I Could Care Less!

20 05 2018

I could care less. That’s not right. Yet, so many people say it that way. The correct term is, I couldn’t care less. To say, I could care less, implies that it is possible for me to care less than I do. It says, I have more care to give. If I’m trying to express the fact that something is of absolutely no concern to me, then I would want folks to understand that I could not (couldn’t) care any less than I already do because my bag of care regarding a given issue is empty. I have no more caring. I couldn’t care less.

 

Think of it this way. I could not care any less about the royal wedding than I already do. If so then I could care less. But, because I am at the abyss of caring about the royal wedding, it is impossible for me to care any less. Therefore, I couldn’t care less about the royal wedding. I couldn’t care less what the bride was wearing. I couldn’t care less how much was spent on the wedding. I couldn’t care less where everyone sat. I couldn’t care less who was invited. Any questions?

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Whoa! That was Weird!

4 05 2018

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has those moments when you realize what just happened and you just say, “Whoa! That was weird!” For example: Major League Baseball fans will remember Dale Murphy, all-star outfielder for the Atlanta Braves back in the 80s. I would turn the channel to TBS to see the Braves game or just come upon it while surfing the channels and every time, without fail, Dale Murphy would be at bat-not Ozzie Virgil; not Rafael Ramirez; not Glenn Hubbard or Bob Horner-but always, Dale Murphy. It was uncanny.

 

Or, I might see a road sign indicating my exit is three-quarters of a mile away. When I read the sign my immediate thought, as would be most Top Gun fans, is something like, “Call the ball,” or “Maverick has the ball,” both, lines from the movie Top Gun. Then I get to my hotel room, turn the television on and Top Gun is playing on TV.

 

And, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard something that made me think of a movie I haven’t seen in years only to have that movie show up on television within the next few minutes or hours. Or like last night when I was mixing up a marinade, I yelled to my wife in the other room, as I stood befuddled in front of the open refrigerator, “Do we have any soy sauce?” At the exact same moment, I said soy sauce, I heard it on television. It was if I were lip-syncing the words.

he ball,

One recent Saturday morning, I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, as always, with a song in my head. It was one of those songs that you just can’t get rid of and keeps playing over and over in your head until you feel it’s going to drive you crazy. In the shower, it played. Cooking breakfast, it played. While I ate, it played. All morning long, it kept playing. I tried to recall if I had heard the song recently but, it being an old country song from 1973, I could not recall when I even had an opportunity to hear it. So, I jumped into the car to make my regular Saturday morning grocery store run and when I started the car and turned on the radio, that song was playing-not just playing but it picked up at the same place in the song in which it was playing inside my head! It was as if my head had been tuned into Sirius. I sat for a moment and thought, “Whoa! That’s weird!”

Anything like this ever happen to you? Tell me about your weird experiences.





Jesus Paid it All

8 04 2018

I was going to post these as two separate posts. I then realized they go hand-in-hand, and, to me at least, seem to work well together as a single post.

 

This morning I read from Ezra 3:3, “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening.” (KJV)

 

God’s children, about 50,000 strong, had just returned to Jerusalem after having been released from 70 years of captivity in Babylon. The surrounding community was filled with a hodgepodge of people whom the Israelites feared. But, they had learned to trust in God. So, the first thing they did upon their return to Jerusalem was not to build fortifications or defenses, but instead, they built an altar so they could immediately begin to worship God. But notice what the passage says…”and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening.”

 

Burnt offerings were offerings of atonement. Before the Crucifixion, believers sought forgiveness by burning a sacrificial animal, such as a lamb. The offerings were in recognition of their sin and the aromatic smoke rising skyward was symbolic of lifting those sins to God. Because Jesus took our sins upon Himself and was crucified, we are no longer required to offer animal sacrifices. Instead, we can go straight to Him and simply ask for forgiveness.

 

When I read this passage, the first thought that came to mind was Luke 9:23. This is where Jesus tells us that if we want to follow Him, we have to take up our cross daily and follow Him. In other words…every single day…not just on Sunday morning. Every day we have to fight off the temptations of a worldly life and try to live like Jesus. We need to ask God to forgive us of our sins, such as when you called in sick to stay home and watch March Madness (Thou shalt not lie); or when you failed to give God credit for all the good things that have happened to you or your accomplishments. These are blessings and all good things come from above. Or, when you were disrespectful to your spouse, your child, your parent, etc.

 

Living by Faith

That brings me to one of my favorite scripture passages, which comes from Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (KJV)

 

When you stop and break it down, you can see that verse packs an awful lot into a single sentence.

 

When Jesus went to the cross, in His 33rd year on earth, He had not committed a single sin; but, then, a miracle occurred. Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself; and, when He died on the cross, the sins of the world died with him. That’s not to say there would be no more sin. That is saying that He paid the penalty for the sins we commit even today. Then, three days after He was crucified, He rose from death. He had a new body; one which had been cleansed of the sins He bore.

 

In the same way, when we accept Christ as our personal Savior, that is our crucifixion-our old lives die and we are raised to a new life to walk with God in faith. Through the Holy Spirit, He indwells us as we live a life based on faith in Him.

 

Remember to go to Christ every day to ask for forgiveness, guidance and strength to resist the temptations of a worldly and sinful life.





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.