Category Archives: Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: September 16, 2017

According to every sign I know of, it’s going to be an early Fall this year in our area. We’ve had temperatures well below “normal” for several weeks now, I’ve seen geese heading south already, and some of the trees are beginning to turn roughly a month earlier than normal; see for yourself with these three pics I took yesterday without ever leaving my own yard…

And now summer has returned.

No, really it has…

A week ago we were having highs in the low 60’sand lows in the low 40’s. Now we have highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the low 60’s: Go figure!

In years past it was fashionable to discuss the crazy weather. You’d hear people say that “around here the weather is crazy, wait 5 minutes and it will change”. Now of course we don’t talk like that, because if you do there’s always someone who says, “OMG it’s global warming!” Invariably that becomes a rant about how the Capitalist-Imperialist class is going to kill us all for profit… Wanna know what I think?

We’re having a blast of summer weather in NE Iowa, Yippee!

There’s one thing I really wonder about though, and it might seems silly to you, but how can the trees change color a month early if it’s the hours of sunlight that trigger the change? When I was in school, that was the scientific “consensus”; it was “established scientific fact”, and yet here we are…

OK, they aren’t all changing, but enough are to make you wonder how it could be.

Well that’s my little nonsense for this Saturday, have a great weekend; I’m going to go outside and enjoy summer’s return!

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Random Ramblings: September 2, 2017

This has been some week!

There have been so many incredible images from the hurricane down in Texas, and so much discussion about the conditions there, the unusual weather pattern, the records that were set, and the response to it all. You know the commentators who discuss whether or not the government was swift enough or effective enough and by most accounts, we can be pleased by the response of Federal, State and Local governments.

Naturally, many of the comments had a political flavor to them like “This is Trump’s first big test” and so on.

Even so, it sure looked as though everyone pulled together for the good of the people who were affected by the storm, a storm that just didn’t want to go away. One comment that I heard from a news person has stuck with me: It was something like this… “Even though government agencies of all levels have rescued an incredible number of people, private citizens have rescued even more.”

Regular folks who have boats went off to rescue their neighbors, even strangers, with no care for whatever differences they might have in culture, ethnicity or worldview, and they risked their own safety in the process… A small armada of pleasure craft saving the lives of anyone they came upon… in this day and age… Wow!

Texas: We are in awe of your spirit and dedication to one another: God bless Texas!

Yet it wasn’t just Texans, for people came from all over America to help out, united in a spirit of community and national pride to save our fellows in a time of crisis: God bless America!

To my strange way of looking at things this whole thing puts the lie to what the pollsters have been telling us about ourselves. Aren’t we supposed to be hopelessly divided, fighting among ourselves just as the politicians always are…? Is it possible that Americans have had a “Come to Jesus” moment?

It’s something to hope and pray for, don’t you think?

The story of Harvey and the aftermath is far from over as we all know; there will be more news that comes out of today’s events. As we have come to expect, our news broadcasts will bring us the latest and the most important news of the day, so I hope we can all take the time to tune in and find out what is truly important today… which of course will be what kind of shoes Mrs. Trump is wearing.

Random Ramblings: August 26, 2017

As most of you know, my wife and I have recently moved into another house with my 94-year-old Mom. Well, it isn’t any great surprise that this requires quite a bit of adjustment for all of us, and one thing I have to get used to is the fact that she likes to have the TV on quite a lot. Thank goodness, she doesn’t watch soap operas and stupid game shows; yep that’s something to be thankful for. Yet this habit still drives me a bit crazy: She always has a certain cable news channel on… really loud.

Trump made a speech: OMG!!

Trump said this: OMG!!

Trump said that: OMG!!

Trump was here: Oh No!!

Trump was there: Oh My!!

Trump is a genius: Oh Wow!!

Trump is “unhinged”: Oh Heavens!!

My favorite of the week is the huge news story that the gossip in one newsroom among reporters is that Trump is insane. I had no idea that journalism school gave out degrees in psychology…

Gossip = news.

Oh Mercy!!

I don’t mean to make light of the serious things going on all over the globe, but as I hear this … (can I use the ‘crap’ in a blog post?)… silliness…  I have Solomon’s words ringing in my ears…

Meaningless… futile… vanity!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Random Ramblings: April 15, 2017

If you happened to catch Tuesday’s “Bonus Post” about Rome, you might have noticed a couple of things that give us insight into God’s workings in our world. Two of these, I thought would make an interesting little discussion for a Saturday.

The first of these is the fact that Paul employed a strategy in the way he spread the Gospel to the Gentiles; he was intentional in his efforts. He first travelled to the areas of the Eastern Mediterranean closest to Judea, and then when he had finished with that region; he turned his eyes farther west to Spain and Italy. He knew that the ultimate key for the spread of the Gospel was Rome itself, since it was the center point, the most powerful and influential city and the very heart of the known world at the time, so when the time came for him to write down his most fundamental teachings, he sent it to the church in Rome, from whence it would go everywhere else. Maybe we should be more intentional as well. He sent the essay to Rome, but he still ran into difficulties in getting there, but in the end he succeeded in travelling to Rome at the expense of the Roman Government itself and found himself in a position to share the Gospel with members of Caesar’s household before he was called home; my, how our Lord gets things done when a person is willing to serve Him!

The other thing I wanted to reflect upon was the way the church in Rome actually appears to have been started. Visitors from Rome who were attending Pentecost when Peter taught on that first day became Christians and took their faith home with them. People visiting other places where Paul was teaching came to faith and took their new beliefs home with them, and in both cases, they told their friends and others in the community around them about Jesus.

The church in Rome began when new Christians told others about their faith; they put faith into action.

If you are reading this, then most likely you are a Christian who is also a blogger. Like Peter and Paul, we have an opportunity to reach people from all over the world here on the net, and if we tell the story of Jesus Christ in a compelling way, who knows how our efforts might be used by God for His purpose. In fact, we might even be the catalyst for a whole chain of events that make a major difference for the Body of Christ, and never even know about.

How can we make a difference for Christ through our blogs?

This is a question that all of us should be asking, clearly Peter and Paul asked such questions in their times.

Of course, we can also share face to face with those around us, as the Romans obviously did with no help from the “professionals” because God seems to do His very best work through regular people like you and me: I pray we all reflect on these things.

Random Ramblings: March 11, 2017

This morning I heard on the radio that this is “spring forward” weekend in the US. I had forgotten all about it until now…

I’m so thrilled.

OK, let’s be real: Who though this was a good idea?

Why don’t I move to Arizona where the people are smart enough to not participate in such foolishness?

Let me think…

The railroads came up with railroad time back in the day so railroad schedules would work, and all of the railroads would use the same time. That part makes sense. Then the politicians got involved and decided the government needs to say what time is, and made railroad time the law. And then some politician wanted his name in the paper and came up with “daylight savings time” and conned his pals into voting for it, and gave us “spring forward” and “fall back”.

I don’t mind “fall back” weekend so much…

I have an idea, why don’t we just “fall back” twice a year, and never “spring forward”? Think about it: you’d gain two hours every year added to your life; you’d live longer! Just think of the headlines for the politician who gets that passed, they could call it “The Life Extension Act of 2017”.

What? Yeah, uh huh… Seriously? You really think mine is a stupid idea? Really? Can you really tell me that my idea is any stupider than daylight savings time? Surely not!

Fine, OK you win… I’ll forget my idea. Want a better one? Let’s just get rid of daylight saving and let the time be the time and not try to fool with it any more.

Random Ramblings: March 4, 2017

Today is Inauguration Day!

OK, no it isn’t, but it used to be.

Isn’t that great to know? Well it might come in handy at a trivia contest…

March 4 is the date when the terms of the president, vice president and members of Congress begin and end as written into the Constitution way back at the beginning; this continued until the 20th Amendment was passed in 1933.roosevelt

Why did they change the dates?

The framers of the Constitution set March 4 as the date to allow four months to pass between the elections in early November and the beginning of terms for the simple reason that everything took longer to accomplish in the 1700’s. Votes took a long time to count, news travelled slowly, more time would be needed to assemble the Electoral College, and it took longer for a president to put his Administration together simply because communication and travel took time in those days.

President Franklin Roosevelt, who was first elected president in 1932 wanted to get moving very quickly and was quite frustrated apparently with the waiting… As we know, once in office, he moved with (you’re going to love this…) Trump like speed in pushing forward his agenda in his first hundred days in office. During his first year, he pushed hard for both the 20th and 21st Amendments to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment changed the dates terms expired and began from March 4 to January 20 since things could move so much more quickly in the 20th Century than in the 18th. The 21st Amendment was the repeal of Prohibition which of course made his famous martinis legal.

Oh yes, FDR was very proud of the “Roosevelt Martini”!

Yes, yes I realize he might have had other reasons for the repeal of Prohibition than just to legalize his martini.

At any rate, now you can go to your next “trivia night” armed with some not very useful information that might just put you into the winner’s column.

Would you be surprised if I told you that I sat down intending to write a completely different post, about computers actually, and that this just popped into my admittedly strange mind when I typed “March 4, 2017”? Well dear readers, that’s why these ramblings are called “random” I suppose…

Random Ramblings: February 25, 2017

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Over the last week or 10 days, we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather here in NW Illinois, in fact, we’ve set a couple of all-time records for high temperatures. It has been warm, often sunny; some days have seen temps in excess of 70 degrees F. The birds have been singing people have been cleaning up their yards; there’s definitely been a touch of spring in the air.

In the Mountain West they call this phenomenon “false spring” because everyone knows it happens every year and won’t last; winter will return in full fury soon enough. While I haven’t heard anyone here in Illinois use that exact term, the same is true here this year; there’s now snow in many places in the area.

That warm spell was sure nice while it lasted!

Life is like that, isn’t it? We all have good times when everything seems to chug along just fine, and we quickly grow accustomed to ease and carefree days. Sometimes these periods continue for a number of years, and we might even assume that everything will always be rosy and nice… And then BAM!

Trouble finds us.

Ah yes, this is a story as old as the Scriptures; come to think of it, it’s a story that’s in the Scriptures.

I’m not sure that we always appreciate those good times; after all they are really easy to take for granted. Yet they are a blessing from God when they come along. Yet when we forget this and take them for granted, there is a danger that the notion might creep into the back of our minds that we don’t really need God, that somehow we are the masters of our own success, and then slowly, subtly we begin to drift away from His presence.

Of course when trouble finds us with a big WHAM, we often feel entitled to demand answers from God: How could He let that happen!!??

Really? How could He let that happen? Didn’t we let that happen?

Maybe I’m only speaking of myself here, but in my experience, it was usually me that let it happen, at least as far as the drift was concerned. More often than not, the “Wham” came after a couple “hello’s” that I chose not to hear…

Anyway, there will always be troubles in this life, just as there will always be winters. When God blesses us with times of happiness and relatively few problems, it is for us to recognize His blessing and give thanks, realizing that there is a time for every season under heaven, both good and bad, and that our Lord is by our sides though all of them: When we are weak, He is strong. When we feel strong, we need Him more than ever.