Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving or Giving Thanks
It’s almost Thanksgiving and on what are we concentrating? Is it the turkey, ham, dressing, or the pies, cranberry sauce, and the varied side dishes to serve? Are we trying to decide whether or not to watch football games or making a schedule of which ones to view?
Are we really thankful for what we have? Will we give thanks to our Creator and Lord for what He has allowed us to have? If we have food, warm clothing, a warm place to live, and a family to love, we should be thankful and give thanks to our Maker.
If we aren’t thankful, we can slip into a feeling of entitlement. Like a spoiled child who feels that what he or she has is something that is deserved, something to which we are entitled. We can become discontent with what we have, become unsatisfied with our blessings. It can become an overwhelming desire for the things that our friends or neighbors have. Those feelings may turn to envy and fester into ill will toward even our closest friends or relatives. It doesn’t have to be a possession. It can be the friend’s position, job, or relationship.
We can have a feeling that we are justified in our belief that we should have what they have and be blinded to the things we already have. We may have good health or a loving family that the neighbor doesn’t have and wishes that he had. We can be so consumed and embittered with our lust for things we do not have, we are unable to enjoy what we do have.
Being thankful allows us to reflect on the good things in our lives. To actually see what we have and take into account of the good things in our lives. Not being thankful blinds us. Not giving thanks opens our hearts to sins of greed, envy, and lust. Being thankful opens our eyes to the needs of others. When we have the feelings of good fortune and being blessed, we are more willing to share to those less fortunate than we are and are happy when another person gets a new car, a new job, or becomes engaged.

Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Uneventful Events
Many of life’s incidents we find that are unremarkable fill our days, our weeks, and eventually the years set aside by God to complete the pages of our history book. We don’t know the number of chapters before God places the final period and writes “the end.” Each page is filled with innumerable choices which change the direction of our existence. Even the smallest of choices can change the outcome of the day. Do I vacuum the house, do the laundry, or do I drive to the store to get the potatoes I forgot to buy yesterday?
If I vacuum, will that ready my house for as of yet unknown visitors? If I do the wash, will the washer overflow or the dryer stop working? If I decide to drive to Wal-mart’s, will the car break down or will I be involved in an accident? Each selection and each decision we make often has unseen and sometimes far-reaching consequences, not only for us, but to our family, to our friends, or to complete strangers.
When I am out and about, I try to be polite and friendly. Who knows, I may meet that person again when I could use their help and as an author and writer, I always have to advertise my books and my BlogSpot, so it behooves me to be on my best behavior.
Not only that, but as a far-from-perfect Christian, I need to share my life witness with others as a example of what a Christ wants us to be. I try to be more cordial and less grumpy than my human flesh wants me to be.
I also try to share when I get an answered prayer. This past week, I was praying about finding my lost house key. Somewhere it slipped off my key ring. After frantic searching, I came to the point that I knew exactly where it happened. It had to have fallen off in the church parking lot Sunday evening. I would search there on Wednesday evening. As I exited my car, I saw the individually wrapped Lifesaver candy on the gravel parking lot. I always carry a few to share with kids. The white minty halo drew me like a beacon. I strolled over to retrieve it and nestled there beside it was my key.
That unexpected event caused me to drive to Wal-mart and have several spare keys made. I am in the process of distributing the newly made ones to my kids. I also plan to keep a spare key inside my house “just in case.”
This sin't exactly where I was planning to direct this post, but one small choice led to another.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Postcard Repository
For my friends who follow me on Facebook, they already know that each day I share a different postcard. Being the oldest in my family, I have slowly become the end of the line for many items; glassware, furniture, postcards, and other documents. The postcards now fill a boot box. Rather than allow them to become food fare for silverfish, I photograph them and post them for others to see.
Many of the artist’s drawings or actual photographs of buildings are no longer there and many of the far off places, most people will never be able to see unless they catch a glimpse of them with my daily Facebook shares. Some of these cards are in nearly pristine condition despite their age while others are in poor conditions because of rough handling. A few cards are advertisements for hotels, motels, hardware stores, and even one for a privet hedge nursery. It is almost unbelievable the amount of untold history that is uncovered by looking at the image captured on the front, the date and the message written on the reverse side. Several of the cards were sent during the World Wars eras up to and including a card I just received several days ago from Iceland.
Cards from several foreign countries grace the collection. There are sepia colored portrait cards, a few had no writing to label who these men and women were. Some cards are scenes of war; some are a rendition of boot camp, cadet schools, and a few that poke fun of war.
The most of the collection share scenes from the United States. Some were historical showing the conception of America to the near past. There are Easter cards, Thanksgiving cards, Birthday cards, St. Paddy’s Day cards, and a plethora of Christmas cards. I try to dig them out to post at the appropriate times. These cards are a heritage that I treasure and try to share with you all.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Living in a World of Anger
The world around us seems to be more and more filled with chaos and anger; road rage, violent protesting, stabbings, spouse abuse, child abuse, terrorists attacks, and multiple shootings have gained prominence in the headlines of our newspapers. They’ve captured the lead spots of our televisions and radios. If we are not careful, we will respond in a like manner and perpetuate a hostile world.
Often the media is reporting, “Is there no safe place?” Saying our homes and churches are no longer havens. The sanctuary cities that have been created are to protect those who would try to do evil. These criminals are protected while the general population is put at risk.
Some misguided politicians hold a serpent to their breast under a misplaced sense of goodness and deal inappropriately with these non-citizens at the risk and expense of the actual citizens of the community.
If we are guided by feelings and feelings alone, the world will only become worse. If we have no guide other than our hearts, we are doomed. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9. The human heart can be very loving, but in the next instant, it can be filled with envy, lust, rage, hatred, pride, or greed. How can we trust such a fickle entity to guide us? We can’t.
Morality cannot be legislated. Each time politicians enact a law to stop one evil, they allow the criminal minds to find a way to avoid or corrupt the well-meaning regulation. It seems the law-makers try to circumvent and outright deny the truth and principles set forth in the Bible, but their adulterations of God’s Word have failed miserably.
There will be no healing without kneeling and dealing with our sins. There has to be a change in our lives and reveal the way God meant men and women to live. I can hear the groans of my readers, old-fashioned, he’s no longer relevant, but God’s Word has guided mankind for generations. Each time mankind has leaned on their own understanding, it is then that that civilization has collapsed.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A post for veterans that have fallen and those families left at home.

Alone Now

She weeps

Tears fall

Folded flag

Held tightly

Remembering him.

Tall and strong

Young and alive

But no more.


She weeps

Broken hearted

Inconsolable, empty

Ribbons and medals

Clutched in hand

Remembering him.

Gentle lover



But no more.


She weeps

No comfort

Grief stricken

Unbearable pain

Remembering him.

Tender hero

Valiant knight

Blessed hope

To return no more.



Americans and Veterans
Just a few quick lines before I go outside to stack another load of firewood. Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day; a day we as Americans have set aside to honor those who sacrifice time away from their homes. Sometimes they sacrifice limbs, eyes, and mental stability or even the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives for their comrades in war and for Americans who are far away from the battlefield. These who are kept safe and secure to carry on their daily life inside the border of the United States owe so very much to these warriors.
I also want to remember the families, the people who are left behind, wondering, worrying, and praying that their soldier, sailor, or airman will come home safely and in one piece. The family is left with the task of repairing any damage caused by the trials of combat, whether physical or mental. They are left with the task of supporting each other in the time of grief should their loved one not return home.
Parents, wives, and yes, even the children are involved in the aftermath of repairing the threads of their lives, putting back together the fragile threads that have in some way been damaged. Often it is a formidable and Herculean challenge. The repairs are not always as beautiful as the original cloth, but we can only hope that the mended areas are stronger and deeper than before.

This is the tribute for our veterans and their families. God bless each and every one of you.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Here Comes the Judge
Jury duty, what can I say. I got the summons several weeks ago and wanting to do my civic duty, I went. My body has deteriorated over the past several years, nothing extraordinary or debilitating, but just enough that I have slowed somewhat. Back pain, right knee and shoulder pain, water pill for my hypertension, and the recent start of insulin for my diabetes have slowly inculcated themselves into my life. I thought with careful planning, I could still serve as a juror.
Monday morning, the perspective jurors were herded into a large courtroom to ascertain who reported and who were delinquent. It was a slow process of showing your jury summons and driver’s license. (But people don’t need I.D. to vote?) Each juror-to-be was issued a button having their juror number. We were required to wear the badge the entire day. The courtroom where we gathered was grand with marble floors, rusty red marble walls, and large ivory colored chandeliers hanging from the gilded and frescoed ceilings. The seats were dark oak benches matching the judge’s bench, witness box, and the carved rail that separated the audience from the court proceedings.
The sorting and selection began. My number was called and was shuffled into another courtroom. From the initial gathering of prospective jurors until we arrived in the newly assigned courtroom took nearly 2.5 hours. As we entered, each juror was assigned a specific seat. Mine was a hard wooden chair. All this sitting on hard surfaces began to cause my right leg and foot to go numb. I was glad that I brought my cane. I sometimes need it to stand. Another 2 hours of inactivity and sitting ensued. I was glad they allowed us to visit the restrooms several times. Standing alleviated some of the worst of the tingling. Noon came and we were sent to find a place to eat, cautioned to be back by 1:30 pm.
After the meal, the judge arrived and handled a few cases without selecting a jury. A short while later, the judge said the case for which we were summoned took a plea bargain and we were dismissed to the hallway until we were needed.
To keep the tingling to a minimum, I walked the hallway. I spoke with the administrator of the courtroom to see if I might leave early, after explaining my predicament. I was asked to stay until the end of the day. I managed to do that, continuing my restless pacing. When I turned in my badge, I was told I would be excused for the week. I was glad to be free of the inactivity and sitting. The wheels of justice turned a lot more slowly than I imagined.