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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


1. Do you believe in miracles?
      Miracles by definition are those events where the natural laws are suspended. A couple of examples from the Bible are Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana. (John 2:1-11) and the immediate and complete healing and restoration of a diseased hand.(Matthew 12:9-13) Miracles in the Bible were performed to confirm/verify that God was speaking through the person performing the Miracle.
     I do believe that God still is actively involved in the lives of people, however, I do not believe that Miracles still occur. It's not that I believe that God cannot perform miracles today it's just that I do not believe that he does perform miracles today. God's word is complete! God's Kingdom is established! There are many amazing things that occur in our lives that seem to be miraculous. There are some amazing occurrences that seem to be inconsistent with our understanding of science and with our experience. I believe that these things happen within the parameters of natural laws.

2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying?
     I am not given to participating in fads. I probably have done some of the things that were fads but none come to mind.

3. Peppermint-are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint?
     I am a huge fan of peppermint. I love peppermint flavored milk shakes. My favorite flavor of chewing gum is peppermint. I like those peppermint starburst candies and chocolate covered peppermint patties. I am a fan!
4. Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...which phrase have you run into most recently? Explain.
     I spend a fair amount of time "on thin ice!" I tend to behave in an impish way which often gets me into dutch with my beloved SWMBO as well as other people in my life. Nothing malicious, mind you, just playfully naughty.

5. Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home? Still friends?
     Accidents do happen! I cannot imagine me ending a friendship over someone breaking something or spilling something in my home. People are way more precious and valuable than "stuff." I do not know any of my friends who don't have similar values. If I break or damage something I try to make it right. When I cannot make it right, that's where grace comes in.

6.  'Tis the week before Christmas...are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew?
     I'm still in "Grinch" mode! Having said that, my heart is beginning to grow!

7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas.
     "Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for you and all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10. 11)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Why do you observe the Christmas Holiday?  Some people observe the day simply because it is a "Federal Holiday" and therefore is a day off from work. 
     Other people celebrate the pagan traditions of the day, the Winter Solstice.
     The Christian celebrates the day because it is the day we celebrate the most important occurrence in all of human history. We celebrate the day that an Infinite, Almighty God entered into time and space and became humanly born. Ironically, no one knows the precise day that the Baby Jesus was born in that manger in Bethlehem. December 25th is the day that man has selected to commemorate that blessed event however.
     The angels announced to the shepherds "Do not be afraid." As an aside, I am struck by how many times in Scripture that God says "Do not be afraid!" or "Fear not!" So the angels try to calm the shepherd fear.
     Then the angels announced good news of great joy! In my life I have received good news of great joy. For example, when I learned of the healthy birth of my grandchildren and that mother and child were doing great, those were incidents of "good news of great joy."
     The news that the angels announced was the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord. This news is the long awaited fulfillment of God's promise. It was the culmination of His plan to deal with man's "Sin Problem." It was the ultimate game changing news! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son!
      For the Christian, we celebrate Christmas because it is the day that our liberation from the bondage of sin and death was at hand. So I say to one and all Merry Christmas! May God richly bless you, oh wait, He already has! Merry Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


     We have been snowed on, rained on and iced on. Now we have a polar air mass poised to drop us down into the deep freeze. BRRRRR! Whatever the weather the hodgepodge endures. Thank you Joyce for these questions. Don't just enjoy our thoughts. Participate in the Hodgepodge and share yours as well.

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.
    I don't do anything specific to advent.

2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of, which reindeer name best describes you this week? 
     I have no idea! I have never seen a beakdown in the character traits of the Santa's reindeer.

3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?
     Too noisy is far worse. I have had more of "too noisy" with all the hub bub of Christmas shopping, holiday preparations, etc.

4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo! 
When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through? 
     If I ask someone to complete a task, I trust them to complete the task. I believe that it is disrespectful, inconsiderate and condescending to do myself that which I have asked another to complete. 
     If I was on the receiving end I would feel disrespected and angry. If you want me to do something and I agree to do it, then let me do it. If you are not going to let me do it, then don't ask me and just do it yourself.

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?
     My most dreaded task is Christmas shopping. My most looked forward to task is completing my Christmas shopping.

6. Facebook has released its list of the 'most talked about' topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)
      My particular circle of friends have not talked about any of those things. We talked about  Obama-care and the lies that the administration told to get it passed. We also discuss the ever increasing number of government scandals that are being ignored by the main stream media and the electorate. We speak of the dysfunctional government and how it came to be this way and how to change it for the better. We also talk about the debasement of society, evidence by the "knock out" game and other such things.
     We also have spend a fair amount of time talking about "Cancer." You know why!
7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?
     Our wood pellet stove. My mission in life is to try to keep SWMBO warm and toasty. That is a full time job. Our pellet stove gives me a better than average chance of meeting that goal.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     This week the world lost Nelson Mandela. President Mandela was not a perfect man. He was a good man. The thing that impressed me most about the man is after being imprisoned for 27 years and after his release becoming president of his country did not use his new power to punish his enemies. He instead used the power of his office to bring the people of his nation together and not to further divide them.
     Our nation's leader could learn from Nelson Mandela's example. Our nation's leaders should do those things which benefit the nation rather than themselves, their particular political party or their narrow minded agendas. Our nation's leaders should do those things that unite, rather than divide, us.
     Rest in peace, Mr. President! God bless the people of South Africa during this time of mourning.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


     The past weekend has brought out the most crass aspects of human nature. Shoppers trampled over barricades and people to enter stores and purchase "stuff" and anyone in their way be damned. That's one reason why I echo the words of Ebenezer Scrooge "Bah-humbug!" So pause from your Christmas shopping and other preparations and enjoy the Hodgepodge!

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?
      People have been photographing themselves for years. However, I don't care for the more salacious selfies that some people feel compelled to post on the various social media. I don't recall ever taking a selfie. I don't generally post such things on social media. I prefer to be behind the camera.
2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?
     SWMBO and I will be sending out Christmas cards this year. They are not ready to go but I'm confident that we will get them out on time.
3. Do you trust easily?
     I do not trust easily. Cynicism and distrust is an unfortunate side effect of my law enforcement career. When you live for many years in an environment where trusting the wrong person could result in your being seriously injured or killed, you become intensely circumspect in your dealings with people. It becomes difficult to act otherwise.

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?
     Peppermint-vanilla is my favorite around the Christmas holiday.

5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?
     I did more listening...I was with SWMBO! Just kidding! I did do more listening. I had some ministry tasks to perform Monday (which is yesterday as I write this) which required my listening carefully before speaking. I think I'm a pretty good listener. I think that as a general rule I listen more than I talk.  It's the "we have two ears and one mouth thing" which means that we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.

6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )
     Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." It is a most persistent "earworm."

7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why? 
     Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the crew of Apollo 11 which was the first mission to land on the lunar surface and return safely. It must have been spectacular!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Christmas is the Holiday where Christians celebrate an infinite almighty God becoming human through His birth on that cold night in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. It is the celebration that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. Jesus lived on this earth for about 33 years being totally human and at the same time totally God. Because of what Jesus accomplished while He was on earth all mankind has an opportunity to spend eternity with a loving, merciful and extraordianry Holy God. It's up to all of us to choose where we get to spend eternity. Think of the immensity and the ramifictions of that choice for a moment.
     When I look around and see the avarice, materialism, and vulgar displays of the more crass aspects of human nature supposedly in celebration of the holiday, I am stunned and saddened.
      I don't mean to imply that it is all bad, however. I am encouraged and uplifted when I read or see stories that report people expending a large amount of effort and resources where the less fortunate are being clothed, given warmth, being housed and being fed in the TRUE spirit of the Holiday. I want to believe that these people of good will are the rule rather than the exception. 
     I pray God's blessing on all of you!