LINE UPON LINE….

🎶 I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you

For all my life

When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue

For all my life🎶

Oh, how I hated that song!

If it plays on your clock radio at four in the morning, you will understand.

I had a Dallas Morning News paper route in Garland, Tx, and, at four o’clock, every morning ( EVERY MORNING, RAIN OR SHINE, HOT OR COLD) that stupid clock radio would disturb this young boy’s treasured sleep.

I was in the ninth grade at Memorial Junior High in Garland, Texas. I had gotten this, my first real job, the previous summer. The truck would arrive from Dallas at Orchard Hills Shopping Center sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 most mornings, and, if you were one of the first paperboys there, Mr. Jack Roland, the district manager, would count out your papers first, you could get an early start, and, if things went well, crawl back in bed and grab a few winks before breakfast.

But, for me, getting up was the hard part. Once up and pedaling my bike to work, I always enjoyed the job.

That could probably be credited to my dad. He worked for Nabisco (did you know that stands for National Biscuit Company?) for over forty years as a route salesman, and I never knew him to miss a day of work, or grumble about his job. He used to take me to work with him occasionally in the summer time, and I saw how fast he worked, how he seemed to know everything to do, how businesses he called on liked him, respected him.

I wasn’t new to the paper business. My older brother, David, had had a Dallas Times Herald route a couple of years earlier, (Dallas’ afternoon paper back in those days) and my dad had put some saddle baskets on my red J.C. Higgins bicycle with chrome fenders so that I could help him sometimes. My brother had a heavy duty Schwinn that was made for stuff like carrying newspapers. It had a huge basket on front, and a rack on the back to keep the saddle bags from rubbing the wheels. I learned to fold the papers tight, triple fold, so they would fly true through the air and hit the porch, learned the classic side arm throw, and even learned to throw from a moving bicycle.

In the eighth grade, my best friend, David Hall, got a Garland Daily News route, and I would ride my bike home with him every day, help him roll the papers (roll, not fold. Garland was small back in those days) and deliver them in the neighborhood around his house. Afterward, we would play one on one basketball in his driveway. When basketball season at Memorial arrived, I talked him into trying out with me for the team. I had played in the Parks and Recreation Dept. League for a couple of years, but he had never played. I could see us playing side by side in our school uniforms, the crowd cheering our moves, our shots.

He made the team.

My name was not on the list.

I think I cried on the way home.

David’s mom asked me if I would take over the paper route while he was playing, so I did.

I made a little money doing that, for a couple of months, but, the thing is, I enjoyed having a job.

Now, as a paperboy, you only get paid once a month.

And you have to collect the money yourself.

On my Morning News paper route, toward the end of the month, Mr. Roland would give me a bill for the papers I was given every day, plus the box of rubber bands I used, and I would have to take my collection book in the late afternoons and evenings up to each of my customers’ homes and collect my 1.70 for 30 or 31 days of delivering their paper, every day, on time, to their front porch. (If I missed the porch with my throw, I would stop my bike, walk to the yard, or bushes and toss it onto the porch. I didn’t miss much, but I do remember breaking a milk bottle, or two. I didn’t stop then.)

Once, I knocked on a customer’s door on a Monday night, I could hear the TV on, laughing in the back of the house. I knocked and knocked and knocked. Finally, Dick Nalley (the sports guy for the Garland News) came to the door, tears in his eyes, paid me and said,”Don’t ever come here again on a Monday night during Laugh-In!”

Okay.

I had about 100 papers every day to deliver, ( a few extra on Sunday, because we had a Sunday only subscription for .85.)

I hated the Sunday papers.

You cannot throw a Sunday paper.

Sunday papers are heavy.

I had taken over my brother’s heavy duty Schwinn, (he had a driver’s license, now), but on Sundays, it was really easy to lose your balance, fall, and dump all your carefully loaded papers on the street.

Anyway, after I finished collections, (I had a nifty bank bag with a zipper to keep my money in.) I would take the money to Mr. Roland’s office, pay my bill, and I would get to keep all the rest.

I made about 70.00 for the month.

I was rich! I remember occasions when my mom would ask me if they could borrow money from me until payday. I would go to my desk, pull out my nifty bank bag, and hand them 1.00 or 5.00 or whatever they needed to tide them over.

“For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.””

Isaiah 28:10 ESV

Now, the reason I am sharing this story is for what I see in our culture today. I am guilty as well.

We have become an instant society.

We want it quick, and we want it now.

If CNN is not given the chance to ask the president elect a question because of its record, the world is ending.

We forgot how to build relationships, restore trust.

Because it takes time.

It is easier to make enemies, keep enemies, find others who will share in your enemy making.

The things that are important, that build you into the man or woman of character, are those little things that you do over and over and over again, with little reward, or notice, but you just do them.

Because it is right.

I seldom was told that they appreciated my efforts to put the paper on the porch.

But, every once in a while, someone would thank me.

That feels good.

Occasionally, I even got a tip.

That feels good, too.

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LET THERE BE LIGHT

1/9/2019

LET THERE BE LIGHT

I know, I know…the Bible is not a science book.

What I wonder, though, do you think it is true?

I keep hearing that the earth is

2. something billion years old…the universe even older than that…

Yeah, God could have created everything, but not just thousands of years ago…billions. Science has proven…science tells us…even God could have used evolution which we have proven to be true.

Don’t be so literal, Randy.

The Bible is a book to teach you how to live. Who cares if it was billions of years or thousands?

Hmmm?

I kinda care.

Here’s what I think. Granted, I have no more weight on my side than anyone else.

Shoot, I didn’t even finish college.

So…consider my opinion.

When God said (according to Genesis), “Let there be light,” that is (according to Genesis) the first time there was light. (oooh, time…interesting) A God who is Spirit doesn’t need light to see…but things he is going to create do need light. So, there it is.. Light…and it was good.

Then, He separates light from darkness, day from night…evening and morning, first day.

Then He separated waters above from waters below and made Heaven. (No, I can’t explain this yet) The second day.

So, the next step…separate dry land from waters, and then, cause vegetation and fruit trees to sprout on the land, all bearing seed so they would continue to spread over the earth. And each kind bore seed that would make the same kind. Evening, morning, third day.

Then, God made the sun, moon, and stars to divide the day from the night. (Wait a minute…how could there have been evening and morning without the sun? I’ve got a better question for you…how could there have been a sun, moon, and stars without light? Good thing God planned ahead.) Evening, morning, day Four.

Now, it gets busy…living creatures to fill the waters, some salt water, some fresh water…bam. Birds to fly in the sky, big ones, little ones…bam. All the birds and the creatures in the water were made to be fruitful to multiply. Good news for future hunters and fishermen. Evening and morning…fifth day.

Now, let’s get cracking…God makes animals for the land. So many kinds. Creeping animals, running animals , dogs, cats, livestock, turtles, elephants, sloths, platypus (what is plural for platypus?), unicorns (it’s in the Bible, kjv version), behemoths, leviathan, lions and tigers and bears, oh my, reptiles (dinosaurs? I think so.) And all of them were capable of reproducing according to their kind. But God wasn’t done yet. Caretakers needed. God made man, male and female, that, in small abilities, were kinda made in His image. Ability to think, reason, even figure out how to create stuff. Imagine that.

Then he made them in charge of this earth, giving them “dominion over all living things” (this has got to infuriate PETA. “Animals are people, too.”) But man could think, reason, figure things out, talk to God.

It was all very good!

Evening, morning, sixth day

Now, everything was created, light, waters, dry ground, stars, moons, planets, fish, birds, animals…and humans.

All in six days.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Genesis 2:2-3 ESV

So…did God bless a day…or did God bless an epoch?

I think it was a day.

After all, you can’t have a sun if you don’t have light…right?

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WHO ARE YOU GONNA BELIEVE?

I’m tired of being lied to.

The trouble these days is that the lies continue to be told until they are believed. 

Believing something doesn’t make it true.

Just because someone is an authority, or has authority, doesn’t mean he, or she, can be expected to tell the truth.

Well, we can expect it, and we can accept it.

But, that doesn’t make it true.

When you are planning your life based on the advice and counsel of “authorities “, and you discover that the things the authorities have been

been telling you are not true, or based on anything other than an expectation of a hidden outcome, do you continue to listen to them?

If more and more sources are telling you the same thing, even after you discover that the original premise is false, when do you begin to question the veracity of what you are hearing?

How do you fight the onslaught of the untrue? 

With logic, reason, sarcasm, wit?

There has got to be a standard for truth: A plumb line to determine straight from crooked. 

To fight the lie, just speak the truth.

Maybe, if you tell the truth over and over and over, someone will change from believing the lie to believing the truth.

Maybe.

‘How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord ’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. ‘

Psalms 1:1-2 https://my.bible.com/bible/72/PSA.1.1-2

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FINDING TREASURE

After Christmas brunch, my brother, Jeff, my wife, Wendy, and I were sitting in our sunroom, sharing the wonders and joy of finding a life fulfilled in Jesus.

Jeff said, “We don’t know who we are without God….”

Jeff’s wife of 30 plus years, Ann died two years ago on Christmas Day after several months of inoperable brain cancer.

Jeff was with her at the moment she passed into “the real world.”

Our daughter, Chelsey, died nineteen years ago in a traffic accident, as a passenger in our car.

We were all together in the moments before the collision when she passed into “the real world.”

In times of loss and the grief that follows, the plans that we had made for our futures are flipped on their heads. Everything changes. A new path of life opens, and we are forced into a decision of choosing between the possibilities.

So, who are we without God?

Rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous.

“Bad things” happen to “good” people and “bad” people.

Our lives are shaped by many things, things that happen to us, our responses to these things, choices we make in our lives, and the consequences that follow.

Good and bad.

I have had people tell me that God must not be omniscient (all knowing) or omnipotent (all powerful) because He lets such bad things happen.

Or Maybe He just doesn’t care.

I have others tell me that they are Christians, but the possibility of certain bad things happening keeps them chained away from life in a cocoon of self-protection. (COVID, for example)

Wendy and I watched a really good movie last night at the suggestion of my friend, Tim.

“Greater.” (You can find it on NETFLIX)

I will not spoil it by telling any of the story.

But there was one line, the main character telling a football player, “While we are down here on this field, we only see and react to what is right in front of us. But, up there” he points to the coach in the press box, “they can see the whole field. You have to trust them.”

I can tell you, that trusting God with the control of your life, no matter what happens, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, will lead you into an understanding of who you are.

Seeing the world around you through the gift of the vision that God will give to you will change you and your reactions to those trials that now seem to control your thoughts and your life.

Peace and Joy will come to those who find who they are, by trusting in the One they were created to love.

You don’t know who you are, without God. You only see what is right in front of you.

He sees the whole field.

YOU HAVE TO TRUST HIM!

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,

To search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

Proverbs 25:2

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