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.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Start the day by thanking the Lord for another day to live for Him.  Then live it for His honor and glory.  Be a blessing to others for Him.  Then when you get in bed at night, thank Him for His presence and direction in your life that day.  Each day is a gift from Him and should be a day for real Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Is It Over?

        After the most brutal and surprising presidential campaign ever, most of us couldn't wait until it finally ended.  Thankfully now there are no more nasty television ads, no more recorded phone calls, no more campaign mail, and no more ugly debates.  Both candidates were very disliked, deeply flawed, and terrible. But now the voting is done and a surprise winner has been named, at least for now.  But is it really over?
           In most years the answer would be "yes".  But who knows for sure this time.  There is a major campaign and petition drive to urge the members of the electoral college not to cast their ballots for Trump as they are supposed to, but change to Clinton when they meet to make the election final in December?  Can they do that?  Yes, I understand that they can.  Electors who change their vote can be hit with a small fine for doing so, but the petition organizers are offering to pay the fines for them.  This would be a horrendous move, never before known in our history, and a real blow to democracy.  But nothing should be unexpected in this election.
          Protesters have been marching in cities and even destroying property because they didn't get their choice for president.  Mob rule may be on the way in this country, effectively destroying democracy.  A younger intolerant generation expects to always get its own way, and this election is no exception.  I even read where one employer, the CEO of GrubHub, told his employees that if they agree with Trump they should immediately submit their resignation.   This is America?  The land where government transitions have proceeded peacefully, unlike those in other countries, ever since the start of elections here?
          Now the election results have been very hard on many, even some of my dear friends.  I have good friends who have not only been shocked but deeply hurt by Clinton's loss.  They can't believe that a man like Trump could be elected, and maybe they are right. But Hillary wasn't any better. There have been tears and angry replies from a few.  Some of them feel that they will lose many of their recent gains made under Obama, just as many of us felt we would lose more of our religious liberties under Hillary.  And I do understand their pain and fears.  Both sides should have known they could lose, although I am sure that the Democrats never really thought it could happen to them.  And I realize  that this is very tough for them to live with.
          And in response it is very important for those of us on the "winning" side to be kind and understanding.  And sometimes that isn't easy.  One of my friends has claimed that she is being harshly treated by the "winners", and she probably is.  I see many folks "gloating" by their posts on Facebook, the mark of a poor winner.  I am trying to be kind in return, although I must admit that I was upset by one friend who sent me a post that asked me to sign the petition to upset the electoral college vote.  I did post a very negative comment in return, but then a few hours later realized that it was the wrong response from me and I deleted it.
          However, it is hard to sit back and listen to the accusations about why Hillary lost.  Many are saying it is because she was a women.  Nonsense, there are many good women that could have been elected if they were honest, qualified, and had values that we could support.  Neither Hillary or Katie McGinty met those standards in my estimation.  Unfortunately Trump really wasn't much better.  So I don't feel it was a gender situation as many do.  I also don't think it was a racial issue as many are also now claiming. The media's favorite lost and now they are pushing this excuse and making things worse. 
          I do think there were numerous reasons Hillary was unexpectedly upset.  First there were her tragic positions on abortion and Planned Parenthood. There is no way to ever defend killing babies.  Then there was her superior attitude which caused her to cause we common people despicable. That was nasty. We just weren't in her class and she couldn't hold back on her disdain for the common person who held different values.  Of course there was also her illegal handling of the e-mails which she botched and resisted and by her actions demonstrated that she felt she was above the law.  There was also her use of and support by Hollywood stars, especially in the final days. Their lifestyles and values are so opposite to those of most common folks.  They gave to her and raised for her big bucks.  They campaigned for her and provided free advertising.  And they are part of a much different social status than those of us who actually provided the margin of victory for Trump.  Trump campaigned the final days without the "stars" and drew huge crowds of common folks while the stars campaigned for her to try and draw crowds.  Hollywood and the media just don't get it.  It was also obvious that the liberal media promoted her throughout the campaign.
          In my estimation, the final fatal mistake that Hillary made was devoting a slew of repeated ads the day before the election showing all the unkind remarks that Trump had made in the past, and sadly there were many.  Over and over the same ads played every time there were breaks for ads on television.  That was all she pushed at the very end instead of leaving a positive message.  What Trump said was terrible and wrong, but her push was obnoxious and negative.  It left a very bad taste for her in my mouth right before voting.
          Now while I felt both candidates were terribly flawed, I will admit that I voted for Trump because of some values which hopefully might protect our religious freedoms as well as in the hope of getting a conservative Supreme Court.  These are the important issues to me, despite the two personalities.  Now will he follow through?  Nothing is for sure in this election cycle.  Only time will tell.  But it was obvious Hillary would not have.  Under her our religious freedoms would definitely have continued to erode and we would be stuck with a liberal Supreme Court for decades.  And that is why I reluctantly voted the way I did.
          Finally, it is interesting to note that massive amounts of prayer went into this battle, especially since so much was at stake.  Folks like Franklin Graham took the election all over the country, without backing a specific candidate. Evangelical churches urged their congregations to vote but never backing a party or a candidate.  If they had done that, as some falsely claim, the ACLU would have stepped in immediately.  This election process may have been prayed for more than any other in history, without backing a candidate.
           Now some of my close friends who are rather liberal claimed to be praying for Hillary and often sent me articles from pastors who were doing the same. And I believe they honestly were.  But I guess I believe that many evangelical Christians were fervent in their prayers for the maintaining of Christian values, the rejecting of ultra liberal policies, and the formation of a conservative Supreme Court. And I personally believe that God answered in a positive way.  But I must admit that I felt that maybe this country had turned its back on God so much in recent years that He would just leave us to suffer the consequences.  Maybe there is still some hope for the United States despite its sin.
          Now I realize that some of you who will strongly disagree with me.  I am sorry if I hurt you. I really don't want to do that. I am just expressing my personal opinions as I often do in this blog. Your friendship is important and I trust that we can just disagree, as friends.  And maybe we can join together in praying for our country, for the new president, and for a peaceful acceptance of the results and new administration.  The election is over and it is time to move on ... with a common purpose.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Post Election Thoughts

          We've just completed a nasty season of annoying election ads and debates.  And things just don't always go as we expect. I have good friends who are thrilled with the results of the election and I also have good friends who are shaken by the results.  It is very easy to get discouraged when you go through something that is as sickening as this was.  But we need to remember that if we are believers, we are in the Lord's hands.  He knows our ways, our needs and our future.  And that knowledge can help us face today and tomorrow with hope.
         Recently I was looking for a theme chorus to use as I led the worship for a Sr. Saints Retreat at the Pinebrook Bible Conference.  An old chorus that we used to sing in prayer meetings when I was a youngster came to my mind and I thought it was very appropriate for the times that we live in.  I am including the words this week as a reminder to you that no matter what happens around us, God is still on the throne and He never forsaketh His own.

God is still on the throne.
God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own;
Tho' trials may press us and burdens distress us,
He never will leave us alone;
God is still on the throne,
He never forsaketh His own;
His promise is true, He will not forget you,
God is still on the throne.

1.     Have you started for glory and Heaven?
Have you left this old world far behind?
In your heart is the Comforter dwelling?
Can you say, "Praise the Lord, He is mine"?
Have the ones that once walked on the highway
Gone back, and you seem all alone?
Keep your eyes on the prize, for the home in the skies;

2.     Burdened soul, is your heart growing weary
With the toil and the heat of the day?
Does it seem that your path is more thorny
As you journey along on life's way?
Go away and in secret before Him
Tell your grief to the Savior alone;
He will lighten your care, for He still answers prayer;

3.     You may live in a tent or a cottage,
Unnoticed by those who pass by;
But a mansion for you He is building
In that beautiful city on high;
It will outshine the wealth and the splendor
Of the richest on earth we have known;
He's the Architect true, and He's building for you;

4.     He is coming again, is the promise
To disciples when He went away;
In like manner as He has gone from you,
You will see Him returning some day;
Does His tarrying cause you to wonder,
Does it seem He's forgotten His own?
His promise is true, He is coming for you;

Be encouraged.  Keep looking up!  God is still on the throne!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Political Platform

          This has been a very difficult and disgusting election season.  I am tired of all the negative accusations and advertisements.  Like many, I don't like our choices, although I will vote.  I am tired of lies, slanted editorials, letters to the editors, and statements on Facebook.  I am already sick and tired of all the phone calls which we will receive in the coming days.  It is all like a bad, irritating dream.
         And what is a Christian to think and do?  Recently I found a blog by a Rick Thomas.  I don't know much about him except that he is a pastor and counselor who has his own organization to encourage and equip people for effective living.  That is all that I know about him.
          However, he has published his own political platform with eight planks and I have found them very interesting.  His platform is based on Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
          And here are the eight planks of his political platform:

1.     Temporary - America is not my home, I'm a stranger passing 

           through this country.
2.     Love - I will love my temporary country and do my part to make it 
           better, which means I will vote.
3.     Faith - Due to my temporary citizenship I will not get bent out of 
           shape when things don't go my way.
4.     Responsible - I will seek to fulfill my human responsibility, though 
           my vote is not where my faith rests (Luke 22:42)
5.     Proclaim - Regardless of who is in office, I will continue to seek to 
           tell others about Jesus.
6.     Prayer - I will pray for the person the LORD allows in office 
           (Proverbs 21:1; Romans 9:17)
7.     Sovereignty - I trust my Sovereign LORD to take care of all things.
8.     Victory - We win!  (Read the last book of the Bible)

          Maybe his platform is a good reminder for believers as we approach the presidential election, hopefully with prayerful hearts.

          "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore."