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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


     I am a New England Patriots fan. I have been a fan since the days of my youth when the Patriots stunk. Unless you have been living in a remote cave, my beloved Patriots lost to the ill mannered, trash talking New York Jets. Well, last Sunday the Jets were served a heaping serving of Karma. They played the Pittsburg Steelers and seemed to have trouble getting out of their own way. They lost, much to my enjoyment and satisfaction. The Jets again fall one win short of going to the Super Bowl. Too sad!
     The winter here in New Hampshire has been colder than recent winters. We also have had a bumper crop of snow. Our doghouse in the back yard is almost completely buried. My beloved SWMBO and I burn wood pellets to supplement our primary source of heat, oil fired forced hot water. Our supply of pellets was becoming dangerously low so on Wednesday I ordered a pallet of 40 pound bags. The least amount that I was able to purchase was a ton and a half...75 bags. 
     I was promised that they would be delivered on the following Monday. I looked at our supply of pellets, we were down to about 10 bags. I figured that we had just enough to make it until Monday. On Monday I received a phone call from the pellet people and they tell me that due to a problem with the delivery truck the pellets won't be delivered until Wednesday, today. We were on our next to last bag of pellets when the delivery truck arrived. Hallelujah! We won't freeze to death...we have warmth! It took me a hour and a half to stack the ton and a half of pellets, one bag at a time. That's my exercise for the day.

     Last night President Obama gave his State of the Union speech. I did not vote for President Obama and I strongly disagree with his governing philosophy. However, I have to say that I don't think that President Obama is evil...I just think that he is wrong. I respect him as our president despite my disagreements with him. I believe him to be a good, decent man. I look to him to set the tone of civil discourse that he called for during his recent speech in Tucson, AZ.
     I think that our elected representatives should stand on principle, argue vigorously where they disagree, however, they should be very careful not to ascribe impure motives to their opponents. It's the "disagree without being disagreeable" thing. I believe the vast majority of Congressmen and Senators do the hard, tedious work to gain office to make this Nation better. Although I strongly disagree with many of them, I do respect them for their service.  May God bless them and give them the wisdom to honor Him and to discharge their duties prudently and to the betterment of their constituents and our Nation.

Monday, January 24, 2011


     We live in a world populated by strange, unpredictable, inconsistent creatures. We call these creatures "homo sapiens" that is, human beings. When God created humans He put everything under their stewardship. At one point, humans had gone so far off the rails committing all manner of evil that God was sorry that He created them (Genesis 6:5-7). Enter Noah, an Ark, animals walking two by two and forty days and nights of rain resulting in a cataclysmic flood. God essentially rebooted humankind!
     Are humans much different today? Pick up any major newspaper, watch any newscast and you have your answer. How did humans become so depraved? Where did humans learn to commit such evil? Are humans intrinsically good who must be taught how to be evil or are humans intrinsically evil who must be taught to do good? Philosophers have wrestled with this question since the beginning of philosophy.
     Imagine you see a person who you know to be a person of good moral character commit an immoral act. Does this one act make this person immoral? Conversely, you see a person who you know to be criminally dishonest and you see him commit an act of honesty. Does this one act now make this dishonest person honest?
     We human beings tend to be hard markers when we judge the actions of our fellow human beings. This is particularly true when we judge the actions of a person who professes to be a religious person. We tend to condemn them as hypocrites when we see them commit an act that we deem to be inconsistent with their religious profession.
     When God handed down the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, God made provision in that Law for redemption should anyone violate His Law, that is, commit sin. God knew that humans were incapable of living perfectly under the Law so He provided a way where an innocent animal could pay the penalty for their sin.
     Under the New Law, the New Testament, God made provision for those times when His followers, whose sins have been atoned for by the death of Christ, would sin again afterward. (I John 1:5 - 10)
     No human being, save one, has ever lived a perfectly sinless life. That is what made it possible for that person to be the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. His name is Jesus and we call Him Lord!
     All people are inconsistent, but that does not necessarily make them hypocrites. So let's give each other a break and not judge each other too harshly. After all, we are only human!
     May God bless you all on this frigid January morning!

Friday, January 21, 2011


     The reason why I started this blog was to use this forum to comment on the three main areas of my life, Spiritual, Personal and Work. To date I have not written anything on the work aspect of my life. I have had difficulty selecting material that was relevant and that at the same time did not violate any confidences or disclose information that is not for public consumption due to department policy, privacy considerations and/or provisions of current law.
     In my experience when you ask people what they think about police officers you generally get one of two responses: (1) They are well thought of and respected, or (2) They are despised and believed to be corrupt and evil. People either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground.
     Regardless of the character, or lack thereof, of any police officer, I strongly believe that they deserve your respect. I believe this for one simple reason. When a call comes in, police respond...period! They don't evaluate whether they like the person they are being dispatched to help before responding. Police don't pick and chose which jobs they will respond to, responding to some or not responding to others. Police officers will risk their lives one day making an arrest, then will risk their lives protecting that same person who they arrested from harm on another day.
     Police officers are in a no-win position. They are damned if they do and they are damned if they don't. Police officers are by no means perfect. They are human and do make their fair share of mistakes and they often pay a dearer price for them. They are often called upon to take very unpopular action which if they had a choice, they would not chose to do. To the person who needs help, police officers are heroes. Conversely, to the lawbreaker, police officers are corrupt, narrow minded doughnut vultures. Again, there is no middle ground.
     Admittedly I do have a bias in favor of police officers. That doesn't change the fact that they deserve our respect. In future blogs I will provide more evidence in support of this proposition. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


     I have been happily married to the same woman for almost forty years. I love this woman more than life itself. She is a constant source of joy, devotion, and love. She is a remarkable woman in so many ways.
     Like a lot of wives she is not a sports fan. Sometimes, just to keep me company, she will sit through a game, knitting, doing cross stitch, or reading a book. From time to time she will ask a question about the game but by and large she has no interest. When I yell at the TV she will pat me gently on the arm and softly say "They can't hear you, love." This often elicits a "You don't know what you're talking about" glare from me. 
     When it comes to professional sports I tend to be parochial in my support. My favorite team in baseball is the Boston Red Sox, and whoever is playing against the Yankee's. In hockey, it's the Boston Bruins, and whoever is playing against the Montreal Canadiens. In basketball it's the Boston Celtics, and whoever is playing against the LA Lakers. When it comes to football, it's the New England Patriots, and whoever is playing against the Dallas Cowboys. Why this is so is grist for another blog entry...but that's just the way it is. MY WIFE IS FULLY AWARE OF THESE AFFILIATIONS!
     As you may know, this past Sunday the New England Patriots played the trash talking punks from New York also known as the Jets in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. The Patriots were ten point favorites to win the game. The Patriots had won 14 out of 16 regular season games. This was no small feat considering a lot of the Patriot players were young and inexperienced. Their victory over the Jets was all but assured by those pundits who are paid good money to know such things.
     The Patriots, as it turned out, were not doing well against the Jets. Apparently the Jets didn't get the memo that said they were supposed to lose the game. I was not a happy camper! It was in the third quarter, the Jets had the ball when I heard my beloved wife utter the blasphemous words "GO JETS!" I said in shocked disbelief "EXCUSE ME? WHAT DID YOU SAY? DID YOU JUST CHEER FOR THE JETS?" She said, to my utter shock and disbelief "Yes, I did." I asked her why would she betray me and my beloved Patriots like that? She said that the Patriots had talked trash about the Jets during the past week and she likes the Jets green pants. "GREEN PANTS!? ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?" I also informed her that the Patriots comments were in response to the trash talking done by the Jets. She said that she didn't hear the Jets say anything so in SWMBO-world it didn't happen!
     I was aghast! My beloved SWMBO had committed treason. My thoughts went to how to respond to such an affront...(1) Consult a lawyer to see if there's legal grounds for divorce?; (2) Could I get away with giving her a beat down?; (3) The silent treatment?  Oh Betrayal, Thy Name is Green Pants I moaned to myself.
     I considered my options more carefully: (1) Divorce was out of the question because I STILL loved my wife more than the contest there! (2) The beat down was out of the question because...(a) She would probably beat my butt and (b) I had to go to sleep sometime and if I did prevail in the beat down there is no way that I would ever close my eyes in the same house with that woman. (3) The silent treatment was not a viable option either...I still love my wife.
     Seriously, as much as I enjoy watching professional sports it is only a game. The outcome of any game really does not affect my life in any way, whatsoever. Whether my team wins or loses does not impact my existence at all, it is really irrelevant. 
     The fact of the matter is when it comes to my priorities in life, professional sports is nice to have but it is not a necessity. On the other hand, SWMBO is everything! There is nothing in my life more important that she is. I urge all sports fans to keep their priorities straight. 
     Winning teams come and go! All professional teams will disappoint you from time to time. SWMBO's love and devotion never wavers and she is as constant as the north star. As much as I might like sports, I love SWMBO so much more!...and besides there's always next year...GO PATRIOTS ! ! !

Monday, January 17, 2011


     There are many people who profess to be Christian, that is, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians, that is, true Christians, are loving, compassionate, and altruistic people. Christians seek to serve, comfort and improve the lot of those whom they may encounter. However, we often see people who profess to be Christian doing all manner of evil in the name of their Lord and against His clear teachings.
     How might we differentiate between true Christians and those nominal, in name only, Christians who do such evil. Jesus was clear regarding who His true followers are and how we might recognize them. The Gospel accounts give us several examples of Jesus practicing what He preached. Current events, however, give several unfortunate examples of  those nominal pseudo Christians as well, those who do not practice what Jesus taught. Most notably are the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who have announced their intentions to demonstrate at the funeral of Christina Taylor-Green, the nine year old girl killed in the recent Tucson, AZ, shooting. 
     Jesus taught us one way how we might know who His disciples are, how we could recognize them. Jesus said " A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another."  (John 13:34,35) This seems fairly clear to me, that if we are truly His disciples, we are to love one another as He has loved us. 
     Several examples of Jesus' love is shown in the Gospels. In the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43 a religious ruler, Jairus, came to Jesus, fell at His feet and implored Him to come to his home and heal his daughter who was at the point of death. Jesus immediately accompanied Jairus to his house and raised the little girl back to life. 
     In the Gospel of Luke 7:11-15 we are told that Jesus and his disciples enter the town of Nain where they witness a funeral. A widow was in the process of burying her only son. Jesus felt compassion for the woman and raised her son back to life.
     In the Gospel of John 11:1-43 we are given insight into the love Jesus had for his friend, Lazarus. He received word that his friend was ill. Two days later He walked the two miles to Bethany in Judea to see His friend. We are told that Lazarus had died before Jesus' arrival and had been in the grave for four days by the time Jesus arrived. We are told that Jesus wept. Jesus raised His friend back to life. 
     These are just three examples of Jesus' love and compassion, one about His love for one who probably opposed Him, an enemy. Another for a stranger who was mourning the loss of her only son, and still another for a dear friend. Jesus clearly had love and compassion for those who had suffered at the death of a loved one.
     These examples stand in diametric opposition to the vicious acts of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, so called Christians, who spew the vilest kind of hurtful venom at funerals where they demonstrate. Some of the funerals where they have felt the need to demonstrate were for victims of AIDS. Some, were the funerals of soldiers who died in battle to protect, ironically, their right to so demonstrate. And now, they want to demonstrate at the funeral of an innocent nine year old murder victim. 
     I respectfully submit that these and other actions of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are not acts of love nor compassion. Christians are commanded, not requested mind you but commanded, to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Therefore, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church proclaim themselves to be Christians but by their actions and by the measure outline above, THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS!  They are despicable people!
     May God's Holy Spirit show these people the light of the truth and bring them to true repentance that they renounce the evil that they have committed and that they may become true followers of Jesus, to His Glory. Until that day comes, may they stop calling themselves Christians.

Monday, January 10, 2011


   A horrific act occurred in the State of Arizona yesterday. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting constituents outside a Safeway grocery store when a man opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol. Congresswoman Giffords, along with thirteen other people, was seriously wounded. Six people were killed including a nine year old girl. 
   Several things struck me as the reporting of the incident and the associated commentary unfolded throughout the day in the various news media. Professional people in law enforcement, government and the media have been stating conclusions and making comments based on less than sufficient facts to support their conclusions or comments.
   Some have suggested that "toxic rhetoric" may be responsible for the shooter deciding to take the action that he did. Some have implied that the Tea Party movement bears some responsibility. Others suggest that talk radio and television commentators express views in a manner that incite people to commit extreme acts of violence. 
  At this point in time no one knows why the shooter decided to wreak havoc and mayhem upon the Congresswoman and her constituents. At last reports the suspect is in custody and has invoked his right to remain silent...that means the only person who truly knows the "why" of it isn't talking. Everything else is speculation and conjecture.
   I expect that a number of things will emerge from this horrible event. One will undoubtedly be a call for more gun control laws. Experience has shown that gun control does not, and never has, stopped criminals from perpetrating gun violence.
   Another will be a call for an end to "toxic rhetoric," whatever that is. Those who will shout the loudest on this point will undoubtedly be those who, hypocritically, have been the most guilty of engaging in such rhetoric. 
   I urge everyone to wait for the true facts to come out before any decisions are taken on how to implement or change policy with a view towards preventing such incidents in the future. Any such decisions that infringe upon our God-given liberty must be avoided. I would also counsel policymakers to wait until the raw emotion evoked by this incident to subside before any decisions are taken.
   May God bless the families of those who have been killed or injured in this incident. May God grant Congresswoman Giffords and her fellow wounded a speedy and full recovery from their injuries.