Wacko Rhetoric

Last year I watched the entire production series of a fascinating futuristic pseudo-science show called “Fringe.”  It explored the theoretical concept of parallel universes.  The main idea being that multiple universes exist, but in each one you potentially live a very different life that the one you live here and now in your present reality.  It’s kind of out there, and challenging to think through, but weirdly entertaining at the same time.

During this time of craziness going on in our current reality, my wife and I discuss regularly how we feel caught up in a Fringe alternate universe.  It seems literally everything going on today looks nothing like last year. Even this year, before the world plunged into fear over the China virus, in January and February things seemed so “normal.”

We’ve tried to stay busy, by reading, puzzling, and doing some projects around the house.  We especially like White Mountain puzzles, with their whimsical themes.  One particular puzzle comes to mind as I think about our alternate universe experience.  It is called Wacky Packages. It’s as if someone took all the packaging of the products you and I grew up with, and in an alternate universe sort of way, turned them into a Fringe product.  Just look closely at these labels and you’ll see what I mean.

wacky packages.png

So, here’s the thing.  In what universe does a peaceful protest look like a third world war zone?  Today it just seems to me we have moved outside of the “normal” into the realm of the “abnormal” with no clear direction on how to return.  At what point in time did the term “Nationalist” (meaning patriotic and committed to American ideology) turn to mean “racist” (systemic racism)?  Today’s cancel culture can take anything an individual says and in a Fringe moment turn it to mean something else.  Then the cancel culture expects that person to apologize, and pay restitution and reparations, or else.  Or else those who want to cancel you, me, and our way of life, will protest, riot, loot, and kill to prove just how wrong you and I are.

Maybe it’s just me.  Perhaps I’ve taken too long to become “woke.”  You know what the word means right? Type the word into BING and you’ll read this definition: “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”  Similarly GOOGLE gives you the exact same thing.  But Merriam-Webster gives us clarity, saying, “Woke is a slang term that is easing into the mainstream from some varieties of a dialect called African American Vernacular English (sometimes called AAVE).”  Well, no wonder it has taken me so long.  I am definitely out of touch with AAVE.

I’ll tell you what I am in touch with.  I have, for almost my whole life, relied on the continuation of truth derived by reading the Word of God.  I know what it says in both a general and a specific way.  For example, in a general way, without specifying a time, God’s word says that in the last days, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” Matthew 24:12.

But God’s Word is also very specific at times.  For example, very specifically the Bible says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You want to be woke?  Fine.  But if you want to WAKE UP… then turn to Jesus.

Jesus is the answer for the world today.

How do I know this?  Because it seems our people are more concerned with 9,210 deaths from Covid -19 which actually occurred with no related other causes, than we are with the 60 MILLION abortions that have occurred in the United States of America since 1973. (click the link)

I would say “the love of most has grown cold…”

One last PROMISE from God’s word.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Call out to the ONE whose name you bear, humble yourself, pray, seek HIS face, turn from this wicked world, and hear Him speak your name today… and just possibly heal our country in the process.


Expiration Date

Sometimes it seems we hold on to things which need to be tossed aside because they are way past their expiration date.  Things like baking soda for instance.  Many people keep an open box of baking soda in their refrigerator to keep the air smelling fresh from the potential bad odors food kept beyond its edible date.  But how can you really know when to replace the box of baking soda?  This image is a good tip.


Here’s the thing, there are people rioting in the streets that don’t know why this is even funny.

Many of those rioting people actually prefer to believe that the Word of God has passed its expiration date.  If you are a Christ-follower, you know this will never happen.

God said it Himself, and I certainly can’t improve upon it.

No expiration date on ANYTHING in God’s Word!!  – don’t miss verse 11.

Isaiah 55:1-13

Invitation to the Thirsty

1  “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

2  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.

3  Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

4  See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.

5  Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”

6  Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

7  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

9  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13  Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”



Are you a fan of Survivor, the television reality show?  According to TV Guide, this show which predates the smartphone, has run for 20 years (with 40 Seasonal Series episodes), and has outlived 4 presidencies.  Now the question is: will the series “survive” the COVID-19 calamity which prevents the return of Jeff Probst and a cast of people clawing their way toward $1,000,000.00 as the “Sole Survivor’?

I had never watched the show until a few years ago.  On May 31, 2000, this reality show was not even on my radar.  Maybe my kids watched it.  I don’t know.  Yet, recently, I became hooked by the very premise of the script.  Take 18-20 people of all races, backgrounds, education, and social standing… and dump them on a remote location, like an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean.  Give them a pot for boiling water, a machete for cutting wood and coconuts, and see if they have the skills to survive, first as a tribe, then as a sole survivor.

Traveling all the way back to the beginning of the show, I started with Season 1, Episode 1, and have now journeyed through 14 seasons.  I’m not even half way to Season 40 yet, and I am still fascinated with this social experiment that has such vast results.  The cast of players is almost invariably made up of people who all want or need the money, that’s why they play.  And it is a game, or so everyone wants you to believe.  Especially since the motto of the game is “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.”

In every season I’ve watched, there are those who enter the game with an absolute commitment to leave all social mores behind.  This means they go in knowing they will lie, deceive, trade alliances, or do whatever is necessary in the moment to become the sole survivor.  By contrast, there are those coming in to play the game committed to be true to themselves and the norms of social conduct.  They try on purpose not to lie, deceive, jump ship, stab people in the back, or blind side anyone.  Most of the time, these people lose, and the shadier people win.  But the winner always says. “it’s a game.”

As a social study, whether game or grand experiment, the show stirs up in me a wide range of emotions and provoking thought processes. Most recently, in Season 14, one particular cast player caught my heart, making an indelible impression with one thought he shared around the middle of the game.  Yau-Man Chan when asked about his approach to the game said it was the same as in real life.  He said, “Love many. Trust few. Do wrong to none.”  This man, 54 years old at the time, and the oldest player in the game, kept true to this philosophy for his whole time on the show.  At one point he gave away a $60,000 truck to another player, in a “handshake” deal that ultimately cost him the game.  On day 38, Yau-Man became the 9th member of the jury, and the 15th person voted out of the game.  The only reason… he trusted few… but in this case, the wrong one.

What can be gained by watching this show?

What have we learned over the 40 seasons and 20 years of watching people play a game where the reward is $1,000,000.00?

My first observation would be – greed causes even good people to do things they might not otherwise do, because after all “it’s just a game.”

My second observation – Yau-Man’s philosophy is a summation of the life of Jesus.

“Love many. Trust few. Do wrong to none.”   Jesus loved many, the whole world in fact.  He trusted few, and especially not those who were driven by worldly desires and lining their own pockets out of greed.  And Jesus did wrong to none.  You might say He did right by all.  And what happened to Him?

The cross says it all.  They voted Jesus out of the tribe.  They sent Him to His death.

But Jesus did not become part of the jury!

When He returns, Jesus returns as Judge.  Sole Creator and Sovereign LORD of ALL.

If you want to model your life after values that are eternal, Yau-Man did a pretty good job.

“Love many. Trust few. Do wrong to none.”

Covet no more…

What’s the difference in jealousy, coveting, and envy?  First, a very brief and simplistic English language lesson will help us here.  Jealousy is the very strong emotion based in the fear of losing something which already belongs to you.  Coveting is the sometimes equally strong emotion of desiring something that isn’t yours, and is unattainable by you.  Envy then combines the strong emotion of coveting, with an evil intention towards the person owning the thing you covet.  This escalation of negative emotions has the potential danger of deciding to implement an action to hurt the owner in some way to gain the thing coveted.

For Biblical evidence of this escalation, just read the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 & 12.  It is very easy to see coveting turning to envy turning to murder in King David’s thoughts, desires, and actions.

But we never do this right?  We would never entertain these thoughts or actions right?

We could go even further and say that at the core of it all, to covet something is to be driven by a basic lack of contentment with what we do have.  Rather than focusing on what grace and richness of life God has placed in our hands, instead we look outwardly to see things God gave others and want those things for ourselves.

I have a bit of experience with this, so read carefully to see if God might speak to you through my weaknesses.

I have had fairly bad eyesight for as long as I can remember.  All through my childhood days of school I remember wearing really thick lensed glasses (think coke bottle) which enabled me to read the chalkboard.  I know saying “chalkboard” also ages me, but I’ve already admitted to be 66 years old.  It is what it is.

As a result of poor eyesight, I have spent the better part of 66 years coveting to see with the clarity of vision of those who needed no glasses.  I was discontent, and sinfully unaware of the blessing that is Sight.  I spent no time at all thinking about those who were blind. I totally ignored those who would never see the light of the morning sun rising to cast bright yellow, orange, and reddish hues across the sky.  I never gave a second thought to those who couldn’t see the birds singing in the trees, or the scaly empty shell as the cicada sheds its skin.  I was simply in “poor me” mode, always wishing I could see better.

As a teenager I talked my parents into letting me wear contact lenses.  That experiment was painful and exhausting in so many ways, I returned to glasses again full of resentment for having to do so. Later in life when Lasic surgery became affordable for me, I leapt at the option, hoping to finally have the sight I coveted, freeing me from those thick lens frames.  First in 1998, then again in 2008 I paid to have my eyes “fixed.”

Each of these experiences were basically a good news v. bad news scenario.  I gained an ability to have fairly good distance vision, but lost the ability to read up close.  Yet again, discontent became my reality as I needed reading glasses to study, or work on my computer.

Over the past two weeks I have been given a gift of grace which before now I never dreamed would be my reality.  My eyes apparently had deteriorated with cataracts in such a way that I now qualified to have the surgery to correct my vision with implants.  I had the first surgery on my left eye two weeks ago, and the surgery on my right eye two days ago.  For the first time in my life I can see clearer than I ever had with glasses.

Through this process I have gained an insight about my past, which I pray will have profound effect on my future.  I am very grateful for the surgeon who performed this operation.  But more than that, I am humbled beyond understanding before the Creator who gave me sight in the first place.

In the past, I never really stumbled around in darkness, because I could see with the aid of my glasses. But I also never honestly and fully aware thanked God the gift of sight either.  In this way… I was blinded by my discontent.

So many of us have been given such rich blessings from God, not the least of which is life itself.  For those of us with our 5 senses actually working… we see, hear, touch, taste, breathe, think, speak… we live… without ever giving God the glory for the human creation. In fact, more often it seems we can think of 100 things right now that if we obtained these “things” they would add value, or pleasure, or satisfaction and contentment to our lives.  When in reality, these coveted items do nothing more than rob us of the joy of contentment with what God has already provided.

I pray for you, and for me, that I have learned through this experience to be thankful and content with God’s provision in my life… and covet no more.

Has been or Wannabe?

At 66, many folks today might label me a “has been.”  But trust me when I say, “I’m a Wannabe!”

I am what ThoughtCo. calls a “Baby Boomer.”  Which means I happen to born between 1946 and 1964.  “Generation X” refers to those born between 1965 and 1979.  “Generation Y” labels the people born between 1980 and late 1990s.  And “Generation Z” or “iGen” or “Centennials” is reserved for those born in the late 1990s to 2010s.

Mark McCrindle, according to ThoughtCo. wrote a book titled, “The ABC of XYZ:Understanding the Global Generations.”  In this book he suggests Generation Z will be the generation witnessing a fresh start for the economy, political climate, and environment.  Makes you think doesn’t it?

Does what is happening in the USA and around the world today by the terrorists organization Antifa look anything like a “fresh start?”  Here is a quote by Politics Social Justice  February 6, 2017 then reposted by I,Hypocrite August 4, 2020:

A new study, published by the German tabloid, bild.de, shows that 92% of left wing political criminals live with their parents. The study paints a further picture of the average antifa member. He is male, 21 to 24 years old, 9 our of 10 are single, and 1 out of 3 does not have a job despite being a grown adult.

Here’s some other details revealed by the article:

  •  95 per cent of offenses are disturbing the peace, personal injury, arson, and resistance to law enforcement officers

  • Between 2009 and 2013, left-wing assassins attempted eleven murders and two attempted homicides.

  • 902 violent acts (59 per cent) are directed against persons. Four out of five against policemen.

  • 15 percent of the victims are right wingers.

  • In the case of violence against objects, car fires are the most common offense with 62 percent. In 58 cases police cars were lit.

Some of this pales in comparison to what we’ve seen in just the last two months in America.  This causes me to be concerned for the direction our country is headed unless something changes.

I guess I am a “has been.”

I have been patriotic all my life.  I love this country.  I love the men and women of our armed forces who have protected my freedom abroad.  I respect and revere the men and women of the police forces who have put themselves on the line between anarchy and my freedom by enforcing the laws in this country.

I have been a spiritual person for as long as I remember.  I love the Word of God and see it as the sole authority for my life.  I see God’s Word as instructive and insightful, giving guidance for every decision or need in my life.  That WORD becomes real for me in the Person, Jesus.  He is described as “the WORD” in God’s Word.  Jesus has been given authority over all things, and has promised to be with ME for all time, in every place I go.  His Holy Spirit is the promise of Hope found in His love for me.  His Spirit abides with me and in me.

I have been a failure in life in many ways.  I’ve made poor choices, said hurtful things, acted in less than godly ways.  I’ve been a boy, a teenager, a young adult, a middle aged man, and now what some would term a senior citizen.  In every stage of my life, I’ve had good times and bad.  I’ve had struggles and pain.  I’ve had moments of ecstasy and hope.

So, I guess I am a “has been.”

But make no mistake.  I am also a Wannabe.

I still want to be patriotic.  I want people everywhere to know I support our president, and the agenda of bringing justice back to America.  I will continue to honor our troops and our police, and I want to be faithful doing it.

I still want to be spiritual.  If supporting our country and the president in this way makes me “political” I want to do it in a way that brings glory to God.  I still want Jesus to be the central focus and the driving force for my life.  I want to be faithful doing this.

If I fail, then I fail.  Be that as it may, I want to be strong. I want to be courageous. I want to be part of the answer, not just part of the problem.  I don’t want to just stand around and do nothing.  I don’t want to just be a sheep and buy into all the nonsense and march blindly led by the blinded into anarchy.

I want to stand up and be heard, while seeking God’s will and God’s strength to do it.

I will not bow the knee to BLM, Antifa, the Governor or any other force which has as its agenda to take away my freedom, to speak freely about my faith, to gather for worship with other Christ-followers, or to support my country.

I will not bend the knee to anyone or anything but Jesus Christ the LORD.