Sunday, January 30, 2011


I just caught one of my favorite movies on TV today, The Untouchable. Yea, I know. It is a movie with graphic violence and profanity. I didn't say it was a family movie and it is definitely not a movie for children. Edited versions of the movie clean up a lot of the blood, but the time period was an ugly time and people were brutally killed by Capone's men. They bled and died.

--But this blog isn't about censorship.

There is a scene in the movie where Elliott Ness must send his family away, for their own safety. All the Untouchables; Ness, Malone, Stone, and Wallace are standing in the dark street, armed with machine guns, discussing how they wish to bring down Al Capone. After discussing the plan they, almost jubilantly, run down the street, machine guns in hand, ready for battle.

There is something about that scene. In one moment Ness is terrified for his family, but then he regroups and is ready to fight the enemy. There is significance to the scene. Ness, Malone, Stone, and Wallace have a purpose.

As I watch, I envy them. I want to have significance to my life. I want to have purpose.

I want to run with a machine gun.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I decided to change up my exercise routine a bit, and get involved with strength training. I made my appointment with a trainer for 10:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. If you know me, I like to stay in my pajamas till noon on Saturday. For me to be out and about at 10:45 was a BIG deal, but I was determined to learn this new routine. After all, short sleeve season is arriving soon.

As I drive down the highway, with plenty of time to spare, I suddenly see that an 18-wheeler put on the brakes and then realized I was in for a long, long wait. Construction on Interstate 40. Need I say more? Oh, yea, thanks TDOT.

So I waited and waited and waited. The engine began to overheat, but traffic still barely moved. It was time for my training session to begin, but I was stranded.

It seemed like the story of my life.

Then I got to my training session and still more waiting. Since I was late, the trainer had to split her time between me and another member. I exercised and waited, exercised and waited. I understood. After all, I was the one who was late. In the end, I only got to learn how to use 1/2 of the equipment before the session ended.

On the way home I stopped at the post office to mail a letter. On the way, I had to sit through several traffic lights, waiting for funeral traffic. I was now weary of waiting. Yea, I know. It was a funeral procession and I was pretty low down to become impatient.

That was when I remembered this was supposed to be my week to be waiting on the Lord. Be still and know I am God.

It is such a difficult thing to be still, to wait, and to be patient.

I'll have to try harder.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When I was young I was a real Paul Simon fan, but I did have an objection to his views about God. I still don't agree with his theology, but in the past few years I have empathize with the lyrics of one of his songs, popular in the early 80's. The lines went like this:

God only knows,
And God makes His plans.
The information's unavailable to the mortal man.
We work our job,
And collect our pay.
We think we're gliding down the highway
When, in fact, we're just slip-sliding away.

I look at my life and I wonder, what is God's will for my life? Am I in God's will? If not, when did I get out of His will? I am convinced that I once was in His will. It is all so confusing to me. I often wish it could be clearer--like an email or text message. Walgreen's has a sign that flashes its weekly specials on it. Why couldn't I see a message like that.

Sure, the holier of you are saying God's message to us is the Bible and if we study it, we will know the path to follow, but for those of us who are a bit more dense, the message is still not so clear. Hey, I have trouble working a GPS, so I am easily misguided. Following chapters and verses to help me with specific matters at work or in my life is sometimes confusing.

I was discussing this in Sunday school and my teacher, Al, suggested that I meditate on this verse for awhile:

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10.

Sometimes we are so busy praying, we don't listen for an answer. I really do want to know what I am supposed to be doing. Perhaps I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I don't really know.

I guess I will just be still for awhile.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It's a hard thing to say.

It is hard to know when you are really at that point when you are able to say, "Thy will be done." People who want to sound holy say it all the time, but if you really think about what it means--doing God's will no matter what it costs you--your home, your family, your life--Well then, you might pause before you say it.

Over ten years ago I had cancer and was insurance poor, as they say. I had prayed, many times for a miracle or recovery or something. Long story short, the doctor canceled a life-saving procedure within hours of the time of the operation. That phone call, canceling the surgery seemed to seal my fate. What was going to happen to me? I thought I had exhausted every avenue for recovery. I dropped to my knees, leaned on the telephone table, wept and prayed.

"Without this surgery I will surely die," I prayed. "But If this is how it must be, please let me die with grace and dignity. Please let me act in a Christian manner."

I was broken to the point I could fight no more. I sobbed, "Thy will be done."

I meant it.

I can't say how long I prayed, but I was still on my knees at the table when the phone rang again. It was my mother. Her dear friend, who was a doctor, wanted to see me at his office the next day--and he didn't mind accepting my insurance. Dr. Bland saved my life.

This happened right after I prayed, "Thy will be done."

I have gone though some rough times these past 3 years; medical, financial, deaths. Thank God, my health problems are greatly improved. However, other problems linger, problems I have prayed and prayed about.

Lately I wondered if I was really willing to pray, Thy will be done.

Do I really want God's will? That's a hard one. If it means blessings, the answer it yes! What if it means losing everything? I have thought long and hard about this one. I want to obey God, but . . .

I remember being on my knees by that telephone thinking I might die. Death wasn't what I wanted, but I would be submissive to God's will.

Perhaps I need to remember all of that as I face my situation today, accept these hardships with grace and believe that God is in control. Maybe we don't have to enjoy God's will. Jesus prayed about this so much that he sweat drops of blood. Perhaps we need only accept God's will with grace.

That, I believe I can do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I was distressed that a certain attention seeking church (that will be referred to as W.) will protest at the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed last Saturday while attending the public meeting held by U. S. Representative, Gabrielle Gifford, in Tucson, Arizona. This church makes a habit of protesting funerals. Why funerals? I dunno, maybe because that is where the news cameras will be.

It was a twisted mind that caused the death of this precious little girl--God's creation. It is a twisted mind that would cause suffering to those who grieve at her funeral. Enough said about that.

This cause me to think of those people who use the phrase, God said, or, God says. One should be careful when speaking for the Almighty God. He is a very big God and has the ability to speak for Himself. In fact, He has--in the Bible. If one is speaking for God, those words should line up with the scriptures, for God does not contradict Himself.

The members of the W. church have a habit of holding signs during their protest. The signs are supposed to speak for God. They say things like: God hates Catholics and God hates Fags. When I looked in my Bible's glossary, I couldn't find either the words Catholics or Fags in it.

--However, when I looked up hate in my glossary, I found this set of scriptures. A lot of Christians, even those of that W. church should commit this scripture to memory. The verse is found in Proverbs 6:16-19. NKJV. The bold print is my addition.

"These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren."

Hmmm, I know a lot of Christians who manage to do what God hates.

--But what does God love? Try John 3:16. NKJV:

"For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . ."

--Just something to think about.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Assessing Resolution 2010

I made 2 specific resolutions in 2010, to improve my situation 1) health wise and 2) financially. My Sunday School teacher, Al, shared how he mailed a letter to himself midway in the year to remember his resolution. I thought that using my blog might be more helpful to keeping me on track.

Now it is time to assess how well I did in keeping those resolutions.

The bad news first

No matter how I tried, I am not fairing any better financially at the end of this year than at the beginning. In fact, in the past few months my part-time work has been almost non-existent. Well, according to news reports, the economy is supposed to be improving. We'll see.

Now for the good news:

After several doctor's visits and test, I received a diagnosis and a therapy program for a medical problem. A big part of that involves regular exercise at a wellness center. The result are:
  1. I have more energy.
  2. I am stronger and can walk better.
  3. I have lost between 16 to18 pounds and my clothes are fitting better.
  4. I generally feel better.
  5. My blood pressure is better than it has been in years.
So, one of my resolutions went very well, while the other--not so much. After thinking about it--a lot--I decided to keep the same resolution for 2011.

Wish me luck.