Sunday, June 26, 2016

Be Still and Listen

The Master of the Universe is the Master of the Rhetorical Question.  To which of these would you think the Lord was expecting an answer?  When the Lord speaks to you in this manner and you do not listen you have a serious problem.  Is that what you want?  Don't answer that!

23 Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord,
“And not a God afar off?

24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.
29 Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?"

--Jeremiah 23

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Conversations with Random People-- Seventeen

BBBH and I boarded the Golden Elevator in the major urban hospital.  We were headed out after a grueling four hours of consultations. A large African-American gentleman stepped in behind us.  He was a tiny bit shorter than I, but of much more robust build.  He was not fat.

BBBH greeted him (there are no strangers in her world) and he responded with a smile.  I was immediately compelled to say, "What a pleasant voice you have; very much in the style of James Earl Jones."

He chuckled and said, "Thank you."

BBBH then asked, "Do you sing?"

"Yes, actually I do.  I sing in a male chorus."

"Wow!  Where do you perform?"

"Various venues around the city.  Mostly in churches."

The door opened on our floor and we all got out of the car.  Then standing in the middle of the hallway the conversation continued with BBBH asking, "Where do you attend church?"

"Calvary Tabernacle at [such and such locale]."

"Are you full-gospel?"

"Indeed I am."

"So am I.  David is Wesleyan."

"Labels don't matter so long as you know Jesus and are serving Him," the Man remarked.

BBBH extended her hand and stated her name.  They shook hands and I extended my hand and stated my name.

As he shook my hand he said, "I am Deacon Hoskins."

The "nice talking with you" and the formalities of departure, and we went our separate ways.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wind. Again

Last night I listened to the forecast: Storm to begin about one a.m.  Severe winds up to eighty miles per hour; much rain, possible hail up to two inches in diameter. tornado watch.

I prayed the Lord would protect the sixty million people who might be under this threat.

I snapped off the tv and went to sleep.  At one o'clock I heard the rain battering the house; BBBH came up and told me to come downstairs.  The next-door-neighbor was going up the street knocking on doors to warn people of "possible 100 mile per hour winds."

To please the Lady I came downstairs, cleaned the oil lamp and trimmed the wick, went to bed.  Sleep?  I think not.  Wind?  Yes, indeed, but nowhere near eighty mph.  Rain?  Bucketsful.

Morning assessment:  No damage on our premises and sixty mile winds gave us lots of rubble a year ago.  However, it was reported that ten miles to the west of us there were winds near 100.

Man, am I tired and sleepy.

A bit over two years ago I posted the following story under the title "Wind."

Wide awake, body desperate for sleep.  The mind kicks into gear.  These words of Jesus impinge themselves upon my consciousness:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: John 3:8a (KJV)

And finally sometime before dawn I slept a bit.  Yet I will have a long morning, nodding and groggy, for I was short-changed of sleep.

The scripture quoted here is wrested and wrenched from context, such doings being the sport of many Christians who are too concerned with finding a tidbit in the Bible that seems to support what they want to believe.  But that is another chipmunk running across the trail.  The big game to be pursued here is this.  The third chapter of John recounts the incident in which Nicodemus sought Jesus out by night and asserted that he knew that Jesus was from God.

Jesus outlines precisely what one must do to enter the Kingdom, stating that one must be born not only of flesh, but he must be born again, in the Spirit.

The entire message of salvation is delineated in this chapter.

WOOO.  WOO.  Weee.  The wind still blows. And the truth of Christ's teaching still endures, and shall endure aeons after this wind ceases.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Respect and Love




"All my kids are too smart for their own good.  Sometimes I wish they would dummy up."

I heard that and I knew what she meant.  It does not mean she wants them to quit talking to her; she simply wishes they would quit talking long enough for her to express her feelings or thoughts on the subject.  But, "No-o-o; they know everything."

 I have heard the old saw, "When they are young your children walk on your feet.  When they are older they walk on your heart."

I don't believe for the most part that they intend to walk on your heart.  It is simply a case of being too smart for their own good.  And thoughtless.

May all your familial relationships be bright and fulfilling.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Emancipation Day


Today, June 19, is the holiday, Juneteenth. This celebrates the abolition of slavery in Texas, and in Texas it is a legal holiday. Thirty other states recognize the holiday, although they do not require closing of state offices as Texas does.
On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read in part, "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor."  (Texas Handbook on Line)
Juneteenth is a day of jubilation. How about a good old- fashioned picnic in the park? A few fireworks and a band would be in order, too!

Friday, June 17, 2016

What is your future?

"For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them." 
 Ecclesiastes. 9:12 (NKJV)

No man forsees the future, yet men have since ages past consulted with seers, mediums, necromancers if you will; with Ouija boards, with sacrifices to idols, indeed with sacrifice of money and good sense, have sought to see the future, to look into the package not yet opened.

Silly, silly man.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Smile

A couple of days ago I was on about my aversion to "take it to the next level."  Last night I was reading the newspaper and came across another cliche that sets my teeth on edge.  This one is heard on a daily basis on tv newscasts, *growl* but now it has crept into the print media.  Is there no hope for us?

The offensive line? 

"We reached out to . . . "  Of course we left a message but the source we wished to contact did not return our call.  Smart source, unless someone wants to be misquoted in the press.

Here's an idea, Ms. Reader, or Mr. Reporter as the case may be.  Why don't you "reach out," grasp your throat firmly with your hand and throttle yourself?

Rant over.

have you smiled today?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day


Whether it is historical fact or instructive fable the tale of Betsy Ross and the first American flag is a gem in the repertoire of stories of a new-born nation.;

Old Glory!  Long may she wave.




Betsy Ross presenting the first American flag to General Washington.  Painting by Edward Percy Moran.

By the way, in this era of sensitivity and warped thinking, here is a message for those who may be "offended" by the display or parading of the American flag.  "Go away.  Go far, far away."