Saturday, May 21, 2005

Yard Sale for All Notions

My cousin decided it was time to reduce the amount of her worldly possessions not to enter a more ascetic lifestyle but to increase the living space which Providence had allotted her. Annie (fake name to protect the innocent and guilty) collected a good size pile of stuff***

- *** STUFF(n.) things that take up space and are saved with the knowledge that you will need them someday. That is, the same day you cannot find them -

In the collection were books, clothes, nick-nacks, some furniture and other odds-and-ends.

Little did Annie realize that placing an advert in the local paper announcing a garage sale would open the door to the Twilight Zone. It was not long after the paper came out that she received a call (Never put your phone number in a garage sale advert) asking if there was any lingerie for sale. She thought about it, remembered there was a couple items and told the caller, "Yes".

The caller asked if he could bring his camera and would she model it for him? Without a word, for fear invectives would be released and only encourage the guy, she terminated the call. - CLICK - A few other calls she received reaffirmed her faith in humanity. That is, most people are of good character and the first call was just a nut or a joker. One of the latter calls she assured a gentleman that there were clothes for larger women. Another call she gave the scope of subjects the books covered.

The day of the sale came and during a lull in customers one person in a nicely tailored pastel pink jump suit parked nearby and came up the driveway. As the customer approached my cousin realized it was not a woman as she had first thought. A few words of conversation and she recognized the voice as the man asking about the larger size women's clothes. He went right to the racks (poles across 2 ladders) and started going through the clothes.

Pulling a nice sequined dress from its hangar he said he hoped she wouldn't mind if he tried it on first, took a couple steps into the open garage and proceeded to take off the jump suit. My cousin was a bit surprised. I would say 'taken aback' but that is so cliche'ish. Sounds like something that Dickens would use. Lets just say she was surprised. She did tell me that his brassiere and panties were stylish and would not clash with the dress.

After he put the dress on he asked and she brought a small mirror which was close at hand. It was difficult for him to see the full effect of the dress in such a small mirror. At this point Annie's daughter and granddaughter came out of the house. Both were taken aback by the situation (I know, I plagiarised the line from Dickens. So sue me.) but quickly fell into the swing of things. After all this was a yard sale and the purpose of yard sales is to get rid of stuff. They affirmed the dress was darling.

The granddaughter picked up a handbag and declared the dress adorable but it needed accessories. She declared it would not be for sale had it been a few sizes smaller and wasn't it a shame the shoes would not fit. Setting the prices up a tad in order to give a deal by coming down they finally had a sale. Annie sent the ever helpful granddaughter in to get her a drink of water and saved the young girl from seeing the dress get peeled off and the customer re-attired in the jumpsuit. Friendly waves all around and Annie decided the next spring cleaning Salvation Army gets the entire load...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

An Answer for Stephen

A bit ago in the comments for my Liberals Hate Children posting I had a commenter ask why I voted for Bush. In his 2 comments it was also implied that I should be in favor of government social programs because Jesus would want me to. This is my reply to Stephen...

Comment: - quote -
Seriously though Paul, all jokes and sarcasm aside:

You come across as a very nice guy to me, who cares about his community and family. I'd expect a man like you to have a real sense of humanity and a social conscience.

Chances are however that you voted Bush.
I really can't understand why people on the right wing (in the sense of 'moral' issues) seem to vote GOP.

Bush in my opinion is not a good person.

A man who is big on war and invasion. A man who has put many people (including children) to death, directly violating UN charters. A man who is responsible for a lot of death in Iraq, and a man who I believe is lying to the American people - telling them what they want to hear about morality and pumping them full of fear. A man who clearly supports the rich.

Are these the teachings of Jesus?

Don't get me wrong, I accept fully Bush's right to rule having got a decent majority this time around, it just perplexes me to think why so many voted for him.

Obviously, J Kerry wasn't a formidable opponent, but why did you Americans vote for Bush?

(Please don't respond aggressively, I'm genuinely interested)
- end quote -
Answer to Stephen's Questions

First of all I am going to assume that you are a Christian by choice and not a Christian as a result of heritage. By this I mean that at some point in your life you have personally met the risen Christ, made a choice to trust in Him for salvation and don't merely call yourself a Christian because your parents took you to that type of church. I've met people of many faiths and religions who fall into the latter category and I hope you fall into the first.

I notice from what you have written a lot of statements that could have been taken from talking points of John Kerry's election campaign. Indeed these points could be taken from most U.S. Democratic politicians, the hate Bush at every turn group and the Mainstream Media throughout the world. Bush is an evil liar, war is killing children in Iraq, socialism is the route for good Christians to go, etc. etc. etc....

I would suggest you take a good look at what the mainstream media (MSM) is feeding you and compare it with the Truth. I say Truth with a capital T because if you inspect the MSM you can see many times that simple bloggers have pulled them down because their veracity is very dubious in the majority of what they project. As you may have noticed recently NewsWeek was caught telling lies (Check also Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, ad infinitum...) about the flushing of a Koran down a toilet. Never mind that 99% of toilets would clog quickly, they printed the story. People have died as a result of this 'news' and then they turn around and blame Bush's administration for not telling them to not print the story.

The truth is that the U.S. soldiers are the ones providing Korans to the prisoners that are being held to protect their own countrymen. I understand that the U.S. soldiers have a special protocol in handling these books even wearing gloves as they are passed out. Prisoners themselves are the most likely source of the story.

Did Newsweek volunteer any of this info? No. Will they tell the world of this? Probably not. Why? Because they have an agenda to deceive. It is only because of the internet that they are loosing the power to keep us in the dark.

I said that to show you that the source of your questions is questionable in itself. If you are a true Christian and know Jesus in a personal way I'm confident that you would prefer the truth over living in a lie.

Well, here is some more truth. Bush is not an evil liar like the MSM would like you to believe. The U.N. had sanctions against Iraq and were not enforcing them due to the Oil for Food program. The fact that there have been no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's) found in Iraq does not destroy the fact that Saddam Hussein used gas weapons against his own people. Bill Clinton, John Kerry and many people against Bush and the war in Iraq declared that Saddam had the weapons and it wasn't until after the U.S. went in and did not find them readily available that they started screaming Bush lied. Do they mention that they lied too? How often do they point out the other, MAIN reasons the U.S. went to war with Saddam Hussein? He DID harbor terrorists (we keep finding them there). His presence caused instability in the region and he was a murderous dictator. In fact Eason Jordan wrote an article that his news organization had been NOT reporting the truth concerning Saddam and thereby allowing his crimes to go unreported. Do you really want to trust the news source that allows 11 year old girls to be raped by a dictator's sons because the news source didn't want to get kicked out of the country and lose their source for news. What is the sense of that? I think it is criminal and not the way to run a good news business. News business's should be in the business of reporting facts and leaving the editorial style adjectives off the front page.

Next time you see a news article on President Bush try highlighting the adjectives. See how many are negative fluff that really add nothing to the facts in the story.

The Anti Bush crowd were mistaken just as Bush was. They were trusting in intelligence data that was accrued during the Clinton administration. I will admit it was not smart of Bush to believe anything that came from this impeached president's term of office In fact, did you know that many people still working in our government received their jobs as a direct result of Bill Clinton. You know him. The 'impeached for lying to a court while under oath' president. I figure that if these people love the real liar they would not be above leaking lies to the press. Lies like flushing a Koran down a toilet... Newsweek has yet to let us know who the 'government source' was. Our government does not fire everyone from the previous administration because these people are not supposed to be for the political party but instead should be for the nation. In their misguided beliefs they feel that hurting Bush will help the nation.

The war in Iraq has been a good thing. Ask the people with purple fingers and thumbs that voted. Ask the children there that will not be raped by Sadamm's boys. Ask the people that will not end up in a mass grave. Ask the people that have started local newspapers with freedom of speech. Ask the people that have started businesses. Ask the girls that can now go to school. Ask the women that are not forced to wear burkas. Ask the women that will not be raped and then murdered because they 'cheated on their husbands'. Ask the boatmen whose marshes have been returned from opening Sadamm's dams. Ask the birds that have returned to the marshes. Ask the people that can raise their voices against the U.S. because we give them freedom of speech.

If we wanted their oil we could have walked in and taken it. In fact it would have been easier to take over Mexico and steal their oil. It is a lot closer. The U.S. is not in the business of colonizing other nations. We will however defend our interests. One of those interests is not having terrorists fly planes into our buildings. Even at this point I would like you to take a close look at the way these prisoners are really treated. How many come out of prison looking like the gaunt skeletons from Hitler's camps? Abu Garab was not the norm. It was an aberration.

Enough on the war and Bush. Let us turn to social issues. I'm sure you have heard the saying that, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for his life".

How many poor people do you know that give others jobs? Thousands? Hundreds? Dozens? I think not. Poor people do not give jobs to anyone. Except perhaps government employees. (More on this later)

Poor people go to business owners for jobs and business owners are not poor. This has been the way of things since before Buddha. I will admit that not all business owners are nice people. Some are, some are not. I have worked for both kinds. Chances are you have too. We must admit that it is the business owners that are taking the chances. The employees can walk away and (hopefully) find another job. If the business fails the owner could be liable for debts for years to come. Should governments work to help or hinder these benefactors to the working class?

If they help the employer the employees could benefit from higher wages in the future. Unless they have found a bum employer in which case they CAN move on to another company.

But what happens if the government takes more money from the employer's cash register than the company can afford? To top it off the government takes money from the employees in the form of payroll taxes. The government promises they are going to help the poor. A bureaucracy is set up of government employees getting high wages to decide which poor person gets the money. The employer goes broke and applies for the benefits and his employees are in line behind him.

That is the ultimate end of government largesse. Taking from the haves and giving to the have nots. Governments do not produce anything. They only help hold up the infrastructure and if they do a bad job of that the country will go broke. Often times programs are set up and the only people that benefit are the government employees. For this reason I would prefer an 'evil' corporation over a government social program. You would have a better chance of getting an even shake from the company. If all else fails you can walk away from the company. The government will hound you till after death for the taxes.

Now re: Jesus being a rebel. It is true that he turned over the moneychanger's tables. Why? Because, as he said, they had taken away the purpose of the temple. It had become a place where people went to fulfill legalistic obligations. He wanted it to be returned to God's original intent which was that it become a "House of Prayer". That is, a place where people could commune on a personal level with the Living God.

How many churches today are more like a place filled with money changers tables? I do not mean that money is the ultimate goal of these places. Most often it is 'good' reasons that they have as goals. It goes way beyond money. They have become places of social obligations. Buildings that people go to in order to appease a conscience burning with guilt but with no intentions of turning from sin to God. A structure where programs take precedence over anyone actually seeking God's will for their life. Indeed those that do so are ostracized as fanatics and forced to remove themselves from the company of those self satisfied that run the place with godless efficiency. As long as children can play basketball and football in a safe environment the church has fulfilled it's obligation to the Almighty. As long as the bags of food distributed are a bit more than the community needs the Divine need not bother them. Sunday service will not be disrupted with spontaneous praise for the Creator because the agenda must not be extended so everything is done 'decently and in order' as scripture so conveniently states and all the parishioners can get to the local restaurant before the church across the street lets out.

I think you get the point. Was the last line a run on sentence?

Jesus was indeed a rebel. At one point He had over 5000 men plus women and children at His command. They were well fed and ready to move. He could have tried to use them to gather others and worked to overthrow the Roman government.

Instead He climbed a hill by Himself and prayed. He felt the communion with His Father more important that ruling a country.

Jesus was not hot on social programs. He did like it when individuals saw the need in another persons life and would help to fill that need. It was not something forced on the individual but instead was a result from the Living God being active in the individual's heart. He did say that the poor would always be with us. (Matt 26:11 plus other gospels) He did not suggest that we should let government agencies take care of them. Indeed I'm confident He wanted it to be a personal matter. I'm confident too that He would prefer we cared for them by teaching them to fish.

Sorry this has gotten so long. I do want you to understand a bit of why I believe the way I do. Hope this helps - Paul - GBYAY -

Monday, May 16, 2005

Smoothing the Rough Spots

This morning a friend told me about a near tragedy that happened this last weekend. His son-in-law was driving with his daughter riding shotgun and a friend in the backseat in the diamond lane of a L.A. freeway. For whatever reason the son-in-law lost control of the car and as control was lost the daughter said, "Jesus, save us!" The car actually flipped over and ended up on it's roof. The car is unsalvageable. All three occupants got out of the car without a scratch.

Now, would they have escaped unscathed if the woman had not called out to Jesus? Impossible to tell. I can say this. If the woman did not have Jesus paramount in her heart anything else could have escaped from her lips. If she had filled her soul with certain types of music it could just as well been profanities filling the car instead of a prayer. That might have been tough to explain had they gone to meet their maker instead of exiting the car unscratched.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Trusting in Jesus does not mean that life will be a bowl of cherries with no troubles in it but the Lord does tend to even off the rough edges. In a less dramatic event in my own life I got a flat tire (explosive kind) at night just as I exited a freeway near my home. I was able to continue through a green light, across the street, down half a block and park the car across the street from my home. I thanked the Lord, went inside and went to bed, saving changing the tire till morning's light...