Unburdening

I said this was going to be a happier post than the last one.  I try to be a man of my word.

Let’s talk about sin.

I’m going to paraphrase a few Bible verses here.  Just for the sake of writing flow, I won’t be giving the references, but I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to check to keep me honest.

The Scriptures tell us that we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  We know that we often hide sin in our hearts, and refuse to own up to it.

Unconfessed sin cuts us off from fellowship with God.  His joy, His peace, His power can’t and won’t come into a sin-hardened heart.

Ah, but confessing sin?  Better yet, asking God to search our hearts and reveal our sin to us so that we can BETTER confess it?  It brings a tremendous freedom, and a tremendous peace.  I speak from personal experience, as one who likes to stubbornly hold on to pet sins.

….okay, I’ll quote two verses.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9

And, a favorite prayer: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

Unburdening, friends.  Pouring out our sins before God, agreeing with Him that we are sinners, and asking for (and receiving) His mercy and forgiveness.  There’s nothing like it.

Violence in Schools

This is not the happy post.  I promise, Monday I’ll try to be witty again.

Doing lighthearted stuff is sort of my thing.  I want to be the guy who gives you a break from the world, not the blogger who pushes it at you.

But, yeah, ANOTHER school shooting.

And, Lord help us all, we’ve gotten to the point where this is commonplace.  Where it’s not really “big news” anymore.  Where our teachers and students are, rightfully, afraid to go to school.

I don’t want to be alarmist, I really don’t.  And I tend to lean conservative politically, whatever that means.  But if any leaders have plans that could stop this, whatever their political persuasion, we’re years past due to do something about this.

But, yes, I know “thoughts and prayers” are mocked.  And they are indeed empty if that’s as far as they go.  But may we indeed pray for the families and mourn the loss.

And may we pray that God may turn the hearts and minds of this nation back to Him.

God bless, friends.

Sunday School Antics

I was filling in for a children’s Sunday School class.  The regular teacher is taking a cruise and completely neglected to invite me.

The lesson was on Jesus and His healing miracles and on how we should show His love for others.  We eventually got to it.

First we apparently had to talk about movies.  Then Adam was flipping a coin, and he dropped it and I thanked him for bringing me a coin.  He protested that it was his lucky coin, and I told him okay, but put it back in his lucky pocket.  He grinned and complied.

Then Mark was on the floor on his back because he said he was a turtle and he couldn’t get up.  I flipped him over and said “okay, shell-boy, get in your seat.”  And he did.

Some other shenanigans, but we got to the lesson.  And then they answered the review questions correctly and had some very sweet and insightful comments on being loved and showing love.  So, you know, no big deal with the antics, because they’re learning something.

I love kids’ Sunday School.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Miscellaney February 8, 2018

Various–

  1. I’ve had “Lead Me to Some Soul Today” stuck in my head and been praying about it.  It’s hard to sing, because I don’t know QUITE all the worlds, so I have to hum along until I get back to the lyrics I’m comfortable with.  I should probably look it up.

2. I took a chunk out of a fingernail this morning.  It doesn’t bother me until I hit the “w,” “s,” or “x” key, then it stings.  Typing Wessex is kind of painful and I should probably avoid working it into the post.

3. I had an injection in my knee Tuesday, and was warned there would possibly be some discomfort for a couple of days.  Um, yeah, I’ll say.  Tuesday afternoon I had to go home and lie down, yesterday was pretty rough, this morning honestly is much less sore.

4. I’ve interacted with some VERY cute and sweet children the last couple of days and really wish I could show you pictures, but I’m leery about that since they’re not actually my kids.  I have one of a three month old baby girl staring at my camera with a “what’s this all about” look.

5. You can’t do ANYTHING when the doctor insists you use two crutches.

6. The doctor and I disagree about “avoiding strenuous activity.”  I personally consider that moving tables and chairs isn’t all that demanding, but he rather unreasonably sees it differently.  My wife, friends, and co-workers are siding with him.  Frustrating.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

To Blog, Or Not To Blog?

The picture shows what the “posting screen” looks like on the nuts-n-bolts side of the blog.  I like it–it’s intuitive, user friendly, and lets me do pretty much whatever I want to do.

I’m not new to blogging–I had a blog for about three years called “Confessions of a Supermarket Bagger (and other minimum wage wisdom).”  It plateaued at a few hundred regular readers, largely because I was too general with it.  I talked about any and everything.

This blog feels like it’s starting to go the same direction.  I really, really, really need to get back on the stick and get more interviews going.  Those were fun.

Life’s been crazy, lately, but that’s no excuse.  I just need to make it a priority.

We’ll see how things go.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Setting Up A Straw Man

I have a lot of fun with logical fallacies.  You know, errors in thinking, mistakes in debating, intellectual dishonesties.

You can find a wonderfully comprehensive list of them here.

They’re entertaining to talk and learn about, and knowing more about them does help people see through manipulative people and arguments.  I haven’t personally found that it helps much in dealing WITH such people, because pointing out to someone that their argument is logically flawed hasn’t often had such positive results for me.

Every once in a while, though, you wind up with an honest person willing to examine their own thinking and position, and then knowing something about fallacies might get you some headway.

One example of a fallacy that I see a lot (and have probably been guilty of myself) is the “straw man” fallacy.  In this you’re not responding to the argument of someone with whom you disagree; you’re first distorting their position and attacking that distortion.  You’re, in effect, setting up a straw man as a target, attacking that straw man, and claiming victory.

For instance, if my son has missed his curfew and suggests to me that it’s not a big deal because he’s only five minutes late and that he’s usually on time and I then state that he’s saying that commitments and punctuality are unimportant and I start lecturing him on THAT, I’m setting up a straw man, because he didn’t say that.

Now, if I start to lecture him on how I expect punctuality every time, that may or may not be unreasonable of me, but it’s logically consistent, because I’m responding to what he said.

As it happens, I didn’t lecture him, because he’s usually on time and because I allow him a few minutes’ grace period anyway.

But logical fallacies are fun.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Morning People!

I’m an obnoxiously cheerful morning person.  I know this.

I am the only one in my household.  Maybe if I wasn’t so outnumbered it’d be easier to be a morning person, because I’d have somebody I could actually have coherent conversations with before breakfast.

I was driving two semiconscious freshmen, my son and the young man who lives across the street, to school, and I was in a very good mood.  I wanted to maybe put on some lively music, or possibly sing a little, but I tend to get some grumpy opposition from my passengers, so I choose not to fight that battle.

Enh, they’re heading off to school, and that’s tough enough.  No point tormenting them, poor, sad, not-morning people.

My daughter has a shirt that reads: “A Poem for Mornings.  Coffee.  Coffee, coffee, coffee.  Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.  Everyone shut up.  Coffee, coffee, coffee.”

And then, there’s me.  “Let’s get up and face the day!”

It’s a lonely thing.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Oscar–Advice for the Cats’ Morning

  1. 5:30 AM, begin meowing loudly at bedroom door, reminding the human that it is breakfast time.  Continue meowing until human stumbles out of bedroom and toward kitchen.
  2. Briskly walk figure-eight pattern repeatedly through human’s legs as he is attempting to get one’s breakfast.
  3. Devour breakfast.
  4. Lick oneself clean.
  5. Meow at back door until human opens it.
  6. Too blasted cold.  Go briefly outside and execute graceful U-turn, so that head is back inside the house before tail has had a chance to properly leave.
  7. Complain to human about lousy weather.
  8. Grudgingly go downstairs and use litter box.
  9. Return to kitchen.  Human is doing something at the counter.  Stalk random dust molecule.  Jump sideways in startlement when toaster pops.  Complain to human.
  10. Go to bedroom of chief humans.  Climb up desk, sadly having to shove off papers that female human has inconsiderately left in the way.
  11. Find warm spot behind computer monitor.
  12. Sleep.

Adding Cuteness

I like to brighten people’s days when I get the chance.  People deal with challenges, dilemmas, obstacles, and burdens.  I offer prayers to the God Who is Lord of all, and I try to offer what little wisdom I possess (not much) and whatever help I can render.  There’s often very little I can do.

But you can always help people find the beauty.  Or the cuteness.

I’m not sure exactly how I got started on baby hedgehogs, but it seems to have become my thing.  It began, I think, with a yawning baby hedgehog picture on Facebook and has sort of mushroomed from there.

But if I can give someone even a quick smile in the middle of their journey, then in some small way I’ve made a difference.

Plus, you know, baby hedgehogs.  Seriously cute.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Insert Title Here

This is a test of the emergency blog update system.

This is only a test.  This isn’t a real update.

If this were actually a blog post, then there would be some content.

There isn’t.  This is just a test.

Instead of content, there’s just this drivel.  And an admittedly pretty cute silhouette of a hedgehog.

Ideally, of course, there’d be some humorous or at least thought-provoking content here, or even a return to the “Advice for Everyone” portion of this blog, if I ever manage to get back on the stick and get the interviews flowing again.  I’ll tell you, you try do something creative and life just gets in the way, doesn’t it…..

But, I digress.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled internet, already in progress.

Take care and God bless.