with prayer. When these Colonies decided to break the ties with England because of the tyrannical rule of King George III, they approved the import of 20,000 Bibles because “the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great…” The legislation of Congress feared with shipping lanes closed, Bibles wouldn’t be available to be imported from the British printers.
As the Constitution of the United States was being written, the Christian faith and character of men shaped its words with express delineation keeping it under the providence and protection of the Christian religion, the Christian faith being fundamental to the well-being of society and government. They appealed to the Supreme Judge of the world for a firm reliance and protection of His Divine Providence.
So freedom of religion limits government intervention of worship and prevents it from sanctions against worship. It does not restrict the impact of the Long-held Christian beliefs on government of ALL levels. Rules that are based on the absolute truths of the Bible prevent laws based on the ever-changing whims of mankind and the deceptive imaginings of the heart.

* Information cited gathered from Gary DeMar-God and Government

Monday, August 13, 2018

Afraid Very Afraid
While working at Chestnut Ridge Historical Society this past Saturday, several things happened; some were very good and one of which gave me pause to think. First I’ll share the good things because they came first during my day volunteering. I arrived just before opening time, waiting for it to open. I don’t have a key to the facility and was waiting for the “on duty” person. When I am to be the one on duty, I have to remember to take the “communal” key home with me to later unlock the building.
I was glad to see Tom, a white-haired gentleman in his early 90’s. He still has a sharp brain and recalls many of the details and recognizes the names of people from the area. He always makes retrieval of information easy when a guest has a question.
On the desk was a letter addressed to me as corresponding secretary. It was the first return response from a sister society. A thank you from one of the historical societies we sent booklets to try to get artifacts to their proper area. It was a good feeling moment to know that at least one booklet arrived safely and would help another group.
I began cataloguing a myriad of documents a lady brought in a week ago. The stack of receipts, notes, and papers were all from the 1800s. I’d sorted them into stacks earlier, but now the real work began; measuring them, reading them, recording the information found in the document, and finally securing them in plastic sleeves for storage.
During the day, several people wandered in, escaping a child’s birthday party next door. Several were surprised to see our collection and stayed to talk with us. One gentleman was related to my great uncle. I toured with the group, sharing information about our different pictures and displays, occasionally guiding them to a related item. Because they were interested, I stayed about 1/2 hour longer than closing time, but my cohort Tom had to leave.
Then it hit me, I was as talkative as my uncle Dale was at sharing stories and tall tales. I pray I don’t start stringing curse words together making word necklaces like he did. If you’ve read past descriptions of Dale or if you actually knew him, you can understand why I am worried and afraid that I don’t become a modern version of him.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Dinosaurs Still Live
I have an extremely Liberal friend who argues with me about almost everything: my politics, the Bible, building the wall, and even to what type of car, American versus foreign made. Other than being Facebook friends we have very little in common. One of his remarks today made me think that I may be a dinosaur; but there are millions of other dinosaurs like me; we’re not extinct.
When I say something that he disagrees with, he says “everybody” thinks the way that he does. What he means and what I try to explain to him is that the people he associates with may see things in the same light, but that isn’t everybody. Most of the people I associate with think in the same channels as me in politics and for the most part the Bible. Cars versus trucks are another matter.
Today, when I said something that suggested that America was better than is is now and at one time it was much less divisive, he said that America no longer exists. I thought about that and  shared, when the country wanders away from the principles upon which it was founded, it ceases to exist and becomes a country barely recognizable that leads to decay. Again he argues that America has gone on beyond that and will not go back. I proposed to him America’s forefathers based our Constitution and our laws on the absolute truths and the God given rights found in the Bible.
He uses the Bible by cherry-picking the verses and taking them out of context of the Scripture, to “prove” his point. When I share what it should really mean, connecting it to the verses that surround it, he says I twist the meaning. I still consider him a friend, but I’ve stopped trying to open his eyes.
Most of the time, he is so Left leaning, he’s almost horizontal. He argues that his views are always correct and much better than mine. So now, I refuse to argue with him. If he messages me with a CNN, MSNBC, DNC “truth,” I merely agree with him saying. “You’re so intelligent... If you say so” and a myriad of other phrases agreeing with him. The peace is a balm to my soul.
Several times before, I have tried to ignore his messages. When I didn’t answer, he became testy and argued on line in Facebook. I am hoping this attempt to avoid arguing with him while acknowledging him will suffice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Going to See Jesus
Before you get anxious and believe that I plan to cross over the Jordan River to the Promised Land, I need to share I was on a bus trip to the Stroudsburg/ Lancaster area to the Sight and Sound Theater to see the play called Jesus. The coolest thing was that I reconnected with a few old friends and made a few new ones. Out and about early Tuesday morning to catch the bus at 8 am, I was early and the bus was on time.
The ride out was uneventful. We stopped at Sideling Hill on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Toll Road for restroom, stretch the legs, and grab a bite or something to nibble break. We boarded the bus again and were off, to make Lancaster and eat lunch at the Good and Plenty Restaurant. The food was plenteous and served family style. After a sumptuous and varied fare, I ate my first piece of shoo fly pie and ate seconds on the homemade ice cream.
Then we were off to the Sight and Sound Theater. Our tickets were in peanut heaven where the air is rarified and nose bleeds were a danger. The actual presentation was beautiful with the drama interspaced with singing and animals moving across the stage. The side wings of the theater were staged as villages and used as part of the play. I’ve said before, the human voice is the most versatile and lovely instrument created by God. The music and singing were wonderful
One idea I’d long held was that Lazarus was an older man, that he died and Jesus called him from the tomb, but in this rendition, Lazarus was a young man and Mary and Martha were older sisters. This was as easily plausible as my thoughts and that thought gave me pause.
During the intermission, a young man traveling on the bus with his grandmother said that I couldn’t get the passengers in the bus to sing a song together. I don’t like to be challenged and just let it lay, so I began to ponder the dilemma as we left the theater.
On the return trip, just before we stopped at Sideling Hill, a diabolical idea popped into my head. As the bus parked, I stood and announced that it was the young man’s birthday and asked everyone wish him a happy birthday. It wasn’t of course, but everyone obliged, much to his embarrassment, and I won the wager. The reward? I earned the satisfaction of winning. No money was ever mentioned. Several other passengers even wished him a happy birthday as he exited the bus.

Monday, August 6, 2018

New Tasks New Insights
Saturday at the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society, I spent another day learning the ropes of the facility. The menial task of filing funeral announcement cards are finally finished after many frustrating and stressful hours. The frustration came in when some “thoughtful” person misfiled or multiple copies were separated by dozens of cards requiring me to backtrack to find the proper spot. When I was almost 2/3 of the way through the collection, I came to several cards that were folded so the name was showing instead of the picture on the front. From that point on I opened each card, then went back through to make them all match.
Saturday, I started another chapter in tasks that needed done. When an item, document, or photograph is donated to the society, it has to be given a number and catalogued to simplify its location of storage, the donor, the date donated, its condition and a short description of the item. It’s not a difficult task, but can be time consuming, especially if multiple documents or articles are given to us at once.
With less than 2 hours before closing time, a lady carried in a small blanket. It was obvious that she had something inside. I was unprepared for what she had inside. She opened the bundle after sitting it on the desk. I could see why she had the items protected. It was a stack of old documents, ledgers, bills of lading, and letters that were found in her attic. The stack was nearly 6 inches high. She also shared there were more and wanted us to visit sometime and remove the remainder.
The house was one of the older homes in Stahlstown and the documents reflected that. Other than trying to decipher the fancy cursive writing on the documents, most were legible. Some of the papers were fragile and I was almost afraid to touch them. I knew that I wasn’t able to catalogue them all, so with freshly washed hands, I began to separate them into piles to facilitate the cataloguing process later. Notes were placed in one pile, papers with the same name in another, bills of lading and order forms in a third. Tucked into manila folders, they would be safe until the task of completing the forms and inserting them into protective plastic sheets can be accomplished. I was thrilled to see some of the dates on them were into the mid to late 1800s.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Not the SAMA Old Evening
Last Friday evening was the launch of The Loyalhanna Review. It is an annual publication that collects and shares the talent of writers and photographers it its glossy pages. The magazine has been able to gather, spotlight, and focus attention on these skilled and gifted craftspeople of pen and camera. Each year, this magazine gains in prestige and distribution.
Friday’s gala event took place in the Southern Allegheny Museum of Art located just outside Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Ruth McDonald is the Editor in Chief of The Loyalhanna Review and was the emcee for the evening. Several of the writers were chosen then introduced to share their words of art with the gathered crowd. This year, as the reputation of the magazine spreads, so do the writers who enter. This year, we had a writer from Baltimore, Maryland submitted and was accepted for publication. She drove to join us at the event. Writers from Rhode Island gave submissions.
The stories and poetry of 30 page magazine is interspaced with colored photographs. Copies were distributed to the attendees, giving them first chance to hold the freshly printed literary collection. They were given the opportunity to see and later hear the offerings inside. Several younger authors had articles accepted and they read their submissions to the crowd.
This year, I submitted a photograph of a sunset behind my home instead of a written article. The sunset on the clouds and contrails created a gold colored beauty I dubbed as a “Crown of Glory.” It won the coveted back cover page.
A tantalizing buffet of dainties filled one corner of the art gallery and as people mingled before and after the presentation and readings, sampling the varied foods and drink. The variety of foodstuffs was able to tempt the taste buds of the pickiest of palates.
The inside walls of the museum was lined with wonderfully beautiful paintings of aboriginal art on loan from its tour of the United States. The somber colored paintings added an air of formality to the event.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Life Is a Carousel Old Chum
My life isn’t quite the gaily painted horses prancing around in a circle while a calliope sounds out circus style music of pipes, organ, and whistle. The rotating drum rumbles beneath their feet. The world of spectators gathered to watch children and other loved ones smile as they become spinning tops. The riders cling to their steeds, then smile and squeal gleefully while watching the observing crowd blur and whirl in ever changing kaleidoscope patterns.
What I’ve just shared are the echoes of memories from a nearby amusement park that still remain vibrant in my mind. My life at times mimics that carnival-like ride. Today’s memory carousel is moving from one appointment to another in a whirlwind of time and effort. Granted, I do take on those tasks willingly or accept the spur of the moment invitation that often manages to squeeze itself into my already crowded calendar.
Sometimes I feel like butter that’s been worked to be spread thinly on a fresh slice of bread. So far the bread hasn’t ripped and the butter has managed to cover the slice of me. I have sometimes missed a luncheon date with the Grand Dames of Frick for their monthly luncheon, but I hope to correct that that today. It often competes with my duty at the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society and I am forced to make choices, “which to attend.” I love to be bust and forced off this potato off the couch. I wish I could get more accomplished on my off days.
Laundry lurks, the grass grows, dust descends, and cat hair collects demanding my attention. SIGH, sometimes the television calls and I heed its siren song. There are times my legs get puffy and cramp. I not only heed their whimper, but relish that I am able to claim a spot in front of the boob tube.
Yesterday was a combination of two. My granddaughter Hannah needed a babysitter. She’s old enough to keep herself amused and while there, my brain was being elevated by historical television programs, I was able to elevate as well. Sipping a soda, I could stay dry, out of the rain while avoiding the chores waiting at home. Ah well, today’s another day.