Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blessings

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US of A.  Now, everyday should be a day of thanksgiving, for scripture tells us,

" In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Yet it is meet and right that we have set aside a specific Day of Thanksgiving, for it is a reminder to us that we should live with an attitude of thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May all your days be richly blessed!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ten Commandments

for the 21st century.



I am Football, which brought you out of servitude to family, community, and good sense.
Thou shalt have no other entertainments before me.
Thou shalt not respect stadia to other sports, nor honor them, nor patronize their venues, for I am a jealous sport.
Thou shalt not take the name of Football in vain, nor show contempt nor disrespect, for the scoffer and scorner shall not be held blameless..
Remember Sunday  to keep it sporty.  Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: and rest up from Monday and Thursday nights, which thou shalt also spend with me.
But  Sunday is Football’s day.  Thou and all thy kinfolk, thy pets, and the visitors amongst thee, shall do nothing that honoreth not nor respecteth not football.
Honor those who honor me, and only those who honor me.
Thou shalt not kill, yet those who scoff at me, eject thou from thy presence.
Thou shalt not be unfaithful to me, nor allow any other entertainment to cross thy threshold.
Thou shalt not steal time from me, except thou mayst refill thy plate and thy stein during commercial breaks.
Thou shalt not bear false witness, nay, even though the call may be in error.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s sixty-five inch screen, nor his wife who cheers his team with him, nor his pets, which verily wear his team’s colors.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Love of God

When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God. 
--Leviticus 19:33-34 (The Message)

God's chosen people were given many directives relating to their mode of living. To fail in the observance of these rules was to sin, and atonement was required.

It was made clear to the People that those who were aliens and chose to dwell among them were to be treated with respect, and with the same consideration one would give to his own, to abide with them in love, in fact.

But this is Old Testament law, by which we are not bound.  Really?  Jesus said, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17 KJV) And then He reiterated the law of love, stating that the two greatest commandments were to love God, and to love your neighbor.  Then he upped the ante when He said, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44 KJV)

Thus I am asking myself this morning, Mister, are you living the love that Christ showed to you, and demands from you?

Probably to shut off the news channels and open the Bible would be of great benefit to most of us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Disaster for Small Town Shoppers

 Photo: All ALCO Stores Going Out Of Business: Liquidation Sales Start Today!  

In a stunning surprise move, Alco announced today that they are closing their stores.  In our community, the announcement came by way of placard men standing on street corners.  I think it safe to say that virtually no one expected this.

Big deal, you who live in urban areas might be thinking, you who have such a plethora of shopping venues that it is hard for you to pick the one you will start with.  Not that way here.  "You have moved me to a place that doesn't even have a Walmart," BBBH wails betimes.  However she has adapted to small-town living and she typically visits Alco several times per month.  I mean, even I visit Alco, should I need a ream of copy paper or a can of coffee.

And now what is left?  Drugstores and a Dollar General; and by the way, Dollar General and its ilk have been credited largely with the financial woes of Alco.  Things change; and as I have been fond of pointing out for the past half-century, not all change is progress.

What about a half-century ago in this town?  Shopping opportunities virtually unlimited, and most merchants clustered around the courthouse square.  J.C. Penney, Danner's Five and Dime, Gambles, three jewelry stores, two shoe stores, a haberdashery, two women's boutiques, a great office supply store, a furniture store, hardware and drug stores, and a bunch a more, as we are fond of saying, all within steps of each other.  All gone.  Wait.  Not quite.  We still have a jewelry store and two hardware stores downtown, and just around the corner is, you guessed it, a Dollar General.

Yes, you might ask of me, but would you go back to that time in exchange for the conveniences of today?  In a heartbeat!  And I would be better off in ways too numerous to list.  Well, for the most obvious thing, I'd be thirty years old again, wouldn't I?

Alco was founded by Alva Duckwall in Abilene, Kansas in 1901.  Today they are closing all 198 of their stores  spread across 23 states.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Paucity of Posts

It is not that I have not been writing.  It is simply that the words have been stringing themselves into lines of drivel.

Pen in hand, I reread the opening paragraphs of the story I imagined I was writing.  Now, in order to receive the go-ahead to post, a piece has only to pass a very simple test: the author must find it interesting.  The pages I am examining fail to meet that criterion.

First, it becomes clear as I peruse that which I have written that it is rooted in cynicism.  That is a personality quirk I am trying to eradicate, and failing that, at the least to polish it a bit so that it is less abrasive.  Second, no "second" is required.  No post.

Footnote:  In the event that you imagined I did my writing at the keyboard, you would be partially right.  Sometimes the words flow right out my fingertips and jump onto the keyboard.  However, there are times when I have to concentrate all my brainpower and squeeze the words through the point of a pen.  Recently, neither technique has been effective.

Monday, November 17, 2014