Sunday Morning Coffee: Distraction

I’m sitting here, Saturday night, trying to focus on something for this post. There are three other people in the room, none of whom are trying to write anything, and are having conversations about a variety of topics.

So I got my headphones on, plugged in to my computer, and I’m listening to beautiful piano music. Ahhhh. Much better.

Blocks out the voices ūüôā

My thoughts have been all over the place today. There is more information coming at me than I really want to deal with, so I’m not going to talk about politics, Ukraine, or Russia. Those topics are talked to death. Am I not concerned? Yes, of course I am. Any thinking person would be.

However. I simply cannot allow myself to be consumed with things over which I have no control. So instead, I hold my mind on things that lift me up, give me peace, encourage me, and make me able to rest in a few minutes when I toddle off to bed.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.

David wrote, “Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble). Psalm 119:165.

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Isaiah wrote, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3.

There is a lovely old gospel song, sung here by George Beverly Shea.

Just the name of Jesus brings peace and rest to a weary soul. I think all of us are weary of the tumult of the world today. Find peace in Him that will carry you through the day tomorrow, and all the tomorrows to come.

Late Saturday Morning

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.¬† I don’t mind if you want to disagree with me. Just keep it civil. No name-calling, no swearing, no obscenity, and watch the sarcasm.¬† I have the privilege of refusing to publish your response, so if you want to get all snarky and mean, go write your own blog. Don’t try to highjack mine.

It’s nearly 11 a.am.¬† I’ve been up since 8 a.m. but haven’t gotten much accomplished.

My computer printer has taken a break from active duty.¬† I’ve been tinkering with it, trying to figure out what’s wrong, but so far have come up with nothing I can fix.¬† Isn’t it amazing how the time flies when you’re involved in that type of situation?¬† Most of the time, my electronics work very well.¬† Maybe my printer needs to be retired to the Big Printer Place for eternity.¬† I’ve had it for over 15 years.¬† That’s a long time for a printer, and one of these days I’m concerned I won’t be able to find ink cartridges for it.

Image result for computer frustrations cartoon

Anyway.¬† I didn’t post yesterday because I had some prep to do for the class I teach every other Friday on the Constitution and Current Events.¬† Yesterday, I explained the Electoral College to my kids.¬† They had a ton of questions.¬† It’s really a good compromise between the heavily populated states and the not-so populated ones, similar to the compromise that created our bicameral legislature:¬† The House of Representatives and the Senate.¬† The House is decided by the population of each state.¬† In the Senate, each state gets two seats, no matter its population.

The purpose of all that was to keep the populous states from ALWAYS winning, leaving the less populous states with nowhere to turn when they were disregarded.

If you look at a map of the 2016 electoral vote, you will see that most East Coast and West Coast states went Democratic. (Correction:¬† about half the East Coast states went Blue.¬† It was unexpected for NC, SC, GA, and FL to go Red) That’s because their population is mostly urban, and the politicians tend to regard center America, which is less populated, as “fly-over country” that you have to endure to get to the other coast.Image result for 2016 electoral map

One notable exception in 2016 was my state, Pennsylvania.¬† What a shock when they went Red instead of their usual Blue!¬† ¬†Typically, the eastern edge goes Democrat as well as the western edge; often, though, the center of the state goes Red.¬† I still don’t know what happened, because in order to get Republican electoral votes, the state needs to vote for the Red candidate. Maybe we little fly-over folks are just tired of the politicians dictating what we’re supposed to think.¬† I hope so.

Anyway, it’s an interesting topic.¬† If you don’t understand the Electoral system, you can google it for a lot of good information as well as criticism.¬† Not surprisingly, the Blue side wants to¬† eliminate the Electoral system.¬† That way, they would almost certainly win every election¬† on the popular vote alone. You should educate yourselves on the topic before you decide to vote pro or con on eliminating it.¬† It has worked quite well for over 200 years.

One of my students asked, yesterday, why the population centers, i.e. cities, tend to go Democratic.  To get the answer for that, you only need to look at the demographics of major cities according to, for instance, income. There is more unemployment in large cities; therefore more need for things like food stamps and other government -supported programs.  Democratic legislators believe we need to do MORE than we presently are doing for the poor.  They want us to be dependent on government not just for protection from foreign invasion, but for food, housing, and healthcare. Why?  More government =more control by the government, less power to the governed. More government programs means more taxes because of more government spending.  The more they tax us, the more they own us.

The Democrats expected their longed – for Blue Wave, but they didn’t get it.¬† It was more like a Blue Trickle.¬† Yes, they took the House back.¬† That was expected.¬† ¬†Depending on how the states go who are STILL counting two weeks after the election, they might re-take the Senate as well.¬† But, to quote our previous President,¬† Trump still has a pen and he still has a phone. The gains they made in the House were not as large as they expected.¬† And, believe it or not, there are a few Democrats who want to put Miss Pelosi out to pasture.¬† We’ll see.¬† She has a lot of power.

Well, my word. I didn’t intend on a rant this morning. And now I really have to get a couple of things done.

P.S.¬† I just walked into the dining room and found Terry has my printer all taken apart on the dining room table.¬† Well, if the problem is mechanical, he can probably fix it ūüôā

 

PSS:  It is now 1:45 p.m.  Terry cleaned up the insides of my printer, found a hardened glob of ink and took care of that.  In the meantime, I looked in my Control Panel, and found that he tried six more times  to print a document.  So seven documents were in the queue, and none of them, of course, were printing. So I checked with him, deleted all those documents, rebooted my computer, and everything is working just fine.  What a relief.

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Little More on Politics

Once I get this off my chest, I think I can promise you I won’t be posting much more about this past election cycle. None of what I’m about to say is brand new; it’s just that I need to say it. So here goes:

The Electoral College: ¬†It is NOT outdated. It works much like our House and Senate, a system that was a compromise worked out among the first 13 or so states so that there was some semblance of equality for the less-populated states. ¬†Think about it this way: ¬†If you are a member of a family in which everyone over 18 has a vote, and 2/3 of the family is over 18, and you were only 12, guess who wins every single time? ¬†Not you! In fact, even if you were to ¬†palaver with every family member and managed to persuade one or two to vote your way, ¬†this is a pure democracy where the majority always rules. You lose. ALL the time. The Electoral College is made in each state according to population. ¬†One elector per 100,000 people. Each state’s rules are pretty much the same, barring some differences about whether or not the votes are bound by the way each state votes in its primary. What this system does is make for parity among the populous and less-populous states. In other words, New York and California do not get to make all the rules for all the rest of us all the time. This is a good thing.(By the way, pure democracy, historically, has always led to anarchy. ¬†America is NOT a pure democracy, was never intended to be so. ¬†It is a democracy IN A REPUBLIC–and that means representative lawmaking.)

Trump is not a real President: ¬†I have to scratch my head about this one. ¬†Maybe what people mean by that is that he’s not a real politician. I won’t argue with you there. ¬†As far as being a legitimate President, though, he jumped through all the hoops; and the map of Red vs. Blue from his recent election is overwhelmingly Red.Major exceptions include New York and California. Are you seeing a pattern here yet?

Are you a Trump supporter, Linda? ¬†If you’re asking me if I voted for him, that’s not really any of your business. I don’t have a lot of respect for him in the way he’s lived his life. Three wives isn’t a particularly positive thing. I don’t know much about how he’s run his businesses. ¬†I do know that a lot of the people (big money people, especially) who are now crying “Foul!” ¬†used to be on his party list, and he was on theirs. That would include the Clintons, by the way, who now refer to him in extremely vulgar terms. Honestly, I wish there had been a candidate whose moral character I could admire, like Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. ¬†I am a “Trump supporter” now only in the sense that he IS my legally-elected President. Time will tell if he can overcome great resistance in his own party to accomplish what he has promised.

Protests:¬†Sure, everyone has the right to peaceful assembly to protest something they see as completely wrong. Remember how the Conservatives demonstrated when Clinton was elected? ¬†Obama? ¬†Remember how they smashed windows, set fires, looted stores, and just generally created chaos? ¬†NO? You don’t remember that? ¬†Right. It didn’t happen. The Party of Tolerance hasn’t been very tolerant. ¬†I’m not impressed.

Hillary:¬†She came off like a little sweetheart when she wasn’t pitching a temper fit, but from everything I’ve read, the temper tantrum is more her usual style. I don’t think we need a cursing, screaming lamp-thrower in the White House. And we certainly don’t need Slick Willy back there, cruising for interns. But putting that all aside, my problems with Hillary are that she stands AGAINST everything I stand FOR. Here is just one example, which you can listen to if you have a strong stomach. ¬†If not, you’ll get the kernel of her position on abortion in the accompanying copy:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/04/28/hillary-cling-religion-god-policy-column/26462609/

So if people like me MUST change their convictions and beliefs, my question is: ¬†Or what? ¬†What if I don’t?Are you going to start sacrificing Bible-believing Christians to the god of Sex Without Consequences? Throw us in jail and feed us bread and water until we change our minds? Are you going to make it illegal for Christians to ¬†talk about what they believe? ¬†Everyone else can, but not us?

How is that okay? ¬†She says she will never stop believing in our government. ¬†I think she stopped believing in it long ago. She’s on a radical, feminist train¬†that is pulled by the engine of socialist, godless philosophy where only the duly brainwashed liberal is allowed to make any decisions about where all the rest of us go. And she has never hesitated to lie, cheat, and possibly be complicit in murder to accomplish her goals. I’m wondering if the body count will continue to grow, or if she’ll just give up now that she’s lost. Again. And I have to ask, don’t you Hillary supporters get it, that she did this to herself? ¬†And you, with your sniffy “We know what’s best, Hollywood is the cornerstone of American society” attitude? ¬†You helped defeat her. You really did.

The best thing I can say about her, and Obama too, is that they both seemed to behave themselves with decorum and grace at the inauguration. It can’t have been easy for either of them. I’m pretty sure it was a bitter pill for some so-called Republicans, too.

Friday Free-fall

I have decided I’m not going to read any morepolitically -oriented stuff on Facebook for a while. ¬†It just raises my blood pressure. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to refrain, because I’m passionate about my beliefs. Maybe I should just stay away from the yellow journalism kinds of posts that aren’t verified with anyone I trust. Those I do NOT trust would be Snopes and any of the MSM. ¬†You know you’re getting highly left-slanted news. Of course, there are those on the right who are just as guilty of posting highly emotional, questionable “news” that is designed to tempt you to share it with all your friends, thereby circulating stuff that has very little verification behind it.

Come on, folks. I think we all agree that 2016 was an awful election year, with endless accusations and counter-accusations. ¬†I’m glad that’s over, but now I wish both sides would just shut up and go about the business of making the best of things. ¬†I’m sick of the whining of the left. ¬†I’m embarrassed by the unkindness of some on the right. ¬†Let the rancor and animosity die. It’s totally not productive.

Yes, for sure I will be glad when Barry’s face doesn’t dominate everything completely. ¬†Yes, I’m sick of his arrogance and dishonesty. ¬†After all, they’re off on another multi-million dollar vacation during a time of incredible danger in the world. ¬†As usual, all he’s saying while people are dying is “FORE!”

I saw something the other day about Michelle running for President in 2020. ¬†God help us. A more entitled, angry, and arrogant person couldn’t be found? ¬†It has to be Michelle? Poor woman would have to start waking up in a house built by slaves all over again. ¬†Tsk.

Okay, does anyone really think I can keep my resolve to stay away from politics?  Really?

No?  Me neither.

 

A Thought for Today

“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerates, their political character must soon follow.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Elias Boudinot

History has shown this statement to be true over and over again.  So instead of calling our leaders ugly names, instead of becoming way less than Christ-like in our words and attitudes about the present sad offering of Presidential candidates, we need to do some self-examination.

Was there “good government” in your family? Were you grounded in God’s Word? ¬†Were you taught manners, respect, the value of hard work, and the good stewardship of your finances? Were you taught to be decent toward others, even those with whom you disagree?

No family is perfect, but we do tend to pass on to our children what we learned growing up.

So if you were allowed to set your own boundaries as a child; if you were permitted to throw tantrums, if your parents were obedient to your every whim, then that’s most likely what you are passing on to your children.

Or, if there were things you felt were unfair when you were growing up, you’re probably not requiring that thing of your own children.That philosophy teaches them pretty quickly that if there’s something they don’t like, then they shouldn’t have to do it.

I’m not completely sure when good government in the home fell apart in America. Some would point us back to the permissive parenting styles of child psychologists like Dr. Benjamin Spock. His book does seem to have been something of a landmark in parenting practices.

I never read it. Neither did my parents.

I’m about to make a very general statement here that will probably get me into a lot of trouble, but here goes:

If you came from an orderly, Christ-centered, ¬†well-governed home, you’re probably not out there with screaming, looting, rioting,¬†angry people who know no other way to express themselves and wouldn’t care if they did.

yes-758x392

Government, as Hillary believes it should, must¬†NOT be the primary molder and shaper of our children. No government ever gave birth to a baby. Parents conceive babies together in an act of mutual love and caring, and no government should ever have the right to snatch that baby and leave the parents with nothing more than a guardianship role to play in the child’s life.

In America, government was designed to serve and protect, not to  control and supervise us in the smallest details of our lives.

When that balance of power shifts, and government becomes primary in influencing families and children, then any nation is in deep trouble.

America is no exception.

 

Politics

This one will be short and to the point.

I do not wish ill on Hillary Clinton. I hate her politics, and I hate where she wants to take our country; however, I do not hate HER. I have no personal malice against her. I deplore what I perceive as her complete , characteristic dishonesty that extends back to her first appearance on the public scene as a Goldwater Girl. I deplore the apparent ease with which she oils her way out of any and all accusations against her, no matter how well-founded they are. I do not want her back in the White House, and I do NOT want her husband to be the “First Gentleman.” ¬†A gentleman he’s not, and never was.

So. ¬†While I have no personal liking for her, I also do not join those who are gleeful about her present apparent physical maladies. I can pray that God will somehow speak to her through His Word, which she claims to read, or through some person who will speak God’s love and grace to her; I can pray that she will come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Something else I deplore is the glee that some people show when she faints, or has some other physical sign of pretty serious illness. She is  a soul that will spend eternity somewhere, just like all the rest of us. Our prayer should be that she comes to know the Lord.

And that’s all.

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Random Memory

I have no idea what triggered this memory, but here it is:

When I was about 12, we were driving from Minnesota back to Oregon. Dad had decided to take us through the Badlands of South Dakota. We got to experience a fierce prairie rainstorm that had cars lining up on the sides of the road, waiting for the rain to slow down so they could see.  There is nothing quite like those endless miles of unusual rock formations.  These are called layered hoodoos:

Layered Hoodoos of the Badlands

We had stopped in a little town whose name I don’t remember. Dad gassed up the car, and on our way out of town there was a big sign advertising the Badlands Reptile House. Snakes. Lots of them. ¬†All in one place.

Good grief. My stomach rolled, my hands went clammy.  And for probably the first time in my life, I deliberately defied my father, RIGHT to his FACE. They all wanted to see the snakes. Not me. I would never survive such a nightmare experience.

“Come on, we don’t have a lot of time. Linda? ¬†Come on!”

“No. ¬†I’m not going in there. ¬†You can’t make me go in there.” I was fully prepared to do the unthinkable and actually resist him physically if I had to.

I remember him standing ¬†by my car door, staring at me with very little expression on his face. I stared right back. ¬†I don’t know what he saw;¬†I only know what I felt. Terror. Complete, incapacitating terror.

Finally, he said, “It’s going to be hot out here. Keep the windows open. We won’t be long.”

And that was that.  I had thought I might fall asleep, but the possibility of a snake or two deciding to come visit me kept me awake and alert. That may have been the longest panic attack in the history of the world!

My dad was not a touchy-feely guy, and we never even discussed that event. ¬†Years later, though, when he was in his sixties, I was with him when we made a stop at ¬†his church property in South Carolina. He was meeting a man who was interested in buying the older building. Dad stopped the car, turned to look at me, and said, “You don’t have to come in, Linda. There are probably snakes in there. When a building down here stands unoccupied, snakes like to gather. I saw one up in the rafters the last time I was here.”

Wow. ¬†He remembered, and he understood. ¬†Which is why I came through that South Dakota experience with a whole skin ūüôā

Once again, I waited in the car.  And I remember thinking about be ing thankful for an earthly father who, though he was not emotional toward us, did a great job of teaching us, getting us interested in history, the things of the Lord, reading. He  helped us build character.

And I am even more thankful for a heavenly Father who showed us the greatest love there is; Who understands what we don’t understand ourselves; Who is patient, forgiving, and merciful; and Who is, above all other things, holy. His holiness is the matrix for everything else that He is.

We are to be becoming holy. Christlike. If we who are believers were doing that, I am convinced we wouldn’t be in the dire straits we are in today as we face an election in which one candidate has called all of us who disagree with her a “basket of deplorables,” and another who ¬†seems to have a really hard time keeping his language decent.

And that ends my Sunday morning ramble. I pray that you all have a meaningful, edifying church service this morning, and that you come away refreshed and thankful for your heavenly Father.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Friendship

Actually, it’s tea this morning. ¬†My midsection was a bit troublesome yesterday, so I’m not going to put coffee down there just yet.

Someone posted on Facebook yesterday that he’s been unfriended by a couple of people because they disagree with his political opinions. ¬†Because I know him fairly well, I’m pretty sure the people who unfriended him were fellow believers, probably from the church they all attend.

agree-to-disagree

I think that is very sad. Mr. Obama did all he could to divide us along racial and political lines for the last eight years.  It is tragic that his legacy, if you can call such a thing a legacy, is only creating more division among people who should know better.

After all, if other Christians are our enemies, who will we have left for friends? ¬†Believe me, there is a time coming when true followers of Christ will find very few friends. If Hillary wins, she will continue and enlarge Obama’s policies. ¬†If Trump wins, we really don’t know what he’ll do concerning limits on our freedoms. ¬†He is, at this point, an unknown quantity.

I don’t have much faith in campaign promises. ¬†They’re quickly forgotten once the White House is achieved.

My point this morning, however is not about politics. I’m truly and heartily sick of politics. It is my concern that we are allowing political points of view to alienate us in personal friendships, family relationships, and workplace relationships. This is wrong, and it is dangerous.

If you will look back throughout history, and especially the history of the Marxist/socialist movement, political division leads to bloodshed. It leads to anger and hatred among family members who disagree. It divides us as a nation in a time when unity is more important than ever.

1 John 4:7-10King James Version (KJV)

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

(Romans 12:9-13; 1 John 3:11-24)

31Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I had a conversation the other day with a woman who is the polar opposite from me in her political views, but we are both believers.  The conversation was civil and courteous. Neither of us will change our views.  We hugged before she left, commenting on how thankful we are that our mutual love for God allows us to respect and love each other in spite of some clear political differences. 

That’s the way it should be.

Not My Normal Post

This is way out of my normal topics here on this blog. ¬†I’ve debated about whether or not to do it, and I hope I won’t be sorry. ¬†I will tell you ahead of time that I will not allow any comments that are vulgar, profane, or hateful. ¬†You may disagree, and that’s fine. ¬†Just please be civil.

Which is part of my issue this morning. ¬†Mr. Trump is one of the most uncivil “political” candidates ever to debase the process of electing an American President. ¬†He’s a bully, and I am truly tired of his constant name-calling. He’s especially unkind to Jeb Bush, who is not my favorite candidate by a long shot. Still, there is no excuse for the vitriol that Trump spews against him and his family whenever he gets the opportunity–or, rather, MAKES the opportunity. ¬†He’s rude. ¬†He interrupts and then won’t concede the platform.

Do we really want a President who has made his billions in real estate? ¬†Who owns the land upon which casinos practice their trade? ¬†Don’t we understand that all sorts of evil attaches to casinos? ¬†Mr. Trump is no Sunday school teacher, not that ¬†the President needs to be one.

He has made some weak claims to Christianity, but when he tried to use a biblical reference at Liberty University, he clearly didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. ¬†He told an interviewer that he doesn’t need to ask forgiveness; ¬†if he ever “makes a mistake,” he just fixes it. ¬†Apparently, this is a man who, in his own eyes, does no wrong. I think that’s dangerous. We’ve already suffered nearly eight years with an arrogant, lawless President who uses his pen and his phone to get his way, regardless of our Constitution. Why do we think Trump would be any different?

I am saddened that so many believers are supporting a megalomaniac who has no sense of his own wrongdoing.

So why is he popular? ¬†That’s pretty easy. ¬†He’s pushing the buttons that most true conservatives respond to. We don’t want to be invaded by illegal immigrants. ¬†We don’t want ISIS ¬†here. We don’t want more spending, more taxes, more entitlements. We want a strong military that is not hampered by silly rules about having to get permission to shoot when the enemy is in the crosshairs. ¬† Trump is promising to make America great again, and that appeals to all of us who remember when everyone in the world wanted to come here because here, they could be free and safe from tyranny.

And they could get good medical care without waiting for years to have necessary surgeries.

Those were the good old days.

My personal opinion is that Mr. Trump would be just as guilty as Obama has been of flouting Congress, ignoring the rule of law and doing exactly as he pleases to achieve his goals. ¬†Obama promised us hope and change, and he didn’t try to hide that he wanted to “fundamentally change America.” ¬†He’s achieved a lot of that. Trump is promising grandiose things as well. ¬†Making America great again sounds wonderful, but Trump is used to doing whatever he wants, with no restraint.

I don’t want that kind of President. ¬†I don’t want a man who shows no respect for his fellow candidates, who bullies and calls names and tells them to be quiet.

You know, I went looking for a video of Trump calling Bush names. ¬†Do you know what came ¬†up on Google when I typed that into the search bar? ¬†Just the opposite! ¬†A whole page of “Bush Attacks Trump” articles. ¬†So I tried it with different words, and got pretty much the same results.

I think that’s just a little bit strange.