Odd as It May Seem

A number of years after I was saved, I came across the passage in the Bible where Jesus healed 10 lepers.  One returned to thank Him.  Jesus asked were there not ten.  Where are the other 9?

Since that day, I tried to make sure I thanked God for what he has provided for us, though I must admit I did have some problems being thankful for the rain on cold nights when I walked a post on guard duty.  Indeed, I had a hard time thinking of just how much we humans need rain.

I also try to remind others to be thankful, even when their baseball game gets rained out or when the camping trip is ruined by the sudden deluge.  If that farmer doesn’t get that rain, he can’t feed us.  Moreover, the water from those rains is used in uncountable other ways, including manufacturing.  It is a small matter that our lives are disturbed for the short term, even if the rain becomes a little heavy.  Naturally, the rain can become a disaster.  Floods can be devastating.

My eyes have been opened to something else for which we should be thankful.  To be sure, to most, it will seem odd.  To be sure, God disciplines His children.  It hardly seems probable that a person should say, “Thanks God.  I needed that.”  Yet we should be grateful to him for His chastisement.   If He didn’t, how much more would we would go astray.  It would be bad for us and everyone around us.

We, as humans, even punish our dogs, knowing it is for their benefit.  To be sure, we chastise them when they run into the street, that is, unless we hate them and hope they get run over.  We punish our children when they decide to put their fingers on a hot stove or into the electrical outlet.  It is not because we hate them.  It is not because we take pleasure in it.  It is far easier to ignore them.

Through their childhood, we tell our children “No,” when they ask to do things that might lead to their harm.  Certainly, it is far easier to say yes and just hope for the best.

So, maybe, the next time you think God is punishing you, You just might say “Thank you.”  You might say, “I appreciate that.”  Conceivably, you just might even say, “I needed that.”  Even if you don’t mean it, it is still the right thing to do.  Eventually, it just might change your point of view.  It has already changed mine.

Two’s a Crowd

My wife and I had just sat down to eat.  We were in a fast food place.  I won’t mention any names.  It makes no difference anyway.

Suddenly, I was glad we didn’t arrive five minutes later.  Two busses pulled up.  Likely somewhere around a hundred or so people came pouring out of the buses and into the restaurant.

In this case, I say two is a crowd.  That is to say, two buses.

The thought came to mind; what if it were a hundred buses…5000 hungry people.  Just how long would it take for a McDonald’s or Burger King to feed a crowd like that?

Yet, Jesus fed 5000 and it likely didn’t take but around a half an hour.  When we read or hear of the biblical passage, most of us look at the miracle of the food quantity and few think about the logistics.

Yet the Bible makes it quite clear how Jesus did it.  He was very methodical about it.  First Jesus had the people sit in groups of fifty.  After blessing the food, He distributed it to His disciples.  Then, the disciples distributed the food to someone each group.  Finally, the food was distributed the food with the group.

You can do the math yourself.  Each disciple only needed to distribute to five or less groups.  (50 divided by 12 is less than 5)  It would only stand to reason that whoever received the food distributed the food to seven or eight groups within the group.

Slightly, hidden within the miracle is an important object lesson.  Jesus often refers to the Word of God as bread.  It only stands to reason that if we distribute it the same way as when Jesus fed the 5000, it would not take long before it would be distributed throughout the world.

I don’t know why, but God decided to use us to distribute the Gospel.  Unfortunately, we don’t do so good a job of it.  Certainly, I am more guilty than most.  It is just so easy to let the other person do it all.  Moreover, it is so easy to think of excuses.  I know.  I have as list as long as my arm.

The Problems with Tyrants

“From each according to his ability, to each according to each according to his need.”  Many attribute the above quote to the Bible.  It shows how little they know about the Bible.  It also shows that they don’t have much knowledge of history.  The quote is from Karl Marx in 1875.  It is part of his concept of communism.  It was part of his plan for world wide paradise.

Since then, it has been tried many times without success.  In the USSR it was tried, failed and then modified. The government that the Soviet Union lived under was not communism.  Quickly, they realized that true communism won’t work.

To fix the problem, they came up with a leader, a tyrant.  Then China tried communism and, again, they modified it.  They appointed a leader who was, believe it or not, a tyrant.  Cuba tried communism.  Again, their leader was a tyrant.

Have you noticed the pattern?  To make communism work, it takes a leader.  Invariably, the leader must be a tyrant.  Even then, it doesn’t work.  Central government doesn’t work.  It is horribly inefficient.  People make decisions who are inept.  (as an example, people in one location is oversupplied [resulting in spoiled food] while in other locations people starve.)  People who are lazy don’t work without taskmasters.  Why should they?  They don’t receive any reward for their efforts.  If they do nothing, they still get their share.  Finally, the tyrants ride in limos and private jets while the rest of the population walk or ride in horse carts.  The tyrants eat caviar while the public has a meager diet of beans and, if they are lucky, a little bread.

It is exactly what the dems complain about in the US. Yet most of us have healthy diets, a roof over our heads and even air-conditioning.  Then again, I guess there isn’t much need for air-conditioning in Moscow.

I guess that the communism might stand halfway succeed as capitalism if the leader were a good person.  The problem is that tyrants are tyrants.  The only people they think about are themselves and a small circle of those around them.  If you have any doubts about what I am writing about, ask those in North Korea.

Oh.  Yest that’s right.  You can’t.  The tyrant running the country won’t let you.

If someone tells you how wonderful socialism works, you might want to consider the above.  You might want to think about how well it is working in Venezuela (also ruled by a tyrant).  You might want to ask them to name one country where socialism works.

You might also think about how well Obama Care has worked here.  I’m not sure this country will ever recover from that one.  I know I won’t.

Outside Voter Influence

The Dems are all in an uproar over the Russians trying to influence our election.  First, it’s not new.  It is an effort that started with Stalin.

Second, they  are not the only ones.  The Chinese raised tariffs aimed at farmers that voted for Trump.  They haven’t said as much, but it is sort of obvious.  The Mexicans have been trying to retake the southwest every since the Alamo.  Moreover, it is no secret.  They said it publicly.

Actually, it’s not just the outside influence.  The Dems have been the main cheering section for first the Soviets, and now the Chinese.  They are helping the Mexicans every day and they don’t seem to care who knows it.

Those who call themselves journalists are right in there helping any foreigner they can find who will weaken the Republicans, even if it causes harm to the US.  They don’t much care what country they come from.

Personally, I believe it should be a felony to accept money from outside the United States in any election, I don’t care what country it comes from.  If it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, those using the funds should be thrown in prison and he should be removed from office.

I only wished it could be so for funds coming from other states as well.  I suspect that if our founding fathers foresaw such a possibility, they would have tried to put something in the constitution to disallow it.  After all, whey should multi-millionaires in New York or California have anything to say about what goes on in Alabama or Arkansas.  People in their own state ought to have their own say  It is sort of the reason they included the Tenth Amendment.

Many years ago, the Mississippi Assembly decided to make it legal to have gambling casinos.  There was one requirement.  They had to get the permission of the county by popular vote.  Twice, Desoto County voted it down.

There was, to say the least, a big battle that ensued prior to each vote.  Millions of dollars came in from out of state, mostly from Memphis.  (Now I ask you, is it right for people who live in Memphis to decide gambling in Desoto County?)  Some came from New York and some from other places.

Memphis, by default had the big guns in advertising.  They had three TV stations and I have no idea how many radio stations that broadcast into Desoto county.  Much of it was straight forward advertising, but much of it was personal opinion passed in something of a casual way by many of the anchors.  Their attitude was, why not vote to allow gambling.  It is the fix-all for everything.

Those that apposed the gambling had very little money.  They certainly couldn’t afford the TV adds and radio was expensive too.  Mostly, it was word of mouth, churches and a few small organizations.  I feared the outcome.  To me, it looked like they were just going steam roll in here and set up shop.

What really angered me was that the mayors and councilmen got in the act.  The school teachers were telling about how wonderful the gambling would be.  These people were supposed to be representing the people, but it was obvious they had no idea what the people wanted…or worse, they were self serving.

Those that were for the gambling outspent those against it by more than ten to one, yet it was defeated by two thirds of the voters.  They told the outsiders, “We don’t want it!  We don’t want any part of it!”

…and so it was that Tunica County got the gambling instead.  From my observance of how things went in Tunica, I am very happy we rejected it.  The gambling brought everything that we thought it would, crime, corruption and, very likely, organized crime.  By the way, it also resulted in the worst schools in the state  It was the exact opposite of the promise made by the casinos.  The state had to take over the schools because they became so bad.

I don’t know about others, but when outside money comes to my state, I will be very Leary.  I don’t like outside wealth telling me how to vote or what to vote for.  I would suggest that others do the same.  Educate yourself well and guard your vote carefully.  It is very important.

The Cookie Tree

When I was stationed over in Japan, I worked 12 hour days.  When I got home, I wanted to rest.  I had no desire to read to my sons, 6 and 2.  Yet my wife insisted on it.  She gave me a Sesame Street book and said, “Read it.”

So I did.  It was a little book.  I guess it was about 40 pages.  Pictures filled about half of each page.  Yet I had a very difficult time finishing it.  You see, the boys started laughing, which of course, caused me to laugh.  So needless to say, the progress was slow.

The book was about a witch that didn’t want the Cookie Monster getting her cookies off of her tree, the one that grew cookies.  So she cast a spell on the tree keeping anyone from getting the cookies.  To her dismay, she found out the spell worked so good she was unable to get any of the cookies either, no matter how hard she tugged at them.

Actually, that’s about all I remember of the book.  I’m not even sure of the ending.  This much I am sure of.  I should have read to the boys far more often.  It is one of my great regrets.  Maybe you can learn from it.  Maybe you can get your kids to put down their electronic games for a few minutes each day so that you can read to them.  They just might enjoy it more than the game and you might enjoy it more than they do.  Even as they get older, there are some good books to read to read to them.  (Lassie, Come Home was one of my favorites.  Johnnie Tremain was good too, and patriotic.)

Even more, it just might add to those nice memories you want to hold onto.  Maybe it will help you let go of the bad ones.

As a side note, you might take a lesson from the story about the witch.  You might not want to cast a spell on your cookie tree.

Drugs for the Terminally Ill

It’s about time.

It should have been done decades ago.

The only question I have is, how many lives has it costs by waiting so long?  Just how many lives would it have saved if it had been passed fifty or sixty years ago.  My guess is that there is no way of knowing.  My guess is that there are likely many who lost a loved one because of the ridiculous laws and rules set up by the lawyers, mostly for their own benefit.

Humans Acting Like Animals

In 1925, it became legal to teach evolution.  According to certain scientist, it became official, man descended from apes.  Darwin was right and God was wrong.  Henceforth, the schools no longer taught that man was a distinct creation of God.  It became laughable that man was created separate from the other animals.  It was no longer believable that God formed him from the dirt and breathed into him life.

So now, after many decades, we have learned that we are simply animals, as with the other creations that were made on the fifth day.  There is nothing that sets us apart, other than a few more brain cells and apposing thumbs.  …and, oh yes.  We have the ability to talk, write and, of course, read.

Why should we wonder why, when a high school student kills a bunch of students.  After all, as he has been taught, they are just a bunch of descendants from monkeys.  It is true that the young boys and girls had their lives cut short, but what harm has it done?  They are simply a higher form of animal life.  They have hardly any value.

Then too, why should anyone be expected to act morally, especially when there is no reward.  Indeed, why should a person do good when he seems to be punished for it?  If we are animals, why not act like animals?

I would suspect that a chimp would feel little remorse if he were to kill another animal, or even a human.  What makes us any different?

Maybe the scientist can tell us.  Then, of course there are those people that study the human mind and our emotions and behavior.  Maybe they can tell us why we shouldn’t just up and kill someone for stepping on our toe.  Such an act at least deserves a good punch or two, right in the nose.

Humans are said to be civilized and we don’t do that sort of thing.  Yet, in a way, even ants are civilized.  Moreover, they get along much better than we do.  I guess they aren’t smart enough to realize when they have been wronged.

Well, now the scientists have their way.  I have but two questions.  Is Darwinism better than Christianity?  Is the belief in evolution better than what Jesus taught us:  to love God and to love each other?  If the scientist ideas are so much better, than I guess we have taken some big leaps forward in our civilization.

So now we have humans acting like animals killing humans as if they are animals.