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Friday, March 29, 2013


     The Bible tells of a time long ago when the children of Abraham, the Israelites, were in cruel bondage in Egypt. It was prophesied in the Book of Genesis (Gen 15:12-14) that the descendants of Abraham would be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years. God said that He would judge the nation that enslaved His people and that the people would leave that nation with many possessions.

     The Book of Exodus (Chapter 4 through Chapter 12) record the story of Moses and how the children of Abraham were freed from their slavery. Moses was commissioned by God to return to Egypt and tell Pharaoh "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Let my people go!" (Exodus 5:1)
     Pharaoh asked Moses "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?"(Exodus 5:2)
Pharaoh asked Moses a question that coincidentally many today ask in their hearts if not out loud. "Who is this God that we should listen to Him?"
     God answered Pharaoh in a clear and explicit manner. He sent ten plagues to punish, or if you will, to judge Egypt. The tenth plague was the angel of death was going to sweep over Egypt and the first born of every person, from Pharaoh himself to the lowest slave girl, would die. 
     Moses was instructed to tell the people of Israel to prepare a meal that consisted of a young lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (Exodus 12:8) When they killed the lamb they were to put some of the blood on their door posts and lintel. Upon seeing the blood so placed, the angel of death would pass over the house and the first born of those inside would not die.
     As a result of this plague, Pharaoh kicked the people of Israel out of his country. Before they left, the people were given all manner of gold, silver and clothes by the people of Egypt.  In effect, the people of Israel gained their "independence" from Pharaoh/Egypt.
     Each year the people of Israel remembered these events by observing the "Passover" holiday.

     Now fast forward to the first century. Jesus, the Christ, ministered to the people of Israel proclaiming He was the fulfillment of prophecy from long ago. In fact there are over 300 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus during His life, but I digress.
     John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River and when he saw Jesus approaching he said "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29)
     Man has a sin problem. The Apostle Paul proclaims that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) A few chapters later he teaches that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Now everyone has sinned and the penalty for those sins is death. What are we to do? I'm so glad you asked...if only in your mind!
     The Apostle Paul teaches us that God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin on our behalf so that we can become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) He also teaches us that while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the! (Roman 5:6-12) Jesus was our passover lamb.
     In the second chapter of the Book of Acts the Apostle Peter presents a sermon on the day of Pentecost. I commend that sermon to your reading. (Acts 2:14-39) The gist of Peter's sermon is that God planned from long ago to provide a way for man to become reconciled to God, in effect to deal with man's sin problem. Peter teaches that this way involved Christ dying on the cross at Calvary. Peter was asked by those who heard his sermon "What must we do to be saved?" Peter answered "Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." (Acts 2:37, 38)

     When Christ died on the cross of Calvary he provided a way for us to be freed from the enslavement to, and oppression of, sin. Like the people of Israel being freed from enslavement in Egypt we are now freed from enslavement to sin. 
     So Easter is so much more than chocolate bunnies, brightly colored eggs, and ham dinners. Easter is in effect the celebration and remembering of our independence day, our being freed from the power of sin.

     I urge all of you to seriously think about these matters. Please ask if you have any questions or if I may be of any help. Please come celebrate with us as we worship on Sunday at the Manchester church of Christ at 9:30 a.m.  HAPPY EASTER Everyone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner?  Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service?  Eating too much chocolate?
    Attend Worship Service at the usual time, come home and have a modest Ham dinner with SWMBO. No chocolate or dyeing eggs. Maybe some quality granddaughter time!

2.  What is something you feel too young to do?
     Grow up! I relish my carefree, juvenile-like attitude when it comes to many aspects of my life. I still see myself as a young man and not the middle aged retiree that I am. This has also shown itself to be a negative from time to time. It really is a two-edged sword. 

     3.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  

Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?

     Not keeping record of wrongs! I have trouble forgetting hurts and offenses. I can put them aside and forgive, but I have difficulty forgetting them.

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?

     I am not a flower child so I have no clue as to flowers! I do not associate flowers with my childhood!

5.  Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you? 
     I have not! I have sung in public before with an ad hoc musical group, but not karaoke. I can't see myself singing karaoke without copious amounts of liquid "courage" on board, if you know what I mean!...wink! wink!

6. What is something you keep in a basket?
     I have a basket with pens, highlighters and markers on my desk in my home office.

7.  When was the last time you felt foolish?

     There has been so many times that it's hard to pick just one. The last time I felt foolish won't be the last time. One time when I really felt foolish was when I backed out of the garage without first opening the garage door. I felt a bump and then I heard a loud crack. Fortunately the car was not damaged badly. Unfortunately the garage door had to be replaced. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

     Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of SWMBO's 29th birthday. SWMBO's 29th year was particularly pleasant for her so she opted to stay 29 forever...and who am I to argue? I am so blessed to be SWMBO's life partner. She has enriched and continues to enrich my life in so many ways, too numerous to count. I love so many things about her. I love her smile. I love  her devotion to me, the kids and the grand babies. I love her naivete. She possesses a child like joy of life that I so admire. She is my best friend and a better wife than I deserve. She is a terrific Mom and Grannie. She is kind, compassionate and you will find no better friend anywhere. So...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWMBO!

Friday, March 22, 2013


     NOTICE: Before I get into my blog post for today I wanted to point out a small change to this blog's title. You will now see that the title of this blog is "Life SPR." I changed the "W" in the title to an "R". The reason being is that I am no longer working (The "W") but am now retired, hence the change to the "R". Now on to today's posting.


     Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time or have perused my profile will no doubt know that I have a devout faith in the God of the Bible. I believe that God is who, AND what, the Bible clearly proclaims Him to be. However, there are time when God cannot get an even break.

     Whenever something really terrible happens that results in loss of life, particularly innocent life, like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School; the Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting; The Fort Hood shooting, etc; people are quick to hurl accusations against God, accusing Him of all manner of things or complaining that He is falling down on the job or that He simply does not care. They are in effect blaming Him for the incident as if He was the one who perpetrated these acts.

     At the risk of appearing to be arrogant, I propose to offer some information in God's defense. I assure you that God is perfectly capable of defending Himself and does not need anyone, particularly me, to defend Him. Furthermore, God most certainly HAS NOT specifically commissioned me to speak on His behalf. I do so of my own volition.

     When God created humans, He created them with free will. The Bible teaches us that God desires to have a loving relationship with all persons. God desires that we, by the free exercise of our free will, choose to respond to His infinite love for us by loving Him in return.
     God took a great risk when He endowed all of us with free will. He created the possibility that some of us would exercise our free will and respond favorably to His love and out of appreciation for that love, would become obedient to Him and conduct ourselves as He would like us to do. 
     The other possibility was that others would exercise their free will and completely reject Him and the love that He so freely offers and would conduct themselves as they saw fit, often contrary to how God would prefer that they do.

     Here's the question "If our will to act is truly free AND if every time we sought to exercise that will by doing something that was harmful to ourselves or others AND before we could consummate that act God stepped in and stopped us, is our will really free?
I respectfully submit that under these circumstances it is not.

     If you decide, for whatever reason, to go out and drink yourself into a stupor and then you decide to get behind the steering wheel of your car and you crash into another car killing an entire family, Who killed that family, you or God?
    If somebody else decides, for whatever reason, to get a rifle and a bunch of loaded magazines and walk into a shopping mall and then open fire, killing a large number of people, Who killed those people, that "somebody else" or God? 

     God does not take pleasure in the suffering of anyone, whether they be "good" or "bad." The reason why there is suffering in the world is a little three-letter word..."SIN." Sin came into the world when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and partake of the forbidden fruit. 
     Again, was it God who sinned or was it Adam and Eve who, through the exercise of their own free will, who sinned?
     God cannot commit evil! Evil runs completely contrary to God's nature. Holding God responsible for the actions of others, no matter how horrific those acts may be, is grossly unfair and unjust to God. 
     So I respectfully submit that the blame for these awful acts rests with those people who freely chose, by an act of their free will, to commit them.

     I strongly urge you to really get to know the God of the Bible. He is truly good! 
     You will spend eternity somewhere. Please choose to spend it with God and not eternally separated from Him. Please ask me if you want to know how you can make that choice. Come worship with us at the Manchester church of Christ this Sunday!

    God bless all of you!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


1. March 20th is the first day of she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world? 
     She is definitely a tantrum throwing lion! Six inches of snow and counting as I write this.
2. What's the most dreaded task on your spring clean to-do list?  Do you have a 'plan of attack'?
     Clean to do list? People really make such lists? That's too type-A for me. I clean up outside as the snow recedes and do such tasks as are necessary ot that SWMBO would like to have done.

3. 'em or hate 'em?  What's a favorite dish you make using peas?
     I love 'em. I don't have a favorite dish that calls for peas. 

4.  Do you feel under appreciated?
     Only in the far reaches of my feeble mind! However, Sometimes when I'm on the computer SWMBO will come up to me and as she bends over to give me a kiss she first turns her head and looks at the computer screen on her way down, essentially kissing me with her ear. That makes me feel a little under appreciated.

5. Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs? 

     I have no clue! I hope I can download the blog postings I have already composed and posted before GR goes belly up. I'm sure SWMBO and I will find someplace to go, just don't know where, yet!
6. Anne Bradstreet is credited with the following quote~

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 

Agree or Disagree?  Why?

     I agree! I think that it's axiomatic that you more fully appreciate a given condition when you exerience it's negative opposite. This is true regarding physical pain, weather, all manner of things.
7.  When did you last 'spring for something'?  What was it?

     Last sunday after church services SWMBO and I stopped in at the local Dunkin Donuts and I sprang for coffee.
8.  Insert your own random thought here?

     When our founding fathers envisioned the nation that they were trying to build they envisioned a system where most of the governing would be done closest to the people at the state level.  They envisioned a weak federal government and strong state government. I am astounded by how that paradigm has been flipped to where the federal government has usurped power that is really meant to be kept at the state level. God bless America!  

Monday, March 18, 2013


     I love my country! I believe that the United States has done wonderful things during it's history and that the world is a much better place because of the United State's existence. 
     I am constantly amazed and appreciative of the brilliance and wisdom exhibited by our founding fathers. I believe that the Declaration of Independence is one of the finest examples of human composition, ever! I believe that our Constitution is an ingeniously conceived idea for self governance. I respectfully disagree with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg when she urges those countries looking to develop their own national constitution to NOT look upon our Constitution as an example.
     Speaking parenthetically, I think that it is a sad day in America when a person who has taken an oath to " and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.." and whose job it is to interpret laws in accordance with that Constitution, publicly disparages that same Constitution. But I digress!

     Our founding fathers believed that our rights were endowed to us, not by governments made up of fallible men but rather by God Almighty Himself! They asserted that among these endowed rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
     Our founding fathers believed that people ought to be allowed to conduct their own affairs without interference from government. They believed and explicitly stated in the preamble to the Constitution that some of the purposes of the Constitution was to "...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,..." 

     Our founding fathers were strong supporters of the notion of individual liberty and freedom.

     "Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the mind of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God"       (Thomas Jefferson)

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."  (Patrick Henry)
"You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." (John Adams)
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! (Patrick Henry)
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty." (Thomas Jefferson) 
      When you look at these quotes from long ago in the context of our current bloated and over reaching government, you cannot help but come to realize that the government we have now is not what the Founding Fathers intended. 

     When you look at what our Founding Fathers said with respect to the right to bear arms in the context of today's discussions regarding proposed legislation to ban some firearms and magazines you will soon come to see that restricting gun ownership by American citizens was anathema to these same Founding Fathers.

     All of our elected officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Given the current state of affairs in Washington D.C., I am forced to ask how many of them have actually read the United States Constitution; and how many are actually, in truth, keeping their oath to support and defend that Constitution?

     As General John Stark said, and what is to this date the motto of the State of New Hampshire, "LIVE FREE OR DIE"!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


     Well, it's Wednesday! That means it's time for the Hodgepodge questions of the week. These questions are brought to us by Joyce, purveyor of the "This Side of the Pond" blog. She has a knack of coming up with provocative questions. Please take time to join in on the fun.

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?

     I generally don't play games of chance. I did once attend a training seminar that was held at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. I walked around on the gaming floor just to see the gaming tables and the slot machines. There were a lot of slot machines. As far as lottery tickets go, I will but a ticket from time to time as the mood strikes me.

2.  Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?

     No! SWMBO and I don't do the St. Patty's thing. My favorite way to have potatoes is mashed.

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over? 

     I don't recall ever being green with envy. I have thought to myself "That would be nice" when I saw something that someone else had, but I am okay with what I have. I really don't need anything! As long as I have God and SWMBO in my life I have everything!

4.  What's at the end of your rainbow?

     Heaven and eternal life!

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945).  Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time.  Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal?  Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?
     I don't keep a diary or journal.

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?
     A couple of our granddaughters' toys.

7.  Write a limerick with you as the subject.  You can do it!!  Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon. 
     I don't know how to write a limerick...thinking of one makes me a little sick...I must keep it clean...and not wax obscene...or Joyce will strike with her spoon stick!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

     The good news is that we all have eternal life. The bad news is that our bodies do not! We are not bodies that have a soul but rather we are all souls that have a body, a temporary body that is slowly wasting away daily. Our souls will live on forever, either with God in heaven or away from God, eternally separated from Him in a much less pleasant place. The choice is ours as to where we will spend that eternity.  The bad news is that many will choose separation from God and the less pleasant place. Think about it! Please choose wisely!

Monday, March 11, 2013


     So how was your weekend? I had a wonderful weekend with a couple of notable exceptions...(1) SWMBO was sick with a cold and (2) I could not access my blog account.
      I have been trying to publish at least two blog entries per week. Last week I fell short of that mark. I know! I know! Two postings per week is not setting the bar very high. However, for a goal to be worth anything it has to be measurable and two is clearly measurable. I am fairly confident that at the end of 2013 I will have achieved that goal, on average.

     Last night I tried composing a blog post for this morning but the blogosphere gremlins prevented the server from loading my blog account and I couldn't compose, edit, post or do anything on my blog account. So far this afternoon, the gremlins have been behaving themselves.

     So here is my weekend report. Friday, my beloved SWMBO came home feeling sick with a cold that she thinks was passed on by some coworkers. So she spent the weekend on the couch in her pajama's being spoiled by yours truly, Becke, the Wonder Dog, and August Rush, the Whirling Dervish. 

      Friday night's supper consisted of take-out from Boston Market. We had a couple of roasted chicken dinners with sweet potatoes and steamed veggies. I had BBQ and SWMBO had regular. SWMBO was glad I brought home supper.

      On Saturday morning I had a regularly scheduled Elders meeting at the church with one of our preachers. The meeting lasted two or three hours. It is really good to meet and discuss the affairs of the church. We are blessed to have two fine men who have dedicated their lives to ministry. It is uplifting to see their dedication and to be able to discuss issues in a non-confrontational, mutually supporting environment. 
     After the Elders meeting I returned to Boston Market to take advantage of a BOGO (Buy One Get One) coupon that I had. I picked up a couple of Mediterranean Chicken Salads for SWMBO and me. She was still a little under the weather and appreciated the gesture.
     SWMBO needed to go shopping for an upcoming bridal shower. So off to the store we go. We were out for about an hour. We were successful in our quest for a suitable gift. SWMBO was wiped out. Apparently, she wasn't completely over her cold. So back to the PJ's and the couch.

     Sunday morning was special because we have a group of Harding University students up from Arkansas for the week. They conducted the worship service for us and did a great job! The singing was absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I wished that SWMBO could have been there with me. She would have loved it, but alas she was still on the couch convalescing from what ailed her.

     Later Sunday afternoon we had a pot luck supper before our evening worship service. As usual there was lots of wonderfully prepared foods. It was difficult sticking to my new eating regimen, especially when I saw the four Pecan Pies...but I managed to do so! Pecan Pie with a dollop of whipped cream is my absolute favorite dessert! Sometimes life just rises up and kicks you dead in the face! Waaaaahh!
     After services I went to visit a friend who is recovering from a painful shoulder surgery that she had on Thursday. Upon reflection, it probably was not helpful of me to walk into the house and immediately raise my hand and offer her a "high five!" 

     All weekend the weather was wonderful and we were reasonably productive with the possible exception of the gremlin invasion. Hope your weekend was wonderful, too! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


     This is my second Hodgepodge in as many weeks! Some of these questions are quite thought provoking. I am purposely answering these questions without first looking at SWMBO's answers. I did not want to be influenced by her wisdom. 
1. My real life friends came through with another question this week so thank you real life friends. When you've eaten in a restaurant do you complete their comment card? Do you take online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts? 
     Sometimes yes, sometimes no! If the server and service were exceptional then yes. If the service or server were substandard or poor I do not. Everyone has an off day now and then and I choose not to compound it by complaining. Life is too short! I generally do not complete online surveys.

2. The (US) ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January. It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but its been reported over 200,000 front line positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts?
      Generally, I'm opposed to the idea. I strongly believe that it is a really bad idea. Men and women are significantly physically different and significantly emotionally different. The Israelis assigned women to combat years ago and have since backed off from that policy. Their experience can be instructional if we choose to learn from it.
     Having said that, if women are going to fill combat roles than they MUST meet the same standards, physical and otherwise, as anyone else. Not "gender normed" standards, but the same standards.

3.  In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite post title
            "One Man's Life...A Personal Reflection!" This was written to celebrate the life of a friend and church Elder who passed away from cancer. His name is Duane Coss and he enriched the lives of everyone who were privileged to know him. He was a man of impeccable character. I respected him! I trusted him implicitly! I loved him him as a friend. Judging from those who spoke at his memorial service, I am not alone in my opinion!

4. What's worse-overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you're a parent where do you fall? 
     Overly permissive is worse in my humble opinion. Boundaries are necessary to raise healthy, well adjusted children to adulthood. It is easier for protective parents to ease up on being protective when their kids show themselves to be trustworthy and responsible. However, it is more difficult for permissive parents to become more restrictive and controlling when, not if, the kids get into mischief.

5.  Candlelight-moonlight-firelight-bright lights in the big city...which one's your favorite? 
          A campfire out in the country is my favorite! Moonlight on a cloudless night is good, too!

6. Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important role in your growing up years? Explain. 
     I loved to read as a young boy. I loved the Hardy Boys mysteries. I also enjoyed reading historical fiction.

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss...
"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." 
from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Share something funny you've recently read, seen or heard.  
       There are certain anecdotes that always make me laugh. Here's an example...A fish was swimming along and hit a wall. He said "DAM!"

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     A recent news story reported that an elderly resident in a retirement home collapsed. A nurse from the facility called "911." The 911 Operator  asked the nurse to perform CPR. The nurse said that it was against the retirement homes policy for staff to administer CPR. The nurse made it clear, despite the pleading of the 911 Operator, that she was not going to perform CPR.
     When a medical professional refuses to try and save a life and idly stands by while that life ebbs away AND this behavior is acceptable, we are in big trouble as a society! We are in big trouble as human beings! Remember being taught that human life was priceless? Well, apparently it is not! What a shame!

     Thanks, Joyce, for another excellent set of thought provoking questions!

Friday, March 1, 2013


     Have you been watching the news and keeping track of the kabuki theater that is Washington D.C. ? You would think that the end of the world as we know it is forthcoming. I don't believe that for a minute. Fool me once...shame on you! Fool me twice...shame on me! 

     Remember the Y2K crises? We're still here and our computers still work! Remember the Mayan Apocalypse? We're still here! Remember all the drama over the "Fiscal Cliff?" We're still here! Time and time again our elected officials predict all manner of dire consequences will ensue if a particular action is not taken. More often than not, the predictions are       W R O N G ! ! ! 

     The whole idea for the so called "Sequestration" came from the Obama administration. It was never intended to go into effect. Also, increasing revenues, AKA taxes, was never part of the agreement that created the forced spending cuts that is "Sequestration."
     Another interesting fact is that the $85 billion dollars in projected spending cuts are not spending cuts at all. They reflect a reduction in the rate of increase in projected spending.
     The fact is that the federal government is scheduled to spend more this year than last year; more next year than this year; and still more the following year. 

     Suppose you were projected to receive a raise of $1,000 dollars but instead only received a raise of $900 dollars. Were you, in fact, given a raise or was your pay cut by 10 percent? In the real world, where most of us live, you were given a $900 dollar raise. However, only in Washington D.C. is that called a pay cut. 
     This happens every year in Washington. If the government proposes to increase spending by 10 percent but only increases spending by 8 percent, our politicians consider that a 2 percent cut in spending. IT'S LUNACY!

     Also, does anyone really believe that our government is averse to spending money that it does not have. If you do then please explain to me how our government spent more than a trillion dollars last year than it brought in?  Explain to me how our national debt is at more than $16 trillion dollars. 

     If Sequestration is fully implemented the government will NOT crash and burn. The government will still be in business! All of us have had to reduce our spending due to an increased tax bite that was not supposed to hit the middle class but, surprise, did! It's way past time that our government has to set priorities, stop wasting our money and finally act like an adult!

     What do you think?