Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009

As 2009 moves into the history books I can wave good-bye and reflect on its passing.
Like all years it had both good and bad events but in general it was a good year for me and mine.
We entered the year with a really bad economy but it has improved. There is still a ways to go though. Personally my finical condition has improved. Except for the mortgage I owe NO debt.
Cloud Nine
The Ice storm and wind storm knocked out our power for extended periods of time and created havoc in the City of Bellemeade Kentucky where I am mayor. For some reason everyone here expect the mayor to be able to do something about that. Actually I did! I worked with the electric company to make improvements in the lines so that fewer neighbors would be with out power when a line went down. On a personal basis I shopped for a generator that would power the  house automatically fueled by natural gas. It was turned on for the first time yesterday and it works so we are ready for winter outages now.
I spent much of 2009 preaching for Crestwood Christian Church while they looked for a new pastor. In April they asked me to preach for a few weeks and I preached until the last Sunday in November. I am now totally retired again.
I started a new volunteer ministry as a chaplain for the Lyndon Fire and Rescue district and wound up working a nasty fire on Christmas morning where two young boys were killed.
My darling youngest daughter - the opera singer - came for Christmas and sang for both Christmas Eve services at Hurstborne Christian Church where we are members and made us very proud. She has such a lovely voice.
Cloud Nine
All in all it has been a good year for us.Angel

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2010 ???

Christmas morning I sat looking at the pile of Christmas presents we had received and thought I really don’t need any of this stuff. Oh some of it was wonderful but it really was excess in our home. I thought about all the presents we purchased and mailed to family and friends and concluded that they did not really need what we sent them. Considering how much my family spent for presents and shipping we were sure helping to pull the economy out of the recession.
In thinking about Christmas 2010 I am wondering about changing the habits of my family in giving gifts. I believe giving Christmas presents is good in many ways but I would like more significance in the gifts for next year. If all I do is add to the over-abundance in their lives and they do the same for me what does it really mean?
I know that in this present economic condition that there are a lot of people who have nothing for Christmas and for that matter all year. I doubt that we are giving much of a gift to ourselves and the next generation by our current habits and it does little good for others. My project for this year is to convince my family that adults exchange cards and make donations to charitable causes in honor of the birth of Christ in our family’s names. Children should continue to be blessed with the love of gifts.
Cloud Nine

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Trusted Friend

There are times in everyone’s life when something hurts deep inside. It may be a lost love, something stolen, a house fire, or the loss of a job and what you need most is “A Trusted Friend” who will listen to your tale of woe when you need to vent. Sometimes you need to be that trusted loving friend who listens and doesn’t say much. You are just a friend and not a trained counselor so how do you best be that listening ear to your traumatized friend?
A trusted friend keeps personal information confidential and honors what ever lines are drawn between you.
The trusted friend listens with undivided attention and helps to clarify statements but does not react in a negative way no matter how illogical the distressed friend might be.
A trusted friend knows that this is not a time for advice or trite clich├ęs like, “I know how you feel.” Nor do you say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” God may not but once in a while the world does.

Re-Givting ???


Christmas is over and we still have our Christmas gifts lined up under the tree so thank you notes can be written. As we look at the treasure some thought come to mind. First thought is how thankful we are for family and friends who took the time to select and mail them to us. Second thought is “What were they thinking?”
Some of the stuff sold for Christmas presents is – well – not useful or tasteful. One item is for sure next years “White Elephant gift” and will be put in a box for that purpose. Then there is the problem of too much stuff already. By this time in our lives we have all we really need and want. Some of the gifts are really nice but will only take up space. What shall we do?
Roll Eyes
Re-Gifting is a much practiced tradition with excess gifts. Keep it in its box and use other occasions to give it away. Many of us feel odd about re-gifting but it makes sense. When you receive three Christmas gifts that are just alike and you only need one then two of them can be re-gifted. Make a note as to who gave you the item so you don’t send it back.
What do you think about Re-Gifting?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Digs List

I just received my Bibical Archaeology Review and it has the list of digs for this summer.
I am checking them over.Chin

My Best Christmas Present

My personal all time best Christmas Present came in 1972. At one minute before midnight my youngest darling Daughter Laura Lea - known to some here as Lola - was born. Now that was an exciting Christmas Eve.
She is visiting now and I am a very happy daddy for she is a gift that keeps on giving.Cloud Nine

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Aching For Good News

How often have you literality ached for some good news! When I was in Viet Nam’s Gulf of Tonkin my mother ached and prayed for the good news that my ship was on its way back to the US. How many ache for the new that their son or daughter is coming home from Iraq? What good news have you ached for hearing?
Have you ever stood by your window watching for the mail carrier to trudge up your path? Did you ever sit by the phone anxious for that certain person to call? Did you wait for news of a new baby being born into the family?
This Christmas season we celebrate the wonderful “Good News” that has been beautiful news for two thousand years that Jesus is born. Our time of waiting for Christmas to come is almost over for soon Church bells will peal the beautiful news for all to hear. We celebrate the Good News of Eternal Life as a gift of our savior.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Party Tonight

Tonight my Wife and I are hosting my Toastmaster’s Club annual Christmas Party.


Lots of great food and games and a round robin Christmas gifts - sometimes called Chinese Christmas.

Smiley DanceSmiley GenSmiley GreetArms

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Waiting For God

I am a patient man but just waiting around is difficult. When we are going somewhere I am usually the first one ready and then I have to wait for my darling wife to be ready. In the mean time I have nothing to do but cool my heels and wait. Pacing doesn’t seem to do me any good but that is what I usually do.

Advent is a time of waiting for Christmas and it is a useful time of reflection. Since Christmas day comes by the calendar we have not choice but to wait and wait and wait. As a boy this was the most difficult time of year for me – well you know I had to be good because someone was checking his list twice.
In our faith life there are often things we must wait for and just be patient as we wait for God. We don’t always see what God is doing during our time of waiting but we can trust God to see us through. Like waiting for my wife to be ready experience tells me that in her time she will be and we can go on our way, so too with God I have learned to wait. My experience is that when I trust in God’s time my waiting will be fulfilling.
Big Grin
So we wait for Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Church Yard Signs

I love reading Church Yard Signs as there is often both humor and truth in their short sayings.

“Prayer is a four-letter word you can say anywhere.”


“Aspire to inspire before you expire.”


“Many things are opened by mistake but none so often as the mouth.”Bash

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cat Up A Tree

It is an old story of a fire department being called out to rescue a cat stuck up in a tree. It is a waste of time and money for a fire department to do that but kind hearted and misguided people think that the cats need help when they don’t.
I have watched cats go up and down trees for many years so I know that they are capable of both going up and coming down on their own. I remember watching one of my cats climb up a tree and then struggle to find a safe way down. It would start down and then hesitate and then it would settle down again and reevaluate the situation. I watched as it did this over and over. Getting up had been no problem as all but coming down seemed to be a challenge. This is the time when others might call for help from those with tall ladders but not me. After a time the cat made its way safely to the ground.
How often do we find ourselves in similar situations? We get ourselves into situations and get stuck. Usually the way out is time consuming and difficult but the way is there for us to find. This is a time for prayer. Well not for God to send the fire department but to pray for wisdom and guidance through what ever mess we have made.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Child's Version of the Bible

A Friend gave me this today
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing
but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God
is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God
said, “Give me a light!” and someone did. Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they
weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet. Adam
and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven
from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though,
because they didn’t have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he
was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for
Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but
one of his kids was kind of a ham. Noah built a large boat and put
his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to
join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous
than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in
exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a
really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton
Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the
evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These
plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed
the Israel Lights everyday with manicotti.
Then He gave them His top ten Commandments. These include don’t lie,
cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s bottom (the Bible uses a
bad word for bottom that I’m not supposed to say. But my Dad uses it
sometimes when he talks about the President). Oh, yeah, I just thought
of one more: Humor they father and they mother.
One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to
use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell
over on the town.
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a
slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and
500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound
very wise to me. After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets.
One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then
barfed up on the shore.
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t
know much about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of
the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had
been born in a barn, too, because my mom is always saying to me,
“Close the door! Were you born in a barn” It would be nice to be
able to say, “Yes mom., don’t you remember, I was.”
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the
Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The
worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a
terrible vegetable after him. Jesus was a great man. He healed many
leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the
Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the
Pilot. Pilot didn’t stickup for Jesus. He just washed his hands
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He
went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His
return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Windows 7

I have been setting up a new computer at the retirement living center where i volunteer and teach seniors how to search the web and email.
It is nice fast and has Windows 7 so I was a bit anxious since “Vista” gave me such a headache that I deleted it and installed Windows XP. Well Microsoft has redeemed itself! Windows 7 is excellent - fast- easy to use and versatile.
The only draw back that I can see is some old programs that I love are gone or won’t work with 7.
One is Outreach Express for email.Bleh
Cloud Nine
Other than that I love it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rest Home Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest,

And all of us seniors were looking our best.

Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;

Our punch bowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.


A bedsock was taped to each walker in hope,

That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.

We surely were lucky to be there with friends,

Secure in this residence, in our Depends.

Our grandkids had sent us some Christmasy crafts,

Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.

The nursing assistant had borrowed our teeth,

And from them she’d crafted a holiday wreath.


The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,

Reflecting our candle’s magnificent glow.

Our supper so festive – the joy wouldn’t stop –

Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.

Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,

Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.

The social director then had us play games,

Like “Where Are You Living?,” “What Are Your Names?”


Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,

Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.

Our resident wand’rer was tied to her chair,

In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.

Security lights on the new fallen snow

Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.


Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter

(But we are so deaf that it just didn’t matter).

A strange little fellow flew in through the door,

Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.

‘Twas just our director, all togged out in red.

He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.

We knew from the way he strutted and jived

Our Social Security checks had arrived.


We sang – how we sang in our monotone croak,

Till the clock tinkled out its soft eight p.m. stroke

And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds.

While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.

And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.

Don’t laugh, soon you’ll be with us. We wish you the best!


Bill of Rights Day

December 15 1791 The “Bill of Rights” was ratified and became part of the US Constitution. In 1941 President Roosevelt declared that December 15 is the Bill of Rights DAY.

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
Source: NARA: The National Archives Experience
Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Funney in my email

Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess…. ‘”Will you marry me?”
The Princess said, “NO!!!”

And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and hunting and played golf  and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and belched  whenever he wanted.
The End