Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Our country’s religious foundation is crumbling

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” said John Adams in 1798. Some things don’t change, even after 221 years, and Attorney General William Barr quoted Adams to say so in a stellar speech at Notre Dame about American politics and our crumbling moral foundation.

Barr, a devout Catholic, made the case that modern Americans have replaced dependency on God with dependency on government. He also argued that modern secularists are not merely non-religious; they are outright hostile to religion.

“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided [with] — and I believe has brought with it — immense suffering and misery,” Barr asserted. “And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.”

He wondered, “Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?” Worse, he implied regression: “The secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake — social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social-media campaigns.”

In any case, says Barr, the government is a poor substitute for true religion. “Today, in the face of all the increasing pathologies, instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have cast the state in the role of the Alleviator of Bad Consequences,” he said. “We call on the state to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.”

“So, the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion. The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the state to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage. And while we think we’re solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.”

Wow.  The Leftists are sure try to impeach Barr now.


Glory be to the Father

Have you ever wondered why we say, "world without end" in the Gloria Patri? Me neither. I guess I've said or sung it so often I'd never thought that it meant the world would go on forever and never stop. But someone did ask (on radio), so here's what I heard. It's a very awkward idiom that comes from Hebrew, then Greek, then Latin, then squeezed into English. In other words, a bad translation for "will be for ever." In none of the other languages does the word world appear.

Found a longer explanation. https://nathanlemahieu.weebly.com/gloria-patri.html

Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. A blast from the past

We bought our Lakeside cottage in September, 1988, and thus began a weekly (usually Saturday since we both worked) trip to clean, paint and remodel (I watched, Bob worked). On the way through Bucyrus we'd stop at Wendy's and became very fond of the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with a small fries. Our children were shocked because "fast food" certainly hadn't been on the menu when they lived at home! I was such a mean mom. I probably haven't had one in over 20 years.

Yesterday after we returned to Canal Winchester from Phil's doctor appointment in Westerville, he treated us to lunch--Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and fries. Probably we aren't eating as healthy as we could be, but it was fun to enjoy one again. Sometimes you just need comfort food instead of a salad.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Winter Friend, source unknown


You know time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all those years went.

I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is... the winter of my life, and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those "older people" were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting grey... they move slower and I see an older person in myself now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so... now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last... this I know, that when it's over on this earth... it's over. A new adventure will begin!


Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done... things I should have done, but indeed, there are also many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.

So, if you're not in your winter yet... let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can TODAY, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so, LIVE FOR TODAY and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember.. and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life" is a GIFT to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Remember: "It is Health that is real Wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

~Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good.. coming home is even better!
~You forget names... but it's OK, because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.... especially golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.

~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep."
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"...???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless?!"
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear.

~But "Old" is good in some things:
Old Songs, Old movies ...
and best of all, our dear ...OLD FRIENDS!!

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!"

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Pray for Sonja and Phil

Sonja is battling breast cancer; our son Phil is fighting a malignant brain tumor.  These "kids" grew up together, attended the same church, UALC, and Upper Arlington High School in the 80s and they are friends on Facebook, encouraging each other. Let's keep the prayers coming.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Psalm 92

Today, Psalm 92 came up in my meditation time.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute,
with the murmuring sound of the harp."

Our son Phil enjoys giving thanks to the Lord with his church's praise team. He loves the music, being part of worship, and the friendships he's developed through the music.

I wasn't sure what a 10-stringed lyre looked or sounded like, so here's a video.


Phil had brain surgery for a malignant tumor on Tuesday and was released from the hospital on Friday evening.  He had a good night at his home, and is working on his routine. We’re hoping the guitar playing will be therapeutic for his right hand which is weak.

The Tesla and the environment, guest blogger Michael Smith

“For what must be the millionth time, I just ended a discussion with a leftist acquaintance in a frustrating and disappointing manner.

There was a particular local situation, one of which we were in violent agreement that doing something was needed. The position my acquaintance was that while we agreed something needed to be done, every workable solution proposed was rejected with the position of "Something needs to be done, just not that."

Her proposed solution was the most unrealistic, unworkable and fairy tale action imaginable - but it made her feel good, so that was on what she based her support.

We ended a similar discussion last week when she asked me when I was going to get rid of my carbon emitting pickup.

Predictably, I replied "When I want a newer one."

I then asked her if she understood the ethical and environmental damage necessary to construct her Tesla - she, like many of her camp, drive these EV's around town thinking they are the leaders in saving the environment without realizing that the cobalt used in her car battery had a real chance of coming from a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where child labor (as young as 4 years old) is exploited or that nickel mining and refining are especially dangerous to the environment, especially when you consider that a significant amount comes from countries significantly less concerned about the environment than the US. I also noted that the rare earth metals critical to battery production likely came from a strip mine in China where environmental protection doesn't even make the list of priorities.

I asked her if she knew that it was a near certainty the electricity she used was generated by fossil fuels as over 70% of Utah's electricity is generated by coal burning power plants and that even if it was wind generated, the carbon cost to construct and then decommission a windmill (they are burying the fiberglass blades in landfills) is far more than it saves over its operational life.

I told her about a study by the US Energy Information Agency that indicates widespread adoption of electric vehicles nationwide, when compared to the current internal combustion production (which produces about 1% of the pollution of the cars of the 1960's), will likely air pollution.

Yet she still rides the moral high horse because she chooses to ignore the total cost of her decisions. Apparently saving the planet means that you do things that make you feel good and you just can't be too concerned about what damage your feel-good emotions do "over there".

Most of this crap is just to make wealthy white suburbanites (who can afford such things) feel good about themselves without actually accomplishing a damn thing.

As Reagan said, "...they just know so much that isn't so."”


Friday, October 11, 2019

Everyone around you is grieving. Go easy.

"Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section."  John Pavlovitz https://johnpavlovitz.com/2019/02/21/everyone-around-you-is-grieving-go-easy/?

I thought similar thoughts this past week as we watched and waited with our son who has brain cancer.  The temporary assistant pastor at Phil’s church who has been visiting him—her husband died 8 months ago, and her tenderness and caring helps her grieve.  Our own Pastor Dave who came to the hospital through the terrible fog to pray with us the morning of surgery—both his own son and grandson, child of another son, died the summer of 2018. A friend from high school days who came to the hospital to see Phil who is going through a painful divorce—the death that never ends.  My cousin Gayle who faithfully ministers to a small group of women who are prayer warriors and whose husband died after a long illness. My neighbors who are struggling with this same disease in their 33 year old daughter-in-law, mother of 2 toddlers. Adrienne, my long time library colleague and coffee buddy who had hip surgery this week and is caring for her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease.  Sweet Annie and dear Sonja, both battling different forms of cancer in their 40s whose parents (my age) have to stand aside and let them decide. My sister-in-law at 83 driving her husband to dialysis 3 times a week and watching him change before her eyes.

Everyone is grieving.  Just be kind.

“Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.

Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.

Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.”

Thursday, October 10, 2019

With a little help from friends

We'll be heading to the hospital in a few hours to visit our son  as he continues down (up?) the difficult road after brain surgery on Tuesday. We've been overwhelmed with the prayers and kindness of his friends, our friends and total strangers. A neighbor I don’t know well just dropped by with a quiche for supper.  It is a huge comfort!

So I want to tell you a story from way back--maybe 1987, don't remember for sure. As the mother of teens, so close in age and so beautiful people used to think they were twins, I was at my wit's end and couldn't pray. So in addition to feeling like a total failure as a mother, I assumed I wasn't being a very good Christian either. No prayer could slip pass my clenched teeth.

At church one Sunday I ran into Judy Gibeaut and in about 30 seconds summed up my rage and frustration. She gave me a hug, told me not to worry about praying, that she'd do it for me so I could just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I think she did call it intercessory prayer, but whatever she said, I've never forgotten it.

I'm not doing much praying since October 1 when this hit us like a ton of bricks, so we're relying on others. After so many years of Sunday worship, baptisms, Bible school, Sunday School, funerals and weddings, I think I've got the "Lord's Prayer" [Our Father] down pat--not very good at memorizing. Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century theologian, wrote that the Our Father was a summary of the Gospel so we can cover a lot of territory with that!  https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/tertullian-on-the-our-father

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Guardian angels

Friday morning I was reviewing Bible and extra-biblical writing on guardian angels. We certainly are calling on them today. We know Phil has one –I  remember about 7-8 years ago his car explosion and he had jumped out of the car after someone in a white vehicle pulled up behind him and yelled, “ you're on fire,” then left. Then boom. It went up in flames.

There's a beautiful hymn/poem in the book of Daniel when the three men are being saved from the fire. Unfortunately, that lovely passage is not in the Protestant Bible, so you'll have to look on-line if you don't have a Catholic or Orthodox Bible. See Daniel 3:26-90. At verse 46, "Now the king's men who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with brimstone, pitch, tow, and faggots. The flames rose 49 cubits above the furnace, and spread out, burning the Chaldeans nearby. But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The first in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm. Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God: [and the hymn continues]

But I also like my friend Sonja Ness' method. She has named her tumors, "Gertie and the 3 blind mice" and enjoys watching them diminish as they are attacked by chemo (and probably her guardian angel who is guiding her treatment team). So using the angel example in Exodus 23:20-23 I'll name the tentacles of Phil's tumor, "My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out."

Guardian angels aren't just for Hallmark cards. Nor are they cute, sweet and plump with feathery wings. They are strong and powerful like the one who came to Mary (Hail, Mary) to announce the coming of Jesus or the one who greeted the women at the Tomb. They have a long tradition in the church. Saint Basil the Great (d. 378) taught that "each and every member of the faithful has a Guardian angel to protect, guard, and guide them through life." St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) wrote, "these celestial spirits have been placed at our sides to protect us, instruct us, and to guide us." Billy Graham wrote a book about angels and called them God's secret agents. Then there was a 19th century Dutch Calvinist, Abraham Kuyper, who also was a fan of angels (also wrote about demons and miracles) and describes their powers. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kuyper/greater.x.html

A phrase attributed to St. Augustine, "“We cannot pass our guardian angel's bounds, resigned or sullen, he will hear our sighs.”