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

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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lunch with Martha

    I can't remember when I first noticed her, but she has become a regular at the hospital I work at. She is either in for tests, or with her 84 year old mother for tests. She's not the most pleasant woman to look at, missing most or all of her teeth. Her age is probably around early 60's, and she looks like she has had a rough life.

 And she likes me. I have never really gone out of my way any more than with other visitors, though I did buy her lunch one day because she was hungry and said she didn't have any money. She is one of those people you suspect their elevator may not go the whole way to the top, but she has a sweet personality. More than once, I have seen her standing at the courtesy phone across the lobby, crooking her finger at me. I have walked over, and it is always the same thing "Could you dial the number of the taxi for me?" And I do.

 The first time I saw her after Christmas, she asked me if I had a nice Christmas. I told her I did, and asked her if she did. She smiled and said she did, and that she got a Cabbage Patch Doll......reinforcing my belief about the elevator.

 Today, she walked in and I greeted her and asked how she was. "Not good, I'm sick", was the reply. I jokingly pulled back and told her I'd better stay away from her. "No, it isn't that.....they found out that I have leukemia, and I am here for more blood work." I tried to murmur the appropriate words, and she headed for the outpatient testing area.

   Shortly after, I went to lunch, picking the corner booth in the coffee shop. I laid the book I planned on reading beside me, and was just digging into a hot turkey sandwich and mashed potatoes and gravy, and she walked in. She headed for my table, and I was thinking "please no, don't sit with me.... I want to eat in peace and quiet and read my book!" She came up to my table, and asked if she could join me. I smiled, and told her "sure."

   The meal was a bit awkward. I was trying to eat while also trying to come up with things to talk about as she sipped her Pepsi and watched me. She filled in the silence with some chatter, and I found out a little about her: she lives with her 84 year mother who just had 4 stents put in her heart. She was a foster kid who has 3 sisters and 7 brothers..... I assume all foster. She has an ex husband who she said beat her, shoved her down a pair of steps, then did it again when she got to the top, and then chased her with a butcher knife. He also set the house on fire with her in it.....twice. In between these claims, she would comment about how nice it was to talk to me, that we all need someone to talk to, etc. To be honest, I wasn't sure how much of her story was true, but I tried to come up with the appropriate responses.

  All the while, my book lay on the table, unread. Near the end of my lunch break, she said she'd better go call  the taxi - I guess she is able to do it on her own (grin).... and that she was going to get a tuna fish sandwich. She thanked me for letting her sit with me, and went her way. I noticed a few minutes later that she had left her purse, so I carried it out and laid it beside the phone she was talking on.

 I don't even know her name. I was going to ask it later, but her taxi had evidently come and she had left.

 I felt a bit guilty about wishing she had not sat at my table. She is obviously lonely. And I found myself wondering how many other people come through those doors longing for someone to talk to, for someone to care and listen to them.

   It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, and to have no time for anyone except ourselves and those closest to us...... and maybe not even for them.

 We're on this earth for such a short time, and we tend to focus on all the wrong things too much.....when it is people we need to focus on. That is what Jesus did.... and if we want to be like Him, we won't spend so much time trying to get people to vote how we want, wasting time arguing about stuff that won't matter 100 years from now, or whatever else we spend so much time on.

 I still don't know her name. I'll have to ask it next time I see her. For now, she shall be Martha. She looks like a Martha.

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