2018NKoreaAs time passes, I find I'm writing more of Christian topics and less of the frivolous. I also find myself commenting from the sidelines about politics, mostly because I see it as a battle of good versus evil.; shame on me.

The meeting between North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12 is perhaps the turning point in a confrontational world. Let us pray so for the people of North Korea if no one else.
Why is it that oppressive dictators can't see the benefits of benevolence and connecting with the free world?

January

Washington, D. C.; I recently re-watched the 1947 movie, Miracle on 34th Street. This line was spoken of the Santa character; “Suppose he is only a little crazy like the men in Washington.”

The movie was remade in 1955, 1973 and 1994. I have not and do not intend to watch the remakes, but the line would still apply.

The line could not be used in a 2018 remake. A Santa similar to the political men and women in Washington today would be quickly institutionalized.

About Politics; Will Rogers seems to have once said, “Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.”

Adding to that, a Spike Jones radio show when Truman was president had the following introduction, “We want to thank the presidential candidates for relinquishing enough time for us to present our program, I have used this before but from a different radios show, Fred Allen as I remember.

From the February 2018 issue of Kentucky Explorer; A well-adjusted person is one who can play golf and bridge as if they were merely games. See also the February paragraph titled Well-adjusted Person, Another Definition.

Bible Listening; I am now almost ¾ of the way through listening to the CEB (Common English Bible.)  I have criticized it in the past for some questionable passages. I now believe it to be an exceptional version. There is much to be said for reading and listening to the Word without struggling with archaic sentence structure and obsolete words.

I find listening (and following with text) to be pleasant, but it does hinder pausing, pondering, and reading related side notes.

 

February

Acronyms; I marvel at the increasing use of three capital letters as words to define so many things. It became common, I think, to type very long phrases and names quickly. One of my co-workers started a dictionary of the ones we used on military programs. His list was near 10,000 of them out of a possible 17576 combinations from AAA to ZZZ. Many such 3-letter acronyms now have more than three letters.

The Navy had a peculiar way of shortening long phrases. It dropped all syllables except the first and joined those first syllables to create a single word. Thus Naval Communications Station became Navcomsta. An old drinking buddy and I wrote a short story entirely in Naval jargon. It was titled Oneupati. Translated, the title was Once Upon a Time. The last sentence (word) was Hewholalalabe which, obviously means He who laughs last, laughs best. It was a funny story.

Author's Current Comment; I may still have it. If I find it I will  add it to the "Fictual Views" section.

Once while making a presentation I used a three-letter acronym and an Army General interrupted me by asking what it stood for. I told him and then he said, “Thank you. We at GHQ never use acronyms” to which I replied, “G? H? Q?” which got a big laugh and cost me a promotion. I learned that one does not embarrass a General in public.

Three letter Acronyms are now in common use to talk about long unpronounceable medical conditions. I find them as objectionable now as I did when working although I cannot pronounce those long medical words.

Well-adjusted Person, Another Definition; Last month, there was a paragraph about a well-adjusted person using golf and bridge in the definition. This month I wish to try another definition.

A well-adjusted person is a congressman who can treat his activities as work and not as a political game.

An Accidental Discovery of Interest;

While looking into statements reportedly made by Abraham Lincoln, I found this to be of interest. I hope you readers feel the same.

Ten Things You Cannot Do

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

They were written by the Rev. William John Henry Boetcker in 1916. He was a Presbyterian minister and notable public speaker who served as director of the pro-employer Citizens’ Industrial Alliance.

Boetcker also spoke of the

"Seven National Crimes"

  1. I don’t think.
  2. I don’t know.
  3. I don’t care.
  4. I am too busy.
  5. I leave well enough alone.
  6. I have no time to read and find out.
  7. I am not interested.

The Lincoln connection; In 1942, the Committee for Constitutional Government, a right-wing organization headed by the publisher, Frank Gannett, put out a leaflet titled "Lincoln on Limitation" with authentic Lincoln quotations on the face and Boetcker's "Decalogue" on the reverse. Some printings attributed the "Ten Points" to Boetcker; others did not, and careless readers assumed Lincoln's authorship. In 1943 the Royal Forum, a Paterson, N.J., house organ, explicitly but falsely ascribed "Ten Things You Cannot Do" to Lincoln.

Some Overstatements Often Made; I found these in a folder of possible topics. It seems to go along with the previous paragraph.

  1. I will see that no stone is left unturned.
  2. I am on this 24/7.
  3. It’s the last thing I think of before bed and the first thing I think of when I wake up.

Do you actually believe the speaker? I sure don’t and if they are speaking the truth what is going on with all the other things they should be doing? I can see them saying the same thing if asked about one of those tasks.

Electric Street Lights; The first electric streetlights were installed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1879.

 

March

Bible Listening; I just started listening to the New Testament, beginning (not a surprise) with Matthew.

I was overwhelmed. It seems as if Matthew is in my living room telling me about Jesus and his life. He is speaking in my English and with sentence structure like mine. King James would have to struggle for understanding, I suspect.

In the past I have questioned some of the choices of words in the Common English Bible (CEB). I still do. However, taken as a whole, reading and listening to the CEB has made it a Bible of choice.

It also includes the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical Books which are also worth reading.

A New Word (for me); While reading The Upper Room, an ad for a book caught my eye. It offered prompts for telling stories. As I write some stuff, I was interested enough to order the book, titled “Spoken Into Being” by Michael Williams. When the book arrived, I found the author to be a Methodist Minister from Tennessee. In Chapter 1, he tells of Rudolph Otto (born on 25 September 1869 – died on 6 March 1937) whose book about Divine Encounters used the word numinous for such encounters. Numinous is my new word.

The on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of numinous is:

  1. Supernatural, Mysterious
  2. filled with a sense of the presence of divinity: Holy.
  3. appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense: Spiritual.

The on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds that the word’s first known use was in 1647 and that it is among the 50% of words least used.

The word derives from the Latin word numen which, according to my High School Latin Dictionary, means nod, command, will, divine will, divine majesty, god, goddess.

I am certain of three numinous events in my life. The first was long ago when I was born again. The second was my miraculous escape from alcohol addiction. The third happened last October but will remain my secret until I achieve what I was told to do. I am working on it, slowly but surely after a failed attempt to dismiss it as far beyond my abilities.

I also think there have been more numinous events, but I did not recognize them as such. They were, I thought, what we usually call coincidences. For some time now, I have believed coincidences are what I would now call numinous events.

Muhammad's Visit to Heaven; This came up in a recent Sunday School class. Islam believes Muhammad went to heaven with angels Gabriel and Michael as guides. He met Adam, John the Baptist, Jesus, Joseph, Enoch, Aaron, Moses, and Abraham. He only talked to Moses at length and just stood in the presence of God.

Some say it was real, some say it was a dream, some say just his soul went. However it happened, it was a numinous event. Regardless, Muhammad is buried in Medina, not ascended to Heaven, as was Jesus. Perhaps more next month.

Television Commercials; I find television commercials annoying but I heard this in a recent one so maybe they are worth sitting through.

Question; Who was the roundest Knight at King Arthur’s Table? Answer; Sir Cumference.

Why Are We Misunderstood?; I owe this one to Miss Carrie in my High School years. She suggested I read “The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes and to my credit, I did. The essay about how complicated a conversation between two people can be has never left me.

The confusion occurs because there are really six people in the conversation. Representing me is the ‘me’ I think I am; the ‘me’ the other person thinks I am; and there is the ‘real’ me Talking to me is the person he thinks he is; the person I think he is; and the real person.

When I say something, you never know which ‘me’ is speaking. I am talking to the ‘you’ I think you are. You have no idea who that is.

Usually you listen to the ‘me’ you think I am. I have never met that person.

When I listen, I hear the ‘you’ I think you are but, the real ‘you’ or the ‘you’ you think you are is probably speaking.

If you think about it, two strangers are talking. It is no wonder so much of what we say to each other is misunderstood or taken the wrong way.

It is a wonder any of us speak to anyone more than once. And after we hear something the wrong way we say it was said in the wrong way and we hold a grudge for a long time.

We should be polite and pleasant because we are always talking to strangers no matter how well we know them.

Dumb Luck; The Kentucky Income Tax form requires entry of Driver’s License number. When I did mine, I discovered my license had expired. I renewed it just before needing to retake the driver’s test. I need to figure out how to remember mine four years from now. The state has stopped mailing reminders. Maybe you should check yours.

Author's Current Comment; For you readers who are not Kentuckians, I don't know what your state does, but maybe you should check just in case.

 

April

HOW SOME EARLY DISCIPLES DIED; I had a similar list for the apostles back in the November 2011 issue. This list is similar and provide by our Pastor. Thanks, Pastor. Please note that not all of these are confirmed fact.

  1. Matthew: Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.
  2. Mark: Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.
  3. Luke: Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
  4. John: Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully
  5. Peter: He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
  6. James: The leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
  7. James the Son of Zebedee: was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
  8. Bartholomew: Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
  9. Andrew: Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors For two days until he expired.
  10. Thomas: Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Sub-continent.
  11. Jude: Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
  12. Matthias: The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
  13. Paul: Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith.

And sad to say there are many in our world in the present suffering similar tragic fates for the Faith.

Mathew 10:22: And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Kentucky Style Wisdom; These are from the April 2018 Kentucky Explorer;

First

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. The quote is attributed to William Lloyd George.

Second

 “Robert,” said the wife, “where did all the empty bottles in the cellar come from?”

“I don’t know, my dear. I never bought an empty bottle in my life.”

Wisdom? From a Video Game; I have been playing a video game, Tales of Graces. Two verbal exchanges struck me as interesting and funny.

The first one

Sophie asks, “Pascal, what is an airhead?”
Pascal answers, “Someone who can control the air with their mind.”
Sophie says, “Wow! You are amazing.”

The second one:

Hubert says, “We finished that fight in a flash.”
Sophie asks Pascal, “Pascal, how long is a flash?”
Pascal answers, “A second or two.”
Sophie comments, “Why does he lie?”

In The Wilderness; I have just come to the realization that from around 1955 to 2006 I was living in a wilderness located in southern New Jersey. I apologize to the good people of New Jersey.

New Word; I recently heard a coined new word that was intended to describe the group of people addicted to TV, video games, cell phones, laptops, notebooks, and tablets. The word is vidiot. I think I may be one. 

About Last Sunday’s Lesson, 1; This was found on the internet about INRI in the picture . The Latin form of "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" is "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" The first letters of this title provides us with INRI.

About Last Sunday’s Lesson, 2; This was found concerning the phrase in Revelation 4:5. The “seven spirits of God” according to Jewish tradition are kindness, severity, harmony, perseverance, splendor, foundation, and royalty. The same seven spirits are also depicted symbolically in the Star of David. The Star of David was originally known as the Shield of David.

First Class Postage; When I was a youngster, First Class postage was 3 cents. That was many years ago, around 1940 Today First-Class postage is 50 cents. It seems to be a lot. Then I adjusted 3 cents in 1940 for inflation and discovered it would be 53 cents. Now I wonder how come the government missed the boat or were they charging too much back in 1940?

Current editorial comment: In early 2019 the Postal Service corrected this by raising the cost of a first-class stamp to 55 cents.

There are more profound insights in the next issue. Look for it sometime in May.

 

May

Obedience; I found this in a daily newsletter I get. It seemed both timely for me and appropriate for all of us. I think it applies to the child in us.

A child learns nothing of obedience when his parent instructs him, “Take the cookies and eat them.” But when the parent says, “Do not eat the cookies before supper”—oh, the suffering begins! Obedience is only learned through the things we suffer. What suffering? The suffering of resisting temptation; the suffering of not gratifying our desires; the suffering of doing another’s will instead of our own.

One of the most amazing descriptions of the humanity of Jesus Christ as Son of Man regards how He learned obedience: “by the things which He suffered.” As a human man, Jesus was tempted the same way we are, though He never yielded to those temptations (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15). His ultimate suffering came as He fulfilled the Father’s will for His life by dying for the sins of the world. He lived His entire life in service to God’s will (John 4:34; 5:19, 30; 6:38; 7:28-29). Like Jesus, our love and loyalty to God is proved when our obedience is tested.        

The next time you suffer, look first to see if your obedience is being tested. Then, like Jesus, submit your will to God’s.

Obedience is the hallmark of faith.

Charles H. Spurgeon

Perhaps I could add that the child might learn something by overeating those offered cookies.

Juneteenth; The United Methodist Worship Planning Calendar has the word “Juneteenth” as a June 19 holiday. It was new to me, so I Googled it. I found this.

“Juneteenth is an annual observance on June 19 to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. This day is an opportunity for people to celebrate freedom and equal rights in the United States.”

It is not recognized in Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

As best I remember, this is the first time I ever read or heard of Juneteenth. Better late than never, I suppose.

Weight Stability; Why is it that my weight stays pretty constant when I am a little overweight and pretty much eat what I like, but after suffering to get down to the weight I want (just ten pounds lower), eating what I want makes me gain that ten pounds?

A New Child; On Monday, May 14 at 8:30 AM George Allen Medina, son of Corinne and Mark Medina, left the warmth and comfort of his mother’s womb and joined us in our often cold and uncomfortable world. 

His first months will be almost as comfortable as before thanks to a loving and caring mother and father and all his family and new-found friends in New Jersey.

He and his parents are planning to pay us a short 4th of July visit. We will meet him then. His parents and I are planning that the three of them will join us permanently this fall. I am told I will be designated Grandfather. I like the title but I’m not so sure about living up to it.

I will help take care of him avoiding babysitting except for emergencies and there better not be any. I hope all of you will pitch in as well., maybe even babysitting.

But all too soon he will have to meet the harsh reality of our world. We need to prepare him for that. I am certain all of you and God will help.

 Author's Current Comment; I again broke the rule about not using names. I claim a Grandather's priviledge and because he is named after me.

Apology; You may have noticed this issue is mostly about newborns and youth. I ask you to forgive me, but I am so grateful to God for this gift I am about to receive.

At my age, there will be many growing pains as my routine will most certainly change and I do not like change.

Page Filling Is Difficult; While struggling about how to fill this page, it occurred to me our Pastor has four and sometimes five times my problem. I only do this once a month; she has to have a sermon four and sometimes five times a month. I am certain I could not do that. Could you? Think about it.

 

June

Christian Humor; The file I got this from is dated June 24, 2015. After three years, it seems appropriate for this June 24, 2018.

When Forest Gump died, he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, "Welcome, Forest. We've heard a lot about you." He continued, "Unfortunately, it's getting pretty crowded up here and we find that we now have to give people an entrance examination before we let them in."

"Okay," said Forest. "I hope it's not too hard. I've already been through a test. My momma used to say, 'Life is like a final exam. It's hard."

"Yes, Forest, I know. But this test is only three questions. Here they are."

1) Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?"

2) How many seconds are in a year?

3) What is God's first name?

"Well, sir," said Forest, "The first one is easy. Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'? Today and Tomorrow."

St. Peter looked surprised and said, "Well, that wasn't the answer I was looking for, but you have a point. I give you credit for that answer."

"The next question," said Forest, "How many seconds are in a year? Twelve."

"Twelve?" said St. Peter, surprised and confused.

"Yes, sir. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …"

St. Peter interrupted him. "I see what you mean. I'll have to give you credit for that one, too."

"And the last question," said Forest, "What is God's first name? It's Andy."

"Andy?" said St. Peter, in shock. "How did you come up with 'Andy'?"

"I learned it in church. We used to sing about it." Forest broke into song, "Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own."

St. Peter opened the gate to heaven and said, "Run, Forest, Run!"

About Laughter;

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Old Version New Version

Mary had a little lamb,
It's fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

Mary had a little Lamb,
His fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.

He followed her to school each day
Twasn’t even in the rule;
He made the children laugh and play,
To have a Lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near;
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.

And then the rules all changed one day,
Illegal it became;
To bring the Lamb of God to school
Or even speak his Name.

"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry;
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher did reply.

Every day got worse and worse
And days turned into years;
Instead of hearing children laugh,
We heard gun shots and tears.

The last three verses were added sometime
after the original poem was written.

What must we do to stop the crime
That’s in our schools today?
Let’s let the Lamb come back to school
And teach our kids to pray.

 

I think the new version came to me long go from an elderly member.  I found the first two verses of the old version in Book 1 of “My Book House.” I found the last two verses of it on the internet.

Sadly, the new version is more real now than when it was given to me. How did our nation get to this condition? I believe the blame lies with the 535 congressmen who have lost touch with the day-to-day world the rest of us live in. They seem to believe they know best what is good for the rest of us., but only God knows that.

 

July

Things I Think About; There are three things I think about a lot. One is God’s plan for me, is it inflexible or do I have choices? I presently lean toward a flexible plan based on my good or bad choices.

The second is about how God’s forgiveness fits in with God’s judgement. It seems that if I am forgiven of my sins there is nothing to judge and if I am to be judged then I have not been forgiven.

The third is about God looking at my record in the Book of Life and grading me. This suggest a class system in heaven that seems unlikely and contradicts equality. Will some of us receive preferential treatment based on our earthly good works? I don’t think so. I currently think the final judgement is simply this; your name is in the book and you go up or your name is not in the book and you go down.

The workers received equal pay regardless of how long they worked but the money investor who did the best received the seed money of the slacker.

For now, all I can do is the best I can, have faith, and trust God.

My Hearing Announcement; In Sunday School class, July 15, I announced my hearing was back and my chronic tinnitus was gone, and so it was. It was true, but my hearing is not good again and my tinnitus is back. I now believe it was a preview of things to come in this world or the next. I leave it in God’s hands. I really liked hearing perfectly while it lasted.

Comments; From time to time as I read The Upper Room, I come to one that has a great impact on me. For a long time, I have been tearing them out and storing them for later use. I decide to start using them. Then I always put it off.

Events the morning of July 11, demanded that I do an Upper Room Page about that morning’s reading.

In January, I awoke with an image of the entryway to the old ferry landing in my head. I had just traveled Route 52 and discovered there is a Methodist Church where the road to the river joins Route 52. Was there a connection? Was there another explanation? I gave up trying to explain it. Then on March 16, I awoke with just one word in my head – Ebenezer. – another puzzlement. Was it Scrooge? Was it the Church in Aberdeen or maybe the old one near Tollesboro? Again, there was no answer.

Then just before the 11th I noticed activity on the river bank across from Vanceburg. Binoculars revealed what appears to be a ravel road leading into the river. I can think of two possible reasons; it’s going to be a launch ramp for pleasure boats or it’s going to be a loading ramp for a ferry boat. Whatever is going on may explain the image I had in January.

Here’s the Upper Room connection. Samuel’s Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:12) had not occurred to me when I mulled over the Ebenezer experience. It now seems possible that I am to put some rock like memorial somewhere on Booth Hill. Maybe Booth Hill is the Ebenezer.

One could say it’s just an active imagination and coincidence. I don’t think so. My noticing the construction and reading the Upper Room page at almost the same time and both related to my earlier thoughts is hard to swallow as coincidence. I think there is at least one more chapter to this adventure.

Current editorial comment: It is now March of 2019, I now know what God meant when he gave me those two thoughts. I hope to accomplish His wish this spring.

 

August

The Evil Spirit; Just as there is a Holy Spirit, I think there is an Evil Spirit. They are battling for mastery of our lives, thoughts, and actions. I will use smoking as an example battlefield.

Without thought of the future, living in the here and now, it was easy for the Evil Spirit to win. I started smoking, In late mid-life I began to listen to the Holy Spirit more. I started to think about the consequences of smoking.

The Holy Spirit eventually won the smoking skirmish. I quit smoking. As I pay more attention to the Holy Spirit I find the Evil Spirit has less to offer and is easier to reject yet it keeps trying.

Friend?; If I were in need would I want a friend like me? I forget where I first saw this but just found it again in my notes to write about. I find it thought provoking. After some thought, I said to myself, “Maybe.” I think I would be a solid supporter, solidly behind me. But I also think I would be hesitant to go very far out on a limb for me. I would help me but from a safety zone I am hesitant to leave. How do you answer?

My Grandparents; I started looking at my ancestry again. I learned my mother came to Vanceburg from the Morehead area in 1919 to live on Town Branch Hill. Grandma “Libbie” and Grandpa GW came by train with their three youngest daughters, Lola, Audra, and Flora, and the youngest boy, Elbert Leroy. Audra, my mother, was 14. So far, I have not found out why they moved anywhere, much less why here, but I’m glad they did.

If you are interested in using a Wabac machine like that of Mr. Peabody of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Cartoon Show, this is it and it is free. https://www.familysearch.org/en/   

Once, I traced myself back and found I am a descendant of King John of England. Later, I could not repeat the path to him although I tried pretty hard. Try it. What you find might surprise you. I cannot vouch for its accuracy.

End Times Near?; Are we near the end times of Revelation? I think not. Here’s why. First, the world is nowhere near what Sodom and Gomorrah were before God destroyed them. Second, I think I have read somewhere in the Bible that God intends that everyone knows of Jesus and His saving Grace before the end times.

I think the world is far from being as evil as Sodom. I also think there are millions who still have to hear of Jesus. I also think I could be totally wrong. We need to live as though I am wrong.

 

September

More from Revelation; I have been listening to Agents of the Apocalypse spoken by Dr. David Jeremiah for the second time. On the CD about Chapter 12 there is story about what might have gone on in Heaven when Satan was forced to leave heaven.

It begins just after the creation when God suggests to his angels that they help Adam and Eve take care of the world. Satan, a dragon in Revelation, doesn’t like the idea of being a servant to humans and leads a revolt among the Angels.

To loud cheers and screams of encouragement, he presents to God that angels should be in charge of the humans and the new world and especially Israel. Angel Michael presents that angels should serve the humans and the new world.

A war follows and Satan loses to Michael. He and 1/3rd of the angels, the ones that  that supported him are expelled from Heaven. He had underestimated his following. They were a loud minority.

While listening I was struck by the similarity of Dr. Jeremiah’s story and what is going on in our country right now. There are loud voices screaming for Socialism and control of the humans in this country and all other countries. Also, there are almost equally loud voices wanting humans to be masters of their lives and, with God’s and His Angel’s help, be free.

Let’s hope the turmoil is resolved by peaceful means. I do not want to see another war between Michael’s followers and Satan’s.

Sound Advice; It is a shame that more millionaires, billionaires, politicians, TV evangelists, and charities ignore this advice from one of their own, Andrew Carnegie, “Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.”

The quote was found in the September 2018 issue of Kentucky Explorer.

About Ezekiel 33:14-15; These are the verses quoted on the inside cover page. They clearly say that it is not enough to say, “I’m sorry. Forgive me,” after you borrow money and fail to pay it back. Restitution is also required.

That raises a question. What if the theft was so long ago and far away that restitution to the victim is impossible? Is that person doomed? I can’t believe that ending is possible. Perhaps restitution can be made by ridding oneself of the equal of the stolen (borrowed) funds to a worthwhile cause.

To sum up, I am confident that if a person is confident that he has made restitution and is not losing sleep over it, then he has, in God’s eyes, made restitution.

 I also do not think it is enough to ask, “God, forgive me,” and it is done.

About A Previous Lesson; During a recent lesson we learned God let Adam name the creatures of the earth. To Adam’s credit he gave them simple names. He gave the name, Goat, to the animal we still call Goat. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that an enlightened descendent decided it was a Capra Hircus.

The discussion also reminded me of a happening in Iran in the late 1970s. RCA had a contract to provide all electronics for a resort being created on Kish Island, Iran. I worked closely with the RCA Service Company who provided the technicians to install the equipment. They used several Iranian laborers as helpers.

We learned from one of them that there was no Iranian (Persian?) word for screwdriver. To them a screwdriver was “The tool that turns fasteners into wood” or something like that.

It got me to thinking about what life was like before sophisticated tools. We would not have to worry about cars, repairing cars, TVs, PCs, refrigerators, stoves, internets, trains, airplanes, in short almost everything we worry about.

In many ways those ancient days may have been the good old days we so often compare to present days.

Just imagine all you would have to worry about is whether the wolf will attack the sheep again tonight, will we find water tomorrow, where will we camp tomorrow night, will Dad catch something for dinner? Maybe they weren’t so good as we look back, but I’ll bet those living it firsthand liked it a lot.

Solving Maze Puzzles; The Children’s Workshop Bulletin page has a maze puzzle. It is a little unusual in that four paths are to be found. Enjoy solving it.

Now, if you are a maze puzzle lover, here is a hint you may already know. Instead of starting at the indicated START point, start hunting the path from the FINISH point. The dead-end paths are much shorter when traveling in reverse.

Dirty Lives; How dirty are we? If we used a vacuum cleaner to suck out our dirt, it would depend on how often we need to change the bag, not how much or what kind of dirt is in a full bag.

Time; A person thinks there is still plenty of time until there isn't enough time left.

 

October

Paul’s Letters to Timothy; With an election approaching, we should take Paul’s advice to Timothy to heart. See his advice below.

There are many needing prayers: lobbyists, special interest groups, Political Action Committees, Super PACs, campaign contributors, elected representatives and their advisors, unknown and behind the scenes persons and organizations.  

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV); 1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

From Kentucky Living of October 2018;  How can you tell that a graveyard is popular? People are just dying to get in.

Melanoma; It is the name of a serious skin cancer that also occurs elsewhere in the body. I recently had a successful melanoma removal procedure performed on my temple but it will leave me scarred for life.

If you noticed an unexplained blemish anywhere on your body, I urge you to visit a dermatologist; the quicker the exam, the smaller the scar.

Author's Current Comment; The scar is not anywhere as bad as I was expecting.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto; Ever since Fran Striker created them there has been much discussion of the meaning of Kemosabe. The generally accepted meaning is faithful friend, but it is rumored that in the Apache language it means he who doesn’t understand or idiot. Tonto in Spanish means silly, stupid, crazy, or dumb.

Were these two old west heroes  calling each other idiot? I hope not. The shows always had a good ending with something both children and adults could profit by taking to heart. Sadly we don't do such shows anymore.

Busy, Busy, Busy; Many of us don't have enough time to stop for a regular family meal. We are too busy texting, using Messenger, doing e-mails, playing video games, and watching TV. Adults as well as their children seem prone to eat and run.

Is all that isolated and artificial activity more important than time spent with family and good old face-to-face conversation? I think not.

Our Lifetime; I recently asked our octogenarians, myself included, and our nonagenarian plus one other person what they thought were the ten most significant events or changes (both good and bad) that have happened during our lifetimes. The responses are all thought provoking and extremely varied. Some events are good, some are bad, some started good but had extremely bad unintended consequences.

I will list all of them when I have all the returns. I will also write about my picks and why I picked them. I will probably write about some of the other picks as well.

World War II - Topping my list was World War II. It was a time when everyone, young and old, were united, courteous, and willing to scrimp and save for the country, unlike today.

The US history web site estimates that 55 million people perished because of the war, over 400,000 of them being U. S. military men and women.

Our service men and women sacrificed the most, being away from home, being wounded, and dying.

Rationing was perhaps the hardest for us civilians. There was gas, tire, clothing, and food rationing. This is from the US History web site about food rationing; "Red Stamp" rationing covered all meats, butter, fat, and oils, and with some exceptions, cheese. Each person was allowed a certain amount of points weekly with expiration dates to consider. "Blue Stamp" rationing covered canned, bottled, frozen fruits and vegetables, plus juices and dry beans, and such processed foods as soups, baby food and ketchup. Ration stamps became a kind of currency with each family being issued a "War Ration Book." Each stamp authorized a purchase of rationed goods in the quantity and time designated, and the book guaranteed each family its fair share of goods made scarce, thanks to the war.

Kerosene rationing hit my family hard. We cooked and lighted with it, not having electricity until after the war. We carpooled with Uncle Roy to save gas.

As a catalyst for progress, it ranks very high. From it came computers (ENIAC), Radar, LORAN, SHORAN, modern ship building methods, an early version of health care, the interstate highway system (much later), the Cold War, NATO, carpooling, and international cooperation.

Some  personal memories are mentioned below.

A laugh of the times was, “Ladies, take your fat cans to your local grocery,” about saving lard.

I remember making the “V” for victory sign as we passed cars while driving and getting one from them.

I remember the Boy Scouts (I was one) collecting scrap paper. I received a medal for collecting over 1000 pounds of scrap paper. I still have it.

I remember Mom knitting sweaters for solders under the auspices of the Red Cross. I sometimes knitted a row. The Red Cross provided the yarn. I still have the pattern if you are interested.

 

November

What Can I Do?; When I was around 10, I did my school homework as soon as I got home. It was far easier by daylight than by kerosene lamp light. When finished I would go into the kitchen and pester Mom while she was fixing dinner by asking, “What can I do?”

Mom would offer suggestions that did not strike my fancy. Then I would ask the question again. It went on and on until my exasperated Mom would tell me to go in the other room and find something on my own. It was a scene repeated day after day.

During my wilderness years in New Jersey, having something to do was easy and self-serving, but God was watching over me. My choices were working, watching TV while having several drinks and then bed. God was busy helping me get ready.

These days I find myself often asking that childhood question, but now to God, “What can I do? What do I do now?” He has given me answers. I have been doing them, some without realizing it. Volunteering to do this newsletter was one. I will probably never finish my tasks from God, but I will do enough to fit with His plan. I once tried to stop some of them, but He wouldn’t let me.

I have just finished one, the Membership Record Book, except for its upkeep. I will probably be doing its upkeep until I am unable to do so.

Right now, there is just one more God given task I must do or at least begin. It has many facets; a website, a lighthouse, and a non-profit business. I have the God given talent to start the website. I have God given friends and raw materials to build the lighthouse. I have only God’s promised assistance and Lloyd’s help that the non-profit business will be started. God will see to its success.

I want to get on with it; but, as in my childhood I put it off by stalling, getting easily sidetracked, and mulling over what to do next.

Added to God’s task is one of my own, possibly also God given; a fictionalized autobiography.

The SSA predicts I have six years left to get it all done. The prediction does not consider an individual’s health.

I have confirmed tests that I have terminal lung cancer, but I have no idea how far ahead the terminal is, possibly as close as six months.

The big unknowns are what treatments are available (more tests) and what the treatments will do to me. They may extend my life but at the expense of life style. The tests will help me make the decision but only time will tell.

I have faith that God will see me through this at least until His task is off to a good start. He may also give me time to finish my fictionalized auto-biography. It is an account of how He has taken care of me so far and will until I finish life on earth.

The chores I am currently doing for the Church ay be up for grabs sooner than I would have like, that is now.

My life has been and always will be in God’s hands.

Author's Current Comment; I am rganizing the 2018 articles while recovering from Double Pneumonia and the most incredible week of my life. When finished it will appear as a Spiritual World View, God willing.

 Sirach 12 5-7, (NRSV Apocrypha); 5 Do good to the humble, but do not give to the ungodly; hold back their bread, and do not give it to them, for by means of it they might subdue you; then you will receive twice as much evil for all the good you have done to them. 6 For the Most High also hates sinners and will inflict punishment on the ungodly. 7 Give to the one who is good, but do not help the sinner.

 About Giving and the Verses Above; Ben Sira wrote the book, Sirach, in about 175 BCE. The verse is clear that we should only help the godly. I think those who are open to becoming godly are included. He also made it clear we should not help the ungodly, those who refuse to change.

His guidance gives us a serious problem, that of distiguishing the godly from the ungodly. The ungodly, by years of practice become very skilled at appearing godly. I have judged wrong a few times, perhaps many. The jury is still out for some of them.

Socialist leaning Christians should note that our welfare system is guilty of helping the ungodly over and over

I think we owe it to those-who-appear-to-be-godly-but-are-not to refuse helping them unless they accept and demonstrate a change of heart. I think the truly godly do not ask for help and receive it reluctantly.

Giving All; Does God mean for us to really give all we have in those passages in the Bible where we are told to do just that thus leaving us in poverty? I think not. I believe God intends we have a willingness to give all and do more than expected. It makes little sense to trade positions with someone needing help. That just reverses but continues the inequality.

“The Red Mill”; The Red Mill is a 1927 silent movie starring Marion Davies and Owen Moore. In the movie, Owen Moore, playing the part of Dennis, says, on a text screen, “I never believed in love at first sight until I had a second look at you.” The line reminded me of this quote from Will Rogers, You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Milk and Honey; Milk and honey are two of only a few foods that happen without harm to any animal or plant. A land flowing with milk and honey is mentioned in 21 verses in the Bible with a meaning that the land is a good place to live. A coincidence?

Jeremiah 5:20; From time to time I flag verses in the Bible that I want to reread. This is one; “An awful, a terrible thing has happened in the land. The Prophets prophesy falsely, the priests rule at their sides, and my people love it this way! But what will you do when the end comes?” It was true then; also true now.

Tiny Turkeys; Fox News just said millennials are buying tiny turkeys for Thanksgiving to minimize leftovers. It reminded me of an event at Joyce Shoe Factory in Xenia, Ohio. In a Thanksgiving drawing, Dad won first prize. The prize was a huge turkey. As none of us (Mom, Dad, myself) are fond of turkey and turkey leftovers, Dad tried secretly to switch his turkey for one of the smaller turkeys. He was caught doing it and we had that huge turkey and its leftovers for days.

 

December

 Sirach 38:1-4, (CEB); 1Honor doctors for their services, since indeed the Lord created them. 2Healing comes from the Most High, and the king will reward them. 3The skill of doctors will make them eminent, and they will be admired in the presence of the great. 4The Lord created medicines out of the earth, and a sensible person won't ignore them. 

About the above verses in Sirach: A few days before a meeting with my specialists to decide between treatment and no-treatment, my daily reading started with the verses above. Two days before I had read two chapters instead of my normal one-chapter-a-day. Then this morning I read Chapter 38 while leaning strongly toward no-treatment.

I believe it was a sign from God to tip the scales to treatment which I have now begun.

Another from Sirach; My reading this day, Chapter 42, ended with this, “Who can get enough of seeing God’s glory?” The view from my kitchen window is living proof. I never tire of looking out that window.

Love and Obey God; The December 2 Sunday School lesson contained this verse (Deuteronomy 6:5), “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

It was generally agreed no one could do that. The lesson book on page 125 said pretty much the same in a single sentence making it do-able. The sentence – “One will never achieve fully this objective in this life, but the blessing comes in the quest.”

The best advice I have is for all of us to keep trying.

Progressivism; I believe that Progressivism as used these days is the politically correct term for Socialism. Socialism has always failed including when the Pilgrims tried it at Plymouth Rock. Our country is heading for tragedy if we choose to go in that direction. It is a creation of Satan, an Evil Spirit. The Scandinavian countries are often cited as models of Socialist success. However, they are actually benevolent capitalist countries.

A New Look at A Charlie Brown Christmas; This web page sheds a new light on Charles Schultz and his works.

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/just-drop-the-blanket-the-moment-you-never-noticed-in-a-charlie-brown-christmas.html.

Wheel of Fortune Comment; Pat Sajak chats with contestants after the first round. The men almost always say something like, “I am married to my beautiful wife.” My thought, “Who else would you be married to?”

Greetings; My Christmas card stamp money went to our Youth Group; my free cards went to the Church; my wishes are here and going to YOU.

Have a      Merry Christmas
And a       Happy New Year 

Our Lifetime (Concluded); Recent events cause me to conclude this project in this issue by just listing the developments and movements most affecting our lives during my lifetime s I see them.

I do not have the time, energy, ability, or space to give them justice. While proofreading, I realized they may all be facets of the attack by the evil spirit, clearly advancing during these eighty years. Here’s the list.

  1. World War II (See the October issue.)
  2. The other wars; Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, Islamic Radicalism (ongoing.) Wars cause much grief, advances in technology, and resolve little.
  3. Technology advancements for public use; TV, Computers and offshoots, internet, cell phones, and smart phones. They are good, but several very bad unintended consequences have resulted. To many, they have become false gods and addictive.
  4. Medical advances approaching unbelievable and impossible, but as with most good advances, bad unintended consequences are beginning to appear.
  5. Government takeover of our lives and robbing us of our freedom leading to decline of family values, rise of legal/illegal drug use, legal abortion, and same sex marriage, all bad, but with some good sprinkled in.
  6. Political correctness, pleasing loud minorities, violent demonstrations, rewriting history, and political discord, all bad. It is hard to believe that 427 representatives have only two views of any issue, yet they do. Greed rules and that is bad. Gone are the days of civility, understanding, independent belief, and compromise.
  7. Church leaders losing sight of the Christian purpose; sad but true.
  8. Social media and the decline of face-to-face activities in favor of texting. Messaging, voice mail, video mail, and posting without any real interaction, mostly bad.
  9. Transportation, motor vehicle, and highway improvements, mostly good.
  10. Biased news reporting that results in total discombobulation of all of us. There are no facts anymore, only opinions disguised as facts.

That’s it, the composite our 10 most important happenings. Many are remarkably good; some just as remarkably bad. Some are both good and bad, because of how they are used. I believe the influence of the evil spirit has grown greatly over my eighty some years by using its easily demonstrated ability to provide instant gratification.

There are many who remain steadfast with the Holy Spirit and know the eventual outcome; not instant but forever.

The external attack on us by the evil spirit shows signs of failing so it is attempting to divide and conquer. If the socialist leaning left in our country ever find a unifying public speaker, I fear we are heading for totalitarianism via the socialists who side with the evil spirit.