Sunday, March 22, 2020

Encouragement and rebuke

I wrote this one five years ago.  Like a dog worrying a bone I like to gnaw on my binky from time to time. You are welcome.

Who Penned Hebrews?Image result for bible

My friend Louie and I had a conversation via the internet this past week, as we do from time to time..

The part of the discussion which is germane to this Sunday morning post was a statement I made to him that when I sought encouragement or believed I was undergoing chastening I turn to the twelfth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (Emphases added.)
 What greater encouragement might we hope for than to look to the example of our Christ who laid down His very life for our sins!  The chapter continues
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
While I may endure chastening, I am a son of God!

End lesson.

Now Louie and I know that we both agree on the essentials of the Scriptures, but we also know that we disagree on a couple of points that are not critical to salvation.  To wit, and in this instance, Louie is a firm believer that Paul was the writer of The Hebrews.  I am just as firmly convinced that Paul did not write the book.

He wrote back to me, "I Love  Hebrews. Dave, I cannot  believe how these nut cases  cannot see that Paul is the writer.  That is if they read his other books,  Also He knew more about The Hebrew  law than any other  person that was in The Church of God that The Lord Jesus started. Blessings on you this weekend!"

To which I replied (remember, we each knew the position of the other before this conversation):   "Thank you for your (repeated) position on the authorship.   May the blessings of the Lord be yours, and may there be peace between you and
Your Fellow Nutcase in Christ. 
(Who can’t see how you can read the Letters and still believe Paul penned Hebrews. Oh, well.  We both believe God is the Author of His Word, the Author and Finisher of our faith.)"
Quickly, my case, in a nutshell, if you are interested.
In my opinion, Paul could not have written:
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;" (KJV  Heb 2:3)

for Paul was certainly one of “them that heard him.”  Acts 9 
"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
To me, this is the most compelling reason to believe Paul was not the writer.  There are others, e.g., the missing “salutation” which we see in Paul’s letters.
Romans 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle
I Cor 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ
Ii Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
I Thess 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus
II Thess 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus
I Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
II Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
Titus 1:1  Paul, a servant of God
Philemon 1:1  Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ
Compare these with
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets
Yet Louie may have as good a chance of being right as I have.  But you have probably perceived that I doubt that is the case.

Image result for bible

Saturday, March 21, 2020

My Only Post on Covid-19, I hope

The question is posed: Why don't I write  about our current situation vis a vis the pandemic?
Two things.
1.  I am an entertainer, not a news reporter.  I write for my own amusement, and for yours if you find the writing amusing.
2. Everyone is writing about it, especially those whose information grew on the grapevine and the substance of which is not verifiable.  But now I am straying.  Briefly, too much unsubstantiated information is being disseminated.

Whatever I may contribute I hope that it is positive and encourages people, or at minimum gives them a chuckle during tough times.

Old, old story, not original with me, but funny:
Man met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
"What's your name, and where you from?" he asked.
"_____ _____ from ____________."  {insert name and place}
Peter opens his books, finds the page.  Reading.  "Hmmm."  Reads.  "Whoa!"  a bit further, "I'm sorry; we can't let you in here.  You'll have to go to the other place."

"Oh, well," he said. "That'll be some improvement."

Monday, February 10, 2020

Charge! In Charge

Team infiltrated into the territory of Mortal Enemy. Separately, of course. One here, another there, another and another elsewhere. As the number of members on Team increases the danger of being captured increases exponentially. That is, an ideal Team consists of One agent, but this mission required no less than Two since One cannot be in two places at once and synchronicity of action in two sites was imperative. The risk is quadrupled. But to facilitate coordination and to insure accurate feedback Control thought it prudent to send the third agent. And for a reason totally inexplicable Contol added a fourth agent, thus increasing the likelihood of capture sixteen-fold.

No member of team was happy with the decision, yet all members acquiesced in silence. One does not question Control.  It is called “Control” for a reason. And the team was captured. And incarcerated. Team members languished in prison, plotting escape, of course. Telepathically. Because no two members of Team were held together and not one of them knew the fate of the others.

Until at sunrise one cold February morning when they stood together, hands bound, facing the firing squad. Mortal Enemy gleefully announced the execution, or rather, that is, The Great Victory over the nefarious invader, the hatred for whom is forever fixed in the hearts and minds of all denizens of Mortal Enemy.

Control was terrified and scuttled like cockroaches when the light is flipped on, justifiably seeking cover, for the vengeful character of Charge! was well-known. Charge! viewed all things, and particularly all people through the lens of self-interest. To reject an appointment, or an “offer of service to the people” is to earn the undying disdain of Charge! He will forever castigate and berate the offender. To accept the service is to insure that the will of Charge! is carried out, that is until the servant questions him as a matter of conscience or crosses him inadvertently due to a communications glitch. Charge! in the words of David P. Torbet, “practices a scorched worth policy-- burns his friends to find his enemies.” He despises losers. And a loser is anyone who disagrees with him.

Though Charge! is firmly supported by his base, he is not without opposition. The Disloyal Opposition, Discharge! mans the ramparts with her cadre of minions and consistently plays the role of Flea on the Behind of Charge!’s administration. Charge! stands at the peak of the pyramid of like-minded followers. Discharge continues the never-ending assault to the unfortunate end that the very fabric of society is snagged. Then ripped. Then torn to shreds and the country descends, nay, plummets into Chaos.

And thus is no more.  Mortal Enemy finally achieves its goal of complete domination, and without firing a shot. Except for the shots of the aforementioned firing squad.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dad’s Model-T and Other Stuff

My father often sat at his little Royal portable typewriter and pecked out short stories, memories from an earlier day, or lines of verse to describe a recent life event, often stream-of-consciousness revelations of the way his mind worked, Sometimes. 

I am blessed in that I fell heir to a number of his papers and these random tidbits appear here and there throughout. This snippet covers about two-thirds sheet of standard typing paper, single spaced, elite type. There are about a dozen minor corrections in his hand, blue ink.

My business life venture had to include a Model T Ford automobile. Not much to look at, but I was interested in its possibilities as a race car. It had been remodeled with about anything that would fit wherever, after it was twisted, bent, and bound together with a bit of baling wire, if necessary, and it was generally necessary in those days to have a spool of that kind of mending material for emergencies experienced along the road when far from help of any kind. I do believe that the Ford was brought into existence by Henry Ford as a powerful stimulant to the creative powers of the lower middle class people who were unable to pay for road service when caught far from home. The directions to successful traveling included an odd type of jack & handle, and a small patching kit with which to mend an inner tube. Of course the handle could be used for other purposes after patching inner tubes on hot days. Distance travelers often patched as many as ten or twelve tires in a day. Oh, yes, I almost forgot, a pump of sorts that could be used for inflating the tire. After all that perspiration loss and energy waste the handle could be used to beat the devil out of the car itself, or at least that was the thought. I saw a deep dent lengthwise on a car’s front fender. The driver’s wife explained when the driver was too embarrassed to do so. She said, “It wouldn’t run, so Lester gave it a beating.” Because those were depression days in the 30s, that old car wore its scars with pride for many years. One fender was patched up with a ball peen hammer, pushed back into an acceptable position, and wore this sign: “It’s quilted.”

Temper tantrums were observed by some as noted, but how times have changed. Too many times the driver with auto trouble takes a swig out of a bottle, does a little exercise with blasphemous words then beats the devil out of his wife, scares the little kids nearly to death, then leaves them all until his guilty soul lets him crawl back to his family without an apology. Happy change when the two-footed demon is safely incarcerated. I do think that all society owes itself an apology for the nice places they have for these fellows to sober up in (drunk or just ungoverned tempers).

Part of my business life with my running away from our home of ten children.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Voter ID

Did you ever hold a strong opinion on an issue then after a long time with little thought on the subject you suddenly had an epiphany that forced a complete about-face?

Case in point, and this really happened to me.Yesterday. I have long been a supporter of the concept that a valid ID document should be required at the polls. Then it hit me: This is probably a violation of the 24th Amendment!  Unless there is a provision which allows one to obtain a real ID at no cost, the requirement to show one at the polling place is essentially a poll tax, and that, my Friends, is unconstitutional.

Sure, this is not a problem for most of us. We have valid drivers licenses, passports, and so on, any of which will work fine. But what of the people, and they are legion, who do not drive, who do not travel? Not a problem, you might say. Anyone of legal age can go to a DMV or BMV as the case may be, and with proper documentation may obtain a real ID. For a FEE. Granted, several states, including my own, have made provisions to waive the fee in certain circumstances. So under the "no harm, no foul" concept there is no problem. But maybe there is. What of the expense and hassle of appearing at the BMV branch office?  Not to mention that MANY states have no such fee waiver.

Thus it is that I sit stewing over a problem that two days ago I didn't know I had.

Where does your state stand? Where do you stand?


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Young,The Elderly

Tuesday, senior night at the local eatery. Four of us at our table, same four who meet here virtually every Tuesday. Okay, there are many others who do this, too.  Next to us is a large table, young family of six, Mom, Dad, eldest child a boy of eight years, twins a boy and a girl about five, and a lad of say three years. It has been a pleasant meal, well-behaved children and so were their parents.

The family finishes their repast and prepare to leave. The eldest child shrugs into his coat and goes on ahead to the pie cooler next to the cash register. Dad follows with tab in hand. The tyke has kicked off his boots and while Mom is struggling to hold on to the child as she installs a boot, Sis crawls under the table to retrieve the other boot. Meanwhile the Boy Unit of the twin pair has put on his jacket and is standing in the aisle near our table. He seems fascinated with something as he intently looks at the four of us. I am seated in position to make direct eye contact with the Boy and as our eyes met I said, What?

You all have white hair! he exclaimed in apparent amazement.

It's okay, I quipped. You'll get there some day, too.

BBBH turned to the mother and said, It's Tuesday. It's a wonder everybody doesn't have white hair.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Talking to Myself

I stepped in front of the mirror, opened my eyes wider, for I was surprised to see within the glass my fourteen-year old self.   My immediate thought was,This is great!  I can tell him what he needs to know; give him the benefit of my experience, tell him what he needs to avoid. His eyes widened and a look of horror spread across his visage.

Fourteen-year old Self disappeared from my view and there looking back at me was, as I had expected, my eighty-five-year old Self. I hear footsteps receding down the hall, accompanied by a high-pitched scream of terror. They never listen, fourteen-year old Boys. And I might have saved him from himself.

Now wait just a dog-boned minute, Old Timer. Didn't your parents make a sincere effort to give you the benefit of their experiences when you were your fourteen-year old Self? And did you listen? No, you went right ahead on, headstrong and full of yourself and made your own mistakes.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pot and Kettle

 "A blog is a sort of public diary where someone wrote down random thoughts, then other people for some odd reason enjoy reading them.  Who the hell reads this nonsense?"  So asked the author of a novel I just read.

Okay.  He is a published writer, a much published author;  you know the type:  five-foot shelf of books with his name on the spines, NYT best-seller list again and again.  Certainly entitles him to denigrate my scribbling.  Well, not exactly.  He has a right to express his opinion whether or not it is denigrating, whether or not he is an accomplished writer.

And thus it is that I ask, "Who the hell reads his drivel?"  Obviously I do, or have done, anyway.
Thus it is that I am going to spill what I think.  Some of these much-published authors very likely once wrote a book that received glowing critical acclaim, was touted to the skies by the press and the literati.  The book then sold well enough to hit the best-seller list.  His next effort may well have been trash, he having burned himself out in one blaze of glory.  But the publisher needs the money.  So they contract a host of ghost writers to churn out stuff on which they can stick his name and ballyhoo endlessly.  Money!  For the use of his name the "author" gets to sit on the beach in Paradise drinking daquiris whilst the spondoolicks roll in.

At least that is what I think. 

(Based on zero evidence, as you might suspect,  Isn't that the way the world works?)