Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cataracts and New Vision

When I was in the fourth grade I fell from a tree and my left eye went dark. I did not have a black eye I just could not see light through that eye. Over time and with help from a chiropractor vision returned but it was very fuzzy. For the first time in my life I was fitted for glasses. My right eye was excellent and the left eye was not completely correctable. My left lens was so thick my glasses leaned to the left. As an adult I gave up on trying to correct my left eye and stopped wearing glasses. Then I turned thirty and my right eye needed help reading but I used a balanced lens for the left side. The practice continued through trifocals.

A few years ago my eye doctor said I was developing cataracts and in about ten years I would need surgery. It turned out that they were the fast developing kind. Vision in my right eye dimmed, the sky turned a bit gray, colors faded. I take care of the floors in our house and the dust bunnies were some how able to hide in plain sight. While both eyes were growing cataracts I began to notice that vision was actually improving some what in my left eye. Formerly I could not make out the big E on the eye chart but this year I could read the second line down.

Cataract surgery was amazing. In ten minutes they removed the cataract and implanted a corrective lens first in the right eye and two weeks later, yesterday, in the left eye. After many years my right eye was 20/20 for distance reading is another matter. The left eye is a new treat for me after sixty years I have great vision in it and can even read. WOW!!!! It is a new world to enjoy with both eyes.

I am so thankful.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


All of us assume things from our own point of view. It is a natural process that can get us into trouble. A man told me he was in the army and was working base security. I wrongly assumed that he was Military Police and said so to another man who checked it out. I was most embarrassed to discover that I was wrong.

We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are. Often we assume that this is the way they should be. Many of our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions. A Republican experiencing a health funding issue might assume that the “Obama Care” affordable health care law is the problem and will state it that way. A Democrat having the same issue assumes that it is the problem of insurance companies getting every last cent out of the consumer.

Our theory for how things should be is only as good as our assumptions. If the premises are false, our theories have no real scientific status. The only fair criterion for judging the validity of our theory is with the examination of the facts not assumptions. Our ability to confront our own assumptions is not an easy thing to develop and it takes time, effort and dedication to the truth.

Have you checked the facts about your assumptions lately?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Respect and Political Disagreemen

I believe that One of the great strengths of our republic is our freed to freely speak and print our political opinions. We all have opinions and we each believe that our opinions are correct or else we would not hold them. At this point in time there is a great chasm between democrats and republicans and very little room for compromise. Over the years it has been the ability to reach a compromise that has made good government possible. There have also been times when divisions were so great that no one listened to the other side. The worst case was in 1860 when Lincoln was elected President and the civil war erupted.

I believe in the principle of the loyal opposition to the party in power as a guiding light. If I loose an election I can oppose the leader’s position but still respect the office and the person holding that office. Respect for one another is the main key to our system of government and there has been a lot of that lacking on both sides of the spectrum. There is a big difference between honest disagreement and hatred. Honest disagreement helps to build consensuses while hatred only tears down and makes consensuses almost impossible. Hatred is something that destroys the vessel that holds it.

Some people that I love dearly have claimed that our current president is the worst we have ever had. I disagree with that position; he does not even come close to being the worst. President Richard Nixon was the worst and I once worked to get him elected. President Grant would come in at number two. Having said that I note the there has been some good in the worst of our presidents and some bad in the best of them. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

144 Thousand Plus

A short time after we moved into our new home in Bellemeade there was a knock on the door. Two young men neatly dressed and bibles in hand greeted me with big smiles and good wishes. Their opening statement was, “Do you know that only one hundred and forty four thousand people are going to make it into heaven?” They claimed that only members of their true church would be saved.

As a preacher for over four decades I have heard that question before and recognized the brand of church they represented. I was in a very good mood that day and decided to play along. I invited them in to discuss the scripture from the seventh chapter of Revelation that they miss-quoted. I asked them to read me all of chapter seven and I listened with interest as they read aloud.

My first question was, “Which tribe do you belong too?” They were not ready for that question and asked what I meant. I pointed out that the 144,000 people were all Hebrews, twelve thousand from each tribe. Since they claimed to be part of the 144,000 which tribe did they claim? They did not have an answer for that one.

I then quoted verse nine back to them about the great multitude that no one could count from every nation and said, “I am in that crowd.” They left the house and no one from their church has ever knocked on my door since.

I was in an even better mood for the rest of the day.