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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

We Survived

          This was recently sent to me:  TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!! 

          First, many survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright bright colored lead-based paints and slats on the side. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets. And, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads. 
          As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. 
          We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.  We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight. 
          WHY?  Because we were always outside playing ... that's why!   We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY. 
          We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.   We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! 
          We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. 
          Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!  The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! 
          These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. 
          If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!   You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.  While you are at it, share this your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were and how much fun they missed. 
          Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ? 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sage Sayings

            I've often thought about writing a blog about some of the lessons that I've learned from others in life and maybe one of these days I will still do that.  However, recently somebody sent me a list of lessons they've learned and while they certainly aren't all mine, they are thoughts worth remembering.  Hopefully, you'll come away with an enlightened perspective since most of the subjects covered affect us all on a daily basis. 

Over my life I've learned:
*   That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
*    That when you're in love, it shows.
*    That just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.
*    That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
*    That being kind is more important than being right.
*    That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
*    That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way. 
*    That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. 
*    That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. 
*    That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult. 
*    That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. 
*    That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for. 
*    That money doesn't buy class. 
*    That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. 
*    That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved. 
*    That to ignore the facts does not change the facts. 
*    That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. 
*    That love, not time, heals all wounds. 
*    That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. 
*    That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. 
*    That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them. 
*    That life is tough, but I'm tougher. 
*    That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. 
*    That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere. 
*    That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away. 
*     That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them. 
*    That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. 
*    That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life. 
*    That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it. 
*    That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done. 

Let me add a few more words of wisdom from the only Father who is all wise.
*     The very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.   (Matthew 10:30 - 31)
*      He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 1:6)
*      From everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear Him.    (Psalm 103:17)
*      The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer. (1 Peter 3:12)
*      You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.    (Isaiah 26:3)
*      The joy of the LORD is your strength.   (Nehemiah 8:10)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

No Longer A Kid!

Here are some signs that make you realize that you are no longer a kid.

~ Just one peanut butter and jelly sandwich doesn't do it any more.
~ Driving a car doesn't always sound like fun.
~ Being bad is no longer cool.
~ You have friends who have kids.
~ Saturday mornings are for sleeping.
~ You are taller than the slide at the McDonald's playland.
~ Your parents' jokes are now funny.
~ You would rather wear your dirty clothes again, 'cause mom is not there to do your laundry anymore.
~ Naps are good.
~ When you only have two weeks of vacation.
~ When you can't stay at home to play when it snows.
~ Hitting girls is no longer considered flirting.
~ When things go wrong, you can't just yell, "Do-over!"
~ The only thing in your cereal box is ... cereal.
~ You actually buy scarves, gloves, and sunscreen.
~ Your idea of fun parties now include chips 'n' salsa and Snapple.
~ You leave concerts and ballgames early to beat the crowd.
~ You WANT clothes for Christmas.
~ You don't want a Camaro because of the insurance premiums.
~ You look in the surveillance camera monitor at the convenience store, wonder who that guy is standing at the counter with the bald spot, and then realize it is a shot of you from behind.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What a Country!

         Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has amazing comments regarding Obama that are pricelessly true, equally frightening, and certainly makes one ponder how Obama was elected for a second term.  I'm sharing his comments for your consideration.

By Jeff Foxworthy
            If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
         If  you have to get your parents' permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun  magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If, in the nation's largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by  idiots.
          If an  80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by  idiots.
          If your  government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of  debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If a  seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is  "cute," but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If hard  work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks,  Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If the  government's plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives  for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks, without any  requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn't be found — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma  screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more  "safe" according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
          What  a  country!  Thank you, Jeff - well said.
          And let me add one of my own.  If defending your Biblical beliefs makes you labeled intolerant or, even worse, a criminal - you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but it is run by idiots.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Amazing and Sad!

           I've been thinking about dropping our subscription to the Lancaster Newspapers even though I have read it daily almost all of my life.  But recently they have cut down its size, reduced the news content, added more ads and introduced a number of new "features" that I feel are a waste of time.  But the final straw might be the fact that they are now printing the newspaper out of the area so their deadlines are now very early in the evening.  This means that many sports scores and news are no longer included.  If the Phillies, and probably the Eagles as well, play any late games, stories will need to appear two days later.  So if you want current sports information you now need to go to the internet.
           Now what will I miss if I end my subscription?   Well I might miss all the news about the corruption and disarray of Pennsylvania politics.  We have an attorney general who is being taken to court accused of lying and releasing confidential grand jury information.  She claims she is being attacked because she discovered porn e-mails being sent and shared by the state officials who are now out to get her.  She has refused to do her job to follow the law and defend PA's marriage protection law.  She has refused, as required by the law, to fire  her driver who apparently has been charged and arrested for helping her gather secret grand jury information. This is the same attorney general  who I feel was elected not based on her record, but because of her promises to investigate and charge the previous governor for his part in the Sandusky mess.  Penn State folks around the state then voted for her because of this promise. Incidentally, after being elected, she found nothing wrong and did not bring any charges. You just can't make this stuff up. The next tv reality show might be "Amazing Adventures of the Attorney General".
          Then there is the battle between the legislature and the new governor.  The legislature passed a budget on time but the governor vetoed it because it did not include his priorities which would mean massive tax increases.  And no compromise is in sight.  And now schools and social services are being forced to borrow money to keep operating and these unexpected costs may wipe out any increases they might get if and when a budget is passed.  So rather than compromise, the legislature tried to pass some special provisions to continue former payments to these groups, but the governor threatened to veto what he called illegal provisions and not enough support could be found to override that threat.  And you wonder why people are sick of politicians to the point that many would even support a rude but rich politician like Donald Trump.
          Then there is the college teachers union which is fighting a proposal to make all of its members complete state police checks like all lower level teachers and child workers, even in churches, must now complete by law.  They say that this would be a frivolous way to spend money which they need elsewhere.  They also claim that they don't really come in contact with children.  So they are fighting this.  Now I wonder if the real reason is the fear of what might be found and exposed with the background checks.  Now there are very many great college profs who have nothing to hide.  But I've met and worked with some who, saying it as kindly as possible, were "strange" with weird lifestyles.  I would never accuse them of anything illegal in dealing with students, but I just can't help but wonder what police checks might actually show.
          Oh yes, some of these college teachers from local colleges have sent  a letter to Governor Tom Wolf to have him back Obama and cut carbon pollution at coal-fired plants.  Incidentally, the majority of them are on the staff of Franklin and Marshall which is known for its liberalism.  Maybe they should have joined the president in his recent "vacation", or should I say trip, at tax payer expense, to Alaska to personally view the results of climate change.  We'd love to go to Alaska but can't affford it. But my taxes can be used to send the president there on a publicity stunt.
          Of course if I gave up the newspaper I might miss other unbelievable stories.  I might have missed the story of the local father who was arrested after he chased his stepson with a machete.  The reason?  The stepson said he wasn't returning to college for the upcoming semester.  The 20 year-old escaped when his girlfriend picked him up in a car.
         Or what about the area man who was found drunk in a neighbor's pig pen?  The last thing I heard was that he was considering a suit against some of the media for ruining his reputation.
          Then there was the area burglar who was on drugs when he broke into a house to rob it.  Police found him in the bathroom sound asleep on the toilet.  As I've said, you can't make this stuff up.
         Finally, my favorite news story came following a truck accident in which a few swine had to be euthanized.  One of the 80 full grown pigs actually escaped and was found at the bottom of a hill.  He had to be put down because of his injuries.  Now that part of the story is sad.  But PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, didn't let us down.  They have requested the right to erect a 5-foot tombstone at the scene of the accident in memory of the pigs who were killed.  According to PETA's president, "PETA hopes to encourage motorists to help make roads safer for everyone by choosing healthy vegan foods and eliminating this dangerous and frightening trip entirely."   Amazing.  There goes our Easter ham!   
         How can I give up reading these great stories and I don't even read the two full pages of comics.  But who needs the comics when we have human nature to amaze us?