SCIENCE? ARE YOU GONNA GO WITH THAT?

Really and truly, I believe in science.

I mean, the internet alone…that was science, right? We can find all this information virtually anywhere, anytime, because we are carrying this little bitty super powerful computer with us everywhere we go.

And the cures for disease, the repair of damaged bodies, the travel into space…on and on and on. Scientific research brings us to new levels of understanding.

It’s kinda funny today, though, that the same people that tell me that science has proven the billions of years, the theory of evolution, man caused climate change, the end of the world in 12 years, are also telling me that a baby in the womb isn’t a human until it is born (or maybe a little after that, depending on the decisions of the woman and the doctor), and that now one can choose his/her gender, that the X Y chromosome thing isn’t a valid consideration.

Now, that is okay, if you want to believe those things, I guess, but don’t you think that if you are using science to prove your points in one area, that maybe you should agree with science in other areas as well?

Science doesn’t usually consider emotions and feelings as a valid scientific proof.

But, we feel what we feel, right?

Come now, let us reason together….

Maybe, we don’t know the whole story yet,

And, maybe, just maybe, fighting for some ideas because of your emotional response to a story you heard

Or a desire you have

Maybe , just maybe, you should hold off, do a little research, and consider more than just one side.

Maybe, happiness isn’t really tied to you getting your way.

But…that is another argument for another time.

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HIDDEN DANGERS, SECRET SNARES

HIDDEN DANGERS, SECRET SNARES

“I found a nail!” Addi proudly held up one of those square roofing nails as she treaded water in the deep end of the pool.

She had been the first of the girls to venture into the 65° water, and she had outlasted the other three. The family was together again for two birthdays, an 88 and an 8.

Carter stood on the side of the pool, swimmies still on her arms, shivering, her lips kind of blue. She was quickly wrapped in a towel and cuddled into her great grandmother’s lap.

“Oh my gosh! Those are so dangerous!” Wendy said. “Did the roofers do that?”

We were sitting under the newly finished cover over the patio.

“Yeah, we have found a few, but the roofers tried really hard to keep them out of the pool, ” Belinda answered. “They put a tarp across the pool to catch them. It was attached to boards and floated on the top of the water.”

Jenny followed,”Yeah, it got Dad!” She and Belinda began to laugh.

“It wasn’t funny,” Craig said.

Belinda. “It kinda was!”

We all wanted the story, and Craig began.

“I had come home and was just looking at the progress. I was looking up as I walked past the pool, and, somehow, I stepped off the edge and fell right into the tarp. I new I was in the shallow end, so it wasn’t a big deal, except it was cold. But the tarp just closed in around me, wrapping me tight, I couldn’t see anything, and I went under the water.”

Belinda said,”The guys didn’t even know Craig was there until they heard the splash.”

Craig continued,”I didn’t panic…I didn’t scream like a girl…but I was wrapped up and it was dark. I just tried to find the light. I just looked for the light. ” He kinda smiled.

“I got my face free, above the water, and I saw the guys at the end of the pool grab the tarp and pull me. I went back under the water. When I came back up I yelled, ‘STOP! DON’T PULL ME! I CAN STAND UP!’ So they stopped, I stood up, and the said, ‘Are you okay?’ They were treating me like an old man. ‘Well, now I guess you’ve got a story to tell about the boss! You’re welcome!’ And they said they wouldn’t tell anyone. ”

We were all laughing at the story…life is all about the stories.

But, secretly, we were all really glad that he was telling us the story.

I think about how easily that could have been the last day Craig spent on this earth.

A day or two later, Jenny, Craig’s daughter, was eating a pork chop at home by herself, got it caught in her throat, and started to choke. She was pushing 911 on her phone when she cleared the obstruction, and only suffered a sore scratchy throat.

Another story shared on Facebook.

We were glad she was able to tell us the story.

But another near step into eternity.

Simple little everyday life actions suddenly take on a bit of sobering seriousness, when we stop to examine how close at any time we are to stepping through that veil.

So, we do not live in fear, or dread.

We connect ourselves to our Creator, as His sons and daughters, and live in the plans that He has laid out for us.

And in those daily mundane seemingly unimportant incidents in our life, as we walk and talk with Him, we find His pleasure, and experience that joy that comes from Him.

And, because of that connection with Him,

and the stories…

Life is not dull!

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POST TRAUMATIC FLASHBACK

I pulled into the church parking lot this morning for Tuesday Bible study.

The rain had moved on, the sun was bright.

And low.

And in my eyes through my dirty windshield.

There was only one car in the parking lot, then one driving toward me.

He kept coming right toward me.

I stopped.

He stopped. Right in front of me.

I just sat there until he moved.

1968

I had worked my way up to stocker at Safeway.

I had a crush on the short dark-haired cashier that was a year older.

She was friendly.

She had a blue Corvair.

We got off at 9:30, and I walked alone out to the parking lot.

I was driving my mom’s white ’62 Chevy BelAir.

It was winter, and there was a thin sheet of frost on the windshield, so I scraped out enough of a circle to see to drive home.

I started my car, turned toward the exit, and, zipping in front of me, blocking the exit was…

Hendershot!

I didn’t have time for this.

I tried to fake one way, then go the next, but he was too quick.

One more sharp turn and I thought I had him beat…

CRUNCH!

You know the sound.

’62 Belair hits ’61 Corvair?

Yeah, it was hers.

Hendershot was scared.

I coulda killed him.

But I had to go tell her I hit her car.

She was fantastic about it!

We even dated some after that.

But Hendershot was never my friend.

When I told my friend this morning about the flashback, he thought it was funny.

Until I told him the sun was in my eyes, and I didn’t even know who was blocking me until he moved.

Then he said he was sorry.

I wasn’t really upset.

But I would not try to get by him!

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WHY DO I CARE IF YOU CARE?

WHY DO I CARE IF YOU CARE?

When I was in about fourth grade, I decided to write a novel. It was pretty long, too. About 4 1/12 pages long. It was about an invasion of giants from Jupiter. Honestly, I was pretty caught up in the story, but, after all those pages, with a pencil (this was a long time ago, kiddos), I guess I ran out of gas, or story, or both, and I laid the masterpiece aside.

A few days later, my mom told me she had found my story, how exciting it was, and how she couldn’t find the rest of it to finish the story. How did it end?

By then, I had forgotten all about it, my interest was gone.

I never had that much self-discipline as a kid.

Or teen.

Or young adult.

But, I knew I would write.

Someday.

Now, I have a business that fills my hours, but allows my mind to ruminate on the issues of life; politics, spiritual, historical, comedic….

Now, I could talk to whoever I happen to run into that day, if I can remember what I was thinking about, but, if I write it all down in some semi interesting way, instead of reaching one or two people in conversation, I can literally reach several if I put it out on the world wide Web.

Now, here is the thing.

When Mom liked what I wrote, I really needed that affirmation. It was part of growing up, feeling like I had something to offer.

Now, when I write something for you to read, I am saying something that I believe to be true.

You don’t have to believe me, or agree with me, or even like what I say. If you do agree, well, that just means you are probably a little smarter than most.

But, if you do or don’t agree, I really want to hear why. I know I don’t always see the big picture, or know all the facts, or even consider what the words I say may be saying to you.

I am very opinionated. But, I’m not mean. Maybe a little sarcastic every once in a while.

I know, in A Separate Peace, “sarcasm is the protest of those who are weak.”

Well, you know what they say, “It takes all kinds.” (Yes, I heard “them” say that, somewhere, sometime.)

Anyway, I never know which way my thoughts may carry me, but I would be glad to fling them out there for the 17 of you who may be reading stuff longer than memes.

I will read yours, too.

Because you are a great writer and thinker.

Just like me.

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HOLY BOOK

Two Years Ago

April 9, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me if the Bible was the only holy book I read.

It is, but how do you answer that question?

I didn’t answer at first, but I did think about it.

He asked me a second time.

When I was in college, and searching for some truth, (notice the word “some”) I did read writings from all types of religious and philosophical beliefs.

Honestly, though, it wasn’t like I was on some grand quest to find truth. (Thanks, Wendy, for helping me with that word, “quest.”
You complete me.
Like, we share one brain.) I just figured, my parents couldn’t possibly be right with all the stuff I had heard all my life. I wanted some new information. But, again, I wasn’t all that diligent in my search.

But, when I turned 26, had a few years of marriage behind me, a kid, a life of our own. The things that I had thought in my college days would satisfy me, didn’t.

I was still open to spiritual suggestions, but, truthfully, I really wasn’t driven that way. Somebody needed to come up to me and say, “Here’s what you need to do.”

So, one day, I was particularly down in the “slough of despond” and all I knew to do was to cry out (silently, of course) to the God my parents had believed in. “WHY?”

He answered. A light switched on.

The answer included the one holy book, the Bible.

It proved to answer every cry of my heart, every cry of despair, every cry of boredom with life.

The more I read it, the more clearly I saw my world explained, corrected.

Truth appeared, and has continued to expand through the years, the more I read that one book.

I stopped searching for the truth, because I found Him.

My new search began.

Getting to know Him.

Learning the joy of finding His pleasure.

I realized that there was a Creator of Infinite Wisdom and Truth receiving me into His very own family.

There were others, too, that I began to meet, who were a part of this new family. We shared something that I had never known before. They understood my search, and my discovery.

I really like this family.

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“I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL!”

He was sitting with his back to me, earbuds in his ear, scrolling down his phone.

He had texted yesterday, saying, “I have a couple of questions for you. Can you meet me at Starbucks?”

Smiling barista, moving quickly , (they always move so fast) “What can I get for you?”

“Grande Pike Place. No milk.”

“Hey,” I tap him on the back as I walk up.

“Hey.” He pulls one bud from his ear.

I smile. “If you want to ask me questions , you might as well take out the other one.”

He pulls the other one, clicks his phone off. “What do you think about prayer?”

I know him well enough to know I don’t have enough info to answer what he is asking. “Why are you asking? What’s your take?”

“I think prayer is pretty much something that people do to make themselves feel better. Kinda like a mental exercise. It really doesn’t do any good. Except, maybe making ‘em feel better for a while.”

I know him well enough to know where this is coming from. I have to tread lightly. “Well, I think you may have a point, in a sense. I know a lot of people that have prayed for things and solutions, all kinds of stuff. They seemed to have a sort of peace after praying, but, a lot of times, what they prayed for didn’t happen.”

He was slouched back in his chair, his legs extended, his feet shaking in time to the music playing in the background.

I asked, “So, have you prayed something that didn’t work for you?” I knew what he would say.

“Yeah?! All this!” He made a gesture with both hands, sweeping them from his head to his feet.

I knew what he was talking about. He had been born with a disease that limited him in some ways, making it difficult to make and keep friends, to do normal things.

He continued. “I have prayed and prayed for God to heal me. Nothing! I figure, either God can’t, God won’t, or there is no God.”

“What would you get, if you had your way? What do you want above everything else?”

“I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL!” A little bit loud. A couple at a nearby table turned toward our table, then looked away, whispering.

“Okay,” I said, “First question. What do I think about prayer? I used to think of prayer as a kind of grocery list for God. ‘While you’re here, could you pick up a couple of things for me? That would be great!’ But, honestly, I wasn’t very good at praying. I’m not real sure I understood, or took it very seriously. But, now, I look at it as a way to find out what He wants me to do. I say, ‘Okay, new day. Where are we going today? I want to go with you, all day, to be able to help you do some of the things You do.’ It’s kind of like volunteering for a mission, then going to the officer to find out what the mission is.”

He was losing interest. This wasn’t the question he was interested in.

“About being normal. I get it. You want to fit in, to do the things that your friends do, hanging out, driving, being one of the group.”

“Yeah, that is exactly what I want. And I can’t see that ever happening. Why doesn’t God care? If he even exists at all.”

“Listen,” I tell him, “I have been normal. Had all the normal things, good job, wife, kid, two cars, house, good reputation. Life was good, right?….Except, it wasn’t. Normal is way over rated. Depression still takes over. Meaning to life, like a vapor. Why am I so sad? What is the point to all this? These questions don’t stop just because you have the life that you thought you wanted.”

I looked at him. He was listening, doubtfully, probably thinking I had no idea what he feels. “Let me ask you a question. If you could ask God, assuming He exists, for the perfect life for you, what would it look like? Better yet, would it require you to be healed, first?”

“YES!”

“And, you don’t see that happening?”

“NOPE!”

“Okay, there is one thing you haven’t figured. What if God had some purpose in all this?” I did my hands like he did before over his body. “What if He told you, ‘If you will carry this weakness for me, and move into your life trusting me, I will show you a power that you never knew before. You know, My strength is made perfect in your weakness.’ That is one thing you haven’t tried.”

“I have tried believing in God. It doesn’t work.”

“Believing in God is different from trusting God. The demons believe in God. Trusting God cannot be tried, like sticking your toe into the pool to see if the water is cold or warm. You have got to dive in, full trust, stay in, give yourself to Him. No matter what. You have no idea of the life you could have, if you stopped wishing for normal, and started looking for LIFE.”

The story ends here, because this is a conversation I would like to have with my friend. We have touched on stuff. His eyes have not been opened to the infinite possibilities of his life.

But, haven’t we all been there?

We just want it to be a little easier. A little more normal.

“God, please just do this one thing. Really, that’s all I need just this one thing. It can’t be that big a deal for You.”

And, in a tiny whisper, “Do you really just want that one small thing?

Is “normal” really all you want?

I didn’t create you to be normal.

When I thought of you, I had a job that I made you to do.

But, to do it, we have to do it together.

Trust me.

You will not regret it.”

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BEHIND THE CURTAINS

BEHIND THE CURTAINS

I wanted to see the movie. Especially since the whole media world was trying to keep people from knowing about it.

You see, I have been opposed to the idea of abortion for a long time.

Not forever…there was a time it almost became part of our story.

But, it didn’t.

I figured I would agree with the movie, but I didn’t expect the reaction I had.

I had finished my day’s work and met Wendy in Tyler to see the 4:30 showing of “Unplanned”.

In the very first scene, tears were already pooling in my eyes.

Then came the flashbacks, and the story unfolded of Abby Johnson’s introduction to Planned Parenthood, and her life with them as she became a clinic director.

You need to see the movie, even if you consider yourself pro-choice, because my purpose is not to retell the story.

But, there were three revelations that came out that really caused me to feel a sense of rage.

One was the ultrasound image of the baby in the womb, trying to escape the suction tube, fighting for his/her life.

Another was the faces of the young girls coming into the clinic because they found themselves in a situation that they had no idea how to correct. And they were young. They were scared. They wanted someone to tell them what they could do.

So, someone did. Leaving out all the grisly details of what was about to occur, they told these gullible young girls that this was the best thing for them, because, a burden of a child at this time of their lives was not the right time.

Simple procedure.

The third was the purpose of the ultrasound; to determine the size of the “fetus” so they would know how much to charge for the “procedure”.

The bigger the baby, the higher the price.

But, the young girls were not allowed to see the ultrasound image.

They might realize that this fetus is not just a clump of cells.

They might decide not to kill this baby, because it looked just like a baby.

The counselors at the clinic gave few options on how to solve the problem gripping the hearts of these young girls.

“We can fix this and get your life back to normal.”

Yet, not one word about what this new normal would be.

Guilt, sorrow, loss, regret, pain.

And, that … well, I think I see more clearly than ever how the enemy of God is moving through our world, spreading his lies, his filth, his destruction, using those who are open to his influence to deceive those who only want someone to help them.

And it makes me wonder how anyone who is not God’s enemy could ever, ever, ever believe that the violent act of abortion…

is a viable form of birth control?

And that is what makes me grieve!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

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PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW

Two Years Ago

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW….

Well, sorrow.

At least it was cordial.

Oh, come on. I’m not talking about Wendy!

She says she’s invested way too much time just to get me to this point. She’s not about to start over.

“I just called to tell you that I’m going to unfriend you.”

“Okay. It’s nice of you to call, I guess?”

“It’s nothing against you. I’ve just heard all the arguments. And some of your friends are kinda crazy.”
(I think that’s sort of what he said. My a/c in my truck is out, and my windows were open.)

“I’m not gonna come to Jesus.”

“I know. Thanks for calling. I hope everything goes well for you.”

I am sad, though.

I am so going to miss those debates.

And…

I would like to be there when he comes to Jesus.

Journal • Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017, 7:22 PM CDT

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READING RAINBOW

READING RAINBOW

Do you ever think about how happy you are to be able to read?

Seriously, if I had to learn how to read, now, I don’t think I could do it.

My mom taught me.

Before first grade.

Mrs. Rose really liked me, since I could already read.

I don’t remember learning how.

I do remember going to Nicholson Memorial Library in downtown Garland, Texas,
( I still love that old book smell you got when you walked in. And the tall shelves.)
and checking out 6-10 books to take home to read.

Apparently, Mom taught me phonics because I could sound out anything. My Sunday School teacher asks me to pronounce all the hard names. I used English phonetics for all those Hebrew names, but Bruce is all right with that.

When I was in my early thirties, Wendy called me at work one day, and, somewhere in the conversation, she used the word “misled.”

M I S L E D

I realized, I had always read that word “my zuld.” (Phonics; long I, accent on the first syllable)
Correct phonetic spelling should have been “missled”.

I told Wendy about this.

She laughed.

All these years, I never knew.

Now, I notice, when I look at a billboard, I focus on the middle of the message, then I jump back a word or two, then I realize, I have no clue what the billboard was about, but it’s too late, I’ve already driven past.

I’m so glad I can read.

Journal • Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017

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