Symbols of Freedom

I still remember, sneaking into the hallway to peek under the door and watch my dad putting together my bike that Santa was suppose to bring for me that Christmas. The bike parts scattered in front of him, staring at the assembly instructions and getting frustrated, mom trying to calm him down and encourage him while he was mumbling under his breath. It was a blue bike with a banana seat. I am sure my dad wanted it to be a surprise and he did not think I was behind the door, straining my neck to see under the door. In the morning, I received my bike, which was more than just a bike, it was freedom. I could ride my bike farther than I could walk, and my parents granted me a little bit more freedom so I could ride my bike.

The next time I received a symbol of freedom was when I was in high school. My father worked a second job for a time and bought me a car. It was a grenadine muscle car with a small block Chevy engine that could go from zero to trouble in no time flat. That car meant freedom. Just like the bike when I was younger, the car meant I could go farther than my previous bubble of freedom. Now, with each increase in freedom came an increase in responsibility. Also, an increase in chores which I gladly, for a short time at least, performed. Driving my mom to the store, taking my sibling to the library or to school etc. Along with my freedom, I had some added responsibility.

When people ask about symbols of freedom, some may automatically refer to the flag or the Constitution, the Bill of Rights etc. But anything which increases our bubble of freedom is a symbol of that very freedom. Walking, biking, driving, writing, art etc, these things increase or bubble of freedom and our sphere of influence, and our imagination. And, conversely, anything that hinders those freedoms or limits our bubble is stifling. Henry Ford did not invent the car, but he devised a way to mass produce the automobile and make it available to the masses. When the bible was printed in quantity, it brought the word of God to the masses which meant that more people had the freedom to worship Him in their own way. The computer was, in the digital cave man days, so limited and available to only a few that could understand the complexity of the computer code. Then in the 1970’s, the computer revolution exploded and brought information to the masses. Now, in the year 2015, who can imagine a cord on the phone, a palm size computer that is more powerful that those reel to reel computers that N.A.S.A. used to get our astronauts to the moon.

You could say that the smart phone is another device which has increased the size of our bubble. You can talk to someone almost anywhere in the world. You could look up information without going to a library and organize your contacts and even write a blog post with it.

Another symbol is the gun. With the gun, the individual has the freedom to protect himself and his family without relying on the government or government agency. Like Col. Colt penned, “Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size; when danger threatens, call on me and I will equalize”. Our founding fathers thought that owning and the proficient use of the gun should be mandatory for the security of the individual, community and the country.

Can you remember the first time you got a bicycle? How about your first car? Do you own a gun? Do you know how to use it? Remember the first time you used your gun and hit what you aimed at?

Anybody or any agency that pro-ports to relieve you of any of these items of freedom should be considered anti-freedom. They can coat this anti-freedom with sugary sweet words that the average person will accept without critical thinking. Usually emotionally charged words with no substance.

Have you heard of UN agenda 21? ( How about the Georgia Guidestones? ( Both of these are pretty evil when you use critical thinking. Population control, or rather depopulation. Control of cars and control of firearms which equals just plain control. Like George Orwells ‘1984″, we the sheeple will be controlled and we will have funded it, allowed it and almost demanded it. George Carlin, a controversial comedian, had a stand up bit that warned of this very thing. Other than the crude profanity, I think it worth the time to watch it. ( The FBI had an extensive file on Mr. Carlin and viewed him as a threat to America because he dared talk negatively about the government. Sounds Orwellian doesn’t it? It is interesting that Hillary Clinton said it is our duty to question government. She must have meant only question Conservative government. (

It is time to wake up. How did you feel when your parents took your bike away? Only the government is not our parents, at least the government is not mine, we need to remember that the government is supposed to work for us, not against us. Those that have eyes, look and see. Those that have ears listen and think. Those that see and hear, kneel and pray.

It all started with her

It was almost a ritual. Everyday, I would come home to find an ice cold glass of milk on the counter as a refreshment after school. I was in 2nd grade and my favorite toy at the time was something called a crazy straw. Now, to those that do not know what one is, imagine a scribble on paper made into a 3 dimensional image, then into a straw. Drinking ice cold milk from one of those, as a kid, was fun.  So, as usual, I came home from school to find an ice cold glass of milk on the counter with my crazy straw in it. So, I took a big swig through my straw, and to my surprise, it was buttermilk. My mother was watching from another room. She had played a nasty little practical joke on me. You see, not only was I surprised with the buttermilk, but it clogged my straw. I was never able to use the straw again. Thus started the great practical joke war that has lasted many years.

I had to retaliate of course, so I washed the dishes and put them away. Oh, did I mention that I stacked the bowls right side up and filled the top bowl with water so when my mom reached in to get the bowl, it would tip and douse her with water? Or that my father, wanting me to know how to shut off the hot water from the hot water heater in case of an emergency, so I waited for my mom to take a shower and wham-mo!, I shut off the hot water. The screams emanating from the bathroom was a shear delight.

But, my mother, not letting me get the upper hand, short sheet-ed my bed, would blow a whistle at 5:00 AM in the morning, or a bevy of other nasty little things that would precipitate a retaliation more creative.

Well, years went past and it was time for my birthday. I was married with kids and she had made arrangements for a birthday celebration at her house. She made a cake and decorated it, and I knew that she had had an ant problem at her house earlier in the summer. I stopped by a novelty shop and picked up a bag of fake black ants. When no one was in the kitchen, I placed the antsin a two line progression from her kitchen window sill to the cake, up the side and down back to the window sill. I left the kitchen and awaited the symphony of screams where I would come in and laugh and let her in on the joke. Well, I did hear the cacophony of screams and then a hissing. By the time I had run to the kitchen, my joke had backfired on me. You see, she had really thought those were real ants. She was spraying my cake with Raid ant and roach spray. Needless to say, nobody got cake that day.

My mother, called me several years later to complain that those ants got her again. You see, when she cleaned up the mess from that birthday calamity, she stored the ants in a high place with the intent that she would give them to me as a souvenir. Well, she forgot. Several years later, she was cleaning up and knocked those ants down on her. She had totally forgotten about them and was startled by the avalanche of ants.

We kind of stopped the practical joke at that time. But the memories are still there to give us both a good chuckle every once and awhile. You see, everybody need to foster a good sense of humor. Someone that does not see the humor in life sometimes is just plain dull. Those little practical jokes helped bring the family together. And to laugh at them so many years later brings back those feelings of closeness and camaraderie.

God has a sense of humor. Life is full of examples. Learn to laugh. Enjoy life. God does not want us to exist, but to live, laugh and love.

So, in the end, IT WAS HER FAULT. I still miss my crazy straw.

The internal customer

After many years in the field service industry, I have witnessed some obtuse thinking by some that do not fully understand and appreciate field service. After all, it does take a very specific mindset to be successful in this industry for any period of time. Some CEO’s and others in management forget that there are two types of customers in any industry, especially that of field service. Rightfully so, management will focus on the external customer, the person paying for your service and/or product. But all too often, especially in challenging economic times, little focus is placed on the internal customer, the employee. The external customer pays the bills. It is that simple. The customer can and always do, make or break a company. And your company wants as many satisfied external customers as they can get. But do not neglect the internal customer. The employee is the face of your company. In the field service industry, it is the field service representative that the customer sees. They may talk to a faceless dispatcher or even, occasionally, a faceless middle manager, but it is the field service representative that the customer sees, talks to and physically interacts with. A satisfied field service representative will naturally reflect his or her satisfaction in you company by serving the customer well, whereby a dissatisfied technician can be like a cancer, slowly killing the reputation of your company. While there are many factors that can influence an internal customer, some of the most important factors are making them feel needed, wanted and respected.

One way to show the importance of this vital resource is money, but it is not the only way. I have seen many instances of good people feeling the only way to get a raise is to ‘jump ship’ every couple of years. That way, they get more money and they get the more important percieved or real feeling of being needed and wanted. But look at what your company looses, the experience, training and knowledge of your customer base. Think of the vital company resources spent in training. Those that only look at numbers and ‘profit & loss’ statements may think they can ‘dump’ a senior field service person and replace them with a younger trainee, thereby saving some money also, but look at the trade. Your company still looses in several ways. The loss of experience and the expence of training a new hire. It usually takes 6 to 9 months for a fresh new hire to be trained and experienced enough to be effective in the field. Only those companies that ‘pay long’ will see slow and sustained growth. But it is not just money that is needed to ‘pay long’. Your companies field representatives need to feel needed, wanted and respected. By retaining good, experienced internal customers, you will allow your company to retain good external customers. A field service technician that feels needed, wanted and respected and has a clear path for growth within the company is the resource needed for sustained company growth and satisfied external customers.

So, what is your company doing to retain both internal and external customers? If your company is loosing external customers, are you looking inward or outward for the problem? If you are experiencing ‘turnover’ of internal customers, what are you doing to correct the problem? Field service is a living organism, and therefore complex. I have heard it put this way, ‘After the sales, it is the service that counts’. What are your thoughts?


When I was young, instead of joining the Boy Scouts, my dad encouraged me to join the Sea Cadets. So, instead of learning how to tie knots while camping out in tents, i learned how to tie knots while on a ship out on the Pacific. Our commanding officer had a unique way of handling disputes between cadets, in the boxing ring. Here I am, a tall overweight and awkward young teenager wearing my ‘cracker jack’ uniform, and I really did not want to get in the boxing ring and fight with the cadet that I was caught fighting. I don’t know why I feared fighting in the ring with the cadet i was just caught fighting with, but I was. I remember a term used by one of the cadets watching. He said ‘rope a dope’. I don’t know if he was trying to instruct me or calling me names, but all these years later, I still remember the term, rope-a-dope. Now, as I understand it, rope-a-dope is a term used to discribe a boxing style where one boxer gets himself against the ropes and lets the elasticity of the ropes absorb most of the impact of the punch while his opponent wears himself out punching and then, makes a mistake which can be exploited.

Here in America in August of 2015, Donald Trump is running for the Republican nominee for president in 2016. In an earlier post, I compared Donald Trump playing chess while the others are playing checkers. But what if Donald Trump is even more sinister than that. If you actually take a look at Trumps views on issues in the past, I just wonder about his true motives and if he had an apiphany. What if Donald Trump is playing ‘rope a dope’ with the American people? Donald is a person who wants to be in control. He has an ego that matches his fortune. But he is not the guy that actually ‘does’ things, but rather he is the guy that ‘makes’ things happen.

Do you remember Ross Perot? This guy was much like Trump, an eccentric millionaire that was running for President on a third party ticket. He split the vote and was responsible for William Jefferson Clinton winning the Presidency in 1992. In documents now revieled, Ross Perot never intended to win, but wanted instead to punish the then president George Bush. Ross Perot, as it turns out, was involved in back door negotiations with the Vietnamese government trying to have the many enprisoned veterans (POW’s) released. Several people, including George Bush, did not like or sanction the way Ross Perot was negotiating on behalf of the American government. So Perot was enacting a personal vendetta that hurt George Bush, but also the rest of the country by giving us a Clinton presidency. It turns out that he really was crazy.

Donald Trump seems like the kind of guy that likes having people, especially politicians, in his pocket. People that owe him a favor, the bigger the better. What if Trump plans on running for president as far as he can go, then when it looks like the time is right, say something over the top or back out thereby giving America Hillary Clinton or worse as the president. Wouldn’t Hillary owe Trump a big or many big favors. People like George Soros and Donald Trump and even Micheal Bloomberg like to ‘lead from behind’. They are idea men that like to surround themselves with people that can get the job done. Puppet masters instead of puppets, the hand inside the sock so to speak. Now, I do not claim to know what is in the mind of Donald Trump, but look at the people following him. Blindly supporting and defending him like he was the messiah. Hmm, sounds familiar. He is right about several key issues, but what makes me think he will be a good leader for this country? Again, I am not predicting anything, just opining. Or, maybe it is time for a ‘non-politician’ to be in the White House. It is not like Donald needs the money, the job of president would be a big pay cut…in the short term. I wonder if he would buy Washington D.C. and rename it Trumpland.

The old ways

OK, I admit it. I have seen mice in my house. These pesky, dirty rodents are unwanted in my house. So, like many of you, I went on a ‘search and destroy’ mode. We cleaned up the kitchen, stuffed steel wool in the cracks and crevices and laid out traps. I decided against the poisons because once the disgusting rodent ate the poison, he would scurry back to his hole in the wall and die. I was not fond of the idea of dead, decaying rodent bodies in the walls of my house, and the smell, yikes. So I spent money on the high tech sonic devices that is supposed to be the equivelent of loud and awful music to the little buggers. I must have a family of deaf mutant mice because those electronic devices only made my money scarce, not the mice. So I tried glue traps. Those work alright, but it does not kill them. I would check my traps in the morning to find one, maybe two mice struggling to free themselves from the modern day tar pit that I had laid out. That meant that I had to carefully pick it up avoiding the front of the mouse so as not to get bit. It also struck me that it might be cruel, not that I care about being cruel to a common house mouse. And those traps are a one-time use item. They are not cheap and you could get a bad batch of glue traps that do not entrap the freeloading rodent. About this time, I had had enough. I bought some old fashoned spring traps and baited them with peanut butter. WHAMMO! Those old style spring traps not only worked, but killed the mouse instantly. There was a satisfying ‘snap’ the the trap being set off, and the best part… they are cheap and reusable. So the mouse trap my father and grandfather used was still the better choice. That got me to thinking, what else is better ‘the old way’?

I am a conservative, which means I believe a person should provide for himself and his family and rely on the government very little. Some tree hugging, sandle wearing reject from the 60’s said that I was destroying mother earth because I did not seperate my recyclables from my trash. I asked him what kind of pen did he use. He showed me his rollerball pen that cost his about $5 each and was disposable. I told him that I was a better steward of Gods earth than he was. He asked how. I said that when he is done with his pen, he will throw it away and that plastic does not decompose easily. I showed him a fountain pen that I made fashioned after the fountain pen my mother gave me. It had a piston filler which meant that when it becomes empty, I can refill it. Nothing is disposed in our landfill. Chalk up another for ‘the old way’.

It is not a bad idea to stock your pantry with food in case of an emergency. I decided to do just that, but I was dismayed to find that I had to either buy canned foods that were sometimes high in sodium, or buy military style MRE’s which are….terrible or dehydrated food that can be somewhat tasteless. I wish I had paid more attention when my mother and grandmother would can food. Preserves, jams, jellies, canned vegitables etc. My mother and grandmother would spend hours in the kitchen during the summer canning so when winter came, we had food. Chalk another one up for ‘the old way’. I think it is time I learn to can.

I have always been attracted to a wrist watch. My childhood heros wore a fancy watch. Where would James Bond be without his special watch that had been modified by ‘Q’? And Jaques Cousteau would always be seen with his divers watch. Time is so important that we have developed the timepiece to help us keep track of the passage of time. Now, I am a gadget guy. I love gadgets. So I was wearing a nice, expensive digital timepiece that would not only keep time, but also give you a temperature reading, an altitude reading, a barometric reading and also have a digital readout of the compass. Water resistant to deeper than I can swim with a backlight. Something an everyday Joe can equate to a sophisticated watch, until it broke. The battery needed to be changed and I accidentally broke off the battery terminal rendering the watch useless. I was distraught until I happened upon my grandfathers old waterproof wind up watch that still worked. Simple in design and plain as it would only keep track of the hour, minute and second. Nothing else to go wrong. This thing must be about 40 or more years old and it still works. Chalk one up for ‘the old way’.

Both my grandmother and my mother-in-law made quilts. My mother-in-law made me a special quilt called a ‘quillow’ which is a quilt that can be folded into a pillow. I can tell you that on a cold night, the quilt my mother-in-law made will keep you warm and is sewn well. It will not frey and is made to be used for years. I was in the market for a new blanket and went to wally-world to purchase it. After a few washings, it started to frey and was soon religated to dog blanket because it was freying and wasn’t really warm. Chalk one up for ‘the old way’. My quillow is now over twenty years old and is no worse for wear.

The point is, sometimes, the old ways are better. Sometimes, modern is not necessarily better. My grandparents are no longer around, neither are my in-laws. These people were full of ideas and I wish I could ‘pick their brains’ for more ideas. Next time someone says they have an idea that is better than the old idea, take a closer look and make a true comparison of the new from the old. Sometimes, new is just…new, not better.


What is a Hero, not the sandwich but the person? What constitutes a hero and what drives the need for a hero? My hero’s now are not the same as they were when I was a child. As a kid, I liked Spiderman, Jacque Cousteau, John Wayne, the Lone Ranger, and James Bond. Of course Spiderman is not real, neither is the Lone Ranger or James Bond, but as a kid, you tend to have childish hero’s. The older I get, the more I like to read and that would probably make my high school English teacher both happy and made it took me so long. I was watching an old movie called ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ and I began to wonder about the need for hero’s and the hero’s throughout history. The Scarlet Pimpernel is obviously a fictitious literary person, but the idea struck me that, at the time of great despair, the need for a hero that the people can believe in is great. The greater the despair in the people, the greater the need for the people to have a hero that they can believe in. Take Zorro for instance. A rich man who dresses as a masked champion for the people who are being mistreated by a despot. Batman is much the same in the imaginary Gotham City, only the people are being mistreated by various criminals that the normal police department can’t handle. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi who, even though he was an animal, took on the cobra that was terrorizing the family that had adopted him. Beowulf who through great courage defended his people from Grendel. Cyrano deBergerac who sacrifices his love of Roxane for his friend and soldier Christian and maintains the false memories and superficial love that Raxane had for his friend. Sherlock Holmes who uses the power of deduction and logic to solve the crimes that the ordinary police can not. And let us not forget Robin Hood, who with the help of the Merry Men, stole back the exorbitant and illegal taxes that the Sherriff of Nottingham was extorting from the people.

In each case, we see the hero sacrificing of himself for the benefit of one person to the benefit of many. So, who is the bigger hero? The one who sacrifices for a friend at the expense of the hero’s happiness or the person that sacrifices for the good of the many? You cannot compare Cyrano deBergerac with the Scarlet Pimpernel because the Scarlet Pimpernel sacrificed his fortune and risked his life to save the French citizens from a wrongful conviction that would lead to the guillotine. Sherlock Holmes and Batman and the other comic book hero’s are much the same in that they solve a crime or help reign in a criminal. But Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Robin Hood and the Scarlet Pimpernel were fighting for the people at large. So you have to give more credit to them than to those like Cyrano, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Sherlock Holmes and the Green Hornet. Then there are the hero’s that bring attention to the unknown or those in need like Jacque Cousteau or Uncle Tom. Let us not forget Winston Smith of ‘Big Brother’ who is a looser hero. He loses everything and has no effect on the enemy. No one was able to fight Big Brother and no one was aware of the knowledge he became aware of. He lost to the establishment. And Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, after dispatching the evil cobra and her offspring lived a very good life after. Let us not forget the soldier who becomes government property to protect and defend the ideals of his country. When the United States of America has an all-volunteer military, you have to give credit to the person willing to serve. Speaking of serving, the police officer, especially in today’s toxic environment must be given credit. He has a bulls eye painted on him by not only the criminals, but racists that claim all police are the enemy, namely the anti hero Louis Farrakhan or Jessie Jackson and the like who actually help keep racism alive and profit from it. Or the firemen who run towards that which normal people run from.

So who is the bigger hero? Who would be the biggest hero? We have determined that the hero that sacrifices for the benefit of the many is better than the hero that sacrifices for the benefit of the few. We do not discount the sacrifice, but we are only trying to determine the value of the sacrifice.

Jesus of Nazareth would most definitely be considered the greatest hero. His sacrifice is for the benefit of the greatest number of people.  Here we have God himself, the most powerful being that created the world and the universe with just the power of his word. He did not have to be lead to the cross. He could have, with a single word, had a host of angels save him from the most heinous of deaths. One saved for non Roman citizens only because of just how cruel and inhumane it was.

So, here we are in America on the brink of a collapse. We are at the preverbal  precipice of future darkness and I ask you, in a few short years, who will we in America be reading about and wishing would save us from despair? Superman, Batman, a modern day Scarlet Pimpernel? Who will you be wishing for? Can you see someone like Donald Trump donning a mask and fighting evil? Or Mike Bloomberg secretly fighting against his own policies. Or George Soros acting like Zorro. Laughably not. Or maybe we, collectively, are to mature for a hero even when he is right in front of you.

chess vs checkers

My father served this country in several branches of the armed services. He served four years active duty in the Army, then almost immediately after, he served four years active duty in the Navy, After an honorable discharge from the Navy, he did spend some time in the United States Coast Guard Reserve then finishing with a long time in the United States Navy Reserve. I remember him telling me stories when he was in the Navy, but he didn’t say much about the time he was in the Army. I asked him once what he did in the Navy and his response was “I changed light bulbs” which was his was of telling me he can’t talk about it. But I asked him what was the difference between the Army and the Navy. I mean, besides the obvious of course. He broke it down to a simple example. When he was in the Army, guys in his unit read comic books and played checker but when he was in the Navy, guys on his ship read books and played chess. I let it go as I has a simple understanding of the comparison, but as I got older, I understood the contrast better. Not that the guys in his unit while in the Army were dumb, they were not. And not that the guys on his ship were smarter, it was a contrast in how each utilized their spare time and entertained themselves. It would be like comparing locker room hijinx in junior high to college level atheletes. Since my father wanted me to be a thinking man, he taught me chess. I used to get so frustrated while learning to play chess, thinking it is easier to play checkers. But I stuck to it and after some time, learned the movement of the pieces in chess. Then, with some practice and instruction, I finally beat my dad in chess. He had to pay better attention now because he had done a fairly good job of teaching me. I can say in retrospect, that learning to play chess helped me to strategize, plan, think and be patient.

As I write this, there are countless guys that want to run republican nominee for president. There are a few, true conservatives but most are really republicans in name only or what is commonly refered to as a rino republican. One such person seeking the republican nominee is Donald Trump. Now, I have nothing against this guy, but i am not sure he would be a good president. I mean he is a multi billionaire , that’s with a b not an m. One thing I notice is how Donald Trump seems to ‘trump’ the republican politicians. The way I see it, Donald Trump is playing chess while the chumps up on stage seeking the nomination are playing checkers. I am not endorsing Donald Trump, but it is not hard to see how he is out classing the others including the press. The other nominee hopefuls look like chumps, but Donald Trump is making the press look like chimps. America is looking for a true leader, one that will do what he says and says what he means. Like Ronald Reagan,  Trump is an oasis in a desert full of liars, er, politicians. (Is there really any difference between a liar and a politician anymore?) Myself, I would rather Scott Walker or Ben Carson get the nomination before someone like Chris Christie or heaven forbid Jeb Bush. I think America has had enough of Bush family politics AND God please, no more Clinton politics. But these republican nominee hopefuls had better realize the competition and the needs of the people now, unlike Donald Trump that seems to have a handle on the situation. We want a genuine leader, one that will stand up to todays evil and do what is right for America and Americans. When the great Renaldus Magnus was running against the incompetent,  er incumbent Jimmy Carter, I remember a simple but effective ad on TV. It was a man meeting a bear on a hill and not backing down, but instead facing that bear with confidence. ( … At the time, the Soviet Union was our enemy and we were involved in a protracted cold war with them that could easily turn hot. We needed a leader that we could count on. A leader, not some idiot with peanuts for brains. I bet Jimmy Carter is glad that Barrack Hussein Obama is in the White House if for nothing else, making Carters administration look good. (Not that Jimmy Carter was good, but Barrack Hussein Obama is that much worse)

We see Donald Trump acting much like Ronald Reagan did in the 1980’s, but before we put much faith in ‘the Trump’, we had better get to know who he really is and where he truly stands on the issues that concern us. Not just what he says, but how he really feels. He has donated to the Democrat party. He, at one time, was for gun control. How does he really feel about people that believe in God, whether they are Christians or Jewish or Muslim since he does not believe in God? Not that being a believer is a requirement for the presidency, but how will his Administration treat those that do? If he does happen to out maneuver the children on stage, and we end up with Donald Trump as president, we might find it hard to utter those all too famous words ‘you’re fired’.


What was God thinking?

Have you ever been in a parade? Well, you must have at least watched the Pasadena Rose Parade. Watching all those floats parade in front of the cameras and people, proudly displaying the work they made on the float. All the people mesmerized at the art and craft of each float. In a small town, during a parade, people still crowd the sidewalks to watch the people and the bands parade by proudly. On a Veterans Day parade, the veterans of the town dawn their uniforms and proudly parade past the cheering people in memory of their service to the country. I can imagine the very first parade. Can you figure it out? In Genesis, chapter 2 verse 20 where Adam has been given a job to name all the animals.

Let me set the scene up. God sends a call to all the animals of the land and birds of the air for the first, majestic parade. The animals are notably nervous because they will forever be given a name. They preen themselves to look their best because the name they are given  will follow them, and their progeny, for the rest of time. The animals line up and wait for their cue from God and when told, they sashay in front of Adam waiting for him to name them. In comes the first animal and roars, so Adam names him ‘lion’. So the first lion marches forth with his head held high because he is no longer nameless but has a majestic name that will stick with him and all his kind forevermore. The animals start to feel a little more comfortable because this Adam guy seems to be doing a great job at naming them. Next, a large bird swoops in front of Adam and screeches, so Adam gives him the name eagle. Now the majestic bird can fly proudly thru the air with a great name for him and all his kind. The line of animals is long, stretching all the way thru the Garden of Eden.  And all of the animals crowding close, waiting for their turn in front of this guy, Adam. As you look at the line from above, you see a noticeable gap in the line near the end. One lone animal has a gap in front of and behind him because the other animals are keeping their distance. It is his turn in front of Adam, and Adam looks closely at him. It looks cute, cuddly and furry like a cat and Adam smiles, then takes a deep breath, chokes and says the first word for ‘P-YEW’. I wonder if Adam ran behind God and asked “what were you thinking?” Now the skunk has to live with that word and reputation forevermore.

What was God thinking? He made predators with teeth that can tear flesh, birds of prey have a strong beak and sharp talons to provide for himself not to mention eyesight that allows him to see a mouse while soaring high in the sky. He made birds so they can fly away and the gazelle can run away fast. The crocodile with armor like skin and sharp teeth can most definitely fend for himself. Other animals have ways to defend themselves like the porcupine with its quills that stick like needles. But God must have thought he would try an experiment with the skunk. Imagine Gods thought process … ‘let me make this animal defend himself by producing the most foul and disgusting odor that sprays out of his, ahem, rear end’.  The poor skunk must have done something terrible, or maybe not. The perfect pacifist… dirty and smelly and something normal people would try to avoid.

Or the giraffe, with that long neck and skinny legs. This animal towers above others to be the perfect lookout, for the skunk most likely. The other animals must pay a small pittance for the giraffe to be on the lookout for those pesky skunks.  At least his nose is far upwind of the odor.

Have you ever seen an anteater? This animal must have had leftovers on his chin when marching in front of Adam. That long, sticky tongue which allows him to literally lick up the ants. How many ants must he eat every day to stay fit? Do they tickle when swallowed?

So, what was God thinking? The different animals must have provided a joyful variety. So many colors and shapes. Some that fly, others swim, even one that does both if you have ever seen a flying fish.

But the one animal that has been the most trouble is man. But to mark man from the other animals, he gave him free will, and when Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he was forever marked. Once he disobeyed God, that is when all trouble started and God had to figure a way to save his creation. So, where is the real skunk? Is it the furry cat like animal that defends himself by spraying a malodorous fluid from his buttocks, or man that is constantly trying to replace God with himself? I don’t think God made any mistakes, but the animal that has free will has. You and I have free will. How are you using your free will? I will use mine to stay clear of the skunk, both the four legged and two legged kind.

The tipping point

As you know, if you have been following my blogs, I love science fiction. SciFi, as it has been affectionately called, often times is a look into societal evolution. While watching an old ‘Outer Limits’, the 1980’s remake not the original series, I happened across an episode called ‘The tipping point’. The premise of this episode touched me because it brought into light something that I feel our society has reached in many ways, a tipping point.

This episode touched on the evolution of AI or artificial intelligence. The antagonist in this story felt like an outsider because of his genius,  and created a computer program that evolved into a thinking and reacting artificial intelligence that was going to become the new god. The creator of this program even said this intelligence that he created was his new god. The tipping point referred to a time when the creations of man became bigger than the creator himself and evolved into something that would eventually control its creator.

This made me think of other ‘tipping points’.  I eventually bought the book entitled ‘The Tipping Point’, a book on how small things can grow, like a small virus that can grow into a full blown plague, or how a small story can become the top movie of the year. This book was written as an advertising book, but I think it touches on other aspects as well. A ‘tipping point’ is like when I mentioned a swing set swinging too far so the balance is off, causing it to tip over.

Do you have a ‘smart phone’? Do you own a tablet computer? How many computers do you own and use? The newspaper industry is dying because most people in the industrialized world get their news from the internet. With streaming software, you can watch almost any movie or TV program at your convenience. We now make phone calls from a palm sized computer with a phone app built into it and we call it a ‘smart phone’. A device that evolved from the PDA (personal data assistant), we Americans rely on this device to make us ‘more efficient’, but I think it has made us more dependent on the creation that we made for ourselves. At work, we are inundated with information, emails, text messages, information from the internet not to mention the phone calls. People have become tethered to their phones. They can’t go anywhere without them. We rely on them, sometimes too much I believe.

My grand parents were from, what I believe, the greatest generation. Their generation fought evil back, and survived the great depression. A depression, I might add, that was extended by the works of a socialist madman at the time. That generation still grew their own food, knew how to can and preserve, did not waste and still raised and educated a generation that lived life better than they did. My grandmother kept string, aluminum foil, bacon grease for cooking and could cook a dinner for her family from virtually nothing but scraps. My grandfather was ‘jack of all trades’. He could plant a garden, make a rubber band powered toy and still have time to cut the top off a beer bottle to make it into a wine goblet and make his own peanut butter. Like the old Army television ad used to say, he did more before 10 o:clock than the rest of us do all day.

We here more and more about how Planned Parenthood has been selling not only baby body parts for profit, but whole bodies, but no one is in an uproar as they are for a Lion that was killed by a hunter, who had purchased a license to hunt, in a foreign country. The life of millions of children is dismissed but the death of one lion, majestic as he was, gets more news coverage.(Reference ‘Cecil the lion from Zimbabwe) How Hillary Clinton can destroy her personal email server that was illegally used while she was Secretary of State but gets a pass by the press, but let a football player destroy his phone and everyone screams foul and demands a four game suspension from playing football. (reference ‘deflategate’ on google. Story of Tom Brady of the New England Patriots four game suspension)

My point is, America has, I believe, already reached the tipping point. It is like watching that swingset falling in slow motion. There is nothing that can be done but watch, or is there? Is there something, anything that can be done to catch that swing set before it crashes and save the children on it? We have already seen that man, if left to his own devices, will find a way to foul things up, so what can we do to unfoul things up?

2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us the answer. Look it up and read it for yourself. That verse gives the recipe for ‘unfouling’ things that we have fouled up. It gives certain actions that we must do FIRST before things can be corrected.  Read it, ponder it, do it, live it and expect it.