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Saturday, August 31, 2013



     The world sometimes looks at Christians as being people who claim to be perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth! True Christians do not claim to be perfect. In point of fact, Christians are acutely aware that they are NOT perfect. Christians know that they are imperfect sinners who have been saved by the blood of Jesus. Christians are people who are daily trying to be holy because God calls us to holiness. He tells us to be holy...why? He tells us to be holy because He is holy, that's why! However, aiming at a target and hitting that target are two different things. Every true Christian knows this fact all too well!

     The verse from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, quoted above, calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How does one renew their minds you may be asking yourself? I submit that we renew our minds by what we put into them. What we watch, what we read and what we listen to has a profound effect upon our minds, either for good or for ill. The old computer programmer's cliche "Garbage in, Garbage out!" applies to the mind as well.

     Christian, how is your "transformation" going? What are your putting into your mind? Do you read the Bible every day? Do you read books that expound upon Christian Doctrine or Christian Living? Do you concern yourself with furthering the great commission of Matthew 28:18? Do you spend time in prayer daily? How do you pray? What do you pray about? Do you truly talk to God as if He were standing right in front of you or are your prayers more perfunctory in tone and/or content?

     The Apostle Peter, in the first chapter of his second letter, exhorts all of us "to make every effort" to (1) add excellence to our faith; (2) To add knowledge to our excellence; (3) To add self control to our knowledge; (4) To add perseverance to our self control; (5) To add godliness to our perseverance; (6) To add brotherly affection to our godliness; and (7) To add unselfish love to our brotherly affection.
     The Apostle Peter tells us that if these things are truly ours AND they are continually increasing inside us they will keep us from becoming ineffective and unproductive in our pursuit to know our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. (2 Peter 1:5-9)

     God tells us that if we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us! God says that if we diligently seek Him, that is to "make every effort" to seek Him, we will find Him. You will find God in the pages of His Holy Word, the Bible. You may draw near to God through prayer.

     Christian, how is your "transformation" going? If it is not as it should be, start today to make it what it should be. Repent and begin your walk with God anew. It's not too late. As long as you're on this side of the grass you have time to change. The great thing is that God will help you effect that change. "So, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..." Christian, let the transformation begin!

     Also, please do not forget to worship God this Sunday. God bless you!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


    Can you believe it, that Labor Day is upon us already? Where does the time go? Won't you pull over for a spell and enjoy a pause in your travels? Please join us! Well, thank you Joyce for these brief rest stops along the highway that is our life. 

1. Labor Day weekend (in the US of A) is approaching...what's something you've labored over this year?
     I have labored over learning the craft of expository preaching. I have taught on an adjuct basis at the college level. I have taught adult bible classes. Expository preaching is much more involved than simply teaching a class.

2. What is one word to describe your 'job' or career?
     Retired! When I did work, however, the word that described what I did was "servant." I approached my job as a police officer as being more of "Service" then of "Enforcement."

3. What was your worst or least favorite job ever? Why?
     Bus boy/dishwasher at a department store restaurant. I developed a serious allergy to the caustic soap used in the dishwasher. It was miserable!

4. How do you measure contentment?
     Sharing a meal with the kids, their respective spouses and of course the grand babies. It's family, short and simple, that is real contentment.

5. Pickles-like or dislike? What is something you eat that requires a pickle? Dill, bread and butter, sweet gherkins...what's your favorite kind of pickle?
     I like pickles. I like pickles on some sandwiches like subs and grilled cheese. I like pickles alongside other sandwiches like hot dogs and cheeseburgers. I prefer bread & butter pickles but I like them all.
6. In your current house-town-state, what is it you like living close to?
     One of the wonderful things about living in New Hampshire is that anything you can think of doing is not much more than an hour's drive away. We have moutains and wilderness to the north and west. We have the ocean to the east. We have big city life to the south. We also have many beautiful lakes all over the state. I love living close to everything.

7. What is one thing on your 'want-to-do' list before summer draws to an official close?
    I've got nothing!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Milestones! As we go through life we reach a lot of milestones. When we're babies our parents anxiously wait for us to speak our first coherent word. Likewise, a baby's first step is a big moment for our parents.
     Other milestones might be our first birthday, or our first day at school. These milestone, as well as many others, just happen without any effort on our part.
      Still other milestones mark our achievements in life. Graduations come to mind. Graduation from elementary school, graduation from High School, and for some, graduation from college. 
     We mark milestones in our jobs. We mark our five, ten and twenty year anniversaries, and sometimes longer, with the same employer if we are fortunate to stay that long.
     In like manner, we mark milestones in our marriages. The 25th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary are huge milestones, although being more rare these days.
     SWMBO and I just achieved another milestone. Yesterday we completed sixteen weeks of chemo treatment for SWMBO'S cancer. We did not set out to achieve this milestone voluntarily. This journey was forced upon us by the vicissitudes of life. This achievement is a finish line of sorts for most people. However, for us it is not! For us it is the end of one battle in a series of battles yet to come. 
     This war called cancer incessantly wears on body, soul and spirit...and not only upon the person who has the disease. We are thankful that we have endured thus far and we are determined to see this through. However, our doctors tell us that at this time there is no ultimate cure, only treatment. We are hopeful that research will eventually discover a cure, but that is not case as I write this post.
     We are thankful to God, to our family, to our church family, and to our friends who have taken this journey with us and have held us up with their prayers, with funny cards, and with other demonstrations of love. It is more helpful and appreciated than I am able to express.
      And so, we have reached this milestone and begin to prepare to reach the next one...whatever that one may be.     

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


     This week we are in the so called dog days of summer. We are predicted to have temperatures in the high 80's to low 90's. SWMBO is going to love it, the rest of us are goig to be miserably hot. However, it is never too hot to participate in the weekly Hodgepodge. So, here goes...

1. What's your worst food memory?  How about one of your best?
     My worse food memory is my mother in law's "Indian Pudding" massacre that put me in the hospital for food poisoning. It still hurts to think about it. 
     One of my best food memories happened on a deer hunting trip years ago. My best friend and hunting buddy, and I, went to a restaurant for supper after a long day of hunting. I had prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. The prime rib was the best I have ever had. That prime rib is the one by which I judge all others. By the way, I had pecan pie for dessert. That was the perfect meal!

2. Do you appreciate people telling it like it is, or would you rather a speaker temper his/her words and maybe beat around the bush a little?  How about when you're the one communicating...which type are you? 
     I prefer people telling it like it is, preferably seasoned with a little tact. I'll take it straight but a little tact goes a long way. I think that I'm pretty direct and straight forward. You'd have to ask people that know me to be sure. I try to be frank while at the same time being kind and respectful. Jesus is a perfect example of what I mean. I try to imitate Him.

3. What's your favorite place to hang out?
     Home! SWMBO works very hard to make our home the kind of place you love coming back to. As lacking in imagination and as unexciting as it may's the truth. I also love going to a restaurant with SWMBO and sharing a meal and a conversation.

4. When do you most feel like you're a slave to time?
     I most feel like a slave to time when I am sound asleep and SWMBO gently shakes my foot a 6:30 a.m. to wake me up to drive her to work. Other than that, I don't feel beholding to the clock!

5. What was the last concert you attended?  Who'd you go with? Was it any good?
     SWMBO and I went to see Kenny Rogers and Tanya Tucker in downtown Manchester, NH. She was a dedicated Kenny Rogers fan and I surprised her with tickets to go see him. It was a really good performance. We both had a great time.

6. Reality TV...harmful or harmless?  What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to reality TV?
     Some are harmless, some are harmful. I think "Toddlers & Tiara's," "Real Housewives of __________," and similar shows are harmful. Conversely, I think "Duck Dynasty," and similar wholesome reality shows are harmless.

7. What's something you think is overrated?
     I think that Professional Sports are overrated. It costs a small fortune for a family to be able to attend a professional sporting event and it really is not worth the huge expense. Also, some professional athletes are overrated, A-Rod, Albert Pujols, and LeBron James come to mind.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
      I  read a news story today about three teenage boys in Oklahoma who shot a visiting Australian baseball player in the back, killing him.  The boys said that the reason why they murdered this Australian young man is because they were bored and they wanted to kill someone to break up the tedium. 
     It turns out that these same three boys are part of a larger group of teenage boys. Different boys from this larger group committed a series of armed robberies. It seems that they wanted to embrace the "Gangsta" lifestyle.
     We live in a fallen world. Young men who are too young to shave apparently are not too young to take a life or to terrorize a community by acting like predators.
     When I was a child I was taught that you cannot put a value on human life. Since then millions of innocent lives have been snuffed out in the womb. I was also taught that I must respect my elders, particularly senior citizens. Now, there are states where assisted suicide is  legal and in some cases encouraged.
     I believe that we ought to cherish human life at all stages of that life. Failing to do so diminishes us as a society and as a culture. All human life is a sacred gift and must be treated as such. We will be held to account if we do not! That is why I am pro-life...PERIOD!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


     I am trying something new. I call it the "60 Minute Blog Entry." I sit at the computer and write for no more than 60 minutes. It has been awhile since I wrote a "Random Thoughts" blog entry. As you know this title is an homage to Dr. Thomas Sowell who often pens a syndicated column entitled "Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene," so here are a few of my random thoughts, or 60 minutes worth.

WEEKEND REPORT: This past weekend SWMBO and I drove to Keene, NH, to worship with the brethren of the Keene Church of Christ. SWMBO and I were privileged to witness the installation of three new church Elders at the Keene, NH, church. The church has been without Elders for several years. Being an Elder is pretty significant in the church of Christ. I thank God that Scripturally qualified men stepped forward to take on this important ministry. May God bless them with His wisdom, His vision for the Keene church, and His protection over these fine men.

FACEBOOK FAITH: From time to time someone will post an item on Facebook soliciting support for our troops, expressing faith in Jesus, soliciting support for ending cancer, etc. These items usually have language that indicates if you don't share, click "Like" or forward the item you (1) Don't support our troops or; (2) You are ashamed to be identified with Jesus as a believer or; (3) You do not support ending cancer or you do not support whatever other cause is listed.
     I find these items to be both presumptuous and offensive. The person posting these items presumes to know what's in my heart or mind when they say if I don't forward something or click "Like" I am opposed to whatever the item supports. Therefore I refuse to play along. I will not "Share", click "LIKE" or "Forward" any of these items. I refuse to be browbeaten, manipulated or otherwise improperly induced to support, or to indicate whether I support something or not. It's nobody's business but mine!
     Just for the record, I do support our troops without qualification or exception! I am not ashamed to proclaim that I am both a believer in, and a follower of, the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally I would love to see the end of cancer IN ALL OF IT'S FORMS!

NATION OF LAWS: Our constitutional republic is a nation of laws, or at least it is supposed to be. That means that any law that has been passed by the legislative branch and signed into law by the chief executive is supposed to apply to everyone, equally.
     Many years ago the U.S. Congress got into the habit of exempting themselves from laws that the rest of us have to abide by. Some examples are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Laws; Employment Laws; and most recently the ACA (Obama care). 
      The president of the United States is required to take care that all laws are faithfully executed. Recently our president decided to postpone the enforcement of certain provision of his ACA that by law are scheduled to begin on January 1, 2014 until January 1st, 2015. He in effect is by-passing the Congress and changing a law duly passed and signed into law, ironically, by him. THIS IS WRONG and to my mind unconstitutional.
     We are a nation of laws, at least we should be!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


     Here's another list of questions from our friend Joyce! Please join in on the fun!

1. My daughter earned her Master's Degree this past weekend...what's something you've 'mastered' in recent weeks or months?
     I will sometimes be asked to teach a class or to preach a sermon at church. I've mastered the ability to compose a Keynote (that's Power Point to all you PC users) presentation. It is amazing what the average person can do with a few keystrokes on a computer.

2. What song most reminds you of your childhood?
     I have no idea! I loved Creedence Clearwater Revival; Crosby, Stills & Nash; The early Beatles and Rolling Stones, and many other artists and bands. I don't think there is one song that reminds me of my youth...there are many!

3. What do you think about single gender groups and/or events? Should every group/event be open to both genders?  If not, what sort of exceptions do you think are appropriate? 
     I think people ought to be free to assemble with whomever they choose. If it is all be it! If it happens to be all male...ditto! I don't think that "every" group event needs to be open to both genders. I think it's perfectly proper for girl scouting events or boy scouting events to be limited to one gender.  Bridal showers and "stag" parties come to mind as two possible examples of events that should be gender specific as well. The bottom line is it's an issue of liberty. We have the freedom to assemble with whomever we want.

4. What's your favorite spice? Your favorite dish containing your favorite spice?
     I love garlic and onion powder. My favorite dishes with garlic are garlic mashed potatoes and spaghetti with meat sauce.

5.  I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and asked if I could steal borrow it for the Hodgepodge...thanks Marla!  
Chevron patterns are everywhere!  Do you like it or think its just a little too much? Do you own anything 'chevron'? 
     I had chevrons on my police uniform before being promoted to lieutenant. I don't have anything with chevrons currently.

6.  What's something you disliked as a child, but can fully appreciate now?
     I disliked going to church. Now I get it!

7. What can irritate you very quickly?
     Being jostled in a crowd! That's one thing I hate about Christmas shopping. Stores are crowded and some people have no manners. I struggle with not responding in kind.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I believe what the Bible says. I believe the Bible when it says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) I believe the Bible when it says the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) I believe the Bible when it says that God so loved the world that He gave His only son to die on our behalf, to pay a debt He did not owe for all who have a debt that they could not pay. (John 3:16) 
     I believe the Bible when it tells me that God is faithful and will ALWAYS do what He says that he will do. So when Jesus said that He is coming back to earth in the same manner that he left...I believe Him. (Acts 1:11)
     I believe the Bible when it teaches that there will be an ultimate judgement at the end of time. (Revelations 20:12-15)
     Everyone who has ever lived will meet God in one of two ways. They will meet Him as His beloved adopted child or they will meet Him as His enemy. I strongly urge everyone who may be reading this blog entry to choose to meet God as His beloved adopted child.
     Please, while there is still time, get to know the God of the Bible and accept his gracious gift of salvation! You too can become His beloved adopted child! Please let me know if I can help!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


     Here's the latest edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge! It is always interesting to see how other people answer these same questions. You too can join in on the fun! Come on in, the water's fine!

1. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week...what's one thing you could do this week to qualify as a participant?
     One thing that I could do is to get as much "off the grid" as possible. Instead of watching TV or listening to a radio, I could read a book or play my guitar. I live rather simply already and am content to do so. 

2. It's also National Peach Month...peach pie, peach cobbler, or please pour me a Bellini?  What's your peach pleasure?
     Yes please! I love both Peach Cobbler and Peach Pie. I prefer my peach dessert cold, not heated, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

3. Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Agree or disagree...explain.
     I agree! As humans we need to stretch and risk to grow. It is in our best interests to grow. Doing something that is out of our comfort zone is an excellent way to achieve that growth and develope self confidence at the same time.

4. What's your favorite household chore?  Yes-you have to name one.
     Loading/Unloading the dishwasher! (The preceeding answer was extracted from this writer after being subjected to a waterboarding session by person or persons unknown.)

5. Fodors recently listed (what they've dubbed) the ten most beautiful sunset spots in America. Click here to read more and see the pretty pictures, but this is their list:

Butterfly Beach in Santa Monica CA, Mount Haleakala in Maui HI, Old Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe NM, Laguna Beach CA, Hopi Point in Grand Canyon AZ, Four Seasons in Miami FL, Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica CA, Gay Head in Martha's Vineyard MA, Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City UT, and Mallory Square in Key West Florida.

Have you seen the sun set from any of these spots?  If you could choose to watch the sun set this weekend from one spot on the Fodors List, which would you choose?  Where was the prettiest sunset you've ever seen?
     I have never been to any of the places listed by Fodor. The most spectacular sunsets that I have ever seen were from the top of Mount Sandia near Albuquerque, NM. The mountain overlooks the desert. The multiple shades of gold and purple were amazingly spectacular!

6. What's your favorite or most used app?  If you don't use apps how about your favorite or most visited website?
     I use my Mail, Facebook, and News apps most often.

7. We've recently passed the halfway mark for 2013...write a seven word sentence that sums up your year thus far. 
     I'm Cautiously Optimistic and grateful to God!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     We are living in a surreal period of time in out nation's history. 
     People appear before a committee of the U.S. Congress and clearly lie under oath and the Congress does nothing.
     The IRS specifically targets American citizens who happen to believe that the U.S. government is way too big and that the American people are taxed way too much. They illegally release these American's private information to their political opponents and no one gets arrested or fired.
     Four Americans get killed in a terrorist attack at our embassy and for reasons which are still unclear, the administration blames an independent film producer's film for the carnage and not an organized terrorist group who actually planned and carried out the attack, the administration knowing that the group was responsible all along.
     The president having the temerity to call these, and other questionable incidents "phony scandals."
      We are living in surreal times!