Thursday, June 30, 2016


Do you remember when it was a matter of pride to say you are an American?

Do you remember being able to say, out loud, God bless America?

Do you remember when you didn’t have to worry about your religious rights being challenged?

Do you remember when patriotism was not a dirty word, and, in fact, was taught to children in school?

Do you remember when immigrants came here looking for a new life, an American life, not a freebie life handed out with nothing required of them?

Do you remember when government was of and for and by the people not just a handful of elitists with their fingers in the global pie?

Do you remember when it was an honor to be a soldier, serving proudly to preserve the rights and freedoms granted to the citizens of this county?

Do you remember that law-abiding, hard-working, tax paying citizens of this country could count on the laws to protect them first, before anyone else? 

Do you remember when there was a United States of America, a democratic republic hard fought for, sacrificed for and a beacon of light for the rest of the world?

For some reason, I’m struggling to remember exactly what it was like to be an American, unashamed, who lived, head up, no fear, in the land of the free and home of the brave. 

Time dims memory and things change, people forget who they are and why they are who they are. And then others, who can’t allow individuals to just be free find ways to subvert and distort and eventually destroy what was once about as good as it can get in a fallen world.

Happy 240th America. Eat, drink and be merry while you still can. 

For Him,

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Friday, June 24, 2016


We don’t watch many movies nowadays. Modern narratives and themes simply do not entertain us, often embarrass us, and always disappoint us in regards to the obvious decline in all that is supposed to be civil about civilization. But recently we decided to try a WW2 flick - Fury - starring Brad Pitt. It was brutal and honest and probably depicted truly as possible what went on inside the Sherman tanks in those waning days of the war as the Allies pushed through Germany in the final wrap up. War really is hell, isn’t it? 

It was not a true story in the sense that it was based on real characters and scenarios but rather a compilation of stories blended together as told over time to the author by friends and family who had survived to tell their tales. Nevertheless it was real enough because the takeaway was undeniably sobering.

First and foremost, regardless how leftist idealism loves to obfuscate and ignore and/or reconfigure the tough truths to suit its agendas, history reveals over and over again how easy it is to rally ordinary people to destroy and decimate on nothing more than the ambitions of ruthless humans who schmooze and wrangle their way into position of authority. In the late thirties and early forties, it was Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito and handful of lesser despots also known as wealthy tycoon industrialists. Before that it was a different cadre of names rolling backwards into prerecorded history. It’s like reading from a script - those who rule from their ivory towers only feel the burn when their dreams of domination are dashed and they are sent packing into infamy. 

Modernity’s tyrants, those who currently live in the lofty heights, secure, protected and coddled by those whose job it is to manufacture public opinion are always seven safe degrees of separation from the public who choose to blindly believe and follow them.  But, over time, as the ‘useful idiots’ as Stalin loved to refer to his citizens, are left to deal in real time with the hardships, empty shelves, shortages in every category, untenable laws and unfair implementation of laws, eventually get tired of it, hit the place where they ask, “What is the point?” and say, “No More!” That is the turning point where they have nothing to lose. And that is the point where tyrants historically meet their Waterloo.

Even so, with little remaining to give up, sometimes this takes a courage that means facing inevitable hardship and/or death for those who speak first, those who point out that the Emperor is, in fact, a naked, delusional liar.  Sometimes it means ignoring name calling and being vilified. Sometime it means voting against the tide of manufactured public opinion, one's religion and/or the new normal. 

Sometimes it means getting so weary of lies, manipulations, empty rhetoric and failed promises, you are forced to say, “Enough!”

I am not interested much in the dirty game of politics but given the realities of how politics impact our minute to minute lives, even as those who indulge in the political sports ride high above the waves, have more than enough to take care of their whims and needs, have armed guards shielding them and talking heads excusing them, fake polls seeking to coax the opinions of those who are mostly interested in when the next iPhone is being released, it behooves me to pay attention to the tyrants du jour, those who make thousands of laws and regulations that tell us every move to make, what to think, how to feel, even as the law makers are exempt from the edicts themselves. 

I hate run on sentences but this time it’s okay because it emphasizes my anger. I have said, in my head and out loud, “Enough!” just as my distant cousins in the Uk have done, and the victims of failed socialism in Venezuela and Brazil. Like everyone I know who would rather have a successful clown who’s willing to say the un PC words  elected to the presidency than another proven to be deceitful tyrant. 

When ordinary people finally reach the tipping point, when they realize they are the ones who directly reap the devastating results of the self-serving plans of lying tyrants and so refuse to take it anymore, they reorder their priorities.

1.No more hypocrisy. 
2.No more lies. 
3.Enough is enough. 

For Him,


(Matthew 21:12) And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;  (21:13) and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Father's Voice

High on a shelf in the darkest corner of the basement, an obsolete audio playing device rests beneath a light blanket of dust. It exists, instead of being dismantled or buried in a landfill, because there is another box on another shelf in the same basement that holds an assortment of 8-track tapes, most of which are collections from forgotten music artists but a couple are homemade recordings. 

One, in particular, is the keeper of my father’s voice. 

My dad delighted in making tapes with his recorder. One day he decided to introduce his five year old granddaughter and two year old grandson to the joys of hearing their own voices. He interviewed them and coaxed each to perform songs of their choice. They tried out knock knock jokes on each other as the magnetic tape captured the silliness and giggles. He reenacted a joke from his favorite TV show - ‘Doc, it hurts when I do that! Well then don’t do that!’ Heeeee Haw! 

Sometimes I think about that tape. I wonder if I were to make the effort to clean the player, hook it to speakers and electricity - would it work? Would I be able to hear again my dad’s voice?  Or would it be too damaged by the ravages of time? The not knowing keeps the dust undisturbed on the 8-track player. If it didn’t work, I think the disappointment would be too high a price. 
And so I choose to simply remember. My brain, at least the long term memory part, recalls that moment even better than a strip of plastic. I can still hear his voice quite clearly in my head. 

I also can hear him reading the Sunday funnies to me. I can hear him teaching me how to drive a nail straight and true, or soap a screw to make it sink into wood easier. I can hear him teaching me the Lord’s Prayer and unlocking the mysteries of fractions and seeing creativity as something without staid and static boundaries.

When I can’t hear him I can see him, in my mind’s eye, doing right. I can remember he was honest, hard-working and honorable. He provided for his family, he took pride in his home. I’m sure life wasn’t always easy and sometimes a challenge but I never heard him complain. He taught me more by simply doing it, not saying it. 

I didn't realize, until I took this memory trip, that, in ways difficult to explain, it has been my father’s voice that has always held me accountable. All these years. Locked on the continuous playing synapse in my brain is the reverberation of a standard, a non-expiring, never vintage, holds-true-always, fundamental truth. Everything that is determinedly decent begins with the voice of reason and obedience to a higher authority. 

When you respect and admire your Father you hope to hear, “Well done, good and faithful...”

For Him,

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Faith Does

It was early 1979. After borrowing from Peter to pay Paul too many years, the distress of not enough household income had finally reached the critical point. The only solution was for me to find a ‘paying’ job. Updating my resume honestly included lots of volunteer experience, PTA committees, Cub Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, United Way fund raisers. Not so much business-related skills as is delineated by business operations that are considered worth paying a salary for. 

Semantics! But that’s a rant I’ll save for later.

Then an opportunity came through a recommendation from a friend who was an executive at the headquarters of a major oil company. An entry level job. Filing papers or something. I drove downtown to be interviewed. I filled out the papers with a rock sitting in my stomach. 

The young woman assessing my skill sets and hire-ability was probably ten years my junior and spoke to me in a tone of superiority that frankly got into my craw from the get go but me not wanting to be there might have influenced my opinion of her. She was clearly judging me though. I had run a household, had three kids, the youngest age seven, but I was in someway bordering on imbecilic because I had not typed, shuffled and filed someone else’s papers for pay.

At the end of the interview she noted that I had children at home by forewarning me that the job came first, should they condescend to hire me, and that I would be expected to show up. The unspoken part was pointed at the obvious demands of a parent in charge of three kids. I drove home sick at heart. “Please God”, I pleaded, “is this really what I have to do?”

The next evening the officers of the homeowners association met, for which I was the secretary (was that a skill set?) to discuss the upcoming summer season. We needed a neighborhood pool manager. As we tossed around ideas for how to run the pool more efficiently than in the past, it suddenly came to me - I could do it! Why not? The pay wasn’t much but it was real. I could stay home with my kids for the summer instead of working to make just enough to pay someone else to spend the summer with my kids.

I tossed out that idea. And why not indeed. The next day I enrolled in a night class at a junior high to take the life saver course. Two nights a week for six weeks. As summer approached I was credentialed and ready to manage the neighborhood pool as well as able to rotate out with the life guards. 

I spent the summer of 1979 in a swimsuit. I designed and made my own back then (a skill set that lead to other things). My kids spent most of the time at the pool. Rough summer. I got tan and lean. The pool closed at 8 pm and I did laps, swimming a mile every night before I went home. 

Here’s the best part - the part that reveals God’s cleverness and not to mention His apparent flare for loving the ‘eleventh hour’ story writing technique:

The day after I was officially hired to manage the pool, the snooty little woman called me to tell me (what was that tone in her voice?) they had condescended to try to allow me to work for them. 

Oh! Thank You, Lord! 

I gleefully responded to her constrained with all the professional grace I could muster, “Thank you so much, I appreciate the offer, but I have accepted another position.”

The rest of the story is just more of the same - Divine intervention, one thing leading to another, one crisis becoming a golden opportunity to learn and grow and add on. The dots, in retrospect, don’t even look related. In summary - because I did not take the job filing papers, I ended up as a designer for a craft book producer (designing/sewing skills) which lead to photo styling which lead to a big move which lead to ... you get the idea. Go figure! Talk about a windy road!

While it is so easy to say, “God has this” when you aren’t in the curve, it’s not as easy to believe it - to trust it - to let your faith take the wheel when it feels as though you might not get out of it,  but I can attest, from experience, it is easier to negotiate the twists and turns, be more pliable, when you are relaxed. Faith does that.

Vance Havner said it this way:

It is often overlooked that God commands us to believe. He does not merely invite or urge, He commands it. Living in unbelief or uncertainty is outright disobedience. We do not honor God by indecision and doubt. It is faith that pleases Him. We ought to come to Christ immediately and trust Him and never waver, because He has bidden us come and believe and we can do anything we ought to do. He inclines us to come by His Spirit, for certainly neither the flesh nor the devil ever impelled a man toward Christ. You may be sure that He is working in you to will and do of His good pleasure, and if you will to obey Him by believing as best you know how, you may be certain He will not cast you out. 

For Him,