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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mid January thoughts

Again, not an actual blog post..... I am bad at doing those these days...... but just some random things on my mind.

1) The curve-ball

  You truly never know what a day - or week - will hold. I started out last week having no idea what kind of week it was going to be. It wasn't a good one. My furnace quit working on Monday. It took a few days to figure out what exactly was going to happen, mainly whether the part it needed could still be bought.....and it cannot.

 It looked like I was going to have to move out until Spring - I won't go into the details, but it looks like it will be around a month until a new furnace can be put in. On Friday, my parents helped me pack up and move what I will need for a month, along with taring precautions to make sure the water pipes won't freeze. So I am back in my parents' basement for a month or so, with enough clothes and other things to keep me for a month. Fun times. The plus is that my mom is an awesome cook, and I will get to eat her cooking instead of mine for the duration.

2) A Christmas gift with a lot of mileage

  I received a lot of nice Christmas gift, but there is one getting more mileage than the others. A Southern Gospel group I like did a CD called "The Americana Sessions", and I have been listening to it a lot. One of my favorite cuts on the CD is The American Trilogy. I hit repeat a lot on that song.

3) Reading

 I am 9 books in towards my goal of 130 books, and am ahead on my goal according to Goodreads. I did a lot of reading over the weekend, averaging a book a day. One book I read was the debut novel by Jaime Jo Wright. It was really good, and I love the dedication to her husband in the front of the book. It makes me smile.

4) Defending the indefensible

  I was one who was disgusted by Donald Trump's wording when he said what he did about Haiti and other countries. What is more disgusting and disturbing are the Christians and conservatives defending that and everything else the man says and does. I get people voting for him to stop Hillary. I get liking some of the things he has done politically that are the right move, whatever his reasons for doing them. I cannot get the constant defense of his wrong actions and words. No matter if it is Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump..... if  you defend their godless actions and words and their lawless actions, you are in a cult.....not a political party.

 I was attacked and told I wasn't perfect for daring to say he should not have said what he said.....by a Christian. Support your guy when he does right, but please don't support and defend him when he is dead wrong and vulgar.

And I truly believe his supporters are more offensive and defensive of anti-Trump comments than anti-God comments and sentiments.

5) Mom's chex mix

 Speaking of my mom's awesome cooking, she makes the best chex mix, hands down. You cannot buy any that good. Hers is spicier than most, but not so it is burning your tongue. My nieces go wild over it. My oldest niece was messaging how badly she wanted some, so I made a video of myself eating some and raving about how good it is and sent it to her.....she wasn't as amused as I was. :)

6) Belated birthday party

  Our whole gang was going to get together last Monday for my youngest sister's birthday, but the weather interfered, so we are trying for tonight. For the first time since Christmas, the whole Buzard clan will be here in the same house. Home made pizza and home made ice cream are in the forecast. The Wii remotes are charging, and Uncle Mark is about to practice Mario Karts 8 so I can try to beat some kids in it.

7) Snow

  Can we all agree that we have had enough snow for this winter? The older I get, the more I hate it. I am not ashamed to admit driving on winter roads scares me. I worry about going in the ditch, I worry about sliding into another car or vice versa, I worry about a deer crossing and being unable to stop hitting it.

 And amid my worry and fear, there are brainless idiots cheering about the pretty snow. Rude? Not really. :)

8) Sex accusations

  You know, if everyone did sex the way God intended - wait til marriage, and only have it with your marriage partner - a lot of this stuff wouldn't go on. Many of these accusations come after a woman willingly whores herself out, then decides to call it assault.

 Also, if we all practiced Mike Pence's rule, it would cut down on the accusations.

 What is sad is there are so many false accusations, and there are men sitting in jail because an evil woman for some reason leveled false accusations of rape. When found out, these women need to serve the same amount of jail time the man did or would have.

9) Caramel M&Ms

 Very random, but I am eating some as I blog.....they remind me a lot of Mild Duds, but not quite as chewy and apt to stick to your teeth. My favorite is still the peanut butter ones.

 And this is a post of random stuff on my mind. And caramel M&Ms are on my mind...and in my mouth and stomach also.

10)  Church

 Do I dare admit it on my public blog where anyone can read it? I am not happy with church. I have not felt at home there for several years....since I moved back from Indiana 10 years ago. I did used to feel like a part of the church, but not anymore. I go in, usually speak to a few people, sit through Sunday School, sing, listen to the sermon, speak to a few people, and go home...... and do it again Sunday night minus Sunday School. There is no fellowship, and maybe it is my age and marital status, but I feel like an island at church......or maybe a pariah since this last election.

 My church is very conservative.....maybe a bit too much in some areas....... but I agree with more than I don't. One thing we fail at miserable is community and fellowship. The powers that be and some of the more conservative/older people are afraid of any kind of dinner or anything done in the name of the church, so nothing like that ever happens. I wonder sometimes if I suddenly quit, how many people would notice I was gone, and how long it would be til anyone noticed. A few would, I realize that.....but I need more than I am getting from church.

11) The library

  I fear I am going to outgrow my library. I have several 5-shelf bookcases in my library full of fictional books, and I need to add another, but there is no room for another. I may have to put on in t he hall and have the fiction novels spill over onto it.

12) Failure

 No matter how hard I try at life, and no matter my circumstances, I can never rise above feeling like a failure. I'll admit the gay issue has always made me feel like a failure as a man. I'd have loved to have married and had kids.....the kids were more of a wish than a wife. I just this morning had those familiar painful pangs as I watched a nice looking young guy at a nearby table holding his little baby boy as he ate, then later walk around with the baby, and wondering why I had to miss out on all that.

 But even other areas of life. I just feel like I'll never be enough, never have enough to stop feeling like a failure.

13) Racist Trump

 Don't get me wrong, I still am #nevertrump, but come on......there is no evidence the man is racist, or has done anything impeachable. I didn't even accuse Obama of things he wasn't. However, it is irony the same people who overlooked the impeachable offenses of Obama and his blatant racism and bigotry are accusing Trump of what they were OK with in Obama.

 There is a lot of fault to be found in Trump, but it is stupid to accuse him of what he is not.

14) Pineapple on pizza.....and tomatoes as a fruit

  I recently got a flurry of defense of pineapple on pizza when I said it did not belong. I don't think anyone was angry, as my post was in fun..... but it is weird. One defense is that tomato is a fruit, but you don't use tomatoes as a fruit.....you use it as a vegetable. You don't put it in fruit salads, you don't chunk it up in your cereal......no,  you use it as a vegetable. Whoever said it was a fruit was wrong.

 And don't get me wrong. I love pineapples. I love them in fruit salads, out of the can, in jello.......but never on pizza. You may as well toss some bananas and blueberries on the pizza as to do that. Double yuk to  the nth degree!

 Now if it is a fruit pizza......yeah

Maybe I need to start a petition to have tomatoes recognized as a vegetable. Bob might be happy.

15) Book

 There was something neat about a book I read over the weekend. The main character in the book lived on Okracoke Island in the Outer Banks, NC. We stay on Hatteras Island when we vacation there, but we always take the ferry to Okracoke Island and make a day out of it. The lighthouse isn't very impressive, but it is fun to visit the island and its beaches.

 And it was neat to read about a place I have been.

 I did not, however, find record of the church existing the fictional Trevor Black attended.

Of course I did live in Bloomington, Indiana for 2 years, where Karen Kingsbury set her popular Baxter Family books.

16) KJV only 

  I was raised on the King James Version of the Bible, and we still use it in church. I personally have moved away from using it for personal use, and tend to read the ESV, NKJV, and NLT for the most part, among others.

 KJV only people amuse me. I get preferring it, but the militant ones practically worship the version and act like Jesus Himself used it. They often give examples why the KJV is the only inspired Word of God and the other versions and translations are wrong and sub-par.

 But here's a thought.....what if the KJV is the one that is wrong when compared to others? Sorry, that might make their little brains explode....... :)

 I honestly feel it is better to use a few different translations. The KJV uses old archaic language that no one uses anymore. Thou, thee, lovest, etc. You can get too modern, proved by a Bible that has slang, but come on........ there is nothing wrong with using a Bible that uses modern language. The militant KJV only people should have to talk like the Bible they worship.

17) Being an uncle

 As much sorrow I have had over never having kids of my own, I am very thankful for my 6 nieces and nephews....Stephanie, Allison, Caitie, Josiah, Benjamin, and Nathan. I love these 6 kids who aren't that little anymore....ages 11-22, and am thankful I am so much a part of their lives. They are largely the part I am living in miserable cold and snowy Ohio instead of a warmer climate.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Maybe it is Obama and Trump who are the bleep bleeps

  Donald Trump has made the news again with his term he used for Haiti and other such countries. The results were predictable:

His supporters: defense mode

Liberals: horrified and scandalized

  Can we stop with this junk? Why are we OK with our candidate doing/saying something, but condemn it in ones we don't like. I am sick of Christians defending everything Trump does and says that goes against decency and Biblical principles and values, but I am also sick of Obama supporters being horrified by Trump after we just had 8 years under the worst president we have ever had. A president who used vulgarity, attacked conservatives with incendiary language, hated America and whites, and stirred up hatred and racism against whites,  cops, and Christians. Obama is not a nice and decent man, and he is far from Christian. And that is OK for me to say.

 But it applies to Trump too. The words Trump said are not words decent and good men use. I don't care who uses that word and other curse words..... good and decent people don't use them.

 Nor do they defend people using them.

 And here's a newsflash, you self righteous Obama supporters: Your guy called Libya the same word, only ended it with show instead of hole. Where were you then? Why did you not take issue with it?

Because Obama said it, and you did just what you don't like Trump's supporters doing with him - you defended and excused everything your guy and said. Google some time the things Obama did to hurt the freedoms of Christians..... it is a long list.

 Maybe it isn't  these countries who are "bleep bleep".....maybe it is the last 2 despicable men we voted president who are the bleep bleeps. Get real people.......you cannot elect the low quality of men like Donald Trump and Barack Obama, and then be outraged when the other guy acts like your guy. And Hillary is no better, that faux Christian has a closet full of skeletons that need brought to light and she belongs in jail........and maybe her buddy Trump too for defending her and giving her money all these years.

 I really am sick of politics. I still believe 100% that Trump should never have won the GOP nomination, and that any Christian who voted for him in the primaries needs to repent......along with any who defend him on his strip clubs, his vulgarity, his immorality, his bragging about assaulting women, and more. The Bible says we are not to have any fellowship with darkness, so Christians nominated darkness..... a man pretty close to being like Bill Clinton. I get voting for him in the main election to stop Hillary, though he isn't much better.....he is doing some things that are good, so as long as he does that, his voters and supporters are happy. Many of them don't care what kind of man he is or what kind of language he uses.......as long as he does politically what they want, he can shoot people on the street and not lose voters......... his words, not mine.

 And the liberals should be ecstatic....Donald Trump should be their kind of man...serial adulterer, vulgar, misogynist, long time defender of liberals and their causes..... and donations to them and their causes, porn actress wife......why he is just the kind of man liberal love.....were it not for him doing things politically they don't like.

 Seriously, when are we going to start voting for decent and moral men again? I had hoped after 8 years of the awful Obama that we'd get a decent man, but my party let me down..... and continues to as they defend everything their man says and does.

 And then the hypocritical Obama voters are suddenly moral and concerned about how a president talks since it is a man they despise. Ironically, the vulgar and immoral Hollywood celebrities are loudest in their criticisms....... and it is nauseating.

 We have men who are vulgar and use incendiary language because we vote them in. And we can't fake outrage and be horrified when the guy in the other party talks like and does what our guy does if we are/were OK with our guy doing and talking that way.

 Want the Democrat to be decent and good? Then don't vote for men like Donald Trump.

 Want the Republican to be decent and good? Then don't vote for people like the Clintons and Obama.

 It isn't the countries that are what Obama and Trump called them......it is the men calling those countries that are the words they are using.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lessons from a fiction book

**Not a book review. Those are on my other blog.

  I read a lot of Christian fiction. Some people may consider that a waste of time, but I enjoy it and have gotten a lot of encouragement and help from a fictional novel over the years.

   I just finished reading and reviewing the newest book this evening  by Colleen Coble, a favorite author of mine. Reading her new book brought up memories of her last book, which I read and reviewed back in August, Beneath Copper Falls. Beneath Copper Falls is one such book that stirred me and left me with the desire to be better.

   The book is suspense, as most of Coble's books are. The story revolves around Dana and Boone, and of course there is romance involved, but it progresses differently than most. The one side of Boone's face is severely scarred from a fire, and his fiancee had walked away from him as a result. He felt no woman could ever love him, and had given up on love and marriage......until Dana came along. She had to be the pursuer in the relationship.

  Yes, it is fictional, but the message of the book is not. This paragraph stood out and still stands out to me:

"Scars and all, his face was so handsome, so beloved. Her experience had taught her of how the soul was the repository of beauty. Unlike the Phantom (of the opera) who was as ugly on the inside as he was on the outside, Boone's scars hid an astoundingly beautiful soul. She had spent too much of her life worrying about the face she presented to the world, and much too little time on the character she needed to be developing every day."

   Why do we spend so much time worrying about what others see when they look at us? Women cake their faces with makeup to cover their natural face and beauty. Guys grow beards to hide behind. Many cover their bodies with tattoos and piercings. Others of us find ways to hide our true selves from the world, afraid no one might like us if they saw us as we see ourselves.

 How does one have an "astoundingly beautiful soul?" Though Boone is a fictional character dreamed up by the incredible mind of Colleen Coble, the truth in her written words is not fictional. One can be not so pretty to look at, yet have an attractiveness that comes from within. Is it from God? Maybe, yet I know my share of Christians who I would not say has an astoundingly beautiful soul. Does one even have to be a Christian to have that?

 Ever since I read Beneath Copper Falls, these thoughts occasionally go through my mind, brought on tonight by reading another of the author's books. I don't view myself as having a beautiful soul, much less "astoundingly beautiful". I carry too much anger and hurts from the last year that cloud everything and have scarred my soul.

 Having the struggle that I have of same-sex attractions is not all bad. Yeah, it is a tough thing to deal with, but easier since I dragged it into the light and stopped worrying and caring what people think. Secrets have power, and when something isn't a secret anymore, it loses the power it had. But there are positives. I've talked before about not being the typical guy into sports, hunting, good at mechanical stuff, etc. Part of that reason IS because of my same-sex attractions.

 There is no mold for guys like me. There are football players that are attracted to other guys. Some  gay guys are lisping limp-wristed types, and some are ultra masculine who would never be suspected of being gay. The truth of the matter is many, if not all, carry traits one would normally associate with females. People joke about guys getting in touch with their feminine side, but that doesn't necessarily mean bad.

 I feel because of my struggles, that I have some traits and characteristics most guys don't have, or at least don't lean towards as strongly as some in my position. I am much more vulnerable than your average guy. I tend to be very empathetic and sympathetic, and have a compassionate side I try not to show too much, as it has always made me feel weak. I cry.... a lot. I cry in movies. I cry when reading. I cry when I am happy, sad, or just emotional.

 The sad thing is I have tried to squash these traits that I have viewed as weak........ but what if I embraced them and focused on using them more. Could that help make a beautiful soul?

 Why do we try so hard to be what we are not, and work at hiding who and what we really are? What if God gives us the traits and characteristics for a reason? No, I am not saying God makes anyone gay, or that anyone is born gay. I do believe we can be born with a predisposition to it, which means we are possibly born with these traits some of us view as weak and undesirable.

 If we all used  for good what God has given us, and how He has made us, instead of fighting it and trying to cover up who we are and attempt at being who and what we are not....it is beyond imagination what we might accomplish.

 In the book, Boone was a caring, compassionate, and selfless man. Though he had his own business that definitely took a man of strength, he was a softer man than normal where it mattered, brought on by his troubles.

 And maybe that is part of the solution to having a beautiful soul.....to not let the outward events scar us on the inside and change us for the worst, but instead for the better. An astoundingly beautiful soul? It is possible for all of us.

Monday, January 8, 2018

January jottings

First post of the year, so it could go long.

1) New Year's resolutions

  I really didn't make any resolutions this year. I tend to break them anyway. That doesn't mean there is no room for improvement..... there definitely is. Losing weight is one thing I want to concentrate on, and I am going to attempt to be less political. That may mean un-following more people on Facebook (I un-followed pretty much anyone who posts too much pro-Trump stuff and/or harassed me about Trump)......and it also may mean un-following most or all political Facebook groups.

2) Reading.

 I came in 3 books shy of my goal of 125 books for 2017. I set a goal of 130 for 2018 and am going to try harder to reach that goal. I finished my second book of the year already, so I am off to a good start.

My pile of to read and review books:

3) Golfing presidents    

  When Obama was in office, he was highly criticized by conservatives for golfing so much.......and rightly so. I criticized him a lot myself. One person who is not conservative who highly criticized him was Donald Trump. He promised if he was president, he would be different.......but he has golfed 86 days at last count. I posted about it recently, and of course the Trump apologists came out in full force. After I pointed out the double standard, I had some suddenly defend all presidents' rights to golf a lot.

 I disagree. These men work hard to get that job. It is not a 9-5 job. They hold the highest position in  the country and have a lot of responsibility. They should not have that much time to golf.......no one forced them to be president.....so I say leave the golf clubs outside of the job and do your job.

4) 50 Shades of Perversion

  I am still disgusted at the 50 shades phenomena. From what I have seen and heard, the movies should be classified as porn and should not be viewed by anyone decent...nor should it be carried by Walmart and other such stores. Occasionally when I go into Walmart, I'll hide all the 50 Shades movies behind others....... and occasionally I do it with the stupid Shack movie also. And yes, it makes me feel good to do it. :)

5) The Shack

  I am also still disgusted at the amount of Christians who love The Shack book and movie. There is clear heresy in it, and they are happy to ignore it because it makes them feel good........ a popular sentiment today. If I could ever find a copy of the book at Goodwill, I'd burn it and video the burning. Seriously.

6) A gay president

 I am going to dare to voice something I have thought for several months: Could it be that conservatives would vote in a gay president if one ran against a Democrat? And would they have any moral right to stand against a gay president?

 Stay with me:

Donald Trump owns strip clubs (or the hotels they are in, so that makes it OK according to a friend.....)

He is a serial adulterer who bragged about it

He bragged about assaulting women

He promised to further gay rights

  Now how can anyone pull their righteous robes around them and oppose a gay candidate if they support and defend this man?

I am one of those who say Republicans have lost their right to moral outrage after nominating, defending, and supporting Donald Trump. We have spent years screaming about Bill Clinton, gay people, and other immoral people......and then pick the likes of Donald Trump as our candidate.

There is a question I'd like to ask Trump's supporters and have them answer 100% honestly: Do they truly hold Donald Trump to the same standards they held Democrats to?

And yes, I know not all Trump voters are the same. Many voted for him reluctantly to stop Hillary......I get that, even though I couldn't.

7) Christmas    

 I took down my Christmas tree and most of my decorations on New Year's Eve. I still need to take the lights out of my windows and also take the tree and lights down on the front porch......on a warmer day.

 I bought a pencil tree to keep up all year around, and plan on putting clear lights around my ceiling to replace the colored ones that I put up for Christmas. I found it very enjoyable to sit in my living room with just the lights from the tree and ceiling, so I did the same for the rest of the year.

8) Colored vs white lights

  I have always liked colored lights at Christmas. Clear/white ones seem so every day. I am the only person in my family who puts colored lights on a tree, and I am certainly not going to change. Colored lights are for Christmas. Clear ones for the rest of the year. And yes, that is my not so humble opinion, but I AM correct. :)

9) Christmas 2

  I had a very nice Christmas, and got more gifts than I deserved. I got numbers 2-5 in a series of books I wanted - I already had #1, my nieces got me a large stuffed Snoopy, I got a stuffed Captain America shield that is really cool, a much needed crock pot, and several other things. My family is big on gag gifts......something I am credited with (or blamed for) starting, and I got a lot of those also.

10) New Year's

   On New Year's Eve, I went to my parents' and we had BBQ ham sandwiches and some snacks, then played  Scrabble. I got home around 9:30, read while, then took down my tree. I missed the clock turning to midnight as I was taking the tree down at that point. A new year doesn't excite me much anymore, and I would have stayed up anyway since I was off the next day.

 On New Year's Day, I went to my parents' for sauerkraut and pork, hit Walmart for a few things, then spent the rest of the day at home.

I am going to be vulnerable and admit something I have only told my best friend. I won't have my parents forever, and I fear someday when they are gone, I won't have anyone for times like these. Being single can be awesome, but it can also be lonely, and I fear I will turn into one of those lonely individuals who fades into obscurity and no one ever thinks about.

11) The weather

   I really and truly hate winter and snow. Every time I say anything about it though, someone chirps up about how beautiful the snow is. That has got to be a mental condition. I am 99.99% sure I have SAD.....Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is an actual thing..... and I had a doctor verify that people tend to be more depressed in the winter....... and I do suffer from depression, so of course it would be worse when everything is cold, dark, and dreary.

It has been so cold lately that I haven't wanted to go anywhere. I planned on staying home all day Friday, but got called into work.

And then today: We had planned a birthday get together for my little sister at my parents'...... but we had to cancel because of  the bad weather. I was looking forward to it, as we don't all get together very often.

 It was very frustrating to see on Facebook a grown adult cheering about the snow and how happy it makes people. Do these immature adults not realize the snow they love cause dangerous roads, increases the likelihood of car accidents and people going into the ditch, and ruins the plans of others? I'll admit it really irritates me. Now I am housebound for the day, instead of spending time with my family. At lease I have milk, TP, and bread.

12)  Living room changes

  I did some minor changes in my living room. I have a lot of books in my "to-read and review" piles, and no where to put them out of the way. I bought a 3 shelf book case at Walmart last week and put it in  the living room, and it will be mostly for books that I need to read and review.

 I have been reading a lot in that room since the library is so cold, so I put a tall lamp I got at Walmart for $5 beside the love seat. I have a chandelier type light that I hate to use too often since it has so many bulbs, plus it doesn't give light where I need to read. I also ordered an ottoman from Amazon that has storage inside it so I have a place to put my feet. Amazon had a different one for around a dollar less that I liked, but you could only buy it if you have Prime......which is stupid.

 It may not be humble of me to say, but I really like how the living room looks.

13) Cooking

 My latest cooking endeavor was beef vegetable soup. I was very happy with the results. I bought a beef roast that I cut up into small pieces, diced tomatoes, a bag of mixed vegetables, a bag of peas and carrots, an onion, potatoes,and beef broth. The only thing I messed up was I forgot about it after I put the potatoes in and they cooked longer than I intended...... but it was really good. I may attempt chili next.

Since I started this blog post, I had another cooking attempt. I love breaded pork chops and my mom makes awesome ones. I found a good deal on pork chops, so I found a recipe for oven breaded pork chops and tried it Saturday. I was pretty happy with them. They were not in the same universe as Mom's, but she is an awesome cook and she also fries hers, which makes them better.

 I discovered I have no rolling pin, so I had to find another method to crush crackers...and it worked quite well.

14) Animals

 I see a lot of posts on Facebook about animals........animal cruelty, posts about not leaving animals out in  the cold, and so forth.......it truly seems people care more about animals than people......especially people in the womb. There are even Christians who seem more concerned with animals than the fact that babies are being ripped a part in the womb daily. Yes, you can care about both, but people do tend to post most about what they care about most. One baby is worth more than any amount of puppies or kitties.

Maybe we have just become calloused to the reality of abortion - murdering and ripping apart an innocent baby...... but I'd like to see less concern for animals and more for human babies.

And by the way.... you don't adopt animals. You own them. You adopt children/babies.

15) The wall    

 So how is that making the Mexicans pay for a wall working out? :)

16) Elvis

I have never liked Elvis or his singing. I recently posted the following meme on Facebook and said "and also better than Elvis", so of course I got people commenting who liked him.

Get real. The guy was a drug addict who died from a drug overdose. He most likely didn't go to heaven - a comment that infuriates his fans more than an anti-God comment - and a big part of the reason I dislike him is because how so many people idolize him.

 And his version of Blue Christmas is just awful.

17) New car color    

 They need to start making cars the color of salt from the roads, and then your car wouldn't look so bad in this weather when it is too cold to wash the salt off.

18) Presidents and the military

 Am I the only person in our country who finds it ludicrous that we have men in charge of our whole military system who never served a day of their life in the military? Trump and Clinton were both draft dodgers and yet controlled our military. Whoever is in office should have to have a certain number of years in the military.

19) Toilet seats

 One advantage of living by myself: I leave the toilet seats up in my bathrooms 24/7.....the way they should be :)

20) Pork chops

 I still have a couple of pork chops left....it was a big pack..I think I am going to try out my new crock pot and do BBQ pork chops in it. Sounds good on an awful snowy winter day that I am house bound.

  And that is all for now

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December chex mix

 Christmas is only 5 days away, and it doesn't seem like it could possibly be that close. I am ready for it. All of my gifts are bought and I wrapped them all on Saturday. Unfortunately, I only have one day off between now and Christmas - tomorrow. I'll most likely stay up late watching Christmas movies tonight, as there are a few I want to see that I have not watched yet this year.

 I usually blog a lot over the Christmas season, but have not done so this year for various reasons. However, I do have some things on my mind, so this will be a chex mix type blog.....read what you wish, if you read it at all :)

 And it is long. I have been adding to it for several days.......

1) I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

 My family is big on gag gifts. I usually receive the most, but that may be because I am the one who started the tradition. Around 8-9 years ago, I found a stuffed hippo at a used store. I bought it, wrapped it for my dad, and had the infamous song ready to play as he opened it. Since then, it has been given to different members of the family each year. The kids love to get it, and beg to be the one to get it each year.

2) Christmas cards

 I haven't been in the Christmas card mood this year. I only send out 12 by mail, and those are to people I don't see very often..... and I haven't opened most of the ones I have received yet. Weird, I know.

3) Christmas decorations   

 It may sound weird, but I have been somewhat down about there being no one to see my Christmas decorations. I have really been enjoying them, spending many a night with just the Christmas lights on in the living room..... but no one else has experienced it. Maybe it is dumb to even think like that.

4) Roy Moore

 I am no prophet, but I predicted once the Roy Moore election was over, the accusers would disappear...especially if he lost. And so they have.

 I am one who believes he was innocent and was the victim of a Democratic smear campaign to get the guy in office who supports killing babies.... and it worked.

 What gets me, is how many Christians joined in the mud slinging and stone throwing. There never was any proof, yet Christian after Christian slung mud at him and at anyone who dared defend him.

 Here is my question: Did those joining in act towards Roy Moore as Jesus would? The Bible has a lot to say about how we treat other Christians, and did this stone throwing and mud slinging line up with what the Bible says, or did they just throw out the Sermon on the Mount and other similar verses? This man has led an exemplary Christian life - unlike Trump, the Clintons, and others who so balatantly do wrong - so did the Christians do right who stood on their soapboxes and helped condemn a man for actions he likely did not commit?

What if he is innocent? If he is, then many Christians did him wrong....but who cares, politics is more important than the Bible......

5) Family    

 My family had a rare get together at my parents Monday night. With my 3 nieces all working and everyone having different schedules, it isn't very often that we are all free... but we were Monday night. My mom fried chicken, and we had grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, baked beans, and Christmas cookies and fudge for dessert.

 The highlight of the evening was when I was playing Blue Christmas on the piano accompanied by my oldest niece on her violin. The rest of the family joined in and tried to mimic the backup singers on Evis Presley's Blue Christmas. It was pretty funny.

6) The Trump vs Obama meme

 I depise Donald Trump.....anyone paying any attention at all to me knows that....but Obama is still a worse president than he has been so far. This meme is popular among pro-Obama/anti-Trump people. To be honest, anyone who thinks Obama was a decent president has no credibility with me when they criticize DT. Be consistent. You can't point out the faults in DT - and there are many - and ignore the 8 years of Obama.

 And the second part IS correct....but it totally gets Obama wrong.

 I shared this link on a friend's post who had shared that meme. This is a pretty exhaustive list of all the times the so-called Christian Obama did things to hurt Christians and our religious freedoms.


7) Mistletoe

 With all of the sexual allegations going on, this might not be the best year to hang your mistletoe......just saying..........

8) That time I was accused of sexual harrassment

  Yeah, it really happened. It was around 20 years ago when I was in my 20's. I was working in the bakery at Das Dutch House in Columbiana, OH. I was still very shy and withdrawn, and no one knew I was hiding attractions to other guys. They had recently hired an Asian woman to work on the pie table. We got along great, as I did with all of the other ladies - I was the only guy. On that fateful day, this lady was working alongside Pearl, a lady my mom's age who thought of herself as my mom at work.

 I was on the other side of the bakery, weighing out pie dough so the pie shells would all be the same. I took a small piece of dough and threw across the room at Pearl. I missed, and hit the Asian woman. On the butt. I don't remember how she knew I threw it, but she whirled around and loudly announced that it was sexual harrassment and that if I ever did anything like that again, she'd have me arrested for sexual harrassment. I was horrifed and probably the color of chalk. I remember Pearl speaking up and saying "You know he wasn't aiming at you. He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn." I fled to the stock room and hid there in a panic.

 My supervisor came and found me. She said she knew I wasn't trying to hit the woman on the butt, but to go apologize so she'd let it go. My apology went something like this, "I was not aiming at you, but I apologize for hitting you with the pie dough." I ignored her for several weeks, and she slowly tried to make up. I am not bragging, but I was well liked and she knew she had been out of line.

 I eventually moved on to another job, and she brought me a couple pounds of smoked cheddar cheese on my last day. She knew I liked it, and she worked part time at a deli where they sold the cheese. I still believe it was her way of saying she was sorry for making such a big deal out of it.

 The story doesn't end there. A few months ago, an Asian lady walked into the Beaver hospital where I work and said my name. It was this same lady. She asked how I had been, and how my family was doing. I asked the same of her, and found out that she and her husband both had had cancer and were both currently in remission, She gave me a hug and told me it was good to see me, and I told her the same......and it was true. I hold no ill will.

 The story does go to show how easy it is for guys to be falsely accused though. Maybe that is one of the reasons I was not so quick to go against Roy Moore.

9) Fruitcake

I joke a lot about fruitcake, but I have never actually tried one. Who knows, I might actually like one if it was fresh.

10) A gift for myself    

 I usually buy a gift for myself for Christmas....no, I don't wrap it..... but get something I want for myself. This year, the only things I want that I didn't put on my wish list are a pistol and a chest freezer......neither of which I can afford at this point. Were I not still paying off my car insurance on my credit card, I'd put one of them on that and buy it.

11) Inflatable decorations    

 I find those inflatable Christmas decorations an eyesore. There are a few that might not be so bad if people only put one out, but they are evidently like Lay's potato chips......people can't stop at just one. And they look even worse when they are deflated.

12) Sweating the small stuff at Christmas

 It kind of bugs me when people try to make a big deal out of small things at Christmas. i.e. - wismen in a Nativity scene, arguing about the number of wisemen, arguing about whether Mary rode a donkey.....etc. There are bigger issues to worry about, and no one is going to miss Heaven for putting wisemen in a Nativity scene or thinking Mary rode a donkey.

13) Gun

 I do want to get a gun and get a permit to carry it. Some of my family took a course at the beginning of the month, but it was $100 and then you obviously needed to buy a gun...... and I could not afford both. I hope to do that this coming year.

 I had some friends visit me and they declared I need a gun since I live alone and because of where I live.

14) Living according to the Bible

  I am including myself in this, but nowadays it seems so few Christians actually live according to the Bible. This past election is a great example of how so few Christians laid aside what the Bible says about how we treat people, but we do it all year long. Imagine what this world would look like if we actually lived how Jesus said to. Radical thought.

15) Sexual allegations    

 A while back, liberals mocked Pence and were outraged because he won't meet with another woman by himself. In light of all the sexual allegations coming out, he is looking more and more intelligent with his decision. Sadly, there are many women who will accuse men of sexual impropriety when none happened.

16) God's way

  If couples waited til marriage for sex like God intended, some of these allegations could be avoided. There are many vindictive women who have consensual sex and then accuse the man of rape. If the man wasn't engaging in casual sex, he wouldn't be as apt to run into that scenario.

17) Snow lovers        

  People who really love snow annoy me. This may sound dumb, but driving on snowy roads scares me. I hate it. I am afraid I'll go in a ditch, over a hill, hit another car, hit a deer,etc. I am hoping and praying for clear roads, and then you have people cheering the more snow we get. I posted about my trip to work the other day. The roads were really bad, I almost went off the road and over the hill at one point, and got stuck for about 10 minutes. I posted a picture of the roads and one nutcase from my church commented that it was glorious......... isn't that kind of like rejoicing in someone's fears and misfortunes?

If I could stay home and not leave the house, it wouldn't be so bad..... but I have to go to work no natter what the roads are like.

18) Apologies

 I saw where people (Trump supporters) were excited that CNN apologized to Donald Trump. I am still waiting on Trump to apologize to Rubio and Cruz for how he treated them and the crap he said to them..... and to Ted Cruz' father for helping to spread the tabloid lie that Cruz Sr was involved in the assassination of JFK. Fake news indeed

19) My Christmas tree

  I have traditionally put mostly glass ornaments on my tree, but have started adding ornaments that are not so traditional: Iron Man, Captain America, Mario (from Nintendo), a beach chair, a tin airplane....and I like the look. I may start phasing out the round glass ornaments and go to mostly that kind of ornament.

 I'd like to get what is sometimes called a pencil tree, put white lights on it, and leave it up all year with different decorations for different seasons and holidays.

20) New favorite Christmas song

  I have a new favorite Christmas song: Pat-A-Pan by David Archuleta. I had only previously heard the instrumental version by Manheimm Steamroller.... which is very pretty, but the music video is depressing. I recently started listening to David's Christmas CD that I bought over the summer, and he does a great job on it. I love it.

And that is all for now :)

Monday, December 11, 2017

How political should Christians be?

 I have started this blog post a few times, and have always scrapped it....not that I didn't like what I wrote. I rarely publish blog posts I write anymore. I write it, get the urge to write out of my system, and delete it. Maybe this time I will publish it.

 This specific version of this post was spurred by a Facebook post yesterday by a Christian. He posted that in this recent election, Trump got 26% of the vote. Hillary got 26% of the vote, and that 48% didn't vote, and that if you are part of that 48%, you can go pound sand. I honestly didn't realize where he was going with it, and pointed out his numbers were wrong as they didn't include we who voted 3rd party......he informed me that I was counted in the group who didn't vote, because my vote was a throw away......so this Christian was telling me to "go pound sand" because I didn't vote for Donald Trump. (How does one pound sand anyway? It is usually soft, so can it even be pounded?") I googled it, and it really doesn't sound very Christian........

  Has politics become more important to us than Christianity, and how we treat people? Can we honestly say our actions, words, and how we treat people during election time line up with how the Bible says we should talk and treat people? Could we say Jesus would have acted like we did?

 Let me say up front that I am not guiltless, though I will be coming from the standpoint of someone who was and is very much against Donald Trump. I still feel 100% that he should never have been nominated by the Republican Party, and that the party as a whole has a big double standard when it comes to him, his political past, and  his immorality. The more heat I got for not supporting him, and the more I was attacked for daring to speak up, the angrier I got and the more vocal I got.

 Pretty much anything thrown at me was by Christians, and some from people in  my own church:

1) I was told "with my past", I should be OK with Trump's strip clubs, serial adultery, etc. The lady then deleted me on Facebook. (Lady from my church)

2) A friend "liked" a post where people not supporting Trump were compared to ISIS. Seriously.

3) I was told I was for Hillary if I wasn't for Trump. (In what Biblical reality is that NOT a lie?)

4) A long time friend posted that I was for Hillary and for killing babies if I wasn't for Trump.

5) I was called stubborn and holier than thou.

6) I was told a vote for a 3rd party was a vote for Hillary. Again, how is that not a lie? Have Christians bought so much into  a 2 party system that they are too ignorant to realize there are more than two parties?

7) A cousin said I was not on God's side if I was not for Trump.

8) A Facebook friend - a Christian - ran and tattled everything I said about Trump to my sister and brother-in-law who are not on Facebook, which caused some family problems. (If I knew who that was, I WOULD delete them)

9) Then of course yesterday I was told to "pound sand" since I voted 3rd party. (by a Christian, so hopefully he didn't intend the "go to hell" part)

10) I felt early on that I could not vote for DT as a Christian, and that I'd be a hypocrite and going against my conscience to do so........ but I had several Christians try to get me to go against my conscience.

11) I had people who had been silent for 8 years about my criticisms of Obama message me, text me, and jump all over me telling me I needed to quit criticizing Trump and that I must support him because he won.

12) A pastor friend bragged how he convinced a woman from his congregation to vote for DT who felt she could not vote for him - was that really his thing to do as a pastor?

13) Someone I think highly of said "we need someone to speak up" when I pointed out how badly Trump behaves on Twitter, and how he bullies people.

14) A pastor's wife who wouldn't even watch TV,  posted recently that Bill Clinton and others are worse than Trump, as if making others worse makes Trump any better.

15) The over the top comparisons of Trump to David, Jesus, Esther, Sampson, and others...... the almost worship and deification of him by many Christians.

    And then you have the support and defense of DT and everything he has said and done. I believe this with all my heart: had he been running as a Democrat, those same people would have been using against him what they defended - the strip clubs, his serial adultery he bragged about, his bragging that he grabs women by their genitals, his vulgarity, his wife's appearance in porn, his years of funding liberals and their causes, his saying Planned Parenthood does a lot of good....... and more. None of that mattered. Hillary must be defeated and all Republicans must vote for DT, and convinced to do so at any cost.

  Can we read through what I wrote and honestly say politics is not more important than Christianity and how we treat people?

 Should Christians in either party so quickly and easily ignore and defend everything their candidate does?

   I'll be honest: my faith was shaken severely this last election. First was the nomination, defense, and total support of a man far removed from Biblical values and morals. Second was the unreasonable push to get any Christian to vote for him, no matter what had to be said or done. I was hurt, angry, and bitter at the way I was treated and at the double standard surrounding this man. I still haven't gotten over it, I just have withdrawn into myself and don't say much about DT or the election. And I'll be blunt: Here I am struggling to live a clean moral life while dealing with a very difficult struggle - same-sex attractions - and the same people who would condemn me if I gave in are the same people defending just as bad or worse behaviors in their candidate. I know these Christians would not vote for a gay candidate, yet they support, defend, and voted for a man who owned strip clubs, cheated on at least 2 wives and bragged about it, is vulgar, promised to further gay rights, and more.... and I was condemned for daring to point that all out. Truthfully, I felt - and still feel - a sense of betrayal that no Trump voter or supporter will ever understand.

    I'm not sure Jesus would even vote if He were living here in America today. He'd be all about souls and people. He'd be more interested in how He treated people than how - or if - they voted. IF He voted, He would never tell someone to "pound sand" if they didn't vote, or voted 3rd party. He'd never agree that someone was like ISIS for not supporting a certain candidate. He'd never badger anyone to vote a certain way. or make false accusations against that person for not voting how He wanted. I don't think Jesus would even vote. He wasn't political when He was here, so why would He be now? (I wonder if my Facebook friend would tell Jesus to pound sand for not voting)

  God is most likely not as concerned about who is president as we are. God cares more about what we are doing for Him and our fellow man than with us keeping our freedoms and comforts. Oh, I care about those too, but we are too focused on those things. I doubt the condition of a person's soul was on anyone's mind during the election. Which is more important: Letting "John" know God loves him and will save him, or getting John to vote for Donald Trump?

  I have always voted Republican, even when I didn't care for the candidate.....but those days are over. I may never vote again. I am way past being sick of being badgered, lied about, falsely accused, etc in an effort to get me to vote like someone wants me to vote. If I do vote, I am going to do my best to vote my conscience and keep it to myself how I vote. It really isn't anyone's business, after all.

 One problem we have, is we look at everything as an American, instead of a Christian. One guy who tried his dead level best to get me to vote for DT asked me something via text - can't remember what it was. I replied, "are you asking as an American, or as a Christian". He replied "can't I do it as both?" We have so intertwined the two, that we equate  the two.... and they are not the same. I love our country and freedoms, and hate what liberals and atheists are doing to it. We are too concerned with what happens in America.

  Which is more important according to the Bible: getting someone to see things your way politically, or how the other person will feel after make your points? Which is more important: Getting that person to vote the way you want, or how you will affect his spiritual life........ and how his spiritual life will be affected if you convince him to go against his conscience?

   Let me get really nitty gritty: To tell someone who you know is conservative and would not vote for a liberal that he is for Hillary if he is not for Trump is a lie. Oh you can call it whatever you want, but it is a lie..... and yet Christians have no problem telling me that. To say a vote for a 3rd party candidate is really a vote for Hillary is a lie. It is not a vote for Hillary, but a vote for someone else. So yes, I am saying many Christians lied during this election as they did their best to guilt or shame people to vote the way they wanted them to vote. Did they ever think that maybe the way they wanted them to vote was not the way God wanted them to vote? Would that even matter to them?

   Here's the  thing: Christians are fine with you not going against your conscience as long as they agree with you. No one among my evangelical friends would ever tell me to embrace my sexual desires and have sex with other guys........for they believe it is wrong. But I have had people claiming to be Christians urge me to do exactly that.......so why is it OK to go against my conscience when Christian A wants me to, but not when Christian B does? And is there a danger of going against your conscience? What if giving into Christian A and going against my conscience leads to me going against it in the other area further down the road?

 I am not saying Christians should not be involved in politics nor vote. I am saying for too long we have put politics before Christianity. We set Christianity aside and pull politics to  the front during the election. Living by what the Bible says doesn't enter our minds. How we treat people doesn't matter, as long as we make our point and convince them to vote a certain way.

  In closing, a personal illustration: I am friends with the guy who founded and ran Hope for Wholeness until a few months ago when he resigned. HFW is an organization/ministry to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions. During the election, he was being very vocal about voting for Trump and really bashing Hillary a lot. I sent him a nicely worded email cautioning him that maybe in his position he should not be too political. The chances of having pro-Hillary Facebook  friends was not only likely, but very high. I cautioned he might turn off some of the very people he was trying to help. He thanked me, but it changed nothing.

 But let's take it a bit further. One of the people who tried hardest to convince me to vote for Trump and insisted I was for Hillary, cautioned me once that with as vocal I was being against Trump, it could hurt my Christian witness and make my reasons for not voting Trump null and void to some people. (Ironically, he never said that to me when I was saying worse things about Obama.....). But think about that......what if we are turning people off on Christianity by being too political.....no matter who we are vocal about for or against? If Susie loves Hillary and is not a Christian, will she want your religion when you are constantly blasting Hillary on Facebook?

 People do need to know where candidates stand, but do we Christians too easily resort to un-Christian tactics and name calling when it comes to politicians we are against? I have called Trump a sleazebag, and got called out for it..... but called Obama as bad or worse and did not get called out for it......is it any worse for me to call Trump derogatory names than Obama? Evidently as a Republican it is, but what about as a Christian? Should we celebrate the take-down of a liberal politician? Should we take up stones and cast when one is accused of sexual allegations?

 Why do Christians have no problem with criticisms of politicians on the other side of the aisle? Why is it OK for me to criticize and call Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi names and point out their faults, but suddenly I am holier than thou, judgmental, and going against God if I do the same with Donald Trump?

 There are those on Facebook who never post political posts......I admire that, and hope to be like that some day. I am working on it. That may mean un-following even more people and staying out of the voting booth completey - I'm sure I'll get a lot of Christian understanding and support if I do that!

 Jesus was all about loving people and doing good. That is more important than politics and who wins an election. Which is more important to us?

 Some day we will all stand before God. Who was president will not matter on that day, but how we treated people will matter........even during an election.

**Disclaimer: I am in no way guiltless in these areas. I despise Donald Trump - just as much for what I have gotten from his supporters as what the man is. I am sure I have been too vocal about him - but again, I was just as vocal about Obama and no one ever said anything about that........but anyway, I too am guilty of being too political and caring too much about winning arguments.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


It has been awhile since I did an actual blog that wasn't just several random ideas thrown together. This has been on my mind all week, so I tried to get my thoughts down in a blog post.

I picked up a movie the other day for $1.96 that looked interesting. It was titled Self/less, was rated PG-13, and sounded decent. If you have any intention of watching this movie, I am going to give some things away. You were warned. And no, this is not a movie review, it is a blog post.

 The movie is about an elderly man named Ben Kingsley who is dying of cancer. He is wealthy and has accomplished a lot in life, but was a terrible father to his daughter and has turned out to be a self-centered lonely old man. He discovers something new a doctor has come up with that is expensive called "shedding". One can "shed" their old body and have their consciousness put into a younger healthy body that has been grown in a lab. His death is faked, he goes into the operation, and wakes up in a much younger body played by a much younger and good looking Ryan Reynolds. The trick to staying in this new and younger body is to take some red pills regularly, to make the "transplant" work.

 Ben forgets to take the pills a few times and starts having flashbacks that involve a young Hispanic woman and a little girl he feels he is supposed to help. The doctor claims they are hallucinations, but Ben soon realizes the truth: His new body was not grown in a lab. It is the body of a young Marine named Mark - great name for a good looking guy, huh? ;)  - Mark gave his life to be used for this program so money would be given to get his sick little girl the help she needs. Ben/Mark ends up on the run with the mother and little girl as the doctor and his group does their best to kill all three to keep the truth quiet.

 And now to the point of the whole post, and the biggest spoiler: The reason for the pills. If Ben stops taking them, Ben will fade away and Mark will take back over the living body along with his consciousness and memories. At the climax of the movie, Ben does the most unselfish thing of his life.... and the last thing he will do. He stops taking the pills and leaves a video message explaining it all to Mark when Mark's consciousness and memories take back over the body he gave to save his daughter.

 It was just a movie, but it impacted me....a mark of a great movie.....no pun intended. Two very unselfish acts by two very different men: Mark, the young marine father who gave his life to save his daughter's life. Ben, the older wealthy man who let himself go so that young father could have his life and family back.

 I like the movie title. If you look at it, it is not just the word "selfless". There is a backslash in between the letters - "self/less". There is nothing in the movie that spells it out plainly, but the idea is there that to be selfless, there needs to be less of self.

 We live in selfish times. Sadly that has invaded our churches and Christianity. Everything is about us. We decide what we believe and pretty much set up God in our own image. We like to knock those who say they can be gay and Christian - that one can have a sexual relationship with the same sex and be a Christian, yet how many of us go through the Bible and pick and choose what verses mean and what parts apply to us. "It is a shame for a man to have long hair...... - that was just in Paul's day". "If you are divorced and remarry, or you marry a divorced person you commit adultery - if you are the innocent party, it is OK....." and on and on.

 We want to be first in everything. We want people to violate their conscience in politics because we are more concerned about our comforts and freedoms then how we are making that person feel.

 We spend our money on what we want. It is all about what we want, yet we claim to serve God and want to be like Jesus, the most selfless person that ever walked this earth. How does our selflessness compare to that of Jesus? I fear most of us would be sadly lacking compared to Him.

 Yet shouldn't Christians be the most selfless people on the face of the earth?

  Would we give our lives to save a loved one? I have read stories of women who refused medical treatment that would harm their unborn baby, and died after giving birth to that baby. Would we give our lives to save someone we don't know? Would we pass up on that close parking place so someone else could park there, or leave someone in front of us in the checkout line? Would we give up our time to listen to someone?

 I did a selfless act today. I was shopping at Hobby Lobby and they had their Christmas decorations half off. I found the single decorations they have hung by theme and picked out a cool tin airplane I liked, and another I liked. I then had the great idea to buy all of my nieces and nephews an ornament. (Hope they are not reading this). I found one quickly for my youngest niece, and then my 3 nephews - fishing related, that was easy. Then I found one for my middle niece, and was struggling to find one for my oldest niece. I saw nothing. I then glanced at the 7 ornaments in my hand. Along with the 5 for my nieces and nephews were the 2 I had picked for myself - the plane and the other one. It was one that fit my oldest niece, but there were no more of it. I then realized what I needed to do. The plane would go on my tree, but the other one I wanted would go to my oldest niece. I didn't need it, and it was one she would like.

 Now in the grand scheme of things, that was not that big. I don't feel sad or that I gave up anything major..... but I did put my niece above me and did a selfless act. Now if we all just did selfless acts daily as a part of our lives, how much different we and our world would be.

 Just how selfless are we?