Wednesday, August 4, 2021

How do I loathe thee? With apologies to Shakespeare, there are more ways than my feeble mind can manifest. This country is so broken. I am so exhausted trying to listen to the different arguments, giving respect and truly doing my level best to understand your point (or points). I sincerely believe in redemption, in another chance, in making lemonade out of lemons. Where my belief falls short is when muddled ideologies of Christianity and the Republican party attempt to mesh. This particular philosophy is appalling in that Jesus Christ taught over and over the concept of loving and caring for those who you might not pal with, those less fortunate, the people who don't agree with every word you utter. Only once did Jesus go off on anyone, when He cleared the temple of moneychangers - every other time He showed love and patience with people.

Politics aren't spirit-filled! Please stop trying to make faith-based judgements on Political rhetoric. The abolishment of historical fact in order to make your belief fit in a scenario is insulting. The use of Wikapedia to site evidence is a joke. Faith and science can coexist. Instead of arguing for or against any point by bullying the person or persons who disagree with you, sit down with them, as Jesus did with the Pharisees, the woman at Jacob's well, or as Paul and Peter did. If we have evidence that just because you are a follower of Christ you always must agree with each other, the apostle Paul and Peter are examples to the contrary.

You may be correct, or have a valid point, but if you are a southern end of a north-bound horse, your point falls mute. If you constantly believe you are the smartest person in the room, or chat room, you have a following of one. Sharing is caring - not I'm big, you're small. I'm smart, you're dumb! It seems to be a matter of perspective.

I have friends I wholeheartedly disagree with on issues and opinions, but they have amazing ways of making their point with no condemnation. Other friends I agree with and I can't stand to read their work. It works in reverse as well. I was bullied as a child, by some of my closest Facebook friends - Family and friends alike can be both simple and easy to understand, regardless of my level of agreement, while others are just horrific to communicate with.

These last 16 months of Pandemic have been very hard for so many. Untimely deaths, serious illnesses, loss of jobs, and then add social unrest, politics out of control at federal, state, and county levels! Cancel culture run amok, Democrats and Republicans acting like Hatfield's and McCoy's. This year has been horrible in so many ways. However, there are blessings, if you look for them.

There is no room for hate or hate rhetoric as a Christian. There are opportunities to misuse Scripture all the time, but politics isn't the place. We Christians aren't perfect, but we should know the difference between love and bullying in our communication. "1If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. I Cor. 13.1-4 NIV

We shouldn't hate or talk like we hate.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Hate Leads To Nothing Good

I rarely talk about myself in this forum, but I have to admit I'm frustrated, and I'm annoyed. Briefly, my frustration comes from the people of earth and their learned behaviors, specifically hatred for other human beings because of the color of their skin, or some ideology difference. I'm very annoyed that these people seem to blame their hatred on those they are focusing their hatred upon.
Going backward in history, this very United States of America wasn't always united. The Civil War was anything but, and hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting over the rights of a nationality of humans who were thought to be inferior because of the color of their skin, their customs, and their availability. My mind completely fragments that humans can be so callous, so stupid to other humans.

I wasn't around Europe in the 1930's and 40's, but I have read, heard from survivors, and seen photos and videos of the period prior to the Second World War. Germany got its proverbial butt kicked in WWI and turned to a racist little soldier who convinced them all their ills and problems were the fault of another ethnicity living amongst them. So as the little racist grew in popularity and power the country of Germany began to use force to take over other countries, and attempted to systematically wipe out an entire race, the Jewish race, from the Earth.

These and other horrific examples of hatred just in our country from the actions of last 150 plus years should be enough to change even the dullest mind, to bring experience into focus. But it hasn't - not enough to stop the stupid rhetoric of hate, the out and out abuse of power, and the detestable and senseless  murders across America, most in the name of hate. Men with darker skin being arrested and literally beaten for minor things, Dark skinned people being threatened and even shot for simply being profiled, and celebrities and athletes having to use stages meant for celebrating to speak out against the injustice.

I am proud to live in the greatest country on this planet. Am I proud of everything, absolutely and unequivocally NO. We are a relatively new Country, and many things about those who set us up are amazing. We are the one of the richest, and one of the top producers for the whole world. Our military is so good, the United States almost always come out on top unless politicians get in the way. We are resilient, compassionate, tough, and unfortunately free to live, to which a few pathetic and loathsome persons take advantage. Don't get me wrong, the gutless acts of the men and women murdering countless innocent humans is lower than despicable. The answers are not to easily point fingers, but to offer an ear or a hand. That is what Jesus would do

Blame - what does it accomplish? Blaming the political leader of the country is not fair - the problem has been around long before he took office. In fact, his revered predecessor had many hate grimes happen on his watch. The only bothersome issue with our President is that his words are a beacon to the supremacists - the El Paso shooter's Manifesto is right off Trump's twitter feed. Mental health has become a target for blame, and the arguments for health care issues simply have become a platform for political views.

Another opportunity for blame is gun laws/control. My opinion on this subject is that illegal guns should have been being confiscated all along, and the ability to buy one should be much more stringent. Do I believe the NRA is a corrupt, powerful political machine? Yes I do. My opinion is that as this big machine, they are paying more than just one political party. It doesn't make sense that they wouldn't hedge their bet. Lobbyists are thick as flies at the outhouse - another point on how broken our Country is. I've even heard very smart men argue that our nation is under attack from Spiritual forces. While I whole-heartedly agree that The Evil One is hard at work, this isn't the Promised Land and other Godless countries in our world don't have this problem.

As the last word on hatred, this country's citizens hate of anyone who disagrees with their views is such an ironic fallacy. Users of Social Media, entertainers, and even athletes and businesses are scolded and held up to such harsh scrutiny and ridicule for OPINIONS. Our President is not the cause, he is a symptom of the bigger problem. Blaming this nation's ills on those with different colored skin, or a belief system contrary to ours will not cure the problem. It hasn't worked for years and years. Childlike love, color-blind and genuine will be the balm that this country must have. I truly am embarrassed to be a white male. I love people - all people regardless of color, economic or social standing, or ideology. I am hoping that makes a difference.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - New Year - New Challenges

It was a nice house. It was a peaceful, yet chaotic house. The beautiful lady, who had three strong and gorgeous children was attracted to a guy who was quite broken and had his own cute and energetic son. These two put their lives together, made a covenant to love each other for the rest of their lives, and built a family, complete with ex-spouses, in-laws, and children of their own. Flash forward twenty one years and the beautiful lady is even more beautiful, talented, and full of love. The broken and goofy guy is still goofy, but works every day to be better than he was the day before.

They have made a family, not the prototypical Cleaver, Petrie, or Stone TV sitcom family, but a loving, dysfunctional, somewhat unique "Yours, Mine, and Ours" group, with Christ as our rudder, and Pam as our anchor, this family continues to grow in love. The players in this  story are named Andrew, Laura, Bradley, C.J., Douglas, and Karyl. Children full of anger, confusion, and distain are growing into amazing adults - carving their very own path regardless of how their divorced parents and step parents screwed them up. Then the two children Pam and I had grew up, and now in the year 2017 both plan to branch out, leave the nest and find their own paths. My baby, Karyl, was married in a simple and fun civil ceremony on December 29, and her husband, Jacob, will finish his Army training and be stationed in August, when she plans to join him and set up their home. Our baby boy, Douglas, is moving to Florida to attend college.

Our oldest boy, Andrew, is a professor in Nagoya, Japan and is married to an amazing lady, Chie, and they have an incredibly cute and sweet little boy. Our daughter Laura is a successful Surgical Tech and her man, Jamie, is an accomplished plumber, and their daughter, our granddaughter is 12 years old. Our boys Bradley and C.J., the two that brought us together with their friendship all those years ago are both on their own, living life to the fullest and making their mark in the world. Brad is still working at Disneyland, plus a couple of side jobs, while C.J. is in college and is close to his masseuse license, plus a side job or two.Our six kids are all healthy and experiencing the good things of life. Our family has grown from two divorcees and four kids into nine kids, two grandkids and a whole lot of love.

This year was a good one. Things started, and things ended. we are so blessed to live in a neighborhood of amazing people. We have been rewarded with much more than we need. We pray for and thank God daily that our parents are still with us, that we have cousins, aunts and uncles to laugh with, cry with, and enjoy. This year upcoming, 2017, will mark big changes, challenges, and charges for us all. With the guidance of God and our faith in Jesus Christ, our love for each other, and our amazing children, this year will be record setting!

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Life Fail/Christ's Victory

To the messenger of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3. 14-17 NIV
As a Christian I am totally convicted in my own heart every time I read these verses. "What can I do to be a stronger, brighter light for Jesus?" Satan works on me, enticing me to sit on my couch when I should be doing anything else - volunteering, working for a local church, even cleaning my house --- anything is better than wasting my day. Yet, I still do it, even though I know it's the wrong way to behave. Even as I read other brothers and sisters in Christ posts and tweets and I am not motivated to get as excited as they are, I worry that I am lukewarm. So I think it through, and I see that just because I don't have their conviction, or I don't possess the answer, it doesn't mean I'm not "hot" for the Lord.  
We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God. I Corinthians 8. 1-3 NIV
So I get all introspective and ask myself, "Is there a bigger hypocrite than I am?" The answer is a resounding "WHO CARES?" God doesn't measure me to anyone else, so why do I? I just have to grow every day - more like Christ today than yesterday. Having knowledge is not having wisdom --- We all know folks that are know-it-alls and love and sincerity are not in them. I pray every day that I do not become one of those --- I try every day to be more like Jesus. Some days are better than others.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6.7-10 NIV
So, we don't just do good for any type of merit badge or spiritual bank account, but because we have The Holy Spirit inside and are compelled to what is right. Pastors across the country have said on many occasions that God doesn't expect you to clean up before you turn your life over to Him, turn your life over and He will aid you in the clean up process.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4.8 NIV

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Debate Depression

How sad our country has become --- we listen to people on radio and TV acting like children, then other people come on the TV and radio afterwards and tell you what you heard - like you couldn't hear them in the first place. I'm not for either candidate. I believe this GIF tells everything -
I am re-reading the biography by Henry Ketcham titled, The Life of Abraham Lincoln and Ketcham shows that the political machine even back then was sketchy and corrupt. Abraham Lincoln was such a new and fresh figure in Washington D.C. in 1861 that his life was jeopardy on a daily basis. He had bodyguards due to daily threats.

These two people on the big stage running for the position of President of the United States are a mockery of our political system. Hillary is like the Barry Bonds of politics. She has never been caught with the steroid needle sticking out of her derriere, but the preponderance of evidence against her is so overwhelming, and the trail of corruption is just exhaustingly obvious. And yet, the liberal media is doing everything in their power to make Donald Trump out to be the Antichrist, and completely fool John Q. Public.

The Donald was originally a breath of fresh air in the political landscape but then he spoke, and continues to speak without the use of advisors or any human. Again, I reiterate ... How sad for America.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bwah Wah Wah, Bah Wah Bwah Bwah

Talk - there is a lot of it these days. Many, many words are being said about many, many things. Thanks to six hundred channels on cable or satellite TV, and news on half of those channels, as well as social media being so prevalent and accessible (obviously, I'm even a writer on the internet) that any and all opinions can be put out there. Andrew Shepherd, a fictional President in the movie The American President starring Michael Douglas gave a speech at the end of the movie that is truth. The meat of the speech is as poignant to our reality today as it was in the movie 20 + years ago. The President said,

“…America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours…”

Talk - Words - Sharing ideas - The art of communication is NOT just talking, it also requires listening. I want to hear what you have to say. I want to hear what men and women who are protesting for equality have to say. I absolutely loved my wife's aunt and cousins visiting from West Virginia, coming clear to California to spend time with family. Not only did we have great big fun with them, but we talked about events in the news and shared ideas and opinions and no one got their feelings hurt, no one cussed the other, and nobody got punched, stabbed or shot.
I share my opinions with my neighbors, and they respond, and nothing bad happens. Even my wife and I differ on certain subjects. She and I have come to terms on important family stuff, and discuss world events in order to learn about viewpoints other than our own. Why then are there those in my country who are trying to force others to abandon their rights and follow a path they don't have to follow?
Now, to be contradictory, if you are on a bad side of the argument, where you find yourself in error, just be able to admit it. In others words listen to those who are talking, and don't over talk them, or shout your point, or stop communicating all together. Also, don't tell me what this person or that person said or meant, because I played gossip as a kid, and the message always got screwed up. I distain those who tell me I can't understand the situation because of my gender, my skin color, or my address. If I don't understand, I will ask, and I know who I will and won't ask for clarification. I will not ask the exaggerator, or the one who's personal agenda is whittled in to the subject. I won't listen to those who are pathological liars, or those who only talk about themselves.

American men of Western European decent do not speak for me. Fundamentalist Christian leaders don't speak for me. I have my own mind (for the present) and can see things - usually multi-sided, even intentionally muddled things can be pondered and understood by this college educated, unemployed student working on a new career in his mid fifties. Lately I have been watching the news with the attitude of Charlie Brown, Linus Van Pelt, Peppermint Patty, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Every time an adult speaks, all that is audible is "Bwah Wah Wah, Bah Wah Bwah Bwah."

Therefore, I have serious issues with a Presidential candidate that doesn't seem to care about right and wrong, who's fat is always in the fire, and will say anything to exonerate themselves. I also find it a puzzler that a non-politician with fresh perspective vying for the leader of our Country shows arrogance, bigotry, and a total lack of diplomacy every time the mouth is open.

And this whole falderal over our posture during the National anthem is so tired and ridiculous. Seriously, those who are freaking out about it are laying down, lounging, or sitting on their couches while the station airs it before every sporting event. That is so hypocritical I truly feel like screaming when any news media outlet is more concerned over who's up or down more than the why. And when 'credible' media like Mr. Limbaugh as an example misquote and twist the facts for ratings points and actual servicemen and women are saying quite clearly that they understand it's not about them or their service, but for the inequality in a Country founded and built on "All men (and women) are created equal..."

Let's stop banging the drum for gun control and make the screening process better. Our government should pour those millions in raises they give themselves into mental health care - not as an easy out for the privileged who commit crimes, but to receive help BEFORE they get that far. This country has become so inconsistent. Freedom of religion has been changed to freedom from religion. It is laughable that Kurt Warner and Tim Tebow are vilified and ridiculed because of their overt and proud professions of faith in God and Christian lifestyles, while the Kardashians, Miley, and numerous others become role models because of their decadence, hedonism, and lack of morals.

Crime is a serious problem in America. Criminals 'rights' are heralded over victims now in many cases. We also have a problem with a minority of Peace Officers who feel they are above the laws and peoples they are sworn to protect. The system needs to be prepared to deal with those individuals and not lump every badge together as evil. Citizens of any race or ethnicity are welcome into this stew that is the United States of America. I call it a stew because it isn't a melting pot, it is a stew with its own unique flavors to both blend with and enhance the other flavors that have all come together for a meal.

The sign on the Statue of Liberty reads "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these homeless, these tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door" Emma Lazarus The New Colossus. The book of James, one of the letters in the Bible's New Testament tells us "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" Js 1.27 NIV. There was a time ( I read about it in books) when politicians were altruistic and more concerned with this country than with their jobs, their money, or their power.

Their was a time when those who preached God's Word didn't build monuments to themselves, they didn't preach giving and take millions in salary and estates. Again, not all politicians are greedy, selfish, lying, cheats. Not all Pastors are power mongers with greed and other sinful appetites as glaring stumbling blocks for their ministry. Its hard to understand these folks when they speak, because all that comes out is "Bwah Wah Wah, Bah Wah Bwah Bwah." I love Jesus and praise Him for rescuing me from hell, and I love this country, the best country in the world. I know the church has problems, and so does our political system. I can be one who creates change.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

When You Don't Want to Say What Your Heart Needs to Say

These times are critical. Men and women who claim to be bearers of the word of God have become filthy rich and are terrible examples of Christ. Others claim to have leadership qualities for all men and women,  yet they act like bullies and bigots, unscrupulous liars, and other non-Christ-like characteristics. As a follower of Christ, I am in a dilemma as are most fundamental Christian Americans.

You have no candidate, you have no party, and you (okay, I - when I say 'you' I truly mean me or I, whichever is grammatically better) feel awash in a sea of inconsistency and rationalization.

If you vote for Hillary, because we know she is for social change, social justice, and socialism, we have to ignore her pro choice and laundry list of crimes she has been accused of, and her turning her back on so many women objectified and used by her own husband. She is a bully and one of the economic elite in this country. She seems to have no conscience about the deaths of Americans at a U.S. Embassy, because she is too busy denying rather than taking responsibility.

If you vote for Donald, because he is pro life, and he is being sponsored by the right-wing, conservative party commonly linked to fundamental Christianity, you vote for a bully, an openly vocal bigoted racist, a morally objectionable man who treats women, all women as objects and not as equals, and anyone who isn't from Caucasia as an interloper.

If we break it down by issue, the gun lobby loves Trump, and Clinton will be a big problem. If we are pro life, Hillary has said abortion is no problem if she's President. The Donald is dishonest in business, but will say whatever is on his mind, openly mocking people with special needs or lifestyles not in the mainstream. Health insurance has been a headache in America for a while - and which candidate is in the insurance lobby's pocket will continue to kill Americans financially.

A vastly grotesque problem in our country is the media. William Randolph Hearst would be so proud today if he was here to watch CNN verbally boil Trump in oil, while Fox news calls Clinton the personification of Satan in drag. At our house one TV is my in-laws, and it is always on ABC or CNN news, or Jeopardy, or the Angels broadcast. That is a lot of news every day to stomach, so I don't. I abhor the Fox news as well, being so agenda driven. Forty plus years ago you reported about a political faux pas, like it was original sin itself, and now 'making' news is more important then 'reporting' it.

While you rant and rail against the current and failed system, Mr. Bernie Sanders has a message that is quite intelligent - Get Involved to evoke the Change. You get involved in your community, your city, or state politics. I like that.