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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Coming back into the sunshine

I think I did a pretty good job of trying to give those with liberal leanings on social media a fair turn.  I've invited questions and answered.  I have tried hard to wean myself from treating them all like trolls, tried to hear their sides.  And I might have agreed on a few things with them, if not for...

I wasted a weekend discussing with two of them about how telling CNN, "I don't want to talk to you", is the blade's opposite side in a free speech, free press world.  You can report what you want; I simply don't have to share anything with you if you're going to pervert it all.  But, my debaters were sure, that this constitutes censorship, and makes the person unwilling to speak a Nazi.  Yes, the high crime of insulting CNN is the same as the crime of nearly wiping a continent off the map.

Oh, but Hitler didn't start out killing people, I was told.  As if you can parse evil like that into more easily digestible bits to use at your convenience.  Never once stopping to think that, while they claim that their version of "never again" includes extreme diligence in this regard, that they are falling for the same fear mongering hate that caused Germany to sit back and let Hitler do what he did.

This is what bugs me.  It's not about policies.  For example, the convo came back to the refugee ban.  I tried to explain that it wasn't a religious ban, because it included 7 nations without responsible governments.  Which was turned around with the concept that it was STILL a Muslim ban because there were no non-Muslim nations on the list.  Oh, and it was only nations that DIDN'T have dealings with the President.  So which is it?

Or how about the one where the MSM is now CONSERVATIVE.  When I pointed out that Fox stands virtually alone on broadcast news against CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and the other three broadcast networks, the reply was, "But Fox out draws them all, so it's a conservative mainstream media."  Well, dude, there's a REASON Fox outdraws them all- and it's the same reason why ESPN and the NFL are losing viewers.  It's called liberal bias, and a lot of the nation is sick of it.

But the final straw for me wasn't that.  Nor the barrage that I got on twitter of "What would Jesus do" posts- and without trying to be anti-semitic, it was a man of the Jewish persuasion trying to lecture me on my Lord.  No, the final straw for me was a man that I so recently respected as a decent human being and thoughtful debater retweeted some idiot post about Melania Trump's past.  To which I replied that this just proves the point- that for a lot of liberals, this has nothing to do with policies, or what's good for this nation, but just destroying anything that disagrees with their position.

His answer?  "Oh, well."

Let that sink in.  An admitting that it has nothing to do with anything but hate for what disagrees with it.  This kind of liberalism, so prevalent in Hollywood, in the MSM, on social media, is nothing but a rancid, sucking cancer that knows nothing but class hate and how to destroy.

And I am cutting it out of my life.

I don't need your cancer. I can well decide myself on what is right or wrong, evil or good.  And I'm done trying to point out to you when you're making valid points and when you're making a jackass of yourself.

I'm coming into the world of sunshine, a world where I don't have to spend my waking hours spreading paranoia and hate and the destruction of lives.  I'm going to celebrate the great things happening in our nation, and when necessary I'll hold the government I voted for to the fire.  Prolly a lot more now that I'm not wasting my time on those who only sneer behind my back anyway.

So, enjoy your humorless humor, your pointless fears, your tired insults.  I'm gonna sing in the sunshine.  Who wants to come along?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pictures are back... here's what you missed the last few days...

Can you believe, a first flower sighting on February 20th?

Redwings and robins at play

All kind of birds out that day.  Woodies...

...and nikes...

Day to sit out back.
Scrappy parties with the neighbor's doggie...

Too fast to be captured on camera, BUT when mom said it was time to go, he comes to ME begging me to let him stay, lol!

Later in the week, the Bluebirds of happiness make their return...

Sunday, Grandma Laurie goes to visit Peanut

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Message: a quick look at heaven

After last week's rather long soliloquy, I wanted to make this one a lot shorter, even though it was one of the most profound "duh" moments God ever let me to.  I was listening to David Jeremiah as he was discussing the concept some people have about heaven being "boring".

Now to a point, I can see how some people might think that way.  What are we going to be doing?  Sometimes one gets into a pattern of thought that thinks, "We'll be in like an everlasting Church service", with singing praises and worshipping, throwing down our crowns, etc.  To the mortal mind, you tell yourself, this seems like it will be a bit repetitive.  But wait just a minute.

Jeremiah could have just said, "Yeah, but you'll be in heaven, with this glorified body and mind, and it will seem a lot different."  That's what I always said to myself as I swept the topic into the "you'll figure it out when you get there" category.  But he didn't.  Paraphrasing as close as I can from memory.  "Do you really think the SAME God who gave you taste buds to enjoy all the flavors of the mortal world, eyes to see the beautiful things He created, ears to appreciate the music, the sensory system to feel all of the things you touch and feel and savor, saved the best of these for the MORTAL world?"

Think about that.  The best of everything we tasted, touched, and saw in this life, pumped to the Nth degree!  With new eyes and new mind to appreciate it all- PLUS God is RIGHT THERE!!??!!

And besides, we aren't always going to be before the throne worshipping, I don't think.  Jesus said, "In My Father's House, there are many mansions, and I go to prepare a place FOR YOU."  He did NOT say, "In My Father's Cathedral there are many pews, do not fear that you will have to sit next to a guy with gas for eternity."

It's gonna per personal.  It's gonna be wonderful.  And all the bills are paid!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Lipitor Post

So as you may have noticed on Time Machine, I have been put on Lipitor.  Why, you might ask?  Well, my recent blood work had my triglycerides about 56% higher than they are supposed to be.  And last night (Thursday night) I decided to look into the things you should avoid if you have been bad enough to warrant Lipitor.  Now, I just looked at "cholesterol" and not "triglycerides", so I may be completely full of it, and we'll look at that a bit later on in the post.  But...  I found this page on something called TheStreet listing "15 foods you should avoid if you have high cholesterol.  And it was not pretty for me.  Here they are, with their current status in my diet and possibility of cutting them out of said diet.

LIVER.  Can't stand liver, this is no problem.  Next?

MUFFINS, baked at home with whole milk and eggs.  Unpleasant, but still not a big deal.  Looking good so far.

MARGARINE.  Our first deal breaker.  Although, I found another site that claimed some margarines are actually good- perhaps as compared to butter.  I would say this is a 5-10 percenter.

MICROWAVE POPCORN, loaded with salt and butter.  Not all that big a popcorn guy, so this again is a dealable thing.

COMMERCIAL BAKED GOODS, like cake and cookies.  This is a real tooth gritter, although I have actually already cut out such things considerably.  I'm beginning to see the list as "if it really helped to cut this, why do I need the Lipitor?"  But the fun's about to begin.

SHELLFISH, including lobster, which is a pain but only a special occasion thing.  Still relatively good.

MACARONI AND CHEESE.  This is in the "not gonna happen" category.  While I have been pretty good at limiting pasta to whole grain, don't ask me not to add as much cheese as feasible to it.  A good 5% er here.

HAMBURGERS.  The chances of me giving up cheeseburgers are roughly the same as the odds of hitting Powerball.  This is about 15% of diet level.

FRIED CHICKEN.  Not a huge dent, but I'm not skipping it when presented.

FRENCH FRIES.  See Hamburger.  In fact, just don't bring up anything to do with any form of potato.

CREAM CHEESE.  This is something I'm only beginning to explore.  Already lobbying Laurie to make more of those cheesecake-oreo things that she whipped up for Christmas.  Not a significant level item here... yet.

ICE CREAM.  The article led this one with the comment, "This one might sting a little."  Yeah, that boat sailed previously.  Ice cream has been a way-cut down ever since I got the "sugar lecture", and unless I ever find a sugar-free ice cream in my grocer's freezer, not a big deal.

EGG YOLKS.  Somebody at work suggested I could do the egg substitutes.  My answer: "I am NOT eating FAKE EGGS."  I may look into this, though, as a token effort.  I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

BUTTER.  First margarine, now butter.  JUST WTH AM I SUPPOSED TO USE???  Okay, guys, choose one.  Both is not occurring.  Not in this life nor the next.


They go on to add to this last one:

Healthy alternatives to red meat include vegetable proteins, like beans, chicken (not fried), and fish, such as salmon, which is high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, the AHA says.

"Vegetable Proteins".    I eat lots of beans, and salmon- although I CAN'T make patties anymore since I use eggs.  But I go on to look up vegetable proteins, and here's the suggested list:

Peas, spinach, kale, broccoli, sprouts, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, asparagus, and corn.  Now peas I can swallow whole in moderation; spinach I've learned to put up with in certain dishes, love mushrooms.  I think I have prolly had kale in salads but wouldn't know it unless it jumps out of the bowl and slapped me.  Asparagus brings up the whole pee thing from last MWN, corn I was told to cut down because of the diabetes thing, and I would rather drop dead than eat the rest of this list.  All in all, there is not much hope of me surviving on a "vegetable protein"-centric diet.

So we look up triglycerides and what to cut, and WebMD says-

Cut the starchy veggies- like PEAS and CORN.  So much for the vegetable protein.

Baked beans with sugar or pork.  And there goes the fiber.

Small portions of fruit.  No prob there, I'm well under their fruit limit.

Alcohol.  Can't even drink the blues away.

Canned fish packed in oil.  What?  My sardines now?

Coconut.  ABSOLUTELY no problem there, I can't stand the stuff.

Cutting servings on starchy food.  They say, " A serving is a slice of bread, 1/3 cup of rice or pasta, or half a cup of potatoes or cooked oatmeal."  At those rates, that recommendation better be "per hour".

Sugary drinks.  BUSTED!

Honey or maple syrup.  HAH! Gotcha!  Already switched to Truvia nectar and sugar free syrup.

Baked goods (with a side of bitching about butter in the article.  Covered this already.

Fat meats.  "You don't have to give up meat completely. But consider choosing leaner cuts. Also, avoid all processed meats, including bacon, sausage, and ham".  Bacon?  Really?  And this article wasn't banned in America?

Butter or Margarine.  This again?  They suggest olive oil as a replacement in cooking, but how do you spread that on toast?  Bright side?  We already use margarine made with olive oil, so screw you.


Long story short, I'm gonna continue to watch the things that I have been watching- many of which I have gotten lazy about of late- and cheerfully go on with my day.  When I looked into what I needed to do to control sugar and sodium several months back, I made an emotional wreck of myself.  THIS CRAP IS NOT WORTH IT.  That may sound bad, but I am not going to worry myself into a hole about it.  I ain't got that much life left, and I intend to spend it moderately enjoying it, not starving to death as they slowly add to the list of stuff I can't eat until I end up licking rocks.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Time Machine Co-ordinates VIX41722476

Today, I start Lipitor, and moments before starting today's post, I decided to look at the dos and don'ts.  I quickly ascertained that 90% of my current diet is a no-no, and I am expected to live on salmon patties and nuts.

So we hop in the Tardis and escape to 1976, where today the RIAA issued it's first spanking-new platinum record award for 1,000,000 copies sold.  Now, it doesn't mean it was the first million seller, just the first since they made up this new category.  And who wins the first one?

Why, the first vinyl album I ever bought myself- the first volume of Eagles Greatest Hits.  This disc went on to be the 2nd most platinumed (word?) lp ever, right behind Thriller.  And its winning it today is very ironic, as you will see when we get to the 6D.

Welcome to this week's Time Machine, and if my heart attack holds off long enough, we will see- the man who was replaced by his band- with a dog;  we will find out when a "bride" is actually a "bridesmaid"; a Panel contender with one version of a song- and a one-vote wonder with another; and for the first time, our #76 in '76 turns out to be a hit tune on the way down!  Come on in and let's Fly Like An Eagle!


This week we had 30 stations deliver us 14 candidates for next week's president, including:

Eric Carmen's All By Myself, which was #3 on Cashbox this week;
Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody, currently #24 and climbing;
Neil Sedaka and the slow version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, #33 and dropping;
Aerosmith at #16 with Dream On;
Gary Wright at #8 with Dream Weaver;
Paul Simon counting down the Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover at #4;
The Miracles with Love Machine at #2;
The Bay City Rollers with Money Honey at #18;
The Four Seasons, who seem to make every candidate list, with Oh, What A Night (December '63) at #14;

***NOTICE:  Actually Chris's memory, like his chin, is a little fuzzy.  The Four Seasons have actually made, with this week, 3 out of 11 of the candidate lists.***

Whatever.  Next is Dr Hook with Only 16, the CB #27 this week.

Then come two versions of the Theme From SWAT- the American version by Rhythm Heritage, and a Canadian version by the THP Orchestra.  The first was #1 in the US of A this week; the other was #1 in the Great White North.
Rufus and Chaka Khan with Sweet Thing, at #15;
And finally, Hot Chocolate (which is still on the list of things I can have, apparently) with You Sexy Thing at #17.

And to help you out with your guess this week, I'll eliminate the one-vote wonders.  Please select from Gary Wright, Eric Carmen, Rhythm Heritage, the Miracles, and the Four Seasons.


Next up, our only debut on the M10 this week, took it's time getting here- it is the OLDEST song on the M10 shuffle list from time I added it.  It is from a Maryland  band called Go Cozy, with Puerto Rican born vocalist Homero Salazar Andrujovich.  Their tune is called Silver Lining, and it comes in at #9:


At this point, I'd like to bring out this week's President, Rod Stewart, to give us some words of wisdom to kick off the UK feature.  Rod?

I deliberate over the lyrics; I really do. I'll come up with one line in a day, and then it might be a couple of days before I come up with the rhyming line. It's never been easy for me. 

That would tend to explain lines like "Ain't Love A Bitch", then.  Jo-Anne commented that she never found you particularly sexy.  Do you have anything to say to that?

I was never a good-looking bloke. Not by a long chalk. 

Yeah, but you and Mick Jagger were never hard up for action.  What was your secret?

My life has been an open book, really. Everybody knows everything about me.

Okay, well, let's get at it.  If you please...

Certainly.  Once again we have the number one song taking the "Highest UK song on the US chart this week, with those dastardly Four Seasons and Oh, What A Night.  The highest song on your chart that charted here was  Love Machine, which we had at #14.  That about cover it?

Yep, thanks for stopping by and thank you for a successful term as President.

I see myself at 7:30 in the morning and it's not too pretty.* 

*With the exception of the chart data, for a change I used all real quotes from Rod courtesy BrainyQuote.

This 6D is kinda gonna be mixed up.  First off the song, in an ironic twist vis-a-vis the lead in, was Take It To The Limit by the Eagles, which sat at #5 on Cashbox but got boned by the Panel.  The singer and co-writer was Randy Meisner.  And this song led to Randy leaving the Eagles.  You see, Don Henley considered this song a must-play at every concert.  Meisner, though was getting more concerned as time went on about his ability to hit the high notes it required.  One night it led to a big fight between the two, and that was the end of that.  But it wasn't the only time something like this happened to Meisner.  You see, back in the day, he was a founding member of Poco with Jim Messina and Richie Furay.  But as they completed that 1st lp, Meisner grew disenchanted with the control that Furay and Messina had over the band, and he quit just after it was to be released.  The lp cover was already designed, the lp recorded.  So they cut out and re-recorded his lead vocals, left his background vocals in uncredited (I believe), and replaced his picture on the cover...

See the dog?  That's where Meisner HAD been...


About a month after peaking at #8, David Ruffin's Walk Away From Love was our #76 in '76 this week.  It was one of the few bright spots in the drug-ravaged career of the former Temptation.


And now, the M10.

Drug Cabin holds at #10 with Wiggle Room, finding precious little of it on the chart.

You heard #9;  POWERS slips to #8 with Dance.

Castlecomer adds themselves to the list of acts that have reversed course on the chart, going back up to #7 with If I Could Be Like You.

And next week maybe Colony House will join them.  But this week, they slip to #6 with You And I.

The Pretenders (PretendER?) move up a pair to #5 with Let's Get Lost.

Foxygen slips to #4 with their 3-week #1, Follow The Leader.

I like a song that knows where it wants to be.  And the Orwells want to be at #3 with Black Francis, and they sit their for the 3rd straight week.

Roaring up into the runner up spot is Chicano Batman with Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm).

And at the top?  M10 says...

...Sweet with the Peppermint Twist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And here is where that whole bridesmaid thing comes in.  A few weeks back, I speculated it might have a chance to tie that "most weeks on the chart for a record that peaked at #3" record, but they blew that last week.  Then I speculated they might tie that record for most weeks taken to get to #1, but they blew that too.  So instead, this is not only the SECOND longest time taken to hit #1, the SECOND cover of a big hit to make #1 (Gimme Shelter just beat it), but it is also the second OLDEST song to make the M10 #1 at 1974.  Always the bridesmaid- but the bride where it counted.

And the Panel winner, with 33% of the vote?

...Rhythm Heritage with the SWAT Theme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe their first act as POTUS here will be to teach me how to spell Rhythm right the first time!  Meanwhile, tune in next time for.... 1978!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Trump progress report

So for a few days you won't be seeing new pictures from me.  I believe yet another USB cable has assumed room temperature, but I won't know until I pick one up.  In the meantime, I'm going to do a bit of "fair and balanced" thoughts on President Trump.

Has he done a good job?  People, he hasn't been on the job that long.  Congress has been too busy pissing over his appointees to work on any of his legislation.  And let's face it, much of what has happened thus far has been good-looking show.  But because I have been defending him against pointless attacks from people who just hate- with a little debate with people with actual real, thinking opinions thrown in- I haven't been able to look at things as perhaps I would have normally.  I'm going to try to bring up some of these things now.

First, let's get the Swedish thing off the table.  I have heard this described as the blundering statement of a semi-deranged mind.  I have heard it described as a stroke of genius in forcing thinking people to look at just what Sweden is hiding.  Are they hiding something?  Well, if you hit places like Sweden's security services website, you'll find the threat of terrorism poo-pooed.  Or statistics that show that Sweden's crime rate hasn't blossomed despite taking on more immigrants per capita than most anyone. (Which is a controversial subject not on tonight's schedule.)  But if you weed out all the articles that Google so kindly attach Trump's name to, you find a LOT of articles from 2014-6 talking about an ever-increasing terrorist threat, and that Sweden had heretofore been "naive" about the terrorist threat.  Even saw one guy posting on a FB thread claiming he was from Sweden and that Swedish media was bending over backwards in cooperation with the government to keep the fact that Sweden is just as messed up by immigrant crime as the rest of Europe.  Can I prove that? No.  But sometimes when you find NOTHING, it's because someone's got a cloaking field up.

As for Trump's part?  It is really hard to tell, because so much of the things he claims become real battles to back up.  In the end, a way is found to 'back them up', but when you are busily trying to eviscerate the media on false stories, one should try to tell the provable truth.  Especially when you know you have a "reporter" waiting to trap you and yours on some picadillo around every corner.

How about that war on the media?  Actually, like Rush Limbaugh says, this is brilliant strategy.  With the MSM so virulently against him, he has little other course open to him that will work.  Fortunately for him the ones calling him a blundering liar are fairly easily proven to be blundering liars themselves, so I think on that level the MSM has finally got the government they deserve.

One thing I have been way behind on my take on is his appointments.  Most of the people in his cabinet I have had no problem with.  I have found MOST (not all) attacks against them petty and ineffectual, even ironic- the idea of criticizing Ben Carson as HUD sec on the basis of "experience" is especially laughable considering he has more experience for THAT job than our previous President had for HIS job.  Betsy DeVos I would have to classify as "a different matter altogether", but I can't imagine she'll do any more damage to her department than Loretta Lynch did to hers.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to have substantive  discussions about any of them since the left has been so busy attacking them as "racist", "homophobic", "Islamophobic", or "in bed with the Russians".  At worst, we have had charges stick of doing the job before you are confirmed, and not knowing proper grizzly protection etiquette in Montana schools.

I'm still waiting for the left to begin their assault on "all the military guys Trump's appointing" and how it shows he's setting up a military dictatorship.  Of course, I've been dropped as a friend by the one person who consistently tried to compare Trump to Hitler (and being Jewish, she shoulda been damn ashamed of herself), so maybe it has started and my friends haven't started poking fun at it on their timelines yet.  Me?  I'm thinking maybe if we'd have had a few more good military men in the LAST administration, Chris Stevens et al would still be alive.  Yes, I know, supposedly Trump had a copy of Mein Kampf, but guess what?  It's in the top 3,000 books on Amazon, so he ain't exactly alone.

Finally, as I'm typing this last night and it's getting close to bedtime, the Twitter thing.  Here's my take on this.  Bill Clinton went on Jimmy Kimmel and played sax while POTUS.  Obama did an interview on some d-list YouTube show.  And you want me to say Trump is undermining the dignity of the office?  Buddy, that boat sailed.  Do I think it's the most intelligent way to do things?  Sometimes.  I think he needs to edit his posts and choose his battles better.  But it's sound strategy in this day and age.

In closing, I'd have to say I usually be more in the "making a good start" category than the "let me boot him right in the ass" one- somedays it's about a 60-40 split, some a little higher.  But I'm not hopeful because of my blind allegiance to an agenda.  I'm hopeful because I want to see a better, more prosperous, united America that takes care of its own- and does it first.  If that makes me a Nazi, well, you and I have different ideas on the subject of evil.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekend catch-up

What a wonderful weekend weather-wise.  Ol' Scrappy and I logged close to 8 miles, and the sunshine seems to help him tons.

Morning doves, kings of the road...

"Am I near-sighted, or are you the most beautiful hen I ever... no, near-sighted.  You're a stick."

And there you have it- utility work on the trail is so unpopular, it says, "No support" right on their structures

For some reason, they've put a nice long boardwalk in between two of the tower structures.  Guessing they don't trust the eroding river side of the trail there.

Redwings were singing all over Saturday morning.

Ducks lifting off

Scrappy investigates a new element, called straw

And inspects the heavy equipment
And, an obligatory stop at the (soon-to-be) Green Hole.

At the duck pond

That night, former co-worker Robin got us together for the second year at the VFW Valentine dinner and dance...

Music actually by the Junk Yard Band

But if you zoom in, the singer looked like Jack Nicholson, and the white haired dude dancing was a good facsimile of Frankie Valli.

And Robin's guy was a Bill Clinton ringer.

Chris:  "Do something Clinton would do!  Grab her ass!"

Left to right:  Jack Nicholson, lovely current co-worker Celeste, yours truly in Dent May attire trying to dance, Bill Clinton who can twist like you would not believe.

Celeste and Ron

I guess I should mention that a) "Bill Clinton's" actual name is Dan, and b) he's not a pervert like Bill so Celeste was never in any danger.

$10  of 50/50 tickets shot up the butt as usual, might as well build a house with them...


This lady was the life of the party.  I'm guessing she had a couple of decades on me, but she danced nearly every fast song, and even drug my butt out there once!

And now, the pics I stole from Robin...

They had these new "experimental shots" called Tainted Love.  Grenadine, some kind of strawberry tequila stuff, and Bailey's.  Darn good.

Robin and Dan

Y'know, I never knew that heart was up there until I saw the picture...

Whatever it was, it was damn funny

One more time, Frankie and Jack

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Message - a right way and a wrong way to do right

This week I was approaching the end of 2 Chronicles and the interesting differences between the last two Kings of Judah "who walked in the way of their father David."  That would be Hezekiah and Josiah.  They were both great religious reformers, Hezekiah repairing the damage done by his father Ahaz, and Josiah trying to overcome nearly 60 years of religious persecution and idolatry from his grandfather Manasseh and father Amon.  But while they both sought the Lord with their whole heart, the way that they differed in getting there is fascinating and instructive.

Hezekiah started off right at the beginning, and he did things by the numbers.  His first act was to "Open the doors of the Temple of the Lord", which Ahaz had closed up.  This to me is intensely symbolic;  if we want to get our lives right with God, the first thing we have to do is OPEN THE DOORS to Him.   And his next steps were right on line with this- he ordered the priests to re-sanctify the Temple.  This took three forms:  First, cleanse the altars and other things of the Temple, as Ahaz had used what he had used to sacrifice to false gods.  Second, "Clean out the debris" in the Temple.  Third, take the holy things that Ahaz had cast aside in his sin and re-dedicate them.

Application time:  After opening the doors of one's "temple", or heart, to God, then one must re-sanctify himself.  What are your idols, things more important than God?  Then take out the debris- what are the things that, while not per se idols, clutter up your way and take up time you need to give TO God?  And third, what are the holy things you USED to do, but time and being busy and thoughtless have deleted from your daily life?  Keep in mind, you can't accomplish any of the three until you open those doors to God; this will become important when we get to Josiah's part in the story.

Step three for Hezekiah was to worship God properly.  That meant the priests and Levites readying themselves for a renewed celebration of their most holy day, Passover.  And Hezekiah made sure that everything was done by the book:  The priests had to get busy and sanctify themselves ( the run of the mill Levites were doing great at this, but the priests, who were Levites assigned to the special functions, were dragging and needed a good boot to do their job).  The people were INVITED (also key when we get to Josiah), even those of the other Kingdom Israel- though most of them just laughed at the messengers, sadly.  He even put off the actual celebration for a month, because the priests weren't ready in enough numbers.  EVERYTHING he checked with God before doing, that it would be blessed.  And in the end, the Lord heard them- and HEALED them.  It became the biggest Passover since Solomon almost 400 years before- so big, in fact, they asked the Lord to extend it to two weeks instead of one!

Application:  So you've let God in, and you've prepared yourself.  Next is WORSHIP, worship that puts God first.  With the proper reverence, and the proper ministry (Hezekiah tried to unite all the sons of Jacob to join in).

And it is in the part of putting God first that Josiah wasn't QUITE as good.  75 years after Hezekiah's Passover, Josiah became an 8-year-old King.  At 16 he gave himself to the Lord, but he attacked reform a different way.  He spent the next ten years rooting the idols out of every bit of the area (including the remains of Israel, which had been destroyed by Assyria in the meantime)- a task that Hezekiah didn't worry about until AFTER the Passover.  Then he ordered the cleaning of the Temple- again- and it was during that cleaning that the workers found the book of Mosaic Law that the priests had hidden from Manasseh and Amon for sixty years.

Application:  Josiah had his heart in the right place, but he was young and headstrong, and went after the SYMPTOMS, the outward signs of the problem before working on the disease.  Where Hezekiah's every act put God first, Josiah's put the outward signs first.  Do you need to quit drinking?  Looking at porn? Cussing every other word?  Fine goals, but meaningless unless you have gotten the crap out of your Temple which leads you to them in the FIRST place.

So they bring the book to Josiah, and he rips his clothes when he reads the curses about to come upon the people because of their past debauchery.  Hezekiah, at this point, would have been praying to God himself, seeking absolution for the people, as he indeed did.  Josiah, while he knew things looked bad, wondered how bad it was.  Instead of praying himself, he ordered a court prophetess to tell him what was going on.  And She let him know-  Judah was as doomed as Israel- and soon.   Because of his own faith, he would not live to see it, but after he died, all bets would be off.

Thinking there had to be something to do, he too decided to celebrate a Passover- the biggest the world had ever seen.  The story says it was bigger than any since the time of Samuel, that NO King had ever had such a Passover, even Hezekiah.  But I'm thinking that this was NOT done with the care Hezekiah showed.  It was not accompanied by the sanctifications, the invitations- and it was NOT accompanied by putting God first.  And where, at the end of Hezekiah's Passover, God healed the people, here He did no such thing.  Hezekiah saved a generation; Josiah saved himself.

Application:  How do your morning prayers run?  I thought about this- how do my prayers in the morning put God first, other than chronologically.  Half my time is spent in, "I'm sorry for MY sin, thank You for saving ME", and the other half is, "Lord please bless THEM, please work Your will in THEIR lives.  Like Josiah, all noble and aspiring things.  Unlike Hezekiah, none of them put God first.

The final thing for each of these things is that BOTH of them had a bad faith/political ending.  For Hezekiah the obedient, who put God first in all things and was blessed- well, he let pride creep in.  He tried to show himself as a big man and worthwhile ally to the servants of that historical cretin Merodach-Baladin of Babylon (a usurper who would end his life in hiding in the swamps at the mouth of the Euphrates), and God said, "Well, thanks to you, I know who I'm going to destroy Judah with..."  And that is the reason many of us have those annoying thorns in the flesh.  Being obedient- good.  Looking around and saying, "Look how obedient I am!"- bad.

And Josiah?  I cannot put it better than did the man who ended up killing him:

2Ch 35:20  After all this, when Josiah had prepared the house, Necho the king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out to meet him. 
2Ch 35:21  And he sent messengers to him, saying, What do I have to do with you, O king of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but toward the house with which I have war; and God said for me to hasten; stop yourself from opposing God, who is with me, and He shall not destroy you. 
2Ch 35:22  Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself to fight against him, and did not listen to the words of Necho from the mouth of God; and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 
2Ch 35:23  And the archers shot at King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, Carry me out, for I am severely wounded. 
2Ch 35:24  And his servants carried him out from the chariot, and caused him to ride in a second chariot of his, and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the graves of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem were mourning for Josiah. 

You see, rash impulsive Josiah never learned not to do it HIS way.  Unlike Hezekiah, he was so sure he was doing things right, he never questioned his own judgment- or consulted God.  How ironic that even evil kings of Israel like Ahab consulted the Lord before going to war... but this man, with his heart in the right place but his head somewhere else entirely, did not.

So Hezekiah did the right thing; and the right that he did survived 129 years, almost 100 of them ruled by evil kings.  Josiah did the right thing the wrong way- and 23 years and 4 bad kings later, Judah was gone.  In 1 Corinthians 3:15, Paul describes someone who does the right thing the wrong way- how "If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as if through fire".  So Josiah doing things basically his way, saved himself.  It's not a matter of saving yourself doing it "your way"; but how many will you LOSE not doing it the right way?  Something I REALLY need to ponder.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

It's 60 on Friday in February, so...

...Let's take a walk with scrappy and Chris!

First off, just after finding a big, dead raccoon (that'll be making the trail fun soon)..

Wow, that's new...

Hmm... green things...

We haven't stopped at the creek forever!

Always has to take me "over the precipice"... NOT fun...

Way down we go...

Somebody's having big fun!

Later, Daddy takes a brief nap on the "big hump"- a big and old dirt-dump that is now a hill near the creek

What's the matter, Scrappy?  Are you ready to keep going?


View from the Big Hump

And along south end of IPFW (PUFW?  PUNE?  Their new name choices give you a choice between a fart and "puny?" How about "the University that cares nothing about nature and knows nothing about Conservation?"  TUTCNANAKNAC!) soccer field.

A squadron defending the approaches to the duck pond  were easily scattered.

"Good, 'cause I'm trying to track something here..."