Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vocab Challenge

Just before the holiday let's stretch our brains a little by doing a vocabulary drill. How many of the following words can you define? (1) Excommunicated, (2) Protestants, (3) Fanatic, (4) Cauterize (5) Donkey, (6) Icing, (7) Understudy, (8) Current, (9) Paradise, (10) Store Detective, (11) Cannibal, (12) Infantry. How are you doing? Let's make it a little easier. I'll list the acceptable definitions and all you need to do is match the word with the definition. That shouldn't be too hard. But make sure you pronounce each word very carefully and take your time. Here are the definitions. (a) A newly planted sapling; (b) Counter spy; (c) The fee charged by Rent-A-Mutt, (d) What I do when I shower, (e) Make eye contact with her, (f) Worker ants out to overthrow the Queen, (g) A guy who goes into a restaurant and orders the waiter, (h) What you shoot craps with, (i) Prepare inadequately for the exam, (j) Object that unlocks door to Godfather's home, (k) To cool off the extreme upper portion of the house, (l) Received a phone call from a former spouse. There you are, how did you do? Just in case you had trouble, here are the answers: 1 – l, 2 – f, 3 – k, 4 – e, 5 – j, 6 – d, 7 – I, 8 – c, 9 – h, 10 – b, 11 – g, 12 – a. My favorite? Icing. That's enough for a holiday weekend. Have a great time and be careful.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Right On!

Sometimes it is nice to see that your ideas are not way out. Today, one day after my last blog, the Lancaster Sunday News published an eight-page special on traffic accidents and fatalities in Lancaster County. The top three contributing factors in local fatal accidents are: (1) Excessive speed; (2) Alcohol or drugs; (3) Driver distraction such as by cell phones. Compare that to what I said in yesterday's blog! How is that for great timing. Maybe I'm not crazy after all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Dangerous World

There used to be a program on television that began with a Sergeant telling his policemen, "Be careful, it's dangerous out there". How true that is today. Every time you leave your driveway you are venturing into a dangerous world where careless drivers operate multi-ton vehicles, or should I say missiles. There are at least three things that make these experiences even more dangerous. First, there is alcohol. It is tragic to read how drunk drivers kill innocent people by driving the wrong way on interstates or by weaving into on coming traffic. My solution? Give an automatic five-year license suspension for a DUI, when there is no accident involved. Give a permanent suspension for a second offense or if an accident is involved. The second dangerous thing is speed, especially by drivers who think they are invincible. Thursday we took a trip to Lewistown and as I drove at the 65 mph limit, I was often passed by cars and trucks moving at least 15 or more miles per hour than I was. It was like driving on a raceway with speeding vehicles weaving in and out of traffic. But it is even worse on our two-lane street that used to be a nice quiet country road. The speed limit is 25 mph but many drivers travel past our house at 40 mph or faster. It is often dangerous just to cross the street to get our mail. And backing out of our driveway is often an adventure because you can't see very far ahead when a speeding driver is approaching. And they don't slow down! I always pray for safety when we leave for a longer trip, but maybe I need to pray before I get my mail or back out of the drive. Then there is the third thing that bothers me about driving – people talking on their handheld cell phones. Yesterday I was backing out of a parking spot at Park City when a speeding driver swerved to miss both me and the cars parked behind me – the driver was chatting on her cell phone. Later that day I was waiting to turn left at an intersection when a driver in her big SUV sped through as the light turned to red, almost taking off my front fender. She was chatting on her cell phone and laughing and never slowed down. At the next traffic light a similar thing happened. This time the driver, an older lady talking on her phone, turned left and again almost took off my bumper as she made the turn and continued to chat. I seldom agree with anything Oprah says, but I certainly support her drive to get folks to take the pledge not to drive while using cell phones. I really believe that many drivers, especially young ones, believe that they are invincible and can multi-task. They don't realize how, in a split second, their life can change and even worse how they can change the lives of innocent others. Accidents can happen to any of us, even if we are careful. But alcohol, speed, and cell phones change the odds. On the way to Lewistown we were slowed down by an accident on route 283. The driver had gone off the road to the right and up a hill. Her car spun around and came back down behind a metal barrier. The cause? I have no idea, but I would guess there is a strong possibility that speed and a cell phone might have been involved. I hope that none of you ever have to experience, as we have, the loss of a loved one in an automobile accident caused by the careless driving of another. And maybe we need to ask the Lord more often for safety on our streets and highways. For it has become a dangerous world out there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Genie Returns

I just received this genie story and I thought that I should share it with you (Remember what happened to Benny in my last blog?). These genies certainly are busy. Here goes - There once was this guy that got a dirty old lamp for his birthday. He cleaned it up and POOF!--out popped a genie! "I shall give you three wishes. You may have anything you like." So the guys thinks for a minute and says, "I would like a billion dollars." "You shall have it," and the genie grants him the wish. "Anything else?" The guy thinks for a while. Then, "I would like a VW Bug with A/C, convertible, power locks, power windows, satellite radio, you know the works." "Your wish is my command. What is your last wish?" "Hmmm. I think I'll save it for a rainy day." "Okay, suit yourself," says the genie. So the guy gets in his new VW and goes for a drive to show all his friends. He turns on the radio. There's a very familiar commercial on. The guy starts singing to it: "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener." ... So be careful cleaning old lamps, or at least be careful what you wish for if a genie just happens to jump out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Somebody recently sent me this story and I thought you might enjoy it. So here goes … Benny worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His primary job was to keep the exhibits clean and polished. One day he happened to be dusting around the Arabian exhibit, and he noticed an ancient urn that needed some cleaning. He got out his dust rag and began polishing. Lo and behold, an enormous genie appeared before him. "Master," the genie began, "I am the genie of the urn. I can grant you three wishes, but there is one condition I will put on you: You must never shave or cut your beard for the rest of your life, or you will be forced to take my place inside the urn forever." Benny thought about it for a bit, and decided it was a fair condition for three wishes. So Benny wished for 49 percent of the total Microsoft stock, which was promptly granted. Then he wished for the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife, and lo and behold, she was. Finally, he wished for fame and fortune, and he instantly became a worldwide celebrity. Over the years, Benny's beard became longer and longer until it almost reached the floor. As it grew longer, it began to itch. He tried to ignore it, but the itch became more and more irritating, while the memory of the genie's warning faded. Finally he decided he had to get rid of the beard and he shaved it off. Instantly he was trapped in the urn, to stay there forever. …… The moral of the story? ...... A Benny shaved is a Benny urned.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

24 Hours

What an interesting 24 hours it has been. Yesterday we went to the orthopedic specialist because my wife has had trouble walking. She expected that she'd get a shot and I expected that she'd be sent for physical therapy. Neither of us expected that she would leave with a cast up to her knee. The physician's assistant thinks she has posterior tibial tendonitis – how's that for a mouthful, or should I say a footfull! She will have her cast replaced every two weeks and if it helps, she will be in casts for several months, followed by a brace. We couldn't get an appointment with the specialist until late in June so we chose to see the assistant. Now she will actually get to see the specialist when she goes back to have her cast changed on May 27 … Our cable went out this weekend and finally Comcast was able to come this morning to check it out. The technician said nothing is wrong outside the house and the problem must be inside the house. We said thanks for coming. After he left the cable began to work … Our riding mower isn't cutting properly but I can't afford to send it to the shop. The way the grass is growing I need it to cut every two days so it can't be in the shop for a week right now. Today I noticed the front tire is low – maybe that is the problem. Now how do I get the wheel off? Anybody have some sheep to loan us? … Then there is the faucet in my bathroom that needs repaired. Maybe I should have been a plumber … The heavy wind caused more limbs to come down from our trees. But out disposal service won't take them. So I am stuck with piles of limbs and more that need to be trimmed or cut off. But I can't afford to buy a truck! So they are piling up in our backyard … I had to take our Intrepid back to the garage yesterday because, despite the $300 repair bill, it wasn't repaired properly several weeks ago … Yesterday was also a difficult day because it was the first year anniversary of my brother's graduation to heaven. I really miss him! … My son's mother-in-law had brain surgery this morning. First reports are that she came through the surgery well. … Settling estates is not fun! I spent almost three hours of the last 24 trying to get information that we need for taxes from Vanguard. I now have made four calls since March trying to get this information for the taxes which are due Saturday. I am still waiting to see if the information finally arrives, as promised several times, and if it is the correct information. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to settling estates. It's now been 15 months for my dad's and we still have more to do … If I believed in reincarnation, I think I'd ask to come back as a lawyer, or a physician's assistant, or a mechanic, or maybe even a plumber. Now these experiences are challenging, but I really am not complaining. "This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad:. (I keep repeating that to myself.) On the way back from walking this morning at Park City, I came upon an automobile accident which had just happened. As I stopped to see if I could be of any help, I talked to the young lady laying on the ground and also noticed the elderly driver in the other car who was holding his arm. I realized then that my challenges really were not that great! God is so good, all the time! … Oh yes, another sign of the bad economy – today I received a predeclined credit card offer!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Safe Place?

Unfortunately you can't avoid it … at sporting events … at fast food locations and restaurants … in Bath and Body Shop advertising mail … on television … in the windows of Victoria's Secrets … at vacation spots … on billboards … in shopping malls … everywhere you go. But why at church? Have you guessed what I am talking about? It's women in skimpy attire … low necklines … short dresses, all of which reveal more than should be revealed to anybody except their husband. Now I'm sure that many of you are saying "What's wrong with this guy?" "Can't he control himself?" "He must be an ancient prude!" You may think what you want about me, but I know how God created man and I know how men can be affected by these visual situations. And I also realize that this is life in today's world – sex sells and sex attracts. But my concern is that church should be a safe place for men. It should be a place where men can come to worship and not be distracted by women who are dressed improperly and are revealing too much of their body. You think it doesn't happen? Then just look around your church as the weather gets warm. My wife and I both remarked last week about several mothers who revealed too much to others, even without bending over. A female, with too low a neckline, came to talk to me as I was seated. As she bent over, I was embarrassed and was forced to look the other way. This just shouldn't happen in church, of all places. Now I realize that dress for church has become very informal to attract folks who wouldn't normally attend a church service. And so they come in flip flops, sloppy dress, shorts, swimming suits, and sweat suits. This I guess I can and must accept. But many of the worst offenders are established, regular attending church members who should know better. And many teenage girls are allowed by their parents to conform to modern dress standards and they come immodestly dressed. Now why is this happening? Maybe Christian women desire to be too attractive to others and they don't really care. After all, it is the man's problem, not theirs. Maybe some just want to conform to the world's standards. Maybe some are just na├»ve and don't realize what they are doing. Unfortunately, the problem is too sensitive and too controversial for pastors or teachers to deal with it. Many parents have no control over their kids and are afraid to say "no". That leaves it to youth teachers and speakers at women's activities to try to handle it. I understand that the speaker at our church's Mother's Day breakfast discussed it. I hope it has some effect, for church should be a safe place for men and I hate to think that the only way to experience such an environment is to attend an Amish service. Call me a prude, but I think it is a legitimate concern that few recognize or know how to handle. What do you think?