Wednesday musings

"Noble defeat is not a winning strategy."

I finally broke down yesterday afternoon and went to the doctor about my 3-day "stomach bug." Finally, I'm almost over it.

I applaud Al Sharpton's effort to lose weight. Except now he looks like a walking, talking, race-baiting cadaver.

Al Gore keeps getting nuttier and nuttier. I don't know if its his age or the result of watching decades of catastrophic climate predictions fail to materialize. You can be sure of one thing. His next prediction, whatever it is, will be nuttier than the last.

More people die from cold than heat. Yet climate change hucksters want to make it colder in order to save lives.

The only way to defeat Donald Trump is to separate him from his base. That's the primary reason for all the #fakenews. And the #fakenews media have failed spectacularly. Like Al Gore, the more they fail, the nuttier they get. We're literally watching the #fakenews media drive themselves insane, with a little help from Mr. Trump, of course.

This would have been the year for a new Rush album. Their last 3 studio albums were released in 2002, 2007 and 2012. So 2017 was to be the next. Alas, there is no forthcoming Rush album. We have likely seen the last.

Whoever would have thought that Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary would be the new European hotspots? Honestly, I wouldn't mind going there myself. I'd love to see Warsaw, Prague and Budapest.

Have you ever noticed that when Democrats talk about human suffering in the wake of an ObamaCare repeal, it's only about the ones getting it for free? It's never about the families who can no longer afford to buy, can't afford to use or never wanted to buy health insurance in the first place.

President Trump says screw it, we're just going to let ObamaCare fail since the Senate doesn't want to repeal it. And the Democrats are squealing like stuck pigs. It's their baby, yet the onus is on President Trump to fix it? Nobody can fix ObamaCare. It was designed to fail.

Quote du jour

The Maha Rushie spent a good deal of yesterday's program taking apart liberal feminism. It was glorious from start to finish. There are many worthy quotes from his dissertation, but here's my favorite:

Now, what is it about all of those characteristics that the left despises? Who are these people that were white, male, able-bodied, that’s bad. See, able-bodied is bad, because not everybody is, it’s unfair. We should stop benefiting those who can take care of themselves, it’s not fair. It is actually discriminatory if you are self-reliant. If you’re able-bodied, if you’re able to do things, take care of yourself, you are discriminatory. And you are part of white heteromasculinity. Economically privileged, heterosexual, cisgendered. All of this, this defines normal!

If you are normal, you are bad for our culture. If you are white male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and know that you’re a man, if you’re a man, you are the problem.

Link

Republicans, what are they good for?

It appears that Senate Republicans no longer have the votes to repeal & replace ObamaCare. It might change. President Trump has a way of willing things to happen.

This is infuriating, because the Republicans routinely sent repeal bills over to Obama when he was president, so why can't they just send over the same bill now?

After nearly 7 years of promising us they'd repeal ObamaCare if given the chance, they still can't get it done.

In 2010, we gave them the House. They said they needed the Senate. So in 2014, we gave them the Senate. They said they needed the White House. We gave them that. And they still can't muster the will to repeal ObamaCare? (Forget the repeal & replace mantra, just repeal the behemoth and let's go back to the way it was before ObamaCare, back when Americans could still afford their insurance.)

If they fail now, it's totally on the GOP. President Trump campaigned on and won an election promising to repeal & replace. Clearly, this is something the voters want. ObamaCare has never been popular with the ones who actually have to pay for it. But too many Republicans are aligned with the establishment instead of the voters & taxpayers.

The only solution at this point is to primary these limp-wristed, spineless politicians next summer and do our part to drain the swamp. Replace these establishment-types with conservatives who will support the Trump agenda. Trump is our president and he's doing a fantastic job, but he still needs our help. Our work is not done.

Forced down time

Saturday evening I started feeling ill. I even got a nasty case of chills which lasted most of a sleepless night. It turned out to be a “stomach bug,” which I still have. The chills went away, but the rest of my symptoms have not.

Yesterday, other than going to church, I did nothing. Today, I’ve done next to nothing. I never do nothing or even next to nothing. I’m always doing something even when I’ve promised myself I would do nothing.

I have enjoyed this summer, but summer has so far involved a series of projects around the home. Even though my wife and I aren’t traveling anywhere this summer, I’ve taken no time off. Honestly, I don’t mind not going anywhere. We’ve taken at least one vacation a year for many years, and we even went to the Smoky Mountains back in April as sort of an early vacation. It actually feels good to not be going anywhere. We’ll take vacations again in the future, just not this summer.

If you own a home, you know there’s aways something to do. There’s never a time when you can honestly tell yourself you’ve done all that can be done. And that’s how it is with me. I’ve tried to be mindful to give myself one day a week of doing nothing, but it often doesn’t quite work out. I’ll pile up chores on one day so the next day can be a free day, but then I often find things to do on my free day.

So I went to church yesterday morning. I figured I could feel like crap at home or feel like crap at church. I have a volunteer position at church I enjoy. I operate a video camera. Fortunately, I’m isolated sitting atop my camera platform, so I don’t breathe germs on anyone. I figured it was safe. Then I came home and did nothing.

I watched part of a baseball game last evening, then shut my eyes before it was completely dark. I slept much better last night. I’ve slept some today. I’ve done a little reading. I listened to part of the Rush Limbaugh Show. I’ve ignored the clock for the most part. I still have the occasional stomach cramp. My appetite is almost non-existent (not the worst thing that could happen to me).

Today I called in sick for the first time this year. I’ve been blessed with good health these last several months. I don’t enjoy being ill. I guess no one does. But I’m not one to complain. I figure it will just have to run its course. It sure is taking its time. My running is on hiatus. I haven’t run since Friday, and don’t know when I’ll run again. I may not get in my requisite 50 miles this month. Oh well. It’s not the worst thing, either.

I don’t know if my illness was due in part to fatigue or something I ate or something I breathed or something else. I do know that your body sometimes has a way of forcing itself into a period of “down time.” Normally, I would not sit around and do nothing, even though doing nothing isn’t a bad thing. We don’t always have to be “productive.” There’s a reason God gave us the Sabbath and commanded us to do no work one day a week. I do honestly try to be mindful of that, but sometimes the Sabbath slips away from me. I guess I have only myself to blame.

Building blocks (2 Peter 1:11-12)

We have been looking at the concept of adding to our faith. Peter shows us what it looks like to not just be saved, but to also be growing in the faith. If we add the right things to our lives and subtract the wrong things, God will multiply our faith.

If we do not add to our faith, we will not be spiritually productive and might even come to doubt our faith. This doesn’t result in us losing our salvation, but will result in us falling away from the faith. So let us be less of what we are by nature, and more of what God wants us to be supernaturally.

The Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher in the entirety of the universe.

In verse 11, Peter writes that “an entrance shall be ministered unto you.” The word “ministered,” translated from the original, actually means “add to your faith.” In other words, you minister to yourself by adding to your faith. Then He will greatly minister to us.

When we leave this world for the eternal presence of God, how do we have an entrance? There are already mansions for us in the Father’s house. Christ has already prepared a place for us. He has given us an entrance that we could not have gained for ourselves. In other words, the Cross was His preparation for us.

If He had stayed dead, we’d all be doomed.

Lost people don’t grow spiritually. It’s not religion or baptism or good looks that provide the way.

1. The additions we make to our lives will be rewarded by a lavish reception into heaven. Once we die and enter into His presence, we will be abundantly ministered to. It will be the perfect presence of God — no disease, no pain, no complaining no conflict.

There will be three great surprises in heaven: who will be there, those who aren’t there, and that YOU get to be there. No matter what pain we suffer in this life, it is not comparable to the eternal glory of heaven.

There are 5 people (or groups of people) who will meet us at the reception when we get to heaven: our friends (who knew the gospel), family, heroes of the faith (great cloud of witnesses), the angelic hosts (declaration of the glory of God for all eternity), and God Himself. After all, heaven is really about God and only God. There is no end to the glory of our God. Keep adding to your faith, because when you get to heaven there will be a large ministry reception.

If you don’t know where you’ve been and you don’t know where you are, you sure won’t know where you’re going.

When you take hope away from humanity you get chaos. Atheism does not add hope to life.

2. It’s not enough to accept the truth, we must apply it. There is a big difference between acceptance and application. One of the great curses of modern Christianity is that we don’t apply the truths that we know to our lives, our marriages, etc. The Bible is a book of application. It is the application that we struggle with.

Three options for when your team is in the cellar

I have been a Phillies’ fan for 37 years. I jumped on their bandwagon when they were making their championship run back in 1980. I did not know any better at the time. But I have stayed with them ever since. We have had some good years together — two championships now! — and we have had some not so good years. This year might be their worst. At the moment, they are 29-59 and own the worst record in baseball. What is a fan to do when his team is the absolute worst? I figure there are three options.

1). Jump on someone else’s bandwagon. I’ve always had a disdain for bandwagon jumpers, because it requires no loyalty and no emotional investment. I’ve been with the Phillies for 37 years. I’m not going anywhere.

2). Take it seriously and go insane. No thanks. Sports isn’t worth my sanity.

3). Find humor in futility and make self-deprecating jokes for comic relief. This is where I am this year.

Words

surrey (n.) — a light four-wheeled carriage with two seats facing forward

tenable (adj.) — able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection

diffident (adj.) — modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence

perfidy (n.) — deceitfulness; untrustworthiness

disconcert (v.) — disturb the composure of; unsettle

supplicate (v.) — ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly

expositor (n.) — a person or thing that explains complicated ideas or theories

impute (v.) — represent (something, especially something undesirable) as being done, caused, or possessed by someone; attribute

waif (n.) — a person, especially a child, who has no home or friends

junta (n.) — a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force

contratemps (n.) — a minor dispute or disagreement

mossback (n.) — an old-fashioned or extremely conservative person

plebiscite (n.) — the direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution

circumlocution (n.) — the use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive

Observations

It’s not that people can’t read. It’s just that some choose not to.

I’m always wary of those who find a certain nobility in always speaking their minds. If your mind is full of foolishness, then you’ll reveal yourself to be a fool.

Some individuals just seem unable to make a point without being belligerent.

If you feel an inclination to invite yourself, please understand there is a reason you weren’t invited. It’s likely not an oversight.

Don’t presume to know the truth about someone or some circumstance. Truth is often a difficult thing to know. Sometimes the truth is simply unknowable.

It’s okay to walk in through the out door. You don’t have to march to an arbitrary beat.

I try my best to avoid beginning with sentences with the words, “You should.”

“I don’t want to” is a legitimate reason. We tend to make up excuses rather than just saying “no.”

It is still perfectly acceptable in 2017 to live your life in private. You don’t have to vomit every aspect of your life on social media. A little mystery is a good thing. A lot of mystery is even better.

There is a reason why some couples don’t have children. It is not your duty to pry. The truth might be incredibly painful.

Don’t be so quick to put down other people’s work. Maybe it’s not important to you, but it sure might be important to that person.

There is a better-than-average chance that the person you think is well off is actually up to his eyeballs in debt. The ability to swipe a credit card should never be mistaken for affluence.

Just once, I’d like to hear someone say, “Of course it’s about the money.”

Maybe your best isn’t very good by the world’s standards. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m not that interested in hearing your telephone conversation.

I grew up listening to 80’s music. But as a general rule, I have found 90’s music to be superior. Something seems to have gone wrong in the 80’s.

Bill Clinton’s single greatest act of diplomacy was convincing Fleetwood Mac to reunite for the 1992 Democrat convention.

Thinking about the AT

I have a sort of fascination with the Appalachian Trail, and especially with the individuals who hike or have hiked the Appalachian Trail. Perhaps this is something I can someday do myself, but I would need a good five months. So it isn’t in the works anytime soon. I can’t just walk away and hike the AT right now. I have read a veritable stack of books written by or about those who have hiked the AT, and a few by those who have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which is even longer than the Appalachian Trail. In the interim, I’ll often go over to trailjournals.com and read blog posts of those who are currently on their hikes. Most interesting are the anecdotes, what they are seeing, experiencing, thinking, feeling. What motivates them? What causes so many of them to quit? What is it like to be completely autonomous as s hiker, carrying everything you need on your back? How do they leave one life and take up a new one on the AT? And so on…

Monday musings

We just got Windows 10 on our PC’s at work. I think this was supposed to excite us. I’m not impressed at all. Windows 10 is still Windows. It is beneath me.

I’m thinking of going for a run during the solar eclipse next month.

The mighty Phillies are on pace to finish the 2017 season with a 54-108 record.

The Memphis Tigers’ first football game is August 31, which is next month.

I am currently reading the first of a three-volume biography of Richard Nixon by Stephen Ambrose. It is a fabulous read.

Honestly, I am enjoying not going anywhere this summer. I’ve had a splendid time just working and being at home. The trick is to create a life for yourself that you don’t need to escape from.

A co-worker will sometimes bring donuts to the office. I don’t partake. When asked, I tell them I only eat donuts from Gibson’s. They ask where that is. It’s in Memphis.

My old dormitory at the University of Memphis is now a parking lot. The parking lot of my old dormitory is now a new dormitory.

Being a bandwagon fan has to be expensive, always having to buy new gear to support the latest champion.

I love summer, but summer is not the time you want to be breaking record high temperatures. That’s what you want to be doing in winter.