Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coal me, baby!










Coal me!
(by R.P.Edwards)

Coal for breakfast!
Coal for lunch!
Coal on Sunday!
We call it brunch
Coal with crackers!
Coal with stew!
Coal with lattes!
Coal fondu! 
Coal for mittens!
Coal for caps!
Coal for toasty, winter naps!
Coal for houses!
Coal for pools!
Coal for daddy's power tools!
Coal for ladies!
Coal for kids!
Coal for men with balding lids!
Coal for fashion!
Coal for roads!
Coal for young!
And coal for old!
Yes, coal's the ticket!
Black and rich!
Coal's the scratch
For our nation's itch!
So search it!
Find it!
'neath the sod!
Lots of coal!
Supplied by God!
Then add a filter!
And call it friend!
Our use for coal
Will never end! 

I DO like the beard (which reminds me, I need to update my "photo" as it is several years outdated and I, too, am much...hairier). Anyway, Mr. DiCaprio, fine actor that he is (blah, blah, blah, pleasant platitudes ad naseam), is now a U.N. "Messenger of Peace," burdened with the task of educating all as to the dangers of Global Warming, no, Climate change. Which, if successful, will ultimately bankrupt us all.

I'll not ramble on other than to suggest a humorous bit on the subject by Michael Loftus which I recently viewed. Here's a youtube link: Michael Loftus on the lies of Global Warming  And, if you are not quite sated, enjoy a helping of The Chicago Cubs and Global Warming, a video I put out a few years back,   Enjoy.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mariam Ibraheem














Mariam Ibraheem
(by R.P.Edwards)

Bold confessions
Are Easily said
Where freedom guards
The speaker's bed
But feel the knife
THEN speak the words
These, my friend
Are in heaven
Heard


Jesus said, 32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32,33)


Hopefully the reader knows the story: Mariam Ibraheem, a Sudanese citizen, was accused of apostasy (i.e. leaving Islam) and sentenced to death unless she recanted her new-found Christian faith (Truth: she NEVER was a Muslim; always a Christian. She did, however, marry an American who was also a Christian). Shackled in prison (also caring for a toddler), she gave birth to her second child, all-the-while pressured by visitors to renounce and renew. She refused.

Just a thoughtful observation: How easy it is for we American believers to say we are followers of the Nazarene. We who had this "freedom" handed to us (we certainly didn't earn it). We, who only risk having our "feelings" hurt for our proclamation (rather than facing the noose or the knife). And I wonder; I wonder if I--knowing my predisposition to compromise and "get along"--I wonder if I would be so bold as to place my head, willingly, in the noose as brave Mariam Ibraheem did. I hope so. 

Anyway, she could use some support (prayers and otherwise). Here's a link to her website:  Mariam Ibraheem

"I had my faith in God...I knew that God would help me"
(Mariam Ibraheem)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Here's hoping...















Conversions
(by R.P.Edwards)

I believe in conversions
Newton
Luther
Paul
Who, through revelation
Saw self-made towers...fall
Eyes divinely opened
To see
Then kneel 
And turn
Then walk a new direction
The old direction...spurn
With knowledge born of bonding
With He whose way is light
To suddenly see contrast
Between the wrong...and right
To cease from fruitless labor
Amazing grace, receive
To know the righteous standing 
For those who just believe




Yes, I'm a believer in conversions. It's that light-bulb, ah ha!, now I see it! moment in a person's life when divine revelation is--usually by desperate invitation--given from above.

Along this line some of the more famous historical converts are mentioned in the poem. For instance, John Newton; the vile former slave trader who, after conversion, penned the most famous Christian hymn, Amazing Grace. Also, Martin Luther, who, after travailing over the seemingly unattainable goal of earning God's righteousness, his eyes were divinely opened to the liberating Biblical truth of salvation without works (again, amazing grace). And then there's the Apostle Paul, who, frankly, seemed quite content in his zealous persecution of the followers of the Nazarene until the Lord showed up and abruptly put an end to his spiritual blindness (temporarily blinding him in the process, Acts 9). Yes, conversion; each genuine believer has one and, although "earning" is not a part of the experience, the "works" that follow give evidence to the work...within.

So, why this little blurb about the "turning?" Well, as this humble offering is written mere hours before the president addresses the nation as to his "strategy" to deal with an evil in the east, I am (perhaps naively) hoping that a deeper work is being done in the chief executive. Often a subject of prayer, I know that the Commander in Chief has been in the crucible of late and, as the pestle of monumental problems has been increasing grinding on his psyche, I am hoping, hoping! that the "Christianity" he professes becomes a genuine joining with the enabler of kings. Yes, that like some before him (President wise) he lay bare his very human soul to the omnipotent being that can then...lift him up.

Here's hoping...

By-the-way, a final verse to the poem...

So take heart, fellow pilgrim
For they who scoff at true
Conversion suddenly appears
Just like it did
For you


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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Little Eyes





Little eyes
Looking up at me
I hope love is what you see
Little eyes

(from the song, Little Eyes, by R.P.Edwards)


Another song saved from extinction. Located in a apple-collection bag (as in: initially a holder of apples from an orchard visit long ago), another cassette was found amongst the jumbled others in the basement. It was one of those black, unlabeled types, bought in bulk and, in this case, used in a small recording studio on the outskirts of Fresno, California. 1980's.

The backstory (as best I can remember it). Around the mid-decade (80's) there was a solicitation for songs having to do with the pro-life movement. Don't remember how I heard of it, but a song was made and submitted (not chosen). My two oldest sons were mere tots at the time (one, a pre-toddler). They served as inspiration.

Sometime later I was working towards a degree in Radio/Television Broadcasting at CSU Fresno  (Why? Well I figured my talents would lend themselves to this area [How did that work out?...I'm currently a steelworker.]). At class one day I heard a fellow student mention an internship at a local recording studio. Not long after I found myself at said establishment, quickly discovering that the nuts and bolts of the process were not so much in my skill-set. 

Anyway, the owner was a fine and patient fellow and, as a thank-you at the end of the semester he quickly put "Little Eyes" together (a talented individual, he added keyboard and guitar). He made me some cassettes (with, and without vocals) and, in the course of time, the song has been sung at a few baby dedications. Alas, the accompaniment tape is now missing. 

As an aside: hoping the song could be used SOMEHOW, I gave it to the local Children's Hospital (Now, Children's Hospital Central California). Called a couple years back to see if they minded if I youtubed it. (Uh...go ahead ["Who is this guy?"]).

My son collected a few pictures (am I really that old?) and my first grandson takes the place of ALL the precious children in our lives. If you click the closed caption feature, the lyrics are listed.  Enjoy.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Radicalized?




 To Believe
(by R.P.Edwards)

Hear
The lie
And then
Believe
Then actions
Follow 
Though
So stop
The course
With truth
Of course!
Before 
The end
Of you



“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
 (Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda)

"So faith comes from hearing..."
(Romans 10:17)

We've heard the terms, "Radicalize" and "Radicalization" in the news of late. These, as you may have guessed, referring to American youth who have latched onto Islamic Jihadist rhetoric (mainly through social media) and, thus inspired, they abandon their western roots and traipse off to the middle east in order to kill and be killed, or worse...to come back home and spread the disease.

Well, hearing and believing is nothing new. It has always been so; from the believed lie whispered into the first couple's ears, to those today who think beheading infidels gets them brownie points with the deity. We hear; we believe; and we act. And, I suppose a term like "Radicalized" is used (as opposed to persuaded, or converted) because it tends to lead to uncivilized behavior, like...cutting off heads.

However--and since I pass by on a regular basis a place of the most hideous doings--may I simply observe that one man's radical view, is another man's accepted practice. In other words, there was a time when chopping little unborn babies to bits and selling their parts (pardon my frankness) would be considered monstrous, but now (as is evidenced by the public's general indifference) it goes on nearly unhindered; week, after week, after week. And why? Because "words" were and are used to persuade, convert, radicalize.

And so, not wanting to leave without a solution, let me finish the scripture begun above: "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17). The Gospel, when unfiltered by wayward manipulators, leads to, yes, godliness. A positive influence. A force for good. And, as we have seen on the international scene, when "vacuums" are created (by the removing of a stabilizer) something far worse may come to take its place. Which causes me to wonder: what if the ten commandments had remained in the classroom? Perhaps the sixth admonition (thou shalt not murder); perhaps this, read over and over through the formative years; perhaps this could have prevented some of the carnage that has happened...and is, most likely, on its recurring way.

Radicalized?
(by R.P.Edwards)

"Radicalized"
A curious term
The civilized hear
And then they squirm
For it means death
Of a gruesome kind
By those who have
An altered mind
But wait a minute!
My pampered friend
It's the point of view
That brings an end
And YOU kill people
The smallest size
So are you
Sir,
Then Radicalized?


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

You must be from Ferguson
























 Of Names
(by R.P.Edwards)

Names have meaning
Meant or no
Associations
Con
Or pro
So make your actions
Wise and kind
So your name heard
Brings these...to mind


Ferguson. Yeah, I've been there.You see, it's not that far away. In fact it's just an over the river jaunt into the "show me" state from the Land, supposedly of Lincoln (where I currently reside). Of course, when I think of "Ferguson" I think...St Louis; even though, truthfully, it is merely one of the many satellite municipalities that orbit the once great "Gateway to the West." Let's call it "greater St Louis."

Anyway, with the killing of unarmed Michael Brown (18) by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson Policeman, there has been great unrest (surely the reader is well aware). Demonstrations, looting, destruction of private property. All, supposedly justified by the lawless act...of a law enforcer.

Well, it seems that the "conviction" of Mr Wilson by the public and the general media...may be premature. You see, there has been leakage that perhaps; perhaps! the "I will never betray...the public trust" officer may have been punched out by Mr. Brown prior to the shooting. Perhaps...the shooting was warranted.

However, this simple offering is not focused so much on the "facts" of this case that must surely come out. But, rather, with what the people who live in Ferguson (not the temporary carpetbaggers) will do with the information once it is known. Of course, if the policeman really did the dastardly deed of killing a hands raised youth; the pre-judgers will be justified. But, what if the "jury of his peers," after hearing and seeing the evidence (whatever that may be) decides in the officers favor? Will "Fergusonians" collectively demand the officers head anyway? Or, if reasons for acquittal are indeed obvious, will my western neighbors cool their passions and give the public servant (no matter how painful it might be) his due?

So, as the opening poem alludes, what will the name "Ferguson" mean in the future? Will its nuance lean more towards the thugs who rioted or robbed; or will its flavor be that of a noble populace. Time...will surely tell.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Liberating Love









Liberating Love
(by R.P.Edwards)

Your selfless love
Has set me free
From prisons past
From guilty me
And in your eyes
No qualm I see
Or fear of pain
From guilty me
But only love
That reaches in
And cuts the tie
Of clinging sin
And sees me new
Makes me believe
Your selfless love
Has set me...free



I don't remember the exact day, or month, or even *year. However, I  do remember the television show; "You Write the Songs." It was hosted by noted celebrity, Ben Vereen and, since I believed that the Lord had put a songwriting talent in me (and there was a cash prize!) I wanted to submit something to this "contest." That's how the song, "Liberating Love" (above) was born.

Yes, I still vaguely remember going about my janitorial duties at the time (in college, and working a part time job) and pondering what to submit. After all, I was, for the most part, used to writing religious fare. Surely this wouldn't do. So, I considered...and cleaned...and eventually a simple song of redemptive love came to be.

The production was the most basic. No recording studio; just me, an autoharp and a couple cassette recorders in a room with a lovely reverb. 

Well, it never made it to the show. And, no other "music" entity seemed interested. It did, however, make it into a few weddings. But, for the most part it has remained forgotten, and as time wears and tears...its end was in sight.

Well, a little while ago I was searching the abode for an old cassette player that might actually work (hard to come by these days). I wanted to play some instructional cassettes I had purchased at the Goodwill. My search also turned up a copy of a copy of...Liberating Love. This is the recording (after some cleaning and preening) that is above. I hope, with its rebirth, that some will be blessed. And, although it is secular in nature, the principle...is divine. 

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8)

*P.S. Naturally, I looked it up. The show was from 1986-1987
P.S.S The background photo is the actual player used to play the recording. 

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