Getting Old Isn’t for Sissies

Getting Old isn’t for Sissies!

Ed Decker

jedwarddecker@gmail.com

I was at the market the other day and was peering into my I-phone trying to see what was next on my list when a young man chuckled as he walked by me said, “Getting old must really suck.” He was already down the aisle before I could get my cane out and whack him a good one.  

The truth is I think getting old can be the best part of life. At least it is for me.  At my advanced age, I don’t have to do things that are good for my career anymore. I have long ago forgotten the things that I should be worrying about.  The memory thing is both good and bad.   I can forget why I walked into a room, but I clearly remember something I did in high school.  But, sometimes the whole memory system gets a bit foggy,

Just the other day I was reading an eBook and thought, “Why am I reading about a lady Sherriff in Arizona? What happened to the CIA agent tracking that serial killer in Florida?”

I mentioned this mystery to my wife, and she asked me what app I was using. I said I was in my Kindle app.  She asked me to click over to my library app, where I store books from the public library.,,

I did, and there was my CIA agent. Somehow, I managed to get two-thirds through two books at the same time; just depending on which ‘app’ I clicked.  The thing is, I never realized it, but I just settled in with either book without a blink.,

This eBook thing is very neat. I went from a whole library wall of books down to about 12 favorites. I found that by the time I finished the last book, I couldn’t remember the first one and would happily start all over again.  Now I don’t remember where the ten books are.

This is coming from a fanatical bibliophile. The concept of borrowing a book from a library instead of buying it was a foreign concept to me for most of my life. Let me share a little story about my library before I forget.

A few years back, before we began the downsizing of our lives, I had an awesome Louis L’Amour collection.  My wife suggested that I sell them before we moved out of the ‘big’ house.  Reluctantly, I went on eBay where I had been buying and selling rare books for a few years.

I went through some of the back channels and while I was checking out prices, I found a leather-bound collection of about 120 of his leatherette books that a lady had put up for bid.  There were only a few days left on her posting, and no one else had bid.   I guess I forgot why I was on eBay.  On a sudden urge that only another book fiend could understand, I bid $50.

Two weeks later, the UPS man dropped off 5 cases of Louie’s books. Fortunately, my wife was not at home.  I hid them in the garage and slowly began the slow process of placing them on the shelves, one or two at a time, replacing the books I already owned. They went into the boxes in the garage. I would deal with them later, I thought.   

That worked fine for the first dozen or so, but soon the wall had taken on a different look. Kind of a leather section.  We were watching TV. She looked over at that section of the bookcases and slowly got up and walked over. She slid one of my new treasures out and turned it over in her hands.  She looked at me and then at the book.  “Is there something you need to tell me?”

We have moved to a smaller home now, and they still fill up an entire bookcase and more. Life is good in the slow lane. I still have the same wife, too.

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The Marvelous Umbilical Cord

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How could it have ever Evolved?

I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room a few months ago and was reading the only magazine available there, one all about mothers and babies. With a choice of skimming through the magazine or staring at my feet, I chose the magazine.

One article was about the umbilical cord. It said something about there being over a hundred separate functions that this marvelous cord performed during the length of a pregnancy.

Any birth required all of the functions to perform properly. Just as I got to that point, I was called into the examination room and went on with my visit and the day.

Fast forward to yesterday, as I sat in traffic, watching a small group of preschoolers, holding onto a long rope, following one teacher and being followed by another. I guess they were sort of herding them down the street from a nearby park.

As I thought on the wonderfulness of young, adventurous children, my mind went back to that magazine and I mused that children such as those I was watching and all my kids, grandkids and great-grandkids could have never ‘evolved’ into such marvelous creatures.

The umbilical cord makes such an evolutionary process absolutely impossible.

Think about it.

The very first placental human child could never be born without all of the hundred plus functions up and working from day one. It couldn’t happen.

The Evolutionary theory of eons of trial and error could never produce a single birth any more than eons of swirling gases could end up as breathable air capable of sustaining life on earth.

Let’s take a look at the Umbilical Cord.

 I have pulled these paragraphs from several web sites

What does the umbilical cord do?

“The umbilical cord in placental mammals connects a baby in the womb to its mother. It runs from an opening in the baby’s stomach (the umbilicus) to the placenta in the womb. The average cord is about 50cm (20 inches) long. In the placenta, oxygen and food from the mother’s bloodstream pass into her baby’s bloodstream and are carried to the baby along the umbilical cord.

Blood circulates through vessels in the cord, which consists of:

>one vein that carries blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from you to your baby

>two arteries that return deoxygenated blood and waste products, such as carbon dioxide, from your baby back to the placenta

>These blood vessels are enclosed and protected by a sticky substance called Wharton’s jelly, which itself is covered by a layer of membrane called the amnion.

Towards the end of a pregnancy, the placenta passes antibodies through the umbilical cord from mother to baby, giving it immunity from infections for about three months after birth.

However, it only passes on antibodies that its mother already has. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2299.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=128

“Then, what are the functions of the umbilical cord? Mainly, it has three different functions. The first function is that it is able to serve the fetus a blood source. It is very important since the fetus is not able to breathe. It does not have either a set of functioning lungs or an oxygen source. Also, it serves the fetus oxygen through the blood to serve the life of the fetus.

The second main function of the umbilical cord is that it is to serve the fetus a nutrients source such as proteins, calories, and fats as well. In addition, it is also able to serve the nutrients and also vitamins.

The last function of this cord is that it is able to transfer the deoxygenated and waste products away out of the fetus. It transfers those substances to the maternal circulation in which they can be processed and then excreted.

Then, what are the features that umbilical cord has? Basically, it is made of a substance which is known as Wharton’s Jelly, connective tissue or skin. It carries some features such as one vein which has two arteries and oxygenated blood. The vein of the umbilical goes along the way to the liver of the fetus.

Here, it splits become two parts. One part of this vein is to supply the blood to the hepatic poral vein. It works to supply the blood to the liver. The other one is called a the ductus venosus. It supplies the blood to the whole human body of up 80%. It allows vital nutrients such as oxygen to flow all over the fetus.” Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4825538

Another amazing thing about the umbilical cord. When the newborn takes that first breath, the whole thing reverses turns the whole job over to the baby.

Back to my first premise:

The first and all following placental embryos, no matter how well into evolution they could ever be, could never have survived to full term and birth, without ALL the above things working perfectly.

It just could not. Never. Ever.

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I Always wanted to be a CRUCIVERBALIST

One of my earliest recollections of my father is looking up at him at the kitchen table working his daily crossword puzzle. It was a daily routine that never varied over the entire time I was growing up and living at home. Even later visits at Mom and Dad’s home always included that somber ritual, around which all other schedules for the day revolved.

I am sure dad learned it from his father, who worked his puzzles while perched on his high-legged stool at a check-in counter at the pool hall he ran for years.

Actually, crossword puzzles were a new thing back in my grandfather’s day. A journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool created the first known published crossword puzzle, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913, was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World.

One of the last to enter the world of crossword obsession was the New York Times, which first published a Sunday puzzle in 1942 and a daily puzzle in 1950. My father did them both in ink. The Daily News followed along with the trend, but the Times was always the true standard

Crossword puzzles are a family addiction. I was doing the daily puzzles in the break room at the ACME supermarket where I worked throughout high school. My sister, Nan, and I fought over the rare un-inked crossword that we would come across at home, and we often brought spares home from discarded newspapers we found during the day.

Did you know that the answer to the clue “the final selfhood” is IPSEITY? Or that a ‘bitter vetch’ is an ERS? I still cannot find out what an Ers is.

These last few years I had a crossword puzzle routine that included my daily newspaper, USA Today, the NY Times and any other I would stumble upon. No Airline magazine puzzle went undone on my shift.

I do not do crossword books. Just newspaper puzzles. It would be like not living up to my father’s standards. It is also required by my DNA that all crosswords were done in ink.

My favorite Cruciverbalist is Merle Raegle. He has a humorist’s twist to his puzzles that I have always enjoyed. I actually did buy three of his collections, which Merle autographed for me.

My father lost his sight to Macular Degeneration and in his later years and until his passing away, mom would read the NY Times Crossword clues to him and he would give her the answers to write in, still always in ink.

Until my sister passed away, her own puzzle book and pen at her bedside, we would often go out to dad’s memorial site with mom, have lunch and do a puzzle for dad.

Many years ago, when I quite smart, I worked at Cape Canaveral as a mathematician plotting and coding ICBM trajectories. That was long before satellites and GPS.

I worked with a team of like-minded intellectual misfits. We were literally locked in a secret level clearance unit that even our bosses had to go clearance procedures. During slack times we were on our own.

Of course, Chess was a big slack time filler, but every day, one of the people would make copies of the New York Times Crossword puzzle and at break time we would be off to the races to see who finished the fastest. As brilliant as I was, I was always close but no brass rings.

Then I subscribed to the local paper that posted the Times crossword. Each Morning, I would carefully do the puzzle while I ate breakfast, with a thick Crossword dictionary at my side.

From that first day on, I would speed through the office puzzle at nonstop speed and that is how I became the Team Crossword Champion and the enemy of many of co-workers. For the smartest guys in town, they sure were slow in figuring out my constant success.

Recently, I was sitting in the boarding area at PSA waiting for a flight and working on the USA Today crossword. After boarding, the cabin attendant handed out copies of the same USA Today.

A bit later and already bored, I opened the paper and redid the same puzzle I had finished in the boarding area. After I had quickly completed the crossword, the lady sitting next to me commented that she had never, ever seen anyone complete a crossword with the speed with which I had just finished this one.

I smiled and then commented quietly. “It is just a special gift I have.”

 

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The Movie, The Shack..Beware!

The Shack. A blessing or a curse?

Ed Decker

ed@saintsalive.com

It shocks me to see churches and ministries promoting a film called The Shack.

I have received more than a dozen notes from Christian friends, Churches and ministries, encouraging me to see this wonderful, delightful, gentle, tender, faith-building, family oriented film about death and life and hope. It is even being promoted by a few of my Facebook Friends.

And I just listed a few of the adjectives they included in the rave reviews. I did note, however, that every one of the notes, emails, text messages had a common word. That word was BUT.

“I know that the film presents an unorthodox, but.. [Ed: read unbiblical]

But it is so wonderful that people find their relationship with God in it. But it helps us understand death and God’s love for us…. But it lets me know that I am going to be with a loving God when I die. But, but, but.. The list is as different as the churches and people who have been telling me it is a must see.

Friends, Choose your faith based films very carefully.

This film teaches [yes, in a gentle and heartwarming way] a false god, a false Jesus, a false salvation, a false hope in a salvation for all.

Satan is not going to come to you looking like a 14 foot, fire-breathing frog. He is going to come as an angel of light, even as the scripture warns.

I am keeping this very simple. Just in the very basics, without doing a line-by-line correction, here are three demonic teachings that will lead to hell.

The Shack offers you another god who, in this case is an ancient Polynesian goddess.

It portrays a different Jesus who is not fully God. And the theological base of its doctrine is a Universalist Salvation. A happy Heaven.For everyone.

I have dozens of scriptural support for what I say here. If you are confused and unsure that this film is teaching a sugar coated false gospel, email me and I will give you the many scriptures that prove I am telling the hard truth here. The gospel of Christ is simple enough that I can tell you this.

It is in the blood of Christ.

Either you are covered by it or you are not.

Either you are saved or you are not. Jesus made it clear when he said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

To the Ministry Leaders and Church Pastors who have encouraged their followers to see this marvelous film, I say repent.

You have lost the zeal for the truth of God and His Holy Word and treasure the world more than heaven.   You have fallen for the new Age Christian philosophy of never offending anyone with a call for repentance of sin. You have bowed to the god of this world.

What of the millions of untaught believers who have read this book or seen the film and then slide comfortably back to their sin lives? Who will be accountable to God for their loss?

If you cannot divide the Word and preach truth to your people, enjoy your many worldly blessings because they will not be with you at the Judgment seat of God.

 

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#DEADBABIESUSA

The Slaughter of American Youth

You who slay your unborn are bringing the curse of God into your home, family and lives!

Molach was the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom” children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and destroying and also at the same time considered to be the purifying fire. They lifted their young children to his honor and cast them into the flames of his fire.

It was an accursed abomination. God rebuked them and cast them from him.

But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. 27Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts. [Amos, chapter 5]

Former President Obama, while he was in office marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision with a statement calling on the nation to “recommit” to the principle “that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.” Obama said. “We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom,”

“Reproductive Freedom” = code words for killing babies.

While the new Affordable care program makes it a mandatory provision in all Insurance programs, morally, it is not anyone’s right to kill their children.

It is called Infanticide, the killing of babies, especially by their mothers. What was once said to liberate women and their health issues has turned women into government supported killers of their own babies.

This has gone so far beyond its originally promoted purpose. Millions of women have become killers of their own flesh and blood. It is genocide on the most massive scale in the history of humankind and our ex-president wanted us to beef up our support of this heinous crime.

Since Roe vs Wade, 59 million babies have been murdered in the USA. The numbers are beyond the size of many nations. Over 15% 0f our nation’s population – dead. Actually, in the over-200 Nations of the world by population, #DEADBABIESUSA would be the 24th largest nation in the world, just a few million less than Italy and The United Kingdom. In the last century, in 100 nations, over a Billion babies have been slaughtered.

In the USA, the number of dead babies is over a 20 million more than the largest State California at 38 million and ten million more than the next two states, Texas and New York combined.

This is not simply abortion. It is genocide. It goes far beyond Holocaust numbers. The Holocaust claimed between five [low] and 20 million [high] lives. This homegrown murder rampage has claimed double to 10 times as many victims than those who died in that brutal era.

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. Over 60 million people died, over 2.5% of the world population. The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was over 37 million. USA mothers have killed 20 million more than that.

In America, from the revolutionary war and including every conflict in which we had troops, up the present day as we war in the Middle East, records show we lost a staggering 2,717,991 lives.

The Civil war claimed the most lives, 636,000. Abortionists have killed 20 times that dreadful number. Today, in 2014, we sit by the sidelines when they bill us for what they call a woman’s right to her own body. Affordable Care Act? It is more an Affordable Infanticide Act.

I watched recently as reporters clamored over women marching for their right to kill their children, calling it a march for Women’s rights.   Amusing, considering that the USA has more women’s rights than almost all the rest of the world.

I am afraid that unless we see a miracle turn-around in America with the new administration, we will see the end of an America we once knew as the best. Pray for that miracle!

jedwarddecker@gmail.com 

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I Always Wanted to be a Cruciverbalist

One of my earliest recollections of my father is looking up at him at the kitchen table working his daily crossword puzzle. It was a daily routine that never varied over the entire time I was growing up and living at home. Even later visits at Mom and Dad’s home always included that somber ritual, around which all other schedules for the day revolved.

I am sure dad learned it from his father, who worked his puzzles while perched on his high-legged stool at a check-in counter at the pool hall he ran for years.

Actually, crossword puzzles were a new thing back in my grandfather’s day. A journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool created the first known published crossword puzzle, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World.

One of the last to enter the world of crossword obsession was the New York Times, which first published a Sunday puzzle in 1942 and a daily puzzle in 1950. My father did them both in ink. The Daily News followed along with the trend, but the Times was always the true standard

Crossword puzzles are a family addiction. I was doing the daily puzzles in the break room at the ACME supermarket where I worked throughout high school. My sister, Nan, and I fought over the rare un-inked crossword that we would come across at home, and we often brought spares home from discarded newspapers we found during the day.

Did you know that the answer to the clue “the final selfhood” is IPSEITY? Or that a ‘bitter vetch’ is an ERS? I still cannot find out what an Ers is.

These last few years I had a crossword puzzle routine that included my daily newspaper, USA Today, the NY Times and any other I would stumble upon. No Airline magazine puzzle went undone on my shift.

I do not do crossword books. Just newspaper puzzles. It would be like not living up to my father’s standards. It is also required by my DNA that all crosswords were done in ink.

My favorite Cruciverbalist is Merle Raegle. He has a humorist’s twist to his puzzles that I have always enjoyed. I actually did buy three of his collections, which Merle autographed for me.

My father lost his sight to Macular Degeneration and in his later years and until his passing away, mom would read the NY Times Crossword clues to him and he would give her the answers to write in, still always in ink.

Until my sister passed away, her own puzzle book and pen at her bedside, we would often go out to dad’s memorial site with mom, have lunch and do a puzzle for dad.

Many years ago, when I quite smart, I worked at Cape Canaveral as a mathematician plotting and coding ICBM trajectories. That was long before satellites and GPS.

I worked with a team of like-minded intellectual misfits. We were literally locked in a secret level clearance unit that even our bosses had to go clearance procedures. During slack times we were on our own.

Of course, Chess was a big slack time filler, but every day, one of the people would make copies of the New York Times Crossword puzzle and at break time we would be off to the races to see who finished the fastest. As brilliant as I was, I was always close but no brass rings.

Then I subscribed to the local paper that posted the Times crossword. Each Morning, I would carefully do the puzzle while I ate breakfast, with a thick Crossword dictionary at my side.

From that first day on, I would speed through the office puzzle at nonstop speed and that is how I became the Team Crossword Champion and the enemy of many of co-workers. For the smartest guys in town, they sure were slow in figuring out my constant success.

Recently, I was sitting in the boarding area at the Airport waiting for a flight and working on the USA Today crossword. After boarding, the cabin attendant handed out copies of the same USA Today.

A bit later and already bored, I opened the paper and redid the same puzzle I had finished in the boarding area. After I had quickly completed the crossword, the lady sitting next to me commented that she had never, ever seen anyone complete a crossword with the speed with which I had just finished this one.

I smiled and then commented quietly. “It is just a special gift I have.”

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Forget Waldo! Where is Ed Decker

waldo

Sorry, Waldo, but I have enough trouble trying to keep up with my own location.

A few years back, I had the occasion to argue the Law of the Impenetrability of Matter with a Metro bus. This law is defined as the inability of two bodies of matter to occupy the same space at the same time. When push comes to shove, it is always the softer body of matter that loses in any attempt to defy this law. We were living in North Bend at the time, but the bus nailed me in Issaquah, right across the street from the Fish Hatchery.

After spending the better part of a month in a coma, I eventually rose from the hospital bed minus a lung, barely able to walk and sent home with a mind firmly set toward finally getting to eat actual food and avoiding being anywhere close to a bus for the rest of my life.

My recovery was slow and frustrating..  It started with living life in my bedroom, expanded to the bathroom and finally, my wife would help me downstairs each morning where I spent each day scooting about with my walker. and, I could rest in our downstairs guest room.

Summer turned to early fall and I was now able to make my own latte.’ I could go out on the deck and read the paper. We lived on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington and sitting there basking in the morning sun, watching the river roll by was great.

Then one day, the impossible happened. There were no espresso beans in the latte’ machine.  Fear of ‘No latte’ fell upon me. My wife was 20 miles away in another town, working.  Panic filled my heart.

But wait.  My SUV was parked in the garage and Huxdotter’s drive-thru Latte stand was only a short drive through town. Yes, my doctors, wife and children had all forbidden driving, but the urge and  the terrible need was there. I was a grown man, alone and desperate. I knew what I had to do.

With some huffing and lots of puffing, I worked my way down into the garage and to the driver side door.  With great effort, I lifted myself up and after a long rest, slowly made my way down the winding road to town. In minutes I was ordering a triple shot Grande latte and a pound of espresso beans. I was ruler of my life. I was happy.

It was with glee that I pulled out of the drive-thru and headed home, no one the wiser. Except, I had no idea where I was and didn’t know where I lived. Panic hit!  I thought, “This is ridiculous!” I live in a town with one main road and six side streets.  How could anybody get lost? I recognized nothing except the latte’ stand.

I finished my latte and went back for another one, hoping the ladies would know where I lived. They smiled at me.

Finally, I did the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I called my wife.  Need I tell you what happened when she found out I was driving my SUV on a street where people were? Now, I love my wife and she always looking after me with the very best of intentions. I knew she would be very unhappy about this escaped patient of hers.

She asked me where I was and the street name. She led me all the way home, staying on the phone until I pulled safely into the garage. It was easy doing that. I had left the garage door open.

Seems the doctors later determined I was suffering from Transient Global Amnesia.  It was the end of my driving for a very long time. In fact, my wife collected all my keys, kept them in her purse, and took them to work with her every day. For months, I was a captive in my own home…. At least they kept me in espresso beans!

Months later, she returned my keys. I still got lost now and then but learned that I probably knew where I was going before I left and with my cell phone, a note pad of instructions and a GPS I loathed, I usually worked it out or just stopped someplace nice until someone eventually found me.

All that to tell you about my trip to get a haircut recently. My wife gave me instructions on how to go to a new hair cutting place.  She said it was in a local mall where I often shopped. I drove there and after making the rounds of all the shops, came up blank. Trouble was about to happen. Fear of Global amnesia came upon me. Fear of my wife was even greater.

I finally called her after three rounds through the place, checking every shop, one by one. She said that I was not paying attention. She said that I should not be allowed to drive alone anymore.

I rechecked every shop and gave up and parked.  As I sat there, preparing myself to once more turn in my car keys, I wondered, “what about the actual address of the place.”

I called my wife again and asked her for the street address. After some words regarding transient global amnesia, my age and the value of the car I was driving, she firmly advised me to sit where I was parked until she came to get me. Finally, she relented and gave me the street address.

Miracle of miracles! She had actually sent me to the wrong mall.   I was set free!  I did know where I wasn’t.                             .

The shop was one block west of where I was parked.  Moments later, I was happily awaiting the next empty chair. I had won a small victory. Life for this old man was good again. I was back in control.

I couldn’t wait to get home and share this joy of finding my barber with my wife. She wasn’t as excited as I thought she would be. I made us both a latte.

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I Sweat the Small Stuff

I’m not sure who said “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  I know some Phd wrote a book or two about it. Usually, I can’t do a thing about the big stuff and wasting my time and energy sweating about the big stuff gets me nothing except indigestion. My wife handles all the big stuff, anyway. It’s the small stuff that keeps my interest.

I wonder where our daily newspaper gets its rubber bands.  When my paper is ‘rubber-banded’ in one, it is always dirty. Do they buy them that way from a used rubber-band place or are they using so much ink that just putting one on gets it all dirty?

I personally like the ones the Post Office uses. They are wider, thicker and almost always new and clean. . I use them around the house for all sorts of things.  I put the newspaper ones in the trash container before I even get  back in the house.

I have never figured out why anyone would enjoy using toilet tissue mounted with the leading sheet under the roll. It makes no sense at all. When the leading sheet is over the top, it is easy to get at. No groping around under the roll, usually mounted in an awkward, hard to reach spot, anyway.

When I’m out at someone else’s home or at a restaurant, I feel compelled to correct any roll that is improperly mounted. It is just something that would nag at me the entire time I am there if I didn’t do that.  I do not tell other people [oops] about that little quirk.

I also find myself often taking a paper towel and wiping down the sink splashes in restaurant and airport restrooms. I just do not understand how some people can be so thoughtless of others.

I don’t like the way some people load dishwashers. When we have guests for dinner, the ladies want to help clean up and I’ve gotten so I wish I could tell them not to. I know better, though.

There are ways to load a dishwasher and ways not to. I have to wait until they leave and reload it. There is a system I doing it right, you know. Gotten so I do most of the cleanup lately.

I always wonder of the bread they put on my table at a restaurant includes the bread from an earlier table that someone else didn’t eat.

I wonder about doctors who make me sit for an hour and a half in the waiting room with sick people ever had to do that themselves.

I read the obituaries every day. I’m Ok if most of the people listed are older than me, but I have a bad day when most are younger. I have come to realize that at my age, I have more descendants now than I have friends. They’re going faster than I like.

My wife said, “Ed, stop worrying about this. Just slow down, you will last longer. And Ed, be nicer to the kids. They will probably be choosing our rest home.”

It annoys me that the streetlights on Ramon Road are the most unsynchronized lights in California. I am convinced that they are designed to force stop me at every single intersection, even when there is no cross traffic.

There must be a hidden device on my car that some sadistic traffic controller has placed there, just hoping I drive on Ramon.  I think he sits there, watching me pull off Highway 10 on his traffic computer and then with cackling joy, pops the red light button at every light I approach.

I have yet to figure out how a golf ball that I hit straight down the fairway can suddenly pick up speed and veer off at a sharp angle, usually ending up hitting a roof  of  a house where the occupant is standing in the yard.  Never a vacant house, where I can quietly sneak by.

I have tried to trick the ball and compensate by aiming at a house, but then it goes exactly where I aimed it. It is demonic.

Sometimes, a little article on an off page in the newspaper stays with me for days. I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating over it.  Here are two that had me awake at 3 AM this morning.

Just the other day, I read that the California Governor, in a cost savings effort, was planning on releasing 6,000 inmates from the state prisons.

In another article, cleverly hidden in a different section of the paper, it was announced that the state will stop its parole monitoring of low-level offenders after their release.

This is being done, in order to reduce the number of parolees returning to prison for violating their parole, because if they aren’t monitoring the parolees, the state will not know if they are violating the terms of their parole.

Does anyone but me, most of the legitimate citizens of California and most of the owners of convenience stores throughout the state feel like these are really, really bad ideas?

 

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Worth it All

He was a tall, lean man; elderly, with a wild thicket of pure white hair. He stood at the front of the small church, tears streaming down his face, hands lifting out and up from his body.

Earlier that day, I drove to the northern Utah town to speak at this church about Mormonism and its heretical doctrines. I had my notes in order and was ready to explain the unbiblical doctrines of Mormonism to a packed church right in the middle of Mormon country.

After being introduced and welcomed by the pastor, I walked to the podium and scanned the faces of the crowd. After a few minutes of warm-up comments, I turned to my notes and stopped. I knew this was not the message thee people came to hear. They came to hear what was in my heart.

I looked up and began sharing my story, my journey into Mormonism, my life there and my journey out.   At the end of my sharing, I led the congregation in what Christians called an “altar Call” and asked those who had prayed with me and wanted that same peace of Christ and His gift at the cross to come forward.

Now I stood in front of this elderly gentleman with tears flowing down his cheeks. I reached up and took his face in both my hands, feeling his tears run through my fingers. Weeping with him, I cried, “If not one other person ever receives a new life in Christ in all my ministries, you alone are worth it all.”

 I asked him what he was feeling right then. He sobbed, Oh, The Joy, the joy.”

 That was many years ago and I never forgot that man and that night. I found out later that he was a Mormon Temple Worker, one of the most faithful of the faithful, yet heaven reached down and captured his heart. Others went forward that night as well, but sometimes I feel my hands are still wet from his tears.

I think one of the reasons I remember it as though it just happened today is that in some small way, I caught a glimpse of how Jesus must of felt when he died on the cross for you and me. Somehow, I knew he felt that I, personally, was worth it all, just as he felt you, too, were worth it all.

Over the years since, we have ministered to so many thousands who have found freedom from spiritual darkness through Christ and the cross, that it can be easy to put them all together as some sort of ministry statistic, yet each one is as singular to me as was this man and each of you..

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with full awareness and the clear memory of being there during the minutes in time when one of you stepped out of darkness into the light of Christ. These moments fill me with the holiness of Christ’s love for each of us and it continually draws me into a deeper zeal for souls.

That is why I am here, why I cry out to the Lord to be used of Him to reach the lost, why I stay up late in the nights praying over the names and requests that come my way. Why I write to you today, to beg you to not let a single chance go by to be ready to share the Good News of the Gospel.

And pray for me,

that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph 6: 19-20

May the Lord richly bless each one of you today.

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Where have all those Bibles Gone?

Bibles are forbidden in schools, all government facilities, military bases and academies; forbidden in some of the countries we defend with the lives of our soldiers. Most court rooms keep a copy for ‘swearing in” people to testify they will tell the truth, while all courts now let the witness affirm they will tell the truth, without swearing on this frightening and unpopular book.

Most churches put the scripture references on big screens and few people tote their bibles there any more. Employees have been told to remove it from their work places and kids have been sent home for reading it at school during free choice reading times.

Are we losing the Bible to Political correctness? Or are we going to stand firm on its use and power? Where is your bible?

We are subject to a government that has done everything in its power to remove the Holy Bible from public life and use. Yet, this act flies in the face of historical evidence of its importance to American life and liberty.

Did You Know That:

Congress formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words,

 “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted.  Here is what he actually said: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us.  But we shall not fight our battle alone.   There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations.  The battle sir, is not to the strong alone.  Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it almighty God.  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a Christian?  You be the judge.  The following year, 1776, he wrote this:

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible:

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.  I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator. “

He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said,

 “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

There is more.  In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution:

“The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

William Holmes McGuffey was the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963.   President Lincoln called him the “Schoolmaster of the Nation.” Read these words of Mr.  McGuffey:

 “The Christian religion is the religion of our country.  From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe.  On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.  From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures.  For all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636.  In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the scriptures:

“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

Yale historian Harry S. Stout’s wrote an article in Christian History magazine titled, “Christianity and the American Revolution”.   Here is what he said about America at the time of the Revolution.

“Over the span of the colonial era, American ministers delivered approximately 8 million sermons, each lasting one to one-and-a-half hours. The average 70-year-old colonial churchgoer would have listened to some 7,000 sermons in his or her lifetime, totaling nearly 10,000 hours of concentrated listening. This is the number of classroom hours it would take to receive ten separate undergraduate degrees in a modern university, without ever repeating the same course!

 Events were perceived not from the mundane, human vantage point but from God’s. The vast majority of colonists were Reformed or Calvinist, to whom things were not as they might appear at ground level: all events, no matter how mundane or seemingly random, were parts of a larger pattern of meaning, part of God’s providential design.

 The outlines of this pattern were contained in Scripture and interpreted by discerning pastors. – [Today] taxation and representation are political and constitutional issues, having nothing to do with religion. But to eighteenth-century ears, attuned to lifetimes of preaching, the issues were inevitably religious as well.”

Times have changed, the world is different from those days, yet we all have the same hopes and desires, the love of God, family and the freedoms that such a spiritually based birth gave us here in America.

Yes, we are a great nation, but it was earned by the sweat and toil and prayers of men and women like these. Let’s not forget this!

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