Our Heavenly Home

18 03 2018

If you’ve ever built a house, you can remember the excitement you felt as the builder neared completion. Time seemed to stand still as you anticipated the day you would be able to move in. And, when that big day finally came, you were filled with excitement as you made decisions on where to place furniture, who got which room, and just setting up your household.


At the trumpet sound, we’ll be going home!

The night before He was crucified, Jesus told the disciples, in John 14, that He was going to go on ahead and build a house for each of them and all followers. He, then, promised He would come back one day to get all of His faithful believers and take us to our new home, which will be located in God’s presence. We’ll be able to live there eternally.


Prophecy is being fulfilled, meaning, God has nearly completed our heavenly home and it won’t be long before Jesus returns for us. In fact, I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to get excited because I know it could happen at any moment.



The Ghost of Greta

10 03 2018

Puppy Greta

In spite of a preponderance of evidence and testimony from trustworthy sources, I have always been a bit skeptical about the existence of ghosts. Angels? Yes. But ghosts? No longer a skeptic! I am now a believer…at least as far as pets go.


In 2010 and again in 2011, I posted a couple of stories about our dog, Greta but don’t think I posted anything following her death in 2012-it was too painful to write. She had been diagnosed with cancer and we had no choice but to put her down. As anyone with a pet, particularly a dog, will tell you, she was like one of the family and it was so sad when she died. It took a very long time for my wife and me to get over her passing.


When we first brought her home as a 10 week-old puppy, I made the mistake of putting her on the bed that first night rather than force her to sleep alone in her bed on the floor. She decided that’s where she belonged and so that’s where she slept every night…lying against my stomach. During the night, she would move from that spot to another and this five-pound, long-haired miniature diva…I mean dachshund, would wake me up while stepping on top of me or across my legs as she sought a more comfortable spot.


About six months ago, I was awakened by a feeling that was very reminiscent of Greta stepping over my legs as she had done on so many nights. I decided it was just my wife moving about and causing the covers to move. But then it happened again. And again. And again. Finally, about a month ago, I mentioned it to my wife. I think she may have been a little skeptical herself and I can’t say as I blame her.


This morning (Sunday) at around 4:15, my wife got up to go to the bathroom. I usually get up around 3:30 or 4:00 except on weekends when I’ll sleep in until around six. So, when she returned to bed at 4:30, I was very much awake. Almost immediately, she went back to sleep. As I lay there, I soon noticed the sensation of movement and pressure against my right thigh, much like it felt when Greta would be settling in to get comfortable. I turned to my wife to tell her Greta was back but was dissuaded by her snoring (my wife’s not Greta’s). I decided she didn’t need to know that badly. But I lay there and the movement stopped. I then reached down toward my thigh where I had “felt her moving” and “scratched the back of her head.”  Immediately, the sensation returned and lasted only a couple of seconds. A minute or two passed and I reached down and did it again. Again, the sensation returned for a second or two. So, I lay there as I began to form this post in my mind and after a couple of minutes without feeling anything, I rolled over to my other side. Almost immediately, I felt her walking across my legs and between my feet just as she had always done.


If you’re too young to remember The Twilight Zone, then I suggest you Google and watch an episode or two. The host of the show, Rod Serling, once said, “There is nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on.” Well, if that’s true then there’s a five-pound long-haired miniature dachshund living on my bed day and night because, she is certainly there in the dark.

Don’t Blame the NRA

25 02 2018

I saw that several companies have recently cut ties with the NRA. I was particularly disappointed to see Delta and Hertz among them, as I have availed myself of their services on many occasions, and nearly exclusively in my frequent travels over the past 30 years. I am a two-million miler with Delta and a President’s Circle member at Hertz.


Don’t Blame the NRA

These and other companies have chosen to boycott the NRA in the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida; but, I feel the decision is not based on doing what is right but, instead, is based on greed. The decision-makers at Delta, Hertz and others are smart enough to know the NRA had nothing, whatsoever, to do with that or any other shooting. The NRA is no more complicit in school shootings than Delta Airlines was in the underwear bomber, who tried to bring down a Delta plane on its approach into Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. Or, you could look at it another way. It’s like blaming the National Association of Airline Passengers for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The National Association of Airline Passengers is a non-profit organization, as is the NRA, which advocates for the rights of citizens, as does the NRA. So, does that mean that if a plane crashes into a school, we should boycott them? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.


The NRA, whose mission statement includes defending the United States Constitution, advocates for safe and responsible gun ownership. What’s wrong with defending the Constitution? The NRA didn’t put the gun in the hands of the shooter any more than Delta or Fruit of the Loom put explosive material inside the drawers of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.


A Decision of Greed

Delta and these other companies initiated this misinformed boycott for business reasons only. They did it to protect their image from what they perceived was an indictment of the NRA on the part of the majority of Americans. That is greed and for that, I resent their actions. Rather than attack an organization who is not complicit in violent acts, our efforts would be better spent if we work together to identify the problems and search for answers. If you were able to get rid of every gun in the world, then those who want to hurt school kids could simply walk into schools wearing underwear stuffed with explosives.


In the case of the Parkland shooting, there is plenty of blame to go around, but none involves the NRA. How about all the tips about this kid which had been reported to law enforcement including the Broward and Palm Beach Sheriff’s offices and the FBI? These included numerous tips from neighbors, child protective services, classmates and teachers. How about the four deputies who cowardly sat outside the school for four minutes while the six-minute shooting took place? School officials had been warned numerous times about Cruz. The NRA didn’t tell any of these entities to ignore this young man.


Given his mental state, which had become well-known, this kid should never have had a gun. Yes, we need to get a better handle on who can own a gun, but over-reacting by blaming the NRA is counter-productive.


Stand Up for What is Right

Back to the subject at hand-I am fiercely loyal, so I won’t be flying American Airlines or renting from Dollar anytime in the foreseeable future. Heck, by the time I get this posted, they may well have joined the boycott, as well. Both Delta and Hertz have been good to me over the years and I’m not going to boycott their boycott, in spite of their cowardice. I believe their actions will backfire and, when that happens, I hope they will be as quick to renounce their decision as they were to join the boycott. But regardless, I now plan to join the NRA…not in spite of any boycott, but because I support their mission to defend the Constitution and advocate for gun safety. Rather than condemning the NRA, we should call on them to use their resources to further promote gun safety since it wouldn’t be reasonable to think taking guns away from gun owners will stop gun violence. Join me, Delta, Hertz and others, and stand up for what is right.


I Hear You, God!

18 02 2018

Much has been made of Joy Behar’s comments last week in which she mocked Vice-President Pence for his Christianity and accused him of being mentally ill. Unless you watch FOX News, you probably aren’t even aware of the latest controversy stirred up by this comedienne, turned co-host, on ABC’s The View. “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus,” she said. “It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct.”


Certainly, this is something so politically incorrect, the major networks, least of all the owner of her comments, ABC, would not want viewers (and sponsors) to hear.


Her comments demonstrate her intolerance for conservatives and conservative views. But the comments also reveal the blatant hypocrisy of her and her boss, ABC, who have made no effort to apologize to VP Pence, or Christians in general. Assuredly, if she had commented that former President Barrack Hussein Obama said he was told by Muhammad that he should release Gitmo-held terrorists back into the wild, or place nearly 2 billion dollars into the hands of our terrorist enemies, she would have immediately found herself among the unemployed and ABC would be falling all over itself to apologize.


But her follow-up comment, which has gotten less press, is, to me, even more revealing. Apparently, under pressure, she attempted to walk back her earlier comments by stating, “To call us intolerant or to call out ABC…I find a little hard,” she said. “I give money to the church. I actually help Christians with my pocketbook.”


Why does she give money to the church? Is it because she’s a church member? Does she attend church? Does she pray? Does she consider herself a Christian? Or, the $64,000 question, does she believe that her good deed of giving to the church will buy her way into heaven? I mean, I donate to the Police Benevolent Association but that doesn’t make me a police officer.


I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I don’t know what is in her heart, but her words reveal a lot of what is in her mind. Without making any judgments, I fear she does not have a personal relationship with God. To me, that’s the most troubling part of this entire fiasco. She doesn’t seem to understand God or what it takes to be assured of her salvation in order to attain her reward of eternity in heaven. Perhaps heaven isn’t on her radar; I don’t know. What I do know is that I can pray for her. I can talk to God and ask Him to show her the light. And who knows, He may come back and tell me He has it under control.


What’s Your Goliath?

10 02 2018

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7


David faced a giant. Goliath was a career warrior who had been training to fight since he was a child. He was nine feet tall with the strength of a bear. The tip alone, on the spear he carried, weighed 15 pounds. And, his bronze helmet probably weighed as much as the scrawny David. Now, he stepped out onto the battlefield to challenge the Israelites, but, no one would come out to fight him. They knew there was none among them who could defeat this leviathan.


Along comes David, a skinny shepherd boy, with enough faith in God to move a mountain. We read at I Samuel 17:38 that, as Goliath started out across the expanse between the armies, David ran out to meet him. He wasn’t timid. He didn’t walk out or amble out. He ran out, without hesitation and with unspeakable confidence, to remove the head of this enemy of his people. You see, David knew something that neither Goliath nor anyone else knew-he knew God was with him. David knew, just as Joshua knew at the battle of Jericho, the victory was already his. Joshua 6:2 says, “And the Lord said unto Joshua, ‘See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.’” The battle had been won even before it began. Such was the situation for David. His faith in God told him that God had is back, to put it into today’s vernacular, and he would be victorious thanks to the power of God.


Everyone has a Goliath in his or her life. Mounting debt. Health problems. An addiction. A tragedy.  A difficult boss or strained relation with a friend or family member. If you believe God is the promised Messiah and you have accepted Him as personal Savior, He will help you overcome that obstacle. No giant is bigger than God. Oh, we’ll still have rough spots. We’ll still have struggles; but, He sends His angels to watch over and protect us. The battle is already won thanks to the Cross. Isn’t it comforting to know that no matter how hard life gets, there will come a time when we will spend each perfect day in the presence of God for eternity.


“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalms 18:2



High Bid’s a Winner!

28 01 2018

Last year there was a TV commercial for one of those dating web sites that singles use to get out of, or at least share, their singledom. I’m pretty sure the dating site was eHarmony. Anyway, the young lady in the commercial said the reason she chose eHarmony over other sites was, “because you have to pay to be on there.” Whaaat? She felt there would be a higher class of people at eHarmony since they were all willing to fork over some cash to meet their mates. According to her logic, if it’s free, either it must not be any good or you’ll have to cull out a bunch of penniless losers to find a nugget worth dating.


Let’s Cool This Place!

So, a friend and former co-worker once told me of his grandfather’s church. It was a small wood-frame, country church…one of those churches that’s been around for a hundred years. It was a church where every Sunday morning during the summer, congregants sat waving paper fans on sticks with a picture of the Last Supper on the front and an ad for the local funeral home on the back side. The preacher, two minutes after beginning his sermon, pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and begins to wipe the sweat from his face, as he brings a sermon as hot as the air blowing through the open windows.


It was during a meeting of elders that a decision was made to air condition the church. “There’s no reason,” they reasoned, “that we can’t, or shouldn’t, try to make this place comfortable.”


So, they sent a letter to local heating and air conditioning companies requesting bids for the project.


The Bidding Process

Now, I have worked in government and I understand how it works. For a government entity, such as a state or municipality, the law requires anything beyond a certain amount to go out for bids. In North Carolina, the threshold requiring informal bids used to be $5,000.00. The entity would then select the provider who submitted the lowest bid. There’s an old joke about a city employee who collapsed at her desk but died while the city was waiting to get the lowest bid for the ambulance service.


Well, this is a private church; so, there is no requirement that they go through the bidding process. But, the logic is the same-you want the work completed satisfactorily at the lowest price-hence the bid requests.


So the bids came in-they sought, and got three. Two of the bids were similar…in the $8,000 range. But, the third bid was over $11,000. So, the church elders, applying some form of twisted logic, decided that if the high bidder was so much higher than the others, it must be because they provide better equipment and do better work. So, the decision was made to accept the highest bid.


Now, that’s just the beginning of the story. My friend went on to tell me how the following year, the church elders, pleased with the improvements to make the church more comfortable, felt it was worthy of an exterior makeover, as well. So, they decided to put aluminum siding over the weathered boards. The church spent a few thousand dollars to install the siding; but then, the following year, for whatever reason, they bricked over the siding. Wait a minute…is this a church or our government? Maybe they’ve been watching too many eHarmony commercials!




21 01 2018


Kids will be kids. http://www.cbc.ca

Last Wednesday morning it began to snow and the snow didn’t stop until it was nearly a foot deep. Or, as my good friend, Jim, would say, “axel deep to a Ferris wheel.” Then, true to form for the South, the next morning, the sun shined bright, the temperature rose to nearly sixty and everything began to melt. As you might imagine, after two days of unrelenting, copious melting, the ground is good and soggy.


So, today, Saturday, on my way to the store to do my weekly grocery shopping, I drove past a park and noticed there were a number of parents with their toddlers in the park. The little tykes were having a blast playing on the swings, sliding down the slides into the mud pool awaiting at the lower end, and doing what kids do in a park. I thought to myself, why would responsible parents bring their one, two and three-year olds to play in a park when the ground was so wet and muddy? Then (smack my forehead), like the floor when I fall, it hit me…these parents had been shut up in the house with these little hellions for three days and were at the end of their rope of tolerance. They were dying to get out of the house. Also, I’ll point out, this park was in one of the more “progressive” neighborhoods with “Resist” signs in the front yards of the older refurbished homes owned by young parents who believe spanking is a form of child abuse. Guess they figured they had better get out of the house before they snapped and betrayed their theory that little Aaron and Moonbeam should never experience spanking. Regardless of their parental theories, I can’t say as I blame them.