Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 31

"Halloween" comes from "All Hallows Eve," from the Christian Feast of "All Saints." Various communities rearrange the date for "trick or treat," so also has church history scholars rearranged the date of celebration of remembering the saints who have gone before us. Some sources say 3rd century, some 8th century, and one I read today said 11th century when the Abbot of Cluny urged his monks to observe November 2 as "All Soul's Day." Still, Christians have always honored the dead and in the first and second centuries worshipped in the catacombs, where Romans buried and forgot their dead. Christians even saved small pieces of the bones of the deceased, called "relics." Christians expect a resurrection like Jesus' and they'll need their body for that.

In our Lutheran church the names of all the members who died since last November 1 are read aloud during the service, and then the names of deceased which the members have submitted. This Sunday the names of our grandparents, parents, siblings and children will be read from the pulpit while we take communion. It's a beautiful reenactment of the Christian hope. A great crowd of witnesses.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . ." Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fairfax County, Virginia, now on the sanctuary crime list

Three of the top 10 sanctuary cities with the highest crime are represented in Washington by the leading proponents of protecting illegal immigrants, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, according to a new report.

The communities on the IRLI list are:
1. San Francisco.
2. New York.
3. Minneapolis.
4. Philadelphia.
5. Seattle.
6. Chicago.
7. TIE: Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia.
8. Prince George’s County, Maryland.
9. Boston.
10. Santa Clara County, California.

That's a shame. Although it's been about 20 years since we visited relatives in Fairfax County, it use to be a lovely community.

Peter Buttigieg, Democrat

Dr. Michael Hurd asks:

"Are you ready for a President who wants to outlaw all statues and references to Thomas Jefferson?”

"Are you ready for a President who wants to raise taxes to 70-90 percent?” 

“Are you ready for a President to nationalize medical care and most of private industry?”

"Are you ready for a President who will outlaw fossil fuels in a decade?"

"Are you ready for a President who wants to repeal the Second Amendment or, failing that, seize your weapons anyway?”

It's not his homosexuality, it's his beliefs. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. If you voted because of race in 2008, don't be drawn into another poor reason to select a president. Know what you're getting. Obama offered you the vague, Hope and Change and total transformation. Buttigieg offers loss of our history, confiscatory taxes, more climate change nonsense, and the loss of freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

Don't be woke, be awake.

Charlie Gaskill, 67

Last night we attended Charlie Gaskill's funeral at our Lytham Road campus of UALC. The sanctuary seats 750, and there were people standing in the narthex for the 90 minute service. Cars covered the neighborhood, and the parking lots were full. Charlie was a much loved and respected man who had battled chronic lymphocytic leukemia since 2006. What struck me was the many stories and metaphors about sports. In fact, the day Charlie got his diagnosis, we were told, he'd been on a 3 mile run. At 6'8" he played basketball at Capital University 1969-73, a Lutheran college in Bexley (Columbus). At one point, former team members were asked to come forward while a Catholic deacon who had been on the team was eulogizing him . We were sitting so far back and under the balcony I could hardly see, but it looked like about 15 men in their mid to late 60s went forward. There were many stories by his children, friends and the pastor about his thoroughness, kindness and athleticism. All 3 of his children had been active in sports, and Charlie and Susie cheered on and cared about the teammates of their kids too. They literally never missed a game from elementary through college sports. There were many young adults in the pews and some had flown in or driven long distances to be there to cheer Charlie on for the next big event.

Charlie's disease had visibly attacked his body, yet even after a very tough bout in the hospital, there he was at worship on Sunday, or offering his time, talents and worship to God's service. And so the verses he chose to be read were especially meaningful, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "We do not lose heart though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day. . ."!/Obituary

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A hymn that’s good for all day

O God, creation's secret force,
Yourself unmoved, all motion's source
Who from the morn till evening ray
Through all its changes guide the day.

Grant us, when this short life is past,
The glorious evening that shall last;
That, by a holy death attained,
Eternal glory may be gained.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
May every tongue and nation raise
An endless song of thankful praise.

This hymn is by St. Ambrose, 4th century bishop, one of the most prolific of Latin hymn writers. It's said (Early Christian Hymns, Daniel Joseph Donahoe, 1908) he was the first to introduce the custom of singing hymns in the church. One source I have presents this as a morning song, another mid-day, and one as an evening song. Seems to work for all. And the translations vary. This one has a more modern English.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Ahab and Jezebel. Who’s the better comparison?

Hillary Clinton at the Cummings memorial on Friday compared our president and FLOTUS to Jezebel and Ahab, another power couple of the ancient Jewish scriptures. They've been used in the past to describe Bill and Hillary Clinton--perhaps she was aware of that book.

"Throughout his 2017 best-seller “The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times,” Jonathan Cahn explains how ancient paradigms have predicted political outcomes like Donald Trump’s presidential victory and Hillary Clinton’s defeat years before they happened.

Clinton said, "Like the prophet, our Elijah [Cummings] could call down fire from heaven, but he also prayed and worked for healing." "He weathered storms and earthquakes but never lost his faith. Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel."

In "The Paradigm," Cahn made several parallels to both Hillary and Bill Clinton in relation to Queen Jezebel and King Ahab.

Queen Jezebel was raised under the worship of the goddess Ashtoreth and thus was an advocate of female power. She also championed Baal Worship involving the offering of children. Hillary Clinton has been considered a lifelong advocate of feminism for quite some time and was voted the chief advocate of abortion by Planned Parenthood – a lifelong issue for her.

Queen Jezebel worked with her husband Ahab to overturn traditional conservative values. King Ahab reigned in government and on the public stage for a period spanning 22 years. Hillary Clinton has been working with her husband Bill to overturn traditional conservative values for years. Bill Clinton also presided in government and on the public stage for 22 years from 1979 to 2001.

Finally, the reign of Ahab and Jezebel was marked by personal scandals. Specifically, the fall of Ahab was linked to the tribe of Levi. Similarly, the reign of Bill and Hillary Clinton was also marked by the Whitewater controversy and the Lewinsky scandal. The fall of Bill Clinton was linked to the Lewinsky – translated to ‘Levi’ in Hebrew – scandal."

No, I'm no O.T. scholar. This showed up in my e-mail from Cahn's PR company. I just thought it interesting that Bill and Hillary are a much closer match for Ahab and Jezebel as a power couple, than Donald and Melania.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Believing children’s fantasies

When I was a child I was horse crazy. Not only did I pretend my blue bike was a horse named "Red" (my best friend JoElla's bike/horse was named "Rusty" and oh the adventures we had), but at school recess I imagined I was a horse--could outrun all the boys in my class, too. My mother gave me wallpaper rolls so I could draw horses--all the time. At home I would gallop around the house on all fours, neighing and jumping around (imagine coming home from a 10 hour day on the fuel truck to that--poor daddy).

Fortunately, no teacher or doctor or parent took me seriously and knew I'd outgrow my fantasies. How did our society get snarled into these children's delusions and come to believe boys should be on girls' track teams using their bathrooms and pronouns? That it's OK to give children hormone blockers or destroy their body parts with surgery or chemicals. Why particularly are social workers, psychiatrists and surgeons falling for this tragedy called transgenderism? There are children born without kidneys, fingers, toes, arms, even brains. We don't say that is normal and everyone now has to play "let's pretend."

We know money is involved--that's always the first place to look. When same sex marriage was passed so easily, the agenda groups were left with bagsful of money and large staffs with no soliciting method. So an affliction of less than 1% became a cause and T was added to their acronym, although they really have nothing in common with homosexuals.

But there has to be more than just money. You can't even blame the Soviets, Maoists, or Che. Communists were always quite repressive about sex. It has to be the demand in our society to discount everything about a creator God who has a plan for us. Of course, Christians bought into it early on. Churches have caved to the contracept movement since the 1930s violating the first command to be fruitful and multiply. Then the demand for abortion in the 1970s became a mantra, a hymn for feminists, a "right" to destroy our future and our own children. And now we have a birthrate below replacement. The country can't survive and feed the hungry government programs without importing more workers, workers who will be willing to have babies, at least for one more generation.

Crazy how it all links together.

A mother's prayer


"I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:27)

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson thinks the President is a racist

So Supt. Eddie Johnson thinks President Trump is a racist and he won't attend the meeting of the Chiefs of Police in Chicago because Trump will address them.

  • Racism as in record low unemployment for blacks?
  • Racism as in renewed attention on unequal prison terms for black men and the First Step Act ?
  • Racism as in commuting the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson?
  • Racism as in bringing misbehaving black college athletes safely home?
  • Racism as in trying to protect the jobs of low income blacks from illegal workers?
  • Racism as in wanting safer streets and neighborhoods in Chicago?
  • Racism as in wanting to reduce genocidal abortion rate for black women which is 4x that of white women?

Tell me, Superintendent Johnson, what exactly has the President done to offend your race sensitivities?

Tell me all the great things President Obama and President Clinton did for blacks, other than boosting your pride?

Friday, October 25, 2019

It's Christmas catalog time

This week we've been getting Christmas catalogs. They quickly go in the trash, but I did browse the Hallmark catalog. On p. 24 there was something Christian. Must have slipped past the censors. Our 21st century culture is not unlike the one into which God took on flesh and became one of us to suffer and die for us.
It almost makes me look back with nostalgia to the 60s when Christians worried about the military-industrial complex instead of the minions of Moloch pumping children full of hormones, abusing them with surgery, and selling aborted baby parts to pharmaceutical labs.
Might be a good time for Jesus to return--just saying.


What to expect after brain surgery—from a blog by someone who had it

Here’s what to expect after brain surgery (according to this writer at an advice blog):
  1. It takes a long time to recover. I know that probably sounds obvious, but this point took a long time to sink in. I got really impatient with myself. I kept wondering, after just a week, when I’d start to feel like myself again. At two weeks, I started to panic. In the end, it took months – months! – before I felt normal. It’s been more than a year now, and guess what? Things still aren’t exactly where they should be. And that’s okay. Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself.
  2. You will be stoned out of your gourd. I was loopy from the medicine, and slept for days. DAYS. I could barely stay conscious for more than  a few hours, but I kept fighting it, which was dumb. Just sleep it off. You’ve earned your rest.
  3. You will have the attention span of a goldfish (because of the aforementioned medicine). TV shows will be really difficult to follow, and reading books or email will be absolutely impossible. Even the plots of movies you’ve already seen will be absurdly confusing. Have you tried watching Adventure Time? The episodes are only 11 minutes long, and they don’t really make sense anyway, so you might want to check them out.
  4. It might hurt. A lot. This should probably fall right into the “obvious” pile, but I did not anticipate this. The thing is, getting your head drilled actually causes pain. People will tell you that the brain doesn’t have any nerve endings, but your scalp and your skin do. Now is not the time to wait it out or to be tough. Because you could end up with a headache that lasts for – I kid you not – days. Take your damn painkillers. You can be macho at a more appropriate time, like at the grocery store or your child’s birthday party. (Also, if you start feeling really badly, or if cerebral fluid starts leaking out your nose or ears, call your doctor IMMEDIATELY).
  5. Nerves take a long time to regrow. When your surgeon cut into your skull, they also cut into a lot of tissue and nerve. Over the next few months, as these grow and heal, they’re going to be crazy sensitive. Every time I shivered, it felt like it reverberated straight across my skull and down into my brain. I’ve found that the best way to calm things down was to gently press a hand onto my head. Just a bit of pressure helped soothe my nerve endings. Also, consider wearing hats to ward away chills.
  6. Your senses might reset. Rand told me about this, and it still amazes me: whenever the brain is touched or traumatized, your senses are affected. In my case, I noticed that my already strong sense of smell (this nose ain’t for show, buddy) was now basically super-human. I could smell things that hadn’t happened yet. I also became acutely aware of the sound of my own voice, which sounded strange and foreign to me. Sometimes it still does. Things normalize after a few months, and I’ve got to admit: this is one of the cooler after-effects of brain surgery.
  7. You ain’t gonna poop for like, a week. The lower intestine is the last thing to wake up after major surgery. So take all those stool softeners the docs are giving you, okay?
  8. Steroids can you turn into a hormonal, rage-filled beast. The good news: they stop your brain from swelling, so you don’t die. The bad news: they transform you into the Hulk. But with acne. And a huge desire to eat everything in your fridge. Here’s a tip: try eating lots of lean protein and veggies, and accept that you might gain some weight, anyway. Be responsible, but don’t try to limit your caloric intake or diet (I can’t remember why – but I think it actually has a negative effect on muscle mass). Remember: it’s not permanent. You’re feeling weird because of the medicine, not because you’ve become Phinneas Gage or something.
  9. Scar tissue is a bitch. Check with your doctor on this one, but after you’ve healed completely, consider massaging the site of your incision to help break up the scar tissue that forms around it (I think that you, like me, will have a hole in your skull as opposed to a metal plate. So, please, be gentle). A little bit of scar tissue protects your skull, but if you have a lot (like I have) you might feel an uncomfortable pulling across your scalp. Do be careful: even now, a year later, I get headaches if massage my suture spot too much.
  10. Your head is going to look like a medieval dungeon. There’s the matted blood in your hair, and the weird jelly they put on your head, and the metal staples holding it all together and … ugh. Oh, and you’ll have weird scabs on your scalp, as well as some bruising. As gnarly as all that sounds, it is, apparently, normal.
  11. Obviously, this goes without saying, but you shouldn’t pick at anything.
  12. Your throat is gonna hurt like hell from the breathing tube.
  13. You are going to wake up crazy thirsty from the anesthesia, and no one is going to give you water, because they are concerned you are going to throw it up. So instead, you get to much on ice chips in an attempt to quench your crazy thirst. And then you will probably throw up anyway.
  14. Do you speak more than one language? I’m pretty sure you speak French. Anyway, you might get confused as to which language you are speaking, and to whom. I did that – kept talking to Rand in Italian, and getting mad when he said, “Baby, I can’t understand you.”
  15. Get someone to do your laundry. It’s amazing how quickly you will go through every single pair of pjs you have when you are wearing them non-stop. Ditto for pillowcases, which you will need to change nightly. And towels. You will basically amass a military barracks’ worth of soiled clothing and linens, but you will be too out of it to remember how to work your washing machine. Ask someone for help.
  16. Actually, for that matter, get someone to take care of you. Swallow your pride, and rely on other people. You will be in a daze. Making yourself food, getting dressed, washing your hair, are all going to be impossible without help. I was 31 when I had brain surgery. I can’t remember ever needing my mother more.
  17. People in your life are going to react to this in different ways. The crazy thing is, you won’t be able to predict who’s going to do what. Some of them are going to be amazing. They will come to the hospital and visit you and send you chocolate-covered fruit and call you to see how you are doing. They will stop by your house with food and presents and if they are grossed out by your head, they won’t show it. And some folks … well, some of them will drop off the face of the planet. They’ll say or do weird and insensitive things. They’ll dismiss what you’ve been through. It may hurt your feelings, it may be infuriating, it might just confuse the hell out of you. Whatever the case, try to go easy on them, okay? Some people are just bad in a crisis. Besides, you’ve got bigger things to worry about.
  18. Friends are going to look to you for cues on how to act. If you don’t want to talk about it, they won’t ask. If you are really open, they’ll be receptive to what you have to say. Decide how you want to deal with this thing, and you’ll find that everyone else will likely fall into step.
  19. The entire experience will be weird and surreal. My surgery was more than a year ago, and I still haven’t completely wrapped my head (heh) around what happened. Things seem to fall into two categories: “before my brain surgery” and “after.” That’s just how it is. It’s a weird thing.
  20. For a very brief window of time, everything in your life is going to make sense. The petty things that bug you will fall away, and you’ll just be really grateful to be alive. Enjoy that feeling for as long as you can.-

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Splat! I fell at the library

The death rate from falls among the elderly is increasing, and no one seems to know why. In 2007, the rate of death due to falls was 47 per 100,000. This rate increased to 61.6 per 100,000 in the year 2016. Is it better records, or the baby boomers still taking risks?

I fell today. It wasn't far, and I wasn't hurt, but I sure felt foolish and I don't think anyone saw me. I was at the library which always has a nice display of used books for sale. They are arranged low on 3 shelf book trucks. So I sort of squatted down to get a better look and I tipped over! I kid you not. Splat. I was on the floor. So I sort of rearranged my legs to look like kids do sitting on the floor to browse the books. Of course, then I had to get up from that position! It was a struggle, but I did it. For just $2.00 I got 2 nice books I didn't need.

Update from my 84 year old Lakeside neighbor, Dorothy?

Oh boy, DO I IDENTIFY!!!

Back a few weeks, I fell out of bed trying to get to bathroom, hit my head on nightstand (black eye resulted), happened at 3:30 a.m. SO NO ONE AROUND to SEE. Bleeding profusely from leg wound that scraped metal part on walker which was close to bed (required 9 stitches).  YES, I drove myself to ER, no one ahead of me, got right in - I wasn't about to call 911 & have WHOLE neighborhood awake & asking questions the next day, NO WAY. WAS FUN going thru ALL RED LIGHTS, at 3:30 a.m. NOT MANY OTHERS OUT & NO Police cars IN SIGHT .

On Thanksgiving and suffering

I was on my way to reading something else in 2 Corinthians, but stopped at Paul's "thanksgiving" which follows his greeting, "grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." We hear that greeting so often, we sometimes don't even notice it. Christian pastors often begin their sermons with that.

I was writing in my gratitude journal; the words grace and gratitude are derived from the Latin gratis/gratus/gratia which means thankful. Eucharist derives from the Greek εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning "thanksgiving," and root for "charity" is right in the middle.

Interestingly, in Paul's "thanksgiving" which I often skip to get on to the juicy stuff of resolving conflicts, and raising money, he uses the Jewish blessing "God of all encouragement" (consolation, paraklesis) ten times! And when does he encourage us? In every affliction. He mentions suffering or affliction seven times in this word of thanksgiving.

"Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement."

Although I never got to the verses I had planned to read, today I'm thankful for God's encouragement in a time of suffering.

I shared the above thought about thanksgiving and gratitude on my Facebook page, which allows others to respond immediately, not like a blog which has to be approved first.  A young Lutheran pastor from Texas, Phil Daniels, who a few years ago was a seminary student serving at our church, responded.  I don’t know when I friended him on FB, or how he happened to notice my little essay.

Philip Daniels: That is very insightful. I have noticed, as I have been working on sermons, how often I overlook those introductions in order to go onto the more meaty stuff ... and I'm a pastor! That has been something God has been teaching me both in my personal study and public proclamation: don't overlook those introductions. And I do love the word "Paraklesis" which has overtones of the word often used to describe the Holy Spirit. In the Septuagint we see Isaiah most famously use it in Isaiah 40:1: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. The Hebrew in that sense is "Nacham." As far as I can understand, the word is tied to both breath and resuscitation. In Arabic, the word means "to breath pantingly." While, this misses the mark, it does give us a little insight as words of comfort are often felt like gasps of living breath to those worn out by fatigue in the world. Yet the earliest parts of the Bible seem to use it in the comforting after a death (i.e. Genesis 24:67b, "So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.")

Nacham therefore is best understood as a revivification after the loss of someone or some ideal dear. And, oddly, one wonders if one has to experience this death in order to have this new breath breathed into one.

This is probably overanalyzing Paul in this context. On the other hand, I am also sure Paul would not be averse to such thinking. These are people who can offer comfort because a new breath has been put inside them. A Comforter has been called beside them. They can now breathe new life into the lives of those around them since they have been "comforted" indeed we could say they have experienced "nacham." If we forget that we have been revived, that we too have looked upon the cross and the body placed in the tomb; we can also declare that Someone has revived us and bids us to GO! and share the good news that we have.

In any case, keep reading and don't be afraid of the New Life found each New Day in the easy glanced-over parts of this Book of Life.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Catering to the confused

Air Canada announced that it no longer will use the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” on board its flights, as part of a “commitment to respect sexual identity, diversity, and inclusion.”

What's the fun in that? What are the guys going to transition to if airlines (tech firms, big pharma, academe, etc.) wipe out all the differences? How will they join the women’s track competition if there are no women?  It might be PC, but it's not respect.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Downton Abbey—a look back

Downton Abbey was a delight as a TV series, and I hope to see the movie. But have you ever wondered why the Grantham family were living in an abbey? Definition of an Abbey: a monastery under the supervision of an abbot or a convent under the supervision of an abbess. I don't claim to know anything about the British aristocracy or what the titles Countess, Earl, or Lady mean, but I do know they aren't priests, nuns or abbots. Our status symbols in the U.S. are all about money and celebrity, not titles--Jeff Bezos for instance is the richest man the world--and that means more power than a title handed down from his father. Even the wealthiest and most admired dynasties in the U.S. disappear in a flash when the money is gone, or the government takes it away. Movie stars who have a different admired status become wrinkled and don't get the good roles.

So why did Anglican British royalty and lesser folk live in buildings built by Roman Catholics? It goes back to the English Reformation and is one of the nastiest and unloving chapters in Christian history. King Henry VIII stole the wealth of the monasteries, had the owners killed off, chased off or imprisoned, and gave the lands and buildings to his supporters. The church had traditionally taken care of the poor and sick (as Jesus told them to do)--they were turned out also, and we had the seeds of the terrible poverty, wealth and abuses of the industrial revolution.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Not a big crisis, but. . .

As crises go in the Bruce family, this was not serious, but my coffee maker died yesterday morning in mid-drip. So today I went to Wal-Mart after the gym to buy a new one. I finally found one that didn't look like the dash of my new Pacifica, but there were no boxes except on the top shelf labeled, "Ask for assistance." So I went to the front of the store to ask an employee for help. She didn't speak English, but after wildly waving my arms and pointing to the ceiling she nodded and set out to find someone. After about 10 minutes of waiting, I went back to find her and through sign language she told me she had asked someone. I kept an eye on her and saw her talking to the disabled door greeter. He very slowly came back to the H aisle and asked what the problem was, and I explained it. He was tall, but greeting customers was really all he could do. And bless Wal-Mart for giving people opportunities to work. He seemed confused, so I asked him if he could find another employee with a ladder. Another 5 minutes and he'd found a short, able-bodied woman who could speak English, and she knew where the ladder in dry goods was. She carried it over to kitchen appliances and climbed to the top of the step ladder (which you shouldn't do) and retrieved the box. I examined the contents carefully, and the four of us decided I'd buy the coffee pot.

I've now made one pot of coffee; it's very slow, and it sort of spits, but after that much time (good thing I'm retired), it's not going back.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Insurgencies, civil wars and conflicts in Africa

As fingers point and hands are wrung about 50 soldiers pulled out of the Turkey-Syria conflict where the U.S. is attempting to hold back ISIS, can anyone tell me why this particular civil war in Syria is so critical to American interests?  I’m not looking for snarky, ad hominem attacks, this is a REAL QUESTION.

It’s about Africa, not the Middle East.

There are civil wars, insurgencies and tribal/ border conflicts all over Africa. Except for Kenya (Obama’s relatives) and Nigeria (Boko Haram kidnapping Christian girls) the U.S. media and politicians  rarely pay attention to the slaughter and mayhem in Africa, particularly of Christians by Muslims. And please spare me the trash talking about European colonialism—a quick look  at Wikipedia shows wars, conflicts and civil wars going back 1500 years, and most of these are tribal or Muslim sects.

Here’s a quick check, according to Wikipedia. See that source for more detail:

  • On going insurgency in Egypt
  • On going South Sudanese Civil War
  • On going 2nd Libyan Civil War
  • On going ISIL insurgency in Tunisia
  • On going insurgency in Maghreb (Algeria and Morocco)
  • Ongoing insurgency in Somalia
  • On going conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia
  • On going Burundian unrest
  • Ongoing Anglophone crisis, Cameroon
  • Ongoing Northern Mali conflict
  • Ongoing Boko Haram, Nigeria
  • Ongoing Kamwina Nsapu Rebellion, Democratic Republic of Congo

Is it the color of their skin? American blacks don’t care about Africa if it’s not directly related to U.S.  slavery? The amount of natural resources?  The distance? Language problems?  CIA doesn’t even have Fact Books on some of these countries.

Reflection on Exodus 17:8-13, with apologies to Moses.

In those days, Cancer came and waged war against Phil's brain. Phil Bruce therefore said to his medical posse, "Pick out the best you have--surgeons, nurses, therapists, med techs, hematologists, cardiologists, radiologists--and go out and engage Cancer in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."

So the posse did as Phil told them: they engaged Cancer in battle after Phil had climbed to the top of the hill with his family Norma, Bob, Phoebe and Mark. As long as Phil kept his hands raised up, his body had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, the Cancer had the better of the fight.

Phil's hands grew tired so they put a rock, his church, in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile, his family, extended family and close friends--Ron, Keith, Carl, Tom, John, Sara, and many others-- supported his hands, some on one side, some on the other side so he remained steady till sunset. And the medical posse mowed down the Cancer and tumors with the edge of medical miracles swords.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Janice Fiamengo looks at space travel

As we honor the women in space today, let's take a look at what other women are doing, disparaging space travel and exploration as ableist, colonialist, white supremacist, anti-native American, with a panel of angry resentful "scholars" male shaming. "Discovery" in their view is a racist, exploitive word, up to no good.

Janice Fiamengo who's about the smartest woman on the internet comments and analyzes. I don't see her as often as I used to. The Left has quite a campaign against her that seems to be working. She lives and works in Toronto.

I'm not sure one of these panelists is a woman, but they take the feminist line and may identify as one; I'm also not sure one of them is black, but she seems to identify as one; also not sure why the whitest is native American, but that's what pays her mortgage. It 's not lengthy, but will demonstrate for you the craziness going on in academe as wokeness moves from the social sciences into space travel.

A billion can do a lot in DC guest blogger Jeffrey

Jeffrey Varasano: "I posted this earlier on a thread talking about people like Romney or George Will. There sure seemed to be people who claimed to be Republicans but undermine us from the inside. Why? Are they bought off? Maybe they were progressive loyalists from the beginning who were long ago tasked with infiltrating the Republicans or conservative media? Or what about blackmail? Maybe Soros digs up dirt on people and then uses them as puppets thereafter.

These things sound far-fetched until you sketch out what it would take. I've done this before with Christopher Buckley. Let's say that you wanted to buy control of the US government. How many people would you have to buy and how much would each cost? Let's do a back-of-the-envelope budget using $1B / year.

Just to use round numbers let's say you devoted $1M per year towards each House and Senate seat. That money could be split out. A no-show job for a congressman's kid for $300k, $50K each to 4 staffers, $100k to a private eye or honey pot operation. Dump the rest into campaign contributions. If it's a congressman you don't think you can control then keep the honey pot budget and give the rest into an opponent. So now for $535 million you've got your finger into every congressional & senate seat pretty good. Keep in mind that if a target is in a safe district and you've already got pictures of him with a naked 8 year old, your budget to keep him in control can go way down next year and you can put the surplus towards a different seat.

Now you make a list of other people you want to influence. Let's say you make a list of media people. On the conservative influencer list you start with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity at the top and then work your way down. Most people would be surprised how quickly you run out of recognizable names, especially in the pre-internet era. Pre-internet maybe 50 names. Today maybe it's a 100. Remember you don't have to control each and every one and the money can be spent either supporting them, ruining them, or even recruiting new ones.

Add another for a 100 liberal media people. So that's another 200 million bringing us to $735M.

Next up we take the remaining $265M and divide it into 2650, $100k buckets which we spread out through the bureaucracies AKA deep state. For sure a good hunk of that goes to the Fed and money supply people.

So for a billion dollars a year we've got our finger in just about everything.

From here out we can expand our influence without spending any more money but rather using money that falls out of the influence we've already bought.

Let's say you want to start "grassroots" efforts at all 3000 colleges, again spending $1M each. That's $3B, but you don't have to come out of pocket for that. All you have to do is bump some college subsidy budget from 147 billion to 150 billion, and then divert 3 billion. Then with each college you split the million with a 100k going to the Latino center, 100k to the environmental sustainability center, 100K to the women's center, etc.

So all you need to get started is a billion a year. But that's really chump change in an era when quantitative easing was pumping out 80 billion dollars a month. Who's to say if that defense contract is worth 43 billion or 65 billion? Certainly not the congressmen and media you own.

Keep in mind that big money players are simultaneously playing this game. The Chinese, the Russians, The Saudis, the UN, the Bilderbergs, Soros, etc. And all the bought off players agree on one thing: if you notice or talk too much about any of this you are a kook.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Does this president make me look fat?

Prof. Brittney Cooper of Rutgers has suggested Trump is making black women fat. No word yet about white women. So I decided I'd look up her research on this, but didn't find anything to suggest it is anything but an opinion. It's just a guess, but if she's researching gender in hip hop music, those hot babes in the videos would drive most women to poor health decisions. With so many crazy feminist theories out there, one really has to be outrageous to get attention. She's making the squad look normal.

"Professor Cooper is currently completing her first book Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present. Her work focuses extensively in the area of Black women's intellectual history, Black feminist thought, and race and gender politics in hip hop and popular culture. She has two forthcoming articles about hip hop feminism in Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society and African American Review. Professor Cooper has also published book chapters on Black women's history in fraternal orders and the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident. She is co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective blog, which was named a top feminist blog by New York Magazine in 2011 and a top race blog by in 2012. She writes for the CFC as "crunktastic.""

Note:  I wasn’t familiar with “crunk.”

Crunk definitions aren't consistent. "A style of hip-hop music originating in the southern United States, characterized by electronic sounds, simple refrains, and a high-energy, heavily rhythmic beat." Another definition, "combination of chronic and drunk (on marijuana)" Another: "suitable replacement for the infamous seven dirty swearwords that they couldn't say on TV" Another: To cry like a crane. Can also be a verb: "Matzi was out on the corner with his homies, crunkin' to some tunes."

It's beginning to look fallish

I drive on Henderson Road to get to the Fitness center every morning. It's really beautiful--lined with full Maples. We had a cold snap last night and suddenly the colors are running faster than a bunch of Republicans in Congress.

Phil Bruce

Latest photo, 10 days after surgery

The crazies in our culture

The Left is schizo and psychotic. What they are doing to children while screaming about priest sexual abuse (which is far less than that from teachers) and #MeToo is just bizarro.

  • They offer underage children abortions then give them birth control;
  • they promote surgery on genitals under the guise of "gender confusion";
  • they pump children full of hormones to delay puberty which will damage them for the rest of their lives;
  • they allow young girls to be intimidated and bullied by boys in their own bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic events;
  • then they punish them if they use the correct pronoun.
  • This is a political agenda. In Columbus it was being promoted on a local "news" show a few nights ago, as a medical and human interest story because a 3 year old thought he was a girl.

People. You've lost your minds.

And they call this "progressive?"

Saint Luke

Today is October 18 and the day the Catholics, Orthodox and many Protestant denominations honor St. Luke, author of 2 volumes in the New Testament, Luke and Acts. Luke was most likely a Syrian (something to remember, too) and didn't know Jesus or his disciples, but thought it was critical to do the research of what was already written down and being preached in the churches. He did know Paul, and I'm sure those discussions were magnificent. He gives us fascinating insight into our Lord's life and heart, and particularly has a tender heart for the poor and not so powerful. He also provides a lot of focus on women. No one but Mary could have provided the details of the Infancy Narratives. Thank you Lord for the words of Luke.

Luke is the patron saint of artists; bachelors; bookbinders; brewers; butchers; glassworkers; goldsmiths; lace makers; notaries; painters; physicians; sculptors; stained glass workers; surgeons.

And so St. Luke, take care of my sweet, darlin' bachelor and the surgeons and physicians who are helping him. (Had brain surgery Oct. 8)

"As Luke with courage went
to heal, restore and teach,
obedient to his Lord
in spirit, action, speech,
give doctors, nurses, clergy too
the healing power that comes from you."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Turkey, the Kurds and President Trump

I haven’t done much research on this and may change my mind.  I did pull up articles from December 2018 when Trump announced we were going to pull out, and remember all the campaign promises he made, similar to those Obama made but he only expanded the war.  It is a fact that Turkey has been an ally for years, and is part of NATO. THE KURDS ARE NOT A NATION STATE.

Previous presidents have also pussy footed around Turkey and refused to do anything about its killing of the Armenian Christians 100 years ago (there’s a huge lobby in the U.S.) the first of the 20th century holocausts. Not even Trump has touched that. I’ve never seen such hypocrisy on the part of Democrats or such lily livered, spineless behavior on the part of Republicans as this so-called withdrawal. It’s truly disgusting. 50 Americans are going to be home for Thanksgiving who might not have been there otherwise, and the wars in the Middle East, now 1000 years old, will go on and on and on.

Dave doesn’t vote

He’s concerned after watching MSNBC or some other anti-Trump source, that a woman of Ukrainian heritage lost her job in the administration and that Rudy was investigating corruption. But he doesn’t vote!  My response:

But you're OK with destroying the job of the Ukrainian prosecutor which Joe Biden bragged about (as a representative of Obama)? Biden demanded he be fired, or Ukraine would get no money to fight the Russians. He knew what would happen if the news got out about who was really manipulating the U.S. election.

Rudy was doing his job--investigating the corruption of the Democrats of the previous administration who tried to undo the election results of 2016.

You have a strange set of standards--don't vote, but support crooks widening the muck in the swamp. Voting is always a challenge--often the lesser of 2 evils. So is donating money to campaigns and candidates, but it's better than a monarchy or communism where there's no voting at all, or just straw man candidates. We see now Mitt Romney's true colors, but he still would have been better than a second term for Obama.

Thousands of years of human history under every imaginable form of government from human sacrifice to peasants rounded up from the fields to march to foreign wars, and the little guy finally has a say based on one of the finest constitution ever produced, and you thumb your nose at all the blood and treasure over centuries it took to get here because it isn't perfect. I'm shocked.

Milly and Jack

We live on a beautiful, ravined property with lots of trees between us, the ravine, and the houses on the other side. We've known Milly and Jack, residents on the other side, since they were college age. She was our daughter's confirmation sponsor, (about 38 years ago) so although younger than us, they are now grandparents. Like me, Milly is an early riser, and although it's too far for her to see me, I wave when I see her light on because I know she's reading her Bible.

This past year their deck was being enclosed to make a large inside space--not sure it has a name since they already have a family room and a study. It allows them to be inside while enjoying the outside is the best description I can think of. We couldn't see much of the transition--too many trees, but we know the contractor and could see little figures moving around and could imagine the process. This morning I looked out and the whole addition/house appeared in a blazing light because more leaves have dropped making it visible. I could almost see the outline and complexity of the new space.

That's what our life is now. We see the light, but we're in the dark, and others are out there keeping watch for us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


I keep a "Gratitude Journal." I saw the outline (6 items) in an article several years ago, and I've revised it a bit to suit my needs. The main part is writing down 3 things from the previous 24 hours for which you are grateful. Most days, our life is so pleasant and delightful, I have to think hard, and occasionally had to resort to "beautiful weather for a walk along the lake," or "modern technology."

Since our son Phil's diagnosis of brain cancer two weeks ago, finding things to be grateful for has been no problem--some days I can record 15 and bust right past three. From Ron Brown calling the squad, to Pastor Margo's faithful visits, to borrowed walker, to visits from loyal friends, some going back to his childhood, it has been a snap. And as you've noticed, I write a lot (always have). It's not a method I'd recommend for writer's block, but I think I'm not the only one who takes life for granted until we're shocked back to reality.

Phil (left) one week after surgery with friend Craig

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.

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 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

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!

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.

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

Saturday, October 05, 2019

It’s going to get even more nasty—guest blogger Michael Smith

“Mittens and Low Energy Jeb opine about what a nasty person Trump is and that he did something that they would never, never do.

Know what they also never, ever did?


Romney didn't win the presidency from Obama because he mistakenly thought niceness counted. Spoiler alert - it didn't. No style points awarded.

Lil' Jebbie couldn't even gather enough lift to get the nomination, much less win the Oval Office.

Look at how badly Romney was treated when he ran. On the floor of the Senate, Harry Reid claimed Mitt hadn't paid taxes in a decade. Romney allegedly hazed a gay kid in 1965, hair raped him with a pair of scissors and caused his suicide 40 years later. Bain Capital, Romney's old firm, caused a woman's cancer and cut her insurance two years after he left, none of which happened but the Democrats still aimed he was responsible. He drove across the country with the family dog strapped to the roof of the family station wagon. He thought women should be kept in "binders".

Low Energy Jeb's neocon bro, Dub, was called a drunkard, a dunce, a racist, a warmonger, pretty much every name in the book. Cindy Sheehan camped outside his Texas home for 6 years.

And remember the differences in what Obama, Schumer and Pelosi said at John McCain's funeral as compared to what they said during the 2008 presidential campaign. Either McCain had a twin or those three stooges are rank hypocrites.

Romney and Lil' Jebbie are idiots to think this is just political and not personal - because it is both political AND personal. To a Democrat, there is no difference between the two.

And that is why you have to fight the way they fight.

General George S. Patton said that "No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country."

I think we are about to see the nastiest election season of our lifetimes. Generally, the worst ever is thought to be the 1828 election contest between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams - but 2020 is looking back and saying "Hold muh beer..."

The Democrats have set the rules of engagement and those ROE's are "weapons free".”

Friday, October 04, 2019

National Brain Tumor Society

News, information, research, blog.

On Tuesday our son had several seizures, went to the ER, had a CT scan and MRI and by Wednesday we knew he had a brain tumor. A new chapter in our lives.  We had lunch together on Saturday in our old neighborhood and there were no signs of a problem.  Life changes quickly.  Don’t waste your opportunities.

Interesting video of a brain tumor patient with a sense of humor.

There is no impeachment at this time

“Moreover, there are no subpoenas. As Secretary Pompeo observed in his fittingly tart response on Tuesday, what the committee chairmen issued was merely a letter. Its huffing and puffing notwithstanding, the letter is nothing more than an informal request for voluntary cooperation. Legally, it has no compulsive power. If anything, it is rife with legal deficiencies.

The Democrats, of course, hope you don’t notice that the House is not conducting a formal impeachment inquiry. They are using the guise of frenetic activity by several standing committees — Intelligence, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, Financial Services, and Ways and Means — whose normal oversight functions are being gussied up to look like serious impeachment business.”

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

October is Domestic Violence Month

For 40 years, October has been National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so be nice--it's for men, women, same-sex couples, teens, etc. We also have VAWA, or Violence Against Women Act, drafted by handsy, hair smelling, Ukraine visiting Joe Biden in 1991 and signed in 1994 by President Clinton, who lost his license to practice law because of the law suit by Paula Jones bringing on the impeachment when he lied under oath about the assault.

Republicans have had bad press about VAWA because they've failed to renew it due to Democrats stuffing it with all sorts of things like special visas for illegals who are victims of domestic violence (wow, can you imagine how that would be incentive to file a false claim) and special prosecution for male native Americans. And LGBTQ has been added, even though by adding men some time back to the law, the funding has not followed to protect men from aggressive women.

Funding? Oh yes. Big bucks for lots of organizations. The violence will never decrease because the grants would decrease, so it will just be redefined, or more victims will be added to the list. Don't know the amount right now but it was over $1.6 billion 25 years ago. The Office of Violence Against Women has 95 positions and gets over half a million! Obama added some more groups to get points with women. Since 1994, campus violence, elder abuse and tribal violence have been added to assure a strong pipeline of funding.

Special needs adults also enjoy a good workout

I don't see many adults with Down Syndrome these days. Pre-natal testing has reduced their chances of surviving in the womb, along with the culture of death promoted by many in our culture. (Like Obama's advisor, Zeke Emanuel, a so called ethicist. He believes people my age shouldn’t be using up resources.) But there is one young woman who comes to the fitness center where I exercise in the morning, and with a trainer, has a great time. She works hard, follows his instructions, and he is rewarded with her great smile and laugh. After the workout he walks her to the door and waits there with her until her mother picks her up. It's just beautiful. Today I told him how much I appreciated seeing them together. He told me he used to coach a Special Olympics team, and loved it.

Abortions for babies with Down Syndrome are not has high as thought 20 years ago, and those statistics were based on Europe. In the U.S. we do not have a data base for this, but the latest research show it is 30%, and that varies with race and ethnicity. It is highest among Asian Americans at 61%.

There are loving parents waiting to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, so if you know of a mom who is not prepared to parent and has received this diagnosis, put her in touch with

I noticed this comment from 2013 at that site:

My sweet angel, Colleen, was born on 7 March 1991. She was Down Syndrome, and had severe health problems since birth.

When she was born, I had no idea what the name “Down Syndrome” meant. But 22 years later, I know it means “Unconditional Love”! She taught me and my 2 older children so much about love, caring, acceptance and being grateful for the little blessings in life. Twice in her life the Lord used her to save 2 women who were ready to commit suicide! And she did not even realize what was happening. Her pure love changed their lives forever!

Colleen passed away on the 12 th July this year, in ICU, due to multiple organ failure. A huge part of my heart died with her. She was the single most precious blessing in my life