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, December 9, 2017

A Politically Correct Santa

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the North Pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the C.A.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their rooftops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd never a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passé;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even YOU.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."


Now if Santa were real and what Christmas was really about, 
I imagine he would face these problems in this strange culture 
in which we live.  But, Jesus is the real reason for the season 
and it is becoming increasingly politically incorrect to talk about 
Him and celebrate His birth.  But that shouldn't keep true 
believers from celebrating the real meaning of Christmas 
and thanking God for His unspeakable gift.  May this Christmas 
be a special time of worshiping and thanking the One who left 
all the beauty and glory of heaven to come to this earth to 
provide our eternal salvation.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Puns 4U


          After all the recent world and national negative news, I felt that maybe I should follow with a blog that might even make us laugh a little.  I love all sorts of humor, but puns are one of my favorite forms.  So here, for your enjoyment and hopefully some laughter, are a set of puns.

1.   The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Circumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2.   I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian . 
3.   She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.  
4.   A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5.   No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
6.   A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7.   A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart
8.   Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
9.   A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10.   Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11.   Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
12.   Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
13.   I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
14.   A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
15.   The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
16.   The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
17.   A backward poet writes inverse.
18.   In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
19.   When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
20.   If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine .
21.   A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
22.   There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
23.   Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
24.   Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
25.   Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Unfailing Love


          I mentioned in a previous blog that I have been using a publication from David Jeremiah on Psalms and Proverbs.  It includes daily readings from both of these Bible books.  The readings are in the New Living Translation and are very easy to read.  This version has helped me to better understand these chapters which I have often read before.

          I quickly noticed a new theme that I had never caught in previous readings.  The chapters in Psalms use the term "unfailing love" 73 times.  It is used 121 times in the entire Bible.  Now I probably missed that before because other versions use a variety of other terms - loving kindness, steadfast love, multitude of mercy, faithful love, great love, gracious love, great mercy and great faithfulness, just to name a few.  I believe that hese terms help define unfailing love.
         As we are in the Thanksgiving season, I am especially thankful for God's unfailing love which I have experienced throughout my life.  Certainly His love has never failed me and never will.  Here are a few of the references to it from Psalms.
         "But I trust in your unfailing love."  13:5
         "Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways."  17:7
         "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life"  23:6
         "Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past."  25:6
         "Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord."  25:7
         "The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands."  25:7
         "I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul."  31:7
         "Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord."   32:10
        "Lord, don't hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me."   40:11
        "But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life"   42:8
        "Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love."   51:1
        "For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."  57:10
        "But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress."  59:16
       "O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love"   59:17
       "Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!"   63:3
       "O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help."  86:5
       "I will sing of the Lord's unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness."  89:1
       "Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives."   90:14
       "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."  100:5
       "For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth."  103:11
       "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness."  115:1
       "Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you."  143:8
       "The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love."   145:8
          And these are just some of the many references in Psalms to God's unfailing love.  It is there for us in times of joy, victory, peace and contentment.  But it is also always there for us in times of fear, loneliness, illness, sadness and despair.  Hopefully you are experiencing it in your life.  This season, and every day throughout the year, take time to give Him thanks for His unfailing love to us.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Older Than Dirt?


          Nobody wants to admit that they are getting old.  We all like to think that we are still young, younger than we really are.  But sometimes when we try to do some of the physical things that we used to be able to do, we know that we are aging.  People say that you are only as old as you think you are.  But often our bodies betray our thinking.
          Now I do admire those seniors who still have physical strength and stamina and can win or at least compete in the Senior Games  I admire those whose minds are still sharp and can remember names and dates from long ago.  I admire those who are still very active and look much younger than they really are.  The Lord does bless some with those characteristics.  But then there are the rest of us who, no matter what we think or try to do must recognize that the days of our youth are gone forever.  Now many of us enter a new stage of life where we can do different  important things and still lead very useful lives.
          One way to see how old you really are is to take a test.  So let's see how you really do on what is called the "Older Than Dirt Test".  In the following list you are to count all the ones that you remember -  NOT the ones you were told about!  I dare you to give it a try.  By the way, if your brain can't handle the arithmetic, feel free to keep count using your fingers and toes or a calculator.  Good luck!

1.     Blackjack chewing gum
          (I sure would enjoy some again)
2.     Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
          (As a kid who worried about sugar content?)
3.     Candy cigarettes
          (They were a no no in our house)
4.     Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5.     Coffee shops with table side jukeboxes
6.     Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
          (Our former milkman, Al Charles, recently graduated to
           Heaven)
7.     Party Telephone Lines
          (How did we ever live with these?)
8.    Newsreels before the movie
          (Actually we didn't attend movies when I was growing up)
9.     P. F. Flyers
10.   Butch wax
11.  Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive 4 - 6933)
          (Ours was MAdison and in Sunbury it was ATlantic)
12.   Peashooters
13.   Howdy Doody
          (Clarabelle, Princess Summerfallwinterspring, Mister Bluster,
          Buffalo Bob and friends)
14.  45 RPM records
          (i still have many of these.  Where can I sell them?)
15.  S&H Green Stamps
16.  Hi-fi's
17.  Metal ice trays with lever
18.  Mimeograph paper
19.  Blue flashbulb
20.  Packards and Hudsons
21.  Roller skate keys
22.  Cork popguns
23.  Drive-ins
         (Movies or fast food?)
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

So here is your scoring sheet.  Be honest!  
* 0-5 = You're still young
* 6-10 = You are getting older
* 11-15 = Don't tell your age
* 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

         Now I will admit that I am older than dirt.  I guess it is good that I still remember a few things from my youth.  Now if only I could remember what happened yesterday.
         Keep a youthful attitude but also remember that there are many advantages to growing older - like senior citizen discounts.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Integrity


          In his book "A Life Beyond Amazing", Dr. David Jeremiah shares a story in his chapter on "A Life of Integrity" that spoke to me enough that I want to share it with my readers.  Here is the story.

          "Several years ago I read a tale about a group of salesmen who were leaving a Chicago convention and were late getting to O'Hare Airport for their flight home.  As they hurried into the terminal, they heard the last call for their flight.  They began to run through the busy airport, dodging and weaving through the crowd, their carry-on luggage careening behind them.  Two of the men crashed into a table stacked with beautiful baskets of apples, overturning it.  Apples bounced and rolled everywhere, but the men kept running.  They reached their gate just as it was closing and managed to board the plane.
         All except one man.  He stopped and told his companions to go on; he'd catch a later flight.  Conscience-stricken, he turned back and found the young boy who managed the apple stand on his knees, in tears, groping for the scattered apples and baskets.
            The salesman got on his knees beside the boy, gathered apples and baskets, and helped him set up his display again.  Some of the baskets were damaged, many apples were bruised, and a few were missing.  He opened his wallet and placed three large bills in the boy's hand.  "Here, take this," he said.  "It will more than cover the cost of the damage.  I'm very sorry we messed up your day.  Are you okay, now?"
            The boy nodded his thanks through his tears, and the salesman turned back to the lobby to arrange for a new flight home.  He hadn't walked far before the boy called out, "Mister …"  As he paused and turned around, the boy said, "Are you Jesus?"
            No one could receive a greater complement than to be mistaken for Jesus.  It happened to this man because he allowed himself "to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29).  That is the call laid on every Christian, and when we respond to it, we become faithful to the will of God and reflect His character.  That is what it means to be a person of integrity."
            "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them." Proverbs 20:7  NLT.
             When is the last time that someone thought that because of our actions that we might be Jesus?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Week To Remember


          There are particular days in your life that you never forget. For me, I will never forget the events that happened this weekend 24 years ago.  Please allow me to reminisce.

          On Friday night, November 5, 1993, we went to Lititz to visit my mother.  It was her birthday.  It turned out to be an extra special day for her because all of her children and grandchildren happened to stop by that day to visit her and that actually was unusual on her birthday  We had a very nice evening with her.
          On Saturday my wife and I headed to State College where we enjoyed the Penn State  vs. Indiana football game.  It was an exciting game, won by PSU, and we had a great time.  When the game was over we headed to Shamokin Dam to visit my wife's parents.  Her mother was in the hospital and we especially wanted to see her.
         But when we arrived at their home, about 6 pm, my father-in-law said that I had to immediately call my oldest son.  He didn't tell us why but he insisted that it needed to be done right away.  When I reached my son he informed me that my parents had been in a bad accident and that my mother might have died in the accident.  We were stunned, to say the least. We immediately left to make the two hour trip back to Lancaster.
          That trip was a blur and, fortunately, I did not get stopped for speeding.  When we arrived at the hospital most of our family were already there and mother's death was confirmed.  Soon my brother and his wife also arrived.  They had been on a weekend retreat at Sandy Cove.  We were told that a teenage boy, on his way to work, ran a stop sign and hit my parents broadside on my mother's door.  It is interesting that his parents quickly removed him from the accident scene so that he couldn't immediately be tested for drugs or alcohol.  We later heard that he hadn't been drinking for several hours before the accident.  I don't know how he legally avoided being tested.  I can't help but wonder if he was drunk, but at this point it no longer really matters.
          Dad wasn't seriously injured, but they decided to keep him in the hospital for several days just to be sure.  We spent several hours with him and I still am amazed at how he outwardly took the tragic news.  Later they gave us a chance to view mother and looking back I often wish that we hadn't done that.  I will probably never forget the images that are in my mind of how she looked.
          The next few days were also a blur as we made service arrangements and cared for dad.  But what I do remember is how close we all became as a family.  We all pitched in and shared all that had to be done. In a time of tragedy we were all drawn together like never before. We were also blessed with all the food that folks provided for us, enough that we didn't need to worry about any meals during that time.
          Dad was released from the hospital and we could then finalize service plans.  Together we decided to have a private service and burial and we invited our relatives and some very close friends to attend.  We had an open casket at the service. The casket was a wooden one representative of those that her father made for many years working in the casket company in Sunbury.  My brother was able to purchase a lot in the Moravian Cemetery, just a block from my Dad's home.  In fact, the plot almost overlooked his home.  
          The burial was followed by a luncheon at our church.  Then we had a memorial service in the evening following a time for family visitation  And the church was packed with a very long line of folks waiting to greet us.  Mother had so many friends who loved her.  We finally had to stop the visitation or the service might have been several hours late.  It was a beautiful, God honoring service that was fitting for such a special woman.  Unfortunately, some were disappointed that we didn't have an open casket so they could say good-bye.  But even today I have no regrets that we had decided to first bury her earlier that afternoon.
           Mother had touched many lives and she was greatly missed.  One example of this were the city kids in our Awana program who cried when they learned of her death.  She had been like a mother to them as she listened to them say their verses each week and they really missed her.
          Now I still miss mother, especially in November, and that November weekend was so difficult.  But as I look back I thank the Lord that mother never had to suffer the physical and mental problems and nursing home experiences that so many seniors must endure.  Now she had her share of physical problems that no doctor seemed able to diagnose and treat.  I admit that at times I thought her problems might even be imagined, but now I know otherwise.  I guess I am now my mother and am facing many of the same challenges that she faced. I am so sorry for ever having those doubts about her. I now better understand the frustrations and pain she faced.  But God immediately healed her when she stepped into His presence that Saturday night in November.
          Dad suffered, usually silently, but often the tears quietly flowed.  They loved each other and had built a wonderful life together for 53 years.  After mother's death dad always refused to even date another women.  God had given him a special mate who could never be replaced.  And he spent 16 years without her until the Lord finally took him home one February morning.  Those years he spent continuing to serve the Lord and set a Godly example especially for each of us in our family.
          We were blessed to have such wonderful parents.  Thank you, Lord!
50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner

  

     

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Anxiety


          Most of us have faced times of anxiety when a loved one is facing physical problems.  Waiting for one who is in surgery can try one's nerves, even if your trust is in the Lord.  When you don't know exactly what is happening it can be so hard.  And I am convinced there is no such thing as minor surgery, unless, of course, it is surgery on somebody not related to you.   Any surgery or procedure has risks and things can go wrong.

          Anxiety can also kick in when you are waiting to hear the results of tests that you or a loved one has had.  What did the tests reveal?  Is it cancer?  The days and hours seem to go so slowly when you are waiting for those answers.
           When my wife was in the hospital in July she was in critical condition from a blood infection caused by a diseased gall bladder.  Waiting for answers and for improvement in her vitals and test results was a real strain.  The days and hours passed so slowly until her condition finally began to improve.
          But during that time a test revealed an additional possible serious problem that couldn't be dealt with at that time in her weakened condition.  And later she was referred to a specialist from Philadelphia.  After studying her results he recommended another MRI with contrast when her health improved. 
          Now MRI's aren't always fun but they are a real problem for those, like my wife, who have a pacemaker.  In fact, unless the pacemaker is MRI compatible, you can't even have an MRI.  Thankfully we asked to have a compatible one implanted when she received hers.  But that then requires that a cardiologist be present to turn it off before the scan and then reset it after the scan.  So for that reason it has to be scheduled weeks in advance and can only be done in a hospital.
          So the test was finally set up for Thursday at LGH.  I was led to believe that it would take about an hour.  After being admitted she was taken by wheelchair on a long trip to the far regions of the hospital where the MRI is located.  I was to wait for her in the hospital admitting area, far from the MRI area.
          Assuming she would be gone for an hour, I went to visit my brother-in-law who just had a knee replacement.  After about 30 minutes visiting with him I returned to the waiting area to wait for my wife.  She wasn't allowed to eat or drink for four hours before the test so we planned to go for something to eat as soon as she was done.
          And I waited, and waited, and waited.  Stating to feel a little anxious, I asked the attendant if she knew how much longer it would be.  She called the MRI area and they said she would be back in at most 30 minutes.  That half hour passed slowly while I waited.  Still she was not back.  Later the attendant called again and they said it would be 20 more minutes, but gave no reason for the delays.  Now I was beginning to be concerned that there might have been a problem with her heart.  More than 20 minutes passed again and I had now waited much more than 2 hours.  Finally the attendant called them again and this time they at least let me talk to my wife who told me there was no reason to worry. The MRI was just finished and they were waiting for the cardiologist to come to reset her pacemaker.  So, almost 3 hours after we arrived, my wife was finally done. So much for an hour procedure.  I guess eventually by blood pressure and anxiety settled.
           As it turns out the problem was that she had to wait for everything – the initial interview, then the cardiologist, then the MRI technicians, then the MRI, then the cardiologist again, and finally somebody to bring her back to where I was.  Not a very efficient process.   A little more communication with me would have made it so much better and might have reduced my anxiety.
          Unfortunately, anxiety is a problem that I deal with.  I know it is wrong and I do trust the Lord, but I guess I need to learn to exercise more faith and patience.  Am I the only person with that problem?
          But,  thankfully, the MRI and the pacemaker went well and my anxiety was just wasted energy, as it usually is.  Of course, now we must wait two more weeks to learn the results and I imagine my anxiety will again return as that time approaches.  I must remind myself, "Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you!"
          Hopefully you don't have a problem with anxiety.  It's stressful!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Life Of Generosity


             I continue to miss my father no matter how old I become.  He was a very wise man who loved the Lord.  He set an amazing example for me, not only by what he said, but by the way He lived.
            Dad had a very challenging time raising our family in the World War 2 years. His first teaching job, in Doylestown, PA, earned him just $1,200 a year.  As a result he was forced to leave us to live with his parents in Sunbury while he taught there because he couldn't afford to take us along.  He would return to be with us on weekends.  His work on the Manhattan Project and teaching Air Force cadets during the war, then teaching high school after the war, meant that we had to move almost every year until he could get a permanent job. He coached and worked extra jobs at night to support us. He couldn't even afford to buy a car until I was in second grade. I was in fourth grade when dad finally dad got a good permanent job as an engineer with RCA in Lancaster.
            But growing up I soon learned that all my parents owned really belonged to the Lord and was used for Him.  Later I discovered something that nobody else ever knew.  At times when our new church could not reach its budget and pay bills, dad, as treasurer, would quietly pay the bills from his own money. This continued for many years even during his senior years.  Other church leaders and pastors never knew of his sacrifice.  But all that he had was the Lord's and he lived that way, all of his life.
            The month before I began my first permanent job that had health insurance, our son had emergency surgery.  We were stuck with major bills and no insurance.  And on a beginning teacher's salary this was tough.  And there were other bills that kept us strapped financially during those days.
          One day I shared with my dad how hard it was to meet our obligations and still give regularly to the Lord.  He shared with me some of their experiences in very tough times and how the Lord always provided when they were faithful in their giving.  He suggested that I trust the Lord by giving faithfully, off the top of my income, and then see how the Lord would provide for our needs.
            We took his wise advice and never looked back.  And the Lord has provided all that we have needed … again … and again … and again.  Thanks dad for your advice and example.  And thank you Lord for your faithfulness and provision to us.
            I thought about this experience this week when I was listening to David Jeremiah in his series "A Life Beyond Amazing".  His presentation on "A Life of Generosity" really caught my attention.  Here is part of what he had to say.
            "As Americans we like to pat ourselves on the back and repeat the mantra that we are the most generous nation in the world.  Our government does give away a lot of money but that does not make us a generous nation.  Generous nations are  made up of generous people and it may shock you to learn that more than 85 percent of Americans give away less than 2 percent of their income.  And the numbers for evangelical Christians are not much better."
            "According to a recent study in Relevant magazine, only 10 to 25 percent of the people in a typical American congregation tithe (that is, give the biblical starting point of 10 percent) to the church, the poor, and kingdom causes.  The same report concluded that if the remaining 75 to 90 percent of American Christians began to tithe regularly, global hunger, starvation and death from preventable diseases could be relieved in five years.  Additionally, illiteracy could all but be eliminated, the world's water and sanitation issues could be solved, all overseas mission work could be funded and more than $100 billion per year could be left for additional ministry."
            Wow, those kind of possible results are stunning.  Now I don't know how one predicts those type of results, but even if they were only half completed, it would still be amazing.
            For 15 years I have served as financial secretary of our church and, unfortunately, I know more about people's giving than I ever wanted to know.  I often wish that I didn't know these things.  But, based on what I have seen over the years, the statistic that only 10 to 25 percent of people give a tithe is a very reasonable figure.  In fact it might even be too high.   While many do give very generously, a large percentage of members do not give a tithe, at least through the church.  But, at the same time, I am always amazed at how some folks who have so very little, give so much and so regularly.  And I am sure that the Lord blesses them for their sacrifices.
            There are times when I wish that I could talk to some people and just share with them the advice that my dad gave me about giving.  It is so sad that so many believers are going through life missing the blessings of giving back to the Lord a portion of what he has so graciously given them.  Too many believers today have their priorities wrong.
            Maybe we need to be reminded of 1 Timothy 6:7, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."  And many of us have stockpiled more than we even know what to do with.  Even king David recognized that God was the source of his wealth. "For all things come from You." 1 Chronicles 29:14.   Who owns your money and possessions?  Are you living a life of generosity?
            Thank you dad for your good advice and example.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Breaking News


We interrupt this blog to bring you this special news bulletin.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

          In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

          Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).  We will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. It will of course be someone of proper English lineage, such as Dame Judi Dench or Michael Caine, but most certainly not Simon Cowell. 
          Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
          To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
          1. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
          2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
          3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
          4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
          5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
          6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
          7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
          8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
          10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
          11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nannies). 
          12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
          13. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
          14. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God Save The Queen

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Technology


My father teaching children
as an engineer at RCA
          I love the technological age in which we live.  Computers and the internet have greatly changed our lives and I am enjoying it.  I think if I were younger I would go back to college and get a degree in technology or computer programming.. 
          But in honor of this, the 800th blog that I have posted on this site, I feel that I should at least make a few comments about some of the changes, like blogs, that have resulted from technological advances over the years.  I know that very little profound has ever been shared here in those 800 writings, and this one will not be an exception to that.  But thank you to the few of you who have continued to visit here over the years.  Either you have very few useful things to do with your time or you pity me and are trying to humor me and make me feel that my ramblings are somehow useful or interesting. Either way, thank you!  But as I was saying ...
           One of the few things that I have really missed since my retirement have been the regular in-service technology training programs that were provided for us by the school district.  It is so much harder to keep up with all the changes on your own.  But the younger generation has little problem doing this because they have grown up with it and have no idea what life was like before technology.
           So here are a few things from my past that have drastically changed with modern technology.
          A computer was something on TV, from a science fiction show.  A window was something you hated to clean and ram was the cousin of a goat.  Meg was the name of a girl and a gig was a job for the night.  Now they mean different things and that really mega bytes for those of us who are older.
          An application was for employment.  A program was a TV show.  A cursor used profanity.  A keyboard was a piano.
          Memory was something you lost with age.  Compress was something you did to the garbage, not something you did to a file.  And if you unzipped anything in public you might end up in jail for awhile.
         Log on was adding wood to the fire.  Hard drive was a long trip on the road.  A mouse pad was where a mouse lived and backup happened to your commode.
         Cut you did with a pocket knife.  Paste you did with glue.  A web was a spider's home and a virus was the flu.
          And words like e-mail, internet, rom, website, CPU, motherboard, modem, MIDI, joy sticks, Java, malware, social network, Facebook and wifi probably didn't even exist, or at least they weren't part of any normal conversation.  Can you define each of these?
          The speed of change in technology is unbelievable.  A year is a lifetime with technology.  Buy today and you will find a new and better product on sale in a few months.
          I guess one of the good things is that to the best of my knowledge, nobody has yet been killed in a computer crash.   However, your identity might have been stolen!

          So take a bit of time off today and enjoy a cookie.  Take a few bytes.  Just be careful not to attract any bugs with the crumbs.  You might also enjoy an Apple  (be sure it doesn't contain a worm) or some Mac and cheese, or how about some spam?
         If you've enjoyed this blog, just shout Yahoo!.  But maybe you want to first close your Windows so that those in your domain don't hear you.  
         And with that I will log off.  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Faithful Servant


          On Thursday we attended a funeral/memorial service for a longtime friend and member of our church who had served so very faithfully over the years, especially in ministering to children.

          For many decades our friend had taught children in our Sunday School, mostly those who were in nursery or preschool classes.  She skillfully planned and led many programs for special days such as Christmas and Easter.  In fact, twenty years ago she was part of the first class of members who were honored by our church leadership with a very special leadership award.  Many folks were touched by her ministry over the years.  She continued to serve faithfully until a few years ago when her health forced her to retire from teaching.
          She was also very active in Child Evangelism Fellowship in Lancaster County.  For years she taught Good News clubs and participated in CEF events.  For a number of years she corrected the CEF correspondence courses that children completed and sent to CEF.  Then she helped children online where she was known as Aunt Bea.
          When her husband died about twenty years ago she continued serving.  Eventually she had to sell her house and she moved in with one of her daughters where she lived until she died.  But she was still faithful in attending services, praying and supporting the church, as well as CEF.
          Now I serve as financial secretary for our church and often I know more about people's giving habits then I wish that I knew.  I knew that she had little income but unlike so many, she faithfully gave to the church right up to her death.  In recent months when attendance became a problem she faithfully mailed her tithe to me to be added to the offering.  The last one came just days before she died.  It reminded me of the widow's mite.
          Now, after living that type of life of sacrifice and service, and influencing so many folks for the Lord, you'd expect that she would have a special memorial service with a great response from friends, family and former students.  You would expect that many would come and respond to honor her.  That would only be proper for a faithful saint who served the Lord in so many ways for decades.
          But just the opposite actually happened.  Only about 30 - 35 folks were there.  This included six family members, a couple of her former Sunday School students, a few folks from her senior adult Sunday School class, and a number of longtime church members who worshipped with her for decades.  And her church leadership team was represented by our pastor who led the service and two elders. She had been a member of our church for nearly 60 years.  While the service was God honoring as she would have wanted, I was taken back by the lack of support from family, church family and the church leadership team.  I expected more and she really deserved much more.  But that was all the response she received from her fellow Christians after her death.
          However, her important celebration happened last Saturday when the Lord welcomed her into His presence where she will live eternally and receive her real reward. That was the recognition and thanks that she really deserved.  This is an event that we should all look forward to, not the praise of men here on this earth.  And, in addition, she is released from all of her pain and the problems of this pilgrim life.  And that, too, is a great reward.
          But as I review this service in my mind, I am reminded that we don't work here for earthly praise and awards.  We have been created to bring praise to the Lord.  We are His workmanship, created for good works to honor Him.  But sometimes, because we are human, our wrong expectations here on earth can leave us disappointed.  Unfortunately, our fellow believers are usually not very good at thanking others and honoring them for their service.  And that is something that I guess we need to understand and expect.  But maybe we each also need to learn to be more thankful and encouraging to others who do faithfully serve.
          But I do praise the Lord that our paths have crossed over the years and I am thankful for her faithful service.  Oh that others, including myself, would be this faithful in serving the Lord.