Wednesday, September 30, 2020

First Frost

End of summer always stirs up a touch of melancholy in me. This goes all the way back fifty years to when my first batch of kids were little. I’ve never fully understood it unless it meant back to school, back to routine, goodbye to long lazy days, sunshine, swimming, crafts and no schedule. Even having grown grandkids has not put this recurring annual emotional sag to rest. 

Thankfully it never lasts too long, though, because I’m too pragmatic to allow myself to wallow in any vague, unproductive interlude. I get over it as soon as I realize I can have a fire in the fireplace and replace my summer decor with autumn colors and fragrances. And, certainly,  there’s always next summer to look forward to.

This chilly morning, the last day of September, I looked out and was surprised to see smoke on the pond and an unexpected white dusting on the grass and was forced to acknowledge that summer is actually over and winter is coming.  But I also noticed that I don’t care whether or not I change my decor or create something new that did not exist before and concluded that, whatever, the seasons come and go anyway. I asked myself,  “If I skip this year and do not pull out my pumpkins and fall decorations, what difference will it make?” 

This year has been such a challenge on every level that I find myself stagnant in the pause. I’m not motivated. My creative energy, that spark of making do that has always been the engine beneath my positive attitude seems to be stuck. This is way not normal for me. I’ve always been one to embrace life fully day to day. 

Strangely, this felt less pragmatic and more like giving up. 

And then a familiar still small voice that has always challenged me to ignore crisis, naysaying, depression, criticism, or rejection, said the words that have kept me moving forward in the worst of years, those times of pending great unknowns, when it seemed relief and closures were unreachable, that suffering might be the new norm, and nothing I did was right or mattered. 

“Do it for Me.” 

To be clear, I don’t believe for a minute that God cares whether or not my seasonal decor is up to date. The inspiration, or shove into releasing the pause button, is not about worldly things or actions.  Those four words are about standing in the face of adversity, maintaining equilibrium when the ship is listing and might even seem to be sinking, and trusting the One who is the Captain. The effort to keep believing that He is in control is what prevents me from shrinking under the weight of fear of defeat. 

How can we effectively serve Him if we allow ourselves to be neutralized?

We can’t always know what our purpose in the greater scheme of things is, or how our own determination and grit might possibly inspire others to not give up, to not allow the adversary to win the battle. But, we can know, by the example of so many others, who having done all, stood. Those who refused to submit to being silenced or chose to defy the threat of the moment. Those who declared, “Which is worse, quitting or dying while trying?” 

I looked out after the sun was fully up and the frost was melted away. I’m thinking about pulling out my autumn adornments as a confirmation that I got the message. 

For Him,


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ad Hominem

You can only know and discriminate between the true and the false when you yourself are on the higher ground. 

-T. Austin-Sparks

In a world of 24/7 information puke out, how can you know if you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? Who can you trust? How can you be objective or form good questions if even the right to ask questions goes from being discouraged to being forbidden? How can you discern when something seems ‘off’ in news coverage when it’s not only simplified (to better reach the now dumbed down masses), it feels almost cookie cutter?

The answer is hidden in plain sight.

For quite some time now I have been comparing this modern era to being on the verge of an imitation of art, i.e., like the fictional dystopian worlds of 1984 and The Matrix. In each dark tale, the citizen characters live within a completely totalitarian ruled world. In both stories, one representing the result of devastating ongoing world war and one representing the result of digital technology gone rogue, the masses have no idea they are just pawns in a created illusion. They believe what they are conditioned to believe. They do not ask questions because, well, why should they? They have no idea they exist only to serve the purpose of those who have the keys to the control room. 

Their normal is unrecognized oppression. 

There have been real life examples of such total control of the population many times in human history. In every case, those who had control, were quite brutal to the citizens who thought, because they were promised, that they were part of a great revolution that would bring justice and prosperity to their world. The ugly reality is that millions died at the hands of great leaders such as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, to name a few. The common thread being, of course, socialism/communism. 

I guess this is why there is a huge push to revise history. Need to make sure the younger generation doesn’t know about the abject failures of the ideologies that have never brought prosperity to anyone but those who have the keys. So, how could those people have realized or known that they were being lied to before they were completely overcome? We can’t know what we don’t know but we can be armed with common sense. We can pay attention to the subtle as well as the glaring red flags. If we are smart enough to admit there are red flags.

Those who have diabolical agendas, who have no interest whatsoever in the welfare of anyone but themselves, will often employ compelling tactics known as Logical Fallacy to manipulate the common mindset. An often used variation of distraction tactics that create a smoke screen and diversion is referred to as the Ad Hominem strategy. 

Within the alternate reality of 'attacking the man', when everything you see or hear says exactly the same thing, you are inclined to believe it must be true, because, everyone is saying it. Right? But those who are paying attention will notice that this does not reflect real life. 

Only in a virtual world, created by those who have control over the narrative, will there be consensus of opinion. This does not align with real life and is a huge red flag that something is not right. Historically speaking no president has ever had the approval of all the people or those who produce the news media and therefore all reporting, in real life, is expected to be both good and bad. But what if all the news, in every newspaper, television/radio broadcasts and social media is negative all the time - no exception

And now reverse this and ask, what if all comments and reports are only positive, as in Heil Hitler! would that indicate something was wrong as well? 

What if all the negativity causes maverick citizen journalists to launch opposition as a way to defend against the Ad Hominem attacks and then find they must then defend themselves against being canceled or shut down by social media? What if otherwise respected, credentialed professionals across a spectrum of industries, including education, are fired for daring to speak in opposition to the Ad Hominem view point? 

Would this seem surreal in a country founded on free speech and individualism? Would it seem like someone or something sinister is at the master control? 

Would it make sense to conclude that the one who is the focus of all the negativity could not or would not be the one controlling the narrative? 

Would this scenario resemble patterns from history when those who had dark agendas to overcome and enslave a population to totalitarianism in the name of JUSTICE! and PROSPERITY! were successful in completely changing, destroying a country using the same tactics? 

If you noticed the similarities would you start asking questions? Would you even know what questions to ask? 

Would you believe that it could never happen in America? 

For Him,


Recommended reading: Isaiah 5:1-30

Monday, September 7, 2020

Portrait Of A Deplorable


In the 2016 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying that Trump supporters were ‘deplorable’. Though I certainly do not have access to every comment posted on the internet, I don’t recall seeing outrage or people screaming down the street demanding safe spaces to hide from such an egregious insult. My impression was that most folks, who felt the derogatory comment referred to them, were honored to be counted as such. 

I know I was. Sticks and stones…sticks and stones.

Four years later, however, watching in grief, as cities burn, businesses are forever closed, lives ruined, (a large number of which include Black Americans), under the dubious excuse of protesting for social justice, it occurred to me that the contrast between what was redefined as deplorable and what actually is deplorable, is profound as well as revealing.

Perhaps the intent wasn’t meant to redefine what deplorable stands for but rather just a specific qualifier that declares any and all people who support Trump are, well, just disgraceful, dishonorable, shameful… period. However, historically speaking, and it stands to reason, once an English word has been reassigned significance, it becomes a one way street. 

So, if you are a Trump supporter you might …

… count yourself among the numbers who are now deemed deplorable because  you support the concept of the American dream of free enterprise, free speech, religious freedom, and the fundamental right to pursue happiness. If so then there are distinct differences between you and those who wish to see all these fundamental rights be eliminated.

If you are deplorable, by the new standard, you will likely be one who has worked most of your life, perhaps spending many years getting an education that you might have to continue to pay for into your middle age. You are one who does or has worked long hours at your job, perhaps having had to prove your way up from the bottom. 

You might be entrepreneurial and have risked everything to start your own business, doing without, sacrificing comfort, in order to make your dream come true. You might farm the land to contribute to the food supply. You might be one who works long night shifts, responding to save other humans from health crisis or horrific accidents, fires, or crimes committed.  

You are likely to be one who loves the concept of family and plan to form one. If you have a family you are likely willing to defend your tribe by any means necessary so you are a supporter of the second amendment even if you don’t wish to  own a gun. 

You understand the basic difference between right and wrong. You know that purposefully hurting someone else or destroying their life’s work is wrong. You know what common courtesy is, and how civilized society is founded on humans treating each other with respect. Odds are that you hold to the long held fundamental standard that all lives matter, especially that of human babies. You might even wonder how this foundation of humanity has been reinvented to represent women’s rights. 

You may or may not believe in God but you accept that everyone has the right to be able to choose either way.

You support the concept of law and order and believe that such a condition could not be possible in a state of anarchy where anything goes, and there is no trained/skilled entity, like the police, to intervene.

You are not inclined to break laws or assault a stranger on the sidewalk and call it a Knock Out Game. You pay your taxes, even though you know they are often misused by those in charge of spending them. 

You usually avoid confrontations with those who think you are deplorable but in those times you feel strongly about the threat of your God-given rights being taken away if you gather with others to rally to express your support, you do not set things on fire or smash windows and rob the merchandise from businesses. You do not scream obscenities at those who are gathered to oppose you. You wave the American flag, cheer on those who are speaking and hope others enjoy the encouragement of likemindedness. Then you clean up after yourself and go home.

If you contribute to a charity it is not likely to be a fundraiser for a thug or career criminal who has been temporarily elevated to sainthood to represent the opposite of the new definition of deplorable.

You might be disappointed that society is now willing to vilify a business that stands by a religious conviction even as other businesses are allowed to take political or social stands, including refusing to sell to police officers (think Walmart and Starbucks).

In an age where good is deemed bad and bad is good, the label DEPLORABLE can be hijacked by anyone who has celebrity status and then wielded like a weapon to cast aspersions, devise false narrative, determine that those who disagree with the new woke stream of consciousness is just flat dumb and ought to be silenced and cancelled. But just because one is smart, talented, educated, experienced or credentialed, does not mean that one is wise. Those who are wise know who they are, what they stand for, what is at stake in this mounting war that feels more and more Biblical every day. 

The new definition of deplorable, as applied to those who still believe in what America was founded on, should now be added to Webster’s Dictionary as:




adjective: deplorable

  1. Not one who destroys. One who builds. Individual of integrity. One not defined by race, creed or ethnicity. One of high principals.

For Him,