Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KISS and no makeup for soldiers

I have never been a big KISS fan and even less of a fan of frontman Gene Simmons but I have a new respect for him as he has a new respect for our troops. Some people may say he would only do it when the cameras are rolling but there is no denying he was different when he left than we he went in. Watch the video here...

Monday, May 28, 2007

My hero

I often hear people lament the lack of heroes in our world today and I understand their concern. Where did all the heroes go? In what era did they live and what did they do to deserve being labeled heroes? The dictionary defines a hero as a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. That definition certainly minimizes the impact of so-called "sports heroes", does it not? Maybe we call them heroes because we, as a society, are in desperate need of having someone to idolize. We realize the importance of someone showing us how to be better than average; better than we are naturally inclined to be.

I submit that we still have heroes today and they are all around us as well as many miles away. They will tell you that they are just doing their job or just following orders. They rarely go into detail about the things that have done or are doing that deserves them the label 'hero". They quietly show courage and nobility of purpose, risking and sacrificing their lives even today and from hundreds of years past. If anybody has ever deserved to be called a hero it is the American soldier. Who better to be idolized and emulated than our nation's fighting men and women, fighting around the world so we do not have to, either here or there. No matter what one's political views or ideas, one has to appreciate the courage and sacrifice that they show every day from door-to-door combat in Iraq to pushing a pencil in North Carolina or cooking meals in Japan. These heroes sacrifice more in a day than most us do in years and I and many others are very grateful.

I have several friends and family members that have served in the military, many volunteering very young and serving bravely in World War II, but one of my favorites is my good friend and hero Bud Elkins. Bud and his precious wife Dorothy go to my church and it is one of the highlights of a Sunday to see and talk to Bud. Bud was one who joined the military very early in life. He says he was just wanting to see the country and get out of his small Pennsylvania town but I recognize in him the natural patriotism that motivated many just like him to allow themselves to be taken to a foreign country away from friends and family to protect those friends and family when they were able to do so. Bud was sent to North Africa to serve on a B-24 Liberator airplane. He has told me stories of being very scared in the middle of heavy enemy artillery seeing planes and friends being blown out of the sky right next to him, wondering when would be his time, but while scared, continuing to do his job and doing it well. No brag - just fact. Just doing his job, he says.

I talked to Bud this morning, this Memorial Day morning. I called him and told him that I appreciated him and what he did many years ago in uniform and for the bravery that he still shows today as an elderly man with lots of aches and pains that he rarely mentions. We were both moved as he quickly shared some war memories that made me even more grateful for his service and for the fact that he is with us today. Bud has told me several times that he is no hero and he gets embarrassed when that honor is given to him but to me that is just more proof that Bud is a hero. He is my hero and I will forever be indebted to him. Thank you Bud!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You asked, Homer...



Happy birthday to The Duke

"Courage is being scared to death — but saddling up anyway."
John Wayne

John Wayne would have been 100 years old today.

John Bernard Books (The Shootist):
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."

Capt. Rockwell Torrey (In Harm's Way):
"All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be some place else."

Colonel Madden (Back to Bataan):
"This kind of war, you've gotta believe in what you're fighting for."

John T. Chance (Rio Bravo):
"Sorry don't get it done, Dude."

Friday, May 25, 2007

My ex-girlfriend

I've never been very good with the ladies. I don't know how I married my beautiful wife. This is a picture of me with my first girlfriend. We broke up because I couldn't afford to take her out to eat.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


If Mexicans will do the jobs Americans won't do, will they secure our borders?


I've been thinking alot about my mother lately. Mother's Day has come and gone and I never wrote here anything really about her. I make no claims about being any kind of writer but I enjoy expressing my opinions here and would love to write a long, beautiful tribute to my Mother that would really express my feelings for her. How do you do that? How do you put into writing what she has done for me and now my own family for so long? Do I love her? Of course. Do I appreciate her? I'm sure I do but I know I take a lot of things for granted. Is she perfect? Mmm, I'm sure she's not but she's doing better than most. My Mom is very gentle, generous, Godly, and caring. She's also the best listener and cook I have ever met. I'm glad when my kids get to be around her. I also wish you could meet her. I wish I had the words to express it all. Thank you, Mama, for all you have done.

Small amount of controversy won't kill us...

The question is: Can you be a Christian and be a Democrat?

Your response now please...

I appreciate this guy...

As one who feels passionately about the war and as a guy who cries way too easily, I appreciate Democratic Representative John Boehner for saying what he means with passion.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Are humans good or bad?

I received this response to my "Easing back into it" blog:

Read the first few chapters of Romans and then tell me that humans are basically good.

There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.
Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.
The poison of vipers is on their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Wow, I was not expecting this response at all, especially since these were my exact words,

"I still have faith in people in general and believe that there is good in everyone and I try to look for that good instead of always focusing on the negative."

To begin with, I never said I thought humans were basically good but what is interesting is that I do think humans are good even though that had nothing to do with my point in the original blog. Confused yet? You probably will be soon because to carry this out further, I believe this response was not only an incorrect reading of my blog but also an incorrect reading of the Bible. This passage from Romans 3:9-18 is taken in part from another passage in Psalms and should, like all passages, be taken in context. Without context, many passages can be used to justify almost anything.

I am far from being a Biblical or theological expert and I am not well-educated and I am not even very smart but I am a thinker and as I read this passage and the verses directly after it, I think that this speaks to God's incredible grace more than to our unworthiness of it. In fact, if one reads the two verses immediately following you see that only under the law are we considered to be evil and since we as Jesus-followers are not under the law but as the author Paul says so many times not just in this book but practically all of his other books included in the Bible, like this from Ephesians 2:8 and 9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

We are not under the law but under grace because Jesus died on the cross to pay the price it took to satisfy the cost of our sin. But because we all have that sin nature with which we are born and is a part of us as much as our own personalities in and of ourselves we are evil and that passage from verses nine to eighteen applies to everyone of us. So, in a nutshell, we are not righteous but are saved because of God's love for us anyway.

Now, back to the original blog. I never said anything about righteousness. Please understand the difference between my off-hand comment about there being good in everyone and about humans being righteous. I do believe that there is good in everyone and even though it was not my point, I also believe in a very general way, not Biblically or theologically necessarily, that people are good. Again, I may not be smart but I can see and what I see so many times is people reaching out to people. I see it in my church (you would hope you would see it there) but I also see it in on the news. Believe it or not I see people being good to other people on the news! Sorry, mainstream news stations but in spite of your negative reporting I saw people after 9/11 waiting in line to give blood. After the recent Virginia Tech massacre people from all over the world sent condolences and more to the families of the victims. It does not take a crisis of this nature to bring out the goodness in people either. What about all the people who volunteer in nursing homes or dog pounds or bring presents to orphans? The list is thankfully long of all the good things people do everyday and as I tend to be cynical sometimes I hope we all never forget it and continue to do our part.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not gonna work...

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to drive back through the little town in which I grew up. I drove past our old house, the church, and even my old kindergarten. I pulled into the parking lot of what is now an abandoned school and had memories come flooding back. The memory that made me laugh out loud was thinking about playing chase with the other kids in my class. I only played it one time as I remember. I decided to join in and chase the girls like the other boys were doing. It looked pretty easy. They did not run very fast and spent more energy giggling than running. I remember running and catching some girl right off and quickly formulated a plan in my little brain to become king of the playground. I would just catch the girls and put them all in one spot until all of them were captured and it would be obvious that I was the best chase-player. So, I led the first girl to the nearest tree and put her back against it and sternly told her to stay right there. This was going to be easy! I started off to get the next girl and as soon as I did the first girl just ran off giggling. She did not follow the rules even for a second! It finally dawned on me that none of the girls would follow the rules and this stupid game of chase was just anarchy! What was the point? I walked off the playground in disgust.

Yesterday Congress, Republicans and Democrats both, came together to put together a so-called comprehensive immigration plan. I have not read the document and at approximately six-hundred pages, the document will not be read by me or most other people that do not absolutely have to. Given the track record of previous immigration reform attempts, though, I do not have my hopes up about this one stopping the hemorrhaging into our country of illegal aliens. Supposedly, this would tighten our borders and put restrictions on who comes into our country and imposing fines and penalties on those already here. I am not an expert on this by any means but I do have eyes and I can see that our government has not enforced the laws that we already have on the books and the illegal aliens have no motivation for following the rules. Our borders have become a big playground with the giggling coming from the millions that run away from the law and cross into the United States. How much longer can we expect not to have anarchy?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

For Mothers Day

With Mothers Day coming up in just a few days, I am reminded of some words sung by the great balladist Jerry Jeff Walker who penned these lyrics years ago to pay homage to his mother.

M is for the mudflaps you give me for my pickup truck
O is for the Oil I put on my hair
T is for T-bird
H is for Haggard
E is for eggs, and
R is for REDNECK

Sniffle, sniffle...thinkin' of you Mama.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mrs. Overman, is that you?!

This comment is in response to my "Mayday" blog:

Waive or wave? Do not confuse the spelling of waive and wave, which sound similar. Waive is a verb meaning "surrender or refrain from enforcing something": She waived her right to remain silent. They decided to waive the restrictions. The related noun is spelled waiver. Wave is a noun and verb with various meanings, usually involving ridge-shaped or undulating motion, as in the waves of the ocean, radio waves, waved goodbye. The noun waver is unrelated to wave: it corresponds to the verb waver meaning "go back and forth between possibilities."
-- MSN Dictionary

This comment is from someone who says they are Your English Teacher. I assume this person must be Ida Overman from high school and it is so good to hear from her! I always liked Mrs. Overman! She was so sweet and she really tried to help me truly learn, not just pass tests. Mrs. Overman was very gentle and sweet-spirited and so I have to wonder if this is truly her making a comment on my blog. I think, though, that it must be someone else because not only did Mrs. Overman correct me lovingly but she also knew to write in complete sentences. So, Your English Teacher, I am glad you are there to keep me honest with my spelling. If you read more you will probably be very bizzy.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Evidently, some of the protests yesterday got out of hand and several people were hurt. What a shame that the police did not take that time to arrest them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Mayday: international distress signal used by ships and aircraft. How appropriate that illegal aliens would use this day May 1st, Mayday as they call it, to protest and demonstrate. All over the United States today thousands have gathered to march and waive banners and to waive flags of the United States and other countrys as well hoping to gain support for being illegal. How much longer before our great country is forced to scream, "Mayday, mayday!" in distress when people who have committed a crime are able to assemble and demand their rights? Am I missing something? Am I being insensitive? Look at it this way. What if next month all the baby-rapers marched in the street demanding their rights? Then next month the bank robbers waived their flags and said they wanted "justice". Too harsh of an analogy? Insert any criminal activity in the place of "baby-raper" and it is the same. Criminals forfeit their rights when they become criminals and crossing the United States border without showing proper identification is a crime.