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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


         Anarchy - the state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.  Now that is something that we might expect and have even seen in some third-world countries.  But anarchy in the United States?  Never.  But wait a minute, maybe we are closer to that happening than we could ever have expected.

          The recent sad events in Ferguson should make one wonder how far we are from anarchy becoming a reality.  What  started as a story of a cop defending himself from someone who attempted to grab his gun and then fatally wounding the teen in the process has turned into a national race issue with violence and destruction.  Because the cop was white and the teen black, the community erupted and shootings, confrontations, looting, and destruction of property resulted.  Those protesting with violence couldn't wait for the facts.  In their mind the police force was wrong and the teen was killed because he was black, not because he had committed a crime.
When some calm was finally restored, the case was taken to a grand jury which had the right to collect all the evidence and even force witnesses to testify.  The grand jury purposely was constructed with the same balance of races as the community so that a fair and correct decision could be made.  But it was quickly obvious that the community and much of the country would only accept a verdict which held the cop as guilty.  Law enforcement was forced to prepare for more violence if that decision was not reached.
         After much study and deliberation, the grand jury announced a verdict that said the cop was not guilty and was just defending himself.  As expected, the liberal media fanned the flames around the country.  For example, CNN reported, "No indictment for Darren Wilcox, the white police officer, who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen."  Why even bring race into it?  Then government officials, including the president, commented, questioning the verdict and suggesting that additional investigations needed to be made. Had they seen the evidence the Grand Jury collected to make their decision?  Certainly not.  But why believe the grand jury which had studied the facts, including information the media and public had not seen?
          And what happened then?  Unfortunately, as expected, more riots, violence and burning of buildings. The lesson? You don't get what you want?   Then protest and destroy property.  Don't accept the facts.  Retaliate.
          But what is even worse, the protests spread around the country flamed by the media and community leaders and pastors.  One pastor here in Lancaster, a thousand miles away, quickly and publicly condemned the verdict, calling it racial.  He had no idea what facts the Grand Jury had studied, but he was sure they were wrong.  To him it was a racial issue, not a matter of law and order. And his comments were followed here by a band of protesters marching down the city streets disrupting traffic.  Similar protests, sit-ins, and acts of civil disobedience have now been seen throughout the country.
           It is a very dangerous step when leaders and pastors encourage their followers not to accept and obey the rule of law and accept the facts.  That is the beginning of creating a lawless society where the mob rules and violence and destruction of property follows.  And that is anarchy which can lead to the death of a great nation.  Can it happen in the United States?  Unfortunately, I believe It already has begun!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Be thankful!

        This season always reminds us to be thankful, an attitude which we should really experience every day of the year.  But I believe there is some value once in awhile to actually take time to write down some of the things that are special to you.  As the old hymn says, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done."   So here is my list.

  1.    My spiritual blessings:   I am so thankful for the wondrous gift that Jesus provided for me.  I am thankful that at a very early age I realized my need for Him and claimed Him as my Savior.  I am thankful for the many years I have had to walk with Him, experience His guidance, and see Him answer my prayers.  Life would really be meaningless without this relationship. 
  2.   My wife:  The Lord has blessed me with a special wife who has also become my closest friend.  We have had the joy of spending over a half century together, raising a family and serving the Lord together.  I could never have predicted how He would have brought our lives together, but I am sure that He had this all planned even before we were born.
  3.   My family:  The Lord has provide me with three wonderful sons who love and serve the Lord.  In turn he added to our family three special daughter in laws and seven wonderful grandchildren.  These have all been special blessings and I thank Him for how they have enriched my life.
  4.   My heritage:  I have a godly heritage!  On my father's side my heritage goes back many generations with ancestors who have loved and served the Lord. I could not have asked for better parents. They showed me how to trust the Lord in all situations.  My grandparents on my father's side were godly people who were special examples to me.  My father's family all made major impacts upon my life by their interest in me, their examples to me, and their ministry as true prayer warriors.  And through these relationships I was introduced to many other servants of God who impacted me in so many ways.  For this I am profoundly thankful.
  5.  My career:  There are few people who have been blest to have a job for 39 years that they thoroughly enjoyed.  I loved my work and there were very few days that I didn't enjoy going to work. The Lord blessed me with gifts of teaching, creativity and leadership.  To me the classroom was fun and I do miss it. And the Lord provided me with so many other opportunities and contacts related to my job that were "icing on the cake".  In addition He gave me numerous part-time jobs that were interesting and enabled my wife to serve as a mother and housewife.  What wonderful blessings He provided.
          6.   Ministry Opportunities:  I am so thankful that over the years the Lord has allowed me to serve Him in so many different ways. Before going to college it was teaching children in CEF and Sunday School. For many years it was serving as an elder and Sunday School teacher.  For 25 years it was through a family ministry doing over 100 programs a year.  For 33 years it has been with Awana.  Over the years it has been being able to serve on the boards of various Christian organizations.  In recent years, when I've become "too old" to be needed or really wanted anymore in leadership and teaching positions in church, I have been able to serve, behind the scenes, as financial secretary of our church and as a helper in Awana. And we're still needed to minister about three times a year at Pinebrook.  I thank the Lord for these very special opportunities to serve Him over my lifetime.
          7.   Material Blessings:  I have never had a high paying job - I started teaching at $3,500 per year.  I have never received a bonus or a Christmas gift from an employer.  We have never been able to take great vacations or buy expensive items.  But the Lord has not only met every need that we have had, but he has often provided more than we needed.  We've learned early in life that all we have is really the Lord's and we've tried to honor Him with all He has provided, and He has blessed us.  We have a home, we have cars, we have clothing, we have plenty to eat, and I even have a good pension.  Thank you Lord for being so good to us.
  8.   Health:   Life is not without its challenges.  I have had eight surgeries over my lifetime.  I live with cancer and two other challenging physical conditions.  There are some things that I can no longer do.  But I have had 73 good years.  Most of my good friends have not lived nearly that long and I really miss them.  But God has been good to me and I thank Him daily.  I don't know how many more years He'll give me here, but I pray that I may use the days He provides me to praise Him and serve Him.
  9.   My country:  I have been extremely blessed to have been born in the United States.  I would not want to reside elsewhere.  I thank Him for the years of liberty and the freedom I have experienced and enjoyed here.  And while those liberties are being threatened and we have growing disorder and threats that we've never faced before, there is still no better place on this earth.  Thank you Lord.
          10.   My hope:  For years folks have looked for the return of Christ.  And while it would seem to be close, based on recent world events, it might not happen in my lifetime.  But even if it doesn't happen while I am here, I have His promise that one day I will be with Him in a home He is preparing for me.  And with that knowledge and hope I can face tomorrow.  Thank you Lord for your promises.
  There is much more that I could say.  I have so much to be thankful for. For example, I could thank Him for the beauty of the Fall.  But this list would just go on and on.  Why don't you take time this season to pause and journal things that you are thankful for.  It will encourage your heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Establishing Railings

          For about a dozen years we have enjoyed attending and being part of the annual Senior Saints Fall Retreat at Pinebrook Bible Conference in the Poconos.  It is a great relaxing week of good fellowship, good food, excellent programs and outstanding speakers.  One of the speakers for several years has been Dr. Brooke Solberg, from Allentown.

         In one of his lessons this year he shared from Deuteronomy 22,  a rather unusual passage with a number of illustrations that might seem hard to understand in today's society.  However, he summed them up by noting that there are some things that we as believers can not hide from.  We can't hide from those who need the Lord.  We can't hide from those brothers and sisters who have done astray.  And we can't hide from the domestic scene.
         He spent considerable time dealing with verse 8, "When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it."  The verse talks about establishing a parapet or rails on a roof top.  In Bible times most folks had flat roofs and they would entertain friends by climbing a set of outside stairs to the roof which was their patio.  And it would be the responsibility of the host to have railings around the roof to prevent guests or family members from falling off the roof.
          That seems like a strange message in today's world since we don't normally host our family and friends on our roof.  But, he equated this to four rails that parents need to establish for their home and in turn for their children.
         Rail number one is a home based on the Word of God.  Today there are many things competing for the hearts and minds of our children and parents need to establish the Word of God as the foundation of their home. We need to follow Biblical principles and teach the importance of them to our family.  Nothing can distract from the importance of that in our home.
          The second rail is that of prayer.  We as parents need to continually bring our family members before the Lord.  We need to pray not only for their daily activities but also that they might develop a passion for the Lord and His kingdom.  Unfortunately, sometimes we get too busy to pray, especially for our family.  We must have a passion to do this.
         Rail number three is righteousness.   As parents we need to constantly lead lives ourselves that please the Lord.  Our children soon see if we are just serious about Christianity on Sunday or if it is part of our everyday life.  How do we react to things? Are we honest in our dealings?  How do we treat our family members?  Is following Christ in everything really important to us?
          And the fourth rail is that of love.  Our love for them must be real no matter what they do or how they may fail.  And there are times that this can be very difficult, especially if they have strayed away from the Lord.  We may not condone their choices but we must love them as Christ loved us, even when we were sinners.
          Now if we have all four rails established, then they must step over the rails to fail.  And that may happen. It may be impossible to stop them if they make that choice. Our priority is to pray fervently for them, to stand by God's Word, to  live righteous lives ourselves, and to love them with our whole heart.
          Now my family is grown up and they must establish the four rails for their households.  But I still need to uphold the railings in my home and in my dealings with them.  Our family is the greatest mission field that God gives us and one which is so often neglected.  But it remains our responsibility to establish and maintain these railings.
          Years ago my wife and I established several goals that we had for our home and our family.  These include these four railings.  We have posted them on the wall in our living room as a reminder for us and for them of what we feel is essential in life.  And we pray daily that all of our family members will recognize, understand and attempt to follow these "railings"  That is our prayer.
          Are the four railings established in your home?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A good doctor

One final blog about doctors and medical care.  Good doctors are hard to find and if you have one then great for you!  You are very fortunate.  Just remember that doctors are "practicing" physicians and many of them are still practicing ... on you.  Hopefully they'll get it right soon.  Now somebody told me about his good doctor and he related the following examples:
* If you tell him you want a second opinion, he will gladly go out of the room and then come in again.
* He once treated a woman for yellow jaundice for three years before he realized that she was Chinese.
* Another time he gave a patient six months to live.  At the end of six months the patient hadn''t paid his bill, so the doctor gave him another six months.
*While he was talking to a patient his nurse came in and said "Doctor, there is a man here who thinks he is invisible."  The doctor said, "Tell him I can't see him."
* Another time a man came running into the office and yelled, "Doctor, my son just swallowed a roll of film."  The doctor calmly replied, "Let's just wait and see what develops."
* One patient came in and said, "Doctor, I have a serious memory problem."  The doctor asked, "When did it start?"  The man replied, "When did what start?"
* One time my friend told the doctor that he had a ringing in his ears.  His advice?  "Don't answer it?"
*The doctor has his share of nut cases.  One said to him, "Doctor, I think I'm a bell."  The doctor give him some pills and said, "Here, take these, and if they don't work, give me a ring."
* Another guy told this doctor that he thought he was a deck of cards.  The doctor simply said, "Go sit over there.  I'll deal with you later."
* When a patient told this doctor that he broke his leg in two places, he told the patient to stop going to those places.
* But doctors can also be frustrating.  You wait a month and a half for an appointment.  Then he says, "I wish you had come to me sooner."
So how is your doctor?   I hope better than this one.
        Now enough about doctors and medical care.  Thankfully we have many good doctors and specialists in the Lancaster area.  And we already have more of them than I ever wanted in our address book ... been there ... done that.  But now it's time to move on to other topics in future blogs.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Medical Reports

After writing two blogs about medical insurance and costs, it probably would be good to see how well the medical profession is doing in adjusting to the new Obama Care requirements.  Many doctors are having trouble preparing the required visit summaries since their nurses and secretaries are no longer allowed to do them.  One doctor told me that he wished he had taken typing when in school.  And because they are "practicing physicians", some of their reports could use some work.  Here are some actual reports.

~ The patient refused autopsy.

~ The patient has no previous history of suicides.

~ Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

~ Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

~ On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

~ The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

~ Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

~ She is numb from her toes down.

~ The skin was moist and dry.

~ Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

~ Patient was alert and unresponsive.

~ I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

~ Skin: somewhat pale but present.

~ Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Possible Alternative

        So what do you do if Obama's Affordable Health Care has wrecked your health coverage, as it has done for thousands?  Well I guess you could purchase a plan with huge deductibles and restrictions.  Many of you are doing that.  Or you could take a chance and go without any coverage at all and pay the fine for not having a plan. Some have chosen to do that. Or you could look for a job where your employer provides some coverage as part of a benefit package.  But those jobs have become few and far between.
Now here is another choice.  Wait patiently and don't get sick until you reach 65 and then go on Medicare, if it still exists then.  Now until the government ruins this and runs it bankrupt, it really is good coverage.  When you go on Social Security you can get Part A free and that covers most costs of being in a hospital, but nothing else.   Then you can also purchase Part B which runs about $105 a month at the moment.  It will pay 80% of your bills for doctors and tests.  And you may choose your own doctors.  You don't need referrals.  And all normal services are covered.
          Most people then also buy a supplemental policy that may cover the costs, with the exception of co-pays, for the 20% not covered by Medicare.  This policy will usually also include Medicare Part D which helps with the cost of prescriptions.  These supplemental policies can be expensive, dependent upon what coverage you want.  Ours is a good one but it costs an additional $500 per month.  
          Now any insurance is a gamble.  If you don't have any illnesses, meds, tests or surgeries, you get nothing in return for these major costs.  If, however, you have a challenging year, as we've had this year, you are thankful for the coverage.  Without it you'd probably be very deep in debt or going without needed medical help.  This year insurance was a great choice for us.
          Now most doctors don't care for Medicare because the government controls what they actually receive, no matter what they normally charge.  And the amounts that they receive can be very small.  For example, my recent neck surgery bills totaled $94,376.  Medicare approved only $62,648 of that bill and covered $57,000 of that amount.  Our supplemental policy took care of $5,594 and our personal cost was just $120.  Dianne's heart surgery bills were $81,239 and only $18,546 of that was approved by Medicare.   They paid $15,330, our insurance $3,140 and our only cost was $75. The rest, $62,693 was written off. So without any insurance, we would have been out $175,615 rather than the $195. That would have amounted to about 24 years of our present annual insurance costs.  Wow, who could afford those surgeries without any insurance?
          Health care has become a major concern for all of us and the so called Affordable Health Care Act has only made it worse for many.  And I haven't even talked about the cost of medicine.  Even with insurance, we have already spent over $5,200 out of pocket this year for our meds. Several of ours are very expensive. And we know of folks who are not taking needed meds because of the cost.  For them it's either eating or taking their meds, and that is so sad.
          Is there a good solution other than not getting sick or taking a gamble with your health?  I don't think so.   But a day is coming soon when believers wll have brand new bodies without any pain or sickness.  I guess that will really be Affordable Health Care. What a day that will be!