Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-by 2011

Good-by 2011 it has been fun as well as hard. As with every year there have been ups and downs, births and deaths, war and peace.

Personally I have done well in 2011 and have enjoyed living the life of a retired man doing things he loves. I am grateful to have reasonably good health for a man approaching seventy. I am mostly thankful for my lovely wife who daily brings love, light and joy into my life.

Good-by 2011  

Friday, December 30, 2011

Changing the Calendar

One year is about to end and another begin and life goes on and on. The new week will change number on the date in my check book from 2011 to 2012 but not much else will change around here.

The doomsday prophets are making much of the Mayan long count calendar about the same way they did about the year 2000 and it will meet much of the same results. I am sure 2012 will pass into history about the same way 2010 did and 2011 is about to do.

I have never been one to get excited about prophets of the end times because I have faith in Jesus and I know that if the end comes or my personal death should come I am ready to be with God for eternity. That is all that really matters to me. In the mean time as I live and breathe I will live out my life one day at a time striving to live each day as Jesus taught me; loving God, loving others and proclaiming the Gospel.

I welcome 2012 and all that God has in store for me.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Christmas Books

My family knows that I love books so I always receive some for Christmas and this  year I also received a Barns & Noble gift card.

1. The Hidden Scroll by Avraham Anouchi is a fiction that is an archaeological adventure. I am looking forward to reading it soon.

2.The 50 Funniest American Writers according to Andy Borowitz is an anthology of some very funny stories.

3. The Papyrus Ebers translated by Eliot Smith in 1931

4. The Optimist published by The Nevernod Press of Boone Iowa in 1900 is a delightful and eclectic sample of the turn of the last century writers and poets. I just finished reading this one and love it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In-Between Week

We are in the week between Christmas and New Years day both of which are celebrations. It is a week that is kind of a lull in activity. Before I retired it was our tradition was a week of vacation following the intense activity of Advent and Christmas. It was a week that I personally really needed to have some down time to restore a sense of sanity.

Now that I am retired the tradition of down time during the “In-Between” week hangs on even if I do not actually need it. As I no longer take vacations I simply do what ever I choose and enjoy the week of rest and reading the books I received for Christmas. Sitting by a fire and reading is most enjoyable.

Take some time in this In-Between Week to rest, reflect and enjoy your life.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Positive Thoughts

Monday at home alone and my darling is back to work. Christmas is over and packages unwrapped. I look around the house and see one thing more. Clean-up!!!

I have wrapping to be hauled out to recycle, floors to clean, menus to plan and dinner to cook tonight. Here we are back to some sense of normal.

Right now I can take some time to think about things without interruption. The year 2011 has less than a week to go and it is time to reflect. What has this year accomplished and how do we feel about 2012? I have two calendars before me to help with that process. This year was good for me and I feel that the coming year has many promises’ for my life. I am most aware that God has blessed me in many ways and I am thankful.  

This is a week of positive contemplation and prayer.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Does It Really Matter?

For many years as a Christian Church Pastor I tried in vain to get church people to follow the bible in our practices. Culture keeps chipping away at the meaning and actions of our Christian Celebrations. It started early, very early, when church leaders incorporated two pagan celebrations into Christian celebrations. They moved the birth of Christ from January to the solstice day of December 25th and there it stayed in the Western Church. They changed the name of Resurrection Sunday to Easter Sunday to move Romans from the pagan goddess to Christ.  Then we have the whole X-mas thing which is a misunderstanding of the Greek letter “X” spoken as “chi” for Christ.

After 40 plus years of trying culture has won out. I know that I can never change what is to tightly locked up in people's minds and hearts. I have to ask myself, “Does it really matter?”

If we know what we mean does it matter what it use to mean?
If we actually do celebrate the birth of Jesus does it matter what day we choose?
If we celebrate the Resurrection does it matter what we call it?

The real test is that Christians do what Jesus taught! That is what really matters.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas in the Gospels

Each of the Gospels portrays the events of Christmas differently.

The Gospel According to Mark ignores it all together. That Gospel starts with the Baptism. Even if this was all the Gospel I had I could be a Christian.

The Gospel According to Matthew has an angel visiting Joseph to inform him what he must do. Joseph is apparently living in Bethlehem. He is told that the child shall be called  “Emmanuel” but he names the boy Jesus. After that the “wise men” from the East show up to honor the new king of the Jews. Joseph is warned in a dream to flee to Egypt.  Ken Herod has boys under the age of two in Bethlehem killed. After Herod’s death Joseph moves to Nazareth.

The Gospel According to Luke starts with the story of the birth of John the Baptist who is apparently a relative of Jesus. Here in Luke the angel come to Mary to announce the startling news that she will conceive with out the help of a male and bear a son. She goes to visit her relative Elizabeth for three months. Here Mary and Joseph live in Nazareth and go to Bethlehem to register for a Roman tax. That was a rough trip for a pregnant woman. Luke has humble shepherds’ come to visit Jesus. They take Jesus to the temple where to prophets Simon and Anna proclaim him the one. After all that the family returns to Nazareth with no detours.  

In the Gospel According to John what we have of the Christmas story is all from the point of view of heaven “The Word” became flesh and dwelt among us.

Since then Christians have combined Matthew and Luke and added many traditions about the story that are not in the bible text.

Fair Weather Lover

An ardent young man away in collage wrote his sweetheart a letter. In this love letter he said, "I would swim the deepest river for you, I would climb the highest mountain for you. I would dash through fire and fight wild beasts for you.

He closed with a PS : If it doesn't rain I will drive home this week-end to see you.

This reminds me of the way some Christians profess their love of Jesus and nod in agreement when the preacher tells them that Jesus said to love one another and love our enemies and take care of the poor among us, but then do  nothing about it.

When we say the words but do not do the actions is that a sign that we do not really believe?

Friday, December 16, 2011

It Was Only A Theory

A young child psychologist set up his practice and developed a theory and lecture for parents that he called the  "Ten Commandments for Parents."

Later he married and had children of his own. He changed the title to "Ten Hints for Parents."

The first child reached the age of two and the title was changed to, "Ten Suggestions for Parent."

His children became teenagers and he stopped lecturing on the subject all together.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bill of Rights Day 220

On Dec. 15, 220 years ago, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. The First Amendment, is the first of ten  known as the Bill of Rights, guarantees our right to worship, speak, petition the government and assemble. 

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.
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.[56]
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.
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.
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 offence 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.
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 defence.
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 re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
Celebrate and protect your rights as Americans on this Bill of Rights Day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Religions Coexisting

I reposted an item about all different religions to “Coexist” and almost immediately received an email from a clergy friend who took issue with it. He felt that we should be attacking false religions and not coexisting with them.

I disagree! I am reminded by the model set by St. Paul in Acts 17 when he was in Athens with its thousand of idols. Instead of attacking their believers Paul complemented them for being very religious. He then noted that they even had an alter to an unknown god. He used that alter as a point to begin a teaching about God. Paul would accept people where ever they were in life and faith and begin to share Christ from that starting point. I believe that we Christians today should follow that same path.

Paul did not make a lot of converts that day but he planted seeds in their minds. We are reminded that one plants, another waters, another weeds and yet another may harvest. As a Pastor I have done all those things in sharing my faith with others. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busyness at Christmas Time

We are all getting very busy getting ready for Christmas. There is the busyness of shopping for gifts and going to parties. In all the giving and receiving of gifts our true Christmas spirit can be shunted aside in the activity generated by the season.

We need to allow some personal time to focus on our spirits and spiritually kneel by the manger. We truly need this time to remember that we are not alone in our spiritual journey. God came to be with us and walk with us. We also have sisters and brothers in the faith who will join with us to walk hand in hand. As Jesus promised we have the ultimate comforter the Holy Spirit along for our life time journey.

In the busyness of our physical Christmas activities let us open our hearts, minds and spirits to God and one another to feel the love that God shared with us in His Son.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Infamy Seventy Years Ago

December 7th seventy years ago is a date that still lives in infamy but is fading into  history. Some young people may say, “Pearl Harbor what is that?” and only know of it from movies.

For the Japanese it was a great success while for us it was a disaster. The disaster galvanized America and became the cause for the defeat of Japan,

This is a day to pause and remember the more than three thousand that died that day and the millions who died because of it. It is also a day to reflect on the horror of war and pray that some day we will learn to make peace instead. Sadly we are still learning that lesson but some day I hope we will.    

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life Is Hard

“Life is hard, short and then you die!”

These were the words of a man who had lost all hope and I listened to his diatribe every time I went to visit him in the nursing home. He was angry for good cause. His legs had stopped working, he had to be attached to oxygen and took more pills than he thought possible. His question was, “How could God do this to me?”

One day I walked into the nursing home and he was in the lounge area. Sitting beside him in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube attached to her nose was a smiling lady about his age. She was also a member of my congregation so I greeted them both. They had known each other all their lives.

He started his familiar “Life is hard, short and then you die,” bit and she piped up and said, “That is true but God never abandons us.” He turned and looked at his long time friend. She continued, “During my darkest moments on my journey in life I felt the strength and love of God right there with me.” He said, “I never felt that.” She reached out and touched his arm and told him, “You never paid attention.”  

Life is hard, short and then you die but God is always with us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Receiving Christmas Gifts

I want to call your attention to a part of Christmas that adults often overlook. And this aspect of Christmas is just as important and beneficial as giving. I want you to take a moment to think about…receiving gifts. That may sound strange to think about “getting” instead of giving during Christmas.

Yet during these next few weeks you’ll be receiving so much. You’ll be given gifts, well-wishes, greetings, party ivitations, hugs, smiles, cookies, decorations, etc. The list goes on and on – whether you have small children in your life or not. In fact, you’ll undoubtedly be getting these things whether you actively celebrate Christmas not!

How you receive a gift of any kind reflects how you feel about yourself and about your worth as a human being. Enjoying a gift, relishing in the thoughtfulness and love inherent in its presentation, lets you know that you find yourself deserving of such things. It also honors and exalts the giver; don’t you love it when someone truly enjoys one of your gifts?

So this Christmas don’t play “humble” when you’re given one of the multitude of gifts you’ll receive. Instead thank the abundant love and generosity of both the gift giver and the love of God in the greatest gift of all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Questioning Faith

Why do we believe in a particular faith?

It is a question that at some point in our life we must ask of ourselves. For most of us the answer is that it is the faith of the family that raised us. There are several old quotes that remind us of this fact. “As a child is raised so shall he be,” and “Give us a child for seven years and he is ours for life.”

The last quote does not always pan out but it is often true. Young adults often reach a point where they question everything their parents said or believed. They question everything including the existence of God. I went that route myself in my early twenty’s. My path back to the faith I was raised in was one that was full of questions and searching. The circle was completed in a very personal and spiritual experience.

The circle of faith does not always return to one’s original grounding then a conversion takes place. This often happens during a life crisis such as the death of a loved one. I have known Buddhist to become Christian and Christian to become Buddhist. There have been Muslim who become Christian and Christian who become Muslim. This can be true for any two religions. One who converts to another faith is often the most zealot because the process comes out of a deep personal choice and conviction.

Either a return to faith or a change of faith produces a stronger personal faith because the person involved has had to question everything.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warrning A PUNishment Joke

An ancient Babylonian general was once involved in a plot to overthrow the king. His plot included a number of followers in the upper ranks of the army. However, his plot was uncovered, and the king threw him in jail. The king sentenced him to death without a trial. 

However, from the jail he was able to secretly contact his followers to arrange to escape, meet his followers, and attack the king's palace at night. So the night before his scheduled execution, the general managed to escape from prison. He fled to a ziggurat several kilometers away, where his followers would meet him. However, the ziggurat was one of several in the area, and he wasn't sure if his cohorts would find the right ziggurat. By this time it was twilight, so he lit a small fire and sent smoke signals to indicate in which structure he was hiding. 

However, the king's loyal soldiers saw the smoke coming from the ziggurat, and came to arrest him before he could meet his followers. He was executed later that day. 

The moral of the story? WARNING: The searching general has determined that smoking ziggurats can be extremely hazardous to your stealth.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Protecting Trust

1. Trust is paramount and extremely fragile, it should be safeguarded at all cost.

2. Honesty is the path to trust, with out it you cannot build.

3. Complacency WILL eventually kill a relationship.  And it is a long slow painful torturous death worse then dying.

4. Words, when said, cannot be taken back, and can be sharper then any knife. The difference, the wounds they leave may last a lifetime, and still never heal. Beware.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Taking Control

There are things in life we cannot alter. We can try but it only leads to frustration. Mother Nature brings storms and violent actions that damage our living space and we can not stop that from happening. War happens and people we love die and we can not change that. Other people do things that cause us grief and we must deal with the fall out in our lives.


Things have happened in the past that affect us but they are beyond repair. Until we recognize the reality of the past as it was and everyone in it as they were, the past will control us. If we let it all stand as history and simply let it be we can find peace with in us. Then we can create a peaceful now and a peaceful future. If we learn from the past we can keep from repeating the mistakes and grow as a person and as a society.

It is how we live out this day that affects our lives and the lives of those around us. Each choice in the now matters in our future so each point of change is under our control for that moment. So let us live each day to the fullest, loving God and loving others in each action we take. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday in Advent

Today we are lighting the first candle on the Advent Wreath.

First Sunday of Advent

Today we light the first candle of the Advent wreath. This is the candle of HOPE.

With Christians around the world, we use this light to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May we receive God’s light as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah:
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness -- on them light has shined."
Isaiah 9:2

Let us pray: 

Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus, grant that the light of your love for us will help us to become lights in the lives of those around us. Prepare our hearts for the joy and gladness of your coming, for Jesus is our hope. Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey

The news of the death of Anne McCaffrey at the age of 85 hit me hard. She was an author of more than 70 books and many short stories and was a wordsmith of great power to move my mind.

I discovered her quite by accident in 1992. I was on a flight home and had a late night layover in the Pittsburgh Airport. By that time I had read every book that I had taken with me on that trip. The airport stores were closed and I had hours to wait before my flight home.

I wondered the concourse and saw a tattered book abandoned on a bench.  It was "Dragonquest" by Anne McCaffrey. I do not care for dragon fantasies but I was desperate for something to read. Then I discovered that it was science fiction  set on a distant planet called Pern. Within reading three pages I was hooked on Anne McCaffrey. I now have all of her books and I love them all.

She was one of the great story tellers of our time and I will miss the expectation of waiting for her next book.

Rest in peace master story teller Anne McCaffrey!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Day History

In 1863, by the way, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. He decided that Thanksgiving would take place on the last Thursday of November. 

In 1939 President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be held on November
23th (instead of the 30th that year) as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season during the last years of the Great Depression.

Thanks to that idea we now have "black Friday" with some stores opening just before midnight on Thursday. Good grief!

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2011


There are two kinds of "Turkeys" and through they are related they are not much alike.

The Wild Turkey:

Ben Franklin nominated the wild turkey as our national bird because it is smart and majestic.
It is indeed an intelligent bird that knows its territory like a map. It hunts for food both seed and bugs. It can fly and sleeps in the trees. It is wary of predators and is good at hiding.

 The Domesticated Turkey:

This is a stupid bird that is known to drown in a rain by looking up and keeping its mouth open. Most of them live their whole lives in a cage being fed and cared for so that they grow fat. Humans have enhanced them so that they develop large breast, so large in fact that they can not reproduce with out human help.

They have the same brains but the wild bird uses its brain while the caged bird has no need to exercise its mind at all. The difference is impressive! Now what does that tell us about ourselves?

Learning To Pray

There are a variety of prayer formulas that are helpful for people who want to learn to pray. One is the four steps of prayer that I learned a long time ago and it works well for almost any prayer concern.

1. Praise God - Recognize in your mind and heart who you are praying to.

2. Thank God - Have an attitude of gratitude even in your most dire need.

3. Ask God - Request what  you need and even what you desire.

4. Listen for God - A quiet time of meditation listening for God before you say amen and close the prayer it vital. 

Some people who say that God never answers their prayer never take the time to listen and they miss the answers they are looking for.

May your have a rich prayer life in Praise, Thanksgiving, Asking and Listening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A funny in my email

My little brother sent me the following:

An 80-year-old Texas rancher goes to the Mayo clinic in Rochester for a check-up
The doctor is amazed at what good shape the guy is in and asks, 'How do you stay in such great physical condition?'
 'I'm from Texas and in my spare time I like to fish says the old guy, 'and that's why I'm in such good shape. I'm up well before daylight riding herd and mending fences and when I'm not doing that,
I'm out fishing. In the evening, I relax and all is well.'

'Well' says the doctor, 'I'm sure that helps, but there's got to be more to it. How old was your father when he died?'

'Who said my father's dead?'

The doctor is amazed. 'You mean you're 80 years old and your father's still alive? How old is he?'

'He's 100 years old,' says the old Texan. 'In fact he worked with and fished with me this morning. '

'Well,' the doctor says, 'that's great, but I'm sure there's more to it than that. How about your father's father? How old was he when he died?'

'Who said my Grandpa's dead?'

Stunned, the doctor asks, 'you mean you're 80 years old and your grandfather's' still alive?'

'He's 118 years old,' says the man.

The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, 'So, I guess he went fishing with you this morning too?'

'No, Grandpa couldn't go this morning because he's getting married today.'

At this point the doctor is close to losing it. 'Getting married!! Why would a 118 year-old guy want to get married?'

'Who said he wanted to?'

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day

Veterans Day 11-11-11 at 11:11 AM

Let our Veterans know they’re number 1 on 11/11/11 at 11:11 AM!

On Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11th 2011 at 11:11AM, a massing of the Colors and Veterans Day Parade will take place in Louisville on West Main Street from 4th to 9th Streets for the first time in many years.

This is a unique coincidence of dates (11/11/11) and a group of people have put together this tribute to veterans, their families, current members of the Armed Services and their families.

It includes 50+ Color Guards, the 113th Army Band from Ft. Knox, a Medal of Honor recipient as Grand Marshall, members of the Tuskegee Airmen as special guests, and members of veteran’s organizations. Other components include displays of restored military equipment and Kentucky’s 40et8 boxcar on display outside the Frazier History Museum. Attractions along West Main Street have arranged special programs for the day, and many will be offering special discounts. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Voting In Kentucky

We have some funny Choices for Commissioner of Agriculture in Kentucky.

On the one hand we have a Democrat named Bob Farmer who has zero experience in farming. He is a comedian here in Louisville who ran for a joke.

We also have a man named Jamie Comer a Republican who is a farmer who has received huge sums of money from the government in the form of subsidies. While that is true for many farmers Comer is backed by the Tea Party who are against welfare. Comer also advocates legalizing the growing of hemp.

Comer’s political ads invites us voters to vote for the farmer. Which farmer?  Wouldn’t it be technically funny if the experienced farmer lost to a comedian named farmer because he told us to vote for the farmer?

Only in Kentucky

Friday, November 4, 2011

Political Humor

In 1930 American humorist Will Rogers said, "Everything is changing ... people are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."

Well we have gone through some changes since 1930 but we are back to the place where Will Rogers is still correct. Many of the politicians are a joke and the sad thing is the joke is on us.

I am not looking forward to the coming political year with political ads that are out and out lies and paid for by people in the shadows. The issues before us are complex and we need some adults in the federal government who are willing to seek what is best for the country.

I am praying for 2012 and America.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Public Language

I was reading a local public publication that is free so they say what ever they want. In many of the articles and letters to the editor the language being used is fit for the gutter, if you know what I mean. If this language was only found in this rag that lewdly advertises "gentlemen's clubs" I would not be appalled. However crude and foul  language is becoming common place in our society. It is almost to the place where we no longer have a polite society that knows what a civil tongue is.

My mother use to teach me that the use of such words showed a lack of vocabulary.

Television is also relaxing its language controls to the point that even the "bleeps" do not cover the crass verbiage  being force upon us all the time. Once it was allowed only on late night shows but I find it being used at all hours now. Movies that use only polite language are rare to the point that even childrens m ovies are suggestive. How will our children be affected.

This is a lament that will not be headed but at least I can vent.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Think You Might Live For A Long Time?

  •  Act Now like You Will Need Your Body for a Hundred Years.
  •   Stay connected to other people. 

  •   Make the most of a less-than-ideal job

  •  Friendship is as important as romantic love

  •  Marry someone a lot like you. 

  •  Emotional Intelligence trumps other kinds.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    PUNishment The Babylonian General

    An ancient Babylonian general was once involved in a plot to overthrow the king. His plot included a number of followers in the upper ranks of the army. However, his plot was uncovered, and the king threw him in jail. The king sentenced him to death without a trial. 

    However, from the jail he was able to secretly contact his followers to arrange to escape, meet his followers, and attack the king's palace at night. So the night before his scheduled execution, the general managed to escape from prison. He fled to a ziggurat several kilometers away, where his followers would meet him. However, the ziggurat was one of several in the area, and he wasn't sure if his cohorts would find the right ziggurat. By this time it was twilight, so he lit a small fire and sent smoke signals to indicate in which structure he was hiding. 

    However, the king's loyal soldiers saw the smoke coming from the ziggurat, and came to arrest him before he could meet his followers. He was executed later that day. 

    The moral of the story? WARNING: 

    The searching general has determined that smoking ziggurats can be extremely hazardous to your stealth.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    The Dough Boy Funeral

    Veteran Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died Wednesday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71. 

    He was buried Friday in one of the biggest funerals in years. Dozens of celebrities turned out including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, and the Hostess Twinkies. 

    The graveside was piled high with flours, as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who "never knew he was kneaded". 

    Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a smart cookie, and wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes. 

    Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model to millions. Fresh is survived by his second wife. They had two children, and one in the oven. 

    The funeral was at 3:50 for 20 minutes.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    It Is A Choice - Your Choice

    The sad thing is that we often don’t make a conscious choice. But we become distracted by non-important choice offered up by the world. We don’t see it as a choice between God and this what ever and at that moment the what ever seems like more fun. Yet that is the choice we are making.

    A ball game is starting at 10 AM Sunday morning and it is a choice between worshipping God on the Sabbath or having a little fun at the ball game. But we say, “Oh I can go to church next Sunday.” The devil smiles and says, "Yes but you chose not to worship God this Sunday and I have a little piece of you.”

    I was on the board of directors of the YMCA in Chillicothe, Missouri and at one meeting the Aquatics Director wanted to schedule a swim meet on Saturday and Sunday. She had to be reminded that the YMCA was a Christian organization and we did not schedule anything that would pull the children out of church on Sunday.

    So many organizations see a blank spot on their calendars on Sunday mornings and think that nothing is going on. Then we Christians are faced with a choice between God and some event that we would like to attend. 

    Yes it is in fact a choice between that event and God.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    40 Hour Work Week is 71 TODAY

    I grew up knowing that the work week was 40 hours and that after you worked 40 hours you got overtime pay. Then I joined the Navy and they didn't care about that rule.

    Today is the 71st. anniversary of the law that established the 40 hour work week. Sometimes when we harp about the government interfering with business we forget what caused the interfering. In the desire to get every last penny of profit for their company employees were forced to work very long hours six days a week.

    In the past seventy one years human life expectancy has doubled. While there are other factors that contribute to that fact I believe that there is a connection to the enforced shorter work week.

    With the economy today some people are working for lower wages and working two thirty-two hour jobs just to keep up.

    Happy Anniversay

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Small Life Changing Events

    Every thing that happens to us affects and changes us in some way. Even little things are possible life altering events. A man is walking along the street and sees a poster in a stor window. Instead of walking past it he stops and reads it. He thinks about that poster for days and discovers that he needs to make a change in the way he relates to women.

    Up to that time he was the macho man who flirted all the time and generaly treated women as objects. He went from one girl firend to another with no real relationships. Now tht poster has stuck in his mind and he begins a shift to new thinking. It is not just his relationship with women but his whole demoner and his view the world around him.

    He maed a decision to become something he wasn't and all because he stoped to read a poster. He decided that he wanted to be a gentleman. The idea of being a gentleman was new to him. Now he seeks to learn about what a gentleman does and how he acts. It does not happen over night but it begins and in time he makes the changes to become truly a gentleman.

    The poster said: “A boy makes is girl jealous of other women. A gentleman make other women jealous of his girl.”

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Those Side Effects

    Truth in advertizing is a rare thing so we should always question what we are seeing and hearing from companies and especially political ads. The ones to be very careful about are the drug companies who must tell us about side effects of their products. This usually comes at the end and the volume is turned way down as a soft voice tells us about them. Side effects that often make such a long list that the ailment seems easier to deal with.

    One ad I watched on TV last night had a long list of side effect that included “flushing” and that word was almost inaudible. As I take a medicine that causes “flushing” I can say that it is a euphemism that does not accurately describe what that side effect will do to you. Flushing sound so innocuous to hear it in that ad or for that matter from a doctor.

    When my doctor prescribed the pills she said, “There will be some flushing and that is normal for this medicine.” That didn’t sound so bad until I discovered that “flushing” really meant HOT FLASHES” and I found that out in the middle of the night. I thought I was on fire and my whole body was sweating.

    I now have a great respect for what menopausal women go through. My darling though it was very funny except that the bed linens need washing more often. Before you take your meds check the “side effects.”

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Using other preachers sermons

    My first preaching professor told us that there are no original sermons. Someone somewhere has already preached what you are about to preach. Every idea represented in the scripture has been covered for two thousand years. Today preachers build sermons on the ideas of our predecessors.  

    A young preacher serving his first congregation began his first two week vacation. His first stop was his parent’s home for the week-end. He proudly attended his home church with his parents. They had a new preacher who was full of surprises. As he began the sermon he said, “I have a difficult confession to make. I spent many years in the loving arms of another man’s wife.” Shock and gasp could be heard around the room. He continued on about how much he enjoyed being snuggled to her breast and hearing her say how much she loved him. He went on and on about their loving relationship.

    At the moment when everyone was about to lynch him he said, “And that woman is my mother.” The women of the congregation could be heard to say. “Oh how sweet.” They young preacher later was talking to the pastor and said, “That was great can I use that story?”  For the rest of his vacation he thought about that wonderful attention getter and looked forward to using it.

    Finally back home he began his sermon with that same story. His congregation also went into shock and he could hear angry cries for the congregation. He got a little rattled and suddenly stopped talking. A blank stare came across his face and he said, “For the life of me I can’t remember who she is.”

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Church Member and/or Christian?

    “Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.” 
     G.K. Chesterton

    My pastor this morning used this Chesterton quote during his sermon this morning. I admit to using it a few times my self. It is a good reminder that being a “Christian” is much more than joining a congregation. To be truly a Christian is to be completely committed to the way of Jesus, word and deed.

    The teachings of Jesus call for a radical life style of love, forgiveness,  peace and service.  Many are they who want to adopt the name but not the life.

    Sunday only Christians who worship for what entertainment they can get out of it and then go home and serve evil the rest of the week fool themselves into judgment.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Christian Marriage/Wedding

    My last post was about changing wedding laws around the world. This is a follow up about the religious ceremony and specifically the Christian Wedding. There are many religions in America and they each have their own traditions concerning the wedding ceremony.

    In the civil service a couple needs a license and an authorized person to sign the document. The authorized person only has to verify that the two people before them are the ones on the license and ask them if they want to be married. When they answer in the affirmative the license is signed and they are married. All cut and dry and legal.

    A Christian Wedding is quite different and in the United States it involves aspects of the civil wedding but also much more. In my state and church a man and a woman come to make vows to each other and God. They come seeking a blessing on their marriage and home. It is the making of vows that makes all the difference.

    When a marriage vow is made the man and woman actually make two vows at once. They make vows of commitment and fidelity to one another and they make those same vows to God! It is this act that makes the wedding ceremony sacred. The vows are binding until death do us part. Jesus made only one excuse for divorce and that was adultery.

    When a person breaks the marriage vow a double sin is committed. The first sin is against the spouse and the second is against God. I count it a very serious event to make a vow to God. Breaking a vow to God is not something one does lightly and I always stress that to couples about to get married in the church. There is an eternal aspect to a vow made to God and it stays with you that long.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Marriage Laws Changing


    There have been many articles in the news about “Marriage Laws” and how they need to be changed. I have served as a pastor all over the country and I know how much they vary from state to state. They also vary a lot from country to country.

    An NPR story today was about Mexico City trying to write a law to allow couples to have a termination date on the wedding license. The Bishop is apposed for some reason. I have worked in a country that allows a man to have up to four wives at a time. Some countries allow same sex marriages and so do some states.

    The Christian Bible states that a Bishop must have only one wife but leaves an option for a man to have more than one wife if he is not a bishop. The bible tells us of many men both in the old and new testaments that had more than one wife. King Solomon had hundreds of them.    

    Culture changes over time and our laws lag behind but they also change. There was a time when adultery was the only reason the law allowed for divorce. There was a time when only the husband could sue for divorce.

    In Deuteronomy 22, if a bride was found not to be a virgin on her wedding night the law called for her to be stoned to death in front of her fathers house. A lot of women today are glad we don’t do that any more.

    Weddings can be both legal contract and religious ceremonies. Some countries require that the couple go to a civil service office and register their marriage and then if they wish to do so they may have a religious ceremony afterwards.

    How will our marriage laws change over the next hundred years?

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    New Phone Scam

    It was an odd sort of phone call that I received this afternoon. I recognized that it was a new scam quickly. The male voice with a thick accent told me that I had been awarded a government grant of seven thousand dollars.

    Interesting! I had not applied for a government grant. As a mayor I know all the rules and red tape for getting government a grant. I began to ask questions about what was the grant for and what department it was from and what program. No answers. Then he want to know my name, social security number and bank routing number for sending the grant money to my account.

    I said, “What you don’t know my name?”

    He hung up.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011


    Though out the bible we see that men and women who had an awareness of the presence of God. They listened and made themselves available to be used by God for a mission.

    Abraham listened to the voice of God and moved to a new land. Moses liste4ned to the voice of God and returned to Egypt to lead the Hebrews back to that same land. Deborah listened to the voice of God and led the Hebrews to victory and a return to faith.

    It matters not what our talents might be. What really matters is our availability. All of the spiritual gifts and natural abilities are  they are wasted unless we make them available to God. Long ago I resolved be available to God and be content with what ever God called me to do. 

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Still working it out

    In Philippians 2:12 Paul tells us to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    This verse has often puzzled me since he also says that salvation if a free gift God though grace.  What does it mean for me to work out  my own salvation?

    Here is the rub, I carry around within me a lot of baggage that hinders my acceptance of this free gift of grace. Things like anger, fear, selfishness, and hatred of those different than me. So working though my salvation means letting  go of my anger toward someone and forgiving them even if they do not ask for it. It means letting go of those things that I covet.  It means relinquishing control of situations that make me anxious.

    God invites me to work out my salvation by letting go of things I want to control and allowing God to do some cleaning in this earthly tent that I call my life.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Taking It With Him

    There was a man who had worked all of his life, had saved all of  his money, and was a real miser when it came to his money. Just before he died, he said to his wife,
    "When I die, I want you to take all my money and put it in the casket with me. I want to take my money to the afterlife with me."
    And so he got his wife to promise him with all of her heart that when he died, she would put all of the money in the casket with him. Well, he died. He was stretched out in the casket, his wife was sitting there in black, and her friend was sitting next to her. When they finished the ceremony, just before the undertakers got ready ! to close the casket, the wife said, "Wait just a minute!"
    She had a box with her; she came over with the box and put it in the casket. Then the undertakers locked the casket down, and they rolled it away.So her friend said, "Girl, I know you weren't fool enough to put all that money in there with your husband."
    The loyal wife replied, "Listen, I'm a Christian, I can't go back on my word. I promised him that I was going to put that money in that casket with him." "You mean to tell me you put that money in the casket with him!!!!?"
    "I sure did," said the wife. "I got it all together, put it into my account and wrote him a check.
    If he can cash it, he can spend it!"