Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The lively conversation over Christmas brunch was about books in general and protagonists in particular. I allowed as how I was old school and preferred my protags to be characters I could look up to and aspire to be like but that, disappointingly for me, the trend has been, for some time now, toward principal characters who have clay feet. In fact, the official designation of protagonist, as the ‘good’ guy, is no longer applicable, by the old standards, in most fictional stories. 

The unanimous conclusion was that, nowadays, people prefer the concept of ‘relatable’. In other words, we don’t need heroes that we can look up to, we need stories to unfold with folks who are flawed, like us, so we can feel as good as instead of in need of being as good as. Does that make sense?

Well, as usual I had to let all that foam around in my skull for a couple days. I felt there were dots to be connected. I thought about books I read and movies I watched as a child and I could not think of a single ‘flawed’ hero of fiction from my youth. The first full length chapter book I read, as a nine year old, was Robinson Crusoe. Master of survival, he proved there’s always a way if you never give up. Superman, Nancy Drew, Cinderella, I worked through a list.

The closest I could come to recalling a somewhat unpolished hero was Huck Finn but even he was a strong influence in many positive ways, especially considering his rough beginnings. 

Then a handful of recent headlines recalibrated my focus to how much easier it is to designate the title of Most Influential, now that our heroes no longer have to be individuals of, shall we say, highly enviable character. All one has to do now, to be hailed as outstanding (since ‘hero’ has been redefined to mean ‘anyone who has performed in front of many people and made lots of money’) is to perform and make lots of money. It matters not that the person of interest has no honor, has been caught in immoral or illegal activities multiple times, has been arrested, is a cheater, liar or complete failure in every way except on stage, a sport field or the silver screen, and would never be someone any caring parent would want their child to grow up to be.

The new word for hero or protagonist apparently is now - celebrity. 

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating as we round the corner to a new year, holding our collective breath - when anything goes, and in this case I mean when no one has anyone or anything truly worth looking up to, then everything does go. Right down the drain - taking what is civil about civilization with it.

Call me old-fashioned - I still need real heroes - those who set the bar high and are truly worth admiring and striving to be like. 

For Him,


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Ultimate Gift

On this Christmas Eve, sitting by a morning fire, sipping coffee, instead of contemplating all the ways we celebrate the birth of our Savior, my thoughts are mulling on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

A master is going away so he leaves three servants with responsibilities (talents) according to their abilities. One he gives five, another he gives two and the last he gives one. The story unfolds with the first and second servants doubling what they had and the last, who was fearful, burying his, thus doing nothing. The master returns and  praises the first two servants, ‘well done good and faithful...’ but not only chastises the third, he removes his talent and gives it to the first. 

(29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable [servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.)

These are not just tough words by the new standards of a touchy-feely era, when misbehaving and bad choosing becomes sympathized with, excused and enabled, they are fighting words. Those who find the idea of accountability as harsh, unforgiving and therefore reprehensible, will stand up and speak out against such ‘miscarriage of justice’ and even be lauded for their good mask of righteousness,

The problem, of course, is that our limited concept of justice can never be God’s. What is that old saying? Never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God.  

And what does this have to do with Christmas one might ask? Well, everything, actually. You see, Christ came to save us from ourselves. From our weaknesses, our myopia, our determined will to substitute SELF as God. He came as a babe, both human and God, so that He could experience our humanity and all the ways we can fail. He came to make a way for us to overcome it all. He took the tough 999 steps  so that all we have to do is take the 1. 

On Christmas we celebrate this incredible gift given to us by our Creator by the symbolic giving of gifts to others when what we really need to do is give back to Him by doing what the first two servants did with their talents - multiplying them. God doesn’t need our good words and intentions, like the third servant who held back, believing he was doing the right thing because it quelled his fear and thus justified his choice in his own mind. 

All God needs is for us to simply acknowledge what we have been given and then actively turn our little into much. 

This parable is often misunderstood and equated with worldly symbolism, like money and things. But what it’s really about is demonstrating the power of one-on-One and asks the question - what do we, as individuals, do for Him with what He has given us? 

That’s what I’m pondering here on Christmas Eve morning 2016. What can I give Him, besides good sounding intentions and words, not just today, tomorrow, but next week, next month, next year...?

For Him,


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Sometimes life gets in the way of doing extracurricular things like - blogging. Sometimes life just makes you need to be quiet. And so, I’m going to take the rest of December to get quiet and regroup. There are so many things I want to say and I don’t even know why. 

I want to repost this link to share, once again, this beautiful Christmas video. 

Merry Christmas,
May you and yours be blessed with the peace beyond all understanding. Gloria!

For Him,


Monday, November 21, 2016

Report from The Facebook Trenches

Thoughts on Passive/Aggressive Goodness

• It’s a condition as old as civilization. Humans need a god of some kind. Even those who claim there is no god actually do still worship something, usually it comes down to idolizing the Good/Better/Best Self because, you know, humans ought to be willing to strive for a state of perfection so that the world can finally just get along and enjoy utter peace. 

•This perfectionism is simply the Good-For-Goodness-Sake Syndrome; a handy replacement for God. It dresses up in different models to suit the times. A modern term is Globalism. But, ultimately it comes down to the idyllic state of Humanism, which ironically always ignores and disregards the actual state of being human.

• Humanism is a clever manipulation tool and a crafty shape-shifter because humanists use similar and parallel language that mimmic religionists, making it difficult to discern if a reference is to a specific God-originated concept or just a generic Goodness Ideal that periodically reorders itself to mold to and therefore better serve the evolved modern culture du jour. 

• Love, love, love (love what? how? can this be more vague?) If you want to be Good, then, by golly, you must pay attention to what those who really know what good is and let them tell you how to do/be it!  Just love, damn it!

• After all, don’t you want to be seen as being GOOD? 


These are the random Monday morning thoughts bouncing around in my head inspired by little posts in The Facebook that, to me, seem to be nothing more than passive/aggressive nudges to herd me into the latest meme by using old words in new ways. That seems to be one of many hidden snares in The Facebook. Herding. Appears to me that it’s never been easier to shepherd folk into a good-for-goodness-sake state of mind as in this feel-don’t-think era.

What is problematic for me is, like a cat, I’ve never been very herdable. 

And...since I have this blog forum to speak my mind... I think I will...
Stop now if you prefer PC talk.

What started my thought ramble was a little video produced by Amazon posted as a salute to good will between two prominent religions loosely disguised as an advertisement for knee pads but there have been a number of others of a similar vein lately. I’m new to The Facebook so I haven’t learned to ignore everything yet.

First of all, let me get this off my chest, I’m really tired of businesses, that make money from selling stuff to me, feeling as though they need to also preach to me even as a cake baker is not allowed to exercise his religious/political view as he sells his product. See, I expect this to be a standard enforced on all other companies that they too remain neutral as well. Can a coffee seller refuse to sell a half-caff latte to someone wearing a t-shirt that expresses a different political view? No? Yes?

The new definition of GOOD says YES! In the new age the GOODNESS quotient adds lop-sided weight to the scale. Here’s a couple example tallies:

Coffee Barrister 10 - Cake Baker - 0
Smart Actors/Celebrities - 10 - Unsmart Non actor/celebrities - 0

The new age, the new view, says we must define, redefine, make the stream of consciousness conform to the reordering of the latest concept of  GOD...er...uh...GOOD.

Frankly, I don’t care what the religious/ideological beliefs are of the individual or individuals behind a company. I only care about policy enforced that impacts me personally and that, along with goods and pricing, is what determines where I choose to spend hard-earned money. If I don’t like how I am treated, or if policy puts me in a compromise or danger, good products/prices or not, I don’t shop there anymore. If I don’t like being preached to or manipulated to bow to the god of political correctness, again, I don’t give them my money. How simple is that? 

That I am rapidly running out of places to shop might be of slight concern. 

Don’t you want to be GOOD as the world now defines GOOD?

Me, not so much. Thanks, I’ll stick with how my God defines good. It has been time proven after all. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This means EVERYBODY. What happened to common sense and live and let live? Oh, I forgot, it got scooped up into the redefining of Good. 

I’m way over being reminded of how I am supposed to feel now that the world is so very good and righteous to embrace everything, even those things that do not align with my core beliefs. I am willing to agree to disagree but I will not be shamed into apologizing for or denying those beliefs just to keep from being an outcast. And, most especially, if others are not also bound by the same standards I’m held to. 

Of course, the key word here is - shamed. I can be silenced by law, when/if that time comes, and, truly, being Christian nowadays makes my right to speak out less a right and more a badge of courage, but, like it or not, I will not be shamed into anything. Call me names, vilify me, do your worst to try to force me into the herd. I say, meeeow. 

I refuse to be aggressively or passively bullied. 

I believe God recently answered many prayers for those who understand that we’ve been given another chance to step up and so I made a commitment to speak out if there was something to be said. 

I don't need to be passive/aggressive because, you know, I’m not selling anything.

For Him,

(Matthew 10:28) And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  

Friday, November 18, 2016


The holidays are upon us. Don’t even think about trying to ignore it. 

Thanksgiving used to be its own celebration but now it’s mostly a warm up for the real end of year grand finale of events, shopping mania to shore up the economy, sparkle, dazzle and rich foods. Even so I still love Thanksgiving and what it used to stand for. 

My family chooses to do the whole traditional meal. I have made the roast turkey, dressing and gravy for forty-five years with only a handful of exceptions. I didn’t plan it to happen but it did work out that way. So, because I know how and I could probably do it in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back I am the official roast turkey cooker. 

Over the course of nearly a half century, one year adds unnoticed on to another, I’ve never stopped to think about how many turkeys I’ve prepared for the big meal, until this year. Sometimes you just have to pause and take inventory of time and how one meal of the same dishes can come to mean so much more than just a day on the calendar. 

Much has changed, as it does, even as the meal stays the same. Children have been born, grown up and have their own children who are grown now. Life is never static and often complex. Life altering things often happen that interfere with schedules. I’ve chatted with people about this recently who all say similar things - “well, we used to gather at mom’s house but it’s just impossible to get everyone together now...” 

Yes, life changes things and yet somehow my tribe has still managed to gather, in the best way we can, for this meal. Sometimes, take this year for example, we had to find another day on the calendar that will make it possible for as many as can to come together. Even so, not everyone will be able to come. 

While every year is different and our numbers are never the same, we do make it happen. It’s not because we love this meal, not because of the same old food, but because we love each other and we want to be able to pray over and eat the meal that has come to represent so much more than a tradition.

We are grateful for our blessings, and we want to give thanks - together. Family. 

I’ll be up early tomorrow getting the bird ready to roast. One more Thanksgiving.  A tradition worth keeping.

Whatever your traditions are, as we step into the mayhem of the season, may you be blessed abundantly - and always grateful.

For Him,

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
The power, and the glory, 
For ever and ever. 


Friday, November 11, 2016

Like It or Not

You probably assumed from the title of this post that I’d be calling everyone to set aside their differences and ‘just get along’, because that seems to be the trending topic on the Net and social media now that the election is over.

But no - this is not about that. 

This is my report from the trenches - my review of having experienced, first hand, The Facebook.

I know I’m not the last hold out and that there are still many who are dug in and refuse to be sucked into the vortex of what is tantamount to a giant vacuum. But I have my reasons and, being honest, I admit curiosity was the final shove that sent me, a clueless, deer-in-the-headlights innocent, into the deafening mainstream. I’ve excused myself by claiming that I am just an observer, narrow-eyed and cynical. Like a reporter assigned to a war zone.

A reporter, yes, let’s go with that for now.

A couple weeks in, I do have some observations for anyone else toying with the idea of stepping out into the wind tunnel.

1. You don’t have to ‘friend’ everyone in the world. First of all, in The Facebook vernacular, the word ‘friend’ is not defined as ‘someone who knows you and wants to do lunch with you to catch up on what’s going on in your life’. It’s a designation, a way to categorize you and include you in trending memes until you prove yourself to be unstable and not worthy to be included whereby you can be summarily ‘unfriended’. 

Being unfriended in The Facebook is simply the new normal for the vintage childhood trick of saying - if you don’t do what I want I am taking my ball and going home. So there! 

2. Once you are somewhat established with the connectivity of ‘mutual friends’ you can check on what others are posting and saying by looking at your ‘home’ or ‘feed’. This gives you a constant input and can, if you allow it to, become a full time volunteer position, i.e., job with no pay. 

Be very careful - it’s a set up. And here’s where my curiosity about the point of The Facebook is answered. Follow the money - it’s always the root of all ‘free’ things. Connectivity, people linking and liking and sharing is big business. We get to jump on the vehicle and ride for free so that cons can tell us that this product saved a marriage because her husband who left her could not believe how wrinkle free she was! 

Which brings us to point number...

3. You don’t have to click on everything, and it behooves you to figure out the patterns and formulas quickly. When a really good sounding quote, like, for example, If you believe abandoned dogs need to be rescued, like this... Or, if you think no one should be homeless, like this... pops up - think instead of feel. Shaming is such a clever tool for cons to manipulate the masses of the touchy-feely era, isn’t it?

Like it or don’t, The Facebook is, for now, the way people prefer to communicate, share, express opinion, seek validation, acceptance and connect with like-minded others. The concept is not new though. Humans are born tribal and needing these kinds of affirmations. We crave to believe that we belong and are a good and useful part of something bigger than us and so we follow, we like, we share.

Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing, ultimately it’s just another way to do what humans do, (on steroids). I, for one, am more inclined to think less is more so I am clinging to the cracks in the wall, not allowing myself to be swept away completely. For one thing, just thinking a couple dots ahead - where does this end?  

Conclusion, for all my The Facebook ‘friends’, if I don’t click on like doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It just means I choose to abstain. I’m too old to worry that others might think I don’t think animals should be rescued and that the homeless should be housed or that others might worry that I am worrying if I am liked - or not. 

For Him,


Friday, November 4, 2016

Bullies and Conmen

From day one - there has always been those who can only feel superior by shrinking up, dominating, or conning others. Though it is part and parcel of the fallen human condition, it is difficult for the normal mind to understand. 

These are those clever and determined folks who seem to have inborn instincts that guide them in how to choose their victim(s). Firstly, a bully/conman (not a gender specific term, btw) can smell gullibility on a potential mark and crafts his/her approach accordingly. Their skills are so refined they can easily wobble and weave around any and all resistance or  pointed questioning. Once captured in the bully/conman’s web of deceit all ability to ask probing questions is effectively bound up because fear sets in. 

Paralysis from fear is the bully/conman’s most powerful tool.

In a ‘feeling’ age, where critical thinking is overruled by less reliable emotions, bully/conmen are able to move more freely, unhampered. There is less resistance, for one thing, from those who are willing to believe everything at face value because otherwise one is accused of being a cynical skeptic. No one wants to be seen as cold and unfeeling in a ‘feeling’ age. Therefore more cons are possible now and as a result the feeling age morphs deeper and wider into a ‘lying age’ where discernment of truth becomes a waning skill. 

We have reached the stage where very few have been spared the experience of being duped by a bully/conman in some way or another. In the realm of politics whole demographics of people are duped daily by vague, good sounding promises and dazzlingly crafted excuses. Bully/conmen are everywhere now, questing to profit in one way or another from those who adhere to the culturally required guile and trusting nature.

Of all the many types of grifters, the bully/conman type I have spent years researching is, in many ways, the most clever and successful because he hides beneath the facade of Everyday Man. He isn’t a star and, in most cases, lives a somewhat reserved life, often as a ‘family man’.  No flash and dash, he operates better flying under the radar. In many cases he presents himself as something of a victim of cruel fate - always claiming to be on the receiving end of bad luck or malicious intent from others, effectively eliciting compassion and willingness to come to his/her aid from the very one he is targeting. 

But make no mistake, he is as dangerous as the most notorious criminal or political scam artist. In some ways even more so because his most valuable tool is not fear; it is shame. He expects that, once, or if, you are on to him, you will not take the steps necessary to out him - because you feel so dumb. How could you have let this person suck you in? How could you not see the signs? It’s embarrassing. You just want it to go away.

And so, over and over again, this kind of bully/conman does his/her thing, wrecks havoc, leaves destruction behind and then moves on, with little or no accountability. 

I have done many interviews with people who have been duped and conned in various ways. It’s become a life focus of study for me and will eventually be a book - maybe. I have found that people are willing to rant and vent and tell their stories, always varied but in many ways the same, but when push comes to shove, in the end, they fall back into the very same conclusion when pressed to take some kind of action - ‘oh, I don’t want to get involved’, or - ‘oh, it’s too much trouble to go after him’ - or her. 

I conclude what they really mean is that they just want to forget the whole thing so they don’t have to suffer the public sting and humiliation of having been fooled. Even if it means taking a financial hit or a life altering burden of financial destruction.

In every single case, regardless the differences, the one thing that is not duly noted by the victim is that, by allowing the bully/conman to go unchallenged, one is also allowing more people to be conned down the road. 

No doubt it often takes courage to take a stand and can sometimes be expensive to step up to the challenge of speaking out. Many a victim has discovered, amazingly, how the world often chooses to side with the bully/conman instead.  In some circumstances it can even be a bit dangerous. Thus, more often than not, the bully/conman gets away with his/her evil deeds because folks are already distressed and prefer to choose the less difficult path, take their lumps, lick their wounds, and count their lessons learned from having been bamboozled and then try to put it behind them. 

In effect, enabling the doer to do it again and again. 

This seems wrong on so many levels to me but I find it an uphill climb to make others see this as the inevitable result of doing nothing. A source of great frustration. 

For Him,


Monday, October 31, 2016

A Time For Everything

Election fatigue is starting to fray nerves and make otherwise calm people lose their self control. There may have been a more contentious, outrageous, uncivil presidential election in our past but I don’t recall one, at least not since I’ve been paying attention. 

The year I turned 21 I cast my first vote. It was 1968.  I guess I had an opinion, I’m sure I had not really studied the two candidates - Nixon and Humphrey. I voted for Nixon because. Because why? I can’t tell you. Maybe because he was the Republican? Whatever. I was not an informed voter and yet I voted anyway. It made me feel grown up.

This go round, while gathered in groups, whether in person at events and parties, or virtually on social media, people cannot help but comment and say what’s sitting up top on their conscious minds. The Internet and unlimited access to information has made it possible for everyone to be as informed as they wish to be.

I live in a decidedly Red community so most of the comments are not especially kind to the Democratic candidate. There is much frustration  that cannot be contained. So much is blatantly obvious, to those who wish to see, the angst about how incredible it is that so many misdeeds and lies can be ignored feels like a bad case of heartburn. 

Frankly, I don’t know how bad the information has to be to be considered game changing. If I had to guess I’d say those who are shocked and disillusioned will simply stay home rather than vote for the opponent. And that is always game-changing when the numbers are reportedly neck and neck. 

How will it end? Can it end well and peacefully? Will the whole truth finally be allowed to come out? Will crime be exposed and criminals be prosecuted? Will the elite be held accountable for the many things the rest of us would be put under the jail for? 

Maybe, maybe not. Regardless what happens, even if the worst of the worst is exposed, there are many who will still side with, defend and make excuses for the one they were duped into believing was who she has claimed to be. 

Historical note: there are still many, to this day, who make excuses for Nixon. Who say he was set up and that he would have been a great president if not for a silly made up scandal. I’m not like that. When I find out something is irrefutably true, I don’t hang on to my position just to save face. I say something until the time for speaking is done. 

But well done is better than well said - so I do something. Click if you dare

When a truth must be said, it must be said. To remain silent for the sake of maintaining civility is to deny that there is a time for everything. 

When stakes are high and eyes are still blind is no time to remain silent.

For Him,

(Ecclesiastes 3:1) For everything there is a season, and a time for very purpose under heaven:  (3:2) a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3:3) a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (3:4) a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (3:5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (3:6) a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (3:7) a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (3:8) a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016


I’d really rather write about lovely philosophical ponderings but sometimes I have to say tough words. I acquired and fine-tuned this skill while raising teenagers. That’s another topic for later - for now, I just need to vent.

I’m somewhat conservative and not given to sudden outbursts but of late I just want to stand in the middle of the room and scream. When the brightest of the bright, or so they wish us to believe, were debating the credits and debits of Obamacare, I quietly said - “It cannot work and we have the British NHS as our precedent.” I also said - “They know it won’t work. What they want is single payer, government run healthcare so they can tell us what to eat, how much to weigh, how much to exercise - or....be refused healthcare.” 

Even little old me could see it way back when our newly elected representatives, who campaigned and won on promises to stand up to Executive overreach, proved to be liars, cowards and and betrayers of the trust of those who elected them. 

And I’ve never been accused of being brightest of the bright. 

But how difficult is it to see what was and is and therefore likely to be? Why, now that the system is imploding right and left, no one asks, ”Who wasn’t bright enough to see this coming?” Those who insisted this would be the best thing since sliced bread now seem shocked. It just needs tweaking, you know...

Uh huh.

Are the liars really shocked? Or just lying again? 

Hindsight seems so futile, except it can teach us valuable lessons - if we are paying attention. To say, I told you so rings a bit tinny. I’d rather say - liberty is a word that can be redefined just as any other. All it takes is a compliant population who still thinks the government just wants us to be healthy.

What is the opposite of hindsight? Forwardsight? Here’s a glimpse at our near future healthcare -

For Him,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Something Old Something New

We had one of our best Trinity Pond Farm events ever this past weekend. A wedding. Amazing, blessed gathering. Beautiful people, young and old, everywhere. 

Sunday, as we were all in clean up and recovery mode, small clusters of out-of-town guests dawdled out on the farmhouse porch drinking in the perfect October morning with their coffee. Conversation infused with giggles and guffaws floated out on gentle puffs of air washed clean by a passing pre-dawn rain. As the sun climbed upward and the rigid schedule of real life broke through the lingering revere, making its demands, a few at a time reluctantly loaded up their cars and left. 

Even though the magically charged atmosphere had quieted down, a faint ringing remained of the laughter and music of the night before. Everyone seemed to silently acknowledge this as definitely one for the memory books. 

We will not soon forget this one.

Memory on memory. Family and friends come together to celebrate and perpetuate old traditions, like marriage, in order to create new fresh beginnings. Modernity can try its best to convince us that tradition is obsolete and that only new ways and definitions can take humans into a brave and better future.  

Label me old-fashioned but I don’t think so. 

What was so perfectly crafted in the long ago beginning, what is now so very old, is still as new and fresh a thing as a gentle mid-October Sunday morning. 

And everything old is made new again.

For Him,

(Genesis 2:24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.