Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Questions for Calvinists

 I have debated about doing this post. It may offend Calvinists who read it, but I have a couple of thoughts on that:

#1. I am very offended by the portrayal of God by the TULIP Calvinists, more than they would be by my questions.

#2. If Calvinists can't handle honest questions about what they believe and why, then maybe they need to examine why they feel so defensive.

#3. These are meant to be questions, and not an attack on Calvinists. These are honest questions I'd like a Calvinist to answer without giving canned answers.

#4. I see a lot of posts by Calvinists mocking we who don't believe as they do, and posts pointing out how wrong we are on their favorite TULIP points.

  Only in recent years have I run across TULIP Calvinists. I had previously run across those who believe once saved, always saved. I have issues with that belief, but this post is not to point out why I believe that. And to be honest, I am not extremely offended by that belief. I can see why it is attractive and why one would want to believe that. It is some of the other points of Calvinism that I find offensive, and ask myself why on earth......

 And to be blunt: I find Calvinism and their views of God extremely wrong and offensive. That doesn't mean I have no respect for people who are Calvinists. I do, especially the ones who don't make their entire existence as a Christian to be all about Calvinism, and who do not constantly bring their Calvinist beliefs up.

 A few years ago, a man in one of the groups I am in for same-sex attractions added me on Facebook. He was what I'd call a hyper Calvinist, constantly putting down any non-Calvinists, and posting very offensive stuff. I told him a few times how offensive he was, but he kept it up.. so I blocked him. Recently, he made a new account and sent me a friend request. As I debated, he messaged me and assured me he had changed and was not the arrogant hyper Calvinist he had been... so I added him. Mistake. He had not changed, and was soon back to his bashing and offensive posts.... so he is gone again.

 Not all Calvinists are like him. I have many Calvinist friends who never post anything about predestination and election, and never post jokes about non Calvinists. Those are the people I don't want to offend.....and this post is meant to ask questions. I am weary enough of  the Calvinist posts, that I am finally posting it after holding it for a few months.

 Anyway, on to my questions:

1) Why do you so staunchly and vehemently defend your belief in no free will, and predestination? Do you not realize it makes God look bad?

2) If God picks and chooses who He will offer salvation to, and who He will send to hell with no chance at redemption, then why witness or preach to people? You are wasting your time if the person is not one of  the elect.

3) If we have no free will and we will become a Christian if God wants us to be one, again why bother with preaching, evangelizing, and witnessing?

4) If God sends people to hell because He picked them out ahead of time to burn for all eternity, how can He judge those people for their sins and be a just God?

5) How can you tell someone God loves them? If they are not one of the elect, God does not love them.

6) If God is love, how can He pick so many people He is going to send to hell and not offer them salvation?

7) The Bible says that it is not God's will that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. In light of that verse, how can you say it is God's will that many will go to hell without a chance at being saved?

8) Do you not realize what kind of God you are portraying to the world? In blunt terms, you teach and preach a God who picks people out ahead of time to toss into hell and never give them a chance to serve Him. You portray a God who forces people to be Christians who He has picked to be Christians. If a parent decided to just love some of their kids and provide for only some, we would have strong language for what kind of parents they were.....yet your portrayal of God is even worse than that.

9) Which God would you rather serve and tell people about: A God who loves everyone and who will save anyone, or a God who picks and chooses who He will save and who He will not, and forces people to serve Him?

10) If we have no free will, then why did Jesus say "Behold I stand at the door and knock......"?

11) How do you deal with this verse: "1 Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."

12) Why are so many Calvinists so mean? Use Google images and Google Calvinism and Calvinism vs Armenian......there are some very hateful memes mocking we who are not Calvinists. And Google "why are Calvinists.... and check out the suggestions. They aren't nice suggestions.......

13) Is there any pride and arrogance is declaring you are one of the elect? If not, then why do so many of you bring it up so often?

14) What if a person wants to be a Christian and is not one of the chosen? How would you address that? (I have heard the argument that if a person is not the elect, he would have no desire to be a Christian, but that is a canned answer that cannot be proven).

15) How would you feel about God and election if your children were not of the elect?

16) If we are once saved always saved, why does the devil fight us so hard?

17) If we are once saved always saved, why fight temptation so hard.....why not just give in?

18) If God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die, then how could that same God be so partial and vindictive with His love?

19) What happens to babies who are not the elect and die before birth or in infancy? Does God send babies to hell? And if so, how can you serve a God like that?

20) If God is so totally sovereign that He is in charge of everything we do, then does He make us sin when we sin? Example: Pastor-author John Piper believes if you are playing Scrabble, God causes you to pick the letters you pick. If that is the case, then wouldn't you have to believe that God directs us to commit every sinful act committed?

21) If we have no free will, and God basically forces us to be Christians, then are we not puppets and robots? Is not God just an evil puppet-master?

22) Are you trying to win disciples to John Calvin, or to Jesus? Are you preaching Calvin, or Jesus?

23) What reason is there to do posts mocking Arminians? Is that Christian? Is that loving? Is that "living peaceably with all men?" Do we make you insecure in your beliefs, so you must mock us to feel superior to us?

24) Why must so many of you constantly point out how wrong you think we are on free will and God offering salvation to all? If you are trying to win the lost, then why focus on and broadcast so often the fact that God does not offer salvation to all, and that you really don't have a choice in whether you serve God or not......how is that spreading the good news?

25) If we truly all sin daily, then why not give into temptation? Why shouldn't I be a gay Christian? If you have your sins that you commit daily and can be a Christian, then why can't I do the sin that tempts me daily?

26) Jesus compares God to a Father and says if a father knows how to give good gifts to His children, how much more does your Heavenly Father know how.....and yet you claim that same Heavenly Father sends people to hell without offering salvation, and judges them for sins they had no chance to repent of......how does that fit in with what Jesus said? It would appear the God you preach is worse than many earthly fathers.

27) What if you're wrong?

28) Why do you focus so much on God's sovereignty over His love? God's love is seen all through the Bible. A God who loves so much that He sent His Son to be one of us, to die at the hands of me, so that whosoever believes  can have eternal life. And you step on top of that to declare God is sovereign and can thus offer salvation to some, and not offer salvation to others......seriously. Why? God IS love, and a God who IS love cannot be the God you claim He is.

29) How does it glorify God or His Kingdom to be constantly pointing out that you believe God picks and chooses who He will save and who He will not?

30) If salvation is a gift, then why does God supposedly give no choice in who receives it or refuses it?

  The most well known verse in the Bible says that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, and that whoever believes on Him will have eternal life. We are about to enter the Easter Season, the time we observe Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead. The Good news of the Gospel is that Jesus died for the sins of everyone....not for a select few. He offers salvation to all, and this mighty God gives us the choice to serve Him, or to refuse Him and eternal life.

 I asked the question above, but it does totally boggle my mind why so many Calvinists can't leave the predestination and election crap alone. To keep insisting that God picks out who He will save and who He will not, and that we have no free will......that is so far removed from what the Good News of the Gospel is that I honestly can't comprehend why it is more important to spread that message of John Calvin's instead of declaring the Good News that Jesus loves you and will save you. It would almost seem that predestination, election, and God's sovereignty are more important than God Himself, and spreading the news of God's love. It seems so many of them would rather spread the news that God picks and chooses who He will save, and you have no choice in the matter.

 For years, I struggled to believe God loved me. There were many factors I won't go into here, but it was only about 5 years ago that I finally believed God loved me. What if I had been a Calvinist? I would most likely have just figured I wasn't one of  the chosen ones and given up completely on being a Christian.

 And if I did believe as the Calvinists do, I believe I would most likely become an atheist...... for I could not serve the God they present... a God lacking mercy, justice, and love, and only dolling it out to those He picked ahead of time to force it on....which really isn't love or justice either.

 In closing, I was talking to my Sunday School teacher, who is the smartest person I know. Seriously. I brought up some verses that outright contradict Calvinism and asked how they could argue with them. He said they just always bring up God's sovereignty to deflect any of those questions.... so maybe that is more important to them than God's love.

In eternity past God decided to make an entire group of people for the express purpose of sending them to eternal damnation as a witness to his divine love. He then commissioned Calvinist preachers to call that doctrines of grace -Calvinism

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March musings 2

1) Cooking for one
 I am really bad at cooking for just me, and end up throwing stuff out a lot. People keep saying you can freeze this or that, but here is the problem: There is never room in my freezer. All I have is the one above my refrigerator, and it is usually overflowing with food that is not leftovers.

 What I need is a small chest freezer, but I can't afford a new one. I found one on Facebook back in January for $50, in great condition. I told the guy I wanted it, but I couldn't have picked it up til the next day. Some woman commented after me and said she could get it that day, so he let her have it.

 It is a bit difficult to only have the amount of freezer space above a refrigerator.....but oh well.

Maybe I need the book I pictured.

2) Lunch with the nieces

 Today was my second of two days off in a row, so I asked my nieces if they wanted to meet for lunch, and they replied yes. The oldest said "long time, no uncle lunches." It was taco Tuesday at the Mexican restaurant we like, but I wasn't in the mood for tacos. I suggested our favorite pizza place instead, so we met at Wedgewood Pizza in Salem. The youngest was in school, so it was the two oldest girls. It means a lot to me that my nieces and nephews are always willing to hang out with me, whether it be to play games or go out to eat.

3) Today's project

 When I have 2 days off in a row, I usually take it easy one of the days, and do cleaning, laundry, etc on the other. Today I decided it was time to tackle my storage room. I have a room on the first floor that has a concrete floor, and is where I stick things I don't know where else to put. The room had gotten out of hand, and you could hardly get through the door. There were plastic totes everywhere in there. I organized the ones that had Christmas in them and consolidated a bit. I had bought a larger tote than I had so my Christmas tree would fit in. I also finally brought in the tree from the porch. Most of the reason was it has been so wet and/or cold lately, I was waiting for a couple of dry nicer days to get it in.....and today was the day. I got it in a tote and put it in the storage room.

 I also threw out a lot of stuff I didn't need, including a wooden chair that my sister left.... and it wasn't worth keeping. It actually burnt pretty well with all of the other stuff I burnt. Among the mess was several empty totes, so I got them separated out and stacked in a corner. The room looks much better and organized now.

4) Billy Graham

 I was never a follower of Billy Graham. To be blunt, I am always suspicious of celebrity type preachers. I may be wrong, but I believe if any preacher actually preaches the truth and not a watered down Gospel, he will not be applauded by so many.

 I do believe he was a good man, and he lived a scandal-free life, which is more than you can say for many others like him. I have heard and read how careful he was to never have anything inappropriate happen, and he guarded his reputation well. It does appear he preached a prosperity Gospel, and died with a $25 million worth...

 I have never read a book or heard a sermon by him. It is sad he is gone, but it doesn't really make much difference in my life.

 And I know.. I probably just committed heresy in some people's eyes for daring to be slightly critical of the man.

5) The funeral

 I have seen several people posting about Trump being the only living president to go to Graham's funeral. A few thoughts on that:

I really don't care who went and who did not. Seriously.

The funeral was invitation only, so he may be the only one invited.

George W and Laura Bush paid their respects before the funeral.

Imagine the nightmare had all living presidents decided to attend. I think it is better that the rest did not.

I am weary of people posting about Trump being the only president to do this or that. It only makes it more difficult for me to keep my mouth shut, which is what Trump voters and supporters want.

 The thing is, Trump is also the first "Republican" president to do a lot of other stuff, but the same people don't post about that and don't want it brought up. I posted that on Facebook and about started a war. :)

 If these people don't want criticisms of Trump, then they shouldn't go overboard praising him and defending him.

He has done some things I agree with, but I still believe my party should never have made him our choice, and I still don't like him.

 What is most frustrating, is the idea is given that I can only criticize presidents and presidential candidates that conservatives and Christians don't support.... criticize Obama and Hillary...definitely. Trump? No way. We voted for him, so you aren't allowed to say anything bad about him.

6) Feeling masculine

  We are so constantly deluged with ideas of what is manly and masculine....yet many of those things are not what the Bible would indicate are traits of a real man. i.e. playing sports, watching sports, drinking beer, chewing, fishing, hunting, sleeping with as many women as you can, etc.

 I'll admit I have struggled in this area all of my life. I wasn't just disinterested in sports.....I was terrible at them. I don't know much about cars, and would rather pay Walmart to change my oil than do it myself. I changed the brake pads on my last car, but only felt extremely frustrated....not masculine.

 I'm not even attracted to the right gender. Oh, that is something that plays over and over in my head.."you're such a failure as a man, you aren't even attracted to women."

 My Sunday School teacher had an excellent message recently in church on the issue of a real man according to the Bible. That needs to be our source for what makes a man. We need to stop letting the world and Hollywood dictate what makes a real man.

 All that aside, I was in a sporting good store last week, and bought a gun cleaning kit and some ammo for my pistol while there......and I felt very masculine surrounded by several guys buying guns, ammo, and other "guy" stuff.

7) School shootings

  There is still more coming out about this last shooting that makes it obvious that law enforcement really dropped the ball. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I have wondered before if these shootings are at least allowed to happen.....if not orchestrated to help the cause to ban guns. This last shooting almost sounds like it was wanted to happen. And any time there is a shooting, the media and liberals start blaming the NRA and Republicans, while screaming for more gun control before the bodies are even in the morgue. I believe they are almost happy for another occasion to further their agenda to disarm law abiding Americans.

8) Garden

 I would like to plant some tomatoes this summer, but not sure if they would survive here. I have already seen rabbits hanging around, and deer are often in the field across from my house. The wildlife may just think it is their salad bar....but I love fresh tomatoes from the garden. Sure, I can get them from my parents, but I am not there every day like I was when I was living with them.

 And I am not sure where to plant them.

9) My pencil tree

 I bought a pencil tree half off after Christmas. My intent was to decorate it for different holidays and seasons, but it still has what I put on it in January. Granted, February was kind of nuts with my having to move out for 2 1/2 weeks..... and St Patrick's Day is just another day to me, so I don't do anything for it..... including decorating.

 In addition to the tree, I put white lights around the ceiling. I had colored ones for Christmas, and really liked sitting in the living room with just the tree and those lights, so I put white ones up for the rest of the year so I can enjoy that when it isn't Christmas.

10) Suing gun manufacturers 

 There are still ongoing lawsuits by families from Sandy Hook against Remington. However, if one can go after a gun maker in those instances, then when someone is killed or hurt by a drunk driver, shouldn't the beer manufacturer and the bar where the person drank be able to be sued?

11) Changing the age

 I am not really for changing the age to buy guns to 18. The majority of shooters in these shootings are well over 18. To me, it seems like something they are putting out there so it looks like they are doing something to the crowd screaming against guns. If an 18 year old isn't mature enough to own a gun, they aren't old enough to vote.

12) Books

 I really do need to get rid of some of my books, but I have no idea where. I hate the idea of having to list them on line and mail them, but the only place I know of to trade them in for cash is Halfprice books....the nearest one is in Pittsburgh, and I was very unhappy with all I got out of the last ones I took there.

I also need to weed out my CDs.....same problem. I think I need a garage sale.

13) Porch furniture

 I would like to get a couple of chairs, possibly a small table of some kind, and maybe some kind of ottoman for my front porch.....though visitors are so rare, one chair may be enough. :)

 My back porch has a porch swing, but I would like something for my front porch also.

14) My book

 A few years ago, I started writing a book. I got up to around 55,000 words.....if I remember correctly. A few people read what I wrote and liked it, but then my depression hit hard and I never finished it. I still have it sitting in a file on my computer, and lately I have felt like I should work on it....but I don't feel the drive or creativity to do so. Maybe some day.

15) Blogging

 I am making an attempt to blog more than I had been....but for now, I don't have ideas for a whole blog post. Maybe those will come.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

What if Nikolas Cruz had sought help?

 I am blessed to have attended a Christian school from K-12. Unfortunately, I was bullied a lot which messed me up a lot in several areas.... but I am still glad I wasn't in a public school.

 The Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was 19 years old. I assume he has only been out of school for a year. Whatever was building in him to do what he did wasn't something that just happened....it was building for a long time.

 What if he had sought help when he was in school? He may have received counseling of some sort that may have helped a bit, but he would never have been pointed to  the solution: Jesus. You see, the public school kicked God out. Teachers and others can get in trouble if they dared talk to a student about Jesus. That isn't allowed.

But what if Cruz had been in a school where prayer was allowed, where anyone could talk freely about Jesus? Could it have made a difference? We will never know. But we do know this: all of these shooters were liberals, raised by liberals, and schooled in liberal thought in government run schools where talk of God is not allowed, and prayer is not allowed. Could it be that public schools with all their anti-God and pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-transgender and pro everything else evil is spawning killers?

 It isn't the fault of the NRA. It isn't Trump's fault, nor Republicans. It is because of evil, and our country pushing God and morals aside, and embracing everything evil and wicked that man can come up with. Morality and God are mocked, while the vile is celebrated, defended, and pushed on our kids.

 These shootings are not done by kids raised in Christian homes with both parents involved. They aren't done by kids in Christian schools.....or those home schooled. They are done by men and boys raised in the wicked public schools, and most of them with an absentee father or no father.

 We have decided not to do anything God's way.....marriage, sexuality, morals, child rearing, education, and more......and this is the result.

 I was a troubled kid. I was bullied more than anyone seemed to realize. I grew up thinking no one liked me. It was largely responsible for struggling to believe God loved me, a struggle that lasted until a few years ago. I also believe it played a big part in my sexuality issues.

 But I never thought about hurting anyone. Never.

 And I believe it was because I was raised right, and knew that God was the answer. Something Nikolas Cruz never had the chance to learn at school, and possibly nowhere else.

*Disclaimer: I in no way excuse this young man's actions or mean to take away his own responsibility for his horrible and evil actions

March musings

  I have really slacked off on blogging. I blogged once in February. Granted, it was a weird month with furnace issues and my having to move out for 2 1/2 weeks, then move back in.

 I have written some posts, but figure they are too controversial to post....questions for Calvinists, why I am still anti-Trump.......for example. I also occasionally type up a blog, get it out of my system and never post it. There are a lot of those posts in the drafts section of my blog.

 As I sit here typing, it is 12:30 am. The calendar has turned to March 1. It is a mild evening, so I guess one could assume March came in like a lamb and is supposed to go out like a lion......if there is anything to that. And why just March? Why doesn't that apply to other months?

 Anyway, I don't feel like going to bed, and for lack of anything else interesting me to do, I decided to blog. Maybe I'll actually post this one.

 I am going to post it. I started it before I went to bed and finished it this evening, Thursday.

Really early Thursday morning...

1) Evening activities

  Since I am off tomorrow, I like to stay up late since I can't do that on the night before work. I stopped at Walmart on my way home, then came home and heated up some of the spaghetti left from last night..... and there is still some left.

 I watched a movie while I ate, then tackled the house. I vacuumed the whole house, did the dishes, a load of laundry, and the long overdue task of taking down my Christmas lights out of my windows. The outside tree is still on the porch, but it has yet to dry out enough to bring inside.

 I moved some bookcases around. I had a shelf full of Narnia books and memorabilia in my library with a map of Narnia and some Narnia play figures hanging on the wall. I had to move it to make room for a another tall shelf for fiction. I moved the Narnia stuff to the hall, and moved the bookcase of joke books and humor downstairs to my all purpose room. I seriously need to weed out some of my books, but I don't know what I'd do with them.

2) McDonalds

 I needed batteries and light bulbs, so I took a quick trip to the dollar store this evening. McDonalds is beside it, and I decided to check out the newly renovated and updated McDonalds. One new thing is a large touch screen you can order and pay on. I don't like those, but the line for the one register was long, so I used it and paid. I then stood near the counter waiting.

 After the line was through, the lady asked if she could help me. I told her I ordered and paid on the screen. She asked me if I needed a cup. I replied with a smirk, "I hope I get a cup.....I only ordered a McFlurry"

  Related advice: Never try to eat a McFlurry while driving at night.

3) Visiting a pastor

 I am not in favor of women pastors, but there is a nice one who comes to the hospital regularly and volunteers as a chaplain. She had a fall and broke her hip,, so I visited her while at work yesterday and today. To my knowledge, she had one visitor other than me.....though people may have visited her who didn't need the room number from me. I bought her flowers in the gift shop and she really appreciated it.

4) Work

 Work has been frustrating lately. We suddenly have a wheel chair shortage, and are constantly running out of them at the main entrance and other places, and then have a horrible time coming up with some. It is both embarrassing and frustrating, and has had me on edge all week.

5) Work 2

 There are some really nice people who work at the hospital. I have a lot of people who speak to me and call me by name, give me hugs, and chat when they can. That makes work a better place when you have great coworkers, even from other departments.

6) Guns

 I am really weary of the battle over guns. We don't have a gun problem in America, we have an problem of evil and hatred. America needs God back in the schools and government, not more gun control that will only take guns off of law abiding people and make us more vulnerable to an evil government.

7) I bought a gun

 With part of my tax refund, I bought a nice pistol I am very happy with. It made me feel patriotic to be in the store seeing people all around me buying guns and practicing  that thing liberals hate....the Second Amendment.

8) Walls

  I think one reason I have slacked off on blogging, is I can feel my walls going back up. For years I was withdrawn and didn't think anyone liked me. Then I let the walls come down, and as a result I have become open about my feelings, my struggles, and thoughts......and then Trump happened. After months of people trying to shut me up and trying to get me to go against my conscience, I started feeling isolated and have started withdrawing into myself. I admit I get lonely, yet I have come to love being alone.

9) Trump.....the underlying reason for my anger

 I have thought a lot about this past election, Trump, Christians and conservatives picking such a man, and all that has happened and been said. I have come to a conclusion that is under all of my anger and frustration about all of this. And this is extremely personal:

 I feel like many Christians who support and defend Trump are pointing at gay people, horrified by their sin that is worse than others in their eyes. They almost hate gay people, and many Christians would shun them, make fun of them, and view them as really bad people........ then with the other arm they are embracing Donald Trump and having no problem with his serial adultery, his owning strip clubs, his vulgarity, and his bragging he likes to grab women by their genitals.

 Newsflash: homosexuality is not worse than what Trump is.

 I have fought these feelings for years, really not having anyone close by to talk to about it, and for years hiding it and having to lie about why I wasn't married. I was terrified of people finding out, and then I got to a place I didn't care about people knowing. I honestly don't know what people think of me. Are people at church afraid they will catch it off of me? Does anyone shun me because of my struggles? I don't know. I am sure there are some who might look down on me. I am pretty much a loner, but then I was before I "outted" myself.

 Honestly.....there have been times in my life I have felt like just going for it.....forget the church and Christian thing and live the gay life. It is far more difficult than anyone knows to deal with this. I want love. I want a special someone to be with, to have romantic dinners with, to cuddle on the couch.....but the desires in me are not for a woman to have that with..... and God says no to what seems so natural.

 One reason I haven't, is because it would hurt people. I know I would be shunned majorly. Oh there are other reasons, but those come into play....and yet so many of  these people who would condemn me for giving in act like Donald Trump is ordained of God. It is really frustrating.

 I don't think I am better than anyone else for not going against my conscience and voting for a man Christians should have fled from instead of embracing. I am just a guy who tried to do the right thing and took quite the beating from Christians for it.

 If you are reading this, maybe you won't get it, and just toss aside what I have said from my heart....but it is true. I feel many of the same people defending all of this bad stuff in Trump condemn the gay crowd, and would condemn me if I had gone that way.

10) The crush

 There is a new girl in the coffee shop at work. She is in her 30's, and was pretty discouraged her first week. I tried to encourage her, and even gave her a hug one day......As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Last Saturday, another coffee shop lady said she was going to play match maker and told me this lady has a major crush on me, and told me I should go for it. I am way over trying to make excuses, so I told this lady I am not attracted to women. She was shocked, but it stopped the match making attempt. The lady wouldn't be my type anyway were I "normal". Now I have this fear she is going to ask me out. And I was just trying to be nice.......

11) Lunch with the nephews

 My nieces live close to me, so I take them out to eat fairly often. My nephews are an hour away and the chance to do so with them is rare. I was off this past weekend and wasn't doing anything Saturday, so I drove over to Canton and took them out to eat at Chik fil a, and went to a couple of stores. It was fun, and they seemed to enjoy it.

Thursday evening

12) My books

 One of my aunts asked me on Facebook how many books I have. I had no idea, and with little to do today on my day off, I decided to count. Including books out on loan, I came up with 1232. 760 of  those are fiction, which is no surprise. I knew I had more of it than any other kind of books.

13) Life

 Sometimes life seems so mundane. You work so you can pay your bills, and don't have enough time or money left to really enjoy life the way it should be enjoyed. It is kind if depressing if you think much about it. I have come to really treasure my days off, and am thankful for my current schedule of 4 10 hour days, and 3 days off throughout the week. They aren't in a row, but I usually have 2 days off in a row..... and I love that.

14) Mr Davis the Calvinist 

 Since I am in and interact in some Facebook groups for people with same-sex attractions, I have had several people in those groups add me as a friend on Facebook. One such guy was a guy I'll call Mr Davis. He is "Reformed", which pretty much boils down to being a hyper/extremist Calvinist. I wearied of his constant attacks on Arminians - we who are not Calvinist. I even told him how offensive he was being, and he didn't care. I eventually blocked him. Now, a couple of years later, he has a new profile, and sent me a friend request. I ignored it for a day. He had recently attacked the Wesleys and anyone who follows their teachings on a friend's post. He messaged me and promised he had changed, and that he wasn't the offensive extreme Calvinist he had been. So I added him.... and it wasn't many days until he was back bashing anyone who disagrees with Calvinism. I commented one one such post, and he posted some really anti-Arminian stuff on my wall, so that was it.

 Some of these Calvinists act like they are trying to win disciples to John Calvin instead of Jesus. You would think they'd be trying to win people to Jesus, instead of ranting about how God picks and chooses who He will save and condemn, that we have no choice in the matter, and they are part of the elect.

 More than one has shared memes mocking anyone who is not Calvinist.. and I truly don't get it. Why is proving Calvinism right more important than sharing the Gospel?

And for the record, though I may agree with most of the Wesley's teachings, I don't revere them and rarely think about them.

Maybe I SHOULD post that blog about questions for Calvinists.......

15) Cooking

 I like to cook, and do a lot of it since I live alone. Unfortunately, I don't cook small amounts. I overdid it on spaghetti this week, and today I made a huge amount of beef vegetable soup that will last me a while.... and it is really good, if I must say so myself.

 And I added potatoes and more broth after the picture below was taken.

16) Flies

 I love my place, and feel blessed to be in it. I have a bad fly problem though...... I mean really bad. Last night I vacuumed up around 30-40 dead flies from the windows and floor in my library. Every night before I go to bed, I kill a few in my room. I find dead flies on the floor in my dining room daily, and have a few fly tapes hanging throughout the house. It is gross, but I don't know how to keep them out of the house.

17) NRA

 I had a Facebook friend who is an extreme liberal. She was quiet when Obama was in office, but came out swinging when Trump won. Turns out she thinks Obama was awesome, and is against everything good.....while claiming to be a Christian. I don't like Trump, but she was obsessed with him, constantly posting about him, rejoicing when someone left his administration, etc. I got tired of her constant ant-gun rants and her raving about how wonderful the kids are who are marching against guns.....and deleted her. I never could understand how she could think Trump was so bad and Obama so good.....where was she for 8 years?!

 Anyway, she is largely responsible for me getting an NRA membership to show my support of them since she was constantly ranting against them and blaming them for school shootings.I even got a free magazine and duffel bag out of it.

18) Reading

 I have read 32 books towards my goal of 150 books for the year. I am 25% of the way, and 11 books ahead, according to Goodreads. I should hit my goal if I keep it up.

19) NRA hat

 There was an older guy at the hospital this week wearing an NRA hat. I told him I liked his hat. He replied that he had gotten several positive comments on it, and had a few people yell "killer!" at him for wearing it. Lovely. I'd be afraid to wear one in public.

20) Blogging

 I do need to blog more than I have. This is a good start to doing so, a new blog post on the first day of a new month.

Until next time.......

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thoughts on guns, violence, bullying, and messed up kids

  Another tragic school shooting has happened, and as usual the liberals/gun rights hating crowd is blaming everyone but the shooter. Why blame the shooter? What sense would that make? Nah, it is the fault of the NRA, Republicans, the gun manufacturer, and even Trump. (still not a Trump fan, but his fault...really?!)

 The reactions of the liberals is always so predictable that I could almost write their reactions ahead of time. It is pathetic. They can't wait until the bodies are cold before they are crawling atop the bodies, screaming for more gun control, and pointing fingers at everyone but the shooter. I even had a more liberal friend (sorry if you read this) post that she doesn't want to hear thoughts and prayers, but policy change.

 But do we really need more gun laws? Many experts say that if we kept the laws on the books, that would be enough.

 And ironically many of those screaming the loudest and pointing the most fingers have guns, or people protecting them with guns......i.e. celebrities and politicians. Really, should Nancy Pelosi or Ashton Kutcher have any more of a right to be protected by a gun than I do? NO! Absolutely not.

 I did a first today. I bought a pistol. I filled out the paperwork, and had a background check. I have wanted to get one for a while, and that is what I did with part of my tax refund. Up next: a safety course. Sadly, there are many people who would be against my having a pistol.

 I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and surprisingly did not get any backlash. I'd like to expound a bit on it:

Maybe. ....just maybe if we had not kicked God out of the schools and everywhere else atheists and liberals have succeeded in doing so.....and if we had not made life seem so inconsequential with abortion. ....we wouldn't be having these school shootings.

They didn't happen years ago. Guns are not the problem. Godless people have undermined the sanctity of life and helped our country move even further from God and good.

Guns haven't changed. People have changed. Want school shootings to stop? Put God, morals and values, and anything else good back in schools and the government. Stop letting Hollywood dictate our morals and beliefs. Keep families together.

Guns aren't the problem, and more gun laws won't help. Evil is the problem, and America is embracing it on every front while kicking God and values to the curb

 I am a very big proponent of Christian schools. I am 100% against public schools, and am not a fan of home schooling - an admission that just about requires being put into witness protection........ :) If had kids and there was no Christian school near me, I would home school as a last resort over public schools. That said, there needed to be more overseeing when I was in school.

 My parents were backslidden until I was 11 1/2 years of age, but still had us kids in a Christian school all 3 of us attended K-12. We had no TV after that time, and I grew up in a home where my parents loved each other, our family ate supper together - except when my dad worked afternoon shift. My parents always knew where we were, and we didn't wander the streets unchecked. Of course I never had friends, so there was that.

 I was bullied a lot in school, especially in the grades 6-9. Unfortunately for a Christian school, good Christian kids in the higher grades were a rarity. Add to it that I was quiet, was terrible at and uninterested in sports, and I may as well have painted a target on my back. I was forced to play sports I didn't like or understand for gym class, and was the kid no one wanted on their team. Many times when the teacher left the class room, it became bully  Mark time. I had kids waiting to shove me into the snow after school, and more. Boys did and said things to me that I still believe largely played into my same-sex attractions and my years battle to believe God loved me and that anyone truly liked me......something I still struggle with. My own cousin tried to shove a pencil up my nose as I was held down by other boys....and these were junior high and high school boys.

 And then it carried over to Bible college for a couple of years.

 But you know what? It never entered my mind to take one of my dad's guns to school and start blowing my tormentors away.n Never. I often look back and wish I had fought back and wonder how I would have turned out if I had instead of just taking it and trying to hide from bullies. Stuff like that just didn't happen back then. If it had, would I have been one of those messed up kids responsible for a school shooting? I like to think I wouldn't have. I was a pretty good kid. I was raised in the church. My family did a lot together. We had family devotions. I came from a family that hunts....dad, cousins, uncles, grandpa.......all the guys except me......but no one from my family has ever taken a gun and shot someone.

 Guns and hunting were talked about in school. Go back far enough and boys had guns in their cars parked on school property..... and never took them into the school to kill someone. What changed? As I said in my Facebook post, guns didn't change.

 God is the ultimate answer to everything. No matter how far I have strayed from Him at different times in my life, there has always been that deep seated belief. God used to have a place in our country. They prayed in public schools. Our politicians mostly had a respect for God, His laws, and His Word. Most businesses closed for the Sabbath Day and most people went to church. There may have been bad on TV, but nothing compared to what we have now.

 But God has been kicked out of the public schools, and if a teacher dare brings God or the Bible up, he or she will most likely be fired. Hollywood mocks Christianity and God, and puts the most vile stuff on for people's viewing pleasure. Sex isn't for marriage anymore, and no one expects kids to remain virgins, and they are even encouraged to experiment with the same sex. We murder babies daily while one political party celebrates those murders and has that "right" as part of their political platform.

 Perversion is marched down our streets in the name of "pride", and anyone who dares hold to the Bible is mocked and branded hateful. More and more Christians and churches are embracing sin and claiming God is OK with it. Kids as young as toddlers are being encouraged to be the opposite sex, in spite of the increased chances of suicide, and the fact that many regret the attempted change.

 TV has become more violent and vulgar. Social media is a place where people feel free to be hateful and bully others.

 Daily, America embraces more and more evil and vulgar practices and sin. We as a country don't want Him, His outdated laws and books, and certainly not his archaic sexual practices.

 We decry sexual assaults on women, while raving about movies like the 50 Shades trilogy that glorify what we are decrying.

 We scream about protecting out kids from guns, while exposing them to all kinds of vile perversions, encouraging kids to be sexual, to change their gender, to murder their babies, and to not have to be responsible for their actions.

 Pedophilia is becoming accepted by more and more people, and will likely one day be legal if we keep going down the slippery slope godless liberals and others keep pushing us down.

 We have lost respect for life.

 Respect is not taught, and the liberal media screams how evil cops, white people, and men are.

 Marriage has become rare, and people would rather shack up instead of committing to a lifelong marriage relationship with anyone.

 We have made a mockery of God's ideal for marriage with easy sex, shacking up, divorce, multiple marriages, and gay marriage.

 Marriages don't last, and selfish parents wreck havoc on their kids because they care more about themselves than the spouse they promised to love forever or the kids that came as a result of that marriage.

 Kids grow up in homes without fathers, and are daily reminded by Hollywood that fathers are stupid and unnecessary. Boys grow up without the fathers they desperately need, either having no father at all, one they see on weekends and holidays, or having one absent emotionally.

 Video games have gotten more violent, and some kids and adults barely function outside of a virtual world they are addicted to.

 America has become more and more evil and godless, and we dare wonder why He stands idly by and lets school shootings and other violence happen?

 We could grab and melt down every gun in America, and nothing would change. Mentally ill and evil people would still find a way to kill and destroy. It has always been that way, but as long as we kick God, His laws, and His Word to the curb and allow evil godless people to push our country down the path they want, nothing will ever change.

 And ultimately, only one person is responsible when a shooting like these happen: the shooter. We all make choices how we deal with stuff. I made choices....not all good, but I sure didn't choose violence as the answer to my bullying.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Last words

 **This isn't the first post I did along these lines, but it is different from the other.

   I lost a coworker this week, though he technically was gone long before that. On the Wednesday before Christmas, on his last day as a security guard at the hospital, he had a heart attack and never woke up. After a month on machines, they unplugged him, and he passed away.

   Ever since it became obvious that he was not going to come out of this, my last 2 conversations with him have been going through my head. A couple of weeks prior, one of the afternoon shift guards had shown me a picture of a man to keep an eye out for who may possibly come in and cause trouble. I was over near the security office later, and Randy showed me the picture and asked if I knew about it. I affirmed I did, then he got a smirk on his face and kept looking at the picture and then at me, and said "hmmm".The guy also had a shaved head. I knew he what he was inferring, so I laughed and said "very funny, you're an idiot." He laughed and I went my way.

   A few days later, I was again near the office and he was in there with a couple of other guards. I walked in and said "Know what this blockhead did?" I related the story, and we all laughed, then I headed back to my work area.

 Last words. If we knew it was the last time we'd talk to someone, what would we say?

   I read something a lady wrote a few years back. She related that she and her husband made a pact that any time they parted, they would say "I love you." And they did. She said sometimes he would be leaving after a big argument, and she was screaming it at his departing car. He died unexpectedly - I think a car accident. She said it was a comfort to know that the last words she said to him were "I love you."

   I like to joke and tease a lot, and  this has been on my mind for a few weeks, especially this week. I eat lunch  in the coffee shop every work day I am at the Beaver hospital, whether I buy their food or take my own. The ladies like me pretty well, and I joke around with them a lot, and good naturedly pick on them. Yestrday, as I was waiting for my hot fudge Sunday, I told them I wanted to tell them something. It went something like this: "I am serious when I say this. There are people in this hospital who brighten my day, and you ladies are at the top of that list." I got some "awws" and similar replies. The boss lady asked "so we make you look forward to coming to work?" I laughed, and said "no, but it does help me not dread it......you'll just have to be happy with that."

  I walked out into the lobby and gave my housekeeper friend a hug, and told her she is one of my favorite people in the hospital. I tease her a lot. Yeah, there's a pattern there.

   These people know I like and love them, but if I knew I was talking to one of them for the last time, would I tell a joke, give a teasing remark, or........

   No, we can't be morbid individuals always acting morose like we will never see our family and friends again when we part, but how often are we unkind, rude, short, and other such things with people in our lives off line and on?

   And I am not experiencing any guilt over my last conversations with Randy. He and I were always joking around with each other. But it has made me think a lot about how we treat people and the words we say. How would we feel if the last words we said to a friend or family member were not kind words?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

January jottings 2

I am honestly trying to do more actual blog posts this year instead of these posts of random thoughts, but this is all I got today,mostly topics I have discussed lately, saw on the news, or social media:

1) Thoughts on the  government shutdown:

a) I am still against Trump, but the shutdown is on the Democrats, not on Trump or the Republicans. The Democrats want amnesty so bad so they can get more votes, they will do anything to get what they want....even if it means putting the welfare of lawbreakers above we Americans who they are supposed to be working for.

b) A liberal friend tried to claim the Democrats are taking the high ground because they care about social justice "as the Christian God should"....I admit I blasted him for that stupid comment, pointing out they are the party who cheers and celebrates the murder of millions of babies. They do not take the high ground.

c) I don't believe Congress should get paid during a shutdown. That might speed things up

d) I like what Matt Walsh said: "The only thing bad about this government shutdown, is that the government will be back up and running eventually."

2) Trump praise and worship

  I might be able to handle Trump more if it wasn't for so much over the top worship and defense of him. I get that many Christians voted for him out of a fear of a Hillary presidency. I don't get this desperate need to defend the indefensible in him. I was talking to a friend of mine and saying how it was affecting me seeing this, then she went on to defend his bragging about grabbing women's genitals, and his owning strip clubs. Why? Why did she have to defend those things? She also did a post defending his use of the vulgar word he called Haiti. Support him when he does something good or says something good, but it is disgusting to see Christians wallowing around in the filth and defending him on things they should be disgusted by.

 I could have more respect for Trump supporters if they just admitted that he was wrong in those areas, and said they felt they still had to vote for him......but to defend sin because he's your guy.......no.

 I also see too many posts about how he is the only president do be treated so badly, that the Bible prophesied his presidency, and other stuff that is like what the Obama supporters were famous for. I see more praise and worship of Trump from some Christians, than of God...... and I believe 100% that many Christians are more offended by criticism of Trump than of God.

 I un-followed a lot of people during and after the election. If someone posted too much pro-Trump stuff, I un-followed. If they gave me a hard time about not voting for him, I un-follwed. If they post stuff like Trump making Christmas great again, I un-followed

 Think of a politician you really dislike - Obama, Hillary, etc.... now imagine you have Facebook friends telling you that you must vote for them. Imagine Facebook friends are always posting over the top stuff about him being wonderful. People comparing him/her to David, Sampson, Esther, and other Bible heroes. Can you imagine how weary of that you'd get? That is how it is like to not like Trump.

I won't deny he has done some good, but there are a lot of promises he hasn't fulfilled yet, and I am suspicious of this guy who spent so much time and money supporting liberals and their causes.

3) The weather

 Thankfully, the weather has warmed up a bit to temps in the 40's, and  50's. I am enjoying the warmer temps and the snow melting.

4) Get away

    We are short a person at work, and a co-worker is going on vacation. My boss is working her as many days in a row as possible before her vacation, and the result is my having a 4 day weekend next weekend. Saturday-Tuesday. My first thought was it would be nice to do something, and the Amish getaway I have done came to mind.......but I can't really afford it. I checked to make sure one is going on, and it is...... so I decided to do it. If I need to, I'll borrow from my savings and put it back after I get my tax refund back.

 The getaway is something an inn in Sugarcreek, OH does......which is the heart of Ohio's Amish area. Depending on the days you go, the package price differs. I am going on Monday and Tuesday, so the price is $89.95 for 2 people, $77.95 for one.....which is me.  You get a night's stay at the inn, your choice of supper out at 3 different restaurants, your choice of breakfast out at 3 different restaurants, and free stuff from 15 different businesses: a pound of cheese, popcorn balls, a 1/2 gallon of apple cider,  a personalized pen or bookmark, and more. You are given a map of all the locations, and you go all over the area shopping and picking up your free stuff. It is fun, and I have enjoyed the few times I have done it. The inn is a really nice place to stay too. The approximate value of the meals and other things total more than the price you pay for  the room.

 I always get there around 9, pay, and get my packet with the coupons. You can't get in your room til around 2, so I set out and start collecting my free items while sight-seeing and shopping. I typically go back to my room and relax a bit in the late afternoon, then go out for supper around 5-6, then back to my room. There is nothing to do in the evening, so I take my laptop, a movie or two, and a book to occupy myself in the evening. I get up the next day and have my free breakfast at nearby Dutch Valley Kitchen, then go pick up any remaining items I didn't get.

5) Illegal immigrants

 Yeah, I am politically incorrect. If they are here illegally, they are illegal immigrants. The issue frustrates me. There are people lecturing us telling us that as Christians we must accept them and take care of them. Ironically, it is more often than not that it is people fine with murdering babies telling us that......it just ticks me off that we are expected to take care of these people breaking into our country, while there are people going about it the right way, and while we have legal American born citizens living on the streets....... but by all means lets take care of lawbreakers first! 

 Liberals try to paint it that we are against immigrants, but we are not. I am all for people coming into this country legally. It is a disservice to those who do, to try to do amnesty for those who come in illegally and leech off our system. We already have too many legal Americans leeching off the system.

6) Casual church    

  I mentioned before on here that my church recently enlarged our sanctuary, and put chairs in instead of pews to save money. I still don't like them, and believe for such a major change, the whole church should have had a say, instead of a few guys on a committee making that decision. I do think it looks more casual and that is rubbing off on me. I have worn jeans on Sunday morning a few times recently, and I have never worn jeans on a Sunday morning.

 And I honestly haven't consciously thought "well since we have chairs now, I am going to wear jeans....", but now that I think about it, there may be a connection.

7) Praying to dead people 

 There is a lot of Catholic beliefs I disagree with, and some that just boggle my mind. One is their praying to "saints". The Bible says to come boldly to the throne of grace, and that we can go straight to God. Why on earth would anyone bypass God and pray to a dead person instead? It sounds like idolatry in the first place, and why pray to someone who can't do anything for you?

  I got myself in trouble recently. Yeah, big shock there. I am in a few groups for Christian guys with same-sex attractions. Two of those groups are more Catholic, with some non-Catholics in. I couldn't stand it the other day when some of  the guys were talking about their struggles and saying a prayer to this or that saint for help.  I told them they might have more success if they prayed to God instead of dead people. It didn't go over well :)

8) Speaking in tongues    

 I don't believe in speaking in tongues as some churches do. I believe it is  the gift of languages........but even if those churches were right, the Bible clearly  states it is a gift and we all do not have the same gift, so to insist everyone must have it is totally un-Biblical.

9) Oprah for president    

 There is a lot of talk about Oprah running for president. I hope she doesn't. One celebrity in the White House is one too many, and we don't need another. I do think Trump would lose to her if she ran, but I could be wrong.......I never thought he'd beat Hillary.

10) Being missed

 Before I took my current position at the hospital, I was the greeter in the Emergency Department. Today, one of the young male nurses who is now also a supervisor, said he wanted me back over there and wanted to kick my King James Donkey (not his exact words......) for moving over here. It is nice to be missed :)

11) Christianity

  Am I the only one who wonders how close to God's ideal of Christianity and church we are? I can't imagine He is pleased as we fight and argue over petty things like politics and other things that won't matter in eternity, while ignoring the lost around us.

 And I often wonder what  the early church was like, and how far from it we are. I doubt we resemble it much..... I would like to find out more what the early church was like, but not sure how to go about that.

12) Opposing a president    

     As much as I dislike Trump, I can appreciate he has done some good.........unlike Obama. I honestly cannot think of anything he did that I agreed with or thought was good for our country and freedoms. I won't ever like Trump for who he is and what he has done and said - and how he acts - but even I won't criticize him for doing good........though I am suspicious of his motives. There are people who hate him so much that they blame him for everything, including the Hawaii missile scare and the shutdown. There is plenty to dislike Trump - and Obama for, we don't need to create reasons.

13) The fall of "Johnny"

 "Johnny" is a young friend of mine that I met at the Hope for Wholeness Conferences - Hope for Wholeness is a ministry for those with unwanted same-sex attractions. Johnny was doing great, was an encouragement, and even taught a couple of workshops at last year's conference.

 And he just gave up. He has decided to embrace being gay, yet claims Jesus still loves him and he still loves Jesus.....the first is definitely true, but the last cannot be.

 A few weeks ago, he was hotly defending watching Ellen Degeneres and raving about how wonderful she was.....now I wonder if that was a sign, or if watching a lesbian regularly had a bad effect on him. Regardless, it is sad.

14) The snow hypocrites

 That may sound harsh, but it is the blunt truth......I have had a few people lecture me that it is wrong for me to hate snow and speak of it harshly because God created it, and it is basically criticizing God. You cannot tell me that these people never, ever complain about or criticize something God created....rain, heat of summer, mice, spiders, snakes....there is something, and more likely more than one somethings - that they are as guilty of complaining about or criticizing. And that is what a hypocrite is - one who preaches at someone else for something they do.

 And then there are tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis....and other such weather conditions that these people cannot possibly like.

 It both amuses me and irritates me, if that is possible.

I remain convinced snow and winter are a result of the fall of man, and are part of the curse.

15) The Maine Justice books

 A few months ago I won a book. I had the option to pick any book in the 5 book series, so I picked #1. I loved it and put the other 4 on my Christmas wish list, which I did receive and read through them after Christmas. Then book #6 came out, which I purchased. I read it today and loved it. The series is suspense/mystery, and I have really enjoyed them. I emailed the author last night and received a reply within minutes:

"Wow, Mark, thanks! Hearing from readers like you is SO encouraging. Do you know, those six books were some of the first I ever wrote, and I couldn’t sell that first book. I don’t know if it was because of the strong spiritual emphasis or what, but they sat “in the drawer” for about 15 years. I got them out last year, updated the fashions, cell phones and computers, and published them. Thanks for letting me know that was a good decision! Would you mind if I quoted you in a tweet or something for a promotion?"


16) Facebook memories

 Facebook has a cool feature where every day, they offer several posts that you posted a year ago today, 2 years ago today, etc up to about 8 years (I think). It is pretty cool to see what I posted in the last few years, and sometimes it is something I forgot about and enjoy the memory.

17) Taco Tuesday

  The Mexican restaurant near me has 99 cent taco Tuesday every week. Today, my oldest 2 nieces and my mother met me there for tacos. For dessert, we got fried ice cream.....which is really good, and so big we always spit it two ways. Unfortunately, my youngest niece was in school and couldn't be there.

18) Electoral college

  There are people calling for the electoral college to be done away with. No coincidence, they are people who wanted Hillary to win. Had she won, they would be silent about the electoral college. Democrats know it would be in their favor to not have the electoral college.

19) What still bothers me

 One of the things that still bothers me most from this past election, are the Christians - even from my own church - who either accused me of being for Hillary, or said my vote was going for Hillary since I was voting 3rd party. These were people who are supposedly friend and Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. They knew I was not for Hillary.

 But they refused to acknowledge that it is possible to oppose the GOP and Democratic candidate. In their eyes, you must be for one or the other, and if you are not with their candidate, you are for the other.

 Can I be blunt: that attitude and thinking is not Christian. It is political, pure and simple. These people used dishonesty, and attempts to shame or guilt me into voting for Donald Trump. I lost respect for, and confidence in anyone who said those things to  me.

It IS possible to be against both candidates.

If you are against the guy in your own party, it does NOT make you in favor of the other guy - or woman in this case.

If you vote 3rd party, it is NOT a vote for the Democrat.

 It is a year later, and I am still struggling with this....... and things like these are why I do despise this presidency.

   I have come to the conclusion that we Christians have become too political. The Bible says nothing about voting, and it sure doesn't say you must vote like the rest of the people in your party, church, or even family.

 Sadly, most of us will never get it. I get it  - or am starting to get it - because I dared stand against the candidate people unfortunately picked for the political party I am registered with. We have equated being Republican with being Christian. And yes, I have problems with anyone who calls themselves a Christian and is a Democrat with all their party supports and stands for.

 But I also had - and have a problem with Donald Trump. Well, several problems. Why is it OK to take a stand against the Democrat, but not the Republican?

 There are two things I am considering: Registering as an Independent, or not voting in another presidential election at all. And I am serious about that.

20) Reading challenge

  Mainly to end on a positive note.....

  Goodreads is a cool site I use often for keeping track of the books I read, and I also post reviews on there. They have a reading challenge each year. You can set it for how many books you want to read, and they keep track of your progress on how many books and pages you have read. I set a goal of 130 books for 2018, and have read 14 so far. According to Goodreads, I am 6 books ahead of schedule. I hope I can keep that up, as I came in a bit short of my goal last year.