2019EventMy most pleasurable experience was my contact with George Müller through his autobiography and the courage he gave me to follow his lead. By far the most time consuming and energy robbing effort is my, so far, losing struggle with lung cancer. I am trying to channel as much of my remaining strength and energy into completing the one task God wants completed to such a degree that my successors can continue it as God disclosed to me. That effort is Forward with Friends, LLC and its website.

To end these articles on a happy note, my pick of the event of the year is the defeat of the Houston Astros by the Washington Nationals in the 115th edition of the World Series.It was the first World Series win in Washington Nationals history.

 

January

Thank You; Thanks to all of you who gave me Christmas cards.

Looking Back; I printed this in the November 2008 issue of this newsletter. It is still true and worth repeating.

Reverend Carl Townsend – I got an e-mail from Carl with this in it, nothing else.

“We truly take a lot for granted. Forget the football "heroes" and movie "stars. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you,

Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.”

Three Wise Women; Last year about this time I saw a web article humorously discussing what might have been if the three wise men visiting Jesus had been women. I realized there could be a serious side to the three wise women idea. I never wrote it. probably never will; still there are interesting possibilities. What if one were your mother?

Sheep and Goats; The December 30 Sunday School lesson talked of Jesus separating sheep from the goats, the sheep receiving eternal life and the goats doomed to eternal punishment. We should do all we can to aid those destined to be sheep and ignoring those destined to be goats. Our problem is that we do not have God’s wisdom to know if someone will be a sheep or a goat. Our solution is to treat everyone as a potential sheep, very hard to do.

As an aside, real goats, although temperamental, serve useful purposes, giving milk and mowing lawns.

Calendars, Address Labels, Cards; I received 23 unsolicited and unwanted 2019 calendars, innumerable greeting cards, and a lifetime supply of address labels. Someone suggested I count the cards. I might if I could count that high.

Apology; I have been writing a lot, perhaps too much, about the evils of Progressivism. It is because I feel it is regressive, destructive, and evil and has failed in every country trying it. Why should we adopt it expecting a different outcome?

Cancer; There is a cancer spreading over this nation, this world that is far deadlier and more aggressive than the one I have.

Eggs; It just occurred to me that eggs are in the same group as milk and honey. No harm comes to the hen laying an egg and laying an egg doesn’t hurt unless you are a would-be comedian. That may sound strange to young folk, but back in the day (before movies) theater entertainment was live. Comedians were part of the show. A bad joke was sometimes followed by a barage of eggs thrown at the comedian. I was called "Laying an egg."

Upper Room Pages; These two pages appeared back-to-back in the November-December 2018 issue of the The Upper Room. The First One seemed aimed directly at me. What she and her husband experienced is very similar what I am going through. God will walk with me just as He is with them. I found a web site connected to her name, emailed it, and discovered I had found the author when she sent me an email later the same day. I think you would like her site, https://dianaderringer.com/ I began receiving a weekly newsletter right after I found the site.  It is wholesome and fun.

The Second Page is about freedom which I think we are slowly losing as our big government intrudes more and more into our lives. George Orwell in Animal Farm had one of the privileged pigs controlling the government say, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality and freedom of their citizens but give power and privileges to a small elite. Sadly, it seems to me we are becoming such a nation.

2019UR2 2019UR1b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

February 

Preaching for Profit; I wrote about TV evangelists and my suspicions of them in the December of 2017 issue, but this January 20th Sunday School lesson shed a new light on the subject. The lesson told us to focus on the message, not the messenger. Regardless of the TV evangelist’s motives, if the message is true, learn from it, if not change channels. Their motivation, selfish or Godly, will be recorded in their record book. What I think of them will be recorded in my record book. Just the same, I still question their wealth but cannot judge it. Wealth may be essential to the effort they are making,

Advertising Wording; I recently heard this in a TV commercial, “It has been successfully tested to help you,” It occurred to me that the successful test could have ended in failure to help. I wonder if the product could be advertised this way, “It has been tested to successfully help you.” Both use the same words, but the meaning is very different.

Is Everybody Happy?; Ted Lewis made the question famous in two movies (1929 and 1943) and the title song of that name. In today’s world, progressive people, groups, organizations and governments seem to be trying to do just that to all of us.

Because of progressive efforts in today’s world, a second question comes to mind, “Is anybody happy?”

Now for the answer. It is, “No!” to both questions.

Progressives are unhappy because they have not destroyed enough barriers; the rest of us are unhappy because our freedoms are being eroded, one by one.

If you try to make everybody happy the end result is that nobody is happy.

From the February 2019 Kentucky Explorer – “The economic and technological triumphs of the past few years have not solved as many problems as we thought they would, and, in fact, have brought us new problems we did not foresee.” - Henry Ford II who died on September 29, 1987.

And he wasn’t speaking of the internet, social media, home computers, or cell phones. What would he say today? He would say the same, but in a louder voice.

St. Valentine’s Day; It may have been a good day for you, in the year 278 A.D. it was bad for St. Valentine. He was beheaded on February 14 of that year.

About The Following Sabbath Day Editorial; I hope I offend no one with the rather long writing about the Sabbath Day. It is vital that we keep it Holy for our future. That said, I do not believe anyone with absolute certainty can say which of the next seven consecutive days is the Sabbath Day.

Sabbath Day; While waiting to see my doctor before my biweekly infusion of OPDIVO (the capital letters are theirs, not mine), I came across a book titled “Ten Commandments Twice Removed.” I didn’t have time to read it but was intrigued by the title, so I ordered it.

In Chapter 1 It briefly identified the first removal as that by the government and other institutions removing the Ten Commandments from buildings and lawns all over the country. The rest of the book tried to prove we all have removed them, especially the 4th one, by treating Sunday as the Sabbath.

The book turned out to be a Seventh Day Adventist publication with much good reading. but aimed at proving Saturday is the Sabbath Day. I found it confusing and no more convincing than Catholic and Protestant arguments for Sunday and Islamist views that it is Friday.

The Bible speaks of a seven day sequence of six working days followed by the Sabbath Day. It never links them to the seven man-named days we call a week.

To be God’s Sabbath Day, the day, counting from God’s day 1 must be a whole number divisible exactly by seven. Was last Sunday one of those? Or was it Saturday or possibly Tuesday?

If one believes this is year 5779 (as it is according to the Jewish calendar) from the first year, then somewhere near 2,100,000 days have occurred. It is a Sabbath Day.

I believe there is only a one-in-seven chance of that. I base my opinion on a lack of any means of keeping track of days gone by in the very early days and my fallibility at keeping track of days gone by in these days. I have gone a whole day thinking it was another. I believe that could have happened to the day counter before calendars existed, perhaps more than once.

The Gregorian Calendar, the one we use, was introduced in 1582. It identifies its Sundays as coinciding with  Sabbath Days. Did or will one of its Sundays coincide with day 2,100,000, the 300,000th Sabbath? Possibly, but more likely not.

I also believe the same of the Jewish and Seventh Day Adventists belief that Saturdays are Sabbath Days and the Islamist belief that Fridays are Sabbath Days.

If we assume a day for God is 1000 of our years as stated in the Bible, then we are near the 6th day in His second week following the creation and His second Sabbath will be around our year 3000, perhaps coinciding with the second coming.

What is important is that we observe the Sabbath Commandment on one day out of seven, Sunday being that day.

I also think each of God’s days once there was light and dark began at sunup when he began the day’s work after which time he rested (slept?) until sunup, not that a day starts at sundown. A day consisted of work time, evening and morning, the sequence written in Genesis.

God has it right and will fairly judge us.

 

March

Some Sentences to Ponder from The Autobiography of George Müller (1805 – 1898)

From Page 33 of the 1985 Whitaker House Paperback: Simplicity of expression is of utmost importance. The teacher should speak so that even children and people who cannot read may be able to understand him, as far as the natural mind can comprehend the things of God. Every congregation has people of various educational and social backgrounds. The expounder of the truth of God speaks for God and for eternity. It is unlikely that he will benefit the hearers unless he uses plain speech.

If the preacher strives to speak according to the rules of this world, he may please many, particularly those who have a literary taste. But he is less likely to become an instrument in the hands of God for the conversion of sinners or for the building up of saints. Neither eloquence nor depth of thought makes a truly great preacher. Only a life of prayer and meditation will render him a vessel ready for the Master’s use and fit to be employed in the conversion of sinners and in the edification of the saints.

My comment; I think modern religions have strayed far from the scriptures.

More of George Müller; George Müller never asked anyone for so much as a penny for himself, his family, or his ministries. He also never divulged how bad-off he often was. Often, he had barely more than a penny when he set out for the day. He did ask God to provide the money for all his needs and God did.

The result was many day schools (both boys and girls), adult schools, infant orphanages, boys’ orphanages, girls’ orphanages, and scripture distribution.

In 1875 he began a preaching tour of over 200,000 miles in forty-two countries to reach over 3,000,000 people.

Early in his spiritual career he started The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad. The institution had these seven principles.

  1. We consider every believer to be called to help the cause of Christ, and we have scriptural reasons to expect the Lord’s blessing on our work of faith and labor of love.
  2. With the Lord’s help we will not seek the patronage of the world. We never intend to ask unconverted people of rank or wealth to support this institution because we believe this would be dishonorable to the Lord.
  3. We will not ask unbelievers for money although we will accept their contributions if they offer them of their own accord.
  4. We reject the help of unbelievers in managing or carrying on the affairs of the institution.
  5. We intend never to enlarge the field of labor by contracting debts and then appealing to the church for help.
  6. We will not measure the success of the institution by the amount of money given or the number of Bibles distributed, but by the Lord’s blessing on the work.
  7. While we avoid needless separation, we desire to go on simply according to the scripture, without compromising the truth.

Later in the book, page 162, George writes, “I do not mean to say that it would be acting against the precepts of the Lord to seek for help in His work by personal and individual requests to believers.”

George Müller Charitable Trust; George’s legacy is the now named The George Müller Charitable Trust or affectionately just Müllers which carries on his work as he did. Where needed the Trust provides financial support as targeted grants and microfinancing. It offers a hand up rather than a hand out.

In its 2016-2017 business year, $1,900,000 found its way to grass roots efforts. That’s not a lot compared to what the US gives countries purportedly for similar purposes, but which often ends up in in some official’s pocket.

One thing certain is that a dollar from Mullers does far more than a dollar from the US Government.

 

April

FETV; It stands for Family Entertainment Television and is Channel 9642 of the Dish Satellite Television Service. This year it regularly serves up The Roy Rogers Show, The Lone Ranger, Father Knows Best, Hazel, I Dream of Jennie, Bewitched, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Perry Mason, and Matlock during my awake hours.

While I am sleeping it has T. J. Hooker, Hart to Hart, Maude, Barney Miller, One Day at a Time, Designing women, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Lassie, Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Every Day, and Life Today with James Robison.

On weekends it presents The Flying Nun, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Peter Gunn, The Bob Newhart Show, and several religious programs at the expense of its regular programs. I find the plots somewhat obvious, the settings very contrived and often obviously fake, the humor to be funny and not gross, and something good to be learned in every episode.

The US Navy would call each episode ASTOWIAMO. I wrote about Navy acronyms in the February 2018 issue so you should easily realize it is short for “A story with a moral.”

I recommend it if you want to watch a good world rather than our present bad one.

The longest minute. It’s the “let stand one minute” one right after the microwave finishes heating a frozen meal.

Marie Callender Products; Many of the products are advertised as home made and show Marie slaving over her four-burner kitchen stove. Considering the thousand of meals made every day, she is probably the busiest human cook in the world.

Mary Tyler Moore Show; Ted Baxter once said, “Those who can, do; those who can’t don’t.”

Wise Advice; I found this in the Kentucky Philosopher column of the March 2019 issue of Kentucky Explorer. We should all heed it.

“Conversation: Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment,” attributed to George Sala, of whom I never before heard.

Church Chuckles; While cleaning up the stuff piled on my dining room table, I ran across a book titled Church Chuckles by Ellen P. Blooming and Paul Seaburn in 2005. I have no recollection of how I come to have it. This was in it.

A little boy’s prayer: “Dear God, please take care of Mommy and Daddy and my sister and my brother and me.  And please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.”

Thoughts about my Pneumonia Encounter, First Thought; Early in my Intensive Care stage I was interviewed for the hospital records. They asked what I would want if my heart stopped. I selected not to be resuscitated with the interviewer saying, “It will be up to God no matter what you choose.” I knew that to be true, so her words were comforting. She then attached a blue bracelet around my right arm. It read “DO NOT RESUSITATE.” That was when I finally realized pneumonia was far more serious then I had thought. Perhaps it was selfish of me to choose a quick end. I did not mean it that way. Second Thought; I lost ten pounds, but I don’t recommend this a preferred way to loose weight. The Hospital diet cannot compete with Weight Watchers or Nutrisystems. That includes Rehabilitation Facility food but not as much. Most of it was pretty good but not my first choice. Third Thought; A lot went on that has convinced me God had a hand in my getting pneumonia and much of what went on with me in Meadowview. Those experiences will take far more than one page to document. It will be written elsewhere later. Single Sentence Thoughts; Breathing through a Nebulizer for a half-hour three times a day is boring. Dragging an oxygen cylinder around limits your mobility. Getting tangled up in a 20 foot oxygen tube connected to a central oxygen generator makes walking around your home quite a hazard. Stopping both the nebulizer and the oxygen treatments is a very good thing.

How Good is Your Memory?; The gospels were written some 30 to 50 years after the crucifixion according to experts in biblical matters. There are some differences in their descriptions of some of those events. Do those differences suggest the books are invalid?

There is also speculation that parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were copied from earlier documents, the Q document and the L document. Does this invalidate the books?

Either way the books were written from memories of Jesus' life and memories are personal and not always accurate. They come close but different points make different impressions.

I am now trying to write about some of the things that happened to me in March. They are getting mixed up and hard to sort out.

How about trying it for yourself. Pick an event from sometime in the past. Now pick a friend that was a part of the event. Next, have you and your friend describe it on paper. Compare the results. How similar or different are they?’

God or Money; Which do you value most? It’s a tough question in this present world. This is the right answer.

Matthew 6:24 (CEB)No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Our government seems to have made money its God. It measures success by how much is spent rather than how much is accomplished.

Local, grassroots, and most Christian charities, being short of money make good use of it. Their success can be measured by results. That is a good thing.

 

May

Tomatoes, Then and Now; When I was young, just a few years ago, I loved tomato slices with salt. They were tasty and sweet without salt, but better with salt. Then I moved to New Jersey where I lived along the street farmers brought their tomatoes to Campbell’s tomato processing plant. Half bushel baskets were stacked high on the trucks. They used small baskets because the weight of the tomatoes on top crushed those at the bottom of the basket.

A few years later tomatoes arrived in two-foot-high boxes, two boxes across, about six boxes front to back, and four deep on flatbed tractor-trailer trucks. Several years after that they arrived in a single frame trailer piled high, maybe over six feet.

Campbell’ tomato breeders had succeeded in hybridizing a tough-skinned tomato, so tough those at the bottom of six feet of tomatoes were not crushed. It was all done in the interest of Campbell’s tomato processing, not us tomato eaters.

You almost need to peel tomatoes now if you want to eat them off the vine. They also do not taste as good as they did.

I suspect food processing companies would greatly love tasteless raw materials as they could uniformly doctor them to the desired taste. As it is they have to adjust the additives and taste test to reach their goal.

You Have to Believe; When you read many verses in the New Testament, you find they are about the fulfillment of prophesies made and recorded in the Old Testament. The New Testament events or words are spontaneous. As an example, in Mark 14:26, Jesus tells his disciples they will falter just as predicted in Zechariah 13:7. They say they won’t but do. I’m sure they didn’t disappear into the crowd to make Zechariah look good, but of their own free will and fears.

Joseph did not take his family to Egypt so Jesus could come from Egypt just to make Hosea look good (Hosea 11:1), but out of fear of what might happen if he stayed around Bethlehem. I also doubt Joseph, a carpenter, even new there had been a Hosea.

To me, it is another proof the Bible is true that so many later events were predicted so far in advance if their actual happening and by so many different prophets,

The linkage of prophecy and event are, for the most part, recognized by the New Testament author, not those making the prophecy come true.  

My Pneumonia Event in Detail; I have spent many hours trying to understand and write about most of what happened while I was dealing with pneumonia. I ended up with far too much to put in The Christian Chatter. Instead I put it on my website. It is included inside sub-menu menu item Of My World, Present-day Views and in the article titled Traveling on Lung Cancer Road. A major part of the article is about The Pneumonia Detour which I believe was a God given event. To read it go to www.allentbooth.com or Google allentbooth.com. Be sure to include the “t.”

Author's Current Comment; The above paragraph s from The Christian Chatter. If you are reading this you can get to the article by clicking the link in the paragraph.

From Decision Points by George W. Bush; I came across this while hunting for ideas for Page 2. Here it is without comment, lucky you.

Then we reached a remote part of the property. A lone hen turkey was standing in the road. I stopped the truck. The bird stayed put.

“What is that?” the crown prince asked.

I told him it was a turkey. “Benjamin Franklin loved the turkey so much he wanted it to be America’s national bird,” I said.

Suddenly I felt the crown prince’s hand grab my arm. “My brother,” he said, “it is a sign from Allah. This is a good omen.”

I’ve never fully understood the significance of the bird, but I felt the tension begin to melt. When we got back to the house, our aides were surprised to hear us say we were ready for lunch. The next day, I got a call from Mother and Dad. The crown prince had stopped in Houston to visit them. Mother said he had tears in his eyes as he recounted his time in Crawford and talked about what we could achieve together. For the rest of my presidency, my relationship with the crown prince—soon to be king—was extremely close. I had never seen a hen turkey on that part of the property before, and I haven’t seen one since.

Cleanliness; I am not convinced that the freedom from germs offered by today’s detergents, soaps, germicides and sanitizers are of much value except to those profiting by their sale.

Fillers from the Kentucky Explorer;

May 2019; It is my principle that the will of the majority should always prevail. Thomas Jefferson 

If Patrick Henry thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see it with representation. Author unknown 

Every man has a right to be heard, but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords, Adlai E. Stevenson

I mistrust the judgement of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned, First Duke of Wellington.

Territory is but the body of a nation. The people who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life. James A. Garfield 

Sept 2018; There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you. – Peter De Vries

When it comes to doing for others, some people stop at nothing. – Anon.

People seldom improve when they have no other model than themselves to copy after. – Goldsmith

Dad criticized the sermon. Mother thought the organist made a lot of mistakes. Sis didn’t like the choir’s singing. But the all shut up when little Billy chipped in with the remark, “I think it was a darn good show for a nickel.”

 

June

Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, or Pro-Both; I decided to write about this after seeing news reports about what some states are doing about abortions.

State Governments are now considering legalizing abortions during the first two months, the first three months, or before there is a detectable heartbeat. Almost all states also consider legalizing exceptions where rape or incest cause the pregnancy.

I believe life begins at conception without exception, but there are circumstances in our evil real world that might allow for exceptions.

When I debate with myself about life or choice, I tend to think in terms of healthy teenagers with a lifestyle somewhat like my own who make a stupid mistake, are raped, or seduced by a relative. I conclude that the child should be born and, if not wanted, put up for adoption.

But there are unhealthy, addicted, or impoverished teenagers and older women to be considered. Many might not even know they are pregnant until the time window closes.

I think laws should deal with this group by providing sustenance, housing, and counseling as needed until the baby is born and then consider adoption, foster care, or a home for children. I personally think children’s homes run by religious organizations far outweigh the average foster parent.

As to women’s claims that, “It is my body, so I alone have the right to decide,” I submit that she is only an incubator for a baby and that baby belongs to both her and the father.

There are situations I am ignorant of that might require an abortion. The life of the mother does not seem to be one in my mind. It may be necessary to remove the fetus, but every effort should be made to keep it alive.

What I believe would require laws that deal with each situation as unique. Congress and state legislatures are not capable of doing that. They seem to want vague one-size-fits-all laws. Such laws all yield weird, sometimes terrible, unintended consequences.

I have heard some deranged people also want to consider “abortion” after a live birth if the doctor and the mother think that is what should be done. I think that is not abortion but premeditated murder.

As an afterthought, the world is rapidly becoming overpopulated to such an extent that we may self-destruct. Birth control may become a forced necessity around the world.

I conclude that I am Pro-Both.

I also believe God will prevail.

God, the Olive Tree; Last month the Lesson Book taught about Paul’s comparison of Israel to an Olive tree with enough branches to allow grafting of Gentiles to some of its extra branches. Ethnic branch upon ethnic branch has been added since those early days, so many that the one true branch of Israel is hardly visible, yet it’s still there.

Another Coincidence?; I was working on the Friday part of The Pneumonia Detour around May 16, 2019. I was writing about my nearing exhaustion and asking God to help me by letting me rest. That day I read the May 16 Upper Room devotion about the same subject. The reading changed my thinking and helped me finish that part. I wondered about the coincidence that I was sure was not a happenstance; it was a synchronicity.

The puzzlement led me to explore what a coincidence really was. I found an internet paragraph that has cleared it up some. The following is that paragraph.

Coincidence and synchronicity. are both defined as “striking occurrences of two or more events at one time”. The difference is that coincidence is perceived as chance or luck while synchronicity implies the presence of a deeper intelligence at work. 

Written by Nikhil Sawant, Enjoy your life January 10, 2016 at Quora

https://www.quora.com/ Many of what I have called coincidences in the past, I can now call synchronicities without elaboration.

Drug Store Mysteries; The good mystery is how our small drug stores always seem to have my prescription, whatever it is, in stock. It’s hard to see how they can stock the enormous number of drugs on the market. The bad mystery is why with three people behind the counter and no one else in line or waiting that it takes 15 minutes to get a box or bottle off the shelf, possibly count out a number of pills or pour out a fixed amount of liquid into a smaller bottle, put a personalized label on it and call me that it is ready.

School Spun; I found these two jokes in the April 1, 1950 Lewis County High School newsletter’s LAFF-A-LOTS column.

Betty Ray: Does Mr. Pence carry life insurance?

Margaret Ginn: No, fire insurance. He knows where he’s going.

Mr. Applegate: When a new country comes into existence, what is the first thing the United States does?

Domar Lewis: Lends it money.

Mr. Pence was the Sponser of the newsletter so they could poke fun at him. Mr. Applegate was Teddy, not Doug. Marlene Brewer was Editor that year. I wrote a gossip column under the pen name, “Cuddles.” Also Domar’s answer would be as appropriate now as in 1950.

Forward with Friends, LLC;With Lloyd’s help, Forward with Friends is now a reality complete with website, forwardwithfriends.org., checking account, and Post Office box. Its purpose is to help recovering addicts move Forward in ways not financially covered by mainstream organizations using gifts from generous Friends, like you.

Forward with Friends cannot help anyone at present, having less than $50.00 available, but it can accept cash or check gifts. See Allen Booth if you wish to do help.

 

 July

Life Elsewhere in the Universe?; The subject came up in Sunday School on June 9. A few days ago, I read in the CEB introduction to Colossians this sentence. “Christ created the universe and set it free from hostile powers.” The introduction is attributed to J. R. Daniel Kirk of whom I know nothing. I also found little on the internet that made him understandable.

Back to the sentence, if the universe is free from hostile powers, where are the hostile powers; another universe, heaven, hell, where? It sure makes ones imagination work overtime.

Now for the title question. God created our earth and us and is caring for us here on earth through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That does not keep God from creating a similar (or dissimilar); collection of matter and forces, including some form of life elsewhere in the universe or even in another universe.

Will we ever make contact? Only if God did indeed make them and wants us to connect with them.

Another Mouth to Feed; Another event of June 9 was Corinne’s discovery of a wet, hungry, very scared kitten under the dumpster near the Fellowship Room entry to the Church. Corinne showed him to me and suggested we take him to the Animal Shelter. To me that meant death, or nicely put, euthanasia, so I said, “We better take him home,” and so we did. Gizmo is now dry, well fed, and taking over his new Catdom.

Romans; As part of a daily reading routine I have just finished reading Paul’s letter to the Romans. As I started, I remembered reading somewhere that it is among ten books that should be read over and over. So, this time I concentrated more than in the past and find it full of true advice.

The other nine books on the list are; Genesis, John, Psalms, Ephesians, Proverbs, Philippians, 1 John, and Isaiah. I will do them following Revelation.

Having just read 1 Timothy, I would add it to the list.

Signs of Our Times; “I just ran across a book of postcards by that name published in 1964. An example follows. “Some people are still willing to do an honest day’s work only they want a week’s pay for it.” My thought; They want a month’s pay now without working.

Our New Pastor, Bob Sweeney began taking care of us on Sunday, June 23. His wife, Pam, and son, Nathaniel, also joined us. Let us all pitch and help us renew and grow. God will also pitch in.

Reconciliation; I have always believed reconciliation meant re-bonding with someone whom I had become un-bonded with. I have many broken bonds from the past that can never be mended regardless of how hard I try. That meant reconciliation could never happen. Thanks to Reverend Bob I now think that my attempt at or desire to re-bond is sufficient for me to be reconciled with God and that is what counts.

Memento From 1989; Bub Silvey found this fake $100-dollar bill (copyright 1989) recently and suggested it for The Christian Chatter. I thought so, too, so here it is.

100Front

100BackOn the back is a list of what money can and cannot buy. It also has words of wisdom about getting those things money cannot buy.

The amount of money one has or makes is widely used as a measure of success. To me it is a measure of Greed.

The true measure of success is what one does with money. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the most obvious success these days. There is a vast need for money to be used to aid people in underdeveloped countries and many other projects. Government to government money exchange too often goes to greedy officials. Hands-on grass-roots efforts achieve far more success.

Bills like this can be purchased in quantity (the back is up to you) on the internet, should you wish to hand them out.

Church Steeple
Church Steeple;
Many, perhaps most, of you are not aware that our Church once had a steeple as pictured, topped by a cross. Lightning shattered it in the late fifties, as best I can determine. It was decided to “fix” the problem as you now see it.

This picture is the best we know of. It does not show the cross or do justice to the elaborate window frames.

I, for one, would dearly love to see it lovingly restored. To do so would require much better photos of it. I implore all of you to search your keepsake boxes and ask your friends for photos and loan them to us for scanning. Several years ago, a contractor I trust thought it might cost as much as $20,000. Our present dire financial condition strongly suggests against it, but it might be the catalyst we need for our revitalization.

 

 August

Some Good Reads; Recently I watched Elizabeth Hasselbeck promote her new book about her life with God. I then read it and was impressed by how open she was about how God guided her through life. She also mentioned four books that were important in her life.

“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young is one of them. It is a book of devotions for every day of the year. They are written as if Jesus is talking to the reader. The July 17 entry begins, “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Today’s first sentence is “Find me in the midst of the maelstrom.” “Jesus Calling” is a book I intend to read every day for as long as I am able.

“Ordering Your Private World.” by Gordon McDonald is another. I am at Chapter Four. It is a guide to gaining control of your inner world so you can cope with what the outer world throws at you.

The other two are “Love Does” by Bob Goff and “Love Lives Here” by his wife, Maria Goff. They are next on my reading list.

From the August issue Kentucky Living; Why did the cow go to the bank? To get some moolah.

From the July/August 2019 Kentucky Explorer; One of the great mysteries of life is how the idiot your daughter married can be the father of the smartest grandchildren in the whole world.

Wisdom from Hedy Lamarr and Natalie Portman; According to the August/September issue of Reminisce, Hedy once said, “Any girl can be glamorous, all you do is stand still and look stupid.” Natalie’s comment was, “I’d rather be smart than be a movie star. Both were both. Hedy has a patent for a secret communications system that was the beginning of Wi-Fi. Natalie published scientific papers in 1998 and 2002.

Goliath; If Goliath was so intimidating that everyone ran from him (except David), I wonder if he knew how to fight or was ever in a fight?

Greater Love; To set the stage, I have watched my kitten, Gizmo, tease and torture Corinne’s mother cat, Winnie, every chance he gets. Winnie often swats at him and then runs away. Then Friday night I was watching news and waiting for “Wheel of Fortune” with Winnie staring into space from her seat on my laptop which is on my left and Gizmo sleeping on my chair beside my right hip. All was peaceful for a change. That’s when Winnie got up, walked across me, gently licked the top of Gizmo’s head three or four times, and backed away to return to her seat on my laptop. Gizmo just starred at her. I could only think of Greater love and Mother love.

A Perfect World; This world would be far better if we all worked together to help of us achieve and live in a peaceful world where we all could prosper.

That said, there will always be someone who has less than everyone else and someone who has more than everyone else.

Gumption; It is a word I remember being used a lot when I was very young. It isn’t used much these days. It is a Scottish word first written in 1719. It means common sense, horse sense, initiative, enterprise.

I wonder what the origin of the word horse-sense is. Maybe next month??

LGBTTQQFAGPBDSMNC2SAP; The Urban Dictionary humorously (but it now seems to be a reality) created this acronym intending it to include all the “unusual” lifestyles around us. If true, only the “usual” lifestyles remain, namely males behaving in as men and females behaving in women, perhaps acronymically, MMAWF (Manly Males and Womanly Females).

If someone in the “unusual” community truly believed in God, he/she/it would encourage everyone, including themselves, to be “usual.”

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, Romans 12:14-16, Paul writes 14Bless people who harass you—bless and don't curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16Consider everyone as equal, and don't think that you're better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don't think that you're so smart.” Paul’s advice applies equally to all lifestyles.

Paul has more to say on the subject in his first letter to Timothy (See the Smile, then Ponder page.)

“Unusual” persons should not be given positions where they can even subjectively influence others to be like them. Again, Paul, in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and again in Titus 1:6-8 tells us what our leaders should and should not be.

Paul describes the path our country is on and what we should do in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Our leaders seem to be bent on raising genderless children when God meant us to be male and female. Girls should be raised to be women; boys should be raised to be men.

I recently heard or read that some schools have classes for girls that teach them how to be boy-like; the reverse for boys. The resulting lifestyle would spend a lot of time being very confused and spend much money seeing psychologists and psychiatrists.

Our UMC is struggling with this issue and seems to be trying to bend the rules to say, “All is OK.” They should take Paul’s advice.

I believe God loves an “unusual” person and so should we. However, God does not approve of some of their practices and so should we not approve those practices.

An Event, Good or Bad?; I often hear and watch people on TV explain an event taking either a good or bad position on it. Many times, I think they first take or are told to take a position (e.g. I have to be against this) and then invent reasons that support that position. The reasons often sound and are ridiculous.

When something happens, is reported, or proposed, I try to ask myself whether it is good or bad, not just for me but for the bigger groups affected and then take a position. I wish Congress would do the same.

Ditches; I don’t remember the context where I first read this, but it seems to apply to a lot of situations. “There are ditches on both sides of the road.”

If you are driving. The middle of the road can also be risky.

 

September

2 Timothy 4:3-5  (CEB)3There will come a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. They will collect teachers who say what they want to hear because they are self-centered. 4They will turn their back on the truth and turn to myths. 5But you must keep control of yourself in all.

Our Country, the World; As I read Paul’s prediction to Timothy (see the verses above) of what the world of his time was coming to, it struck me that he is also telling us what is happening in our world. We have certainly elected a collection of teachers aka Congressmen er Congressperson er Congressperchildren who are telling us many myths that many of our countrymen and countrywomen want to hear.

We must follow Paul’s advice to Timothy and do all we can to replace the myth spouting “teachers” with “teachers” who teach sound and accurate teachings.

Mornings with Jesus; Mornings with Jesus is a two-month daily reading booklet published by Guideposts. I found these last two paragraphs from the August 25 page very enlightening.

“MY brother is the superintendent of the school district where my kids attend. To them, he’s Uncle Jim, a big teddy bear who takes them on rides and throws them in the pool. The first time one of them saw him on campus with his suit and tie, however, they saw him in a new lens. He was Mr. Ford. The one in charge.

Jesus is our friend, but he’s also God. The one in charge.”

Telling Time; When I was young, watches and clocks had an hour hand and a minute hand, some also had a second hand. If someone asked the time it was common to reply with “a quarter past ten” or half past three” or “a quarter to seven” or “five ‘til eight.” In this digital watch/clock age we reply with an exact number such as “ten twenty-three.”

I have a treasured recent gift watch that has hands and many other features, so I have reverted to old time telling methods. By my reckoning we just passed the “A quarter to 2020” time on a year clock.

I wonder if and how eye doctors and eyeglasses makers will use the year in commercials and advertisements. Maybe something like, “It is 2020, the year to make your vision match.”

Learning From Old TV Shows; In 1964 Perry Mason and a client could ride in the backseat of a convertible with the top down without a single hair blowing in the wind. They don’t make convertibles like that anymore.

What’s True is True; I found this in my 1964 Signs of our Times booklet. “Help a man in trouble and he will never forget you, especially the next time he is in trouble.”

Children’s Magazine; I subscribed to Focus on the Family Clubhouse for a forgotten reason. 8 to 12-year old’s are targeted. I’ll paraphrase a letter written by Arianna, age 11, as an example. She watched a show about how hard cancer is on kids. She decided to use the internet to raise money, promising to shave her head if her goal of $3500 was reached. She raised over $3800 and as promised, shaved her head on November 25 after church. Asked why she did it, she said, “God told me to do it.”

There are also stories, puzzles, self-tests. coloring, cutouts, and jokes. They are all family oriented with a strong link to God. I think it a good read for all children in the age group. They also have a web site, actually several sites.

Here’s an example joke. “Why is corn good at listening?” “It’s all ears.”

There is also Focus on the Family Jr for 3-7 year old’s.

The Cloud; Those of us using computers, smart phones, and other high-tech devices know there is The Cloud where we can store our cherished indispensable writings, images, contacts, and tons of useless information we think of as important. When I think of The Cloud, I “see” the fluffy white ones in the sky. Do you?

I have just started reading “Tools and Weapons” by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, and Carol Ann Browne, also an executive of Microsoft. In the introduction, they describe Microsoft’s share of The Cloud as it really is. It is an eyeopener. I will now summarize their description.

Microsoft owns, operates, and leases data centers (the building blocks of the cloud) in 100 locations in 20 countries allowing one billion customers use of Microsoft’s share of The Cloud. There are 20 data centers (two million square feet) in their Quincy, WA campus alone. It is home to hundreds of thousands of servers (special computers) and millions of hard drives.

Some have predicted that The Cloud will consume 20% of the Earth’s power ’s by 2025.

So, what is a data center? As you come up to one, first you see walls and fences for security. Just inside the walls are several huge oil or natural gas powered backup generators, each over 20 feet high and able to power more than two thousand homes.

Now for the building. It is bullet proof and fireproof with airport security style entry procedures provided you match the “approved for entry” personnel list. Every room inside also is security protected. They are bullet proof and fireproof as are their doors.

First inside is a string of secure rooms (four or more) operating as independent electrical substations converting input power from its 240,000 volt form to the useable 240 volt form. As many as 5000 batteries in these rooms are used to provide instantaneous backup until the generators are up and functioning.

Next are more bullet proof fireproof rooms entered through airport style metal detector security and two uniformed guards. If you are on the list, you get into a small room and the door closes and locks behind you and the door in front is locked from outside. After the security staff looks you over by camera and they agree you are Ok they open the inner door. You are now in one of the set of rooms filled floor to ceiling with row after row of rack after rack filled with servers and hard drives. Somewhere on one of those hard drives is one copy of your miniscule part of The Cloud. Yours and everyone else’s part of The Cloud is duplicated at an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster distance from this one.

The issues and problems for countries, owner-operators, and us users are enormous. Privacy versus safety, national security, surveillance, cybersecurity, staying democratic and fair yet aiding national security needs, and social media biases are just a few of the issues facing countries, owner-operators, and consumers.

The book presents a “good” Microsoft but in reality, I suspect Microsoft’s interests come first as they should.

 

October

Smle, then Ponder Verse: (CEB); Matthew 6:34 Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

About Tomorrow; Our congressmen and women and the news media are so busy worrying about tomorrow they are almost completely ignoring today. A time will come when they will have no tomorrow. They and us should take heed of the verse on the Smile, Then Ponder verse copied just above.

About Speed; Back in the day folks used to say, “The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.” It is another more humorous way of saying, “Haste makes waste.” I think we are trying to become so fast that we will soon be getting nothing done.

Are We Living in New Sodom?; While reading Chapter 1 of Romans it struck me that the United States has become New Sodom. Will God destroy us because he cannot find enough righteous people here? If He does, the fire and brimstone would likely be Civil War II or World War III.

Where would we, as Lot’s family, go if it happens?

Where Are We Going?; While wandering in the desert, the Israelites had no idea where God was leading them. The same is true today. We are wandering in a desert we have created and we have no idea where God will lead us.

We also do a lot of griping and complaining as did they.

Nursery Rhymes, The Dark Side; Have you ever wondered why this little pig went to market or this little pig stayed home? Do you think the pig went to market to shop? If so, you are wrong. That pig went to market because he was big enough to be butchered and sold. The one who stayed home wasn’t big enough yet.

Dying; If you live in God’s world, dying and going to Heaven might be compared to moving out of state in our physical world – new surroundings, new experiences, new people except in God’s World all will be great and some of the people will be old friends and family.

Upper Room Sept 22 2019Racism; Our governments and most organizations, including our Methodist Church, promote racism in the manner written about in the September 22 Upper Room reading. They profess to be non-discriminatory yet continue asking this question.

I have decided to leave it blank in our Vanceburg UMC Record Book.

King James Versions; While doing the Smile, Then Ponder page this month, I happened to look up the verse in my KJV Bible. It was different. So, I poked around. This is what I found about the KJV.

Several versions of the King James Bible (KJV) were produced in 1611,1629, 1638, 1762, and 1769. The 1769 edition is most commonly cited as the King James Version (KJV). The New King James Version was produced in 1975.

My King James Version was given to me as a High School graduation gift by my Aunt Regina Abbott and her children, Vera, George, and Stephen in 1951. It’s title page states it is “Translated out of the original tongues and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. The text conformable to that of the edition of 1611 commonly known as the authorized or King James Version.” That statement is sufficiently inexplicit that it could be any of the KJV revision dates or possibly a new one. It has no publication date. I have added the KJV to the Smile, then Ponder page.

Relativity; “When you sit with a nice girl, for two hours you think it’s a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity,” Albert Einstein once said. This appeared in the September 2016 Reader’s Digest.

Truth is Where You Find It; Professor Dumbledore said, in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J. K. Rowling “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” He was right.

Togetherness; It is time for all governments to divorce themselves from the marriage business and get into only the civil union business. It is time for all religious institutions to stop bending rules to allow civil unions to qualify as marriages.

Civil unions should be defined to include marriages and any other linkages the electorate approves. This approach allows marriage to keep its God given definition, undiluted – a union between a man and a woman.

I’m guessing this will not satisfy the “unusual” people because they want to be a part of the real thing, something they cannot be no matter what our laws say.

Also, divorce statistics should be similarly separated. I suspect the bulk of divorces are from non-religious unions.

No matter how the issue resolves we are all neighbors and should all love one another. To me that means causing no harm to each other. It’s a live-and-let-live kind of relationship.

Jesus Calling, July 15; I have recommended this daily devotional before but am giving you a taste, the first paragraph of the July 15 entry.

“DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW! This is not a suggestion, but a command. I divided time into days and nights, so that you would have manageable portions of life to handle. My grace is sufficient for you, but its sufficiency is for only one day at a time. When you worry about the future, you heap day upon day of troubles onto your flimsy frame. You stagger under this heavy load, which I never intended you to carry.”

Added by me; Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que será, será.

 

November

Proverbs 26:20 (CEB)20Without wood a fire goes out; without gossips, conflict calms down.

About Gossip; Thanks to social media, gossip has become a major part of life. 24/7 news channels contribute much to the gossip as well. It is unlikely conflict will end any time soon.

Psalm 71:18-19 CEB)18So, even in my old age with gray hair, don't abandon me, God! Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm, tell all who are yet to come about your strength, 19and about your ultimate righteousness, God, because you've done awesome things! Who can compare to you, God?

About Old Age; As I age, I feel more strongly that my God given wisdom about God, small as it is, needs to be passed along. For many years now I have written these editorial pages which, hopefully, do some of it.

I only recently realized I have written less about boiled eggs and more about God’s strength. love, and righteousness. I believe my more recent topics are God inspired whereas the earlier topics were mine alone hoping to be entertaining.

Captivity; When I hear or see the word. captivity, I think of prisons, concentration camps; of people forcibly put somewhere unpleasant. I also think of people becoming captive to various physical addictions. Are there good physical addictions, proper diet or exercise perhaps?

A person can also be captivated by awe inspiring sights be they people or scenes. But recently I have become aware of a different way of becoming captive, aka addicted. A collective term for this might be sinful spiritual captivity.

Many of the shakers and movers in the world are captives of greed and pride as are many other individuals. Some leaders are also captives of wraith, those of North Korea and Iran stand out. Russian and Chinese leaders seem captivated by envy.

Our government seems intent on creating a vast number of persons captivated by sloth (laziness/idleness) who will vote to stay captive. Also, an enormous number of us are captive to gluttony. The vast amount of porn on the internet suggests there may be 100 million captives of lust in the world.

What a world it would be if we exchanged the captivity of Greed to Charity, Pride to Humility, Sloth to Diligence, Wraith to Forgiveness, Envy to Kindness, Gluttony to Self-restraint, and Lust to Chastity.

From the November Kentucky Explorer; “True liberty consists in the privilege of enjoying our own rights, not in the destruction of the rights of others.” Pinckard

Happy Thanksgiving; Spend a little time thinking about the many things we have to be Thankful for, all God given.

 

December

Proverbs 30:8-9 (CEB)8Fraud and lies— keep far from me! Don't give me either poverty or wealth; give me just the food I need. 9Or I'll be full and deny you, and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or I'll be poor and steal, and dishonor my God's name.

About Enough; I think our secular world encourages us to get “full.” It also seems to me our government handouts without requiring at least a little effort is promoting poorness and government assisted stealing.

 

 

Psalms 53:1-3 (CEB)1Fools say in their hearts, There's no God. They are corrupt and do horrible deeds; not one of them does anything good. 2God looks down from heaven on humans to see if anyone is wise, to see if anyone seeks God. 3But all have turned away. Everyone is corrupt. No one does good— not even one person!

About Fools; It seems to me that these verses completely describe most of the prominent people and people we are constantly exposed to (people on TV.) There are exceptions of course but we seldom see or hear them.

Psalms has many verses where the writer finds everyone corrupt. I think in all cases there is a silent minority not written about to make the evil stand out.

Advice on Sleeping; 24/7 TV News channels spend an enormous amount of time speculating on what might happen in the future. Their talking heads never run out of speculative possibilities. They do not keep score of their successes and failures either. Regardless of their predictions only one chain of events will be what really happens, and they will most likely not report it.

The same may be true for you. Your head gets full of possibilities of what might or might not happen. You can’t sleep because nothing gets settled and new possibilities keep coming up. You need to change the subject. Try this. Start thinking about the good things that really happened today. Think of the silver linings in the dark clouds of today. Think of what God did for you today.

If you can’t sleep because God is telling you things He wants you to do, give in, promise honestly to do what He wants, and you will sleep. If you think you may forget some of the details, write them down for review when you wake up. Then think of what God did for you today.

If you are thinking about things you must do, tomorrow, write them down.  Then think of what God did for you today.

It works for me. I don’t always get all the must/to-do tasks done the next day, but I do get them done before they reach critical mass.

Sometimes a bite to eat helps. But sometimes nothing works except time and exhaustion.

From Dec/Jan 2020 Mysterious Ways; The function of prayer is not to influence God but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. Soren Kierkegaard, Philosopher.

Life Saving; Before Hollywood, Dick Van Dyke was vacationing in Virginia Beach. He fell asleep on his surfboard and drifted well out to sea. When he woke up he was surrounded by a shoal of porpoises. They surrounded his surfboard and pushed him back to shore.

The above paragraph is my summary of an article that appeared in the same issue of Mysterious Ways. Dick first told the story in an interview  with TV host Craig Ferguson.

The End; With some sadness, but also a sigh of relief, I am writing this last paragraph of my last issue of The Christian Chatter