Friday, June 2, 2017

Just a Pause

At 71-1/2 years I find myself reflecting. I have seen a lot; but I haven't seen everything...in fact, I am sure there are many things I have no desire to see at all. I have been to a lot places; I have not been everywhere. I have done a lot of things; but I haven't done everything...and I realize there are a lot of things I really would rather not do.

Every place I have been, every word I have thought, spoken or heard, everything I have done or not done, everything I have seen has collaborated to bring me to who, and where, I am today.

I recall entering the base exchange, a vendor was demonstrating some kind of a juicer, and he shouted to me something along the line of "Hey, this is just what you need, it will add years to your life." I looked at him, and asked him "how do you know how long I will live? I have made it through a tour in Vietnam, and recovered from a head-on motor vehicle accident at 85 miles an hour, from which three people died. How can you guarantee your juicer will add years to my life?"

When I realize that my dad's dad died at age 34 when dad was a year and half old; my dad died at 54, dad's mom died at 89, mom died at 93, her mother died at 44 and her dad died at 79, I truly recognize there really is no way to guarantee how long we are going to be walking on this earth.

The Psalmist informs us, that when God put us together in the secret of the womb, He also knew the numbers of our days on earth. There is a bit of an argument going around now and then whether God is male or female. In truth, He is both. God embodies the perfection of male and female. When God said let Us make man in our own image, he meant specifically that man would be both male and female. However, that didn't seem to work out, so, God took the woman from out of the man and made two people. Thus we understand the Biblical injunction that a man and a woman shall come together and become one.

Well, anyway, as I reflect on my life and all it encompasses, I can say without any reservation my life was not worth a plug nickle until the day God confronted me in my apartment, 43 years ago, and accused me of destroying something that He had made beautiful. We had a pretty in depth discussion, and I accepted His offer to be cleaned up and made new. It was as if my life had stopped and was began anew. My fellow Marines didn't understand why I no longer wanted to go bar hopping, or imbibing alcoholic beverages all night. Truth be told, it was really quite nice to wake up the morning and not wonder if I had done anything bad during the previous night; not to mention, my pay check seemed to go a little farther each month.

Well, just a little time spent reminiscing and reminding myself that no matter what may happen in this life, I am in God's hands, and I can't think of a safer place to be.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wisdom of man

1 Corinthians 2:5 -- "...your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men but on the power of God."
 
Is this not a good word in a time of trouble and discord? If we can be honest with ourself for just a moment, where has the wisdom of man gotten us? Over and over again, down the annals of time, history shows us that the widsom of man has, perhaps brought some comfort and affluence to some, but for the most part has been despotic.
 
Look where you will; you will see the trouble brought by the wisdom of man. The Crusades? Yes, the work of the wisdom of man. Religious activism? Yes, the work of the wisdom of man. The Holocaust? Again, the work of the wisdom of man.
 
When the Almighty, the Lord, the Creator, the Sustainer of life, the Great Physician says we should live in peace, and love one another as He has loved us...how can we justify killing each other, or taking away property from each other?
 
When our heart is right with God, we will see and live the peace that passes all understanding, and our hearts will be filled with His love.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Peace

Well, we have come to that time of the year. What time of the year, you ask? Well, that time of the year when our thoughts turn to fuzzy little bunnies and colored eggs. I am convinced, that for the most part we have forgotten the meaning behind Easter. Or more especially what brought us to the point.
 
Think about this for a moment, or all day if you like.  Luke 19:41-44 -- "And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.'"
 
What are the things that make for peace? Well, for one, it is the total vanquishment of the enemy. Once your enemy is hobbled and no longer able to disrupt your peace, you will have peace. Within this thought is the idea that we all struggle with enemies, demons if you will, within us that strive to disrupt our peace. Paul informs us in Philippians 4:7 -- "...the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Jesus is quoted, in John 14:27, as saying "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, do I give to you." This peace that passes all comprehension, comes not from destroying another person, but from destroying those passions that reign so strongly within us. We can never be at peace, until we are at peace within our self and with God. All the martyrs down through the ages have attested to this fact...once we have peace with God, we will have peace unspeakable and full of glory.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

cogitating again

So, this morning, I was relaxing, listenning to the radio, when my ears were assaulted by a commercial for tires. What penetrated my mind was the idea that if you purchased so many of certain tires you would get an immediate rebate of $75.
 
I guess, over my lifetime, I have benefitted from rebates of some kind. However, this morning the idea just struck me wrong. If the business has the money to give an immediate rebate, why not just lower the price that amount? Ah, but as the old circus owner once quipped "a sucker and his money are soon parted". Why do we like the idea of getting something back, more than having a lower price?
 
Guess that is why scams are so popular where you are invited to send a thousand dollars to recive a million dollars; only to realize you won't be getting anything.
 
My old father-in-law said it pretty succinctly, "too soon old, too late smart!"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Raindrops keep falling on my head

OK, so I woke up this morning, 5:00. The parking lot outside was damp, but drying out. Then, around 7:00 I noticed the dry spots were damp again, but it was not raining. Then around 8:00 it started raining.

I have been waiting all summer for this. It has now been raining for about three hours. There has been soft rain, and hard rain, but all in all it is rain; and beautiful. Interspered within all the rain are occasional lightnings and thunder boomers.

The weather guessers on the radio are saying temps in low 70s, but sunshine by tomorrow.

So, let me see, humidity is moisture in the air. How funny that when it rains all day, there is not the uncomfortable sense that heat and humidity normally bring. In fact, when it rains all day, it seems to bring the temps down to reasonable levels.

Anyway, I enjoy the rain. Remember the Everly Brothers record: "I'll do my crying in the rain"? Then when I was a child, there was "Singing in the rain".

So much for cogitating on the rain. Enjoy your day.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lamenting

Did I say, that I hate laundry day?
 
Laundry day, today, is so much different than when I was a child. I remember washing the clothes, then hanging them out on the line to dry. Yes, all year around. I remember bringing in clothes and sheets that were frozen solid. Once the clothes dried on the line, they were brought into the house, and using a large bottle with a cap with holes in it, all the clothes would be sprinkled, rolled up and placed in a basket. Then would come the time to iron everything. Yeah, that was laundry day back then.
 
Then, in the Marine Corps, laundry came once a week. In boot camp we washed on cement tables, then hung them up to dry. In Vietnam, we didn't have any laundry service, so, when you thought about it you would soap up your face, and utilities, then rinse, and wear them while they dried. The rest of my time in the Corps, I did my own laundry, which entailed washing, using a dryer, and ironing. There did come a time when I was able to send a lot of my uniform items to the cleaners.
 
Well, today, I find myself walking the 34 steps from my apartment to the laundry room carrying two laundry baskets of clothes. When the dryer is through cooking them, I fold them up and put them away. Well, it does take some time. Washers have a 30 minute cycle and dryer has a 45 minute cycle. So, it takes me about three hours. Then on other days, when I include the sheets off the bed, that entails three loads and adds another hour and a half.
 
Some might say, find yourself a wife and let her do the laundry for you.  Nice thought. I have had three of them, and found out each time, if you want it done right you do it yourself. How well I remember my first wife, wanting to perform her wifely duty, and doing my laundry; she washed my "wool worsted shirts" in hot water. Yeah, you guessed it, they shrunk up almost half the normal size. I guess people must no longer be taught to separate whites from coloreds. One of my wives turned my white tshirts pink. Definitely do not go well with military uniforms.
 
Well, if I haven't said it before, please know I hate laundry day. But like so much else in life; you do it, get through it, and go on with life.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Well, last Saturday evening my baby married her best friend. It was an awesome wedding, and reception. Her nieces and nephew were involved in the wedding, and his nieces were also involved. It is so awesome when events come together in such a wonderful way.

Just after the rehearsal, I was sitting and talking with the pastor, who is an old (not age wise) friend from back when I was pastoring. As we spoke, I was reminded of something that has accumulated over the years in my mind.

The Hebrew “YHWH”, that we pronounce as “YAHWEH” carries the connotation of male/female. During the Creation event, when God said, “Let us make man in our own image” He was referring to man being also male/female. That is God’s image.

A rabbi friend of mine informs me that according to the Torah, Adam lived and had relations with each of the animals that were created; along with giving them names. After mating with each of the animals God determined none were adequate to meet man’s needs. God stated that it was not good for man to be alone. Rather than chop the man up to separate the male from the female, God removed a rib from the man, and using it as a foundation formed the woman. Is it not interesting, that the form given to the woman, was almost a mirror image of the man? When the two were put together they truly became one.

Perhaps that is why Scripture admonishes us that a woman shall leave her father and mother and cling to her husband. Scripture also informs us when a man and a woman have sexual relation they become one. How true. They become one in more ways than one. The sexual union truly cements them together, which is why we find divorce to be so traumatic. And probably indicates why people experience so much loss and pain after having many sexual unions. Marriage of one man and one woman completes the oneness that is the image of God.