Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thought of the Day- Calvin and Hobbs

  I sat on the deck in the partial shade this morning, after throwing the ball for the dog, and listening to my friend Roland Wells preach about the rules according to Calvin and Hobbs. (Excellent sermon and I can relate.) 

  I'm sick and the mild breeze felt good. But while I sat there in the peacefulness watching the leaves fall to the ground and join their brittle brethren, I was at rest, away from the rules of this life, basking in the light of the throne of grace, and relying only on faith, apart from the law. It is the essence of the Reformation. I'll rely on that instead of silly games created by boys and tigers. And when I get to eternity, I'll ask the Lord if I can watch leaves fall for maybe 15,000 years, but not in a row, so I can break it up and be in the garden with Him- alone.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thought of the day- Round Square?

  For the last couple of days, I've been working in Fayetteville out in the sticks. The roads have funny names out there, like the one I'm working on "Possum Hollow Road". Today, I think I found one that suits me greatly- Round Square Road. Funny at first thought isn't it? But after I pondered it a while, I thought I'd explain how I felt about such a name.

  I've felt like a round square for quite some time. Changes in my life bring that about easily. Most of them major changes. When the recession hit and we lost our house was a big one. When I went on Social Security was another. (I think it stinks I can only make so much to collect it. What are they thinking?) Wearing different vocational hats is a big one, especially since last summer when that changed, too, and I was told I wasn't good enough to fill one of those roles anymore. Sigh. Wanting to move back to Wyoming is a big one for me, but I can't talk the wife into that. And what about the fact that I just can't seem to finish my next book or get an agent for the previous six!?

  The reason I say that I have only felt like a round square is because the above are only symptoms of being one. The only way to be a round square, is to make yourself one. I'm working on that. How about you? Do you feel like a round square? Do you feel just "not right" and flirt with being a round square?

  This doesn't even mention all of the things that are going on in the world that make you feel "just not right". So ponder this thought, "Are we all round squares?" Are we on the road to being one?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thought of the Day- Miss me?

  Last weekend, the lady that sits in front of me at church on a regular basis turned to me and said, "I really miss you being on Facebook, especially your "thought of the day". She's a sweet lady and her husband is a nice guy who is slowly losing his ability to function in the world. He has heart and other troubles, but what I think is more difficult for her to handle is the onset of Alzheimer's he is exhibiting.

  I have to admit, sometimes when I greet him, he looks at me like he doesn't know who I am. Yes, even though I have known him since the early 90's, they had just returned from down South where he had served God and men as a church school principal. The man has a good heart. They have been back a couple of years now and I make it a point to greet him by name and ask him how he is doing and what he has been doing lately, besides going to the doctor.

  And this is my thought: what is it like to experience this? I really don't want to do so myself, at least not yet, but I'm not getting any younger. I think I need to do some research. I don't want my family to become strangers to me. I don't want to wander around lost. I don't want to wonder why, where, when or how as a matter of daily routine. I most certainly don't want anyone to "miss me".

  So the next time you think about your older relatives that are experiencing this, they are missing you, more than you know. Go see them. Greet them with, "Miss me, Dad?" You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thought of the Day- Facebook?

  About a month ago or so, I got off of Facebook as a person. I'm there as an author, but I can't see that entity, because according to FB, I'm not real that way; I'm just an entity. (I'm going to post a blog on "entities" one of these day as well.) I wonder if I will ever go back?

  I had had enough of people. Don't get me wrong, some folks are downright nice, but others, well, if they could think they would be really dangerous. Not only that, but the great divide in our country is more evident there than anywhere else, except, perhaps, the streets of some of our larger cities like Ferguson and Baltimore. Those cities exhibit a lack of discernment in all manners, too.

  When I first got on FB, it wasn't that way. People got to know you and it was a happy place to be, especially when you ran into an old buddy. That's always cool. Or maybe you connect with a brother in the Lord from a place you used to live. That's nice, too. Keeping in touch with family is a plus, that is, if they really want to see your face that often. Sometimes, Thanksgiving and Christmas are too much for relatives. But, for the most part, in the beginning, FB was a cool place to be.

  Today, that's not the case. Setting politics aside, because that adds all kinds of stupidity to the equation, if I were Mark Zuckerberg, I wouldn't allow half the crap that's on there. In fact, I would only allow college students to participate, because we all know that they know everything. Just ask them yourselves. Anyone over 30 is too old. Anyone that is not in college is not smart enough. Anyone not cool, isn't cool.

  OR, how about this? We divide FB into categories by age. FB for kids- no one over 12. Then FB for Teens and no one over 19. Then 20's, 30's, 40's, etc. Of course, there could be subsets, like the groups there are now, but the ages would have to be strictly adhered to. I made this all up to prove a point and it is: How much more divided are we to become? Do we really want to? Do we really need one another? That's my thought of the day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thought of the Day- Undying Love

  There's a man I know, but never met from down in South Tennessee, and I have been reading his daily posts for about ten years now. Well, almost daily. In them he gives specialty market news, which is told from a darn-fool's perspective, but is rarely wrong. His posts are a joy to read and he incorporates his family into them as well, because we all know that if we have our heads screwed on right, family is everything.

  This man is about ten years older than this darn-fool. He had been married to his wife for forty-nine years until this past week, for she died in his arms on the back step of their home. She had a history of heart trouble. He told us readers that before. I know that the scenario that finally played out was in the back of his mind for many years. You could see it in his writings, even though he never came out and said it. He cared for her deeply. He, you might say, worshipped her, but I know that not to be the case for they both loved their Lord more than life itself.

  He watched out her though. She was always busy; serving God and others. It was her life plan. And a plan that many would love to do but never quite accomplish so well as her. Always on the go in that quest, you might say she just wore out. She had undying love for her family, friends, husband and Lord. And that's how she left.

  I think that is how I want to go; on my next trip out or back from service in my vocation or in a special act of compassion. It's the only real way to show undying love.

  Here's to Susan. Franklin, you were a blessed man in so many ways. And by God's grace, you still are, for He has undying love for you.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bond of brothers

(Note: I wrote this last year and never published it. It's time.)

  The other day, I thought about the term, "brother". I have decided that the it means different things in different places. As a Yankee in the South, the discovery of a whole new definition was dramatic. As a typical Yankee, I approached it with caution, it being foreign to me.

  Being from up North, the term is used for blood kin, union fellows, members of bikers' groups, other secret society members, and veterans.The most prevalent of these is, of course, our genetic brothers. Brothers of the same mothers. Those that posses a bond that can never be broken, no matter what happens. Because, we all know that things do happen and sometimes relationships between brothers are strained to the point of breaking, even though their ties cannot be.

  First of all, I want to say that this "new" brothers definition is not necessarily a subject limited to a geographical area. Why? Because I have found it to be simultaneously used in certain religious groups throughout the country. However, as I had not heard it used in this way in the North, I assumed it was limited to the South. Wrong.

  Secondly, even in the groups I have heard it used in my place of residence, it is used in many ways. For instance, a man may greet me by saying, "Hello, brother! How are you?" In this contains only a general "howdy-do", because that is how the men of this area greet one another. However, if that same man welcomes me on Sunday morning at church saying those exact words, (I shall not repeat them) then the meaning is entirely different. It, to them, connotes a bond of faith. To me, it draws an raised eyebrow of suspicion. That's right. But, don't get me wrong here. I love every one of them. But the reason this Yankee somehow doesn't trust this is because he knows himself.

  I say this because I share, like these brothers, the same traits. We are all sinners. We all posses that same quality. Therefore, we all should posses a certain level of suspicion of each other. Some men have a high level, some like me, have a low level, being somewhat naive', or trusting to a fault. But being called a brother before I know a person sends up red-flags for me. What about you, Brother?  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crying "Wolf"

  My son says I have been crying "wolf" for too long. You've heard of that old Aesop's fable before haven't you? (If not, look it up.) For you see, ever since I studied about the Jewish faith in college and on my own, I've declared that the Messiah would return during the Feast of Trumpets, which is a continuation of and begins the fall feasts, which we are now in and ends with the feast of Tabernacles.

  Some theologians say that the three fall feasts have not been, but will be, fulfilled by Messiah, just as He did the rest of them. In order to do that He'd have to come. Thus, why my son says I've been crying wolf. Each and every year since 1980, I've said the Lord will be here this year. But each year I'm that young lad crying wolf. My son doesn't believe me anymore. My wife, even less. Especially in a time such as we have today.

  My wife may have become a scoffer, always wanting the Lord to come, but not expecting Him to. My son, being respectful of his old dad that is really a young man, goes along with me when I tell him the feasts are here and he should look up for his redemption is nigh. Many others have heard this on youtube and other places so many times that people have been called date setters (I'm not one) and many other ugly names, and so, there are many scoffers out there today. I wonder if they would ever want the Lord to return in their lifetimes? Just so they could be right when they say the Lord isn't coming for another 2K years. But it makes me wonder if this is what the Lord was talking about in his parable about the ten virgins? Has the separation already occurred and five are waiting while five are not? Is it really date setting by being ready? Really ready? He is our blessed hope!

  I've spoken with many friends and family that are ready. Many who pray for the Lord to return quickly. They see the signs. Signs that have  never been fulfilled. Death, persecution, and the abomination that causes desolation. It's all set up. Is this the one? The feast of Tabernacles ends on Sunday at about 4pm our local time. On my wife's birthday, as I said in my last post. At the last trump of the feast. So, I hope I have not cried "wolf" again. I'm ready. How about you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Waiting and waiting and waiting- in lines.

  Have you ever stood in line waiting? I avoid lines. There is a problem with that though- I like going places. But if you go places, there are always lines. Lines to take a seat, to park, to eat. Lines to buy a ticket, to watch a ball, no point in it all! Lines to hear a voice, a band, and there seems to be no choice! Consequently, I rarely go even if I'd like to. I hate lines.

  Even driving to these places I like to go to is a problem. It seems like the lines from point A to point B are longer all of the time! Who planned all of these lines? Was he a crazed lunatic? And the lines are even longer during the holidays. Such nonsense.

  Which makes it easy to go to church. There are never lines going to church. I can drive into the lot and park easily. I can go to my usual pew and sit there without a problem. And I have to admit, I don't mind waiting in line to go to communion, for there is comfort in that. That's the only line I don't hate. And when it's time to leave, the line goes out slowly. That line isn't a problem either. So, if you think about it, what are you waiting for? A line?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Living with Him

  On Sunday, the 16th, the feast of tabernacles began in Israel and throughout the world. It is a week long feast where those born in Israel live in booths made of natural items that are constructed just for the feast. Usually of cloth sides and thatched roofs, the walls are made of local woods. They are primitive, just like the tents in the wilderness.

  Tabernacles was instituted as a remembrance of the fact that God had taken the people out of Egypt and provided for them in the desert while they lived in tents under the stars. He humbled them and in this remembrance brought to mind that He provided everything for them for forty years. It is a time that brings to mind that He lived with them that forty years, as evidenced by the pillar of light at night and the cloud by day.

  Wow. To be able to look out of your tent and see the promise of God in such a way. It is surely a time of reflection. I see it as a promised fulfilled and a promise to be fulfilled. First, Christ came to dwell among us. Many theologians believe that Christ was born on the feast when He came in the form of a babe to Bethlehem. That certainly would fit cold evenings in the fall and the need for shelter for the family. Secondly, that we may tabernacle with Him for eternity. Some evangelical theologians say that He will come at the end of the feast for the second time at the last trump of the feast, which falls, by the way, at sunset on Oct. 23rd this year. That's my wife's birthday. Wouldn't that be a great gift?!

  Wow. Again I say, Wow! To live with Him in eternity is certainly a promise I believe and one that couldn't come soon enough for many. But first, humble yourselves. Give Him praise for providing all you have been blessed with. Repent of your sins. And keep ever vigilant, looking out of your tent. So we wait for the last trump. And it will be "the" last trump when Christ returns, that this time, we might tabernacle with Him for eternity.

  Maranatha! Come Lord Yeshua!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

In the Garden

  Last night, in the twilight of the evening and amidst the trees of a country setting, I attended the wedding of a wonderful man and woman. The rain had left us and the slight breeze made it cool, but not difficult to sit outside, in the canopy of white lights and scrub oaks, slowly loosing their leaves. However, the setting, although it reminded me of a God-tailored event as in the days of Adam and Eve, was secondary this time once my friend Pastor Peter Ave-Lallamant got started with the ceremony.

  Pete had a lot to work with. I've seen him do weddings before, as he was my pastor for almost a decade and he can do wonders with weddings. Truly, he can. But in this case, the participants made all of the difference in making their wedding one you were glad to have attended.

  I've known Heidi for over twenty years. She's the daughter of two of my best friends from church. She has struggled in her life, but I believe she has always remained positive in much of the turmoil and has turned to God in order to survive the heartbreak and loss. Mixed in this, she had a little girl I watched grow up in the back pew. She'd stare at me and I'd make her smile back there, shy as she was back then. She's a young woman now and we are all proud of and love her; her new step-dad, Nick, told her so during the ceremony.

  Ah, Nick. I've known him for almost as many days as Heidi, (she says 900 some days) and all I have ever observed is a man wise enough to take the bait and marry this God-fearing woman, and taking on the role of Dad for Rylie. He is a match for them made in heaven. So let's go back to the beginning.

  Pastor Pete had a lot to work with and the vows I heard proclaimed all of the above and much more. God bless this new family who began in the garden prepared for them.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Long Time- no see

     Wow! I didn't realize it had been that long since I had posted here. I have to say that in that time period, I didn't realize the freedom I had here. How is that? Well, when on other social media, the world sees it. Here, I have anonymity of sorts, and I can say anything I wish without being chastised for it. Well, I haven't been in the past anyway, so please don't start now.

     Such is life. We go along doing what we do. We try to do the best we can and then- SMACK! Out of the blue someone comes along and chastises you for doing what you do. And sometimes, you may be doing the same thing as them, and even better, but then, you are told you can't do that anymore. Whoa. Such a change! Such a slap in the face. And none of it is your fault, but you still can't do it anymore. Bummer, in the extreeeeeme.

     Worst part about it, is that you have no recourse. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Period. So, you grieve. You pray for peace and acceptance. You submit. You go on. But it is difficult, because now you feel used and at the same time abandoned. Then, you try to go on, wondering what in the world God has in store for you at such a time in your life.

     But you feel all alone. Kinda like no one gives a rip about ya. No one even asks how you feel about things. And that doesn't make it any easier to go on either. So you withdraw. Which makes it worse. So, you try to buck-up, but that's hard, too. You won't be taken advantage of or used. Ever had enough of that? Personally, I'm too old for more of it.

     Finally, you figure it out and leave it all to God. It's His will- not yours that is important. It's not what we want, it's what He wants. I'm fine with that. So, go on and live the present, forget the past, and have hope for the future. Just like we are supposed to.