Sunday, December 28, 2008

Those Crazy Sayings

Tonight, I got to thinking about some crazy things people say. Not only in real life but the movies too! Some just don't make any sense to me. Here are a few.

Ali McGraw (Jennifer) says: "Love means never having to say your sorry." Ah, excuse me! Really, that has to be one of the worst movie lines I've ever heard. In my estimation, true love means you do say your sorry at times. So, in Ali's case, whomever loves her better be perfect and not mess up so the poor dude doesn't have to say he's sorry and his carcass thrown out the door! Plus, she'd better never have a faux pas and have to swallow her words and say, "I'm sorry."

FDR says, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Really? That quote still advocates believing in some kind of fear. I think he meant well. Maybe it could have been better quoted as, "Do not fear." Period.

Ice Cube in "State Of The Union" says that he's getting ready for World War 4. Hmmm...was number three past and we missed it? Gotta love the movies.

"God helps those who help themselves." This is an old one. Of course, by now, most people know that this isn't in the Bible. This quote belongs to Ben Franklin. Two quick points. One: God does for us what we couldn't do for ourselves and that is to save mankind. Two: We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Plus, I do believe that God will give people faith to carry out his commands and he will bless those who do. The bottom line is simply, God did for us what we couldn't do for ourselves.

"Revelations." Yep, "revelations" plural. Now, for fun, I'm getting a bit picky here. But this does irk me. Some well meaning believer says, "You know it says in the book of Revelations...." I know they must mean well, but c'mon. It's also commonly mistaken to call it John's Revelation. To clear this up let's get the proper syntax. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ To Saint John." One revelation in totality given by Christ TO John. Enough said.

Now, for some of those that show no respect for God Almighty or his Word. "The man upstairs", "the Good Book" and those things are just plain bad. Plus, the Word of God does include good things but it is also filled with violence, murder, war, mistrust and other nefarious deeds.

Christy Lane's commercial: "All the songs you ever wanted." This was mentioning her Christmas CD. Hmmm...I'm sure glad the ad execs polled all the U.S. citizens and found out the exact Christy songs we always wanted. Ha.

There's one old CCM song that said: "Jesus was born on Christmas day." What?! Okay, so they are saying that Christmas day was always around and thankfully Jesus just happened to be born on that day. What a horse laugh. Go Mr. Ed.

"Cosmic Cowboy." With all due repects to Barry McGuire and him hanging around old Monkee Mike Nesmith, my Lord shouldn't be referred to as some caricature.

One local charismatic pastor quotes, "the gifts of the Spirit will be in operation." He is referring to his upcoming services. How can he be so sure of what God is going to do on any given day?

Now, this one is from years ago. I still chuckle at this news story. I don't remember the exact details but the news reporter on TV was talking to a man about the tough times that the city was facing. So, the man postures himself to look good and says, "Sometimes you're just caught between a rock and a hard stone!" Man, I still laugh at that one. Aren't they the same? Okay, it was a gaffe. But, this dude tried to look so impressive. And to believe I remembered that from over twenty years ago.

And yes...to be fair, I'm going to close with my own personal crazy saying. Years ago at a radio station in Illinois, I was training a lady named Diana in the billing department. Well, I remember we were in discussion about some vital info she'd need and I made the statement "If I don't remember, I'll forget!" Diana burst out in laughter and tears. I think she finally became composed ten minutes later. It was a location thing. In other words, it may not sound funny to you, but maybe it would have been if you had "been there."

Sure, Art Linkletter said that kids say the craziest things. But, many adults have followed suit. Be well.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let Him Go


Obviously the big news is the auto makers problems. A few observations. One, let the CEO go. Seriously, giving this man money to revive GM is like handing a drug addict another dose of heroin. If he can't do the job why would you give him more funds? I've wrestled with this one. I think that if the government loans the big 3 money, then fire the top execs. They aren't getting the job done. I also feel that if the union leaders weren't so greedy and driving up the costs of a company, they too, should be held responsible.

Finally, are people crazy? This whole debacle of a store employee and a pregnant woman being trampled upon for a Walmart blitz is incredible if not ridiculous. It's reprehensible that people would trample over a lady that is pregnant so they can get the latest gadget. As my chiropractor's office manager said, "Anymore, in this country, it's all about us!" She is right. People are so into themselves anymore it isn't even funny. Even Christians. We'd rather be entertained than ministered to. We'd rather be ministered to than minister! It really is a sad state. It seems so many have become obsessed with self. I have harped home this point so often: We will fall like Rome did. It's only a matter of time. May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon us all. For those who are truly living selfless lives, I applaud you. Paul the apostle said it best, "I count all but loss except to know Christ and him crucified." Yes, he did say it the best.

Monday, November 24, 2008

As It Grows Near


Gordon Jensen penned his signature song many years ago, "Redemption Draweth Nigh." The lines go:




Years of time have come and gone
Since I first heard it told
How Jesus would come again someday
If back then it seemed so real
Then I just can’t help but feel
How much closer His coming is today

Back in the mid-seventies as a new believer, I really thought things were pretty bad then. I thought Gordon's song was so apropos for that time period. I honestly didn't think I would see the year 2000. I really thought Jesus would have parted the eastern sky by then. So, here we are in 2008. I was thinking over my life the other night in great detail. Sitting alone in my mother's favorite old chair that I've been able to keep since she passed away, many thoughts came my way.

When I was a boy I never would have believed some of the things that I've been allowed to do in this life the Lord has granted me. You see, about four years ago, a pain has come my way that truly has become my own "thorn in the flesh" so to speak. With that being said, God has truly given this Ohio boy more blessings than I ever deserved!

Most who know me would chuckle at me saying I am shy by nature. Actually, I am. But, somehow with God's help, I came out of that shell. I was able to go into broadcasting and speak to many on the air-waves. (It would have been much easier for me to actually be an engineer or just run the potentiometers on a control board.) I stood before crowds and had the honor of introducing many Christian artists I loved. I have preached in Pentecostal, Nazarene and Baptist churches on a few occasions, ministered to youth and this is hard to believe... I led music for one church. Thank the Lord we had a small crowd! I don't have the singing voice. That's why I relied on my speaking voice instead. I've traveled all over the country, been to Germany and France, swam in the ocean, seen the Grand Canyon, the Pacific ocean, and more.

I've also had some very dark days in my life as well. The end of a covenant in 97 that about destroyed me. Lost a nephew due to an unfortunate accident that happened to him, lost my mother in 2002 and lost the love of my life years ago. Then, on top of that, I developed the above mentioned pain that I live with. There were days I didn't think I'd live through. Yes, I've had some dark days in this life.

I said all of that to say this: all-in-all, I'm still thankful. I'm thankful to a God that didn't have to save me but he did anyway. He looked down upon me and called me unto himself. I'm so thankful to an old Baptist preacher by the name of Oliver Greene that wrote a tract called, "The End Of The World." I knelt by my bed in June of 1973 and committed my life unto the Lord. I looked out my bedroom window in that old farm house and knew I wanted to change my world for Christ. I started passing out tracts, it seems, by the hundreds. Then, later God sent me to Toledo Ohio and I was able to go into Christian radio.

Is God done with me? No, not until he says so! I do want to epilogue this post though. The above mentioned things that I accomplished weren't said in any form of pride. I know that "any" ability or gift that I ever had came from the Father of Lights. In myself there is no good thing. I'm only useful as an empty glove that the master puts his hand into, to use for his glory. When I see him, "if" there are any crowns that he would give me, I will gladly give them all back to him! There's also an old song that says, "I owe it all to Jesus." And...I do. Those who know me well, know that I try to keep a low profile and give all the credit to Christ.

What did all of this have to do with Gordon's song? Plenty. With the signs of times as they are, I sense it in my spirit we are closer to his appearing than ever. I plan to mention some disturbing trends later on this week. I was really going to talk about Citibank today, the upcoming administration, GM and more...but I think this was the way today's post was meant to go. Back to my original thought: I'm thankful for the life God has given me. It's easy for me to become cynical and look at what I don't have and not look what he has "already" provided! So, if the Lord came back today, I've been blessed. Nothing in and of myself, purely by his grace! This world offers so much and delivers so little. I don't have my heart fixed on these things. Christmas too, is just another gluttonous feast for the masses. My heart is set on heaven. May it always be that way and I pray to the Father, I never forget it either. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom


Although she left us for heaven in 2002, Mom's legacy lives on in our hearts. My brother Terry and I were brought to the Lord with Mom's help in 1973. Mom also prayed for our sister Julie to come to the Lord. Julie now lives and serves our Savior. I miss her very much. Sometimes I don't say much as it gets to me emotionally. However, my Lord knows that my heart misses her with each passing day. Well, there will be a coronation day. Someday when the Lord returns, we will all be reunited. I can only imagine what glories my mother is seeing in heaven. Although there are times I wish she could come back to me here, I know she is better off in heaven and wouldn't want to come back to this forsaken earth. I know she misses us too. So, even though you aren't physically here Mom, Happy Birthday! "I love you. I'll see you again." Those were the last words I spoke to her. I intend to keep my word on what I said. In will be a great day when we all will stand before our Lord, home for good! Amen.

PS- Sorry for the bad scan of her pic. My scanner has developed a mind of its own and is behaving like a rotten child at the moment. The spanking is on the way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dark Days

Well, the election is over. I normally don't post anything of a political nature on my blog. It seems that you can talk about Jesus all day and no one is offended anymore. But, if you mention your favorite candidate, you'll get attacked from every side. Sad isn't it? Well, I'm going to keep this brief.

It does bother me that now we have a president-elect, and a House and a Congress that are Democrat controlled. I will say that whomever was elected I think our country is too far gone to be saved. You see, the scripture is true. Paul wrote to Timothy about the last days. I'm not an alarmist, but I can see it all around us.

The war situation, the economy, foreclosures, job losses, shifting work overseas and more, add to the woes that are among us. However, I do want to end on a more upbeat note. I want to write about hope. If we place our hope in money and it goes...so goes our hope. If we place our hope in our health and it fails, so goes our hope. IF we always place our hope in Christ we'll never be out of hope. So true. That little quote wasn't original. It came from someone else who is much wiser than I am.

We are commanded in scripture to pray for the leaders of this country. I'm not trying to be cynical, but I wonder how many liberals ever prayed for a conservative president? Only God knows. All I know is that I pray for whomever is in office. In these dark days that are ahead we should do just that. The good news is to follow. As the days grow darker, we are just getting closer to the coming of our Lord. Our hope must rest in the Lord. For whom else can we turn to? I think the answer in obvious. Well, the dust has settled. What is done is done. I'm not happy about it. But, let's do the biblical thing.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour"
(I Timothy 2:1-3).

Paul our beloved apostle had it right. Even so come Lord Jesus.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm Listening Lord

I mentioned Gordon Jensen a few posts back. I can't get enough of his song, "I'm Listening Lord." The chorus goes:

The voice that tells me which way I should go
The voice that tells me, "left or right, yes or no"
The still small voice that whispers peace to my soul
The voice that calmly assures me I'm one of his own

Man, to me it just doesn't get any better than that. Sometimes I think that I'm the only one going through anything. How wrong I am at those times. I know so many that have struggles. I was talking to June, a friend I've known for a very long time. As we sat and discussed so many things, I realized, we all are in the same boat! We all need to say, "I'm listening Lord!"

If we ever get to a place that we think we've made it and can do it on our own, we are in for some deep trouble. More than ever, I know that I need to listen to his voice. There's so much noise around us. TV's, stereos, cars, traffic, other people's opinions, ad infinitum. But, it's God's "still small voice" that needs to get through. I hope I never get too busy that I drown out that voice. I need him too much! I remember like yesterday when I knelt by my bed at sixteen years of age and gave my life to the Lord. I listened! Lord, please remind me, I need your voice. He loves us. Until soon, may you be filled with his presence!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin In Person


It was great to attend the rally in Troy Ohio. Sarah Palin had many great things to say. So, obviously you know where I stand on political views. It was a packed house and it was filled with enthusiasm. The weather coopereated even though it was bit chilly but sunny. I'm glad the rally was yesterday and not today as its been pouring rain all day today.

Sarah then went onto Pennsylvania. Later last night I watched her on Fox News being interviewed by Sean Hannity. She had on the same attire with the cute polar bear pin! The election will be interesting. We need to earnestly pray for this nation. We have so many things that needs worked on. Well, at any rate, what a great time to hear a lot of people cheering on Governor Palin. Be well all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gordon Jensen


I'd thought he'd literally fell off the radar. Gordon Jensen has a long musical career of writing and singing many songs that you may know. "Redemption Draweth Nigh" and "I Should Have Been Crucified" are two that immediately comes to mind. I became a believer in 1973. One of my earliest influences in gospel music was that of Gordon Jensen. And..."Redemption Draweth Nigh" was the first song I think I heard him sing. I got to know Gordon through the years. I aired his music, interviewed him and was able just to have some great one-on-one times with him in conversation.

My brother Terry and I reminisce over a couple of our favorites: "Small Wooden Bridge" and "Bring Back The New Again." When I moved to Rockford Illinois in the late eighties his current album was "Tuesdays and Thursdays." After that, it seemed to me, that Gordon just left the planet. Not so. I found his new website and realized he took a low profile for awhile. He still sings and ministers. I'm so glad he does. He's a remarkable man, likable and humble. The latter is what strikes me so much. He isn't caught up in his own importance. Also, some of his old recordings are now on CD. Which makes me very happy.

Today, I was able to spend about an hour on the phone with Gordon talking about the old days, what he's doing now, radio stuff, Nashville, etc. He's still the same down to earth guy as he's always been. He still travels and ministers and that makes me very glad indeed.

It seems these days we have all the high-tech music and gadgets. But, I can put on one of Gordon's older releases and still catch the "wind of the Spirit" once again. It was nice catching up with someone that I have a deep respect for in the music ministry. Have a good day everyone.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making Records


There's a saying that is used from time to time for various things. One of those would be, "I love music more than the air that I breathe!" Well, in a hyperbolic sense, maybe. Technically, we cannot live without air but you get the drift. I could say that statement about music.

Today, I had the idea to go to the bookstore. I called Rosemary and we headed off to one of my favorite bookstores at the edge of town. I was actually looking for a book on dinosaurs for a friend. However, the other day I got to thinking that it would be great if someone wrote a book about the inside workings of a recording studio, the engineering and the whole genesis of putting a musical release together. Well, Rosemary found the book on dinosaurs almost immediately for me. As usual, the heading, MUSIC over the shelf of books drew me its way. It only took me a few seconds and I spotted this book by Phil Ramone, "Making Records." Well, it took me a nanosecond to make the decision to buy the book.

My love for music came at a very early age. My earliest influences were the Beatles, Elvis, Johnny Cash and the Monkees. Quite a hodgepodge indeed! I remember the very first 45 rpm I ever bought. Yes, children, there were things called vinyl records or lps! (Okay, most of you that read this are in my age group, but I couldn't help but throw that in at no charge!) Mom took me to the local music shop in town that sold and rented musical instruments, many to high school students. Back then, in the sixties, we didn't have the major outlets we have now. I plunked down my dollar and some change and picked up, "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" by B.J. Thomas. I wore that out. Back then, with vinyl you could literally "wear" a recording out. Now with CD's, it's a different story.

My first 33 1/3 LP was "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John. My collecting began. (I know in a previous post I said I never collected anything. Well, I stand corrected, I guess I did.) My collection grew and grew. Along comes the mid-eighties and the rollout of the CD format comes of age. I didn't actually purchase a CD player until 1989 or 1990. Bill, a fellow radio announcer talked me into buying one of those 99 dollar Sharp CD players. I couldn't resist, it had to be done.

The very first CD I ever popped into my new CD player was Christian artist Al Denson's first release. He had sent me an autographed copy of his new recording. Al asked me a big favor that he'd be honored if his CD was the first one I played in my new home CD player. I did! Side note: Al told me some years later that he was nervous when I interviewed him for I was the first radio announcer to interview him when he signed with Benson! What a treat. I know you are waiting with bated breath to find out what my first CD purchase was. Oh, c'mon, you know you can't wait. Ha. It was "Holm, Sheppard & Johnson: Soldiers Again." And so goes the show fellow babies! (Sorry, been watching too much WKRP lately.)

As a kid, music was a very big escape for me from a world that seemed in disarray. Later, dating girls was my major deal...but I still had the tunes along! I chose broadcasting as a career. The choice was pretty easy. I understood music theory but had no talent to sing or play. I tried drums but had no rhythm. So, the next best thing was to get paid for playing music! My first station was in Toledo Ohio in the late seventies. I cut my teeth on Janny Grein, David Meece, Don Francisco, Steve Archer, Chuck Girard, Barry McGuire, and so many more.

While in radio I was fortunate to go to Nashville many times. Tony and Paul from Benson showed me around the studios. (Benson was a forerunner in CCM before they were bought out.) They took me into a recording session. The rhythm tracks had been laid already for this particular CCM artist. The string session players were doing the overdubs and I was just taking it all in. I was in seventh heaven. (If there is such a thing!)

Well, that's a short synopsis for you. I can't wait to dig into this book. I also picked up Max Lucado's "Traveling Light." Hmm...which do I read first? I think my previous paragraphs makes that clear. On a closing note, musicians have always been my biggest heroes it seems. My biggest fantasy has always been to be a lead guitar player in a rock band. The closest I ever got to that was playing my air guitar. However, you don't want to see that, it's not a pretty sight. Ha. Until later, may the peace of Christ be with you all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WKRP In Cincinnati


While browsing at the local Wallyworld a week or so ago, I came across the first season of "WKRP In Cincinnati." For the great price and all of the first year, it was one of those purchases I had to pick up. The show went on the air right about the time I made my own "real" stint in radio in the late seventies. The show brought back some good memories. I think the ensemble cast was absolutely great. Each character had their own style and substance. It would be hard for me to nail down my favorites for I liked them all. However, I really liked Gary Sandy as Andy Travis, Tim Reid as Venus Flytrap and my all time fav was Jan Smithers as Baily Quarters. Actually, being a young guy at the time I had a crush on Jan. I think she loves me, but she just doesn't know it yet! Grin.

There were some memorable episodes. When Carlson thought turkeys could fly was one of them. Another one was where Carlson was putting cocaine on his feet because he was told it was foot powder. Later, he started banging his foot on the floor when he found out it was real "coke" and yelled at Travis saying, "I've lost the feeling in my foot, oh no, I have a monkey on my foot!" That was way too funny.

Obviously some of the things that happened on the show could have resembled real radio stations. Some, well, couldn't be. It's easy to find the goofs in a show. But, I couldn't help but love it anyway. For those of you who watched the show, did you notice that it seemed the stylus was always on track one of the albums! Like, the first cut of the LP was the one always being played. Then, they didn't use headphones while "live" with the mic open. What about feedback? Plus, their phone was on a wall across the studio! But, you couldn't help but like the show anyway.

Bailey

Plus, some characters did resemble some radio people I worked with through the years. I had some general sales managers that seemed to know-it-all like Herb did. I worked with a few male news directors through the years that were extremely uptight by nature like Les, and I did have a station manager that was like Carlson. The only difference was Carlson was likable although he didn't know what was going on. One GM I had was clueless like Carlson but he was a micro-manager that was more worried about the temperature of a studio than what our Arbitron ratings were doing. Sad but true. I don't like speaking ill of anyone but that one GM was out in left field. Just my humble opinion. In the Lord, I have no bad feelings about this man, I just felt he didn't belong in radio as he had no previous experience.

Finally, about the closing theme song. This quote comes from Wikipedia: The closing theme, "WKRP In Cincinnati End Credits", was a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. Wilson decided it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs. (End Quote)

All along I thought he was singing real words and I just didn't understand them! All in all, it was a great show. Too bad they don't make them liked they used to. I've watched the whole season one now I can't wait for season two to be released. Below, listen to the closing theme. Be well all.

WKRP Ending Theme

Sunday, October 12, 2008

America's Crossroads


You would do yourself a service by reading The Seventh Sola. He writes about The Final Question. It seems so many want to keep their heads buried in the sand. This country is going to pieces bit by bit. But, we keep hearing the commercials, "Get it now", "You're looking smarter than ever", "Save money, live better", "Zero percent down, twenty years to pay" (okay, that was a hyperbole), etc. It's even fallen into the church. Remember, Old Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I could go on about the "real" historical reason why he did, but I thought the comment added some icing right about there.

Even in the worst of times, we have had it so good. Even the poorest person in this country has lived better than most of the world. Remember God said that if you sow to the wind, you'll reap the whirlwind! And so goes the show. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap. God deals with man individually but also, he deals with a nation corporately!

Now, we have the government bailing out the greedy men of Wall Street. To add insult to injury, we have government wanting control of the banks. Does this have a ring of government takeover? Plus, the everyday taxpayer has to pay for the greed of the dudes in the Brooks Brothers suits who made some really bad decisions. Did the bailout help? No. The stocks keep dropping. At least of today's date And so goes the show.

We wanted the piper to play. But, in the end the piper will demand more than his fair share for his music. Nero fiddled and Rome burned. My brother Terry and I were saved in the early seventies. I remember him telling me over and over that he never thought that we'd see the year 2000. He really thought that the Lord would have came back by then. So did I. But, now, I can see without myopic view why its had to take so long. We are also fighting a battle overseas that will eventually lead to our shores. The trojan horse is here.

Regardless of who wins the election, God's Corporate Will must be unveiled. And it will. America has been asleep for too long. I entitled this post, "America's Crossroads." By some I'll be waved off as another alarmist. That's okay. Those who ignore the Word can't possibly have any divine revelation. Do I like this? Rhetorical. No, I don't. I see dark days ahead. The good news is that those of us who know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are on the brink of seeing him face to face. I used to be pre-trib but I've dropped that idea. I only pray that the Body of Christ will be raptured before the great and terrible Day of the Lord happens. He really is all we can count on. Even so, Lord Jesus, Come quickly.

America's Crossroads


You would do yourself a service by reading The Seventh Sola. He writes about The Final Question. It seems so many want to keep their heads buried in the sand. This country is going to pieces bit by bit. But, we keep hearing the commercials, "Get it now", "You're looking smarter than ever", "Save money, live better", "Zero percent down, twenty years to pay" (okay, that was a hyperbole), etc. It's even fallen into the church. Remember, Old Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I could go on about the "real" historical reason why he did, but I thought the comment added some icing right about there.

Even in the worst of times, we have had it so good. Even the poorest person in this country has lived better than most of the world. Remember God said that if you sow to the wind, you'll reap the whirlwind! And so goes the show. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap. God deals with man individually but also, he deals with a nation corporately!

Now, we have the government bailing out the greedy men of Wall Street. To add insult to injury, we have government wanting control of the banks. Does this have a ring of government takeover? Plus, the everyday taxpayer has to pay for the greed of the dudes in the Brooks Brothers suits who made some really bad decisions. Did the bailout help? No. The stocks keep dropping. At least of today's date And so goes the show.

We wanted the piper to play. But, in the end the piper will demand more than his fair share for his music. Nero fiddled and Rome burned. My brother Terry and I were saved in the early seventies. I remember him telling me over and over that he never thought that we'd see the year 2000. He really thought that the Lord would have came back by then. So did I. But, now, I can see without myopic view why its had to take so long. We are also fighting a battle overseas that will eventually lead to our shores. The trojan horse is here.

Regardless of who wins the election, God's Corporate Will must be unveiled. And it will. America has been asleep for too long. I entitled this post, "America's Crossroads." By some I'll be waved off as another alarmist. That's okay. Those who ignore the Word can't possibly have any divine revelation. Do I like this? Rhetorical. No, I don't. I see dark days ahead. The good news is that those of us who know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are on the brink of seeing him face to face. I used to be pre-trib but I've dropped that idea. I only pray that the Body of Christ will be raptured before the great and terrible Day of the Lord happens. He really is all we can count on. Even so, Lord Jesus, Come quickly.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Was It A Debate?



My friend Joel hit it on the head with his post about the debate last night with Obama and McCain. What Debate? Really, neither side convinced me of anything.

I may have many who may disagree with me on the following comments. That's quite okay. I don't follow the crowd anyway. But to begin with, vote! I've always felt that if a person doesn't vote they have no right to rant on the things they don't like about an administration. They had their chance. I still believe that as Americans we should vote according to the conscience that God has given us. With that being said, I really think that whoever wins won't change a lot in this country. I know that sounds very negative.

It was back in around 1980 when I heard Lester Roloff say in a church service I attended that he thought the USA was so far gone and in a whirlpool that it couldn't find its way out. Now, this man of God was speaking on the subject twenty-eight years ago. He couldn't be more right. Even more so today. Sure, I want the best for this country. I just believe that the end times are upon us. No party will save us. They all promise grandiose things. How many of those things come to fruition?

Plus, did this "bailout" accomplish anything? It seems every day taxpayers have to shell out the bucks for the greedy men on Wall Street who sold out America. Don't misread what I've spoken about. I still pray for this country. We are told to do so according to the Word. The Lord though will have his way. Regardless of who is elected, God's corporate Will must be accomplished. I do see dark days ahead. I believe we should pray more and more for our country. Also we need to pray for those who don't yet know our Lord.

There are so many bad things that are happening. If there's any good news it's that God is still in control. We have him in our lives. Those of us who have placed our trust in his provision for us on the Cross. Really, with everything that is going on I sense the his coming could be closer than we think. So when bad times hit, remember, we still serve a God who loves, protects and will guide us. For that I am thankful. Let's pray for our leaders. Let's also pray for those who still need to come to the Cross of Christ. Be well.

Was It A Debate?



My friend Joel hit it on the head with his post about the debate last night with Obama and McCain. What Debate? Really, neither side convinced me of anything.

I may have many who may disagree with me on the following comments. That's quite okay. I don't follow the crowd anyway. But to begin with, vote! I've always felt that if a person doesn't vote they have no right to rant on the things they don't like about an administration. They had their chance. I still believe that as Americans we should vote according to the conscience that God has given us. With that being said, I really think that whoever wins won't change a lot in this country. I know that sounds very negative.

It was back in around 1980 when I heard Lester Roloff say in a church service I attended that he thought the USA was so far gone and in a whirlpool that it couldn't find its way out. Now, this man of God was speaking on the subject twenty-eight years ago. He couldn't be more right. Even more so today. Sure, I want the best for this country. I just believe that the end times are upon us. No party will save us. They all promise grandiose things. How many of those things come to fruition?

Plus, did this "bailout" accomplish anything? It seems every day taxpayers have to shell out the bucks for the greedy men on Wall Street who sold out America. Don't misread what I've spoken about. I still pray for this country. We are told to do so according to the Word. The Lord though will have his way. Regardless of who is elected, God's corporate Will must be accomplished. I do see dark days ahead. I believe we should pray more and more for our country. Also we need to pray for those who don't yet know our Lord.

There are so many bad things that are happening. If there's any good news it's that God is still in control. We have him in our lives. Those of us who have placed our trust in his provision for us on the Cross. Really, with everything that is going on I sense the his coming could be closer than we think. So when bad times hit, remember, we still serve a God who loves, protects and will guide us. For that I am thankful. Let's pray for our leaders. Let's also pray for those who still need to come to the Cross of Christ. Be well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

O.J. Again?


There's an old adage that says, "The wheels of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small." Prefacing my next statement: "All" of us in life have to live out consequences of all of our actions. Even though O.J.'s new case doesn't stem from his 1995 debacle, it just goes to show how demented individuals can become. However, I do believe that God can still take something different in a person's life to teach an old lesson that needed to be learned.

God is not mocked. Never! It may seem that people get by with things in this life. And...at times they do! Some will not answer for the life that they have lived until the Great White Throne Judgement. Others though will get a taste of it here and later. For the few who read my blog, you know that I speak a lot about the great love of God. True, the love of God surpasses our understanding. However, we cannot forget that God is also a God of justice, he is angry with the wicked and apart from Christ, his fury will be unleashed. See Psalm Two. I take no pleasure when sinners fall. "We" all were dead in trespasses and sin when Christ rescued us.

There's two types of deception. One: Deception. Two: Self Deception. I think that the latter is the harder one to deal with. If someone deceives you, you may think, "Man, that person deceived me!" However, "self-deception" is a more insidious thing to get over. When we deceive ourselves, we don't know it's going on! We think we are fine. It's as if we look in a mirror and see nothing wrong. It's when we peel back the layers and find out that we have deceived ourselves and then the revelation happens.

In O.J.'s case, self-deception is truly at work, at least in my estimation. He is only one of millions that will deceive themselves in this life. How many will end up losing their life in eternity because they were blinded? Far too many. After all, "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

Our world is headed for a major deception as the end of time draws upon us. I would hope that believers will pray to know wisdom in this time. I know it's what I pray for. O.J.'s scenario is just one of many to name a few. We don't have to look very far do we? Wall Street's meltdown, Enron, and others should remind us that we truly are in a deceptive world. What do we do? I know this much: The Word of God is true. I personally believe that if we keep our noses in the Book and pray for wisdom we can weather the storm of deception that is taking hold on our nation. God takes no pleasure in a deceived heart. It would be easy for people to say, "Well, that person got what they deserved." I find it hard to say that. For after all, I'm sure glad that I didn't get what I deserved in life. Christ died for me so I don't have to reap the whirlwind. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Art Of Letting Go

So, there you are. Cleaning out the garage to make room for the car that actually goes there. You come across an old weed-eater that doesn't work, a rake with a broken handle and a box of old electronic stuff that you had forgotten about. With hesitation and a sigh you think, "Well, I might really need this stuff. I can tape the handle on the rake, maybe I can fix the weed-eater and certainly I'll find use for the old box of electronics." Yeah, even though that box of electronics is over three years old and you didn't know you had it until it appeared again!

I admit, by nature, I am not a packrat. If I don't need it, it goes. A relative of mine yesterday said men like things too simple. I told her that it's not that I like things too simple but I believe in practicality. I will always go for substance over style any day. I'd rather have things that are easy to use, easy to clean and maintain themselves. For example, I hate when I see a decorative tie back over a shower curtain. That's just one more thing to mess with. Isn't it easier to just use a shower curtain? You open it, you close it, finis! But no, we gotta have that extra curtain for decoration that just gets in the way and you have to use the ties to pull it back when you're done. Well, I'm getting on a rabbit trail now.

More importantly is the subject I'm really trying to tackle. In my own life it's easy for me to let go of material things that get in my way. It's not so easy for me to "let go" of old memories, hurts and rejection that have come my way at times. Can you relate? Have you been there? Has something ever been said to you that, even though you have forgiven, it still lingers in the recesses of your mind? I know it does with me from time to time. I have a saying I use. It's called, "keeping short accounts." In other words, I try to take care of things quickly so the enemy doesn't use it as a stronghold later. An unkind word, a verbal jab, a disagreement, etc.

How many people in life are living with emotional scars of things gone by? But, in church you gotta look good, smile and say the proverbial "amen" all the time. Well, frankly, I'm fed up with that premise. We need authentic believers that will help bear the burdens of those around us. I know I've been guilty of not living up to this. The Lord knows my heart as I write, we need authenticity as never before.

Recently a family member and I had a difference over some things. It strained us emotionally for awhile. I was the one who was wrong. It took a lot of courage in the Lord to call him and tell him to forgive me for words that were spoken. I saw him Saturday night over dinner. We are fine!

I know I need to "let go" of things that are in the past. My prayer the other night to the Lord was simple but profound for me. It was me asking God to "let go" of things that no longer mattered. Secondly, I gave him thanks for the life he has given me. At times I've whined like the children of Israel in the desert. As Keith Green would put it, "So you wanna go back to Egypt?" God has blessed me with so many things that I never thought this once shy kid from a small rural town could accomplish. And if I never accomplish anything else, I've had more of a life than many have had. I say that humbly. With no false humility involved, I've often wondered why God would use me? Before I went into Christian radio I would sing a certain song over and over. It went like this: "Jesus use me, please don't refuse me, certainly there's a work that I can do!" That's still my prayer.

Today, if you are hurt over past words from someone, you were abused, or you suffered greatly...let go. Forgive and be forgiven. Sure, if you were a victim of abuse, violence or any other atrocity, you may have to live with the scars. However, I much rather live with the scars knowing I am forgiven, than to live with a grudge in my heart. I speak for myself knowing that the "letting go" process works. After all, we nailed Christ to the cross. How can we, as children of his, hold on to grudges when the King of the universe forgave us when we were in the depths of sin and had no way out? May the peace of Christ be with you all.

The Sacred Romance



I want to mention a great book by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge entitled, "The Sacred Romance." Brent and John say that people love stories. They contend that much of the Bible is written with stories in mind. People love to hear a good story. "The Sacred Romance" is one of those books that literally brought tears. The whole premise is that God wants us to draw nearer to him. In essense, that is the grand scheme of things. God wants us! Why, I'll never know. Page after page tells us that this earth and our lives aren't the way it's supposed to be. We suffer loss, we crave love and things just don't measure up at times. There is a yearning in all of us that something is missing. So, we bury ourselves in activities, work, adventure, books, movies, and ad infinitum. We do so because we "know" something is missing.

That missing part is the great romance of God and us! The part of the book that got to me was one section in particular. Not verbatim, but it talked about the newness we felt when we came to Christ, the day we got married, our first home-run, etc. Where did those times go? Our lives should be a daily "wonder" so to speak. In one chapter of the book, one of the authors said to a neighbor, "How's it going?" He replied, "Oh, same old thing!" It shouldn't be that way. NO, it shouldn't! When I was a boy I had many days playing baseball, climbing trees, and walking by the stream in the woods that was next to our home. I was full of life and wonder. When I received God's invitation to come to him, I did! I was full of rapture and gladness.

Now, I'm a bit older. Some of the flicker, it seems, has gone out. I want that passion renewed. So, with reading this book, I'm starting a trek. A trek that will lead me deeper in the arms of God. God said we'd find him if we'd search for him with our whole hearts. If my love for anything else is greater than my love for him, I have truly missed the whole secret of life. I know I've mentioned this many times. But lately, that chorus by David Baroni keeps repeating itself, "Draw Me Lord and I'll run after you!" It's taken from the Song Of Solomon chapter 1 verse 4 I believe. It mentioned the daughters of Jeruselem. It irks me when pastors just slap that whole book into a doctrinal stance that it is just "the bride of Christ." True, to some degree it is. But, it's also a love story. In fact I adore love stories.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. Other than, "An Arrow Pointing To Heaven", a book on the life of Rich Mullins, has a book touched me so deeply. You see, I knew Rich at least well enough to know the wonder he saw in this world and his total abandonment to the call of Christ. He was a lover of God! Plus, we know that God so loved him! May we all fall deeper in our love for Jesus. Over the weekend I prayed while walking through a parking lot. I told the Lord that at times my feelings run hot and cold, but he never changes in his love for me. If we truly are the bride of Christ, let's live like it! God is the bride groom and he wants a spotless bride. Unfortunately, at times, I have played the harlot in the theater of life with him. How I recant in my wandering from the one who loves me so that he would add in Solomon's book, "Draw me away and we will run after you!" All I know is this, God loved us so and always will, let's be drawn into that sacred romance with our groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. And...may his peace be with you all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin


Governor Sarah Palin will take the stage tonight. I hope she does well. I'm sure there are many who are interested in what she has to say. I don't speak too much on politics but I just had to on this one. I think McCain was on target for picking her for the VP spot. Tonight's convention should be an interesting one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Draw Me Lord

Oh Draw Me Lord
And I'll run after you!


It would be easy to say I live on the mountaintop most days. However, if we are truthful, sometimes that just isn't the case. Lately, to my chagrin, I've been fumbling my way through the valley. At these times, I feel very alone.

However, I've learned more in my valleys than I've ever learned in the good times. Sure, I like feeling good, don't all of us want it that way? Rhetorical. Sometimes life just throws us the curves when we are looking for the straight away fast ball.

I have to do an attitude check from time to time. I'm due for one right now I believe. Not easy, but well worth it. Lately a song that David Baroni wrote has touched me deeply. By the way, David is a tremendous writer and singer. I have admired his music since the mid eighties. The song has been popular by Selah. Simply called, "Draw Me Lord." I've found myself humming this tune over and over.

Also my Calvinistic tendencies come through. Verses that say, "we love him for he first loved us" and "you have not chosen me but I have chosen you." This song amplifies the great love of God to me. "Draw me Lord! And...I'll run after you!" It's easy for me to run "from" God when I go through deep waters. However, that's the very time I need to run "to" him. When will I ever learn?

Let the clip of this song touch you. No, it's not Selah's version, but you'll like it just the same. I'm hoping anyway! As always, and they aren't just words, may the peace of Christ be with us all!

Draw Me Lord Clip

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homeschooling Victory


This was some great news! Here's the link. My friends Roger and Andrea homeschool and I know they have to be happy about the headline. I've never believed it was the government's responsibility to have control over all areas of a person's life. Now, if parents "choose" to send their children to public schools, then fine. But I still believe it's a fundamental right for the parents to decide what's best for their kids and not Big Brother. Be well all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wasted?


It's hard to believe this is Nick Nolte. At one time he was voted the sexiest man alive by People. Now, I heard two stories about this pic. One, he was wasted and driving hazardly down the road when stopped. The other was that he looked the way he did because of a part he was filming and that was "his" role outfit! Either way, he sure does look different than the great days of when he filmed "Rich Man Poor Man." But, nothing from the world of Hollywood surprises me. Well, I had nothing else to write about at length today...so I thought I'd throw in some levity. As the old movie title goes, "It's A Mad Mad World!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Tech Guy Speaks


What did I do before it came along? I thought I'd never be interested in one. But, I'm one of the millions now that have one. The Ipod. I was joking with Rosemary the other day about how technology sure has come a long way. She said, "Randy, I remember the day when I thought the transistor radio was the coolest gadget around!" I couldn't help but agree. When I was a boy I remember getting my first portable reel-to-reel player. Now this was even before cassette tapes! I remember Mom took me into the local five-and-dime store to get one. As a note, how many remember what a five-and-dime is? I'm sure a few of you do. I was so excited to get that player that could actually record a person's voice!

Then, cassette tapes came along. It was in those early days when they had the under the dash mounting brackets to house the unit for the car. Boy, is that going back in time! 33 1/3 records were the norm as well. Even before that, remember 8 track tapes? The thing that annoyed me with that format was simple: A song would fade out in the middle of the tune, the 8 track would change to the next track, then the song would fade in and continue. Just when a person was getting into the tune, it faded out! Then when I got my first VCR in 1984 I was psyched. I went with the Beta format. Which to this day I feel was a far better format than VHS. But, marketing has a way of changing the buying habits of consumers.

The venture of CD technology hit in the mid eighties if I remember correctly. I didn't get my first home CD player until 1989. It was a cheapie unit that Bill, a co-worker at the radio station, talked me into purchasing. But, it sounded great to me. Along comes 1998 and I buy my first DVD player. It cost a bundle. Even at the enormous price the first one I had wouldn't even play a dvd-r or dvd-rw.

MP3's came along and with it the hoopla and controversy over Napster. I could go on about mp3s not being as good as standard wave. Which, in essense mp3s are about a tenth in size as a standard wave file, depending on the bit rate you use. But, I'll spare you the drama.

Which, leads me to my final but original point. I didn't think I'd ever want an Ipod. But, I had tried cheapie mp3 players that ran on triple-A batteries, the screens were small and they didn't hold the amount of music the Ipod would. That is, unless you inserted a micro-SD card with extra available memory. Ever since I was a boy I've been enthralled with technological gadgets. And...I wonder...where does it go from here? I noticed that stores are carrying less and less CDs. Online stores offer purchases of mp3 albums for one low cost. New car players will play the mp3 format as well. Also, with the advent of Sirius satellite broadcasting I see landbased radio going out the window. I've had to do some serious thinking about whether returning to radio as a career again is viable. Even though I was in broadcasting, I grew weary of long-winded deejays. I used to get annoyed at a consultant who said that announcers needed to keep their "bits" short. I now understand it. However, if the announcer had something that was good and could keep an audience's attention, then go for it!

Well, I hope to get back to some serious writing. My longtime friend Cindy said that I wrote some good inspirational stuff. That was sometime back when I was! The summer has been busy and I've been sparse in my writing. There's a lot that I want to write about. The upcoming election, the denegration of true Biblical teaching and more topics. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. But for now, time to grab the Ipod and listen to some tunes. Till soon, may the peace of Christ be with you all!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Griffey Eager For Pennant Race


Well my beloved Ken Griffey is now a Chicago White Sox. I have mixed feelings. One, I hated to see him leave Cincy. However, on the other hand, it'll be good for him to go to the White Sox who are league contenders. Plus, I lived near Chicago for ten years and it'll be nice to see him play with the White Sox. With Griffey's longevity with the Reds it's sad that he hasn't seen World Series play. I'm glad he stayed with the Reds long enough to get to the six-hundred home run mark. I've always seen Ken as a stand up guy. I wish him well. However, it just doesn't seem the Reds will be the same without him. Best wishes to him. On a final note I just hope the Reds don't get rid of Adam Dunn. Sure, Dunn's fielding at times is a bit shaky but his bat I think even things out. I was bummed when the Reds got rid of Josh Hamilton. But, that's the way the show goes. Be well all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He Still Endures


I have just about everything that Peter Strauss has ever appeared in. Ever since Rich Man Poor Man I've been hooked on his acting ever since. Tonight, he was on a repeat of Law And Order. Even though I had Dvr'ed (is that a word?)the episode a few years ago, I recorded it again, this time in hi-def. What could be better than the Strauss man in HD? Okay, meeting him in person. I had my chance back in 1977. He was still appearing in plays at the time and was appearing at the Dayton Memorial Hall. However, my friends begged me to go to the amusement park with them. Over thirty years later, I regret giving in to peer pressure! Ha.

Well, I know I have been very sparse in blogging. I have been busy. Maybe I can slow down enough to write some more items. It seems my friends are having the same ordeal. Summer will wind down, (sniffle, sniffle) and fall will set in. Then, I think the blogging will come back to full steam. Be well all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Day At The Ballpark


My friend Mitch and I had a great time at Great American Ball Park today. A day game with the Reds taking the Padres 9 to 5. It was a nice day around 80. Before the game Mitch and I had an early lunch at a Fountain Square restaurant and joked over some things. As usual the parking garage situation was near max capacity. We did manage to find a spot 8 levels up! Well, I needed the exercise anyway. Just thought I'd share this today. Hope all is well with everyone.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Beginnings Concert



Boy did this take me back in time! "The Beginnings Concert" package of 2 DVD's and 2 audio CD's was such a treat. I began my ministry in Christian radio back in the seventies and cut my teeth on the artists on this set. Everyone from Steve Archer, David Meece, Don Francisco, Chuck Girard and Dony McGuire. I remember playing these artists on the air and never tire of these classics. They stand the test of time.


I was taking a country drive listening to Janny Grein sing, "Stronger Than Before" and was just overcome with so many memories. I so enjoyed that song that it got played over and over. Then Steve Archer's performance of "Jesus Is The Answer" struck another chord (no pun). Plus, I couldn't forget my all time favorite Christian singer Dallas Holm and his classic, "Rise Again."

I was talking with Cindy Archer the other day about this project. She and her husband Tim are the executive producers of the project. I mentioned to her that I sure wish that a new "grass roots" movement would come again with original sounding tunes that a lot of us remember!

Do yourself a favor and get this project. No, they didn't pay me to say this (however I won't refuse the check, haha). For those of us in the fifty-ish stage, it sure brings back a lot of great memories. For those who are younger, give it a chance and see where it all began. Well, time to grab the DVD set and watch it again. Be well all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Terry!


My dear friend and closest brother Terry turns 48 today! We've shared many memories through the years. We are three years apart in age and have shared many wonderful things in life. We both gave our hearts to the Lord in 1973. We had many days of fun in the sun with baseball, great music and classic TV shows. Terry has had his share of pain in life too. But, he always knows that the Lord will watch over him. His faith is evident.

This picture is of Terry from his trip to New York a few years ago. He always wanted to go there. This pic is from Times Square. Terry, I'm proud of you my friend. I know things haven't always been easy for you, but you have the Lord, your family loves you and I certainly do too! I'll stand by you as you serve our Lord and as we journey through this earthly life. Have a great birthday. Mon Frair Formidables! Yes, you are definitely my fantastic brother. Again, Happy Birthday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow


It's a sad day. Tony Snow has passed away from his bout with colon cancer. He was fifty-three. I always enjoyed Tony when he was part of Fox News. I also found it refreshing to see him when he had his short stint with the White House. I didn't know him personally, obviously, but he always seemed like a stand up guy to me. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family and friends. I will miss this great news commentator.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th Of July


I hope all my friends have a great 4th of July. I was thinking that even with all the problems we face as a nation, I'm still glad to be an American. Sure, our country has so much wrong with it that needs correcting. I believe though, that the original framers of the Constitution had it right. The "original intent" of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are two of the finest documents ever conceived. We've fallen from those original ideas. Let's all pray for our nation. We have more areas of concern than ever before.

On a positive note, we are still so blessed. Compared to many parts of the world, we still have it so good. So, today, I give thanks for our nation and the freedoms we still enjoy that came at a great cost. Greater still, is the independence we received as children of the Lord. Not bound by the world's system we have been bought with a price and the shackles of the world no longer bind us. True freedom and independence in Christ. Have a great fourth of July everyone.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Without Hope, Without God

Joel's The Seventh Sola has an article about the passing of comedian George Carlin. I think it is well written and right on target. You can check it out at the link above.

It really got me to thinking about certain issues. I wonder how people can go through life and never give God a second thought? Don't they realize that every day they have been given has been granted by the pure mercy of the Lord himself. Yes, the Lord is loving, caring, kind and compassionate. Above all, he provides salvation to those who comes to him in faith.

You don't hear much talk about being lost for eternity anymore. At least not in the circles I've been around. You hear a lot about God's love, acceptance and grace. Which, is all true. But, someday, everyone will stand before a just God who will judge accordingly. This doesn't bode well in many areas anymore. But just because it's not vogue to talk of it, those that don't have the Lord in their life will face a God that will judge them and they won't be found in the Lamb's book of life. They will face eternity without God and without any hope of restoration from then on.

Just the thought of that makes me shudder. I cannot forget the sermon by Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God." If I remember the story correctly, Jonathan just spoke the words without any great emotion or fantastic oratory, he just spoke. I heard that people were so moved they couldn't wait to come to the Lord. Even though our Lord is kind and gracious, without the covering of Christ upon anyone's life, someday they will face a God and give account of their sins.

So, even though it's not popular, I felt I needed to write a short synopsis of this very topic today. People lampoon, laugh and deride the name of Christ. Some out of ignorance and some out of defiance. I know I need to pray even more for those that will be lost without the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. George Carlin is in eternity now. Right now, I shudder as to what he might be facing. One scripture says that it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. (Hebrews 10)

Today is the day of salvation. Let us remember to pray for those we love, know and come in contact with. I know I need to. I'm so glad I fell into the loving hands of Christ thirty-five years ago than to face a God someday that will judge me because I rejected my only way of eternal life. May the peace of Christ be with you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Perspectives


I just wanted to bring my readers up to date on a few things. It's been a busy few weeks for me. Not all of it bad though! Of course my Portland trip was a blast. I was talking to my friends about seeing the Pacific Ocean. I mentioned to them that I was more excited about that than when I saw the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago.

Some of my friends agreed. One said she would rather see water any day than a large open canyon. I agree. There's something about the water that draws me to it everytime. I was also impressed with how green everything was there. Of course with the amount of rain they get, I can see how things grow the way they do.

I have been remiss at catching up on my favorite blogs. Big Doofus and Miss Sniz's blogs are always such a treat. Plus, Cindy will always surprise you with the great assortment of things she blogs about. My friend Joel's Seventh Sola blog should never be missed. Joel has a keen spiritual insight and his blog is so on target.

Today, I was thinking about the great love of God again. You see, at times, I feel guilty about the great love he has bestowed upon me and I waver at times to stay focused. I know that I could never repay the Lord for all his goodness to me. He has been my mainstay in the good and bad times in my life. He never changes. Sunday morning I was staring out the window looking at the blanket of clouds that hung in the northern sky. I was listening to Petra's "Road To Zion." There's a line in the song that says, "the road to Zion is in your heart." I couldn't help but be amazed and humbled by God's great creation and his never ending love for me.

Things in life aren't always easy. Sometimes I have to try and strike a balance. It's easy for me to complain at times when things are bad. I'm working on that though! Then, when things go better, I seem to forget God and his blessings. Not all the time. The balance has to be that I need to be thankful in all things. Maybe that's why Philippians is my favorite book in the New Testament other than Romans which is my theological favorite.

I've already passed the half-century mark in living. I've walked with the Lord for thirty-five years. I'll leave you with something that happened to me a long time ago that I've never forgotten. I was driving down one of the local streets here in town. I remember praying in the car. I said something to the effect of: "Father, I know that I haven't always made the best decisions in life, but the best decision I ever made was to accept your wonderful grace and salvation." I'll never forget that day.

I pray that in my life that I will honor the Lord with whatever he desires of me. I'm always reminded of the old song, "Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul." It's true. God has been good to all of us. Even those that don't know him as Lord has received grace at his merciful hand.

I know that in my writings my words seem to resonate the same things. I could talk about current events, sports, movies or whatever, but I find that I'm drawn more into what God is doing in our lives. I owe him so much. I'll always be grateful for his wonderful grace and love. Till soon, I wish all of my readers and friends well. Thanks for being there. I have been blessed so much. I talked with my dear friend Roland the other day. It was a good time. He's just one of many that has always stood by me during the good and bad times. Everyone should be as blessed as I am to have that kind of friendship. Till soon, be well my friends and may the peace of Christ be with you all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hiatus Is Over, Back From Portland

For the few who read my blog you have probably noticed a big absence. I went to Portland Oregon and got back on the 12th. Then, work and other activities kept me from blogging. I do have some things I want to write about and need to get back at it. This small post is to let the few who read my blog that I am still here! Just way too busy. Hopefully it'll slow down. Here's two pics from my Portland trip. Be well all.

The Whole Group at Mo's Restaurant



Clockwise from bottom left: Brandon (Chad and Susan's son), Chad, Susan, Lois (Susan's mom), Rick (Susan's dad), and Brandon's friend. Sorry forgot his name!




Susan, Randy and Chad at the Pacific Ocean


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Currently in Portland










Susan, Randy, Chad

Well, I haven't posted in awhile. Been kind of busy. Currently I am posting this from Portland Oregon. I'm visiting my friends Chad and Susan. I'll post more about the trip and add more pics later. We went to the Pacific Ocean yesterday. Here's Chad, Susan and myself at Cannon Beach Oregon by the ocean. I've seen the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico but this is a first for me to see the Pacific. It is really cold here! Well, for me anyway. It's been in the fifties and raining everyday. But, I'm enjoying the trip. Will write more later. Be well and have a good week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Michael English In Concert


It was exactly one year ago in this very merry month of May that I was able to see Michael English perform. Tonight was a treat just as before as Michael returned to the Richmond Indiana area. My date Julie and I had a very good time that evening. Michael performed some of his old classics and a couple of the new tunes from "The Prodigal Comes Home." His voice to this day, I think, is one of the very best ever. He wrapped up the evening with his signature song, "In Christ Alone."

During the concert he mentioned at some point recently he was doubting that his voice was holding up. I don't think he has anything to be concerned about. He was just as good as ever. And, as always, he was as kind after the concert to greet and meet everyone. It was over a two hour drive each way, but well worth it. Michael is one of my all time favorites. If you haven't heard Michael's new release, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I think you'll be more than pleased with his new offering. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Keeping It Simple



I just finished watching Sandy Patty's rendition of "We Shall Behold Him." There was Dottie Rambo in the background. I admit, feelings of awe overcame me. I remember Sandy singing that song so many years ago. The song itself is wonderful but simply profound. It got me to thinking about simpler days in my life. I just wonder sometimes if things are just moving way too quickly? I know many have already spoken or written on such topics. I'm just one of the myriads who has as well.

Last Saturday was a fun day. Rosemary and I went for a drive through the country. Then we then stopped at the all-too-famous hot dog stand in the town where she lives. Curb side service. Hot dogs, fries and a mug of root beer. The weather cooperated with a sunny sky albeit a slight breezy wind. However, I was content. Later, we drove down by the park. We sat on a bench overlooking the river. We conversed about things in life, current events and about faith in God. She said, "Isn't this peaceful?" I couldn't have agreed more.

These days we have microwave in a minute meals, Direct TV, cellphones that not only take calls but will play music, instant news and weather from the internet and a host of other things. But, I just wonder, are we really better? We get out monthly cellular bill and find an error and spend an hour waiting for a rep from the Phillipines to figure it all out. We get bombarded by ads saying we'll have a better life if we buy their products. And so it goes.

I'm not saying that I'd give up modern conveniences as an example. But, how much is enough? When I was a boy growing up in the country I had trees to climb, fields to run in, baseball to play and a lawn to lie on and stare at the clouds. I had a hymnal that I would carry behind the house and sing out of, a dime store bible to read and with all of that, a very big God who loved me. And still does!

I'm finding more and more that I'm compelled to spend time at the park at the end of town. I sat and watched the ducks on the river, looked at the geese and glanced at the birds flying overhead. I heard the rustling of the water as it moved southward past my little nook on the edge of the roadside. Funny me and the things I think about. I thought the other day, "I'll plant a garden." Now, for those of you who "really" know me, that isn't my cup of tea, so to speak.

Am I growing old before my time? Yes and no. Maybe I'm just at a place to where God is slowing me down a bit to enjoy the simple things in life again. You could almost call it coming full circle. I've traveled so much in my life and enjoyed so many things I never dreamed possible. All in all, God has been good to me. Yes, even in the times I didn't think that he was. I just now thought of the old Twila Paris song, "Lord, You Have Been Good." He sure has.

Here's a statement that just makes so much sense. We think when we get older and we're not as hastily busy as before that we are not as useful! But, I must remember that all of this life is just preparation for the next. Our life here is just a shadow of things to come. I can't take credit for the statement. It was made by someone a lot wiser than me.

I hope that I won't ever forget the simple things in life that are far more important that all the baubles that surround us. Our real treasure is in heaven. And...most importantly, the greatest treasure resides in our hearts...and that my friends is the Lord himself. Be well and I hope all of you have a good week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Remembering Dottie Rambo



Dottie Rambo was one of my earliest influences in gospel music. I remember playing her music at my very first radio station in Toledo in the late seventies. I just loved "I Go To The Rock." She has penned so many songs through the years. Dottie passed away on May 11th in a bus wreck in Missouri. She was seventy-four. Obviously, I am saddened by this.

One of my favorite songs she recorded was to the tune of Londonderry Air called, "He Looked Beyond My Faults." Next to that one, my other favorite has to be "For What Earthly Reason." However, it's difficult to narrow down just a couple of tunes. She has written so many wonderful favorites throughout the years.

Dottie is now with the Lord. Even though she will not be singing anymore on this earth, her songs will live on to those of us still here. She is now with the Lord that she had sung about for so many years. She will be missed. Below is a sample of her song, "For What Earthly Reason." I don't have Dottie's version, but I've included Janet Paschal's wonderful version of this song. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

For What Earthly Reason

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In All Things



I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:12-13)

Those are wise words written by the apostle Paul. Philippians is my favorite New Testament book. I have read these words over and over for years. In this day and age I notice that people are more discontented than ever. Maybe it is more here in the U.S. than anywhere else. Even the poorest among us have more than most of the world has.

I guess having things isn't bad as long as we remember that Christ is number one in our lives. Plus, there are those who are serving God across the seas for the gospel. I really feel that these are the true heroes of the faith. They see the bigger picture. The eternal one. I know we can serve God right where we are. I just can't help but think that those who serve as missionaries have a strength that I don't have. That strength ultimately comes from Christ himself.

I also believe that darker days could be ahead for us as a country. I don't mean to sound like an alarmist, but things could grow worse. Maybe we just all need to live like the apostle Paul did: learning to be content in every situation. Be thankful daily for what the Lord provides. He does love us. Our rewards should be eternal ones. For the things of this world will pass away. No, it's not wrong to enjoy the things that God blesses us with, as long as we keep him first.

The older I get I realize that things in and of themselves do not satisfy. I am always reminded of the old song, "Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul." It's true. There are people clamoring all the time for more and more. We'll leave it all behind anyway. May all of us be found faithful at his coming. Be well all.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Rod McKuen



One of my all time favorite poets and singers turns 75 today! Rod McKuen. I first heard of Rod in 1973 and his live Carnegie Hall release. My favorite book of his is "Stanyan Street And Other Sorrows." He also did the score for "A Boy Named Charlie Brown." His rendition of Linda Ronstadt's "Long Long Time" is an all time favorite. There are those memories that stay with a person. Rod's poetry and music has always been a staple of mine. So, I hope Rod has a great birthday. Below, listen to a sample of "Stanyan Street." Happy Birthday to Rod.

Stanyan Street

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Stinky Cheeseman




We all remember them. The stories of childhood. The Gingerbread Man, Chicken Little, The Ugly Duckling and others. Today, though, I'm mentioning a book that is one of my favorites. Written by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, it's called, "The Stinky Cheeseman And Other Fairly Stupid Tales." It came out in 1992.

I guess my humor is a bit abstract. I like ideas that poke fun of the natural order of things. This book mentioned takes a very abstract view of some of the most popular stories. Instead of the Gingerbread man we have, The Stinky Cheeseman. He smells so bad that the old man and lady don't want to have anything to do with him. In another story, the Ugly Duckling, well, remains ugly. Plus, there's Jack's Bean Problem and many others.

Remember Gary Larson's "The Far Side?" I really like those books too. My humor has always been on the far side, so to speak. I find humor in some of the strangest places. For example, whenever I hear a lawyer say, "pass the witness", I see this witness being hurled through the air in the courtroom. Go figure. If you have a chance, pick this book up at the library. You can read it in one sitting. I guess that life's stresses can be much at times, and a little levity goes a long way. Below is a clip of Peter Strauss narrating part of this book. Have a good week!

Narration

The River's Edge




The waters cascade over the protruding rocks within the rippling waters. The river runs with constant velocity at a steady pace. I sit along the river bank taking it all in. The sun is ebbing its way through the western sky casting a shining glimmer of rays upon the water's surface. The wind eases its way through the trees as the leaves rustle. I'm at peace. Yes, I'm at peace.

It seems like I'm always at peace when I'm by the water's edge. It takes me back to a time when as a kid I would spend hours in the outdoors. We had a big forest of trees close to where I lived on the farm. I'd find myself taking the trek to the woods, listening to the sounds of nature. There was a small brook that made its winding way through those woods. Again, pure peace. The light of the summer sun would trickle its rays through those trees shining upon my face.

The other day as I sat by the river bank, I was overcome with thankfulness to my Lord. My prayer was simple yet profound. I was telling the Lord that the last few years of my life have been rather difficult. There were days I didn't think I'd survive some of the horrendous things I had been through. I then repented. I told my Lord that I know he was there all the time and wouldn't let me go. How sorry I was for those times of doubt and insecurity. He truly has been good to me. The old hymn "My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me" came to mind. The chorus goes:

I trust in God
I know he cares for me
On the mountain peak
Out on the stormy sea
Though the billows may roll
He keeps my soul
My heavenly father watches over me

Sometimes in my sardonic way, I can become a bit jaded and think that the Lord is out to lunch on my behalf. However, as I have written so many times before, he changes not! I may not always pray when I should, but he never gives up on me! Good times or bad, my heavenly father watches over me. I feel guilty at times when I seem to let him down and he never wavers on his love for me! I'm reminded though that I couldn't do it on my own. He picks me up even when I've let him down.

That day by the river was therapeutic. As the river made its course through the roadside park on its way south, the waves kept moving at the current pace, I was reminded that God always works in perfect precision. If the Lord can create this earth at the correct tilt of the axis for the seasons and far enough from the sun to create just the correct amount of temperature, how could I not trust him? Romans One is always a reminder of God's great creation. Plus, in the gospels, if he cares for the lillies of the field, the sparrows that fly, how much more does he care for me? May that day by the river always be a constant reminder of how much he loves us!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stay

"I've had it, I cannot take it anymore, I'm out of here!" I grab a travel bag and start piling a few clothes in it not caring whether they are folded or not. Not my average behavior. I have to run away. I don't want to endure this pain anymore. "Okay, where do I go? I'll fill up the car and let it take me as far as I can go until the funds run dry. Somewhere, other than here, has to be better than what I am going through. Enough is enough."

"God, why must this go on? Are you even there anymore?" The thoughts are like a rainstorm that refuses to subside. Torrents of water flood over me until I can barely stand it! Sure, I can travel the miles. I've traveled many in my life. I've been to so many places. I've found there's one place you can't run from...and that is yourself. Okay, relax. Settle down. Pray. Sure, pray. "Oh God, help me, I'm drowning here. My pain is too great. I can't take another moment. If I am to make it, you will have to be my strength in my weakness." So, I drop the bag to the floor and collapse to the bed and pray. And pray some more.

Somehow, a deep peace washes over me. "I'll never leave you nor forsake you" he says in his Word. So, I'll STAY! I'll weather the storms of life with my Lord being at the helm. Sometimes it's easier to run away, harder to stay, but well worth it! Frankly, staying in God's presence is much better. Not always a cakewalk, but much more comforting. Peace, wonderful peace.

Below are some of the lyrics from Chris Lee's song, "Stay." His song mirrors how I feel at times. Chris is a great and upcoming artist. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he was running sound for Michael English in concerts. I found a man that is sincere in his love for Christ and just an all around great guy! As I was leaving that night he smiled at me and said, "Stay real man!" And he's a believer who is doing just that. I wish him well in his endeavors. He has a great voice but more importantly, a heart for God! Be well all.

Chris Lee











If you want to feel all alone, walk away
Try to find a home of your own, walk away
Now I’m not keeping score
But I’ve seen it so many times before
Puts your bags down
This time around…

Stay with me I have all you need
You’ve tried everything, oh everything
Now just stay
All you’re searching for can be found
And so much more
No more running away…
Stay…Just stay

"Stay" Edit

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not Wavering

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17-19)

It's been thirty-five years since I made my decision to follow my Lord. I can truly say that I've never been sorry for that day I knelt, repented and accepted God's glorious invitation to invite Christ into my life! For any of you that have followed my blog for any length of time, you'll notice a recurring theme: The Cross of Christ and the love of God in Christ! I've never wavered from that premise and truth that has been etched into the memory of my life.

I will admit that I have wavered in some other areas. I've always been thirsty for knowledge and truth. In my very early years of the faith I ventured out to learn everything I could about the Lord and his Word. I would like to say that all my searching was unequivocal, but alas, it hasn't been. In my search for truth it led me into some various factions at times. I've wrestled with free will and God's sovereignty, pondered second works of grace, the sign gifts, eternal security, rapture or no rapture and a myriad of other things. I've been in Pentecostal, Nazarene and Baptist churches, looking and searching. And I even fell prey to the positive confession movement for awhile. (It was anything but positive.)

You'd probably wonder or maybe envision that I was a confused believer. No, not at all. I always wanted to keep my thoughts and mind open. I didn't want to be a slave to a man-made denomination. The caveat is clear though: I did embrace some things that I've later recanted. Plus, there were times I treated God's Word like a text book. But the last decade has been a true experience. My school days of textual outlook became one of practical application. I started living out in my daily life the things that had beforehand, been just textbook learning. But, don't misunderstand, proper doctrine is first and foremost. I've always been a true believer, but I had to experience in real life the scriptures I believed. It's a perilous thing to trust feelings. All proper living for Christ must be first grounded in pure doctrine. Sure, I like to feel good. But, the scriptures correctly applied must take preeminence. Feelings are great, but they should always be based on a true understanding of God's eternal Word.

I do know that I have never wavered on the aforementioned Cross of Christ. I have dug my heels in the sand, my face is like flint when it comes to what Christ did on the cross. My mind is made up when it comes to the love of God in Jesus Christ. With all the schisms that abound today, our hope must always be rooted and grounded in the true Word of God. I'm glad I never wavered on the essentials. Things like God's inspired Word, the second coming, the virgin birth of Christ, Jesus being the only way, et.al. The bottom line is clear. As believers we may disagree on what I call the secondary things like the mode of baptism, etc. But, I will never waver with Jesus being the only way to heaven. I'll love and pray for those who don't for their eternal souls are at stake.

Wes King and me



The above verses from Ephesians really hit home for me. Years ago I was able to spend some time with recording artist Wes King. His song, "The Love Of Christ" is simply amazing. It's difficult for me to keep a dry eye when I listen to his song that comes right out of Ephesians. I want to leave you with a sample of this amazing song that sums up what I think about the gospel. I'm glad I never wavered on what Christ did for me on the cross. For anything that has come out of my life, I owe to the Lord Jesus Christ. May the peace of Christ be with you all.


The Love Of Christ