Arrogance

While I am not a Muslim, I know that they believe there is one god and that god created everything and everyone. Yet there are tens of thousands of “Muslims” who, through their actions, are stating that they believe they are wiser than Allah. They have appointed themselves to destroy all of the people that Allah created but who they deem are not good enough to exist.   So here are these people bowing down to the ground multiple times every day in humble prayer to a god that they consider so stupid that the people he created must fix his millions of errors.

Their arrogance is as astonishing as their violence!

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The Best Christmas Present

Every Christmas many people scramble to pick out the perfect gift for their loved ones and others (or not) and, in spite of all their efforts, many presents end up in the trash soon after Christmas.  I am an especially hard person to buy for because I have pretty much everything I want.  I am not wealthy but I do have enough retirement income that I can live a comfortable life and I am a firm believer in simple living so picking out a useful present for me can be very hard.

This Christmas though, my granddaughter Jenny bought a pile of basic living supplies (warm socks, soap, shampoo, etc.) and put them in plastic bags with a paper saying:

“Here’s a Blessing Bag For You”

“You may be down on your luck right now, but let this little bag remind you that you are worth so much.  That there are people who care about you.  That there is always hope.  That you are beautiful. And that Jesus can always sustain you.  I will be praying for you!  Have a lovely day.”

So I received a gift of a wonderful, blessed granddaughter and a gift of joy that I get when I give the bag to someone who needs it.  It couldn’t be better!

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A Winter Muse

Thank You Lord for the birds at my bird feeder this morning. Thank You for the bright flashes of red as the cardinals dash in and out. Thank You for the pecking and scratching of the juncos feeding like tiny gray chickens. Thank You for the crazy sideways and upside down woodpeckers attacking the suet. Thank you for the chickadees and the nuthatches, the gold finches and blue jays. Thank you Lord for giving us such abundance of life.

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Amazing Discovery!

Our scientists are working hard to learn how the world works.  However, sometimes they need to have a little direction.  A news story from Reuters reported that a team of 100 scientists have mapped the entire genome of the centipede!  What an amazing and valuable discovery!  Did you know that they have many legs and no eyes? Oh, I guess you could tell that without mapping the genome.

I wonder if any of those 100 scientists ever thought that it might be a better use of their time to map the genome of the ebola virus so a cure could be found.  I guess a few thousand African lives are not important enough to deter them from their amazing centipede discoveries.

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Suicide

I have always felt that suicide was a very bad thing but I could not clearly express why I felt that way.  I have been reading “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton and I found exactly the words I had been seeking.  Let me quote Mr. Chesterton.

“The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not: that is his crime.  He cannot be bribed even by the blazing stones of the celestial city.  The thief complements the things he steals, if not the owner of them.  But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it.   He defiles every flower for refusing to live for its sake.  There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer.  When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury; for each has received a personal affront.”

He goes on to compare the suicide with the martyr; both lose their life based on their own actions but one is seen as a hero and the other as a sinner.

“Obviously, a suicide is the opposite of a martyr.   A martyr is a man who cares so much about something outside him, that he forgets his own personal life.  A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything.  One wants something to begin, the other wants everything to end. … he is a mere destroyer; spiritually he destroys the universe.”

In the words that I am now better able to form, suicide is an intense focus on oneself and a complete disregard of the rest of creation.  Their own troubles become more important than every good thing in existence.  Clearly there is no humility in persons who kill themselves.

This is not to condemn suicides as sinners who are doomed to hell.  Rather, suicide is a sad, even pathetic, exit from a life that was grossly deformed and twisted from everything good.  Only God can judge the ultimate destination of people, but the death of a suicide is an offensive event for all of humanity.

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Very Best in the Whole World?

I just received an email promoting an ebook awards program.  Great, I thought; now I can promote my books and increase my sales.

Then I read the first line of the message – “The fifth annual eLit eBook Awards are a global awards program committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing entertainment.”   An author needs a pretty big ego to even try for an award like that.  I think my books are good, but very best in the world? – probably not.

Then I read the end of the email – “Save $10 – now just $70 per title”.  So I not only need to think I am the very best in the whole world, I have to bet $70 that I am.  Maybe I’ll settle for pretty good and take Judy out for a nice dinner with the $70.

 

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Emmaus retreat

I have been preparing to launch the Emmaus retreat program at All Saints (my church) for two years.  Finally it is starting!  Tomorrow we leave for our first retreat with nine retreatants signed up.

These last few weeks have been the most stressful times I can remember.  I am certain that the devil  himself was trying to make us fail.   Unlikely technical problems developed like my email software started randomly dropping parts of outgoing messages.  Then Word started to hang and I had to restart the computer to get it working again.

Many non-technical problems started popping up.  Dozens of men said they would go as soon as we were able to get started.  But we began signing up people and we had only three registered just two weeks before the start of the retreat.  We would cancel the retreat if we didn’t have at least six.

Then, three weeks before the start date, one of the team members had an emergency and would not be able to participate.  I had to find a replacement in one day in order to get him introduced to the retreat team.

Then the co-leader’s father died and he had to leave the state just two weeks before the retreat.  He would be back in time for the retreat but he would not be around for the final preparations.

And then, a priest who was signed up to assist at the retreat called and said he couldn’t make it – six days before the retreat.

But the Holy Spirit was with us.  I had an old computer in the house and switched to that one – slow but everything worked.  Six additional retreatants signed up in the last two weeks before the retreat.  A replacement team member volunteered and was immediately integrated into the team.  A priest was found who just happened to have an open time slot and he agreed to fill in for us.

So tomorrow we leave with all of the known problems resolved.  Sunday evening I will finally be able to relax after a successful and joy filled retreat.

 

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I need to get busy on my new #novel

My fourth novel, a sequel to “The Plagues”, has been languishing for many months but a recent discovery I read about forces me to get busy on completing it.

The new novel explains a lot about the “Baal”, the alien beings seen in The Plagues.  In the new novel they are seen interacting with primitive people living in an area that is now at the bottom of the Persian Gulf.  The aliens first arrived there about 12,000 B.C.  With the help of the aliens, the primitive people advance very rapidly.  Wild hunter-gatherers develop cities and governments and what we call civilization flashes into being.

Now, in real life, archeologists have discovered the remains of cities from about 8000 B.C on the edge of the Persian Gulf.  They speculate that they were built by an advanced  civilization that lived where the gulf is today.  As the last ice age ended, sea levels rose and filled the gulf to its present state forcing the people to rebuild on higher ground where the discovery was made.

So, I need to finish the fictional story before it turns into non fiction.

 

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#Help!

Help!  Help!

The screams are heard across the state.  We have been attacked by sinister aliens who are destroying us by burying us in frigid cold white stuff.

Our media has already been taken over by the alien force.  They are claiming this is just “snow”.  The same stuff we see every winter.   But I know the truth.  The aliens have been practicing their vicious attacks each year and now they have perfected them.  They will not stop now until every human is frozen and buried in this white poison.

But Hah!  I also know how to protect myself.  I have two cases of wine in the house.  I will never freeze.   More antifreeze!  I need to beef up my defense before I go out there, mount my trusty steed and attack them.

Back already.  The bicycle got stuck in the snow and my matches wouldn’t light.  Oh well, more wine!

 

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Colonoscopy – Hah!

Many people have been telling me that I should get a colonoscopy.  They tell me it’s very important at my age and that I’m being foolish for not getting one.  They point out that my insurance will cover the cost.  They tell me that the anesthetics that are used make the procedure completely painless.

Ok, I agree to all of that, but why do I want someone to ram something up my butt even if it’s free and painless?  I could just as well watch the paint dry on a wall – it’s free and painless.  Or I could count the leaves on trees in my yard – again it’s free and painless.

Oh, but if I did that I would miss the joy of drinking gallons of stuff resembling fermented cow urine, that will give me explosive diarrhea.  Gosh, doesn’t everyone really like to get out of bed ten times to make a desperate run for the toilet.  Watching the paint dry is beginning to sound pretty good to me.

But, they say, “This could save your life!  It’s not just watching paint dry.”

Well, what WILL it do for me?    If I go through with this free, painless and pleasant experience I will get one of three results.

First possibility – nothing is found.  Hooray!  I just went through a night of diarrhea and lost half a day for nothing.

“But”, they say, “You will have peace of mind knowing that your butt is in great shape,”

I already have peace of mind and, since I’m not a model, I don’t care about the shape of my butt.  Oh, that’s not the shape you meant?  Oh well, I have peace of mind anyway.

Second possibility – they find early stage colon cancer.  Hooray!  I just qualified for surgery.  When the surgery is finished I recover, I spend several months basking in the pleasure of chemotherapy and radiation therapy that will just about kill me, literally.  Then I get to worry for the rest of my life that it will return and I’ll have to do it again.  Of course, I’ll have to have more of those wonderful colonoscopies on a regular basis.

With all of that done, I could live another five or six years until I die from a stroke or heart attack or other age related illness.  But if I had done nothing, I would have died in five or six years of stroke, or heart attack or other age related disease or from the colon cancer that I didn’t know about.  Again, watching the paint dry looks like a good option to me.

Third possibility – They find cancer and it is far advanced.  But as of now, I have no symptoms, so it wasn’t going to kill me today or tomorrow or in a week or even a month.   Hooray, I go into immediate surgery.  The doc takes out most of my colon and anything else he finds that might be suspicious.  With no colon, I now get my own personal colostomy bag.  I get to spend the rest of my life with a bag of crap hanging out of my belly.  Oh yes, the rest of my life will now be maybe a year, two years absolute tops.  And I will be enjoying the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy during much of that time.

But, if I had not done that first colonoscopy, I would have known nothing about the cancer for another week or month or maybe six months.  I would have enjoyed my life with my family and friends.  Then I would have become very sick and passed away in one or two or three months.

Watching the paint dry still looks like the best option to me. So, all of the advice givers can go get their butts reamed out while I have a glass of wine and watch the paint dry.

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