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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #15

 On day #15, I am thankful for days off. I had yesterday and today off, and thoroughly enjoyed my days off. On Tuesday, I met two of my nieces for 99 cent taco Tuesday at our local Mexican restaurant. I hit Walmart and picked up a few things I needed. Spent the rest of the day reading and lounging around the house. Today, I didn't even leave the house....well, not the property. I was outside for a few times. I spent the day doing laundry and housework, then watched a couple of movies and made myself a great supper of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing (Stove Top). I know how to make mashed potatoes and gravy, but not home made stuffing. It was an awesome 2 days off, and I am thankful for every day off I have.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #14

On day #14, I am thankful for Summer, Spring, and Fall. Winter makes me thankful for the warmer months, and I count the days until winter is over. Thankfully, we didn't have a bad winter last year, and hopefully that trend continues.

November thoughts

 This turned out to be a much longer post than intended, but I have been working on it for a while. If you are reading it, don't be daunted. Think if this post as a bag of Chex mix. Pick out the topics you want to read and skip the others..


 This is the time of year that there is pumpkin everything, which seems to bother some people. It doesn't bother me, as I love pumpkin things. Possibly my favorite pumpkin item is pumpkin roll..... so if you are reading this and make them, I am a bachelor who has no clue how to make them........ :) (yeah, that was a hint)

 I actually tried something new on the pumpkin front last week. I was working at the hospital I don't go to as often, and the lady who runs the gift shop bought me a pumpkin spice cappuccino. I don't drink hot drinks often, so this was the first time I tried one....... and I liked it.

Christmas lights

  I have all the Christmas lights up that I am putting up, and some of them quit working. I had used some on the porch that I had unnecessarily purchased used.... and 2 of the strings quit working. So I had to go out the other night, take the 2 bad strings down, and put up new. I am trying to decide what to do about my lights. Since the time change, I get home when it is dark. I would like my lights to be on when I come home, but to do that, I'd have to buy at least 5-6 timers, and that would involve running some extension cords. The cheapest I have found is $5.79 on Amazon...... and I am not sure I want to spend around $30 on timers....yet I don't want to leave the lights on all day while I am at work and give the electric company more $$.

 Speaking of Christmas lights, I wanted to buy an inexpensive tree for my front porch. I went to a used store near me on Friday called Re-store - it is run by Habitat for Humanity and the proceeds to to HFH. They had a 6-foot tree that was pre-lit for $10, with not all of the lights working. An added bonus: anything Christmas was 25% off, which meant I got the tree for $7.50, much less than I was hoping to pay. The tree is on the front porch and I added lights to it, as I have plenty of extra. I am not putting any ornaments on it, as they would fall off and couldn't be seen from the road anyway. I would like to find a cheap star to put on it though.


 I couldn't help myself and came home last Wednesday from work and decorated the living room for Christmas. I put the tree up, the Nativity, and everything else. I boxed up all non-Christmas decor except for one big picture hanging on the wall. I was surprised at how much I have. I have enough ornaments to decorate two trees. I had fun, and am enjoying the lights and decorations.


 I like to cook, which is a good thing since I now live alone. I have a problem when I cook though: I have a hard time making a small portion. My family teases me and says I should cater or cook for a camp meeting. I made stuffed shells, and had a cake pan full and enough to fill another small dish. There was a lot left over, not unusual with my cooking. Amazon has several "Cooking for One" cookbooks. Maybe I need to invest in a couple of those.

Stuffed shells

 Here is the recipe I made last week:

Approximately 2 pounds of cooked chicken breast, cut or shredded into small pieces

12 ounce box of shells, though there wasn't enough stuffing for the whole box, and it still made too much

One box of Stove Top Stuffing

One 16 ounce sour cream (some recipes call for mayo...which is gross, so I went with the original recipe which calls for sc)

Cream of chicken soup. (I used a big can, and then filled it about 2/3 of the way up with water, and used a small can for the smaller pan - depends on how much soup you want on it)

Boil shells

Make stuffing mix according to directions.

Mix the stuffing, sour cream, and chicken

Stuff the shells with the mixture and put in a 9 x 13 greased pan

Pour soup and water over the shells

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Impeaching Trump

I see a lot of talk about impeaching Donald Trump. I don't need to remind anyone of how much I dislike the man and wish he was not president.....but I don't believe he has done anything to be impeached for. Yeah, I wish we could remove him and make Pence president, but he hasn't done any impeachable offenses.....unlike Obama who did several and got away with it. Trump has not done some things he promised to do, but no politician does..... and he IS a politician, no matter how many people claimed he was not. If you don't believe that, count the promises he hasn't kept.


 I have very strong feelings about Santa. I don't believe you should tell your kids he is real and that he brings the toys, for reasons I won't list as they will offend some. I will say this: If I buy toys for kids, I want  them to know I got them. I don't want them thinking some fat guy in a red suit brought what my hard earned money paid for..... so it is a good thing my sisters didn't do the Santa thing with my nieces and nephews. Knowing me as well as I know myself.....which  is pretty well.....I probably would have told the kids the truth. :)

 I am not so anti-Santa that I don't ever listen to Santa songs.... I do, but they aren't my favorite. Other than "Hey Santa".....you can't help but like that song.

Christmas CDs

 Every year, I buy a few new Christmas CDs, and bought 4 this year. The last few years, I have posted a brief review of the new CDs I bought, and that is here. I also bought several used Christmas CDs over the past year, and have been listening to some of them. One I got for a $1 and am almost ashamed to admit I bought, is Justin Bieber. I find the kid obnoxious, but I love Christmas music, so I gave it a shot. It is actually pretty good, though his version of the Little Drummer boy is even more annoying than Johnny Cash's.

  I tend to listen to Christmas music by artists that I normally don't listen to. i.e.: Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Justin Bieber..... :) - and it doesn't necessarily mean I have anything against those artists, they just typically don't sing a style of music I listen to, or listen to much. Possibly the best one I bought this year was by Alabama.

Time change

 I don't like the time change very well. I now drive to and from work in the dark. I am rather paranoid about hitting a deer, and that has caused a strong dislike of driving at night. That fear is not unwarranted, since I did hit 4 deer with my Sunfire, 2 cars ago. I am almost paranoid about hitting a deer with my car.

Cold weather

 I'm also not crazy about the colder weather, though I am thankful it hasn't snowed yet. One plus about the cold weather: I have had a bad fly problem and also ladybugs, and they disappear when it is cold. My library especially gets a lot of flies, but they are not around when it is cold.

 Another plus of the cold weather: it gives me a chance to wear my hoodies. I don't keep my house extremely warm so the furnace doesn't run as often. I keep the thermostat at 67-68, which makes it comfortable when wearing sweats. I have a lot of hoodies, and that gives me occasion to get more use out of them.

 But there is no plus about snow.

The barn

 I have a green barn  on my property and was thinking about parking my car in it if my sister and brother-in-law ever sold the trailer that was in the way. It sold  a couple of weeks ago (thank God), and I can now park my car in there. It is a bit tight, but it fits.


 Jeff and Sheri Easter is a husband wife duo I have been listening to for close to 30 years......29 to be exact. They are Southern Gospel/Bluegrass. They were at a chuch in Niles, Ohio on November 2, so I changed clothes and went from work to meet my parents there. It was a great concert. They sang some of my favorites, and I was highly impressed with his nephew's instrumental prowess. He played the banjo, steel guitar, regular guitar, mandolin, and even played a song on the piano. The guy was really good and added a lot to their singing. He also sang backup. Sheri Easter has always been one of my favorite vocalists, and I got my picture taken with her.

 Jeff's dad wrote the song "Thank you Lord For Your Blessings On Me." They sang it that night, and he related how his dad had gotten saved after being on drugs and in jail at age 17. When his dad wrote the song, he and his wife were living in a 2 room shack at a junkyard.

 The Easters are probably the group I have gone to hear most in my life, and who holds the record for how many CDs I have of any group. I have not been able to go hear them for several years, so this was a great treat and blessing.


 Smokers have to be some of the rudest and most entitled people on earth. It is nothing for a smoker to littler right in front of people wherever they fnish their cigarette, and they are constantly smoking on hospital property.....often right in front of the no smoking signs. I know from when I was a security guard that many smokers don't want to be informed they can't smoke on hospital property and will argue their right to smoke wherever they want.


 I am doing 30 days of thankfulness on my blog for this month. I got a late start, so I did the first 4 days in one post. I don't believe most of us are thankful enough, and though it is sad so many of us wait til November to be thankful and talk about being thankful, this exercise does help remind me that I have much to be thankful for.

Church chairs

 I have expressed my displeasure over the decision to go to chairs in our church after years of having pews. I've never gone to a church that didn't have pews. A committee decided after making our sanctuary bigger, that we needed to spare some expense and get chairs instead of pews. I fell out of one of those chairs last Sunday. I had to lean forward and to the left to put my songbook under  the chair slightly to my left in front of me, and off my chair I went.

 Anyway, my dad and someone who shall remain nameless was discussing the chairs the other night. This other person said something that made sense: they should have come to the whole church, and said this is how much money we need to have pews, and this is what we need for chairs. Do you want to come up with the money for the pews? But no, a few guys decided for the whole church that we were going to chairs. I could be wrong, but I feel there are some decisions made by a board or committee that should be brought before the whole church to decide. We are stuck with chairs probably forever because a few men made that decision for the whole church.

500 year grudge

  This year marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. I have been amused by the reaction of some Catholics at this time. You would think the Reformation happened yesterday and was a personal affront to them. A couple Catholics were claiming we idolize Luther, which is ironic considering  their views of Mary and the pope.

 500 years is an awfully long time to hold a grudge.... and I wonder how many of them know what the Catholic Church was like at that time. Luther had great reason to "buck the system.", and modern day Catholics have no right to be so angry and bitter about it.


 Last week was voting, and I didn't vote.  There are a few reasons:
1) I never changed my information, so I am probably still registered where I voted before. I assume you could get in trouble for still voting there when my voting place would have changed.

2) Even if the above isn't a problem, I didn't get home from this work til 6:35. I had no desire to go vote after working 10 hours and getting home that late.

3) I'm not sure I care about voting anymore. My vote doesn't count. I voted for the best guys in 2008 and 2012 elections, and we still wound up with Obama.....the worst man to ever hold that office. I prayed and prayed and voted..... and he won. Then this last election, I voted for the best guy in the primaries and prayed and prayed, and the worst man to ever run on the GOP ticket won. I voted 3rd party and hoped and prayed we would somehow end up with a better choice than Hillary or her long time buddy........ and that didn't happen. I'm sick of politics. Sick of corrupt politicians who even Christians have no problem voting for.

 This last election really turned me off politics. I don't think I'll ever comprehend or understand why so many conservatives and Christians picked a man like Donald Trump for their candidate. I can understand why he beat Hillary......people were too scared of her.......but how on earth did he become  the nominee of the party of conservatives and conservative Christians? It honestly makes me want to just avoid politics and voting forever. And I still haven't gotten over Christians trying to get me to go against my conscience and the lies they told to try to get to do so. (i.e. " you are for Hillary if you aren't for Trump", "a vote for a 3rd party is a vote for Hillary, etc)

 I do know this: If I vote in the next presidential election, I am going to keep silent about who I am voting for. And if anyone asks, I just may tell them it is none of their business. Because it isn't.


 I think I am going to soon need another tall bookshelf in my library. Bad thing is, there isn't a place to put one. I'm not sure what the solution is......I could put the bookcase in the hall, as the alphabetical order would carry over to the one in the hall, if I did that.

The holidays

 With my new position at the hospital that I started in January, we don't work holidays. This will be the first time in 4 years that I won't have to work Thanksgiving. Since I started working at the hospital, this will be the second year I haven't had to work on Christmas. I am looking forward to that. I do have to work  the day after Thanksgiving......I previously had it off until a coworker changed jobs. As of right now, I have the day before Thanksgiving off, and Thanksgiving off.


 Speaking of Christmas, I have barely started my gift buying...unusual for me. It has slipped up on me so fast this year, and I also have no idea what to buy anyone this year.

Christians and accusations

 I have been watching the ordeal with the accusations of Roy Moore. I have no idea if the man is guilty or not, but the timing is awfully suspicious, and it came out that a woman was promised $1000 to make the same accusations.

 I posted about it last night, making 4 points. The first was that he may be guilty. I then made the points above plus pointing out liberals have no right to decry Moore after defending and electing Clinton. One of my Facebook friends who pretty much only comments when he disagrees immediately jumped on me saying he disagreed......which is kind of ironic. I never claimed Moore was innocent and even started out saying he was guilty...... anyway, I have been thinking about this, and have a question to toss out:

How fast should Christians be to believe accusations made against men, especially men who have no record of such things, and how fast should be we to pick up rocks and cast them at that person when we don't know beyond a shout of a doubt that the person is guilty? Just asking.

Negative Facebook friends

 WHY do some Facebook friends only comment on your posts when they disagree with you? What is up with that? Am I the only one who experiences that?

 A special kudos to those who read the whole post. You must have been bored :)

Monday, November 13, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #13

On day #13, I am thankful for laughter. I love humor, enjoy telling jokes, enjoy hearing and reading jokes. I like a book that makes me laugh out loud as I read it. Laughter is something that helps make life more bearable, and I am thankful for it today on November 13.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #12

On day #12, I am thankful for the internet. There is a lot of bad on it, but there is also a lot of good. I have made a lot of friends via the internet, got into reviewing books, found a lot of good deals while shopping on line, gotten help, gotten in contact with others who have the same struggle as I do, and more. The internet is a great tool if used right, and gives us a world of knowledge and other resources at our fingertips.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #11

On day #11, I am thankful for Christmas. I have heard a lot of people complaining that Thanksgiving doesn't get enough time and attention, as we pretty much launch into Christmas after Halloween. And they do have a point.

 However, it it were not for Christmas, we would not have as much to be thankful for. Sure, I love the decorations and gift giving, but I know it is all about Jesus coming to earth as a baby to die for the sins of the whole world.

 The real reason for Christmas can get lost in the busyness and commercialization of Christmas, but one can still celebrate His birth and participate in the joy of the season. This is the season to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and we should be better at celebrating it than the world.

Friday, November 10, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #10

 On day # 10, I am thankful for my upbringing. No parent or family is perfect, but I have heard and read of so many people who had really messed up upbringing and it has resulted in them being messed up. I was spanked, I was taught to respect people, to be on time, to do a job well, and more. I was taken to church, and went to a Christian school all of my school years. My family ate meals together, went on family vacations together, played games together,, and had fun. There were no drugs, smoking, or alcohol in our home. There was no abuse.

 We didn't roam the streets as kids. My parents kept track of where we were and who we were with.

  Life wasn't perfect.... nobody's is, but I am thankful for how I was raised and for the home life I had.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

30 days of thankfulness #9

On day # 9 of my 30 days of thankfulness, I am thankful for food. There have been a lot of times in my life that I was hungry, such as when the pastor is going longer with his sermon than I like, and I know there is a great Sunday dinner to be had at home........but I have never been truly hungry where there was no food to be had.

 And there is such a wide variety of great food to be had: fried chicken, lasagna, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, apple pie, and on and on. So today I am thankful for food and for always having enough of it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #8

On day #8, I am thankful for my job. The days are long - I work 4 10 1/2 hour days, with the 1/2 hour for lunch. I stand the majority of  the time, and it has its slow and boring moments, and I drive further than I like...... and have to wear a suit jacket and tie. I'd rather just work at the closest hospital where I know the most people, but I have to go to one further away that I don't like working at much......but the pay is decent and the benefits are pretty good too. After working 6 months for the hospital, I got 84. some hours of paid time off, which can be used for days off, vacations, or sometimes leave early. I work every other Saturday, one Sunday a month, and have holidays off with pay. It may not be my favorite job I have had, but it is the best job I have had, and I am very thankful to have it.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #7

On day #7, I am thankful for freedom and that I live in America. We are fast losing our freedoms as the gay gestapo, atheists, ACLU, and other ultra liberal groups try to stamp out Christianity, or at least silence us and force us to do what they want. We daily murder innocent babies and a large segment of our population cheers and celebrates the "right" for a woman to muder her baby. Our government is full of corrupt politicians on both sides. I despised the 2 main choices for president this past election and would not have been happy with either choice. We are overtaxed and overworked.

 Yet we still have freedoms so many in our world do not have. We can pick whatever vocation we want and work where we want....if we can get hired where we want to work.

 We can worship where we want and as often as we want, without fear of the government coming in and arresting us. We can drive unhindered all over this country of ours without being stopped, questioned, searched, and fearing arrest.

 We can openly buy Bibles and read them openly.

If we are unhappy with our church or religion, we can change without fear that we will be killed, tortured, or jailed.

We can criticize our govrerment and leaders.......unless of course they are Donald Trump. (Yeah, I had to put that in) :)

 We often focus too much on the negatives in life, and many do that with our freedoms and country. Yes, there is a lot wrong in America. Yes, we are losing our freedoms. However, I still believe we are living in the best country in the world and take for granted freedoms that many don't have in other countries.

 So on day #7 of my 30 days of thankfulness, I am very thankful for the freedoms we still have and for the provlege of living in America.

Monday, November 6, 2017

30 days of thankfulness, day #6

On day #6, I am thankful for music. I have a lot of CDs, and have music playing a lot in my car and at home. My favorite genre' is Southern Gospel, and I contend that it is the best music and the most encouraging. I am mostly listening to Christmas music at this time of year, and am thankful there is so much good Christmas music out there. Music can soothe the soul, make you happy, encourage you, take you down memory lane, and more.

 There are people who rarely listen to music, and I don't understand that. There are Christians who seem to mostly listen to secular music, and I don't get that either. If one is a Christian, shouldn't you want to listen to Christian music that will bring you closer to God, instead of the music of the world? I am thankful there is such a wide variety of music on the Christian market today, and that modern technology means you can take it everywhere you go.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

30 days of thankfulness day #5


On day #5 of my 30 days of thankfulness, I am thankful for books and for my love of books and reading. I have no idea how many books I have read in my lifetime, but it is a lot. I have read 101 books this year so far, with a goal of 125.... I should hit that goal. Now that I have my own place again and have 2 spare bedrooms, I made one a library that holds most of my books, with 5 3-shelf bookcases outside of my library.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

30 days of thankfulness, days 1-4

  I have done 30 days of thankfulness during November on my blog the last few days, but this year November sneaked up on me. I was at a concert Thursday evening, and one of the singers mentioned that she is doing it on Facebook. Two days later, I have decided that I need to do it again this year. Since we are four days into November, I'll do the first 4 days in this post to catch up.

Day 1: I am thankful for my family. No family is perfect, but ours is a fairly close family. We all get along and enjoy being together. Our whole gang isn't together much anymore, but we have fun when we are. We celebrate birthdays together, and they are still a big deal in our family. My mom always makes the birthday guy or girl whatever they want for their birthday meal.

Day 2: I am thankful for my nieces and nephews. This may sound like a repeat of day 1,  but it isn't. I love kids, but I was not able to have any of my own since marriage is not an option. However, I am very close to my nieces and nephews and am crazy about those 6 kids. Stephanie: 22, Allison: 19, Caite: 17, Josiah: 16, Ben: 13, and Nathan: soon to be 11. I think they are awesome kids, and they always seem happy to spend time with me, whether it be playing the Wii or going out to eat with Uncle Mark.

Day 3: Health. I have diabetes, which isn't fun to deal with. I have always struggled with my weight. I am thankful though that I don't have worse health issues. Cancer is widespread, and people younger than me have other serious health issues. I am thankful I don't have any serious health problems, as long as I keep my sugar levels down.

Day 4: Now I am caught up. Today, on day 4, I am thankful for my house. I am thankful to my parents for putting up with me so long, but it is great to have my own place again. I despaired it was ever going to happen, and this past year was full of disappointments as I searched for a house to buy, had one deal fall through, and was outbid on others. Then this rental came along totally unexpected. I found out I was moving into it 2 weeks before I moved. Life is different, and I am doing all my own cooking, laundry, and house cleaning..... but it is awesome.