Another Soap Box Blog

I quit playing organized tackle football in the 8th grade, because I weighed 70 something pounds and they did not even have a uniform to fit me. Every time I got hit, I was looking out of the ear hole of my helmet! Plus, my knee pads hit me around the ankles, so whatever quickness I had was nullified. I decided it was not suitable for my giftedness at that time. But, I love the game of football and I am a student of the game. In fact, when watching a game with my wife, I will often make an observation and the T.V. announcers will say what I just said. She has suggested I should quit preaching and go into sports casting! She is not serious.

But over the years there has been an increasingly disturbing pattern to me at all levels of the sport. Recently I went to a local high school game and there was a player on the other team who continued to engage in chippy, unnecessary, and downright unsportsmanlike antics! I haven’t, but I may yet, email the coach and tell him I think this player was an embarrassment to the coaches, his teammates, and the whole student body. As Coach Darrell Royal used to say, “When you get into the end zone, act like you have been there before.” I think the same idea should apply to whenever you make a good play. Act like you have done it a time or two before! But he irony is, the P.A. announcer even admonished the fans to not yell or disparage the officials or the players out of respect for how hard they have all worked, yet they did not enforce it on the players themselves.

Listen, I am all for passionately promoting your team, but tit should never be acceptable to disrespect the other team! That behavior should be beneath honorable people but especially that is true of people who claim to be followers of Christ, because the Apostle Peter admonishes us, ”Show proper respect to everyone…” I Peter 2: 17 (NIV) All right, I will get off my soap box now, until next time!  

Maranatha!

Maranatha is a Aramaic word which means “the Lord is coming” or “Come O Lord”! The early church lived under the iron rule of Rome who demanded everyone to declare that Caesar was god! Living under these conditions, oppressed believers were encouraged to greet each other with the reminder that the Lord is coming back and  at that time all the wrongs will be righted!   In these disturbing and confusing times Christ followers alive today live in the knowledge that our Lord could come back at any moment. We should be expecting Him to come back and yes, longing for Him to come back! Which means we should be ready!!  Just listen to the news and read your Bible Are you ready?, it really could be today! Yes, I feel anxiety about the direction our country is taking, but even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!!!

Maranatha! The Lord is coming. Are you ready?

Better to Receive than Give?

If you are familiar with the Scriptures, you may find my title today unusual, because Acts 20: 35 says, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”

Whoa!! The Pastor is refuting the infallible Word of God! No! Hear me out. Several years ago, as a young deacon, I was serving our church by being our Student Pastor, and one year I was planning on taking our students to summer camp. Well, I had budget money and the students did some fund raisers and everyone and everything was financially covered. But the week before, I had a Godly man come to me and say, “Bro. Randy, I would like to scholarship one of the students to camp.” I said, “That’s O.K. Mr. Smith, it’s all taken care of.” I will never forget the look of sorrow on his face as he turned and walked away. I said to myself right there, “I will never do that again.”

If someone offers to give, then I will take it even if I don’t need it, because I do not want to rob them of the blessing of doing what God has led them to do. It is better for me to graciously receive, so they can be blessed in their God-directed giving. I know it is counter intuitive to our normal way of thinking, and our first reaction is to turn down a gracious offer, but that would not be the scriptural response.   

May God help us learn to be gracious receivers!

Be Kind!

Those of you who live and drive around Grand Prairie have most likely seen the “Be Kind” signs at some of the GPISD schools around town! I am quite sure this is intended to be a program to blunt bullying in the schools, and that is a worthy goal! But this blog was not prompted by the GPISD signs. It actually began when a long time and faithful couple in our church gave me a bag of candy (sugar free of course because they are concerned about my diabetes) just out of the blue. It wasn’t my anniversary at the church, my birthday, or “Pastor Appreciation Month” just a random act of kindness from one member(s) of the church family to another member of the family. I thought to myself, “I like this, and it needs to spread and permeate throughout our whole church body.” Then I was reminded of the scripture in 2 Peter 1: 7 which tells us to engage in acts of “brotherly kindness!” So, I encouraged our church family to find a way to show an act of “brotherly kindness” this last week, and I practiced what I preach by putting gas in one of our college age student intern’s car. At first, she objected, but I told her, “Please don’t rob me of the blessing of doing what God is telling me to do.” She graciously accepted! So I am looking for another way this week to show some “brotherly kindness”. Will you join me in the search? It doesn’t have to be expensive, just find a way to be kind to someone this week.

I am baaaack!

NOTE: After some prompting from the Holy Spirit and a person most special in my life, I have decided to resume blogging.

Hospital Stay

Recently I had a brief stay in the hospital! I went to my doctor for my regular bi-annual physical and my doctor said my heart rate was elevated. I told him it was the drive from Grand Prairie to Dallas, and he said, “That can happen.” But he checked my heart rate again and said, “I don’t think this is traffic related.” So he had them perform an EKG on me, and he came back in and said I was in A-Fib and CareFlight was in route to take me to the ER. Well, my wife works in a building just steps away from my doctor’s office, and she texted at that moment and asked if I was finished, since we always go to lunch together when I have a doctor’s appointment. I told her they were taking me to the ER and of course she was there in a matter of minutes. It was decided that my wife could just drive me to the ER. Well, after administering four rounds of IV drugs, they got my heart rate down, but they kept me over night just to make sure. The hospital staff were all very friendly, attentive, and willing to make you feel good emotionally even if you are feeling bad physically. They even sent me a card to my home after leaving Wishing me Well! That was good medicine!

Hospitality

But here’s the point! I started thinking and decided to check the root of the word hospital, and discovered the Latin root for hospital is the same as host, hospice, hostel, hotel, and hospitality! Well, then I started thinking about how a hospital is a place for the physically hurting and the church is a place for the spiritually hurting, and part of the church’s “medicine”  must be hospitality. Then the Lord led me to Romans 12:13, which says, …rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. That’s when it occurred to me, that if we want our church to be a hospital for the spiritually sick, we have to begin by being the most hospitable church in Grand Prairie! So we are going to make this a church goal and it will start with the pastor, the staff, and church leaders and prayerfully trickle down to our whole church family. So when guests leave our service I want then saying,  “Man, that is the most hospitable bunch of people I have ever met!“ Pray it so!

Another Nerd Alert

As I have said before, my children think I am a nerd because I actually like to go back and read the literary classics I should have embraced more in high school and college. Recently, I picked up a copy of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is historical fiction set in 17th century puritan New England. The story revolves around the adulterous affair between the local minister and Hester Prynne, and the child that resulted. What strikes you about this period of time was just how harsh, judgmental, and ungracious people of this era were toward struggling and flawed sinners. The whole culture, including civil and religious leaders, forced her to wear a “Scarlet A” on her chest as a constant reminder of her very public shame. We know they possessed the same 39 books of the Bible we do, so you wonder if they ever read John chapter 11? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone! That is not to say we are to be lax about sin because every sin every one of us commits, breaks the heart of God! But where is the grace? What about taking a look at ourselves before casting a condemning gaze toward others?

Personally, I am glad our SPBC family has “SHOWING GRACE-SHARING CHRIST-BUILDING BELIEVERS” as our mission statement, because we want to be a gracious church. We want to came alongside flawed, struggling sinners, and try and help them get to where they need to be. Why? Because we know we ourselves are flawed, struggling sinners trying to find God’s way and we need people to come alongside us and help us sometimes.

“For by grace..” we have ALL been saved. Grace is God’s undeserved favor! Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! Grace is something we do not deserve and can never earn! Be thankful  for Psalm 103: 8 which says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” He certainly knows I am a recipient of this grace and I know I need to pass it on to others!  

He Provides

As far as I know, Genesis 22:14 is the first time the term Jehovah Jireh is mentioned in the Bible. , This is in the context of God providing an animal sacrifice to Abraham in place of his son Isaac, after the Lord saw Abraham’s faith. The word pro-vision means that God sees our need, even before we do, and He has the provision on the way before we even know we have a need.

He applies this attribute to every area of life, including our physical and financial needs. As some of you know, several years ago South Park began by faith the process of sponsoring Emmanual Lafelkima in his desire to obtain an R-1 visa, and we did so because we believe in E and his family. As we trudged through the laborious, government process we realized just how much faith this would require. As his sponsor we learned we (SPBC) had to guarantee a minimum of a $2,500/month salary and show it in our annual budget.  Listen to what I am saying. SPBC and only SPBC will be held responsible for this commitment by the US government. Here is where Jehovah Jireh shows up. The Southern Baptist of Texas committed $1000/month for another year; The North Texas Baptist Association has committed $250/month for another year; a friend of E’s has committed $50/month, and hopefully SPBC will increase our part to $400/month in 2019, and now the Mizo church is in a position to add $800/month and if you add all that up you will see that Jehovah Jireh showed up again.

Praise be to Him! If God is in something, there will never be any lack!

Like a Good Neighbor!

We, like many of you, are part of a neighborhood internet network, which most people ask about good plumbers, lawn care, and handymen, etc. I ignore most of the posts, but I listen with great interest when I see a lost or found dog, because I have a soft spot for dogs. Recently I watched several posts of a lady who expressed a great urgency in finding her much loved fur baby. What struck me was her sense of URGENCY, because she greatly valued her pet! She was reaching out and searching with a mighty passion!

So what is the point? Well, this made me think of the lady in Luke 15:8-10. She had ten coins, but she searched passionately for the one lost coin! She lit a lamp, swept her floor and she searched ever so carefully, until she found her lost coin. Again, what is the point you ask? Look at verse 10! The passion was for the ONE lost soul who would repent! We should have such an urgency and passion for the lost!!!   

"Our Upside Down Country"

The Prophets of old often would say things like “Thus Sayeth the Lord!!” or they would pronounce “Woe” upon a stiff necked and rebellious people. Well, during my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I discovered a verse that should be a pronouncement of “WOE” on the United States of America! Isaiah 5: 20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Tell me, does that not describe the direction our country is going in today? Every day, I hear something that reminds me what used to be right is now wrong and what used to wrong is now right! Things that used to be white are now black and what was once black is now white! What was once up is now down and what was once down is now up! There are so many current examples, but I am asking you to just look at current events through this lens and see how many examples you can identify. So what is happening? Well, I think it is a demonic, herculean effort to undo every thing good this great country was founded upon! Hollywood, pro sports, the news media and leftist politicians want to destroy this great lighthouse for the Gospel (that we call America) to the ground so they can rebuild it in the socialist, humanistic and atheistic society they want. Will they succeed? Only if God and His people give up on her. We know God is in control and maybe this is part of His plan to make us irrelevant in the last days, but even if that be so, we Christians must continue to be “salt and light” until the very end. Maybe today!!!     

Look, See, and Believe

Please excuse the absence of a blog over the last two weeks, but we were on vacation. Speaking of vacation, our dear friend Dana, once again blessed us with use of her beautiful cabin in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and I truly enjoyed the cooler weather.  As always, the scenery was spectacular!

None of us can understand how anyone could look at the beauty and grandeur of the mountains and not see the hand of God. Of course, we also accept the opening words of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” That is all I need to know. We believe that He spoke the universe into existence out of nothing. No evolution, natural selection or billions of  years to do it. Now we know the humanistic, academic world usually rejects and ridicules any mention of God in this regard, so they have to invent some naturalistic explanation and if they tip their hat to God at all, they think of Genesis as a nice little allegory with no basis in science. But as Bible believing Christians, it is critical that we get this one right, because what we believe shapes the way we view the world and how we think. Logically, if we cannot be sure Genesis 1 is accurate and authoritative, then we have to question the rest of the Bible, including the Gospel.

So I accept by faith that our Lord created those big, beautiful, majestic mountains because He said He did, but on the other hand all you have to do is “look, see and believe” who put them there!  “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, formed the Earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I AM THE LORD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER.’ Isaiah 45:18  

No Fear

I typically arrive at our church around 5-5:30 a.m. each Sunday.  Obviously it is still pitch black outside.   I have learned something that every woman should know, and it is called “situational awareness.”  Simply put, it means we scan our surroundings and do our best to not put ourselves in a vulnerable position. So each Sunday I will sweep the parking lot with my headlights, peek around Glowing Heart vans, and illuminate the entrances. I am not a chicken, but I have encountered an occasional homeless individual sleeping at the church door.

A couple of Sundays ago, I was walking toward the entrance when I saw the movement of a figure out of the corner of my eye, walking at my same pace.   I must admit my body reacted with the “fight or flight” syndrome.  Of course, it passed quickly when I realized it was only my shadow moving along the  building. 

That got me to thinking that as a child, shadows were scary things, but as adults we know that we have no need to fear shadows.  Psalm 23 then came to mind and verse 4 which says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for Thou art with me…” You see, as Christ-followers we do not fear death because it is merely a shadow, and we are not afraid of shadows any more.   Plus, when that day comes, our Lord will be right there with us and leading us to our eternal home with Him!

Hot as _______ ?

I said to my wife the other day, “I don’t know if it is me, but this summer has seemed particularly HOT!” I can’t walk into Kroger without breaking out in a sweat. I sometimes wonder how the snowbirds, who laugh at our inability to drive in ice and snow, would handle a brutal August in Texas. Oh well, just wondering.

We sometimes hear those suffering through a Texas August with us say something like, “It is hotter than Hell today!”, and although I appreciate the figure of speech for effect,  I think the statement minimizes Hell. Yes, this Summer is miserable, but it doesn’t even come close to the torment, horror, and suffering for those who choose Hell. You say, “I don’t believe in Hell” and you would join the 94% of those polled, whereas 76% polled believe Heaven is a real place.

Listen, Hell is just as real and eternal as Heaven, and it is reserved for those who reject the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ as punishment for their sins. Since they rejected the Savior they must face the eternal retribution for sin themselves, with perhaps the greatest torment of all being separation from God and every thing good for all eternity.

So I ask YOU, why would anyone reject this free gift of eternal life, in a place called Heaven, that is being offered to them today?

Another Nerd Alert

As kids growing up in Pleasant Grove, every boy had a BB gun, and we would shoot anything that moved, some times even a brother or sister.  I am not proud of this, but while stalking big game in the Grove, a likely target usually was an innocent bird.  We were told however, to never shoot a Mockingbird because it was the State bird of Texas and we could go to prison or something like that.

Which brings me to another nerd alert. As you know, my children think I am a nerd because I like to go back and read the literary classics I should have read and enjoyed more back in high school, like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I always try to find the root of the title in a book like this, and I think I did on page 103. After giving Jem an air rifle, Atticus, his Father, told him, “I’d rather you shoot tin cans in the back yard, but I know you will go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Why? Is it the state bird of Alabama too? No, as Miss Maudie explained it in so many words, Mockingbirds don't hurt anybody or anything, they just sing their hearts out making music for us to enjoy. (My paraphrase)

This foreshadowing makes sense in two characters later in the story.  The first, in the context of Atticus defending a good-hearted, good-living black man named Tom Robinson in a court of law, after Tom was falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1935. Tom lost the case and was executed. This was the case of a good person, like a mockingbird, being killed.

On the other hand, we see an example when the mysterious and reclusive neighbor named Boo Radley stepped in and protected Jem and Scout, while they were walking home one night, by stabbing the attacker with the attacker’s own knife. Later, the sheriff wasn’t going to arrest Boo, over Atticus’s objection, and he maintained the story the man fell on his own knife. This is when the title came together, because Scout told her Father that arresting and prosecuting Boo would be, “… sorta like shooting a mockingbird wouldn’t it?”  Here is a case where a good- hearted person, like a mockingbird, was not killed.

So what Pastor? The Bible says that all people are “created in the image of God” and that gives them dignity and worth, even if they are different from us, or even a bit strange to us. It does not mean they are good apart from Christ, but every person should be treated with respect and fairness because they are created in His image.

Here's Another One!

Several years ago, when James “Ace” Alexander was our Worship Leader/Youth Pastor, we went to lunch once a week at “Mama’s Daughter's Diner” in Irving. For some strange reason, from time to time, I or we, began to notice just one shoe in the road.  I am sure “Ace” did not give it much thought, but it puzzled me. If someone ran out of or walked out of one shoe, why wouldn’t they go back and retrieve it? If it fell out of a vehicle, shoes are usually in pairs and you would think both would be on the ground, at least sometimes. Nevertheless, I have spent the last few years ”looking for” them, and when safe, I take a photo and post it on Facebook. I have posted dozens and have seen many more that were not safe to photograph or I blew by them too fast and didn’t want to go back. Now, I actually have people “looking for” them and sending me photos. I received one recently from Illinois and hope to get one in Arkansas soon. (A friend told me there was one on their street.) So this is a universal phenomenon and I am asking you to send photos to me when you see “another one”!

Now what is the point of this nonsensical navel gazing? Well, I find these because I am “looking for” them. Maybe like Abraham in Hebrews 11:10 is “looking for” the city whose architect and builder is God- which is Heaven! Greek scholar, A.T. Robertson says the phrase “looking for” means “steady and patient waiting in spite of delays and disappointments.” Abraham’s faith was forward-looking! He kept his eyes on the future and eternal things and not the present or temporary Earthly things. I guess I would say Abraham was Heavenly-minded; yet you have heard it said that we can be too Heavenly-minded to be of any Earthly good, but I think some Christians are too Earthly-minded to be any Earthly good.  Keep your eyes on the Eastern sky and keep “looking for” that city whose architect and builder is God.

Going the Extra Mile!

We Christians in America are so spoiled, but none of us would want to worship with no air conditioning in this 110 degree heat. So last Saturday, when our aged A/C unit for the worship center decided to blow a hole in the condenser coil, we suddenly had the whole down stairs of our church blanketed in a smoky haze. I was in my office when Anthony, our custodian, came and told me the smoky substance was coming out of one of the A/C vents near the children’s area. Since we had one of the other units on the opposite side of our facility worked on the day before, I decided to place a call to Halley with Fast A/C. He said, “Don’t call me, if there is smoke call the fire department.” I did and that is when the excitement really began. We had seven fire units, two battalion chiefs, one ambulance and one police car swarm our church parking lot in two minutes. Actually, I was surprised I had only one church member call and ask what was going on, because there were a lot of flashing red lights.

Well the good news is, it was not a fire, but the old unit pumped $500 worth of refrigerant into the building!   I wish it didn’t take money to keep this place going, but it does.  Hint! Hint! But what I want to emphasize in this story is how Halley and his guys are working 12-13 hour days in this 110 degree heat, but when I called him at 6:30 pm on Saturday night and asked if he could come and get us ready for Sunday morning, he came! He was exhausted but he came.

His actions made me think of what the Lord said in Matthew 5:41, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”  Halley went the extra mile for us! Thank you my friend, and if anyone needs A/C work, call Fast A/C in Grand Prairie.  

Anger can be good!

-ast evening in Grief Share, we talked about how some people experience the emotion of anger as a part of their grieving process. Some are angry at the departed loved one, or a third party, and some are even angry with God. We know anger is a real part of the process sometimes, but we struggled a bit with the appropriateness of being angry with God and if so, to what extent.  I finally said that anger is a God-given and neutral emotion, and it cannot possibly be intrinsically sinful because the Lord Jesus experienced anger. In fact, anger is a great motivator, but the question is, in what direction does it motivate a person to go. I think God understands our anger toward Him if it motivates us to turn to Him for help and answers with a tenacity and determination only anger can motivate us to do. However, if that anger drives us to turn away and run from God, which will cause us to look for help and answers in all the wrong places, then that is neither healthy or helpful for the grieving person left behind. I hurt for people who choose the latter option because they have sentenced themselves to a life of bitterness and pain that will never be healed. Pray for the hurting!  

Finally Did It!

As most of you know, I was not raised in the church, but as I look back on my public school days, with the understanding I have now, I am certain that a few of my teachers were most likely Christ-followers. One was dear, sweet Mrs. Mitchell who taught me English my senior year.  Looking back I can just sense the Spirit of God on her. During that year, she assigned us to read the book, “The Caine Mutiny” and we would have a quiz over our reading. So I read the first few chapters and the last few chapters, and I made an A on the quiz.  When Mrs. Mitchell congratulated me on my work, I felt guilty.  It was at this point I determined that I would read the whole 537 pages at a later date. Well, just 47 years later I finally did it!

Recently, I have been going back and reading the “classics” just for fun (my kids think I am a nerd) and I discovered I really liked the book.  I always like naval stories and this one was set in the Pacific during WWII on an old mine sweeper named the USS Caine. Obviously, the author had a naval background because the details of life on a warship came through each page. Of course there was the romantic sub plot of the main character, but the book really was about the tension between the spit and polished regular Navy and the so-called citizen sailor/soldier so prevalent during WWII. The skipper was Captain Queeg and he was a hard line, vindictive, harsh, strictly-by-the-book kind of guy, except when the rules applied to him. He was also a coward under fire and seemed to freak out under stress. When the Caine found itself in a severe typhoon and the skipper was making errors of judgment, some of the citizen sailors under his command decided to mutiny and take control of the ship. Needless to say, a court marshal ensued  and the chapters describing the trial which proved to be even more interesting than the mutiny chapters were very good. If you are wondering how the court marshal turned out, you will have to read the book for yourself! I think Mrs. Mitchell would be proud to know I finally finished the book and perhaps may even have encouraged someone else to sit down with a good read. Maybe I will see her in heaven some day and I can tell her myself.

VBS was a success!

So many of our people and their family’s have been touched by the Lord through V.B.S. over the years, so it was heartbreaking last year when tight finances caused us to cancel. So we are so thankful we were able to have V.B.S. this year. Of course Pam and Lisa and their leaders worked very hard and it resulted in an average attendance of twenty eight per night with our highest night being thirty kids. You say, well that doesn’t sound all that “successful”, but it depends on how you define success. Last Sunday morning we had an unplanned (by me) and totally spontaneous time of people sharing their hearts about the blessings of our V.B.S. week and it was beautiful to hear how the Lord had worked in the lives of our workers as well as the children. As for as visible results, we had one precious soul come to Christ, a family’s return to our church, two young girls who had never been to church came away very excited and asking a lot of questions, and the kids learned the importance of helping others, by raising $347 dollars going to meet basic essentials of families over seas and they brought 400 water bottles for the homeless in Ft. Worth. Plus, we all agree that there was a lot of good seed planted and we are sure more harvest will come even if we never see it. The Bible says, “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” Therefore, we know we are to plant and water but the Lord gives the increase. We stand on that and believe it! So what might not seem like a success to you, we think is seen as a huge success in God’s eyes.   

Step Up Fathers

This will be my last blog about our trip to Mexico, but it tied in so well with Father’s Day, I felt led to do this one last one.

One beautiful morning my wife and I were enjoying breakfast on an outdoor patio when something caught my eye about two tables over. There was a Mom, Dad and two children.  Sounds like an average all American family, having breakfast. The girl was about 7 or 8 and the boy was 4 or 5 and they looked like many other families, except for one thing. The little boy had on a dress! Probably his sister’s dress. It appears that he was spoiled and was not receiving much discipline or guidance from his parents because what I heard in a loud, shrill voice over and over was, “I don’t want to eat that!” “I don’t want to leave!” “I don’t want to take a nap!” It wore me out just listening to all that. So I surmised he woke up that morning and announced, “I want to wear my sister’s dress.”   OK. I don’t get it. No boy I knew growing up in the Grove ever woke up with that thought, but I think this family was from the West coast.

But here’s my question, where were the parents? Especially the Father! The Bible says we fathers are to “…bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Where was the discipline?  Where was the loving but firm instruction of the Lord?  Why not sit him down and say, “Son, God created us male and female. We are equal but different because that is the way God made us. Let’s put on this pair of pants and go eat.”

We now have a generation that eats Tide Pods and can’t figure out if they are a boy or a girl. How sad is that? But maybe it is not totally their fault, but rather it lays at the feet of a generation of parents who have abandoned any moral guidance for their children because they are so determined to be politically correct about everything.

In closing, I could say God Bless America, but instead I will say God Help America!

Men Can Be Jerks

I have not dated since I was dating my wife back when I was 18-21 years of age, so I have never filled out a dating service profile, but it seems like people put down things like- “I enjoy candle light dinners” and “I like romantic walks on the beach.” I don’t know what my wife would put down, but I do know she likes to walk on the beach, usually looking for photo ops, and she likes for me to go along. So on our recent vacation to Mexico, she wanted to walk early one morning to try and catch a nice sunrise, and I joined her. As a general rule, I do not care to walk just to walk! It is a primitive form of transportation to be used only when absolutely necessary.  Plus, when you are on the beach it is more like trudging through cold molasses and when you are on an incline it is even harder on the old body. But remember, I went for my wife and so I trudged onward.

After we had walked about a mile, I had to take a rest and sat down on a rock. I told my wife, “I am only doing this for you.” To which she replied, “ I wish it didn’t look so painful on your face.” Now my pride was hurt along with my hurting hips, knees, and the searing pain down my left thigh, but she was right. So I decided to “suck it up buttercup” and try to have a better attitude as we walked back. I still hurt and didn’t enjoy it, but I tried to engage and talk and not be so grumpy, because I do love her (which God says is choosing to put someone’s happiness, needs and desires ahead of your own), but doing it like a big grump negates everything. So I am sorry babe, but we men can be big jerks, and I am so thankful you love me unconditionally!