Saturday, March 19, 2016

Those who do not remember their history are destined to repeat it

          Recently, my daughter and I were having one of our frequent Father-Daughter fat chewing sessions.  Don't you parents love to talk to intelligent, young, upwardly mobile offspring?  We touched on a variety of subject matter and somehow got into the subject of prejudices.  Both of us threw in some relevant facts we had become aware of recently and stated our own personal summaries of how we saw the subject affecting our nation and whether we thought a solution would ever be found to resolve it.

          I summed up my own thinking this way. If it were possible to take the sum total of the individuals who live in this country, put them into a gigantic blender and puree their genetic make-up, pour out the resulting combination into molds and create a new kind of human being, both male and female, many or even most of the same problems we see today would still exist. Such is the nature of the human creature.

PREJUDICE: A judgment or opinion formed without due examination of facts.  An unreasonable judgment held despite facts to the contrary.
Fear of and hatred of other races, religions, etc. Detriment arising from a hasty and unfair judgment. A biased preconception, bigotry, intolerance. 

RACISM:  An excessive and irrational belief in the superiority of one's own racial group.

          I am thoroughly convinced that if two individuals were isolated on a deserted island, one or both of them would quickly find something to look down their superior noses at the other about.

          It is a proven scientific fact that no human being enters this world with built in prejudices, so we can correctly conclude that prejudices are acquired or learned as an individual matures.

          Since prejudices are so obviously present within each one of us, can we assume that it is a natural aspect of being human? I've often wondered why it is that human beings have this seemingly natural need to see themselves as superior to someone else? What does it add to one's life that wouldn't exist if it were not for this belief? Is it connected to the basic instinct for self-preservation or an accepted law of nature that says the fittest will survive? Is it a force that is impossible for us to resist and alter?

          As best we can determine with our scientific research, no other creature possesses the concept of good and evil. No other creature has the ability to conceptualize their own existence to such an extreme as to believe they have an immortal soul, that some portion of themselves will exist forever. No other creature has the ability to expand their understanding and reasoning ability to the point of believing in a supernatural, spirit realm, invisible to the natural eye. A realm that exists perhaps, on another dimensional plane and we human beings have within us, something so special it enables us to reach out from within and contact that realm, communicate with its inhabitants and gain even more knowledge. Isn't all that simply amazing?

          If we as a species are so intelligent, so special, so gifted, so blessed, so civilized, so loving, caring and compassionate, so godly, so wise, so knowledgeable, and so rational in our thinking, wouldn't you think we would have reached perfection long before now?

          We, as a species can look back at our recorded history and through a process of comparison conclude that we have made some giant strides toward that goal of perfection. Still, we must also conclude that we are not there yet. Our tendency to be prejudiced toward one another has not declined. If anything, we have found other, more glaring differences between individuals that only contributes to our prejudices.

          If God, for some reason not yet revealed to our understanding, was to deem it necessary to come to earth once more in the body of a man, live among us, performed endless miracles before our very eyes and continuously proclaim His heavenly truth within range of our hearing, do you believe the eventual outcome would be different than the first time He did it? How many times must the supreme price for our salvation be rendered? It is evident that once was not enough. What have we done with that first redemptive act of sacrifice? Have our hearts really been changed?

          If there is anything the United States of America needs, it's godly, highly moral, intelligent leadership. In my own humble opinion, we as a nation appear hopeless when it comes to the political choices we make. Does this scripture mean anything at all to us today? Eph:6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. It appears to me that it does not. Recently we witnessed for ourselves a demonstration of the truth of that scripture in the highest office our nation can bestow upon any single person. How did our nation react to it? They looked away, ignored its implications, and used their individual state of seeming prosperity as an excuse for condoning said wickedness.

          Now, we are facing an election year. We have another opportunity to help our nation become the greatest example of what a democratic republic can be in this world. One nation, under God. It seems that our eyes do not see evil and our ears cannot hear truth.

          In the beginning, the candidates were many, but some have fallen by the side of the campaign trial, out of the running. Those that remain, are they the best we can hope for? Will we as a nation, as a people ever learn to take control over our prejudices, to look beyond the color of a man or woman's skin, gender, political affiliations, party platform rhetoric and judge each person by the contents of their heart and by the spirit that holds rule over them?

          Why is it that some candidates seem invisible to the voting public? Why do their words seem to fall to the ground with little affect? If we examine them closely enough we will plainly see that they practice what they preach or that they are only projected images of what they know we want to see and hear, but in reality are nothing like that image.

          I believe that God has sent us the person He would want to see in the office of our nation's president. There is no glowing halo suspended above that person's head. When they speak, there is authority in their words. Their words have authority because they are truth. But truth does not always tickle the ear, yet it is truth all the same. If we cannot believe them for the sake of their words, then believe them because of the works they do. Be a fruit inspector and then decide upon that which is produced. No tree can bear both sweet and bitter fruit. It is either one or the other.

Hosea:4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:


Friday, February 26, 2016

stupid things people think related to drug use



The above title, is a slogan some certain local neighborhoods have instituted in an attempt to deter the sale of drugs on their streets and  in their neighborhood.  They have convinced themselves and others that if they were successful in removing the dealers from their streets,  they could stop the flow of drugs which some of their neighbors were consuming.

I personally do not understand the logic used to arrive at that conclusion. Can't they understand that their choice will affect only one portion of the problem.  The dealers are there in their neighborhoods and on their street corners conducting business because there are customers for them to sell their drugs to.

The drug dealers are not the only guilty parties in these transactions.

The same geniuses have also concluded that if they establish a clean needle exchange system it will reduce the risk of certain blood borne  diseases from being transmitted between users who share needles.

I've also heard that some certain intelligent individuals think it is a good idea to establish a building or some other brick and mortar location into a designated safe area for users to utilize the illegal drugs they just purchased from one of those dirty, no account, drug dealers.

Can't they see that they are becoming enablers?

Yes, drug dealers are criminals.  Do not forget,  that the individuals who purchase illegal drugs from the dealers on their local street corners are also breaking the LAW, thus making them criminals also.

There once was a time when local police vice squads tried to solve the prostitution problem by focusing on arresting the prostitute's who were selling their wares from street corners and other dark and secluded places.   It didn't take long for law enforcement officials to realize that their efforts were having little or no affect on the problem.

So it was decided to try something else that might work. They began to use "STING operations."  Using that method, they not only apprehended prostitutes, but also the Johns which the prostitutes were servicing.  The local pimps did not appreciate having to bail out their workers continuously.  It cut deeply into their profit margins.  The police also collected the names of the John's who were utilizing said prostitutes threatening to post a list of names in the local newspaper.

This new STING procedure resulted in the desired effects and before long the pimps took their stables elsewhere.

The war on drugs in the United States, as it is being implemented, has not worked.  Today we have more of our citizens behind bars than any other nation in the world.  That is one area of recognition we should not be proud of as a world power. We have spent all of that time, effort, and wealth trying to eliminate the problem of drug use and haven't gotten a dime's worth of value for our efforts.

The more advanced drug dealers do not sell their wares from street corners.  They stay in their homes and use the drug buyers grapevine to spread the word as to where they are located and what they are selling.  The customers come to them.

We have such an advanced drug dealer on our block. You may have one on your block also.  Are you paying attention? Is there one certain house on your block that gets frequent traffic, where the vehicle pulls up, stops, someone gets out, goes to the house and walks inside?  Are they there for a moment and then returns to their car and leaves?  Would you dare call the police and asked them to look into the situation you have observed?  

One of my alert neighbors did just that.  I wish it had been me.

I did notice, a strange, white van, with a large, tinted window in the side that seems to be parked on our street frequently.  It wasn't too long after that our local police or the DEA raided the house. Some individuals from that house were taken away in handcuffs.  After that the activity we had observed, ceased.  We heard through the neighborhood grapevine that someone did some time in prison.

you could almost hear the whole neighborhood, take a deep breath and then sighed loudly.  We thought it was over.  We were mistaken.  It is apparent to this guy, that some member of that family did not learn a lesson.  I have begun to notice the same pattern of activity taking place at that same house again.  Evidently, someone else had noticed also, for not long after I noticed the activity there was another raid conducted on the same house.  This time they did not take anyone away in handcuffs.  Perhaps the person selling drugs  there again has learned something.  Either they are not storing their stash inside the home.  now, or they have found a secure hiding place for it close by. What ever the reason, there is one young male residing in that house who must not have a job because he seldom leaves and for the life of me, I cannot logically figure out what his means of support is. He emerges in the early morning, during warm weather, wearing a dirty bathrobe, paces the sidewalk in front of the house while he smokes cigarettes and then goes back inside.

I am now a firm believer in the common saying today, "if you see something, say something."  It couldn't hurt!  The police can't be everywhere.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Desires of my heart

I dedicate this one to my Sister, Julie who gave me the inspiration for it by writing in her email today...”May you receive the desires of your heart.” I wonder if she knows how impossible a task that seems to me right now?

The desires of my heart have nothing to do with "things." What can you buy for someone who has their every need met, that is unless you want to buy me a new Toyota Truck this year. So far...I don't really need one but it sure would come in handy when there is some household hauling to do. Actually, I have a next door neighbor with a nice truck who doesn't mind helping me out if I really NEED a truck for some reason.

Give me a warm spring day with refreshing breezes. Let me see smiling faces on the people walking by with their children. Let me hear laughter and childish giggles. Just once....fix it so when I turn on the TV News all I hear is good news. Now that would be a priceless gift.

Tell me you are happier than you ever dreamed you could be and make me believe it without doubting. Tell me how great it is to wake up each morning after a peaceful night's sleep and how much you are looking forward to the day ahead.

Tell me something that makes my eyes glisten with tears of joy. Share something with me that makes my heart swell to the bursting point with happiness for you. Tell me how good God is and how blessed your life is. Don't give me a music CD...sing me a song instead and let the words be ones that have great meaning for much meaning that I can feel what you feel when you sing them.

Say or do something that brings me inspiration so powerful that all I can do is dwell on the thoughts that result and when I am through thinking them, I will sigh with the satisfaction of the experience.

Tell me that this day, not one person will go to bed hungry, or that not one person will die today or that for one twenty-four hour period of time all pain will be banished from this planet and have it be true. I know...that’s asking for the impossible.
You know what really amazes me? It’s the realization that I possess the ability to even dare to think such thoughts.

To all Pastors Everywhere

Take one ordinary person, forgive their sins by grace

Add the Holy Spirit, place a smile upon their face

You now have a Christian, a born-again child of the King
For some of them that’s plenty, others are destined for a special thing

Add one very high calling, spiritual instruction from the throne
Give them a well used Bible, send them out on their own

Led by God’s Holy Spirit, they follow a well lit trail
Assailed by Satan’s arrows, his goal is to make them fail

Countless hours spent in prayer, they cry a river of tears
And share the burdens of many, through the passing years

Their hearts full of compassion, spiritual wisdom from their lips
And if they are so anointed, healing from their finger tips

They feed God’s flock with the bread of life from his Holy Word
Molding the sheep with teachings in the preaching they have heard

They seldom think of their own needs, their lives they gave to Him
They set their gaze on eternity though their mortal vision may dim

They can see the future crystal clear, that meeting in the air
And because they do God’s bidding, they hope to meet us there

These chosen Saints, trusted by God, He gave a title to
His Word calls them “Pastor,” they see a Godly view

Because they see us through His eyes and love in a Godly way
It’s you we try to honor on our Pastor Appreciation Day

Written by Clarence A. Bowles on March 30 1985
Edited on Feb 02, 2009

My Family Responsibilities

Recently, while looking around my Internet neighborhood, I noticed something called “The Question of the day.”  That day the question was “What are your family responsibilities?”  It struck me as an interesting question so later I devoted some pondering time to it.

At first the thought entered my mind that no one would read a list that I might compose that included all my personal duties within my family, legitimate or imagined.

Another thought I had, which was also a question was, “How does one become responsible for something; anything within their family group?”

I didn’t believe that anyone would enjoy reading the list of 100 things about me that I composed a year or two ago either but I came to find out just how wrong I was about that also.

I want to take a stab at making a list of my family responsibilities in spite of that risk that posting it here has the potential for boring lots of folk, or not.  For that statement to be true I would need to have a lot of regular readers and I don’t believe that I do, really.

The first thing on my list should be:
·      Being wrong about more things than anyone else in the family.

I believe that may well be because I am so eager to show off my accumulated life skills.

Among my siblings I have always been known as “Professor Know-it-all” and for good reason.

It’s because I’ve always believed that I DID…Know-it-all that is. When it turns out that I don’t know it all then I am deemed to be wrong, thus the motive for item number one on my list.

All joking aside, I do seem to have a much longer list of responsibilities than any other family member.

In an effort to have anyone who may be reading my lengthy list to be fully informed and aware, I feel I should provide another list and that is a list of who it is that makes up MY little family group.

Me, myself and I (Husband, brother-in-law and human to our pets)
Maureen (wife, sister and top human to our pets)
Gail (sister to Maureen, sister-in-law to myself and number two human to our pets)
Jenny (Top Dog, spoiled rotten Bitch that she is) Can I say that here?  Sure I can
Lucy (Cat) enough said.

On with the list:
1.    EVERYTHING…especially when anything goes wrong with anything.

OK! I took the easy way out.  That’s the way it seems to me but we all know that I am wrong so often that this is probably one of those times.

Actually it would probably be easier to make a list of the things I know for certain I am not responsible for in our family group.

Just as I thought!  I can’t come up with one thing.