My Blog List

Monday, August 29, 2011


   Unless you have been living in a remote cave or are one of the few people in the country who haven't been paying attention there was some meteorological  drama on the east coast this past weekend.
    Hurricane Irene had her way in the Caribbean Ocean, slamming into the island of Hispaniola, you know, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the Bahama's causing widespread devastation.   
    Irene then proceeded like a buzz saw up the east coast of the United States, bypassing Florida and heading straight for North Carolina. Irene raked the mid-Atlantic States, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the New England States causing all kinds of mayhem.
    SWMBO and I kept a weathered eye (pun intended) on the projected path of the storm. It was not looking good for New Hampshire. So SWMBO and I began making preparations to get ready for the storm and it's anticipated effects. The weather talking-heads were predicting that Irene would be a Category 1 hurricane, that is, torrential rain and 75 mph + winds when it rolled over New Hampshire. That meant wide spread power outages and flooding. 
     I checked the gas and oil on the chainsaw. I started the chainsaw and let it run for a few minutes. I next refueled and checked the oil on the emergency power generator. It started as designed and so I let it run for a few minutes too. Next was making sure we had a sufficient number of flashlights, spare batteries, candles, oil lamps and lamp oil, and liquid propane for the barbecue grill.
    On Saturday SWMBO & I made sure that we had enough water for drinking and sanitation purposes and food to last us and Becke the wonder dog for a few days.
    Getting back to the generator, the instructions say that the generator must not be operated inside the house and must be at least ten feet from any door or window. The instructions also say that the generator cannot be exposed to the elements such as rain or snow. Well it seems to me that the times you might need a generator the elements are gonna be the proximate cause of the power outage. The generator people want to have it both ways. How did I solve this little dilemma? Observe...


...I bought some PVC Piping and joints and constructed a frame. I also obtained a tarp that goes over the frame. The generator sits on a wood pallet with eye bolts at the four corners. The tent goes over the generator and pallet. The tarp is secured to eye bolts in the end caps on the feet of the frame. The tarp is secured to the frame and the frame is secured to the pallet. The tent protects the generator from the elements but should allow sufficient air flow for cooling and dissipating the exhaust gasses.

    How did we make out this past weekend? We survived with no power outage or damage to our home. We did get a lot of rain and moderate wind but we fared well. Others were not so lucky. 
   Throughout the eastern seaboard Hurricane Irene caused billions of dollars worth of damage and took eighteen lives. It caused widespread power outages, about 150,000 customers throughout NH alone and serious flooding in parts of northern NH and Vermont.
         God was gracious once again to SWMBO and me and answered our prayers. I'm here to tell you that the God who answered prayers so long ago still answers prayers today! 
         So how was your weekend?

Monday, August 22, 2011


       A while ago I posted a blog entry regarding how to recognize the true Christian Church that was established in the first century AD by the Lord Jesus Christ. While I thought about that blog entry, a question came to mind. When you become a Christian, are you subject to anyone? If you join a "church", are you subject to anyone? If you are, in fact, subject to anyone, who are you subject to and to what extent are you subject to them?
   The New Testament teaches that Jesus is alive and that He is the Head of His church. The Gospels tell us that Jesus was crucified by the Romans at the behest of the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead according to those same Scriptures. 
   Jesus was seen by many people over the next forty days. Then, at the appointed time, Jesus ascended into Heaven.
   The fascinating thing about all this is that no where in the New Testament does Jesus say to anyone...
"I am going away for awhile. Until I return, you're in charge."
...It was understood by the writers of the New Testament at the time of their writing that Jesus was alive AND that He was at the head of His Church.
"And He (God) put all things in subjection under His (Christ) feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all."  (Ephesians 1:22,23
...This verse tells us that God placed Jesus as head over everything, the church included.
"...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)
...Paul describes various gifts members of the church were given (V.11-13) but in verse 15 he repeats that Jesus is the head and we are the body. (See also Colossians 1:18; 2:18,19)
   It is clear that Jesus is the head of His church and that we are the body, His members.
   So what does this mean for the 21st Century church? Is Christ still the head of His church today? The unequivocal answer is "Yes!" 
    So this being true, who are these other so-called Christian leaders who you see on the television or hear on the radio and from where do they derive their authority? Think about it!

Friday, August 19, 2011


     Do you have any heroes? Are there any people, either currently alive or historical figures, who you strongly respect and admire. If you were to draw up a list of ten people, living or dead, who you would like to share a cup of coffee with and engage in conversation, who would be on your list? 
     One of my heroes is Thomas Jefferson, Patriot, President, Secretary of State, Ambassador, Gentleman Farmer, and so much more. One of the things that got me interested in Mr. Jefferson was his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. It is a most impressive use of language on any document, at least, to my mind. 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed." (Emphasis mine)
     The well known passage cited above is from the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Jefferson alludes to self-evident truths, truths that are true on their face. 
     You may recall that when Jesus was standing before Pilate, Jesus told him that He came to earth to bear witness to the truth. Pilate asked Jesus "What is Truth?" (John 18:37,38
     People throughout the ages have been asking that very same question, "What is Truth?" How can we know what is "true?" How can we sift the truth from the incredible amount of information that we are all exposed to on a daily basis?
     Is truth absolute or is it relative? Is it a matter of perspective? If something is "true" is it true for everyone or is it possible for something to be true for me but not true for you?
    I believe that there is such a thing as "objective" truth. I believe that what is "true" for me is "true" for you. Gravity is one such example of what I mean. The other laws of physics are true for everyone. If you are in motion you will remain in motion until acted upon by another force, no matter who you are.
    What you think about the concept of "truth" is immensely important.  When you go to the doctor's office it is imperative that the physician learns the truth of what's ailing you. Serious consequences can follow if he doesn't learn the truth. 
     In future postings I hope to explore the concept of truth and why it is important to learn what the truth is.
     I hope that you have a wonderful day...and that is the truth!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


   So, how's it going so far? I've been retired since Monday, August 1st, 2011. It still feels like I'm on a routine vacation away from work. I keep thinking that I have work to return to...but I do not. It is a very weird feeling.
    What have I been doing with my new, extended "vacation?" For one thing I have been completing the myriad requisite health insurance forms updating my status as a retiree. 
    For another thing, my beloved SWMBO has been enjoying my presence around the house. She really likes having me home at night! She has a number of home improvement projects she would like taken care of. For instance, SWMBO decided that we "needed" a ceiling fan/light fixture in the kitchen. She also decided that I "needed" to move the light fixture that is currently in the kitchen to the dining room, over the table. What am I going to do with the light fixture that is currently over the dining room table? I'm glad that you asked! SWMBO said that I "need" to move that fixture to the center of the soffit above the counter peninsula located between the kitchen and the dining room. So far that project is two thirds complete.
    Some days I get up and drive SWMBO and Becke the Wonder Dog to work in the morning and then I pick them up after work in the afternoon. This gives me more time to spend with SWMBO. I have been spending the interim time running errands and completing tasks around the house such as mowing the lawn, working on the projects, etc. 
    One of the things that I have always enjoyed, in fact it is one of my favorite things to do, is going out to eat with SWMBO. I absolutely love going to a restaurant and sharing a meal with her. She is a terrific dinner companion. We have been out to eat a couple of times since I retired. 
    This week I am helping out at the church. This week we are having Vacation Bible School so I pitch in and help as needed. 
    I still don't have a clue as to what new career I am going to pursue after my extended vacation is over but I am certain that something will present itself.
    So that's the latest update! May God bless you all!  Have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2011


     Today, the Manchester Church of Christ is mourning the loss of one of our Church Elders, Duane Coss, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Duane is survived by his wife, Darby, two adult daughters, Kara and Kaitlin, and a grandson, Asher.
     Several church members have been keeping vigil with Darby and Duane at the Hospice House in Merrimack, NH. Darby was kept busy with stories and remembrances. The church members made sure that Darby ate and took care of herself as she was taking care of Duane. I provided some comic relief as is my habit. By the way, the Hospice House staff are an amazing group of compassionate people who made a difficult time a little less so.
     A couple of years ago I had the privilege of attending the annual Ganderbrook Men's Retreat in Raymond, Maine, with Duane. The men's retreat is an annual meeting of Christian men from the various Churches of Christ from around New England. It's a time of fellowship, learning, singing, prayer and devotion. It's also a time of great fun and laughs. Duane has an unique, infectious laugh.

Entrance to the camp!

    The center of Camp Ganderbrook is the main lodge. The lodge is where we have our meals, hold our worship services and class sessions. There is a large field stone fireplace inside the lodge with twin hearths. Over each hearth is the mounted head of a large moose.  
The tiara is a leftover from the camping season.
     Before we eat our meals, we gather on the porch of the lodge, weather permitting. If it's too cold, we gather inside the lodge, standing around the fireplace near the door. 
    On one such occasion, I entered the lodge to find the men standing in a semi-circle, all focused on the moose head over the hearth, singing one of our traditional church songs. I stood next to Duane and asked him "Why are we singing to the moose?" As an Elder in the church I figured that he would know. He answered "I have no idea."  
     I was a little taken aback by his response and sarcastically asked if he had a problem with the perceived idolatry? We shared a hearty laugh and from that moment on the SCMW was born. What's SCMW you ask? It's the Society of Christian Moose Worshippers. We laughed about that all weekend and beyond.
     I love Duane Coss. He is an exemplary Christian man, husband and father. I shall miss his mature Christian wisdom. I shall miss his laugh. I will miss his sense of humor. I am thankful that Duane was a part of my life for a season. 
     Until we meet again, God bless you Duane Coss!

Friday, August 12, 2011


My beloved SWMBO absolutely loves gadgets. I call her my "Gadget Queen." She loves every type of gadget imaginable, mechanical, kitchen, electronic or other type. If it's a gadget and does something, anything, useful in a cute or unusual way, SWMBO wants it.
SWMBO is not content to only get gadgets for herself, she feels compelled to make me her "Gadget King."
It all started way back when, when we bought our first computer, a Commodore 64. We had lots of fun with it even though we didn't have internet access. I don't think the internet was even available back then. We bought a dot matrix printer so we can word process. Next came the Commodore 128 and we were living large then. Around that time the internet began to be accessed by the general public. Do you remember CompuServe?
We next bought an Apple MacIntosh computer. It had megabytes as opposed to kilobytes of memory and processing speeds heretofore unheard of! With floppy disks and auxiliary drives storage capacity was virtually, pun intended, limitless. After that came the I-Mac with much more memory and much faster processing speeds. We have been Mac Users ever since.
One birthday I surprised my beloved SWMBO with an I-Pod Nano with 4-gigabytes of capacity. She absolutely loved it. It wasn't too long though until she exceeded the storage capacity with music downloads from I-Tunes. So I bought her a bigger I-Pod called the I-Pod Touch with 8 Gigabytes of storage capacity. The Touch was also able to run something called "Applications" or "Apps." These Apps ranged from word processing to a multitude of games.
SWMBO decided that I needed to upgrade from an I-Pod Nano to and I-Pod Touch, too. She dragged me, kicking and screaming into her gadget world.
Then a couple of years ago we decided to buy each other something called an I-Pad with 32 gigabytes of memory. More capacity for an ever increasing number of Apps, many of which are free and compatible with the I-Pod Touch. As a matter of fact I am writing this blog entry on my I-Pad.
I am told that there is more computing power in the I-Pad than what was used to launch the Apollo Spacecrafts. The mind boggles at the amount of technology that is available to the average person. The mind boggles further at what technology will become available to the average person in the near future. I am sure my Gadget Queen will keep us on the cutting edge!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


   My beloved spouse, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), decided she needed a ceiling fan installed in the kitchen in place of the light fixture that is there. Last night SWMBO and I went shopping at Lowes and Home Depot. She found what she wanted at Lowes. She decided that she found what she wanted at Lowes while we were at Home Depot.

SWMBO'S choice

 The side of the box and the instructions inside the box indicated that installation time would be two hours...Yeah, Right! And so the project begins with the dismantling of the old fixture.
Old Fixture. Note mounting bracket!

New mounting bracket!
...The old fixture was reasonably easy to remove. Then came the time to install the new mounting bracket. That's where I hit my first snag. The screws I removed from the old fixture were too short to attach the new fixture. So a trip to the hardware store. Fortunately, I was able to obtain longer mounting screws. So, the new bracket and new fixture motor install easily.
New motor & housing w/fan paddles!
...The new fan and light fixture are now installed and to my utter amazement...upon the circuit being turned back! 

...SWMBO is well pleased! She now has her ceiling fan in the kitchen! It only took me four hours. Two hours installation...yeah right!
   Enjoy your day everyone!

Monday, August 8, 2011


     Have you ever been afraid? I don't meant the "I hope I do well on the surprise quiz!" kind of fear, but rather the intense, paralyzing fear of impending doom. It is no fun to be afraid. People  who live their lives in fear have a miserable existence.
     Consider a chronically abused spouse who is expected to meet unrealistic standards of housekeeping, appearance, food preparation, accomplishment, earnings, providing or some other task. Failure brings immediate verbal, and often physical, abuse. Past transgressions are never forgotten and are often used as  a stick to beat them, constantly reminding them of their perceived shortcomings.
     Also, we have read about the person who after being bullied incessantly reaches a breaking point where they decide that they are not going to be afraid anymore and commit an act of extreme violence against their tormentor(s) and innocent bystanders.
     Another all too common experience is the person who is battling a life threatening disease...and losing. Tremendous Fear often affects not only the person who is ill but their family and friends as well.
     Is there any hope in times of fear? The answer to that question is an unequivocal "Yes!" How many times do we read in the Bible "Fear not...!" Jesus taught that we should NOT FEAR what we will eat, what we will wear, where will we live. Jesus taught that God provides all these things to His natural creation AND God loves us so much more.
     Jesus also taught FEAR NOT those who can only harm the body in the here and now but rather FEAR Him who can destroy both the body and the soul for all eternity.
     Christians are not immune from suffering. In fact, Jesus taught that His followers, AKA Christians, would suffer in THIS world. BUT He also taught DO NOT FEAR FOR I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD! 
     So when the cares of this world press in on you, FEAR NOT! Nothing is going to happen to you absent the will of God. Nothing is going to happen to you that will separate you from the love of God. Nothing is going to happen to you that surpasses the power of God! Remember God's love for you is infinite! BELIEVE IT!

Monday, August 1, 2011


     Life happens in stages. As I look back on my life I see the various stages of my development into the man I am today.
     The stages of my education began in a parochial elementary school, Ste. Jeanne d'Arc in Lowell, MA. The next stage was Lowell High School and Manchester, NH, Memorial High School. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, the next stage, college, was Nathaniel Hawthorne College where I earned a Bachelor Degree.
     The stages of my professional development began while I was in the Air Force. I went to the Security Police Technical School where I was first exposed to the practice of military law enforcement. I took to it like a duck to water. I loved it! The next stage began after I separated from the Air Force. I was hired by a small NH town and was sent to the 58th Session of the NH Police Academy. I was taught the fundamentals of civilian law enforcement. I still loved it! I devoted my life to it.
     My spiritual development began as did my educational development, at Ste. Jeanne d'Arc elementary school. I was raised Roman Catholic. I became an altar boy. I seriously considered going to seminary to train for the priesthood. Then I became a teenager!
     As a typical teenager I rebelled against every thing I had been taught. I still believed in the existence of God but I did not believe Catholic doctrine any more. Part of it was due to me believing that there was significant hypocrisy in the Church and part of it was that Catholic doctrine did not ring true, logically.
     The next stage in my spiritual development happened while I was in the military. I decided to go to the source document, the Bible, and find out for myself what the Bible taught and what were the implications for my life.
     My path brought me, by the grace of God, to Cedric Parsons. Cedric was a Baptist minister at the Fakenham Baptist Church, Fakenham, United Kingdom. I was stationed in a neighboring town at a nearby U.S. Air Force Base. Cedric was a gentle, godly and patient man. He taught me the fundamentals of New Testament Christianity.
     I was transferred from England to Alexandria, LA. There I met John Brasseaux. John was the preacher at the Jackson Street Church of Christ. He was also a former Catholic Brother. He, like Cedric, was a gentle, godly man. John led me through the Bible, teaching me what the Bible said, not what he said the Bible said. I have been a Bible believing Christian ever since. I am eternally grateful to both of these godly men.
     Through the stages of my growth as a Christian, God has graciously placed wonderful men and women in my life who have taught me through friendship and through their example what it means to be Christian, as the Bible defines the term. I hope that I am able to pay forward their kindnesses to me by being as good a friend and as good an example to others.
     Today, I am embarking upon a new stage in my life. I have retired from law enforcement after a 30 year career. I look forward with great optimism and enthusiasm to what our loving God has in store for me as this new stage of life unfolds. God bless you as you go through your current stage in life!